532 Tasting Notes

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of this tea. Maybe it’s the carob? It smells nice, but it’s far too sweet.


I haven’t tried it yet. I didn’t realize it was carob when I picked it from my kickstarter. I’m not a carob fan.

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Backlog from a few days ago.

This is a really bergamot-heavy EG. It’s not the most bergamotty one I’ve ever had, but it’s up there. Glad I only got a small sample of this – I have enough left to make a quick sipdown.

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drank Gyokuro Standard by Yunomius
532 tasting notes

Backlog from a few days ago.

I could have sworn that I wrote a note about this tea before, but I guess not. In any event, this is a sipdown!

I used more western steeping measurements and even slightly underleafed and oversteeped the brew. Despite this, the cup was surprisingly pleasant! I generally steel myself for the bitterness of gyokuros, but this was gentle and nutty. Not sure if I’ll get more, but this was a nice sendoff.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Jin Jun Mei by teasenz
532 tasting notes

I sipped on this a few days ago, and while the flavour was nice and tea-y, it really does change from dry leaf to liquor. I just can’t get over how chocolate-y the leaf smells! Glad I still have a good chunk of this left – I will have to find some more jin jun mei to have in the cupboard.

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I’ve had this tea a few times now. I love the idea of it in theory – all those nice warm spices combining with the coldness of autumn and the falling leaves. However, this isn’t very orangey, and the spices are quite strong. The orange only makes itself known at the end of the sip on the back of the tongue. The flavour is subtle, but round.

Yesterday I made this using a 4-minute steep. Perhaps it would be better at 3 minutes?

4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Mountain Herbs by RiverTea
532 tasting notes

Backlog from a few nights ago.

I’m really happy I have this blend because it’s caffeine-free and because I like having a savoury tea or two in my cupboard. Watched this after doing yoga on Friday night, and my stomach was not so happy. I hoped this would calm it down, but I don’t know if it did… Ah well. It was Friday. Today is Monday. Time passes.

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Backlog from last night.

Still amazed by how dark the brew is of this tea. I like it, but I’m not sure if I’ll restock once my sample runs out.

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I’m still not completely sold on houjichas, but I was surprised by how dark the brew was when I finished steeping. It was a deep, dark umber. A cool brown, not a warm welcoming one.

The taste was fairly similar to the other Obubu houjichas I sampled, but that’s ok. Woody, roasty, smoky, somewhat “curly”. Just need to make a few more pots of this to finish it off.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

“curly”…… This made me smile.


I wish I knew a better way to describe that sensation. Not quite astringent, but similar.

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This was one of the teas I asked for a small sample of with my Kickstarter passage, and it’s surprisingly nice. Just a nice, solid, medium black tea, without too much going on. However, the flavour becomes a bit harsher when it’s cold – it’s best to drink this one up quick.

The nice thing is that I only have another cup left – perfect for a sipdown.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
532 tasting notes

Oh man. I took this tea with me to my in-laws’ because it’s foolproof, and drinking it there reminded me of just HOW MUCH I love this tea. It’s smoky, sweet-potato-ish, and damn near impossible to fuck up – a critical feature when you’re at the house of people who HAVE NO KETTLE.

Also, I’ve realized just how much of the leaf I’ve consumed of this tea! I’ve still got about an ounce left, so I’m fine for now, but it is surprising to see how often this has ended up in my rotation. If RiverTea doesn’t have a sale soon, I’ll have to find another place that offers something similar, so I can restock when the time comes.

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I’m a writer and editor who, after years of bagged-tea purgatory, has finally seen the light and glory of loose-leaf teas. I’m still just starting my journey, as it’s been only in the last 2 years that I’ve started drinking loose-leaf tea, and only in the past few months that I’ve been trying different varieties in earnest.

Likes: Green tea, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender.

Things I’m on the fence about: Oolong, vanilla (I prefer it mixed with black teas or rooibos rather than green tea), white teas.

Still need to do my research on: unflavoured black teas, pu’er teas.

For those interested, here’s my scoring system, though I don’t score teas as often as I used to:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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