488 Tasting Notes

drank Pu Erh Spice by Adagio Teas
488 tasting notes

Thank you to Kat_Maria for sending this tea my way in our swap! I’ve been hesitant to try this one out because the one time I had puerh before, I did not like it. At all. But I figured that this is a flavored puerh, so I might as well give it a chance. While it was steeping, I could immediately smell those spices. It reminds me of an autumn candle scent (I’ve been sniffing a lot of candles lately), which was nice. It’s warm and cozy without that damp forest smell that I had from straight puerh. I think that the tea tastes like I would expect one of those fall candles to taste. A bit of cinnamon, ginger, and probably other things I can’t identify with the earthy undertones that I know are coming from the puerh. It’s nicer than I expected, but still a little perfume-y for my personal taste. I’m glad that I finally tried this one out, and I think I’ll let it rest for a bit and reach for it again in the winter (fall in California doesn’t get quite cold enough to put me in the mood for these types of teas).

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drank Valley Green Tea by Shan Valley
488 tasting notes

Cold brewing Chinese greens is tricky, and this proved to be no exception. I put about 2 teaspoons in my water bottle into the fridge for 5 hours, and it turned out really bitter. Even putting the bitterness aside, I don’t think I really liked the underlying sharp grassy green tea flavor. I may experiment with cold brewing for a shorter amount of time (3 hrs?), but it definitely seems like this one is not a repurchase for me :(

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Sipdown! I just realized I never actually added this tea to my Steepster cupboard, so I’m still at 99 teas. Now I’m kind of wondering how many other teas I have that I didn’t add to my cupboard… Anyway, like I said in yesterday’s tasting note, I used up my last two teaspoons of this in a cold brew in the fridge overnight. I think I may actually prefer this one as a cold brew because it just felt a lot smoother. I think the absence of bitterness and astringency really helped with that. It wasn’t much sweeter than the hot version, but that’s okay because sometimes I like just a nice bold iced black tea that doesn’t have too much sweetness to it. Another successful cold brew experiment!

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drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
488 tasting notes

I cold brewed this one again because I love the sweetness that the cold brew brings out. I’m not sure if it’s more of a honey kind of sweetness or something else, but whatever it is, I like it. Not to mention that it plays nicely with the cocoa notes in the tea. Now that the weather is cooling down a bit, I will definitely have to try this out hot!

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Backlog from this morning. Good news is that I’m getting my family hooked on tea, so if their initial openness and curiosity holds up, I should get to my Black Friday sipdown goal of under 75 fairly easily. Today, I introduced them to this EB. It’s nice and bold with a little bit of a tartness to it that is hard to place. My mom thought it tasted like chemicals, but I wasn’t getting that as much. Despite that complaint, she did ask for a resteep, so I obliged! The tea held up pretty well in a resteep in terms of flavor and strength. There was some astringency that made it a bit unpleasant, but no one else seemed to mention it, so maybe I was just a little extra sensitive today. Anyhow, I stuck my last bit of this tea in the fridge for an overnight cold brew, so I’ll post the sipdown tasting note tomorrow!

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drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
488 tasting notes

I recently had an exceptionally terrible genmaicha at a Japanese restaurant. Usually the Japanese places around here have pretty decent genmaicha, but this one was somehow greasy and bitter, yuck. Which brings me around to this delicious sencha. I needed a solid Japanese green to lift my spirits after that experience, and this tea definitely helped me do that. It had that nice thickness with the vegetal and umami flavors. I also got a nice resteep out of the leaves. Though, the second steep was a bit metallic to me, but that may be because of the infuser? Anyway, a solid tea and one I will definitely consider repurchasing in the future when I run out.


I had a terrible green tea at a Japanese restaurant recently, too :(

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
488 tasting notes

Backlog from this morning. I’m really loving getting my black teas back in the morning. It just starts the day off right! Today’s pick was Queen Catherine. It was nice and bold as I remembered but this time I also detected some smokiness. I’m pretty sensitive to smoky teas, but the smokiness of this one was just enough and not overwhelming. There was also something a little tart about this tea today which confused me a bit, but I think there may have been some contamination among all my teas when I stuffed them into a box to move across the country. Anyway, I am really liking this one, and will definitely consider repurchasing when I run out.

Edit: Apparently, I detected smokiness last time as well. I just didn’t remember that I did. Points for consistency?

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Now that I’m completely moved in to my new place and I’ve unpacked my teas, I start my sipdown quest once more. I think my new goal is to get to under 75 before Black Friday. That way, I’ll have enough wiggle room to buy new teas and still be under 100 teas. We will see how this one goes…

Anyway, on to the tea review. I got this in a Simple Loose Leaf box a while ago, but didn’t get around to it til just now. I chose it as a sample from the next month, so I only have a little of this one. I brewed it up hot this morning and it was definitely a nice start to my day. It was bold with that hint of astringency and bitterness yet also somehow a bit sweet as well. When my mom tasted this tea, she said that she tasted frutiness. I’m not sure that I myself picked up on any fruity notes, but the overall message was that she enjoyed it. I don’t think it was a standout breakfast tea, but it was good for this morning. I’m not sure if I would reorder just because I have so many other breakfast teas and this one wasn’t really all that special in any way, but I will enjoy the rest of what I have left!

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drank Snickerdoodle by DAVIDsTEA
488 tasting notes

I’m officially moved! However, unpacking has been slow, so I am still without my teas. I went to downtown Palo Alto today and noticed a new DAVIDsTEA there, so I popped in to look at the fall teaware. I’m not usually a big fan of the teas there, but while I was browsing, the lady behind the counter offered me a sample of this tea. The good thing is that even though it has a rooibos base (which I hate), I could barely taste the rooibos because of the cinnamon and other flavoring. However, the bad news is that while the cinnamon part was tasty, it did also feel a little greasy and I felt like it needed a stronger base tea. I wouldn’t buy this for myself, but it was nice to try out!

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I’m currently stranded at the airport. My flight was supposed to leave at 4:30, which was delayed to 5:30, then 6:15, and now 8:00. When we deboarded the plane, the first thing I saw was a little Starbucks kiosk, so I decided to get the passion tango lemonade since I enjoyed it yesterday. Today, it is oversweetened and heavily mango flavored, so not as great as the one I had yesterday, but it’ll do. Fingers crossed that I don’t get stuck overnight in Chicago!

Roswell Strange

Hope everything turned out ok!

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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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