42 Tasting Notes

80
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
42 tasting notes

It’s teas like this that make me want to do YouTube reviews. When I opened the sample pack, I was standing alone in my kitchen and I said aloud, “Oh yeahhhh! This could be it.” I’m always looking for my favorite “plain” black tea. Upon smelling the dry leaves, the first thing I noticed was chocolate. It also had a lovely soft, creamy smell. I stood in my kitchen just making sounds of satisfaction. Very YouTube worthy. During the first steep, it smells the same in the pot. When I poured it into my cup, the smell was a lot more toasty. The chocolate and creaminess went away. This is weird, but it reminds me of Cheez-Its, or like, a burnt cheese cracker. It’s smooth, and there is no bitterness. The aftertaste is reminiscent of cacao. It’s interesting, but not my favorite. I like the complexity and strangeness of this tea better than I liked Teavana’s English Breakfast (my only other experience with “plain” black tea.) I’ll update with further steepings… :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

How did you brew this?

sweeTEApie

Western method, 205*F for 3 minutes…

Bonnie

Good, Western is best and never under leaf or it’s not tasty. I prefer mine with cream and sweetened to bring out that cocoa more, but that’s me. I always start plain..then sweeten then add milk with a new tea just to see how the flavor changes. I’m curious.

Bonnie

Oh BTW I used to enter pie contests (won in every contest I entered…dumb luck) and my daughter is a bread baker at the local Summer and Winter Market’s.

sweeTEApie

I just saw these comments! Oooh, always a thrill to meet a fellow pie baker! Congrats on all the wins… I’m sure it wasn’t just luck! It’s not easy making a blue ribbon-worthy pie. :D

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85

I got this in my 5 for $5 sampler from Verdant, and I love it! This is my first tea from somewhere other than Teavana. My first steep rendered a bitter tea because I’m used to Teavana’s instructions to steep white tea for 4 minutes. I checked www.verdanttea.com, and they recommend a 2 minute steep. Needless to say, my 2nd steep was much better. The jasmine reminds me of magnolias! I’m looking forward to steep #3 and #4… :)

For me, this would be a fancy “special occasion” tea, as opposed to an everyday sip down.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Smart looking it up! I still do that even after 2 years drinking verdant tea. All my experience with Nepali Tea’s break the steep and temp rules too…so checking first and adjustments to your taste and you’ll avoid disappointment and waste of your tea.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

I love this one from them. Definitely a staple.

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100

Just finished off my sample… Brewed it extra strong and added a splash of half & half… YUM!

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100

I drink Maharaja Chai Oolong on its own, and I love it (VERY cinnamony). But this is my new favorite! The faint (and I do mean faint) fruitiness of this blend gives it a “cider” feeling. It’s more complex than the plain Maharaja, and I adore the blend! Perfect for Fall!
EDIT: I forgot to add that the package calls for 1 tsp. per 8 oz, but I used 2 1/2 teaspoons for 12 oz because Teavana’s package directions are always too weak for me.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
JustJames

this is an awesome combination….. i am just finishing mine up =0)

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90

Husband and I have been drinking youthberry/wild orange blossom blend for the past few days, so I was interested to try youthberry on its own. I love it! I’m very picky when it comes to “floral” tea. This tea has floral notes, but it’s bright and fresh and fruity. It IS tart (rosehips and hibiscus), but I really like tart teas. It’s a balanced blend of fruit flavor with a pleasing, delicate floral aftertaste. We will have no problem finishing our 2 ounces of this tea. :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Moroccan Mint by Teavana
42 tasting notes

Tried this for the first time today, and I really like it. The spearmint is complimentary to the green tea, but it does not steal the show. The green tea flavor stands front and center.
First steep: Yes, it’s minty, but it’s all about the green tea.
Second steep: The green tea flavor really shines, while the mint flavor slips into the background.

Lovely tea. I would drink this often.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Kamiya Papaya by Teavana
42 tasting notes

This is my 2nd cup of this tea. I’m trying to “acquire” a taste for it because I have 2 ounces that I don’t want to waste. I brewed it stronger this time. The package directions call for 1 tsp. per 8 oz. of water. I brewed 2 1/2 tsp. for 12 oz. of water. I did not sweeten it because I’m still trying to detect all of the individual flavors of the blend. I like it a little better his way (stronger), but I still would not re-purchase. Too floral. Not fruity enough.

