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two leaves and a bud

Recent Tasting Notes

I had this while I was out today, because I’m cold. It wasn’t bad for a hibiscus based herbal. I had it with honey. The blackberry flavours were a nice alternative to the usual herbal offerings (orange, lemon, chamomile…).

It hailed the saddest, teensiest hail on us today. Like little seed beads. But we walked, and went into the forest, and that was nice.

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74

Recidivism. Ignoring all that I learned in previous brews, I used overly hot water (80C) and I also used too much tea. The result was a bit bitter, just like my very first batch.

That’s okay, now I won’t forgot: 76C is the maximum temperature for this tea! Do not overleaf!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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60

Picked this up from BrewTEAlly Sweet’s stash sale.

The name of this one is very confusing. I just don’t see it as a morning drink. Even if it was caffeinated. It’s more of a refreshing afternoon blend. The citrus and mint combination is lovely. The mint flavor lingers nicely. That said, I’m not a huge fan. I really don’t like lemongrass, and it’s certainly discernible here. I should have checked the ingredients list.

Sipdown

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88

My wife got me this tea for my birthday, and I tried it this morning. I don’t have much experience with jasmine teas (in fact, this is my first one), but this is delicious. The jasmine smell is strong from the dry tea, but the flavor is subtle. Just as good on the second steep—in fact, I was able to taste some new subtleties (including what tasted like the smallest hint of cinnamon; of course, the only ingredients are green tea and jasmine, but the hint was still there). A very good tea—I’m glad this was my introduction to jasmine green tea. By the way, they’ve updated their packaging—recommended steep time is now three minutes.

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

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88

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70

Well, this won’t be a morning blend for me anytime soon (Give me caffeine!), but it’s better than I thought it would be. It has kind of a pungent woody aroma, but tastes far more lemongrass-y with a peppermint afterkick. It’s not super medicinal either.

Tasty, yes. But morning cup this is not.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
K S

Better morning for 3rd shift workers maybe. I liked it. But not in the morning.

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88
drank Assam by two leaves and a bud
29 tasting notes

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88
drank Assam by two leaves and a bud
29 tasting notes

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88
drank Assam by two leaves and a bud
29 tasting notes

My daughter got me this tea for my birthday (she’s five months old—apparently this is the one she reached for, which is fortunate, because it’s one of the ones that interested me most). I tried it today, and was astounded by how delicious it was. It’s complex, malty, earthy, woodsy, and vegetative, and slightly astringent (but not too much, and it’s not very bitter at all). I had it plain, and my wife had it with milk. I tried a sip of hers, and the milk didn’t change the flavor too much. While Twinings is my go-to for early morning tea, this is one that I’ll definitely have on mornings when I don’t have to wake up hours before dawn. Fantastic!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

I’m so so in love with this tea & yet so sad I’ve read it tastes different since the company was bought. Does anyone knows a bit more about it?

I really wanted it :(

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

I have finally figured out how to brew this tea! Correct temperature = 75F; steep time = 2 minutes. But the most important part of all is to use the correct filter, which I have determined through trial and error is a metal mesh cone coffee filter basket. I don’t like the result when I use that sort of filter to prepare coffee—it leaves too much silt behind, creating more of a Turkish style brew. However, the mesh size turns out to be perfect for removing the broken particles from brewed sencha, of which there are many in this two leaves and a bud sencha.

Using a more effective filter device to catch all of the smaller pieces of tea produces a much better first infusion! I always liked the subsequent infusions, but before I was finding the first one too bitter. Not anymore!

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

Glad you found your perfect brew! Sencha is definitely finicky, and it often gets a bad wrap because of that. But it is so worth finding your soft spot, isn’t it? I think it’s also one of the best tea to pair with food…

sherapop

I so agree with you, TeaFairy! Sencha is my favorite lunchtime tea! I usually drink two glasses right after lunch, in fact.

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80

I pulled this teabag out of one of the traveling tea boxes and I’m actually glad that I remembered! I have a bad stomach ache tonight and need something soothing. I actually don’t have an herbal blend for these times, but I really should. I guess the herbs that are typically in those ‘tummy blends’ don’t appeal to me so I haven’t invested much time in finding a solid blend that will do the job and taste good.

This one is reasonably soft for the amount of herbs that are in it. It reminds me of Sleepytime tea without the strong minty note. To be honest, all of the flavors sort of mush together and shout together, “WE’RE HERBAL!” I like to think that it’s settling my stomach and before I know it, the cup is gone. This is a rather pleasant herbal blend for this evening — nothing too sharp or strong. I’m still on the search for a tasty tummy blend, but this was nice tonight!

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24

This tea is really not good at all. It is way too overpriced for the quality, as well. There is very little bergamot flavor, and the tea itself has very little flavor. There were way too few leaves and way too many stems, it was as if the tea was made of little sticks. The leaves don’t expand very much, either. Over all, I was very disappointed with it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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74

Once again, I found the second infusion of this tea to be vastly superior to the first. The liquor was bright yellow with just a hint of green, and fairly clear—definitely much less cloudy than the first round.

I noticed that the dried tea is not whole leaf—there are lots of small pieces and even some powder, which ends up in the bottom of the glass in the first infusion. It’s not that I’m using too much tea, but that the fine particles are not filtered out from the first volume of brew produced. Then they are gone, which is why the second infusion is so much better—not at all bitter. Clean, slightly vegetal and thirst quenching and smooth.

