314 Tasting Notes

88

I used up all of my sample, brewed rather nonchalantly in my 12.85 oz travel tea mug—“Western-style”. But quickly “rinsed” once in boiling water.

Soothing, soft, “veggie” aroma overlaid with holly berries.

First sip when piping hot = stewed, buttery green beans and ivy.

Further sips = woodsy, mushrooms. Pleasant and smooth. Reminiscent of the comforting aroma of the inside of a vintage applewood wardrobe ala “The Chronicles of Narnia”. I’m not sure how I’m envisioning this, but I am.

More sips = mulch, bark and sweet clover. Still very soothing. Calming.

Upon cooldown: Button mushrooms, brisk, tannic, vines, earth. Hints of walnuts, soy sauce and vinegar. Slight echoes of a sandalwood fan. Wet limestone. Emerging bitterness.

Overall: Aromatic, savory, flavorful, astringent.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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85
drank Peanut Butter Chai by 52teas
314 tasting notes

Spicy—bordering on savory. At the forefront, I can taste the cinnamon, cardamon, cloves and plenty of pepper—but the peanut butter not as much. There’s an interesting nuttiness and something delicious and “Christmassy”—like gingerbread.

I love the intense spicy-sweet-savory aroma. And as this cools down, I’m detecting the saltiness of chunky peanut butter spread—yummy!

Pretty fun to drink. I like this. :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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85

Finishing the last of this delicious tea, for dessert.
This last bit tastes like pure pecan pralines.
Buttery, caramelized brown sugar, pecans and brisk, malty black tea—such a yummy combo.
Oh Butter Pecan Tea Black Tea—you will be missed! :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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91

I think I’m warming up to this tea.

I find myself reaching for it when I just want a plain and simple black tea. No exotic flavors, no fancy brewing requirements, no tip-toeing around a reverent vintage…

Just tea.

Its mild (almost bland) maltiness suits me just fine. It tastes like a plain, straighforward, good quality black tea. And sometimes that’s all I need.

It’s like the “Amish” of teas. ;)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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55
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
314 tasting notes

This tastes like bitter cocoa beans…with arugula and kale. :/
I’m discovering that I don’t really like the taste of mate, nowadays. And the cocoa and malt don’t seem to redeem it that much, sadly.

The mate makes the chocolate taste like carob. blech, I hate carob ;/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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100
drank Milk Oolong by thepuriTea
314 tasting notes

I’m so excited to try this!! My order came in just a few days!! I love buttery, creamy flavors. I think they are wonderful in tea. And I’m happy to say that this milk oolong does not disappoint! :)

Tastes smooth, buttery and…“green” in a tropical jungle sort of way—like pandan leaves. There’s a refreshing hint of orchid and freshly cut grass in the aftertaste.

The scent partly reminds me of sticky rice with condensed milk and coconut—but it’s not “heavy” or “thick” like the buttered popcorn scent of other milk oolongs. Also, this seems to be more “floral” than the others—like the condensed milk is mixed in with gardenias and other creamy white flowers. (but maybe they all really do have the same supplier—who knows?? ;) Everything is subjective.)

The overall effect is very nice—I like it. :)

If I had to describe this tea one word: luscious.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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89

I just wanted to jot down a few words, because I have to run:

Sweet
Fresh
Mild

I think this tastes delicious and uplifting. Pretty much what I expect of a good quality Jasmine Pearl tea.

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

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80
drank Banana Peach Green by 52teas
314 tasting notes

This deceptively simple blend is surprisingly yummy!

Mildy fruity and faintly candy-esque. And the chinese green sencha really does taste buttery! Very smooth and almost creamy in the aftertaste.

I sense banana taffy and peach jolly ranchers—but it’s not cloying at all—just a sweetness that serves to enhance the “softness” of the green tea.

Pretty enjoyable. I like it. :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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79

Hmmm…I can taste the keemun and lapsang most distinctly. The pinewood forest campfire flavor is tempered by freshly baked biscuits. Yum….smoky biscuits! :)

There is a refreshing tang of astringency with each sip. Not bitter but tannic, in a good way—“brisk”.

Russian Country can be considered the “gateway” to much bolder teas. Or a lapsang blend for the uninitiated. The smokiness is there but its boldness is tamed by the other yummy black teas.

Interesting…but not too complex—pretty good choice for a lazy weekend!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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91

I was so excited to try out this new offering from A&D! Although I’m not a huge fan of Ceylons (from the few I’ve tried) , I trust that A&D has sold me only the very best of its kind.

Both dry and after steeping, this tea has a light fruity, malty scent.

The taste seems almost like raisin bread—but it’s very very subtle. They’re not kidding when they say this is “delicate”. It’s so mild, it’s almost not there. Totally innocuous.

So, in an effort to extract more flavor, I’ve kept this steeped for double the recommended time, but it has retained its gentle, smooth nature.

With this kind of “tame” flavor profile, I’m reminded of the “No Reservations” Holiday Special last year, where Tony tempered almost every acerbic comment with the disclaimer: “… [and I meant that] in a non-denominational, generic way.” This is sort of like that. I think this tea accommodates all tastes in an unoffending, non-denominational, generic way.

With that said, I think this will be a good choice for all those that prefer a mild-mannered, unassuming, well-behaved cup of tea.

But as for me, I just can’t help but wish that it stood out more—had more character, distinction or “kick”. But I guess that’s not how Ceylons are and I can respect that.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Virgo Sun, Pisces Moon, Aries Rising

My ratings are purely subjective and each note varies according to my perception and mood at the moment. So, with that said, my rating scale can be deciphered as follows:
90-100: I am in love! A must have at all times! :D
80-89: This is good. It is full-tin worthy! :))
79-70: This is okay. Glad I tried it. Might get more. :)
69-60: Meh. I’m indifferent. Neither here nor there, this is Tea Purgatory. :/
59-under: Mediocre and Sad. Really not good enough to try again. A disappointment. :(

My Misc. Personal Favorites List (because I love making lists!):
Books = The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, Personal Darkness by Tanith Lee.
Movies = E.T., The Princess Bride, Babette’s Feast, Enchanted April, The Age of Innocence, Death Becomes Her, GATTACA, Fight Club, The Matrix, The Others, Pride and Prejudice (2005 version), Nacho Libre :).
TV Shows = The Twilight Zone (a classic!), Star Trek TNG, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I miss this!), Mad Men, Sherlock, Being Human.
Music? = I find myself perennially stuck in an 80’s-90’s New Wave & Alternative time warp. ;)
Quote of the Day: “There really isn’t anything; only the story appearing now—and not even that.”

Location

San Francisco, CA

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