911 Tasting Notes

79
drank Earl Grey by Rishi Tea
911 tasting notes

Okay, okay, I know I’m doing The Final Sipdown to try to clean out my tea pantry. So it goes a bit against that goal that I picked up a new tea while out grocery shopping yesterday (me and half the world – Central Market and William-Sonoma = pre-Thanksgiving PLACE TO BE). But it’s just a sample with about three mornings’ worth of tea and it’s part of the EG hunt, so I figured it was okay. Yes, I’m justifying my tea addiction. Let’s move on. I was a little concerned when I got home and saw the Steepster reviews of it. Not too much love. But what the heck, I have to drink it sometime, right? So this morning it is.

I actually quite enjoyed it. Now, I did give it a good dose of sugar and half & half (I’ll have to try it straight some other time to see how it competes with Arbor Tea’s Earl) but this is really pretty tasty. The citrus is bold but doesn’t have a perfumy or soapy note to it at all. It’s not quite a juicy, fresh fruit style bergamot but it definitely hits on more that end of the spectrum. And if the slight tremor in my hands right now is any indication, looks like it has a fair caffeine content.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really do a lot of study of the tea to find any nuances. First, the half & half probably smoothed over any nuances that were there in the first place and second, it was just a tasty tea so I sipped on it while checking my email and somehow the cup was empty before I knew it. But that’s always a sign of at least an enjoyable tea so thumbs up there.

Right now I’m going to rate this a little under Arbor Tea’s version and tied with Upton’s EG Supreme. This is as good as the Upton’s with additives so the real deciding factor of where this ranks in the EG showdown will be to see how this tastes straight. After all, Jean Luc Picard didn’t get his tea. Earl Grey. Hot. With milk and sugar.

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

Say, have you considered expanding this Sipdown idea? It can’t really be a contest as not everybody has the same amount of samples and low tins, but maybe a themed week or something. Maybe something like people could tell their goal of decupboarding at the beginning of the week and then we’ll see at the end how many people made it? Or perhaps, who can decupbard (and post about!) ten teas first? I’m not really sure how it could work as an event, but I’m sure there’s a good idea in there somewhere.

Auggy

Well, anyone is welcome to join so it can be self-expanded if folks wish. So if you want to jump in (or even adapt it to be themed or contest-y) feel free to! Everyone can clear out pantry space! :)

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78

The Final Sipdown: Day 11
Decupboarding Total: 25

The Final Sipdown will be great for my few remaining Tea from Taiwan samples, of which this is one. I’m not exactly sure why I haven’t tried this in the ages I’ve had it. Typically, I’m a big fan of this type of oolong. And yet this sample has been sitting, lonely, in my pantry. No longer!

The smell and flavor are a bit less intense than I expect from greener oolongs, but that could be due to the length of time it has been in my pantry, vacuum-sealed or not. There seems to be a little spicy bit to the green note. It’s also darker, heavier and a little… roastier? than expected. But there’s also a sweet, light orchid-ish or some other floral note that begins to come across as the tea cools.

This really reminds me of a lighter, greener version of Samovar’s TKY or Chicago Tea Garden’s Zealong Dark. But instead of making it a dark-ish oolong that I like (green oolong fan that I am), it seems a bit indecisive to me. Not a creamy, floral, soft green oolong but not a sweet, honeyed, roasty wonder of dark oolong. It’s good, don’t get me wrong. It’s just a hint of confusing.
8g/14oz

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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29

The Final Sipdown: Day 11
Decupboarding Total: 24

Today is the day for drinking (and decupboarding!) the (not-)teas that scare me. That’s right. Rooibos. Yuck.

This one… still not good. It tastes like pear and sweet, slightly rotting wood. Don’t remember the pear from before but totally remember the rotting wood. Meh. Glad this one is gone.

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11
drank Ruby Slippers Blend by Talbott Teas
911 tasting notes

The Final Sipdown: Day 11
Decupboarding Total: 23

Okay, I was afraid to try this but The Final Sipdown made me. It smells horrid – rooibos and tart. Yuck. But compared to the smell, the taste is divine. I let it cool quite a bit (fear, you know) but it worked out well. The rooibos really backs off when it is lukewarm. Then I only have to contend with the tartness which is somewhat phlegm-inducing but otherwise not horrid. Sort of like if they made a red-fruit Theraflu.

Mmm. Theraflu.

Jaime

Phlegm-inducing tartness? Wow. I want to try this now. Yes, I admit, I’m strange.

Auggy

Hahaha! No worries – sometimes the bad reviews intrigue me more than the good ones, too!

takgoti

Can’t say this made me want to give it a go. I’m hoping you didn’t send me some of this…

Auggy

Hahah – I thought about it but no, I figured I had best man up and keep the last cup of this sample for myself instead of passing on the pain.

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41

The Final Sipdown: Day 11
Decupboarding Total: 22

Decupboarding. Not a huge fan of this one myself but the husband really enjoys it so I’m sure we’ll be getting more.

