526 Tasting Notes

65
drank Watermelon Barley Tea by Lupicia
526 tasting notes

I pulled another tea from the T&C TTB to try out tonight. As I have to wake up early tomorrow, I did not want to risk any caffeine, so I went for one of the watermelon barley sachets. First off, I have to say that I love barley tea. I drink it practically every day from a big pitcher of it in my fridge (yes, I am Korean American). I have never tried any flavored barley teas before, but I usually love how Lupicia flavors their teas, so I was so excited to see this tea in the TTB.

As I was steeping the tea, I got a whiff of a heavy smoky scent from the tea. My regular barley tea does have a bit of smokiness, but not nearly this much. That worried me because it smelled like a tobacco kind of smoky rather than a BBQ/charcoal kind of smoky. It also smelled like candy watermelon. When I tasted the tea, I think it was less smoky than it smelled like it was going to be, but still enough that it was a bit off-putting to me. The candy watermelon flavor only really quietly sneaked in as an aftertaste after the roasted/smoky barley flavor. I wanted to love this tea, but I just couldn’t get over that strong smoky smell. I guess I can’t love all Lupicia’s teas.. On to the next!

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80
drank Lychee Rose by Market Spice
526 tasting notes

This is the first tea I’m trying from the Tea & Cards TTB! (Which I will call T&C TTB in future tasting notes). I went through all the teas yesterday and created a little “to try” pile. This one just happened to be on top of the pile when I was reaching for tea today. As it was steeping up, it did seem a bit perfume-y from the rose petals, which made me a bit nervous. Thankfully, the tea itself was not too perfume-y for my enjoyment. I think when the tea was hot, the rose flavor was more prominent with bits of fruitiness from the lychee. As the cup cooled down, I actually think that the juicy lychee flavor started taking over with rose taking a backseat. It’s been a very interesting cup to taste. I think I prefer it with the lychee flavor up front. I may have to set some aside to cold brew with later. Off to a good start with this TTB!

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drank Heaven's Trash by Butiki Teas
526 tasting notes

Backlog. I was in a bit of a rush when I drank this, so I’ll keep it short and simple. Deliciously malty with bits of chocolate notes as well. I oversteeped a tad, which probably contributed to some of the bitterness/astringency. Overall, a bit lighter than I was expecting, but still tasty. I will rate later when I can hopefully get in a good steeping session of this one.

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100

Backlog. The other day, I was having a pretty crappy day, so instead of digging into any new teas, I decided to steep up this tea that I already love. It was a little smokier this time around, but smoky in a good, charcoal sort of way and not in a tobacco kind of way. I generally do not like teas with smoky notes, but it just works with the roasty, warm flavors of this tea. Plus, resteepability is great. I’m so glad that I ordered more of this before it’s out!

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88
drank 1994 Aged Bai Hao by Butiki Teas
526 tasting notes

My second order from Butiki has arrived! And I am beyond excited to dig into everything. I started off today with this oolong. I prepared it according to the instructions with the rinse and all. In my opinion, the hot tea tasted sweet and a bit like raisins. It reminded me a lot of the 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong from Butiki. I only got more chocolate-y notes as the tea was cooling down. These tastes seem to diverge from the majority opinion based on a quick browsing through others’ tasting notes on this tea. I may try this one in a makeshift gong fu style next time to see if this changes. Oh, and I also resteeped it about three times Western style before it started to lose too much flavor. Perhaps I will even do more of a side by side comparison with the 1991 oolong. I’m loving my adventuring into aged oolongs so far!

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93

Sipdown (92)! It’s a very sad sipdown of one of my favorite straight blacks ever. At least I was able to enjoy the baked bread, malty goodness of this one last time without any snafus. Plus, I knew I needed to start getting in my sipdowns before my second Butiki order arrives. Goodbye Yu Lu Yan Cha, hopefully not forever!

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78

Backlog. Using my handy dandy variable temp kettle, I was able to steep this one at a nice low 175 F. I’ve had problems with bitterness with this tea in the past, but the low temp really seems to get rid of that problem and even introduce some sweetness to it. Mostly it’s a big punch of vegetal and some grassy flavors, though. Not my favorite flavors, but it was quite nice to have this evening.

Edit: Oh, this is my 500th tasting note! If I had known, I would have done something a little more exciting.. I guess I will just have to speed up my journey to tasting note #600!

carol who

Congrats! 500! :)

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78
drank Afternoon by Fortnum & Mason
526 tasting notes

Backlog. I had this tea this afternoon because I was being indecisive and this blend is literally called afternoon, haha. I think I was a bit careless with my preparation today because it was a bit bitter and cardboard tasting. This isn’t necessarily one of my favorite black tea blends, but I think it’s just a nice standard cup. I think it would be nice with some milk or sugar, but I don’t generally add anything to my tea, so I may need to experiment with that in the future.

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100

Backlog. I had this tea yesterday because my stomach was feeling a bit queasy and sensitive, so I had to go for my favorite roasty comfort tea. I have to say that it really did help. I even resteeped a couple of times but had to stop myself because it was getting a little late in the evening. My stomach is feeling a bit better today, so perhaps I will venture out to other teas…

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92
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
526 tasting notes

Oops, I did a really bad thing. Or maybe a good thing? I was sipping on this gloriously malty white tea this evening when I decided that I must have some more of it before it’s gone forever. I guess a lot of other people had the same thought because it’s all gone! Eek! So then I went into panic mode and ordered a bunch more teas from Butiki before they could have a chance to run out. I guess I won’t be participating in Black Friday sales this year… but it’s totally worth it to stock up on Butiki teas!

Anyway, I’m always on and off about white teas, but this white tea has been consistently on the good side for me (other than my very first time with it). I’m trying my hardest not to reach for this one too often now that I know I have to ration it out to last longer. I’ll really miss this one when I’m out (which hopefully will not be for a while!).

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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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