1909 Tasting Notes

80
drank Notting Hill by Tea Palace
1909 tasting notes

I’m pretty excited this morning since I got notice that I bird I saw last weekend on Coney Island may be a Grey-headed Gull, which is only known from one or two records in North America (it’s a South American/African species). Still waiting to hear back from Cornell Bird Lab, but this would be my first confirmed rare bird sighting!

I almost forgot to brew some tea, but once I settled down a bit I chose this one. I neglected to look at my previous tasting note until I already had set my water boiling, so I didn’t realized that I wanted to try this tea at a lower temp this time. Oops! To compensate I decided to try it at a shorter steep time instead.

It seems to have worked pretty well! I’m not getting any bitterness from this cup. It’s vanilla caramely and very tasty. It doesn’t seem to be too weak or have suffered from loss of flavor from only a 2 minute steep. I’ll also try it at lower temp for 3 minutes, but it’s defintely good with these parameters.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
teawing

congrats on your bird…

Ashley Bain

Just googled that bird. Very cool!

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65
drank Thé au Tibet by Mariage Frères
1909 tasting notes

I decided to try this one back to back with the Polish Monk’s blend since they seem to be very similar in ingredients. They really are very similar, but this one seems a little sweeter somehow, and the jasmine is stronger. It’s an herby jasmine, which I know seems weird, but I guess it’s a bit like herbaceous rose. I think the bergamot is somehow tempering the floralness of the jasmine, when I feel like usually the jasmine is enhancing the floral character of the bergamot. The vanilla smooths things well, but it still has that hint of bitterness that surprises me. This may be a blend that I want to work better than it does, but I won’t give up on it until it I mess around with a lot of other steep times and temps.

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

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70

I brewed this tea at a cooler temp this time since now I know it’s a black green blend. The brewed tea smells vanilla-y, but with a fair dose of bergamot and some robust black tea. I don’t remember getting much of that the last time I tried this, but there it is. I’m not getting much jasmine in the taste this time, and it’s actually a tad bitter, which is surprising. I guess this is another finicky tea that’s going to require some messing around with time and temp to get the steep just right.

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

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80

I probably should have had another sachet for cold steeping this tea, but even with only one for 16 oz of water it was very very tasty. So peachy and delicious! I could see buying some of this for only iced tea. I mean, it’s good hot, but I really think it makes a fantastic iced tea. It’s a great blend of a nice black tea with fruit. And I could drink this one in the evenings too!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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63
drank Vanilla Jasmine by Golden Moon Tea
1909 tasting notes

The last time I drank this tea I found it a little weak in flavor. I steeped it for longer this time to see if I could draw it out, but I’m not sure if it really worked. The vanilla and jasmine are still really light in the aroma, and what seems to have been brought out is the black tea. I don’t find this tea to be very good while still relatively hot, but the vanilla certainly comes out as it cools. The jasmine never really makes itself known in the way I’d like; it kind of sits back and provides a very slightly floral flavor to the blend.

Did I seriously not realize that this was a black/green blend until just now? Apparently not, because I usually steep those at a cooler temp. Thankfully my sample from JacquelineM is big enough for me to try it at different steeping parameters once again. I assume the jasmine is part of the green tea, so that may help bring it out

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Blue Sky by Tea Palace
1909 tasting notes

I went back and read my first tasting note of this tea, and wow I was impressed with this tea the first time around. Which is funny because although I remember really enjoying it, I didn’t remember being totally blown away, which is why I hadn’t gone back to it yet. But I was tasting a lot of new teas during that time period, including a lot of other incredible ones, so I guess it makes sense that I might lose track of how much I liked things. Anyway, the aroma of the dried leaves and of the steeping tea smells incredibly delicious, like tropical fruit and flowers.

It doesn’t take long to remind me why I found this one so entrancing in the first place. It is so my kind of tea (especially right now): intensely floral, a touch of fruitiness, a grounding tea base that isn’t completely overwhelmed. I love how mixed florals all taste a bit different based on what flowers are in the tea and what’s the dominant flavor, and it also means that I never feel like multiple floral teas duplicate what I already have. Which is one way of saying that this is going to have to be a cupboard staple.

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

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
1909 tasting notes

After my cup of Rosy Earl Grey yesterday, I took the spent leaves and dropped them into my cold steeping cup along with enough new leaf to make up the balance of the 2 tbsp I put in usually. The last time I had Rosy I “cool steeped” the already steeped leaves and got a pretty tasty tea in only an hour. With an overnight steep, the flavors really came out. The jasmine green tea in this really comes to the forefront, but the bergamot will not be left behind; what you end up with is really more of a Jasmine Earl Grey than a rose one, but that’s just fine with me. I was surprised that after a night steeping the liquor wasn’t oranger, like it usually is with black teas. This one looked more like a cold steeped green than anything else. There wasn’t a distinct black tea flavor, but the Earl Grey flavor was definitely there. I really enjoyed this cold steep, and using the spent leaves saved me an extra cup of tea!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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80

A chocolate tea this morning? I guess so. I wanted to have one of my Paris teas this morning, so I thought I’d give this one a try again. I steeped it a little longer this time just to see how the flavors would come out, and I think it smells a bit orangier this time. This tea stood up fine to a four minute steep time, with no hint of bitterness. It’s rich and choco-hazenutty, with the added fruity citrusy brightness (but not too bright) of the orange. It’s an excellent blend of flavors.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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63
drank Chocolate and Cream by TeaFrog
1909 tasting notes

Another attempt to clean out some samples from my cupboard. I have less than a cup’s worth of leaf after this cup, but I already have ideas for that. This tea seems toastier than I remember every time I have it. Today the aroma of the brewed tea smells almost exactly like chocolate chips that have been slightly burned onto the cookie sheet. Or maybe even a caramelized sugar aroma, like a chocolate creme brulee. I can also smell the sweet cream in the background, adding to the creme brulee illusion.

For whatever reason this is probably the best cup of this sample I’ve had so far. The aftertaste is chocolatey, creamy, with that touch of caramelized sugar that really adds to the depth of it. It’s still a touch bitter at the base, though, and I wish the main part of the sip had a richer mouthfeel. Still, it’s a pretty decent chocolate tea, especially if you like them to air on the roasty toasty side of things.

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

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79
drank Magnolia Oolong by Tea District
1909 tasting notes

It never fails, I always forget on Friday afternoons that the tea I put in the fridge to cold steep will be there for several days. Always! Last Friday I decided to cold steep this magnolia oolong, since I should be getting a full 2oz of it soon in replacement for the disappointing Lavender Earl Grey. I think that the 72 hour steep is more successful with black teas, but this one was pretty tasty just the same. It was intensely floral; just lifting the lid off my steeping cup resulted in a wash of sweet magnolia aroma. The liquor was fairly dark green. The lengthy steeping (I think) caused it to be a touch bitter, but only a little, and otherwise it was tasty. I’d definitely cold steep this one again, but I think I’d go for only one night next time.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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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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