416 Tasting Notes

What a strange tea. Unfortunately I was expecting coconut—mom read some names out to me and I heard “coco cream”—so this is pretty much the last thing I expected. This is like a watery mocha in tea form, which I’m not sure I understand. It’s very strongly coffee with a little bit of chocolate. I don’t notice the creme brulee flavor at all, which is sad, and the yogurt is also missing for me. Not sure I like this, but then my stomach has been off today and this is not at all what I was hoping it would be so I’ll hold off on rating it until I can appreciate it for what it is.

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74
drank Crazy Earl by Indie Tea
416 tasting notes

This is an interesting EG. Normally grapefruit isn’t my favorite because it gets bitter, and there is some bitterness to this cup, but the orange and bergamot balance it out and make it sweeter. It’s a nice mix of citrus and goes well with the traditional EG flavor.

I think I would accept a cup of this again, but I’m not sure I would buy it. The bitterness in the middle of the sip really isn’t my thing, although the orange is really done well—I tend not to like orange in my teas because it’s either overwhelming or too weak, but this is just the perfect touch of citrus. A very nice way to wake up this morning!

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80

It’s interesting to me that this has hibiscus, because I honestly had no idea until I read it in the description. That’s rare in a hibiscus tea. I’m not sure if this tastes like mango, exactly, but I definitely get the vanilla and florals. I had this with lunch, and while it wasn’t life-changing or anything it was solidly pretty good—another reason why I was very surprised to find out about the hibiscus. I think I would drink it again.

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98

Wow! This is so delicious and so complex. It’s hard to describe but I’m going to give it a try. It’s definitely sweet and floral, but there’s also a vegetal note like green beans or snap peas. The sweetness is like honey and the floral notes mix with the other flavors so that the whole thing feels like a progression. Luckily I have some of this left, because I’m going to have to ponder whether I want to buy some of this. I think the answer might be yes!

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88

This is delicious! And very interesting. Some sips are caramel first, popcorn after, some sips are popcorn first, caramel after, and some sips are one or the other with matcha after. Regardless it’s very clearly what it’s supposed to be and absolutely delicious. Despite its sweet name it manages not to taste too sugary. In fact, because of the popcorn flavor it toes the line between sweet and savory and manages to do so beautifully.

As usual I’m having this with milk, which I’ve found I prefer for most Red Leaf matchas. It’s just so good! I’m sad I didn’t try this just a little sooner because I could have snapped a larger size up while it was on sale, but..! Oh well, next time.

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100

I bought this a while back when it was on sale (options: classic, regular, distinctive), and have only just now gotten around to really trying it. I wanted to have a few cups of it before I wrote a review, but I think I can honestly say this is my favorite passion fruit flavored…anything that I’ve ever had (outside of a real passion fruit, that is!). From what I’ve seen it’s one of the hardest fruit flavors to imitate, and this matcha does it very well.

When mixed up with milk, this is smooth and creamy. The fruit flavor is tastes real and balances beautifully with the matcha, and the matcha sweetens the fruit and keeps it from being too tart—the only problem I sometimes have with passion fruit flavored things. I have not yet tried this mixed up with water, but I like the consistency of it with milk so much that I might not try it with water at all. It’s a little bit like deconstructed ice cream, and it’s a little bit addictive.

If you want to try this one for yourself, it’s here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/passion-fruit-matcha.html#.U8E36Kgt0us

As a side note, I have found a solution to clumpy matcha drinks: a cheap hand-pump milk frother. It’s much easier to deal with than the blender for making matcha every day, and I’ve found it wakes me up much better than black tea.

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85

What a lovely yunnan! It smells intensely of honey, and some of that comes through in the taste too. There are also some hay notes and a deeper earthiness that keeps it from being too light. It’s much smoother than some yunnans I’ve had, which makes for a good cup to savor slowly. I think I would get this one again.

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82

It’s interesting how you can brew a tea twice and it tastes completely different each time. In this case I look back at my last review of this one and have no idea what I was talking about, because this tastes like spices and molasses or those roasted and sugared nuts that are everywhere around the winter holidays. No coffee or sugary icing to be found!

I’m completely exhausted thanks to an entire day of travel yesterday; I thought it would be a few hours, but thanks to storms near home we got delayed quite a bit. The best solution I can think of is a zingy tea with some caffeine to it, and this smelled good to me this morning. There’s definitely a lot of cinnamon to it, and the creaminess is nice. I have to say that I think “monkey bread” is a better name for this tea: it tastes exactly like the monkey bread I remember eating as a kid.

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78

Last one for the backlog. This one is strictly so-so for me, but I think my opinion of it is tainted by my first couple of experiences with it. The hotel restaurant seemingly didn’t have much experience making tea, so I only got one teabag for two cups of water, and it was pretty much impossible to get anything out of that that wasn’t lightly scented water or sludge.

My next experience with it was better. This is a good earl grey, firmly on the citrus side of bergamot and a little astringent. I think there are better Harney EG blends, but it was fine for breakfast and helped wake me up the last couple of days of our trip.

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86
drank Mint Verbena by Harney & Sons
416 tasting notes

Backlog. This was actually my favorite tea from vacation—the mint is light and sweet, and the verbena adds a nice citrus note to the cup. It’s a simple combination but it’s one of the most pleasant mint teas I’ve tried. This seems to be one of Harney’s staples, so I’m actually surprised I haven’t tried it before now!

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Bio

Elizabeth, college student, history/anthropology major. I love to read, travel, and try new foods.

I loved tea as a kid, didn’t drink it for about ten years, and then rediscovered it about a year ago. I’m still pretty new to the types and brands of tea out there, but I’m interested in trying some of everything! Currently:

-comfortable and experimenting with black teas
-enthusiastically embracing oolongs
-cautiously trying chai, greens, and whites
-adoring herbals (without hibiscus)
-neutral to rooibos
-afraid of pu-erhs (but willing to try!)

My rating system:

95-100: I would cross oceans for this tea. Drinking it is an amazing experience. If I don’t currently have it in my cabinet I’m probably very sad about that.

80-94: A very good tea. I would probably buy it again if I had the money/room in my cabinet.

65-79: Decent. I might buy it on sale or pass it by depending on my mood.

40-64: I’d accept a cup of this if it was served to me, but not buy it.

below 40: Ugh! Never again!

Keep in mind that bitterness is the worst thing that can happen to a tea for me, followed closely by hibiscus; I also have food allergies that rarely influence my tea habit, but please check with me before sending anything!

About Swaps: I am always willing to swap with anyone within continental North America! Just drop me a note. For anyone in the eastern half of the U.S. I’ll gladly swap small samples of things, but further away than that I would prefer if we dealt with larger amounts.

Location

Indiana, U.S.

Website

http://teaandedibility.wordpr...

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