Teas Etc

Recent Tasting Notes

82
drank Qi Lan by Teas Etc
89 tasting notes

A definite sweet fruity taste. Probably honeysuckle, but I don’t know what honeysuckle tastes like. But, no chocolate taste. Maybe it is too subtle for me, but I have yet to have taste chocolate in any the teas which are supposed to have the flavor. That said, still a very nice, sweet, dark oolong.

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

You’ve never had honeysuckle?

Kryptryx

No. I understand it is a plant that grows on the side of the roads and that people like to drink the nectar from the flowers.

Jaime

My parents have one in their backyard, and we had huge ones along the fence of my elementary school. When I was little, my whole class would line up during recess and pull the nectar out of the flowers to eat.

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87
drank Keemun by Teas Etc
89 tasting notes

Very pleased with this tea. More so as it cooled. The 1oz package will not last long.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Yummy, yum, yum! I loved this one. It was like a pie in a cup. I even re-steeped it and then results were just as pleasing. The lime tastes so fresh and juicy. I really need to try this iced but it was a sample I received with my order so I need more. I do highly recommend it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Key Lime Coconut by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

OMG. The dry leaf smells soooooo good. When I was little, my grandma would buy key lime pie from the store every time I visited her – I don’t remember the brand but I think it came in a yellow box. Anyway, she did this every visit from before I was born (though okay, then the pie was for my dad) until that pie was discontinued (or the area stores stopped carrying it) when I was around 12 years old. So key lime to me equals visits to grandma. And the dry leaf smells just like that pie did. Like exactly. Makes me feel like I’m at my grandma’s house.

The smell of the steeped tea isn’t quite as obviously key lime pie-ish but it’s noticeably key lime. There is key lime then a bit of creamy (which I think is the coconut ‘cause I’m not picking it up anywhere else) and then tea. I have a feeling that drinking this tea will be disappointing simply because it will not be an actual key lime pie bought by my grandmother.

Okay, it officially does not taste like I’m actually eating pie, but it does taste like key lime pie (if that differentiation makes sense). It’s not as shockingly and heavily flavored as the key lime pie of my memories, but I can’t not think about key lime pie as I drink this. I know it’s supposed to be key lime coconut, but whether it is the actual taste or just the mental key lime pie association I have going on, the coconut just reads to me as the creamy topping on the top of a pie combined with the sweetness of the graham cracker crust. The lime is the most noticeable thing – it’s very fresh tasting, crisp and sweet with a faint hint of tart. The actual tea taste is very subtle – it hides behind the lime most of the time except when I just hold the tea in my mouth for a few seconds. And even then it’s still pretty quiet and non-distinct. It might also lend a bit of the graham cracker crust feeling/taste, I’m not sure.

Figuring out how to rate this tea is tough. Because, quite frankly, I love it. But I love it because it tastes like key lime pie and that is a taste that has a lot of happy childhood associations for me and I know that is influencing me. I just can’t quite figure out how much I would love the tea if it didn’t have those associations. Would I be disappointed that it’s not strongly coconut? Would I be sad the tea taste isn’t stronger? Or would I say, “Hey, this is a kick ass key lime tea!”? I dunno. If this were flavored after a pecan pie (which I didn’t like until I became an adult), I have to think I’d still love how the flavoring was done. The flavoring is so nice that I think that, if Lupicia did key lime pie flavored tea, it would be very similar to this (which, considering how well I think they typically do flavored teas, is a big compliment). So thinking about it that way, I can’t think that I’m giving this more than 5 or 10 happy childhood bonus points. Which means, yeah, good tea.

I seriously want a key lime pie now.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Too funny I was just looking this up to review it. I loved it too. :-) Yummy, I want Key Lime Pie now too.

Auggy

Yay! I’m glad I’m not the only one that got pie in a cup! :) So tasty!

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74
drank Coconut Custard by Teas Etc
260 tasting notes

Coconut macaroon! I usually drink my coconut teas iced. Each coconut flavored tea has a different style of coconut, from coconut milk to toasted coconut. This tea reminds me of the sweetened coconut you get in the baking supplies aisle at the grocery store. I didn’t pick up the custard in this tea. I personally wished there was more coconut! I have a little from my sample, I might have to add a little cream and drink warm to taste it as others recommend. Very good tea. Thank you AmazonV for the swap of this tea!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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10
drank Lavender Earl Grey by Teas Etc
21 tasting notes

To paraphrase an old commercial “Where’s the bergamot” A pleasant lavender tea, but not an earl grey. Phooey If the Earl was as good as the flowers, I would give it high marks, but this should not be labeled as an Earl Grey

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Gen Mai Cha by Teas Etc
4 tasting notes

Gen Mai Cha is my go-to tea! It’s earthy, flavorful, and I especially crave it in the fall/winter. Goes great with rice and sushi.

