1914 Tasting Notes

73
drank Almond Cookie by Joy's Teaspoon
1914 tasting notes

Another free sample from Joy’s Teaspoon was this tisane, which I had to try because I love all thing almond. The instructions for this brew called for a lot of tea per water (2 tsp/6oz), so I ended up using the whole sample for my 12oz Kati cup. During the long steep of 10 minutes, my office started smelling like a bakerie. Wow does this tea smell mind blowingly good. Like a cinnamon bun, or a snickerdoodle, or those sugar encrusted almonds they sell at fairs, or just a bunch of sugary, cinnamony goodness. Yum. The brewed liquor is bright red, which was surprising, although I guess that’s the beetroot.

So what does it taste like? Sweet, and a little fruity-tart, like a cinnamon-covered dehydrated apple ring. Yeah, I’m getting a lot of apple out of it. It’s certainly delicious, and the aroma of roasted sugar-covered almonds is present, but it doesn’t seem like the main event for me. Would I order it? There’s a good chance of that, but as delicious sweet apple cinnamon baked good tisane, not so much as an almond tea.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
ifjuly

Yeah, exactly! I just tried it for the first time and this was pretty much exactly how I felt word for word about it, at least at first.

(Sorry this is a zillion years later. I’m new. Just have a hard time keeping me vigorous head nodding to myself when I react to a tea in a way none of the first reviews here I read seem to, then find the one that does, ha.)

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83
drank Earl Grey by Joy's Teaspoon
1914 tasting notes

I got a package of free samples from Joy’s Teaspoon, which is totally awesome! And as I am on my quest for the perfect Earl Grey, I of course had to request theirs to try. I feel like I’ve been getting all kinds of fancy Earl Greys lately, and this one is just a pure, simple, straight up Earl Grey.

It certainly has a strong bergamot smell in the dry leaves, and the brewed tea is quite nice! At first I was concerned about bitterness, which I am so sensative to, and thought maybe I’d have to brew at a slightly lower temperature next time, but as I am drinking the flavors have sorted themselves out into the astringent, strong, but not bitter bergamot, and a bold black tea with a lot of body and depth of flavor. This is quite a nice Earl Grey!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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20
drank Lavender Earl Grey by Tea District
1914 tasting notes

I got a new tea pot for home from Tea District, and while I was there I had to pick up a sample of this tea. I’m a fan of Earl Grey, and I love the smell of lavender; plus, this one advertised a hint of jasmine, which I also adore. The aroma of the dry leaves is fantastic, very strongly smelling of lavender with citrus as well. The steeped tea matches remarkably well; the aroma is almost identical. It smells almost sweet, though there’s no actual sweetness in the flavor of the tea. This tea tastes like an Earl Grey with a heavy overlayer of lavender, but the lavender doesn’t overwhelm the EG. I don’t get a distinct jasmine note, but I have a feeling it’s contributing to the overall floral aroma and taste. I steeped this one a little short of the instructions (4 minutes), since I usually steep black teas I haven’t tried for 3 minutes, but this one doesn’t seem like it’s going to get bitter with more steeping. There really isn’t a hint of bitterness, so I’ll probably go ahead and steep it for 4 minutes next time, which should further bring out the flavors.

This is my first lavender Earl Grey, which I had suspected that I would really like. Turns out I was right, I really love this flavor combination. There’s something about lavender and bergamot that is so similar and complementary to me. This tea brings them together very well. Fortunately Tea District often has groupons, because I think I’ll be ordering more of this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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41
drank Green Mango Peach by Tea Forte
1914 tasting notes

What is it about some flavored green teas that just get this medicinal taste to them? I certainly have some flavored greens that I love, but they definitely seem tricky to get right.

I got four single steep packets of this tea with my Kati cup. I haven’t brewed it up in a while, but I don’t remember it tasting quite as strange before. Even just opening the packet I was hit by a strong aroma that didn’t really appeal to me, and the taste seems to match it pretty well. I don’t really get mango at all, but I think I’m getting peach; I don’t really taste much of the green tea. Over every thing is a slightly medicinal flavor, like its mentholated. I feel like this one would be good if I was sick! I think the medicinal flavor might actually be part of the peach. Overall it’s not too bad, but it’s not something I’ll be craving.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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93

Now this is a powerfully chocolatey chocolate tea. I am such a big fan of this tea, being a huge lover of chocolate and almonds. This tea never fails to bring comments from the people around me about it’s aroma when I brew it. Just now, someone came into my office from the hall to ask if the “cocoa-licious” smell was my “choco-tea”. Everyone loves the aroma of this tea, and people will ask if I’m drinking hot chocolate.

