1917 Tasting Notes

90

When I first started drinking this one it was a bit underwhelming. I mean, it was tasty enough, but not overwhelmingly awesome. But then it became overwhelmingly awesome as it cooled. Sooooo naturally sweet, like honey and caramel. And despite Yezi’s description of this tea, not a hint of bitterness. A super smooth and delicious chocolatey tea. I am definitely pleased with my selection of this one! I honestly drank up the cup so quickly (and while working) that I didn’t really pay super close attention to it. But I will with my next cup and try to write a more detailed review. This one may have to go on my to-reorder list!

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

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83

Thanks to Teavivre for a sample of this tea. I am excited to try Teavivre’s new Taiwanese high mountain oolongs; this one I had a gongfu session with this afternoon.

The first steep was light and floral, slightly buttery and a hint of sugary sweetness. In the second and third steeps, more of the vegetal flavor came out, spinachy and generally leafy. Also the sweetness abated, leaving mostly floral and vegetal. As I have noticed with Taiwanese high mountain oolongs in the past, this is crisp and clean, without the really buttery and fruity notes that characterize tieguanyins. I tried each steep then dumped the remainder into one cup to drink later. It’s more floral and a touch sweeter when all are combined, but otherwise pretty similar to the individual steeps. This is a very nice example of these high mountain oolongs, nicely fresh and floral.

Also I had only one pack of this so sipdown, 137. Thanks again to Teavivre for the sample.

TeaVivre

This tea is grown in the area at the altitude of 2500 meters, in which the climate is cold and forests grow well. Thus the tea leaves carry a natural scent of flower and fruit. After brewed, the tea liquid is clean, bright and light, with high and strong floral aroma, refreshing and fragrant; has obvious sweet aftertaste and long-lasting flavor.

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drank Pumpkin Spice Black Tea by Chado
1917 tasting notes

Sipdown, 138. Nope, this one was no better brewed strong with milk and sugar. I think it is just very old, to say nothing of what it would have been like when it was new. Well, glad to be rid of it.

Tina

Pumpkin tea. WOW! can’t even imagine the taste in my mouth when I thin about it.

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72

Sipdown, 139. Thanks to Sil for this sample. Another assam, haha. I tried this straight first, did a quick nope, and added milk and sugar. I have come to the realization that I was correct in my assessment that assams are, in general, not for me. Too “brisk”, too “robust”. Taiwanese assams often are the exception to that rule, but I am generally not much for teas from the Indian subcontinent in general. Ah well.

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

at least you know now…well have a better idea :)

Dinosara

Yes, I’m very glad to have gotten all these samples from you… Always gotta try it out!

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75
drank Pumpkin Spice Brulee by Teavana
1917 tasting notes

I was out near a Teavana and remembered that I wanted to get a to-go cup of this one to try it out. It sounded promising for a Teavana blend, and every once in a while they come out with a blend that I love.

This was pretty tasty but a little boring. It was mostly “pumpkin pie spice” with a hint of sweetness from the caramel (I got the tea unsweetened), but no real pumpkin to speak of. Also not so much oolong flavor, although perhaps that is not surprising given how far down on the ingredients list it is. This one wasn’t a winner for me but it was still a decent cup for the evening.

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90

Sipdown, 140. I overleafed this one a tad, but it still turned out pretty well. If anything the bergamot was a bit overly strong (and if I’m saying that, you know it must be way strong), but it mellowed as it cooled. Not too sad because I ordered more of this through the crowd funding campaign. A nice, well balanced Earl.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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82

Argh, Steepster ate my note! Well shoot. Thanks to Sil for this tea. Long story short: I found this to be a nice tea. The fruit flavoring was authentic, the caramel light but smooth, the green tea base inoffensive. I’m not in love, but I do enjoy the cup. I’m not much on flavored greens these days except in some circumstances, but I found this one to be very nice.

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

I will admit to writing all my tasting notes in a gmail draft; that’s how lazy I am. No rewrites, ever.

Stephanie

Smart idea Anna…it’s the WORST when you write an awesome note and Steepster eats it!

Dinosara

My laziness extends the other direction… I can’t be bothered to write it somewhere else and transfer it, haha. Sometimes when Steepster is being fussy I will copy the text before I hit submit, but when it’s generally behaving I never remember to do so.

Anna

Oh, well, then I guess it’s just my inflated ego. ‘I wrote this. This is ART. It must not be lost to the world!’

Dinosara

Maybe you just value your time more than I value mine, haha. :D

Anna

Considering the extreme wordiness of my tasting notes, I would say that’s highly doubtful…

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drank Kitsuki First Flush by Creha Tea
1917 tasting notes

Sipdown, 141. Thanks to Yunomi.us for this free sample of a Japanese black tea.

As with my other sample from Yunomi, this sample was composed largely of tiny tea pieces and a lot of dust. I filtered out a lot of the dust before brewing. I also was cautious with my steeping parameters out of fear of it going bitter on me.

Steeped, it smells remarkably like the Taiwanese black tea I had recently. Very fruity, sweet, with a honeyed mead-like note. It smells pretty good considering I am not usually one for fruity black teas. However, I took a sip and you should have seen the horrific face I made. This is perhaps the most bitter tea I have ever had the displeasure of putting in my mouth. The extreme of bitter. It may be the most bitter thing I have ever tried. The bitterness is still lingering in the recesses of my mouth, coating my tongue. As it’s fading it kind of reminds me of grapefruit rind, but worse. I will not be taking another sip. I do think this may be more to do with the low quality of the sample rather than the tea itself, but I will never know.

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

eww, bummer

Dinosara

Yeah I think it was exacerbated by the huge difference in smell versus taste. I feel like I can often “smell” bitterness in a tea, but not in this one!

stellis

I bought a 1.41 oz tin of this same tea and found the same flavors, but no bitterness. It wasn’t that flavorful to me. I liked it well enough, but won’t order again. I think you’re right that the sample was the issue.

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69

Soooo yeah, this tea. I had it earlier today but I wasn’t really taken with it. This is a super earthy Yunnan, and I can see how puerh lovers would enjoy it. There was a light sweetness here, a bit of hay-ishness, and a decent helping of earth. I have enough for one more cup of this so I will try to write a more thorough review with that one. Thanks, Sil, for sending it along!

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

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86
drank Qing Pin by Yezi Tea
1917 tasting notes

Finally getting around to trying one of the samples that I ordered from Yezi Tea! Of course whenever people start raving about a Chinese black tea on Steepster, I know I need to try it, especially when its a type that I’ve never tried before.

This one definitely smells tasty. It actually smells a bit like the Laoshan Black Genmaicha, like toasted rice/grains, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. When it was still pretty hot it was a tasty but not too exciting cup of black tea, but as it cools it definitely becomes sweeter and more chocolatey. This one definitely reminds me of LB with more toasted grains in the flavor. I think this is one of those Chinese black teas that does well with a fair lot of leaf when brewed western style, so I may reduce the amount of water for the remainder of my sample. Or maybe just steep it really long… I have a feeling it will just get rich and lovely. Definitely a very tasty tea!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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