Another generous sample from Teavivre! This tea smells like roasted vegetables. I did a two minute western style steep at 180. For a green tea its got a very strong vegetal flavor, almost like a gyokuro and chun mee blend. The strong vegetal flavors followed by a nice bite. Not a lot of natural sweetness going on in this tea but thats ok cause you just need to pair it with something, I tried it with dark chocolate and that was a good idea. Nice tea but I wouldn’t drink it on an empty stomach.
122 Tasting Notes
So I haven’t been reviewing teas too much in the last few weeks and thats mostly been because of the insanely hot and miserable weather here in chicago, as well as most of America. Its been so hot even the effort of making ice tea was too much. However, I just got AC so now I keep my room at a brisk 65 degrees and I’m always in the mood for tea. This genmaicha came in a generous sampler box from Den’s tea. I’ve had genmaicha with matcha before and it’s actually my favorite way to have genmaicha, the sweet matcha paired with the nuttiness of the genmaicha. This genmaicha isn’t bad but isn’t my favorite. As someone else mentioned there is definitely more of a seaweed salty taste as opposed to the matcha sweetness and the nuttiness doesn’t really pop out. I know the quality of matcha heavily effects the taste and the higher quality ones tend to be sweeter and less like seaweed. Not bad but I’ll stick to my tried and true genmaichas.
I just want to start this off by saying I never win anything. If there is a raffle or a contest or even eeny meeny miney moe, I will lose. So the fact that I won this tea in the steepster select monthly prize makes me think there was divine intervention in me receiving this tea. I even began my steepster account that same month! Anyway, I’ve had a lot of golden monkey tea but I’ve never had one that has had such a lovely blend of spiciness and maltiness. Its got this great creaminess that kinda fills your whole mouth, it borders on being a dessert tea without the sweetness. Very nice.
Got this in a generous sampler box from den’s tea. I’m very used to drinking roasted greens from china so it was nice to mix it up with this Japanese roasted green tea. This Houjicha is wonderfully roasted with a caramel sweetness, it never gets too ashy. It almost reminds me of a roasted Taiwanese oolong, but with a little more sweetness. A great afternoon tea and perfect after a greasy meal.
Another generous sample from Teavivre!
I’m really glad I read about the difference between Milk Oolong unflavored vs flavored and I’m glad I got unflavored first. For something called milk oolong its more of a subtle milk texture. Its a very nice oolong that balances a slight roastiness with the milky brothiness. It reminds me of miso soup thats been lightly sweetned. I understand that they also flavor this tea but I find the milk taste, although subtle, is more then enough for me. This tea is incredibly relaxing and makes me want to take a nap. Maybe thats because its warm and my brain thinks its milk. I just need some oreos and I’m good to go.
A friend of mine gave me a box of these tea bags a while back. Its the first time I’ve seen pu erh tea bags and I’m not sure what to think really. This is obviously some shou pu erh of questionably cheap quality but I am curious. After steeping western style for 3 minutes, no initial rinse by the way, the taste is like typical pu erh thats been watered down to its most basic form. If you’re looking for a quick fix of pu erh tea, when is anyone ever in the mood for “quick” pu erh, then this is the place to go. Its missing that interesting mushroom and soil taste that makes pu erh so fascinating. Its just dull but if you need quick pu erh they make that now apparently.
This tea came in my incredibly generous free samples box from Teavivre. Its a very reliable Fujian tea with a light sweetness that reminds me of dark chocolate. I’ve had a lot of Fujian black tea that have the same taste palette but this is by far the freshest tasting, it doesn’t feel greasy or “heavy”. There is a nice bite at the end almost like biting into a lemon. A great reliable tea when I have a lot of work to do and very little time to do it.
Ah Constant Comment, like many people here I grew up with it as well. But sadly it is not a fond memory. I really can’t stand orange flavoring so I admit I’m very biased. It smells like old clove that’s been sitting with Christmas tree ornaments all summer and it doesn’t taste much better. It does taste very winter time and is the closest I’ve gotten to mulled tea but I think I’ll try one day to make my own then to return to this. Another trip down memory lane but I’ll skip it for now.
I haven’t had too many Kenyan teas but the few I’ve had have always been very earthy crunchy teas. This CTC tea from Joy’s Teaspoon is rolled into little balls almost like gunpowder. It’s got a taste similar to assam but only slightly. It isn’t bitter but it is strong and perfectly acceptable without milk and sugar. The taste reminds me of unsweet granola or wheat germ. I also can taste a whiff of coffee but that might be my mind playing tricks on me because I know its an African tea. It really is quite nice when you want a morning tea but not an Assam or Ceylon blend.
Also want to add that this came in a very generous sample from Joy’s Teaspoon which makes me definitely want to get some more soon!
Once again Verdant tea comes through with a tea that is truly a step above most other tea companies. Now that I’ve tried a number of companies there does seem to be an taste aesthetic to each one. This may be due to their resident buyer/taste tester or owner preferences. Verdant seems to find teas with a whole lot of depth in them. Every tea seems to be like an onion, rich in layers.
