2310 Tasting Notes

84

I forget who suggested this to me but I picked some up today and I am liking it…
I am a big fan of cinnamon and plum flavors together, I have the cinnamon plum tea by Rishi which I also like. This one is sweeter and a little lighter on the hibiscus and has some other things like roasted barley and chicory which bring it down to Earth a bit.

Lately I’ve been reflecting a lot on this tea drinking habit of mine and as much as I like trying a lot of different teas it still makes me cringe when I have to buy tea and tea bags that are all wrapped up in plastic and hermetically sealed like surgical instruments. Have we really become this precious? Tea used to get from China to Russia on the back of a camel and somehow the world managed to carry on.

So thanks to Celestial Seasonings for providing simple no frill teabags and cardboard boxes and keeping some waste out of the landfill. I am coming to the conclusion that I have to find more companies that reflect my values as a person. Or maybe I need to just go to local teashops and buy in bulk and bring in my own containers.

Perhaps I am getting a little nutty but it does help me to enjoy my tea when I’m not also obsessing over my contribution to the gigantic plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean…. ;-)

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85
drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
2310 tasting notes

I almost didn’t recognize this as a Tevana tea – where’s the pound of dehydrated fruit and spices that’s normally floating around in these things?

In any event I was looking for something this afternoon that was mild and easygoing and this certainly has fit the bill. A nice green oolong, very clean tasting, and vegetal. I am getting a bit of nutty flavor in the finish. A classic tea with a great taste. I would certainly consider purchasing this if I ever place another order with Teavana.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Did you do multiple steeps with this Oolong? I di with mine MP Oolong is usually a good one for that. SURE HOPE YOU DIDN’T GET SICK FROM THE CINNAMON TEA.

ScottTeaMan

That’s “do with mine”, and what’s up with the caps?

TeaBrat

3 steeps and yes, I was fine. thank you for your concern. I have a very sensitive tummy so it was just a bit too much for me.

ScottTeaMan

FYI-I don’t know if it’ll show up in the dasboard, but I updated my H & S Hao Ya B review.

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34
drank Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney & Sons
2310 tasting notes

Thanks again to Jenn for sending me a sample of this. I LOVE cinnamon and this tea certainly packs a wallop. It is like drinking red hots candy! Sweet and cinnamony and hot and spicy all at once. Definitely seems like a winner for moi.

A few minutes later: I’m not sure my stomach is going to agree with my assessment of the tea. I am getting nauseated. Are there flames coming out of my ears?? I feel like I need to lie down and have a glass of water, geez! Downgraded a lot for the nausea factor… boo. I do love the taste of this but if it makes me ill, I’m afraid it’s got to go in the yuck category… :(

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Ninavampi

I had the same experience with this tea. Weird… I really liked how it tasted by my stomache hated it. Too bad : (

TeaBrat

It made me a little sad, actually… bleah

K S

Try it with a light snack before giving up on it. Red Hot tea is just too cool to abandon without a fight.

TeaBrat

I don’t have any left so no more experiments for moi.

ScottTeaMan

I have a few stories about tea not sitting well with me too. A couple times the samples were new,or just from old samples, or from "stupid " here issues, which left me bowing to the porcelain god! :))

ScottTeaMan

Rough times!!

aisling of tea

Their Vanilla Comoro did this to me last time I had it, boooo. I’ve been too scared to try again.

TeaBrat

@aisling – weird. I wouldn’t think vanilla would have that effect?

aisling of tea

I think it was the tea base more than the vanilla.

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100
drank Black Spiral by The Tao of Tea
2310 tasting notes

yeah baby!
Now this is really my kind of black tea… malty, smooth, with hints of caramel and yes, sweet potatoes! Not astringent at all, just heavenly! I brewed up a strong cup of this and am quite a happy camper. Thanks to the Steepsterites who recommended it. You can also add me to the list of devoteas. ;-) If you like assams you should give it a try.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Laurence Burris

Thank u Amy for posting this on twitter. It really looks delicious!

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90
drank St Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
2310 tasting notes

Kusmi sampler 2/5 St. Petersburg
With caramel, red fruit and bergamot I am enjoying this quite a lot this morning. It is more mellow and less perfumey, citrusy than the Prince Vladimir of yesterday. Caramel gives it a slightly sweet note. Yes, there is berry here but very subtle. Again, lots of bergamot is not really my favorite thing but the blend here is really quite nice… mmm. I could get used to this! Really quite a nice way to wake up…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

I’m not a huge green tea lover but this is definitely one of the nicer ones I have tried lately. I need to write my review since I just finished the sample! It has a wonderful fresh and nutty smell when you open the bag. The tea is super mellow and rich, has a walnut taste and a bit of butter in the finish. I would recommend it without hesitation.

