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TeaSource

Recent Tasting Notes

37
drank Ruby 18 by TeaSource
122 tasting notes

This is critical of me to say, but this doesn’t taste like any Ruby 18 I’ve had before….which leads me to think that it isn’t a real one. Carries a bitter edge, lacks the complex nature that I’ve enjoyed in the others.

Does have a malty assam side to it…but wouldn’t order this tea again.

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

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6
drank Blueberry Fields by TeaSource
122 tasting notes

It really does taste like blueberries. More of blueberry flavored things.

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

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10
drank Irish Breakfast by TeaSource
122 tasting notes

Really quite bitter. Would only be best with milk and sugar. lots of sugar.

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

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7
drank Roasted Chestnut by TeaSource
122 tasting notes

Definitely doesn’t taste like Chestnut. More like a bitter medicinal almond. Or maybe Walnuts, but nothing close to chestnut.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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81

Dry leaves are large, dense, and tightly formed. They smell of gentle charcoal baking; sweet, light, and fruity. The darker green you would expect from a “light roast” is perfectly realized in the raw leaves. Once rinsed leaves smell of fresh orchird. Picking standard is three leaves, which grow very dark after steeping.

In the first steepings, you are met with a light yellow-green liquor. The taste is woody with gentle pear and apple notes. In later steepings, orange and hidden melon flavors sneak out in a thick golden orange soup. A fullness in the mouth and lingering fruity sweetness is felt throughout the impressive 15 or 20 steepings possible with the leaves.

However, don’t let this tea’s gentle color fool you; it is chalk full of tannins that attempt to stain your porcelain and the exessesive astringency that comes with them. This can be moderated by careful leaf quantity and water temperature selection. About 2.8 grams of the deceptively dense leaves per 50 ml of high fish-eyes water. Hard breaking of the gaiwan is also necessary to keep down the developing stuffiness.

Overall, an interesting tea that’s hard to work with, but very rewarding once all the specifics are dialed in. At about $20 for 4 oz., I would buy this tea again.

Izzie-Bell-Bell

Steeping in purple-clay yixing is rather different. The astringency vanishes, and there is notably less staining on the inside of my cup. The woodiness too is a thing of the past, atleast for the most part. I also noticed a slightly different fruit taste with the yixing, perhaps it has just become clearer, or perhaps it has actually changed. Instead of mango, I found cranberry in the middle steepings. The yixing also let me gently rest this tea down into a state of gentle nuttiness, after the fruit flavors disappear.

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87

The loosely formed dry leaves smell fruity, sweet, with smokiness. Picking standard appears to be one leaf. Once wetted, the leaves develop a rather peculiar odor, that of dirty dishes and old socks. However, this unpleasantness doesn’t carry into the light amber-green liqour at all. It tastes sweet, fruity (orange and peach?), and goes down smooth. Smokiness is subtle at first, but grows with successive steepings. Slight astringency, subtle at first, but too grows with time. This tea is lighter and fresher tasting in a gaiwan; smoke dominates the profile in zisha-ware, while fruitiness muddles.

Overall, a very tastey tea. It has grown on me since I first got it; I’ll deffinetly buy it again at ~$25 for 4 oz.

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66
drank TeaSource Spice by TeaSource
1 tasting notes

The best substitute I can find for MarketSpice’s signature orange/spice tea, a very similar blend that isn’t sold in MN. Good Earth makes one, too, but its spice blend hurts my throat! This is a great afternoon pick-me-up tea, for me.

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99
drank Dark Rose Tea by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

this is in the style of pu-erh, but instead of the barnyardy tasting yunnan peninsula, this tea comes from the sweet earthy hunan peninsula. so it’s already better, and then it’s aged 3 years, blended with rose petals, and pressed into heart shapes. hands down one of my all time favorite teas. the rose petals do little more than add a pretty effect and slight floral aroma. the body is so thick, amazing for a tea. the aroma is of sweet black tea. savor the tea, it is slow and luxurious. i don’t add sugar, but you could. it’s borderline sweet enough on its own, but you might want a little bit.
i usually steep it 4 times. 2 minutes the first time, 3 the next time, 4-5 the next time, 10 minutes or more the final time. it is fairly consistent in taste in each steeping this way.
when i first saw this tea, i thought it was some kind of a gimmick, but nope, this is fo’ real. so there you go.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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99
drank Dark Rose Tea by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

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96

i don’t even like bergamot, but i can’t help but like this tea. the black tea base is superior quality. silky smooth mouthfeel and rich flavor. the bergamot oil is clearly high quality and natural. there’s nothing artificial about this taste, it ends clean in your mouth. i have to say, this is a mighty fine mug of tea.

