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35 Tasting Notes

81
drank Earl Grey Creme by Teavana
35 tasting notes

I’ve never been too familiar with Earl Grey teas, I’ve only had a few, the most recent one was the sample I got from The Jade Teapot.

This one is definitely different, not nearly as floral smelling… This one actually almost reminds me of a perfume though… The vanilla is definitely a nice touch to it..

This one goes down really smooth… I love the creamy vanilla taste to this. I think I just need to spend more time with this tea and Earl Greys in general… It is a great morning tea…

I’m just gonna continue my day watching the April Fools’ marathon of the Three Stooges… I love these guys…

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

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80

Backlogging from last night.

I picked up a handful of teas from Teavana yesterday, and this was one I’ve kinda had my eye on for a while, I figured I’d get it since I tend to have issues sleeping most nights and I don’t currently have any other chamomile teas.

So yeah, last night, I was just beat…. I spent most of the day running around places, spent a couple hours at a park throwing a baseball around with a friend just trying to get ourselves ready for summer softball leagues… So I thought this would be a great tea to end the night with to help me get to bed.

The tea itself has a nice smell to it. There is a sweet citrus-y aroma to it either form the orange blossoms or the citrus peels. There are small undertones of lemongrass scents in this as well. I can’t really smell the chamomile all too well though. Once steeped this tea has pretty much the same scents as it does unsteeped.

I typically don’t mind the tartness of hibiscus or rosehips, even when they are in a tea together, I sometimes even enjoy the tartness of the two. But since I was looking for a nice soothing tea to go to bed with, I wasn’t really wanting a tartness to the tea, so I was almost afraid of trying this one.

But MAN, this tea was actually really good and wasn’t tart at all! It definitely does have a very soothing quality to the tea, I could definitely taste the chamomile a lot better than I could when it came to the smell of it. I was able to taste almost every ingredient in this, except for the hibiscus and rosehips, which is pretty interesting.

Needless to say, I passed out shortly after having this tea. I don’t know if it was because of the relaxing qualities of this tea and the chamomile, if it was because I was already feeling dead tired from being out and about for the day, or a combination of the two. But this tea definitely hit the spot right before bed. Definitely a good nighttime tea choice.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

Oh kudos for the timely review! I just received this myself (a day or so ago) while on a quest for non-caffeinated teas for night time. Good review – now looking forward to having some tonight!

Britt☮

Sounds delicious! And I love the name of it too :)

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86
drank Yerba Mate by Samovar
35 tasting notes

I originally ordered this tea from Samovar because I was getting short on the Mate Lemon Blast that I have and I like the nice kick that I get from Yerba Mate (And I admit, it was mainly because I really like Samovar’s tea and I was wanting to add more things to my order and this one was fairly cheap >_> ).

So, when I first smelled this tea, I could smell subtle hints of sweetness in it, but it didn’t have a lemony/vegetal small like my previous yerba mate did, so I thought this would be interesting. When I steeped this, the brew was so dark compared to the other one too… So I really didn’t know what to expect with this tea when taking my first sip…. I was expecting an earthy/vegetal taste like the previous one as well, but since this was so dark and almost muddy looking, I was expecting this to be bitter which most yerba mates are supposed to be…. But man was I wrong…… This tea is really really amazing!

This tea definitely has an earthy taste to it, but then it is followed by a nice sweet punch to your taste buds! The sweetness is especially noticeable when you exhale, it is pretty amazing. I’ll write more on this later. I highly recommend it though!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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80

We haven’t had water for the past day and a half so I’ve been going through tea withdrawls. So since it is back on and working now, I just wanted to make something really quick since the hockey game is on and I don’t want to miss anything (GO BLUES!). I’ve gotta admit, that was probably THE longest fight that I’ve ever seen, close to 3 minutes. But anyway… this tea…

I got my sample from the monthly ROT catalogue, and I opened the package and it smelled quite nice. I couldn’t really tell what the smell was from the package but it sure did smell sweet. Once I brewed this, I could definitely smell a honey scent, it was very sweet smelling.

Just like the smell, this tea tastes very sweet. Definitely can taste the honey in this one. I don’t get too much of a vegetal/earthy/grassy flavor of typical green teas. But this tea sure isn’t bad for a quick brew. I definitely think I could see myself buying a can of this for a quick fix of tea.

This tea would definitely go great with a tablespoon of honey or agave nectar… Definitely a great tea for someone with a sweet tooth.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Erin

Yeah, the reason why I liked this so much was because it lacked the vegetal grassy taste.

Auggy

Go Blues indeed!

Garrett

The game was crazy! Fun stuff though, they won! I’m going to the free food game tomorrow night against the Predators.

