501 Tasting Notes

60

I think I’m done with this tea. I don’t know what it is, but blech. I tried it without any milk this time and the bergamot is soooo strong and bitter. I just can’t deal. So yeah, I have a lot and I’d like to get rid of it. January will see it on the Get Rid Of It thread, I think.

Dustin

I found that to be the case with this one too. I was hoping it would mellow with age or I’d get the hang of brewing it, but no. :(

Starfevre

Well, it’s been months and it definitely hasn’t. If anything I like it less. Oh well, can’t like everything. I just wish I didn’t have so very much of it.

Dustin

Oh no, did you buy a pound of it too?! I have also had a difficult time with the chocolate orange of theirs. I know other folks who have really enjoyed it tho. I was happy with their vanilla chai.
Time to take a bath in tea and use the rest of the pound in one go?

Starfevre

I loved the Caramel Vanilla, but the rest…not so much.

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60

I definitely did something wrong to this. It’s almost tasteless. I can smell and barely taste the bergamot as well as some sort of generic black tea flavour but everything else is lost. Too little tea? (It is old) or possibly too short a steeping time? Too much milk? Too little sugar? Hard to say. I have one more cup to try to get this right today then I am moving on to something else.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
501 tasting notes

After receiving this in the mail from the crowd funding campaign (I don’t remember which one, kickstarter? indiegogo?), I finally opened this and made myself a cup (at…2am, yay!).

Added milk and sugar as is my wont with black tea. A bit more of each because I’ve heard that good Kenyan tea can be a bit strong on the astringency and needs a bit extra and I’m glad that I did because this is simply a very very good cup of tea. Probably not the best it could be because I reheated it in the microwave once because I forgot I was drinking tea but otherwise it’s very very malty and a bit chocolatey and it tastes a bit fruity to me too, though I couldn’t tell you which fruit, other than not the more acidic citrus fruits. Very subtle to me though. The malt flavour comes through the most. I have another cup of this to go tonight and probably resteep the leaves tomorrow. I’ll add anything if something is different between now and then.

ETA: And apparently this is tasting note #400. Woo!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Starfevre

Also, I really like the word ‘wont’

Starfevre

Despite my education being MATH MATH MATH, I really like words. Especially unusual words.

Sil

grats on 400 tasting notes!! woot woot!

Starfevre

Haha, not even in the same universe as you, Sil, but I’m pretty happy about it since that’s only about a half a year of active drinking (and the other half not so much).

Sil

whatever! have to celebrate those goals when you hit them!

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95

This tea was very much on the more hibiscusy side of life today. More sour than I like it. Made it to share with my new(ish) friend who was helping me clean today. She said she liked it.

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77
drank Raspberry Vanilla by Zen Tea
501 tasting notes

Drinking this again after forever. One of my friend’s friends (who is becoming my friend) is helping me clean my place and she can’t have caffeine so I made this and it’s still really good. I put in a bit extra because it is so old at this point.

A bit too much milk in it, I think, but it did bring out the cream flavour very nicely. I still love this combination of flavours.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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91

Made this again (hey, I liked it okay?!) but a bit differently so I thought it was worth it’s own tasting note.

For the first time ever I deviated from my milk-and-sugar routine with black tea and added chocolate soy milk and sugar. I liked it, but I don’t think I prefer it over the original way. Slight chocolatey flavour is nice but the soy taste that lingers is distracting and I can’t really taste the tea at all anymore.

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91

I don’t actually remember if I purchased this one or if it came as a sample but thanks regardless, Mahamosa Tea!

This is a really nice vanilla tea. It’s currently competing with my other favourite vanilla black tea to be on top but I don’t have any of the other right now to compare them side by side so I can’t for sure say which one I like better.

The smell is almost caramel and sweet but the vanilla taste, along with the actual vanilla bean pieces in the loose tea make this a really nice nice vanilla tea. Not quite as overwhelming as I like my vanilla to be but it’s a great tea nonetheless. I added a bit more sweetener than usual and I steeped for a shorter time than the package indicated (because I never steep a black tea for 4-5 minutes on the first try, wow that seems like such a long time).

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

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96

Trying this cold this time around. Made a double batch because I put a few too many ice cubes into the blender so 16 oz of skim milk, 2 Tbs of matchaccino and a bunch of ice cubes. Blended it all up and WOW. I can see why Red Leaf Tea says that this is the best way to go. I can totally just drink this whole thing down stat. It’s amazing. Just wow.

