50 Tasting Notes

It’s humid and warm, and I’m not quite ready for that (actually, I’m never ready for that, but…..). This weather has pushed me towards flavoured oolongs the past few days, though, and that’s made my tea cup quite happy.
This morning, I decided to try the Tigre Blanc from Nina’s Paris that Laurent so kindly sent. THANK YOU, Laurent!
My daughter Lily enjoys reading manga out loud to me, so while she was reading Yotsuba (I love Yotsuba….), I sipped this lovely tea…. The flavour reminds me of peach hard candy, like the Jolly Rancher’s I’d pick out of the multiflavour packs as a kid, often not leaving any for the next person. The brightness of the tangerine note is really nice, with no bitterness or strange flavours.
I really liked this oolong, with its forward peach notes.

keychange

This weather has been pushing me towards flavoured oolongs as well! (although it’s been kind of rainy all week, but I mean the shift from winter to springish)

Cheri

How peachy would you say this is? I got a sample of this as well (not one I requested) and I’m trying to decide if I should go ahead and try it anyway, or if I should just pass it along to someone else.

DeliriumsFrogs

It’s pretty peachy, but not peachy like the momo oolong from lupicia…. This is more of a candy peach, if that makes sense. I wouldn’t say it tastes artificial, but it definitely reminds me more of ‘peach flavoured things’ than straight out peaches. The peachyness of it is right in the front—really nice aroma.
I really liked it, but if I had to pick between this or the lupicia, I’d choose the lupicia.

Cheri

Sounds like it would be better for me to share it with someone else. I’m not a peachy kind of person, generally.

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90
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
50 tasting notes

It’s sunny and very spring like outside, so a fruity, lighter tea seemed perfect… and OH, it was!
The leaf smells of melon candy; so sweet and knock your socks off melon.
I’m used to teas really grabbing you with their leaf, but once that hot water hits them, all that crazy scent gets thrown back behind the tea base…
Not the case here.
Once brewed, the fragrance is still just as strong as the leaf….oh, sweet melon goodness! More cantaloupe than honeydew, in my opinion.

Tasting, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Full on melon with such a complimentary base…. Lupicia, you are insane!
I don’t add sugar to my tea, but I’m almost tempted with this, thinking it would be insanely good…but, it’s so tasty right now, I don’t want to mess with it. :)
I’ve steeped 3 times, and it’s still just as delicious as the first cup.

This was in my box from ifjuly, another tea from her that I feel incredibly lucky to get to try! She spoiled me rotten with this box, I tell you! :)

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95
drank Muscat Oolong by Lupicia
50 tasting notes

I open up the pouch and am instantly transported to a farmer’s market with little paper baskets of deep purple, almost black, concord grapes, all lined up, scenting the air with their fragrance. Whenever I see them, I have to buy a little basket. I have yet to make a grape pie, or jam, or any other kitchen masterpiece like that; these are purely for the messy enjoyment of squirting the insides into one’s mouth and sucking on the skins (while spitting the seeds out in a hopefully not TOO ungraceful manner…). The tart bite gets you first, but then it’s all floral sweetness from there.

This tea is that.

Because that scent is in my ‘Top List of Transportive Aromas’, this tea is already a favourite, and I haven’t even tasted it yet!
The fact that it’s from one of my absolute favourite people in the world only heightens my emotional attachment to this leaf. Ifjuly sent this my way, in a box full of tea awesomeness…. She’s left me speechless for days (I think my husband is starting to get weirded out by my repeated gazing and ruffling through the contents of her package…lol).
Tea friends :)

Onto the actual tea… the honey coloured liquor is gorgeous, visually adding to the already intoxicating experience of smelling this tea.
Oooh. This is good!
The grape is SO naturally grape! What I was smelling before comes through beautifully in the taste; it’s elegant, with light floral notes and earthy grape. I can almost feel the texture of the skins in my mouth as I sip…. it’s unreal.
This is fantastic…..and I’m drinking it in my Japanese cherry blossom lustreware tea cup, which is perfect today. :)

What a tea!

whatshesaid

Wow, you just singlehandedly sold me on this

boychik

Sounds so delisious. She is awesome ifjuly.

DeliriumsFrogs

She is Soooo awesome, that ifjuly. :)

whatshesaid, I really loved it…and as it cools down, it tastes really good as well. Clearly, I’m a bit obsessed with that type of grape, so this review is somewhat skewed. haha

Suziqzer

I’ve never heard of grape pie. And natural grape tea… Intriguing :)

DeliriumsFrogs

I’m in Upstate New York, where grape pie is a big thing once the concord grapes come in…they sell them at all the farmers markets around here.
It seems to be a ‘love it or hate it’ type of pie, with a very sweet, jam like filling. As you can probably guess, I am most definitely in the LOVE IT category…. The grape is so different from ‘eating grapes’; the scent coming off the fruit is killer…and this tea captured that for me perfectly. It made my afternoon. :)

Suziqzer

If I’m ever up there during the grape season I will have to look for them. :) I love red grape juice, although I’m not sure about the texture of a grape pie.

