218 Tasting Notes

78

Originally I wanted to make Golden Orchid but I wanted to save that for after work tomorrow since it’s bound to be a stressful day. But North Winds was supposed to be smiliar-ish and since I had gotten that in the three tea sample pack that I had bought, I figured what the heck.
So I was kinda confused on how to make this. The package said use a 1/2 tbsp for an 8oz cup but everyone here seems to say use a full tbsp for their 8-12oz cups. And since there was just the tbsp in the package and I usually make 12oz-ish cups I just dumped the whole thing into the infuser. Kinda bummed that I can’t make another cup, but I guess I should’ve just done the 1/2 tsp for an 8oz cup. Oh well. Hindsight right? Lol.
The brew reminds me strongly of Laoshan Black to be honest. It’s got that same sort of roasty, chocolaty sort of scent that I remember from the Laoshan Black.
Taste wise I get a very heavily roasty sip, with a bit of sweetness in the sip. I don’t really get fruit when I get that sweetness though. Mild-ish astringency. I could see if I drank alot of it that the astringency might get a bit much after awhile. It’s mostly just a roasty sort of brew to drink for me.
After adding a bit of Truvia, the roastyness has backed off a bit and a more chocolaty sort of note has come up. Very nice actually.
Since I used my whole sample for this cup, I’m going to give resteeping this a second try at least. Just to see if that makes a different brew.
But I’m not sure if this is a reorder for me. I’m honestly not too enamored of teas that are so roasty tasting. But it’s certainly still a nice cup of tea to sip at.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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86

Tea #3 from Another Traveling Tea Box R2
This tea kinda almost makes up for the rest of the box being a flop for me. It’s pretty dang good. (Which surprised me really)
When I popped open the package I was like ‘Cantaloupe? Really?’ /intent stare/ It actually reminded me strongly of Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream with the smell. I hadn’t been too thrilled with that one since it was early on in my tea experimenting stage, so I passed it on fairly quickly.
Since I’m still not too big on white teas, I figured I might as well give this a shot since it’s here and all.
Kinda faked it on brewing parameters since there’s nothing official that I could find. But I think I managed to get a decent brew from it.
The scent of the brew was strongly juicy cantaloupe, though I didn’t find much watermelon in it.
Taste wise, the unsweetened brew is very cantaloupe, but with some truvia this tea really hits the mark. Sweet, juicy and divine. I swear it’s like drinking just straight cantaloupe juice. I still am not getting much of any sort of watermelon, but maybe that’s just how the measure of the leaves turned out. It’s a definite departure from my usual malty’/heavy’ sort of teas that I’ve been drinking lately, but in a good way.
I wonder if this would be as good iced as it is hot. /ponders/ I wish 52Teas still had this for sale. Lol.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Cheeky Lychee by DAVIDsTEA
218 tasting notes

Tea #2 from Another Traveling Tea Box R2
So when I make a lychee tea, I expect to smell something at least vaguely fruity. The only smell I’m getting from this tea is pepper. Very strong pepper tinged with something kinda green in the background.
Taste wise it’s not too bad. Kinda perfume-y. But I still get that pepper taste. Maybe from the fact that I have to smell the tea as I’m drinking. Or maybe it’s prevalent in the tea itself. Not sure. But I know this is something I’d never want to buy myself. Though I’m pretty sure it’s not available anymore. So I guess I don’t have to worry about that. Lol!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
carol who

But ya gotta love the name!

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
218 tasting notes

First tea from Another Traveling Tea Box
All I can taste in this one is bergamot honestly. Maybe something vaguely vanilla, but mostly just bergamot. Which I dislike, though not as much as I was originally thinking.
This was better with some truvia, but didn’t really enhance the tea in general. Just made it drinkable. Lol!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Had this as a sipdown a few days ago, so I can’t really recall specifics. I just know that, while this was a nce tea, it just wasn’t an overall hit. So no reorder on this one.

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drank Wild Black Yunnan by DAVIDsTEA
218 tasting notes

It’s kinda too hot to drink tea, but I felt like I should drink tea, so grabbed one of the last samples from Davids that I had gotten. Big Apple and an Oolong from Cavo are also on my list of trying today, so we’ll see how that goes. Lol!
Brewed this has a malty sort of smell. Taste wise it’s kinda malty-ish, earthy, with a bit of wood chip tossed in. I don’t get any chocolate, but then I don’t think I’ve ever gotten chocolate out of a straight tea before. It’s just a smidge bitter, but that could also be from overleafing since I had to guess at a 12oz portion. (My brain didn’t want to do math this morning apparently. Lol!) I’m wondering if this might be better as an iced tea, so I might let this cup go cold and then try some ice in it. Not sure yet.
All in all I’m not really that impressed with this tea. I have Yunnans in my stash that I’d reach for before I’d grab this one again. So this can go in the swap/sell bin.
(1 3/4 tsp)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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78

