1945 Tasting Notes

88
drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
1945 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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86
drank Meditative Mind by The Tea Spot
1945 tasting notes

Here’s how you know you have too much tea: I bought 2 oz of this tea about a year and a half ago in a sale at the Tea Spot, and when I pulled it out this morning I realized that the bag has never been opened. Yup, still heat-sealed closed.

Fortunately being sealed preserved it. I brewed this a bit hotter than I have in the past, more like I’ve been brewing white teas lately with Teavivre’s instructions. There is this western sense that white teas need to be babied, have to be brewed really cool, but that’s really not true. It’s kind of like the false notion that white teas are low caffeine and relaxing, when to many people white tea makes them wired! I certainly feel energized by a cup of white tea. I like how when they are brewed hotter they get more robust, more bready, and sometimes even a kind of cocoa-y note comes out.

This one reacted similarly. The rose and jasmine play well together here and are lovely, if you love florals. The white tea definitely had notes of hay and grains and yeasty bread. I must make an effort to drink this one more often (obviously).

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

Huh, maybe I need to try brewing them at a higher temp. I’ve never really liked whites because they always seem to be underwhelming.

Dinosara

Yeah, I would give them a shot ati 195°F… I like them much more that way.

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85

This morning I needed some raspberry leaf (if you know what I mean). I have these bags of raspberry leaf but I prefer to actually just throw a bag in my mug underneath an infuser basket filled with other tea, and rose blacks are my favorite for whatever reason. The raspberry leaf has this odd sweetness to it (not sure if it’s the actual leaf or something else in the bag), and a slight fruitiness. I often pair it with Harney’s Rose Scented, but today I went for this one.

The last time I had this I brewed it near the low recommended temperature but it was kind of thin. Fortunately I read my other tasting note before having this again. This time I steeped it at boiling and it was delicious. I will hold off adjusting my rating until I have it without the raspberry leaf bag, but I think it will be going on. This is kind of like Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black with out the bergamot. The black tea has a similarly awesome flavor profile. Definitely pleased with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I just found out that one of the new grad students in my current department is a tea drinker, and even a loose tea drinker. Cool! We were talking about tea, I showed her my astounding amount of tea in my office, and then she came back with a tea that she said I might not have tried. She said it was a green tea from Vietnam and it smelled amazingly like vanilla, which she claims is all natural, not flavoring. So I grabbed a cup’s worth to try. But she just had it in an unmarked ziploc baggie, so I have no idea about what it is! The leaf dark green and somewhat broken up and it had a ton of stems in it. She warned me that it is most vanilla-y early on and gets bitter later, so I steeped conservatively at 1 minute (because it looked like it was done).

And man, do I need to find out what this is. Flavored or not, this is delicious. If it’s actually unflavored, it’s astounding. Almost like a milk oolong, but definitely not a milk oolong. It’s vanilla-y, but also a little creamy. Oh I think maybe toasted coconut? (It’s really interesting to try a tea “blind” when you don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like). Definitely toasted coconut. This has got to be flavored somehow, but it’s really well done nonetheless. It’s actually gotten more creamy and coconutty as its cooled and I haven’t had a problem with bitterness.

What a great tea! I will definitely have to figure out where she got it.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Anna

Aaaah! Do your Dinosara Sherlock thing! Do it now! This sounds so, so awesome.

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85

Thank you so much to Angel and Teavivre for sending me samples of this tea. I am always intrigued when a jasmine tea is on an unusual green base… actually I’m not sure what base jasmine greens usually are, but they aren’t usually specified. But this one is! It was cool that the leaf was kind of half-rolled, almost like an oolong.

This was quite a nice jasmine green tea, with perhaps a bit more oomph from the green tea than a regular jasmine green. Bi luo chun is often kind of green-beany, and it comes through a little. This is less sweet than some other jasmine greens and lacks the honeysuckle notes. But that’s not to say the jasmine is light! It’s quite robust, it’s just matched by the green flavor of the tea as well. I definitely look forward to trying this one again, maybe in close comparison with some other jasmine greens.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Caramel-Toffee by Dammann Freres
1945 tasting notes

Even though I have a pile of other DF teas to try that I haven’t had before, this one was calling my name this afternoon. This is one of those teas where my mouth starts watering the minute that the pouch opens. So much buttery toffee goodness.

