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Recent Tasting Notes
The very nice lady at Virtuous Teas hooked us up with 4 kinds of green tea basics to try tonight- 2 Japanese and 2 Chinese. For us, (3 people, my husband, Ellyn my bud, and myself) the Japanese won handily 2 to 0. This was #2 of the Chinese and BLeccchhhhhhhh. It had the roof of the mouth coating nastiness I hate in wine OR tea, where you feel like you grew instant velvet there and it tastes puckery awful. This goes on my list to try again in a few years because you never know, tho I think I know….with so many different teas to try, why cross this bridge twice?
We got out the thermometer, got out the measuring spoons, got out the timer- read the instructions in the tea snob’s book of tea, which Ellyn will have to name because I know not…and YUCK YUCK YUCK, this is the first “skunk piss” tea I have run into yet. Down the drain it goes- with no remorse whatsoever. Maybe someday I will learn to enjoy this one, but I doubt it heavily. Blechhhhh with my tongue out all the way!
Of all the green teas Japanese and Chinese we tried tonight, this was our hands down favorite. All 3 tasters gave this one a thumbs up because it has a pleasant mellow toasted barley, woody… caramel even lightly- flavor and warm scent. Subtle and enjoyable all alone, would stock this to enjoy all year round.
Intense yellow green tea from spikey tea leaves, this was a tangy grassy tasting tea- full bodied and not bitter or ucky, I preferred this over the Chinese Green teas we tried tonight- (Dragonwell and Summit Spring) doing a bit of a comparison Green Tea Night to learn the basics of taste in plain tea- without all the gift wrappings of added flavors. Once again this may be something I get more accustomed to- not unpleasant but not an instant love either.
This smells amazing, it tastes like a desert, it is delicious! I love strong flavors- this is one. I guess I am not very subtle and my taste in tea is not either. The vanilla is lovely and strong, but there is more to it than just that, I can see why this is one of their best sellers.
This stuff is amazing, makes your lungs feel clear and capable and your throat like an opera singer’s. All that and it tastes really good too. If you are a runner or athlete, this may be good just to drink before a workout- tho no caffeine, it feels very invigorating. I like licorice, and no sweetener needed, bonus round!
I love peach melba. My husband does also. It is really really, really, fruity. It is a full palate type of flavor. The peach is delightful, and refreshing. IT is a beautiful red color. I have tried maybe 20 new teas in the last 2 weeks and so far this is my fave, one I’d keep on hand and share often! Unlike most herbal infusions you can steep this 2 times. I LOVE IT! Also, this is my first tasting note. Yay!
I reccieved this tea in a trade. I normally drink the pumpkin chai from David’s tea. I like this one a lot because it isn’t chai, so the pumpkin flavour comes through very clearly. I like my teas very strong so I steeped it for about ten minutes before drinking it and it was perfect!
Oh apparently this is really old so I have no idea why I still have it. It actually doesn’t taste that bad despite the less than optimal storing conditions, but I think after this glass it will join the ranks of the used leaves set aside for my plants.
I don’t know what it is about this one, but I really like it. It is definitely one inexpensive tea, but it feels like it’s triggering some kind of memory with the flavor, or its scent reminds me of something from when I was a kid.
It’s not champagne at all, the strawberry champagne one from earlier has more wine-like qualities to it than this. This is floral and kind of just has a flat berry taste.
This is actually the first time I’m having it iced, out of curiosity. I think it works better hot, though its pretty good iced. But it doesn’t taste like it used to.
Sipdown. I’ve been doing a lot of stashbusting lately, and it feels good. I’m ready to move on to autumn teas and rotate out some of the old ones.
I still can’t believe I haven’t rated this yet though – definitely thought I had.
The leaves are long and dark and twisty, and they sort of shine a little bit. It’s not just like a piece of dried leaf. They’re very unique.
The smell in the tin is very smoky. Good.
I’m actually a huge fan of cold-brewed Lapsang, so that’s what I did with this.
The smoke is the predominant flavor, as I would expect, but it’s not as strong as when I brew it by traditional hot methods. There’s a really unique charcoal flavor in there too, like I’m not drinking the smell of smoke but rather the taste of the burnt logs. I really like it.
(In the process of writing this review, I get a knock on my door. As I’m going over to open it, the key turns in the lock and our prankster friend RS is there. He goes “Well, this is awkward. E – my roommate – forgot her keys, so I’m playing a prank on her. You were never here. You saw nothing.” Okay, RS, I saw nothing. So now half of our room is a mess. He’s going to get it back, though, because I’m HORRID at keeping a straight face!)
