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1851 Tasting Notes

66

I got a fair amount of this tea in my recent swap with brandy3392… thanks again for the swap! I was interested in it because I like the idea of an anjou pear oolong, and also because I enjoy trying a bunch of Teavana teas without ever having to deal with the company. The dry leaf on this was something I have come to expect from some of these big flavored tea companies (not just Teavana) of a high “inclusions” to tea ratio. What’s also interesting is that the oolong seems to be a mix of dark oolong (short, uncurled leaves and some stems) and green oolong (reasonably well rolled balls).

The steeped tea on this one immediately lets me know that the rosehips and hibiscus are not going to be hiding here. It is a lovely “dusky rose” color. While I do get a pretty obvious tart hibiscus aroma from this, I also definitely smell the slightly vegetal, slightly floral oolong base underneath. Overall, I’d have to say that I like this tea ok, but I don’t think it does what it intends to… or at least what it advertises. It definitely has a super tart, hibiscusy taste at the front of the sip, which fades into a sweetish, fruity flavor toward the end. The hibiscus/rosehips kind of overwhelms the rest of it. I used to see teas with hibiscus in them and think that they’d be fine because I love hibiscus, but really I love it cold and highly sweetened, not in hot teas. I will definitely look forward to making this one iced in a big pitcher when the weather warms up.

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

Blech to the hibiscus bully!

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91
drank Black Currant by Harney & Sons
1851 tasting notes

I decided to have this tea this morning because I haven’t had it in a while, and wow I am enjoying it a lot. At the beginning of the sip I get a tart berry burst and then it rounds out into a full, rich, almost syrupy taste at the end. Delicious! I was thinking earlier about how I remembered liking this tea but I didn’t think that I would need it in my permanent collection, but now I’m not sure about that! It’s got such a great flavor, and it would also be great for blending for other teas.

Another cool thing about this tea (for me) is that it comes in sachets, which isn’t a big selling point for most people except Harney sachets are my favorite to bring with me while traveling, and I do a lot of traveling.

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

Of course upon reading this, I made a pot of Black Currant! I have been so impressionable by others posts lately!

Dinosara

I don’t blame you, this is so tasty!

Amariel

I love black currant tea.

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71
drank Forbidden Fruit by DAVIDsTEA
1851 tasting notes

Well this is a polarizing tea! I got a sample of this one in my swap with brandy3392, and I’m excited to try it because I love figs. Also the dry tea smells really nice… definitely figgy and a little floral and sweet. I better not like it too much, though, because it’s apparently discontinued.

The steeped tea smells less darkly figgy to me and more other fruits, probably melons. The flavor is somewhere in between, a fruity blend that is pretty good but kind of odd. Fig, melon and carrot is not a combo I would have thought of! The oolong underneath is kind of generally formosa oolongy but not too notable… it’s neither very roasty or very green. Overall it’s a pretty tasty tea, but I’m not too broken up that it’s not available anymore.

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

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73
drank Earl Grey Cream by ESP Emporium
1851 tasting notes

This morning I needed something safe and comforting and not too busy or complex. Something that would wake me up but not upset an iffy stomach. This worked pretty well. I’m still tired but in better shape than before. This is a nice EGC with a good balance between the bergamot and the cream, and it never gets bitter.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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87

When I was trying to pick my teas from Ovation on my last order, I was thinking about getting the Jasmine Citrus Blossom blend that has gotten really good reviews here on Steepster because I do love jasmine and citrus. When I was looking at all the blends, though, I came across this one, which is very similar to the Jasmine Citrus Blossom except it has white tea instead of green (still has the jasmine pearls, though), and bergamot instead of tangerine. I like to have a green or white Earl Grey around, and I’m actually just about out of the one I had before, so I’m excited about this one, especially with the addition of jasmine.

The dry leaf is a mix of long, fuzzy, twisted leaves, larger flatter leaves, and nice little jasmine pearls. It smells like citrusy bergamot approaching lemony with an underlying sweetness… kind of like a really tart, fresh lemonade. I think the jasmine is contributing to that sweetish scent but it’s hard to pick out on it’s own. Steeped, the tea does remind me of some of the other green/white Earls I’ve had… bergamot just interacts in a certain way with green tea aroma and has a particular aroma. There’s also that darker, sweeter aroma that I think is the jasmine but can’t really pinpoint as such. I’m definitely really enjoying the flavors in this. It’s like a white Earl Grey, but with a little something extra that just make it that much more awesome. I’m not sure what’s causing it (perhaps the jasmine pearls) but there’s a great light sweetness at the end of the sip. It’s bright, sharp, citrusy bergamot that mellows into a warmer floral, sweet jasmine. That sweetness is such a fantastic addition to the white Earl Grey, it’s like sipping candy. Or rather, it gives you the sensation after you drink it that you have eaten candy, even though the sip itself isn’t actually sweet, but rather there’s the feeling and aftertaste of sweet. If that makes any sense. Anyway, this blend is awesome and I’m really glad I got it!

