2539 Tasting Notes

50
drank Assam Breeze Black Tea by Teavana
2539 tasting notes

Everytime I open up my tea cupboards and see all these fruit-bomb teas from Teavana it’s like WTF was I thinking? And now I have to drink them all unless they are totally dreadful.

Anyway when I first tasted this I did not like it at all but it is better than I remember. I agree with the previous reviewer who said she was expecting something with a lot more in the way of black tea. This is primarily a fruity tea with a little bit of black in it. There’s also something a bit tart here which I am not loving, perhaps the pineapple?

Anyway I think I will finish this if I dump some soymilk in it or perhaps I will wait for the summer and make iced tea out of it. I will be glad to swap this out to someone who is interested in trying it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Thank you for making me laugh with this one!

TeaBrat

I am going to send you some! bwa ha ha! ;-)

The DJBooth

Ha I agree with you on this one thats probably why this one is being discontinued after the first offering and you can get it for a dollar and some change online in their sale.

TeaBrat

No wonder it’s on sale!

Tamm

lololol I got on a “fruit bomb” kick there for awhile! I guess it was to ease into the “I drink a billion teas everyday” thing. But now I find them a bit boring.

Amariel

What do you mean by fruit bomb?

TeaBrat

All fruit and no tea…

Amariel

Oh, like Movie Night from DAVIDs.

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96
drank Zhang Xiang by Bana Tea Company
2539 tasting notes

Quite a delicious shu. I think my big problem is going to be trying to figure out which one of these Bana pu-erhs is my favorite! :)

I brewed this up in the gaiwan after giving the leaves a quick rinse in boiling water. Very small and fine leaves. A loose leaf variety of shu (not from a cake or a brick, etc).

First infusion: 30 seconds. The leaves have a very woody, earthy and camphor smell. This is a very rich and full tea. I am not too fond of camphor in pu-erh a lot of times but it does seem to work for me here. I am reminded a bit of shiitake mushrooms but there is also a lingering sweetness here like that of sweet potatoes. Big camphor finish.

Second infusion: 20 seconds. I am getting some smoke and reminded a bit of burnt caramel. It is a very uplighting and energizing brew.

Third infusion: 30 seconds. Very similar to infusion #2. Really sweet and pleasant with that redwood forest aroma that I like so much. I am getting a lingering aftertaste like that of cocoa. Very rich and smooth – it’s really a treat!

Evidently you can infuse this 8 times but I do not have time for that this morning…

I checked the price – $20 for 100 grams which seems very reasonable for this aged elegant tea. I am not a complete nut but it does seem to be activating the energy meridians on the back of my neck. Quite an activator of ch’i here.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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90
drank Orchid Charm by Bana Tea Company
2539 tasting notes

ooh, this is very nice! A delicate and subtle raw pu-erh. I have steeped this in the gaiwan with short infusions with around 180 F water per the instruction notes.

Leaves were rinsed and the first infusion was discarded. The leaves smell faintly earthy and floral. The tea itself is very mild and relaxing! I am surprised and very pleased so far with these shengs from the Bana Tea Company. I am picking up a slight apple taste with white button mushroom type flavor. Almost like a white tea in the subtle and sweet flavor with just a hint of malt. Very nice for a relaxing afternoon tea. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Tamm

This sounds so interesting! I’ve been so tempted to pick Bana tea as my intro to pu-erh.

TeaBrat

I would recommend it!

Tamm

Did you get this one as part of the sampler? They look amazing!

TeaBrat

yes, I got the raw puerh and the cooked puerh samplers.

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86
drank Aloe Serenity by Mighty Leaf Tea
2539 tasting notes

I actually forgot I had this until this morning while looking around in my tea cabinets. I know that isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of this tea but I do have a lot of stuff!

This is kind of a curious blend. It contains aloe for digestion and inulin – I had to look that up. The inulin is a polysaccharide which is slightly sweet and is also supposed to increase bacterial flora.

So anyway, this is obviously meant to be a theraputic-esque tea but it doesn’t taste too bad either. The chinese green tea is mild (I believe it may be a dragonwell) and I don’t mind the taste of aloe. If you’ve never had it before you might find it a bit weird. There is a nice touch of sweetness here and the rose petals are not too numerous, just enough to add a touch of floral. I rather like this. I might have to try it iced.

As for the other ingredients: natural flavoring, who knows what that means and there is sugar in here as well.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 15 sec
KeenTeaThyme

I saw this on their Web site and was curious…how does the Aloe taste? I can’t get past the whole, aloe-is-in-lotions; you’re-not-supposed-to-eat-lotion effect.

TeaBrat

Have you ever had aloe juice? It’s really fairly benign in my opinion. Reminds me a bit of cucumber.

KeenTeaThyme

ooh, sounds good. I’ll have to start there and work my way up to aloe tea! ;) Thanks for the suggestion!

