53 Tasting Notes

86

I ordered this as a way to give regular gunpowder green a “second chance” to redeem itself. Pingshui green has been a bit of an enigma to my palate, as I don’t like the metallic-copper aftertaste, but I keep reminding myself that it’s perhaps just a matter of finding the right grade, or adjusting the way I steep it.
This time I decided to try it blended with mint, and I’m pleasantly surprised. The smoky-mixed-with-copper aftertaste isn’t there, it’s smoother, and the spearmint makes it a great calming/evening topper.
I have pics and a bit more detail at my homepage http://bit.ly/qyO6mz but I can definitively say this has maybe turned the tide for me on gunpowder green. I’ll be keeping it in my cupboard.

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81

If it didn’t say “Ceylon” on the label and if I didn’t see the dried leaves before steeping, I’d say this could almost – almost – be mistaken for an oolong if you were simply judging by aroma and initial sips alone. It’s delicious, but it’s subtle. It finishes the sip a bit more stridently than it starts. I’m smelling the same sweetness my palate’s come to know in various Tie Guan Yins. I can now comprehend how the more processed Ceylon teas get their reputation for notes of honey if this is how they “begin.” More akin to a China green or a weaker black tea as it goes down. Definitely a heavier mouthfeel than a sencha, regular green, or an oolong.
Intriguing! I may need to steep another pot or two to round out my full opinion, but great quality.

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70

Be prepared for this to taste more like the fruit that is pumpkin rather than the traditional pumpkin pie spice that we tend to associate with fall. It is a nice Ceylon black and has bits of sunflower (which I personally enjoy) and there is a slight spicy aftertaste to the cup that isn’t strong, but is noticeable. Somewhat astringent. As for the pumpkin pieces, the aroma of the dry blend in the bag is a bit on the unusual side because dry pumpkin pieces don’t really smell “sweet”, but the taste once steeped is fine.
If you’re looking for it to be a fall version of the super-spices as with a chai tea, this isn’t the pumpkin tea for you. But if you’re more of a purist like myself who enjoys tasting the tea in your tea, this is a perfect seasonal treat, and can be sweetened or left alone according to how well you love pumpkin in its unprocessed form.
Perfect accompaniment for toast and drier pastries.

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83
drank Iron Goddess by Shanti Tea
53 tasting notes

I’ve tried a few Tie Guan Yins before and this one is in my top 2 choices as far as leaf quality and taste. The aroma is fresh, sweet, and the leaves are truly whole – it only took one steep to see the original leaves come back to life. The oxidation of this organic variety is lighter than some, which might explain the fresh, bright quality I’m picking up from it. More green leaves than browner ones in Shanti’s version, it’s therefore perhaps not as “deep” of a flavor than some might be looking for, but I’ve prepared 28 ounces’ worth of good tea from the 2-cup measure of dry leave. Not too shabby.
If you’re not a fan of traditional senchas or chinese green teas, this oolong would be a good alternative as it retains many “green” vegetal qualities but with a sweetness the regular green teas don’t normally have Almost as if it’s been perfumed, but not as strong as a jasmine.

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90

I’ve had more than 80 ounces of this Second Flush Darjeeling over the past two days and I still enjoy the flavor. Very faint notes of floral and grape, not super-astringent, and not heavy. I’ve used water at boiling for about 4 minutes each time, and it’s reained consistet. A little more expensive, but it’s organic, which is to be expected. From the Makaibari Tea Estates which has a well-documented history, still family-run, and the first large-scale tea plantation to “go green” in the early 1990’s.
More with pics of my steeping experience: http://bit.ly/mSQjHC

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78

This is not your typical fruity-tooty blended tea. The aroma is very much a “true” peach, but it does not take center stage in the cup. The oolong itself isn’t a weak leaf, it’s more of a medium oxidation and has a richer flavor than you’d expect. But they have also added sunflower to the blend, and honestly that’s what “makes” this a favorite for me, more so than the fruit flavor. It inspired a biscuit recipe (seen at http://bit.ly/kyEz8T) and though I can imagine it being refreshing as an iced tea, I’m drinking more of it as fall approaches. Just a nice, smooth, rich, nutty flavor with more of a hint of peach.

