382 Tasting Notes

67

Bought this at the grocery story for mornings.

It’s nice!

A nice black tea.

That is nice.

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62
drank Ayataka Josencha by Coca-Cola
382 tasting notes

Another Coca-cola iced tea (the vending machine by the center where I have my program is Coca-cola brand, can you tell?). I confess I have no idea what they are getting at with the “nigori” thing since it’s a term that usually used to refer to unfiltered sake. Unfiltered tea? Maybe! I have my doubts about the whole high quality thing too, and anyway, it’s probably wasted on an iced tea.

I didn’t find this tea particularly memorable. It was cool, which was the important thing. It’s got a bitterness to it that does sort of remind me of matcha, which was kind of nice, but that only came to it as it warmed up a bit more. Straight from the vending machine it mostly just tasted cool and green-ish. The matcha thing is neat, but I’d still put it below Sokenbicha since that at least catches my attention while I am drinking it.

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67
drank Sokenbicha by Coca-Cola
382 tasting notes

It’s summer in Japan and that means drinking LOTS of bottled iced tea (available at a vending machine near you! I mean really near, like, 10 feet away. Also, there’s another one twenty feet further. Thanks Japan!)

The last time I was here, I never really went about choosing them in any sort of systematic fashion, usually just going with whatever caught my eye at the time. But this time! This time will be DIFFERENT. I am going to systematically try and then log as many of these bottled iced teas as I can so I can actually figure out which ones I like best. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Then, other people going to Japan can reap the benefits! provided their taste in tea is at all similar to mine, of course :P

I remember having this stuff a lot when I was here, mostly because the whole “blend of twelve different teas” amused me (and continues to do so). Just from what I recognize: looks like several different kinds of barley tea, some green tea, some pu erh, senna tea, chicory (which I didn’t know you could make tea out of!), dandelion root, corn, beans, and a partridge in a pear tree.

It has a pleasant enough flavor and isn’t bad as a go-to tea since, being a coca-cola product it is guaranteed to be pretty much everywhere. I’d classify the taste as “barley tea lite” with the barley teaness being smoothed out a lot by the rest of the stuff in there and a more earthy direction achieved with the pu erh. It probably is totally healthy too since it is so full of STUFF. The name translates to refreshing, healthy, beautiful tea, although I’m not sure if the TEA is beautiful or if it will make YOU beautiful. Both, probably.

Cofftea

By Coke?! LOVE IT! Now they just need to bring Coke Blak back:)

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96
drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
382 tasting notes

I live!

I’ve been away from the computer for the past week since I was having a last minute vacation prior to going to Japan and then, well, I went to Japan. I am staying in a tiny tiny room in a long-stay hotel for the duration, which has free internets (yay!) and AC and some bare necessities for cooking: microwave, hot plate, and, because it’s Japan, electric kettle! Thanks Japan! Not many places in the world would consider that a life necessity :D

Had some of my delish almond biscotti (I took that and Foxtrot with me and will otherwise rely on what I can get from the grocery stores here) last night while I tried to make it to 8m before falling asleep. My endeavor was nearly a success but I ended up pooping out at 7:30. Close enough! Ahh, it was so nice to have that touch of familiarity.

I managed to get three good infusions out of it (the tea mug they gave me is tiny!) although by the third one I confess that A. I was nearly unconscious and not really paying attention and B. I’m pretty sure it was just kind of almondy water. The first two, however were delicious as usual.

Rabs

You’ve been missed! I had one brief moment the other day of: oh, it’s the 22nd — Ewa’s Japan-bound! And then I realized that it might be quite some time until we heard from you. And I had teh sads. And now I have teh happies! :D

Glad to know that you made it safe and sound!

__Morgana__

Yeah, glad to hear you made it. What the heck are you doing here, though. Go out and enjoy Japan!

Ewa

Hee hee, I totally wrote this at 4 in the morning because cheering for the Japan – Denmark World Cup game (not to mention jetlag) woke me up. I went out and enjoyed Japan later though!

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54
drank Hawaii Cocktail by TeaFrog
382 tasting notes

My last teafrog sample, which I have been avoiding. Because I needed caffeeeeeeeeeine.

I’ll be honest, I actually already tried this tea once, but (stop me if you’ve heard this one) I completely forgot about it for nearly half an hour and by the time I got to it it was TART. Like…my mouth has puckered so much I can’t take another drink tart. With that kind of result due to my own scatterbrain-ness, I didn’t really want to review it. Besides which I would just have bee reusing material from my Stress Reliever post, like so:

TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART

TART!

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMFFFFFFFF (sound of trying to yell tart through puckered lips)

Anyway, this is my second try of this tea then, this time with utilizing a somewhat more sensible steep time, hopefully to better effect for my enunciation.

