2031 Tasting Notes

82
drank Raspberry Oolong by A C Perch's
2031 tasting notes

I brewed up a cup of this for lunch today after not having had it for quite a while. When I first tried this tea I was very excited about it but then ultimately underwhelmed. I don’t know if it was just my tastes at the time (which are definitely shifting) or my expectations shifting or what, but I enjoyed this one considerably more this time around. Nice, natural raspberry with a tasty oolong base. I feel like I should brew another cup of this sometime when I’m not eating while drinking it and do another review.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Vortegne

I totally would like to hear that “non-eating” review!

Angrboda

Having high expectations to begin with can definitely impact even the best tea negatively. I’m always scared to try one I’ve got high expectations of. :)

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69

I don’t want to jinx it, but Steepster is finally loading a bit faster for me today after two days of painful slowness. Crossing my fingers it keeps it up.

Yet another sample from the lovely SimplyJenW! I am excited to try this because two of my favorite flavors are bergamot and rose, and I love Teas Etc.‘s Rosy Earl Grey sooo much. I am currently out of that one, so I hope this one helps fill that gap (since I know it takes me forever to get through samples). In the bag I didn’t get a much rose aroma from the dry leaf and it smelled like a fairly standard Earl. Steeped, there’s definitely something going on here in the aroma but I can’t tell what. I don’t get a distinct rose smell, but maybe it’s hiding behind the bergamot? There is an almost floral note, I just don’t really identify it as rose.

At first while still hot this tea didn’t seem to offer a lot to me. The flavors were surprisingly weak, and mostly an decent but not great bergamot. As it cools, definitely more is coming out. I do get a burst of rose right at the beginning of the sip, which is joined and replaced by a bright, bright, fairly citrusy bergamot, though it lacks those sweetish lower notes you can get sometimes. The Keemun base is in there rounding things out and it tastes pretty good, but I don’t think it’s quite as nice as the Keemun base on the Lupicia Earl.

Overall I get kind of a general decent-but-not-great vibe from thsi tea. I didn’t actually get much rose flavor in my cup despite other tasting notes saying they did get a lot of rose, so I don’t know what’s going on there. It’s tasty enough but I vastly prefer Teas Etc.’s Rosy Earl Grey, which actually also includes jasmine as well. Glad I got to try this one though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I agree that I like the Teas Etc. version better, too!

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82

Normally I don’t have an Earl Grey in the afternoon just because I like to have something lighter then, and use the time to have an oolong or some such. But I wanted to have this one in relatively short order after the Lupicia Earl Grey so I could compare them back-to-back.

I’m actually not entirely sure what the base of this one is because Todd & Holland doesn’t say anywhere on their site. I see now it says “a special blend” so who knows. Before I said it tasted like Ceylon, and that probably is one of the components. I’ve talked a bit about the flavors in this one before, but suffice to say that the bergamot is a little more floral than the Lupicia Earl Grey, but still never perfumy, astringent or bitter. I still really love this one, but I think I like the Lupicia one better! I am surprised because I didn’t think that’s how it would turn out. I think there’s something about the Keemun base on the Lupicia one that really rounds it out. Also that slight citrusy sweetness at the end of the Lupicia puts it over the edge. This one is a little brighter, a little rougher, which I guess is to be expected with as much bergamot is there is in it. If I am ever near their brick-and-mortar store I might pick up some more of this but as pricey as it is I don’t think I will order it online when I run out now.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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96
drank Earl Grey by Lupicia
2031 tasting notes

This is yet another of my long-wanted Earls that I now get to try thanks to SimplyJenW. Any time anyone says a particular Earl is their favorite, I have to try it of course, and this one has gotten quite a few lauds. Yet another kind of Earl base, this one is a Keemun. I didn’t actually mean to steep this at a slightly lower temp to start, but I didn’t realize the kettle was set on that temp and I poured it before I realized. It wasn’t too low, at least.

Steeped the brewed tea smells pleasantly of quite citrusy bergamot. It’s not suuuper bright, either, more sweetish smelling. Wow, this is a really good Earl! The bergamot is very nice… I was worried it wouldn’t be strong enough for me, but it is. It’s very citrusy, I like the way it blends with the base, and it almost tastes sweet in the aftertaste. There’s also a hint of that floral quality that bergamot sometimes has. Yes, this a great example of a very well done bergamot. As I’ve tried a lot of Earl Greys I’ve noticed that a lot of them really depend on the quality of the bergamot, and that bergamot flavoring/oil can vary wildly. With the wrong bergamot it doesn’t matter how strong or weak it is, it just isn’t very pleasant. With the right bergamot, it can be super strong and it never gets bitter, pity, or astringent. This is definitely the right kind of bergamot. Color me impressed. Gotta try this back to back with my beloved Todd & Holland Earl Grey Double Bergamot to decided which one is my favorite Earl because this one is a front-runner.