Auggy

Sadly we missed the first part of the game, including the fight – but they replayed it at a fast speed actually somewhat painful. I imagine I’m gonna have to dig it up on YouTube soon. But was still nice to see them get a shutout (even if AndyMac had no points – boo). And very cool on the game tonight! Go Blues! :)

Garrett

They have the whole fight (not fast speed) on the blues website – http://blues.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=782&id=63428

Yeah, the shutout definitely was nice, Conk’s fourth of the year. Hopefully Andy Mac gets a goal or some points tonight at the game, will be quite fun!

Auggy

Awesome – thanks for the link! Enjoy the game and free food going on right now! :)

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93
drank Yuzu Sencha by Samovar
35 tasting notes

My Samovar order came in today!

The smell of the yuzu is definitely noticeable compared to the green tea. It makes me want to cry because it is so amazing.

Once brewed, the grassy/vegetal smell is much more noticeable, with slight undertones of yuzu. I kind of wish it would keep the stronger yuzu smell once brewed, but this still smells amazing.

The first sip. This has a much grassier flavor than I originally thought it would have, which isn’t a problem at all since I love green teas. The sencha is vegetal, buttery, and creamy, with very subtle hints of yuzu in the aftertaste. With each sip, the progression of yuzu seems to get a bit stronger in the aftertaste. Next thing I know, I’m at the bottom of my mug. Damn, need to resteep.

2nd steep, for 30 seconds. I’d have to agree with teaplz, the second steep could possibly be even better than the first. The yuzu is much more noticeable when you taste this. I’d say the tastes of the sencha and yuzu are almost equal now.

3rd steep, 30 more seconds. I’m tasting straight yuzu now. The tea has gotten quite light, but still tastes pretty amazing… Now that I’m tasting almost straight yuzu, it reminds me of drinking a very very light or watered down yuzu juice. I think that is pretty amazing.

With the progression of tastes in this tea, with each steep, you would almost think this is a different tea every time you tasted the new brew. Which that is just amazing.

Overall, I think it is a pretty freaking awesome tea. It is a nice, light, refreshing tea that cleanses the palette after almost each sip. But, there is a part of me that was a little let down. Not with this tea itself, but at my expectations of this tea. Let me explain.

When this tea first appeared on Samovar’s site, I got so excited. I was so happy that I found a yuzu green tea that I could get outside of Japan (then again, I never actively searched for some after I got back home). The first thing that came to mind was the amazing yuzu tea that I had while in Japan. I then went on a little stroll down memory lane. Britt and I were back in Harajuku, and we were walking down Omotesando. I wanted to get some tea at this interesting looking tea shop that was above Heiroku Sushi (which is an amazing kaitenzushi/conveyor belt sushi restaurant, I’d highly recommend going there). So we stopped in there, and I decided to go with the yuzu tea since I had been hooked on drinking hot yuzu juice from the conbini during my stay there. It tasted glorious, it was like they brewed the tea with straight yuzu juice, and it also had a few large chunks of the citrus-y fruit in there along with the tea. It was even better than the yuzu juice that I had been hooked on. So, we come back to reality, and I think to myself “Man, I gotta get this! It is yuzu tea, just like I had in Japan!” So, I am a little disappointed in myself and thinking this was going to taste exactly like the tea I had in Japan.

But this tea, definitely a winner in my book. I’d highly recommend it!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

I placed mine today! This sounds so good!

Garrett

Did you end up ordering this? If so, you’ll love it, especially if you like green teas!

Cofftea

I LOVE green teas, but no I didn’t order this. I ordered their yixing pot and calendar to get the tencha.

Garrett

Well, if you’re ever interested in trying this and wanna do a tea swap, I’d be more than happy to trade ya.

Yeah, I saw that deal, but I had already made my order for the steepster select four seasons oolong.

teaplz

So good! Yay that you liked the second steep just as much, if not better than the first! I never got to the third steep, but I’ve definitely got to try it, from what you wrote!

Garrett

I actually got up to 5 steepings, and I could have kept going! But pretty much from the third steep on it tastes just like a watered down yuzu juice, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.

Cofftea

Garret… “but I had already…” Yeah so? LOL hehe;-)

takgoti

Congratulations! Welcome to the Samovar family!

…Is it just me, or did that just kinda sound like Samovar drinkers are part of the mafia?

Anyhow, this was a fantastic read. Love this tea!

Garrett

Cofftea: LOL, true.

takgoti: Thanks! I already had a handful of their stuff, but my collection is definitely growing. And I wouldn’t call it being part of the tea mafia… I’d say we are a legitimate group of people that like to pursue things in a particular way…. or… something along those lines….

Cofftea

Yes Garrett, we are definitely legit

~lauren.

OH NO! I think I ordered 6 teas from Samovar and this one wasn’t on it – and you make this tea sound delectable! UGH!

SoccerMom

great review! Do you really almost cry? OR “want to cry”?

Garrett

Lauren: Get some! haha
SoccerMom: want to, haha

~lauren.