Ugh! I am so pissed off at myself. I saw that Verdant’s Zhu Rong was low stock this morning when I checked before work. Running short on time I thought no way the 2lbs they have left will sell out before tonight, so I left it until I got home. Well I got online and they’re all sold out! cries Now I’m so bummed out. I was totally looking forward to trying that tea. I guess it’ll serve me right to wait when I should just get my butt in gear and put my order in. Though now I’m not even sure I want to put in the order I had planned since the Zhu Rong was the reason for ordering. x.x; We’ll just have to see I guess.
But even though it’s really too late to have tea, I decided to make myself the other half of my sample of this tea to soothe me for the moment. I don’t work tomorrow. I can deal with being up with jitters. XD

The package itself was unfortunately tainted with a nearby fruit tea, so I didn’t get much of the actual tea’s smell from the leaves.

And because I still haven’t gotten around to even trying to use my gaiwan(s) yet I brewed this up western style rather off the cuff. 3g of tea which was kinda 2 1/2 tsp, though to be honest I didn’t measure all that carefully since I wasn’t about to just put a half tsp back into the package. 3 min @ 205*ish water. Probly about 13/14 oz. Again, I just filled my mug, which I usually do just 12oz, but tonight because of the bit of extra tea I almost filled the mug to overflowing to compensate.

Brewed this is malty and roasty with a nice smokyness. At least I guess that that’s smokyness there with that different flavor. Lol. It’s got a nice silky, full sort of mouthfeel to it which is nice. Not sure about the supposed sweet potato, but considering I haven’t had sweet potato in awhile, I’m not too concerned with missing that. Same with the citrus. Not tasting it, but not missing it either.
The astringency is very mild and is really only present because I’m holding the tea in my mouth to try and figure out the tastes. I’m sure if I was just sipping at it normally that I’d hardly notice the astringency.
I will say that I added a bit of Truvia about halfway through and it toned down the roasty/smokyness a bit and make the whole tea much nicer to drink. At least for me. But then I tend to like all my teas somewhat sweet, even the ones where I guess it could be considered blasphemous to add anything to it. Lol!
If I do decide to go ahead with my order, I’ll be tossing this into it since it’s a nice tea to have around.

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

That’s frustrating! 2lbs seems like a lot. I agree that I wouldn’t have expected it to run out either.

carol who

Let’s hear it for blasphemy! LOL

Sil

That’s the only reason i tried to pre-order, so that didn’t have to worry about trying to catch it. That being said, i’m sorry…i would have expected 2lbs to last as well :( Hopefully their already working on getting more in!

darby

I might have some (in the club) to send you. I’ll be back from vacation the end if July..message me.

Shadowfall

Yeah. Frustrating was a good word for it. XD I was kinda flabbergasted to be honest too. I mean, considering how long it had been up, I figured it would take at least a few more days to run through those 2 lbs. But c’est la vie. I’ll just know better for next time not to wait. Lol!
I did email Verdant that night asking if/when them might be getting Zhu Rong back in stock, but I still haven’t gotten a response back. Which is a bit strange considering how good their customer service has been in the past. I wonder if anything is wrong?
Darby – That would be marvelous. I’ll send you a message.

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68

I could’ve sworn that I reviewed this the first time I had it, but I didn’t even find this in my cupboard much less find a review for it. Which is frustrating since I’m missing one packet and I know I drank it and could’ve sworn I reviewed it. huffs Annnnnd found my review. Apparently Steepster had either not registered that I put this in my cupboard or something. And my review was on the very last page of this tea listing. Lol.
OveralltThat’s just par for the course today since I’m missing another tea that my cupboard says I should have, but I can’t find it anywhere in my kitchen and I know I didn’t swap/sell it. _
In any case, I wanted to try this (again) to compare it to Andrews&Dunham’s because I’m so tempted to order their Spring Keemun, but I’m looking for excuses not to. XD
1 3/4 tsp (half the sample packet)/12oz water @ 193*
Dry this had a slightly smoky, woody sort of scent when I opened the packet.
Brewed…I’m wondering if I should’ve used 2 tsp since this seemed kinda weak/light to me. Or maybe steeped longer (though I did use right in the middle of their recommendations). Or maybe it’s just too subtle for me. XD I get a hint of smoky sort of taste and it’s vaguely fruit/winey to me when I roll it around in my mouth. And I get a bit of woodiness. Just a smidge of astringency and no bitterness. Maybe a bit of flowery/perfume-yness at the back of my mouth.
I’m not sure what I think overall. It’s not as heavy handed/potent as some of my other teas. I’d almost be tempted to say delicate even? It’s definitely good, and I’ll finish the other half of this sample plus the last full packet, but I’m not sure if I absolutely need this in my cupboard. /ponders/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
donkeytiara

