62 Tasting Notes


This is the second try on this one. I found both the English Breakfast and Scottish Breakfast sachets at the grocery store and figured I’d give it a try as a cheap desk drawer offering for those days I need tea but don’t have the time to make a more quality mug up. I do like their Yorkshire Gold on occasion as a cheap tea option, so I figured I didn’t have much to lose trying these.

The first go of it, around a month ago, I found pretty lacking. Not much flavor. No real distinction. No real impression made. I didn’t steep it long, knowing that Yorkshire Gold goes bitter on a dime.

For today’s second round, I steeped an English Breakfast bag and a Scottish Breakfast bag together in my big mug, and I steeped it for about six minutes. It didn’t get bitter, but the longer steep didn’t pull out any more flavor, either. I’m still not impressed. The best word I think I can use to describe it is “muddy”. There just isn’t any nuance to this tea at all that I can discern.

I think I might “donate” it to the cupboard down in the lounge at work and stick to Twinings Irish Breakfast as my go-to desk tea for when I have no real time to do things up right.

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Just a cooler, rainy day here.

Ergo my fibro is flaring a bit. I can hear my achy shoulders and the back of my head screaming. They are screaming for a big mug of nice, hot tea. Who am I not to heed them and oblige? If I give them what they scream for an appease them, then they just might settle down some.

Aching calls for a black tea, but I wanted something different, so I went for this Panyang Congou. I probably might have been a bit more content with something sturdier, but the more gentle, less malty punch of this one is seeming to suffice. I’m getting a little more toastiness than last time, and I think this tea might be growing on me a bit more. I got it a bit stronger this time. I do like that there isn’t any bitterness after letting it go a couple of extra minutes on the steep. That is encouraging.

It will never usurp the Queen, though.

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This is easily and consistently my favorite tea of all that I have. It actually put in an appearance twice over the past weekend. The first big mugful was for pure comfort reasons following big-ugly-brute-of-a-cyst removal. The second mug was last night, for unwinding after scrambling to get papers shuffled/organized and calendars mapped out for the week. Both mugs were divine, as always.

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drank Hojicha by Harney & Sons
62 tasting notes

Just a big mug of this tea on Saturday. Fall is tentatively stealing in to our part of Montana after being unseasonably warm. Leaves are falling. It’s the time of year when a roasted tea begs for the spotlight. So I obliged.

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I had the bagged version, snurched from a hotel stay. I didn’t get much smoky nuance as I did last time I brewed a mug of this, but I didn’t get it quite as strong as I like it, either. It was still dang good quality for a black bagged tea.

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This is my third time brewing this tea. The first two times I tried it hot, and this time I made a flash-brewed iced tea in my Takeya pitcher.

I’m still not sure just what I think of this one. I do like that it’s not astringent, but I wish it were a little more heft. Perhaps that’s because most of the maltier teas I’ve had are much more robust than this one is, and I expect an explosion of oomph that doesn’t come. This just seems a bit mellow for a black tea.

I originally picked this tea because it was described as having a nutty undercurrent. I have yet to pick up a nutty flavor. Mostly I’m getting hay and malt. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s just not what I expected. The maltiness when it’s a tiny bit warm (before the ice cooled it fully) actually reminds me of the foam on a wheat ale (like Blue Moon), only gentler. I’m tasting less of that the cooler it gets.

I do like this tea, but it’s just not oomphy enough to become an everyday favorite, I don’t think.

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I’m rather liking this, which is a good thing, since I ordered the 8 oz. tin and they accidently shipped me a whole pound. This strikes me as a great choice for those days when I stand in front of my tea mountain and I can’t for the life of me figure out what kind of tea profile I want to revel in. On first sip I’m getting the malty Assam, but then it breaks away into the subtle smoky, chocolaty keemun. I understand from other posters that this can go bitter in a hurry if it’s not watched, so I stuck with four minutes for the steep, and I’m glad I didn’t go over that. My initial impression is that this is a good, sturdy start-to-the day tea without being overly malty. This morning I’m drinking it hot. This afternoon I might make some iced in my Takeya pitcher, and perhaps stick a mason jar of cold brew in the fridge. Might as well try it all kinds of ways. It’s not like I’ve got a shortage!


Before I read your last sentence, I was already thinking, “Ooh…bet it’s good iced!”


I did some in the flash-chill pitcher. It was pretty good, though I might lean toward liking it hot a little bit better.

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drank russian caravan by Unknown
62 tasting notes

Just a nice kick-start to the day, along with meds to try and loosen up my spasmy shoulder. This one’s not overly smoky, and is fairly smooth. It was a gift from a friend, purchased at a local tea store.

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My pick for after the book signing at Barnes and Noble yesterday. Considering the brewing parameters, and the paper cup, it was still rather good, though it did go a tiny bit bitter. I’ll stick to brewing this one at home mostly, but it was great for yesterday’s pleasant spring weather.

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I wish I’d brewed this a bit stronger this morning, but it’s still a great fit for a rain/snow mix day. The cocoa notes are still coming through, which is what I was wanting today.

Random note to the weather gods: Remember Friday? Sixties? Sunny? Absolutely gorgeous? That, weather gods. Not this.

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My very first ever mug of tea was Bigelow’s Constant Comment, when I was about eight or nine. We also always had Lipton when I was growing up. While I almost never drink that now, it was my gateway, and I brewed it strong and on the stout side.

These days I tend to favor black teas, but hojicha and genmaicha are everyday go-to teas for me, too. Anything toasty is good. I’m not a fan of vegetal green tea flavors at all, though I will drink flavored greens if the flavors mask the veggie taste. For the most part, I cannot abide herbals. I’m not a fan of red rooibos, though I do have a couple of green rooibos teas that I like on occasion. I’m not a tea snob by any means, while I tend toward loose tea these days, I’m not above drinking bagged tea as well, as long as it’s decent stuff.

My day job is teaching (middle school), and in the summers I work for our city’s parks department (swimming pools).

In my off time, I am a voracious reader. I also love music and movies. My tastes can be quite eclectic.

I’m plagued by chronic migraines and fibromyalgia, but I manage to be pretty functional, despite the curves they throw at me.

I’ve not much thought about a rating scale, but here goes, on the fly…

90-100: Tea that I like a great deal, or even love. Tea that I will always replace when I run out.

80-89: Tea that is quite pleasant, and wouldn’t turn down. Tea that would probably be replenished at some point.

70-79: Tea that drinkable, though not particularly special. Ho hum stuff.

60-69: Tea that I have to be in the mood for, and that I wouldn’t be lost without.

50-59: Tea that isn’t impressive, though I’d likely finish the cup.

40-49: Tea that I sip on for a while, trying to find something redeeming, but that I usually dump and swap out for something else halfway through.

30-39: Tea that is only just drinkable, as in any-port-in-a-storm. If it wasn’t a storm situation, it’s probably something I’d dump and forget.

20-29: Teas that get dumped after only a sip or two, because they aren’t my cup of tea at all.

0-19: Tea that gives tea a bad name. Teas that I can’t stand, I find highly inferior, and are just plain vile and nasty.



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