690 Tasting Notes

92

(From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box)

The UTTB arrived today, and after much oohing and ahhing at the amazing teas I get to taste I chose this one as my starting point. I’ve never tried a tea from Vietnam before, and SOT’s description of it intrigued me.

This tea is good. Very good. The color of the infused tea is a medium amber, and the smell is a mix of spice and leather. It’s an appealing and very comforting smell. It makes me think of a nice study with deep leather chairs to curl up in while reading. The taste also has a hint of cinnamon as well as some malt. It’s not as malty as an Assam, but there are similarities. There are also notes of raisin as the tea cools a bit which I’m really enjoying. I also like how full this tea is. It has a thickness and a richness to it that makes me want to stop everything and just enjoy it. I think this could be either a breakfast or an afternoon tea, but I see myself reaching for it more in the afternoon when I’m really needing a nice tea break.

Well, if this is any indicator of the kinds of teas I’m going to be drinking for the next few days then I am a luck girl. This tea is going on my shopping list.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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96
drank Tropical Coconut by Rishi Tea
690 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. I’ve been drinking cups and cups of this as the weather gets warmer. It’s has a great coconut flavor, just a hint of pineapple, and then the buttery flavor of the Oolong. The combination makes for a great summer tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

I find myself doing a lot more flavored tea in the summer, too. This sounds great.

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84

I was in a Darjeeling mood, and this one was in arm’s reach. Lovely sweet dry hay flavor with muscatel notes following. Even though this is a blend I’m liking it more and more (I usually get all starry eyed over First Flushes). It steeps up beautifully at a lower temperature allowing the flavors to really come out and play.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Starry Night by Art of Tea
690 tasting notes

Another nice cup of this one. I added some sweetener and milk which helped to make a good tea even better. I think once I run out of this, which will be soon, I’ll try a few other vanilla teas to see how those flavors stand up to this one. Going back to this one won’t be a problem if I don’t find another vanilla tea that absolutely knocks my socks off.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96

Well, today went downhill quickly. In fact, I decided rather than bang my head against a wall I’m going to to give myself the day off (something I rarely do). Maybe I’ll post some notes that have been sitting in my queue, or maybe I’ll sit around and read others’ notes. Regardless, there will be much drinking of tea today because tea makes me happy, and life is too damn short to be unhappy over things I can’t control.

Speaking of tea, this tea rocks. It’s all rich dark chocolate with wonderful bready notes and honey at the finish. Yum. The second steep has the same flavors of the first with a slightly stronger biscuity flavor. Again, yum.

Thanks you, Whispering Pines, for adding this sample to my last order. One more tea that I love!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cheri

Sometimes a day off is what’s needed. I could have used one yesterday. I pushed through a bunch of crap, and the only thing that made it bearable was that I had tea with me all day long.

TheTeaFairy

«..and life is too damn short to be unhappy over things I can’t control.»
I totally agree! Have yourself a great tea day :-)

Cheri

I’m working from home today, so I’m enjoying teas that I haven’t brought to work yet. It’s working out well.

TeaBrat

Even though being on disability is stressful, I have to admit I don’t miss working at all..lmao

Veronica

Thanks, everyone. Turns out tea and a nap can turn a day around. :)

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95

Tea of the morning. I had two cups of this. The first was mostly cocoa and malt notes with some rich raisin flavor popping out as the tea cooled. The second cup still had the malty notes, but there was also leather with a sweet honey finish. Both cups were excellent and a great start to the day.

Also, I’m now completely out of Dragon Pearls! Not good!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Good stuff…sad sipdown

MzPriss

There are a bunch of them in the UTTB

Veronica

Oooh, I might have to snag a few! Maybe I can make them last until my Teavivre order in July. :)

MzPriss

I think i stuffed the pack of that pretty full

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95

Even though it’s not cold I’ve felt chilled all night. I’m not sure if it’s the weather, ( it’s rainy and dreary here, and it looks like it’s going to stick around for a few days) or if I’m getting sick. Either way this tea is comforting. It’s silky smooth with the mint offering a brightness followed by a bit of richness and depth in the smokey note.

Yeah, I needed this tonight. Good stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Hope you don’t get sick, stay warm and drink lots of hot tea :-)

Veronica

Thanks!

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98

The description of this tea says that it’s complex, and I fully agree. Such a lovely tea with layers and layers of flavor. There is a toasty note at the beginning followed by a bright pear flavor. The fruit note is great. Muscatel and fruit flowers can also be tasted.

This tea is a gem from start to finish. I’m a big fan of teas from Nepal, and this one is my new favorite!

Dinosara thank you for introducing me to this tea!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

oh, I just got the Upton tea catalog and this sure is tempting ;)

Veronica

Want me to send you a sample? I’d love to read someone else’s opinion of it.

TeaBrat

Sure! Let me know if there’s anything you would like in return :)

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82

I’m liking this Earl Grey more and more. The bergamot is there, but it’s not perfumy. The lemon flavor blends so well with the bergamot. Add the creaminess and the vanilla, and this tea is a winner. Really, what’s not to love about a lemon pudding EG?!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Yum, lemon pudding! I’ve been hitting the bergamot hard these past couple of days and yet that still sounds delicious. :P

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100

Tea of the morning. This tea is insanely good. Today there is malt followed by a sweetness – kind of a non specific frutiness – and then salted caramel at the finish. So. Very. Yum. After I get my youngest to school I’ll resteep it. One thing I like about this tea is the flavor profile changes ever so slightly from cup to cup, so tasting it is always interesting.

I have been hoarding this tea, but I’m giving myself permission to drink it with the belief that I’ll be able to order more in the near future. Brenden, please tell me that’s true! :)
Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Angrboda

Is this tea related to the Laoshan Black that Verdant has? Or is the name similarity a coincidence?

Veronica

I don’t think they are related though I could be wrong. I believe the Laoshan Village is in the Shandong province and the Ailao Nature Reserve is in the Yunnan province.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Shan means mountain. Laoshan is named after Mount Lao I believe, and Ailaoshan translates to Mount Ailao…the nature preserve is quite perfect for tea production :) http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BAFuwKa5zMo/Um4UtKhvo1I/AAAAAAAAVCM/TfMwMMwWlKo/s1600/yuanyang-terraces-2.jpg

Veronica

Wow, that picture is gorgeous! Visiting China is definitely on my bucket list.

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Profile

Bio

Tea obsessed since 2010.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:

- Whispering Pines Tea Company
- Zen Tea Life
- Harney and Sons
- 52 Teas
- Teavivre

My Rating System:

100-95 = Teas I actively seek out and keep in my pantry. If you are a guest in my home chances are I will offer you one or all of these teas. Also, if/when these teas are discontinued I openly mourn their loss.

94-85 = Teas I truly like, often have in my pantry, and sometimes restock. These are my variety-is-the-spice-of-life teas.

84-75 = They’re good teas and I enjoy drinking them on occasion.

74-65 = These teas are ok, but not really my thing.

64-55 = meh.

54-45 = I will if I have no other option.

44 and below = Coffee, please.

Location

New Jersey, USA

Website

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