1914 Tasting Notes

96

This tea smells amazingly good dry. Someone else mentioned coconut macaroons, and that is exactly the smell of the dry leaf. Not just coconut, but a baked coconut meringue, or perhaps a recipe that uses sweetened condensed milk for the base instead. I want to eat them, but I know that they will not taste like that.

The brewed tea is a very light greenish yellow, and the aroma has come down a notch. It’s not quite so bakey, but still definitely coconutty. I’m still getting some slightly buttery-creamy notes, but they’re tempered by a lightly floral green aroma poking through.

Mm, wow, this is one of those teas. You know the ones… you don’t have many expectations, and they smell good but not outstanding, and then you take the first sip and they just blow you away. This tea is coconutty, yes, but also buttery and creamy and sweet. It’s toasty while being fresh and vegetal. It’s deliciously smooth and it leaves a lovely aftertaste of coconut macaroons hanging out in my mouth. This is the kind of tea where I just think: this tea is truly delicious. It is not merely a coconut tea, this tea is more than the sum of its parts. More, please.

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

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50
drank Cream Earl Grey by TeaFrog
1914 tasting notes

The last time I had this tea I really disliked it for being way too bitter, despite my best efforts. Now this is one of those times that I wish I could rate each tasting individually, because cold brewed it has none of the problems that I encountered in the hot brew. I’ve bumped my rating up, but not by much, because if I can’t finish a cup of the hot brew a good cold brew isn’t really enough to redeem a tea in my eyes. It is, however, a great way to use up a sample like this that I otherwise would have tossed. I even considered doing just that after my last cup, but I’m glad I didn’t because it did make a tasty cold brew.

The tea is creamy and bergamotty with a decent, solid black tea base. The bergamot is fruity and citrusy, and combined with the cream and the cold it really does remind me of something like a creamsicle (except, you know, not orange). I hadn’t tried an EG Cream cold steeped yet but I don’t know why, because it is a really tasty combo.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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75
drank Rose Tea by Golden Moon Tea
1914 tasting notes

Well I had to try the rose black from Golden Moon, and I figured I’d have my sample sooner than later since I just had some Harney Rose Scented recently. The dry tea certainly smells powerfully, sweetly rosey. This isn’t an “herbaceous” rose, it’s definitely a sweet candy-type rose.

Brewed, the rose scent is a bit more subdued, but still very present. I think its moreso that the black tea is making itself known but also melding very well with the rose. The taste is powerfully rosey very much like Rose Scented. I think I’d have to try them back to back to really suss out the differences. It is actually perhaps a touch less sweet than rose scented, but I could be making that up. As it cools it actually does get more herbaceous rose, and less similar to Rose Scented than Rose Congou. This one doesn’t remind me of turkish delight as much, though it is tasty. I’m finding it’s difficult for a rose black to really distinguish itself, and that does apply to this tea. Delicious, but not extraordinary enough to make me seek it out over other rose blacks.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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78

I can safely say that it was QuiltGuppy who ignited a love of oolongs in me with her samples, to the point that now I want to try every oolong I see! I ordered samples of the three oolongs that Golden Moon has for sale right now, and decided to go for this one today.

I definitely love the smell of the dry leaves, which is sweet and caramelized and caramely (distinguished from “caramelized” by the presence of a creamy note, together with a fairly different greenish floral aroma. Not quite vegetal, but not a flowery floral, if that makes sense. The scent of the brewed tea brings the oolong really to the foreground; the aroma almost makes me think of burnt popcorn, actually, and a lot of the sweetness and caramel has fled the aroma.

Fortunately it seems to have made its way back to the taste. You might think that the flavoring would overwhelm the oolong, but this tea is very “oolongy” to me. The sugar caramel flavor isn’t really the front and center here, more like a supporting role to the oolong. Vegetal with some unscented oolong-type florals, a bit buttery, a bit nutty, with notes of caramelized sugar that really come out in the decidedly sweet aftertaste. This is flavored in a way that doesn’t seem like its flavored, but more like you just got an awesome natural oolong that has those caramelized sweet notes. As it cools it just continues to get sweeter, like I seriously feel like I have just eaten some candy (oolong flavored candy, which actually sounds amazing). At the beginning of this cup, I was enjoying it but I wasn’t impressed to the point of wanting more because it didn’t seem to distinguish itself much from other oolongs I’ve tried. As the cup has progressed (and cooled), however, the taste has morphed into something that I really, really like. Would I go out of my way to buy this tea if it was the only one I wanted from Golden Moon? Probably not, but if I was already making an order, I think I’d throw it in my cart. I have enough for one more cup, so I’ll look forward to trying that one after all of my other myriad of oolongs waiting on me to see how it compares.

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

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80

Yesterday I decided I would have this tea for my daily cold steep, but then as I was portioning it out into my cup, I had a moment of panic when I realized I would have to put all of the rest of my sample into the cup for the cold steep. Oh noes, I wouldn’t have any more! Then I sucked it up and told myself that I wanted to try it iced anyway, and that finishing a sample out of my cupboard should be a good thing. I guess this is already a definite to-buy!

