123 Tasting Notes

87

This is a wonderful morning tea, with an incredibly smooth finish. I’m getting a lot of the Ceylon more then anything else, which makes it smooth and malty. I love tea in the morning without milk (unless I’m in England eating a full English Breakfast) and this perfectly balances briskness with smoothness. Also holds up to multiple steepings on those days when I need two cups of black tea to really start the day. I’m gonna need this on hand for those rough mornings.

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93

This is only the second pouchong I’ve had and it’s really wonderful. Soft and creamy with a wonderful sweetness. This came in a generous sample from Nuvola Tea, so thank you very much for that. The leaves are beautifully shaped and really hold up well, I was able to get at least 4 steeps western style with only a slight lowering in quality. Wonderful pouchong and definitely on my list when I want those greener oolongs.

Also want to add this came in my generous sampler box from Nuvola Tea, thanks again!

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30

So I feel bad reviewing a tea that my dad concocted but since he got me almost six ounces of it I’ve had it forever and it must be gone out of my life. This tea does not taste like Key Lime, this is not my dad’s fault however, it is Teavana’s. Like most of their tea, this one looks and tastes like potpourri. Their golden monkey is okay and their rooibos tea is simply very plasticy tasting. It doesn’t help that every time I spoon the leaves into my glass I shudder a little bit, but the tea works in a pinch when I’m desperate. When I imagine that I’m drinking medicine then the tea isn’t too bad. Other then earl grey I have a pretty big bias against flavored tea so perhaps others would love this combo and I certainly would love to hear what other’s think of my dad’s awful mistake.

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91

This is my first unflavored sheng and I’m incredibly excited to try it. I had the sticky rice sheng from ctg which is great but it’s not a great introduction to sheng tea. First steep after initial rinse was for about a minute. This has such a wonderful light nuttiness. The nuttiness ends with a wonderful citrus lime aftertaste. After having so many shu teas its wonderful to try a naturally aged pu erh. The taste is a lot more subtle and reminds me of Darjeeling.

2nd steep: The flavor has morphed into a ginger and clove blend with a sharper tartness at the end. The licorice root comparison is totally appropriate and it reminds of those Italian anise crackers I’ve had at whole foods. A fascinating sheng and I can’t wait to try more sheng pu erh.

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88

A very nice Yunnan tea with a thick grainy profile like David says. It tastes a little like buckwheat pancakes without the syrup. I love this tea in the morning, it’s like liquid brunch. I just had golden fleece the other day which has many similar characteristics but is perhaps a little more nuanced in its flavors. Not to say that this tea is lacking in any respect, it’s very dependable. A great way to start my morning.

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90

I got this in a sample from Verdant and sadly it will be my only steeping, so I’m planning to steep it all night (maybe even overnight and see what happens). I’ve had a number of shu teas but I’ve never had one that is so light and direct in its flavors. In the first steep it tastes a little like seawater mixed with caramel. There is very little earthiness in this tea unlike other shu teas, instead there is a sweet grainy taste, I can taste the buckwheat like the description says. I did a one minute steep for the first cup, after an initial rinse. 2nd steep was for two minutes. The tea is a lot thicker with a strong shiitake taste. It isn’t as murky as other shu teas and still has a brightness even with a longer steep. Very nice shu pu erh.

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89
drank Songyang White by Verdant Tea
123 tasting notes

Once again Verdant Tea upends my bias against white teas. This tea has got a lot of heft for a chinese white. Its buttery and brothy and tastes just like baked asparagus, even the slight tang. It definitely needs to be watched while steeping because it can get bitter fast, I’d stick with 2min at most. I’m not used to a white tea with such flavor and if I didn’t know I would probably think it was a very light green tea. Also over time there is a nice grape flavor coming through. I know I can always depend on Verdant Tea to pick top notch teas even when I don’t fully love that particular kind. A great tea and I always serve it to my white tea only friends.

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89

I have such mixed feelings about reviewing this tea. It’s been sitting in my cabinet for awhile and I know that I can’t get anymore of it after CTG closed. I loved CTG and was very sad to hear about them closing. Hopefully this review will be more of a sweet requiem for a great online company. This tea reminds me of Chun Mee but is infinitely more interesting. It definitely has the unripened mango which I never knew I even liked but it also has the nice smokiness of a Chun Mee, but not overwhelmingly so. There is a nice sweet aftertaste, almost slightly maple. Subsequent steepings get less smokey and more sweet and nutty. Very nice green and sadly not available anymore. I still love the CTG blog though.

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12

This is fairly undrinkable and like others have said it’s all because of the vague “spices” used. I’m not a huge fan of hot chocolate so I probably should have stayed away from this regardless but it just tastes strange. Had to get a second flavor when I bought this groupon deal but I’m afraid I can’t even touch this stuff. At least I know for the future.

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40
drank Silver Needle by PekoeTea
123 tasting notes

I am definitely getting a melon/cucumber flavor as well as a sweet grass taste. White teas are never my favorite and I usually group them in “drink when desperate” category. That being said it isn’t terrible and it is nice and relaxing. So many white teas are infused or stuffed or packed full of other fruit flavors that you forget what pure white tea tastes like, which isn’t much. After drinking a whole cup it does remind me of a bath and body works lotion and sadly is just as appetizing, no fault of the tea or the company just my own bias against white teas.

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I recently became a tea addict and love exploring new kinds of tea, favorites are oolongs and smokey teas.

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Chicago, IL

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