Popular Teas from VariousSee All 8 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Drinking puerh at 2 AM means I’ve pretty much given up on “tomorrow”. I’ll be up all night with this awesome fruity leather tea. I’m on like steep #8 and still going. Sa da tey my dammies.
It’s 20 year old tea. That’s cool. My tasting notes on this aren’t very concise because I’m also smoking hookah and eating pizza rolls, but lemme tell you, it’s some dark tea. Full bodied, full flavored, earth, and leather. I’ve never really been much of a puerh drinker but I seriously appreciate that there’s no fishyness in this one like I get with some shu puerhs. It’s just very leathery with a sweetness on the finish. It’s probably not the best 20 year old puerh out there but, it’s ok.
EDIT: No, you know what? It’s better than ok. It’s fruity after five steepings. I’m bumping up my rating.
In the photo for this ‘tea’ the cookies I made are in this order from L to R- Loki, Honeybush Chocolate, Luna Lovegood, Earl Grey Lavender
LUNA LOVEGOOD- earl grey lavender, rooibos jasmine, guanabana
These cookies are delicately floral with a sweet fruitiness that sneaks in towards the back of your mouth as you eat them. Delicious!
LOKI – gunpowder, spearmint, rooibos jasmine
The Loki shortbread is by far my favorite. Delightfully minty with a hint of sweet smoke and lingering floral undertone. Seriously everyone should make cookies with Loki.
Very bright cocoa-y flavor. The natural sweetness of the honeybush is perfect for baking with. However I wish I’d have crushed the tea a little finer (I don’t have a food processor or blender so I put all the teas between coffee filters and used a heavy jar to crush them) because this tea is particularly firm & the pieces can get kind of stuck in your teeth which is kind of offputting. The flavor is great though, so I’ll risk it! :D
EARL GREY LAVENDER –
These cookies didn’t turn out quite right. I actually had to toss out all but a few because they spread out weird and got brown & too crunchy & kind of icky. Not sure if it was a lack of butter or too much butter… No idea. I made the mistake of deciding once I’d already creamed all the suger/butter for a big batch of shortbread that I wanted to do multiple flavors & these cookies clearly didn’t get the same amount of butter as the other flavors…
That being said though, the few cookies that didn’t turn out as weirdly were good. The flavor was really subtle (maybe the errors in the recipe contributed) but you could detect a gentle floral & ever so light bergamot taste. I’ll try making these again another time & correct my mistakes & see if it helps the flavors :)
For three of the four teas reviewed here, I used a slightly different technique. I covered the teabags with very hot tap water [45 sec to 1 min at about 120-130F]. I did this instead of heating the kettle, which is heated to a 30-40 degree higher temperature. Then, I filled my press with cold filtered water and refrigerated for a nice cold brew.
Ginger & Honey Green Tea-St. Dalfour
I used 4 teabags and steeped in my tea glass for 13 hours. This second time cold brewing this tea yielded similar results as noted in my * Cold Brew Teas 2* review. Full green tea flavor and pucker factor without astringency or bitterness. Little to no honey flavor noticeable. Basically, the green tea and ginger [kicking as usual-just the way I like it!] have the same [or nearly so] fullness, strength, and presence I tasted & noted in my first review. You can’t go wrong with this one. It is a very refreshing cold brew! :)) Score: 88.
Cupped: Monday, July 9, 2012. Reviewed: Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Ginger Tea by Yamamotoyama-Stash Tea
This tea was also prepared per instructions & refrigerated for 15 hours!! I had wanted to cool it no more than 12 hours but forgot about it. It probably turned out a bit stronger at 15 hours, but I didn’t care. I LOVE GINGER!! I really couldn’t taste the green tea or safflower. YES the ginger was strong, and DELICIOUS! The ginger played on my tongue like a guitarist abusing a triple neck guitar-and I loved every minute of it!! :)) All I can do is shout, “ENCORE!! ENCORE!! :D Score: 97.
Cupped: Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Reviewed: Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Perfect Peach-Bigelow Tea
I made a quick Iced Tea using these old teabags, putting my remaining 4 teabags in my glass press, covering it with boiling water, steeping it for 5 minutes, adding about one cup (8 oz) of ice, and cold water. Here are the ingredients:
Ingredients: rose hips, hibiscus, peaches, natural and artificial peach flavor (soy lecithin), spices, orange peel, lemon peel, apples, strawberry leaves, roasted chicory.
The steeping tea was a dark orange and smelled of rose hips, hibiscus, & peaches. Then I tasted it. It mainly tasted like rosehips and HICH-biscus. :// After I swallowed the tartness (& it faded a little), I was picking up the peach flavor and the orange peel. I was glad to be tasting flavors other than HICH-biscus. There just wasn’t enough peach flavor in this blend. It was a little to tart, and didn’t have enough peach flavor for me; especially since it’s labeled “Perfect Peach”. It was a fairly good herbal tea, but not even close to a perfect peach! :// Score: 73.
