Art of Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

86
drank Banana Dulce by Art of Tea
517 tasting notes

I think that I like this blend a bit more than I did about 3 years ago. It could be that I’ve become more fond of banana teas, but this one is very unique and yummy. I first taste the sweetness of the banana and it reminds me a little bit of a banana dessert with graham crackers, caramel and whipped cream. The finish is almost pure chamomile, gently floral. I can taste a little bit of the coconut in the form of something sour, but none of the lemongrass. It does get a little bit soapy, but I like the sweet banana too much to stop drinking. This is a nice blend to have in the cupboard when you want chamomile with something extra!

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81

This is my first Darjeeling, and I’m not particularly a fan of black teas but this one is quite good. Creamy yet with an apple-like crispness, and hardly astringent. Good without milk. I’m drinking this while eating nilla wafers and it’s like a slice of heaven :3

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92
drank Mandarin Silk by Art of Tea
93 tasting notes

My taste buds might be a little fatigued by all the roasty oolongs and black teas I’ve been drinking recently, they’re all starting to taste just a little too similar. So this tea happens to be a wonderful palette cleanser. For an oolong, it’s very green, and it does have that little bit of astringency to it, but in this case it’s not a negative attribute. In the afternoon it’s downright refreshing.

Steeped in a mug Western style. Along with the greeness, this tea is full of the baked-treats goodness I remember from before. It’s very hard to tell from the first steep that it was even blended or flavored with other ingredients, as the overall effect is just so naturally harmonious. Only in the second cup are the citrus notes evident, and it ends up like a creamy lemon meringue pie. Pleasantly surprised, since previously I could only get this from cold brewing.

By the way, any ideas on how to brew oolong/black tea less sweet? Every cup I’ve made with my Verdants in the last few days tasted like it had too much fruit juice in it, whether I’ve tried to make it gongfu style or used Western proportions. The only thing I changed recently is that I started using a larger kettle so that I would have enough water to rinse and do a few infusions. Previously I had a tiny, single-serving kettle that was…cute but not ideal. Due to design issues, I had to watch the small kettle like a hawk, usually stopping it around 160-180F, but I let the large kettle come to a full boil and often wander away in the meantime. That’s all I can think of.

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69

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69

The deep woodsy flavors of the Rooibos and Honeybush ended up dominating this blend. While I’ve come to appreciate these notes more over the past few years I still tend to prefer blends where they are a bit more subtle. Beyond that there was a tartness to this blend that didn’t quite taste like blueberry, but rather a generic tart berry flavor. I was hoping for a a nice balance of sweet and tart from the blueberry, there are a number of teas that fit that bill, but unfortunately this one didn’t quite live up to other blueberry flavored teas that I’ve had. What was missing entirely were the sweet and creamy flavors of cheesecake. Even the addition of some German rock sugar couldn’t coax them out, leaving me incredibly disappointed in this blend.

You can read the complete review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/7/8/tuesday-tea-blueberry-cheesecake-art-of-tea.html

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Starry Night by Art of Tea
649 tasting notes

It’s 2pm here, and this is my first tea of the day. Yes, it’s been that kinda crazy around here.

Vanilla tea is so comforting to me. It’s simple but indulgent at the same time, and sometimes (like today) it’s exactly what I need to help me relax for a few minutes. I’m very fond of the base tea of this one now. It’s smooth and well balanced against the vanilla. No funky aftertaste. No bitterness. I’m running really low on this one, so a trip to the tea shop may be in order later this week.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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92
drank Mandarin Silk by Art of Tea
93 tasting notes

I picked this one up at a little coffeeshop near my new place. Art of Tea has some good blends, and this one had won some awards, so I was pretty excited to try it.

The dry blend has large, twisted dark green leaves with a few marigold petals. The aroma is very inviting, buttery with hints of vanilla cream. Once brewed, the liquor is very pale in color. The flavor for this tea is just fantastic, buttery and reminiscent of baked goods, almost like a soft and fresh madeleine cookie. I brewed this one both hot and cold, and the lemon myrtle is only really apparent in the cold brew, as a gentle, citrusy twist that blends into the creaminess.

This is my first experience with a pouchong oolong, and it’s similar to a dancong in some ways. The blend really brings out the best in this tea without distracting or detracting from it. I can foresee drinking a lot of this in the future!

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62
drank 1896 by Art of Tea
1641 tasting notes

Last sipdown for tonight! (unless I’m up to 3am again?) (186)
Thank you Sil!

I’m with you on this one. It’s sorta meh. I get light black tea notes and rose. Mostly rose. I get the impression that this one is mostly scented, instead of flavoured. Still, I’m happy I got to try it! :D

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80
drank Starry Night by Art of Tea
649 tasting notes

Another nice cup of this one. I added some sweetener and milk which helped to make a good tea even better. I think once I run out of this, which will be soon, I’ll try a few other vanilla teas to see how those flavors stand up to this one. Going back to this one won’t be a problem if I don’t find another vanilla tea that absolutely knocks my socks off.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77
drank Japanese Cherry by Art of Tea
1641 tasting notes

Sipdown! (226)
Thank you to 221tea for sending some of this on! I don’t crave green teas enough, but I finally sat down with this and quite enjoyed it. I’m getting cherry notes, and buttery spinach in the green and it’s balanced nice and now it’s gone. :O So, thank you! That’s always a good sign.

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70

Sipdown (167/173)!

