33 Tasting Notes

75
drank La La Lemon (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
33 tasting notes

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90
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
33 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from IfJuly, and I really appreciate it. This is a great tea. The first tea I brewed this morning was super disappointing, and I’m glad my tea drinking was redeemed. This is a light black tea, one which brews a soft yellow color and has a very fragrant, floral aroma.

The unbrewed tea is really attractive, as it consists of fuzzy golden leaves which are fairly large and unrolled. When the water hits the tea, the leaves release a smell of earthiness and twigginess. The leaves do not unfold, because they are so unprocessed to begin with, and instead grow to a deep brown color.

I am drinking my third steeping of this tea, and I think each steep has been better than the last steep. I’m happy with this tea, and I’m so glad I brewed it.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ifjuly

glad it worked out after all!

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drank Florence by Harney & Sons
33 tasting notes

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90

This is a good tea. I have been drinking almost exclusively black teas for awhile now, so this oolong was a bit of a change. This is the kind of oolong I tend to like less than roasted oolongs, and this does have the properties I kind a bit less suited to me, which doesn’t mean I didn’t like this tea. The first steeping was bright! It had a thin sharpness which is ideal to me for this kind of oolong. It’s mildly floral, and it manages to be vegetable without being grassy—and I dislike vegetable tasting teas quite a bit. Drinking it was kind of like drinking the experience of spending a bright sunny may afternoon in a very well cultivated park. I know that sounds crazy, but that was the experience I thought of when I first sipped this tea.

The leaves unfolded beautifully when it steeped, and were wide and green in appearance, rolled and bundled before brewed.

The second seeping was also good, and the second steeping definitely held on to the floral qualities. The more vegetable qualities disappeared some, but so did the sharpness of the cup. The second steeping mellowed the tea out. I haven’t yet tried for a third.

Overall, this is a solid oolong, and I would add this to my cupboard in a heartbeat. It’s very tasty, even though it’s different from what I usually drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75

My second sample from Tea at Sea!

I was most excited by this sample, as it is the kind of tea I like most, light and black. However, I found this tea to be a bit too light. I brewed it for 4 minutes at boiling, and the tea only ended up a light reddish brown color.

The tea leaves themselves are really beautifully rolled, resembling a gunpowder or an oolong, almost, and when I poured the water on them, they released a pleasant earthy aroma. The tea is both very fragrant and very aesthetically pleasing.

As I mentioned earlier (this is a poorly composed piece of writing…), the tea brewed very light in color, and it is also very light in flavor for me. It’s a good tea, and I love the delicious malty afternotes in the sip, but it’s too soft and too delicate for me to appreciate fully. Even though I like more delicate black teas, I like them to have body, and this tea lacks that crucial element for me.

I still have only done one steeping with this tea. I am going to try for a second. I’ll update my tasting note when I do. Overall, I liked this tea a lot, and I so appreciate the free sample. I drink a lot of similar teas that are more suited for my tastes than this one, and for that reason, I like the Ceylon tea by Tea at Sea a bit more. This is a lovely cup, though, and I’m enjoying it immensely.

This resteeped well, and I got a similar pot of tea for my second steeping! I was finished drinking tea by that point in the day, so I didn’t try for a third pot. I’m not sure how it would hold up, since it was so light to begin with.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80
drank Ceylon Pekoe by Tea At Sea
33 tasting notes

I also got a sample of this for free from Tea by the Sea, and I’m excited about it. I always feel really special when I get free samples. First off, the packaging is ADORABLE. I guess that’s kind of a petty place to start, but when I opened the package, I noticed immediately how well marketed and how cute the packaging was. I hope the company continues this trend, because I smiled.

I’m drinking the tea now, and it’s a solid tea. I’m not much of a Ceylon tea fan, honestly, as I find it to be a bit too astringent for me. This tea I enjoy, but it’s not a tea I would pick up on my own (I’m thrilled about the other sample, though, which I will be reviewing and is much more up my black tea ally). This tea has the qualities of a Ceylon tea for sure. It is thin and sharp and also a bit sweet with a definite, and I can’t think of a better word for it, black tea taste. I would describe this as a significantly elevated Lipton bagged tea.

The tea in the package was a dark leaf, loosely rolled, and even though the leaves looked small to me, when it brewed, the leaves expanded significantly. It looked really pretty while it brewed. The color of the brewed tea is best described to me as auburn. It was a red-tinted brown, and it looked like a dark orange when it brewed.

