520 Tasting Notes

63

So my first cup of this was terrible. I must have oversteeped it too long or something because it was really bitter and tasted of maple and this odd flat wooden flavour like bad pipe tobacco that I really didn’t like. So I tried again.

The dry leaves smell strongly of maple and a little bit like rum to me. I made the second cup with a shorter steeping time and a bit more sugar (a rounded teaspoon rather than a level one) and a splash of milk because I like to with black teas.

On to the taste: I don’t pick up much of a ‘pancake’ taste, but it is definitely mapley and buttery and sweet and quite good. There’s still an odd ‘wooden’ taste in the background but it’s not so strong that I can’t overlook it. All in all, this is a very interesting tea, but it will probably go into my ever-increasing swap list.

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

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72

First off, this is a mighty hard tea to scoop due to the big twisty leaves, but there are worse problems to have.

There is a definite sweetness that comes out of this tea, above and beyond the sugar I added (a touch of milk also). I’m not sure I taste the caramel notes from the description but there is something there, teasing me, that I can’t quite identify. This is a very simple and pleasant tea, with just bare hints of astringency that I may just be imagining and no bitterness at all.

I quite like this, but it is nothing to shout from the rooftops. Also note that it is only available in 25g size for order.

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

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92

This tea is so pretty to look at with the leaves and hibiscus flowers and fruit pieces. The smell of the brewed tisane comes across as mostly orange and eucalyptus with a note of grapefruit.

Drinking it is quite good, citrus comes through the strongest followed by the hibiscus and eucalyptus afterward and I can catch a hint of lemongrass at the end of the sip. Really very well done with no single flavour overwhelming the rest and the orange and grapefruit are well balanced against the herbs in this concoction. This is a tisane for gulping as well as sipping as the flavour hits the entirety of the mouth and lingers pleasantly at the back of the tongue.

Overall a very nice blend.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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95

Just opened the package for this today and I figure now is as good a time to try it as any.

The smell of the unbrewed tisane is absolutely delicious, like a strawberry sundae or a strawberry and cream smoothie. The smell of the tea itself after brewing is delicious also, but the hibiscus comes through also, making it much more sour than the dry tea itself.

I’m currently waiting for the tea to cool down a little so that I can drink it without burning myself and hoping that the cat that just came over wanting attention doesn’t knock it all over my computer. That would be bad.

Oh my Flying Spaghetti Monster, this stuff is delicious. The strawberry and cream flavours come through strongly but not overpowering and the hibiscus hides in the background and manages to keep from being too sour and instead helps to tie this all together. The flavours mingle wonderfully and I think this is one of my favourite tisanes yet.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Raspberry Vanilla by Zen Tea
520 tasting notes

Now normally I don’t like rooibos very much, so I went out on a limb a little when I bought some of this tea from Zen Tea (and it comes in such a pretty tin too), but I find I’m actually quite enjoying this. The raspberry and vanilla flavours mingle very nicely with the rooibos so that nothing is overpowering anything else. The raspberry and vanilla flavours are definitely distinct and strong, but also well balanced and the rooibos is there but not quite as…rooibos-y as I’ve tasted in other teas.

All in all, I quite like this tea, next time I’ll try to drink it while it’s warmer rather than putting it down and forgetting about it until it’s barely above luke-warm, tasty as it is at this temperature.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

This was the combination that won me over to rooibos as well. I think there might be magic involved…

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43

Mild astringency, slightly bitter at the back of my throat, though I didn’t put as much sugar into this black tea as I usually do so that might be why. Strong mineral note throughout. I don’t like the aftertaste but I can’t quite put my finger on what I don’t like about it.

Overall a mild-medium black tea with not too much notable about it. I don’t like it, but I don’t hate it either.

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

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74
drank Fujian Baroque by Adagio Teas
520 tasting notes

The first thing I thought of when I took my first sip of this was of bread. The really nice type you buy at specialty bakeries and eat plain because it’s such a shame to mask the flavours of the bread itself with jam or butter. I have never tried Golden Monkey so I can’t compare them. I can also taste the slight cocoa notes as the tea cools. I’m not picking up any spice or fruitiness at all as many reviewers have tasted.

First impression is that I like this tea and I wouldn’t mind drinking more of it.

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

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70
drank English Breakfast by Twinings
520 tasting notes

I keep this around for when my mother visits because she doesn’t really understand my tea setup and prefers to make her own (she usually gets up before me since I’m on the west coast and she’s coming from the east coast (of the USA)). Bagged is what she usually gets, although I spent a couple of hundred dollars of plain black teas from a variety of sources for her to try during her iced tea experiments earlier this year.

Anyway, I like this tea slightly better than the Teavana English Breakfast that I was drinking earlier today. The brew is less astringent and only a tiny bit bitter (I think I steeped it for slightly too long, lost track of time). This is the bagged variety. This tastes like a nice simple tea with not much coming out on a flavour profile except a slight mineral note, mostly just tastes “tea”-like to me.

I enjoy a simple cup of tea now and again, but I think I’ll mostly just be saving this for when my mother visits.

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68

Either my tastes have changed or the blend has changed (I read a review from a month ago that said this tea is purely African sourced now) but I don’t remember this tea being so blah.

I brewed it up pretty strong with 1.5 teaspoons for about 10-12 ounces of water. I did add milk and sugar, though not much of either, because I generally do with plain black teas. My palate isn’t discriminatory enough to cut out the bitterness I get from blacks without sugar at least.

Anyway back to this tea, I don’t get much tasting notes at all when I drink it. It causes a little bit of dryness at the back of my throat after I think it and there’s some slight malty flavour to it, but all in all it’s a very boring tea. Guess I’ll keep looking for an English Breakfast I like, one with a bit more character to it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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53

This brews up to a beautiful purple-red colour, and smells very fruity after brewing, though the hibiscus smell is strong. It is the first ingredient in this tea. I did make this with a tsp of sugar because I know that I will taste nothing but hibiscus otherwise.

I think what I taste most strongly is the yumberry, though I have not had this berry before and it is just a guess. The black currant is next and it almost has a cloying taste to it that lingers into the aftertaste. I can feel the taste even in the corners of my mouth it is a bit overwhelming. I’m not sure if I like this or not but next time I try it will be with half the sugar.

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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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