27 Tasting Notes

79

So here’s the deal. This was one of the first teas I had, in the form of a Bigelow tea bag and it was nasty crap.

I then had a giant tea trip in which I tried both bagged Twinings and Tazo of this tea. Bitter and astringent. I somehow kept on though, because I never tasted what a halfway decent Earl Grey was supposed to taste like.

That fateful day is nigh.

I sipped this tea and didn’t even realise the fact that it wasn’t disgustingly bitter until I had another cup. I honestly still can’t comprehend how this isn’t tasting bitter to me. It’s probably not even that awesome of an Earl Grey, but in comparison it was awesome to me.

I’m going to sink into my copy of Schubert and a blanket and be content now. Good night you guys.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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39
drank Vanilla Chai by Bigelow
27 tasting notes

I had this one yesterday. It was graciously given to me as I was waiting outside of a venue in the freezing cold. Even though I wouldn’t normally go for something like this… well as you can see I was in a desperate situation.

It was alright I suppose. It wasn’t undrinkable, but what seemed to be artificial vanilla was the most noticeable of the flavors and it was cloyingly sweet. The spices were weak. It made me think I was drinking a slightly spiced vanilla drink instead of a chai.

The only good thing about it was how hot it was, but I suppose a cupful of hot water would’ve done the job just as well.

I’m just glad I didn’t have to buy it…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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63
drank Irish Breakfast by Twinings
27 tasting notes

The nostalgia… it’s unbearable.

So it began around age fourteen. I had this obsession for tea in a house full of coffee lovers. I was still unable to purchase things online for myself (and even then, I had no knowledge of what tea retailers were sought after), so I fueled my love and desire with grocery store bought Twinings and Tazo.

This became a favorite in its bagged incarnation alongside Twinings Earl Grey and Prince of Wales.

The last time I tried this tea was a good four or five years ago when stopped keeping up with my tea rituals, until it was at a Teavana in Chicago where my passion for tea was reignited.

Oh. Yes, this is about the tea. Right.

I realized I had two bags of this left in the back of my cupboard and I thought, “I’m feeling adventurous. Why not?”

So I steeped this in my glass teapot. I watched it turn a gloriously deep red color… which surprised me (mostly because I’d never seen it directly through glass before).

The smell was just as malty and deep as I remember it.

And… there it is. That hint of astringency and the ever present malty flavor. I just wish it wasn’t as flat as it is. Why doesn’t it taste as deep as it smells?

I’m thinking that perhaps the loose version is a better incarnation of this tea. Sadly I suppose I don’t like it as much as I used to, now that I’m comparing it to other teas.

Bagged Irish Breakfast, we had happy memories.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Gyokuro Imperial by Teavana
27 tasting notes

So I also got this from the Heavenly Sale, because who’s not going to jump on $5 Gyokuro?

Yep. It tastes very much like spinach. It’s really grassy and vegetal tasting. Actually, it’s almost filling in a way. I didn’t understand how some people could describe a tea as “meaty” until today, but it’s true. The tea has substance.

The aftertaste is kind of sweet and I tasted some slight bitterness while it was hot, but as it cooled the bitterness went away.

It smelled and tasted kind of like any Green Tea Ice Cream I’d ever had except not as sweet as that. I suppose adding honey might bring it close, but I kind of like it the way it is without additives.

This one’s a keeper… at least until something better comes along…

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Gravitea

I know, right? That meaty umami flavor is so strong in some teas. It’s caught me by surprise a few times. Tevana’s Jade Dragon Mao Feng is another one that’s got a lot of umami. I’ll have to try their Gyokuro, especially if it’s on sale!

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85

After we went to a very lovely French bakery for tarts (oh my, those tarts), my sister picked this one out on her birthday (because I’m slowly getting her into tea).

I just got around to making it, and I was skeptical, but it was ridiculously good. My sister complained of a slight astringency so I might lower the steep time just a tad.

I agree with LiberTEAS, I’m getting a slight “spiciness” off of this tea, but not in a chai sort of way. It’s more like… well if you’ve ever walked into a Spice and Tea Exchange store, the scent of the shop, it kind of tastes like that. It’s a very savory sort of spice, like eating pumpkin soup.

I still very much taste the pumpkin though and I quite enjoy the savoriness of the spice behind it. I think, though, the most incredible part of the blend is the caramel flavor.

I’ve noticed that the caramel comes out more once its cooled a little and the pumpkin/spices are a bit more subdued. It’s crazy though. I’m transported back into a time when I was very young, eating caramel drizzled ice cream at The Macaroni Grill (why does that look way less meaningful than it is in my head…)

Anyways, upon cooling a bit, it tastes just like caramel. Silky smooth texture and all. I’ve never experienced such a thing in a tea until now, so this impressed me the most.

