Intelligentsia

Recent Tasting Notes

80
drank Silver Needles by Intelligentsia
58 tasting notes

I’m pretty new to white tea in general, so I don’t really know exactly what to look for. That being said, I really enjoyed trying this one. It had a very mild sweetness to it that was pretty nice, matched by a bit of astringency as well.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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88
drank Japanese Sencha by Intelligentsia
58 tasting notes

This is GREAT. Perfect blend of sweet/bitter, smooth/astringent, etc. It has a very pleasant grassy taste as you’re drinking it, with a sweet aftertaste.

Flavors: Grass, Nuts

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Very light, smooth and not bitter. Great for a light green tea but I prefer something more flavorful.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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67

After trying this at my local coffee shop, I decided to buy a bit of it to try at home. My tastes are far from developed from many of you guys, but it is very delicious. It smells very sweet from the package and shows through in the brew. Great for a midday treat.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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82

I have spoken directly (through e-mail) with the tea buyer for Intelligentsia about this tea, and his reasons for purchasing this particular crop are rather interesting. He is not a fan of the Anxi-style TGY’s, with their prominent floral notes, nor is he a fan of Taiwan’s increasing adherence to the Anxi standard. Luckily, he found a TGY in Taiwan that was processed in a more traditional way: a bit heavier oxidation, and more time roasting over the fire.

That said, this particular TGY is not typical of others of the sort. The roasty flavors really come through, and it is also very prominent in the aroma of the dry leaves. The first steepings yielded purely the flavor of the roast: hints of baked nuts, dark chocolate, and french fries. By the third steeping, the floral notes of the leaves started to come through. I found the third and fourth steepings to be by far the best. I got a total of eight steepings out of this tea, and it probably could have gone farther, if only I wasn’t all tea’d out. In the subsequent steepings the roasty flavors died out, and the floral and fruity notes became more and more prominent. I have found this to be typical of most good oolongs, even of the Dan Cong and Wuyi Shan varieties.

The look of the steeped leaves were nice and whole, almost no broken leaves in the pot. Truly the feat of a masterful tea maker!

Overall, I very much enjoy this tea. I may disagree with the Intelligentsia tea buyer (I prefer the high floral notes of Anxi oolongs), but I can still see the high quality behind this tea from pluck to cup, and I can at least appreciate that.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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87

Drank this at an Intelligentsia location in Chicago, has a sweet floral taste. Was a great dan cong, definitely high quality.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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52

I feel a cold coming on, and I remembered about this tea sitting at the back of my cupboard, and thought I’d brew some up. Sadly it failed to impress me. I felt the chamomile was too overpowering and didn’t let the other flavours come through. I possibly oversteeped it a bit. It was okay overall, nothing too great or horrible, but I have other teas that I far prefer for the sick blahs.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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90

This is the best Dan Cong I’ve ever tasted. The smell and taste of Magnolia is simply beyond words. It has a delicate sweetness with the Magnolia, and it has a strong vegetal aftertaste I love in great oolongs.

While it is a bit pricey ($13 for 1.5 oz.), if you are looking for a good Dan Cong this is it. I was able to yield 5-6 good infusions before it started to really die down. I drank it out of a 6 oz. glass teapot from Intelligentsia, with about 1/3-1/2 of the teapot full of this tea.

If you are unsure whether you want to drop the money or not, what’s cool is if you have a coffee shop that serves Intelligentsia teas they’ll probably have this stuff. That’s how I first tried it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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100

This is a great herbal tisane, and is my go-to tea when I have a sore throat, a cold, or when I lose my voice (more frequently than I’d like).

It’s equal parts apple-y chamomile, tart rosehips, and refreshing peppermint. Love.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Follow up: Steep this tea for 4 minutes instead of three and any sourness goes away!

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80

This is a really nice black tea. It is sweet and smooth with just a hint of bitterness to perk things up. Occasionally I get a slightly sour note that I don’t really like, but I find this tea interesting enough to sip on a regular basis anyway.

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85

this tea is great. intelligentsia is pricey but they have yet to disappoint me. very dark for a white tea, but fragrant and earthy, not in an oolong way but more light on the tongue. very enjoyable any time

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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84

This tea is great. If you love oolong tea at all, you will most likely love this. I steep it for a long time so I didn’t get any second infusions, but I’m ok with that. Still a great tea, and for some reason is perfect right before bed.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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74

I love Sencha tea. Bit of a grassy taste but a very enjoyable green tea.

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59
drank Genmaicha by Intelligentsia
9 tasting notes

A surprising taste with ‘bread-ish’ overtones. Claimed to taste like popcorn, pretty accurate. Not the best tasting tea, had some strange aftertaste, but enjoyable if you’re able to enjoy more bitter-tasting teas.

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92

Another favourite for iced tea. It’s so light and easy on the palette that it make a great alternative to flavoured water or juice throughout the day.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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75

I usually avoid the much-acclaimed Metropolis coffee house here in Chicago because of its college study-hall vibe and corresponding attitude, but it’s chilly here today (these Chicago springs…) and I needed a cuppa on my way downtown to, er, another tea shop. Their Japanese sencha from Intelligentsia is just light enough, just strong enough, and plenty green to remind me it’s actually spring, as the cold lake wind slices right through me.

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