58 Tasting Notes

100
reviewed Brewing Basket by Finum
58 tasting notes

Simply awesome.

I had a Chatsford infuser for my teapot and a ForLife infuser for brewing in a mug. The ForLife has been difficult to clean and a little hard to balance in a bigger mug, but nice otherwise. The teapot infuser is much easier to clean but not designed to rest in a mug at all. As the Finum looks a lot like my Chatsford, only mug-friendly, I thought I’d give it a shot.

It is great. Easy to use, easy to rest on the rim of bigger mugs, doesn’t leave behind a lot of flotsam and jetsam, and easy to clean.

100,000/100,000 stars!

ashmanra

That’s a lot of stars.

Sil

Upton has had these on sale for a while at the best price around that I’ve found. Not sure if they still so but I know I stocked up lol

Anyanka

Yup, that’s where I got this one. Six-dollars-and-something-cents. In a lovely burgundy, to match my tired eyes.

looseTman

Anyanka, Thanks for your comparison of the Finum and the ForLife brewing baskets. It was very helpful!

looseTman

Sil and Anyanka,
Thanks for the heads-up on the Upton pricing! Their $4.40 shipping fee is also very reasonable. We just received a pair of them, size medium, in an attractive shade of green and are very pleased with them!

Sil

Nice! That’s great :)

Anyanka

I went missing for a bit, but I’m glad this was helpful. I continue to prefer the Finum over the hard-to-clean ForLife.

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81

This is one of those teas I want all the time. I’m new to greens and this one was a fast favorite. It’s kind of dark and dirty for a green. Bright and fresh smelling, but it tastes like army green looks. Om nom nom.

I bought a big old bag of this one after trying the sample.

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70
drank PG Tips by PG Tips
58 tasting notes

I’ve been mad dashing around lately and not brewing any tea. But I do have a cup of something bagged in the morning, lately Yorkshire Tea. This morning, I went back to my old pre-steepster, pre-looseleaf, pre-tea-snobbery tea. PG Tips. And I still like it!

Sometimes this comes off mineral-tasting to me, but today I hit the sweet spot and it was just right. One travel cup, one tea bag, 4 minutes steeping with water just boiled, 2 tsp whatever creamer thing I have, and 1 tsp sugar.

I never drank tea with milk- always plain or with sugar because when I tried it with milk, it was disgusting. (Once as a child I added milk and lemon and that worked out as well as can be expected.) Then I realized I’d been overdoing it. I drink my coffee unsweetened with a lot of cream, and would prepare tea exactly the same way. And overpower the tea and basically make hotwatermilk, never a delicious beverage.

This tea isn’t subtle or nuanced and you probably don’t want to sip it and try to savor its delicate flavors, but it’s nice in the early morning when you’re shaking off the cobwebs.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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63
drank Green Christmas by Chado
58 tasting notes

This is quite nice (if you like cinnamon). I don’t taste all of the things listed in the description, for me it’s mostly orange and cinnamon. Maybe I need to mix up next time.

It smells delicious, dry, steeping, and brewed. I tried it first with no sweetener, and it was good, but a small amount of sugar really brightened it up and brought out the flavors. Even though this is supposed to be a holiday flavor, it doesn’t seem wintery at all, maybe because the green tea is so bright tasting.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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30
drank Lychee by Chado
58 tasting notes

Perhaps I only like fresh lychee, in cocktails, because that’s the only way I had it before this tea. And I don’t love this tea.

Very mild scent, relatively mild flavor. It tastes kind of like chapstick. More perfumey than fruity. I don’t like it, but it isn’t gross. Just not my thing.

Edited to add: this improves as it cools.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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40
drank Butterscotch by Chado
58 tasting notes

This tea smells so alcoholic it should have a proof on the bag. Or a warning label.

It tastes like alcohol too, but isn’t bad otherwise. Butterscotch schnapps maybe? It smells good, but potent. Leaves are very dark, clearly soaked in something, and chopped/broken up.

I can’t recommend it. It really tastes like a tea cocktail. I probably could have sold this to my classmates in high school.

(I’m airing out the rest of it in a paper bag in the hopes that the alcohol will dissipate.)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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86

I like this tea. It screams BREAKFAST!

