1979 Tasting Notes

71
drank Forbidden Fruit by DAVIDsTEA
1979 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
1979 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
1979 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
1979 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
1979 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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74
drank Superior Pouchong by Drink T
1979 tasting notes

brandy3392 was generous enough to give me a big ol’ sample of this tea in our recent swap, and I really feel like I made out like a bandit here. The leaves on this are long and very loosely twisted and curled, and they smell nicely floral and green and oolongy. As an aside: I feel like I have a much better handle on the types of tea that are out there and their names, but every once in a while I have a moment where I feel like a total noob for not realizing something, particularly when it comes to the various names for Chinese teas and their English “translations”. Like I totally didn’t realize that Pouchong = Bao Zhong until just the other day… here I am thinking they’re two different kinds of tea, but no.

Anyway, this tea has a very floral aroma when steeped but also a buttery note as well. The flavor is pretty vegetal and buttery, and the floral notes kind of add to the general character but aren’t very distinct on their own. This is one of those teas with it’s own natural sweetness, which is awesome and it’s definitely a character I like to find. Of course just now my nose has decided that it will be unrelentingly sneeze-itchy (you know that feeling right before you sneeze? like that), swollen, and runny, so I’m having a little difficulty with subtle flavors here. I don’t understand why sometimes it’s fine and sometimes it’s not. If it’s going to be sick, I would rather be sick enough that I can at least take the day off, not this miserable half-sick where I can’t justify it. :P

Anyway this is a very tasty tea. Thanks so much, brandy3392!

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

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87
drank Amandine Rose by Teavana
1979 tasting notes

I traded brandy3392 some tea I wasn’t a fan of for this tea, which she wasn’t a fan of. Even so I was intrigued because I do love almonds and rose. The dry leaf on this one smells very cookie-ish with almond and cinnamon and other bakery-ish aromas, and then a rich, sweet rosey aroma comes out, but still kind of remains separate from the other scents. It is truly the scent of rose candy, like fresh turkish delight, not fresh roses.

I steeped the tea at a cooler temp because that seemed like what people were doing with this tea. I probably didn’t need to go that cool considering my previous experience with Almond Biscotti, but it still turned out fine. In the steeped tea the rose and cookie aromas meld much more and it smells great to me. It reminds me of a middle eastern market/bakery where you would get almondy-cinnamony aromas as well as the scents of rose confections.

I am actually really digging this tea, so thanks a bunch for the swap, brandy3392! It’s not quite marzipan-almondy, but it is very almond-cookie-ish. There is a decent helping of sugary rose-candy flavor; it is actually a hint sweet, which likely comes from various candied agents (almond, violet) in the mix. This actually reminds me more of what I feel like the now-defunct Rose Marzipan Delight tea by Teavana would be like, though I never did try that one. This is totally one of those teas that I kind of hate admitting that I like so much because it is from the evil empire, but what are you going to do? At least I have a nice pouch of it in my possession without ever having to have dealt with the shop!

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

I think this tea has JacquelineM written all over it! I have to pop it into my next Evil Empire Order ;)

Dinosara

JacquelineM – Totally!

Also, I spaced that this was my 500th tasting note! I can hardly believe it!

TeaBrat

I got a sample of this in a swap too & will try it later today. :)

SimplyJenW

Yayyy! Happy 500!

JacquelineM

Horray! That’s a lot of tea :)

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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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