2031 Tasting Notes

68

Honestly I was worried about this one. I have been burned more than once by mango/passion/floral green/white blends that clearly come from wholesalers. I love the idea of that combo, but it’s just really hard to get those flavors right, I guess. I couldn’t find this exact blend anywhere else, though, so I took a leap and ordered a sample.

It does remind me of a tea I’ve had before, but I can’t place it. Maybe it’s just that mango-candy smell that comes with fake mango flavored greens. There are definitely some rose and jasmine notes buried in there, but they’re not very prominent. Mostly it’s that sweet, mango candy flavor that I don’t mind because I love mango candy. Overall it’s a decently tasty fruity and lightly floral tea, though again one that is all flavoring and not much tea taste. I like it fine, but it’s not a rebuy.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Spoonvonstup

MMmm.. Mango candy! Have you ever had the Mango Hi-Chews? If not, keep your eye out for them in China.. very tasty; might be up your alley.

MMmm.. Mango candy! Have you ever had the Mango Hi-Chews? If not, keep your eye out for them in China.. very tasty; might be up your alley.I’ll keep my eye out for similar blends to send your way, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this done successfully either.

Spoonvonstup

bah humbug- I don’t know why my comments sometimes get repeated that way. Sorry for the clutter!

Dinosara

I love Hi-Chews! This does remind me of them, actually. I can’t wait to find all kinds of odd candy when I go to China… it’s one of my favorite things to do when I travel. :D

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72
drank Snowflake by Georgia Tea Company
2031 tasting notes

I finally made my last groupon-style tea order. I tend to sit on my groupons (or in this case, kgb deal) until they’re just about to expire, and then I use them. I bought a lot of these types of deals when I first started really getting into tea, almost a year ago, and finally I’ve used them all up. I don’t have any more partly because there haven’t been any offered in a very long time, and partly because even if there were some offered, I’m way more picky about my tea these days so I probably wouldn’t buy them as readily. In any case this was a pretty good one because I could buy a bunch of 1oz samples. This tea I actually bought two ounces of, just because it got such good reviews on Steepster and I thought I would like the flavors (coconut, almond, vanilla). I’m not a big fan of Georgia Tea Company’s packaging, which are the kind of pouches that just fold over to close, not with an airtight zip seal. Now I have a ton of teas in non-airtight packaging and nothing to put them in. Oh well.

This tea smells really sweet and creamy and amazing dry. I wasn’t sure what temp to steep it at because the range on Steepster is amazing… from 165°F to boiling. Most people seemed to err on the side of not boiling, so I went with just under to see how it turned out. Steeped, it retains much of those sweet, creamy aromas, with the strong coconut and almond flavors vying for the main note. I don’t get much of a distinct vanilla from this, but I have a feeling it’s providing that creamy backing to the whole thing. The almond is a sweet, marzipanny, extracty-type almond, not as much the nutty fresh almond aroma.

Wow, there is no mistaking that this is a Flavored Tea with a capital F. Sweet, coconutty, and with an almond flavor that coats your mouth. Is there black tea in there? Well, yes, but it doesn’t really make itself known. Actually as it cools there is a faint bitterness coming out from the black tea; not the kind of black tea flavor I’m looking for. Otherwise it’s smooth, creamy and pretty tasty overall.

I really don’t know what I think about this one. On the one hand, the flavors are really delicious and lord knows I’m always looking for a really almondy tea (and am usually disappointed). On the other, my tastes have changed and I find myself wanting more from the base. Honestly a year ago I probably would have rated this one into the 90s because I didn’t care if I couldn’t taste the black tea, but now I want more from my flavored teas. Nevertheless I do still really like the flavors in this one mostly because it’s so intensely almondy and I never find teas that almondy. I guess I can say that I’m not sorry I bought 2 ounces of it.

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

I’m the same way, a year ago I was all for flavors, now I want to taste the actual tea and I find it’s rather difficult to find a decent balance of the tea base and flavors.

TeaBrat

There are not too many flavored teas I am really fond of…

Amariel

It sounds good though.