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90
drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

This is a very nice breakfast tea. Its brisk, rich, malty, and chewy. It steeped to an amber color, not as dark as some assam’s I have drank but still very tasty. This is a great tea and is one of the better assam teas I have drank.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

This tea is brisk, malty, and biscuity. It does remind me a little of Mountain Malt. The health food store here carries Teas etc which is a plus. I asked them to carry more of their black teas. I loved their Golden Monkey and figured I would like this one. ( I also read JacquelineM’s review on this tea as we have alike tastes.) The tea is black with golden tips and smells very earthy. This is one of the best assam teas I have drank with one exception.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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59
It’s sweet and woodsy and comforting and refreshing… And for some reason I really like the sound the little pellets make as I toss them into my teapot. I find it relaxing watching the pellets trying to release into a leaf.

I am glad I took time to have a cup of this tea today.

Preparation
4 min, 45 sec

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59

This was second tasting of this tea. I still do not rate this tea as a favorite, however, I did feel like it was a light tea that was enjoyable with fresh fruit and a homemade muffin this morning.

Preparation
3 min, 45 sec

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59

I find It’s sweet and woodsy and comforting. For some reason I really like the sound the little pellets make as I toss them into my teapot. I do not rate this as a favorite, however, I liked the smoke and wood taste (after adding 2 packets of sugar). Without sugar I found this tea bland.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec

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87

I think I died and I am in heaven! This tea is outstanding!!!!!! This is a tea I will keep in my tea vault to be drank on very special days (or nights). I did compare it to eating some fresh fruit (plum was what I tasted).

Preparation
4 min, 45 sec

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84
drank Jun Shan by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

This is my last cup of this sample. So sad! Fortunately, it was a great cup to end on. In fact, I’m giving the rating a bump upwards just a tad because it is just so good.

It’s got some faint notes of a Chinese green – a little grassy, a little mineral/salty, a little sweet – and and some stronger notes of a good Silver Needle (I’m thinking specifically of Chicago Tea Garden’s SN which I had recently) with honey and nectar and bit of vegetal depth.

My little cup went very quickly and pretty much guaranteed that, when I next order from Teas Etc, I will be getting some of this tea.
2.4g/5oz

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

So glad you liked it! I really ought to revisit this one sometime, I think.

Auggy

I really do like it a lot! All the things I like in a Chinese green and a white, none of the stuff I don’t. So tasty!

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84
drank Jun Shan by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

I’m still suffering from braindeadness but must review newly tried tea! Sadly, no Magnetic Poetry this time. I just consider myself lucky that I’m not drooling on my keyboard – anything more than that is pretty much a bonus.

I think I maybe have had one yellow tea before. (Very definitive, yes?) Considering that my brain isn’t working well enough to remember what I had for breakfast, there’s no way I can remember my impressions of the previous yellow I’ve had (or honestly, if I even have actually had one or just wanted to try one for long enough that now think I did). Regardless, it means I really have no idea what to expect from this tea other than something that is not quite a white but not quite a green.

The leaves look like dried Silver Needle. It’s simulatenously sad (because I do love the furry SN-type leaves) and nifty because they don’t look unhappy – just dehydrated. The smell (post-brewing) is like a sweet Chinese green. And oh, look at that! It tastes like a sweet Chinese green, too! A velvety, smooth, sweet Chinese green. There’s a little mineral-y taste that is similar (but much milder) to the salty taste I get from most Chinese greens but this also has a lovely little treat at the end of the sip – a bit of honey and maybe plum? Apricot? Something stonefruit-y. It’s sweet, but more fruit – or perhaps nectar – sweet than a more grass or vegetal sweet. There’s also a bit of an unexpected astringency that hits the middle of my tongue and makes my mouth water fairly pleasantly.

Considering that I couldn’t find the info sheet sophistre included in the teas she sent me (which means it wasn’t stapled to my head and I couldn’t manage to make the effort to look through the stuff on the kitchen table to find it) I think this turned out pretty nicely for guesstimating parameters. I don’t know how expensive it is, but assuming it’s not priced like titanium, I could see wanting to keep some of this around for the times that I crave something like a Chinese green (which always ends up being better in idea than in practice unless I have some sweeter, smoother greens on hand – this would fit nicely).

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

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78
drank Bai Mu Dan by Teas Etc
19 tasting notes

I really enjoyed it. I got the buttery green taste that the description hints at. I thought it had a unique flavor that is a little different from other Bai Mu Tan’s, so keep that in mind for what you’re looking to drink.

It struck me as very high quality, with a few of the complex flavors I’d expect from Silver Needles, but yet richer and deeper. It’s not as fruity as other white teas I’ve had — and that can be a good or bad thing, depending on your taste.

Also came with a bit of a punch of caffeine.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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74

It was a pretty good representation of 1st Flush Darjeeling, hitting all the right notes. Rather astringent, but that’s exactly what comes with the territory.

