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211 Tasting Notes


The earthiness of ginseng is prominent, and the slight milky taste is noticeable, too. It’s a definite change from my usual oolongs. I drink this for the added health benefits of ginseng.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Adds a touch of mint and ginger to white tea. I added a drop of light agave nectar. Good for those who would like to drink white tea for its health benefits, but complain that it lacks flavor. Bag will go a 2nd round, too! P.S. Given a chance, most palates can learn to distinguish the mellow flavor of good white tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Iced Passion Tea by Tazo
211 tasting notes

Any time you mix hibiscus and rose hips, the result is somewhat predictable — bright and tangy. The lemongrass and other flavors are present enough here to make it more interesting, and the attractive red color is always a plus in an icy glass. Why some folks add lemon, baffles me.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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Who would think a mixture like this could taste so good? Two black teas, two green teas, and blackcurrant extract. 5 min steep gave a lovely cup!

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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Peach is more in the aroma than taste. Lovely fragrance. Liquor is a pale, hazy green — rather strange-looking but quite tasty. Matcha adds rich green flavor. Ginger is at once soothing and stimulating, without bitterness, which suits me well.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Here in Texas, we’ve had more than 50 days over 100 degrees F already this summer, and it’s that hot right now. But I love this double spice chai so much that I cranked up the air conditioner and enjoyed it hot, or at least warm. It just doesn’t taste as full, creamy and spicy when I ice it down!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

The hell?! It SNOWED here today! 0_o

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Tulsi is a type of basil, which adds an unusual aspect to the masala and malt flavors. Extra snappy clove and pepper, too, make me warm, relaxed, and stimulated, all at the same time. So smooth that I didn’t even add milk.

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This refers to the bagged version of this tea, my first tasting of kukicha. I went with quite cool water, about 165F. A one minute steep gave pale amber liquor and a truly rich nutty roasted flavor. It tastes more like a dark oolong than a green tea, but the package says “roasted green tea.” I like it, and I can tell that the bag is good for a resteep!

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This Pu-erh makes a full-bodied red-brown liquor with an aroma like garden soil. The flavor is rich and almost sweet. There’s a slight sour note which tells me that yes, it was aged and fermented in a solid cake. I suppose that both the oddness and the complexity of flavor is largely derived from this type of aging, unique to pu-erh teas. For the 2nd steep I added some chrysanthemum buds, and a tiny floral note chimed in from those. The aged pu-erh earthiness continues to follow through to the finish. I’m a novice when it comes to pu-erh, so the assertive ‘ripeness’ of this tea continues to startle me a bit, and I can’t say yet whether I like it.

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drank Orange U Slim by Teas Etc
211 tasting notes

The orange scent and flavor are quite mild, which suits me just fine, as the oolong is smooth and rich on its own merits. Shades of roasted chicory and chestnut. Slight astringency creates a clean finish.

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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. For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha yi. It’s a joy, turning people on to good tea! http://www.meetup.com/SA-Tea-Herb/

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.

I write about tea culture for the Examiner online newspaper: http://www.examiner.com/x-49007-San-Antonio-Tea-Examiner

My tea rating system:

0 – 10 … Ugh, throw it out
11 – 20 … Barely drinkable
21 – 40 … Passes for decent tea
41 – 60 … Good but unremarkable
61 – 80 … Delicious cuppa
81 – 90 … Wonder-full !
91 – 100 … The Stuff of Legends !


San Antonio TX USA



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