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484 Tasting Notes

92

Sad sip down. :( this was a delicious companion that I kept at work to brighten up cloudy stressful days like this one.

Also, yesterday snow. Today rain. Yuck. I hope Easter will be more springy.

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86

Brewing this for the first time yesterday was a bit of a disaster. It tasted so weird! Sour and harsh and somehow underleafed all at once. I gave up after two steepings. Today, I decided to change things up a bit and see if it made a difference. I used the remaining half of the packet, but only half the amount of water as yesterday. I also used unfiltered water from my tap since I had used filtered last time. Result? Much better! So does this mean some teas taste better with unfiltered tap water? Or is my brita messed up? Water tastes fine… meh. Oh well. Now I know! And I can review this tea!

First, the dry leaves smell like a delicious chocolate truffle. mmmmm….

The first steep is luscious and dark chocolatey. Also mineraly, like hot rocks. Tasty!

Second steep tastes more like burning rocks and dry fall leaves. This is good. There is a sweet aftertaste. And something undefinably fruity. Still have that dark chocolate quality.

Going for a third steep! This is a nice mellow one with a lovely sweetness. I can definitely taste its oolongy origins here. Reminds me of forest soil, like many dark oolongs do.

This is a very tasty experiment indeed! I’m glad I got an ounce of this to play with. :) Next time, it’s going into the gaiwan.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Have a green day!

OMGsrsly

I’m getting sourness from some of my teas as well, and i recently changed my Brita filter. Thanks for the idea! I’ll use plain tap water tomorrow.

Mercuryhime

It will depend on the tap water too. Good luck!

OMGsrsly

Much better today! Our tap water is actually really good, just sometimes heavily chlorinated. I need to filter it before drinking it plain. :)

Mercuryhime

Yay! Glad it worked out for you! Wonder why Brita makes sour tea?

Sil

that’s weird. i use my brita all the time. so must be something to do with the water + brita

OMGsrsly

I just changed the filter, so it must be something to do with that. I was thinking of cleaning my kettle, but now I’m scared to disturb the balance. :)

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72

Help! Too much black tea today! I wanted to drink and write about Anxi Fo Shou from Verdant. But it tasted weird and sour. I think either the water is off or my tastebuds are off. Then I opened up my bag of Laoshan Black thinking I’d get one good cup of black, but had the same weirdness going on as for the Fo Shou. I had two steepings of each. Now I’m cold brewing them cause if I have more caffeine now, I think I might explode. But there’s so much flavor left in those leaves! I’m freaking out! I think it’s a good day to try that banana caffeine cure I read about. But first, this tasting note.

So I didn’t actually have this Earl Grey Creme Vanilla today, thankfully. I had opened this packet for the first time at work a couple days ago. It’s been crazy stressful and busy so I haven’t had time to write a note before now. But anyway, this tea smells amazing. So sweet and delicious. Like an orange creamsicle. It was always my favorite from the ice cream vending machine when I was a kid. Of course, I managed to spill half my sample onto the floor when I ripped open the packet, so I got to smell that deliciousness all day long as my rolling chair kept going back and forth on those leaves. Eventually, I figured out I could pick up the leaf bits with the lint roller I had in a cabinet, but then I could still smell it from my trash can.

Anyway! I can’t concentrate when I’m over caffeinated like this! So the tea! Tasted pretty good, but left an odd aftertaste that I associate with artificial flavors. Upton doesn’t always use natural flavoring, but I don’t make a big fuss about it since the majority of my diet is pretty natural, I figure a bit from the occasional tea can’t be too bad. But when it tastes funny like this…well, that’s when I wish they had gone for natural flavoring.

Overall, not bad, but I’ll be looking for a better EG Creme. The one from SpecialTeas was quite tasty. Alas…

Now for that supposed banana cure!

EDIT Okay, so, skeptical as always when hearing a vague scientific claim, I googled the banana/caffeine thing. Turns out the “science” behind the banana cure is pretty shady. Ah well, at least my banana blueberry smoothie was delicious.

Bonnie

Water can ruin any tea for sure. People sometimes don’t believe it but it’s true. Hope things get better!

Tea Sipper

Oh, the SpecialTeas EGC was my favorite too! I think the zentealife.com version is pretty great.

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85

Cold brewed this cause I feel spring in my bones if not in the air. You can tell it’s spring because the birds have moved back into my walls. There are these little holes under the eaves and they nest in there. I can here them chirping and scratching around in the wall area to the left of my desk. So yeah. Birds have migrated back. It’s spring! Time for delicious cold brewed tea!

And I have to say, this tea makes one mighty fine cold brew! So much honey sweetness! I might order tons of this just to cold brew all summer! That is…if I didn’t already have about a gajillion tons of tea in my cabinet. ah well! Too much tea is better than not enough!

Also, sip down!