And so much buttery toffee goodness in the flavor too! I would agree that this is perhaps more toffee than straight caramels, but it’s really a continuum anyway. It’s a tea that tricks my brain into thinking its sweet, even though there isn’t any actual sweetness to the tea. The black base is present in this one, but to me that’s a good thing. Glad I restocked this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

nom nom nom nom nom

TeaBrat

where do you get your DF teas?

Dinosara

The ones I’ve been reviewing lately are both from an order I made from instant-the.com and from the Dammann shop in Paris. That website doesn’t ship to the states unfortunately; I made the order and got it delivered to me (theoretically) at my hotel in Paris. Of course it didn’t come before I left town but my hotel graciously forwarded it to me in the states.

It’s really too bad places like that don’t ship to the states… the shipping was only 11.50 euros when the hotel forwarded it to me.

Sil

still so jealous…

Sil

i’m actually thinking at this point, i need to order, have them send it to ysaurella, have her ship it to me and just send her money haha

Sil

i’m actually thinking at this point, i need to order, have them send it to ysaurella, have her ship it to me and just send her money haha

Dinosara

I think that is definitely the way to go if you have the option, especially since there is free shipping within France at 39 euros. I ordered 13 teas at 50g each.

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83
drank Amande Amaretti by Dammann Freres
1945 tasting notes

Almond is one of my absolute favorite flavors. Marzipan is perhaps my favorite candy, and I love amaretto. And although I have been able to find a number of good teas with almond as one component of it, I have yet to find my perfect almond black tea. I’ve actually pretty much given up on finding one. I think part of my problems has been the base teas… they’re never any good. But I really enjoy Dammann’s standard black base, so this one has obviously been on my list for a while, and now I finally get to try it out.

Dry this smells a lot like some of the other marzipan/almond teas I’ve tried. Which is to say, not unlike amaretto. Steeped, the base tea really comes out more, although thankfully the almond is still a prominent note. And, unlike many almond teas, the almond is a sweet, prominent note in the flavor as well. For some reason in a lot of almond black teas the almond flavor doesn’t come through strongly, but that is not the case here. But it’s also go enough of the base to remind you that yes, you are drinking black tea here. For whatever reason the standard Dammann black base seems thinner to me in this one, and I would love it to be a bit more robust, but otherwise its quite lovely. Very smooth, no bitterness, nice almond.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

oh you bought it finally ! I do agree it is an enjoyable tea

Dinosara

Yes, I ended up with a lot of the same teas as you when I ordered from Instant Thé!

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78

This was a free sample that came with my Instant Thé order. Like Ysaurella, I haven’t heard of this company before, but the samples they sent sounded pretty good. This is very similar to the Lemon Drop tea I have from California Tea House (and also to a large number of lemony-ginger green teas), except this has some mint and licorice root in it instead of chamomile and orange peel.

I find these teas make good stomach-settlers, which is why I chose this one this morning. I am already feeling better than I did earlier, but I figured having some of this one will probably help anyway. I am enjoying this blend… definitely lemony, but much of the other flavors just kind of blend in to a kind of herbal background. The licorice root provides a sweetness to the aftertaste that I find pleasant. Nice, but it doesn’t really stand out from the crowd of other lemony green teas.

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

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79
drank Tourbillon by Dammann Freres
1945 tasting notes

There is no action that will sober you more about your tea collection than attempting to unpack it into something. I bought a small set of drawers just for my tea for the office and let’s just say there is still a cardboard box full of tea sitting next to it. I have a lot of tea! Somehow it didn’t seem like as much when it was just sitting in boxes. One thing I still have to deal with is the teas from my Instant Thé order, which all are in non-airtight bags, and of course I don’t have enough 50g tins. But if I do get tins from them they definitely won’t all fit in there!

Anyway, this tea. The scent is crazy and hard to parse. It definitely smells floral (orange blossom I guess), and I do get some chestnut, and perhaps a hint of caramel. In the flavor it is definitely floral and chestnutty. The florals are kind of odd; not definitively orange blossom, but intensely floral nonetheless. Perhaps its the chestnut that I am not used to that is giving this an oddness to it for me. It’s pretty good, but the flavor profile is a little out of my comfort zone. It probably doesn’t help that I’m suddenly feeling a bit ill this morning (nothing to do with the tea, it started before that; probably to do with getting up way to early this morning). Well hopefully tea will help me feel better!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

I wasn’t able to pick the toffee taste from this tea. It’s not the main flavour definitively

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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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