564 Tasting Notes

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
564 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
564 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
564 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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95

Thank you, VariaTEA! I’m loving this one as well, and at this point I’m thinking DT’s rooibos blends are my favorites. It’s creamy, creamy, creamy with that cream cheese icing tang. I’m not sure it’s quite red velvet in flavor (I’m picky there), but it is cakey and delicious. I’d definitely restock it, but this is a sad sipdown for now.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
bluebelle

Ah, now I see what people have been complaining about with the preparation feature. It was 1.5 tsp/8 oz.

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91

Made this up as chai again. It’s sort of a sipdown because the rest is chilling in my fridge. All the bags are gone! Mom is very happy (she doesn’t like the smell, either).

I think I must have used less milk this time, which resulted in a sharper taste. It’s not too sharp, though, and I don’t mind it. It’s spicy and creamy and much appreciated on a day like today.

Flavors: Cinnamon

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65

Sipdown! This is the last of the Just Organic Tea samples, and sadly the one I like the least. I think I might just dislike orange peel, so it’s not only the tea’s fault.

What is the tea’s fault is the lack of spice. I definitely get orange and the base, but there’s not enough spice to really satisfy me. Maybe it’s just me, but when I reach for a spice tea I really want to be wowed by spice. I smell the spice, but all I get in the taste is a little cinnamon and a woodiness in the background. The description is vague so I’m not sure what else I should be tasting.

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100
drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
564 tasting notes

Resteep. This one did much better. There’s a grainy note to this under the chocolate, almost like dark rye bread. It’s not quite malty but it’s in that area. I’ll definitely be steeping this a few more times to see what I get out of it.

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100
drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
564 tasting notes

When I saw that QueenOfTarts was selling this, I had to grab it. It’s one of my favorite straight blacks, holds up well to resteeps, and is still forgiving when I grossly mistreat it like when I first tried it.

This morning I need something like that. It’s cold, there’s at least 8 inches of snow on the ground, and five minutes after I woke up my mother informed me someone is coming to work on the heating.

Sadly I messed up the steep on this again. I guess I got overenthusiastic and thought the kettle was hotter than it was. Luckily the tea doesn’t suffer for it! I’m getting chocolate and caramel notes with a light floral aftertaste. Delicious!

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Flowers

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C

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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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