829 Tasting Notes

88

Having this again today with the boyfriend, since he didn’t try it the first go round and was curious. Prepped with the same parameters as before, he drank his straight, I had mine with milk and sugar.

Guh – the smell of this is so lovely. I’m trying not to open the bag and sniff too much because I don’t want stale tea, but I really want a candle or something with this scent. Buttery vanilla with a slight tinge of zingy citrus at the back. It’s such a heavy, comfortable smell.

Oh! That’s what I noticed was different this time, too – the bergamot is so zingy there is almost a mint type tone to it. Not a typical Earl Grey for sure. Boyfriends one critique besides “It’s different” was “It’s smoother.” Not very descriptive, but then that’s why he doesn’t write these. :)

Yep, I still vastly prefer this to the Teavana Earl Grey Creme. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88

Prepped 3 tsp. leaf to 500 ml. water in my Breville at the below parameters. Added milk and sugar.

This is from my most recent Upton order – the boyfriend goes through tea filters and their Moroccan mint like crazy, and we just finished Teavana’s Earl Grey Creme so I thought this would make a good replacement while I was at it. I was right (thankfully, because I totally bit the bullet and bought 1/2 pound since it was so cheap)!

So the thing with Earl Grey is that I’m pretty sensitive to bergamot. And I have always been more attracted to the “cream” or “vanilla” in these types of blends than the bergamot flavoring. Teavana’s variation of this blend was quite heavy on the bergamot, and the vanilla was more present in the smell than anything else – it was also kind of a sharp, thin smell – there wasn’t any “cream” in the scent or flavor. What I really wanted was it to be the other way around – bergamot as more of an afterthought, vanilla front and center.

The dry leaf in this was amazing! Though visually it didn’t have any of the pretty cornflowers and was just the brown, unadorned leaf – the smell made up for it. It was very vanilla at the forefront – actually more of a buttery vanilla. It smelled luxurious. I was up late last night so I prepped the Breville to be ready first thing this morning, and spent a good few minutes inhaling the aroma. Yummy!

Once steeped, the buttery vanilla smell remained, and transferred over to the taste. Bergamot does exactly what I wanted it to – creeps into the finish to let you know it’s there, but doesn’t dominate. And with milk and sugar, this is fantastic! I can see myself rotating this with my beloved East Frisian in the mornings – almost makes it worth getting up early for!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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96

This is a backlog- cold brewed 15 g. of this in 1/2 gallon water for 8 hours.

I really do like this cold brewed – the peach flavor is quite refreshing. It probably is a travesty to go this route with such an expensive tea, but it’s just so nice this way!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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100
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
829 tasting notes

Life has been SO BUSY lately. This is the first proper cup of morning tea I’ve had in a while- between family visiting (& all the prep work going into it) and mid terms I just haven’t had the time.

But tasting this, the wait was worth it. I will be ordering more (so much more) as soon as I have the spare funds, which will need to be soon as I only have enough leaf for about 2 more cups.

It was a lovely reintroduction back into the world of tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

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98

Prepped my usual way, with milk and sugar added.

I’ve started running again so I think my metabolism has amped up. Tonight I wanted something sweet but we didn’t have anything in the house – except for all my lovely dessert teas.

The syrup and butter are really popping out of both the smell and taste, and it is totally hitting the spot. And as an added bonus, it’s doing so for a lot less calories than a big stack of pancakes would!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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100

YUM.

It’s been a while since I’ve had this, and it’s been even longer since I’ve had this without additives, but I wanted it plain tonight. And it is fabulous – tangy and coconutty. The boyfriend thought it smelled vanilla-y and since vanilla and coconut are similar scents I’ll give it to him. He still won’t try it though – he thinks the more desserty sounding teas are “too weird”. Ah, well, more for me!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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94
drank Momoko by Lupicia
829 tasting notes

This was the free sample that came with the Lupicia magazine this month.

The dry leaf smells super peachy with a touch of vanilla. I didn’t smell much of the green tea when it was dry, but it still was amazing. Almost to the point of overwhelming – but from experience with Lupicia’s tea, the strong scent of dry leaf turns into the perfect amount of flavoring when it is steeped.

And this was no exception – once steeped the buttery green tea came out more in the scent. The taste was perfectly balanced – green tea then a candy-like peach, with hints of vanilla in the background. The vanilla adds that extra complexity that really takes it over the top. It doesn’t need anything added to it – the sweetness of the peach and vanilla are perfect.

As good as this is hot, I think it really would have been amazing iced – I will likely have to get some for that purpose. Peach candy green tea will be a wonderful complement to this coming summer, I expect.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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69

Another free sample generously provided to me by TeaVivre!

Dry leaf: Small and dark green leaves that smelled of spinach. They were whole, but the leaves were so small that they resembled a BOP grade, almost. I understand the reasoning behind the short steep time when looking at the leaves.

Steeped leaf: Once steeped, the liquor is a light brown – the fact it is so dark is surprising given I’ve steeped some greens for 2 minutes and only gotten a pale green. The smell is quite brothy and savory, and as it cools, almost…floral, strangely enough.

The taste is…strong. And very different. It’s drying like a white wine on the tongue, but not thin or watery. It seems kind of bitter, but that plum aftertaste was there – it seemed a bit metallic, though. It is definitely memorable and different than any other green tea I’ve tried. As it cools most of the dryness and the sharpness in the aftertaste fades away. It leaves more of a sour nuttiness in its stead.

Overall: I’m glad I got to try it but I don’t know that it’s a tea I want to keep on hand. It could be the fact that it shares so many qualities with wine or sake – I don’t drink alcohol because I can’t stand the taste and so this is has unpleasant associations to me. Maybe later steeps will be more to my liking?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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84
drank Earl Grey Creme by Teavana
829 tasting notes

And that’s the last of this tea.

I am having it plain today and it tastes thin (despite the 3 tsp. of leaf) and watery, with a strong vanilla note on the swallow/aftertaste. It smells primarily of a vanilla black tea. The bergamot peeks through a bit in the middle of the sip and the scent but it really isn’t as big of a player as the vanilla.

Oh well, off to bigger and better Earl Grey Creams, I guess. Any recommendations?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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. "

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Atlanta, GA

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