Cupped & Reviewed: Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Earl Grey Tea-Twinings of London
Using the steeping method above, I used 4 teabags and refrigerated for 10.5 hours. Probably could have shortened the steep time to 8 hours. There was a tremendous aroma of bergamot!! The tea flavor noted in my hot brew review, is completely overpowered by the bergamot here. That’s O.K.-IT’S ALL GOOD! :)) The bergamot is very refreshing, & only intensifies on the back of my palate. :)) A great cold brewed tea! :D Score: 91.
Cupped & Reviewed: Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Good Day Steepies! Here’s my third iced tea review where I used my cold brew method giving the leaves a 30-45 second wake up call [using water no
hotter than 170-180F], then I added cold water and let the teas steep in the fridge.
Arizona-Green Tea With Ginseng and Honey
INGREDIENTS: Premium Brewed Green Tea Using Filtered Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Ginseng Extract, Vitamin C.
Every once in a while I like a quick glass of this bottled, store shelf tea. It is my favorite bottled tea because it is not too sweet. The green tea flavor is there, but it is light tasting and seems barely noticeable. I really like the honey flavor, and I’m sure some of what I’m tasting is the HFCS. The ginseng is very light and barely there. You must be thinking to yourself, “If the tea and ginseng are on the light side, why do I like the tea?”. Well, even though that is the case, the honey and sweetness of this tea is light, yet quite flavorful, thirst-quenching and delicious. :)) Score: 73.
Cupped: Thursday, June 28, 2012.
Reviewed: Monday, July 2, 2012.
AriZona-Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade 23-Ounce Cans
*Half iced tea and half lemonade
*Widely known for its refreshing taste and ability to revive senses
*Great tasting tea with 1/3 less calories
OK, here’s one more store bought tea I enjoy. I’ve always liked iced tea & lemonade, and I like this because it is not over sweetened. The tea is good but mellow. The lemonade is lightly tart, and only a little more up front and noticeable on my palate than the tea. I’m sure part of the reason for that is the citric acid. Overall, this is a nicely balanced and refreshing summer beverage that is great anytime. :)) Score: 72.
Cupped: Thursday, June 28, 2012.
Reviewed: Monday, July 2, 2012.
Red Rose-Original Blend
I used four teabags & cold brewed in the refrigerator. I had intended to leave it cold brewing for 12 hours which would have been perfect, but I forgot about it and left it for 19.5 hours! Luckily, Red Rose is a rather mild blend, so the results weren’t terrible. The color was like a murky medium to dark brown. There was a good tea flavor, and the taste wasn’t harsh. The tea and its flavor were not quite as smooth as I would have liked, being somewhat heavy on my tongue. There was a mild astringency, and slight pucker factor on the back of my palate. Dispite my mistake, this experience was worth it and the tea tasted better than I expected. Score: 77.
Cupped: Sunday, July 1, 2012. Reviewed: Monday, July 2, 2012.
Irish Breakfast Tea-Twinings
I used four teabags & left this tea in the refrigerator for 12 hours. The tea is a dark brownish-red and I could really smell the Assam tea in this blend. The Assam was most noteable in the flavor too, giving it a deep malty character. This gave the tea a fullness while remaining smooth. What I found interesting was how flavor clung to my palate for quite a while after my tea was gone. A very satisfying & inexpensive cold brewed tea. :)) Score: 79.
Originally Cupped & Reviewed: Monday, July 2, 2012.
Another cold brewed tea review using three different teas! I steeped all teas in my glass press which is 18-20 oz. Also, I rinsed the leaves for 30-45 seconds at around 175F.
Ceylon Silver Striped, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka-The Tao of Tea
Using one level TBSP, with the water just covering the leaves, then I filled with cold water & put tea in refrigerator for 12 hours. This was a really good cold tea. I was getting a dark, full flavor with quite a bit of the molasses character. It also had a malty aspect that I enjoyed very much! This Ceylon had no lemony or minty characteristics that many Ceylons do. I also wasn’t picking up any astringency on my palate, which makes this tea ideal for an enjoyable cold brewed summer tea. :)) Score: 91.
Cupped: Sunday, June 10, 2012. Reviewed: Saturday, June 23, 2012.
Orange Cranberry Herbal Iced Tea-Stash Tea
I found this, and it was old, so I decided to use it up. My teabag was packaged in a silver foil bag and made 1/2 a gallon. I put it in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Here are the ingredients for this blend: hibiscus, rosehips, lemongrass, orange peel, natural cranberry flavor, natural wild sweet orange flavor.
