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Recent Tasting Notes

70
drank Sencha by Unknown
23 tasting notes

This is the basic tea that is served at Japanese schools, so I drink it whenever I have lunch with my students or teachers’ meetings. I appreciate this tea, as it was really my first foray into no-frills, unsweetened tea for the sake of tea… but I’ve been spoiled by Samovar’s Yuzu Sencha and was surprised to find myself a little bit disappointed in the regular old sencha this time around. I hope it forgives me.

Cofftea

You convinced me. When I get married and have kids I’m gonna move to Japan so they can have tea served in schools lol:)

Britt☮

Hehe… the teachers always drink tea, but kids usually drink milk.

Cofftea

Sad. That should be a sin in Japan. Matcha for everyone!=D

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71
drank Cola Tea by Unknown
1786 tasting notes

This is a really, really pleasant icebox tea. Had a quart ready for chugging after this morning’s kid duty, and after loading and unloading our Shabby House futons at the church mission house—our turn to bless somebody else.

I’m still thinking this is is more like uncarbonated Dr. Pepper than Coke. As to brand, not sure, but since it’s from my fave health food place, either Frontier Natural Products or San Francisco Herb Co. Also well in the Cheapster Steepster range—less than a buck an ounce.

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71
drank Cola Tea by Unknown
1786 tasting notes

A bulk buy at favorite local health food store. I marked it as a rooibos simply because of the visual resemblance; I don’t know that for a fact. It does have a thick, rich red tea base, but smells more like Dr. Pepper with cinnamon, and does have a flat Coke taste. Still a nice change for the transition between heavy tea season and lighter spring flavors.

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Happy Chinese New Year guys! Still holiday season!
In our new year party, I made my favorite party beverage, chrysanthemum tea. Most of my friends are not frequent tea drinkers. Chrysanthemum tea is exotic, but not too strange to most of them. In Chinese “health theories”, rarely a tea should accompany a meal. Instead, it should be taken before or after. However, chrysanthemum tea is always good for meals. After all, it’s herbal “tea”.
This time, I think I really made it well. I throw some goji berries in, not in the brewing pot, but in the water pitcher. So the goji was brewed not directly by boiling water, but by hot liquor of chrysanthemum. In this way, the goji berries contributed to the final taste as well as maintained its own texture. The chrysanthemum tea last night had clean, fragrant herbal flavor, with a sweet aftertaste. Goji berries randomly ran into the cup. Their flavor was entirely blended with the chrysanthemum, and the berries chewed like raisins. I put in some rock sugar, for which I actually regretted, after finding out some friends can’t have sugar.

Next time, I will omit sugar. Chrysanthemum bears a natural sweet aftertaste, which, although different from sugar’s sweetness, does bring some satisfaction to sweet tooth. Chrysanthemum is considered a super healthy herb in China. Without sugar, the tea will be absolutely healthy :D But it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of sugar, or honey, or maple sugar :D

(I used around 10-15 dry flowers, brewed in a 17oz teapot, and put all 4.5 infusions in a used wine glass bottle, and left it outdoor in snow pile for a few hours.)

(It’s “unknown” source but chrysanthemum can be obtained from many sources, including tea vendors and Asian grocery stores.)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Rooibos Quince by Unknown
159 tasting notes

One minute I’m discussing US presidents on-line, one thing leads to another, John Qunicy Adams leads to Quince Roobos. Now it’s in my cup.
Sweet, fruity, relaxing. I love this stuff. This brew is filling my office with cheery fruity cheer. A quick check of my tea cupboard shows that I have about 50grams of this left and a full kilo of the Wild Cherry version. I wish it was the other way around.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Cofftea

Never heard of this before, thanks for sharing!

takgoti

Hah! Lexitus just mentioned Quince Rooibos. Every time someone mentions Quince Rooibos, take a shot!

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66

“inherited” these jasmine pearls when I moved out of my old apartment in November. I have no clue where they come from. I originally thought they might be the pearls we were selling at Dobra (from Tao of Tea), but these pearls are not as delicious as the Tao of Tea ones, so they can’t be!!!
Still, as the first tea of the day, accompanying my english muffin with homemade guava-prickly pear jelly, these precious pearls are a refreshing and romantic pick-me-up. A tea that coaxes the senses to wake and engage with the world. People poo-poo jasmine too much. But a classic is a classic for a reason.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Ben Youngbaer

I have some jasmine pearls you should try, they are from china and they have some rose buds in them = delicious. Jasmine can be an amazing experience or headache inducing, the pearls I have are the former.

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100
drank Gen Mai Cha by Unknown
9 tasting notes

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100
drank Gen Mai Cha by Unknown
9 tasting notes

This is one of my all time favorite teas. In fact I’m enjoying a cup of it right now.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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51
drank Vanilla Black Tea by Unknown
1015 tasting notes

I am finishing this up tonight. In the past I have had issues with this tea not really having a vanilla taste, so I decided to assume that would be the case this time and added a spoon of chocolate malt powder and a splash of milk. It actually turned out decent. I will most likely finish out this tea with a second infusion made the same way. I think I am still on the lookout for a great vanilla tea though.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Lori

You should try Upton Teas Vanilla – it is quite good and no artificial flavoring…

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51
drank Vanilla Black Tea by Unknown
1015 tasting notes

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51
drank Vanilla Black Tea by Unknown
1015 tasting notes

Had this with breakfast. Its good, just not strong enough for a breakfast tea, much better suited to afternoons and evenings.

