526 Tasting Notes

93

I’m bumping up the rating for this one a little because I’m getting more nuance this time around beyond “strong, black tea.” It has a warm baked bread and honey flavor that I missed last time. There’s also more astringency than last time, but the tea is so delicious that I can look past it. Overall, I feel like most of the Verdant black teas I’ve had have the same sort overall feelings and flavors. This is definitely not a bad thing in my book because I love them! Too bad I seem to always be running out of them when they’re out of stock on the website, eek!

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73
drank Pear & Green Tea by Tealuxe
526 tasting notes

I met up with a friend in Cambridge today, so I used it as an excuse to stop by Tealuxe! Today, I tried iced pear & green tea with bubbles. First off, the tea was just okay. I could definitely taste the pear flavor and a light green tea. However, the tea somehow came off perfume-y and weak at the same time. The bubbles were sweet and chewy, but that didn’t make up for the weak tea itself. I’m finding that with the fruity teas at Tealuxe, they tend to be a bit on the perfume-y side, so I need to be more selective when I go back!

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drank Cheesecake Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
526 tasting notes

Sipdown (119)! Ok, so after seeing posts about almond milk both here on Steepster and on other sites, I decided to go for it and buy unsweetened vanilla almond milk. First, I tasted the milk on its own, and I don’t think I’m a fan. It tastes kind of weak. Maybe because it’s unsweetened? Anyhow, I mixed this matcha in there and shook it about to see if I liked it better than matcha in regular milk. It still wasn’t really my style. The matcha had a sharp, grassy/seaweedy flavor that was matched with an artificial sweetness from the cheesecake flavoring. Not my favorite combo by far. At least now I can read others’ tasting notes about flavored matchas and not feel too sad that I’m missing out.

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99

Backlog from this morning. I didn’t have the best experience with this tea today, but that is definitely not the tea’s fault. First off, it suddenly started getting humid, so I was already a bit uncomfortable and sticky by the time I got to school. And also my straight teas never taste quite as good in my tumbler. Anyway, it helped give me the energy I needed to get through the day, and just for that, I am grateful. So sad that I’m running out of this one!

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89

I cold brewed this for the first time with 2 tsp in my water bottle for a bit too long (prob over 12 hours). At the first sip, it really reminded me of Peach Snapple Iced Tea except without the crazy amount of sugar that they put in there. As I kept drinking, though, the peach flavor did come off a little medicinal-tasting, but not too strongly. Anyway, it was a nice fruity tea where I could still strongly taste the black tea base. Not bad!

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93
drank Tencha-Kuki Houjicha by Den's Tea
526 tasting notes

Sipdown (120)! My internet died and I lost my tasting note, so I’ll keep this short and simple. I cold brewed the rest of what I had for 6-7 hours in the fridge. If I had to do it again, I would reduce the time and/or leaf/water ratio because it did come off a bit strong. The cold brew brought out a wooden note that wasn’t so distinct when I had it hot. I think I preferred it hot over cold brewed, but it was definitely an interesting experiment! Thanks again to bluebelle for the sample!

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82
drank Oolong Ti Dung by Ronnefeldt Tea
526 tasting notes

Hmm, this tea was not really doing it for me today. Maybe I just need to take a break from oolongs for a bit. I was getting that weird damp taste that I tasted in some other oolongs. It’s strange because they’re all stored in separate, dry, dark places, so I don’t think it’s contamination from something around them. Well, I have enough to keep trying, which is the good news!

Courtney

I went through a phase where all oolongs turned me right off. I’m waiting it out a bit now before I try any new oolongs.

Jennkay

I hope this phase doesn’t last too long because I love oolongs! I guess this is just an opportunity to branch out and find something new!

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75
drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
526 tasting notes

So I decided a while ago after joining Steepster and discovering so many cool tea companies to order from online that money spent at Teavana would be much better spent elsewhere. However, I did have a free Starbucks reward, so I went into Teavana to get a free ounce of this tea. It was odd because the employees were all circling me like vultures until I mentioned that I wanted to use my free reward. Then it seemed like their mission was to get me out of the store as soon as possible. Yet another odd Teavana experience to add to the books.

Anyway, the dry leaf smells kind of grassy, and just typical green oolong-smelling. After a quick rinse, I started to realize that it has that damp smell and taste that I previously smelled/tasted with one of Teavivre’s popular oolongs. It’s not exactly my favorite flavor, so I was not enamored with this tea. Also, the spent leaves smelled a bit like spinach, which was not coming across in the tea itself to me. Overall, my odd in-store experience kind of carried over to an odd tea that wasn’t really my style. At least I squeezed a free ounce out of them! And I will definitely be playing around with the rest of it to see if I can hit the sweet spot.

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79

As I mentioned in previous tasting notes, this tea as a hot tea didn’t impress me much. However, as a cold brew, it was pretty refreshing, so I cold brewed it again. This time, I didn’t leave it in the fridge for more than maybe 8 hours or so, which prevented the bitterness I tasted last time. It’s a refreshing, though a bit generic-tasting, iced green tea.

Stephanie

It’s neat how different cold and hot brew can be :)

Jennkay

I know, right? It’s like doubling my options from my cupboard.

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76

This tea is very different from the last time that I had it. The first main difference was that as soon as it started steeping, it smelled very smoky, almost tobacco-like, which I did not detect at all last time. The seaweed flavor that I remember from last time was still there, but only came after an initial smoky taste. Both times, though, I’m confused about where the “dark chocolate” is supposed to be in this tea. I’m lowering my rating because of the smokiness, but this is definitely unlike any other oolong that I’ve ever had. Thanks bluebelle for letting me try this!

Edit: Oh, and this is a sipdown (121)!

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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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