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90
drank Tama Ryokucha by Teavana
2539 tasting notes

This came as part of a Teavana Japanese tea gift set I got for Christmas. Naturally since I love Japanese green tea I was very excited to get this!

As part of the description of this tea I read: it is steamed and molded into comma shaped leaves. When it is brewed, Tama Ryokucha has a mild taste with tones of citrus and berries.

I brewed about 1 tsp or so of leaf in the gaiwan with water I believed to be around 170 or so. I am got a very thick brothy tea which tastes very strongly of spinach, kelp and almonds. Slightly buttery. I did steep my leaves 3 times. The last steep was very short, around 30 seconds or so. I am not picking up on the fruit flavors but the tea is a tiny bit astringent in the finish. I might try making this again using even less leaf. Enjoyable and delicious.

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78

Eh, it’s okay. I brewed a few short infusions of this up in the xi ying teapot. It smells very sweet and floral and tastes buttery but grassy and also I am getting the slightly bitter aftertaste. Perhaps this would be better after a meal. Definitely not one of my favorites from the sampler pack.

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92

Time for some shu this morning…. :)

I gave these leaves a quick rinse and am using about 1 tsp. of leaf in the gaiwan. I tossed out the first infusion, a lot of times I don’t drink those.

2nd infusion: This tea has a very intense woodsy aroma, almost smoky like. Very assertive, a bit too strong. Steeped for 30 seconds.

3rd infusion: steeped for 10 seconds. This tea is a beautiful dark orange/brown. Color is like burnt sienna. I am picking up on so many complex flavors. Woodsy, smoky, but also with a tiny hint of plum. Smelling a bit of the camphor here.

4th infusion: 20 seconds – getting a bit more mellow. Smoke is leaning into mustiness. Some chestnut and caramel notes are starting to surface here and the camphor is retreating. This may be my favorite infusion so far. This tea is very meditative, almost spiritual.

5th infusion: 30 seconds. Here I am starting to pick up on the lychee flavor. This is turning into a delicate mouthfeel.

Wow, this really is a great tea! I think I would have rated it a little bit higher if not for all the camphor but it is really an intense and wonderful tasting experience. I do recommend checking it out! It is quite fun!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
ScottTeaMan

I just checked their website and thought this was really expensive, but with multiple steeps, and being aged, it is rather economical.

ScottTeaMan

Amy, do you measure the pu-erh, or do you guesstimate the amount?

ScottTeaMan

Like I mentioned before, MANY Darjeelings are more expensive, because they are not suitable for multiple infusions, like Pu-erhs and Oolongs.

TeaBrat

I guesstimate everything.

ScottTeaMan

That’s what I do too.

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97

I am so excited – I ordered a raw pu-erh sampler and a cooked pu-erh sampler from the Bana Tea Company and picked them up at the post office today!

These are really very nicely packaged. Each tea comes in a glassine envelope with a label and then they are stored together in a sheer organza bag. Also included are little brochures about the company and the tea. You know I will have fun drinking these! :)

I first picked this one to try. For a sheng of this age I was very surprised at how mellow it was. Steeped in the gaiwian – first infusion for two minutes and subsequent infusions for 30 seconds.

First infusion is very intense – leaves have a honey like aroma after being brewed. It is a sweet, mellow taste with hints of peach and a bit of maltiness. You get that pu-erh aged flavor on the back of your tongue.

Second and third infusions – the leaves are smelling a bit like a clean mountain lake. Fruitiness is giving way to a mineral like quality which tingles on the back of my tongue.

Fourth infusion – I believe I am picking up on the flavor that others have described as adzuki bean. A bit sweet and caramely.

Overall this has been a really great raw pu-erh experience with lots of flavors and tastes. I am getting a relaxing buzz from this. It is very sweet and soulful. I wonder how it will get different with age? Might have to consider picking up the entire cake but will wait until I try the others! Very yummmy.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec
LiberTEAS

I love it when tea is waiting for me at the post office!

Charles Thomas Draper

From what I saw on here their tea looks nice. I have to check the website

Charles Thomas Draper

I bookmarked it….

TeaBrat

Yes I have high hopes… will let you know. ;-)

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92

I came home to my tea collection today and made some of this. Oh sweet peachy, roasty nutty honey goodness!

Ellyn

I love coming home and steeping a cup!

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64
drank Tangerine Ginger by Rishi Tea
2539 tasting notes

It’s a herbal tea kind of afternoon here, rainy outside…

This came in a gift basket and I was pretty leery of it. Anything with hibiscus in it is not going to be a favorite of mine. I like the ginger and the orange flavor but it is definitely on the tart side. I do not think I would buy this for myself but I did not hate it quite as much as some of the other reviewers.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Hibiscus tends to be overdone in blends…….so I’m not a fan of it either.

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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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