559 Tasting Notes

74
drank Get Fresh by Tealish
559 tasting notes

Another delicious-smelling pineapple tea from MissB! This has the potential to be really pineapple-y but it’s actually hidden somewhat by the sencha. It’s a little nutty and green, and anything else that’s supposed to be in here is lost in a generic creaminess. It’s a pleasant cup but I’m not sure it’s harmonious, and I’m not in love with it.

MissB

Woot! I had to try it after this review, and then messed it up. :P

bluebelle

Aww. Hopefully the next one will be better!

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70

Yikes. This got bitter fast. Oddly it also has a sugary-sweet aftertaste. There are some rich cooked-vegetable notes, like artichokes or asparagus, and then a straight sugar flavor. It’s not a horrible cup but I just don’t know what to make of it. I’m guessing this is a Chinese green, and those tend to be very hit-or-miss for me. This one’s a miss, but it’s also a sipdown.

ETA: Oddly this is growing on me as it cools—possibly because it’s less bitter and more sugary. Still wouldn’t buy it but it’s not totally horrible.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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82

Picked this up at the Asian grocery store today. I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but the description was promising and I wanted to at least try. So far I’ve never tried an oolong I really hated. This was also a convenient thing to reach for while I waited for the water to heat up for a different cup.

This exceeded all my expectations. It’s smooth, with some floral and honey notes and a strong peachy flavor throughout. A really solid oolong! Sadly this particular store doesn’t sell any oolong loose-leaf, but I did find some decent-looking Japanese greens and some interesting herbals.

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey, Peach

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70

Tried this one again, this time with about 1 3/4 teaspoons of leaf and a full five minutes of steep time. Oddly I’m still not getting much lime. There’s some vague citrus-y flavor, but it’s not bright and strong like I’d expect lime to be. The rooibos is really strong, and while it’s still very creamy I just don’t get lime from this at all. I guess I just don’t “get” this tea.

Late ETA: I let this cool down completely and then drank it—there’s something that seems to be attempting to impersonate lime, but it’s way too sweet and has no bite. Hmm.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

I steep it for 2 minutes. Perhaps that will help.

MissB

Yep, less steep time and a slightly lower temperature than boiling is also what makes this one shine for me.

bluebelle

Oops, forgot to say this one was a sipdown! Next time I get my hands on some I’ll definitely try that, thank you both.

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95

I really love this one. It’s nutty and roasty but there’s an underlying sweetness that mellows out the whole cup. I wanted to warm up after being outside (2*F air temperature) and this was the first thing I reached for. Something about the roastiness warms me right up. Mom also loves this one, so I may have to restock when it’s gone!

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68

This is one I specifically requested when I ordered a box from LiberTEAS, and she sent me two sachets. Thank you!

When I first smelled this I was a little scared, because it smelled a lot like the Lapsang Souchong I hated. Once it brewed, though, I got a lot more bergamot out of it. The taste is interesting. Definite bergamot and there are some honey and wood notes, but there’s a moderately strong smokiness throughout that puts me off. I’m starting to think that true smoked teas aren’t for me and I only like smoke flavors when they’re naturally-occurring. Still, I’m glad I got to try this one!

ETA: This is much better as it cools, and the fruit takes over the blend more. The smoke is still there and I’m sure that that’s what’s throwing this off for me, but it’s more manageable this way.

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91
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
559 tasting notes

Time for a caffeine kick. This is a little hard to distinguish from other vanilla flavors, but there’s a butteriness and a deeper flavor that make it more obvious. I’m really liking this cup but I’’ll do a full review when I’m more awake.

Also note that I made this cup with a handheld milk frother and there were no clumps! Hooray, no more clumpy matcha for me.

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90
drank Passion Fruit by Kusmi Tea
559 tasting notes

Another one from VariaTEA! This smells very fruity, but maybe more like fresh apricots than passion fruit. Despite that the smell is incredible. It’s one of my favorite-smelling fruit teas so far.

I was afraid of this one once I saw the reviews, but it turns out I had no reason to be! This is only slightly bitter at first before changing to the aftertaste. It’s light, fruity and nearly floral. I’ve only had one other Kusmi tea (the Rose Green), but this has a similar sweet kick at the end that I love. It’s like pure sugar. This is also pretty close to actual passion fruit flavor, managing to be both tart and sweet. I like Kusmi’s style so far, which is hard to describe but it’s very different from other companies. Their teas are really dynamic and seem to change with every sip. I’m glad I took a chance on this!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec
VariaTEA

I am so glad you liked this one. I certainly would never have enjoyed this like you have.

bluebelle

It looks like no one else did, either! It’s interesting to see how people react differently to taste, haha.

VariaTEA

That’s what makes swaps worthwhile

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95

Wow! This has some intense honey notes. There’s also some caramel, cocoa, wood, bread…and the aftertaste is almost fruity. Very interesting. Reminds me of some kind of mix between a Ceylon and a Yunnan. I’ve never had anything quite like it, but it’s really good.

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100
drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
559 tasting notes

Another resteep! It’s still going strong after three, which I appreciate. This time around it smells bready. Still like dark bread, but definitely the good, fresh-baked stuff. It seems to get more savory each time I steep it, but that isn’t a bad thing. It’s also brighter this time with some almost-citrus flavors.

ETA: This steep has a sweet, sweet aftertaste like chocolate-dipped flowers. Yum!

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Profile

Bio

Elizabeth, college student, anthropology major, bio and history minor. I love to travel and try new foods (and teas!). I also enjoy music, books, video games as often as I can get my hands on them.

I loved tea as a kid, didn’t drink it for about ten years, and then rediscovered it a couple of years ago. Tea sometimes helps me feel better when chronic illness is making things hard. It’s also fun to experiment with!

I’m still pretty new to the types and brands of tea out there, but I’m interested in trying some of everything. My favorites are earl greys, yunnans, medium-bodied oolongs, Japanese greens, fruit, vanilla, and floral flavors (especially jasmine and rose). My least favorites are teas that are overly smoked, bitter, or contain strong hibiscus or orange peel.

Location

Indiana, U.S.

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