564 Tasting Notes

98
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
564 tasting notes

After hearing about how lovely this tea resteeps, I brought it to a full day of classes yesterday. Got bored of taking notes on lecture, so I started jotting down tasting notes for this tea instead, haha. At least it kept me awake!

So for the first steeps, the tea starts of sweet and transitions into a more savory, chocolate-y, roasted taste. It also has a really strong aftertaste that was kind of harsh for me. Don’t know if that’s quite the right word to use, but it was a strong roasted/smokey flavor, maybe? Anyway, around the third steep, the aftertaste was much more subdued or I just got used to it. I actually prefer this tea after a couple of steeps because it seemed sweeter and a weaker aftertaste. There was no bitterness and only slight astringency.

Overall, the resteeping capabilities of this tea made it perfect for a long day of classes (8:30 AM – 5:30 PM). I feel hesitant about reordering because I’m a little scared of the intense aftertaste from the first few steeps. The good news is that I have 2 sample packs from Verdant to really sort out my feelings about this tea.

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89

Not sure what I did differently than last time, but this time around, the tea has a smokier taste than I remember. I’m on my third steep and the flavor is still pretty strong (though not as strong as the first cup). Still need to do a side by side with dark roast, though.

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78

I think I used water that was too hot because following the brief sweet, spinach taste, I can taste that strong bitterness that turns me off of Chinese greens. Last time I drank this (didn’t write a tasting note), I remember it being surprisingly sweet. Thankfully, I have more of the sample left to make more, so I will pay better attention to the temperature next time.

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90

My second free oolong from Teavivre! This one was much more up my alley than the previous. The dry leaves smelled very vegetal/green, but the taste was much different.

1st steep: Texture is creamy, and it has a kettle corn-like sweetness with a light roasted flavor. No bitterness/astringency as far as I can tell.

2nd/3rd steep: Same sweetness/roasted flavor, but slightly less creamy and has a tiny hint of bitterness.

4th+ steep: Still sweet, but the flavors are getting weaker and the tea is tasting more watery.

Overall, I’m very happy with the flavors and resteeps with this tea. I don’t know if I will reorder yet (depends on my other samples, etc), but it’s definitely high on the list!

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drank Genmaicha by Unknown
564 tasting notes

Had this at dinner at a nearby sushi restaurant. I suspect that the water they used was a little too hot or maybe the leaves weren’t great, but it did taste a little more burnt than other genmaichas. Anyway, I think it went well with our assorted fish and other delicious Japanese foods. Got quite a few refills until the waitress just kept checking on my tea almost on a schedule, haha. Followed up dinner by watching Thor 2, so all in all, a pretty good night :)

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89

Very nice roasted, savory taste from this one. Definitely has a stronger flavor than the light/basic houjichas from Yunomi. I seems similar to the dark roast, but I can’t remember for sure. I would have to do a side by side comparison to really tease out the differences I think. Anyway, I resteeped this throughout the day, but it did start to just taste like flavored water around the 4th/5th steep (wasn’t keeping a strict count really). Anyway, I will try to taste this one close in time to the dark roast to decide which one to reorder. Both are great, but it seems a bit redundant to get both.

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Noo, my crazy internet ate my tasting note. Well, here were my main points.

1. First steep, drank while eating really spicy food, so the tea tasted very sweet.

2. Second steep later was still sweet, can taste the nuttiness.

3. Thank you to Single Origin Teas for the sample! Wish they had steeping instructions on their website/packaging, though.

4. Will give rating later when not eating spicy foods and steeping less haphazardly.

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53
drank Tazo® Green Tea Latte by Tazo
564 tasting notes

I got this at Starbucks during my lunch break today and was pretty disappointed. The matcha tasted overly seaweedy and artificial to me. Now, I love roasted Japanese green teas that taste slightly seaweedy/fishy in a nice, roasted sort of way. This, however, seemed like a weirdly artificial, overly sweet, fresh seaweed. I’m not sure that this is making any sense, but bottom line, will not be ordering again.

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85

Had this in the late afternoon and resteeped throughout the evening. The only other time I’ve had bancha was in a flavored tea, so I was surprised to find that this bancha alone was so sweet! It had a cheery, almost-neon-yellow color. It was also less grassy than I expected. The Single Origin website didn’t have a steeping time on it, so I just googled “bancha steeping time” and the internet consensus seemed to be ~30 seconds. I may have left it in a little longer, but there was only the slightest hint of bitterness. In fact, it was so slight that I’m starting to think I may have imagined it… Anyway, thank you to Single Origin Teas for the free sample! I’m definitely keeping my eye on this one for a reorder.

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90

I wanted something a little more delicate but still comforting this evening, and this is what I came up with. It has that nice roasted houjicha flavor without being completely overwhelming. When my sample runs out, though, I think I will opt to restock on a houjicha with a stronger flavor (like the dark roast). Enjoying it while it lasts, though!

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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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