64 Tasting Notes

60

I purchased this vanilla sencha, as well as Bird Pick’s caramel and honeydew senchas, and then 52Teas Banana Peach green, which has a sencha base…then I found out I’m pretty sure I don’t like sencha. Ack. This was the first I tried, and I’ve been fiddling with it since, trying to understand this particular green and make it work for me instead of against me.

The trouble is, no matter which variety I make, the sencha always pushes through and tastes, whether subtly or intensely, like I’m drinking ground-up spinach. Eurgh. I mean, I love spinach! But like, in salads, or on sandwiches. Not in a cup overlaid with a dessert-y taste.

The best I’ve managed to do with this one in particular is keep the steep super-short. So far the lowest I’ve gone is about a minute and a half, but I might reduce that further. This is also a pretty weird vanilla, I think, which doesn’t help – it’s a particularly creamy sort of vanilla flavoring, which normally I’d be over the moon about but I just don’t think it suits this variety of green. I’m going to keep fiddling with it, but any tips on how to best brew sencha would be appreciated!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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82

I’m ridiculously susceptible to suggestion, so honestly just looking at this bright yellow tin with its cheerful exhortation puts a smile on my face. Luckily on top of that it has a really pleasant flavor! It’s lemony without being at all overbearing about it – I think even without the name I’d probably describe the flavor as bright and cheerful. I don’t get much of the peach flavor, but it’s a nice cup even without, so I can’t complain.

I just put this one through a ridiculous steep time – as in I set two bags into a portable cup about forty-eight hours ago in anticipation of taking it out with me, and ended up leaving it steeping in my intermittently very warm car for two days straight. I just took it out now and it’s quite tasty. God bless rooibos, it can really take so much abuse.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
QuiltGuppy

That’s an impressive steep time! :)

Cofftea

Sounds like you’re having a similar week to mine. I can barely make tea correctly this week I didn’t bother to log. Ok so maybe we’re opposite lol- but our weeks still have the same craziness.

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85

Making my way through the last of this, I just put two teaspoons of it straight into my two serving teapot, leaving the strainer out entirely so the leaves could properly get their steep on. This was a good call! I think this is one of the best cups I’ve gotten out of this, the leaves had plenty of room to fully unfurl and bump up against each other. It’s very pretty in the pot and rather pleasant to watch it steep, kind of like watching goldfish swim. Calming, you know?

I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this one as I’ve since discovered other oolongs I find more spectacular, but I’ve enjoyed having this one in my cupboard and in my cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Lychee Oolong by Naivetea
64 tasting notes

Just got this and Naivetea’s Wen Shan Bao Zhong in the mail, thanks to the SororiTEA Sisters for the heads-up (and promo code) on this deal! Today would have been even better since my David’s Tea order apparently arrived…except that for some reason they required me to sign for it, and the postal worker couldn’t be bothered to ring my doorbell or even knock on my door before leaving the “Sorry we missed you!” note and bailing. (Is it really missing me if you failed to ascertain whether I was there or not?) You’d think I lived in Mordor rather than down one dinky flight of stairs for all the laziness my location engenders in delivery people, geez.

Anyway, at least I have tonight to enjoy my new oolongs before I go pick up my DT order tomorrow and bury myself in a mountain of maple rooibos. The dry leaf of this one is very fragrant, with an intense lychee scent that made me realize my only contact with anything lychee in the past several years has been in the form of martinis. The leaves are very tightly curled and a beautiful shade of green. The directions recommended a tablespoon of leaves for six ounces of water, but I don’t have any measuring spoons so I just hazarded a teaspoon plus a bit extra.

The first steep was the strongest and best, I think, it had the full force of lychee behind it, almost completely disguising the flavor of the base oolong, which was fine with me – if you’re going to flavor your tea, then flavor your damn tea. By the fifth steep that flavor is mostly gone, leaving behind a subtle hint of oolong, like a particularly delicate white tea. The instructions said I could steep up to seven times, but by the sixth the leaves were completely unfurled and the cup had only the slightest suggestion of flavor. The steeps in between were quite pleasant though. This feels like a nice late spring or summer tea, best drank around sunset, each successive steep urging you on toward nighttime, light and sweet and warming. Mmm.

