520 Tasting Notes

91

I’ve been having a bad week. Okay, it’s not bad. It’s just stressful. There are guests and holiday accommodations and arguments and late nights. I’m so tired and stressed out right now. Today I have to spend most of my day preparing food for Thanksgiving. I won’t have time to do much cooking tomorrow. I really need some time with a good oolong. Everything can just take care of itself for a while. Time to break out another sample from Tea from Taiwan.

The smell is amazing. Buttery and bakey. Like fresh biscuits. The first cup is refreshing and comforting. So smooth and rich. I took a deep whiff of the wet leaves. Smells like buttered peas (yum!) and bok choy. This is perfect and exactly what I needed.

Second cup is very sweet and fruity. There’s peas at the end of the sip. Delicious. I love peas. and fruit. (Speaking of fruit, I need to go to the Japanese store and pick up more persimmons…)

I don’t have time for a third cup right now, but I’ll be back. This tea is so good. I’m perked up for now and I’ll need to de-stress with this tea later. :)

Jessie

I don’t know how Americans cope with Thanksgiving this close to Christmas. I always find late November on so stressful for so many reasons to begin with. I hope a good Oolong can help you relax!

Ninavampi

I really miss Thanksgiving in the US… I am taking tomorrow off to honor it!

Mercuryhime

Jessie – I always wondered why Canadians have their Thanksgiving a month earlier than we do. I need to do some research or something. hehe Anyways, thankfully, my family doesn’t do Christmas. My sister and I always spent that holiday season with friends. It’s much easier being a guest than a host.

Ninavampi – Are you having a feast too?

Jessie

I think the basic historical basis boils down to that, as a harvest festival, Canada’s harvest season tends to be earlier than in the US. What with the terrible cold right now, this makes sense to me. In any case, I think American Thanksgiving is a good excuse for me to bake another pumpkin pie!

TeaBrat

this sounds delicious…

Ninavampi

@Mercuryhime – Yep! Stayed home and even ate pumpkin pie! : ) Not in the US but the part of my family that is in Ecuador will enjoy a super feast on Saturday and a mini feast today! : )

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It’s just dried ginger bits. I love ginger. There isn’t anything in the world that wouldn’t taste good with some ginger in it. I dare any of you to name a food that wouldn’t be good with ginger.
Moving on… I love the smell of this. I usually make ginger tea by grating fresh ginger and pouring boiling water over it, but I recognize the convenience of a dried ginger. I’m glad I got this shipment before Thanksgiving because I was planning on making a stomach easing after dinner drink with ginger, mint and lemon grass. Or maybe minus the mint since some people don’t like mint (how can you not like mint?). But first, I want to try the ginger on its own.

I gotta say. I’m a little sad. I might have put in too much ginger, but the package doesn’t offer any suggestions. It’s nice and spicy which is great, but it’s also bitter and medicinal. I don’t think I can drink this without honey.

Okay, I just watered it down a bit and now it tastes better. I used too much ginger. I’ll know better for next time. This will probably be better in a blend. It’s super convenient for tummy problems, but I’ll stick to fresh ginger when I can.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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81

The strength of the floral flavors is surprising. So much so that I only noticed the coconut as an after thought. However, as I kept drinking, I realized how pleasant and creamy the coconut is. It’s a smooth white base with some hay notes.

The smell of the coconut is fantastic. I was hoping for more coconut flavor, but I pretty much love coconut. I could put it in everything. The flowers are a bit much. They add a hint of medicine to the aftertaste.

Overall, a yummy good tea!

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80

Very green and pleasantly floral. I love the smell in this one. Puppy sniffed my cup and wrinkled his nose though. It’s a very nIce to kuan yin that I would certainly recommend. However, I find it not very interesting. It’s good but not memorable. I’m probably jaded though. My mom only ever makes ti khan yin. Perhaps I’m too familiar with it to find it special. I’ve had many that are subpar to know that I’m drinking a good one right now.

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34
drank Chamomile Citron by Tea Forte
520 tasting notes

I am soooo not a fan of chamomile. ugh. I was offered this tea at someone’s home and accepted out of politeness. Some people are really uncomfortable with the idea that you just want to drink water. People seem to think water is what you drink when you have no other choice. But honestly, water is often my first choice. But anyway, this was gross. I didn’t get a chance to see the ingredients, but I tasted mostly chamomile and a bit of mint. I didn’t really notice any citron flavors, which I had hoped would mask the chamomile. Why do I hate chamomile so much? :(

LiberTEAS

Chamomile is not for everyone. And… interestingly enough… not all chamomile is the same. There are a few really outstanding chamomile teas – look for the large blossoms of chamomile. One of the best that I’ve tried that comes to mind immediately is the Chamomile from Byron Bay Tea Company: http://www.byronbayteacompany.com.au/store/Organic-Chamomile.html

Ninavampi

Hmm… Chamomile also grows around my house. I wonder what type it is, I will have to look into it… I am not terribly fond of it, but I can’t claim to hate it.

bryghtbeverages

Chamomile is terrible. I’m with you!

TeaBrat

I like it… :-P

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82

I’ve been looking for a nice herbal that’s relaxing and tasty enough that my husband won’t make a face when I try to share my tea with him. Since he loves lemon, I figured this would work. And it does! He enjoys it! Some guests of ours were pleasantly surprised as well. They had never heard of lemon grass.

It develops this smell that reminds me of green onion? or something that seems savory… But it’s not very noticeable. The second steep smells more strongly of it than the first, but they are both pleasant.