I have both this tea and the A&D spring keemun. I’ve reviewed them both and I think they’re both really nice kemuns, but there are definite differences! this one is more delicate, A&D is a heavier mouthfeel….check my reviews for details…by the way, I own 2 tins of A&D’s spring keemun. :)

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62

OO First tasting note for this tea? Uhhhh…./slightly intimidated/ Oh well. /Plows on/

So another one from my RiverTea order while making dinner tonight. Probly be the last tea of the night judging by how late it’s already. x.x
Not bad. It’s got the slight bitey/assertiveness like the Assam I had earlier, but without the horrible bitterness. There’s a nice malt to this one too when you roll it about on your tongue. The astringency is middling/high-ish which is tolerable. There is a slight bit of bitter as it sits, or it could be the astringency as I drink it. I’m not exactly sure, but it’s not down my throat choking like it was with the Assam.
I’m not sure about sweet or nutty as in the company’s description, or at least I don’t get anything that I would describe as either of those.
I did add a smidge of Truvia and that seemed to tame any lingering bitterness that the tea might have.
Not bad. Not one I would reorder for myself. But not bad to try.
(1.5tsp)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
Christina

Do you have the Golden Yunnan by RiverTea? It’s a very smooth black, and it’s become one of my go-to no-fuss morning teas.

Shadowfall

Yeah. I got both the Golden Yunnan and the Traditional Yunnan (to compare them.) I’ll probly be trying both of those tonight.

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drank Golden Himalaya by RiverTea
218 tasting notes

So after the fail of RiverTea’s Assam, I grabbed this one next.
Fruity/Muscatel-ish in the package. Tastewise this reminds me strongly of DavidsTea’s Nepal black. It’s got the same musky sort of taste to it. It’s not bitter and the astringency is very low. I don’t get any sort of malt or the usual ‘black tea’ attributes that I associate with black tea. And it doesn’t seem to have any hint of a natural ‘sweetness’. This has a vine greenness to it (like the smell you get when you’re trying to twist free a squash or zucchini from the garden…anyone? XD). And it’s almost kinda tingly/peppery at the back of the sip, which is strange. though the longer I drink it, it makes my teeth feel kinda funny. Like there’s a coating on them which makes them sound/feel weird if I grind them together (not that I do this all the time, it was just to see if when I’m taste/feeling is actually a thing.) Lol!
This is a strange review, I’ll admit. But I generally type what comes to mind and hope it makes sense.
I’m not sure I’d order this again. And since I have some Nepal black in my cupboard already, I might just pass this along to someone else since it’s not really something I’d find myself drinking all that often.
(1.5tsp)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

I wanted to cut soda out of my life, so I started drinking more tea. Now I’m quickly becoming addicted. But that doesn’t seem like so bad of a thing considering all there is out there to try.

I started with blacks, but oolongs are quickly becoming my new favorite. Unfortunately, I haven’t really been able to find a green or white tea that I really enjoy. Eventually maybe.

Always open for swaps. If you see something in my cupboard that you’re interested in, feel free to send me a message about it. I do have alot of sample sizes in my cupboard, so there might be a few that I won’t be able to swap. But it never hurts to ask. ^^

Likes – Fruity teas (Peach, Apricot & Pineapple to be specific, but I’d likely be open to others). I’m always on the lookout for a good caramel tea too…and a vanilla one. Or any sweet, dessert teas.
Oolongs and Blacks over any others.

Indifferent/Undecided – White teas are a bit delicate for me but I’m not opposed to trying something new. I haven’t yet found a green tea I like since I dislike vegetal flavors, but there has to be something out there. Coconut can be too strong, or alright depending on the tea.

Dislikes – Spicy/chai stuff not so much since I can’t seem to get past the spice taste to anything underneath. Anything overly astringent, though I can’t imagine anyone /liking/ astringency (but I’m probly wrong. Lol). Earl Greys, heavy florals, tart/sour teas, rooibos heavy, mint of any sort, vegetal, musky/leathery, citrus, hibiscus, coffee-esque flavors, lemon.

Allergies – Mangos, some nuts especially walnuts, cherries. Rose petals/heavy rose teas make me ill though it’s not an allergy so to speak. Heavy artificial flavors also make me ill.

Brief ‘How I rate things’ scale:
(Subject to change at any time. Lol)
100-80: I’d definitely reorder this/Keeping this in my cupboard.
79-50: Possibly reorder these. Either if there’s a sale or I’d consider swapping for it’s on a list and I don’t see anything else.
49-40: It’s alright. Glad I tried it but I won’t be ordering/reordering this.
39-20: Glad I tried before buying ‘cause I’d be ticked if I bought this. Ick.
20-lower: UGH! Get it away!

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