2031 Tasting Notes

86

Sipdown, 123. Gongfu session of the day. This was such a lovely jasmine tea. I had a ton of steeps of this, all of them delicious. I don’t feel like it is more extraordinary than other pearl-type jasmine teas, but it is tasty. And those twists are quite cute.

Bonnie

This tea is beautiful!

Stephanie

I want the verdant special club! Maybe for Christmas…

Sil

It doesn’t exist anymore Stephanie. Instead you can buy those teas under “reserve.” The Blends tea of the month replaced it.

Stephanie

Ohhhhhh :)

Sil

haha it’s better this way..that way everyone can share in the reserve teas :) plus i know you’re getting the blends monthly thing heh

Terri HarpLady

This is a really lovely tea, no doubt about it.

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81

Sipdown, 124. With a short steep time, a cool temp, and a moderately small amount of leaves, this tea works pretty well for me. It is quite fruity, slightly sweet, and moderately floral. There is also somewhat of a grain-like quality to this tea; not really malty, but slightly like toasted oats. Not my favorite Taiwanese black tea, but a pretty decent one when you get the parameters right.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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89

Thanks to Teavivre for this sample. I actually tried this tea last night in a gongfu session but did not write about it because I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. See, it was really quite bland and uninteresting. Kind of vegetal, but otherwise I couldn’t get much flavor out of it. Perhaps I should have used a smaller brewing vessel, but I dunno.

So, I decided to do a western steep of this. Mash all the flavors together and see what comes out, haha. Unfortunately for me this is still sort of uninteresting. It SMELLS divine. Floral, buttery, creamy. But the flavor falls flat. It is so light, barely there. Slightly floral, a bit vegetal; very similar to the gongfu steeps last night. Perhaps I’m just not one for Ali Shans (I’ve never been wild for them in the past). Other people rave about the flavors in this one so I think it must just be me. I have one more sample pouch of this; perhaps I will try it in a gaiwan session with it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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88

Mmm, now this is a yunnan tea I can get behind. Sweet and a bit nutty, with hay and squash notes. Malty and sweet potato-y. This is one of those teas that I enjoyed so much that I drank it down without thinking about it too much, and it was suddenly gone before I was ready. Thanks for sending this one along, Sil!

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

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86
drank Qing Pin Black Tea by Yezi Tea
2031 tasting notes

Sipdown, 125. Thanks again to Yezi Tea for this sample.

I brewed this one a bit longer this time to try to bring out the richness in it, but I think I would have been better off with a higher leaf-to-water ratio. It was still quite tasty, but perhaps not as sweet and nuanced as my previous cup. The added boldness also came with a slight rough-around-the-edges quality. I still really enjoyed my cup, though!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
2031 tasting notes

Another tea from Sil! Thanks! I never picked up this one from DF because although I love rhubarb, I am not huge on strawberry-flavored things (I do love fresh strawberries).

This one was less successful for me than many other Dammann teas that I’ve tried. Not sure why; there was almost something weird about the base blend, which usually is invariant across their teas. It had almost a hint of astringency to it, which it never has. Maybe the tartness of the rhubarb was messing with my mind? That said the flavoring is definitely well done in my opinion, with nice authentic strawberry and rhubarb flavors. Glad I never picked up a full pack of this one, but I wasn’t really in danger of doing that anyway. It does help me toward what seems to be my quest to try all of DF’s teas, though, haha.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Kenyan Black by Justea
2031 tasting notes

Sipdown, 126. I drank the last of my sample pouch of this today. I do still have two individual small samples of this, but those are the spread-the-world “gift” pouches that I am supposed to pass on to others, so I will save them for future swaps, and I am counting this as a sipdown.

I had it with a bit of maple syrup, which was divine. I still think I probably shouldn’t drink assams (Kenyan teas being the C. sinensis assamica varietal of the tea bush) on a nearly empty stomach (with just some cereal) because my stomach wasn’t too happy with me after a pot of this. Still, it was quite tasty. Thanks again to JusTea for this sample… I just saw that they have some neat Christmas gifts on their site now, if you missed the crowdsourcing campaign they had earlier!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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My tea consumption is going to be kind of limited for the next three weeks as I try to get down to my Black Friday goal. Fortunately, there is a lot of great tea in that limited list of about 36 teas. This is one of them. Usual caveats apply: traditional TGYs aren’t my favorite, and I greatly prefer the super-green gande versions.

That said, I have been appreciating these traditional TGYs more and more. This one was quite tasty. Roasty but not too roasty, lightly sweet, slightly fruity. It got more and more vegetal as the steeps progressed, so I didn’t take it out a ton of steeps. But I did enjoy this one this afternoon.

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74
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
2031 tasting notes

This is the last of my Kusmi blends from the sampler that I have to get rid of. I am not big on the Kusmi base but I discovered I liked it better cold brewed. However, this one has spices in it, and it was not tasty cold brewed. Oh well.

So I’m having it with milk and sugar right now. It’s ok. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. It’s kind of like a citrusy chai. Three more servings of this one to sip down.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

The best thing about Kusmi are their tins. :)

Angrboda

Perhaps you can temper it a bit by blending it with a plain black tea that you like better. I’ve found I can get rid of high-grown Ceylons that I was unaware were high-grown at the point of purchase that way. Of course in this case it might mess with the flavouring somewhat.

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20
drank Earl Grey Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2031 tasting notes

Sipdown, 127. Lala’s notes on this reminded me that this has been languishing in my freezer ever since that first fateful time. I finally got around to trying it again.

I think it’s funny that there are very polar review on here. I LOVE bergamot, and usually cannot get enough of it, but at least at the robust flavoring level, this is nasty. I could hardly bring myself to take a sip. It still smells, and tastes, like cleaning solution. Bleh. No thanks.

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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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