Cavocorax

OMG. I just ordered the black version of this from Lupicia and I can’t wait to try it. I nearly got the oolong, but I’m hoping the black will be just as tasty…

DeliriumsFrogs

I didn’t KNOW there was a black! ooooh… I bet it’s delicious!

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95
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
50 tasting notes

I’m having one of those days… You know, where you think your tea cup is a gaiwan, so you dump your tea into your wet cup, only to realize you have to quickly scoop it out into your infuser basket with your clumsy fingers…all while working as quickly as possible, so as to not affect the outcome of the brewed tea….

Well, I was also distracted by a man in the school field behind my house as my kettle was coming to a boil… He had been hanging out there, playing with his dog for quite awhile…which is all good. But then when it came time to leave, his goal was to get his four legged friend into the backpack carry-on so that he could ride his bike home….and doggy was not looking pleased about this arrangement. It was hilarious, and vexing in a way (because, I’m sorry, that’s just humiliating to that poor dog….)…. So, perhaps that’s why I was distracted…

But, I wasn’t going to let anything distract me from this tea once it was ready.
Oh my…. I love this one.
Thanks so much, Marzipan, for sending it my way!!!
I get the steamy jam that’s bubbled up around the edges of the crust (I always go for that gooey looking piece…), I get the buttery pastry dusted with sanding sugar, I get the cooked strawberries and rhubarb….. I get the WHOLE PIE.
I just want to gobble it up and then ask for seconds (and eat it with my hands, like keychange said was perfectly acceptable)….
This is getting added to my “buy this as soon as you can afford it, and keep it on hand forever after” list….

Sorry dog in backpack… I no longer care about you…I have pie in a teacup.

Tea Sipper

Had this one yesterday, and your description is perfect! But that poor dog!

DeliriumsFrogs

I know! I wanted to run out into the field and rescue him from that crazy backpack set up!…. but then I had my tea…. Lol

Butiki Teas

Poor dog but that does sound amusing to watch. :)

keychange

Mmm now I want a cup of this tea! And yes, eating pie with your hands is amazing.

Frolic

Drinking it now myself and wanting pie.

Amariel

Ha ha! love this! Ruby Pie is seriously yums, though.

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10

I was going through my tea drawer, and there was a sample of this from an Adagio order awhile ago. Being in the mood for something fruity and light, I figured I’d try it.
I can’t finish my cup.
While the orange came forward as my cup cooled, the musty thing going on is distracting enough where I can’t appreciate it.
As I kept sipping, I thought, Hmmm, perhaps this would be good iced….and maybe it would be. But since this is just one sachet, I’m not going to try it any other way.
Maybe my water was too hot (it said ‘simmering water’, so I did 180°F), or maybe it was steeped too long (It said 7 minutes, and since that seemed way too long to me, I did 6), but this was way too tannic and harsh.
I’m dumping the rest of my cup.

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70

After drinking the chai earlier, my taste buds wanted to keep the spicy tea thing going, so I figured I’d drink this.
Thanks for the sample, Just Organic Tea!
While steeping, at the very beginning, I could pick up orange, but by 5 minutes, that was gone and the spice was front and center, not letting anything else through.
Where the chai ended on a spicy note, this begins on a spice note and then leaves a sweet finish in my mouth.
The orange is there, but to me, it’s all in the finish, and if I wasn’t concentrating, I might miss it.
I like the tea base and the balance of the spice, and it’s lovely unsweetened, without the addition of milk. That finish, though it what’s really standing out to me with this. I like it ending on that lighter, citrusy note.
I thought this was a really yummy, spice heavy tea…something I’d like to have around when I’m looking for that sort of thing.
The ‘70’ score is based on the fact that if I was looking for ‘Orange’, I’d be a bit disappointed in this tea…. If it was just called ‘Just Outstanding Spice’, I’d throw that slider up higher. :)

Suziqzer

I thought if they included the orange it needed to be after spice. Just So Spicey & Orange fits for me.

DeliriumsFrogs

Yeah, I’m right with you on that one. It’s not that it isn’t there, it’s just very, very subtle, behind the spice.

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80

I don’t have anything this highly spiced in my tea drawer right now, so I was excited to give this a try. Since we’ve been in the midst of a cold, grey, drizzly spell for days, the strength of the spice should complement the weather, I’m thinking….
Thanks Just Organic Tea for sending me this sample!

I’m not the biggest chai person, but when I’m in the mood for it, I love it. The last one I had, I steeped in almond milk and made the spice mix myself, which was great, but the ease of just steeping tea with spices already added is nice. :)
I love the smell while it’s steeping—it reminds me of the old fashioned cider mill we go to in Autumn….and that’s quite comforting.

As I continue to smell it (I can never keep my nose out of the infuser basket…), I’m getting a pumpkin thing, but not flavoured pumpkin. Pumpkin like I just opened up the can, and I’m getting read to make pies, or quick bread, or something—unsweetened, pure pumpkin. Is that because of the tea base? I have no idea, because I am so far from knowledgeable about that sort of thing….

Wasn’t sure if I was going to add sugar and milk to this, but after the first sip, I’m just going to drink it as-is. It’s got a strong spice, but not overpowering, just what I’d expect in a chai. I’m sure that if I did add milk or sugar, the tea would hold up to it.