Overall, I like this tea. I would certainly drink it again (very willingly) although I wouldn’t pick it out for myself.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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75
drank Tropical Nut Paradise by Teavana
33 tasting notes

I like this a lot more than I anticipated. The last tea I tried from my Teavana sale box was so terrible. I was actually scared to brew something else from them from the same order. Thank God I like this tea. I’m always kind of on the fence about Rooibos teas. They can be so sweet and kind of flimsy to me. But this tea has real body, and I appreciate that. It is pleasantly nutty and it has a malty-sweet underpinning I cannot quite describe. It reminds me of something else I cannot place. I hope I bought 4 ounces of this, too, but I bet I didn’t. Obviously, I can’t always judge what I will like and what I will dislike. Teavana has been mostly misses for me these days.

Anyway, I’ll add this to my list of acceptable nighttime teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank La La Lemon (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
33 tasting notes

I went into David’s Tea for the first time maybe two weeks ago, as I’m working a temporary job near one. I had never been into a David’s before, so I wanted to check it out. I bought too much tea. I was kind of tired, and I meant to only buy 50 gs, and I bought 100 instead. I was too anxious at the time to correct her after she rang me up. So now I have a lot of this tea.

I’ve been looking for a lemon tea for awhile, something similar to Lemon Lift by Bigelow, but of a higher quality. La La Lemon is the closest I have come to that tea, as both have a kind of creamy sweetness along with the lemon flavor. I have no idea how the David’s blend manages that, as it only has tea and citrus in it. My best guess is that’s it uses the orange oil in it in a very smart way. However, I still don’t like this tea as much as Lemon Lift, and I feel like it’s a bit expensive for a flavored black tea. I probably won’t buy more of this when it is gone.

WIth that said, I’m drinking this tea now, and I’m enjoying it. It is a bright and tart tea, with an undertone of a snappy black base. It brews red-brown in color, and appears thin in the cup.

My rating for this tea is how much I like it, not how much I like it for how much I paid for it. I may just buy some Lemon Lift teabags and suck up my pride.

Flavors: Cream, Lemon Zest

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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15

Why. Why did I buy 4 ounces of this? I mean, yeah, I paid 1$ per ounce, but christ! This is single handedly the worst thing I have ever let touch my mouth brewed like tea. It tastes heavily of artificial flavoring, and it has a gross greasy texture. I made a mug of it, and I had to choke it down. It’s one of those things I can’t believe people like, not because I’m being snobby, but because it tastes so bad.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

I’m now working off a note I wrote a few weeks back, but I remember tasting this tea vividly, and I wanted to engage Steepster again after an absence caused by moving, the holidays, and being unwell for a few weeks.

Anyway, I didn’t like this tea. I did not hate it. In fact, I found it pleasant. But I didn’t like it, either. It tasted too heavily of spices to me, especially cinnimon, and I tasted very little tea or even pastry-type sweetness. I’ve been interested in this tea in the past, and I’m glad I never bought any for myself. It was very flat for me. I savor and crave complex tea notes, and this was very one-note and boring.

Furthermore, for something with almond slices in it, I tasted no nut qualities in it. I wanted to be confronted with the slightly sweet bit of almond or walnut. Since this is a dessert tea without chocolate (I’m a chocolate sucker) it needed to engage beyond the sweetness it engaged in. since it wasn’t as sweet as I desired from a pastry-themed tea, it needed to taste firmly of great tea. It did not really.

The tea brewed to a gorgeous red-black cup. I know it’s a high quality tea, and it looks and brews like it is. But the flavor profile is uneven and unsophisticated in my opinion.

My sample came from a glorious and amazing box of samples from IfJuly, and I am so appreciative of those samples I can’t really articulate it myself. I’m honored to have been sent so much tea, and I’m hoping I can catch up on a few tasting notes so I can continue to acknowledge IfJuly’s generosity.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

I like Chinese black tea varieties best, followed closely by roasted Oolongs. I find white tea somewhat boring, and that makes me feel bad and unsophisticated. I have a terrible habit of buying green teas and trying to like them and never succeeding. I like Pu-Erh teas, but only on certain occasions, mostly during rainy weather.

I live in New York, but I’m a poorly adjusted Southern transplant. I write poetry and go to school for it. I’m not actually very good. If you like William Carlos Williams, I like you. I tend to talk too much, even online, and I have a horrible capacity for babbling.

I also like either upscale cocktail bars or really dive-y grungy places with cheap well vodka. And very spicy food when I’m stressed or sad.

That’s about it. Except I watch really horrible horror movies when I write. I have better taste in movies than that, but the furious noise of crap keeps me concentrated on my craft.

As a note: I will be away from home, and thus my tea collection, visiting my parents from December 21st-January 15th. As a result, I may not have access to teas in my cupboard, and will only be able to do limited swaps. I feel like I should make a note of that, even though no one’s like chomping the bit to swap with me.

Location

New York

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