243 Tasting Notes

99

Drinking this again this morning. It snowed last night, a lot, and I knew I had to trudge into work eventually and I could think of no better companion than this.

There is a richness to it, a slight almost spice, though there is no spice, there is a strong black flavor without bitterness or astringency, and a hint of smoke (and you know I love my smoky teas) not enough to turn anyone off of it, followed by the slightest hint of sweetness just the right amount to get me through the snow.

Brewed the same as before, 1 heaping scoop, hot, four minutes, no additives. I think this would be wonderful with a second steep or some additives (I am thinking half and half or some light cream) would really take this to the next level.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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99

Instead of my original plan of just dusting over why I have not posted in so long, let me be completely honest. A lot has changed in my life, and while I could come up with excuses and reasons to tell you, they don’t matter. What matters is that I essentially had lost my way and stopped enjoying the teas I was drinking, it was becoming a game, something to rate and critique to add to my personal list. I had lost the passion and appreciation for the tea that had brought me to this site in the first place.

I plan to not do that anymore. I want to slow down and actually enjoy the tea and really experience it instead of just ranking at rating it. I have had many teas in the break, I will go back and experience what I can and rate them appropriately, because I do love doing this, but I had been doing it for the wrong reasons, I am sorry and I plan to rectify this.

Whew – now that that is out of the way, I want to say this tea is delicious. Infused hot, no additives, four minutes. Sipped as it cooled there is a delicious black tea flavor in this, it is clean and bright and crisp without being astringent or bitter. The aroma of both the dried leaves and the brewed tea is fantastic, captivating and intriguing. I will be drinking this more often. Thank you for bringing me back.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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drank Tazo® Chai Tea Latte by Starbucks
243 tasting notes

Sorry for the lack of posting, I have been insanely busy traveling for work and have not gotten to drink my usual amount of tea. While I hope to rectify that this weekend, I figured a little bit of Starbucks might hold me over. Instead of my usual coffee, I decided to be adventurous and try the Tazo Chai Tea Latte. As we know from my previous posts, my chai tea must be hot, with some sort of milk and sweetened. Assuming a latte incorporated these attributes (and not wanting to be too snarky so early in the morning with colleagues present) I ordered the latte straight off the menu with no adjustments.

Overall it was pretty good – the right amount of spice and artificial sweetness with some creamy smoothness and froth blending it all together. I am glad I have found something I can order right off of the menu that I actually like.

Please note, I am on my cellphone posting this, as I said traveling for work, and it will not let me go review and proof what I wrote or actually give the tea a rated score. Will rectify these issues later. Thanks!!

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84
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
243 tasting notes

As I have mentioned before, my commute is annoyingly bad. It is now ten times worse because school is back in session and absolutely everyone is back at work – no more holidays or vacations and my commute has multiplied. I have rectified this by multiplying my tea consumption. I woke up this morning and made myself three separate vessels of tea. Each of the teas were different, therefore each one was constructed differently. The first tea was my Chocolate Pu-Erh from Numi organic (see other reviews). This was made for immediate consumption – hot, half and half, drank immediately. Delicious.

My second and third teas were made for my travel. The first of them was Jasmine Pearls by thepuritea (see other review). The third tea was for lunchtime consumption. I cold brewed my Coconut Cream Pie from 52Teas. I added a scoop of tea to the bottom of my travel mug with some German Rock Sugar (about ¼ teaspoon). Added enough hot water to cover the leaves and allow a dark liquor to start brewing. After about three minutes, I filled the remainder of the travel mug with cold water, sealed it and was on my way.

I am drinking this tea now, 6 hours later, and as expected, it is wonderful. It is cool and refreshing with a burst of sweetness, followed by a rich tea flavor and finished off with creamy smooth coconut. I kept the tea cold by adding it to the communal refrigerator. The liquor is not as dark as the starting hot brew was – it is a toasty golden honey color. I believe this tea could continue to be infused and could will continue to get better, but I should be honest, it will not last that long.

Stephanie

Your cold brewing method sounds so easy—I have to try that!

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68
drank Jasmine Pearl by thepuriTea
243 tasting notes

“The best laid schemes of Mice and Men…” I planned on a light relaxing week yesterday – that was before my commute, which seems to get longer every day, got in the way. Today I refused to let the day get the best of me and I planned ahead (see Coconut Cream Pie by 52Teas review). This was the first tea I enjoyed during my commute.

I added the full sample packet, about 2 scoops to my very large travel mug. Added ¼ teaspoon of German Rock Sugar, in case it took me too long to get to the tea, then filled it half way with hot water, let it infuse 4 minutes, then filled the rest with cold water (so as to shock the tea and not let it over-infuse and get bitter). I was lucky in that I got to drink it almost immediately. The liquor is a pale green color, the fragrance is a light Jasmine. The flavor follows the fragrance very closely, it is light, slightly toasty and definitely jasmine.