Assams are my favorite, and this is a decent one. It doesn’t knock my socks off, but it is nice. No major flavor notes jump out. It smells good. It gets tart as it cools and didn’t resteep worth a damn. I’ve had equally good ones at a lower price from upton, so I don’t think I’ll reorder (unless it grows on me which happens), but I will enjoy this big purty can of nice dark tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
58 tasting notes

I know everyone pretty much loves this tea, but to me, it smells like a very high quality potting soil. I’m having a lot of trouble with the smell. It tastes nice enough, though more earthy than I like.

While I can appreciate that this is a unique and naturally richly flavored tea, it isn’t for me.

Sil

LOL sorry the image of this made me chuckle outloud

Bonnie

I’ve noticed that pretty much all the reviews I’ve read from you today are bleh. Are you using too much leaf? What’s your brewing method? Like a mystery, sounds like something is amiss.

Anyanka

Some of them may have reposted from earlier because I was adding ratings to some old notes. I wait to review most teas until I’ve had a few cups and varied how they’re brewed, unless they’re good on the first try. So some of the reviews from today are really a compilation of my impressions over a few days or sessions.

Bonnie

The more you drink fresher unflavored tea,the richer and closer to the earth you may find the taste. If you want real earthiness try Puerh. Some green tea’s taste savory and mineral, oolongs floral or roasty (even charcoal). Old or inferior quality tea might have less flavor. The reason I asked about your brewing method was because you said you were learning about tea. Some people use tea balls or similar equipment which inhibits steeping. Filtered water, temp and timing are more important than one might think.

Anyanka

Ah, I see what you meant. I use finum/forlife/chatsford infusers, clean-tasting well water, my watch timer, and, if the temperature needs to be less than boiling, a thermometer. This tea just didn’t do it for me, it smelled bad at every step and I have a hard time eating or drinking something I dislike the smell of. (So no durian fruit for me.)

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67
drank Banana Tea by Chado
58 tasting notes

This is black tea with banana flavoring and some essentially decorative flower petals.

It is very subtle. The banana flavor is realistic and barely there. I prefer a tea that has too little flavor to one that has too much, so this is ok. I’ve only had it with cream and sugar because I was dreaming of my granny’s banana pudding (banana, nilla wafers, sugar, milk, and no pudding!) when I picked this one out for my evening cup.

I’ll probably try some other banana teas before getting more of this one, but it’s palatable and the price was right and the sample was generous.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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37
drank Phoenix by Chado
58 tasting notes

This is my first chado tea from a dozen samples. The teas were inexpensive, the samples are generous, and shipping was reasonable and quick.

This tea is supposed to be black tea with honey, caramel, and vanilla. I don’t taste the caramel or the vanilla. It’s heavily scented with what I guess is a very floral honey. I tried to smell one of the chunks to see if it smelled like honey and ended up snorting it up my nose, gagging, then giggling. I’m one of the dumbest people I’ve ever met.

Anyway, the tea is ok, but smelly. It’s better with sweetener than without. I haven’t tried it with milk because it seems like a bad idea and I’m at my bad idea limit for the day. Not destined to be a favorite or a reorder, but drinkable. It doesn’t go bitter if oversteeped. It leaves a lot of powdery sediment in the bottom of the cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Here are the things I drink: Tea, water, coffee, beer, whiskey, wine.

I’ve been drinking tea since I was a little girl, but only recently began learning about tea and drinking loose leaf.

I prefer unflavored tea to flavored, tea leaves to tisanes, but I’m not inflexible and will try nearly anything.

I’m still learning, so thank you in advance for your patience and your help.

Also, I had to come up with a way to quantify my ratings because I was being really inconsistent:

100-90: Delicious, must keep in stock.

89-80: Excellent, a definite reorder.

79-70: Good, an occasional reorder.

69-50: Pleasant, but it was a one night stand.

49-30: Not good, but drinkable.

29-20: Bad, but I finished the cup.

19-10: Terrible. Couldn’t finish a cup.

10 and below: Undrinkable, requires mouthwash and counseling.

Location

Maryland, USA

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