361 Tasting Notes

66
drank Jasmine #12 by Adagio Teas
361 tasting notes

Such pretty little pearls! And the tin smelled great! Then post-steep I had a moment of panic when I smelled a bit of that “tootsie roll pop” sweetness. I think that I successfully reset myself and my expectations before taking my first sip.

This one falls right between Adagio’s Jasmine #9 and Golden Moon’s Jasmine Pearls as far as sweetness goes. I’m not a huge fan of that sweetness (as discovered with the Pearls). There was a hint of that candy-o-doom in the first cup, but then the second and third steeps were less sweet, more floral/tea, and for me that made it much better. I’ll be happy to finish off this sample tin, but then I’ll even more happily reorder #9 again and again. NE

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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1

Oh gunpowder: you evil love-child of green and black tea! Okay, maybe not, but it sure tasted like it. I shall keep my mind open to future gunpowders, but am I ever happy that this was a small sample.

So, the scent of the packet (I forgot to smell the leaves before steeping them) was a really light and pleasant smell that I couldn’t put my finger on – just a hint of smokiness. I sniffed the tea after steepage and it reminded me of the food I gave my pet Hammy the Hamster back in my elementary school years. ::shudders:: And once that scent-association happened it was all an uphill battle for this tea to become likable for me.

I thought that I had oversteeped the first cup – I tossed it out halfway through and tried again. Steep two – I made it four sips and tossed it. My face actually resembled the “yucky face” on the rating scale on my final sip. I mean, I didn’t even toss out any of my lowest rated teas until I’d had at least one cup. Therefore, even though there are probably some very redeemable qualities to this tea, it’s recieving my first 1 (because I made that EXACT face). GA

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
~lauren.

Rabs, a 1 !!!! I’ve not seen many 1 ’s but when I do encounter one, something contrary in me kicks in and I want to try it. Strange but true. A 1 – it must be awful! LOL!

~lauren.

and that EXACT face on the ratings scale? TOO FUNNY!

Rabs

LOL – I’m the same way about being tempted to try the “ick” teas! And yes – my eyes squinted whilst my tongue stuck out. Granted, my tongue might have been a bit more askew – but that was it. I bet that you could find more redeeming qualities and I almost gave it a 7. However, that facial spasm of disguist made me think: well, when would be a better time to give a tea the proverbial bird?

__Morgana__

Hamster food. Hahaha. I hope this is in the sampler, I really want to smell it now.

Rabs

I got mine in the 31 tea sampler – I’ll be dying to hear what you have to say. And please y’all, I’m a very open-to-learning tea noob, so if any of you would like to edjucate me on how better to appreciate a gunpowder, then I’d love to know. But I just can’t imagine purchasing this specific one ever again.

__Morgana__

I haven’t done gunpowder yet except in bags, but you might try lower water temp and less steeping time. Start with 175 for a minute to a minute and a half and see if that makes it any better, if not try 45 seconds. Gunpowders seem a little stronger and more pungent than a lot of other greens to start with so less might be more.

Rabs

Pungent is the perfect word! I’ll definitely take your advice on the next Gunpowder that I try – I can imagine how much that might improve the taste. So most likely it’s not this poor tea’s fault for my low rating of it, but more of a user error. After I’ve tried another Gunpowder with the altered prep, and it proves to be more positive, then I might adjust this here rating.

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89

::bangs head against a stone pillar:: What is wrong with me?!?! I’m struggling to enjoy black teas, and I really would like a healthy relationship with them. This is probably an excellent Irish Blend (I do like it more than Stash’s bagged version), but for me it’s a black tea that reminds me how frustrated I am with my taste buds. And of all the flavors this tea claims to have I think the only one I picked up on was prunes.

I’ll be going to a green tea tasting class this Sunday to get a better handle on that type of tea – I must remember to ask them if they plan on having a black tea class in the near future. Until then I think it’s time for me to start experimenting with additives (like a sweetner) to see if that will bring me around to the dark side. M

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

sweetie – (I just saw bones last night on TV and that’s what Angela always calls everybody) – banging your head on a stone pillar does not a healthy relationship make! Take a step back, breathe, think calming zen-like thoughts …. breathe!

