517 Tasting Notes

90

First off, I made this badly. Must remember to dissolve in hot water BEFORE adding milk. Possibly also use hotter water. Or at least warmer than room temperature milk.

Champagne is not my favourite thing so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this. It is a gift in trade from momo since I asked her to surprise me.

I added a bit of german rock sugar and it sank to the bottom and is dissolving now but I took a sip and I don’t think it actually needs sugar. There isn’t the horrible sea weed flavour I got from the peanut butter pie matcha I had last week so I’m very happy about that. I also think this is pretty true to the champagne taste, from what I remember about champagne. I haven’t had it in years since I stopped drinking alcohol a couple of years ago because of medication conflict issues so the memory of it all is fading. Much like I don’t remember what meat tastes like anymore since I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 8 years now.

Drinking more of this, I like it a lot, surprisingly. I could totally down this like water, lots of it. Something to think about for my next Red Leaf Tea order. All the ones I’ve ordered myself have been black matcha base but I haven’t actually tried them out yet. I bought a matcha whisk that came the other day and I should really try it out. Here at work with this champagne matcha, I’m just stirring really fast with a fork.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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67

I want to like this. I want to like this so much. momo who sent this to me in trade seems to, as does the other reviewer and yet while I do kind of like this in some ways, other ways I really do not.

If I sip this slowly, lukewarm, this tea isn’t too bad. Taken one sip at a time, just at the tip of my tongue tasting it before I swallow, this tea is pretty nice. Very peachy and a bit of strawberry.

On the other hand, when my tea gets this cold, I tend to drink it much faster than that, because I need the use of my hands and can’t be holding a tea mug for a long time at a time so I gulp it, and that’s where it gets not so good. When I drink this fast, there is such an artificial aftertaste left behind that I just shudder. It’s completely a turn off. I don’t like it at all. Of course, this tells me that I should just sip it slowly to drink it, but I’m much more impatient than that. I’ll sip a little and gulp a little and it takes me about an hour to get through a mug of tea even with the gulping so just sipping would take all day and I don’t have time for that. There’s other teas to drink. So I’ll give this a middle of the road rating and see if it catches my fancy to drink again some time or if I’ll give it away. I’m so conflicted.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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74

Got this in trade from Alphakitty who is so nice and gave me so much tea this trade.

I can definitely taste the caramel in this tea, layering pleasantly over the black tea base. It’s creamy so that’s probably the cheesecake flavouring, though it doesn’t really taste like cheesecake to me, but then I always get the chocolate mousse cheesecake whenever I go out for cheesecake so I’m possibly just missing that. I really can’t taste the cherry at all, even when this has cooled down and the flavours have come out more.

This isn’t a great tea, but it’s a good tea and one that I’ll drink the rest of my sample. I’m enjoying it, which is really all I can ask for. Probably a good thing I don’t love it, actually, because I have too much tea already and really shouldn’t be buying more, yet I just signed up for the Della Terra try-me of the month club so apparently I’m just not listening to myself.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Yunnan Gold by Adagio Teas
517 tasting notes

Smooth and malty and sweet. Everything a Yunnan black should be. Very nice way to start the morning with half a pot in my regular mug and half a pot in my travel mug. Now I just have to nail down the time such that I can make a pot of tea and it will be just cool enough to drink before I leave for work.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Totally accidentally added milk to this. Definitely don’t like it better this way. Detracting from the taste considerably.

It is still strawberry-y and creamy but I think I pretty much ruined this cup. I have one other from this pot and I hope I remember not to put milk in it. I’ve been drinking so much black tea and I almost always put milk in that that the change to a herbal fruit tea just sort of threw me when I was making this. Ah well. Note, this tea does not take milk well at all.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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70

I’m a little bit disappointed in this tea. Maybe my expectations were too high, given what I thought of the other teas in my order, but I thought this one would be better than it is.

Let me start off with the fact that this is a very pretty tea with a lot going on in the dry leaf with the big what look like freeze dried raspberries and the peppermint pieces. The taste is mostly black tea and mint with the barest taste of chocolate in the sip and I didn’t pick up much raspberry at all save a bit of sweetness in the aftertaste. I really wish those flavours were stronger. Perhaps after the bag has time to sit a little. I’ve heard that Ovation teas need to meld a little to get the best flavour. I’m rating this tea based on today’s pot but I’m open to changing it later, maybe in a few months.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

You won’t be disappointed in Zen’s Chocolate Mint I’ll be sending you soon! :D

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78
drank Pear Black Tea by Ovation Teas
517 tasting notes

First to log this one I guess. Well I got a pound of this in Ovation’s going out of business sale so this is likely the first of many tasting notes.

The dry tea is very interesting to look at, with large chunks of dried pear in it. The pear flavour is actually more subtle than I expected, given that. I wish it were a bit stronger but it is nice all the same. It is definitely pear though. Not my perfect pear tea yet but perhaps as the tea sits and melds for a while it will be better. I did just get it after all and I have heard that this is the case with many Ovation teas. Maybe a longer steep time next time too.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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60

I got my pound on order of this from Ovation last week and trying it out for the first time now. On my last cup of this pot that I made and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Which is good because I have a pound of tea to get through and I like to switch it up a lot.

This is a very pretty tea to look at and also to smell. Lots of big raspberry pieces as well as raspberry flavouring to this, according to the ingredients. There is a nice bright flavour to it, citrusy from the bergamot and orange peel and also the tanginess of the raspberries. This is a nicely done earl grey and I don’t like a lot of earl greys so I’m glad that I like this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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76

Got this in a trade from Alphakitty. Perfect amount for a pot at work to end the day.

The aftertaste on this tea, after I take a sip and put the mug down again, is lovely. Tangy strawberries and rich chocolate lingering on my palate. Unfortunately I don’t like the upfront sip all that much. Even with sweetener and milk it tastes slightly bitter to me. I guess this is one to drink fast for me and then enjoy the aftermath. Perhaps I steeped it badly, this is the first tea I’ve had from this company so I was just making a guess based on where I normally steep black teas. Perhaps 2 minutes would have been better. Or possibly 195F?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

Their black bases are a little astringent, I’d recommend a slightly lower water temp.

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86

Got a pot’s worth of a sample of this from Alphakitty, thanks!

I brewed up a pot earlier this morning and poured myself a mug. Then I got distracted and it went cold. So I warmed it up again. Then I got distracted again and it got cold. At that point I decided to just drink it. So that’s why I’m reviewing this as a room-temperature tea rather than a nice hot one. And I can’t stand ice in my tea so it’s not even iced, just room temperature. Which is about 70F in the office today.

Anyway, adding a bit of milk and sugar to the blend and this tastes pretty great. I get the chocolate, quite a lot of the caramel, and a hint of nuttiness. I’m proud of myself about the nuttiness though because I really really wanted to just eat the hazelnuts out of the dry tea leaves because I love hazelnuts. I may eat them anyway now that this has finished steeping a while ago and with the caramel melted, I won’t go for another steep. I generally don’t for flavoured teas.

I’m glad I got to try this and this is another reason why I’m sad that Ovation has gone out of business. I have 4 lbs of tea from their going out of business sale, but this is not one of them. Oh well, onward and upward!

Preparation
Boiling 3 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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