96 Tasting Notes

73

Cold brewed in the fridge for about 18 hours using 2.5 tsp leaf (I think?) for ~500 ml water.

First time trying a) green rooibos, and b) an Adagio product, despite my username. I think I prefer rooibos green, though to be fair I haven’t yet drunk enough of the regular red kind to develop an opinion on it.

Flavor was a cross between candy-like and medicinal citrus (mostly orange), with a slight tingly/prickly sensation in the mouth – not sure whether that’s the flavoring or the rooibos. I didn’t love it, but it seems like a pretty decent blend.

Preparation
Iced

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Cold brewed this overnight using 2 tsp leaf for ~450 ml water.

Wow, these gunpowder leaves expanded a lot. The spearmint aroma is assertive yet smooth, both in the dry leaf and liquor, but its flavor is soon followed by an unpleasant and long-lasting sourness, which seems to be made worse by the addition of sugar. I did a second overnight steeping in the fridge which came out more mildly flavored, yet the icky tanginess remained. This is my first time making Moroccan mint tea, so I probably need to learn the right brewing tricks to make it taste right.

Preparation
Iced

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81

Cold-brewed overnight using 3 heaped tsp tea for 500 ml water.

I’ve tried this hot, and like the other reviewers found it disappointingly light in flavor, especially considering how wonderful the dry leaf smells. Fortunately the lovely fruitiness comes out more in the cold brew – and even more with a drizzle of agave – yet remains quite delicate. It probably would have been more appropriate for them to call it a scented tea rather than flavored, but the gentle stone fruit aroma lingers on the palate very nicely. It’s much better as a cold beverage than hot (which makes sense, with the Ceylon base and the Jubilee itself taking place in June), but for some reason the packaging doesn’t indicate this, nor does it give steeping amounts or times. Get your act together, Whittard!

If you still have some of this left and were underwhelmed when you first tasted it, try a cold brew. It might change your mind, and help get you through your stash!

Preparation
Iced

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95

I managed to get at least 4 good resteeps (using progressively less water for about the same amount of time) from the one sample – super impressive for a flavored tea!

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68
drank Mamma Mia by DAVIDsTEA
96 tasting notes

I picked this up on my very first DT visit last month, where it was on sale and looked interesting enough to justify the purchase. Yeah, there’s definitely a lot going on in this tea. Pretty sure I recoiled when I first opened the bag and sniffed.

I really can’t imagine this as a hot tea (one day if I’m feeling saucy enough I might just try it), so I cold brewed a glass of it in the fridge for probably too long. It made a perfectly serviceable cold beverage, though I found the cinnamon a bit too prickly, and something was giving it a sickly edge. (Maybe it was the hibiscus, which everyone here seems to detest, but there are just too many options in the list of ingredients.) Not something I would get again, yet not nearly as unpalatable as the smell led me to believe.

Preparation
Iced

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79

Sipdown! (I think…)

Used my last bag of this today. It’s quite good for a CTC supermarket tea, but I’m not really sure how to rate this compared to the unadulterated teas I’ve logged. (I brew this strong to take milk & sugar, and it’s kind of disgusting at that strength without the additions.) Anyway, it’s a solid breakfast tea, brisk and sturdy. I liked it, but not so much that I’d seek it out specifically.

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97
reviewed Brewing Basket by Finum
96 tasting notes

Bought one of these on my last US visit so I’d have something for brewing loose tea. I already had a Chatsford basket, but this one is much better. The stainless steel mesh is much finer and more durable than the Chatsford’s nylon (or whatever petroleum derivative), and a bit easier to clean, too. Haven’t gotten any fannings in my cup yet. It’s a very handy thing at a very reasonable price, so I suspect I may get a few more in the future.

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95

Brewing this up for the first time was an interesting experience. I’m not the biggest fan of melon, but the premise of cantaloupe flavored tea was too intriguing not to try. I gave the bag a sniff upon opening and was met with surprisingly little fragrance. Okay, I thought, maybe it’ll smell stronger once it’s steeping. It did, but not by much.

The taste was pretty nice – it had a subtle floral-fruity thing going on, much like an actual cantaloupe. It was pleasant and thoroughly sippable, but it didn’t quite wow me. Then I added a tiny drizzle of agave.

BAM, fruity-creamy-juicy goodness, just like a slice of cantaloupe with a smidgen of cream. Maybe better. It was just as tasty after it had cooled to room temperature as it was hot, and probably would be awesome iced. I gotta get me some more of this.

Thank you Stacy for the sample, and the triple-take!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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86
drank Jade Cloud by Lahloo Tea
96 tasting notes

Aha, now I think I know what people mean when they describe green teas as “brothy”! This was a lovely, almost savory brew that I just wanted to keep slurping. A bit like the cooking liquid after steaming kale, with a hint of seaweed and barely any astringency. Second infusion wasn’t as captivating as the first, but oh well. Definitely a keeper!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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84

Back from the US, and with my Butiki orders! This was one of my sample requests (thanks Stacy!) which I figured I should drink first because the chocolate chips had gotten a bit melty from being stashed in the attic (uninsulated & with a dark roof, it can get hot up there in warm sunny weather). If the quality suffered, I wouldn’t know it – the brew came out lush, with understated fruity and chocolaty flavors, and really sang with the addition of a tiny bit (~1/8 tsp) of sugar. The astringency of the black tea base was slightly stronger than I would like, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the tea.

Exceeded my expectations. I’ll definitely buy a full bag of it when it’s cool enough to send chocolate in the mail again. Well done, Stacy!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I grew up in New Jersey drinking Celestial Seasonings, and now I live in England, where I developed a taste for a good builder’s brew. Sometime in 2012 I bought my first loose teas, and my collection has since spiraled out of control. Still quite a novice, due to not drinking enough tea to keep pace with the amount I keep buying.

Some things I’m pretty sure I do like:
- most florals (jasmine, orange blossom, osmanthus, etc)
- buttery, vegetal greens
- malty blacks (usually with milk & sugar)
- oolongs that aren’t too heavily roasted

Not really feeling the flavored teas lately, for whatever reason.

All tasting notes use unfiltered hard tap water, unless otherwise specified.

No real method to my numerical ratings yet, but we’ll see what develops. So far I’ve only given ratings of 90 or higher if I actually get excited while drinking the tea.

Location

Bristol, UK

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