829 Tasting Notes

84

You know, I have three notes for this tea and I’m struggling to remember any of them. The tasting notes are positive, but I have been so…apathetic about drinking it. This makes no sense as I am really quite fond of candy corn.

Today I had this plain at my typical parameters for a black tea from 52Teas. I had it with no additives, just to see what the candy corn flavoring did with no help. Answer: it gives you a pleasant honeyed taste without cloying sweetness. It has the strange oily patches on the top of the liquor (from the oils added, but still, not my favorite aesthetic) but no bitterness or astringence, despite being DARK once it’s brewed up.

I don’t really know why I stigmatized this blend. It’s really good, and not overly candy corn like, which is good as it’s not candy corn season. It’s just a nice, honey accented black tea that works well with or without additives.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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88

Big mug of this yesterday with breakfast. I finished up 6 out of 8 night shifts (it was murder) and was determined to stay awake a bit and read with some tea before bed. It’s been a while since I’ve had some earl grey and the bergamot in this was very bright and citrusy – it drowned out the cream notes, despite adding in creamer.

I think I really like the French Earl Grey from the Tea Merchant better, though. It’s aesthetically gorgeous and has the custardy vanilla undertones that I so love. Gah. I am needing to place SO many tea orders…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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90

This just smelled so tantalizing yesterday morning. All strawberries and cream, just perfect for breakfast. I’ve gone back and forth on the best strawberry tea so many times – and this one is always one of the top contenders.

Tart berry and sweet cream are the most evident, but the smooth black base is discernible too. Given it’s age it is still really flavorful, too. Not sure if this is still available from 52Teas – but if you are looking for a good berries and cream tea this is definitely one you should try.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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94

I love how the coconut in this is more of a texture addition than anything else. And it works, too – this tastes like creamy banana pudding, even more so when you add a splash of creamer.

Easily one most accurately named, consistently good offerings from 52Teas.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97

Cold matcha latte to celebrate the end of three 12 hour shifts. And daylight until 8 PM – it makes me feel like summer is coming.

This is my new favorite dessert. I love how it tastes like straight caramel – and the milk of course adds the creaminess to bring out the flavors that much more. Time to go peruse matcha reviews to add some to my wish list!

Flavors: Butter, Caramel

Preparation
Iced 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Spencer

Sounds delicious, especially iced!

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96

I am loving the idea of some vegetal greens since the January Steepster select box. I’ve also officially decided that I really like Japanese greens more than Chinese ones. Obubu has a tea club and I have to say that I’m really considering it because fresh Japanese tea every two months? Yes please.

I got this particular sencha because it was described as being the most savory of the sencha offerings. It certainly smells amazing – spinach and seaweed at the same time. I’m definitely going to have to follow the suggestion of putting the leaves in some white sushi rice with soy sauce because once steeped the leaves look like fresh steamed veggies. The fact this is both food and beverage makes me love it that much more.

There is some discernible bitterness here but that changes as it cools. Its got the brothy loveliness that all really good senchas have, and what can best be described as umami since I feel like it alternates between sweet and savory within the same cup.

This was a good choice – sweet and savory, brothy and buttery. Complex and simplicity all rolled in one. I am going to have no trouble putting this away, and I think I’ll join the Obubu club if for no other reason than to see how the flavors of sencha change throughout a year.

Flavors: Butter, Grass

Preparation
5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Jennkay

Yay for Japanese greens!

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63

I like this for lunch at work since its one of the few tea options the cafeteria downstairs have. It annoys me that we can’t get flavored blacks though – since I don’t really like white or green teas with any sweetener or anything.

Guess this means I should think ahead and steep my own ahead of time. Still, the sweet lemon flavor goes well with a black base…. I just know it would be better and fresher if I prepared it myself. Not to mention cheaper!

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95

Yay! I found my tin of pumpkin pie matcha when I was reconfiguring my cupboard!

Since I like these as a cold latte I had it as a dessert last night. I don’t really think I got much more than pumpkin pie spice and green tea flavor but that was more than enough for me.

Once I clear out my matchas I will definitely be placing a bulk Red Leaf order – these matcha lattes are going to be PERFEECT for desserts in the summer.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg

Preparation
2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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82

The smelled so malty and raisiny. More than anything it was raisiny, though – I’ve never smelled that much of a fruity note in a black tea before, unless it was flavored.

My note for this mentioned how astringent it got even after 3:30, so I reduced the steep time to 3 minutes even and…its still pretty rough around the edges. That beautiful raisined and fruity note is nowhere to be found, and without a good helping of creamer this would be impossible for me to drink. It’s a breakfast tea and so that’s fine, but I wish I could have the option of having it plain, you know?

Oh well, it is still brisk enough to get me moving this morning. And I can always reduce the steep time even more to see if that makes for a less astringent tea. I’ll go for 2:30 next time and see what happens.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98

Tea of the morning. Still one of my favorites from 52Teas. It always captures pancake + maple syrup so well, and even better when there’s some creamer added.

Sigh. Schoolwork for a bit, then more tea…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Profile

Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

Location

Atlanta, GA

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