2743 Tasting Notes

So this tea came from my swap with Cameron, who didn’t seem to like it very much. When I opened the bag I did notice the overwhelming lavender/woodsy smell, which was quite aromatic. I think this tea should be made into a bath soap, if nothing else. It smells really good!

So, on to the flavor. I am getting some vegetal notes from the green tea but it is definitely very strong on the lavender with a pungent, spicy flavor that is coming from the coriander, I think. It’s a creative blend, for sure, that does remind me of the great outdoors. I’m a little more sold on the aroma than I am on the flavor, but I haven’t really loved any lavender blended teas I’ve tried. Something about them reminds me of soap and/or cleaning product instead of something to drink. This is definitely an interesting tea but I can’t say I would be rushing out to buy any. I think I will finish the cup but might use the rest as bath tea… lol. It’s kind of bitter too.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

Ick lavender. XD

TeaBrat

Harney and Sons sells a pure lavender tea!

Cameron B.

Lavender always makes me feel like I’m drinking perfume or potpourri, in the worst way possible.

Lupiressmoon

Yeah I never have any motivation to drink perfumish floral stuff, yech. I like the smell of lavendar in lotion and the plant in the garden, but not edible to me. Same for Jasmine

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80

Thanks to Skulleigh for sending this along in our recent swap, because I’ve really been wanting to try it and I definitely need some ass-kicking, waking up today!

So I’ve been reading the reviews with some amusement this morning. Some people claim it’s too strong for some and I’m not sure it’s strong enough, lol…. It definitely has a nice malty flavor with a tannic, punchy kick in the finish that’s mellowed out by a touch of coconut sugar and milk.

I’ve had a lot of assams and I don’t think this is anything special, especially not for the price. The Organic assam from H & S is $11.50 for 8 oz. and is a better tea in my opinion. I was more a fan of the Red Tailed Hawk, which is smoother and has a really unique flavor profile. I’m glad I tried this though, it is a decent assam and nice with my morning Irish oats.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Skulleigh

You’re welcome! I think A&D’s secret is pretty much awesome packaging/graphic design, which enhances tea that’s pretty good, lol. It’s not inferior tea or anything, it’s just that the packaging makes me enjoy it enough to keep buying it. Which is strange, because normally I don’t like that kind of marketing!

TeaBrat

I agree…. their branding is really good :)

Cameron B.

I’ll be interested to hear how the Holiday Blend is! I’m sad that I didn’t try/get any of the Oktoberfest since it got rave reviews.

boychik

There are days when i love it, and sometimes its OK. I think it all depends on a mood ;) In general i love A&D. not because of tins ;)

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67
drank Diksam, FTGFOP1 by Lupicia
2743 tasting notes

Eh, I am trying this again this morning and it just barely falls on the side of acceptable.

I’ve definitely had MUCH better assams, this is really light and weak on flavor. I would characterize it as “wimpy” but passable with milk and sugar. It’s difficult to know what to do with mediocre teas. Are they worth drinking at all or should I just toss them? I like morning tea that make me happy. Anyone interested in trying it?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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71
drank Harvest Apple Spice by Tea Forte
2743 tasting notes

This tisane came from the Warming Joy sample set by Tea Forte, which I haven’t been terribly impressed with so far. They claim the samples make a 10 oz. serving of tea, but I’ve found 8 oz. to be a bit more realistic.

This is an interesting blend. It contains rooibos and has a definite apple and plummy flavor. There is a lot of spice in this tea, with cinnamon, clove and pepper. Normally I don’t like hibiscus in tea at all, but there is only a smidgen in this blend.

I think this is a decent tisane if you like really spicy fruity things. The clove is slightly overdone, as it’s actually causing a numbing sensation on my tongue. I felt the blend was a bit improved by adding a bit of coconut sugar to the cup. I don’t think I will run out and buy any of this, but I am enjoying the sample that I got. It’s nice to take the chill out of our cold & rainy day.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

I’m always tempted by Tea Forté’s flavor combinations, but then I look up reviews on here and they’re TERRIBLE. Lol. :(

TeaBrat

I wouldn’t recommend them based on the experience I have had so far…

Cameron B.

Yeah, I figured as much… Such a shame. They have one that’s yuzu and honey, which sounds amazing. QQ

Tabby

I’ve tried it. It’s really mild, but not bad. The yuzu is kinda overshadowed by the honey.

Anlina

I agree Cameron B. I keep being tempted by them on Amazon and then having to back away.

aisling of tea

A while ago they offered to send out sample packs to anyone who wanted one (I’m talking years ago) and the reviews of those sample teas were…underwhelming. They just weren’t good. I know I ended up chugging through the samples if only to get them out of my cupboard. It’s sad, because their packaging is so cute, but after trying those samples, I could never bring myself to spend money on their blends. Which is too bad because they’re a really nice company.

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60
drank Pumpkin Cheesecake by DAVIDsTEA
2743 tasting notes

I am feeling down since my sheng high of this afternoon has abated some, I would have kept going but felt it would have been good to get some sleep tonight!

So I’m continuing on with some options that are sans caffeine. This isn’t my favorite rooibos so far but it’s okay. The pumpkin patch by David’s was so unbearable that I had to throw it out.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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94

Finally I decided to break into this cake that I purchased 3 YEARS AGO (after trying a sample) and am just getting around to trying now. What remarkable self restraint I have!

So the rating on this just reflects my personal opinion and not my expertise in pu-erh. I feel like I’m still a noob so don’t make fun of me. ;)

This tea is almost 8 years old and it is showing some signs of darkness as well as a dark gold tea liquor. When I tried to break a piece of the cake off it seemed a bit dry and crumbly, so I wonder if it’s aging well in my apartment. Harumph.