The tea itself was very good, nice and light.

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84
drank Strawberry Matcha by 52teas
243 tasting notes

I am so sad to say that I finished this off this morning.

I try to not flood the site with repeat reviews unless I try it a different way or have to change the rating because of something I did or found out. That being said, I have finished most of this using my protein shake review below. With barely enough for one more serving, I finished my Strawberry Matcha with some orange juice in my match bowl.

I used about a cup of Minute Maid Orange Juice – no pulp – this way it does not get stuck in my whisk. I added the remainder of my matcha (as with previous reviews, I still do not have a matcha scoop, and use about 1/2 teaspoon matcha typically). This time was probably a bit more matcha because I tapped the bag until I was satisfied that I got most of my matcha out.

It whisked up nice and smooth and was absolutely delicious – the strawberry flavor accented the overall orange-matcha flavor. Very nice, very sad this is gone.

Jillian

Mmm that sounds delicious. :)

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90
drank Thai Tea Blend by Teavana
243 tasting notes

Happened to travel by a Teavana yesterday and decided, on a whim, to go inside and get a cuppa of my favorite. While I was paying, I was told that it is actually being discontinued…Sad Cinoi…so I bought a pound – I will save the rest for all of you…sigh

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46
drank Hawaii Cocktail by TeaFrog
243 tasting notes

I have already had an upsetting amount of coffee today and the caffeine rush has passed, time for something calming and soothing. The raw tea smells like a chap stick – the pink “cherry” one that smells like artificial cherry and fruit and wax. This is most likely because I have no idea just how old it is, and it has been in the plastic pouch neighboring four other Tea Frog teas in my tea basket. I feel since I did not repackage them, that they have all melded in aroma. Oh well. I am not put-off by the smell, but the ingredients have me a little wary. There is a lot in here that could get bitter very easily…

That in mind, I go for a small batch, 1 tsp tea, hot water, no additives, infusion time: 3.5 minutes. The liquor is very pink. The aroma has liberated more, I smell hibiscus and citrus. The flavor is surprisingly mild, there is a slight tang to it, I wouldn’t say tart (I don’t think I let it infuse long enough to get tart) but a tang, most likely coming from hibiscus and rosehips. The flavor after the tang is predominantly mango, then a spike of pineapple and papaya flavors finished off by a high citrus note, most likely from the orange peel.

I don’t think this was bad. I think this needs some work. I think that this blended with a green tea or a white tea, maybe some sweetener, and maybe iced would be extremely refreshing. I did not try it this way, I should have enough to do so later…

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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94
drank Oolong Shot by Ito En
243 tasting notes

Very much like the Sencha Shot (Ito En) this feels very thick. The can almost feels dense like there is something that needs to be liberated from the bottom of the can with shaking, though, upon pouring and drinking, you realize it is the bottom of the can. The tea itself has an oolong aroma, a little toasty that might scare people away, but I am loving my oolong adventures. The mouthfeel is also very thick, it feels like it is a concentrated tea, almost a very light-syrup, rich and toasty – this is the best way that I can explain it.

Overall, the flavor is good. It is toasty, which contrasts the fact that the tea itself is chilled, it is unsweetened and there are no artificial or unnecessary additional flavors, it is just the pure tea; purely unadulterated oolong tea – I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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drank Dan Cong by thepuriTea
243 tasting notes

It is already a long day after a long holiday weekend (which I will be backlogging tea from throughout the week). this I tried to brew when I got to work. I am extremely disappointed to say that I think I brewed this tea completely wrong. I typically do not use boiling water – I almost always use “hot” water from the water cooler (the things in offices that deliver hot and cold water out of a large 5 gallon jug) which at home is around 180°F. We have one in work also, today the “hot” side was not working, so I quickly brewed up some water in my little coffee pot for tea (I just boil water in it, no coffee ever goes in there), unfortunately, I did not let the water cool enough and I am afraid the water was too hot and I let the tea infuse too long (at five minutes – the end of the brew spectrum for this tea).

The fragrance of the dried leaves was wonderful, even the aroma of the brewed tea is very nice, a sweet note with some woodsy aroma, however my tea is very astringent in flavor. I am getting no woodsy flavor or sweetness that everyone else experienced.

I have another sample of this, I will have to try again. For now, I will hold the rating because I do not think this was a true review.

Kryptryx

I would suspect the long steep, not so much the brew temperature. This morning, I did also made a Dancong with slightly cooled boiling water and a 2 minute steep, and it is quite delicious.

Cinoi

Thanks Kryptryx, I will give it a try with a shorter infusion time as soon as possible.

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Profile

Bio

I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone

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NJ

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