Rabs

Aw, thank you – I needed that! I think that I was being a bit overdramatic, just a bit, but I really am frustrated that the black teas haven’t been as rewarding as the others so far. ::big zen breath:: I’ve also been meaning to get around to watching Bones (but I need to catch up on Angel first and before that I need to finish Firefly – tee-hee!).

~lauren.

BUSY busy! I know what you mean though – my son bought 7 seasons worth of the TV show ‘24’ on dvd and I am on like the 4th season or so and I am now a zombie from dvd-ing …! We did the same thing on ‘Bones’ though we rented those dvds (all the seasons released) from the public library!

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47
drank Honeybush Apricot by Adagio Teas
361 tasting notes

Now that’s what I call a cup of “meh.” The smell of the dry leaves was divinely apricot – I might just keep a sample tin for that smell. Tearomatherapy?

There was a ton of “dust” in my cup unlike the Honeybush Mango. There wasn’t much of a fragrance to the tea itself. The taste was not apricot. It really didn’t have much of a taste. I’m really wondering if I used enough tea chippies? I used more than I usually do for the Honeybush Mango, but I’ll try even more next time. So my rating may change, but for now it’s a big ’ole M.

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91
drank Ali Shan by Adagio Teas
361 tasting notes

Helloooo oooolong!!!!!

I had my first non-flavored unscented oolong right before work and was devestated to only get two steeps in before I began my commute. Plus the whole “getting ready” lessened my chance to fully appreciate the cups. I shoulda skipped the makeup today. That second steep made it into a travel mug and actually made the trip more enjoyable (that and a good audio book).

I’m not a big fan of the straight-up smell of neither the dry leaf nor the tea. But what can I say? I became a temporary vegetarian for two years JUST to try to gain a love for that which is veggie. The love never did happen, but I now don’t hate vegetables. But the smell of…asparagus?…well, it didn’t excite me.

I remembered to do the little flushie-flush of the cute little pearly-pearled leaves and was very impressed with the size of the post-steeped leaves. They’re the biggest ones that I’ve seen from Adagio thus far.

First cup was pretty veggie and I was concerned that me and oolong weren’t meant to be. And then the second steep: a buttery-veggie cup of yum. I can’t even quite describe it as of yet. It was just…nomaliscious. And yes, I’m on a kick of adding “liscious” to words. I’m dying to spend a day in appreciation of oolongs and steep my brains out. TG

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Rose Tea by Golden Moon Tea
361 tasting notes

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96

Oh…sweet…jeebus…on an everlovin’ pogostick!

I needed this tea desperately today. I was really disappointed with the other GM samples I’d tried so far, and then came this – this nectar. Ah, sweet bliss!

The smell of the dry leaves was carmeliscious and I couldn’t wait to get this puppy goin’. After steeping I poured it and then spontaneously smelled the pot. Wow – I’m not gonna do that again – it smelled of funky veggie (sorry that I can’t be more specific on that one). I’m guessing that that’s what oolongs must generally smell like (I have yet to try out a straight-up oolong – something that I hope to rectify soon). I then tried smelling the aroma of the cup and I was somewhat surprised when I couldn’t smell a thing. I think that the smell of the pot was such a shock to the system that it took a little bit of time for it to “reset.”

Ah, and then the cup of happiness. I love creme brulee and here it is in tea form! The caramel aroma that I eventually smelled drifting up from my cup was divine. ::sigh:: I have steeped this puppy three times now, and each time the cup evolves: the caramel fades into the background and almond seems to step up to the palate. Yes, this is the first “will buy again” from the GM sampler. TGs

Edit: After finally having a straight oolong I can confirm that the smell in the pot is indeed oolong. Which I now know to be a great thing!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

I like your word “carmeliscious”!!!

Rabs

Lol! Thank you :) If I can’t figure out the right word, then by golly I’ll figure out something that’ll work! ;)

JacquelineM

I love this one too!

Rabs

I really was impressed with how much each cup evolved. I got five steeps out of it before I felt the quality was ebbing. And that last steep was like a sugary-almond sweet. Mmmm…

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8
drank Jasmine Pearls by Golden Moon Tea
361 tasting notes

To paraphrase Patton Oswalt: this is a failure tea in a sadness cup. This is the first time that a tea has upset me – I got over it after a few minutes, but man, I wasn’t in a happy place for those few minutes.