Dinosara

Oh it is rather tasty, especially if you are a fan of almond and coconut, but it is very heavily flavored. That’s a plus for some people, a minus for others!

Amariel

I am a fan of nuts. :)

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80
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
2031 tasting notes

I got this in a swap with brandy3392 a while ago and had kind of forgotten about it, but I recently saw a post on the discussions about how awesome and springy this tea was. Today being an unseasonably warm day (and in general it’s been crazy springy here) I dug it up out of my sample drawer and brewed up a cup.

I really don’t like cherry-flavored things, but I requested this sample because all the reviews put an emphasis on how buttery it was and lightly floral, and not really that cherry-ish. I mean, it’s cherry blossom, not cherry fruit. I was still a bit nervous, but the aroma of the steeped tea allayed that fear. It smells oh-so-buttery with that sweet, cookie-ish scent I have come to really love in green teas. There’s perhaps a very light floral in the scent but it does come out in the flavor. Most of the flavor I get is the buttery, very tasty green tea, but there is also a lightly tart fruity floral note in there as well. It’s really not like cherry to me, which is good if you ask me. I would guess this sample is relatively old (at least last season’s blend), so I wouldn’t be surprised if I was missing a few things given that this is a green, but nevertheless it is still delightfull. I may have to get more of this, and try more tea from Den’s!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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77
drank St Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
2031 tasting notes

I got it in my head this morning that I wanted to try busting some of the samples that are overflowing my tea cupboard. Of course, a cup of this doesn’t quite use up the sample, but it’s getting close (I’ll probably cold brew the last of it). Some day in the future when I have gotten through samples and some of my excessive tea collection, I will definitely have to get more Kusmi tea.

This one is tasty as always but there is some weird smell in the air that is really cutting down on my enjoyment. I really don’t need to smell chemicals when I’m drinking my tea.

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

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93

Whenever I have to get up really early in the morning, I often feel wide awake when I first get up, but then a cLille of hours later I’ll crash and feel exhausted. Definitely happening this morning. I’m hoping my travel mug full of this tea will wake me up and get me ready for standing at the endless line at the Chinese consulate to pick up my visa.

Apparently I didn’t do a great job cleaning out this travel mug after the last time I used it with Todd&Holland Double Bergamot Earl Grey. Fortunately I like the flavors together and this reminds me that I wanted to try blending my own chocolate Earl (I’d use this tea [which would actually make it chocolate almond Earl] or the Tea Spot’s Organic Chocolate “O” for the chocolate part) since I wasn’t impressed with Upton’s. The bergamot left over in the travel mug didn’t last long, though, and for the most part this was just the tasty tea I rely on.

Azzrian

Chocolate Earl sounds great! I experience the same thing as you do thinking I’m rip roaring and ready to go then SNOOZEVILLE!

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86
drank Meditative Mind by The Tea Spot
2031 tasting notes

Uuugh, I hate days when I feel like I’m running around so much that there’s no time for tea. And that is exactly what today is, and what I expect the next week and a half will be like until I leave for China. I am finally taking a minute (or three) to brew myself some of this tea that will hopefully ease my stress and calm my mind. I’m definitely enjoying this one/ It’s sweet and floral but the florals are very well balanced with the tea. It is particularly white tea-ish, and definitely very relaxing.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

You’re going to China?? Ooooh!! Fun! What are your plans? I hope you have a fantastic trip!

Azzrian

Lovely!!! The tea sounds perfect for what you need right now! Enjoy China! (jealous but in a healthy way LOL)

ashmanra

Details! Details! We want details of the tea scene in China!

Dinosara

I’m going to China for a research trip for my work, like my Argentina trip last fall. I’ll be in Beijing for three weeks, so I’m definitely going to go nuts with all the tea :)

Ninavampi

Hugs!! Positive thoughts and wishing the best possible out come with the most hugs possible!

Ninavampi

Oops… Wrong post… But still send you hugs and possitvie thoughts!

SimpliciTEA

Sounds awesome. I know I’m jealous. I hope you enjoy your time there!

