RiverTea

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Sweet Osmanthus by RiverTea
495 tasting notes

Drank this a few days ago, but I don’t remember much of it. The base tea was quite vegetal, and I don’t know if that melded well with the osmanthus flowers. However, I really need to be more attentive the next time I make this.

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drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
218 tasting notes

This is actually my second time drinking this, but apparently either I didn’t post here or Steepster ate it. Who knows.
So I was having a bad-ish day. Work was alrightish. Nothing major except I couldn’t find my work lanyard, which was really vaguely upsetting. All stuff I could replace kinda except for one of the pins that was a ’you’ve been here 5 years’ and I’m not sure if they’d give me another one if I said I lost it.
Got home, grouched about and got myself into a worse mood (especially when I realized I hadn’t stopped at the store for the pot roast I was going to make for dinner so now I don’t know what to make) so I decided to make tea. Grabbed this one since I wasn’t in the mood to try something I’d never had before, but didn’t feel like something flavored. This was in my ‘finish off/don’t reorder’ and I remember it was good so this went into the cup.
It’s not like how I remember it. Or else I’m in such a foul mood that it’s skewing my memory. This is alot fruitier than I remember. Almost reminds me of a Darjeeling, which is irritating to me since I rather detest Darjeeling. It’s kinda plummy/grapey with a bit of malty-ness in there. And something smoky at the edge. But it wasn’t the rich malty tea that I think I need(ed) to get me down off the ceiling. /sigh/
Now I’m on the fence about whether to keep this to drink down, or toss it into my stash sale post since I didn’t care for this cup at all. /grumbles more/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
K S

Hope today was better

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65
drank Midsummer Night by RiverTea
987 tasting notes

This is my second attempt at cold brewing this tea. First time, I used 1.5 tbsp of leaf in 1 litre of water, and left it for around 10 hours overnight. The resulting brew was very weak, and didn’t really taste of very much at all. A disappointment. This time, I used 3 tbsp of leaf in 1 litre of water, again for around 10 hours. I’m much happier with the result.

Looking at the dry leaf worried me a little when I spotted pieces of liquorice root. Liquorice has become my nemesis recently (it ruined Bluebird’s Aniseed Balls for me, in the end, and also their All Things Nice blend). Fortunately, I can’t taste it at all in the actual tea. Relief! What I can taste is lemon, quite sharp and fresh tasting, and a background tartness from the hibiscus and rosehip. It’s a combination that works fairly well, and I can completely see this being a wonderful drink on a hot summer evening, with plenty of ice and some slices of fresh lemon, maybe a sprig of fresh mint. The mint is what I miss here, I think. Spearmint is listed as an ingredient, but I can’t taste it at all. I think it would help to augment the sharp tartness this one has with a touch of natural sweetness, so I’m sad that it’s not really making itself known.

I’m going to try this hot next, to see whether that makes a difference to the dominant flavours. I doubt it will, somehow, but you never know. I might try adding a little honey or crystal sugar, maybe some fresh mint leaves, depending how I get on. This is the second RiverTea blend I’ve tried from my first order (other than samples) and I’m fairly encouraged so far. This is a pleasant summer blend, and I like the accuracy of the lemon flavouring. No bathroom cleaner, no artificial sweetness. I think I’m a fan!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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70

Marco Polo TTB

Well, it happened, Microsoft bought Mojang and by extension, Minecraft, when the rumor was first leaked and no ‘damage control’ happened I pretty much assumed it was a done deal. It is not all doom and gloom though, Microsoft has done some awesome things and from the press release details, as few as they are, it seems like they are going to treat Minecraft right. I am cautiously optimistic and look forward to watching Minecraft grow, and hey, maybe the Xbox 360 version will get quicker updates now (doubtful.)

Today’s tea is possibly being reviewed at the wrong time of year, depending on your hemisphere, presenting Spring Fest by RiverTea! Inspired by the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, this tea is a blend of Green Tea, Papaya Bits, Pineapple Bits, Sour Cherry Halves, Raspberry Bits, Rose Blossoms, Jasmine Blossoms, and Flavorings. The aroma of the leaves is quite fruity, blending cherries and papayas with floral notes of jasmine and roses. It does not really evoke spring to Japan to me, it evokes summer in a more tropical climate to me. Of course how well it matches its name is not really what is important, what is important is rather or not it smells good, I think it does, the fruit and flower notes mix really well, however the cherry aroma is much stronger than the other notes and has a bit of a tart quality that has me nervous.

