551 Tasting Notes

87

I really enjoy drinking Japanese greens while eating dinner. Particularly when I’m eating spicy foods. This gyokuro is a nice balance of grassy and savory with a thick mouthfeel. I probably mentioned that in previous notes, so I’ll be brief this time. Just wanted to say that I’m bumping up the rating on this one!

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73
drank Strawberry & Vanilla by Lupicia
551 tasting notes

I’ve been meaning to try this tea for a while, so thank you to Kat_Maria for sending me some satchets to try it out! I have to say that for all of Lupicia’s wonderfulness, I was a bit disappointed with this one. The strawberry tasted a bit medicinal kind of like the cherry cough syrup I ate as a kid. When I look past this medicinal flavor, it’s actually quite a nice tea. The creaminess goes well with the underlying strawberry. I am tempted to cold brew it (like I do everything nowadays), but I have a feeling that would just highlight the medicinal taste.

Anna

I HATE that syrup… and LOVE this tea. The weirdness of taste buds. Good reminder, though, I have yet to cold steep this!

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80
drank Genmaicha by Argo Tea
551 tasting notes

I realized that I never tried this tea that’s been sitting in my shelf for a bit now. So I continued my cold brewing obsession with this genmaicha. First off, there were quite a few popped rice bits in the tea. I think that translated into the ultimate taste. I was tasting a lot more of the toasted rice flavor than the green tea base. I actually really like this one as a cold brew, but I will reserve my rating for when I can try it out hot to more directly compare to other genmaichas I’ve had.

Preparation
Iced

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drank Bubble Tea by Custom
551 tasting notes

I found a decent bubble tea place fairly close to me in Boston! Or maybe I’ve just been here so long that my standards have just lowered. Anyway, I got a roasted oolong milk tea that was pretty good. I also picked up a pitcher and some paper tea filters for more cold brewing. All in all, a pretty good afternoon!

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drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
551 tasting notes

Sipdown! (127). First off, let me tell you the amazing story of how this tea came (back) to me. It was in the Tea & Cards TTB that I had participated in. I set it aside as one of the teas I wanted to try, but I only tend to drink 2 (maaaybe 3) teas in a day, so I didn’t get to try all the teas that I wanted to while the TTB was in my possession. So I sent the box off to Pyroxy, who then wrote a tasting note about this very tea that made me regret not trying it or pulling some from the box. I commented about this regret on her tasting note and then she messaged me that she was sending me the last of the tea! So thanks so much Pyroxy for taking the time to do that!

On to the tea itself, haha. As soon as I opened up the tea, I was hit with a perfume-y scent that I couldn’t place on my own, but I assume that it’s tangerine blossom because of the name. This tea actually reminds me a lot of jasmine teas because of the perfume-y, almost soapy, quality (in a good way). It’s definitely more citrus-y than jasmine teas, though, which I guess distinguishes it as a tangerine blossom for me. I can also taste that malty black tea base at the very end of the sip that is also pretty distinguishing. Overall, I’m really enjoying this pot of tea, but it may be a tad too perfume-y for regular consumption for me.

Nicole

I tend to have it on occasions when I’d normally have jasmine green or white but want something with just a touch more body. Goes great with Thai food.

Jennkay

Ooh, I can see it going well with Thai. Too bad I saw this comment after I already made dinner cause now I’m craving pad see ew!

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93
Hmm, I remember this one being more delicious than it turned out today. It might be because the original sample packet was so airtight that when I threw the rests of it into a ziploc, it wasn’t enough? Anyway, it’s hard to explain but it seems to have a more damp taste to it than before. It’s not as clean and sweet as I remember. Good thing I have unopened samples to retry!

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100

Previously, I had only thought to cold brew my fruity teas, but since I have so much of this particular houjicha (and houjichas in general), I figured why not try it as a cold brew? It maintained the same dried anchovy and roasted almost smoky taste as it does when it is hot, yet something about having it as an iced tea made it seem more refreshing. I’m thinking that less smokier houjichas will probably fare better, so I may use up some of my dwindling samples of other houjichas to experiment with cold brewing. Yay, I’m excited! :)

Preparation
Iced

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87
drank Eggnog & Pralines by Butiki Teas
551 tasting notes

Sipdown! (128) I was very skeptical about this tea from the get-go. I’m pretty picky when it comes to heavily flavored teas and also Chinese green teas. However, I wanted something sweeter and less caffeinated for my post-dinner treat. I was very happily surprised by this tea! It starts off with that creamy eggnog taste. Then, I can taste the nutty and caramel-like flavors of praline. The Chinese green slips in right at the end. At first, I was a bit disappointed that it did not have as thick of a mouthfeel as I expected (I was thinking eggnog!), but as I kept sipping on the cup, I forgot about it. As it cools, it does get a bit of that trademark bitter taste from the Chinese green tea base, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Thanks so much to Kat_Maria for sending this to me! I probably wouldn’t have ever tried it myself otherwise.

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95

Cold brewed this one yet again. I’m having a nice refreshing snack of peach iced tea, handmade tortilla chips, and homemade guacamole. Seems like an odd combination, but I’m really liking it. So much so that I think I’m probably eating too much as a “snack” and will have to eat less for dinner. Anyway, I think this is my favorite iced tea (I can’t even remember what it tastes like hot anymore), so I’m going through it pretty quickly.

Kat_Maria

Wow! My hub and I are going to have homemade guacamole (isn’t it the best???) with tortilla chips (store-bought, though) in a few minutes. Except the tea we’re having is Harney&Sons’ Tokyo.

And the Momo was really good, thanks for sending me a sample of it :)

Jennkay

Sounds delicious! I especially like making my own guac because I’m not a huge fan of cilantro that seems to be abundant in premade guacamole.

And you’re welcome! I’m glad that you had the chance to try this tea out :)

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93
drank Tencha-Kuki Houjicha by Den's Tea
551 tasting notes

I was so excited to have this tea again that I burned my tongue on the first sip. Drat (whoa where did that word come from?). Anyway, I can still taste the nice roasted grain taste from this tea. It’s also a bit sweet, which makes for an overall very comforting tea for me. Because I’ve banned myself from making any new tea orders for a while, I will cherish the rest of the sample that bluebelle sent 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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