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902 Tasting Notes

60

vanilla_bookworm sent me this bag to try…thanks so much! This is a completely new brand to me!

I’m a little nervous…it’s brewed up to a deep, deep dark chocolate brown. In fact, it kinda looks like coffee. Scent is a deep cocoa/mocha…which, again, makes me nervous. See, I don’t drink coffee or mocha things. I don’t eat coffee or mocha things. Chocolate cake has coffee or mocha in it? I will not touch it. So, this has me hesitating…

It’s…different. It doesn’t taste like coffee, but there is some mocha there. I can taste the chicory, and the cocoa, and a bit of the mate, but the mocha taste is kinda throwing me.

I think that this would be absolutely amazing to someone who liked coffee/mocha things. I also think this would be a good tea for someone who, for whatever reason besides caffeine content, wants to stop drinking coffee and switch to tea. It may even be a good tea for someone who wants to start drinking coffee, but for whatever reason doesn’t.

So, in other words: it’s really good for what it is: mocha-like mate/tea blend with chicory (coffee substitute). I cannot stand coffee/mocha things, and I have willingly finished this cup with no additives. I’d willingly accept another cup if it was offered, but I wouldn’t actively seek it out (unless I was going to be giving it as gift, or needed coffee-like tea for a houseguest). I really do think coffee lovers should give it a try, because I know you’d love it.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Earl Grey by Bigelow
902 tasting notes

Last bag of this from my Bigelow sampler pack. Will definitely have to pick up some more to have on hand…it’s got just the right amount of bergamot flavoring for me!

Does anyone know if Bigelow has a retail shop like Celestial Seasonings and Stash has? I know there’s a Bigelow something-or-other in Louisville, but I don’t know if I can get tea there…

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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80

LiberTEAS included this in the surprise box she sent me. Thanks so much!!

The lime is really strong in this one. The hibiscus is there as well, but for me the yerba mate is a bit stronger than it. It is indeed tart, and unlike the Citrus Rose blend, the yerba mate here tastes “dark”, maybe even a touch smoky. Would this one be dark roasted and the Citrus Rose not? A search of Mate Factor’s website doesn’t yield any info on the Citrus Rose…and it doesn’t really say either way on the entry for it here.

My impression: a smoky-tart lime mate with hibiscus notes. Not as good as the Citrus Rose, but very nice if you enjoy tart!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Earl of Bengal Tea by Teatulia Teas
902 tasting notes

Alright, having another go at this one. Reduced steeping time to 2 minutes, and the temp down to 200*. The odd flavor that I was thinking was “dusty” is still kinda there, and there’s still astringency (quite a bit for only 2 minutes), but I think what I’m getting now is more…meaty? Proteiny? It’s so hard to find the words for it. It’s much more palatable at this time/temp…I’m still not really getting much bergamot taste, though.

Okay, after thinking on this tea, it reminds me of those paper tasting strips in my genetics class. Did anyone else do that? They’re little strips of paper that have chemicals in them…some people can taste these compounds, some can’t, and the ability to taste each different compound is, apparently, a single gene trait. I don’t remember which ones we did, but I do remember being the only one who had to run out of the room to rinse my mouth out after trying one of them.

Okay, back to the tea…I did get a better cup this time around, and, in fact, actually finished the pot. I think I’ll shorten the steep even more next time around.

(And a big thanks to LiberTEAS for taking the time to help me out with this blend. You’re awesome!)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Carnival by Sanctuary T
902 tasting notes

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95

Well, I didn’t quite add the picture right…and I don’t know how to make it not blurry! Please, someone, feel free to fix it!

This is from my latest Praise Tea order. Have I mentioned how awesome this company is? During their Black Friday sale, they ended up selling out of some teas that I had ordered. Most of my order had already shipped, and then I got a call from the company. A real phone call!! Letting me know what had happened, and what options we could do. Amazing!! So, my second box arrived (with my replacement teas), and there were extra pouches of tea in there, too. Seriously, above and beyond customer service.

