501 Tasting Notes

91

So I finally decided to make iced tea with ‘real’ tea rather than the generic black tea that got sent to me with the iced tea maker. I didn’t follow instructions at all. What I did was use my Breville to brew 1200 ml of tea with ~2tsp per cup (5ish cups). Then I poured it into the iced tea pitcher (which filled it up completely), then put it in the fridge for…a while. Kinda forgot about it for a few days. Then a couple of minutes ago I put in ~7 spoonfuls of sugar (using the special flat sugar spoon) and then filled a cup with ice and put tea in it.

First assessment, good amount of sugar. Second assessment, very strong tea. Tea tastes comes out clearly. Very clearly. It’s not…bad, just very strong. Will probably tastes less strong as the ice melts, if I let it melt before drinking it. It’s wicked hot so that might not happen. On the upside, it does actually taste like TEA rather than “iced tea flavour” which really isn’t tea-tasting at all, for my taste buds. “Iced Tea flavour” doesn’t taste bad per se, just doesn’t taste like TEA. This tastes like tea.

That said, I haven’t decided whether I like it this strong or not, but I have a whole quart of it to go through so I’ll probably decide by the end of all that.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Another day, another oolong. I’ve been making relatively few tasting notes because it takes me so long to get through a pot of these Verdant teas, especially when I haven’t tried them before because then it always takes me forever to take the first sip. Case in point, this one. I made this tea before 7am this morning. It is now 2:15pm. I am not going to reheat it. I think my subconscious has something against hot tea right now.

Now, onto the tea. It definitely tastes my definition of ‘roasted’. The bread qualities are really strong. It smells more floral than it tastes. I’m not picking up the pineapple that some people are tasting, nor the cinnamon, for which I am grateful because I don’t like cinnamon. Less chocolate than I would have expected too, although I really have a hard time tasting chocolate unless it’s really blatant. Mostly this tastes like a lot of things rolled together and I can’t pick them apart really well, but the strongest is ‘roastiness’ and bread crusts.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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54
drank Black Tea by Unknown
501 tasting notes

So! Attempt #2 at making iced tea for real. The first one was a lemon tea and I did not find it palatable at all. This particular tea came with the iced tea pitcher thing I bought.

Overall…I oversweetened it. It’s not terrible, just very sweet. Well, I’m still getting the hang of iced tea and I’ll know not to put that much sugar in next time. The iced tea pitcher performed admirably. I cold brewed the black tea (one packet’s worth, loose) in the steeper overnight for about…11ish hours.

Attempt #3 coming soon.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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67

This is under a different name on the page of notes that came with this tea from the classic TOTMC. There are a lot of oolongs this month. I’m hoping that this will help me develop a fondness for oolongs when I can try a lot of them (4) as I did with green tea last month (Dragonwell is awesome).

Drinking this it tastes very…oolong. Not sure how I can explain it. It’s okay but I’m not really craving it to drink the rest of my cup. From the notes, I’m definitely picking up on the sweetgrass and mineral notes with something kinda vanilla like in the aftertaste. I definitely don’t taste pine and I have no idea what “crisp apple texture” is supposed to be. And I have no idea what saffron tastes like. It is definitely on the floral side of the tea spectrum. I’m finding I’m not too fond of the more floral teas, wanting those that taste more like vegetables.

I’m logging a rating because of my own tastes and I want to remember, but it shouldn’t be considered really if you have a taste for oolongs already. If you like oolong tea, you will more than likely like this one.

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

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86

Got another sample of this, this time from Tea Sipper although I have no idea when but I’m sure it was months ago. This time this tea was not that great. I don’t know what I did to it, but it is quite bitter, even with the addition of milk and sugar.

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

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96

Also been a while since I drank this. I’m getting to the bottom of my tin, although I do have a refill already along with the other cherry flavoured matchas for an experiment on which one I like best.

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89

Been a while since I had this, more than a couple of days since I had any matcha at all. This was good. I added a bit more sugar than usual because I was craving something sweet and while it wasn’t sweet sweet it was good.

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87

Finally getting around to trying this one from May’s TOTM club. I’ve only been in the Reserve club for this one month and so far it’s awesome and I really liked 3 out of the 4 selections (still don’t like shu pu’erh).

Once again, I can’t seem to drink tea at work while it’s warm so this is for a room temperature cup of tea. I gave away a second cup’s worth of this to a co-worker with a really unrefined palate (“tasted like a milder tea than black tea”, “all tea tastes like ‘tea’”). I’m sharing a cup of my second steep (for which the water is heating up now) with a coworker with a more refined palate who actually likes white tea.

This tea tastes actually pretty green to me. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really tasted that many quality white teas at all, but this is a very mild, light flavour. I can definitely taste the clover in this, but not so much the marshmallow. This has a much thicker mouthfeel than I was expecting from a tea that barely turns the water yellow. There is something food-like that I also taste that I can’t quite identify, not quite ‘vegetal’ precisely, perhaps the green apple taste that’s mentioned in the description. All in all, this is a really nice tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Okay, so I’m drinking the first cup of this (brewed Western style because that’s how I roll) cold because I’m intimidated by it and I’ve been staring at it for the last 7 hours now without taking a sip. I have to drink 750 ml of it in the next 2 hours though or I’ll have to pour some out before I go home. I don’t like leaving liquids in the pot overnight.

An hour later, I forget myself and start drinking while talking and I made the most horrible face and had to interrupt myself, coughing. I do not like this tea at all. I liked the sheng version of this cake, but the shu version does not agree with me in the slightest. The ‘earthiness’ (the best word I can find, though it’s not exactly what I’m looking for) is just not to my taste at all. Still on the search for a shu that I can drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

Heh, puerhs are funny things aren’t they? Sorry you didn’t like it!

Starfevre

Nothing to be sorry about, just part of the horizon-expanding experience.

Terri HarpLady

I have this all measured out, getting ready to try the first steeping :)

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80

Decided to drink (one of?) my sample of this today. Possibly Monday too, if I decide I can stand having the tea sit out for that long. Probably not though. I can’t remember if this was a free sample or one I purchased so I’ll just throw a shout out to Verdant anyway.

I haven’t liked oolongs much so far, but I’ve had incredible luck with the teas from Verdant in broadening my horizons with really good tea. This one is slightly roasty, and sweet. And I can definitely taste the bready-malt taste in the aftertaste. Like you’ve just eaten a really nice dense bread with nothing at all to go with it. Sometimes I eat sourdough like that. I don’t really get much floral from this, though it’s showing up more as the tea cools down. This is a very interesting tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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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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