829 Tasting Notes

drank Earl Grey Creme by Teavana
829 tasting notes

3 level tsp. to 500 ml water. More leaf than I usually do, just because I wanted something STRONG this morning.
As it cools I get a hint of sweet from the vanilla – this threw me because things do not taste sweet unless there is sugar. Ever. Quite smooth and a dark black tea this morning due to the extra leaf. I may keep these parameters around for awhile. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Dry leaf smells like pancakes, mostly syrup, but still yummy.
Steeped the smell is mostly tea with a hint of syrup.
And taste…well, I think boiling water was a mistake :(, because I pretty much just got the tea base.
Next time I’ll lower the temperature and that will likely fix things; and I’ll leave this unrated until then.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Definitely play with the perimeters . There’s maple and pancake in there that wants to come forth.


I know! I usually go around 205 degrees for blacks (I have a Breville which is the only reason I even know these things, haha) so I’m thinking that that will improve things muchly. :)

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Steeped according to the parameters on the Den’s tea website.
The aroma of the tea was quite burnt and a little off putting, to be honest. Despite the scent, though, the taste of the tea was quite smooth. The tea itself brewed up a light brownish, which makes sense given the leaves being roasted.
It was a very smooth tea, and it felt a little nutty in flavor as well, though I think that’s from the roasting. I did a second steep (this time following the recommendation and doing 15 seconds) and the tea tastes much the same as the first time, perhaps just a little lighter and less nutty.
This is only my second of the four loose leaf samples, and I think that the sencha just barely edges it out, but I certainly would not refuse a cup of this; if I had enough money (and enough space) I would definitely order some for my stash…

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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From the sampler Den’s offers to new customers.
This was super yummy. We used the whole thing on 500 ml of water (per package directions – it’s the one thing about a Breville I wish I could change because Japanese teas just aren’t meant to be made all at once at that kind of volume) and got two steeps out of it.
Now, I love green teas. I think they are just amazing, simple teas that pair well with just about any food. This one was no exception- the leaves smelled so vegetal and fresh, and the tea itself was very smooth and…well, green. I honestly could drink this for dinner every night. So, apparently, could my boyfriend, who seriously gushed over the first infusion.
I steeped the second infusion for longer (1:30) than the first one, which went against the parameters (and I just realized that now, so…too late!). This infusion was bitter in a not-so-nice way, but that was my fault and not the fault of the tea. I still liked it very much, despite the human error.
So this one’s definitely on my shopping list. I wonder how the next three samples are going to be in comparison..

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Made as an iced latte – my theme of late since I used Frank’s recipe for the concentrate and now have to use it up before it goes bad. Thank goodness the weather is warm enough that cold tea is a good thing. :)
The latte makes the strawberry just about pop in your mouth – which is such a good thing! It makes all the pie parts of the flavor come out more too. I’m going to bump the rating up a few points since it’s so good cold – and since I live in the south I will be appreciating that come summer!

Iced 8 min or more

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Mmm.. iced chai latte.
I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: this is such a nice blend of spices. I am having fun going through my stash of this…

Iced 8 min or more

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Ah, coconut cheesecake honeybush. I missed you so.
Mixed this half and half with the french vanilla assam and made a latte using Frank’s way.
This is so amazing hot; I can imagine what it’s going to be like cold. Oh wait, yes I can: it’s going to be awesome.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Cha Yen Thai by Teavana
829 tasting notes

The smell of the dry leaf and the aroma once brewed are very similar. I get kind of an almond cherry combination – it’s very pleasant.
The taste, freshly brewed and hot, is actually very similar to the aroma, with the added bite of some spices at the beginning of the sip.
As it cools I lose that cherry flavor (which, I’m not sure where it was coming from anyway….) and the coconut comes into the foreground. So far, I have not been itching to add sugar or milk, which is amazing to me, as this is a black tea and I am notoriously unable to resist that.
I think I am going to try this iced – it seems like it would be amazing. But overall, I am really really impressed with this tea hot. I think it is one of the better Teavana blends I’ve tried so far!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Genmai Cha by Adagio Teas
829 tasting notes

I love, love, LOVE this tea with meals. I love that it is savory. I love that I can drink it unsweetened. I love that it smells so rice-y and looks so very springtime green. I just love it.
I really only like drinking this with food; that is the reason I can’t bring myself to bump up the rating higher. But luckily I have plenty of other stand alones to choose from and can use this to pair with lunches and dinners to my hearts’ content!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
829 tasting notes

3 tsp of leaf to 16 oz water.
I have been waiting for the weekend since Tuesday – it was just that kind of week. But I made it through, and even better was the fact that I knew I would have a package of tea waiting for me on Friday when I finally got home from clinicals.
I broke this open this morning to have with cinnamon rolls (mmm..Saturday, I love you so!). Once brewed it smelled mostly like black tea with a cookie/baked goods note in the very background. I drank it plain for about half of the cup and then broke down and added brown sugar as it was starting to get a little astringent on me as it cooled (I’m thinking that’s the almond – but maybe decreasing steep time will avoid that in the future…note to self….)
As for the taste, the black tea is definitely at the forefront, but there is an almond taste that follows immediately behind. I get the “biscotti” more in smell than in flavor, but that’s alright – it’s still quite a pleasant drink.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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. "


Atlanta, GA

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