456 Tasting Notes

drank Roasted Milk Tea by 3:15 PM
456 tasting notes

Oh man, I cannot control myself when it comes to milk teas. I had this one again today. This morning before I left the apartment, I steeped this hot in my travel mug, then stuck the whole thing (mug + tea bag) into the fridge to continue to sit and cool down. Fast forward about 10 hours later, and I’m drinking a nicely refreshing cold milk tea. I just wanted to add that letting it steep for so long actually brought out a teensy bit of smokiness in addition to the roastiness. I guess smoky and roasty can go hand in hand, but I tend to lean heavily toward roasty and away from smoky. The smoky flavor was definitely not strong enough to put me off the tea, but it was just an interesting find.

Edit: I just realized I started my other tasting note on this tea with “Oh man” as well. I didn’t know that I said that so much, haha.

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Backlog. It’s difficult for me to concentrate on anything productive because my migraine is back, sigh. So I thought I’d write up a tasting note on the blackberry mojito tea lemonade I had earlier today at Starbucks. It was surprisingly better than I expected it to be. Over the past half year or so, I’ve definitely lowered my standards for tea from Starbucks as I got more and more obsessed with Steepster and became a bit tea snobbish. But anyway, the blackberry mojito tea lemonade was just a nice sweet drink, kind of like a juice with the black tea base peeking through at certain moments. I think the minty taste also had something that reminded me of lemongrass. Odd. But when I treat it like a juice, I like it enough to want to get it again sometime in the future.

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82

Sipdown (103)! I sadly cold brewed the rest of this one. I’ve really enjoyed this tea, and surprisingly, I think I prefer the cold brew over the hot version of this tea. The cold brew just brings out a sweetness that rounds out the battling blacks. And like before, I keep feeling like there is a Chinese green tea in this one, particularly gunpowder, even though I know there is not. Anyway, I’m happy with my introduction to Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea, and hopefully I can try many more in the future!

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drank Roasted Milk Tea by 3:15 PM
456 tasting notes

Oh man, I really tried not to buy more tea, but my local Asian grocery doesn’t usually have the roasted flavor of this tea. Plus, I’ve been really wanting to try it since I had the regular milk tea version. Plus plus, I had run out of the regular milk tea version… Next thing I know, I’m at the cash register with this extra box in my cart. Anyway, there’s not much different about it compared to the regular milk tea version. I mean, it is slightly roastier, but mostly the same old same old. I guess I would prefer it over the regular one because I just like roasty teas, but honestly, there is not much difference to have them both at the same time. I think I wasn’t really in the mood for something this sweet right now because of the sweetener included, but I’ll definitely be reaching for it when my sweet tooth is acting up a bit more in the future.

I was so proud the other day to get down to 103 teas, but now I’m back up one tea, sigh. I think my modest sipdown goal for the end of the month is to be under 100 teas. Wish me luck!

Stephanie

Good luck! This place is a bad influence ;)

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84

Cold brewed this one again. I think I may have left it in the fridge for longer this time because it’s just a tad bolder and now there is a smoky element to it as well. On its own, it’s a little overwhelming for me, but I am drinking it while eating a salty snack. I think that the saltiness from the snack somehow brings out this sweeter flavor from the tea that I did not notice as much before. In any case, the combo is deelicious. I’m getting close to a sipdown on this one, so I’m going to try to save the rest for a hot cuppa, but I really am tempted to cold brew it again after this successful experiment.

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90
drank Barley Tea by Dong Suh
456 tasting notes

Funny story. I have this tea pretty much every day, so I don’t write a tasting note every time or else it would get really repetitive and obnoxious. When I ran out, I went to a different Asian supermarket than before to replenish. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that there is a cartoon of a baby on the box. Why? Because apparently I accidentally bought the “infant” version of this tea. What does that even mean? But I figured that if it is good enough for a baby, then it should be fine for me, right? Anyway, it smelled the same, so I cold brewed in a pitcher as usual. I think the only difference I can detect so far is that it is a little milder in the roasted flavor. I thought I’d just share because I thought it was hilarious and I never realized that they made teas specially for babies.

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77

Sipdown (103)! Ooh, I’m getting close to being under 100 for the first time since I went way over on my fall tea buying spree last year. Anyway, I remember having this as a cold brew just a little while ago, so I was very surprised today when I steeped it hot. As a cold brew, it was light, sweet, and refreshing. As a hot tea, it is totally different, but not necessarily in a bad way. It is definitely much bolder (but that could also be due to a different leaf/water ratio). It’s much maltier and has a touch of smokiness that I did not detect at all in the cold brewed version. I think I prefer the cold brew, surprisingly, because it was lighter and didn’t have the smokiness to it. I did quite enjoy the sample from Tea at Sea, but I do not think I will reorder this one just because there are many other straight blacks that I prefer and/or want to try out.

Edit: As the cup cooled down, there was also some tartness to the tea. Interesting.

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Okay, so I had a pretty potent headache when I picked this one out, so I was in a rush and didn’t really pay close attention. Plus, the salesperson was very pushy about getting this one and I had no energy to question it. And then I just decided to cold brew it because I was curious about it, but didn’t want to drink something hot in this humidity. It had a nice nutty and cinnamon taste that I can imagine would be much better hot. The combo of flavors (especially the cinnamon) is odd as a cold brew. I also tasted something odd about the tea, which upon closer inspection I realized was rooibos. Had I realized that this had rooibos before, I would not have gotten it because I just am not a big fan of rooibos. Anyway, this tasting note feels like it’s kind of all over the place. Basically, I will try this again hot later when I have the chance, but so far doesn’t look too good for my personal taste.

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84

I ordered a sample of this one because I’m not sure that I’ve ever had straight up Darjeeling on its own. Anyway, I cold brewed this one because the weather is still not too great for hot teas at the moment. It’s much bolder and maltier than the straight Assam (also from The Persimmon Tree) that I had earlier, and there is less of that honey sweetness compared to the Assam. I’m a bit confused because it seems like what I’ve read briefly around the internet has told me that it’s supposed to be the opposite? I guess I will have to try this one hot sometime to really help me figure it out.

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96
drank White Orchard by Mighty Leaf Tea
456 tasting notes

After a terrible experience with a lime tea, I was scrambling to find another tea to wash it down with. Fortunately, I had one of these tea sachets cold brewing in the fridge. I may have left it in a little too long this time because there was a sort of sharpness or bitterness to it. However, the floral and fruity notes were still very present and delicious. Very helpful in clearing my head and getting rid of that previous foul taste in my mouth.

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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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