862 Tasting Notes

82

Cold brewed 3 cups with 1 tbsp. leaves, and let sit for 21+ hours.

This also pours a lighter color than I expected it too – darker than the darjeeling from this same sample collection, but not as dark as I have always seen black teas to be.

The steeped smell and a large part of the steeped taste that I’m getting is cocoa, though I do sense a little tiny bit of (the idea of, really) smoke in the front of the sip. Writing that out it sounds like a bad combination – smoky chocolate – but it really just tastes like a super super dark chocolate flavor in the tea. It has a stronger taste than the darjeeling – and even though it’s not drying on my tongue it still seems more tannic than the darjeeling as well.

It’s still really good unsweetened, though – I assume sugar wouldn’t hurt it but I like how bold and unadulterated it tastes without additives for right now.

ETA: Well, that smokiness that was only an idea when I sipped slowly got SUPER smoky when I started drinking faster. Weird. I’m not a fan of the smoke, though, so I have to bump it down some – this is not something I can drink fast (like with meals), but if I want to sit and savor it it’s okay.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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94

So, I’ve decided that I am familiar with my green teas, and I really like my dessert teas. But I don’t know very much about black teas – like at all. I mean, I know I like the flavor, but I don’t know much about specific regions and that just cannot stand.

So I placed an Upton order and am working through my black tea samples, cold brewed for right now because it’s STILL August (I mean, really? Where the heck are you November?) and therefore still too hot to think about hot tea.

After one day of brewing 3 tsp. leaf in 3 cups of water, this was the first tea I tried. I was surprised at how light the color of the steeped liquid was – but then I read that Darjeelings are technically oolongs because they don’t get fully oxidized and that lighter color made sense. Still, the aroma of the tea definitely smells like a black tea should – earthy and strong. Despite the fact that cold brews seem able to smooth out most teas, this one is still somewhat astringent – not unpleasantly so, but I’m sure that I’ll have to be careful not to oversteep when I finally do try it hot.

Also, I think I get the muscatel note – something in it does remind me of grapes toward the end of the sip, but it also seems kind of perfumey too. I am drinking this unsweetened and it is fabulous – I’ve gone through all three cups with dinner. I’m super glad to know this one works as a cold brew though – I think this will be something I bring along with me to class this semester…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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94
drank Milk Oolong by thepuriTea
862 tasting notes

For my 100th tasting note (!) I wanted to have a tea that I know is good – I’ve had some hit or miss samples that are leaving me a bit skittish of the unknown as of late.

When searching through my teas though, this one unexpectedly fell out of my sample bin. It was a sample from Rachel months ago, and I thought I’d finished it, but apparently not. I also had a lot more than it looked like from the bag (almost a tbsp, so belated thank you to Rachel for being so generous with me!).

Because I had just enough I was dying to try it cold brewed, so I did – steeped it over night in 750 ml. filtered water. The tea was buttery and very green smelling once brewed, and it looks just like a sencha (light green) after steeping.

It tastes like a creamy sencha with some floral notes in it – with the cream and floral parts coming out more as it nears room temperature. It is wonderful – a pure, unflavored tea was just what I needed today. Maybe one day thePuritea will restock this, because I would love to have more!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
LiberTEAS

congrats on 100!

JoonSusanna

Thanks guys!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Happy 100 tealog post! I had an enjoyable time reading through all your posts this week too.

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50
drank Kiwi Lime Ginger by Tea Forte
862 tasting notes

Cold brewed for around 20 hours in 12 oz. water. This is the third of the five samples provided to me by Tea Forte. I loved Mojito marmalade, HATED apricot amaretto, and so I had no clue what was going to happen with this one.

The smell of this (both before and after steeping) reminds me of sour gummy worms. So, kind of fakey. But gummy worms are tart and limey smelling, which makes it kind of accurate, too. Luckily I like sour gummy worms (understatement: they were one of my favorite candies when I was younger).

The sip does treat the lime and ginger pretty equally: first I get lime, and then ginger which has a bite. But then I get the “bonus” of some kind of medicinal aftertaste. Nowhere near as terrible as with the amaretto, which was all medicinal, but just enough that it kind of ruins the drink for me.

Meh, at least I can finish this one. Two to go, and I am definitely curious as to what will happen with those.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Ashley Bain

I’ve felt the same. Loved Mojito, hated Apricot Amaretto with a passion. This one was just a ho hum ginger tea in my opinion.
I’ve been too scared to try the last one – Blueberry something or another.

JoonSusanna

Hmm…I think we must be taste bud twins or something – there was the wintergreen/root beer thing, AND the fact that we love all the same 52teas, and now tea forte.
Makes me think I should try all the teas you’ve rated highly. :)

JoonSusanna

Also, crap – you didn’t like the Cherry Cosmo? My next tasting note will be my 100th and I REALLY want it to be good, so maybe I’ll just venture back to an old favorite instead of trying that next.

