300 Tasting Notes

70
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
300 tasting notes

So I was going to wish my friend I haven’t talked to in a while a happy birthday but it turned out she was dead.

I didn’t die when I was 28.

Neither did you.

(I guess we got lucky.)

So happy belated birthday, and happy Valentine’s Day.

The tea? Oh, it tastes the same as ever – it tastes of you, (fear, shame, the inability to play the long game) of me, (no fear, no shame, the inability to not play the long game) of us, (the thick, oily, long, slow burn of forever)

…and, ironically, generously of vanilla.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Kaylee

So sorry for your loss!

yyz

Shocking and very sad. I found out recently that one of my old coworkers passed away suddenly as well. We were not close but he was a kind soul and well loved by many. He only worked at his next job for about a year but they dedicated a plane to him for the season. Sorry about your friend.

__Morgana__

Very sad. So sorry to hear.

greenteafairy

I’m so sorry.

gmathis

Goodbyes are hard, but unexpected ones even more so. Praying that you’ll have peace and rest as you process it all.

caile

So sorry for your loss.

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95
drank Ripe Mango Oolong by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

Usually, when my luggage gets lost, I enjoy myself, because hey, free clothes. But this time around, I don’t really need anything. And Italy is the worst possible place for me to shop for basics. They don’t have my toothpaste. They don’t have toothbrushes I like. (Seriously. I have to TRAVEL to find reasonably soft toothbrushes here.) They don’t have my shampoo. They don’t have my powder, foundation, mascara, moisturizer or any of the other three skin care products I use. I could go on, but I know I’m an idiot whining about getting $600 to shop for – it’s just, I’m not overly consumey, and when I do buy something, I want it to be just the thing. But if I don’t use up the insurance money, it’s lost forever, and the only way to use it is to actually buy (the right kind of) stuff for it, so fine. Let’s play your game, capitalism. Tomorrow we shop some more.

They lost three of my teas, so it’s only fair I go buy some Mariage Frères, right?

This was my Tuesday seminar tea, and a much needed cup. Great seminar, perfect tea.

I’m sorry I whined.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Cavocorax

Don’t be! I’d be upset if I didn’t have my tea! (And my stuff)

Ana

I send my friend in Japan regular care packages because of similar things – shampoo, toothbrushes, the biggest being deodorant.

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It’s a sopping wet mess over here right now. Just rain, rain and rain. I was out for lunch with a friend and we gave up even trying to be outside when the worst downpour started. We found ourselves right beside this place that I’ve walked past for years and years but never tried (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d1722996-Reviews-Caffe_Novecento-Rome_Lazio.html) so we ducked inside. We shared a pear and marsala cake of some kind and each had a small pot of tea – it was decent, but overpriced, and first they played jazz and then something Deep Forest-y, which didn’t quite compute.

This tisane-like green consisted mostly of fruit pieces, but it was quite drinkable. Why the staff at a tea house would serve green tea in a pot without a removable filter is beyond me, though – the last of it was beyond bitter.

Weirdos.

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60
drank Grön & Skön by Kobbs
300 tasting notes

I don’t really know how to rate this – it’s the best green available at my home airport lounge, so I drink it whenever I’m traveling – more out of habit than strong preference. It gets bitter very easily, and I rarely finish my cup. I’m making this sound so much worse than it is – it really does have a pleasant citrusy body to it, and it goes well with my traditional lounge melon and banana platter.

In other news, my luggage is (half) lost again. It was the bag in which I had placed my sandwich, so this is all very sad. I might have to go out into a torrential Rome and score some more foods. BAD airline. BAD.

ETA: The sandwich was in the other bag! The sandwich is safe!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec
caile

Yay! Enjoy your sandwich!

Kamyria

Yay for the safe sandwich!! Now enjoy it!

TeaExplorer

The security man lowered his head slightly and pressed his ear bud to make sure he heard the update correctly. The hint of an unprofessional smile breaks through his normally iron demeanor, but he is quick to suppresses it. He raises his sleeve and crisply reports “The sandwich is safe. I repeat, the sandwich is safe”.

His partner eyes him quizzically. “Ben, are you crying?”

At least that’s how it played out in my mind.

Terri HarpLady

LOL, nice touch!
Anna, glad you get to enjoy your sandwich, hopefully the bag is found :)

Anna

Hahaha, TeaExplorer, that is hilarious – and thanks, all of you! It was one of the best sandwiches in sandwich history.

cteresa

Don´t tell me it was Finnair loosing your luggage… Finnair and luggage, never ever check in anything important with them.

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85
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

I’ve been on holiday, and it’s been awesome. I can’t even remember the last time I was this tanned. My eyebrow person had to go several shades darker than normal, so I declare this tanning effort a success.

I shared a pot of this while cooking up a storm for friends and chosen family. As always, it’s a gift of melony goodness. Much like my friends and chosen family. Actually, they’re all the fruits – the whole basket. And I’m so lucky to have them.

Now I’m going to go unpack and repack some bags and ponder Steepster’s new look.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
keychange

I’m glad your vacation was wonderful, and am also glad you’re back here with us!

