1333 Tasting Notes
thanks again for the samples, Just Organic Tea! I’m especially up for trying a new assam. JOT’s instructions are 195 degrees. To be honest, their sample sizes look smaller than the teaspoon that I would usually use, so I thought of using less water as I was pouring too much water. :D The cup was delicious anyway! Not too light, not too strong… Even before I took a sip, I could tell this would be one of those assams that are pure tomato soup taste. Even from the fragrance! I finished off a tea recently that tasted this way: Steven Smith’s No. 49 Assam, even though the first cup I tried didn’t taste like tomato soup at all (though that had been six months before the second time I tried it.) I’m thinking my taste buds changed in those six months. Though I’d prefer to have my assam have notes that aren’t tomato soup, this is actually a very enjoyable cup (if there is one thing I can’t stand – it’s tomatoes, but tomato soup is much better.) This cup is rich but not too rich, it’s still very sweet, no astringency at all. I would swear it’s tomato soup made with milk. It almost has that consistency. It’s on the verge of being almost minerally like a volcanic oolong and it tastes a bit like iron. I never brew a cup with less than a heaping teaspoon of leaves, and I don’t usually steep black teas at 195 degrees. But this cup is so perfect, maybe I’ve been going about brewing my black teas all wrong. The second steep is nice too, just a little less tomato soupy. I could crave this once in a while.
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 4 min steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 4 min (just half a mug of water)
Additional notes: Trying this one again a few weeks later like I said I would (well, according to my tasting notes, it has been two months and a week. Whoops.) Really, this one still has the same flavor as the last cup from the new batch did. I made sure my infuser had a cashew and plenty of chocolate nibs. The scent from the cup does still smell a bit like alcohol, but it might be better now. I’m getting hints of chocolate and cashew in the flavor, but not really any caramel unless that is what that hint of sweetness is. These flavors make the base black tea better than other flavors might. Even with the second steep, with the flavors decreased, the black base is more bearable. I see 52Teas is using all other bases than this one, like keemun, or even just honeybush, oolong, genmaicha… I love ALL of their other bases. Who even sells flavored honeybush?! Honestly, I think I’d avoid buying or even drinking this base in the future. But maybe that’s just my tastes… I see on the site they have four more pouches available for sale, if anyone wants to try it for themselves! I wish I could buy ALL of the other 52Teas right now. Monies though.
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
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I’m so thankful to get a package of samples from Just Organic Tea! Thank you so much! Quite a few samples. This one is up first. It’s an interesting list of ingredients: green rooibos, blueberries, hibiscus, cinnamon and some flowers. I haven’t seen a blend like this yet. And it’s decaf which is why I picked it tonight. The dry leaves smell sweet. They went into one of my T-Sacs. Just Organic Tea suggests 195 degrees for 4-5 minutes.
Steep #1 // 12 minutes after boiling // 4 – 4 1/2 minutes
I was expecting a red cup, but I realized this is GREEN rooibos. Don’t see many of those! The pinkish color is coming from the blueberry or the hibiscus then. It’s not a red cup, so it’s not a dreaded level of hibiscus. The flavor is a nice combination: I get a hint of blueberry and a little more hibiscus. The hibiscus isn’t an extreme amount, but it is dominant… that’s sad, as I would have loved a dessert-like blueberry and cinnamon cup. There isn’t much of a cinnamon presence either. I don’t like the flavor of green rooibos more than red rooibos, but this works! It’s not a blend I could be in love with, but it’s nice for what is. I’ll love the other teas from Just Organic Tea more…
Additional notes: I wanted a chai pu-erh this morning so here is this one! Thank you MissB for sending a bit over! I only had two teaspoons left in my sample and I’m definitely interested in buying more when my samples run out. I adore this blend and I’m shocked more people haven’t tried it. I’m the only person in the ‘own’ list on its page! I’m a little worried because it is mostly organic (and especially the organic coconut) that this blend would taste old quick. But it’s still tasty! Maybe not as amazing fresh, of course, but still tasty. I have even more appreciation for this one now because it has chocolate carob which I really love now – really nice chocolate flavor. The vanilla beans crunching in my teeth. Slight coconut and pepper flavor. It’s a very earthy blend. I’m surprised the yerba mate is green and not the roasted kind, but steeping it boiling doesn’t seem to ruin the mate. If you’re a fan of pu-erh, this is definitely one to try. I wish a bought a couple sample pouches with my recent Zen order just to add to teaboxes. Did I sell this one enough? I’d love for more people to give it a try.
