525 Tasting Notes

86

I pulled this tea from a traveling tea box and I think this afternoon is a good time to drink this one. The dry leaf smells incredible – chocolate, caramel, vanilla. I recall having this tea for the first time at a children’s tea fair and remember it being severely oversteeped. Not the fault of the kids! Hopefully it won’t be nearly as bitter today.
Sipping… this is just lovely! I am finding the tea base to be a bit stronger than I expected (only because the scent is really very sweet caramel and vanilla). The caramel is most present with the black tea and a dark chocolate + vanilla note finishes the sip. This tea is sweet, but is very balanced with the strength of the assam. I have to say that while I enjoy this tea, I would like a creamier, softer tea base. I typically like to have some milk with my assam teas, but worry that it would kill the caramel/chocolate flavors. Might give it a try as I have enough for one more cup. Yes, this is a beautiful tea and I would buy this again, but it’s bolder than I expected. Delicious, though!

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83

These leaves are so fresh, bright and pretty. I just love the way dragon well looks, but this one especially. The scent of this tea is rather mild – quite vegetal, a little buttery, soft. Sipping… I like this one a lot. I taste creamy snap peas and minerals in the finish. I also detect some leafy cut grass long after I’ve sipped. All of these notes are quite soft and delicate, though. It’s not a tea that hits you in the face. What I am enjoying about this one is that it’s sweet, smooth and quite drinkable. I’m nearly finished with the cup and I feel like I’ve just started! Thank you very much, TeaVivre, for a sample of this tea.

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80

The scent of this tea is smooth with a rather strong note of cocoa. Yum! I’m excited to see if some of the same cocoa notes are present in the flavor. Sipping… I’m picking up on a rich, dark chocolate flavor with a bit of bread. I almost want to say that the bread is sourdough, but it’s not quite there. There is a hint of astringency at the end of the sip which pairs well with the dark chocolate, but the rest of the sip is smooth. Overall, I think this is a tasty tea, but it isn’t one of my favorites. For me, this tea doesn’t have anything that makes me say “wow”. It’s not bad and I wouldn’t turn down a cup, but it seems to be a little flat.

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50

I actually wasn’t a huge fan of this tea even though I thought that it would be a decent caramel honeybush and rooibos blend. I suppose that my standards for this type of tea are quite high considering that caramel rooibos blends are always in the cupboard. I’ve realized that my caramel rooibos teas must be buttery, sweet and have a nice balance of the caramel flavor and the rooibos itself. It’s also a bonus if the tea has little caramel squares in it to make it extra special!

This tea wasn’t terrible, but it was rather uneventful. I did taste strong notes of rooibos (more than the honeybush in this blend) and very little caramel. This would be fine with me since I enjoy rooibos on its own so much, but this tea is supposed to have some sort of caramel flavor.. it’s called Honeybush Caramel Tea! In addition, the rooibos/honeybush combination here wasn’t the best – I’m very particular when it comes to the rooibos base and it seems like there are smooth, sweet and woody rooibos teas and there are splintery, dry rooibos teas. This is definitely part of the latter, unfortunately. Not a repurchase for me — just…. no.

Anna

And this sounds like one that could have been so good.

QueenOfTarts

Anna – I know! I don’t know how you can go wrong with honeybush/rooibos and caramel.. this one was a complete miss for me!

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85

The dry leaf of this tea is so pretty! You have the almonds, the white tea leaves and little pops of pink here and there. After this tea has steeped, I smell a tart yet sugary sweet lemon dessert… perhaps a cookie or a cake? It’s pretty amazing how delicious this smells. I’m loving the balance between the tart lemon and sweet dessert – this one smells just perfect!

Sipping… lemon is one of the first things I taste. It’s bright, sweet and a little more mellow than I was expecting. I’m surprised because I’m not tasting any macaron, almond or desserty flavors. I suppose you could say that the lemon is desserty in itself, but I feel like there should be something more since the scent is so amazing. I really want the nice creamy, cakey, almond flavors everyone else is tasting!

I feel like I would drink this again in the future purely for the lemon flavor, but I wish that I could bring out more of the macaron notes to make it more special. Thank you so much to Stacy for including this in my most recent order!

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85
drank Taurus by Nina's Paris
525 tasting notes

This tea sounded like a great choice from Nina’s Paris. It has rooibos, strawberries and cream & is a part of their fun star sign collection. Even though I’m a Sagittarius, I felt like I would enjoy this blend much more than that one.. so Taurus, don’t let me down!
The scent of this tea reminded me of a dollhouse… and before you think I’m crazy, understand that I mean that it smells like craft wood and strawberry scented dolls. (Well, no.. that doesn’t make me sound any less crazy now that I think about it)

Sipping… I taste a rather even balance between the rooibos and the strawberry. The strawberry is interesting because it’s not artificial strawberry, but it’s also not an obvious natural strawberry. It’s a bit of a generalized sweetness.. more like a candy? Maybe it’s like a very faint strawberry bubble gum? I rather like this blend and appreciate it more as it cools because it becomes more creamy. I think that I would also order this tea in the future as it’s very unique and celebrates the rooibos flavor with soft strawberries. Thank you so much, Laurent for sharing this sample with me!

