551 Tasting Notes


A major oops with this tea today. I accidentally let it steep for about 30 minutes while I was making something to eat. When I finally realized, my first thought was that it would be so bitter that I’d have to dump it. Wrong! I was pretty surprised and excited that it wasn’t bitter at all and only a little astringent. I usually am very timid about steeping black teas because I don’t like them too bold, but this tea just had this really deep, malty, potato flavor that was really delicious. So my conclusion and reminder for myself with this tasting note is to play around with longer steeping times (but definitely not 30 minutes) when I try this tea again. Yay for accidents?


Yum, tasty accident :D

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Sipdown (118)! I have definitely had this tea before, but I don’t see a previous note about it, so I guess I just forgot to log it last time. Anyway, this is a perfectly nice, light, floral green oolong. It is a bit weaker in flavor than other oolongs that I’ve had, so I don’t think this one would be a restock for me. However, I’m really enjoying it.

On a side note, I’ve found that lately all of my green oolongs have had this damp flavor to them. Not sure if that has always been there and I’m just becoming more sensitive to it or if I need to store them better or they’re just getting old (but they’re not THAT old!). Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if this happens when I buy fresh tea. I hope not because oolongs are my favorite, and this damp-ish flavor is hindering my enjoyment a bit.

Edit: The steeped leaves are also really beautifully full when they’re unfurled.

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Oops, I had forgotten about my little samples from The Persimmon Tree, but now I’m getting around to them again. I’ve had many a breakfast tea blend as well as flavored teas with Assam bases, but never just straight up Assam. That’s why I decided to get this one in the sampler pack. It’s malty as expected, and a little bit astringent (also pretty expected). I guess I thought it would have a stronger/bolder taste than this tea actually did. It seemed much mellower than my usual EB blends. Not sure if that would apply just to this one Assam or to all Assams in general, so it looks like I still have more tasting and experimenting to do! I do quite like it, though, and it still is bold enough that I can appreciate it on this slightly cool slightly sunny morning.

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I was experimenting with fruit infused teas again, so I put about a tablespoon of this tea with orange slices in my water bottle and cold brewed it. I think that this tea was a little too delicate because the orange really overpowered the green tea. However, I could definitely tell that there was something more than just orange-flavored water there. I probably won’t use this tea with other fruits, but on its own and with lots of leaf, it can make a good cold brew.

Single Origin Teas

I’m going to steal this idea! Peaches are just coming into season in our farmers market. Fresh peaches + any tea = win

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Sipdown (120)! I used up the last of this leaf in a cold brew since I don’t really drink too much hot tea these days. I left it in the fridge for about 9-10 hours, which in hindsight was probably too long because there was a bit of bitterness to it that I feel could have been avoided. The tea was grassy and savory, much like the hot version of the tea. I think I actually prefer it hot, but it was nice to try out as a cold brew.

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I had to wake up earlier than I would have wanted on a Saturday for a picture, so when I got back, I needed this cuppa. I went for this tea because I remember it being a very smooth, bold breakfast-y tea. And memory served me right this time around! I don’t really get a lot of subtle different flavors with this tea as I might with some other black teas, but the bold, straightforwardness of it was really hitting the spot today. Unfortunately, it was more than a little astringent, but that was probably because I steeped too long or something. I was a little distracted when making this one. Anyhow, a redeeming start to the day!

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Hmm, first tasting note on this tea, that’s kinda scary! Anyway, I got my first Simple Loose Leaf box in the mail yesterday. When I smelled the dry leaf, it was so wonderfully peachy that I knew I had to cold brew it. I put a couple of teaspoons into a water bottle into the fridge for about half a day (I always forget to take them out in a timely manner). It has a very nice juicy peach flavor that is not too artificial, and the white tea base really helps give it a clean taste to me. It’s quite refreshing as a cold brew! I can’t wait to try it out hot and see how it compares as well. It’ll be interesting to see if the white tea base shows up a bit more when hot.

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Backlog. Had this one after dinner even though I knew that it was probably going to be too much caffeine (and now I’m awake in the middle of the night). But you know what, it was worth it because that lovely creamy, roasty goodness really hit the spot on this rainy, dreary evening.

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drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
551 tasting notes

To give this tea another chance, I put 2 teaspoons of it into my water bottle for a cold brew. I accidentally forgot about it and ended up cold brewing for about 20 hours, but it actually turned out okay. Now, I was drinking this while eating dinner, so it was hard to tell the nuances of the tea, but I was getting a pleasant general green oolong taste out of it today. I’ll probably cold brew it again, so I’ll add more detailed tasting notes about that at another time.

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It’s cold again around these parts (but not THAT cold), so I’ve been trying to get in some hot teas. This tea is not hitting the spot for me tonight. I think it’s partially because I steeped a little too long while I was testing out my new camera by taking pictures of the tea steeping in my clear gongfu teapot. Anyway, it’s vegetal with some bitterness mixed in. I think I may dump the leaves after this steep and go for a sweeter tea? We shall see.

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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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