573 Tasting Notes

drank Qi'Lan Fireside Oolong by Teavana
573 tasting notes

I actually had a pleasant in-store experience at Teavana today. I felt a little bad that I was using my Starbucks reward just to get the free ounce, but I really can’t buy more tea right now because I’m trying to sip down as many as I can before I move! I have this one box designated for tea when I move, and it’s currently overflowing.

Anyway, the Teavana guy was raving about how roasty and delicious this tea is. It’s almost like he could read off my face that I liked roasty teas. And I have to say that the tea does not disappoint! It has a dark, roasted flavor with even some smokiness (but not overwhelming) in there as well. It also has that sweet flavor that I’m used to finding in slightly greener oolongs, which was a nice surprise. The texture of the tea has a creamy quality to it, which was also another nice surprise.

The flavors are all holding up nicely in the resteep. Though, the unfurled leaves are not as full and impressive as I had hoped they would be, especially compared to some other darker oolongs that I’ve had.

Overall, a very delicious tea, but not the best dark oolong I’ve ever had. Which, I guess is good news because in typical Teavana fashion, I think that it is overpriced compared to all the other online vendors. I will probably not purchase this with actual money, but I will definitely resteep the heck out of every last leaf that I have. And perhaps I will use a future Starbucks reward to restock.

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Perhaps I underleafed this today, but the flavor seemed a bit weak this time around. It had a typical grassy/vegetal flavor about it, but it was hard to pick it apart more than that because the flavors were so very subtle. It also tasted the slightest bit smoky, but that may be because it was next to a gunpowder sample I had from the same Persimmon Trees sample. Also, the rest of my sample seems to have been crushed a bit, so I’ll probably put the rest of it into a tea filter and cold brew. All in all, a lovely cup of tea that was calming and a bit of a palate cleanser after the last tea I had. However, it doesn’t seem special enough to order again.

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Sipdown (116)! So I just saw a post on the tea subreddit on Reddit about how someone bought these teas on a discontinuation sale, but they had arrived already spoiled. That was a not so nice reminder that I have had one of these in my fridge for about forever. The expiration date on the cap said June 22, so I thought I’d just go for it… cautiously. I’m not sure if my tea had gone bad or I just plain did not like it, but I could not drink more than a few sips of this stuff. It had an overwhelmingly medicinal/honey-in-a-bad-way flavor that almost made the tea seem thick? I had to check the bottle again to see that it said “unsweetened” on the side. I probably didn’t drink enough of it to really give a more coherent tasting note about this tea, but it definitely did not seem like a refreshing, simple, “unsweetened” green tea to me. Plus, I’ve been cold brewing tons of green tea lately, so I think I have a good comparison. Anyway, enough confused rambling. Time to go make some more tea to get this “tea” flavor out of my mouth!

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drank Kyobancha by Yunomius
573 tasting notes

Cold brewed this one again! I realized that the reason I like this one so much as a cold brew is that it maintains the balance between that vegetal quality of a green tea but also the roasted flavor. I feel like with a lot of my roastier cold brews, the roasted taste kind of takes over, but in this tea the two flavors really complement one another. I’ll probably pop some more into the fridge after I wash out my water bottle. I have a feeling this sample will be sipped down very soon.

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drank Precious White Peach by Teavana
573 tasting notes

When I have this tea lately, it reminds me of how much my tastes have changed. I used to really love this one, but I’ve since found many other great peach teas, so I’m lowering my rating on this one just a tad. Today, I’m having it as a cold brew (2 tsp in water bottle for ~7 hrs). I’m not liking this one as much as a cold brew. It has an oily feel and the peach flavor is on the perfume-y side. It’s not terrible, but I have tastier options for cold brewed peach tea.

Edit: As I kept sipping on this tea, it also suddenly became very bitter. I think it’s because of the white tea because I’ve had similar problems with bitterness when steeping this hot.