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Just a random tasting note from HCMC. Tasty milk tea, added a bit of sweetener as this was technically my dessert. Weather all balmy, nice to be back. Considering sneaking a midnight swim in the closed pool, but I’ve hit four countries today and worry there might be some kind of time-space vortex at the bottom of the pool sucking me into an endless loop of borderhopping and I really just want some suns and a sand; some peace and quiet.

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100
drank Cookie by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

Stuff has a tendency to add up and I don’t want to stand here in a few months with the realization I would need 8 full boxes to escape with even half my stuff. So I’m doing the responsible thing and am bringing two suitcases home with me – one full of stuff I can’t possibly need. If I start jonesing for Christmas ornaments in May, you need to just tell me off.

In light of this, and the fact that I’m trying out a new flight path from Rome and hence have no idea whether I even have fast track (although, to be fair, the FT at Fiumicino is a little overrated, and they’ve checked me for explosives twice in four months, so they obviously have it in for me) I clearly need to gather some strength. Hence, Cookie. Let me tell you, with a couple of almond biscotti on the site, it’s f*cking delicious.

I bought a new carry-on and I love it so much I gave it a name and slept with it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
sundaysipping

What’s its name?

__Morgana__

Hah, I want to know the name, too!

keychange

I understand this. I’ve also named our water cooler (Watson!)

__Morgana__

The navigation system in my car is named Nigel. :-)

caile

Yeah, I’ve been waiting to hear the name.. must still be having a good sleep with that new carry-on. ;-)

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80
drank Momoko by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

Ana was right, this is almost too good cold-steeped. Hot, many of Lupicia’s teas are fun, happy, playful teas to me – but cold, just as many reach this whole new level of exquisite. This is one of those teas, and it’s a huge treat to get to try it with the last (almost, I think there’s enough for one cup left) of my leaf.

The sweetness and the vanilla notes in this one really come through in the cold brew and I absolutely love it. This tea needs a higher rating, and shall hence be awarded five more points.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Ana

Momoko and Sakura are probably my favorites that I have cold steeped. I’m currently steeping my Peach Melba to see if it is better iced.

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90

I’ve been ridiculously busy – lousy timing, since I have samples from the ever-amazing Ysaurella that I want to try and write elaborate tasting notes for, but, alas, no such luck.

Okay, so looking back at the previous notes for this, I’ve really fiddled about with the rating. And it’s seemingly a never-ending story, because I’m going to nudge it back up to 90. I love this tea, and until I find a better pear tea (if ever) I want to keep it around.

The leaf is beautiful, the tea itself is fresh and clean and natural-tasting, and I enjoy it very much.

So much, in fact, that this tasting note will have to cover the four cups I’ve had over the course of the past two days.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Love me some juicy pear tea :-)

Rachel Sincere

Pear Spice from Fava Tea is very good as well!

Anna

Rachel – that’s a black tea, though, right? And someone should write a tasting note for that one!

Dag Wedin

Oh i love pear. This i will make sure to include in my next order from LPDT. And their lovely matcha candy of course ;)

Anna

Oh, awesome, Dag – I hope you’ll like it. I want to try some more of their teas. The vanilla green could be better, but the Hammam teas, both the green and the rooibos, are excellent.

Ana

I love pear so i should really take the dive. I’ve been wanting to try LPDT anyway.

Anna

If you do try it, I think playing around a bit with the suggested temp/steeping time is worth it with this one.

For me, 90C/2 min tastes most deliciously pearful, but I’m sure that’s highly individual.

Sil

Aaaaah pear tea I haven’t tried! Aaaaaaah

Ysaurella

+1 Sil :)

Anna

Sil/Ysaurella: I laughed so hard at this.

Rachel Sincere

Anna, yes, it’s a black tea. I am going to have to rectify the tasting note issue soon! :-)

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85
drank Tsugaru Green by Lupicia
300 tasting notes

I wasn’t going to drink this until tomorrow, but it was so appley and all-around tasty already that I couldn’t resist. Great tea for a cold steep – light, fresh, and crisp, like drinking a liquefied apple cloud. (Which, I guess, would technically be an apple rain, but nevermind.)

Perfection.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Crystal O.

I must purchase this tea.

Anna

It’s the best, most natural-tasting apple tea I’ve ever tried. Is there a Lupicia store in Vegas, by the way?

Crystal O.

That sounds so heavenly. I love apples a lot. There isn’t, actually! The closest one is in Southern California according to their location guide. I got introduced to the brand by a friend from the Bay Area!

Anna

Yeah, I’ve been to the one in Santa Clara, the one in Honolulu and the one in Kyoto, but they seem to crop up more and more frequently these days. A good sign!

Crystal O.

Oh, wow! I am completely jealous.

Anna

Don’t be – where I live now, I can’t even order Cookie online. I can only dream of full, permanent access to Lupicia’s online US store… so many teas I want to try. You totally win.

Crystal O.

Okay, yeah. I definitely couldn’t be able to live that life.

Anna

It’s simply not a dignified existence for a Lupicia lover.

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Profile

Bio

I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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