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90
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
501 tasting notes

So, I probably brewed this wrong, having JUST looked at the Verdant website and seeing a steep time of 1 minute (I did 2) and a temp a little lower than boiling. Also I think I may have underleafed. By at least a teaspoon. (Having made about 27 fl oz of tea (according to my quick and dirty ml to oz conversion) and put in 3 heaping teaspoons. more like 3 teaspoons. yeaaaah. I’ve gotten out of the habit of using my breville and I forgot that ~750 ml is actually ~3 cups and not 2… Oh well. Next steep I’ll add some new leaves. So yeah, this is weaker than probably it would be at it’s best.

Another reason I’m probably not liking this as much as I probably would be otherwise is that I’m out of practice with tea tasting. With the summer and my inability to make iced tea in a reasonable fashion without it sucking and then my need to be out of my house as much as possible to try to keep from sinking into a deeper depression…there’s not been much time for tea from my own collection. At least, made the way I like it.

Still, this is very enjoyable even with those caveats. Hikaru the kitty knows it has my attention and not her so she’s trying to knock it over with her head. She’s been much more needy since my Groucho kitty died on Monday.

Anyway, it tastes very silky as said in the outline on Verdant, and I can definitely taste some very warm spices, possibly the cinnamon mentioned, though I like it a lot better than actual cinnamon, which I don’t like so much. The morels come through more on the aftertaste. All in all, it’s quite pleasant and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it even more as my ability to taste more nuances comes back.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

About iced tea sucking… if you switch to cold brewing maybe you’ll find that you’ll be more successful. Leaves in the bottle and that’s it. I have one of those filter tops for cold brewing.
If you have a gaiwan (or you can use a teacup and saucer) brew a little tea this way to reeducate your taste buds. Sometimes after a series of migraines, I lose my sense of taste for a week or two. I have to reeducate my brain.

Starfevre

No, I can’t reliably do cold brewing. Mostly because I am a scatterbrain and it would probably steep for days on end before I would remember that I am steeping iced tea. If I have a defined time period I will be at home, maybe. Worth looking into anyway. I do really well with very very specific instructions.

I have a gaiwan…somewhere…packed in a box. I’ve always put a little sugar in though, even at my most sensitive, plain black tea ( my favourite) always tasted BITTER AND NOTHING ELSE without 1/2-1 tsp of sugar per 16 oz or so. Hard to do with a gaiwan. :(

Bonnie

You can pour two steeps into a mug and then sweeten using a gaiwan (I sweeten black tea also). Many times I cold brew using leaves I’ve already hot brewed such as a great oolong or my laoshan black tea because there’s still lots of life left. No worry that the tea will be bitter and overbrewed if I forget about it.

Starfevre

Hmm. I kind of feel a little dumb for not thinking of that gaiwan tactic. Thanks for telling me. I’ll try to remember your cold brew techniques for when it’s not below freezing outside. I keep the inside at below 60F so I’m not really craving iced tea right now at all. Currently buried in blankets.

Starfevre

Second steep with added new tea is going much better. A very rich black tea now. Definitely lovely.

Indigobloom

So sorry to hear about your Groucho :(

Tabby

Aww, sorry about your kitty. :( That’s always so hard.

Bonnie

I don’t know why I didn’t see the part about your kitty when I read this on my Kindle. I’m so stupid! I’m sorry that your Groucho died. There isn’t anything good about the emptiness at all. Only the love of friends, family, people like us odd tea crazies (I’m a crazy) will be of some comfort. We humans have this in common. Loss, Love, Comfort. We need each other.

Starfevre

Thanks everybody. It was really hard, but she’d been sick with cancer for over a year and it was time. Mostly I’ve just been trying to appreciate the (4) cats I have left, especially her brother who has been crying for her sometimes, they were very close.

Tea Sipper

Groucho! I’m so sorry for your loss.

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96

So I bought this a long while ago because I love the caramel matcha. And then I didn’t open it for forever because I’d lost the scoop that I’d purchased with it. A couple of days ago I tried some conversion tables and found out that 15g that is the serving size is just a tablespoon and then I felt stupid for a while. Today I have milk so I made myself a hot latte. It is below freezing outside and I do not keep the heat above 60 inside so a cold latte is not in the cards.

This is…sweeter than I usually take it, I think. I’ve been avoiding matcha for a while for whatever reason so I can pick up a bit of bitterness that is probably just my tongue having adjusted back to mostly soda and juice rather than tea for a while. I’m sure I’ll get it back soon. Other than that, this is quite tasty and easy to make, although really not that much easier than just regular caramel matcha so I’m not sure I’ll buy it again as the matchaccino form. Still, glad that I purchased.

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Profile

Bio

Single, vegetarian, asexual, 5 cats. Airplane Engineer. I drink most of my tea with a bit of sugar and all the ones with a black tea base with a little bit of milk too. I’m super sensitive to bitterness and spiciness so I tend to avoid those.

I am also a flavoured matcha latte fanatic.

Location

Renton, WA, USA

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