Although it’s a “black tea”, there are some good hints that this is “oolong-ish” — which I think is nice trait in this first flush darjeeling. It has a bright color, light flavor, but a little bit drying aftertaste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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86

YUM! It’s a great pairing. I wouldn’t usually want to mix Silver Needles with anything, but this works.

It has this dry and clean taste, and I mean that in a very good way. The earthiness of the flowers really compliments with brightness of the tea. There is some depth in the tea, but it not overly complicated or picky. I usually shy away from floral teas, but this one keeps my attention more than others.

This is a weekend teas. When I have errands or work to do at home, I’ll brew up a big pot and drink it all.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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46
drank Organic Relaxation by Teas Etc
120 tasting notes

The loose material this tisane is made up of is very colorful. Lots of rosehips, some chamomile and valerian root are the most prominent visuals here. The aroma however, is most heavily of chamomile with some light rose scent and a bit of fresh sweetness.

The liquor brews to a medium caramel with some dusting seeping through the infuser making the brew itself a bit cloudy at first. The aroma is light consisting primarily or chamomile. The rose scent is considerably lessened and the sweetness I noted in the dry aroma is also notably subdued.

The flavors are more astringent than I expected. There’s no drying of the tongue by a heavy chamomile presence linkers through an unusually long tailing finish. The softness of the rosehips is present, but none of the flavor.

This blend seems primarily of chamomile even if it’s only one of a number of ingredients. I would recommend this blend to fans of chamomile tea, mint tea and rose petal teas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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46
drank Organic Relaxation by Teas Etc
120 tasting notes

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46
drank Organic Relaxation by Teas Etc
120 tasting notes

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76
drank Huang Jin Gui by Teas Etc
54 tasting notes

2nd steep
4g tea
12oz water

There is sweetness element to this, that seems to linger on the tongue for 5 to 10 seconds. This second steep is still quite pleasant and very smooth. It has not gotten bitter or astringent.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
158 tasting notes

Steepsterrrrrrr. I miss and love you.

I have been on a tea-buying hiatus, and as such am not writing tasting notes, while I feverishly try to dispose of (read: drink) a rather remarkable surplus of tea in my cabinet.

However, I needed to write something today to give people a heads-up. Anyone near NYC ought to be aware of the following:

“Harney & Sons in SoHo, 433 Broome Street (between Crosby and Broadway), will pour free cups of tea and hold discussions with experts about the culture at tea this weekend. On Saturday, James Norwood Pratt, author of “Tea Dictionary,” will speak about tea between 4 and 6 p.m. On Sunday, John and Michael Harney join the discussion and guests can sip tea before a screening of the documentary “The Meaning of Tea” at 7 p.m.”

If I were closer to NYC than Cambridge, I would totally go!

Also, my cup of golden monkey was delicious this morning. ;) And now, back to the trenches of my word processor!

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98
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
158 tasting notes

Not all Golden Monkeys are created equal.

As much as I dog on Teavana’s — the price alone begs for minor mocking, even if you’re not snooty enough to sniff at the association to the store (really I think the eyeroll factor with Teavana, for me, comes from their desperate desire to portray tea as a magic bullet cure for zapping cake-fat off of our tushes or as an ambitious panacea for the unrealistic curing of any number of other ills) — I enjoyed it. (Woo! There’s a run-on sentence for you!) I said in my tasting note for it that I wouldn’t buy it again, and I haven’t, but I considered it more than once. It was the single bake-y-est tea I’ve ever had, and once I figured out that short steep times were its friend, I found it utterly craving-worthy, if only for the aroma alone. I preferred it to almost every other Golden Monkey that I’ve had since then, by a slim margin.

This tea is another outstanding Golden Monkey, but for different reasons. It has some of that bake-y quality to it — I find it very alluring; my palate interprets this in the same way that it does bread — but pairs it together with a profile that is irresistibly Yunnan. I have been plunging my nose into my cup in search of the proper analogy for the sweetness there, and coming up short. Sweet potato is not adequate, this time, nor is raisin. Perhaps if the two got together and produced delicious, delicious love-children? Who were actually made of bread?

The tea has a very thick feeling both in the mouth and after you swallow. I’ve found in the past that Golden Monkey is easy to screw up; steep it just 30 seconds too long, and something about it takes a turn for the strangely sour or the unbearably bitter. I think the lesser amount of malt in this (vs. the Teavana stuff I’ve been comparing it to) makes it a far more forgiving cup with a delectable, umami-savory quality.

Steep two was every bit as good, and the goodness sticks around long after the cup is cold. Steep 3 is incoming, and then I really ought to stop brewing black tea for the day, lest the top of my skull pop completely off. Whoo!

Definitely going to have to pick up some of this for my very own. Thanks Auggy!

Edit: What remains in my cup (there isn’t more than a hair of tea) smells, cooled down to utterly cold, distinctly of brown sugar and nothing else.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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