243 Tasting Notes

81
drank Spiderweb Oolong by Shanti Tea
243 tasting notes

Backlogging.

I actually drank this tea all week and it took me most of the week to get the words just right about it. I used up the entire sample over the course of five infusions. So bear with me while I revisit my notes and describe each one.

To start, the leaves smell of faint oolong and a tiny bit of grape flavor. The grape is very difficult to detect, but I love grape and can find and look for it in a lot of things… The leaves are small, dark, curled very tightly, with the faint aroma.

The first infusion was five minutes, hot, no additives. The tea is sweet and malty, a delicious oolong with the slight wine taste finishing off the brew. I mustered two more infusions (5 minutes and 7 minutes respectively) with very similarly delicious results. This was day one.

Day two I added some sugar, hot infusion, five minutes. This was still good, but the natural sweetness of the tea itself and the added sweetness from the sugar made this infusion almost too sweet. Still good, but could be less sweet.

Day three, I put my tea in a travel mug and let it infuse with hot water, no additives the entire 45 minute car ride to work, taking little sips when there were stops along the route. The tea is much stronger now, not a gentle, definitely still oolong, but more malt then sweet when brewed this way. The wine aftertaste is completely gone. As an aesthetic note, this long of an infusion allowed the leaves to completely unfurl into long thick green oolong leaves…

Day four, attempting the 45 minute infusion again, but this time with 1/2 teaspoon of rock sugar. The sweetness is back, but I feel like it is kind of cheating, the natural sweetness is gone and overrun by malt, but the sugar brings some underlying flavor to life. Still no wine aftertaste.

Day five, my last bit of the tea, I decided to go back to basics and enjoy what it actually was, hot, no additives, five minute brew. After having experimented with the other ways I thought I could enjoy the tea, I now know, this was superior. An even balance of sweet and malty oolong, the slight hint of grape, with a crisp and clean flavor. Very well balanced, very delicious.

Enjoy!

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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75

As I said, I am running dangerously low on my Strawberry Matcha and my Mandarin Matcha – going to have to reorder soon, but trying to go through my other Matcha stashes before I get to that point.

I have a decent sized bag of this, because it comes as a mix in 4 ounces. Honestly, this mix is fantastic alone, slightly sweet, nice and frothy and creamy, using just water – You almost get a shake when you make it with milk, and if you use orange juice you get an orange creamsicle matcha shake. All versions are delicious, but I am using it in my protein shake still. Since it is not straight matcha, I tend to use more.

2 scoops Vanilla Dream Protein Powder (use the included scoop)
2 scoops Matcha Latte Mix (it comes with a scoop also)
8 ounces of milk

This is very thick, yet goes down very easily. The vanilla mixes well with the Latte Mix and matcha flavors, though it seems I am missing the added boost of flavor I get from either strawberry or mandarin orange. I should look into adding a fourth ingredient for some extra hidden flavor if I continue to use this.

Enjoy!

Cofftea

Cinoi, before you run out w/ either- you must try them blended together in a drink. I suggest just plain water.

Cinoi

Cofftea, will do…

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81
drank Beatles' Blend by Mighty Leaf Tea
243 tasting notes

If memory serves me correctly…this is one of the first teas I reviewed on here, just under a year ago…I still love this tea, but it got buried in the avalanche that is my cabinet and on top of my counter tops, microwave and into baskets strewn throughout my kitchen. I have since found it and not stopped drinking it.

It’s base is Earl Grey, as we have discussed, I do not like the Earl so I tend to avoid him, but the issue I have with EG is the Burgamot. I do not like it, not at all, something about it, it is sour, it is sweet, it is slightly floral, but there is no depth of levels, it is one-dimensional and I do not enjoy it. Enough complaining. This tea, though Earl Grey based has little-to-no Burgamot, it instead swings right into a malty tea from China, then a crisp English Breakfast tea followed by a deeper rich flavor from Indian tea finished with a hint of Jasmine. The four flavors, though do not seem like they would meld, actually blend and compliment each other very nicely. They infuse into one complex mouth flavor that has levels of delicious depth with natural sweetness and crisp end feel free of any black tea twang.

I infuse tea hot, 3 minutes, no additives. The left over 2 ounces I let infuse about 3 more minutes then add cold water and pop it in the fridge to be iced for later.

This tea is excellent either way!

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Adham

Huge Beatles fan here, so the name of this one intrigues me. May have to give it a try on the strength of that alone! Helps that I like Earl Grey and jasmine…

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76
drank Mandarin Matcha by 52teas
243 tasting notes

Yesterday was an awful day – so much drama and issues with just about everything. Let’s start over today…That being said:

“Back to the grind Steepsterites, and with the extra running around and activity during the day from the new job and schedule, I have been dragging a bit. Still having tea daily, but neglecting my matchas and chais – teas I cannot easily make and take with me in the morning.

Today I started to rectify that with a protein shake:

2 scoops Vanilla Dream Whey Protein Powder
8 ounces of cold Skim Organic Milk*
1 tsp Mandarin matcha

Blend until smooth. Consume. Go to work. I will be revisiting an old favorite on my drive to work today, look for the review later in the morning!

*I note that the milk is organic not because of any fundamentals I have against normal milk, but the different pasteurizing process makes a creamier milk, so even at 0% (or negligible) milk fat it still tastes, feels and foams like a higher-fat content milk. I have heard it compared to whole milk, I do not agree with that, but definitely 2%."

