60 Tasting Notes

drank Sencha "Uji" by Lupicia
60 tasting notes

Oh my GOD.


I literally never want to be without this again. This was the other of the Dynamic Duo of teas (the other one being Brioche) that I received for Christmas and fell immediately in love with upon trying. First of all, I can tell it tastes different from other senchas, which is a step for me since Lupicia’s other senchas that I’ve had (Chiran and Kanaya ♥♥♥) tasted pretty much the same. Second of all, this being said, I am not kidding when I say this is the best Japanese green tea I have ever tasted. Yes, I have had Gyokuro. I have also had Teavana’s Gyokuro Genmaicha, which was basically two of my favorite things married to each other, and THIS IS STILL BETTER.

aaaaaaah I have to stop drinking this long enough to review it. Okay.

Starts off delicate and nice like any other sencha, but the astringent kick hits you sooner rather than waiting until the tea hits the back of your mouth. Also, the aftertaste doesn’t taste so much like nori. Instead, something happens between when the smoothness turns vegetal and when the astringency hits, and it’s the most divine, warm, savory, almost marine note that I have EVER tasted. I want to note that this is kind of subtle if you drink this on its own, but if you’re eating—I had this with sushi the first time—that specific salty savory taste will punch you in the face and make the world taste like God for about half a second.

This is the savoriness I wanted from Dokudami Umami that I didn’t get. I think I might die if I run out of this, but at least I know where to get more. Lupicia is, at this point, trying to usurp ZenTea’s place in my heart between White Christmas and this.

It pairs gloriously with homework on a foggy morning, and also everything else.

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This is so lovely! I’d been looking forward to trying it for a while and it absolutely lived up to what i was hoping for. It legitimately smells like cookies in the tin and in the cup, and to be honest? It tastes like it too. I have no idea how this tea was accomplished. I want to give every single award to whoever said “You know what’s not fair? It’s the 21st century, and we’re still not capable of drinking a pastry. Let’s fix that!” I have to assume this was the intent. It tastes like delicious dessert bread or cookies or something, with an almondy-cinnamon aftertaste, which I note because I normally really don’t like cinnamon but this tea blends it so well that I don’t mind.

It’s a great autumn-winter tea, I think, and I will DEFINITELY buy it again.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Picked this up while visiting a lovely friend in Oklahoma!

My quest for the perfect morning tea is ongoing, but so far nothing’s beaten Monk’s Blend. This is not an exception. It’s…huh. To be honest, I think I might just need to brew more tea leaves, because I’m using one teaspoon per cup and it tastes pretty much like water with a slightly savory coffee aftertaste. I might try 2 teaspoons per cup, as per the suggestion of the person who used 2 tea bags per cup. In the meantime, though…I’ll be keeping it to wake myself up with the yerba mate, but I am not impressed.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
60 tasting notes

What is it about Lupicia’s fruit teas that my first reaction is always “Oh this is so cute”? That’s not even an adjective you can use to describe food, but seriously, this is adorable. It’s very light, just a tiny bit astringent, and then the aftertaste is pretty much what I imagine might happen if you ate Hawaii—all these summery fruits everywhere!

This was a free sample with my Christmas tea, but I’m actually wondering if I shouldn’t get more for this spring/summer. I’m glad I got to try it! It brightened up a dismal day and did its job well.

Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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drank White Christmas by Lupicia
60 tasting notes

I’m not really sure I should be reviewing this now—it’s sort of my post-surgery consolation tea, and I’m a little congested, so I’m not sure I’m tasting this right, but it’s been such a good little tea that I can’t really help giving it some props.

The love I’ve developed for sweet-flavored black teas, which I still blame on Zen Tea ( ♥ ), pretty much ensured that I wouldn’t be able to pass up an apricot and white chocolate black tea, especially being the sucker I am for seasonal teas now. And it did not disappoint at all! This is such a wonderful tea. Again, I don’t think I’m tasting this right, but I’m loving what I do taste—the black tea is great, the apricot really pops out and goes a lot better with the black tea than I thought it would, and what I can taste of the white chocolate is sweet and subtle and accentuates the other two perfectly.

Happy winter, everyone!

