70 Tasting Notes

87
drank Big Red Sun by Harney & Sons
70 tasting notes

I was about to ship the rest of this sample when I realized I had yet to do a tasting note. Made just enough for a quick cup and here’s what I think: om nom nom.

Molasses, toast and malt. Bold but smooth blend. Dark and tasty, perfect for morning tea. A very mild astringency with a slight bitter note at the end that doesn’t linger. I’d actually consider buying a pound of this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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85

Dry leaf: roasty & mineral with a hint of anise

Brewed: Roasted orange squash x1000

Good roasted sweet flavors. I love that in a nekkid tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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84
drank Rose Darjeeling by Lupicia
70 tasting notes

The strong smell of the dry leaf scared me a little, so I made a test cup first instead of committing to a whole pot. It smelled something like a wine tea, much more sharp and fruity than I expected from a strictly rose + Darjeeling blend. Turns out I had nothing to fear; the brew has a dark, floral Darjeeling flavor with potent, but balanced rosy taste and aroma. Exactly what I’d hoped for. Yay!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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86

T.C. sent me just enough of this to make a ~20 oz pot of Ontario Icewine, which put uberpressure on me not to screw it up with heat or oversteeping (I ruined a perfectly good re-steep earlier because SQUIRREL). TA-DA, a perfect pot! Lucky me!

After a 30 second brew this is amber-colored and strong, with a fruity, slightly sharp white wine aroma. It has the bright mouthfeel of other wine teas I’ve tried, and the sip is impressively well-balanced (IMO) between the delicate white tea flavor and the wine. I can taste both easily and there’s a harmony of flavor between them I really enjoy.

There’s nothing fake about it, which is usually where a tea and I part ways.

Anyway, the leaves were a little beat up from their trip in the envelope, so there’s a lot of detritus in the bottom of the pot. I have a sinking suspicion that it will be bitter by the time I get to the rest of it, but we’ll see.

I managed to leave most of the swirly leaf powder in the pot. I’m smelling sweet spring flowers now in addition to the juicy wine grape. Yum!

Now I’m sad I don’t have any more. But you bet I’ll try to re-steep it later and see how it goes. Thanks again, T.C.! Great cup.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Becky

And the resteep is also great, if milder. I could drink a gallon of this.

T.C.

Glad you enjoyed it! It’s the one “hit” I’ve found from NMTC. I’m getting in some more Icewine from another company to try and compare the two, but have a feeling I’ll be reordering from NMTC soon.

Becky

I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the other brand of icewine. It’s a little spendier than I realized, so I’ll have to choose my tea orders carefully until money’s a little less tight. :)

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65
drank Chocolate by English Tea Store
70 tasting notes

Another generous sample from Dinosara, which couldn’t have come at a better time. Crappy day, tasty tea. Tea makes everything better.

I couldn’t tell you too much about the actual tea used here. I’m not sure if it’s just subtle, or if the chocolate flavor cancels out my ability to smell! Reminds me a little of sassafras; when I added sugar it was basically identical to a chocolate-flavored Tootsie pop! (I like that flavor, personally, so it’ll definitely be a good one for when I need a candy fix.)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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68

Dinosara sent me a generous sample of this tea (and several others… can you say TEA KARMA?). It smelled like a delicious sweet almond cookie when I opened the bag. Brewed, it had a mild spiced nutty flavor, slight velvet texture, and a sweet tobacco note that strongly reminds me of flavored cigars. Very interesting! Thanks Dinosara! :D

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Gyokuro Imperial by Teavana
70 tasting notes

Thanks to T.C. for this sample! Brews up yellow-green and very slightly cloudy (that could be from the broken leaf). Aroma is highly vegetal and sweet, as is the flavor. I used to get these vegetable chips that were basically flash-fried green beans, carrot and other assorted root veggies. This is basically the same flavor profile: a sweet, beany broth. Spinach notes as well. I want to pair it with a slice of salty buttered toast.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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87
drank Blood Orange Pu-erh by Samovar
70 tasting notes

Grr! Steepster ate my tasting note. :( I knew I should have copied it before I hit save.

Anyway, I got a box full of awesome today, from the lovely Miss Claire. I smelled all the unsealed teas and had a really hard time picking one to try first. I ended up with this pu’erh…my very first. (OMG, PU’ERH VIRGIN.)

Dry: Orange! Yum yum. Hubby said “YES! Make this!”

Rinsed, then made a 15-second 1st steep, which I gave to the husband.

Then I made a 2nd 15-second steep for myself.

Aroma: Musky earth and an undertone of sweet orange. This will sound unflattering, but there’s a brand of pump soap I’ve used in public restrooms that has a very similar scent profile, only this is cleaner, organic, calm.

Sip: Complex earth & good antiques, compelling orange flavor. Amazing balance. I’m actually shocked at how mellow and pleasant this is, considering my first impression of the steep smell.

Finish: Slight cooling effect that lingers on the palate for a long time. Also, I feel effing fantastic. What is this? Is my tea spiked? :O

In summary: Great first pu’erh! I’m intrigued and very satisfied. Teas like this are the reason for tea ceremonies. I can’t even imagine just tossing back a cup of this without a thought, like I would a coffee or breakfast black.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
yssah - Love is Tea (LIT)

ah, im still a pu-erh virgin too…what to do. still afraid to try. maybe when my Earl Grey Pu-erh arrives. yes…i would like that to be my first time (pls God dont let it be awful!)

oh no wait! i have had it. it was earthy and um, earthy. not earthy enough for me to remember i guess ^^’

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drank Panyang Congou by Harney & Sons
70 tasting notes

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85
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
70 tasting notes

I usually brew blacks for 3 minutes, so I ignored the instructions that said 4-5. FOLLOW THEM DIRECTIONS. This is a really nice tea, but the flavor at three minutes was a whisper compared to a longer steep. Delish.

PS. Do not attempt tasting notes right after eating guacamole ’n onions.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Kittenna

Also garlic. Just give up on your tastebuds altogether after garlic.

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Bio

I love tasting things. Slowly, I’m getting better at it.

I am a coffee convert; the 5+ cups of strong coffee I used to drink every day has trickled down to 1-2 cups a week, if a pot’s already brewed and I’m feeling lazy. Otherwise, tea all the way!

It’s been a few months now, which is enough for me to know that everyone likes different things about their cup. Personally I like my teas the way I like my men—strong and naked, with no artificial flavors or preservatives. Also dry, and in a tin. Hah!

Life is interesting and occasionally irritating. Because of this, I am sometimes laser-eyed, but a nice cup of tea usually helps.

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Lovely green Oregon

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