The Zhu Rong Yunnan is another fine “deep” tea. And when I say deep I mean its like diving into a very large pool, every time I take a sip I get subtle taste variations. The first time I steeped this western style I did it for 3 minutes which turned it very bitter and ashy. But the second time I did shorter steeps of about a minute and this seemed to bring out the perfect amount. The smell is malty and caramel, there is an almost an element of fine aged whiskey (without the burning aftertaste). The taste is like mexican hot chocolate which then fades into a stronger cooking chocolate taste. I can also taste the hint of cayenne pepper. This tea has a wonderful soupiness but it never gets harsh or bitter.
This is one of my favorite ice teas, not too sweet with a nice bite. Honest tea’s was one of my favorite companies and I loved how they refused to serve iced tea that had 50g of sugar in it. My favorite flavor of all time was their decaf ceylon. Sadly it was discontinued because they got bought out by coke. Now they are owned by coke and all their new teas have more sugar in them. Enough said.
Pretty basic Irish Breakfasty tea. Sometimes I drink it plain if I have something sweet or I add a little milk. A good brisk morning tea.
Found this in the back corner of my parent’s pantry. Not sure how old it is so I’ll try to review it with a grain or pound of salt. Its a pretty basic Ceylon with some kind of dried cherry pieces but sadly it does not taste like cherry. Its more like cherry Robitussin that’s been forgotten in the bathroom. I rarely like flavored teas due to the unpredictability of flavorings. Once again this could have been amazing when it was fresh, but then again it is a black tea and shouldn’t age too much. I’ll put it back in the corner of the pantry and it will probably be forgotten for a while.
A nice dependable genmaicha, not my favorite that honor goes to genmaicha with some matcha thrown in, but still very dependable. It isn’t the gold genmaicha so I would like to try that as well, I’m sure it has some fancy sencha or something. I first had this tea in one of my favorite sushi places and I still want sushi with it every time I make it at home.
This one of the better Twinings chinese blacks. It isn’t amazing but it isn’t terrible. Its smooth and mild and has the least dusty taste compared to others. It isn’t strong enough for me in the morning but it is a nice relaxing tea at night. I’d love to try their loose version of this, maybe its got more of a bite.
A wonderfully roasted green oolong. The roasted flavor is light enough so that it never tastes ashy but instead slowly creeps up on you. You can taste both the light sweetness of the oolong mixing with the roasted flavor and they balance each other nicely. I really like CTG and I’m very sad that they are closing up shop. I am especially sad because I’m from chicago and I wanted to go to one of their tastings or classes on tea. Oh well maybe he will still do some in the future.
This is another teabag tea from the discounted shelf at TJMaxx/Kmart/Homegoods. It makes a big point of being an earl grey with one hundred percent ceylon tea. A little bit dusty from the CTC tea but not so bad as other teabags I’ve had. The bergamot is light and not too overpowering. A decent way to start the morning.
This earl grey has quite a punch and the added citrus with the bergamot makes for a very complex flavor. Be careful not to oversteep this tea, it tends to taste like Mr Clean lemon. In the end I like an earl grey where the bergamot doesn’t take over and with bergamot having added support with the citrus the poor assam has no chance at all. Not bad but I always get a little nervous when my tea looks like potpourri.
Nice light green tea with a hint of jasmine, not too strong which I like. My parents love the Home Goods/Marshalls/KMart reduced tea selection so I always seem to find these heavily reduced teabags in my pantry and they always seem like the saddest toys in the shop. The teabag is so small and the tea packed so tightly that it just kind of sits there like a rusty coin. Maybe I’ll try ripping it open and throwing it into my mesh strainer.
Pretty good for a teabag. This earl grey has a nice balance of citrus from the bergamot and spice from the lavender. It feels very chai like and I swear I can taste some clove in there too. This tea also has the big plushy pillow size teabag which definitely kicks it up a step from other teabags. Very relaxing.
This is a sorry oolong and a terrible way for someone to be introduced to oolong tea. First off Twinings is probably confusing people and making oolong seem like a specific pure tea when its actually just a way of processing the leaf. It isn’t terrible and I would drink it over Lipton (but that isn’t saying much at all). It reminds me of tea from a basic Chinese restaurant, if you got some greasy food it will compliment that nicely with its hints of dust and generic tea taste. Teabags simply can’t do oolongs.
This tea has a great smell and the peach flavor actually smells like a fresh peach and not like a factory produced flavor. Taste wise, it’s very smooth and the peach and ginger kind of take a backseat. I’ve had other ginger teas where the ginger takes over so I was glad that it wasn’t undrinkable but it also wasn’t very exciting. For a tea called Peach Ginger its more like a whisper of peach ginger. Still the smell is great and it is a nice dependable smooth black tea.
With a title like adventure blend you’d expect a pretty exciting tea. This assam from the now defunct Justin LLoyd company is actually not bad. Strong but also very smooth, perfect for early morning. Because of the smoothness I don’t think it needs any milk. I think I picked this up for a buck at home goods or something, it seemed very sad with all the discount stickers piled on top of each other. Seeing as how the company has disappeared I don’t think its even possible to find this tea anymore. Well nevermind it ain’t the holy grail but very serviceable for teabag tea.
Another generous sample from Teavivre!
First, it smells like buttery greens that have been thrown into the oven for a couple of minutes. It tastes very similar with an even more pronounced butter flavor, slightly roasted and slighty vegetal. For a lighter oolong this sure has a lot of heft and body. The second steeping brings out a sweeter fruitier taste. Wonderful oolong and it holds up to many steepings.