55 Tasting Notes

75

I pick this one up whenever I see it on sale – it’s a good caffeinated morning cup when I don’t feel up for the heavier flavor of a yerba mate. It’s also a nice perk-up if I’m getting sleepy too early in the evening (example: right now. why am I so tired??). I used to drink this back when it was just plain old Slim Life, and I can’t honestly say I taste much of a difference with the addition of the blueberry. It’s more tart in the way that blueberries are tart, but without really having the taste of the fruit itself, if that makes sense.

Yogi says steep for three minutes, but I find that a 2:45 steep cuts it off just when it’s about to sneak in some bitterness. Also god only knows if this actually helps with weight loss, but for what it’s worth I always take some along with me when I go to visit my grandparents because I know they’ll be plying me with baked goods. Because a cup of caffeinated tea is really going to counterbalance dessert with every meal. Don’t give me that look, it helps me sleep at night.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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70
drank Kotobuki by Lupicia
55 tasting notes

I must say this oolong doesn’t do a whole lot for me, which is a shame since I’ve adored their other flavored oolongs in the past. The plum flavor is definitely subtle to the point of being barely identifiable in the mix; mostly this just tastes like a nice quality oolong, something to drink with food when you’re not really primed to notice what you’re drinking. I’m not too mad since I got this for 30% off (I didn’t even know Lupicia did random sales like that…reason enough to make the trek to the Century City location), but if you’re there looking for a good fruity oolong I’d say go with Lupicia’s pineapple or melon oolong.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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78

I just made two cups of this in a tall glass, and added a generous dash of vanilla soymilk to top it off. This was an A+ decision, as now I’m getting a much cookie-r taste than just taking it straight. Good enough to bump the rating up a few points. Yum!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Strawberry Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
55 tasting notes

This one is just as fiddly and delicate as Kusmi’s almond green, but worth it in the end I think! The dry leaves smell very sweet, and the scent sticks around once brewed, though it’s much lighter. It’s clear the leaves have simply been infused with the strawberry scent, as there are no visible bits of strawberry in the dry leaf. I would have liked some in there for sure, as it is this brews up with way more of a green tea with a whiff of strawberry than what I think of when I hear the phrase “strawberry green tea.”

I will say this is one of the few greens I’ve had good luck resteeping. In fact, my usual method with this tea is to brew and then strain into a bigger cup to catch the little leafy bits, then resteep and strain into the same cup. The lighter second steep cuts any astringency that might have snuck into the first.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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96
drank Caribbean Nectar by Fusion Teas
55 tasting notes

This tea is nuts! The fruit pieces are huuuuge and plentiful, bigger than anything I’ve ever seen. Even the rooibos bits are longer than I’m used to seeing! Probably the most impressive roobios presentation I’ve ever experienced.

All that isn’t just for show, though – this is one of the tastiest roobios blends I’ve had. I sincerely regret only getting the sample size of this one, I’ve torn through it! The banana scent is strongest as you bring it up to drink, and it lingers subtly there on the palate. Just a real, true banana flavor, nothing artificial about it. The mango comes through a bit too, with the coconut being present but not overly assertive. The rooibos itself is clearly high-quality, and I don’t taste any of the woodiness that I’ve come up against in Fusion’s other rooibos teas, thank god. This would be an instant reorder if Fusion’s shipping costs were a bit more bearable.

Love it!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
T E

Thank You for the Honest and kind words. Indeed, shipping costs are annoying. As our company grows we will be able to qualify for lower shipping rates. We try and supplement the shipping cost by keeping our prices as low as possible.

Sara

Hi T E, thanks for commenting! I definitely did a big buy the first time around based on the strength of your prices and how interested I was in the teas, and that’s mostly proving to have been a good call. I’ll definitely buy again once you’re able to offer a flat shipping rate or a lower threshold for free shipping. :)

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63

When I first got this one it reminded me pretty strongly of Teavana’s Matevana, but I’m starting to think that ultimately Matevana has a bit more to offer, a fuller taste than this one. Which isn’t to say this is bad – it’s a perfectly good mate, and the added flavors do a good job of calming the intensity of the roasted yerba mate. I don’t think I’ll be buying this one again though.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Almond Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
55 tasting notes

Good lord, people. I have been bound and bleeding determined to get the perfect steep out of this, to get as close as humanly possible to making the delicious scent of this tea match the actual taste of it. I kept getting cups that just weren’t cutting it.

I finally went out and bought a tea thermometer to make sure I had the temperature just right. I’ve also been fiddling with the right steeping device – my regular strainers kept letting bits of tea through that I could never quite strain out, so they kept steeping and soured the cup, but the disposable filters didn’t let the tea expand properly. So this morning I basically combined the best of the two – I tucked an open tea ball (well, an acorn-shaped strainer) into a reusable bamboo filter bag, so the tea could expand without any bits escaping. I put the tea in at 160 degrees and gave it exactly three minutes.

After all that, I’m calling this a success! I’m definitely getting the most almond flavor out of this of any prior steep. It’s still definitely more of a green tea flavor than I was hoping for, given that the scent suggests you’ll be drowning in marzipan. The almond is there, though. I think I just keep expecting that teas will be naturally sweet and then I’m put off when they’re not. Maybe I just need to admit defeat and start adding sugar already.

It pains me to admit the success of this green tea steeping method (open tea ball + reusable filter bag) because it’s such a pain in the butt, but I think it genuinely does allow for the best cup since the leaves get to expand properly but there are no bits left floating around to keep steeping. Green tea, thou art the cruelest mistress!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68

I have to be in the mood for this one, but when I’m feeling the need for a nice healthy cup of green tea this one hits the spot. I like to keep the steep short so it gets just grassy enough without getting all astringent on me.

I have a little tin of proper matcha that I can rarely stand to drink (it’s just so much! so much green tea! aaah!), so it’s nice that this one is around to make me feel virtuous about drinking green tea without overwhelming my delicate palate/soul.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Green Mango Peach by Tea Forte
55 tasting notes

I keep being not as vigilant as I should be and ending up with fruity minty teas when I was expecting just a fruity tea. Darn you, peppermint and/or spearmint! Exit my melanges!

As you can tell this is the latest case of that happening. I think this must be where my fellow reviewers have been getting the menthol-y medicinal taste from, it’s that random addition of peppermint getting all up in the tropical fruit’s business. It’s unfortunate, because the tea smells really good when you’re bringing it up for the sip, but the mint just sits on top of all the other flavors and makes for a weird experience when you’re expecting to taste mango…or peach…or green tea, you know, any of those seemingly random words that ended up in the title.

That said, I don’t hate this! It’s a plenty refreshing cup and enjoyable on its own merits. But I certainly can’t say it does what it says on the tin.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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64

Oof, watch out on the steep times for this one – I let it go a bit long thinking it could take it because it’s rooibos, but instead the apricot just steeped and steeped this into a sour, undrinkable cup. Whoops.

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I like ‘em sweet, spicy, fancy, and sometimes French. I’ll choose intriguingly flavored over single estate every time.

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