589 Tasting Notes

drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
589 tasting notes

So I decided a while ago after joining Steepster and discovering so many cool tea companies to order from online that money spent at Teavana would be much better spent elsewhere. However, I did have a free Starbucks reward, so I went into Teavana to get a free ounce of this tea. It was odd because the employees were all circling me like vultures until I mentioned that I wanted to use my free reward. Then it seemed like their mission was to get me out of the store as soon as possible. Yet another odd Teavana experience to add to the books.

Anyway, the dry leaf smells kind of grassy, and just typical green oolong-smelling. After a quick rinse, I started to realize that it has that damp smell and taste that I previously smelled/tasted with one of Teavivre’s popular oolongs. It’s not exactly my favorite flavor, so I was not enamored with this tea. Also, the spent leaves smelled a bit like spinach, which was not coming across in the tea itself to me. Overall, my odd in-store experience kind of carried over to an odd tea that wasn’t really my style. At least I squeezed a free ounce out of them! And I will definitely be playing around with the rest of it to see if I can hit the sweet spot.

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As I mentioned in previous tasting notes, this tea as a hot tea didn’t impress me much. However, as a cold brew, it was pretty refreshing, so I cold brewed it again. This time, I didn’t leave it in the fridge for more than maybe 8 hours or so, which prevented the bitterness I tasted last time. It’s a refreshing, though a bit generic-tasting, iced green tea.


It’s neat how different cold and hot brew can be :)


I know, right? It’s like doubling my options from my cupboard.

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This tea is very different from the last time that I had it. The first main difference was that as soon as it started steeping, it smelled very smoky, almost tobacco-like, which I did not detect at all last time. The seaweed flavor that I remember from last time was still there, but only came after an initial smoky taste. Both times, though, I’m confused about where the “dark chocolate” is supposed to be in this tea. I’m lowering my rating because of the smokiness, but this is definitely unlike any other oolong that I’ve ever had. Thanks bluebelle for letting me try this!

Edit: Oh, and this is a sipdown (121)!

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drank Precious White Peach by Teavana
589 tasting notes

I had this one after dinner because I didn’t want something too heavily caffeinated so late in the day. Also, I guess today was just a fruity tea kind of day. Anyway, I let the water cool down quite a bit to avoid bitterness, and it worked! I’m definitely getting a strong peach flavor, but it kind of tastes like what I imagine a dried peach would taste like (like dried mango, but peach). As is Teavana’s style, this tea is on the verge of being too perfume-y, but dialed back just enough that I can actually enjoy it. I don’t think this one will be a repurchase, but I will definitely enjoy what I have left!

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Another great steeping of this tea. I’ve realized that this is one of the few teas I have that I can’t remember having a bad steep with. I guess that’s why I keep it around as a staple!

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drank Grape Sencha by Den's Tea
589 tasting notes

After drinking this tea hot and really enjoying it, I decided to cold brew it! I’m surprised because based on the hot tea, I thought it would make a perfect, fruity, refreshing cold brew. Unfortunately, I was getting a lot of the grape medicine taste that I was afraid would happen. I’m not going to lower my rating or anything, because I still really enjoyed it hot, but I won’t be cold brewing it again.

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Backlog. After having this in my cupboard for a while, I finally tried it out a few days ago and haven’t been able to keep it out of my head ever since. So as a motivation to tackle STATA (stats software) for class, I steeped this beauty. So roasty in flavor but creamy in texture. Plus, it resteeps so darn well! This is definitely in my top 2 dark oolongs, the other being Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe from Verdant.

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I went to the coolest place for dinner today. Chefs from awesome restaurants in the area all contribute a sandwich recipe, and they are all offered at this cafe. Anyway, seeing as it is a weeknight, I decided to order the mint peach iced tea over an alcoholic beverage. It was a bit too minty for my taste, but it was a nice sweet tea. Plus, it was refreshing on this very warm evening. Just thought I’d share :)


That sounds very cool!

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drank Kyobancha by Yunomius
589 tasting notes

The first thing I noticed was that this sample packet was a lot fluffier than the others. When I opened it up, the dry leaves are just as shown in the picture: big, flat, whole tea leaves! That was pretty exciting. It also smelled kind of like someone took a bunch of crunchy autumn leaves and roasted them. Actually, that’s kind of how I would describe the tea flavor as well. The roasted flavor is a bit light compared to some other teas that I have, but it is nice and pleasant. Overall, this tea has a clean taste, which makes me think that it will do well as a cold brew. I guess that will be my next adventure!

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Cold brewed a couple teaspoons in my water bottle for 6 hours in my fridge. I’m glad I kept my eye on the time this time around because I feel that keeping it in longer would have ended up with bitter tea. The tea was grassy, but also sweet. And it had a very clean, refreshing feel as a cold brew. As the weather continues to warm up, I’ll likely finish off the rest of this tea via cold brewing.

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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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