1909 Tasting Notes

76

I brewed this one at a slightly cooler temp and a slightly shorter time than my last cup, and it has definitely improved it. No bitterness from the green tea, and a slightly more subdued flavor. It’s a nice, smooth, pleasant green tea with a prominent jasmine aroma and lighter jasmine flavor. This one is a good tea if you primarily want a green that’s been scented; I don’t get much of the jasmine sweetness or honeysuckle notes in this one like you might get from a more heavily jasmined tea, but the jasmine isn’t an afterthought either.

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

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72
drank Wild Grey by ESP Emporium
1909 tasting notes

Just the ticket this afternoon; I was pondering a traditional Earl Grey but I’m still not sure if I’m really up for a hearty black tea, so I went with this one. Very citrusy-bergamot, with sharp lemongrass lemony flavor. The green tea is present here but not overly vegetal or grassy. Very tasty.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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78

Steeped this one a little longer this time at a lower temp, and it really brought out the almond. Immediately after steeping I got a very vegetal aroma with an almond background, but as it cools the veggie slides to the background and the aroma is primarily almondy bakery/cookie.

It’s quite tasty, and if I divorce my expectations of a marzipan/almond extract-like almond flavor from the tea, I’m really enjoying it for what it is: a smooth green tea with a nice cinnamon cookie-type (almost a slightly almondy snickerdoodle?) taste.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1909 tasting notes

My first pot of Vanilla Comoro! I’ve been hearing about how awesome it is for a while and knew I wanted to try it, and I finally got around to picking up a tagalong tin of it at Harney Soho last weekend. This is also my first decaf black tea. I was a little surprised to find that the base tea isn’t hidden here, and I taste firstly the black tea and then the vanilla, creamy, caramel flavor blooms in my mouth. Pretty delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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72
drank Shalimar Oolong by ESP Emporium
1909 tasting notes

Initially when I brewed this cup I got a ton of rose flavor, which was kind of surprising given how many berries and mango cubes ended up in the infuser. But now that’s cooled a bit I get much more fruit flavoring, and the rose is a nice supporting note. This is one of those teas that I’ve noticed shows up from several retailers; at least I don’t have to worry about it disappearing, unless the wholesaler stops making it!

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

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73
drank Earl Grey Cream by ESP Emporium
1909 tasting notes

I think my taste buds are still a little blown out from that last tea, so this one doesn’t taste quite as good as usual.
…after a couple of Cadbury Mini Eggs…
Better. I can count on chocolate to smooth over any bad tastes. Now here’s my creamy Earl Grey, although I might have over-steeped or over-leafed a little because it’s a hint more bitter/astringent than normal. Still pretty good, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Hooray! We always need a great tea to soothe the affront of a bad tea on our lips. And chocolate can go a long way in fixing the wrongs of life.

Dinosara

Too true!

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20
drank Lavender Earl Grey by Tea Licious
1909 tasting notes

This is the third of my Tea Licious free samples; thanks again! I’ve wanted to try other lavender Earl Greys, so this seemed like an opportunity to do so. The aroma of the dried leaves on this one smells great: strongly of lavender with a bright bergamot behind it.

Brewed, I was surprised to find the aroma had turned kind of… soapy. Now I’ve read many reviews were people complained of finding lavender teas soapy and they write them off entirely because they associate lavender with soap. I have had a few lavender teas now, and I haven’t found them soapy, so I just figured I wasn’t one of those people. This one is seriously soapy. It tastes like soapy lavender water. It’s not residue on my cup, because I actually don’t wash out my cup with soap all that often, I just rinse it most days. I’m not sure what part of the lavender makes it soapy, but apparently there are some blends where even a lavender lover tastes soap. I enjoyed my other samples from Tea Licious, but unfortunately this one I can’t drink.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I had a lavender tea that scared me into hiding under the bed once. It was coming for me…

Dinosara

I guess I didn’t appreciate how tricky they are to get right apparently!

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82
drank Rose Oolong by Tea Licious
1909 tasting notes

This is another of my free samples from Tea Licious. The rose part intrigued me, but also listed lemongrass and ginger, a combo I like, and I was very curious. The dry leaf smells like lemongrass and ginger, unsurprisingly; the rose is fairly wiped out. The oolong leaves are very green and crumpled up almost into little balls; I don’t have any rose buds in my sample, but there are definitely petals.

Brewed, the aroma is still very lemongrass/ginger. That carries through to the taste, which is primarily lemony but a bit gingery as well. It’s not peppery gingery, but the lemongrass and ginger meld together to form a very tasty combo. I’d wager that in a competition like this, the usually more delicate rose loses, as it seems to here. The oolong base is very pleasant; a tea with lemongrass and ginger can easily get too ‘sharp’, but the oolong adds a smoothness, almost a thickness to the tea. I guess this is the ‘breadiness’ that people describe with some oolongs. I really feel like this tea is misnamed; call it a Lemongrass Ginger Oolong, and you have it right on the money. It’s delicious, and I could definitely see it filling the lemon/ginger gap in my cupboard right now.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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68
drank Rosie Earl Grey by Tea Licious
1909 tasting notes

I always love getting a package of tea in the mail, and so it was awesome to come home yesterday to find my free samples from Tea Licious in the box. I must have been in a floral mood when I picked these out, because they’re all flower-scented of some kind. Floral scented Earl Greys are definitely of interest to me, so this was one of the three I received.

The scent of the dried leaves on this one is very rosey, with a sharp citrus aroma from the bergamot. I didn’t have any brewing parameters for this one, so I went with my new standard for unknown blacks, boiling/3min. It brewed up pretty dark, with a maroonish red-brown liquor. The brewed tea smells powerfully like rose, even moreso than the straight up rose-scented tea I have. I don’t get as much of the EG aroma, but I occasionally get a whiff of it through the rose.

First sip… ROSE. Wow, this is rosey. The EG takes a backseat to the rose in this one, though I can taste a hint of bright bergamot at the end of the sip, and its slight astringency made it into the cup. The bergamot is not distinct on its own but seems to be combining with the rose to make it “brighter” somehow. I don’t quite think this was exactly what I’m looking for in an rose EG, but I do really like this tea, especially as a rose tea, and would consider stocking it just for that reason!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Jasmine Pearls by TeaFrog
1909 tasting notes

I wanted to go back and have these Jasmine Pearls again after my rapturous Harney & Sons experience this weekend. These were the first Jasmine pearls I’d ever tried, and I liked them a lot, but how do they stand up now?

The first time I brewed these I followed the instructions on the package of only putting in 4-6 balls with a cup (so I put in 8 or so with my 12oz cup). With Harney I put in a whole perfect teaspoon, so this time I did that as well. These pearls are a little larger overall, so I didn’t quite get the 24 pearls per tsp that I got with Harney, but definitely more than the 8 I put in last time. Last time I brewed for 5 minutes and it was still very light in color and flavor (no wonder, with so few pearls). This time I went for 4 minutes; the liquor is still light, but the jasmine flavor is a bit more prominent I think, and this time I’m definitely getting a distinct hit of sweetness I don’t remember getting last time. Nevertheless, the taste isn’t as well rounded and it has less depth. The sweetness seems to hang out at the end of the sip and doesn’t quite meld properly with the jasmine aroma. It’s still a nice jasmine tea, and there’s nothing really that’s bad about it, but it just doesn’t blow me out of the water.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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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.
89-85: 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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