1613 Tasting Notes

I am not the biggest chai fan. Rooibos is kind of hit or miss with me. This combines both and I liked it. No additives this was very mild with no rough edges. The clove, cinnamon, and rooibos play well together. Next I added a little sweetener. This made the ginger really jump out and heat up the cup. It was a little too intense for my taste. Next I added a splash of milk, because chai, you know. This was my favorite method. Very balanced.

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My first Yerba Mate. To me it is earthy, woody, and reminded me of rooibos and coffee beans. My favorite part of this is the licorice. Definitely don’t need sweetener with this one. The licorice adds it for you. I liked the play of the sweet against the earthy. Pretty sure this is not for every one but I thought it was fun.

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Cold, shaken in a water bottle is the way to go with this one. Minty but not too minty, but then I like peppermint. As with most of the samples from Chi Whole Leaf, I liked it with a small amount of Sweetener – just 1/4 packet of Splenda. I can taste the tea base in the aftertaste. I’ve never had eucalyptus before. I can’t say I could identify anything out of the ordinary that I could guess was eucalyptus. This my favorite of the 5 samples.

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drank Kiwami by iMaccha
1613 tasting notes

Hot and straight, I get malt, seaweed and floral with a touch of hay. There is enough bite to be interesting without calling it bitter and mixed with enough sweetness to make it easy to drink.

I’ve had this the last couple mornings cold with milk. I does not mix well in cold milk. The taste is still a bit floral but mostly has a bready taste.

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drank Deluxe Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1613 tasting notes

Breakfast of the morning is a cold latte made with Deluxe Matcha. I am still pretty much a noob at matcha. I have now tried around 30 of them. This remains my favorite. It also happens to be one of the cheapest. I love the leafy, spicy, floral notes.

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drank Classic Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1613 tasting notes

Porch sitting at 6:00 AM with a latte made with classic matcha. It is 60 F and there is a gentle rain. My latte was made with cold milk. Why am I not freezing? Oh, right, because my body doesn’t wake up until after 8. My brain loves this weather. Anyway, so the neat thing about participating in a blogging matcha tasting event is you get to try like a zillion different matchas. The bad part is they start tasting so much alike, when you aren’t real skilled in them yet. Such is the case with this one. I found it to be umami with popcorn notes, when testing. Today, with milk it is very smooth. There is little to no bitterness and the taste with milk leans towards nutty and green leafy. Makes a good sweetened latte.

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This is a smooth Darjeeling with light muscatel and a woodsy earthiness that fades into a sweet fruity and floral finish. I like Darjeeling with meals. They seldom seem to be something I crave all by themselves.

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drank Liu An Melon Seed by teasenz
1613 tasting notes

The liquor is brilliant, nearly fluorescent, yellow with the light behind it. Sipping, it is not bitter and has no sharp edges. It does have just enough bite to excite the palate. The feel is a bit creamy. The taste is clean, crisp, and is a mix of nutty with underlying floral. The aftertaste is grassy with floral and melon notes. It is not a strong aftertaste but lingers a long time. I also catch a definite dryness and some cheek tingle that isn’t out of place with this type tea. A very satisfying Chinese green.

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reviewed Teavana Loose-Leaf Tea Infuser by Starbucks
1613 tasting notes

My wife brought this Teavana infuser home from Starbucks. She said it was so I would quit stealing her Finum baskets, that I bought ;)

What I like, is this is all stainless steel – no plastic. The rim is big enough to fit my 12 ounce mug with room to spare, while holding the bottom of the infuser above the bottom of the mug. The screen mesh is very fine. I haven’t tried it with rooibos yet but feel confident it can handle it with ease. The water seems to flow through it well. Of course loose in the pot is better but not always practical. This is a good compromise.

What I don’t like is more of a what is missing thing. It does not have a lid to hold in the heat, or a base to sit the infuser on between cups.

About $10 at Starbucks

I am enjoying this sample from Crimson Lotus Tea immensely. The dry aroma is hay and barnyard. That used to make me nervous. Now I rather expect it. I did two rinses. The first cup was at 10 seconds. It is root beer colored with a pink tint. The first thing I notice when tasting was the thick creamy feel running along side the initial bite. Kind of opposing sensations but they work together. After the bite settles, I get mild horse tack that drifts into a sweet smooth finish. Cup two was much darker, pouring ruby red. Similar in taste to the first. The difference is this introduced a cedar note at the beginning and moved the bite to later in the sip. I also caught a light smokiness when exhaling. I only noticed the smoke after ‘testing’ a hot out of the oven chocolate chip cookie made with sugar free chips. Did the cookie bring the smoke out or add it? Who knows. Both the cookie and the tea were very enjoyable. Highly recommend both.

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it


Indiana, USA



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