2006 Tasting Notes

67

I’m at JFK airport on my way to London, Paris, and Warsaw for work, so my tasting notes won’t be very frequent over the next two weeks. I hope to pop in and make notes of teas on the road though, and I’m planning on picking up tons of teas while abroad. Anyway, I grabbed a cup of tea from a cafe in the airport and though I was given only the descriptor of “chamomile”, I saw that the tea was this one (and that it was loose leaf and the cafe put it in a tea sac for steeping!)

Obviously I don’t know about the smell of the dried leaves, but I did see that I got quite a few whole chamomile blossoms in my steeping bag. Steepster on iPhone won’t let me rate it or put in steeping parameters, so I’ll edit the post later, but it steeped for a long time at boiling, and even though I’m not much of a chamomile person (options were severly limited), it’s a very nice, relaxing tea, that’s pretty sweet and has lots of the hay-like, alfalfa notes I often find in chamomiles. A nice way to relax before a flight

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
politicalmachine

sounds like quite the trip!

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72

This time I upped the steeping time on this one just to see what would happen, since I didn’t get any hints of bitterness at 3 minutes on my last cup. This cup certainly looks strong, and there’s a ton of dusty-stuff floating around in it; pieces of coconut and chocolate I think. The aroma of is so coconutty, apparently way more coconutty than last time, when I didn’t get much coconut scent in the brewed tea. Still no hint of bitterness, which is awesome. The taste is definitely coconut, and a blast of sweetness hits me on the back of the sip that I don’t remember from before; I think 4 minutes allows the chocolate chips to dissolve completely and really steeps the big coconut chunks. As the tea cools the sweetness resolves into a chocolatey goodness that compliments the coconut perfectly. I’m really digging this one with a full steep!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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63
drank Earl Grey Special by TeaFrog
2006 tasting notes

Going back through my half-empty sample pouches, this one actually had more than one cup of tea in it. I’m saving the rest for an EG side-by-side taste test. This cup is fairly strong, and the tea base is malty and a little spicy, almost. I get the lemony/bergamot overlying note, but it doesn’t seem like the main event; it’s almost like I had a cup of plain black tea and squeezed lemon into it. As it cools a little more of the complexity comes out, as well as tiny hints of jasmine, but overall its still more black tea than anything else.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82

Now here’s an odd brewing for this tea… I got it in my mind to clean out sample packets today, I guess, and I had probably enough Winter White Earl Grey for a cup, but a measely half-teaspoon of Chinese Flower (also by Harney). Since Chinese Flower is a lemony/citrusy green, and Earl Greys are citrusy, I put the Chinese Flower in with the rest of this tea. These being the bottom of the sample pouches the leaves are broken into tiny little pieces (I actually shook out the tea ‘dust’ through my strainer before brewing to prevent it from getting too strong), so the tea brewed up strong pretty quickly. It tastes mostly like the WWEG, but the tea base is bolder from the green in the Chinese Flower, and the bergamot is extra citrusy and lemony. Not a bad cup from a mix of the dregs two teas, and I got to kill two sample pouches in the process.

(Now I need to order some more of each from Harney!)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
2006 tasting notes

I found the reminants of a sample packet of this in my tea drawer, so I mixed what was left with enough from my big pouch for a cup and managed to finally clean a sample out of my tea cupboard. I’m really bad about not finishing the last little bits of a sample, especially when there’s not really enough for a whole 12 oz cup. It’s amazing how much more aromatic my large pouch is (acquired very recently from the Soho store) compared to what was left in the sample, which I have had for a while now. The mixed leaves still make a very tasty cup of tea; it’s very chocolatey today, with those lovely nutty undertones. Love it!

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

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53

Another one of the Revolution tea sachets I picked up last weekend. It’s so weird to me that they sell white tea at a truck stop, because you know the hot water that comes out of the coffee machine is probably too hot for it.

Anyway, I love pomegranates but haven’t tried too many pomegranate teas (yet). This one smells kind of general sweet-fruity dry, and it’s hard for me to put my finger on one particular fruit flavor. Brewed the aroma develops more and I get distinct notes; pomegranate, yes, but also perhaps black currant or other berries. It smells pretty nice, and the initial sip has a pleasant taste, but there’s some bizarre aftertaste on the back of the sip that tastes artificial. It’s a distinct taste that I recognize, but I can’t put my finger on it right now… lipstick? Weird flavored lip balm? It’s something like that (I’m not wearing either). Definitely weird and off-putting. On some sips I don’t really get it at all, but on some it’s really strong. Maybe it’s just my sachet, and without the aftertaste this would be a nice, light, fruity tea.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Jillian

I take it your weren’t wearing lipstick at the time? ;)

Dinosara

Nope, nothing of the sort. It was definitely the tea!

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98
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2006 tasting notes

Mmm. I’m sitting at home waiting for a delivery that is late, so I chose Paris to relax a bit I supposed. This cup is awesome; slightly naturally sweet, with all the lovely flavors I’ve come to expect from this tea.

Also, apparently I blew past my 100th tasting note 10 notes ago without realizing it! Fittingly my 100th note was apparently Tower of London. It’s pretty amazing that my top teas are still mostly Harney & Sons, even with all the other teas I’ve tasted since I started getting into tea last fall. Go Harney!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

The longer I drink tea, the more I prefer Harney and Sons!

SimplyJenW

I am with ashmanra!

Congrats on 100 tasting notes!

Dinosara

Yeah, it’s amazing how awesome they are!

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90

I was going to have another one of the sachets I picked up, but then I decided I didn’t want to be disappointed again and that wanted a tea that I knew I loved. The Jasmine Pearls called out to me, and it’s like I forgot how amazing they are. This cup is so incredibly sweet (without anything added of course), it’s like drinking a cup of warm honeysuckle honey. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
KeenTeaThyme

This is one of my favorite teas of all-time. Seems like no matter who makes it, it’s good!

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58

I didn’t have super high hopes for this one based on my last tea by this company, but I can’t help but try all the new teas I get right after I get them, so I chose this sachet anyway.

Dry it smelled primarily like herby lavender with a bit of bergamot and something else; an almost peppery note that I’m not sure is coming from the lavender or the tea. Brewed it smells heavily of lavender, and the taste is primarily lavender with a hint of slightly astringent bergamot at the end of the sip. It’s a fine enough tea, and certainly better than the one I had yesterday, but it’s not Earl Grey-y enough for me, and the bergamot that is there just adds astringency and combines with the herby lavender in a not-great way in the aftertaste. My rating on this one started out higher but I kept dropping it as I progressed through the cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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51

I’ve discovered that Pilot truck stops are one of the few gas stations (the only one I’ve found, really) to offer non-Lipton tea bags. When I’m on the road I sometimes want a little caffeine boost from a tea, and while I’m not expecting much, it’s pleasant to find pyramid sachets of tea. They actually have a variety of sachets, and I picked up a handful of them on my recent road trip, not for drinking on the road but for trying out later (who has the control over steeping parameters to brew a white tea on the road?). Who knows how old these are, since I don’t know what kind of tea turnover a truck stop in western Maryland has, but I thought I’d give it a go.

Anyway, this was one I grabbed because, orange chocolate, right? I love those flavors together. Dry, the sachet smells like green tea and ginger with a hint of orange, and those flavors pretty much bear out in the brewed tea. I brewed it for a bit longer than it said on the packet because of suggestions on Steepster, but still it’s primarily a very light green tea with some ginger notes (not very strong, but there). As it cools I get maybe a little orange, but no chocolate. Oh well. Disappointing, but then again, I bought it at a truck stop!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °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.
89-86: 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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