421 Tasting Notes

90
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
421 tasting notes

I’m so so excited to participate in my first TTB! This specific one is the Tea & Cards TTB. Anyway, this tea is the first that I’m trying from the box, and a perfect tea for the morning. I’m a big fan of English Breakfast blends, so this tea was right up my alley. Strong, but with a bit of sweetness, and smooth. I think I also detected a bit of smokiness. There was a slight astringency about it, but I may just be extra sensitive from all the cold weather that we’ve been having. I shared the pot with a friend of mine who is normally a coffee-lover, and she seemed to genuinely enjoy it. I declare my first TTB tea a success!

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98

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91

I needed more of a gentle wake up tea this morning, so I went for this houjicha. I was also very groggy, so I knew that this tea would not be as finicky to steep. I overleafed a little and it was roastier than usual, but I liked that.

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93

Amidst the cold weather and crazy classes, I got my swap from Courtney in the mail today! So I celebrated by immediately brewing this tea. I wasn’t quite getting all the intricate flavors that are listed on Verdant’s site for this tea, but then again, it took me a few cups to find the flavors in Laoshan Black in the past as well. What I did get from this tea was a very robust flavor that makes me think that this will be a great tea to wake up in the mornings. I plan on savoring the rest of my sample and hopefully figuring out the right steeping conditions for me!

Courtney

Yay! Enjoy :)

Courtney

Yay! Enjoy :)

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96

After seeing this tea show up on my dashboard in others’ tasting notes so many times, I had to try it for myself! So thank you to bluebelle for sending some my way! Even though I’ve seen people sing praises about this tea, I was still blown away by how spot on it was. The dry leaf smelled like freshly baked pastries. The tea also somehow tastes like freshly baked pastry and cinnamon.
Usually with teas that emulate cakes or other desserts, I feel like there is something missing. Whatever that something is, this tea has it. I guess it just balances well between being overly artificial and being too weakly flavored. I may have to make an order with American Tea Room soon!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon

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85

I had a lot of errands to run after classes today, which usually wouldn’t be too bad, but the cold weather seems to make simple tasks seem all the more formidable. Anyway, I was finally relieved to get back to my cozy apartment and brew up a nice pot of tea to warm up. Because I’ve been drinking sweeter teas lately, I decided to change it up a little and drink this bancha. It has a more vegetal and slightly roasty taste that I also drank with my dinner.

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98

Backlog from this morning. I brought this to class today, and I think that making this tea and LB in my Aladdin tumbler really brings out a strong sweet potato taste that is eventually followed by the chocolate-y goodness that I’m used to. I’m not sure what the reason is for that (leaf/water ratio? room for leaves to expand?), but it’s kinda cool that I can bring out such different flavors from the same teas.

Courtney

I always bring this one or LB in my Timolino. :)

Jennkay

I love bringing them because they resteep so well (and of course because they’re super tasty)

Courtney

I agree! They hold up so well in the Timolino too.

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85
drank Hojicha by Adagio Teas
421 tasting notes

I finally get to use my new Adagio teapot that I received as a belated birthday gift! If this had been the first houjicha I ever tasted, the rating would be a lot higher. However, I have tried many different houjichas, and this one doesn’t really stand out among the rest. It has the trademark roasted taste, but its not particularly pronounced or special that I can tell. I’m not sure why I have seaweed on the brain today, but the leaves smell like roasted/dried seaweed. Anyway, it’s a nice cuppa, and I appreciate the sample that Adagio threw in with my order, but there are better houjichas out there to reorder in the future.

Courtney

Seaweed in all the teas!

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76

Thank you bluebelle for a sample of this oolong! This tea confuses me, but in an exciting kind of way. It’s definitely unlike other oolongs that I’ve had (& I’ve been drinking a lot of them lately). First off, it has that nice, roasted taste with a bit of nuttiness in there as well. What confuses me is the “dark chocolate” part. I’m not detecting any chocolate-y notes, but I’m rather getting a roasted seaweed taste from it. I actually quite enjoy it, but I do not think it is aptly named.

Courtney

Hmm roasted seaweed and chocolate don’t really say the same thing for me haha!

Jennkay

Right? I thought I was going crazy until I saw someone else mentioned seaweed in their tasting note, too. Very odd.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thanks to a bunch of customer comments, I’ve decided the change the name of this tea. The first harvest I had about a year and a half ago was pure dark chocolate, and I had hope for the future harvests being just as chocolatey, but not so much :/ Still love this one though, and thanks for the feedback! :)

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90
drank Karigane #22 by Tea Wing
421 tasting notes

I didn’t realize until yesterday that I still had one tea to try from the Steepster Select December box! A lot of my issues with karigane, kukicha, sencha, etc. is that they are either too grassy or too savory. I think that this tea really hits the right combination of the two that makes it a very comforting tea to me. I will say, though, that I had a lot of sediment in my tea because it was so fine, and it does make for a bitter cup toward the bottom. That’s not too much of a problem for me, though, because I drank it pretty quickly before the bottom could get too bitter.

EDIT: I resteeped and I actually think I may prefer it this way. There is less sediment (I rinsed out the bottom from the first cup), which I forgot to mention before made the texture kind of thick. This cup just tastes a bit cleaner and less bitter to me. Of course, the tradeoff is that the flavor is a bit weaker, but I tend to like my tea on the weaker side anyway, so it’s working out for me!

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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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