519 Tasting Notes

83

Incredible aroma of earth and cocoa and the faintest whiff of tobacco when I ripped open the bag. Using 1 TB for a 10oz cup, in a tea-sac, steeping 7 minutes — they recommend 4 to 7 minutes “or more for a darker brew” — boiling water …

At the 5-minute mark, gives off a scent of straw — clean straw. And earth.

Brews quite dark, looking like a pu’erh, if pu’erh released green and brown instead of red and brown colours.

The organic cocoa nibs add a very “healthy” aroma.

Not grassy like some yerba mates. (Mate and guayusa are cousins, both members of the holly family.) Reminds me a bit of some barkier medicinal tisanes with chicory or dandelion root in them. A slight sharpness to the aroma makes me expect bitterness, but I don’t get any. (I’m trying this first cup unsweetened.) Shares the slight nuttiness of some of the Japanese greens. Smooth if mild cocoa aftertaste; this might come out more with stevia.

I need more time with guayusa. But I’m definitely not sorry I tried it.

Will report later on the promised steady no-crash energy guayusa is supposed to deliver.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Still stoked and focused from the guayusa. Nor manic crazy or anything, but concentration seems better.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Sorry, got my measurements wrong … 1 TB and 16oz/2 cups/500mL water.

Trying it this morning with one packet of stevia, which does not see to sweeten the entire brew, just bring out the cocoa a bit more.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Wow. Quite the steady smoulder of energy. I didn’t dare drink this and yerba mate within the same few hours.

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68

Tried a gentler steep with cooler water tonight … MUCH better. A decent jasmine green.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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66

Malty and bright. Slightly sweeter than Barry’s but not as deep. As with Barry’s, not fancy, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of. I’d make this for guests who ‘just want a normal cup of tea’ without hesitation.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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66

Solid and robust. Very good for a bagged tea. Deliciously malty. Can get bitter. Not fancy, but nothing to sneer at, either.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bel27

Your budget is very similar to mine

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9

Probably the worst alleged Darjeeling I’ve ever tasted. Very disappointing. No muscatel. Just stale, weak tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Assam by Twinings
519 tasting notes

Lovely aroma, but it gets bitter quicky.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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70

An old favourite. Intriguing blend. Not one bit malty. Loose is better than bagged.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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14

Meh. Some honey scent and taste. Zero Darjeeling taste.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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19

Unbalanced. Too sweet. Not enough white tea in the blend to notice. Hollow.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Beckara

I’ve never really had a Celestial Seasonings tea that I’ve particularly cared for.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I must have spent hundred of dollars over a fifteen-year period trying to find a CS tea I really liked. They all sound good on the box. Most of them smell okay, if not fab. But the taste never lives up to the smell. Two exceptions, both discontinued: Emperor’s Choice and Mandarin Spice. The MS needed an absurdly long steep to taste like anything — hello, tealight under the teapot — but once it got there, oh yum.

Beckara

I do love the fact that the only two teas that were really any good end up being the ones that are discontinued!

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9

A mistake. Why, oh WHY would one batter Darjeeling with a flavour as heavy as mango? Ceylon and mango, maybe. Assam and mango, sure.

And a fakish mango flavour at that.

Makes me wonder, looking back, if the Darjeeling in the blend was a bad quality.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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