I was surprised today that the tea was still as light as it was: more like a light gold instead of the amber I’m used to seeing for overnight cold steeped blacks. I was concerned that maybe I needed to let it go for longer, but it smelled good, and when I stirred up the leaves a bit more color was released into the liquor. This was definitely tasty as a cold steep, passion fruity and light, but with a decent helping of flavor from the black tea as well. All the same, I think I might prefer to hot steep this one and then ice it to get the most flavor out of it, or maybe just leave it to cold steep longer.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Jenn

I love this tea too! I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has a moment, or more, of panic when it comes to running out of my beloved teas :)

QuiltGuppy

I also have thepuriTea’s Mango Black Tea, or I could send you more of the Passion Fruit Black. (For anyone who wants to sample it…) :)

Dinosara

I do want to try their mango black, but I’m now definitely planning on ordering a full pouch of the parssion fruit, and I actually have a ton of their oolongs on my wishlist of try, too! So I’ll be making an order from them anyway, but thanks for your offer again!

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72
drank Tippy Earl Grey by Golden Moon Tea
1914 tasting notes

I’ve wanted to try a bunch of different teas from Golden Moon for a while now, so when a free shipping on any size order came up a while ago, I went ahead and ordered a bunch of samples. This was definitely going to be one of them, as I love a good Earl Grey. I’m also very picky about my Earl Greys, though, so getting a new one makes me both excited and apprehensive. This one apparently has lavender in it, too, which I didn’t realize, but lavender Earl Grey is a flavor combination that I like, so here’s hoping!

The dry leaf smells great, for a start. Nicely bergamotty, with a hint of lavender, but they meld well together in my mind and become hard to distinguish. The aroma of the brewed tea is a bit more subdued, as I would expect, with a malty black tea base showing up. The bergamot is still at the forefront, however, with a lavendery underlying scent.

I’m really enjoying the flavor of this one. It’s light; I feel like I could brew it for longer and get a more robust cup. But even like this the flavors are all very well done and well mingled. At the beginning of the sip I get a bright bergamot taste, followed by a wash of lavender and then the warm, malty black tea. It comes out some sips more than others, and I do want to try steeping this longer to get a more robust black tea taste, but I do really like this tea. The bergamot is strong enough but not overpowering and bitter, the lavender is light and not at all soapy, and it has a black tea base that I enjoy. It seems like it’s a bit polarizing, but count me on the side of those that really do enjoy it. I should have enough in my sample for one more cup, but I can definitely see rebuying this one.

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

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81
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
1914 tasting notes

I can’t say that I’ll ever be the kind of tea drinker who drinks plain black tea regularly, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think this one is pretty darn good! This is the kind of flavor profile that I like in a black: honeyed, a bit caramely, and other flavors that are fairly indescribable to me but that I definitely enjoy. Yum, yum, and thanks again to JacquelineM for sending me this one especially since it’s currently sold out!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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66

I’d have to say this wasn’t a great cold steep. There wasn’t much apple or pear flavor that came through; in fact, I’d say there was pretty much no truly identifiable fruit flavor coming through. It tasted like green tea, which isn’t bad, but not what I was looking for. But also not exactly like green tea, more like green tea with something else. What that something else is… unknown. I couldn’t put my finger on the flavor. Definitely disappointing, as I imagine that a pear iced green tea would be awesome.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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71

I was most of the way through this tasting note when I reached out for my tea cup and bumped it with my hand instead of grabbing it. I almost knocked it off my (very tall) desk (actually a counter in a lab) onto the tile floor, where it would have assuredly shattered, but I somehow managed to grab it. Not without spilling a third of it on my desk and partially on my keyboard, however. Fortunately, my keyboard is pretty old and thus is pretty much impervious to liquids; unfortunately, I neglected to unplug it before wiping it off, and succeeded in somehow canceling my previous tasting note and thus deleting what I had written. There’s little more frustrating than taking time to write something up on a website and then having it magically erased. When you rewrite it, it’s never as thorough as before.

I threw the little that was left of my Chocolate and Cream black from TeaFrog (~1/2 tsp) into this cup to go ahead and use it up. I forgot to start my time when I poured the water, but I remembered about 30 seconds later, so the tea got a little extra time (because I once again forgot to stop it early). The aroma of the brewed tea was primarily that of a strong black, with a decent dose of almond, but not overwhelming.

The flavor of the main part of the sip is really the black tea with a hint of chocolate and bit of almond, followed by a strong, full marzipan aftertaste that fills your mouth and almost convinces you that you’ve been eating the confection (if it was sweet, I’m sure it would taste exactly like it).

Aaaand now that I said my keyboard was fine, the space bar and apostrophe stopped working, so I had to find another keyboard. Bleh. Anyway, tasty tea. Not so great for keyboards.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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68
drank Coconut Vanilla White by TeaFrog
1914 tasting notes

The first time I brewed this, it had a musty aroma that put me off and I never went back to it. I decided to cold brew it since sometimes cold brewing makes weird teas better. So it was with this tea: my cold brew is all coconut and vanilla, slightly sweet, and nice and refreshing. I would consider having this one around just as a cold steep, actually, since it’s so tasty. I’m not getting any florals from the rose buds, but that’s ok. I’m rating this one strictly on it’s cold brew, but I suppose I might try the hot again to see if I can get a better cup. Definitely has the potential to be very tasty!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
gmathis

Haven’t tried mine chilled yet, but now you’ve inspired me. I really like this one!

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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.
89-85: 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: 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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