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698 Tasting Notes

54
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
698 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 heaping tsp
Water: 500ml filtered 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot
This does not follow the website’s recommendation of 185°F-195°F for 3-4 min

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: vanilla, lemon, citrus, black tea
Steeped Tea Smell: vanilla
Flavor: spiced vanilla black tea, a little astringent and bitter
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: bitter, astringent, lemon
Liquor: translucent dark orange-brown

I bought this when I visited the Kusmi store in NYC, it’s a tiny tin part of the Russian sampler.

It could be my preparation method but i don’t like the bitterness and astringency, but the mix of vanilla and spices and citrus is interesting and has potential if I play with adding sugar and cream.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/kusmi-tea-loose-leaf-black-tea-prince.html

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I’ve found that Kusmi often really comes out best with not-boiling water. In boiling they get too strong and the flavouring turns a bit funny.

AmazonV

thanks! any idea how much lower? like green tea-ish or just under boiling?

Angrboda

I don’t usually use thermometers, I just go by ear. Most of the time, I just boil it and then wait for it to go off boil. Sometimes I wait a little longer, but I don’t usually bring it all the way down to what I’d use for a green.

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20
drank Banana Matcha by 52teas
698 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 1/2 tsp heaping
Water: boiling, 6-8 ounces
Tool: aerolatte
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: banana laffy taffy
Steeped Tea Smell: grass
Flavor: grass, bitter
Body: Full
Aftertaste: banana laffy taffy
Liquor: cloudy olive green

I tried this a few times. I started with 180°F water, and progressed up to boiling. I used 6 ounces, and kept adding more water and re-stirring until the matcha was so weak I could not taste it (1 pint). I tried 1/8 tsp -1 tbs. I keep wanting to like matcha, but it is too grassy for me. It is sweet, it smells of banana. The after taste (and if you burp after) is banana.

Mind you this is a laffy taffy / runts strong sweet banana. It’s the grassy flavor that makes this something I did not want again.

Sorry frank!

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/52teas-loose-leaf-green-tea-banana.html

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

LOL! I did burp after this (not caused by it I’m sure) and it did taste like banana lol.

AmazonV

ha! I am not the only one :) I LOVE runts and was hoping for more runts and less grass :(

Cofftea

I like (not LOVE) runts too (just not banana ones!) and got plently of that… but then again I love green tea.

AmazonV

yea, i keep trying to like greens and failing

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98

Steep Information:
Amount: ~6tsp
Water:1000ml 175°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell:
AmazonV: It smells like seaweed and rice sushi. The tea looks like dark toasted rice cereal with some green tea and popcorn tossed in.
MilitiaJim: The better bits of noori
Steeped Tea Smell:
AmazonV: brown rice
MilitiaJim: white rice, the sticky sushi kind
Flavor:
AmazonV: toasted brown rice hints of vegetal green tea, a pleasant seaweed flavor
MilitiaJim: It’s like drinking sushi!
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: toasty
Liquor: translucent yellow-green, like mountain dew

Resteep: 1000ml, 175, 4min
MilitiaJim found it weak, I found it fine, a little mellower, sweeter, and smoother.

We drained 2000ml very fast, I think we like it!

In fact we made a second and third fresh pot of tea, and they were both gone in short order. We love this tea.

I was surprised at the shipping packaging – there was an invoice and a wad of paper, but not enough to keep the tea from shifting around in the larger shipping box. The tea was undamaged by this and I wonder if the lack of padding was due to the tea choice.

Included in my package was a small tea ball, I really have enough odd tea making gadgets and was surprised by the inclusion until i went back and looked at the company website again. I will be giving this away to anyone in need of a tea ball.

I was amused by the custom packaging, it has my name on it! This made me feel special, and is defiantly a way to be memorable to your customers.

I received this tea for free for the purpose of reviewing the tea and posting my thoughts of it on my blog. I made sure to try it on multiple days, in between other teas, to make sure my thoughts on the tea were consistent.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/teaflection-loose-leaf-green-tea.html

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Steep Information:
Amount: ~6.4g
Water: 750ml at 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: strong passion fruit scent, candy like
Steeped Tea Smell: lightly fruity, sweet
Flavor: smooth black tea with hints of sweet fruit
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: hint of fruit, a little astringency
Liquor: dark brown

Added a little sugar and it brought out the fruit flavor, I highly recommend adding a pinch of sugar.

Delicious back tea, but not delicious enough to replace my love for thepuriTea mango black.

Images: Steep Information:
Amount: ~6.4g
Water: 750ml at 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: strong passion fruit scent, candy like
Steeped Tea Smell: lightly fruity, sweet
Flavor: smooth black tea with hints of sweet fruit
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: hint of fruit, a little astringency
Liquor: dark brown

Added a little sugar and it brought out the fruit flavor, I highly recommend adding a pinch of sugar.

Delicious back tea, but not delicious enough to replace my love for thepuriTea mango black.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Elderberry Green Tea by 52teas
698 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 plastic lunch spoons
Water: 12oz ~150°F hot spigot water
Tool: kati loose tea system (my Review here.)
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes (started Steep.it timer late, didn’t pull mesh basket when it completed)
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: mildly sweet unidentifiable fruit
Steeped Tea Smell: vegetal with an after sweet hint
Flavor: smooth veegtal with hints of fruit and bitterness
Body: Light
Aftertaste: bitter, astringent
Liquor: dark translucent green-brown

I really am enjoying this tea, I think under better conditions it would do better. I also think it will be fabulous iced!

