117 Tasting Notes

65
drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
117 tasting notes

Oh man. This started off so well. I picked up a sample last time I made an order, because usually I love unusual variations on Earl Grey.

The dry leaves smell like bergamot, of course, but also like… firewood, and black pepper. All good things, in my book. Once it’s brewed, I think the bergamot gets lost a little behind the woodsiness of it. But the goji and the bergamot blend together really well — it’s hard to tell where one scent ends and the other starts. And somehow every time I pick it up, I smell something different. I’m still getting a pretty strong black pepper note. Maybe that’s from the frankincense resin?

And it tastes… a little disappointing, actually. The first sip was all earl grey with black pepper. I was looking forward to how the flavors would unfold… but it’s just very peppery, with a sour note from the goji berry (and I guess from the tangyness of the autumn tieguanyin) that I’m not sure I like. It’s even more disappointing because I really like the autumn tieguanyin, but it’s getting lost in all the other flavors.

All in all, I can see how it might appeal to someone… but it’s not for me. Maybe in the future I should stick to fruity or floral earl greys. I hope I like the laoshan one more…

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95

I cold steeped this one and… wow. It tastes clean and crisp and has the most delightful fruity aftertaste — definitely some lime, but I’m also tempted to say kiwi although I haven’t eaten one in months so I could be wrong. I think this might be one of my favorite teas now. I’d better hoard some before it disappears forever.

Preparation
Iced

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75

Tried this one western style today, and it was everything I wanted. I enjoyed it a lot more than the davidstea yunnan black. It still has that earthy note that I found so disconcerting about that one, but it’s a lot less potato-ey, and it’s there almost as an afterthought, hidden behind the chocolate and the spice. With a bit of chocolate, it acquired a creamy note that I liked a lot — I’ll have to try this one with cream and a bit of sugar. I also think it would go quite well with honey, and I’d really like to try it in a chai…

Basically, I’m glad I have a whole ounce of this one, because I’m so not done experimenting. =]

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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95

Enjoying my fifth cup now. Next time I will have to keep better track of my steeping times, because the third one was oversteeped and the fourth one was a little insubstantial, and the fifth… well, I’m eating a (delicious) lemon bar, so I’m losing a lot of the nuances. (But the wet leaves smelled like ginger and graham cracker crust, and it was excellent.)

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95

I am so grateful for this tea right now. My day so far has included a broken down train, losing a wheel off my suitcase, lugging said suitcase across three forms of public transportation and half a mile on foot, walking to the store because dammit I need to eat something only for them to not have anything that I was looking for (I did grab the last, slightly squished bottle of rooster sauce off the shelf), and finding that the moving/storage company has misplaced literally half my belongings. huge sigh

But, both of my Verdant packages were waiting for me at the front desk when I arrived, so I’m about to enjoy my second cup of this tea. I’m too tired for proper tasting notes, but damn is it good.

Terri HarpLady

Tea always Mark’s it better :)

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75
drank Almond Oolong by Adagio Teas
117 tasting notes

I forgot I had this one! I’m reclaiming my tea collection that I’d left with my boyfriend, and I dug out this little sample package. The almond-extracty smell is still really strong — I still think it smells a little like rubber cement. But, y’know, not in a bad way, I guess. Once brewed that element of it disappears (thank goodness), and I’m left with quite a lovely tea. I think almond + oolong is definitely a combination I like, but maybe there’s another one out there that I’ll like better. I’ll have to do some tasting. (Also, it goes excellently with lofthouse cookies.)

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75
drank Paradise by Lupicia
117 tasting notes

Been drinking this the past couple of days. I’m staying with my sister and I might be getting sick (oh noes!) so I’m drinking lots of tea to try and keep it at bay. It’s a very pleasant fruity tea. Like most Lupicia teas, the flavoring is pretty subtle, but I really like the combination of tropical fruits with cranberry — which is a little unexpected, but the result is quite nice. I just have to remind myself not to eat all the cranberries before steeping the tea…

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drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
117 tasting notes

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75
drank Strawberry & Vanilla by Lupicia
117 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this tea for the past few days (ever since I got back from the con, where I drank nothing but tea bags and coffee…). It’s one of the teas I picked out as a gift from my grandma for my birthday, and I must say, I am quite pleased with my choice. Obviously, I will love pretty much anything with a good vanilla flavor, and this tea is no exception. I like the strawberry element of it too — on the first steeping, it tastes like your usual strawberry flavor, but on the second, it starts to taste more like real strawberries, with an authentic sort of sourness to it.

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70
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
117 tasting notes

This is an odd one for me, because it’s really, really good… but I don’t like melons. They’re one of the few foods that I’d rather not eat, I find their sweetness to be rather cloying. However, I do occasionally enjoy the (artificially?) flavored melon candies from the local Asian supermarket, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

The dry leaves smell very melon-y, and have pretty little green sugar crystals among them. Brewed, I found that the quite green taste and scent of the oolong balanced the melon over-sweetness quite well, and I enjoyed this tea a surprising amount…

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Profile

Bio

Hi! I’m a linguistics major at a certain infamous east coast tech school, I write, I rock climb, and I have a mild obsession with Diana Wynne Jones.

I’m also Russian, which means I’ve been drinking tea all my life — always loose leaf, and always black. Black teas are still my favorite, but of course I dabble in a bit of everything. I really like ceylon, I recently discovered puer, and I’m having a lot of fun exploring flavored black teas (and making silly fandom blends on adagio…).

My tea cabinet may or may not be accurate at the moment, as I am transitioning between locations…

Rating system (work in progress):
95 – Wow!
85 – My favorites. Cupboard staple material.
75 – Really good. Debating whether to keep it around…
65 – Quite pleasant, but not for me. I probably won’t (re)purchase.
55 – Just okay.

Location

MA

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