410 Tasting Notes

I made a big pitcher of this iced – about 16 tsp of leaf to 1 L of boiling water, steeped for 3-4 minutes, with the remainder then topped off with cold water, ice, and a bit of agave nectar.

This pitcher is really earthy and the taste of coconut is more prominent than the fruit flavours. I will probably add more sweetener as I go to make the fruit/coconut flavours stand out over the pu’er ones. But I don’t mind too much.

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Backlog from last night.

I drank this while watching “The Ladykillers” with the hubs, and it was good, clean, bank-robbing, attempting-to-murder-little-old-ladies fun. It was a bit astringent, though, and since I’ve tried other genmaichas that I realize I prefer, I’m probably not going to restock this once I finish off the very generous sample that Ubacat sent my way.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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These teabags are so potent that I only use a single one for 3 cups of hot water, though the packaging recommends more. How can people in the UK stand to drink tea so strong? My tongue crinkles at the thought of it.

Anyways, this is still decent – lemony, citrusy, with a sort of hint of dark molasses or gummy flavours – but I’m still not a huge EG person. One or two blends in the pantry is enough.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Mountain Herbs by RiverTea
410 tasting notes

Backlog from last night.

I had this right before I went to bed because my stomach felt a bit off, and I think this tea may have done the trick, although I didn’t finish the whole (huge) cup. Minty, herbal, savoury – my first thoughts about this tea still stand, though I do think it works better with a slightly shorter steep time to cut the cloying taste that peppermint gets when its been steeped for too long.

On a different note, the hubby and I watched “The Ladykillers” last night (the original with Alec Guinness, not the Coen Brothers remake) and it was good dark fun. Quite grim, but in a humorous way.

Boiling 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Backlog from yesterday morning.

I have only a few spoonfuls of this tea left after sipping and swapping with others, but I don’t mind. I genuinely like this tea, but now that I have more experience, gyokuros are a bit fussier to deal with, so they’ll probably remain only an occasional purchase.

This was good though – very green, slightly bitter taste.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Sample sipdown!

I had just enough for a 1.5 cups of this, and steeped it twice. Not much more to say here that I haven’t said before. This a really smooth, clean-tasting genmaicha. It’s very well-balanced, and a little bit astringent, but that’s ok. I will most definitely restock this at some point.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
410 tasting notes

Backlog from this morning.

Perhaps I didn’t pay attention to steeping it properly today, but this one tasted different this morning. Normally it’s a pretty laid back, unobtrusive tea. However, this morning, there was definitely a sharp, metallic tang to the taste, like copper. Somewhat salty, even.

Maybe I overleafed it?

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

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Backlog from last night.

I tried this tea yesterday as part of my Sunday Tea and Books series. When I got this as part of my June subscription box, I got two large envelopes – so much that I figured I’d never finish it all and placed one of the two unopened envelopes into the GCTTB3.

How much I regret it now! This makes a great iced tea.

I’m still fairly new to pu’er teas, and new to pu’er blends in particular. This one smelled really interesting to me, as the normally earthy, somewhat damp and leathery scent of the plain leaf was transformed by the addition of the flavoured ingredients. The aroma when I opened the bag of dry leaf was really sweet, smooth, and creamy – almost like peach-flavoured yogurt, or even cheesecake.

Both cold and hot, the flavour of the tea is very true to the scent of the leaf: creamy, fruity, and somewhat tart, like it’s had some sort of dairy added, even though it hasn’t. Underneath it all there’s the earthiness of the pu’er base. I know this is hard to describe, but given the tart, creamy smell of the tea, it feels like this one is playing a little joke on my tastebuds, doing the ol’ switcheroo. Dare I say that the tea is somewhat…puckish?

Well, if you like A Midsummer Nights Dream this tea might suit. The full Sunday Tea and Books post is here: http://christinavasilevski.com/2014/07/sunday-tea-books-puer-tahiti/

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I really enjoy your tea and books blog posts. :)


Aww, thanks! I get the sense that people like the idea, the thought process.

I have a question for you, though (and for any others who also like the ST&B posts): Does this format work for you? Are there any ways I could change things up to make them more sticky/appealing?

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I made some iced tea with this a few days ago, and finally tried it after it steeped today.

Unfortunately, I feel like I botched it. The website does say to use 1 tsp per cup of liquid, and I used twice that to make sure that it was able to be diluted for iced tea.

However, even iced and diluted, this doesn’t really work for me. The rose and elderflower flavours are really strong, and it feels like I’m drinking a cup of perfume. Adding ice didn’t help. Adding huge bunch of club soda even after the ice melted helped, but not as much as I hoped. It just doesn’t taste sweet and fruity enough.

Sami Kelsh

This makes me a bit sad. The flavour combo sounded yummy! :(


I suspect that you need a lot of sugar to go with this. I wonder what it would be like if you mixed this with a sweet soda like Sprite or 7-Up…

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I had a headache behind one of my eyes tonight, so I took an advil and then brewed some of this. A little bit after that, my stomach was giving me a bit of trouble (note to self: that rainbow sherbet was a baaad idea), so I hoped this would still help. I really need to find some ginger green tea soon.

Anyways, this tea was so good that I steeped it twice, and had the two cups back-to-back, which I almost never do (I tend to leave a bit of time between steeps). This time it was more astringent than I remember, but also had a pleasant grassy aftertaste. Both times the liquor was a lovely shade of greenish yellow, and there was very little dust despite being taken from the bottom of the sample bag. I’m debating whether to restock this or go with the other genmaicha sample I purchased from Yunomi.us. Decisions, decisions….

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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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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