Like a lot of green teas this one is a finicky creature and is easy to ruin if you steep it with water that is too hot or steeping time that is too long. This makes it difficult for me to enjoy at work where I don’t have the benefit of being able to stand around with my timer and thermometer! I was a skeptic but am amazed at how much better my greens are when I keep the water temp. lower & the steeping time short.

I have enjoyed these Laoshan green teas very much, thanks to Verdant for making them available…

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Once you get the hang of brewing greens you will love them…

TeaBrat

you are probably right!

ScottTeaMan

Amy, have you ever tried Tai Ping Hou Kui? It is smooth & delicious…..one of my favorites.

What about you Charles?

TeaBrat

Scott -I have not. Where do you get yours from?

Charles Thomas Draper

Yes Scott. I tried Uptons. Very nice

ScottTeaMan

I’ve gotten mine from H & S, and I bought some from Stash.Harney’s was really good, but I haven’t tried Stash’s yet. Haven’t tried Upton’s yet Charles.

Charles Thomas Draper

I am loving everything that I have got from Verdant. Greens, Oolongs, Black or Puerh….

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, I’ll have to check them out!

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72
drank Orange Flower by The NecessiTeas
2310 tasting notes

Thanks very much to Jenn for sending me a sample of this.

The smell of this tea is just delightful! I am not normally one for floral teas so this may skew my review a little bit. I decided on this as a nice afternoon tea to try. I am very much enjoying this as a relaxing cup of tea. Orange and jasmine flower complement each other pretty well. This is very little girly, and yes, perfume-y but it’s a nice way for me to begin winding down my afternoon. I’d also like to try this as an iced tea…

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90

Finishing up the last bit of it this morning – a very unique flavored oolong from 52 Teas. I hope to see more from them in the future with oolongs.

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87

This is a pretty nice Organic Nilgiri, overall I do not like it quite as much as the one I got from the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchant at the bulk section in my local Whole Foods. It seems a bit more on the astringent-y, darjeeling-ish side so I had to add soy milk to mellow it out a bit. Probably will try steeping it a little less next time. I am enjoying it this morning but probably will not add to the “must have” list.

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80
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
2310 tasting notes

Part 1 of a 5 part sampler I got from Kusmi (discovered at the Bi Rite Market in San Francisco). I was pretty excited to find these locally, however they do not carry the large size of the tins in the store, only teabags.

This tea is not for the faint of heart nor the faint of scent. If you hold the tins to your nose you can smell the scent very strongly! Open them up and get a whiff of perfume! yowza…

We picked this particular one to try this morning based on the recommendation of one of the store’s employees. It is a strong and smooth black tea but predominately all you taste here is the spices. Smells very much like root beer! It is such an interesting tea… I am tasting a lot of clove here in addition to citrus and bergamot. The bergamot is nice and subtle and does not provide the same amount of bergamot as an Earl Grey. I am getting a lot of citrus but perhaps not that much vanilla.

I did try steeping it twice, the second steep was weaker and with a lot less perfume and also the citrus flavors are coming though more here so I am not enjoying steep #2 quite as much.

Overall I quite liked this but I suspect I will like a few of the other ones better since I am not a huge fan of grapefruit in tea usually. I also enjoyed this little piece of history on the Kusmi tea company:
http://www.us.kusmitea.com/en/history/i111/information.html

ScottTeaMan

Thanks for the link Amy,

TeaBrat

I’m into history so I had to throw that in. ;)

ScottTeaMan

I’ve never tried Kusmi Teas…the history was interesting.

SpecialTeas had a Russian Blend called Tsarina Blend. I remember it being really good. It had green tea pearls in it that really smoothed out the black tea.

Tea Table has some @ $9.5 for 4 oz, saw it somewhere else too, but can’t remember where.

TeaBrat

I found some Czar Nicholas II Tea here in San Francisco (where there is a large Russina population in the Richmond district). It was very good and similar to the Kusmi tea but shockingly cheap – $8 for an 8 oz. bag!

ScottTeaMan

Awesome….do you think Kusmi Teas are worth the cost? On their website a 4 oz tin was what $16. Seems a little high, but not for really good tea. There are alot of cool Teahouses and web co’s in SF….you’re lucky.

I think I told you I like Holy Mtn Trading Co. I think they have a couple tea houses in SF. I love their Japanese teaware! :))

TeaBrat

I’ve never seen a Holy Mountain tea house in SF anywhere…
As for Kusmi I think they are a bit overpriced, somewhat of a novelty experience but they have some nice blends if you’re into highly flavored tea. Quality seems good.

ScottTeaMan

Oh no, I do like HM’s teaware, The teahouses I was thinking of— Imperial Tea Court.

ScottTeaMan

What teas do you like best?

I just remembered I forgot to post my review of H & S Genmai Cha. It was only a sample, so it’s not like I can just have another cup and post. I do remember most of what I wanted to say, but some specifics may be lost. I liked it, but it is not a tea I would drink regularly.

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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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