Ouch. Harsh. 47 rating for this one?!? No way…. excuse me while my rating makes this one higher than 47:
Another from Rachel’s sale a while ago – thanks again! This might be my favorite of the Samovar yerba mates I have tried. This one has some licorice in the blend and it really adds a sweet flavor that pairs really well with the yerba mate. Smooths it out. I just love the earthiness. I thought star anise was licorice though, but this isn’t star anise. Searching the Wikipedia page and it says they aren’t related. hmm. I wonder why I thought that. The color of the cup is very green – a very unique color.. I haven’t even seen other yerba mates look like this. Very good. Maybe Samovar has improved this one since the other tasting notes? Most of my Samovar yerba mates have half a teaspoon left, so it looks like I’ll be combining some of them to steep. (I guess these were supposedly one cup samples anyway.)
Steep #1 // 30 mins after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep#2 // 15 mins after boiling // 3 min
This one is thanks to Janelle! I was craving an apricot oolong and lo and behold I actually had one (with pineapple too!) There are big pieces of apricot and pineapple in this bright green bundled oolong. I used a teaspoon and a quarter to even out the amount for the sipdown..
Steep #1 // 22 min after boiling // 4 min steep
There is an off-putting scent to the cup before I take a sip… almost like the preservatives of the pineapple & apricot or something… but it disappears further down the cup. I’ve had a stray oolong actually taste like pineapple on its own, so this is the perfect pairing. The color of the cup actually is pineapple colored (yet clear of course). The flavor is nice – the pineapple blends with the oolong. I’m not sure I’m actually tasting apricot. Haven’t had too many of those anyway. I can’t really taste the oolong on its own. The pineapple could have tasted fresher though… there was something preservative-like about it… like a candied pineapple rather than a freshly chopped juicy pineapple, but that is to be expected. Dries the mouth a bit, though it’s thirst quenching in a way. I could probably drink the entire cup within seconds.
Steep #2 // 22 min after boiling // 6-7 min
I would think 6-7 minutes would oversteep these leaves (it was Davidstea’s suggestion) but they really didn’t. It makes the oolong taste more like the pineapple and the pineapple has lost that preservative flavor, so it’s a better cup. (Maybe I should have rinsed the leaves the first cup?) There is a mellowness and a sweetness to it. I’m really surprised these leaves didn’t get tangy. I had the second steep with some actual pineapple chunks with my breakfast this morning. I love pineapple. This isn’t a bad blend – I would have liked more apricot flavor.
Additional notes: Sipdown! I think I used way too many leaves than I should have but it tastes okay – the flavor is actually intense at first – but in a super green tea way, not in an astringent way. I expect the second steep will taste like a ridiculous amount of strawberries like the last time. Make way for the Teavivre green tea samples on their way!
ETA: No strawberries this time around on the second steep. hmm.
Additional notes: I bought some of this one from Shadowfall a while back. thanks so much! Having it again this morning, it was different than last time. Today it was very grassy but there weren’t any plum notes. The only thing different was the amount of leaves. Today, one teaspoon. Last time, one and a half. So I definitely suggest trying this with one and a half teaspoons! It’s still a nice tea, but I love the special plum notes it had the first time. It’s very sweet grassy dried hay this time around!
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 minutes
Second steep later today
A solid assam! The dry leaves are wirey with hints of gold. The flavor is slightly malty, sweet and it doesn’t really get astringent. It reminds me of one of my favorite teas from another tea company that went out of business… a nice replacement! I like this one, but to me, it should be more robust. It doesn’t have enough body to it, but I guess that would mean trying Zen’s CTC teas. I’ll try more leaves next time. Both steeps tasted the similar no matter how I steeped it. If you’re interested in trying a sweeter, more mild assam, try this one!
Steep #1 // 10 mins after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min steep
I was expecting magic from this vanilla blend from Zen! I love vanilla blends! Sadly, I must have tried too many of them, and already have a few favorites, as this one is not my favorite. Others might be a fan of this base, but I am not. The flavor is not for me and it seems too weak. I did see actual big pieces of vanilla in the blend, but the vanilla also doesn’t seem strong enough for my tastes. With a different base and more vanilla, I would have liked this one better. I suppose I can’t stock up on EVERY Zen tea!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min steep