Preparation
3 min, 15 sec

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51
drank Vanilla Black Tea by Unknown
1015 tasting notes

Third infusion – a bit weak for my taste. Not bad, just weak. I will probably continue to infuse this tea 3 times, but not a fourth.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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51
drank Vanilla Black Tea by Unknown
1015 tasting notes

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51
drank Vanilla Black Tea by Unknown
1015 tasting notes

The smell of the dry leaves is a very sweet vanilla with barely a noticeable amount of black tea. After steeping, you smell more of the black tea, but the vanilla is still there. The black tea is not overwhelming, you can still taste the vanilla. I notice a toasted nut taste that I wouldn’t have expected from the scent. The tea is very smooth and full-bodied like coffee.

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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88
drank pearl by Unknown
19 tasting notes

Very simple and delicious!

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4
drank China Tea by Unknown
328 tasting notes

This tea seemed to have good intentions. On the outset, the tea had a strong, pleasant, light flowery scent. Flavor initially very sweet which became more elusive as tea cooled. Overly-flowery aroma and flavor grew in unpleasantness with each infusion. Very bitter aftertaste. A good (bad ?) example of why some may avoid green tea. A most unpleasant experience.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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68

…it is slightly scented with jasmin.The tea leafs itself don’t have a very strong flavor or taste.A remark that I put in the tea’s describtion.It is quite a prizy purchase (125g for 20$US…bought in China)that,without the jasmin scent,would leave one quite disappointed.
However…the awakening effect that this tea has is simply incredible.It’s like after 3 cups espresso…I can feel my blood busily pumping through my veins…WoW!
The brews that one gets out of one portion of leafs seem endless…the color of the tea gets stronger after each brew.
I was very carefull with the water temperature.Next time I will go higher.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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15
drank Breakfast Tea by Unknown
216 tasting notes

Yes, okay, this tea is clearly well past its useful life. I might as well dump the rest of it out and use the tin for something better.

The frog-shaped infuser is still pleasing, though!

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

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77
drank Sencha Ashikubo by Unknown
5 tasting notes

I tend to make tea at work and I have a tendency to over steep my leaves. While for me this tea has hints of grassy-ness its not over powering. I find I like to slightly sweeten this tea on the first infusion and brewing a second infusion afterward adding to the first cup.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Roasted Barley Tea by Unknown
1112 tasting notes

I had some roasted barley tea at a Korean Restaurant this afternoon. It was delicious! Our waiter brought out plastic water drinking glasses, and served it out of a plastic pitcher! (the tea was hot). I am so interested in getting some more of this type of tea to have at home. It was wonderful with our meal of Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap with various sides and extras (including of course Kimchi!). If anyone has a brand that they have tried and loved, please pass it on :)

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67
drank Lao Shan Cha by Unknown
57 tasting notes

A good Chinese green tea. No magnificent qualities that would be worth writing about…
It reminds me of Japanese Bancha, as it can be drunk to anything at anytime.
It is a tea that is quite awakening. I have a feeling that it will turn quickly bitter if one goes to high with the water temperature.

I am using it, portioned in a tea bag, in the office…I don’t waist time on it at home.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C

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34
drank Huo Shan Huang Ya by Unknown
57 tasting notes

My first yellow tea. Definitely one of the mildest teas that I ever had. Quite shallow actually. One has to be very generous with the portioning to get some flavors out of it. Water has to be quite hot. No bitterness will appear. Only a hint of grassy notes there…leaves one quite unimpressed.
Goes well with thinly sliced ginseng roots.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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68
drank Xi Huang Cao by Unknown
57 tasting notes

…that’s a tricky one as it is quite a challenge to get it right. I went to a tea shop in Zuhai, China and was asking for a white tea. The shop owner pre-paired his tasting utensils and gave me the first brew to drink. Well, that was quite something. The color of the tea was a very pale yellow. Not much fragrance…mmmh, first sip. Bitter, almost unpleasant and rough. Second sip…unpleasant on the tongue but then it hit me…the aftertaste is from a intense sweetness that one gets from a ginseng Oolong. This sweetness gives plenty of warmth to the throat and left me with astonishment as I did not expect that.
As more brews were done with this single tasting portion as stronger the sweetness got.
I bought 500g…went home and failed big time. I only produced bitterness.
I took me a couple of trials until I got it right. Never on the first infusion though. This particular aftertaste that one wants to achieve only develops during the 3rd and fourth steeping…very hot water, long infusion (longer then the big master in China did it). Worth to try if one gets his hands on it.

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98

Great blend which is very common in Germany. One of my first teas/herbal infusions that I started my collection with a couple of years ago. Great in winter time.
Lovely flavors…you just have to find the right tea shop as some tend to overdo the hibiscus part a bit.
There are no big brands of the industrie involved in producing this. But is available in every German tea shop ( including Swiss & Austria)!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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