EDIT: Halfway through this cup, I started to notice a “bubblegum” flavor… Anyone else getting that as the tea cools off a bit??

Ellyn

I HATE how you can only buy 2 oz as a minimum at teavana….

Bonnie

The base tea is an oolong, some oolongs like a temperature less than boiling and they can become sweet, floral and buttery as they cool. Too bad you don’t have a way of knowing what kind of oolong tea it is. This is a good opportunity to google oolong and read a little. Next time, try a lower temp and rinse first (steep the tea 15 seconds and throw the water out then steep it longer..).See what happens. Could be better, but depends on the quality of the tea.

sweeTEApie

I steeped this tea 3 times yesterday using slightly less water each time. I love how the flavor changes, especially after the 3rd steep. Plus, I feel like I’m getting more for my $, and I’m all about saving a buck! :)

Bonnie

One of the advantages of loose tea over bagged tea is multiple steep. You’ll soon find out what tea’s are best multi-steeped and which are not. Always use filtered water. I have a small filter pitcher just for tea that looks great and matches my electric kettle. LOVE my kettle! Water takes ages to boil at 5000ft. without it!

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65
drank Kamiya Papaya by Teavana
42 tasting notes

My husband likes this more than I do, but neither of us are crazy about it. I’ve tried it hot and iced, both ways I added a tiny bit of sugar. It reminds me of fruity potpourri. Too floral for my taste. It is somewhat fruity, but I expected it to taste a lot fruitier because of the description on Teavana’s website. I’ll try double- and triple-steeping to see if the flavor improves, but I would not repurchase this tea.

Bonnie

Cassie, head over to the newbies thread in the discussion boards to the more recent pages for tips on how to get samples and free tea. I’ve been here for 2 years and am the oldest at 65. There’s a note in the newbies about getting free tea samples from teavivre website. We all do this and I’ve been receiving tea from them for a long time. No cost at all. Just review the tea on Steepster. So, welcome to tea!

sweeTEApie

Thank you for the advice! I’m so excited! :)

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80
drank JavaVana Mate by Teavana
42 tasting notes

This is my first experience with any kind of mate, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I do notice an artificial “chocolate” taste/smell. I prefer to steep this double-strength with a little bit of sugar to wake me up in the morning. I would not buy this particular tea again, but I am anxious to taste other mate teas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

This is the tea that sucked me into the Teavana hype. The salesperson shoved this sample in my face after I made it clear that I was “just browsing.” It worked. I went home and ordered $50 worth of tea from Teavana’s website that weekend. Of the 5 teas I ordered, the only one I didn’t like was Kamiya Papaya Oolong because it’s way too floral-y for my taste. But the Youthberry Orange Blossom blend is great! I thought I didn’t like herbal teas, but this one is so fruity, tart, bright, and yummy! I’ve only tried it hot, but I’m sure the fruit flavors and slight tartness make a great iced tea in the summertime.

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Profile

Bio

My name is Cassie. I’m 27 years old, married to my best friend, and we have 2 cats! I am a professional baker, and I own a bakery with my mom.

I sipped my first cup of “real” loose leaf tea on October 5th, 2013, and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. I love trying new flavors, anything and everything to find out what I like. I’m always looking for suggestions… Where to buy, which to try, steeping methods, tea accessories and gadgets, etc. :)

MY TASTE
*I grew up drinking iced tea in the South, so black tea will always have a place in my cupboard.
*I am obsessed with cinnamon! Anything loaded with cinnamon will become a favorite of mine.
*I like fruity teas, especially if they are tart. I love hibiscus and rose hips.
*I also like dark, strong, toasty teas, but preferably nothing smokey.
*I don’t do chamomile. Never. Ever. EW.

I’m open to try anything. Suggestions are welcome. :)

MY RATINGS
[#’s are solely based on personal preference.]
Less than 50 : Pour it down the drain
50-64 : Finish the cup // Never drink it again
65-74 : Not a bad cup // Would not repurchase
75-94 : Quite tasty // Would consider repurchasing
95+ : Delicious // Will never run out <3

Location

Virginia, U.S.

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