With my mug, I had a few whippets. My mom-in-law sent over a couple boxes (one plain, one raspberry), and while I’d love to refrain from caving in to their pillowy awesomeness, I never can.
So, Whippet cookies + chai = very happy DF.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Marzipan

I had to look it up since the only whippet I know is a dog.

Lyssa

When you make your chai, do you add the milk before or after you steep?

DeliriumsFrogs

Haha, I know Marzipan! I’d never heard of the cookie either… My mom-in-law started buying them a few years ago, and they’re seriously addicting….

Lyssa, when I make chai with milk (and this could totally be ‘wrong’, it’s just how I do it….), I bring the milk to a simmer on the stove top, then I add the tea and spices and let it steep for about 7-10 minutes, depending on the strength/amount of the tea and how much spice I put in, and then I strain it all through a fine strainer into my mug. One time I used way too much ginger, and the 10 minute steep made it a bit too gingery for me, so I learned to pull back on the ginger next time.
So, in the way I’ve done it, I don’t use any water, just milk.
But, I know there are a TON of different ways to make it….

Lyssa

Wow that sounds delicious! I never thought of making it that way. I just toss a tea bag in my mug (unless I have loose leaf) and add the sweetener and milk. Then I pour boiling water over it, cover and let it sit for a while. Or I put it in my cast iron teapot with milk and let it steep like that because it stays at the correct temp longer.

DeliriumsFrogs

I’ll have to try your way! That sounds really good (and dirtying a pan and strainer is just not appealing sometimes….ugh, I hate washing dishes!). And your cast iron teapot sounds awesome! I’ve never used one before…

lolainred

ooo… I’ll have to try your method of making chai with milk… my first go didn’t work so well, so I am up for experimenting until I find what works for me.

DeliriumsFrogs

lolainred, there are so many different ways to make it, so I’m sure you’ll find something that works great for you. I haven’t experimented too much. I’d love to hear what you come up with! :)

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Ok. I don’t consider myself ‘girly’, as my wardrobe is mostly black, and I feel fancy if I’m not wearing the same Doctor Who shirt two days in a row ….
But, sometimes I don’t mind a little bit of pretty. :)
This is another one sent to me by the wonderful Carol Who, and I found it to be really delightful. Gorgeous whole flower buds, colourful apple slices, and bold raspberry pieces….just a really pretty tea.
I loved the taste, too… fruity and zingy, but not hibiscus-like in any way (which is what I’m always nervous about with reddish hued teas….). I can really see how this would be great cold.
Thanks again, Carol!

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I don’t usually pop on here this late, but I’m afraid if I don’t jot something down, I won’t remember it as clearly. The lovely Marzipan sent this my way, and I can’t thank her enough for the samples. This is the best decaf black tea I’ve ever had, with creamy vanilla hanging in the back. It’s got enough mouth pucker to be interesting, and it doesn’t suffer from the same watered down quality that most decaf teas do. While I could tell that it was a decaf as I sipped, it really gave me the ‘black tea’ taste that I’m sometimes looking for at night.
I found this to be really lovely and will definitely add it to my shopping list for the future.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Carol Who was so kind to send some of this in a swap. I don’t think I’ve had a cherry tea before, so I was really interested in how this would taste.
The smell of the leaf had a bit of the tangy medicinal thing going on, but in an interesting way.
Tasting it, I felt that the flavour was a bit on the artificial syrup side, with the rooibos only enforcing it…. as I sipped, though, that all mellowed out, and I began to really like this cup of tea. It was comforting and so different from anything in my tea drawer.
I resteeped it, and while the cup wasn’t as strong, which was completely expected, it was still a really pleasant cup.
Thanks so much for such a different cup of tea, Carol Who :)

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Bio

Oh, tea….
you’ve taken over my life, but I’m ok with that.

I’m pretty new to the tea scene, only drinking tea bags most of my life, but my friend ifjuly really got me into it (that sounds bad…). Butiki, Harney, and Verdant seem to be my ‘go to’ places to order from, but I LOVE trying new teas and companies. The variety is partly why I love tea so much…you can’t possibly get sick of it.
Well, that, and the transporting aroma of each cup…. I love that. It’s why I love wine, and tea does it just was well.

Really want to learn about different tea vendors out there, and about tea in general… it’s all so interesting to me.
I’m really excited to be part of this community and learn from all of you.

I don’t usually sweeten or add milk to my teas, so my notes are based on that….also, the rating system kind of throws me—I’ve always been horrible with giving number ratings to things, so don’t take those as set in stone.

random info: music and art are pretty important in my life… i also thoroughly enjoy nerdy things like video games, anime, Doctor Who (the 10th is my favourite…), A Song of Ice and Fire, and random cartoons and such…. and i love, love, love to read. :)

I’m married to my best friend (I’ve known him since I was 15….we were totally going to be in a band together. It was going to be HUGE…), and we’ve got three kiddos. They’re pretty neat, too, even if they try to put sugar in my Verdant tea when they drink it….

Location

Rochester, NY

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