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

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90
drank Wild Kwan Yin by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

now i do like green tea, and i don’t mind grassy tastes — this is supposed to be green tea for people who don’t like vegetal tones. so from that standpoint, it is just a toned-down sweet green tea. but here are the redeeming points: 1 — sometimes you DO want a green tea without vegetal notes! 2 — sometimes you want a white tea with more flavor! 3 — this is only buds, and the mouthfeel is sensationally smooth. 4 — sweet, honey, divine taste. 5 — impress all your friends by having a “yellow tea” and they’ve never even heard of such a thing :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Prairie Passion by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

it’s not bad, but it has an identity crisis. black tea is not often blended with green tea, and there is a reason for this — they don’t complement each other, they fight with each other. they also don’t steep the same way. it seems disrespectful to the tea to make them duke it out like this. so the redeeming part is the tropical notes, and that gives it life. i guess this is one of their top sellers, so it’s worth a try, but for me it’s not one i would buy again. so there you go.

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

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96

Really fresh tasting, sweet, and aromatic. You don’t need sweetener. The leaves are long and dance around in my french press while it steeps. The body of the liquor is thin, but full of flavor, absolutely makes you escape to a warm spring day. A delightful mug of tea.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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46
drank Genmaicha by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

who drinks this? i have had a genmaicha with matcha in it that was tolerable, but in general, i just don’t understand this tea blend. why are we putting toasted rice in here, is it to absorb toxins when you have a hangover? is it to provide substinance when you’re fasting? i just can’t see drinking genmaicha for enjoyment. in my limited enjoyment of genmaicha, this one is as bad as any of the others that i’ve tried. some genmaicas taste like you are drinking the water that you used to rinse the popcorn bowl. this one tastes more like you put toast crumbs in your green tea. smells like rice krispies. smells like green tea. tastes like watery toast. so take it for what it’s worth — that’s where i come from and there you go.

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

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31

i thought gunpowder was gunpowder, but side by side with other gunpowders, this brand disappointed. it is less sweet and feels rougher in the mouth and overall has less flavor. granted, you probably wouldn’t notice if it wasn’t side by side with others, because really what kind of person sits around comparing gunpowders? ah well, there you go.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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99
drank Montana Gold by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

absolutely fantastic herbal tea. love it both iced and hot, but especially hot, in winter. the rooibos gives it great body and sweetness, and the other spices are blended strongly enough that they come out on top of the rooibos and give it potent cinnamon/orange aroma and taste. i share this tea with everyone.

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

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90
drank Jade Oolong by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

smells like matcha powder and tastes like a mild green tea without the grassy taste. actually it does smell a little barnyardish, but the taste is very much clean and sweet. i like this oolong because it is a light oolong with great aroma, flavor, color (it steeps up bright green), and taste. but if you are looking for an oolong with special character to it (ie, toasty notes, floral notes, creamy notes, etc) then this isn’t going to be memorable for you. however, i like matcha, so for me, this is a winner, so there you go.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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98
drank jin jun mei by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

wow, i’ve never had a tea like this. i can’t justify the $250/lb price, but i will admit it’s awesome tea. the color of the liquor is rusty orange, and the aroma is tantalizing with cherry, hops, and several other scents mixed in. the body is wonderfully full, and this is a bud-only tea, so of course the mouthfeel is extraordinarily smooth, rolling over your tongue and melting away. the taste is indeed of sweet licorice, honey, and beer, a combination that works amazingly well — something that you might stir together as a recipe and be proud of, but to think that all of this is coming from just one single origin teabud with nothing else added…it’s quite remarkable. this is not so much of a breakfast tea, but something i could imagine drinking at a brunch or high class social event. but alas, i really can’t afford such luxury, so there you go.

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

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96
drank Brandy Oolong by TeaSource
52 tasting notes

this is a dark oolong without the “toasty” notes usually found in dark oolongs. instead, it is sweet and smooth, tasting of honey and subtle peach, and overall tastes like black tea but without any of the dryness, bite, or astringency that a black tea usually has. a really really nice tea, and a good value. it seems like it should cost more than it does.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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67

It’s a mild, green tea, very mellow and slightly sweet, not vegetal or grassy, but somehow not a winner for me or my aunt in the Green Tea sweepstakes or distinguishing itself above the Green teas we’ve discovered we like most so far: Pi Lo Chun, Clouds & Mist, Iccha Kariban and Hojicha.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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45

Longevity Oolong – Description on label: “This baked Ti Kwan Yin style oolong has been preserved and rebaked for each of the last four years. This produces a leaf that is almost coal-black and the steeped cup is dark, toasty, very smooth, and slightly fruity and sweet.” My aunt disliked it—said it tasted “smoky.” I liked it somewhat better—to me it tasted almost caramely—but I wasn’t so enamored of this I’d order it again over such favorites as Big Red Robe or Sweet Silk Oolong.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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56
drank Green Dragon Oolong by TeaSource
122 tasting notes

An alright lightly oxidized oolong. Don’t really carry too much distinction, but wasn’t bad! Mediocre.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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72

It’s described on the package as “complex, silky, sweet, and slightly grassy cup of tea.” It’s one of the “Ten Famous Chinese Teas.” I didn’t find it very grassy at all, and I did find it slightly sweet—but also very, very mild. Enjoyable, but not distinguishing itself enough I could see myself ordering it again.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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