96 Tasting Notes

76

Oh, yum. I think I managed to brew this one correctly, since Whittard was kind enough to include brewing instructions on their website for this one.

Dry leaf is deep green and wiry, with a scent that I can really only describe as “fresh”. The liquor is a medium-pale greenish-gold color with an aroma of buttery steamed spinach. Flavor is light, sweetly vegetal, with some butteriness and perhaps a hint of smoke.

This may be my favorite unflavored green tea so far. (Granted I haven’t tried that many yet, but believe me, it’s good!) I can see this becoming my everyday green.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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84

Whoa! This is some powerful stuff. I took a sip at about 3 minutes in (1 heaping tsp for 8 oz water), and it packed quite a wallop. Not a tea I would drink black, though I’d err on the side of less milk so the flavors aren’t masked (I used 1/2 tsp sugar and just enough soymilk to turn it an opaque medium brown).

The write-up for this tea says it’s good for breakfast, and I would have to agree. It’s a better breakfast tea than their English Breakfast blend – fuller, more well-rounded, and less harsh. This might become one of my regular morning teas.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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Thanks to Mike Turner for the sample!

Well, I did it again and used too much water for the packet, so no rating. Dry leaf smells appley & spicy, with the clove becoming more dominant during steeping. Taste is mostly clove, with a faint apple & cinnamon background, and I couldn’t detect the pomegranate or sage. The clove is a bit more gentle on the second steep. May try for a third.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Thanks Mike Turner for the sample!

I really liked how this smelled out of the packet – a distinct fruity tang from the dried raspberries without being overpowering. The creamy coconut scent came out during brewing.

I initially steeped it for 4 minutes in about 200mL water, but found it a bit weak for my liking. I let it brew for a total of about 6 and a half minutes, but it still didn’t get as strong as I would have liked, which just means I’ll have to order a bag of it so I can overleaf it :)

No rating at this time, but I liked the not-too-powerful, not-too-subtle raspberry flavor and the hint of creaminess. Will be trying this one again!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec

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82

Backlog. Thanks to PureAromaTea for the sample!

The dry blend is emerald-green sencha mixed with chamomile heads and dried strawberry pieces, and very strongly scented of strawberry. The fragrance persists during steeping, but the flavor is surprisingly subtle, despite having a recommended steep time twice as long as the Japanese cherry tea. There was also much more astringency from this blend, very likely a result of the longer brew time, though it was only present in the first steep. I couldn’t taste anything that resembled champagne, but that’s not a problem for me. I got about 6 steepings out of this blend before it started to lose its flavor.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Not rating this yet, since I probably screwed up the steeping. I’m still a novice when it comes to white tea, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be quite like this (deep honey color, somewhat bitter/astringent but not enough to make it unpleasant). Note to self: 2 tbsp leaf for your 2-cup pot is probably too much. Maybe try a shorter steep or hotter water.

On second thought, maybe I’m not too far off… I drank the liquor that spent a little longer in the pot first, and now that I’ve gotten to the first-poured cup it’s a lot more enjoyable. It does have some astringency, but the sweeter flavors are much more present. One irritating thing about Whittard is that they don’t always give brewing instructions on the packaging or website, and the search results for brewing white peony varied quite a bit, so trial and error it is. Oh well, that’s why we have Steepster!

Based on the second cup I drank, I’d probably rate it somewhere around 78.

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

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84

When I first heard about this tea I knew I had to try it, since the list of flavors pushes all the right buttons for me.

For the most part it lives up to its promise. The dry leaves have the unmistakable fragrance of bergamot with the coconut & licorice singing backup, and the coconut comes forward while steeping. Tasted all together, they meld harmoniously in such a way that I can’t easily tease out the individual flavors, and leave a nice long-lasting aftertaste.

This cup was a bit overly astringent and bitter (I steeped it for the recommended maximum of 3 minutes; will try 2m 30s next time), but this was easily remedied with a small squeeze of agave. It takes milk reasonably well (go easy, though!) but I prefer it without.

Overall, it’s a very unique, interesting tea that I’m sure I will buy again.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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67

Tried this again tonight. Bumping down my rating because I definitely got a cardboard-y taste this time. I still don’t dislike it, but I’m sure there are nicer vanilla teas out there – not getting this one again.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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86

It’s finally starting to feel like spring, so a sakura tea seemed appropriate.

Dry leaves have a very heady, sweet cherry-floral fragrance, and appear to have flower petals (rose?) mixed in. Liquor is greenish-gold and cloudy with a similar aroma to the dry blend. The vibrant cherry flavor is well balanced between fruity and floral, and doesn’t overpower the smooth sencha base. I got three infusions out of one teaspoon. Very pleased with my first PureAroma experience!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Nxtdoor

I didn’t care for this tea at all!

adagio breeze

What didn’t you like about it? This is the first cherry/sakura green tea I’ve tried, so I don’t have anything else to compare it to.

Nxtdoor

I couldn’t get a lot of flavour out of it. I expected juicy cherry and I mostly got barely flavoured water. I tried as much as I could with the small sample I had. I added sugar, I steeped longer, nothing. I didn’t have enough to cold steep so I don’t know if tht would have worked

adagio breeze

Hmm, interesting. I tend to go a bit heavy on the leaf and light on the water, so I wonder if any of that made a difference.

Nxtdoor

Yah, someone did suggest overleafing but by that point I didn’t have a lot left. It is something to keep in mind in the future for sure.

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72

For my first cup of the day, I prefer strong, malty black tea blends with milk & sugar. Breakfast blends generally stand up well to milk, so they’re usually a good standby for me. This, unfortunately, is not one of them.

The dry leaves are very pretty, with several golden tips scattered throughout the chocolate-brown leaves and twigs. The liquor is a deep coppery brown, and when brewed for 3 minutes is actually quite good drunk on its own, like a slightly more astringent Russian Caravan. It’s just not what I would consider a breakfast tea.

I steeped the rest of my pot for an extra minute for my milky cup. It wasn’t bad, but it was dull enough that I was drinking it begrudgingly about halfway through.

Because this tea is so different with and without milk, I feel compelled to give separate ratings.
With milk: 50
Without milk: 82

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 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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