166 Tasting Notes

100
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
166 tasting notes

Oh, this is just delicious tea. How can it be so complex and lovely? Dark chocolate, malt, bready, something toasty, even honeyed. Smooth, full-bodied, perfect. These tea leaves are magical. I’ve had plenty of desserts with less flavor nuances and even though the liquor is still relatively light, the flavor and aroma is a morning meal.

I steeped it for longer today than I normally do and my love only deepens. I was doing 30-60 second steeps previously and this time I went for a full 2 minutes and change initially Western style. Love! I have been slowly rationing this and am will need much more next time so I can enjoy it more often.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Roasted Barley, Toasted Rice

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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90
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
166 tasting notes

It has been a while since I found this one in the cupboard. Turns out, it is aging really nicely! Sweet creamy vanilla with a green and lightly floral oolong. Lovely both served hot initially, then cold later on. Really blossoms as the temperature changes. Also, quite perfect for this gorgeous Thursday we are having. Who ever heard of a 60 degree breezy July morning in Georgia? Not this girl!

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Green, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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78
drank Grand Amour by Nina's Paris
166 tasting notes

Thank you to Laurent/Nina’s for this sample!

Dry: Small tightly rolled black tea leaves. The dry leaves smell divine to me- I was really excited to try it! A touch of caramel, stone fruits, vanilla, and almost a cocoa note as well in the little ziploc baggie. I didn’t have enough for a full teapot, but I was still in great anticipation.

Steeped: Clear brown liquor. This reminds me a LOT of Harney’s Paris and the scent is very similar. I think the aroma on this one is more raspberry though- very fruity and pleasant.

Taste: I wanted to have a true love forever affair with this one from the dry scent, but the taste is a little bit less than I hoped for. It is still a good cup of tea, but I didn’t really get any caramel notes from it as described. Red fruits are the most prominent along with a nice maltiness, a touch of vanilla, and a somewhat unusual perfume aftertaste. The samples arrived in an opened enveloped that USPS had taped back together and one of the 3 was missing entirely. Maybe the tea was in the truck next to perfume samples? I don’t really know what to make of the perfume aspect, but I am glad I was able to try it. I have one other tea from the company to try another time, so I will keep my fingers crossed!

Flavors: Malt, Perfume, Raspberry, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Let me preface this with emphasis that I am rating this tea based on what it is supposed to be. I actually discovered I don’t like Lapsang Souchong at all, but Teavivre makes a good one for what it is.

Dry: Small tightly rolled black tea leaves. The package reminds me of the stables- the dry leaf smells very leathery to me with considerable smokiness and another aroma that reminds me of dry cedar chips.

Steeped: Deep red-brown clear liquor. The smokiness is a bit less present in the steeped tea than in the dry leaf. A hint of malt plays around the edges of the mug.

Taste: Holy smoke, Batman! This one is bold on flavor. Strong smoke with a hint of sweet. Very smooth, with pine, leather, and cedar notes. If I were to taste a tea that reminded me of a campfire, this would be the one. Not for me and I honestly couldn’t even finish the pot, but nonetheless, a quality tea and definitely worth a trial if you enjoy potent smokey notes in your tea. For some weird reason, I imagine that someone that might like this tea may also like whiskey, cigars, and horse races, lol.

Flavors: Burnt, Cedar, Leather, Pine, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
K S

I love your objectivity. It is a hard thing to review something you don’t like on its own merits. Good job! And this is a good one.

Nightshifter

Thank you! :)

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93

I should have already reviewed this one already because I have been enjoying it for a while. Oops! :)

Dry: Shorter cut dark black tea leaves blended with amaranth and almond slices. It smells pretty much like an almond cookie straight from the bag. If you like dessert almond flavors then this is for you.

Steeped: Lovely red-brown clear liquor. Tiny bit of dust at the top of the cup, but I am wondering if it is from flower bits getting a bit smushed by almonds and tea because the tea itself doesn’t seem to have dust or anything on the leaves. The almond and spices are coming through more strongly in the steeped tea for sure. Smells wonderful!

