9 Tasting Notes

16
drank Blueberry White by Argo Tea
9 tasting notes

No matter how short I try to steep it, this is not going to work. Maybe I haven’t played around with the steeping times enough, but any shorter, and I don’t think there would be any flavor at all.

Ok, so you open the jar, and the smell is just completely blueberry. It’s not a bad smell, but the fact that the bitterness is apparent as soon as you open it is a bad sign. The package suggests a steeping time of 5-6 minutes. To that, I say: you have gotta be kidding me. Even with steeping times around 2 and a half minutes, the taste is just all bitterness, astringency, and maybe the tangy bite of blueberry.

Blueberry and white tea isn’t a bad idea. What is, however, is the fact that the leaves come in clear glass containers. WHITE tea leaves. I bought this before I knew that light would have a bad effect on tea leaves. I found this at a convenience store, sitting underneath bright fluorescent light for who knows how long. Maybe it’s not the tea, then, but the godawful packaging.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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88

This was the very first loose leaf tea I ever tried. I’ve since expanded my collection, but this still might be my favorite black tea. The leaves are mostly dark but there’s some gold color here and there. Already, the leaves give off a really sweet, fresh scent. It’s a fresh, grainy, almost woodsy smell that hit me in the face as soon as I opened the package. It steeps to a reddish, coppery color. Any darker than that, and you’ve steeped it for too long.

The cup is DELICIOUS. There’s absolutely no pungency, or no bitterness. It’s got a great deal of natural grainy sweetness, and it would be a shame to add milk or sugar to this IMO. It’s full bodied without being too strong.

…So yeah, this tea kind of got me into loose-leaf tea. The amazing flavor you get from the leaves alone, with absolutely no additives keeps me coming back to bai lin.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Thomas Smith

Lucky first loose tea!

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75

Two cups of this in the morning have replaced my 7 am coffee. It’s a good transition from coffee to tea, partially because it is so good with milk and sugar. On its own, the tea is bold, full bodied, and astringent. Definitely smacks you in the face. The milk adds a smooth, creamy taste that calms the tea down. With milk and sugar, you can better appreciate the DELICIOUS malty taste so characteristic of Assams.

This is definitely for the black tea lover. It’s nice and simple no-bullshit black tea to provide a gentle pick me up in the morning.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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70
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
9 tasting notes

One of my favorite flavored teas. The first time I steeped it, I did it for slightly more than 5 minutes. WRONG, THIS IS VERY WRONG. Not only was it way too astringent, the fruity flavor overpowered anything else that might have been in the cup. Open the tin. Take a whiff. That is some pretty strong flavor. Therefore, there’s no need to steep this for any more than three minutes. The blended flavors are best light and subtle, otherwise you won’t be able to taste the black tea base at all.

So! Now to the tea. This is my second attempt to brew at home. The pot I tried in store was very light and subtle with the fruity flavor, with no astringency. Success! A steeping time of less than 3 minutes has yielded the same result. The primary flavor is still that black currant-y, dark berry taste. Drink a little more, and the bergamot comes through. Right after the black currant shakes you by the shoulders, the vanilla and bergamot are just kinda like, hey! I’m here too. And they’re so very welcome. I love the smooth taste of vanilla with the bright, tangy currant.

This is a tea you reach for when you’re craving candy. It’s not quite a morning tea and too sweet to be a daily drinker. Nah, this is a blend that can get you through an all nighter writing a paper or watching a walking dead marathon. This is a tea you sip when you’re craving candy or soda but want to be classy about your sugar fix.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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80
drank Genmaicha by Harney & Sons
9 tasting notes

TASTY!!! This is a great way to introduce black tea people to green tea (source: I am a black tea person). I figured it’s time to add some green tea to my collection, mostly black and white tea, even though I don’t prefer the grassy, astringent taste most green teas generally have.

The leaves give off a distinct smell of toasted rice cakes, with a very very distinct hint of the vegetal scent of green tea. Steeping the blend intensifies these scents even further, and the liquor is bright yellowish-green. I let it steep for slightly over two minutes at 175-180 F water.

Like the leaves, the liquid gives off a really strong roasted rice cake smell, which is delicious. That roasty taste is pretty dominant in the tea, and you really have to pay attention to get the vegetal taste of the batcha. Though the rice taste is pretty strong, it’s not quite overpowering and I think provides a nice sweet balance to the batcha. There’s only a very mild astringency, which I actually find refreshing.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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16
drank Blueberry White by Argo Tea
9 tasting notes

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