My only regret: Not buying more.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Earl Grey White by Teavana
27 tasting notes

I was worried that I’d hate this. I haven’t had an Earl Grey since my last Twinings bag at a continental breakfast.

Funny thing, I don’t hate it. Which is great.

As soon as I opened the seal on the bag that the tea came in the scent of bergamot almost knocked me over. It was the strongest bergamot I can remember experiencing.

Surprisingly, the tea wasn’t nearly as strong as a brewed cup. This isn’t to say that it’s weak, because it wasn’t by any means, but it was lighter than any other Earl Grey that I remember. Drinking it, the white tea hardly came out because of the bergamot, but made a subtle base so as to not make one feel as if they are drinking hot, diluted bergamot oil.

It was lovely (clean, as some people describe it), and I believe I’ve found my Earl Grey of choice.

Maybe they (whoever invented the blend) should have made the tea blend with white tea in the first place…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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71
drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
27 tasting notes

This isn’t bad…

I know chocolate teas are mostly (by nature) a disappointment to me, but I figured I might try it before I couldn’t anymore.

It’s not the most delicious tea I’ve ever tried, but I like having it on hand as a desert tea. It’s not terribly spicy, and the flavor that comes out most in this tea is a sort of tang from the fruit (maybe even from the chilies). There’s a bit of spice that lingers as an aftertaste, and so reminds me of drinking water and pepper flakes at the same time. It’s there but not as strong as it could be.

There is a bit of chocolate, but it’s a rather watery flavor. Naturally, that’s the case because the tea is being steeped in water. I’m sure adding a bit of milk (or even preparing it like a Chai in milk itself) might make the chocolate a bit more believable.

It’s a tasty tea and my family likes it so I suppose it wasn’t a terrible investment. In fact, I’m glad that I snatched up a half pound before Teavana pulled this from their shelves. I’m sure I’ll find other ways to prepare this.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84
drank MateVana by Teavana
27 tasting notes

I bought an entire pound of this at the Heavenly Sale. I just couldn’t help myself.
I need this stuff.

I was never a coffee drinker. The reason I fell in love with this tea is because it tastes like I always imagined coffee ought to taste like, and Teavana claims that it has about as much caffeine as a cup of regular coffee.

I wouldn’t know what kind of energy a cup of coffee gives you because I’ve never liked the taste of coffee enough to drink more than a sip, but I can’t face an early morning without it.

The aroma is not unlike coffee, but not spot on. It smells more like cocoa and less burnt.

The first thing that one tastes is a beautiful, roasted (some say “bran”) flavor and then a strong, undeniable, chocolate flavor. The tea is not astringent or fully as burnt tasting as coffee in the least. It’s not a very complex tea, at least to my taste buds, but it is much more satisfying than the flavor of coffee.

This stuff is amazing.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bubbles

Ok, this is getting weird. Guess what I made this morning? LOL

fermataleaf

Seriously? XD

Bubbles

Yup. It’s one of my favorites. :)

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28

Yeah, no…

I don’t know if it is because I’ve been on a white tea binge for the last couple of days or what, but seriously I’m drinking a Christmas candle. Not in a good way (if it can ever be good).

Cinnamon is amped up on this tea, but it’s so jam packed with strong, conflicting flavors it’s almost confusing. I can hardly pick any of them out. It’s complex, but I say that to mean that this tea doesn’t seem to know if it’s an Oolong, Mate, Chai (in increasing order of likeness) or something in between. Chai comes out on top if I concentrate, but it’s not spicy like a traditional Chai (cinnamon, being the perpetrator, I presume), and thus, resembles the artificial scent of a Glade Plugin. I taste no Oolong or even any Mate, save for maybe the fruit in the Samurai Blend.

Also, as other people have already ranted on, the sample comes pre-packed with their rock sugar. Hey, Teavana, what if I prefer honey? What then? The sugar left a really odd aftertaste too… very chemical tasting, it was like Splenda. If I wanted that aftertaste I would drink a diet soda. I’m not. I’m drinking tea.

I feel defiled.

Also, also:
To add insult to injury, I guess Teavana was trying to get rid of these sample packets because I got two of them… I’ll make a nice potpourri with the other, I suppose.

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

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Profile

Bio

I’m not one for introductions…

I’m a studying musicologist, cellist, and sometimes I’ll sketch a thing or two.

Tea and I first met in the form of a stale Chamomile bag on a cold and dreary night. It was a humble (not to mention tasteless) beginning, but it was a beginning nonetheless.

My affinity for the Victorian tradition of tea lead me to Twinnings which then led me to Teavana, which led me to perhaps my most favorite (living) musician. Yes… well, it’s not really a logical story…

Anyways, I’m here now, realizing that there’s way more to tea than I’d ever knew, and more than I’ll probably ever know.

Meet you all at 4 o’Clock…

Location

WF120-A, in the windmills of my mind…

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