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

Yep, this one is my favorite Earl. I have looked up your Todd & Holland and decided I can live happily with this one! I don’t even want to try it as I am sure I would like it and wow, that is a price tag.

Dinosara

Well I just tried them back to back and I actually prefer the Lupicia one, so I agree with you! This is really fantastic.

CHAroma

It makes me smile to see how many other people enjoy this tea. :) This is the Earl that made me love Earls!

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66
drank Ti Kuan Yin by thepuriTea
2031 tasting notes

Gong fu oolong of the afternoon. I used about a tablespoon and a half of leaf for my 6oz pot, which 150% of what I had been using for oolongs previously (with not great results).

This TGY is fairly different from the other ones I had been having before I went to Canada. I do remember this from my first session (western brewing) with this: it’s really green and floral, but not really creamy or buttery. First steep of this (20 seconds) pretty much plays out like that. It’s very green, a bit of cooked vegetables, with strongish orchid/gardenia florals laid over the top. Very fresh, very green, very springy without any darker, richer, buttery notes. Also coming with that is a fair amount of mouth-drying astringency. Second steep (20 seconds) pretty much lacks the florals and is all strong, astringent, almost bitter vegetables. It’s kind of not tasty at all, actually, and I don’t really want to resteep it any more. If I were to rate this on the quality of it’s first steep it still wouldn’t be super high based on the fact that it’s missing those creamy, buttery notes I love in a TGY. I liked it a bit more western-style, but not drastically.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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82
drank Tan Yang Te Ji by TeaSpring
2031 tasting notes

With my recent taking to Fujian black teas, I couldn’t wait to try this tea, and thankfully SimplyJenW fulfilled that desire by immediately sending me a sample of it! I’m brewing it western style because that’s how I’ve done my other gong fu blacks so far, with parameters that approximate the parameters I’ve used previously, except this one I brewed a little hotter because that’s more like what TeaSpring calls for.

From the dry leaf I’m definitely getting molasses and grainy notes, that is, it smells pleasantly like horse grain. I’ve smelled that before from the base of the Tea Spot’s Organic Chocolate “O”, and though I know it doesn’t sound like a compliment, it totally is because I love that smell. I always wanted to eat the horse grain as a kid because it smelled tasty, but of course uncooked grains are not that palatable even when covered in molasses. Anyway, back to the tea. Steeped, I’m smelling more of those cocoa, malty, grainy notes in the cup.

Nice grainy, malty, slightly molasses-y, slightly cocoa-y notes in the flavor of this one. It’s also a little less sweet-seeming and a little bolder and a little less smooth than the other gong fu blacks I’ve tried. I’m glad Jen also sent a sample of Keemun Mao Feng, since a few people have mentioned that this tea reminds me of a Keemun without smokiness. I’ve never tried an unflavored Keemun so that will be good to compare. I think Jen nailed it when she said this one was less honeyed and caramelly than the Tan Yang I brought back from China (and I also think Teavivre’s Bailin Gong Fu), but those are some of my favorite parts of the cup. I do have plenty of leaf for this one to try many times and compare side-by-side to some of my other faves, not to mention the others that Jen put in my box (thank you!).

I am definitely enjoying this one very much, but it isn’t an easily-acquired replacement for my Tan Yang I brought back from China (of course I knew that going in from Jen’s reviews). I will have to try the higher-grade Tan Yang Jing Zhi from TeaSpring as well at some point.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Missy

I like oats better raw than cooked. Pour some oj into a bowl of them and I’m set.

Angrboda

I’ve tried the Jing Zhi, but I have to say I preferred the Te Ji. I found them very similar, but the Jing Zhi more… well behaved. I like the wildness that the Te Ji still has to it. I saw JacquelineM has tried the Jing Zhi recently and had a completely different experience of it than me, though. :)

Dinosara

Yeah I’m interested in trying the JZ because of all the myriad of experiences here!

