243 Tasting Notes

89

For some unknown reason, it has taken me a very long time to get to these TeaFrog samples…oh well

This herbal is decent – not too sweet from chocolate and not too spicy from spices. Infused hot, no additives 7 minutes. Each sip is a complicated dance of flavors. It starts with peppercorn then melts into chocolate then finally into ginger. The peppercorn provides an initial bite, a spicy kick that is quickly replaced with slightly sweet, smooth and creamy chocolate flavor, but not overwhelmingly chocolate, the chocolate is rounded out by cacao which helps to extend the flavor without adding sweetness, finally the ginger provides a little spice but true in depth flavor. Quite a mouthful…

I especially like that the tea is made of both chocolate and cacao – I think it deeps the chocolate flavor and enriches the tea overall because it is not sweet or savory, but a decent mix of the two that acts as a bridge between spicy pepper and vibrant ginger.

Great work TeaFrog.

Preparation
7 min, 0 sec

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43

So this was another impulse buy on my Florida Vacation, and I am still trying to curb the tea purchasing and opening new ones while others live on my shelf unfinished. I am happy to say, that today I was able to finish off other teas and open this one!

The smell of the dried leaves is overwhelming. It smells creamy, strawberry, coconut, a hint of hibiscus and rose, some lavender. The leaves are beautiful: little black curls mixed with red pieces, small slivers of coconut, and purple-blue leaves.

I took two heaping spoonfuls and added them to my pot, hot water, no additives. I originally intended to infuse for the full five minutes, however as it was infusing the lavender/hibiscus/rose scent liberated and I got concerned of bitterness, so I cut my infusion to three minutes.

The liquor is a dark color, somewhat like spiced rum, guess that was intentional. The odor is still the lavender and hibiscus with the powdery rose note and unfortunately, I am having a lot of trouble getting passed that smell. The flavor seems to not really be anything, a bit of strawberry, a hint of coconut, and then the familiar bitterness of lavender/hibiscus and a smack of black tea.

I do not like rose, I do not seek out hibiscus on it’s own either, and to be perfectly honest, I cannot stand lavender. I wouldn’t say this tea is bad, because it’s not, it’s just not my cup of tea (pun intended) – I would not typically drink/enjoy this regardless of the name because it is just too floral for me.

Oh well…

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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57

Had some more of this today – brewed it up for myself and a few of the co-workers. Enjoyed hot, no additives, infused for three minutes. The impression from everyone at work is that they very much like it – good, I am glad. As for me, I still think this tea is a little too sweet to be enjoyed on a regular basis.

Second infusion, three minutes, hot, no additives. Still a little sweet for my liking, which I think is surprising, because I usually find hibiscus bitter and matcha to have a bite to it. I guess the mangosteens really have that much of an impact.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Sencha Shot by Ito En
243 tasting notes

I was not entirely sure what to expect with this, but I needed a pick-me-up around lunch time, and with the heat wave, this seemed easiest to enjoy. The can does not really have any directions, instructions, suggestions, or really anything about the product you are about to consume. I knew it was Sencha tea, I knew it was cold, I knew it was unsweetened, and that’s about it.

I shook the tea, hoping that I was combining it, and insodoing, it frothed and foamed up so that the can felt dense and undesirable. This terrified me. I cracked the can open to find that it was not thick, though it was rather thin, amber yellow in color and smelled not-so-great. With the help of my co-workers, we bravely dared to drink the little shots we poured out of it.

You could not taste the smell, much like pu-erh, it was just an aroma, which was good news. The flavor was crisp and rich, definitely green tea, with the boldness and body recognized as sencha tea. Overall, this was pretty good, I am glad I gave it a try. I cannot say I was truly energized from the Sencha Shot, however, I did feel almost immediately better.

Happy drinking!

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93
drank Chocolate Puerh by Numi Organic Tea
243 tasting notes

This started my day because it was easiest to grab. I must say that now that my commute has multiplied (it was 15 minutes and now is close to 55 minutes) I really find this tea refreshing in that I can let it infuse the ENTIRE time and it still taste just as delicious.

The fragrant spiced-cookie (please see other posts for more information) is so creamy, rich and delicious that it just may be necessary to get me through this commute and to work.

As always, hot, no additives, infused more than 60 minutes, drinking the whole time out of my giant travel mug.

