242 Tasting Notes

82

This is a very old sample, I think from Fuzzy_Peachkin. Japon was getting a lot of attention on here pretty recently, so I (belatedly) dug my stash out of my sample box last weekend. The aroma of the dry leaf was very strong on the caramel, and, once steeped, so was the flavor. There was also quite a bit of sweetness. It was neither as roasty not as seaweedy as I would’ve liked—I do wonder if it might have worked better for me with a pure green base, but anyway. I can see why people are so enthused about this tea, but I think I’m just too much of a genmaicha purist (and not enough of a dessert tea connoisseur) to get into it. It is a very smooth and pleasant tea, though, and I can see how it would be a nice option for those who find straight genmaicha too intense or vegetal. I’m kind of relieved not to have been crazy about this one, to be honest, since my shopping list is ridiculously long as it is.

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79

I haven’t tried many new teas lately, and have logged even fewer. Doing a bit of backlogging today… this is another tea I received in my Teavivre sampler. It’s a standard sort of medium oolong. It’s pleasant, if not as dark and roasty as I’d like. On the plus side, it doesn’t have that leafy green oolong flavor I just can’t get into. A nice tea, but not an outstanding one—at least for my preferences. Thanks to Angel for letting me try this one!

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86

Stacy very kindly threw this in as an extra sample in my recent Butiki order, and I’m really glad she did. It’s not one I ever would’ve picked out for myself—I pretty much never drink soda and don’t think of myself as a root beer fan, although I loved it as a kid. And this really does taste just like root beer, just not sweet. It’s even sort of creamy, hence the float part. I tried this both hot and cold—I cold-steeped my leftover leaves—and, while hot root beer doesn’t sound great, I found this blend (surprisingly?) delicious either way. I don’t come across too many honeybush-based blends, but this one’s making me wish I did—it’s much smoother, far less woody, and maybe a bit sweeter than (red) rooibos.

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85

The scent of the dry leaf reminds me of those Japanese rice crackers wrapped in seaweed. Once steeped, it’s very roasty and quite savory. There is a faint note of seaweed snack in the flavor, but it’s not overwhelming, and there’s not much else going on in terms of vegetal notes. There’s a fair bit of sweetness as well, and a little bit of astringency (which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned). It’s not a very complex tea, but it’s pleasant and refreshing. I’m drinking it hot, but I bet it would be nice iced as well.

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82

This was one of the samples I requested with my latest Butiki order. I love all of the citrus flavor in this one—it’s a lemongrass kind of lemon; I’m definitely not getting pie filling or meringue—but I think guayusa is just a little bit too earthy for me to really get into. It tastes how I imagine a pile of autumn leaves would, if, you know, you crushed them up and steeped them. I don’t entirely dislike it, but it’s definitely a once-in-a-while kind of thing for me. Still, this is a very pleasant, drinkable cup, and the lemon flavor is refreshing and energizing at once.

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79

This is very light and smooth, and a little bit sweet. It’s also faintly vegetal—like peas with a tiny dash of seaweed. It reminds me of silver needles more than anything, although I like this a little bit better than I do those (as a non-fan of white tea). This was a fun tea to try—the dry leaves really do look like little dragons!—and one I won’t have trouble finishing, but I don’t think I’d purchase it again. It’s a lovely delicate tea; I just tend toward more assertive flavors.

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73

My mother loves buying bagged chai. Regular or decaf, standard or with unusual add-ins like tulsi or rose—they all seem to make their way into our kitchen. Some are surprisingly good, like Wissotzky’s Rose Chai. I tried that blend before the Masala Chai, and it gave me high hopes for this version. But as it turns out, this tea is only passable. The spices aren’t very strong or distinctive, and the base is… unsubtle. It’s not incredibly flavorful, but it does make its presence known and it’s good that weird grassy note that Indian black teas occasionally have. Much improved by the addition of soy milk, as most chais are, but I’ll be sticking with the rose chai in the future as far as Wissotzky goes. Totally irrelevant to more or less everything and certainly not a reason to buy, but I do like the packaging.

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87

This is one of the Red Blossom samples CharlotteZero very kindly included in our swap a couple of months back. It’s very roasty and very sweet, with a pronounced honey flavor when hot. There’s that deep woodsiness (or maybe that’s not it, but I’m not sure how else to describe it…) that I love in Wuyis and similar dark oolongs. Thanks very much for letting me try this, CharlotteZero!

Angrboda

Oh I remember this one. So nommy I wrote a really awful ode to it. :p

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86

This is one of my favorites from Butiki; I don’t know why I’ve never logged it before. It’s nice and lightly roasty—usually I like my oolongs to be super roasty, but for some reason this one ticks all my boxes even though it’s not. It’s light and sweet, with a wonderfully fruity aftertaste—maybe apple, I guess. And that leafy oolong floral note that ruins so many teas for me is happily absent. I’ve been hoarding what’s left of the ounce I got in my first Butiki order (which was over a year ago at this point), but I’m trying to stop doing that—hence this cup. This is definitely something I’ll reorder in the future.

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75

This is another one from my Teavivre sampler—thanks again, Angel! Unfortunately, it has that typical green oolong flavor I don’t really care for—quite floral, but in more of a leafy way than a blossomy one. I will say that the floral here is less extreme than in some other green oolongs I’ve tried, so points for that anyway. It’s still strong enough that it dominates the flavor profile for me, though—I wish I was getting some of the nut, cream, and grain notes mentioned in other reviews but I can’t really say I am. I’m sure this is a fine specimen of TGY, and I’m finishing my cup (which is not always the case with green oolongs)—but it’s just not something I’d purchase, due entirely to personal preference.

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Bio

Likes: greens, dark oolongs, genmaicha, fruity greens and oolongs, chai, matcha, jasmine, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Dislikes: spearmint, chamomile, stevia, marshmallows, unflavored white teas, green oolongs

I’m always open to swaps; let me know if you’re interested!

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New York, NY

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