213 Tasting Notes

6

I shared a small pot of this with my son. No rinse before the first steep, which was mild and unremarkable, with only a slight lemon scent and very little lemon flavor. The second steep was no better, yielding only a little of wood, caramel and honey tastes, and a dearth of aroma. It was the thin body, dry mouth feel, and unpleasant lingering astringency which put us both off the most. Very disappointing.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

If you have some to rehome, I’d like to try this iced.

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33
drank Cucumber White by Tazo
213 tasting notes

An unusual, interesting blend, but I’m not sure it’s an improvement on plain white tea. You see, I find plain white tea to be anything but plain. Of course, teabag-grade tea could be expected to be less flavorful than its full-leaf forbears. Maybe it’s the lime zest. Unlike lemon, which accentuates the floral notes, the lime seems to bring out something more earthy. And then there’s cucumber. If you omit the skin, what flavor is cucumber? It has a vegetal freshness, I think, but it’s a shy, retiring essence, overwhelmed by the lime. I wanted the lime to surprise me, to wake me up, but it wasn’t punchy enough to do that. It adds a savory dimension, but I think the lime would give a better effect when paired with a base other than white tea. Plus, I kept wanting to add a dash of salt!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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73

Good pu-erh for beginners with this type. Not exotic, but mild. Earthy enough to introduce new folks to the type — black tea which has gone on to the next incarnation. Notes of toasted grain, black pepper, leather, tobacco (faint). More leather in the 2nd steep, and sweeter.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Noted on my shopping list because one day, I will try pu-erh.

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86

To my delight, this beautifully made tea greets me with a fruity, toasty nose. Two tsp of the loose, open blend are measured into my pre-heated, closed infuser for a 12-oz mug. The golden medium-amber liquor is smooth, with just a hint of astringency. The tea’s description begins with Keemun, so the smoke and fruit notes must hark from that Chinese region, rather than an Indian Darjeeling (more commonly used in EB blends). Quite good plain, there was only a tablespoon or two left when I added a tsp of vanilla soy milk. The result was a bit more richness and sweetness, without detracting from the true black-tea effect — a nice mix. The wholeness of the brewed leaves was attested to by how quickly the infuser rinsed out. The use of Keemun in this English Breakfast blend makes it stand out amongst the better ones I’ve tasted. It’s flavor and aroma lingered in my satisfied smile!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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62

This dry tea is very loose, indeed. Long, graceful leaves with only a bit of twist, accompanied by long sections of stems make this one difficult to measure without a scale. Ten second rinse before first steep. Notes of spring meadow, asparagus, and lemon. A sweet, creamy taste and mouthfeel made me sip again and again. This is a delicate tea which requires time. Some things cannot be had from the liquor — try sniffing the steaming leaves. Then, in the 2nd steep, open your senses for artichoke, lilac and new-mown hay!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Rena Sherwood

The leaves look too beautiful to drink.

Suzi

I love the description of the second steep :D Makes me want to buy the tea, make it, dump the first steep and go straight for the next round!

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95

The calendula and chamomile lend the fruity notes, I think, with lavender leading the floral ones. Underlying these is a mild straw-green base with a slight mint finish. A very pleasant drink, one which did seem to settle me a bit, both tummy and nerves. All organic, all pretty darn good for me, and I enjoyed it all, just as-is! If an infusion can be said to be reassuring, then Mountain Rose’s Fairytale Tea provided me a reassuring cup!

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 30 sec

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48

This obviously has ingredients other than black tea and bergamot oil, hence it might more correctly be compared with Lady Grey teas. It seems to include a citrus other than bergamot. The bergamot is a bit less flowery than my favorite Earl Grey. The tea is better quality, more piquant than that used in most flavored teas. For bergamot, I prefer another. For black tea, this Earl Grey Bravo from Adagio comes out ahead.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
213 tasting notes

Aroma of dry tea is sweet caramel. Very enjoyable. Golden amber liquor has toasty taste, slightly smoky, amazing sweetness. Perhaps, if I’d added milk and sugar, it would have tasted like creme brulee. Next time …….

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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88
drank White Christmas by Tea Zing
213 tasting notes

190F, 3 min, liquor is clear medium-gold color with scent of fruit and spice. Flavor starts with vanilla, flows into cardamon and nut. I kept wanting another sip, so much that the whole cup (nothing added) was quickly finished and I viewed the empty mug with disappointment. A second steep was lighter than the first, but still flavorful enough to serve to guests. This white tea blend is exotic and complex enough to even be a good complement to dark chocolate or tiramisu.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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81

190F, 4 min, dark amber liquor, aroma has mysterious peppery note which must be the basil. The lemon plays well against the toasty chestnut of the oolong. There is a sweetness which I don’t often find in a darker oolong. More!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.

Location

Southern California, USA

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