I’m thinking “Yippee! I adore jasmine and I’ve been dying to try a pearled tea!” I even found the teapot my mom gave me when I started on my tea journey (a glass Bodum) so that I could watch the agonized tea leaves (wait, what?). Not impressed with the show. I only enjoyed it once I started adding sound effects in my mind of screaming leaves or tiny little “enhs.” I sniffed the sample pouch and thought, “oh, this should be lovely!”

And then I poured it.

Two wafts of a smell hit me as I poured and I was rather shocked. I had a moment of bewilderment where I thought that maybe I had grabbed the Vanilla Jasmine instead. I double-checked the bag: nope, it definitely was pearls.

Then I sniffed and that smell that I thought was vanilla was there. I sipped and oh lordy, the disappointment. Within a few sips I was able to nail what that smell/taste was that bothered me (because I was only getting the tiniest hint of jasmine): it’s a freaking half-eaten Tootsie Roll Pop. You know that point where most of the lolipop is gone (I’m thinking grape) and you’re almost transitioned to the Tootsie Roll? Yeah, that’s it. I hate Tootsie Rolls and I hate their “Pop” brethren.

I gave it a second chance with another steep and it mellowed quite a bit to where I’m tasting more tea, but once something has been smelled it cannot be unsmelled.

Ultimately, Tootsie Roll Pop lovers should rejoice and think about trying a sample of this tea. GA

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Erin

I love Patton Oswalt!

Rabs

I adore both him and Zach Galifianakis :D

Doulton

What a great review. I just learned that Jackie O liked Tootsie Rolls and then I read your review. Tootsie Roll pops right now have a very high Q rating with me.

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65
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
361 tasting notes

So I finished off this sample and have a few more thoughts on it: I’m not going to change my rating, but if there was a way to indicate a fluctuation of feeling about a tea, then this tea would float between the uncertain face and the smiley face.

I think I finally nailed the scent-association for me after I stuck my nose into the empty sample bag: green jolly ranchers. The taste itself was if Jolly Ranchers had a sugar-free version of pear (and then watered that taste down). I think that there will be an ideal black/fruit tea for me out there, but that this isn’t it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Rose Tea by Golden Moon Tea
361 tasting notes

Mmmm…flowers. ::drools a la Homer Simpson::

This was my 2nd GM sample and I was super-excited about trying this one. I’ve only had Stash’s White Rose and I wanted something to compare it to. So when I say things like “a lot more than WR” that’s the tea I’m using for comparison.

So, I popped open the packet and the smell was a nice bouquet of roses. It was a lot less cloying than WR (but it’s also a tiny sample packet, so perhaps a larger qty. would affect the smell’s impact).

First sip: yummers! I think that black tea is so much more well-suited to being “rose-afied.” The rose smell and taste couldn’t violate this tea as much as the poor WR. Yes, it’s rose-heavy, but what can I say? I likes me a cup of frou-frou. Really no complaints on this cup and will most likely get myself some to keep on hand for my ultra-girlie days. I still feel like I have yet to find my dream rose tea.

Second Steep: I sorta forgot to set the timer, so I’m unsure of how long this steeped. When I realized my error I guessed that it had been about 2 minutes, so I set the timer for two minutes. The first couple of sips I really noticed the tea more so than the entire first cup. But as it it cooled ::Ethel Merman impersonation:: Everything’s Comin’ Up Roooooses! NE

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Proud all-around nerd, crafter, and brand-new Assistant Library Director. Give me an engrossing book and a wonderful cup of tea and I’m in heaven.

After being a barista for almost a decade it wasn’t until 2010 that I discovered loose leaf tea. Now I’m hooked.

How I use Steepster has been evolving since I joined. Yes, I use it for my personal “to buy or not to buy” info, but I’m enough of a goofball that I hope it can amuse others more often than not.

I’ve also started to become anal about my tea (times and temps). That’s surprised me. I finally realized that I should respect the leaves like I used to respect the beans. I also take my tea plain unless otherwise noted.

There’s really nothing remarkable or noteworthy of how I rate teas. I do take it a tiny further step to help clarify the muddled middle grounds for myself. TG is a definite repurchase. Anything below that is less and less likely.

TG=Teagasm
NE=Nice Enough
M=Meh
GA=Gods-Awful

Location

Midwest, USA

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