2036 Tasting Notes

72
drank Shalimar Oolong by ESP Emporium
2036 tasting notes

I have drank this tea after having fantastic plain oolongs, but I haven’t had it since I’ve really become obsessed with oolongs. This is a kind of generic formosa oolong base, neither green nor particularly roasted (though it is dark in color). I still really enjoy this cup even though I can tell the oolong base is nothing fancy; it’s still dark enough to add some heft and body to the sip, but still light enough to play well with the fruity and floral notes. I’m not big on plain “formosa” oolongs, just like I’m not big on plain black teas, but I do really like them as a base for flavorings like in this tea.

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

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76

I’m a bit disappointed that even with a low temp and short steep this one is still a little bitter… it’s kind of just a character of the black tea base, I guess, which is unfortunate. The florals are so powerful on this one it’s crazy, and I can definitely see people thinking it tastes perfumey, but it’s not quite there for me yet. It’s almost rosey, but not quite… orchidy, I guess. :) Fortunately this is really great cold steeped, so I will definitely enjoy it that way even if I can’t quite get the hot steep right. I did drop my rating since the hot steep is tainted by a bitterness I can’t seem to fix.

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

That’s a shame about the bitterness. Why aren’t tea blenders as negatively affected by bitterness as we are? But it’s always nice to find good coldpress teas.

Dinosara

I think I’m extra affected by bitterness because sometimes I seem to taste it when no one else does, but I agree that it’s amazing that someone didn’t the taste the bitterness in some teas! And then sometimes I think some people actually like the bitterness. Oh well!

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71

This was totally awesome cold-steeped. It was sweet and creamy and citrusy… really very delicious. I really love an Earl Grey Cream iced… there’s something about that combo that is great when combined with cold black tea. The flavors in this one were so bold and strong, and yet not artificial tasting. This seems to be a pretty solid EGC tea.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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93

This is another tea that I love and haven’t had for a long time. It is just so chocolatey with a lovely nutty almond accompaniment. Actually this is a tea I would consider a really good chocolate tea (though it’s not plain chocolate) and I would want to try mixing it with an Earl Grey. I love that this tea is just chocolate flavored with cacao nibs, no chocolate chips or pieces which I feel like can muddy up the flavors and make it seem like you are drinking watery hot chocolate. Wow this tea is good. It’s been so long and I’ve tried so many teas in the intervening time that coming back to this one is a bit of a surprise… a happy one! The chocolate is rich and not too roasty, the almond flavor is almondy without being overly marzipanny (not that I would mind if it was). I don’t think I ever realize that there was caramel flavor in this one as well, but it totally makes sense. The caramel doesn’t stick out as a distinct flavor, but adds to the richness and slight sweetness, mimicking some really caramelly black teas. Bumping this up to 99 because it is just that good.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
KeenTeaThyme

OMG – this sounds amazing! I think I just found a stocking stuffer for my mom! :)

TeaEqualsBliss

One of my overall faves! :)

Amariel

I love nutty and chocolate-y teas.

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73
drank Valentine's Blend by Harney & Sons
2036 tasting notes

I guess I’m a little off season! It seems like I should be drinking Christmas blends, but I will soon enough and I wanted to try this one since I restocked on it a while ago and still haven’t gotten around to drinking a cup yet. I tried this one initially in sachets, so I am interested to see how I like it loose in comparison.

This is a toasty, tasty chocolatey tea… the kind of tea that brings people into your office saying, “what’s that chocolate smell?” It’s also a little bit nutty. I wish there was more rose to the flavor, since I hardly get it at all. I haven’t tried Harney’s plain chocolate tea, so I’d be interested to compare the two. Looking back, I seem to have gotten more rose from the sachet, so who knows what’s going on. Maybe the mystery flavors that played havoc with my earlier cups today are still at work, though a thorough cleaning of everything seems to have taken care of it as far as I can tell.

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

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90
drank Noël à Pékin by Dammann Freres
2036 tasting notes

Yup, there’s definitely something off today, because I’m getting a slightly bright metallic taste from this one too, except not quite as much as the Passionate Rose earlier. Not sure what it is because I had a cup of the water plain with lunch and I didn’t notice anything odd about it. Perhaps the kettle, or my steeping basket (but neither of them look different from normal)? Who knows, but I hope it goes away soon. I have a ton of new tea coming to me, and I want the best conditions to taste it!

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

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87
drank Passionate Rose by Tea Palace
2036 tasting notes

Hmm, something is up with this one today. For some reason it tastes kind of metallic, which seems more like it’s a problem with the water or something than with the tea itself. I hope so, because I love this tea… passion fruit and rose together, yum! The way these go well together made me think of combining passion fruit and lychee, since lychee has those rose notes as well as some citrusy-type notes. I just ordered some passion fruit tea from thepuritea (yay cyber monday sales… through some weird math I ended up saving 55% on my order), so I will probably try that with Harney’s lychee when it gets here!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2036 tasting notes

Another sachet I brought with me while traveling this holiday weekend. Having it this morning with a homemade apple cider donut, and it’s definitely taking the edge of a headache incurred after rocking out too hard at a They Might Be Giants show last night (why don’t I ever learn that I get dehydrated at concerts?)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
gmathis

Our family loves TMBG! (Especially the kids’ album No!)

aisling of tea

Jealous of your TMBG show…..

Amariel

TMBG!!! They got close to us over in Vancouver, but we passed on the show in the end…it was too complicated to go at the time.

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66

A little while ago I was wondering about a mangosteen flavored tea because I love mangosteen. There aren’t many out there! This is one of the few, and so when I found a bag in my boyfriend’s mom’s tea stash, I grabbed it to try. It’s definitely not steeped under the best circumstances… water that’s probably too hot since I don’t quite know how long to wait for the water to cool (I’m so dependant on my variable temp tea kettle).

Of course, this isn’t merely a mangosteen flavored green tea… it’s full of other things like lemongrass, hibiscus, orange, rosehips, and pear. That’s a lot going on! Still, the flavor is nice. Sweet and fruity and tart but not too tart. I do get a mangosteen flavor overall, but there are definitely identifiable pear and citrus flavors. I do get a slight sweetness to this tea as other have noticed. I wish that it was just mangosteen and green tea, but it is a very tasty tea nonetheless.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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99

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m spending the weekend with my boyfriend’s family, so I have a reduced tea selection for the weekend. But this one is one I always bring with me whenever I travel! One of my absolute faves. I can never mess it up and it’s always delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Ha ha. I am traveling too and also brought some!

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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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