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So I haven’t been posting as many tasting notes lately just because I’ve been drinking the same reliable teas over and over again, so they would get pretty repetitive and boring. Anyway, here’s a snippet of what I’ve been steeping and resteeping lately:

- Yu Lu Yan Cha; Never disappoints! I’m a huge Verdant black tea fan
- Da Hong Pao; I especially love Teavivre’s version. Sooo creamy

Cold brewed:
- barley tea; My one and only pitcher is dedicated to this tea. I think I drink about a liter (or more) of this a day. It’s basically my water.
- genmaicha; I’m using the sample I got from Argo Tea to make this delicious cold brew. I’ve found that I really love roasty cold brews.
- Momo Oolong Super Grade; My favorite fruity cold brew! I love the way the candy-peach flavor tastes as a refreshing cold brew.

I’m also experimenting with cold brewing a bunch of teas that I wouldn’t have thought to cold brew before just because it’s getting humid, and I’m more of a dry heat kind of girl. I don’t know how to handle the humidity other than drowning myself in refreshing cold brews and constantly splashing water on my face!

P.S. I love how people have been adding flavors to the random steepings page. A tea with “Flowers, Stonefruits, Honey, Lemon Zest, Plants, Asparagus, Mineral, Potato, Orange Zest”? Sounds… complex, haha.



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drank JavaVana Mate by Teavana
573 tasting notes

I would have never thought to cold brew this one, but I’ve been needing lots of energy this week, so I thought why not? It still has that coffee flavor, but in a refreshing cold brew. It does seem to taste a little bit off, but I can’t really put my finger on it just yet. Hopefully it will deliver on the energy that I need to push through the day. Thanks to Kat_Maria for sending me a generous sample of this tea!

Also, I have a Starbucks reward that I am planning to redeem at Teavana for a free oz of tea. Any suggestions? Perhaps something that may cold brew nicely in this warmer weather?

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drank Kyobancha by Yunomius
573 tasting notes

It’s suddenly become so humid at the same time that my allergies decided to flare up. All in all, not a great time to be drinking too much hot tea. So I threw a couple teaspoons of this tea into my water bottle and left it in the fridge for about 12 hours. It has a nice earthy taste like crispy fall leaves with a roasted flavor as well. I think the roasted seaweed flavor is still there, but a little less prominent. I knew it was a good idea to cold brew this one! This is one of those rare teas that I seem to like the hot and cold brewed versions pretty equally.

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I’ve been consciously trying not to drink this one as often because I’m running so low on this delicious tea. However, as it is the beginning of finals week (and perhaps the very last finals week of my entire life), I thought I deserved to have this one. There are so many complex, delicious flavors that complement each other so perfectly in this tea that it’s hard not to love it! Anyway, here is to surviving the rest of this week!


Good luck!


Thanks! You too, right? We can do this!


Haha, I just began a new spring course, though I have a midterm tomorrow. But it isn’t my last set. I have until next April to go. But that’s so exciting you’re nearly done!


Yeah, I’ve been seeing stuff about exams in your tasting notes and empathizing a lot. I’m actually pretty excited to be done soon!

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drank Da Hong Pao by Tea At Sea
573 tasting notes

Sipdown (117)! I only had about two teaspoons of this left, and I realized that I’ve never tried cold brewing a Da Hong Pao before. Given that I love roasty cold brews, I thought this would be perfect! So I took the last of my sample and stuck it in the fridge for 16 hours. In hindsight, I should’ve taken it out sooner because it was a bit strong, but I never remember to take my cold brews out on time.

Anyway, I’m so glad that I tried this one out as a cold brew because now I love da hong paos both hot and iced. There was that signature sweet oolong flavor with the roastiness of a dark oolong. I think that between this one and the hot version, the cold brew is more naturally sweet.

So, this is good news and bad news. Good news because I love it! Bad news because I’m rapidly running out of da hong pao, and cold brews use up more leaf. Oh well, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the rest of this one for now!

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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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