54 Tasting Notes

87

Roasted chestnut goodness! I love this tea, and when I couldn’t find it available on the Lupicia website, I was really disappointed. I even tried to buy it during a trip to California, but the salesperson at the San Jose store looked at me like I had three heads when I asked for it. Are they discontinuing it permanently? Is it just a seasonal thing? Not sure, but when whatshesaid mentioned that she wasn’t all that thrilled with it, I was happy to take it off her hands! Yaaaaaaay, and welcome back to my tastebuds, Chaud Les Marrons! I love chestnuts, I roast them every year, and winter just doesn’t feel the same without them, so this tea is a lovely way to enjoy that taste whenever I want. Even though it’s early spring right now, I’ll drink this tea until the weather gets truly warm. Hot. With milk. Always, always with milk. Don’t oversteep, don’t overleaf, and all will be well.

Flavors: Chestnut, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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68

OK, take number two for this one. I tried using more leaves to see if the weak flavor improved at all without being over the top. It did taste better, less weak, the coconut came through much better, although it was the kind of coconut that almost felt more like it belonged in a sunscreen than in tea. And the chocolate? Yeah, not so much. It’s just not there. As I said when I first tried it, the aroma of the dry leaf and the brew is really awesome, but the taste doesn’t come close to living up to my expectations, although it’s a pleasant enough drink. That being said, my best friend’s husband LOVES the stuff. So, to each his own, I guess. I won’t be getting more of it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

After reading the initial reviews of this tea (I believe there were only four at the time), I decided to visit my local David’s to find out for myself if it would work for me. I had them make me a hot tea with 2% milk and a tiny amount of sweetener. Not bad, but the flavor in general wasn’t strong enough for me to decide. I took home an ounce. I wanted to try this iced, and decided to add more of the tea than I would normally to try to get more flavor. I also tried it hot the following day. My takeaway was this: if you are looking for a strawberry flavor that is reminiscent of a ripe, juicy, sweet fruit, then this is not going to work for you. The dry leaf aroma reminded me of strawberry chewing gum (like Bubblicious – do they even make that anymore or am I dating myself? – or maybe Frankenberry or Crunchberry cereal). Iced or hot, that fake strawberry still comes through if you give it enough leaf. I personally don’t mind it, if I know that’s what I’m getting into, but if I’m expecting a true fruit flavor and get this? Well, I can understand why some people would be put off. That being said, it’s DavidsTea, which usually has more fun, trendy flavors rather than serious, fine teas, so I get it. And I like this, although I don’t think I’ll be getting more of it.

Flavors: Artificial, Floral, Strawberry, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sakura Sushi

I forgot to add one more thing: when I put the steeped tea into the fridge for the iced version, it became really cloudy – the cloudiest brew I’ve ever seen. I know this happens often, but it’s really unattractive. I’m getting persnickety about this lately. Never used to bug me, but I can’t see through this stuff at all! Sludgy.

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68

The dry leaf scent of this is amazing! Super buttery, sweet, nutty, it definitely appeals to the dessert tea fanatic that I am. The brewed aroma was almost as nice, very much like a baked good. The brew was cloudy, which I never really like, but that’s not a deal breaker. The flavor was very weak, however, and considering how intense the aroma was, I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t enough of a flavor payoff. I may be able to resolve this by using more leaves next time. What flavor WAS there was very nice, nutty and sweet, although not a whole lot of chocolate was coming through. Still, I’ve got very high hopes for this and I’m looking forward to the next brew, when I’ll probably try something like 2 tsps per 8 oz.

Flavors: Butter, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sren

So disappointing when the taste doesn’t live up to the aroma. I had a similar experience with this tea when I tried it a couple of months ago with the same intention to try again, but so far it hasn’t made it back into the rotation. :)

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45

Since Steepster decided yet AGAIN to eat my tasting note comments on this tea, I have to recreate them yet AGAIN from memory. Kind of missing the days of pen and paper. I write down the note, it’s there. Ah well, technology giveth and technology taketh away.

Let’s see how my memory fares:
50th tasting note, psyched to write about Lishan Winter Sprout from Song Tea & Ceramics. This was a sample they threw in when I purchased a couple of teas during a San Fran visit back in January. Love that place, it is gorgeous. Increases my existing adoration of San Fran and makes me want to move there, like, tomorrow. Also, this was my very first use of the gaiwan and I am happy to report I didn’t burn myself or break the gaiwan. Yay!
The tea: dry leaf aroma was light, slightly sweet, slightly spinachy. First infusion aroma and taste was mostly spinachy, very vegetal, although mild in general. Second infusion was a little sweeter, the spinach and vegetable notes faded to the background and it became more balanced. My favorite infusion of this tea, as it was the most “tea-like” as opposed to drinking something like a green veggie broth. The color darkened, but the flavor became lighter. Go figure. Third infusion was darker in color, but very light flavor. Spinach returned. Really, really light. Overall this was an interesting tea, it felt very cleansing and calming. But not my favorite, as I’m a sugar junky and tend to like less vegetal-tasting teas.

Flavors: Spinach, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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100
drank White Christmas by Lupicia
54 tasting notes

Sipdown, so bye-bye White Christmas, it’s been great! Despite the atrocious amount of white stuff on the ground (and apparently more to come – ugh!), it IS March and Christmas is indeed very much over, so I feel OK about saying goodbye to this one until the holidays come round again. Excellent tea – now please can Spring get started already???

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14
drank Eggnog by DAVIDsTEA
54 tasting notes

Nope. Nope, nope nope. This pretty much confirms my distaste for any and all things rooibos. Never again. No eggnog flavor at all, strange ingredients (meringue powder?), and that awful, awful sickly sweet tang that is rooibos. I know, I know, if I hate rooibos then why buy the tea, right? Well, it was a small amount, it was on sale, and eggnog – how could I not try it? Lesson learned – I need to stay away from rooibos! I may just try to pick out all those white chocolate chips, though…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79
drank Palm Court by Harney & Sons
54 tasting notes

So smooth and balanced that I couldn’t discern any of the individual characteristics of the teas that make up this blend. No malt from the Assam, no brightness from the Ceylon, no richness from the Keemun, no vegetal notes from the oolong, resulting in an ultra-smooth, refined tea of medium body. Not much complexity for me, which was a surprise, considering the blend. But a nice, solid choice for when I feel like having a straight black that doesn’t overpower. Stands up to milk nicely.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92

So wonderful, this tea! Dry leaf aroma: pleasantly fruity, something akin to passionfruit, plus yummy creaminess. Wet leaf aroma was similar. The brew was fairly light, leaves unfurling very quickly, and tasted very close to the scent of the leaves. Love the creamy flavor, and slight fruitiness that does not overpower at all, adding to the sweetness of the tea. So delicious I’m tempted to try brewing just a touch longer next time, to see if I can increase the flavors slightly without overbrewing.

Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Fruity

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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28
drank Pumpkin Patch by DAVIDsTEA
54 tasting notes

Like drinking a spice cabinet. And where is the pumpkin? I can’t detect any pumpkin at all. I’m thinking maybe it’s because it was bullied into submission by all the weird spice flavors in the tea. Obviously not a fan. This was part of the pumpkin tea set of three offered by David’s last fall, and the last one I tried. That’s what I get for buying a set instead of individual teas, but it was so tempting and cute. Their Pumpkin Chai is near perfect for me when I want that kind of autumnal, pumpkin and spice flavor, so I guess I should stick to that tea in the future. Anyone want an 80g (minus three teaspoons, give or take) tin of this stuff? Please let me know. Otherwise, into the trash it goes.

Flavors: Celery, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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