The steeped leaves are really quite sweet, lots of sweet papaya and cherry notes with a hint of pineapple, the initial fruity sweetness fades to rosy perfume and heady jasmine at the finish. The aroma of the liquid is a mixture of jasmine’s subtle sweetness and floral intensity along with fresh vegetation and a hint of rose. The liquid smells more like a jasmine green tea than a fruity blend.

The taste is very mild and subtle, it starts out floral and sweet with faint notes of roses and jasmine with a hint of vegetation. This transitions into slightly tart cherry and sweet tropical fruit, the aftertaste is rose and tropical fruit. Spring Fest is pretty light and fairly refreshing, one of those teas that is very unassuming and can be used as a ‘background’ noise tea that you want to sip without having to think about. Obviously this is not my favorite type of tea, but they certainly have their purpose and are good to have around when in need.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/09/rivertea-spring-fest-tea-review.html

Flavors: Cherry, Jasmine, Rose, Tropical

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72
drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
76 tasting notes

Tea & Cards TTB
I purposely overleafed this tea because Marzipan reviewed it as bland. I think it helped because I got quite a bit of flavor out of the tea. It’s very malty. Pretty tasty. No complaints. Sort of blanking on how to describe this one.

On another note I bought a cupboard/cabinet at an estate sale today just for my tea! It’s already organized and it makes me way more happy than a cupboard should.

carol who

Yay for organization! I sure could use some more in my life!

Megan

It will definitely help me drink more of my teas! I had some hiding in cabinets before. Now if I could just organize my closet..

Cheri

If I had somewhere to put a tea cupboard, I would. As is, I have taken over half of the pantry in the kitchen. I just need to clear the rest of it out. (Really, we can store that chicken stock and angel hair pasta somewhere else. I need pull out shelves and a whole pantry for my tea, thank you very much!)

Megan

Tea is definitely more important than chicken stock and pasta.

Terri HarpLady

Yay for cupboards!

Nicole

Ooo… a tea cupboard… what a great idea!

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drank Crazy Mint by RiverTea
213 tasting notes

Marco Polo TTB

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this, I almost decided not to try it because of the orange and I could not smell the spearmint when it was dry. I cold brewed it and as soon as I added the water I could smell the spearmint. The orange somehow made it brighter without being bitter.

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Backlog from yesterday.

First note for this tea. Woo!

I’ve only ever had 1 or 2 Ceylons before this – in particular, I really liked the Kenilworth Ceylon that I got through Simple Loose Leaf back in August. When I bought this tea I hoped it would be more of the same.

However, the flavour in this upon first scent and sip is that it’s quite non-descript. It doesn’t have the blanket-warmth of the Kenilworth Ceylon, or even the lemony/rosy body of some bagged Ceylons.

I’m going to hold off judgement until now, as I remember I wasn’t too impressed by RiverTea’s Golden Yunnan when I tried it, but it’s grown on me a lot since then. I’m hoping that this Ceylon will also grow on me.

Preparation
Boiling 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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76
drank Ocean Breeze by RiverTea
495 tasting notes

Backlog from a few days ago:

I’ve had this twice since I bought it, and I quite like it. The ginger flavour is really strong here and melds well with the lime and lemongrass – the whole thing smells like ginger ale when I open it up, which I love.

The base here is not too strong, but not too weak, either. I’m really happy I got this blend, as I’ve been looking for a good ginger/citrus green for a while.

I have to say it: I really like RiverTea’s blends. Not all of them work, but when they work, they work.

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56
drank Swedish Cocktail by RiverTea
1933 tasting notes

My tea twin Roswell Strange sent me this and I decided to cold brew half the sample and hot brew the other.

I took the cold brew with me when I went out with my mother and as she became super thirsty, she decided to take a sip and all I saw was her pucker and not look impressed. However, she doesn’t drink tea so that might have had something to do with it given this tea is not that bad. Cold, it is mostly like a watered down apple juice with a touch of cream and a hint of hibby tartness.