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10
drank Apricot Amaretto by Tea Forte
862 tasting notes

This is the second of five samples provided to me by Tea Forte. The first one I tried was the mojito marmalade, which I loved. This one, in contrast, evoked almost the exact opposite response in me.

The smell of the dry leaf alone made me nervous. It was SO vile and medicinal – more accurately, it was reminiscent of Robitussin. It gave me a headache and the memory of the smell lingered unpleasantly for a while after I set the leaves in water to cold brew. I didn’t find any apricot in the scent at all.

After steeping some of the apricot smell was more evident, and the medicinal odor had faded a lot, but that first sip…

Let’s just say I didn’t get past it, because it tasted like it’s original smell and I can’t drink Robitussin. :(

Oh, well. I have three more samples to try – I hope they’re more like the mojito marmalade than this one.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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97
drank Mojito Marmalade by Tea Forte
862 tasting notes

I received the sampler pack Tea Forte generously offered on Steepster and this was the first of the five that I tried. It was prepared cold brew style in 12 oz. water and left for about 20 hours in the fridge.

This is superb! The balance between citrus and mint is PERFECT in scent and in taste, but what is exceptional about this herbal in my opinion is the texture – very thick and almost chewy for a tea. It doesn’t need any sweetener, and I’m thinking that I’m going to be ordering this to help get through the rest of the summer.

Now to restrain myself from drinking all of it so the boyfriend can have a taste when he gets home from work…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Ashley Bain

haha. I always struggle with saving some for the bf to try when he’s home from work, too!

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84

Cold brewed. I was taking a chance on this one, because I haven’t had it hot yet. Ideally I feel like you should try a tea hot before you do so cold – but it’s August. I just couldn’t bring myself to turn on anything that would heat up the house.

Anyway, so cold brewed, steeped for about 20 hours in the fridge with 4.5 tsp. in 750 ml. of water. Did take a sip plain but ultimately added some (1 tsp.) simple syrup. I definitely think that the flavor is right on – the smell and taste were cinnamon rolls and I immediately wanted something pastry-ish to pair with it. There is the taste of the roll itself, and icing and butter notes were present as well.

On my end, I think that more steep time (a couple more hours in the fridge) would have been a good thing – I got impatient and it tastes thinner than I’d like, but that’s my fault. I have the honeybush steep parameters down for a hot drink, so once I can imagine EVER needing to drink something hot again this is first on the list to try. It’s definitely yummy and I’m so glad I snagged a pouch!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Ashley Bain

I’m so addicted to this tea! I might just have to have a pound of it made up for me if it doesn’t become a permanent. I think this and the banana bread have been my favorite 52 teas I’ve tried.

JoonSusanna

I love the banana bread too! That one tastes like the banana bread my mom made when I was little. I also have a soft spot for the coconut cheesecake honeybush, as that was my “gateweay” tea from Frank, haha. :)

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92
drank Moroccan Mint by Teavana
862 tasting notes

Cold brewed – 4 tsp. leaves in 750 ml. water. Left for approximately 20 hours, with no sweeteners added/needed.

This is a tea that I know well, in terms of the amount of tea leaves needed, the temperature it tastes best at, and the amount of time it needs to steep. I like it well enough, but it’s nothing compared to my boyfriend’s love of this stuff. He went through 4 oz. of this since the end of April from drinking it everyday at work, and so yesterday we went to Teavana (and got the traditional upsell, which we politely refused) to replenish another 1/4 pound’s worth. Before it goes away to work with him I snagged a bit to cold brew, just to see what would happen.

I was worried that the mint would make it seem like I was drinking cold bubble gum, but luckily it’s just a nice refreshing drink for an abominably hot summer day. A nice green that stands on its own with no sweetener required. Another cold brewing success!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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92

Cold brewed 3 tsp. in 750 ml. water for 20 hours. Tried at 9 hours but it was still too light so I left it overnight.

This is very tasty cold brewed – but not sweet at all, though I should definitely have expected that, as marshmallows don’t melt in cold water. (Not my smartest moment). Since the taste was affected but it was my fault, I won’t detract from the ratings. In fact, I compensated by having it to drink with a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich, where it paired REALLY well. Plus I didn’t need to sweeten it! I love when I can drink a tea with no sweetener!

I’ll probably stick to keeping this brewed hot so I can taste the rice krispy treat that it is named for, but it was a fun experiment none the less. :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85
drank Cha Yen Thai by Teavana
862 tasting notes

Cold brewing is one of the most amazing things that’s happened to me this summer.

So, I made 3 cups of this a few days ago and drank half of it. I left the rest in my container in the fridge WITH THE LEAVES until, oh, say…1 hour ago? And it was still really freaking good. Even better, really, than the first time – it is stronger but not bitter, and even seems a little sweet – enough so that I can drink this with no added sweetener, anyway. Quite yummy, both hot and cold. Woohoo!

Now, I wonder which tea I should try cold brewed next….

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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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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Medford, OR

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