1914 Tasting Notes

86

I have not had this tea before, and I’m looking forward to trying it in comparison to some of the lower grades thanks to my samples from Teavivre.

I think I should probably be steeping these dragonwells at slightly different parameters (for me), but I wanted to still brew this one at the same parameters as the others for equal assessment. I will say, this one brewed up much milder and sweeter at these parameters than the others did.

I get the same buttery goodness from this one, but instead of spinach I think it’s closer to asparagus in the green flavor. Still, the lowest grade is the nuttiest. The higher grades get fresher and greener. This is quite lovely. Glad to have been able to try all of these teas! Now I’ll have to try them out with short steeps at home sometime.

Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Sugarcane

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Orchard Spice by Verdant Tea
1914 tasting notes

When I swapped with OMGsrsly a while ago I asked for a sample of this tea, but she couldn’t find it and/or was out of it. But apparently she found some because she sent me a surprise sample of it! Thanks!

Despite the unseasonality of it, I am drinking this fall-themed tea this summer afternoon. Overall, pretty tasty. There are definitely nice apple spice notes in this, although I admit that I don’t really taste the tea itself. The white tea I can imagine being swamped by this, but I would have thought the Zhu Rong would make an appearance. It’s tasty enough but I don’t think it will go on my have-to-have list. Thanks for the sample OMGsrsly!

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

Yay, you got it! :)

OMGsrsly

It was hiding flat underneath some other teas. I knew I had some, and felt so bad when I couldn’t find it.

Dinosara

Thanks so much for the surprise package, it was fun! :D

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85

Next grade up in my samples from Teavivre! I would have assumed that I’ve had a previous harvest of this tea before but I can’t find prior tasting notes so I guess not!

At first when it was still very hot I found this tea surprisingly underwhelming. It was kind of flat and uninteresting in the first few sips, but luckily that changed as it started cooling. I find this tea “greener” and less nutty than the Premium grade. Perhaps even a faint hint of a floral. I think I might prefer the Premium! But they are so close that it is hard to really say. Maybe I will have to have a dragonwell-off one day. Regardless I am enjoying the fresh green teas!

Flavors: Butter, Peas, Spinach

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

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92
drank Coconut Oolong by SOKO Tea House
1914 tasting notes

Yay, a tea from my surprise package from OMGsrsly! And she put the samples in tiny individual bags that are one serving each. Such ease!

I love a good coconut pouchong/baozhong, so I am always up for trying a different company’s offerings. They are usually all similar but some stand out. This is a standout! It is one of these coconut pouchongs that tastes intensely like a coconut macaroon. Sweet, baked coconut and meringue cookies. YUM. Thanks for the samples of this one OMGsrsly, it is delicious!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cookie, Sugar

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

Yay! This is my favourite, but they recently put it into their clearance bin and I am full of sad.

Dinosara

Oh noes! Stock up now? Have you tried Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong? This is closest to it of the ones I’ve tasted.

OMGsrsly

They finally got back to me! Apparently they pack up a few bags of random teas and discount them to encourage people to try new tea. :) So PHEW.

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85

Next tea from my Teavivre samples! I received three types of Dragonwell so I decided to start with the lowest grade (assuming the grading goes Premium–Superfine–Nonparil). Like the rest of these samples, I’ve tried Teavivre’s offering of this before, but it’s always nice to taste new, fresh harvests, especially of green teas.

This time I am getting a lot of nice buttery and nutty flavor, but there is definitely a slightly harsh vegetal note to it. Perhaps I oversteeped it a bit as well. I think in the future I would go for a shorter steep when using the whole sample pack in my mug. Still, a nice dragonwell that features all the things I normally look for in this type of tea.

Flavors: Butter, Nuts, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Alphonso Mango by Lupicia
1914 tasting notes

Welp, that was fast. I’ve forgotten how fast I go through black teas when making cold brews (using about double the leaf), since I’ve figured out that I like green teas cold brewed at a more normal leaf-to-water ratio and I’ve been drinking a lot of cold brew green teas. But I started cold brewing this one and now it’s gone!

It was super delicious as a cold brew. I’ve found that many of Lupicia’s teas, especially the fruity black teas, make excellent cold brews, and in the future I may have to keep some of them around for only that purpose (if I ever run out of teas I want to “use up” by cold brewing). This would definitely be one to re-order. Mango-y and refreshing.