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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This is less of a tasting note and more of a CAPTAIN’S LOG, because i am venturing boldly into this variety of Dragonwell with no idea how to make it because I can’t read Chinese. Without further ado…

Attempt #1 (11/29/11) – 180F, 4 minutes.
Hahaha oh my god, this tea is a ride. First thing that happens when I take a sip is HOLY SHIT FLOWERS IN MY NOSTRILS. Then a weird, sort of musty-sweet flavor that turns into this delicate astringency at the back of my tongue. This stays for about two seconds and then everything turns into a slightly louder version of That Clean Chinese Green Taste. I am…I mean, it’s good, but I’m more distracted by how it manages to taste like four things.

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drank China Green Tips by Tazo
60 tasting notes

This is a really pleasant surprise in more ways than one. First of all, I didn’t buy it—I’m staying with the same friend that hooked me up with the green tea from Charlotte, and she made me this before bed like a lovely person. Second of all, I have really, really not had pleasant experiences with Tazo lately—I keep having it made for me by people who just don’t know how to make tea and somehow get everything to taste like cardboard, so I was sort of expecting this to be similar. Turns out I just needed to taste it made by someone who actually knows how tea functions.

It has no astringency. It has that same kind of delicacy that stuff like Misty Mountain and Yunnan Emerald Buds had, except there’s no kick to it, it’s just super mellow and smooth and sweet, and I absolutely LOVE it—I know it seems not to be a favorite, from reading the other reviews, so I’ll note that it was made a little strong? Maybe that’s how it was different? I don’t know, but I love it and will probably attempt to get my hands on some in the future, as good bagged tea is a little hard to come by.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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drank Houjicha by at Think Sushi
60 tasting notes

I have no idea how this tea is so good. It’s a bagged tea that I picked up beside the register at the wonderful little sushi restaurant I frequent at college. I’d never had houjicha and I figured I’d give it a try, having absolutely no idea how long to steep it or what temperature of water to use. I ended up just leaving it in for about 5 minutes (which i guess is the Standard Time You Leave Tea In When You Don’t Know How Long To Steep It) in water from the hot side of the cooler. I pretty much expected it to be disgusting.

This might actually be my favorite tea. Hands down, I shit you not. It’s so delicious. It has the same clean, woodsy taste that an oolong has, but not so overpowering, and balanced really really nicely with this comfortable, cozy sweetness that almost reminds me of vanilla.

If Houjicha is this good out of a bag for five minutes in a styrofoam cup of hot-side cooler water, I cannot WAIT to try making it properly.

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drank Oolong Formosa by ZenTea
60 tasting notes

I just can’t decide how I feel about this. It’s a really good tea, but I think I like the aftertaste better than the actual taste? When I’m actually drinking it, it tastes kind of like wood, but it smells great and the aftertaste is really clean and kind of earthy-sweet. I’m also not getting an incredible amount of flavor out of it, I think I’m going to try steeping it just a liiiiiiittle bit longer and see what that does for it next time—it’s like either I oversteep it and it tastes like a tree, or I understeep it and it tastes like nothing, but really clean nice nothing. I think as I experiment with this more, I’ll like it more.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Sereni-teas: Inara by Adagio Teas
60 tasting notes

Most of what I can taste in this tea involves strawberries and spearmint. There’s some chocolate there, too, if you pay attention and do the taste equivalent of squinting, but I think the other two kind of sweep it away. I’d be careful not to oversteep it, because if you do, there’s almost too much flavor in this blend? And it’s on the edge of that even when you do it right. It’s really, REALLY good, an excellent anytime black tea with a lot of great elements to it, but if it’s overdone, it tries to make them equally strong and ends up being overworked. If you steep it for the right time, though, it’s a great blend and, in my opinion, a wonderful tribute.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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MJ is 24, plays with arts and crafts and words and meanings, and prefers a side of tea with her lovely rainy days.

I’m a big fan of Japanese greens and of flavored black teas. I will pretty much automatically love anything with popcorn in it, despite not liking actual popcorn, and I’m not a huge fan of chai or jasmine.

I’m really fond of seasonal teas, so I’m likely to give something a try if it’s specifically for spring or fall or what have you.

Shout-out to Zen Tea for keeping me sane and being delicious.



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