Back to the tea. There’s a lingering sort of mineral sweetness that washes over my tongue at the end of the sip. I think there’s a lot more character and depth to this when cold-brewed than there is hot, although it’s great both ways. A delicious tea that will be missed!
I love how Virtuous has a little basket of their bestsellers as free samples. As I was checking out the last time I was there, the woman sort of waved the basket in front of me and said “Free samples! Help yourself.” I got very excited of course, and took this one as well as a few others.
No steeping paramaters provided, and I didn’t feel like going online, so I just did a general 180 degree, 2 minute steep.
I don’t get a lot of flavor out of this. It’s really creamy, that I will say. After looking at the description of the tea online, I taste hints of vanilla and pumpkin. There’s a really light green taste behind that as well.
It says it’s excellent iced, and I’m brewing it hot, so that might be something too. I don’t dislike the tea, it’s just a bit lackluster for me. Leaving off a rating because I’m not sure it’s fair to review a tea badly just because I might have made it wrong, especially when I’m the only review!
Tastes like freedom.
Happy 4th everyone!
My sister grabbed this out of the sample bin the last time I was at Virtuous, and I assiduously waited until today to try it. I poured the whole sample into my ingenuiTEA, steeped 3 minutes at 212.
It’s a beautiful peachy-red color. The Yunnan in the blend really comes out; it’s not as much Assam or Ceylon as one might ordinarily find in a breakfast blend. It was incredibly strong, verging on bitter, with a lot of astringency, so I added a liberal amount of milk and a bit of sugar. I’m a wimp when it comes to strong blacks!
It’s good. It’s a well-rounded black blend, and the Yunnan lends a sort of peppery flavor that one doesn’t ordinarily find. It’s a bit malty, but not overwhelmingly so.
All in all, it’s good. I don’t really love the breakfast genre of teas, but I enjoy this one. I might consider purchasing a few ounces of this to take back to school for those days when I do want something a bit stronger.
(Also, is it bad that I’m drinking American-themed tea in a British tea mug? shhhh, don’t tell.)
It’s my 100th tasting note!
I picked this one up on a whim today. We went to Virtuous to get rosehips (our chinchilla likes to snack on them!) and this just looked beautiful in the jar – bright colors streaking through a crisp green leaf. It smells amazing – perfectly fruity. And brewed – wow! The scent is SO sweet, like gummy bears or fruity candies, but completely natural.
The first steep is surprisingly light, with more of a scent than a taste, although as it cools the buttery oolong comes out. It’s a very pale gold, so light that it appears clear as I’m pouring but in the teacup it takes on a color of light honey.
Second steep: Oh! So good. The taste is all buttery oolong, and the scent is still really sweet and fruity. Notes of pineapple and mango and apple and raspberry.
Right now I’m writing the first short story I’ve written in a long time, and listening to the INCREDIBLE music from the recent National Theatre production of Frankenstein. It’s a wonderful night!
I figure I am drinking this…I got it a little over a year ago at a local tea shop, and it looks JUST like the picture, sounds JUST like the description, and I wouldn’t think a pink champagne tea is too common. The shop doesn’t carry this anymore, and I do like it a lot. The only thing that throws me off is like the massive difference in price, since I’m pretty sure I got this really cheap.
Champagne flavoring in tea is always a bit weird. The color of the brew even sort of looks like champagne. There’s a hint of raspberry, which adds to the floral white tea. I really don’t care for flavored white tea, but I still remember when I smelled this, I had to have it (so then I could obviously forget about it).
Drank this on the way to work today. It was much more minty then the last time I drank it. This was a great start of the day! The combination of mint, buttercream and black tea is great. The owner of virtuous teas, Eo, informed me that this was a blend made in house.
I love that even though the most prominent flavor is mint I can still taste the other notes (buttercream, vanilla, hearty black tea) underneath.
Needed a sweet morning cup to get back to work after the long weekend.
Today I was not paying as much attention to steeping time as I rushed out the door and I think I steeped this for 5 minutes+. I was afraid it would be super bitter. However, the taste was still yummy sweet. A LITTLE more astringent the other occasions when I drank this tea…not the tea’s fault though!
As an aside, the smell of this tea is so strong I have to store it in an airtight container + two ziplock bags to prevent the smell from invading my tea cabinet!