1989 Tasting Notes

73

So. A lot of leaf, and a shorter time to balance it, to try this one out again.

The good news is that this tea now tastes like something other than leaves and earth. There is definitely a bright fruitiness that I mostly associate with goji berry, and there is definitely an incense note. Not sure how I feel about that one. Ok, well I’m not in love with it. I don’t tend to like overly herbaceous teas, and I feel like the incense gives it an almost medicinal quality.

Overall, meh. Not my style. I can sometimes tolerate these things better in cold brew, so that will be my next experiment.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87

Well darn. I tried this one again with double the leaf I would normally use, and my water has a fresh filter in it, and this is still lackluster. I taste the rose more now, but the LB in the base is still almost absent, and what’s more, what is there is almost bitter.

I have a LOT of this tea. I’m going to try cold brewing it because that may still result in a good cup, but otherwise there is like 2oz that are basically garbage now. This tea has aged much more poorly than many other of my black teas. LESSON LEARNED.

Uniquity

Do you have any more plain LB around? Or another good plain black tea? Maybe a bit of something you know to be fresh and strong added in would bring it back to good for you. Good luck!

Dinosara

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m not sure it would be worth it… the flavoring has mostly faded as well, so there isn’t much to this tea to redeem it. I’m still going to play around a little with it before declaring a time of death.

Tealizzy

I don’t think rose teas age well. I have one and it started tasting stale. Bummer!

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86
drank Meditative Mind by The Tea Spot
1989 tasting notes

Another ancient tea bites the dust. This one I finished off by cold brewing and it was actually really great. This is a great blend of florals, and the jasmine and rose play off each other well. Maybe one day it will make it’s way back into my cupboard. :)

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73

When I read the description for this tea, I was not thrilled. Inspired by inscense in temples… inscence can be nice to smell, but I rarely want to drink it. However, when I smelled the dry leaf I was really surprised. It does not smell like inscense (to me), but instead dead up like molasses-covered grain (horse feed). I know that sounds like a bad thing to many people but it isn’t! Some of my favorite Fujian black teas remind me of molasses grain, and it’s a pleasant olfactory memory for me anyway.

There are (also surprisingly) not too many crazy ingredients in this one. The one that is an unknown quantity is the Aloeswood Tincture. That sounds like something that I wouldn’t care for, just because anything called “tincture” sounds medicinal and herby and gross.

Brewed, the smell of the mi lan oolong comes out. Kind of woody, slightly sweet smelling, a bit like autumn leaves. It tastes like… um, I’m not sure. At first I thought “nothing” and then I changed my mind to “dirt” but then maybe it was like “dead leaves on the ground”. Ok but that was when it was still quite hot. It cooled down and then it tasted like… not much. I mean, it did have flavors of autumn leaves and a bit of honey (the dirt taste went away mostly), but honestly it wasn’t very interesting. I couldn’t taste the berries, I couldn’t taste the aloeswood.

I would think my lackluster experiences might be due to needing to change my water filter (and I might anyway, it’s been a while), but I did just have a delicious and satisfying cup of Dammann Frères tea, so I doubt it. I will try to brew this one stronger and see if it can’t leave more of an impression.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87

I had a cup of this tea this morning and it was almost tasteless. Ruh roh. This is an ooooold tea, but it still took me by surprise because the Yunnan White Jasmine I have from the same order is still flavorful. I would expect a white jasmine to die faster than a black tea. Not even just the bergamot and rose, but the LB itself was weak. I guess I will have to try more leaf and see if I can coax out more flavor. I guess the lesson is: don’t sit on your LB.

ETA: I made this in a (failed) attempt to remind myself of blends from Verdant that I love. I got disappointed again with this month’s blends club. At first I was excited about the Shandon Rose blend because the description was about a rose-infused green tea they had in China, but then I read the ingredients and saw Peppermint (bleh), Sarsaparilla (again?) and Coriander (of course). WHY?? The tea smells mostly like a candy cane. Still not dropping the club until after the holiday blends, but it gets tougher every month.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

:( your notes makes me happy i did drop it… though sad that they aren’t working for you

Dinosara

Yeah, it makes me sad too. When I picked it back up I convinced myself that there was usually one blend of the three that I loved and so it was still fun, but ever since they I have not been impressed. They all seem to have the same ingredients on a different base tea.

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90
drank Full Moon Party by Mariage Frères
1989 tasting notes

In honor of the blood moon/lunar eclipse this morning, which I did not get up to see because I am way too lazy for that. But as I was trying to figure out what tea to drink this morning I remembered this one and realized it would be appropriate.

This is one of the few MF blends that I actually love. This is the tea that convinced me that I could really love a MF tea! I suspect there would be others, but it’s tough to know. It really depends on the base tea, which varies from tea to tea. I will probably take a chance on a couple of others when I am in Berlin soon. The almond is perfect in this, strong and intense, like eating almond candy. The spices are well-blended, too, and aren’t too in-your-face which can happen with things like cinnamon and clove. The base tea is smooth pleasant. This is like Pleine Lune without the fruit (which I don’t care for) and lightly spiced. An almond cookie for sure. Yum.

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
darby

You’ll love MF in Berlin! I spent about an hour with the guys looking at teas, it helped that I was the only customer.

Dinosara

Cool! glad to hear you had a good experience. I can’t wait to go!

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93
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
1989 tasting notes

This is one of my oldest teas, and one I don’t drink nearly enough. This tea still tastes delicious, even though it is ancient. But I bet it would taste better fresh! I should try to drink this one more regularly and eventually stock up more at Harney (fresh!).

Lots of rich almond, a nice burst of fruity cranberry. Definitely still one of my favorite almond teas.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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83
drank L'Oriental by Dammann Freres
1989 tasting notes

I got two sample bags of this one with my DF order. I have to put a caveat first that a lot of fruity greens all taste the same to me, and this one falls in that category. It’s a very fruity green tea. Definitey tasty! But also it doesn’t make a huge impression, and it’s not something I crave. I think ic an taste the passion fruit and the peach, mostly the peach. It’s also got a somewhat boring sencha base. That said, it probably would be very refreshing as a cold brew, which is really where I prefer to drink fruity greens these days anyway.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

Well, this one is gone. It made a pretty tasty cold brew, so I drank it up quickly. Not too sad it’s gone though.

I did finish this cold brew up with a bit of Silk Road because I didn’t have enough leaf, and that one did not make it better. I’m going to have to say a big “no” to all tulsi blends in the future, blech.

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95
drank Noël à Prague by Dammann Freres
1989 tasting notes

I have drank teas lately, but I have not felt inspired to write about them. Finished off some WP samples (that I had reviewed before) but they were so unmemorable (possibly not their faults) that I didn’t feel like writing notes that didn’t say anything about them.

I haven’t had this tea in a while and thought I would revisit. Definitely one of my faves. Anything with DF’s caramel flavoring (and the cute little caramel/toffee blocks that come in the tea) is a hit with me. Also I’m going to be visiting Prague this November, although unfortunately too early for the Christmas market. Can’t wait!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Awesome that you’re going to Prague! I wanted to when I was in Vienna but there was no time.

Ost

Oh my word, I was in Prague last Spring. It’s sooo beautiful. I loved it. You should go to the place “Paul” there if you haven’t been there before, they have like 4 of them there, and they have the BEST hot chocolate! Enjoy your time! (:

Dinosara

Thanks for the tip! I can’t wait. :)

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Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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