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82

The scent of this tea is a mix of apples, cinnamon and a bit of that “baked good” smell. The bakery scent mixes well with that of the black tea base. I can’t tell the difference between the two. I’m a little concerned that the tea base might take over when it comes to the actual taste and that the actual apple cinnamon coffeecake flavor will be lost.

Sipping… there is something in this that reminds me of the Simpson & Vail almond sugar cookie blend. I first taste a bit of the black tea which turns into that “bakery” flavor. The cinnamon seems to be woven in nicely – it’s not too strong or weak, but is definitely present throughout. My first sip was mostly cinnamon and apple – now it’s a little bit harder for the apple to come through. It’s there, though, if you look for it… not artificial, but like a nice fresh slice. A part of me wants to say that this is the almond sugar cookie blend without a whole lot of almond, but there is something that I can’t quite identify that makes it just a little bit different. To me, this doesn’t really taste like apple cinnamon coffeecake, but it is tasty and original. I can’t remember who sent this tea to me.. I’m just terrible at remembering some of these older teas I have left to try. So thank you so much to that person who sent this to me in a swap!

Suziqzer

This is one I’m considering when I finally place an order w/them. Good to see the review.

QueenOfTarts

I think you’ll like it if you like their almond sugar cookie or any variation of that sort of blend. It’s definitely unique and satisfies the need for a baked good. Hope you end up liking it!

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86
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
525 tasting notes

I’m always worried about teas when they have mixed bases. I worry that I’ll end up ruining the cup somehow. It’s not so much the tea itself, but more of the potential mistakes that I could make. Luckily, I didn’t ruin this cup! It’s very sweet, with soft notes of toasted rice. It reminds me a little bit of the marshmallow treat genmaicha blend, only this one is much smoother, but lacks that nice creamy note. I pick up more on the green tea than the black, but I feel like the black comes in to add a little bit of astringency. Oh no…. where’s the tea? I seem to have finished this cup a little too quickly. I hate when that happens.. You’re enjoying a tea and then poof! You’ve hit the bottom of the mug. Well, I suppose that means that it’s a tasty tea! I would buy this in the future. Big thank you to Laurent for a sample of this tea!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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59

This tea smells like other roasted oolongs I’ve had before – seaweed, burnt wood, tree bark. I’m not crazy about roasted oolongs, but the tasting notes sounded promising for this one.

Sipping… this one is pretty bland for me. I hate to write this because I am finishing the cup, but it’s mostly a roasted, rather vegetal flavor that I’m tasting. It’s not so toasty that it has a smoky or burnt flavor, thankfully. The finish reminds me of salt water. The salt actually lingers on the tongue long after you’ve finished the sip. Curious. I wish that this were more eventful for me although I’m happy to have tried it.

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89

I can’t remember who sent this tea to me (I’m sorry.. but thank you so much!) and I’ve had it for a long time so it’s time to drink it! Its scent is buttery and leafy – perhaps a little less creamy-smelling than other milk oolongs I’ve had, but it smells yummy.

Sipping… wow, this is much more sugary than I was expecting! I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s a little creamy, perhaps not as creamy or buttery as I would have liked, but the when it’s paired with the sugar, it’s lovely… really lovely. There is a leafy flavor that sits nicely in the background, not overwhelming anything. The finish is crisp, sparkling and with a sweet mineral note.

I’m not sure why I was thinking that I wouldn’t be that impressed with this one, but this is a very nice, unique milk oolong.

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Bio

~
Tea (& Coffee) lover. Bookworm.

Favorite teas: Milk Oolong, Flavored blends, Dessert teas, Creamy Teas, Rooibos, Oolong, Black, Green
Dislikes: Spices, Peppery flavors, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Mate, Puerh, Chai, Ginger

My Rather Picky Ratings
90+ – Reserved for the very best! Always in the cupboard!
80-89 – Quite good! A very pleasing cup.
70-79 – Room for improvement, but not bad.
60-69 – Mediocre.
50-59 – Bad. Will not purchase.
49 & below – Depending on the more specific rating: Undrinkable. Yuck. Will not purchase.

Note: Teas in my cupboard are all of the teas that I’ve logged, regardless of their current presence in my actual cupboard. For an updated list on what teas I have available for swap, check out the swap thread and not my cupboard! Thanks!

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