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77

Upon opening the package to examine the leaves, I noticed this round tan color thing. Looked like a small chickpea. Since I didn’t know what it was, I bit it. Mmmm…chewy caramel. I ate the whole thing. :D How much would it have added, really? hehe

This tea smells decadent. But the fresh greenness of the base makes it light. It’s just a sweet little something, not a full blown dessert. Very nice. Often caramel flavored teas are so heavy and rich. This is rich but not heavy. I’m so glad I got to try this! Thanks AlphaKitty!

That said, it does have, what I’ve come to recognize as, a Chinese sencha base. Probably my least favorite tea. Yet, it’s a common tea to use in green blends, probably due to affordability. But this blend was made with such skill that I could overlook the base. :) Tasty! I’d be happy to finish the rest of my sample.

Alphakitty

The last time I made this I ended up eating a ton of the caramel bits out of my spoonful while the water was boiling… ended up still pretty caramel-y, so I’m wondering if they are just there to look nice!

Mercuryhime

They are tasty. Like green tea scented caramels. :)

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I got some of this in my meet up/ swap with AlphaKitty yesterday! What a fun time!

This is a tea I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. It sounds so delicious! I can smell a hint of caramel. Toasty flavor. Lightly fruity. Very light. Hmm…not really tasting like honey and preserves. Whatever flavors there are, they are very subdued. In fact, I can barely taste it. I think Harney’s black tea blends may be formulated so that I can’t taste the flavors. I could never detect much in Florence either.

Soo…back to Marco Polo. My wallet weeps.

ashmanra

Could it be really old? I love this one as much as Paris. If you are looking for a replacement for Marco, though, you might want to try Anna’s Blend which I think originates with Teageschwender but I know it is sold by Tin Roof Teas as well.

Mercuryhime

Thank you for your tips. :) ill look into Anna’s Blend.

Alphakitty

I just got this from the H&S shop about a month ago, so it’s definitely not old! I don’t get a whole lot of flavor from it either, I much prefer Paris.

Mercuryhime

AlphaKitty, I sorta figured it wasn’t an age thing. I’ve had teas from Harney that simply didn’t taste like much. Though some other teas are very tasty. I will have to try Paris next. But it’s evening now so I’d better stay away from the black teas for the rest of the day. :)

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71

Description suggests that the bergamot is light on this tea but I found it plenty strong enough. Couldn’t taste much difference between this one and the Ceylon base. Actually the Ceylon might have a brighter flavor. I wonder what kind of Chinese tea is being used here. It was just a bit astringent. Added a bit of cream but that just completely muddled the flavors. Might be good iced for summer.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a good tea, but not as good as I was hoping for.

Maybe I’m not as big a fan of earl grey as I think I am. :(

Cavocorax

I’m starting to think that I’m not a big EG fan too. That bergamot messes things up sometimes.

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79

Had this tea at a very impressive restaurant. Husband surprised me with a last minute reservation to Dirt Candy for my birthday yesterday. I’ve been wanting to eat there since foreeever! It was everything I dreamed and more. Their dessert menu featured a couple of teas from Le Palaise des Thes, proving that a stunning meal out doesn’t have to be followed by Lipton or stale coffee.

The tea came in a small insulated press pot. Elegant and convenient. I peeked into the pot and saw that this was loose leaf. Amazing. I felt that the ratio of leaf to water was a bit off, but overall, quite tasty! Sweet honey notes. Roasty. More like a dark oolong than black tea. Malty. Perfect end to a perfect meal.

Then we went next door to play with the kitties at the no kill shelter. Husband would normally stop me from doing this as I’m allergic to the cute little things, but it was my birthday! So I’m allowed to get all itchy from cat fur if I want to. :D at some point, I got a bit too wheezy so I dropped a donation and left. Made me happy. :)

gmathis

What a lovely date! Tea and kittens!

Lindsay

Yeah best day ever!

Cavocorax

Sounds wonderful! :D

Kittenna

Happy belated birthday :)

Kashyap

a very curious note and I’m grateful as I have heard of this…happy birthday and dance with the felines and enjoy the burn…good and wonderful hearts a beautiful to behold

ashmanra

Happy Birthday! Good tea, good company, and kittens…sounds happy!

Alphakitty

Happy birthday! I don’t think I can imagine a better way to spend the day than with kittens and tea.

Mercuryhime

Thank you all. :) it was a wonderful evening.

Angrboda

Happy birthday. :D

Mercuryhime

Thanks! :)

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67

Meh. I love the spice strong in my chai. This was okay but lacked pizzazz. Need some spicy burn from ginger and sweet heat from cinnamon! And floral vaguely citrusy cardamom. Where is all of that awesomeness? Bland for a chai but good enough for a caffeine free evening drink.

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92

Got husband to have gaiwan session with me this morning. :) That means I didn’t have to imbibe all that caffeine by myself. Which means I can have more other teas. :D so we followed the directions on teavivre’s website. Worked well! He even poured a few steepings. :)

The tea developed beautifully. Husband’s comments were great. He said they were like burnt flowers. Which I translated to understand as smokey and floral. Haha. I thought it was smoked prunes. Tasty. But a bit savory. Like a balanced meal.

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Bio

I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.

Location

NYC / Westchester

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