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67

This is a blend of different estates and is described as being similar to a single-estate second flush. I do not have a trained palate for Darjeeling at this point in my tea adventures, but this tea is lovely and quickly becoming a favorite. It has the rich, deep tones you’d expect from an Indian black tea, but is not as astringent as I was preparing for it to be. Sometimes being “medium” is a good thing, and this is a good, “medium”-flavored black tea. I was looking for a tea to introduce a non-connoisseur friend to the tea world, and this did nicely.

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89
drank Sakura Vert by Lupicia
53 tasting notes

This is the authentic taste I’ve been craving. It is not intended to be a typical cherry flavor – the leaves of the cherry blossoms are brined, so there is a slightly salty flavor combined with a floral aroma and an aftertaste of cherry – very subtle. Very spring.

The sencha used in Lupicia’s version is flavorful – it achieves what I’ve tried to do myself by blending my own green tea with actual sakura blossoms. I’ll enjoy the blossoms on their own as a tisane and in different cooking recipes and drink Lupicia’s version both hot and cold.

This blend is wonderful iced – it is strong enough to be enjoyed cold. Steeping sakura blossoms on their own, I haven’t yet been able to get a strong enough balance to try it iced, but Lupicia’s found the ticket.

If you enjoy Sakura or floral-scented greens, you’ll enjoy this version.

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61
drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
53 tasting notes

I’m not a particular fan of strong, almost-chemically induced, fruit blends. But there are exceptions that are done well. I gave Lupicia’s Sakurambo a try because it’s a black tea blend versus the green tea blend I had tried in past chez Teavana (my mouth puckers just thinking of the overly sugary-sour-bitter.)

The aroma out of the box is VERY strong. Sour cherry. I thought “oh no, here we go again.” But the cherries being used aren’t the dried, sugared type, they’re an actual type of cherry bean, so there wasn’t the “marzipan” character to it. It’s very pretty in the teapot – the black tea, the green needles, and the small cherry beans (I can see this being a nice treat at the holidays).

Brewed according to directions, steeped for 2.5 minutes. The sip isn’t bad. Definite cherry. I can still taste the qualities of the black tea. Not as disappointing as it foreshadowed. There was a stronger astringency than I’m used to, about medium if I had to put it on a scale.

I’m curious to try this again blended with milk and see if my opinion changes, being a black tea it just might be the ticket!

I’m satisfied, but I’m still on the hunt for my “best” cherry tea. Something that leans more toward creamy and slightly floral or spicy, like some of the good-smelling lotions at Bath and Body works.

Definitely a notch above a green cherry blend.

Meghann M

I found this makes a truly delicious cold brewed iced tea. Even as a second steep of the leaves.

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Profile

Bio

Still fairly new to the life-long process of learning and appreciating tea. Got into loose leaf a number of years ago after health concerns cut soda and sugared drinks from my repertoire. I’ve been blogging about and exploring tea more in-depth for the past several years and I just plain enjoy it. I keep an eye out for French tea trends as well, so if you parlez, bienvenue!

My ratings tend to fall into these categories:

I don’t bother discussing teas that I wouldn’t recommend to other folks on some level. Not worth drinking, not worth wasting time, so you won’t see many yellow light scores from me. I will, however, post if a tea is marketed as something it’s not. There are a couple of examples in my tea log.

50-70’s : Fair. Either a quality or grade issue or perhaps not suited to my personal preference. Wouldn’t turn it down if it were a gift, but wouldn’t purchase it for myself.

80’s: Good teas. Enjoyable and well-crafted, but maybe some slight room for improvement or maybe a notch below another of the same type that I’ve tried. Would buy again if the price were reasonable.

90’s: Excellent teas. My personal favorites that I’ve fallen in love with and have been surprised by.

I don’t know that I’ve ever rated a 100, which is why the 80’s and 90’s are more representative of the teas I like and would recommend. A 96 is just about perfect.

Website

http://latteteadah.blogspot.com

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