127 Tasting Notes

95

While I haven’t found a hojicha, let alone a hoji-kukicha, that I haven’t loved, this one is my absolute favorite (Sorry Harney, I still love you). It has the deepest roasty sweetness I’ve ever tasted in a tea. While I’ve never had them, it tastes a bit like those roasted chestnuts you find on street corners though out the holiday season smell. A nutty caramelized sweetness. Almost difficult to believe this is a straight tea. It’s an absolute delight. I’m definitely going to have to stock up for the winter.

Flavors: Roasted nuts, Sugarcane, Toasty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90
drank Golden Assam by Rishi Tea
127 tasting notes

Rishi is one of the selected loose leaf companies my local grocery store carries, so every once in a while I’ll wander from the bulk tea section and check out if they have anything interesting to offer. Last week I stumbled upon this one which I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise, but it was on sale (I’m such a sucker) so of course I took it home with me. I got around to trying it a day so later and immediately went back and picked up two more boxes while it was still on sale (again, what a sucker).

This is the type of Assam I really adore. Malty and sweet, but not so sweet that it seems more like a Yunnan. Just enough to counter the touch of astringency . There’s not all that much to say about it. It’s just a really nice hearty classic Assam. Even with ever-changing preferences, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of theses types of teas.

I should note that I think this is the tea I got. My boxes only say Assam rather than Golden Assam. However the golden tips are plentiful and there is no plain Assam listed here or on Rishi’s website. So I think I’m putting this in the correct spot.

Flavors: Malt, Sugarcane

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
Ost

Mmm sounds so good!

cookies

It’s really quite yummy. Let me know if you want a sample. I clearly have more than enough to share :)

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85

I think this is the first tea I’ve ever tried from Zhe Jiang Province, but if this one is indicative of the general quality I would certainly like to try more. This is definitely fruity as the description says, with a bit of brown sugar or molasses-y sweetness at the end of the sip. Overall though, it tastes mostly like a Keemun. A lovely light and fruity Keemun. Yum.
I don’t know if they’re still doing it, but I got free points at ESGreen by creating an account and signing up for their newsletter. Cashing them in I ended up getting my order for only a few dollars. So if you’re planning an order I definitely recommend trying that first.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Fruity

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

I actually really like this one. This is especially surprising because I don’t tend to like mint very much at all. Peppermint is moderately tolerable while I steer well clear of spearmint. Knowing I don’t enjoy mint I have no idea why I decided to pick this up, but I’m glad I did. It’s definitely pepperminty, but there’s a decent bit of vanilla in there that’s making it palatable. I don’t taste any cinnamon (another note I don’t tend to enjoy), orange, green tea or really any of the other listed ingredients. Not exactly sure why they put decaf green in here rather than just leaving it an herbal blend. Maybe trying to reel in the antioxidant obsessed crowd? Whatever the reason it ends up a pleasant, comforting cup. When I need something warm and cozy before bed this is a nice choice.

Flavors: Peppermint, Vanilla

Preparation
7 OZ / 207 ML
darby

Sounds good! Might have to pick it up later. I only drink mint after Thanksgiving! LOL

cookies

I always find them on sale for about $2, definitely worth a try if you come across it!

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90

I really like this one. It’s incredibly flavorful with tons of interesting notes hiding throughout the sip. Orange zest, sugarcane, potato and sweet potato a bit of undistinguishable spice… maybe pepper? And it’s a bit astringent. Not especially bitter but drying on my tongue. It’s not at all an unpleasant astringency.
If I hadn’t read the description I wouldn’t have guessed this was a Yunnan. It seems to have the mouthfeel of an Assam with a taste somewhere in between that and a Yunnan. Really unique and delightful. So far I’ve been extremely pleased with Tao of Tea’s products. I wonder why they aren’t more popular around these parts?

Flavors: Malt, Orange, Potato, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Bit of a sad sipdown for this one. I fully intended to purchase more, but sadly Simpson and Vail seem to be out at the moment. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on more soon because this is really just a delightful CTC Assam. Simple and malty. Not much else, but sometimes that’s just what you need.

Sipdown 19/75

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Puerh Bordeaux by Rishi Tea
127 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Berries, Earth

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Hoji Cha by Sugimoto America
127 tasting notes

This is certainly the lightest Hoji Cha I’ve had to date. I do tend to prefer mine a bit more roasted, but that’s just a personal preference. This one is really quite nice. Smooth and mellow with just enough of that roasty hojicha flavor present to keep it from being dull. If I had more than a sample I’d have tried less water/another tea bag but sadly I only had a one to play with. Overall it’s not bad at all, but there are other hojichas I would prefer over this one.

Sipdown 18/75

Flavors: Nutty, Roasted

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 OZ / 207 ML

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90

I’m not usually super big on green teas. It’s not that I don’t like them, I really do enjoy some. It’s just I love black teas so much that I never want to sacrifice a cup of black tea for anything else. I usually relegate greens to bedtime duty. But it’s ones like this that make me rethink that status. This is my favorite (non-genmaicha) green. Not grassy like sencha. Sweet, fresh and just a little vegetal. Really a delightful tea.

Sipdown 17/75

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60

Kind of regretting this purchase. It’s not a particularly offensive tea, but good lord, it’s just boring. It’s terribly weak, even steeped in 6oz of water. The base is a snooze, and the flavors meld together in some indistinguishable generic pumpkin spice muddle. If ‘meh’ were a tea, this would be it.
Why, oh, why does ROT have to package their teas in 50 bag canisters? Can’t imagine what I’m going to do with it all.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
darby

Lol I thought the same. I’ve given some away but started doubling up … Two bags per cup

Kittenna

Lattes! You can then justify using ridiculous numbers of teabags, haha.

cookies

Oh, those are both good ideas! Thanks guys, I’m going to try that.

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Profile

Bio

My favorite teas are unflavored Chinese blacks, especially Yunnans & Fujians, and I’m also partial to strong Irish Breakfast blends and Assams. In addition to black teas I like heavy roasted oolongs and less-grassy green teas. I enjoy my blacks and oolongs unflavored, but have a soft-spot for flavored green teas. I always take my tea without additions except for masala chai blends which I always add milk to. Generally unsweetened soy or quinoa milks, occasionally I’ll splurge with some sweetened vanilla soy milk.

Likes: Anything roasty, toasty, smoky, or malty. As well as citrus and cream flavors.

Dislikes: Anise/licorice/fennel, stevia, & coconut flavoring. Rooibos, honeybush and mate tisanes.

Allergies: Peanuts & Tree nuts

I’ve decided to use a simplified rating system in order to keep things consistent.

100- The best tea I have ever tasted. Can’t live without it.

95- Wonderful teas that I drink almost daily, and will always have on hand. Probably the first teas I will recommend and serve to guests.

90- Teas I greatly enjoy and will restock often, though I may not always have them on hand.

80 – Good teas that I may purchase occasionally, or drink when I’m in the mood. Perhaps seasonal teas.

70- Enjoyable teas. I wouldn’t turn down a cup but may have to be in the mood to consider. Probably not a consistent in my cupboard.

60- I finished my cup/sample but wouldn’t purchase, and would turn down a cup if there were any other options.

50- Didn’t finish the cup. Would not drink again if offered a cup.

1- Nothing could make me try this tea again. And it has probably reduced my opinion of the entire company.

Location

USA

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