1943 Tasting Notes

69

You know there’s that current discussion on the numerical scoring teas going on now (when you’ve been around as long as I have, you’ve seen it pop up several times), where people are like, if you know in advance that you don’t like the flavors in a tea, why are you drinking it?

Here’s one reason: I got a free sample of this tea with my Instant Thé order. I am not the biggest fan of lavender in my teas, and have had some truly awful ones, but I will always try a tea out just to see if the flavor is well done by someone. This is an interesting one as well because it’s not just lavender, it’s lavender and orange and lemon and cinnamon. My boyfriend insists it smells altogether like ginger and I can kind of see where he’s coming from, even though there’s no ginger in this tea.

I brewed this a boiling before I realized it was a black/dark oolong blend, but hopefully it’s a robust enough oolong to take it. What an interestingly odd tea! Honestly I think the cinnamon saves it for me. It provides just enough spice to really cut through the lavender and keep it from being soapy. The citrus also provides a bit of an edge to the sip. It’s just an odd mix and hard to really pin down. This is totally not a flavor combo that I will ever go for again, but it’s not as bad as I feared.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
K S

There was fellow so desperately trying to sell stocks of lavender flowers, at the farmers market, that he was actually giving them away. I honestly couldn’t get near him. I like flowers but that stuff is way too bathroom spray for my nose. BUT if I found a sample in my stash, I would brew it up and rate it. Who knows maybe I might find a miracle in a pouch.

gmathis

Next time I have an envelope headed your way, I’ll put some in it. Wouldn’t recommend it straight up, but is a nice blender-inner.

K S

What do you blender-in? Gonna make me live up to my words eh? lol

gmathis

Actually, it’s not bad with tulsi or chamomile. Haven’t attempted it with black tea, but now that you mention it….

Ruby Woo Scarlett

That’s a really harsh question – samples need to be drunk and I’ve ordered teas online that sound like they’d blow all the others out of the water and ended up with an insipid cup.
I love lavender but the black/oolong base sounds like an odd pairing with lavender, or perhaps it’s just me. I think I’ve only had it with a white base.

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82

Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample. I requested this one because it is new and it’s a green oolong. A note of personal preferences: typically I don’t LOVE osmanthus oolongs, but I do enjoy them quite a lot. They are tasty teas to drink but I don’t swoon over them usually.

I followed Teavivre’s steeping directions on this one, and it seemed pretty done after a minute so I pulled the leaves instead of letting it go for two. It smells nicely floral and sweet, with lovely osmanthus notes. The flavor is sweetish, with slighty spinachy bottom notes and a thick floral flavor over all. This is an extremely floral tea, so if you are not down with florals you are probably better off giving this one a pass. If you do like florals, however, this is a nice example of an osmanthus oolong.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Shelley_Lorraine

I describe myself as anti-floral when I don’t have time to explain details, but osmanthus has yet to be a floral that offends me. Not that I love it, but I wouldn’t say no to a cup. :)

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87

I actually had this one once before, but it was when my water was kind of off so I never even logged it. Now I feel like I can write an accurate review. Thanks so much to Angel and Teavivre for the sample!

I decided to brew this how I usually brew jasmine pearls, which ended up using half the sample pouch for my 12 oz mug. The dry tea looks just like jasmine pearls but smells delightfully peachy. Steeped, the aroma is similar… peach, with a hint of floral jasmine behind it. I do mean a hint, though, as peach is the dominant aroma. It is kind of more peach juice than fresh peaches, but it’s not really candy. The flavor is nice and fresh, with strong peach and light jasmine. The overall sense I get from it is less peach and jasmine than peach blossoms. Floral peaches, really. It works well for me and I definitely enjoy the combo.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

peach/jasmine sounds divine!

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90
drank Noël à Venise by Dammann Freres
1943 tasting notes

When I first got my pile of Dammann teas my boyfriend said I couldn’t drink this one (and another) because it’s not Christmas. What I have to say to that is :P. Also there is nothing particularly Christmassy about lemon meringue and toffee too me, but I have never spent Christmas in Venice.

I could immediately smell the lemon meringue and the toffee from the dry leaf. Brewed, this definitely reminded me of another tea I’ve had. It took me a minute, but then I realized that the flavor combo was very similar to Harney’s Indian Nimbu: lemon and caramel. At one point I loved that one but then darjeelings fell out of favor with me. This, however, has no darjeeling, so I am optimistic.

Yeah, I’m pleased with this one. It’s lemony and caramelly, and I like the base on it. I wouldn’t say I get a distinct lemon meringue, but the whole thing has a creamy flavor that I guess fits with that idea. All in all a tasty tea, although I would agree that it doesn’t quite “pop” for me for some reason. I mean, it’s delicious, but I’m not swooning. Still, I will happily be drinking the rest of this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

I love the name of this one! I would love to spend Christmas in Venice. Though from what you said, I dunno if it would evoke Venice to me.

Dinosara

Yeah, having been to Venice myself I’m not sure what’s particularly Venitien about this tea, but sometimes tea names are kind of silly. :)

Ysaurella

you loved this one more than I even if you’re not swooning.
I should think about swapping this one.

