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2164 Tasting Notes

46

Another sample from Upton Tea Imports. There aren’t too many decaf teas I like but I figured I would try this one out. It definitely smells and tastes like vanilla, but the flavor is a bit thin and wine-y. I think the decaf process removes a lot of flavor from the tea, which is too bad. I added some soymilk to this and it was okay. Will probably finish off the sample I have with some sugar but won’t buy a large size.

I prefer the Vanilla Comoro from Harney and Sons for a vanilla decaf black tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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34

I wanted to try a West Java tea so I got a sample of this with my last order.

Wow, to me this tea is nothing like the description that Upton gives it. Sweetness? Delicate flavor? Where?? I got a dark orange cup that was extremely tannic to the point where I could not drink it plain. I am not fond of overly tannic astringent teas so I had to dump some soymilk in here, as well as sugar in order to make it palatable. I plan to finish the cup I have but the rest of this sample is going in the dustbin, bleah. I hope my stomach does not revolt.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

LOL, the name sounds so cool though!

TeaBrat

It does!

Doug F

Yikes!

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90

Cup of the late morning. I’m trying to finish off last year’s darjeeling samples before I start digging into the new ones I got from Upton (may not be possible).

After steeping I pulled the brew basket out of the cup and am amazed at how green the leaves still are. I really think ff darjeelings are in a class of their own.

It’s been a while since I tried this last. The light yellowish cup is very aromatic and reminds me a lot of flowers. I still don’t get evergreen from this but there’s a slight nuttiness and a lovely fruit essence in my opinion. This is sure a tasty cup of tea! See previous notes for last year’s impressions if interested…

Doug F

I still have some of this from last year and I’m amazed at how well it held its flavor.

TeaBrat

Sadly I have so much ff darjeeling from 2012 so I hope it lasts for a while. :)

Doug F

I don’t know how you keep so much tea stockpiled. I’m always stressed about drinking all my tea before it fades and you probably have way more than I!

TeaBrat

Yeah I have a lot… I actually have slowed down my buying immensely over last year and now I’m buying mostly samples and small sizes so I can focus on depleting the cupboard. :)

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81

1/4 of the Upton tea Assam sampler I got yesterday in the mail. Because I really need MORE tea, right?

Anyway I love drinking assams in the morning which is why I went for this sampler. Normally I would put soymilk and sugar in an assam right away but I wanted to at least try a sip of this plain first.

I like it plain which is a good sign, it’s very smooth, malty and has a touch of chocolate. I only steeped mine for 3 minutes and I noticed a lot of the other tasters went for 4 minutes, still I like it at 3. It’s good with a splash of soymilk and at this point doesn’t need sugar in my opinion, although you could certainly add some.

There is a slight tobacco or something in the finish although nothing bothersome. I am enjoying it, a good basic assam.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73

Tea of the mid-morning here, it’s a bit odd mixing tulsi with black tea and I don’t really drink this for the flavor of it, I just like the way tulsi makes me feel nice and relaxed. Imagine black tea mixed with a muddy, unwashed mint and you get the idea.

Anyway I am having a great Monday but I spent all day yesterday relaxing, doing meditation, yoga, walking and drinking tea. A great way to start off the week!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

That’s definitely a great way to start off the week. :)

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79
drank Bohea by Harney & Sons
2164 tasting notes

I decided to get a sample of this tea from Harney and Sons with my last order and it wasn’t in the database yet so I added it this morning.

I confess the only other Bohea I have tried is the Bohea Imperial from Upton Tea which I loved. I was expecting the same love from this as well. :P

The dry leaf smells incredible, I am getting chocolate covered cherries. I steeped this for 4 minutes per H & S suggestion.

This is a very elegant tea, in terms of flavor it is very reminiscent of a wuyi oolong and I adore most of those. It has a definite cherry/plum flavor with a bit of malt and buckwheat. As the cup cools and the flavors become more prominent I am reminded a bit of a red wine. Unfortunately as the cup cools I am getting some bitterness that I’m not really enjoying.

I confess I liked the Upton version better because of the smoky quality… I’m not getting much smoke in this particular Bohea, but I wonder if someone else might perceive it differently? I’d like to try steeping the remainder of the sample I have using the gong fu method. The picture of the tea on their website looks lighter than what I have in my cup so I may have needed to adjust my leaf to water ratio.

I don’t think I will be buying a full size of this but in any case, I look forward to the reviews of others as they come in.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Doug F

Upton’s version was delicious!

TeaBrat

I agree, I LOVE theirs

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71

It’s kind of strange that I’m drinking this tea in May but oh well… it’s a decaf so it’s good for the night time. I had a cup of coffee at 4 pm, so I’ll be amazed if I get any sleep tonight.

I was surprised that this was so good with soymilk added to it. I had never tried that before and it really helped to bring out the vanilla flavor. Still, this is one of the strongest mint teas I have ever had, aside from drinking plain old peppermint tea. Next time I make this I should steep it with an extra bag of decaf green tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas in your May. ;)

TeaBrat

Great minds think alike… lol

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80
drank Original Tulsi by Organic India
2164 tasting notes

Made my own custom blend combining this, spearmint and lemon verbena then poured over ice. It’s pretty good this way!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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94
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2164 tasting notes

Sipdown!
Oh my.. this tea has been written about extensively on Steepster and for good reason. Chocolatey, malty goodness. As I was steeping this in the gaiwan I thought I smelled someone baking in my building but it must be the tea. I am sure I need more of this. This tea has been a staple in my cupboard ever since I discovered it.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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78

Well, I bought this almost a year ago and mostly forgot about it until I found it in the refrigerator this morning. This still tastes fine to me, although obviously it is not at the peak of freshness anymore. Just a very light, sweet and vegetal green tea. See previous notes if interested.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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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