451 Tasting Notes


Sipdown (128). So I’m finishing off the other half of this sample today. I thought I tasted perhaps a bit of floral flavor, but I think that’s just my mind trying to connect the tea to the name. Like I said in my previous tasting note, it’s basically just another sencha to me. I steeped very briefly (~20-30 sec?), which helped reduce the bitterness, but it was still there. Disappointingly not what I was expecting from this tea. Will not repurchase :(

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drank Red Robe by thepuriTea
451 tasting notes

A short tasting note this morning. First, thanks to Kat_Maria for including this in our swap! I love roasty oolongs and this tea definitely brings the roasted flavor without being too intense. Resteeps were a bit weak, but still delicious.

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drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
451 tasting notes

Because I just had Butiki earlier today, I thought I’d keep the ball rolling and try out this tea, which was sent to me by Kat_Maria. Thanks! I’m kind of doubting my sanity right now because the dry leaf smelled like pastries. It might be because I have a bunch of samples all in one place though. Second reason for doubting my sanity: I taste something grassy and metallic? I legit just went into hypochondriac mode and googled “metallic taste in mouth” to see if I’m diseased or dying. After 30 minutes, I decided, I’m probably not going to die immediately, so I’m moving on from that… for now. As the tea cooled down, I can definitely taste something sweet, but I’m pretty frazzled at the moment, so I can’t seem to pinpoint anything. Anyhow, I have a bit left of the sample, so we’ll see if things change next time!

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Tea & Cards TTB #14
Before sending off the box, I noticed that there was only one tsp left of this. Plus, I have had it on my wishlist for such a long time (remember when it was a shopping list? haha). So I finally brought this one to school with me. Unfortunately, the water at school was barely hotter than lukewarm. I steeped it anyway, but I will refrain from rating. The caramel kicks off the tea with a very in-your-face flavor. Not to be outdone, vanilla creeps in there as well, though not quite as strongly. I think that there’s something about the base that I may not like as much. Not sure, though, because I’ve never had just straight Assam before. Anyway, I’m glad to have finally tried this tea, even if it wasn’t under the best conditions.

Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla

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Sipdown! (114) I’m sad to see this one go, but it’s not exactly going out on a great note. It probably has to do with the fact that it was a bit underleafed and that it was the bottom of the sample. Today’s almost teaspoon had less rice and matcha than usual. This actually nicely brings out a grassy taste that was hidden by the toasted rice and matcha flavors before. However, this made the tea a bit bitter, which I never had a problem with before. Anyway, if I ever circle back to an order from Den’s, this tea is going to be close to the top of my repurchase list!

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So the last time I had this tea, I suspected that it would taste much better as an iced tea. I’m pleased to report that I was right! I dropped two tea bags into my water bottle, filled it up, and left it chilling in the fridge for a few hours. The resulting tea is this bright pink-red juice, basically. It starts off with a tart note from the hibiscus and then leaves with a more subtle raspberry flavor. Again, I’m not getting “rose” out of this tea, but it was a nice, tangy, refreshing iced tea. My only complaint so far other than the rose thing is that there seemed to be something a bit missing. Maybe next time, I’ll try three teabags or adding a simple syrup to give it a bit more substance.

Flavors: Berries


And now I’m missing Downton Abbey! (They really need to make these BBC series seasons longer ;-).)


Seriously! I thought Downton Abbey was short… Then I started watching Sherlock, haha.

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drank Da Hong Pao by Tea At Sea
451 tasting notes

Thank you for the free sample, Tea at Sea! This is the second of the three samples that I’m trying out today. I feel like most of the oolongs I’ve been trying out have been on the greener side, and this oolong is definitely different. It has a dark, roasty, malt flavor to it that was really intense for me on the first steep. I think the second steep really hit the spot because the intensity mellowed out a bit, yet the flavors were there. It was also a bit sweeter, maybe even fruity the second time around. By the third and fourth steeps, the tea was getting weak, so I just sipped on it alongside some dinner and didn’t think too much about it. If it weren’t for my overflowing cupboard, I would probably consider purchasing more of this. Maybe in a couple months…

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I’ve been finding a trend with Shan Valley’s green teas. They have been nice, but not great. This green tea was not bitter, which was very nice. However, the flavor was pretty weak and unmemorable. I’m finding it hard to describe this further because it was just a standard cup of weak-ish green tea. Perhaps next time I will add more leaf and see what happens.

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drank Oolong Ti Dung by Ronnefeldt Tea
451 tasting notes

Thanks to Courtney for a sample of this oolong! I drank this tea while eating a very spicy meal, so I will leave the rating for next time when I can taste it properly on its own. That being said, I really enjoyed it. The tea was floral, sweet, and smooth. Three qualities I love in a greener oolong. It did get a bit bitter as the cup cooled down, but that seems to be happening with a lot of oolongs that I’ve tried lately. I already resteeped twice with the flavors holding strong. I will probably continue to resteep this one as it is evening and I don’t want to steep up any fresh caffeine.

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drank English Breakfast by Twinings
451 tasting notes

Today, we went to a bakery for the cutest little cupcakes in a jar. So we sat down with our jars of cupcakes and some tea. They had a large selection of mediocre bagged teas, so I opted for my default- English Breakfast. I’m finding that this bagged tea + paper cup = cardboard-y and bitter (bitter mostly because they always let it steep for so long before giving it to you). Anyway, the flavor was mostly drowned out by my extremely sweet cupcake, so I guess it worked itself out.


Well, at least the cupcake was in a jar. Stuff served in jars always excites me.

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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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