Well, this last cup was kinda disappointing. I made it in my timolino after preparing it the exact same way a few days earlier and loving it – but this felt so wrong!

For starters: there was zero mint to be found, and the Pu’Erh was ghastly strong and muddy tasting. What happened to the nice balance between all the different flavours? This was really quite lopsided with maybe the smallest trace of chocolate/vanilla?

Well, I’ve changed my mind about wanting to seek this out down the road. If it’s going to be this inconsistent I don’t want to fuss with it; and just… Ick.

Knocking my rating down a ways to balance between the two extremes: one awesome cup and one awful cup…

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drank Starry Night by Art of Tea
568 tasting notes

Ooh! A bitter cup! Left this to steep for too long, dang :/
But it smells oh so SO good. All the vanilla goodness :) And there was this weird looking tea mass? I have no idea what it was, maybe just tea rolled up into one massive node but I’ve saved it for next time :)

Thank you QueenOfTarts for sending this my way!

Preparation
3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cheri

I hate when that happens.

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70

Another Christmas-y blend I felt I needed to work on finishing off, so I made it in my timolino for work. I received it back around January as an extra sample from someone’s tea sale: I believe Queenoftarts? I could be wrong though.

I actually thought it was just black tea up until the hot water hit the leaf – and then I was able to immediately smell the Pu’Erh. Of course looking it up now to log it, it does have Pu’Erh in it. Visually I couldn’t tell from the leaf though.

Taste wise I was a little let down but also simultaneously pleasantly surprised. The let down was the the mint was really faint – pretty much only just present enough to realize it was there; and I was expecting more. But maybe moderation was a good thing: the chocolate/vanilla combo was tasty and meshed surprisingly well with the Pu’Erh which was very strong and earthy in a really good way.

At first I thought I was unimpressed with this blend but by the time I was at the bottom of the timolino I was so heartbroken I was out! I have one more cup worth left though; so I’m excited for that to see if it’s consistently good. It’s summer(ish) now so I wouldn’t think about restocking at the moment but I could get behind having more of this back in the winter!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Amariel

Hmmm, pu erh and mint? Interesting.

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drank Mandarin Silk by Art of Tea
512 tasting notes

I’m pretty sure this one came my way from ifjuly! I’ve had it at work forever and lost track of it. Found it today and steeped it up. It’s a nice, smooth oolong with vanilla and a bit of citrus to it. I think I prefer Tea Merchant’s Silk Dragon but this is a pretty nice option and I wouldn’t turn down a cup. :)

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80
drank Starry Night by Art of Tea
649 tasting notes

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had this one, and I forget how nice it is. It’s fairly basic. Vanilla and tea. The white tea stars are mostly there for show. They don’t lend much to the tea itself, but they are pretty. My guess is that the black tea is Assam. There is some malt and a thickness that I tend to associate with Assams. The black tea is strong and a good base for the vanilla which is sweet but not at all artificial. Add a touch of milk and sugar, and this is a tea I can easily enjoy.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I actually love chrysanthemum tea, all by itself. I used to drink a cup every day while I was fixing dinner. I haven’t been doing that, for awhile. I also haven’t been drinking my Nettles tea, which is probably why my allergies are so bad this year.

So today, after my gig, I drank a cup of this while I was fixing my dinner. I’ve had these flowers for awhile now, but the tea still tastes good to me, & I enjoyed it. End of story.

Charissa

I really like chrysanthemum tea by itself too! It has a really unique, nice flavor. I believe in Chinese medicine it is used as a “cooling” tea, to help balance out the body.

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88
drank Ancient Forest by Art of Tea
58 tasting notes

This tea had a great deal to live up to, having been hand picked from tea tree’s a 1,000 years old found only in an ancient mountain preserve a mile above sea level. I don’t know if any tea could live up to such a backstory but it is a very fine black tea. It actually tastes quite like an oolong, although not quite as malty. Honey is the predominant note for me, with a woodsy body and a nice smooth finish. My only complaint is that it didn’t hold up very well after 4 steeps but that’s to be expected with the smaller leaves used.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This was the second Yunnan black I ever had :)

Brian

What was the best?

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This one: www.whisperingpinestea.com/imperial-gold-bud.html :D

I’m soooo lucky to be able to import this tea :)

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drank turkish apple by Art of Tea
410 tasting notes

Mmmm, cinnamon apple! I’m not a big apple tea fan, but I wanted to try this anyways and it is good. It is pretty smooth and true to apple taste. It tastes more like cooked or baked apple and that impression is helped along by the cinnamon. I’m not sure what makes this Turkish. Do Turks often eat apples with cinnamon?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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drank Cinnamon Fig by Art of Tea
410 tasting notes

Fig?! I’m getting more apricot/peach than fig. I can detect a little bit of cinnamon, but not much. It seems a little astringent, but I may have made it a little too concentrated since I’m doing 1/4 cup flight tastings and don’t always have the measurements dialed in. This tea also could be old, having been in a TTB. It doesn’t taste much like what I’d expect, but it isn’t bad either.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Butterscotch by Art of Tea
410 tasting notes

I plucked this out of a traveling tea box to try! It came in a bag that says it appears identical to Tealux’s Butterscotch Potion and it looks about the same as a sample I have of Persimmon Tree’s Butterscotch. It tastes about the same as PT’s version too. It is nice, smooth… a little butterscotch on the sip and more in the aftertaste. I could drink more of this and I think I will!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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