The solution to this problem may be to use a paper filter rather than only a metal mesh colander-like sieve. We shall see…

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74

I’m back to a bitter first infusion again. Not sure what I did wrong today. I definitely did not overheat the water. I may have overleafed, as I’ve been drinking a lot of very subtle greens of late, so I added a big tablespoon to my 27 ounce tetsubin. Or perhaps I oversteeped. Is three minutes too long for this tea? I shall find out the answers to these and more questions in the steeps to come…

I would like to take this opportunity, however, to ask whether this little statement on the cardboard two leaves and a bud cylindrical container is true or false:

tea is like wine

Well, obviously the fact that this statement caught my attention reveals how false I find it to be! Here a just a few of the many ways in which

tea is not like wine

1. Tea is a stimulant, not a depressant
2. Tea enhances productivity. Wine? What is a wine-o?
3. Copious quaffing of tea (as in multiple infusions of loose leaf green) is good for the health of the body. Copious quaffing of wine leads to alcoholism and liver disease.

I understand that the marketers’ intention was to elevate tea, but this is just a mistake. Why? Because

tea is higher than wine!

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24

Sipdown (179)!

Darn it – just as I finished my Mint Chocolate Rooibos review I saw that VariaTEA had managed to get in a few more teas tonight. This is my 14th cup of tea today, so I don’t think I can do anymore after this one. Despite a competitive drive, I just don’t think I can manage. Oh well, hopefully a day surrounded by tea tomorrow will yield some more tasting notes.

Anyway, this tea is one of two teas my Dad and Step Mom owned prior to my coming down from vacation. It comes in pyramid satchets and though there’s no information on the ingredients in the packaging, visually it looks like it’s just red rooibos, lemon grass, and cornflower. It has a strong lemon grass smell. I didn’t have any while I was there, but I did take a single satchet home with me to try.

Steeped up in 8 oz. of boiling water for like six minutes? I lose track of time a bit. Steeped smell is strongly lemongrass. And, as far as the taste goes, it’s more just plain old grass…

Ok, maybe that’s a little harsh. It’s more like very wood chippy and kind of medicinal rooibos, lawn trimmings, and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Yeah – I think I was right to be harsh. It’s just not that good. I think I’m dumping most of this cup. Sorry Dad, but this is nasty – I’m glad I left some higher quality tea for you to enjoy.

VariaTEA

ahahahaha I shall prevail!! I can do this all night :P By the way, I think I am now officially done adding to your package. Between my swaps going to you and Cavo, I feel happy with the amount of teas I have been able to decrease/get rid of so I won’t be adding more to either of your packages. I plan to go to the post office tomorrow to send them out and I can’t wait for you to receive them. I lost count of how many teas are in there but definitely over 20 (at least they are mostly sample sizes:P).

By the way, you should stop writing tasting notes and go to bed as you need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for your new job tomorrow . Your job that surrounds you with tea. Plus, if you are asleep, I have more time to get ahead :P

Best of luck tomorrow.

MissB

You two are hilarious! :)

Roswell Strange

You’re right – I should go to sleep. Although, I don’t start until noon ;P

VariaTEA

I have no class until Monday at 2:30! Nothing I got to do, nowhere I have to be. I am just going to drink cup after cup after cup. You won’t know what hit you!

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Travelling Tea Box C

Not a remarkable Dark Oolong. I tend to prefer lighter oolongs anyway. Dark wood charcoal flavor with a gritty texture on the first steep. This mellows out into something more mineral-like in the second steep. I preferred that one.

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40

The directions on the cylinder suggest one teaspoonful – maybe that’s not quite enough? I found this one disappointing; very bland. I’ll keep experimenting, but I don’t have high hopes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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74

A second infusion of this tea was much better. I now believe that I made two mistakes: first, the water was too hot; second, I had put too much dried tea in my little pot.

I am encouraged by this follow-up brew and look forward to future infusions…

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

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74

My first encounter with Two leaves and a bud, this inexpensive, grocery-store, China-sourced organic loose-leaf sencha is quite bitter and astringent. It is possible that my water was too hot, but I only steeped it for three minutes. I’ll try again with cooler water.

Of course, it’s also possible that it’s just not that good. The price was rather low: only $6.99 for a 4 ounce cylinder…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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74

I’ve drank this tea a lot and still enjoy it. This tea is not strong enough to be too bold in the morning but nice enough to wake you up. I drink it with milk and sugar just to wake up.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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At Beyu Caffe, Durham. A great find, with live music and a full menu (with vegetarian and gluten free options noted, too!)

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63

I will start by saying right off, I am not a seasoned green tea drinker. I am learning. I found this at a local super market. Price was right, I felt, so I went for it. I will admit, I thought the packaging was ‘cute’, but the bag inside did rip easily and was hard to keep the tea in. I made it work, but it was a little messy opening each time. I have drank this 3 different times. No sugar the first two and sugar the last. Compared to other green teas I have been trying, this flavor was a little off/not consistent with. It was stronger and the color bolder then most I have had. I will note, the last time I brewed it, with the sugar, I also threw in a wildberry hibiscus tea bag (from Tea Forte). I will have to say, I really enjoyed it this way. By itself, it was ok, with the wildberry hibiscus it was really ok.

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100

I love Earls with lavender, but this lavender tastes beyond delicious. It’s strong & aromatic. The black base is nice not strong. I love how well it pairs with the bergamot, even when the lavender is stronger, you still can taste the bergamot.

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

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