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73

I was so excited to come home to a box of tea samples from SimplyJenW full of a lot of teas I’ve been wanting to try. Making a decision was so difficult this morning! First I narrowed it down to some sort of Earl Grey, my usual choice for a bleary Monday morning, but that didn’t actually narrow it all that much. I ended up going with this one, which has been on my shopping list almost since I’ve been on here and was looking up well-liked Earls to try.

The only thing that I’m not sure about with this one is the part-Assam base since I’m not the biggest fan of Assams. We shall see! The steeped tea smells pretty nice, with a healthy dose of bright bergamot. Overall the taste is pretty good but a little weak. I always steep an unknown black tea at 3 minutes because I am sensative to bitterness, but it seems like most people steep this one for at least 4 minutes so I will have to try that next time, especially since there isn’t any bitterness in this cup. I do like the base on this one, actually, and the bergamot is of a middling strongness… not super powerful, but not too weak, either. Well, not too week beyond the overall weakness of the cup. I will hold off rating this one until I get another shot at it. Right now it is a pretty tasty Earl but it doesn’t really stand out to me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Honeydew White Tea by Inko's
2031 tasting notes

Well I’m back in NY for the moment. Ran some errands today and ended up at the grocery store that carries this line of teas, and this time I chose the honeydew instead of the honeysuckle. I wasn’t expecting it to be sweetened because the honeysuckle one wasn’t, so at first I was caught off guard and I didn’t think it tasted very good. Then after I adjusted form my expectations, I enjoyed it a lot more. It’s not super sweet, and it really does taste like a ripe honeydew melon. There is a little bit of tea taste in the background there, but not a lot. I think I would like it better if it were unsweetened because I have a feeling that the honeydew extract would lend itself to slight sweetness anyway, and it would be more refreshing.

Scott B

I agree with you about the sweetening issue. Don’t most people eat honeydew and cantaloupe without sugar? Why sweeten this?

Dinosara

Well honeydew is naturally sweet, of course, and the drink did tastes like honeydew in that way, not extra sweetened honeydew. From a tea perspective, though, I have gotten used to drinking fruit flavored teas that aren’t sweet so I think I would prefer it that way.

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75
drank Green Tea Ginger Ale by Canada Dry
2031 tasting notes

When I first saw this bottle in the store I thought it was just a bottled green tea produced by Canada Dry, and I wasn’t very interested. But then I looked closer today at the airport and saw that it was actually green tea ginger ale. Well, that changes everything! I like ginger ale, and I like green tea, and I’ve never heard of them together before. Plus, this would be like a tea soda, which was also intriguing.

I continued to be pleasantly surprised, as this is actually a very tasty bottle of soda. The green tea and ginger notes are well balanced, nice and light, neither is overpowering or artificial tasting. It’s also not super super sweet, which is suprising for a soda. I mean, it’s sweet, definitely, but not cloyingly so. I’m really enjoying this and wish I could find it in the states, where it almost certainly not available.

Infusin_Susan

Where did you find this? In Canada? It sounds good!

momo

Not exactly the same, but Harney & Sons carries a jasmine green tea ginger ale. A restaurant near my school has the bottles, so I tried it there and it was pretty amazing: http://www.harney.com/results.cfm?secondary=1050

LiberTEAS

I’ve found this in the grocery store in the US.

Dylan Oxford

I actually had that jasmine green tea ginger ale at a local food truck not too long ago. It was… decent, but disturbing? There was like an inch thick layer of sediment on the bottom. Presumably the one I got wasn’t so fresh.

Dinosara

Well I’ll have to keep my eye out for both this and the Harney version, though I’ve never seen Harney bottled teas anywhere around me (besides if I make a trip to the Harney Soho store). I’m also wondering if the version of the Canada Dry in the states is a US version (ie, with HFCS), or if it’s sugar sweetened like the Canadian one.

Alphakitty

This is available seasonally (Christmastime) in the US, I get about 10 bottles every year and drink them way too fast. It is so refreshing!

DaisyChubb

Looove this one when I’m sick! And when I’m not! Good find :)

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88

Another day, another Dammann. It’s the last couple of days of my collections visit, which means an all out sprint to finish up all the research I need to before I go home Saturday. I barely had time to gulp down a couple of mugs of this tea today, but I also really needed the pick-me-up! This is such a great anytime tea, and the base is so well done… I can see restocking this one once I use up my sachets.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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