Tea Sipper

I tend not to like Darjeeling, but I LOVED the Indian Nimbu… that you happened to send me. :D

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85

I can’t believe that I’m still the only person who has reviewed this tea. I guess it’s still pretty new! I had a cup of this earlier, this time my water was for sure fine. The tea did turn out a bit fuller and more nuanced than last time. Incidentally I used half my sample pouch in a 12oz mug, and brewed at the recommended temp.

This is quite a nicely done scented tea, as I would expect from Teavivre. It’s also been done with a deft hand; the rose is subtle but present enough that you know you are drinking a rose tea. But really it is more like a pleasant accompaniment to the dian hong. The dian hong is on the earthy side of things, with light notes of sweet potato. The whole cup was slightly sweet from the dian hong. For me, I tend to favor the not-so-earthy dian hongs, so the black base totally my style, but it is a lovely tea nonetheless. I will definitely enjoy the rest of my sample pouches.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
El Monstro

I’ve noticed this tea a few times on their site, will probably order some sooner or later…haven’t met a rose tea I didnt like, especially iced.

Ruby Woo Scarlett

The sweet potato notes are very intriguing! I’ve never tried dian hong, perhaps I should.

Dinosara

One of the most sweet potato-y dian hongs I’ve tried was Teavivre’s Dian Hong Golden Tip. Quite sweet and delicious! It would be a good one to try out.

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Will do, I see they offer samples!

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86
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
1943 tasting notes

Backlog from earlier today. I bought this one a while ago and it’s one of those teas I just hadn’t broken into. Well, it got opened today. This tea is super hyper melony. It really is like a very ripe melon… it would possibly border on candy-ish if I had ever actually had fake melon flavoring, which I have not. But it’s not really fakey, just sweet and intense. I really enjoy this one for an extremely fruity, tasty tea.

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

Yummmm.

Stephanie

You have the best tea stash! Everything you drink sounds good to me :)

Dinosara

I think I sent you some of Lupicia’s Pineapple oolong once right, Stephanie? This is in the same vein, so you’d probably like it!

Stephanie

Yes! I loved the pineapple oolong :D

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82

Backlog from this morning. I like the four red fruits combo of flavors, but it’s not one of those flavors I have to keep around. I’m not sure if I’ve had Dammann’s regular four red fruits (note: it appears that I have not), but I decided to throw 50g of this into my Instant Thé order to help get me up to free shipping. It’s actually red fruits plus vanilla.

This one smelled nicely of red fruits and perhaps a hint of vanilla. The flavor was very similar… this was a nice red fruits tea, but I didn’t get a ton of vanilla from it. Of course it is still delicious, but not super special. Still I won’t have any problem drinking this one up, it just likely will not be a repurchase.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
1943 tasting notes

Backlog from this morning. I love hazelnut spreads and liqueur, and even though I’ve fallen out of love with Harney’s Florence and have had only mediocre luck with nutty teas lately, I ordered some of this because it sounded so tasty. Unlike the typical pairing of chocolate and hazelnut, this is vanilla and hazelnut!

Man, I’m glad I ordere some because this is delicious. The hazelnut really reminds me of Frangelico, and these awesome hazelnut creme candies I made with Frangelico last Christmas. The vanilla is sweet and creamy and a tiny bit caramelized-tasting. And the tea base on this one really complements the nuttiness. Definitely very pleased with this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

oh man…frangelico! you’re killing me! haha

Ruby Woo Scarlett

This sounds amazing! I must try this. I’m trying to imagine the combo of vanilla and hazelnut and it seems delicious to me. I’ve just received an order from Dammann and hadn’t even seen this one :(

Dinosara

It might be one that is kind of buried on their site, but I have found it on there before. I ordered this one from a third party reseller.

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88
drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
1943 tasting notes

I decided this herbaceous blend could be a good one for my still somewhat oniony breath. I certainly don’t want to try any new teas today and risk flavor contamination.

This is quite nice, as usual. I really love Verdants TGY blends, partly because I really love their TGYs. But David has such a deft hand with flavoring, and I really think it comes out in these blends. The frankincense is odd but its uniqueness is part of what makes this tea memorable. I always look forward to seeing what he will think up next.

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

Hi Dinosara, I’m curious if you’ve tried any of teaspring’s TGY, and in general would like to know what you think of the unscented varieties.
Ps please don’t fall off the wagon on account of this enquiry :)

Dinosara

I haven’t tried Teaspring’s, but I do love unscented/unflavored TGYs as well. Really they are one of my very favorite varieties of tea! My favorites so far are from Verdant and Teavivre. I do eventually want to make an order from Teaspring and I’ll be sure to try some of theirs as well.

Mantra Tea Taiwan

Keep me posted. We are going to try them too.

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88

I had an oniony lunch and I have a doctor’s appointment later. What was I thinking? I decided may a robust tea with rose might help to negate the bad breath. After looking through my collection I settled on this one, which I restocked in Paris recently.

What’s funny about this flavor combo (orange, vanilla, rose) is that I have had it or similar in other teas, but I never liked it. But here it’s lovely! I don’t know if it’s in part changing tastes or just a proper balance in this tea, but I’m happy to have found it. Now I can daydream about afternoons in Paris while stuck in my office… sigh.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

Mmmmmm

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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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