Taste: This is one good almond tea. From the description, it is made with Organic Kundaly Indian Black Tea, which I don’t think I have ever had separately before. Initially the sip tastes just the tiniest touch citrusy and the almond comes through in aroma and taste quite nicely. Cinnamon touches the blend, but does not overwhelm it as this spice can in some other teas I’ve tried from different vendors. I am not a huge cinnamon fan normally, but it works with this tea in a very zen fashion. The black tea base must not be a potent flavor on its own as I can barely detect it over the almond spice notes, which actually works out great. While I wouldn’t think this is the most complex tea on the palate, it lives up to its namesake just right- a perfect cup of almond indulgence. :)

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Citrus

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Sipdown! I wanted to love this one, I really did. I tried it every which way I could think of, but it was never quite right and I think it is just the base that doesn’t agree with my palate. Today with barely a 2 min steep time it still came away with a bit of a bitter bite at the end of each sip. I added whole milk to the finished cup for a creamy/tangy addition, but I think will plan to stick with my other favorites from Butiki like Caramel Vanilla Assam, which always turns out perfecto.

Flavors: Muscatel, Nutty, Tangy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

I am sad because I typed up a very long and detailed review only to have it vanish for some unknown reason. :( This one will not be as comprehensive because I am running out of time to type it. Let me thank Angel at Teavivre for the generous sample though- I love this green!

Onto the review, the dry leaf is sweet and savory both, like crushed sweet grass. The leaves are army green and rolled tightly. In the infuser, the leaves become a brighter green and the liquor is clear and yellow-olive. It smells very pleasant, sweet with a nutty vegetable broth aroma.

The steeped tea tastes delightful- water chestnuts and minerals with a savory green vegetable finish. This tea has a very smooth mouthfeel and is light and flavorful. I remember my previous experiences with Huang Shan Mao Feng to be on the faint side, but this one was just right with more tea used initially than I had previously. I really enjoyed it and would even say it is one of my new favorites. Lovely and elegant, what is not to like?

Flavors: Mineral, Nutty, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 8 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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99

Enjoying a whole pot while helping my Mom list her mountain home for sale (why mom, whyyyyy?!). Ahem. Anyway, I’ve reviewed this tea several times, but suffice it to say it is one of my very favorite flavored blacks. Simple, elegant, not too sweet, plenty of quality Assam comes through with each sip. A great keeper for breakfast, an afternoon cup.. really, just about anytime. :)

Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
yyz

It’s always sad to say goodbye to special places. Glad you had a nice tea to ease the wound.

Nightshifter

That is so true. Her house literally is at the top of a mountain, but she is ready for somewhere tropical. Thank for the kind words. :)

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99

And now time for a great cup of tea. This one is so lovely it still makes me just as happy now as the first time I tried it. Malty, honeyed, a touch of sweet potatoes and raisins, just fantastic. I steeped it a little bit longer than usual because I noticed that my tea kettle was spitting boiling water all over the counter and floor, lol. On the bright side, it was just as tasty and wonderful. Sadly I am getting to the dregs in the bag, will need to reorder before too long. This year and next year, my goal is to whittle down the quantity of tea to keeping primarily my favorites stocked in larger bags and just trying 1 or 2 new teas instead of 10 or whatever at once with each order.

In other news, Nightshifter should now be called Dayshifter! I am officially on day shift. I had been missing here for a few weeks because that was a hard transition after a couple of years on nights. I was drinking coffee. A LOT of coffee. I am doing better with sleeping at night though now and am back to my beloved tea, and on hours like everyone else. Yay!

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
looseTman

Congrats Dayshifter!
“Malty, honeyed, a touch of sweet potatoes and raisins, just fantastic.” YUM!

TheTeaFairy

You will try it for yourself soon enough looseTman ;-)

TheTeaFairy

So happy for you new shift “Dayshifter” :-)

Nightshifter

Thank you, lol! :)

looseTman

TheTeaFairy – Sounds Awesome! Thank you!

caile

Congrats on becoming dayshifter! :-)

Nightshifter

Thanks! :) :) :)

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84
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
166 tasting notes

Although this is still a decent cup of tea, sadly I think it is losing some of its flavor over time and I had to bump the rating down a bit. The chocolate is starting to taste “powdery” for lack of a better description. I have about 2oz left and am thinking it may best be served as an iced brew and we will see if the coconut/cocoa comes out better. That said, it is a beautiful summer morning- barely 70 degrees. Happy Sunday all!

Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

I am a registered nurse that worked night shift for years on a catastrophic injury unit. I just started day shift and life is good! Tea is a simple pleasure in a complicated world.

Location

Georgia, USA

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