2028 Tasting Notes

85
drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
2028 tasting notes

Drinking this tea almost back-to-back with Talbott’s Chocolate Almond Allure really makes me appreciate how much caramel is in that tea. Anyway, this is a tasting note for this tea, not for that one! I really enjoy this tea and it’s super delicious caramel flavor. It’s kind of one of those teas that I like a lot but I don’t know if I would need to keep it around all the time. Of course, I really don’t think I’m ever going to get down to some hypothetical pared-down cupboard of only essentials, and if I was in the Kusmi store in NYC I might pick up some more of this anyway. It really is a lovely tea.

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

Hmmmm. I wonder if they have the Talbott’s at my Dillards?

SimplyJenW

(Not looking for a sample, but needing a treat to get me through a Girl Scout overnight at the mall….. ;) )

Dinosara

I totally understand! Best of luck with that… :D

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93

I was running low on this one, but I now have a good supply in my cupboard thanks to my swap with Wonks. Thanks! This really is one of my all-time favorite teas.

An aside: why are there never any tea groupons or groupon-style deals anymore? I used to come across them very frequently, but it’s been totally dead for a while now. I was thinking of it because I discovered this tea company via a Groupon. Not that I need to be buying tea groupons now, but still. I miss them. I’m a deal addict and I haven’t bought a groupon in ages because there hasn’t been anything interesting.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

I agree! One of my all-times, too! I believe Wonks was going to send me some :) YAY!!!!

Wonks

Yep! I got someone to cover my dog-sitting responsibilities monday afternoon so your tea’s going out monday lol. I’ll throw in a few extra honey sticks for the wait ;)

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83
drank Dong Ding by thepuriTea
2028 tasting notes

I’m pretty sure this is my first ever dong ding… I’ve tried a lot of higher altitude varietals, but not one of these before. I just got done teaching the first class of the semester, then gossiping with faculty about other people in our field, so I’ve been talking a lot and my throat’s a bit sore. :D A nice oolong should help, I think.

It certainly smells nice… buttery and creamy and floral and a hint vegetal. And I’m really enjoying the flavors as well! Nicely floral, creamy mouthfeel, a bit of buttery vegetables. I’m thinking I need to try dong dings more often! I really like combo of the dark florals with the buttery, creamy notes. Now I feel like I should try more dong dings before I go to China, but alas I am on a tea buying moratorium.

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

I loved Naivetea’s version of the dong ding – have you tried that yet?

Spoonvonstup

Ooh! You’re going to China? Also, congrats on finishing the first class of semester, and congrats on your first dong ding! Here’s hoping your students are all good ones.

Dinosara

Amy – I haven’t tried Naivetea’s dong ding yet, although I do want to now! I didn’t order the heritage oolong sampler set, but I wish I had. Next time!

Spoonvonstup – Yup, in a couple of months for some research. And thanks, I hope this will be a good class!

Spoonvonstup

Very cool! I hope you can pick up some Mandarin while you’re there (or find Chinese speaking-friends) so you can visit a tea market.

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90
drank Lychee by Harney & Sons
2028 tasting notes

I was going to go with a post-lunch green oolong—one of my untried ones from thepuriTea perhaps—but I felt like the lingering flavor in my mouth and scent on my fingers of the blood orange I had with lunch might skew my tasting. I wanted to go for something a bit more robust and fruity, so as I was going through my samples this one jumped out at me. Also I was making a “standard panel” tea board on Pinterest so that I can remember what teas I really want to always have in my cupboard and I wanted to try this one again, though I’m pretty sure this is a keeper anyway. I realize I could probably just look at my tea ratings list and go for the highest-rated teas, and it’s not like I’m going to easily forget my favorite teas, but I really wanted a separate list and there’s not really something that would serve that function here on Steepster.

Anyway, I love lychees and I love this tea. I want to go buy a big bag of lychees, and maybe I’ll stop at the asian grocery this weekend and do it. The base of this tea is just a perfect compliment as well. Yum.

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

Oh, I am so stealing your “Standard Panel of Teas” board idea!

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
2028 tasting notes

Can we have a real winter please? I like the snow, and I’m getting tired of the endless cold rain we’ve been having instead. Oh well, at least I have delicious tea to perk me up since this dreary morning didn’t help at all.

This is a sample I never want to end! It definitely goes on my list of standard panel, must have teas. I’ve written so much about this tea already that I don’t really have anything left to say except that I love this floral Earl Grey and it’s definitely my favorite of it’s type.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Maté by Argo Tea
2028 tasting notes

I am so freaking tired! I don’t know what came over me this afternoon. I was just chugging along fine, and then out of nowhere, bam!, utter exhaustion. I really want to go climb into bed right now, but that is not really an option. Oolong seems to have done nothing for me, so I thought I would give this roasted maté a go.

