779 Tasting Notes

89
drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
779 tasting notes

Backlogging two cups from last night, in hot chocolate form.

This really is amazing as hot chocolate; it kind of reminds me of nutella if I’m honest – nutty dark chocolate. I shouldn’t have had it mostly because it had a lot of dairy and I’m fighting a cold (dairy and colds don’t mix!), but oh, at the time it was SO. WORTH. IT.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Rainbow Sherbet by 52teas
779 tasting notes

Finally got around to trying this iced.

This was VERY fruity. I lost the tea flavor, really (probably my fault because I sweetened it), but creamy sherbet was there in spades – really it tasted like I was drinking melted sherbet! I think I would have liked it better if I’d gone lighter on the sugar. While it was good – it just isn’t something you can pair with food. Since I prefer my iced teas to be with meals, it probably won’t be something I get more of.

But man, if you like just sipping on the occasional glass of iced tea sans accompaniment, you will LOVE this come summer!

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94

Using up the last of my Upton sample this morning with breakfast – 3 tsp. (a little over) to 500 (-ish, this was also a little over) ml. water at below parameters.

The last time I tried this I used boiling water and a longer steep time and got…black tea. Kind of flat in the sense that there was nothing else there – none of the typical darjeeling extras, so to speak. Several people offered steeping recommendations so I thought I may as well try them to see if the tea could be improved upon.

The tea this time is significantly more complex. There is astringency in the taste (mildly pleasant) and a more layered scent and taste (there’s the muscatel/grape-ish note!). It’s quite earthy and that is the most dominant feature of the tea by far, but it’s not the only thing I’m getting, like last time.

The only thing I would change now is to back off even a little more on steep time – 2:30 would likely ease off on the astringency that much more. I don’t know that there will be a next time, however – there are plenty more darjeelings to try.

I’m open to suggestions if anyone has them!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
779 tasting notes

Backlogging from this morning – this finished off the last of my sample included in the 12 teas of Christmas.

I really do like this tea – it was a nice decadent breakfast tea that helped me come to terms with the fact that the weekend was over. I will definitely be getting more of this; it’s my favorite of the Christmas sampler from 52teas so far.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Jasmine Pearl by thepuriTea
779 tasting notes

So…. um, flowers.

They really aren’t my thing. But I got this sample free with my thepuriTea order so I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot. Steeped the entire sample in 500 ml. water at the below parameters.

The smell and taste of the leaf was predictably jasmine, and really it wasn’t bad. I drank it unaltered and though it was a bit perfumy, I found it drinkable. It just isn’t to my tastes because I’m not a floral person. I do think it was equal parts jasmine and tea, so if you are someone who likes this type of tea, you would enjoy it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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100
A perfect tea for a weekend breakfast – and one of my standby morning teas.

1 tsp. per 8 oz. always produces a strong cup that stands up well to milk and sugar. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Rainbow Sherbet by 52teas
779 tasting notes

I am a little late getting to the 4th tea of Christmas – it’s been a long day.

When I opened the packet and asked the boyfriend if he wanted tea, I assumed that he for sure would not want to try this (see: he hates flavored anything). But he sniffed this and said “Whoa. WHOA.” which was amazing in and of itself. So I used the whole sample in 750 ml. water in the Breville at the below parameters, since that would be enough to allow both of us to try it hot and leave some for me to make iced.

The tea when hot is insane, in a very good way! It tastes just like sherbet – I get the raspberry and orange the most, with a hint of lime. The black tea was a little astringent without sweetener, but the astringence seemed to bring out the creaminess of the vanilla, so that ended up being a positive. And the aftertaste is the most impressive – it’s kind of a head trip because you feel like you’ve just taken a bite of sherbet but don’t have the accompanying cold sensation that goes with it.

I ended up adding a little bit of sugar to really make the sherbet stand out and take away from some of the astringent flavor, but really it works well sweetened or not. I’ve put the remainder in the refrigerator to see what happens when it becomes iced, but I will be seriously amazed if it manages to surpass the wonderfulness that it is hot.

This is some REALLY good stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

wow – I can’t imagine I would like this but now I wish I could get some to find out!

LiberTEAS

I think that Frank is reviving the teas that he includes in the 12 days sampler, so it should be available (at least in a limited supply).

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86

I am batting 1000 with this sampler set – so far all three teas have been ones I have not tried yet. I remember that I desperately wanted this one over the summer, so I’m prepping the whole sample and will have half iced and half hot to see which method I like better. If it ends up being iced – well, I may have to buy some for summer before it runs out. I’m a sucker for iced fruity teas.

About 3 tsp. (a little over that I think) to 750 ml. in the Breville at the below parameters. First, a word about the leaf – when I opened the pouch and sniffed I immediately was able to guess what blend it was – the strawberry and lemon scent is heavenly. The leaves were small and kind of broken up but that happens when you’re trying to stuff lots of packets into a box, I expect! The liquor, once steeped, is a lightish yellow, typical for a white tea. I was wondering if strawberry in the blend would lead to a reddish tinge but I can now unequivocally say that it does not.

When I poured the tea into the cup I got a whiff of the lemon – it wasn’t a tart lemonade-ish lemon – it actually reminded more of a lemon I would drink when I was sick, which is not the most pleasant smell memory. After it sat for a minute or two the scent of strawberry (very light) began to creep in. Still that lemon predominates. The taste on this is much like the smell – lemon with a touch of strawberry, with the strawberry coming out more as it cooled. I tried sweetening the tea while hot and mostly just got a lemon sweet drink – so I decided to refrigerate it and wait a bit to see what happened then.

When iced there is a much better balance between strawberry and lemon – it’s much more palatable this way! But, with that said, I don’t quite know that I love it….I wish there was more of a tartness to the lemon to make it seem more like the lemonade part of the name. Still, it’s good, and I’m glad I got to try it, in any case!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
779 tasting notes

Day 2 of the 12 teas of Christmas…

Woohoo! This was another tea that I hadn’t tried yet! Steeped 2 tsp. tea in 500 ml. water in the Breville at below parameters.

Playing my “guess what it is before you look game” once again had me stumped; and this time the smell wasn’t remotely familiar so I at least knew I would be getting a blend I hadn’t had before. Once I knew what it was, the chocolate and caramel scents were more evident. At first it actually didn’t smell very good, but once I was aware of what I was smelling it became much more pleasant – and mouthwatering!

When drinking with additives, this did the same thing that the pancake breakfast tea does – it starts out tasting just like what it’s supposed to be, but then fades into just the tea taste. Luckily, just like the pancake breakfast tea, adding in milk and sugar brings the flavors back out, and then some. This is definitely like drinking a liquid chocolate turtle! The caramel and chocolate are equally present, with nutty notes from the cashew taking on more of a background note. The black tea is definitely there too, bringing out more of a dark chocolate taste than there would be otherwise. This is so decadent!

I will have to get more of this one – it ranks up there as one of my favorite 52teas blends for sure!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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85

Made this into a hot chocolate per boyfriends request since he adores mint. I drank it because it duh, it had chocolate and sugar in it, but the mint kind of ruined it for me – I just don’t like the flavor combination (it’s because I could take or leave the mint itself, I think).

But the boyfriend definitely liked it. He said he would have preferred peppermint, if we had it, but as it was, he practically slurped it down. :)

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 30 sec

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Bio

A few of my favorite teas (in no particular order):

*Dessert flavored blacks
*Breakfast blends
*Virtually any black tea (but lapsang/keemun!)
*Dancong oolong
*Sencha
*Dragonwell

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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