As a hot brew, I can see this taking milk very well. The cream element comes out a bit more than in the cold brew but something about the combination of flavors is coming off a bit chalky. When I first tried it hot, it made me think of clay and that is just not something I want to be reminded of when I sip on my tea. Though, with that said, it really isn’t that bad of a tea, just not something I would need to have around.

Roswell Strange

Does NOT take milk well; it curdled (I think from the hibby?).

VariaTEA

Oh eww. In that case I am glad I didn’t try that.

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89
drank Granny's Cake by RiverTea
302 tasting notes

I really need to go online and check ingredients before I brew. I had just sorted through several samples, passing up all the yummy chocolate teas, I chose this because it smelled like spice cake. Surprise… chocolate! But…. I really, really like it! The chocolate and the spices and the pastry-like flavors are wonderful. I love the dessert-y teas that are pastry like and this sure fits the bill.

I did add a little stevia and was very pleased with the results. I don’t know who I got this from but ‘Thank-you’ for sharing this with me. I hope to add this to my cupboard someday!

Flavors: Chocolate, Pastries, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
khamilton611

I love that tea!

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80
drank Criss Cross Berry by RiverTea
504 tasting notes

Lewis & Clarke TTB

Cranberry pineapple? Sounds like the tea of Roswell Strange’s dreams! :P The green tea in here is quite dark, I’m unsure what type it is. This tea smells awesome! Tart and fruity with a little bit of candy sugary scent. My teaspoon had a big piece of cranberry and couple little candied pineapple chunks. The cranberry re-hydrated during the steep and got huge! It made me laugh a little bit.

Once brewed, the aroma is a mixture of buttery, vegetal green tea and tart fruit, specifically cranberry and pineapple. The taste is actually a nice balance of green tea and flavor, hooray! The green tea itself is nice and mild and sweetly vegetal. I can taste the pineapple intermingling with the tea throughout the sip, and the cranberry comes in near the end a bit. There is a tiny bit of that chalky powdered sugar taste here, which is unfortunate. I think my tongue just doesn’t approve of flavored tea now, heh! This one is pretty good though!

Flavors: Butter, Cranberry, Creamy, Fruity, Pineapple, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Roswell Strange

If it wasn’t green it probably would be :P

Cameron B.

Aww, too bad! :)

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70
drank The Tea of Kings by RiverTea
504 tasting notes

Lewis & Clarke TTB

I’ve never had a lychee tea, but I always seem to be curious about them… So I’m trying one! This definitely smells lovely and fruity, though I have no concept of what lychee tastes like. The scent is very sweet and somewhat tropical, with something that reminds me of ginger?

Brewed, this tea smells sweet and fruity with some floral. I am immediately reminded of Fauchon, because this tea has that odd powdered sugar-esque smell too. Interesting! I’m assuming lychee is a very floral fruit, because this hardly tastes fruity at all… It’s mostly a mild, sweet floral flavor with a little bit of that powdered sugar taste. Not terrible, but not at all what I expected. :)

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Powdered sugar, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

i think lychee is close to grapes if you take skins off ( to me at least, not the same but similar profile). same slippery and juicy.

Roswell Strange

Yes, lychee is naturally rather floral. Think sweet grapes/pear and kind of what a rose smells like? It’s hard to describe, I guess. Butiki’s Lychee Oolong conveys the juiciness and robustness of the flavour very well. This one is more subtle.

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79
drank Assam Secret Garden by RiverTea
4942 tasting notes

a bunch more cups of this today…it’s hot and humid and i dunno how i’m going to survive next week when i’m even further south. lol Still really enjoying this brewed cold. even my other half has some today! whoop whoop!

also just for omgsrsly

Final Count: 96 (though let’s be honest, i’m never going to make my other goals…not with next week happening)

OMGsrsly

Woo! 96 is still super rad.

Sil

yeah….if i ever get to the 80’s i’m throwing a party….

OMGsrsly

Ooo. Everyone, stop sending Sil tea. :D I want a party!

