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243 Tasting Notes

84
drank Strawberry Matcha by 52teas
243 tasting notes

All good things must come to an end. In this case it was my protein shake. I tried to buy a different brand, same flavor, powder to replace it but no dice.

This new powder needs a lot MORE strawberry matcha, but I am OK with that :) Still I was able to make a vanilla cream protein shake with a slight hint of strawberry and matcha. Very pale green, very subtle flavors. Great way to start my day!

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76

I find it so rewarding when you finish tea. I purchased a bag of this and was given another bag from a friend (thanks Madison!!) so though not officially gone, I completed another sample of tea and can make more room (for more tea).

This one I infused hot, five minutes, with three rocks of the German Rock Sugar, and the smallest splash of half and half. This tea without any additives is a little bit bitter, has a natural unsweetened pumpkin taste, a bite of cinnamon, a hint of nuttiness and the black tea flavor. I like natural pumpkin, so I am not put-off by the bitterness, but I do really think the sugar helps to round it out and meld better with the cinnamon. The sugar makes the pumpkin taste sweeter and not be so forceful and actually helps to add to the nuttiness so that it is a little more pronounced and not so hidden. The half and half is really just a bonus for me, pumpkin pie should always be served with whipped cream, and this is the best way for me to get that in the tea :)

As a final note, this tea is still one of my favorites by 52teas, it is right up there with the Coconut Cream Pie, and now that I finished up a sample, I can open up my Peanut Butter Chai!

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I agree with that. It’s a strange feeling, really, because even when you run out of something awesome you can’t get again there’s still a really nice aspect to having finished the tin.

Cinoi

Yea, bittersweet is probably my preferred term for it

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75
drank Darjeeling Tea by Golden Moon Tea
243 tasting notes

GM sampler #24, I know I haven’t been counting, but I know that there are five left after this one…

The aroma of the leaves screams black tea, but not much else. I infused the full sample, five minutes, hot with no additives. Honestly, I was not paying attention, again and realized about two minutes after my goal steep (3 minutes) I had overshot the brew. Oh well.

This tea is pretty good, but then again I like black tea. I also cannot really taste the difference between the different types of black tea because I so often get flavored blacks and then I find it hard to distinguish later on. This like I said is very nice. Not too astringent, not overbearing, has nice body, not too light or too strong. There is a slight twang of bitter at the end of this, I would normally consider than astringency, but because I do not taste it through the entire sip of tea, I do not think it is astringent, I just think it’s a little bitter.

Would be fantastic with some half and half and/or sugar. I think I’ll go do that and repost…

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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86

Today, while in the mall, I traveled to Teavana to pick up a tea that, turns out, was discontinued-which fully explains why I had never heard of it and was so intrigued. (Holy Run-On Sentence Batman!) Nonetheless, I decided to aid digestion in a cup of the old favorite. I asked for it hot and “slightly sweetened” which usually means a lot less sugar than was put in here. I am not criticizing, I am just saying…

For this store made brew, I am afraid I have to almost change my rating, it did not taste nor smell anything like I remembered. It was strangely sweet, smelled like oatmeal – an oaty, sugary, cinnamon and raisin kind of smell. The flavor was sweet and slightly and I mean very slightly spiced with cinnamon, but that’s it. This really reminds me of snickerdoodles, the butter cookie with cinnamon and sugar and that’s about it…sigh, this is not what I remembered at all!

To make sure I was not crazy, I went home to dig through my cabinets to see if I had any remaining and try and figure out what was amiss. I had enough for one small pot (this is a bittersweet moment, I had enough to quiz and question myself, but was able to finish off another tea). The pot I made at home was much more like I remembered: some almond flavor, some coconut, spices from cinnamon and cardamom, nothing at all like what I just had in the mall!

My infusion was three minutes, hot, no additives. The store was three minutes hot, slightly sweetened. Could “slightly sweetening” with the German Rock Sugar really do that? I guess so. So, fellow Steepsterites, I do not really know if this proves anything, but what I do know is do not sweeten this tea, it kills the flavors and undertones that you should be enjoying and almost killed a perfectly good rating.

For now, I will chalk the change up to the sweetened version and keep my rating for the version made at home. If you do give this one a try, I cannot stress enough to try it on it’s own before adding anything.

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67

The leaves are long and pale green, a white tea and smell faintly of melon. Not really like the green melon I thought it was, it smells more like cantaloupe. Anyway, steeped this tea up, hot, no additives, was aiming for 3 minutes, but forgot about it-so it actually infused about six minutes, no big deal.

The aroma coming off of this tea is very sweet, almost sickeningly sweet, like a nectar or extremely fragrant flowers, actually reminds me a very sweet wine. The tea itself, tastes like melon and is very sweet, but not overpowering, which is weird, because based on the smell I would have thought it to be sweeter. I am glad it is not as sweet as it smells, that would have been too sweet.

The tea wasn’t bad, it was pretty good but too sweet for me to enjoy on a regular basis. This of course could have been from the over-infusion, so I might have to get another sample and find out.

Preparation
4 min, 45 sec

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84

So, I figured it was time to finish up the GM sampler. Picked blindly, got this one, perfect for breakfast!

This tea is probably one of the best breakfast blends I have ever had. You can smell the typical breakfast tea aroma from the leaves, but once brewed it releases a whole world of aroma and flavor. A robust aroma of black tea – slightly fruity and slightly smokey, definitely smells delicious. The flavor, you can actually almost pick out all of the teas in here: there is a smoothness, a malty flavor, a slight smoke and a hint of fruit. Absolutely delicious.