No more tempting me! Please! I get enough of that from Select! But this does sound so good …!

takgoti

Oh, durr. There have been so many people losing their Samovar virginity lately that I see, “My Samovar order came in,” and my mind automatically goes, “Ahhh, yesssss. Welcome to the fold.”

You are no Samovar newbie, though! Regardless, great review! I’m going to need to add this to my tea agenda for tomorrow. I haven’t had it in a while.

teaplz

MY SAMOVAR ORDER IS HERE YAYNESS.

And yay for Samovar in general!

Garrett

Lauren: Temptation is gooooooooooooood

takgoti: You better add it! It’ll be soooo worth it.

teaplz: What did ya get?

~lauren.

Okay, okay – it’s on my Shopping List and when I make up my THIRD order of Samovar (thanks a lot, takgoti, I only heard of Samovar when you were first made ambassador!) I will be sure to add this because I love sencha and am curious about yuzu and “It makes me want to cry because it is so amazing” got to me, I admit it!

Garrett

Mwahahaha!

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82
drank Liquid Jade by The Jade Teapot
35 tasting notes

Still working my way through The Jade Teapot samples.

This tea has a nice citrus smell to it that isn’t too overpowering. But I do wish I could smell the earthy/grassy scent of the green tea a little more though.

With the name Liquid Jade, you’d think this tea would have a nice green tint to it, but it has a much more yellow color to the brew. The bergamot gives this tea a nice citrus flavor with a touch of honey, and I can taste a slight bit of grassy flavor from the green tea.

The resteeps on this tea are crazy, I’m on cup 5 and I’m just now noticing the tea being lighter in color and flavor, the green is almost non-existent and I can only taste the citrus now. I could definitely get a few more steeps out of this.

I don’t think I would drink this on a daily basis just because I like the grassy/earthy flavor from green teas. But this is definitely a nice tea and is a good change of pace. Plus, this is a great tea if you are wanting to find a nice tasting tea that will last you many many steepings.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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79

The 3rd sample from The Jade Teapot that I’ve tried.

The smells of this are very strong. Definitely can smell the pomegranate right off the bat, but with each time I take a whiff of this, I can smell the more subtle things like the blueberry and peony. When comparing to a bag of pomegranate white tea from Argo Tea, the white tea from Argo smells like a much sweeter pomegranate. The blueberry pomegranate tea from TJT smells like pure pomegranate juice almost.

I think this tastes quite nice, but I do agree with Erin that the fruity flavor can be a bit overpowering. But to me, that isn’t a bad thing. I would recommend steeping this at low times and temps so the pomegranate and blueberry isn’t super overpowering. I still find this to be a good, relaxing tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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78

This is the next Jade Teapot sample I’m trying out of the ones I’ve received.

The first things you notice with this tea are it’s amazing smells of lavender and the bright purple flowers throughout this black tea. While steeping this tea, you’ll notice how the black tea stains the purple flowers, so they turn to this almost greenish color and won’t be the vibrant purple they started out to be. But tea is all about the taste, not about what the infused tea looks like afterward, right?

After steeping this tea, the lavender smell is still pretty strong, but not nearly as strong as it was in loose leaf form. I can definitely smell the bergamot in this now.

Taste wise… It’s really strange, but a good strange… I was expecting a huge floral punch in the face, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. There are floral notes to it, but it’s a slight bit, has a relaxing feel to it. I can definitely taste the earl grey, the bergamot flavor isn’t huge, but it’s there. I think this has a very nice balance to it. This would be a solid buy.

I would write a bit more, but the Blues are on now. KICK THE SNOT OUT OF COLUMBUS!

EDIT: quick note… there are multiple steeps in this, but the second and third steeps lose the taste of black tea and I taste nothing but floral, which isn’t really a bad thing.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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81

I just received my samples from The Jade Teapot (thanks btw!), and this was one of the ones I decided to sample.

The citrus flavor in this is amazing, it’s not too overpowering, because you can still taste the rooibos. But you can definitely tell it is a blood orange by both the taste and smell. The hibiscus isn’t overpowering, I think this makes for an amazing nighttime tea. I’ll write more on this later

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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Just got my Series 2 in the mail today! Not going to rate this quite yet. Jackee is hiding the caramel from me. I steeped this a second time and didn’t get as much of a smoky flavor, and there was a slight sweetness to it. I definitely think it is due to my steep time and temp, the second steep wasn’t as long or nearly as hot. Jackee is teasing me, I know the caramel is there, I just need to work a little harder to find it!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
takgoti

I plan to do some more experimentation on this myself, as I’ve been having some swings and misses lately. SIGH.

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Bio

I’d like to think I’m an artsy graphic design student. I’m obsessed with tea. And I also hanaseru sukoshi nihongo.

Location

St. Louis

Website

http://twitter.com/shojikoto

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