No idea what color the tea brewed up as because it is night time and the light switch is ALL the way across the room. Red of some kind would be my guess! The result is still tart (no surprise there!) and I definitely get a sense of the bitterness around the edges that Morgana got although it’s not all that pronounced. (Actually I had completely failed to notice it until reading her note. Damn you knowledge! I want to go back to blissful ignorance nao, pls kthx)

While the tartness is not wholly unpleasant, it is still somewhat overwhelming and I am mainly filled with the urge to MIX this with something. But what? Assam Melody to the sort of rescue! Despite knowing that I would be kicking myself for it when I eventually slouched off to bed, I brewed up some Assam to see what there was to be seen. I brewed it for a relatively short time to avoid adding bitter oversteeped black tea to slightly bitter froot tea. The result? Interesting…I kind of wish I had a straight green to try this with and had more sample left to try it with the nonexistent straight green tea. It might have been good! I think the acidty of black tea doesn’t really fit the tang (TAAART) of the tea, but something a little more mellow, like a buttery green tea would complement it well.

That sounds kind of like more effort than I’m really willing to put into this tea though.

Rabs

Another brilliant note: I laughed, I cried (from laugher), I felt a connection to my fellow man. Yeah, that’s some good stuff right there.

TeaFrog

What a great review! :) Well, maybe not the rating – but entertainment value +10 ;)

With this tea – while agreed it is a bit tart (sorry TAAART) – it blends AMAZINGLY well for an iced tea – I really should add that to the description. If you have enough left, and the willpower to experiment with it, try blending it 50/50 with lemonade. So make a half cup, chill and top with lemonade – heavenly! I make this in 10 liter (what’s that, about 50 gallons or something in American ;P~) batches for shows – and it FLY’S off the “shelf”.

Ewa

See, I KNEW my urge to blend it with something was the correct one! I think I may need another sample :P

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72
drank Gingerbread Orange by TeaFrog
382 tasting notes

Another go at this. Still does not taste like gingerbread. I am going to be certain this time! No waffling about whether I actually know what gingerbread tastes like, nosiree!

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64

Last of this packet! Unfortunately started a super long boss fight right after setting it to steep and forgot all about it. Stupid Frost Giant.

Well, at least it woke me up!

__Morgana__

Gosh, this almost makes me miss WoW. Will. Not. Succumb….

Ewa

Come to Moonrunner and join my guild! :D I mean, stay strong!

__Morgana__

I am sure I am far too weak by now. I haven’t played in over a year. I was on Blackwater Raiders. (I guess I still am, I haven’t cancelled my subscription.)

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62

Getting into the home stretch of this sample packet. I still find it too perfumy. Definitely prefer the Earl Grey Special.

Rabs

♫ Earl Grey Special: it’s for everyone!
Earl Grey Special: come and join in the fun!
With magic everywhere
A world for us to share
With friendly faces hoping that you want to meet us there
For Earl Grey Special
It’s about to appear —
It’s about to appear! deedle-ee deedel-ee deedle-ee deeee!
Earl Grey Special!
Shout it loud and clear:
Earl Grey Special!

Here’s the reference for those who are utterly confused (warning: this might confuse you further. But hey, it was a Canadian kids show that used to play on PBS here in the states so it’s an extra tip-o-the-magic-hat to Teafrog):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cxLfIs051c

mpierce87

Rabs – that is awesome!

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92
drank Caramel Cream by TeaFrog
382 tasting notes

The last bit of my sample – I gobbled that sucker right up. Unfortunately, in my gobbling I consumed almost all of the cream caramel bits in the packet prior to this last cup. So now it taste like a very lightly caramel flavored rooibos rather than lightly rooibos flavored caramel candy. Shame that.

Still, I suppose the problem here was between teacup and chair, so I’m going to go ahead and cut it some slack…and be more careful when I inevitably order more of this :D

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72
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
382 tasting notes

Last bit of the sample packet!
I am finishing sample packets left and right here: I want to try to clear out my tea cupboard a bit so that when I get back from Japan I will have room for all of the teas that I am planning to treat myself to for my birthday :D (well and for anything I happen to bring back from Japan, of course)

Interestingly I completely forgot about this tea and left it to steep for…like an hour or so? So basically it’s Paris Tea, now from concentrate! Except without the part where you dilute it! So really just the concentrate!

Weirdly, I kind of like it better this way – I think the black tea is able to overcome all of the flavorings thereby getting rid of that weird powdery sensation that I keep getting with this tea. Who’da thunk it? (not me.) Still, it is not sufficiently better to make me consider getting more, besides which I am not really cool with waiting an hour for my tea.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
__Morgana__

I think H&S black teas are pretty forgiving for oversteeping in general. I have had my share of unintentional oversteeps and as you said, mostly they just taste like superconcentrated versions of themselves.

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Profile

Bio

I’m a Pole who grew up in Texas, is currently a graduate student in California studying Japan. How’s THAT for random?

Being Polish, my family has always drunk a lot of tea, and I am no different. I may drink more tea than water. On the other hand, I can’t say that I’m very particular about it; I’m generally pretty careless with steeping times and water temperature and I don’t even have a proper teapot (mostly because the lid broke during the move to California ;_;).

I always drink my tea unsweetened and I only add milk in the case of the most egregiously chai-ish of chais. (not really a big fan of milk in general)

Given that so many of my entries seem to be about my morning tea, I felt I should add something here about me and mornings: I fail at mornings. I fail at them a LOT. Therefore I often also fail at proper tea making in the mornings.

Location

Santa Barbara

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