Infused hot, four minutes, no additives. Delicious. Second cup enjoyed with a teaspoon of sugar and some half and half. Also delicious.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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77

Got some of this from Golden Moon…it’s bagged and comes in clear little plastic pouches. As of late, I must say that all the hate for bagged tea is becoming unfounded, they are wrapped in plastic and/or foil wrapping which stops aroma from seeping out and the tea getting stale, the quality of ingredients have increased greatly, with full large leaves loosely packed in the individual bags, and the flavors and blends have become more exotic and interesting. This tea is another example of just that.

The bagged tea, though looks plain, smells delicious, like green and genmaicha, a rich matcha aroma and a hint of vanilla. Infused one bag in 8 ounces of water, hot, three minutes, no additives.

The tea smells much the same as the bag. The liquor is a very pale green. The flavor, like so many good blends, comes in layers. The first sip starts with genmaicha, a hint of green, then vanilla, then matcha, finished with the toasty rice flavor of genmaicha again. After you swallowed the tea, there is a sweet minty aftertaste. The taro and honeybush flavors are not in the layers, they are smoothly blended amongst the other flavors and hardly detectable amongst the other flavors. This tea is complicated and delicious. I finished the whole cup before I even knew it. I tried to resteep the bag, and it was much weaker, but still drinkable.

Overall, this tea was fantastic, I am very excited I still have another bag to enjoy later.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Gingersnap Rooibos by Tea Largo
243 tasting notes

Sorry there is no picture on the website for this, I wish there was, it is so pretty. There is the small rooibos splinters and granulated cinnamon and ginger pieces that look like glitter sprinkled throughout the tea. There is something else in there, something that clumps up a bit, but immediately breaks down when touched with my spoon.

The tea smells like a gingersnap cookie, sweet and spicy at the same time with a light rooibos fragrance. Since it did not smell incredibly strong, I was not concerned about it being too strong. Infused hot, 5 minutes, no additives.

The liquor is red, gingersnap cookie, duh, the fragrance actually manages to smell more and more like a gingersnap cookie. It is warm and spiced, yet sweet and almost a little buttery. The flavor mirrors this very well. There is the spice ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg flavor, there is a little extra cinnamon for a chemical as well as physical heat, and something that makes this natural sweet without having added anything. There is a slight buttery flavor, not creamy but a slightly salty, caramel flavor.

This tea was good, and good on its own without any additives. :) So far, Tea Largo has done a fantastic job with these blends.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
JonTea

Sounds like a cute little tea :)
Yes I just called a tea cute..

Cinoi

I think we can definitely call it cute :)

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74
drank Carrot Cake Rooibos by Tea Largo
243 tasting notes

Long have I sought for the tea that will conquer the constant craving for carrot cake. I have tried a few (will be posting soon enough) and this is one of them.

The blended tea smells fantastic, just like carrot cake should smell. You can smell carrot and spice: cinnamon and nutmeg perhaps, along with big pieces of walnut.

Infused hot, five minutes, no additives, the tea is a little blander than I would have liked plain and alone like this. It is definitely carrot cake colored, yet you are really only smelling spice, the flavor is definitely carrots with spice and walnut, but something is missing. The creamy sweetness of cream cheese frosting? Most likely.

So I tried it again, same sampling of the tea, hot, a pinch of rock sugar, infused 4 minutes. This was closer, the added sweetness from the sugar brought out a flavor that was not there before. Interesting. I am liking this one a lot better. Might as well try it with milk.

One last time, same sample of tea, got a decent amount of infuses out of this, hot, infused 4 minutes, a pinch of rock sugar and a splash of half and half. (Sorry about the “technical” terms pinch and splash, they are not a full tablespoon for my full 8 ounce serving of tea, they are like a teaspoon of sugar, and two teaspoons of milk). This is pretty dead on flavor wise. It has a creaminess (from the milk) a sweetness (from the sugar) and then the spiced carroty goodness of carrot cake. The rooibos did not bring too much to the party, I am pretty sure it helped impart color on the liquor, but not much more, it was not overpowering and it let the additional ingredients really do their own thing in the tea.

Overall, this was pretty good. I did prefer it with milk and sugar though.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Orchid Oolong by Mighty Leaf Tea
243 tasting notes

Today was a long day in the professional world: fancy clothes, big meeting, followed by dinner with clients, customers and my bosses. When dessert rolled around, I noticed a tea list, and how could I resist? I had not heard of this specific Mighty Leaf, though I knew the brand well, so I decided it would aid in digestion and make a fantastic tasting note.

The waiter kindly dropped off my (and two others’) tea bags in tea cups with saucers and spoons, but alas, no water. Impatient, I ripped open the bag, I am sure I looked nuts because I smelled the tea bag, mind you this is normal if it was wine, but whatever. The leaves are delicately packed in the silk satchel, they are not crushed, and there are small yellowish pieces amongst the leaves. The smell is floral-fruity, as in flowers that bear fruit, and coconut. Strange, intriguing, smells delicious. Where is the waiter with my water? There he is…Infused hot, four minutes, no additives. The flavor is subdued, you are still smelling the coconut, but you are only tasting oolong with a hint of fruity-floral at the end.

The tea flavor is delicate; the flower bearing fruit smell can be described as “powdery”, like it is an essence of the fruit and flowers without actually being in there. I did not taste coconut, but I was not upset. This overall was very good.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

Sounds like a good conversation topic for a business meeting!

Cinoi

I thought it was! Haha :)

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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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