Sil

hahaha

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79
drank Assam Secret Garden by RiverTea
4942 tasting notes

i haven’t been loving this hot, looks like steepster ate my notes, but i tried making this as a cold brew for some “regular” iced tea and it’s pretty tasty, esp with a splash of lemon

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drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
1828 tasting notes

This was one of my surprise samples from K S and it was also a BIG surprise tea! Our first tea during our tea time was Bailin Gongfu, and how can anything compete with that? But this did, oh yes, it did!

We were having Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake and my daughter had cut very generous slices, so we were still eating when it was time to serve the second tea. Usually the first tea is specifically chosen to pair with the food. But this tea was AMAZING with it. I was expecting the usual delicious but predictable yammy flavor of golden Yunnan, but lifted the cup and got this wonderful smokey aroma. On tasting, there was no resemblance to Lapsang but the smoke made this tea hearty and…just plain wonderful.

This was a wow-ee, zow-ee, nice surprise! Yes, yes, yes!

K S

Glad you enjoyed this one as much as I have.

Christina

This is reassuring. I have and love this tea, but I haven’t tried many of the (apparently excellent) black teas that Teavivre offers. It’s nice to know that this tea is on par with those.

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89
drank Milky Oolong by RiverTea
230 tasting notes

Marco Lewis TTB

158 degrees?! At that temperature is it even still tea?!? Well, they know their tea best right? :P

I made this tea gongfu style

1st steeping: 40 seconds at 160F. Hmm pretty tasty but slightly weak. Sweet buttery flavor. I think if I bump up the temperature the flavor won’t be so weak.
2nd steeping: 40 seconds at 180F. Oh no, the milky buttery flavor is gone and it’s all vegetal now. That means I put the temperature too high :(
3rd: 50 seconds at 160F. Jackpot! After lowering the temp back down again the wonderful sweet buttery flavor is back. Take a lesson from me, increase the time, not the temperature with this one (or if that doesn’t work, add more leaves!)

Preparation
3 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Spring Tea by RiverTea
408 tasting notes

L&CTTB

I normally don’t like flavored oolongs. This one may be the exception to the rule. The raspberry was really nice. It went incredibly well with my chocolate chip cookie. The raspberry, even though enhanced by flavoring, did not taste fake. I enjoyed this tea.

Sarsonator

Raspberry oolong? Sounds deelish!

Cheri

It’s quite nice. Really went with that cookie.

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drank Dragon well by RiverTea
408 tasting notes

L&CTTB

This was a decent dragonwell. I enjoyed it well enough.

This tea does not go well with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

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drank The Tea of Kings by RiverTea
408 tasting notes

L&CTTB

This one was a good lychee tea. Just the right amount of sweet.

I wrote up some notes on paper at work today, but they’re sitting on my desk. So I’m logging from memory now.

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60

Sipdown! Not my favourite assam, but a good effort. It’s sweet and malty…I just know I’ve been spoilt by other varieties! A solid, everyday-style tea, but not a sock rocker sad to say.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

I’ve been drinking this fairly regularly lately, but I’ve not had time to log it. It’s a nice assam, but for some reason it’s just not really doing it for me. It’s sweet, lightly malty, and it has good body and depth of flavour. Kudos for the name, too. It works equally well with milk or without, and it’s smooth with no astringency. Sometimes I get mild honey notes, other times I get more grain. On the whole, though, it leaves me fairly uninspired and I’m not sure why. I’ve had assams I like more, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this one. It makes for a strong, reliable, every day tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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drank Absolute Spearmint by RiverTea
230 tasting notes

Marco Lewis TTB

I can’t really give this a real numerical rating because I’ve come to dislike flavored teas lately. This is Spearmint flavored oolong but I taste all spearmint and no oolong. I feel like I could have just drank actual spearmint instead, y’know? That being said it does have a nice minty flavor with a hint of ginger in there.

Flavors: Ginger, Spearmint

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drank Boatsman by RiverTea
248 tasting notes

Lewis and Clarke TTB

I decided to make this as a tea soda, following Roswell Strange’s method of using ~1T to 1oz boiling water, steeped 4 minutes, I then added the stevia equivalent of 2.5T of sugar to make a concentrated syrup, that I then added to carbonated water.

The result is interesting. I just notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and fruit, but not all in the same sip. Each sip is a little different than the last. Keeps things interesting.

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71
drank Adventures in Africa by RiverTea
1698 tasting notes

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