I can’t wait to mix this with some spearmint or peppermint. Nobody around here likes mint except for me. :( It was a hit when I mixed it with some decaf sencha though. :)

Ninavampi

Lemongrass is spectacular! It grows almost like weeds around my house! When we want to make some we venture out and pick some. We usually mix it with spearmint and peppermint. Yum… Herbal perfection!

Mercuryhime

I am jealous! I do have lemon balm growing like weeds though. Unfortunately, I’d rather have lemongrass cause then I can also make thai curry. I think it’s too cold for lemon grass to grow well here.

Ninavampi

It might be the weather… It is pretty warm here all year round and I think lemongrass likes that!

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I just realized that the dogs in your pic are actually your dogs! I love it! : ) I feel like, for some reason, tea lovers tend to be more cat people than dog people (I still like cats, but my choice companion is a Dog!). Glad to find another dog person!

Mercuryhime

Yes, they are my doggies and I love them to bits. I used to think I would prefer cats, but now I realize that I really enjoy the constant love and attention dogs give you. I love cats too, but dogs make me happier. And I’m allergic to cats.

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85

It smells amazing and tastes just like it smells. Very floral wirh a slight hint of bitterness at the end which I find common with jasmine. Very nice and relaxing. I left my tea loving friend with the rest of the sample. I know he’ll appreciate it. :)

Does anyone else want to bathe in jasmine tea? I think I’d smell so good afterwards.

Ninavampi

Hmmm… Maybe wash my hair in Jasmine tea? : ) I would smell delicious!

Jessie

I had a jasmine hair treatment mask once, and the jasmine scent would stay in my hair for a day or two after using it. It was amazing!

Ninavampi

Yummm…. : )

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drank Paradise Oolong by Custom
520 tasting notes

First attempt at creating Paradise Oolong. I used David’s Tea’s Quangzhou Milk Oolong and Upton Tea Import’s Empress Guei Fei Oolong. It was a great idea that was badly executed.

You see, I had written earlier about how Empress Guei Fei was a bit of a disappointment since the flavors were unrefined and harsh. I figured that the smoothness of David’s Milk oolong would neutralize that, and the two would combine into something like honeyed fruit drenched in cream. Sounds decadent, doesn’t it? I thought so.

Well, things didn’t quite go as planned. I think the milk oolong is either stronger than I thought or I put in too much of it, because I mostly tasted milk oolong. The second steep had more honeyed notes and the dark oolong flavor rounding out each sip. Mostly, the flavors clashed and distracted. I couldn’t really tell what I was tasting, honestly. My taste buds are confused.

The worst part is, I got so excited about my idea that I went ahead and drank oolong at 9PM. I am so hyped on caffeine right now. I think the Guei Fei isn’t too caffeinated, but David’s Milk Oolong always had a kick to it. I’ll probably be up till dawn at this point and it wasn’t even all that tasty. :(

For next time: Get smoother oolongs to play with.

Ninavampi

It was a really great idea! I was excited to see how it turned out… Too bad it wasn’t as amazing as it was expected to be… and happened at 9pm… Maybe an earlier time would have inspired more tweaking of the blend?

Still, congrats on great ideas! : )

Mercuryhime

Thanks for the encouragement. :) this is certainly not over!

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59

My quest for naturally honey flavored oolongs continue. The latest in my trials is this little number from Upton Tea. From what I’ve read, Guei-Fei oolong is supposedly gnawed upon by little bugs which allow for a honey like flavor to develop from the leaves. I think, that if done well, it could be amazing. But this particular one is only mediocre. the honey like flavors seem almost spoiled. Here are the tasting notes I jotted down as I drank:
over ripe fruit, astringent, banana peel, honey, soapy. Dark oolong.

I wouldn’t order this again. It’s harsh and unrefined. The flavors are trying to club you over the head and drag you into a cave instead of wooing you with wine and poetry like a real gentleman.

It’s not horrible, but it’s not worth paying for when I know there are better ones out there. I’ll just finish up on my sample and move on. :)

bryghtbeverages

I feel your pain. In my opinion, God’s two greatest gifts to mankind (in the arena of edibles) are honey and milk. I add milk to almost all my black teas and honey to all my greens and Oolongs. In my 30+ years of tea consumption, I have never come across anything that comes close to the effect of adding honey subsequent to the steep. Let me know if you are fortunate enough to find this pot of gold!

Mercuryhime

I’m actually lactose intolerant, but I love milky oolongs. And I actually don’t like my tea sweetened, but I love honey fragrant oolongs! I guess I’m trying to fix all my problems with oolong. There are probably worse options. I just placed an order with Canton Tea Co for Mi Lan Dan Cong that has been highly recommended to me as THE honey oolong, so maybe the end of the rainbow is closer than we think!

Ninavampi

Honey fragrant Oolong is definitely among my favorites too! : )

TeaBrat

sorry that does not sound like a real winner…

Mercuryhime

Reading your comments suddenly gave me a wild idea. Mix this oolong with a milk oolong. Milk and honey oolong! Or paradise oolong! I have to try this!

bryghtbeverages

When you try it, keep us informed. You’ve got the blending bug!

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65

Veeerry interesting… I just ordered some herbs from Upton because I need more stuff I can drink late at night and still get to sleep. This is the first one I opened, and it’s the first time I’m having lemon verbena on it’s own. I can see why it usually comes in a blend. On it’s own, there’s a light lemon flavor. Less lemony than the lemon balm in my garden. Mostly, it reminds me of cheap mint tea, but without the menthol. Is this how lemon verbena is supposed to taste? Hmm… Well, I also bought a couple packets of mint that I wanted to mix with this, so maybe that’ll be better. Oh! and lemon grass. :)

I don’t know where I’m going to put all this…

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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Profile

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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