420 Tasting Notes


Thanks to Tea at Sea for the free sample! A month ago, this probably would have been a contender for one of my favorites, but I have had many many oolongs since, so I’ve become a bit pickier. This one was floral and smooth, which was very nice. However, the flavor was a bit mild for me. Perhaps I should have used more leaf. Also, there was nothing particularly special about it that made me instantly want to order more. I definitely enjoyed it, though, and I would recommend it as a nice oolong, just not the best I’ve had.

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I ordered one of each of Shan Valley’s teas when they first came out with the 1 oz samples, which are very reasonably priced. I love my roasty oolongs and houjichas, so I was expecting a little more from this than what I got. For the first few sips, I was snacking on some heavily flavorful foods, so I didn’t even notice any taste at all from this tea. After I stopped eating, though, I did notice a very mild, subtle roasted flavor and not much in the way of a typical green tea. I usually take my teas very mild, but even for me this was too subtle. Perhaps I need to play with the steeping parameters a bit, but I have a feeling that this tea is just fine, but nothing extraordinary. I’m curious to see how the other teas fare.

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Tea & Cards TTB #12
Ugh, today brought a string of little failures. I tried to mail off the TTB, but there was some problem with the tape or something. I was then late for class and couldn’t get hot water for my tumbler. Then as I was trying to keep awake in class, I somehow managed to get a papercut right between my fingers, eek. Anyway, I finally managed to get some hot water between classes (hooray!) for this tea. The tea was nice and bold as a breakfast tea should be, yet it was also a bit sweet. As it cooled down, I could swear I almost tasted an apple-like flavor, but that may be contamination from my tumbler or other teas stored next to it. Thankfully, it’s now the weekend, so I can recharge for a better start to next week!


I hope tomorrow is better. :)


It’s a sign you have to sample more TTB teas!

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Tea & Cards TTB #11
Today was a crazy day with a stressful meeting with my advisor, so I took special care to choose the next tea from the box. A nice, mellow dragonwell seemed to fit the bill, so I steeped this one up in my teapot. It has a nice buttery texture and vegetal taste. I actually looked at some other tasting notes and read “asparagus,” so now that is stuck in my brain about this tea. I actually do think it tastes of asparagus, but it might be partially from my easily influenced mind tricking my taste buds. Anyway, there is awkwardly less than a teaspoon left of this, so I think I will pull it from the box and steep it up in a small cup at a later time. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer, calmer tea at this time!


I absolutely loved this tea!

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Backlog. I was running awfully late for class today because I was wrapped up watching the ladies’ figure skating finals. Halfway out the door, I realized I didn’t bring tea with me, so I rushed back inside and filled my tumbler up with my trusty LB Chocolate Genmaicha. It must have known that I was frazzled because it steeped up extra chocolate—y today for some reason. And as always, many lovely resteeps.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

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Backlog. Last night, I wanted something really light because it was getting a bit late, so I opted to reach for this one. I also resteeped the leaves in the morning when I rolled out of bed. This is a nice, reliable houjicha, but I normally prefer something a little roastier.

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drank Jin Pin by Yezi Tea
420 tasting notes

Tea & Cards TTB #10
I had my eye on this one as soon as I opened the box, so I’m glad that I finally got a chance to try it out today. I brought this in my tea tumbler to school. I’m not sure why, but all the black teas I love smell potato-y (in a good way?) when I steep them in my tumbler. This tea really reminded me of a mellower, less chocolate-y Laoshan Black (Verdant). Because I love LB, I ended up loving this one, too! It resteeped pretty decently as well. I’m keeping this one on my wishlist to remind myself to order some when I finally reorder from Yezi.

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drank Islander Oolong by Fusion Teas
420 tasting notes

Tea & Cards TTB #9
So I finally got back to trying teas from the TTB because I only have it a couple more days. I started off the morning right with this lovely flavored oolong. The dry leaf smelled so tropical and wonderful, but because that smell was so strong, I was afraid that it would overpower the oolong. Not so! I could actually taste the typical green oolong flavors along with the tropical flavors from the tea. I’m not really expert enough to go into more detail about the flavor than “tropical,” but I will say that it was not perfume-y or overwhelming. What a nice way to be introduced to Fusion Teas :)

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I’ve heard about these Downton Abbey teas before and was always curious about them. So today when I was waiting for a bus, I quickly perused a small market nearby and bought this on impulse. I started watching the new season of Downton Abbey last week, so I found this an appropriate tea to sip on while watching another episode. Plus, it’s herbal, so I didn’t have to worry about my caffeine intake after dinner.

Anyway, on to the tea itself. As soon as the bag and water came into contact, it turned a deep red/purple. I can definitely taste the tartness from the hibiscus and the raspberry flavor. I’m not getting so much of a rose flavor, which was a bit disappointing since this is called “Rose Tea,” but if I put that fact aside, it’s not so bad. I am gonna wait to rate this until I try it iced, because I think it will be really nice as an iced tea. Or even a tea soda maybe!

Flavors: Berries


I was also disapointed about the lack of rose flavor.

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drank Hojicha by Adagio Teas
420 tasting notes

This morning was very hectic, so I’m sad to say that I neglected the TTB today. Instead, I reached for the closest hojicha I could find in my pantry because it’s usually the least fussy. While this one is not my favorite among my hojichas, it certainly did the trick. Hopefully I can continue to explore the TTB teas tomorrow.

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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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