Man, I used to really love this. Way back in the day before I was really a tea drinker, I loved drinking this. Now it’s not really my style anymore. It’s kinda sad, actually! Adding to the fact that it’s pretty old and I feel like it’s lost some of the almondy chocolatey flavor I remember and now it kind of tastes like toasted cardboard (with the almondy chocolatey flavors lurking underneath). Man this is totally not working because I am too apathetic to drink this cup. Oh well, hope I’m not getting sick.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
The DJBooth

Totally had that same feeling this afternoon. Sounds pretty good though.

ashmanra

That was my first thought as I started reading…“oh, no! I hope she isn’t getting sick!” I hope you can get some rest and feel energized!

Dinosara

Thanks… I am feeling a bit better so I hope tomorrow I feel fine!

Serendipitea

Fingers crossed you wake up feeling Awesome! – or at least pretty darn good :D

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74
drank Orchid Oolong by Tea Lux
2028 tasting notes

I got my sample of this tea back when I first started drinking green oolongs, which was apparently 6 months ago, and I haven’t gone back to it since. So many to try! But I thought it would be nice to go back to this one and see what I think of it now. I liked it back when I first had it.

The steeped tea smells very floral, and it’s kind of a mash-up between some of the “orchid” florals and jasmine ones. The flavor is nice and floral and reminds me a lot of jasmine teas. There’s not a lot else going on with this tea—even fairly cool I don’t get a lot of nuances in the flavor—but it’s certainly tasty and very drinkable.

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

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64
drank Forget Me Not by Sanctuary T
2028 tasting notes

I had been so into using samples lately that I forgot that I had ordered this tea but never tried it. This was one a blend from Sanctuary that I hadn’t seen before other places (although a quick search yields this one also being sold by Praise Tea), and I like cranberries and roses, so I thought I would take the risk. By risk I mean I have tried some of the other flavored blends they offer from other vendors, and I haven’t been crazy about them.

The dry leaf on this one smells like fake fruit flavored candy and cough drops, which is pretty typical for low- to mid-quality flavored teas, especially greens. I suppose it also smells like cranberries, but in a weird way. I went with a 2 minute steep since they recommended 1-2min, and I’m glad I did. Maybe I should go with 1 min. The steeped tea also has that weird cranberry smell that is really familiar but I can’t place it. It doesn’t smell like cranberry sauce or cranberry juice, but maybe a little like dried cranberries? I don’t know, it has a kind of fake feeling to it. Maybe it’s the cranberry combined with the rose that’s making it odd? The rose doesn’t really stick out individually, but if I think about it I can parse it out of the flavor. The end of the sip has a pleasant, light sweetness followed by a tartness that lingers in my mouth and is very reminiscent of having eaten a dried cranberry.

I dunno, maybe it’s just that as much as I like cranberries, cranberry tea is not my thing (I haven’t had one before), or maybe it’s the cran/rose combo, but as much as I do have a sense of eating dried cranberries, I also have a slight medicinal aftertaste as well. And I think part of it is that a lot of fake fruit flavoring just ends up tasting like fake cherry flavoring to me, which I am not a fan of. Yeah, somehow this does come out tasting like cherry candy. Bleh. It might just be a thing with me because others have tried the Praise Tea version and enjoyed it; I think I am getting super picky about my flavorings, especially the fruit ones. I guess that’s a good thing, but it does mean I am amassing a collection of 2oz pouches of teas I don’t want to drink. :P

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

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92

The first time I tried this tea I thought the dry leaf smelled like molasses covered grains. This time when I stuck my nose in, I got the impression of chocolate extract or a chocolate liqueur… basically the distilled essence of chocolate. I love that the leaf on this tea is so long and twisted and way more whole leaf than you usually see in a flavored tea.

Mmm, this blend is sooo delicious. The blend of the chocolate and the base tea is just fantastic. The chocolate flavor is intense but in no way does it steamroll over the tea base; no, it just brings out the chocolatey notes in it, and caramel and honey notes definitely come out to support the chocolate flavor. It reminds me of eating a chocolate caramel, kind of. Or the scent of being in a city with a chocolate factory. It’s different enough from a hot cocoa or chocolate bar that it doesn’t seem like watery cocoa. This is probably my favorite straight chocolate tea so far, and it’s definitely going on my must have list!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Serendipitea

I want to live in a city with a chocolate factory – OMG I’d always be craving, and covered in pimples lol :P

Dinosara

I lived in Chicago for a while… there’s a chocolate factory there and when the wind was right the city smelled amazing.

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66
drank Ti Kuan Yin by thepuriTea
2028 tasting notes

This is a sample I hadn’t even opened yet… I still have a number from thepuriTea to try. I thought it would be nice to go back to a TGY after a myriad of other green oolongs recently. The dry leaf on this one smells very green leafy, like grass and alfalfa hay, without much other dimension to it. Fortunately once steeped the aroma really develops; it’s very floral, magnolia-ish.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one; honestly I wasn’t expecting much based on other reviews and my experiences so far with their oolongs, so I guess it worked out. It’s definitely floral, but I do get some nice buttery, honey-y notes in it. Granted, they’re pretty light, but they’re there. They definitely come out more as it cools way down. Not my fave TGY, but an enjoyable cup of tea all the same.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °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: 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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