LiberTEAS

I’m so glad you were able to take advantage of that offer! It was really a good one, and I was quite tempted to also take advantage of it, if I hadn’t already exhausted my tea budget for the month!

Indigobloom

that happened to me with my DT order to!! and I live in a house, no stairs required… they ended up reshipping it to me cuz the depot they sent it to is a 2+ hr bus ride and no way was I doing that… No way am I choosing Purolator to ship my stuff again

Sara

Yes, thank you again LiberTEAS!

Adrienne, I picked Canada Post to ship! So clearly Canadian post in general just hates us, haha. Off I go to grab mine from the Post Office (which is luckily for me only five minutes away, as I’m in Los Angeles)!

Uniquity

Canada Post hates EVERYONE!

Indigobloom

No kidding. Sheesh! you’d think it was run by the government it’s so badly run… oh, wait a second… ha!

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79
drank White Ginger Pear by Tea Forte
64 tasting notes

Oof! This is the most intensely ginger-scented tea I’ve ever experienced, that dry leaf is a knockout. Luckily for those of us who aren’t all in it for the big G, this tea tastes much milder than it smells. The dominant taste is still ginger (especially as it cools), but the peach provides a hint of sweetness and the white tea base adds a pleasant taste as well. I’m not sure what prompted me to buy this, but I’m glad I did!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Caramelized Pear by Art of Tea
64 tasting notes

I forgot that I included a cup of this in my morning ‘brew five cups at a time’ ritual (yeah, I work from home, this is my life), and when I took a random sip I was like what is this delicious drink?! If that’s not a ringing endorsement I don’t know what is.

Art of Tea does delightful things with rooibos, and I think this is their best. Delicious and sweet, like a pear-flavored dessert without the calories. The sweetness can get a wee bit cloying if you let it cool too much, but hot this is a cup of wondrous caramelly pear goodness. Recommended!

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

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67

I think I got the last packet of this, which I’ll use as an explanation for the slight flavor of dustiness. I’m used to white teas being subtle, but I could have done with more flavor in this blend overall. I brewed according to the parameters, and for the longest recommended steep time, but I’m still getting, at most, a sort of suggestion of spice and pear in the back of the sip rather than any appreciable taste. Oh well, at least white tea is good for you!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Dust. Blech!

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76
drank Apple Pear Tulsi by Fusion Teas
64 tasting notes

This is the first tulsi tea I’ve ever tasted, and it’s a delight! I’m not sure which flavors are coming from the tulsi itself or the added fruits and flavorings, but it’s a mystery I’m content to leave unsolved for now because the end result is so good. It’s a very green-tasting tea, very bright and light and fresh in my mouth and all that – it reminds me of the flavor of green yerba mate. I’m not really getting apple or pear (maybe a bit of pear), but it’s good enough overall that I feel okay about that.

Glad I decided to try this!

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

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54
drank Strawberry Slender by Teavana
64 tasting notes

I buy this every once in awhile when I feel like I can’t deal with drinking straight pu-erh any longer, but having worked my way through two ounces now I can’t quite recall why I keep thinking it’s any better. Maybe because I usually have it with milk, and right now I’m just drinking it straight, so I’m getting hit full on with that dusty old flavor that some pu-erhs have. I’m not getting any strawberry at all from this cup, which is weird because you can easily see all kinds of pretty strawberry bits in the tea itself. Where did they go? Did the pu-erh eat them?

Also I’ve now had Lupicia’s Chocolate and Strawberry Pu-erh, which is basically what this tea wants to be in terms of yummy flavoring, but isn’t. Advice: if you want a sweeter flavored pu-erh, buy that instead of this, it is about eight times yummier and I think they even use a better quality base tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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

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