Post-Steep Additives: honey, brings out the fruity sweetness

After adding sweetener I highly recommend you do the same. This is a very soothing cup.

Notes: Since writing this review, and before posting this, we’ve made this tea many times at home in the Breville One Touch. I have reduced the bitterness and astringency, but not gotten rid of them. It really is a delicious tea.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/52teas-loose-leaf-green-tea-elderberry.html

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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52
drank Long Jing (Dragonwell) by Tazo
698 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 6.1g
Water: 500ml filtered water 180°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: toasted vegetables
Steeped Tea Smell: light vegetal, sweet
Flavor: vegetal, bitter
Body: Light
Aftertaste: bitter
Liquor: pale translucent yellow-green

This was a gift from Melody over at StarbucksMelody.com. If you enjoy starbucks or coffee you should really go and read her wonderful Starbucks fan site / community / blog.

I like how the tea was packed in a plastic bag inside the tin, it kept them from being crushed in shipping.

Made this an additional time with 750ml of water, it turned out better, still a little bitter at the finish. The resteep of the same leaves turned out very bitter, but enjoyable with a bit of honey.

I think i may need to play with the parameters on this tea. It has a nice sweet toasted vegetal promise, and I hope I can smooth of the bitter finish. For now it will have to stay at “acceptable”.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/08/tazo-packaging-loose-leaf-green-tea.html

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

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75
drank Ti Kwan Yin by Tazo
698 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 tsp – 7.3g
Water: 500ml filtered water 195°F, also tried with 750ml and results were the same!
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: roasty, vegetal
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, floral, vegetal
Flavor: buttery, vegetal, MilitiaJim got salted seaweed flavor
Body: Light
Aftertaste: vegetal
Liquor: translucent yellow-green

This was a gift from Melody over at StarbucksMelody.com. If you enjoy starbucks or coffee you should really go and read her wonderful Starbucks fan site / community / blog.

The tea came in a nice square metal tin. Inside the tin the tea was inside a plastic bag sealed with a white sticker. I appreciated the careful packing since it got shipped here and arrived in beautiful not crushed condition. This is a very enjoyable oolong. I added a bit of maple syrup when drinking it with breakfast, but it was overpowered by the maple. I have had this multiple times, and have only managed one good resteep each time, after which it gets very weak. Despite that fact using more water with the same amount of leaf on the first steep has provided me with an equally strong and flavorful first infusion.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/08/tazo-loose-leaf-oolong-tea-ti-kwan-yin.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Monkey Fart by 52teas
698 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: ~3 tsp
Water: 12oz ~160°F hot spigot water
Tool: kati loose tea system (my Review here.)
Steep Time: 8+ minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: laffy taffy banana
Steeped Tea Smell: honeybush
Flavor: banana runts
Body: Full
Aftertaste: sweet
Liquor: opaque dark brown

Post-Steep Additives: 1 packet white sugar

Resteep: weak, but drinkable, I left it in for so long I lost track of time!

I love banana laffy, I love banana runts, I LOVE this tea. I will be very sad when it is gone.

Sorry I do not have pictures of the brewed tea, it disappears from my cup very quickly!

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/08/52teas-loose-leaf-honeybush-tea-monkey.html

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Jason

I’m not as in to all the banana stuff, but Mike likes banana runts so he might like this.

AmazonV

yes, if he likes the runts, he will like this, NOM

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75
drank Strawberry Zabaglione by 52teas
698 tasting notes

Try #1

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 heaping tsp
Water: 12 oz 160° hot spigot water
Tool: kati loose tea system (my Review here.)
Steep Time: 4-5 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: sweat cream, strawberry, a little acidic
Steeped Tea Smell: black tea, sweet
Flavor: creamy strawberry black tea
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: bitter, astringent
Liquor: translucent dark red-brown

Too bitter! It distracted from the deliciousness.

Post-Steep Additives: 1 packet white sugar

Try #2

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 heaping tsp
Water: 500ml 212° filtered water
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: sweat cream, strawberry, a little acidic
Steeped Tea Smell: black tea, sweet
Flavor: creamy strawberry black tea
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: astringent, bitter
Liquor: translucent light red-brown

This was a bit weaker, in fact too weak, and bitter. This was better than the first try though.

Post-Steep Additives: rock sugar

Try #3

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 heaping tsp
Water: 500ml 185°F filtered water
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2:30 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: sweat cream, strawberry, a little acidic
Steeped Tea Smell: black tea, sweet
Flavor: creamy strawberry black tea
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: slightly astringent
Liquor: translucent light red-brown

This was the best so far. It was creamy and delicious with slight astringent and bitter hints. I think 190-200°F would have been better, but 212°F was too hot.

If it was decaffeinated this would be a wonderful dessert tea, as it is the tea is a wonderful afternoon treat.

Post-Steep Additives: rock sugar

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/08/52teas-loose-leaf-black-tea-strawberry.html

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec
gmathis

This one sounds wonderful!

AmazonV

it is delicious, takes a bit of tweaking to get the time & temp right though

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Profile

Bio

I love caffeine! I prefer tea to coffee. I prefer my flavors to be in your face, not subtle. I plan to use this blog to keep track of the teas I have tried.

I get my daily dose of caffeine from Starbucks (Grande soy no water chai latte).

~~~~~~~~*~
0-25=Bleh! not again if it were free
25-50=Acceptable, if it were free or there were limited other tea options
50-75=I might purchase this tea from time to time, or select it while out
75-100=A staple in our cupboard from now on, I will purchase and keep purchasing

Location

Blacksburg, Virginia

Website

http://amazonv.blogspot.com/

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