484 Tasting Notes


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
484 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
484 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
484 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 killing some time at Starbucks, so I decided to try out the passion tea lemonade. I haven’t had it since it was the Tazo version, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Teavana version is fruitier. I think it’s because it’s not as tart as before, but rather has a nice jumble of flavors. The lemonade part may have been a bit of overkill considering all the different flavors already in the tea, but I enjoyed it anyway. I nice, caffeine free refreshment that comes with a guilt free spot at a table with an outlet! Wins all around today :)

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I really should have set aside some tea when I was packing for these few days. I’m missing my teas more than I thought I would. Anyway, I wanted something to drink and a place to study, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and go to Starbucks. I got this black tea lemonade, and it’s not the best, but it’ll do under my current circumstances. Also, this Starbucks was basically built for students, so there are nice big tables with lots of outlets! That alone makes the drink worth it, I think. Counting down the days til I’m reunited with my teas!

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drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
484 tasting notes

I have sadly packed up all my teas for the move, and totally forgot to save some for the next couple of days. Oops! The one upside is that I had a water bottle cold steeping in the fridge with this tea, so I was able to have tea today. It was wonderfully malty but sweet at the same time. I wonder if the sweetness would come across as much in a hot version of this tea or if it really is the cold brew bringing it out. Anyway, I will have to save that experiment for after the move! Until then, I will have to try hitting up cafes and such for my tea fix.

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drank Roasted Milk Tea by 3:15 PM
484 tasting notes

Sipdown (99)! Hooray, I got to my sipdown goal for the summer/end of August of under 100 teas. And it is also just in time for my move across the country. Because I’ll be back in California, I probably won’t repurchase this one. I used this tea as a surrogate for my boba addiction because there is a dearth of good milk tea in Boston/Cambridge. If I ever find myself in a boba desert again, I will definitely repurchase this. However, it is gone for now.

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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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