17 Tasting Notes

drank Cardamon Tea by Ahmad Tea
17 tasting notes

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88

I keep coming back to this herbal tea. It’s a regular, and I drink it in quantity. Very reasonably priced.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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71
drank Kalami Assam by Ahmad Tea
17 tasting notes

Exceptionally good for how cheap it is! This is a strong, edgy Assam with good complexity. Loose-leaf with large pieces of broken leaves. I picked up a pound of it at a local middle-eastern store for $6.15, and I love it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Golden Yunnan by Rishi Tea
17 tasting notes

Dry leaf is incredibly fruity, but the tea is not. Instead, it’s malty, deep, and somewhat tannic. Assam-like, but with less edge. I really like this tea, especially given how strong it is.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This is not my favorite white peony. It tends to be on the lighter and more floral side, both colorwise and aroma / flavor-wise. What’s interesting is that today, I drank a cup brewed from some of the broken leaves that had fallen to the bottom of the bag. It was a little darker tasting, but I didn’t find it particularly enjoyable. An unremarkable tea. Upton has some fantastic shou mei, such as ZW23. I strongly prefer to drink that.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

This was the first holy basil I sampled, and I loved it. Since then, I’ve tried holy basil from a number of other companies, and also tried Upton’s green leaf (BH06), but I strongly prefer this one. It’s warm and balanced, rich, complex. Aroma is balanced, and mostly of spice. I also find this herbal tea to be very relaxing.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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86

This tea has a surprising amount of bite for a pu-erh of this age.

I tried brewing this tea different ways (varying the steeping time and leaf amount) and it had a similar overall character, only the strength varied, and less than one might expect.

Earthy, but with a fresh, herbaceous quality in the aroma, that I find is unusual in teas of this age.

I think this tea is very reasonably priced, given its quality and the fact that the leaves go a long way and are good for many infusions.

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91

Clear cup but full-bodied. Aroma is dominantly woody, with some fruity and floral tones, and a hint of skunkiness. The aroma is more reminiscent of more oxidized teas, even black tea, than is common for most oolongs this light.

Good for multiple infusions, even with a long infusion time and less leaf. I like using fairly hot water.

First infusion is fruitier, like apricots. Second is more woody, skunky, and herbaceous. All infusions have a fair amount of bitterness, which I find pleasant.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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79

This was the first loose tea I tried from Foojoy and I liked it quite a lot. Full-bodied but with a delicate flavor, aroma is grassy with a hint of toastiness. I’ve found keeping the brewing temperature lower is important; the aroma becomes unpleasant if it’s too hot, even though the tea does not become too bitter.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82

I thought I’d dislike this tea based on the name (my prejudice showing!) but I was pleasantly surprised. Cocoa-like, creamy, balanced. Really exquisite, if you ask me! If you like cocoa, you will likely love this one. The pu-erh is noticeable, but this tea might be appreciated even by people who are not a fan of pu-erh’s unique aroma.

This tea can easily make two infusions…try twice the time for the second cup!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I’m Alex Zorach. I run RateTea and also have a tea blog, Teacology.

Location

Philadelphia, PA

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http://teacology.wordpress.com

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