The orange and cream flavor from this is incredible, I still love the strawberry (more in this protein shake than the mandarin) but alas, it is running dangerously low…It appears I can still order it, so maybe that is in order today…

Cofftea

Awww… I’m sorry you had a bad day, but SO GLAD that you could comfort yourself w/ this=D

Cinoi

Thanks! Matcha always helps :)

Cofftea

When you run out, unflavored matcha plus OJ is wonderful:)

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84
drank Strawberry Matcha by 52teas
243 tasting notes

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84
drank Strawberry Matcha by 52teas
243 tasting notes

Back to the grind Steepsterites, and with the extra running around and activity during the day from the new job and schedule, I have been dragging a bit. Still having tea daily, but neglecting my matchas and chais – teas I cannot easily make and take with me in the morning.

Today I started to rectify that with a protein shake:

2 scoops Vanilla Dream Whey Protein Powder
8 ounces of cold Skim Organic Milk*
1 tsp Strawberry matcha

Blend until smooth. Consume. Go to work. I will be revisiting an old favorite on my drive to work today, look for the review later in the morning!

*I note that the milk is organic not because of any fundamentals I have against normal milk, but the different pasteurizing process makes a creamier milk, so even at 0% (or negligible) milk fat it still tastes, feels and foams like a higher-fat content milk. I have heard it compared to whole milk, I do not agree with that, but definitely 2%.

Ewa

I didn’t know that about organic milk! That is useful infoes, thanks!

Lisbet

I really need to get around to trying this one. It sounds delicious _

Angrboda

I had noticed that too! Organic milk seems to have more flavour, but I thought it had something to do with it not be homogenised. (At least it isn’t in DK, but regular milk is) I’m so used to organic milk by now that if I buy regular, it always tastes a little old. Not bad, just a little old.

Cinoi

@Ewa, of course!
@Lisbet, you should really try the matcha if you can, and then mix it up, I have mostly used it with protein (vanilla flavored is a bit better than chocolate which overpowers the matcha) but it works wonderfully with just milk, and a variety of things. :D
@Angrboda, I’m glad I’m not alone! I have converted a few people, and since it expires sooooo much later (even though it says use within a week, I can usually get two out of a container) it is just easier to have around the house. I am not sure if it is the lack of homogenization or it is the flash pasteurization that makes it taste better, but whichever it is, it really makes a difference!

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83
drank Chocolate and Cream by TeaFrog
243 tasting notes

So early and so far already a long day…Opened up my tea basket when I got in the office and sifted through to see what I would enjoy. These samples still need to be had, so TeaFrog was a given, but I felt like chocolate so it sounded good.

The leaves are dark and curly, with some larger splinters, presumably cocoa and chocolate chips! Brewed up a pot of this, three minutes, hot, no additives. The liquor is a dark red color.

Once again, Tea Frog came through, they know just the right balance between actual chocolate and cocoa to make a slightly sweetened, smooth, creamy tea that is not to harsh in flavor or bitterness.

Delicious.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

WOOHOO!!! Chocolate for breakfast! Isn’t it wonderful being an adult and being able to do that? :)

Cinoi

Yes – it is :)

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92
drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
243 tasting notes

As I have mentioned before, I try to finish up many other teas before cracking into new ones, and I regret now that I waited so long to open this tea! It was extremely hot and humid yesterday (and it continues today) and I brewed up a large iced pitcher of this tea.

The dried tea mix is a blend of large coconut flakes, chunks which must be pineapple and honeybush splinters. The aroma is mostly pineapple with a hint of coconut.

Three heaping scoops of tea in the bottom of my pitcher, about 4 ounces hot water, 1/2 tsp German Rock Sugar, infused 7 minutes, added ice cubes (to shock the tea and stop brewing) fill pitcher with cold water, wait a minute or so until all chilled and enjoy.

The liquor is very dark – for some reason this was shocking to me…most likely because the smell is SOOO pina colada and I anticipated the yellow-white icy blends by the pool. The flavor is pineapple and coconut, as a pina colada should be, the honeybush was an interesting and wonderful base for this, it is naturally sweet but not overpowering, it works very well with the other flavors in the tea. The coconut and pineapple are both represented in large pieces amongst the tea. The brew, is creamy, as good coconut and pineapple blends come together in their citrusy and cream notes to make the perfect pina colada.

I have to say this tea was and is delicious, I am glad there is more for when I get home. Also, in true 52 teas fashion, I cannot wait to try this tea in a variety of ways: hot no additives, hot with additives, maybe more additives in a cold brew, and a smoothie/shake brew.

Preparation
7 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Youthberry White Tea by Teavana
243 tasting notes

It’s so hot…I cold brewed some of this last night and have been steadily polishing it off as the day has gone on, almost time to make some more, but that’s a different story…

As I said, cold brewed: Three scoops of tea, a pinch of rock sugar, 4 ounces of hot water to start the infusing process, let sit three minutes, add ice cubes and cold water to fill the pitcher. Stir a minute till evenly distributed. Enjoy.

It is imperative that this tea be underinfused as it CAN get bitter with the rosehips and hibiscus, so some sugar and the underinfusion will make it refreshing and slightly sweet. Stay cool everyone…

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93
drank Chocolate Puerh by Numi Organic Tea
243 tasting notes

Back to the heat wave on the East Coast – a quick cup of this will help me wake up and get ready for today…

Infused hot, three minutes, splash of half and half, no sugar, two ice cubes. Unfortunately, it is just TOO hot to actually drink hot tea, so I am enjoying lukewarm tea. The half and half adds the smooth and creaminess to the tea that it is otherwise missing, lightens the spices and thickens the pu-erh-esq and chocolate flavors.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Try cold brewing it in a cup of milk for 1 hour.:)

Cinoi

Ooooohhh, I think I will…Thanks!

Lisbet

It’s so hot, isn’t it? Ugh, and where I am currently staying there is no AC. sweat

Cinoi

Ugh – that is terrible Lisbet, I am sorry, I’ve been brewing iced teas to try and stay cool…

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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

Location

NJ

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