Cofftea

You HOT steep this the entire time for an hour??? What is your water volume? 1 bag? Is your mug really good at keeping it hot? Do you start w/ boiling water? lol sorry- you just have me shocked:)

Cinoi

Hahaha! Yes! I use hot water, just below boiling, it is a 22 ounce travel mug, I fill it most of the way, use one bag. The mug really does keep it hot, so no concerns about that.

Cofftea

Hmmm… I’d normally use 6oz water per bag…

Cinoi

I do agree, normally, but when I have to drive to work, the longer infusion works well with the extra water…

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83
drank Thousand Arrows by Shanti Tea
243 tasting notes

Brewed a pot of this today – multiple times – and like my previous Shanti Tea experience, it is very good. Following infusion instructions, I counted out 20 little “arrows” of tea, dropped them in my basket, boiled some water, allowed it to cool for one minute and then poured it over my tea. I let the tea infuse, hot, no additives for three minutes.

The tea is stunning as described, the little arrows unfurled and showed their green and dark red colors, the aroma is light and crisp, but unmistakably oolong. The liquor is pale yellow. The flavor is clean and crisp, it is mild and medium-bodied, the flavor is oolong, yet not typical oolong. It is almost so faint you cannot even tell that it is actually oolong, yet it is light and sweet and crisp.

Infused two more times with similar results – a clean, delicious oolong tea that can be brewed multiple times with perfectly mirrored results.

Overall this, like my other Shanti Tea (Blue Unicorn) are very light and clean though definitely oolong tea. I enjoyed both of these very much, though as described they flavor is faint and not quite what we have come to know as oolong.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

OMG. First unicorn, then arrows. Topiary tea! Cinoi, I had promised myself no more tea until the end of 2010 or until I can actually fit it all into the cabinet space I have available instead of cardboard cartons on the living room floor, and you have just single handedly pushed me over the brink of having to order from this company, dammit. ;-)

Cinoi

Sorry Morgana, I know how you feel, I am also on a “no more tea till 2011” kick (hence why my posts are lacking, I am drinking a lot of what I already have and have to finish up)…but I have a few more from Shanti if you want to wait it out for reviews…

LENA

MUST HAVE! :) I added it to my shopping list! This sounds…and looks so cool!

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68
drank Joy by Tazo
243 tasting notes

This tea is actually pretty good if you do not abuse it too much.

The bag contains black, green and oolong tea, which makes for a strange brew time. The bag (I do not have a box) does not give any indication of how long it should be infused, so I played around with the few bags.

First, infusing hot, no additives, three minutes. Pretty good, light on all three flavors, but mostly a sweet clean green with a base note of black tea with the final mouthfeel-taste of oolong.

Second, infused hot, no additives, five minutes. Starting to get a little bitter, not really the best, can still pick up the green and oolong while the black plays a background note.

Third, infused hot, no additives, seven minutes (strictly because I forgot about it). Really super bitter, overpowered all flavors except the black tea.

The final verdict: this tea is decent if infused 3-5 minutes. It does not need anything added to make it taste good and be able to pick up on all three flavor teas. The brew is very good, especially for my morning cuppa on my way to work.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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87

Great start of the day today…

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62
drank Throat Comfort by Yogi Tea
243 tasting notes

So when the weather changes here, and it finally gets hot, the air conditioning units go on pumping cool air along with dust, pollen, dirt, etc etc into the air. Needless to say, I have had a cough/sore throat for over a week. They are not a cold – I have no other signs, they are from the AC and then outside into the hot NJ air.

Not complaining, just trying to remedy it with some of this tea. This tea, though licorice flavored, is good, especially for the throat, it definitely does help to coat and soothe. I think that the warm slightly sweet liquid also has some coating and soothing aspects, but I am glad I had this this morning. Now onto my caffeine…

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Jennifer

Could not have said it better myself. And kudos on your rating system; may have to use (read: steal) that in my bio, with a few tweaks of course.

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67
drank Om by Tazo
243 tasting notes

In celebration of today, I wrote a haiku about this tea (not real haiku mind you using moras, fake American haiku using syllables) but an attempt nonetheless:

Getting to work
Requires caffeine Green Black
Tazo Does the trick

This tea is simple and it gets the job done.

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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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