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19 Tasting Notes

64
drank Assam SF Budla Beta by Teaopia
19 tasting notes

I understand Assam is the world’s largest tea growing region so I definitely shouldn’t judge the entire region based on this specific tea. Being the first purely Assam tea I have ever tried however, it is the taste that I’ll associate with the region for a long time.

I must say I’m not very impressed with this tea. There isn’t really all that much to focus my tastes on and what I find is a weird savory-vitamin like taste. I may actually be interpreting the prized flavor completely wrong. It goes down easy and is quite beautiful looking but there is this haunting taste in the background that I can also smell in the dry leaves, maybe the correct term is “spicy”.

I don’t put milk or any sweetener in my tea so that might also be the problem. I’m also very caffeine insensitive, so I can’t really appreciate a tea with more caffeine than usual (I drink coffee by the litre and it doesn’t affect me much at all). This tea may just be a wrong match for me for several reasons, but I don’t doubt it’s quality. It’s quite amazing when I did a comparison of it with Red Rose which is a dirt cheap tea that my mom and her parents always have on hand. Despite the weird notes (which may grow on me in time) it’s the only quality non-pu-erh black tea I have currently and it will definitely get used up fast.

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65

This type of green tea may not have been fantastic the first time I tried it but it has grown on me quite a bit to the point that I crave it now. Hard to explain why I crave the tea so often other than it is a much higher quality than I’m used to and quality makes a ton of difference in tea, this is not your Tim Hortons green tea.

The tea smells and looks very nice dry, but the taste of it brewed is almost disappointing to me because I can’t think of any interesting flavour that comes to me other than “green tea”. Ok, it may be that the obvious note for this tea is “smoky” and I’m just missing it completely because I’m used to Tarry Lapsang Souchong which is extremely smokey!

The little rolled up leaves are deceptive in their size, so be very careful not to use too many gunpowder pellets because they will expand! I make frequent small adjustments to how I steep this tea. This is how I currently steep it:
-1st steep: 3 min at 60 Celsius
- 2nd steep: 3 min at 65 Celsius
- 3rd steep: 4 min at 75 Celsius
- 4th steep: 6 min at 85 Celsius

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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51

From the chai teas I have tried there are none that seem to taste or smell like celestial seasonings chai blend. This in my opinion is unfortunate because I find I like their blending despite being cheap ingredients which is normal for bagged teas. The taste is mild compared to most chai teas and has less of a cinnamon flavour. Despite most people on the internet claiming that Stash is a way better brand than celestial seasonings due to the quality of ingredients I would still recommend Celestial’s chai over Stash due to the choice of ingredients, not the quality. Also it would seem that the honey vanilla white variety is a better choice than their plain chai since the vanilla and white tea better suites the mild chai blend.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Sencha by Teaopia
19 tasting notes

One thing I may never understand about tea is that smell never seems to equal taste. For example, I was in Teaopia and I smelled some of their Jasmine tea and it hit me like a shot of heroin, or at least similar to what I expect that to feel like. When I smell a quality Jasmine tea that I haven’t had in a while I am instantly in love. But here is the problem, when the tea is actually brewed it’s taste seems to degrade after every sip. Eventually it becomes tiring and almost like a bitter tasting perfume when drank and I realize it will take me at least a year to drink the mere 50 grams which is the minimum that they make you buy.

Point is, plain Sencha probably has the least inspiring scent out of all the teas teaopia has to offer. The dry smell is “meh”, the wet smell is still “meh”, but when I actually taste it I have no problem drinking 4 litres at a time. I actually expected to like the Temple of Heaven Gunpowder more than the Sencha, since it smells very rich dry and it does happen to cost a bit more, but no. While the gunpowder in no way tastes bad, it also seems to taste very flat, boring, and ordinary. Japinesse style is the way to go. Especially if you like a savory brew like genmaicha or tarry lapsang souchong as opposed to a tea that would be good with sugar added. Pu-erh is also terrible with sweetener added, but I guess the person who made the sample pot in the store doesn’t think so.

This might be unusual but I like to tier my steeping time and temperature quite a bit when making this tea. This way the last steep is always the best and the first steep is cold enough to drink right away.
-1st steep: 2 min at 55 Celsius
- 2nd steep: 3 min at 65 Celsius
- 3rd steep: 4 min at 75 Celsius
- 4th steep: 10 min at 85 Celsius

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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