88 Tasting Notes

70

My favorite flower? Sakura. Judging by my screen name, I’ve kinda got a thing for just about anything sakura. I’ve been wanting to try this tea for awhile and finally splurged. I understand that the salted blossom tea is the traditional, accepted version, but I’ve had salted cherry blossoms in pastries and Japanese dishes, and it doesn’t thrill me. More beautiful to look at than to eat. Besides, I’m watching my salt intake these days. Sugar’s not healthy, either, but hey, YOLO.

Faintly sweet and almost fruity, this is nuanced on the palate, but a feast for the eyes. The blossoms looked so beautiful floating in the cup, I had to take photos. Because you only need a few blossoms to make a cup of this tea, it’s not overly flavorful, but very contemplative. I found it rather soothing. A beautiful, subtle tea that welcomes spring. Glad I purchased it!

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet

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87

I usually go for Assams that are extremely malty, and this one doesn’t have much maltiness at all. That being said, this is such a good, solid, robust tea, the lack of malt doesn’t affect my enjoyment of it. Don’t overleaf, unless you want a VERY strong tea with a very small amount of bitterness. It’s pretty forgiving about oversteeping, but I wouldn’t push it too much. Otherwise, a pleasant, flavorful, smooth tea with a hint of sweetness. One of my go-to teas to start my day.

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

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85

Awesome iced, this may be my new favorite for the warmer weather. The green tea part of this isn’t overly apparent, which would be disappointing for people who are fans of green tea, but the coconut flavor is lovely. It’s refreshing and clean-tasting, although there’s a lot of sediment when I brew this. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I’ve never had a tea from this company before, but if it’s any indication of quality, I’ll be trying more of their teas in the future.

Flavors: Coconut

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 6 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

This is a great tea. From the first steep until the (NOT) bitter (AT ALL) end, it’s smooth and full-bodied, with an earthiness as well as the subtle honey notes I’ve come to expect from a Yunnan Gold. No need to add anything to it, although I could see putting a bit of milk in it after a long steep. Love this tea.

Flavors: Earth, Honey, Smooth

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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89

This is the winter sprout from 2014 (I need to note this as Song currently has their 2015 winter sprout available). Subtle oolong flavor with a slight sweetness to it, almost berry-like. I suppose this is the kettle corn flavor they mention in their notes, but it’s coming across as more of a fruity sweetness to me. Very mild, delicate flavor, and the scent of the dry leaves is lovely. I had several steepings, I think maybe five or six, and the flavor held up well, not transforming really, but just intensifying a little with each steep. Could be because I kept increasing brewing time.

Preparation
4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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67

Had this iced with lunch today. I thought it would be a good choice, since it’s red, it’s strawberry, and, you know, Valentine’s Day. Nice fruity flavor, more of a general berry than specifically strawberry, and I did get a little bit of creaminess at the end of every sip (how on earth do they do that?). Pleasant and very drinkable. Not sure if I would get it again, but I will definitely happily finish this. Still should try it hot, although that’s not necessarily calling to me.

Flavors: Berry, Cream

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35

This was kindly given to me by a dear friend who said it just wasn’t her thing. Good call to give it to me, since I’m famous for loving flavored black teas. I really like a good coconut scented black. It smelled a bit perfumey, almost soapy, which was strange, but I needed to actually brew it. “Brew it, then review it” should be my mantra (sorry, a bit champagne tipsy right now, this IS Valentine’s Day, after all!). Anyway, tried it hot, and the flavor was pleasant, but that soapiness was readily apparent and spoiled it. I decided that sometimes making it iced can dampen some unpleasant off flavors, so I tried it that way as well. No luck. Still soapy. So this is a thumbs down, unfortunately. With so many coconut and coconut/vanilla teas out there that are delicious, I wasn’t going to waste any more of my time with this one. Out it goes…

Flavors: Coconut, Perfume, Soap

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Dammit – I overleafed the hell out of this one. Plus I gongfu’d it (meh, we try things, sometimes they work, sometimes, not so much). So, not really a fair tea review. Just a note saying: DO NOT OVERLEAF. Unless, of course, serious bitter, tannic results are what’s desired. Now that I know, I may try Western style brewing next time, or another gongfu (I’m supposed to be getting three steeps out of this one) session with MUCH less leaf. I’ll review again, once my throat’s recovered from the tannic assault. Should be promising – I’m expecting notes of dark chocolate, cherry, and plum. Sounds delicious and something I hope to actually experience next time.

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80
drank The au Lait by Lupicia
88 tasting notes

I’ve been in the mood for straight blacks recently, maybe because I’ve been sick with a stubborn upper respiratory infection that makes flavored teas less palatable to my compromised taste buds. I got this tea to have as a breakfast tea since I tend to love my black teas with milk. It’s really nice – a solid, strong black that pairs well with milk, as the name indicates. Really nice with a sweet kind of breakfast. No subtlety here, but none expected. I would like to emphasize the brewing time – this one’s easy to overbrew so be careful with the timing of it. Usually with flavored blacks I’m so lazy that I leave the tea leaves in the infuser for the entire time I’m drinking the pot of tea, but I don’t recommend doing that with this one. Respect the brewing time and you’ll end up with a very good pot of smooth, strong black tea – not tannic, almost a little sweet, with a lovely aroma.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank The au Lait by Lupicia
88 tasting notes

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