580 Tasting Notes

72

A lovely green tea to start off my morning! This tea is sweet at first followed by some grassier notes. I have to say, though, that I felt like this was on the edge of being bitter (but wasn’t). Also, by the second steep, I felt like the flavors were already fading. I think I probably under-leafed, though, so I can try again with more leaves next time.

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87
drank White Orchard by Mighty Leaf Tea
580 tasting notes

I felt the need to drink something extra flavorful and fruity after eating some cardboard-y food. This was the first thing that popped into my mind, and it did the trick! I’ll probably also save the bag and cold brew some for later like I usually do with this tea.

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81

Another tasty free sample from Teavivre! This oolong has kind of an intensity similar to a black tea, yet it’s still nutty like an oolong. On my second steep, I accidentally let it steep for a while because I was distracted, but I actually think that steeping it longer and letting it get darker really brought out the flavors in this one without getting bitter. After three or so steeps, it started to mellow out and the flavors were weaker. I really want to get through all of my samples soon because I have my eye on the gongfu teapot on their website, so an order is imminent.

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99

I needed a tea palate cleanser after a meh tea this morning. Also, I’m trying to use this tea as motivation to get working on my presentation for tomorrow (insert huge sigh here). I love the complexity of this tea. It’s hard to believe that this is an “unflavored” tea because I definitely can taste the spices and the creaminess. Today, there is a medium amount of astringency that I did not notice before. I might just be ultra sensitive to it because I feel like my whole body is drying out from the cold weather. Anyway, even though I still have some left, I keep rechecking the Verdant website to see if it’s back in stock yet. Definitely gonna restock on this!

Edit: started eating roasted almonds, and I’m liking the combo of the nuttiness with the spices and sweetness from the tea. I’m no expert on pairing any beverages and foods, but it tastes good to me!

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79
drank Grapefruit Oolong by Adagio Teas
580 tasting notes

So this is the second tea that I’m trying from the Orchard Sampler (vanilla, almond, peach, grapefruit). The dry leaves smell strongly of dried grapefruit rind. Now I’ve never actually encountered dried grapefruit rind, but I imagine this is what it would smell like. The taste is citrus-y (orange & grapefruit), but not juicy. Kind of again with the grapefruit rind, it’s slightly bitter and almost dry tasting (not astringency). It also has a woodsy flavor like others have mentioned, which I guess comes from the oolong itself. It’s good enough for this morning’s cuppa, but I probably won’t be reordering.

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98
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
580 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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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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