450 Tasting Notes

drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
450 tasting notes

Darn, I’m back up to 104 in my cupboard. But the good news is that I used my Starbucks reward to get one ounce of this tea for free. The girl helping me was actually very friendly and suggested this one because it was one of the more expensive ones, haha. In any case, I had my eye on it anyway, so it all worked out well in the end.

The weather is still hot, so I cold brewed one tablespoon in my water bottle overnight. It’s definitely got a nice malt flavor, but at the same time is naturally sweet. There are some subtle cocoa notes and even more subtle smoky notes in there as well. Overall, a pretty refreshing cold brew with no bitterness or astringency to be found! I’m very pleased with my choice, but it is a bit expensive to buy with actual money when I run out.

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I had a tough day today, so I had to console myself with tea. First step, I went to Teavana to spend a Starbucks reward I have to get Golden Monkey black tea. I know I’m on a tea buying hiatus, but this was free and only one ounce, so it’s okay, right? Right? Unfortunately, I’m back up to 104, so I’m working in the opposite direction my under 100 sipdown goal for the end of the month. Eeps.

Next up, I happened to be close to one of the only decent bubble tea places in Boston. So of course I had to go in and get myself some oolong milk tea with boba. I actually did make the most of that short trip, though, because I had my laptop on me, so I pulled it out and did some stuff on it. I have to say, these two little tea trips did make me feel better, so it was totally all worth it :)

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84

Cold brewed this one again because the hot version did not impress me much. I’ve got to say, though, that the cold brewed version is maybe my favorite simple, sweet iced black tea so far. It’s light with notes of cocoa and maybe honey? There’s no bitterness or astringency at all. I think I used four pearls in my water bottle and left it in the fridge for 8-10 hours (as usual, I can’t remember exactly). Sadly, I only have enough pearls for one more cold brew.

Even though I’ve thoroughly been enjoying it, this will sadly not be a reorder for a couple of reasons. First, this is pretty much the only tea I’ve enjoyed from Adagio so far, and I’m not going to put in an order for just one tea. Second, like I said earlier, I used four pearls for one water bottle. I feel like that’s a lot and that I would go through the tea too quickly and it would get expensive. Maybe in the future if I ever find a couple other Adagio teas I enjoy, I will consider putting in another order, but I still have many other companies I want to try out first.

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87
drank Qi'Lan Fireside Oolong by Teavana
450 tasting notes

I’m feeling quite anxious this morning, and my most comforting teas are either very roasty or savory Japanese greens. This was the only tea in my sipdown drawer that fit the bill (roasty, not Japanese green), so I steeped up an oversized mug full of this delicious tea. Actually, now that I think of it, there did seem to be some umami-ness to this tea today in addition to the usual roasted oolong goodness. Perhaps it was the leaf to water ratio? I’m not entirely sure what that was because I almost never use my giant mug for tea, so I just kind of eyeballed it.

Anyway, I only have one or two servings of this one left, so I will be sad when I’m out. I was considering repurchasing, but when I went to Teavana the other day, they said that this tea had been discontinued for a while. It didn’t make much sense to me because I only just recently got it from another Teavana location, so either it was getting old or the Teavanas are just inconsistent with which teas they have in stock? Oh, wait, I just checked their website and it looks like they have it in stock. Weird. I guess I’ll have to go back to the original Teavana I got this from!

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drank Roasted Milk Tea by 3:15 PM
450 tasting notes

Oh man, I cannot control myself when it comes to milk teas. I had this one again today. This morning before I left the apartment, I steeped this hot in my travel mug, then stuck the whole thing (mug + tea bag) into the fridge to continue to sit and cool down. Fast forward about 10 hours later, and I’m drinking a nicely refreshing cold milk tea. I just wanted to add that letting it steep for so long actually brought out a teensy bit of smokiness in addition to the roastiness. I guess smoky and roasty can go hand in hand, but I tend to lean heavily toward roasty and away from smoky. The smoky flavor was definitely not strong enough to put me off the tea, but it was just an interesting find.

Edit: I just realized I started my other tasting note on this tea with “Oh man” as well. I didn’t know that I said that so much, haha.

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Backlog. It’s difficult for me to concentrate on anything productive because my migraine is back, sigh. So I thought I’d write up a tasting note on the blackberry mojito tea lemonade I had earlier today at Starbucks. It was surprisingly better than I expected it to be. Over the past half year or so, I’ve definitely lowered my standards for tea from Starbucks as I got more and more obsessed with Steepster and became a bit tea snobbish. But anyway, the blackberry mojito tea lemonade was just a nice sweet drink, kind of like a juice with the black tea base peeking through at certain moments. I think the minty taste also had something that reminded me of lemongrass. Odd. But when I treat it like a juice, I like it enough to want to get it again sometime in the future.

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82

Sipdown (103)! I sadly cold brewed the rest of this one. I’ve really enjoyed this tea, and surprisingly, I think I prefer the cold brew over the hot version of this tea. The cold brew just brings out a sweetness that rounds out the battling blacks. And like before, I keep feeling like there is a Chinese green tea in this one, particularly gunpowder, even though I know there is not. Anyway, I’m happy with my introduction to Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea, and hopefully I can try many more in the future!

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drank Roasted Milk Tea by 3:15 PM
450 tasting notes

Oh man, I really tried not to buy more tea, but my local Asian grocery doesn’t usually have the roasted flavor of this tea. Plus, I’ve been really wanting to try it since I had the regular milk tea version. Plus plus, I had run out of the regular milk tea version… Next thing I know, I’m at the cash register with this extra box in my cart. Anyway, there’s not much different about it compared to the regular milk tea version. I mean, it is slightly roastier, but mostly the same old same old. I guess I would prefer it over the regular one because I just like roasty teas, but honestly, there is not much difference to have them both at the same time. I think I wasn’t really in the mood for something this sweet right now because of the sweetener included, but I’ll definitely be reaching for it when my sweet tooth is acting up a bit more in the future.

I was so proud the other day to get down to 103 teas, but now I’m back up one tea, sigh. I think my modest sipdown goal for the end of the month is to be under 100 teas. Wish me luck!

Stephanie

Good luck! This place is a bad influence ;)

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84

Cold brewed this one again. I think I may have left it in the fridge for longer this time because it’s just a tad bolder and now there is a smoky element to it as well. On its own, it’s a little overwhelming for me, but I am drinking it while eating a salty snack. I think that the saltiness from the snack somehow brings out this sweeter flavor from the tea that I did not notice as much before. In any case, the combo is deelicious. I’m getting close to a sipdown on this one, so I’m going to try to save the rest for a hot cuppa, but I really am tempted to cold brew it again after this successful experiment.

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90
drank Barley Tea by Dong Suh
450 tasting notes

Funny story. I have this tea pretty much every day, so I don’t write a tasting note every time or else it would get really repetitive and obnoxious. When I ran out, I went to a different Asian supermarket than before to replenish. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that there is a cartoon of a baby on the box. Why? Because apparently I accidentally bought the “infant” version of this tea. What does that even mean? But I figured that if it is good enough for a baby, then it should be fine for me, right? Anyway, it smelled the same, so I cold brewed in a pitcher as usual. I think the only difference I can detect so far is that it is a little milder in the roasted flavor. I thought I’d just share because I thought it was hilarious and I never realized that they made teas specially for babies.

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Bio

I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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