Flavors: Mango

Preparation
Iced
Dustin

I’m planning on hitting a Lupicia store tomorrow. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one and give it a whiff!

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92

My samples of the new spring harvest of green teas from Teavivre finally arrived yesterday! I picked through them this morning and pulled a pouch of this tea out to have first because this was my favorite of last year’s harvest.

Mmm, there are few things like a really fresh green tea for spring. It’s kind of amazing. And this Huang Shan Mao Feng is just delicious. One thing I love is the intense notes of buttery chestnuts in this. Those are what first hits you, followed by the fresh green flavor of crisp snap peas. There is a light sweetness that grows as you drink the cup. I was glancing through some of the new flavors, and I liked sugarcane as a possibility because when you chew on sugarcane it’s not just sweet, it’s got a planty-ness to it as well from the cane. The sweetness isn’t as intense, but it has the same quality to it.

Definitely still love this one and glad to have some of it again!

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Peas, Sugarcane

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

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84
drank Royal Abkhazi by Silk Road
1914 tasting notes

I’ve finally gotten through all the Verdant Blends club blends (save one herbal) that I’m going to try, which means I’ve finally gotten through my cupboard for reals. And this is a sipdown of my sample from OMGsrsly, so I’m actually below 120 (momentarily).

Even though the recommended steep parameters have a much lower leaf to water ratio than normal, this tea is just as tasty steeped to my normal ratio too. No bitterness, no astringency. The base is somewhat different (not sure what it is), but it’s pleasant and robust without being too overwhelming or bitter. There is perhaps less vanilla when steeped at full strength; I have to admit I forgot this was supposed to be an Earl Grey Cream of sorts. But it is tasty anyway, and a nice way to start the day.

Flavors: Bergamot, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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78

So, this tea. I was a little apprehensive about this tea because although I love tieguanyin and I love sarsparilla, the smell of the dry leaf was a bit off-putting. So much fennel, why?? Also I was unsure about hot root beer (essentially).

But brewed up, it’s much nicer. Not so much fennel. It reminds me a touch of Master Zhang’s Genmaicha in the scent, but it’s not so toasty in the flavor. At first it mainly tastes like tieguanyin, but as it cools, the distinctive note of sarsparilla makes itself known. I don’t mind it hot, actually. It’s not a blend I would want to buy more of, but I also won’t have trouble drinking it up. Just wish the fennel was absent.

BTW, I got an email recently saying that my flavor suggestions (from ages ago) have been added to the database, and I’ve noticed a ton more flavors lately!

Flavors: Butter, Sarsaparilla, Toasted, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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55

This tea is the perfect example of why I didn’t continue the blends club. White Peony Bouquet sounds like something I would like, and initially the ingredients seemed to confirm that: white tea, roses, marigold… check… then we get to peppermint? why?? plus lemongrass?? (citrus and mint are two things that should never go together in my mind) and then top the whole thing off with star anise… blech! The dry tea smells like licorice and mint. Note that I plucked the star anise out of my brew basket before steeping.

After steeping it does not smell pleasant. It’s familiar but I can’t place it. Over cooked spinach? Like really cooked into the ground so it gets that super vegetal sour smell? That’s what this smells like. I think it’s the mint and lemongrass working together. I can almost pick them apart in the aroma, but they are also blending in an odd way. It’s hard for me to take a sip.

Yeah, this tea is super not for me. White tea can be hit or miss for me as it is, and the mint and lemongrass do NOT bring out the flavors I like in this. Also it still tastes faintly like licorice. For those concerned about rose: don’t worry, it’s undetectable (rose seems to be a flavor that can get overwhelmed by others easily). I will say, for those who enjoy licorice, mint, and lemongrass, this would probably be good. But this tea for me can be summed up by this gif: http://www.reactiongifs.com/nope-nope-nope-octopus/

I know that was a super ringing endorsement, but if anyone wants this it’s going into my stash sales post.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
mj

I love that ocotopus reaction gif. I’ve seen it before and will probably be stealing it :-)

mj

*octopus

keychange

I agree about mint and citrus not going well together.

Mandy

Ew, there’s a reason you’re supposed to drink your orange juice before brushing your teeth in the morning. Citrus and mint are like mortal enemies, and mix that with licorice, bleh! Sounds like a tea they purposefully tried to make gross, haha.

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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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