513 Tasting Notes

90

I’m finding out that all these hojichas that I’ve been drinking have the same dried anchovy smell when I open up the packets. This one has a lighter roasted taste than hojichas that I’ve had before, which makes sense given its name. I think this is a good one for the evening but overall, I would prefer to have a slightly stronger roasted taste. The texture is very clean with no bitterness or astringency. A very comforting cup of tea, especially since I feel like I might be getting sick.

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99

I was planning on trying a bunch of my new teas today, but ended up drinking this throughout the day because it was so surprisingly delicious and it resteeped so well that I didn’t want to waste any leaf! The dry leaves smelled very sweet in a non-artificial way. It reminded me of the smell of so many milk teas with boba that I’ve had over the years. I have to say that Verdant really knows how to describe their teas. I definitely get a chocolate note with the various spices, too. I’m not doing a great job describing this, but I will say that it was a nice savory yet sweet black tea that I look forward to drinking in mornings to come.

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86
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
513 tasting notes

I can’t seem to get it right with this one. Last time I oversteeped and this time I don’t think I used enough leaf. I will say that I noticed more sweetness with this cup than last time. Well, here’s to next time.

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87

I’ve kind of been a tea making disaster lately. Today, I didn’t realize the bottom of this free sample packet had a hole in it, so I opened it from the top. Cue tea falling out of both ends and me frantically scooping it into my infuser. Not to mention that this tea is on the fine side, so it would fall through the strainer. Sigh. The point is that the steeping and measurement was not so accurate this time around.

Anyway, this tea interestingly smells savory yet tastes more grassy to me. The texture is also thicker, which is nice to have on a windy day like today. I’m terrible at identifying and describing tastes, but I think this one may be a little too umami for me. At least that’s what I think it is. I am still enjoying the cup, though!

Edit: On the second steep, that intense umami-ness went away, and it has a cleaner taste now. The problem now is that it’s a little bland to me. I’ll have to experiment with the other half of the sample to hit that right medium. I also tried some of the tea leaves and it was surprisingly mild. It had a seaweed texture with a green tea taste. Might be yummy to mix it into some rice or something next time.

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86
drank Peach by Adagio Teas
513 tasting notes

I narrowly escaped scalding my arm and breaking my favorite tea cup/strainer due to my morning clumsiness. Anyway, I think the dry leaf smells just the way it tastes, so I will get right into it. I’m really liking the juicy peach taste but I think that this tea should be called peach & apricot because the apricot flavor was pretty strong as well. I actually couldn’t put my finger on that taste until I read the ingredients. Now that I know it’s supposed to be apricot, it tastes better to me somehow, haha. The flavors do verge on the artificial side, but I like that it’s sweet enough to drink without adding sugar or anything else.

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92
drank Morita Sayama Sencha by Yunomius
513 tasting notes

This is one of the two free samples I got from Yunomi and the first of their teas that I’ve tried. The dry leaf had a slight fishy smell to me, kind of like dried anchovies. The tea itself was pretty savory and less grassy/vegetal than other Japanese green teas that I’ve had. I drank this on its own, but I think it would be a great tea to have with a meal, maybe with some spicy foods. I really enjoyed this!

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75
drank Almond Oolong by Adagio Teas
513 tasting notes

I’ve been eating a lot of nuts lately (mostly pistachios and almonds), so I thought I’d break out my almond oolong sample as my first cup of the day. The dry leaves have a very strong smell. It smells like a concentrated almond extract more than typical roasted almonds that you would eat in a trail mix or something. The resulting tea is a bit perfume-y and has a strong almond extract taste. It also somehow reminds me of rooibos with a slightly medicinal/minty taste. This tea is a little confusing to me and did not turn out exactly as I had imagined.

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98

At long last! I’ve had this tea on my shopping list for quite some time now and finally made my first Verdant order. I grew up drinking a lot of genmaicha but never had any flavored ones until recently. I think Verdant’s list of flavors for this tea is pretty spot on. I’m kind of surprised at the strength of the malty taste (at least that’s what I think it is) in this one. Also, the chocolate is more of a 75% real dark chocolate than the typical milk chocolate you think of in candy bars. That being said, the tea reminds me of a Kit Kat or Crunch candy except with a strong malt flavor and less sweet. The more malty/roasty/savory taste in this one was pretty strong, so I added a little german rock sugar to add some sweetness and mellow it out.

Now I feel like I’m rambling, but I just wanted to say that it had a surprisingly clean texture/flavor for a flavored tea. I think it tasted more elegant than the flavored genmaichas that I’ve had from 52teas (especially Browncoat Genmaicha). I think I still prefer a good unflavored genmaicha, but this is a nice option to have on colder days!

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87

So I’m making my rounds back through my Fortnum & Mason fruit black teas. Today I brought the apple black tea to class. I like that the apple is sweet enough to not have to add anything, but not so overpowering that I cannot enjoy the tea underneath. Anyway, I don’t remember what I’ve said in my previous tasting notes for this, so I might be getting repetitive. Overall, love it!

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90
drank Barley Tea by Dong Suh
513 tasting notes

My latest pitcher of this tea has a slight gingery note about it. Not sure how that happened because I really dislike ginger, so there is no way that it was contaminated by anything else gingery in my pantry. Well, the roasted barley taste is strong enough that I can pretend to ignore the ginger, so all is well. I just hope the rest of my tea bags are ok..

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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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