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91
drank Orange Ginger by Samovar
911 tasting notes

The Final Sipdown: Day 10
Decupboarding Total: 21

Oh no! How did I decupboard this one? I wasn’t supposed to decupboard this! I just wanted a cup of my favorite non-tea ever! But now my tin is empty and I’m starting to feel a little itchy. I’m not even done with my last cup of this but I feel the need to place a Samovar order for a refill right now. Especially since winter is almost here – the toasty warmth from the ginger and the pretty orange zest flair of this is perfect for winter. Actually, it’s pretty much perfect any time, which is probably why my tin is now empty.

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

This is an extremely awesome herbal tea, and it definitely is perfect for winter!

Ricky

I have three empty orange ginger tins. I wish they sold 1lb bags. I’m harboring all these empty tins :( Samovar needs refills!

Auggy

Yes, super-awesome! And me saying that about an herbal is something. I miss it already!
And now that Samovar is doing the new packaging (boxes and bags that are all biodegradable) extra empty tins will come in handy.

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81
drank Dongshan Dolce by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

The Final Sipdown: Day 10
Decupboarding Total: 20

I like this tea. Maybe I’m starting to like Chinese greens because I’ve hit on a few lately that are tasty. This is one of them (Chicago Tea Garden’s Lu Mu Dan is the other one I am thinking of when I say this). It reminds me of the sweet, slightly green hay notes in Rishi’s Jade Cloud, another Chinese green I enjoy but which can end up a little rough/salty if I do anything other than a fairly short steep.

Jade Cloud tends to be the staple Chinese green in my pantry – mostly because I can get it at the grocery store and it’s nice for the days that I need a green tea but don’t want a stronger sencha profile. This one is a bit smoother and sweeter than Jade Cloud and for that reason, I could see it easily replacing Jade Cloud as my Chinese green pantry staple… if only I could pick it up at the grocery store.
6.8g/12oz

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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79

The Final Sipdown: Day 10
Decupboarding Total: 19

Not much to say about this one that I didn’t say the other day when I finally rated it. But I had to log it to make the decupboarding count official.

takgoti

Another one bites the dust!

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39

The Final Sipdown: Day 10
Decupboarding Total: 18

Since I slacked yesterday (though not intentionally), I plan on decupboarding three teas today to keep my goal of two per day. So let’s all just pretend that it is yesterday for the next few minutes.

I was waiting to see how this tea went with additives before I rated it, hoping some sugar and creamer would help perk it up. Well, this morning I had it with additives and yeah, not a fan. It just tastes so flat and cardboard-y. Not even good cardboard but boring, slightly dirty, uninteresting cardboard. There’s a bit of a nutty-bitter taste at the end but it’s not even a strong enough nutty flavor to be interesting. It’s just flat and boring. I’m sure there is some caffeine content to it and if I think about it, I might be able to agree with the “clean” bit of the tasting notes so the tea isn’t a total loss. But frankly, I can pick up more interesting and tastier blends at the grocery store.

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

Mental note: Avoid Upton Teas.

LiberTEAS

Jaime: upton teas aren’t all bad… I like that I can get inexpensive sampler sizes of their teas… and they do happen to have one of my favorite blends – their chocolate earl grey is fabulous!

Jaime

Inexpensive samplers are good…and now I’m intrigued by this chocolate earl grey. sigh Another tea I’ll have to order…

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81

The Final Sipdown: Day 9
Decupboarding Total: 17

Today has been a whole lot of suck since I woke up in the middle of the night with a full-blown migraine. Finally at 11pm, I’m over the migraine and the worst of the hangover from it, so it’s time for my first tea of the day. Uhm, night.

I wanted something gentle and soft. Whites typically call to me post-migraine, but I did want to attempt to keep up with The Final Sipdown. This one is nicely mild and, if I shared it with my husband, I’d be able to finish off the tin. Not quite a sample but since it is a decupboard, I’m counting it.

What a wonderful final cup. I used two flowers (which amounted to about 16g) for 22oz. I gave it a quick rinse to see if I could ‘wake up’ the flowers a bit before steeping, then I gave it a 3minute steep with the teapot lid off.

It worked perfectly. I think this one really benefits from heavy leaf and I wouldn’t be surprised if the rinse helped, too. The flavor is still mild but it’s so sweet and pretty. I still don’t get the smoky of the tasting notes but it’s such a pretty Chinese green (with zero of the salty end note they normally give me) that I really don’t care. I’m actually giving this tea a gentle bump up since I feel like I’ve cracked the code a bit on this and would totally get it again.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

I am officially demanding a macro shot of a flowering tea from you. CHALLENGE EXTENDED.

Auggy

Uh oh – I have no more flowering teas! Would Adagio dragon balls count?

takgoti

I just consulted with Trogdor, and he said no. We shall wait for you to acquire properly flowering tea.

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Profile

Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

Location

Texas

Website

http://pinkness.danzimmermann...

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