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91
drank Black Currant by Harney & Sons
2031 tasting notes

Oh, Black Currant, you are so tasty. So fruity and sweet and smooth and almost creamy. Deeeelish. I never remember how good this tea is, but then I make a cup and I am very impressed. It just got officially added to my must-have teas list.

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

I do love me a black currant tea! Had some a few days ago, actually.

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91
drank Earl Green by Empire Tea Services
2031 tasting notes

SimplyJenW was kind enough to send me a sample of this tea when she sent the Talbott’s box. I like green Earl Greys but I don’t end up drinking them often… not for any particular reason, though. I’m almost out of the stock of green Earl Grey that I do have, however, so I guess I’m kind of on the market for a replacement. Glad to try this one!

When I opened up the pouch and stuck my nose in it to smell the tea, I was surprised. Plenty of bright bergamot aroma, yes, but also some really nutty tones as well that I’m sure are coming from the green tea. I also get the peppery notes that ashmanra mentioned, which are kind of combining with the nuttiness. It’s a pretty similar aroma from the steeped tea, but more peppery. I’m not really sure that peppery is the right word for it, really, but I can’t think of anything better. Bright, citrusy bergamot, nutty, buttery, peppery almost cookie-ish green tea.

This tea is definitely a winner. It’s clearly a high quality green base, and the flavor combos are awesome. Very similar to the aromas I described above. I agree that the bergamot is both citrusy and a touch floral, and pretty strong. The green tea isn’t grassy or vegetal at all, but nutty and cookie-ish, and the whole thing together seems lightly spicy in some way, along with being a hint sweet. This is unlike any other green Earl Grey that I’ve ever had (actually not true… it’s kind of similar to Verdant’s Lavender Earl Green without the lavender), because they are all typically generically “green tea” (grassy, green teaish) with bergamot, which is tasty but not extraordinary. This tea is pretty extraordinary. I keep taking sips and constantly being amazed by the flavor once it fully rounds out in my mouth. Definitely going on my must-have list. Thanks so much for the sample, Jen!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I thought it was one you would like! It is my favorite Earl Green. (Thank you to KS for sending me some to get me hooked!)

Dinosara

Yes it was awesome!

ashmanra

I was a lucky recipient of this from KS as well. Yummy tea, and resteeps well. I think I may like this more than black Earl Grey now.

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80

I managed to score a Talbott’s gift set via SimplyJenW, so I’m happy to be able to try this tea finally. I love their Chocolate Almond Allure a lot, so this one sounded promising. It seems similar except for the vanilla flavoring instead of almonds. My tin also had some apple pieces in it, despite there not being anything about apples in the ingredients list.

The steeped tea smells like a caramelly black tea with some chocolatey cacao-nibby notes to it. It smells more like an unflavored black with those notes than a flavored tea, and the notes seem to mesh very well together. Flavor is nicely caramel with some dark cacao notes. This tea isn’t really super chocolatey to me, but there are cocoa notes if that makes sense. I don’t get distinct vanilla, but I feel like it’s in there helping the caramel be really creamy… kind of like when I make caramels and add vanilla extract, it doesn’t make the caramels taste vanilla-y. The black tea base is robust and a bit toasty as well, but suuuuper smooth. Overall a very tasty cup. Not quite as good as Chocolate Almond Allure, but pretty delicious nonetheless.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Talbott’s gift set? I want one! :)

Cheryl

How nice of Jen!

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80
drank A Li Shan by Naivetea
2031 tasting notes

I really do love the smell of these high-altitude oolongs. The taste too, but really I love the smell. So creamy and floral and oolongy. That pretty much applies to the flavor of this one, which is a really nice version. I find most of these high-altitude taiwanese oolongs to be more floral and fresh and less buttery and creamy than other green oolongs I’ve had. I called this one “creamy” but it’s not creamy like a jin xuan is creamy… there’s just a hint of creaminess in the main part of the flavor, but then there’s a bit of oolong astringency (the palate-cleansing kind) in the aftertastes. It’s a tea I really, very much enjoy drinking, but not one I crave a lot.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 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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