This tea doesn’t get super dark when brewed, having an orangey-maroon-brown shade. The flavor is fantastic: chocolate is the main note, but toasted almond comes through as well. It’s brings not just almond but a general nuttiness to the tea. There’s an overall “roasty” flavor to this one as well; almost like the toasted marshmallow and chocolate of a s’more. Just an overall fantastic tea with a strong, well-blended flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

I picked this tea up ages ago on a whim at Ikea because I love rhubarb, and it was on sale. Brewed up the tea is a deep reddish brown, and it has a pleasant aroma and flavor. It’s nothing truly outstanding, but certainly a nice cup when I’d like a fruity black tea that’s not berry-flavored. So many fruit black teas seemed based in berries, so this is a nice departure. The rhubarb doesn’t make the tea tart, and I have a feeling that the vanilla assists with giving it a smooth and somewhat creamy taste, as it keeps a low profile otherwise. Not a tea I’ll reach for all the time, but a solid, tasty tea nonetheless. Oh, and I’m not sure what the sell-by date on this bag was, but I’m certain I’m way past it and the tea is still flavorful. Then again I have a jasmine tea I bought in China 7 years ago and I still think it tastes fantastic, so what do I know. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Valentine's Blend by Harney & Sons
1914 tasting notes

I am sad because when I ordered this tea I only ordered a tagalong tin to try, and now this is my second to last sachet. I am really loving this tea. I love a chocolate black tea where the chocolate flavor is deep and complex, and this one fits the bill. Some chocolate teas scream milk chocolate (and smell like you might be having a cup of hot cocoa!), and I certainly love those teas too, but this one is a darker, nuttier, almost a more savory (as long as you don’t add sugar that is) chocolate. I love the hint of rose layered on top, and the solid, delicious tea base that comes through. It’s a Valentines blend but I could drink this any time. I will definitely have to order more of this when I next order from Harney!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1914 tasting notes

This was an experiment: I have a sample pouch of this tea that I ordered online, and when I brew it, I would always get a faint hint of bitterness, even at 3 minutes steeping time, which was disappointing. I got a tin of sachets at the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival, though, and when I brew them, I have no bitterness problems. So, in attempts to figure out the difference, this time I cut open the sachet and brewed it in my Kati cup like I had been doing with the sample. Four minutes steeping, no bitterness. However, I measured the tea in the sachet with my “1 cup of perfect tea” spoon, and it was about 1.5 scoops. I’d been putting two in, so perhaps that’s my problem? I guess I’ll have to have another cup of Paris tea with the sample to test my hypothesis!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

I like your scientific method :)

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68
drank Maté by Argo Tea
1914 tasting notes

This is a toasted maté, which means it has none of the vegetal, bitter tastes of a straight up maté. I first got this tea in an Argo store in Chicago when I used to live there years ago, and I always enjoyed this tea, either unadultered or in their “maté latté”. When I moved away from Chicago I brought a couple of bags with me, and I opened the second one today. The aroma is still powerful and fresh since the bag had been sealed against air for that time.

This toasted maté also has toasted cocoa bits, almond, and cornflowers in the mix, but they’re hard to see amongst the brown chip-like pieces of maté. It has a relatively long brew time, and brews up a dark brown liquor that almost looks like coffee. The major flavor is hard for me to describe: it’s warm, nutty and distinctly roasted. There’s an almondy flavor that comes through, but don’t expect marzipan here, this is a toasted almond that melds well into the maté itself. The toasted cocoa isn’t distinct, and I think it’s providing some background and depth of flavor more than a separate note. I really enjoy this maté; the flavor is complex and you get different hints of each element in each sip. It’s a great winter tea because the roasty aroma and flavor is so comforting and warming.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Chinese Flower by Harney & Sons
1914 tasting notes

I was let down by my earlier fruity-sweet green tea experience today, but I still was craving something like it, so I decided to try this tea instead. Right away, the aroma of the leaves is so much nicer to me, smelling of lemony goodness like a lemon drop candy. While it was steeping the green tea aroma started coming through. Ahhh, this tea is delicious. I do really love a citrus flavored tea. Its easy to overpower a green tea with fruit flavors; the right balance is key. This makes a lovely green tea with a refreshing, bright flavor.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 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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