I am doing 5-7 second microsteeps of this. I actually ditched the first two steeps and steeps # 3 & 4 are fairly woodsy and smoky with a definite bitterness in the finish. Strong! You can still taste the sweetness and the green vegetal notes of the tea.

Steeps 5 & 6 are mellowing out. Smoky vegetal notes are retreating and there’s a pleasant apricot flavor I’m picking up with a sour finish. This is a very energizing sheng and I can feel my energy lifting. I have to say young sheng gets me wired like no other tea I have found.

After the 8th steep, this is mellowing out quite a bit and becoming more brothy and fruity with a bitter/sweetness but the energy feeling still remains. Do you know how you feel when you jump into a pool of cold water? It’s kind of like that. Very interesting stuff. Maybe I’ll revisit this again next year. ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Sil

i’m excited to get through more of my samples so that i can break into my cakes haha

TeaBrat

I’m trying to resist buying a lot of cakes :)

Sil

same…trying to get through the samples so that i can get better about buying a sample and then trying it to be able to decide if i want a cake faster. So far i only have um 4? cakes…6? lol

TeaBrat

Between cakes and bricks I have quite a few, I’m not too optimistic they are going to age well in the Bay Area however.

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88

This is my afternoon tea. I’ve been trying to drink more of my shus in the cold weather because that’s when I seem to crave them the most. According to Chinese medicine pu’erh tea is a good antidote for dampness so maybe that explains it.

I have about 1/2 the cake left. In comparison to the Zi Yun cake, this isn’t as creamy and smooth. It has more of a woody and cherry flavor in my opinion. It is a beautiful color and brews up to a nice reddish-brown. I don’t seem to get sick of this one. If you think shu puerhs all taste of fermentation and fish, you should really check this one out. It hardly has any fermentation flavor and tastes more like a really good black tea. I would even drink this as a breakfast tea.

Steeped about 8 times today before it lost flavor and I gave up on it…

I feel like I should go through my puerhs and log them into the cupboard. I have 2 shoeboxes full of puerh and I don’t think they’re all there. I’ve heard of people complaining that Steepster dropped some teas out of their cupboard recently and that makes me wonder if I should spend the time. Is anyone still having problems?

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Veronica

The drop down menu in the cupboard still isn’t working for me. I haven’t added any of my new teas yet, but maybe I should.

TeaBrat

My drop down menu doesn’t work either. :-/

mrmopar

Add those teas in there! This is a good one. I sometimes get pepper notes in shou as well. P.S. enroute.

TeaBrat

@mrmopar, I just added a few more. I have some puerhs that I got from local tea shops and I’m not sure what the names of them are, which isn’t helping!

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65

I got this at DT a while ago and am just getting around to trying it now. It’s good to have a few herbal nighttime choices, especially on an evening like today where it’s pouring down rain. We need the rain and I’m not really complaining, just being cozy. :)

Valerian root is a very distinctive (bad) smelling herb, kind of like stinky feet. I have to wonder if DT was just looking for ways to disguise the valerian. This is an interesting mix of mint and other herbs with a bit of apple flavor.

Something about the aroma of this reminds me of Robitussin, oddly enough. I can’t say too much about the flavor, it’s relatively benign and reminds me a bit of chamomile. A bit apple-y, a bit minty, a bit herbal-y, and some vanilla that seems artificial to me. I would probably prefer a cup of plain chamomile over this, but that’s just me. I guess I’ll report back later on how well it helped me to sleep :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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88

This came out of my recent swap with Skulleigh. I admit I’ve been shying away from Andrews & Dunham because I really don’t need any more expensive black teas. However, I drink black teas more than any other kind so I was pretty eager to try this!

I was impressed by the exceptional smoothness of this tea, especially since it’s an Indian blend. I think there is darjeeling in here which is giving it that bright, fruity note. I’m not big on overly tannic teas and there is touch in here but thankfully not a lot. Contrasted with the Jin Jun Mei I had earlier today, I am appreciating the slight “bite” this has on my tastebuds. It has a lot of malt also and is providing just enough heft to give me some much needed “oomph” this morning. I need a bot of “oomph” to convince myself to leave the house and go to the gym on this rainy day.

Anyway I was impressed with this blend. I thought it was pretty good plain and it was also nice with a touch of soymilk. I am back to the A & D website once again, trying not to buy anything… ha ha. This is really a good blend though. I’m glad I got to try it :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

to be fair, their rices are for 4.4 ounces so not terribly expensive IF you can order during their free shipping deals heh

TeaBrat

@Sil, i know, I have spent more money than that on a tin of tea as well, if they had some in local stores I would have bought some by now… tee hee

Sil

if there are ever others that you want to try, let me know. happy to share some if you want to try before thinking of buying. Others like lala have been awesome about doing the same for me so happy to pay it forward heh

Skulleigh

Glad you liked it! Normally, I am not crazy about Darjeeling, but it’s good in this blend. And their graphic design is fun and awesome.

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drank Jin Jun Mei Black Tea by Yezi Tea
2743 tasting notes

This is a sample tea I’m having from Yezi this morning. I am very tempted by their Black Friday sale!!!

I think I’ve only had one Jin Jun Mei before and that was Verdant’s version. This is a very smooth tea with an exceptional mouth feel. The dry leaf smells like cocoa but there is something floral about it too. As far as flavors go, it reminds me of orange & malt. I’m getting a bit of a kick in the finish with a slightly tannic, peppery note. This is definitely a nice, cozy tea for the blustery weather we hare having.

I am still more tempted by the Ming Hong than anything else I have tried so far… I am not sure how to rate this. I think it is an excellent tea but something about it doesn’t quite appeal to me as much as some of their other teas.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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