So, as some of you may know, I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect chamomile blend. I suffer fits of insomnia, and a pot of chamomile at night really helps me to stay asleep the whole night (few things help me to fall asleep fast). But I don’t like chamomile too flowery, nor do I like not tasting it.

This is really, really close to The One.

It’s definitely a chamomile blend, no doubt, but it doesn’t taste floral at all. I can taste fresh, juicy mango, as well as a subtle, crisp, tart apple. I’d almost be that there’s a touch of hibiscus here, too, just from the hint of tart that I’m getting. It’s just the faintest hint, and makes the whole thing a delight. I only got a sample of this…definitely will need more!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Decaffeinated Black by Royal Cup
902 tasting notes

Switching it up today…alternating caf/decaf since I’m feeling a bit twitchy/hyped up. I picked this up at my conference back in October; this brand is apparently their “house tea”. I was given quite a few bags of it (some decaf, some not) by various attendees who know I drink tea. I’ve been a bit wary of it, because sometimes these things turn out not-so-well…

It’s certainly not horrendous, especially for being decaf. It is, however, completely unremarkable save for the fact that it’s decaf and is 100% drinkable. No chemical taste, no bitterness, no astringency, nada. And it does, in fact, taste like tea.

I don’t know if I’d actively seek this out for purchase…I do like having decaf teas on hand, but am just as satisfied drinking herbals/rooibos. I definitely would partake if it’s the tea available at the hotel I’m at. I’m certainly satisfied by this cup, and the other bags of decaf I have won’t linger for too long.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Coconut Chai by Zhena's Gypsy Tea
902 tasting notes

I was sipping on this when I needed to go to our front office (us supervisors have an office toward the back of the building…apparently we’re loud) to drop off some papers. On my way up there, another coworker was at the coffee station fixing up her coffee with sugar and half & half. Can you see where this is going?

So I added a packet of sugar sub and some half & half. And whilst it’s a bit too sweet (next time I try it this way, I’ll only do 1/2 a pack), it’s really nice like this. Perhaps I should be using half & half instead of milk when I try this stuff at home…

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
902 tasting notes

Mr. Polo and I aren’t having the best of luck, it seems.

The first pot was way too bitter/astringent to be truly enjoyed. The second had me wondering what all the fuss was about. Yup, you’re right, this is only my third pot.

It’s not as astringent this time around, and I’m noticing more of the berry taste. Cream’s there as well, but not as much as I was expecting. Since many add milk and sugar, I went to do the same. Luckily, I noticed the date on my milk (which I will not post) and did the sniff test. And then I went and grabbed the french vanilla creamer.

I think I’m getting closer to finding the perfect way to brew this for me. With the creamer, it’s well, creamier, and the vanilla adds a cake-like note to the berry. I still need to fiddle with the time on it, and maybe even the temp. I want to taste what all the cool kids taste when they drink this one!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

My first cup was less tha stellar, but the second cup has me antsy to get some more! I usually don’t have additions with anything but breakfast tea, but this one needed milk and sugar to really sing, but with the additions it sang an aria!

Jaime

I usually don’t add anything to teas either, and working on getting the right stuff in the right amounts to make this shine is really hard for me. I’m going to buy some half & half and see if that helps. How did you make your aria-spouting cuppa?

ashmanra

Just skim milk and a little sugar, plus a quiet enough spot to concentrate on the flavor.

Jaime

Well, I’ve done all that. Gotta figure out how much milk/sugar I think.

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Profile

Bio

My love of tea started in 2001, whilst in an internship in London, England. I shared an office with a lovely man who would make me a cup of tea every morning without asking me if I even wanted it. I drink my tea neat now, because I’ve yet to find the sugar/milk combination that lives up to Pablo’s.

I drink any and all kinds of tea, and love trying new brands/varieties/flavors.

Location

Lexington, Kentucky

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