124 Tasting Notes

67

I had this a while ago with a bit of rock sugar and it was quite good, but not good enough to replace when I use up the sample. I’m currently having it without sugar, and it still tastes good (I don’t think it needs the sugar, so I won’t be adding sugar again.) The first time I had it the apple flavor was stronger (maybe the sugar contributed to that?), but today the peach flavor stands out. Either way, the addition of the fruit makes this much better than standard black tea. This has none of the bitterness or pungency that I taste with most black teas.

(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)

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67

Sometimes I don’t enjoy black tea because of the thick and bitter taste, but this black tea was quite good. The fruit flavor was strong during the first few sips, which complemented (and calmed) the black tea flavor nicely. However, the taste became much weaker as I finished the cup, and it ended on a bland note. I resteeped it and it was a little too weak to be impressive (or worth resteeping in the future). While I enjoyed this and will finish the sample happily, it’s not good enough to restock.

(Tea from silentrequiem, thanks!)

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73

Mmm… So good! I’ve had this twice now and it was delicious both times. It also re-steeped well. I added a little bit of rock sugar (during the second steep the first time, and only during the first steep the second time) and the sweetness is a nice addition but not necessary. The coconut flavor is strong and, in my opinion, extremely good.

(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)

Debbie

Mmm. Kind of wish I’d tried this before sending it to you now. I may have to pick up some at some point.

Christina

I will probably end up buying more of this tea because I enjoyed it so much.If I do, I’ll send you a sample since you sent me yours!

Debbie

FYI Persimmon Tree is having a sale RIGHT NOW.

Christina

Uh oh… I"m probably going to end up spending some money… :) I see that you get points for referring a friend. Do you want to refer me before I create a rewards account so you get points for it?

Debbie

Done! :)

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74
drank Bancha by Harney & Sons
124 tasting notes

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58

I met the owner of this company at our local farmer’s market (it’s a small gathering and I was surprised and excited to see someone selling loose leaf tea). This oolong was only $4 for 2oz, which is a great deal… And I was happy to support a local business.

The tea is alright. It’s not bad a oolong, but it is more earthy and rough than the oolong I’m used to (the smell of the leaves is more pungent as well). It’s pleasant enough that I’ll have no problem finishing what I bought, but I’m not sure if I’ll buy more when I’m finished. It’s much less expensive than other oolongs, but it’s also not quite as tasty.

UPDATE: This held up well to resteeping.

Preparation
3 min, 15 sec
Debbie

I’ve found the best quality tea for the lowest price (yes, I know this is impossible – you can’t maximize/minimize two variables) at the Asian supermarket. Do you have one near you?

Christina

The only specialty groceries we have here are Indian (there’s a huge one nearby that we’ve been meaning to check out). There’s probably one in Princeton. I’ll also be in Philly next month, and may have more luck there.

Christina

Oh wait! I just remembered that we passed an Asian Food Market once, about 16 minutes from here. I’ll have to check it out. (I still don’t know this area very well. I’m loathe to get back in a car after a day of commuting.)

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61
drank Chocolate Chai by Adagio Teas
124 tasting notes

This was a pretty good tea, but I didn’t taste the chocolate. The strongest flavor was ginger, and I liked that. (Steve had a sip and said cinnamon was what stood out to him.) The first half of the cup was better than the last half (some leftover tea bits settled at the bottom and made it strong and a little bitter; this is a tea to be careful about oversteeping). I will definitely enjoying finishing the remainder of the sample I bought, but I probably won’t purchase more afterward.

I used 2 tsp of tea for about 15oz of water, and about 3/4 a tsp of rock sugar.

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77
drank Genmaicha by Harney & Sons
124 tasting notes

This is an excellent tea! I’ve recently discovered that I like toasted rice tea, although the only other genmaicha I’ve tried is Teavana’s. At this point I can’t really tell a difference between Teavana’s and this one by Harney & Sons. They’re both excellent. I was also able to get three steeps out of these leaves, and all three tasted excellent. I’m very happy with this tea.

(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)

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29
drank Russian Caravan by Capital Teas
124 tasting notes

I might have steeped this for too long. It was very dark and had an acrid taste. Basically, it reminded me of a stronger version of the standard black teas I’ve had in the past that I haven’t liked. (I tried it with rock sugar first and added half-and-half later, but it didn’t taste good either time.) I didn’t bother resteeping the leaves and went straight to a different tea to cleanse my palate.

(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)

Debbie

3 minutes is my standard steeping time for all teas and then I adjust if it’t too weak/strong. I seem to recall 3 minutes worked well for this tea.

Christina

I think I might have steeped this for 4.5. I will try 3 next time. Thanks!

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63

The first time I tried this tea all I could taste was the beet flavor, and it completely turned me off. Yuck! It’s only been drank by my husband since then (he’s had a few cups to help us get through the supply… I bought a lot, thanks to the delicious yet deceptive smell).

A few nights ago he had some with rock sugar. I tried a sip and was surprised to find that I wasn’t grossed out. In fact, it verged on being good. So last night I tried it again myself (with just a little rock sugar) and it tasted fine. It’s not great—I won’t restock when I finish what I have—but now it’s somewhere between “fine” and “good” for me, and I think I’ll be able to finish it without dread… possibly even with some pleasure. (Maybe I’ll like it more with each cup?)

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73
drank Maharaja Chai Oolong by Teavana
124 tasting notes

Someone on Steepster recommended mixing this Maharaja Chai Oolong with Zingiber Ginger Coconut Rooibos (both by Teavana), so I gave that a shot today. I used 1 tsp of each and added about 1/2 tsp of rock sugar to the leaves. I steeped for 4-5 minutes.

What an interesting combination! Sometimes one of the flavors would be stronger than the other, but other sips had an interesting mixture of both: The ginger would be quite strong first, and as it faded the spiciness from the oolong took center stage. They also balanced each other out, neither being too intense. (For people who think the Maharaja Chai is too spicy, the ginger rooibos lessened it in a nice way.)

I think I prefer these teas separately, but I enjoyed mixing them. I also resteeped the leaves (for a long time… maybe 8 minutes, or even more) and it still tasted good, but definitely less intense.

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I started drinking loose leaf tea in December 2011. I usually use Teavana’s Perfect TeaMaker at home, and their Remi Mug at work. Some day I would like to have a cast iron set… a red one with dragons!

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