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

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71

I tried this one with a little lower steep temperature this time since the assam seems to have a bit too much bite for my tastes. I love the concept behind Ovation Teas but I’m not sure if I’m in love with their black tea base.

So far so good! My first sips are yielding a slightly sweet, dried-figgy taste without any bitterness to the base. As it cools there is something that comes out… not quite a bitterness, but some kind of Assam-y-ness that I just don’t find very tasty. I don’t think that the base is low quality, I just think I generally dislike Assams. C’est la vie, you live and learn. I still enjoy the teas enough that can drink them, but I don’t think I’ll be craving them often (and some are probably good candidates for taking home to drink with a bit of milk and sugar).

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

This sounds really interesting… adding to my shopping list…

TeaEqualsBliss

Oh!!!!! I have been wanting to try this one!!!!! eeeeeee!

SimplyJenW

I think you have described what I did not like in this one. I think it would be awesome on a lighter tea base.

Dinosara

Jen – Yeah, I love the brown sugar and fig flavorings, but not the bite of the Assam. A pure Ceylon or a Chinese base would be great!

Cheryl

Troubled black tea base sets off an alarm in my head (have trouble w. Adagio’s base in flavored blacks). They are on my “to try” list though. Hmmm.

Dinosara

I’m not sure if it’s a troubled base or just that I don’t get along with Assams. Also it seems to work better with some flavors than others. Plenty of others do like their black base, and from what I’ve tried of their greens and whites they seem nice.

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76
drank Dragonwell by thepuriTea
1851 tasting notes

When I got my order from thepuriTea they included several small free samples, but one came with no label… the mystery tea! I finally cut the pouch open today and I am reasonably sure that it is this tea; dragonwell is pretty characteristic-looking. This also happens to be my first dragonwell! I haven’t gotten into plain green teas much, but the nutty flavor that people use to describe dragonwells does intrigue me.

The steeped tea smells grassy and a bit nutty. The flavor is light, and at first just seems kind of fresh, grassy-green-tea-ish. But then this awesome sweetness comes out of nowhere at the end of the sip, and once that starts going a lot more chestnutty notes start making their appearance, particularly at the very beginning of the sip. Yum! I would love it if the flavors were just a bit stronger, but I don’t know if that’s steeping parameters or just me needing to get used to green teas. Still, I do really enjoy this cup, way more than I would have expected. This is definitely a tea I wouldn’t have appreciated at the very beginning of my tea journey, but now I do. I am very happy that I’ve gotten to this point before my trip to China, although it is going to make it impossible to bring back a reasonable amount of tea!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

Sounds like yours was better than mine!

Dinosara

Heh, yeah, this was a tasty one. I can’t wait to try Teavivre’s!

SimplyJenW

You are in for a treat on that one! I just ordered 200 grams of it!

ashmanra

I just ordered Teavivre dragon well also. Love it!

Kashyap

the organic dragonwell from the tao of tea is also quite nice

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76
drank Earl Grey Reserve by Tavalon Tea
1851 tasting notes

Well the maté wasn’t as helpful as I would have liked, and I’m still feeling really sluggish. I have to lecture today, though, so I have to find some energy somewhere. I thought a nice, brisk Earl might give me the kick in the pants I need. I’ve always liked this tea a lot but I don’t turn to it all that often because I’m always trying something new and complicated. This definitely qualifies as a “brisk” Earl Grey… the bergamot is really bright and almost sharp, but it’s not bitter or astringent. A pretty good choice to get me going, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Roughage

I hope it gave you the kickstart you needed. I could have done with some today too. I think my students thought I was still asleep! :)

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83
drank Dragon Flames by Sanctuary T
1851 tasting notes

I woke up tired this morning, and it hasn’t gotten much better. I had to run all around the university this morning to get my freaking parking pass renewed, so this morning was a total loss. Still tired, so I thought maybe I needed some dragon flames in my life. Last time I had this jasmine pearl/maté blend I ended up with tons of energy, so here’s hoping for today! I really like this blend, which is almost minty along with the jasmine. It really works as a flavor combo!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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68

This is another tea I’ve been mildly interested in for a while, and another I got a big bag of in my recent swap with Infusin_Susan. In the bag this one smelled very orangey, with an orange aroma that was light and fresh. I wasn’t sure what to make of the aroma of the steeped tea since the combination of the orange with the roasted oolong was a little odd! I mean, roasted oolongs aren’t my favorite because of their sometimes charry, burnt, toasted flavor, but in some cases it works well.

After sipping on this one for a bit I find that I am enjoying the combination of the orange and woody, toasted oolong. I’m really not getting any florals from this, but anything described as “elusive” floral notes is going to be too elusive for my taste buds. Sometimes I can find the orange in orange teas to be overpowering, and I think I tend to like my citrus to be brighter in teas than oranges. This orange in this tea is nice and light, so it’s definitely an orange I can enjoy.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 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: I’m in LOVE with these teas.
89-85: 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
84-80: Tasty teas that I enjoy, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but wouldn’t seek out. They don’t quite do it for me in one aspect or another; often just not quite my style
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.

Location

Ohio, US

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