60 Tasting Notes

85
drank Connie's Choice by ZenTea
60 tasting notes

Zen Tea has given me the biggest weakness for black teas that taste like dessert—first there was the Creme Brulee, and now this. It’s a little strong, but that’s a pretty okay quality to have in a tea that smells like caramel and tastes like chocolate (there’s a mostly-caramely, kind of chocolatey aftertaste). It’s a really…comfortable tea, like something you just want to make a pot of while you snuggle up and read a book or spend a whole night doing a paper or something. I might try it at a slightly shorter time, but other than that, it’s very sweet and yummy.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Misty Mountain Green by ZenTea
60 tasting notes

I definitely understeeped this. It basically tastes like Yunnan Emerald Buds from Teavana, but lighter and a little sharper, and without as much of the little astringent touch. As it is, I messed it up and can barely taste it at all. Trying for 2 minutes next time.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Focus by Tazo
60 tasting notes

It is very strong. As a matter of fact, it almost tastes consistently oversteeped even when I try to understeep it by 15 seconds or so, but I still enjoy it a lot. I think I might be imagining this because everyone else said it was barely there, but I can really taste/smell the cocoa and the orange is surprisingly not overpowering with it! It’s like it ended up being the scrumptious chocolate orange tea that it was never trying to be in the first place.

This would not be my first choice for a wake-up tea, which I guess is a minus for a tea that calls itself “focus”, but I think it’s a good any-time tea. Not sure I’d buy it again, but it was definitely worth a try and worth getting.

Edit: I’m not posting less logs because I’ve stopped drinking tea, I’m posting less because I basically ran out of everything I bought over the summer. There will be more when I get money I can spend on delicious leaves I can then throw in hot water and drink.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Sencha "Chiran" by Lupicia
60 tasting notes

Maybe I’m just not as good at tasting the subtle difference between senchas as I ought to be, but this basically tastes like Kanaya overall. It smells sweeter, though, and less like nori, which isn’t bad! at all! They’re just delicious in different ways.

There’s something interesting going on at the back of the mouth, though, that Kanaya didn’t have. They both have the astringent kick (I guess this is just a sencha thing, all you Japanese tea aficionados can laugh at me now), but this is sharper. I think it’s just a fuller flavor without being overpowering.

I’m going to have to try more types of sencha to see if I can learn to separate their flavors better. This is another tasty one, though! Too bad my only sample is gone now.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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83

My friend got this for me from Charleston because she is a sweetheart!

It’s a nice, tasty, solid green tea, and I think what I like most about it is how easy it is to make. Most green teas are all finicky and easy to mess up, but I guess American teamakers decided “You know what the world needs? Green tea that you can steep in boiling water for two or three minutes, and it’ll be fine!” And I did, and it’s glorious. It actually kind of tastes a little like Japanese green tea, but with a tiny bit of that floral taste-smell you get from Chinese tea. If I were to point someone in the direction of a good solid green tea, it would probably be this one. It might not be outstandingly memorable, but it’s really tasty and I’d totally buy it again if I find myself in Charleston.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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87
drank Oolong Almond by ZenTea
60 tasting notes

Drinking this kind of makes me want to curl up and smile. It’s a really great oolong, and the almond is just a little bit sweet at the back of your mouth. This is one of the better oolongs I’ve had, I think, and it’s absolutely perfect for a cloudy day or lazing at home. It’s just delicious and almondy and relaxing and exactly what I drank it for.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Momo by Lupicia
60 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ve ever described a tea as cute before, but this really is. It’s a very happy black tea. The peach taste is both aromatic and sweet in your mouth, and doesn’t taste artificial at all. I’m sad I didn’t have more than a sample of this, but it was a nice way to start my morning.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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85
drank Sencha Kanaya by Lupicia
60 tasting notes

When this tea came, my first impression was that it smelled a lot like nori. I am a sushi fan, so this is a good thing. I finally got around to making it today and it tastes like nori, too. It’s very astringent but kind of sweet at the same time, and there’s a sort of toasty feeling at the back of your mouth exactly like the taste that eating nori sheets will give you.

I think I oversteeped this, though; the description says it’s supposed to be “elegant” but it sort of hit me over the head with gratuitous amounts of taste, like HI I’M A HIGH-GRADE JAPANESE GREEN TEA!! CAN YOU TELL??? The next time I make this, I’m definitely going to try it at just one minute. I think there’s a lot more sweetness in there that’s not coming out because I left it in too long.

EDIT 6/16/11: I’ve finally figured this tea out! I think I steeped it correctly this time and I got all the flavors. All of them.

This tea starts out kind of smooth and sweet when it hits your tongue. There’s a little vegetal kick at the back, and then when you swallow, the vegetal taste turns into delicious, toasty nori. The nori stays and becomes a whole aftertaste. This is an effing excellent tea.

I Would Certainly Consider Buying It Again.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Monk's Blend by Aristeacrats
60 tasting notes

I’d been itching to try Monk’s Blend for a while, so a lovely friend brought me to the tea shop near her house and I sampled it. I don’t think it had actually touched more than about five of my taste buds before I made the decision to take some home. This tea is utterly amazing. I can just taste the vanilla and it’s also kind of…I don’t know, fruity? ish? not really, but it makes my mouth feel the same way fruit does.

Also, you can leave this steeping for two hours and it still tastes wonderful, albeit more loudly.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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92

This is more or less one of my fallback teas. I think it’s delicious and I plan on buying more once my tin runs out, because genmaicha is one of my favorite things and gyokuro is another. I was wondering if Teavana had any genmai, so I checked and MY GOD, NOT ONLY DO THEY HAVE GENMAI, IT IS ALSO GYOKURO. AT THE SAME TIME. I was not disappointed.

I was kind of worried that the nice toasty genmai part might get lost in the vegetal (look at me, learning tea words!) taste of the gyokuro, but it didn’t! The gyokuro just brought it out more. I really hope Teavana doesn’t discontinue this, it’s like giving your mouth a hug.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

Atlanta

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