So here’s the deal. As you can see the main ingredient is the dreaded Hibiscus. I hate the way the tartness from the dreaded H overpowered everything! Maybe there was some Cranberry flavor in there, but it was hard to tell where the tartness from the hibiscus ended and the cranberry flavoring began! :-// It took me two days to drink this crap. YUCK!!! Score: WAY below a 40, and after that who cares!
Cupped: Monday & Tuesday, June 11-12, 2012.
Reviewed: Saturday, June 23, 2012.
Ginger & Honey Green Tea-St. Dalfour
I used 5 teabags and steeped in my tea glass for 12 hours. This is another green tea that I like better cold brewed than hot. The Sri Lankan green tea is not astringent or bitter, but does have a full green tea flavor that makes my mouth pucker. I’m not tasting the honey, but the ginger has a stronger presence. The green tea pleasantly coats my palate, while the ginger dances [with chest high kicks] on the back of my tongue bringing a smile to my face. :)) I may use the rest of my teabags strictly for cold brewing refreshment. :)) Score: 88.
Cupped: Friday, June 22, 2012. Reviewed: Saturday, June 23, 2012.
I haven’t cold brewed green tea before, but I thought I’d give it a try using three different green teas! I steeped all teas in my glass press which is 18-20 oz.
Gu Zhang Mao Jian Organic (ZG54)-Upton Tea Imports
Using two level TBSP, I rinsed the leaves for 30 seconds at approximately 170 degrees—just long enough to wake them up. :)) The water just covering
the leaves, then I filled with cold water & put tea in refrigerator for 18 hours.
The tea looked cloudy until I poured it in my glass. It smelled a little sweet. There wasn’t any creamy, or vegetal aspects I noted in my other review. It did have a full mouth pucker to it-quite astringent, but short of being bitter. It was flavorful and quenching, but not as sweet as I thought it would be. Slightly less tea, and/or cold steep (say 12 hours), would make this better. It was still enjoyable. Score: 79.
Note: The leaves did not fully open, so I had two decent cups of hot tea with the same leaves.
Cupped: Monday, June 4, 2012. Reviewed: Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Arya Estate Emerald Second Flush 2010-Thunderbolt Tea
This larger leaf tea is harder to judge and measure, but a best guess would be 3 to 4 TBSP at 170-180 for 30 second rinse as above. Refrigerated for 12
hours. Tea seemed only slightly cloudy, and lighter in color. This tea had a sweet smell to it. The taste was clean and sweet, with a creamy nature, & a light tangy grape-like quality. This was a really smooth, delicious chilled green tea. I could drink this cold all summer. Score: 91.
Note: Had one additional cup of hot tea. :))
Cupped & Reviewed: Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Bangkok Blend-Harney & Sons
I used one heaping TBSP at around 180 and a 30 second rinse as above. Refrigerated for 12 hours. Tea had a nice yellow-green color. I could smell the sweetness of the coconut and lemongrass immediately! The taste was so naturally sweet and thirst quenching! Light, yet flavorful, the flavors of the coconut and lemongrass washed over my palate. The Bancha was in perfect balance, its light quality had strength & very light astringency. This character only added to the tastiness of the brew-adding a pop that rejuvenated my spirit. :)) To me, the ginger was lacking, but overall this blend-dare I say…….excited me!
The only disappointment was that I wish I would have made more. :-// The flavors and strength were not as full as brewing this tea hot, but for a cold brew it earns higher marks. Score: 93.
A cup or two of hot tea will be just right before I fall asleep tonight. :))
Cupped & Reviewed: Wednesday, June 6, 2012. D-Day.
Mmmmmm one of my favourites, despite that I only have the bagged variety… and I know how amazing it can be when done up right!! (ie. looseleaf, brewed proper) It is easier to make this simple bagged kind though… just place the bag in a pot, fill with water… and wait an hour or so- if you prefer an extra chill, put it in the fridge, but I have sensitive teeth so room temperature is great for me.
It is a cold tea though, not really one that goes down easy when hot.
Anyhow… I love the roasted flavour that comes out, and the mild bitterness that follows in the aftertaste… and I think there is a nutty flavour to, which I also like but can get a little abrasive at times.
On those days when I feel hydration is in order, this is what I rely on. The flavour comes out almost immediately after dunking so I often don’t bother waiting for it to steep- essentially giving me simple flavoured water :)
—this tea is a great source of calcium to, and with my dislike of milk I need all the calcium I can get!!
Mugicha at my house, is often drank cold during meals in the summertime. It helps with digestion especially when you’ve eaten too much during dinner. To prepare Mugicha, the tea bag is cooled in a container for two hours then with boiling water brewed for about 15 minutes. Then the tea is cooled once again with ice. Once the process is finished the tea looks orangey-brown. This tea should not be drunk with any additives because the taste is so mild that any other additional flavorings will overwhelm it. Korean restaurants serve Mugicha or Boricha, it’s Korean name, to patrons who ask for tea.