467 Tasting Notes


Sipdown! (114) I’m sad to see this one go, but it’s not exactly going out on a great note. It probably has to do with the fact that it was a bit underleafed and that it was the bottom of the sample. Today’s almost teaspoon had less rice and matcha than usual. This actually nicely brings out a grassy taste that was hidden by the toasted rice and matcha flavors before. However, this made the tea a bit bitter, which I never had a problem with before. Anyway, if I ever circle back to an order from Den’s, this tea is going to be close to the top of my repurchase list!

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So the last time I had this tea, I suspected that it would taste much better as an iced tea. I’m pleased to report that I was right! I dropped two tea bags into my water bottle, filled it up, and left it chilling in the fridge for a few hours. The resulting tea is this bright pink-red juice, basically. It starts off with a tart note from the hibiscus and then leaves with a more subtle raspberry flavor. Again, I’m not getting “rose” out of this tea, but it was a nice, tangy, refreshing iced tea. My only complaint so far other than the rose thing is that there seemed to be something a bit missing. Maybe next time, I’ll try three teabags or adding a simple syrup to give it a bit more substance.

Flavors: Berries


And now I’m missing Downton Abbey! (They really need to make these BBC series seasons longer ;-).)


Seriously! I thought Downton Abbey was short… Then I started watching Sherlock, haha.

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drank Da Hong Pao by Tea At Sea
467 tasting notes

Thank you for the free sample, Tea at Sea! This is the second of the three samples that I’m trying out today. I feel like most of the oolongs I’ve been trying out have been on the greener side, and this oolong is definitely different. It has a dark, roasty, malt flavor to it that was really intense for me on the first steep. I think the second steep really hit the spot because the intensity mellowed out a bit, yet the flavors were there. It was also a bit sweeter, maybe even fruity the second time around. By the third and fourth steeps, the tea was getting weak, so I just sipped on it alongside some dinner and didn’t think too much about it. If it weren’t for my overflowing cupboard, I would probably consider purchasing more of this. Maybe in a couple months…

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I’ve been finding a trend with Shan Valley’s green teas. They have been nice, but not great. This green tea was not bitter, which was very nice. However, the flavor was pretty weak and unmemorable. I’m finding it hard to describe this further because it was just a standard cup of weak-ish green tea. Perhaps next time I will add more leaf and see what happens.

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drank Oolong Ti Dung by Ronnefeldt Tea
467 tasting notes

Thanks to Courtney for a sample of this oolong! I drank this tea while eating a very spicy meal, so I will leave the rating for next time when I can taste it properly on its own. That being said, I really enjoyed it. The tea was floral, sweet, and smooth. Three qualities I love in a greener oolong. It did get a bit bitter as the cup cooled down, but that seems to be happening with a lot of oolongs that I’ve tried lately. I already resteeped twice with the flavors holding strong. I will probably continue to resteep this one as it is evening and I don’t want to steep up any fresh caffeine.

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drank English Breakfast by Twinings
467 tasting notes

Today, we went to a bakery for the cutest little cupcakes in a jar. So we sat down with our jars of cupcakes and some tea. They had a large selection of mediocre bagged teas, so I opted for my default- English Breakfast. I’m finding that this bagged tea + paper cup = cardboard-y and bitter (bitter mostly because they always let it steep for so long before giving it to you). Anyway, the flavor was mostly drowned out by my extremely sweet cupcake, so I guess it worked itself out.


Well, at least the cupcake was in a jar. Stuff served in jars always excites me.

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Thanks to bluebelle for a generous sample of this in our swap! I’m really loving TGYs, and this is no different. It delivers on the sweet, nutty, smooth combination that I’ve come to expect from my oolongs. The flavor for the first two steeps was a bit intense or sharp, though. And it got bitter as it cooled down. So I waited a little longer for my water to cool before steeping the third and fourth times and really hit the sweet spot. The flavors were still there but mellowed out and blending together well. By the fifth steep, started to lose too much flavor, but I’m gonna keep resteeping it until I’m just drinking hot water.

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drank Dan Cong by thepuriTea
467 tasting notes

Thanks to Kat_Maria for a sample of this in our swap! I can’t figure out dan cong oolongs. I know they’re supposed to have some kind of fruity taste, but all I can taste is a robustness that reminds me of English Breakfast teas and some pepperiness. Well, even if my taste buds are broken, I really enjoyed this tea. I think it would be nice for mornings when I don’t want a black tea, but still want something strong.

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Woke up late for class, travel tumbler was unwashed, went to school without tea. Nooo! But we have these new “healthy” vending machines that had cans of this flavored green tea, so I thought I would try it out. It was tasty, but definitely not tea. It was more like raspberry and sugar substitute water. More like a watery juice than tea. If there was any green tea flavor, it escaped me. It’s too overpriced for a can of non-tea, so I won’t be getting it again. I did finish the can that I had, though, because I was thirsty and it wasn’t bad for a watery juice.

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drank Valley Green Tea by Shan Valley
467 tasting notes

I seem to be a magnet for bitter today. I ordered a very reasonably priced sample of this from Shan Valley. When I smelled the dry leaves, it smelled like a typical grassy green tea. Steeping it up, it’s still a typical, grassy green tea. It’s also pretty bitter, though, and I didn’t even steep it for very long (maybe a minute or so?). Perhaps I should have waited for the water to cool down a little more, but even if this tea weren’t bitter, there didn’t seem to be anything all that notable about it. I will fiddle with the rest of the sample for sure, but it looks like I will not restock on this tea.

carol who

I was not impressed with it either. I got the samples and it was a good deal but nothing I need to order. I also didn’t like that there were no brewing notes.


“A magnet for bitter”! Sounds like an album name of a cool indie band.

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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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