267 Tasting Notes

93

I don’t think I’ve ever seen tea leaves that look quite like this- the flatness of them is really interesting. But anyway,
I study Japan for a living, so I wind up drinking a lot of Japanese green tea. This Chinese green is a really different experience. For one, the brew is a lot more yellow than the vivid green I am used to, and rather than being intensely grassy, it’s got this clean, crisp taste to it that I want to call vaguely floral… but people who hate floral teas would probably like this one and disagree.

Hmmm I had been feeling burnt out on green tea recently, and this might be the short-term solution. It’s really palette cleansing and refreshing. I dig it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

All “dragon well” seem to have those pressed, flat leaves. I think they may pass them through a rolling press to end the oxidation process.

Lisbet

Ahhhh interesting!

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95

I put off trying this one because I tend to think that I don’t like black teas. I try to avoid the caffeine, and I tend to be put off by their astringency. But I made this one today out of guilt at having avoided it, and am really surprised.

I like this a lot. Really, a lot. It’s delicious. I added a little bit of soymilk to it, and the richness of the tea still comes through. It’s bold, almost like a good oolong, with no astringency whatsoever. It’s kind of smokey and creamy and smooooth at the same time. I am realizing in trying this that I haven’t had a good black tea in forever. When I drink good tea, as opposed to most of the flavory-gimmicky stuff I enjoy, it’s usually green or oolong.

What a surprise! Try this if you don’t think you like black tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I liked this one too!

Lisbet

I am still drinking it and still really surprised!

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drank Northwest Minty Green by Allegro
267 tasting notes

Another from the freebie bin at Whole Foods… love the freebie bin. Anyway, this is a good enough minty green. It seems to me kinda indistinguishable from the Bigelow Mint tea that seems to be offered to me in every hotel I’m ever in. Sorry, Allegro, I realize that’s not much of a complement.

Still, mint is nice and functional- it calms the tummy, it perks me up, and green tea has loads of health benefits. If you like the occasional standard mint tea (and don’t mind the green tea addition here), this one’ll do the job. I really can’t think of much more to say about it beyond that.

Edited to add that it being organic gives it a big leg up on most teas though.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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67

(Note, my tea bag just says “Ginger Lemon Decaf Green” – no “sun”)
Tea bags of this one were in the freebie bin at Whole Foods, so I thought “what the heck”. I often like a little ginger tea after eating, and this is decaf so a good choice for after-dinner. This one won’t disappoint ginger lovers, as it has a really nice bite to it. It honestly reminds me of a tisane though, because the green tea can’t hold up to the ginger taste (still, nice to have it there for the health benefits). If there’s lemon in here, the ginger scared it away.

Ho-hum. Unfortunately, this tea just isn’t very exciting.

As it cools I can taste the green a little bit, but it’s still mostly ginger.

If this were offered to me at a hotel breakfast, or among the teas at a meeting I’d be thrilled, but I’m not so interested by this as to buy a box.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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97

Oh my god… this one is GOOD. Good good good. I haven’t been surprised by a cup of tea in a while, but I’m adoring this one. (Jim, if you read this we must bring a tin of this for your mother at Christmas. She feels as I do about peppermint-cocoa rooibos.)
Ahem.

There was a tea that I found in Chicago that came in a Cocomint flavor- I think the brand was Khalihari, or somesuch? Anyway, they only carried it in the Chicago South Loop Whole Foods, and I haven’t seen it since. This is a really good match for it, and might actually even be better. The mint and coco remind me of a less sweet mint-hot chocolate, and of course this lacks both the caffeine and the calories.

The girl at my Whole Foods counter insisted that I try this one on the house, and she was so right about me liking it. It really has all of the flavor of a cup of mint hot cocoa drink but just less sweet in a really good way- less overwhelmingly sweet that is.

Er, as I was typing this a UPS truck went flying down my street… backwards.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Jessie

I think you have to elaborate on the UPS truck!

JacquelineM

This sounds really yummy – must keep my eyes peeled at Wegman’s and Whole Foods!

Lisbet

You know, I thiiiiiink the UPS truck must have passed the place it needed to drop off a package and concluded the best thing to do would be to reverse the truck down the street at top speed…er… yeah.

Lark

My hubby does that, it freaks the neighbors out, but in his defense he backs tractor trailers for a living! Oh and I really need to try this tea! :)

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So, I am on a roll. Apparently if I show my travel cup at the tea counter in Whole Foods, they give me free tea. This time they gave me one for my cup, and one to take home and try. Heh! They seem to not see the point in charging for one tea bag and hot water- is the cup part really that expensive? But I digress :)

I decided to try this one because I wouldn’t have the guts to buy a whole tin of it untested. And alas, I am not quite as impressed as others who’ve reviewed it. I can sorta get the red velvet cake scent from this if I sniff it, but brewed it just tastes overwhelmingly of rooibos. I like rooibos, but I was expecting something a touch…sweeter perhaps (without me having to add sweetener)? I tend to think of red velvet cake as sickeningly sweet. The red velvet cake taste does seem to be here, but as a backdrop.

Hmmm I like this just fine, but I can’t see myself buying it.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
Mercuryhime

Really? I don’t think my whole foods has a tea counter. Dang it! I’d be there everyday.

Lisbet

Yeah, you can order tea the same place you’d order coffee drinks (I know not all WF have a coffee bar)- they also keep loose tea in bulk bins there, but I never care about any of the varieties they have in the bulk section.

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51

A kind man at Whole Foods saw me drain my tea cup of the white tea I’d brought with me, and offered me a free refill- of any of the teas they had by the bar. How nice! I must have looked gloomy (which I was).

So I chose this one because it sounded really interesting. And actually, I’m scratching my head a bit because I swear, all I taste is rooibos. I don’t taste almond, or coconut. If I hadn’t taken the tea bag out of the tin myself I’d swear that he gave me the plain rooibos. Now don’t get me wrong, I like rooibos, but I was hoping for some macaroon action.

My experience is so far afield from the reviews on RoT’s website for this one that I now want to try it again just to, um, make sure it’s bland.
But, um… maybe only if they comp me again. Otherwise I’ll try something new next time.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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81

I’ll be honest- most of the time I find Bai MuDans to be a bit subtle for my liking. But.. there are times when I want something quiet, something warm that doesn’t shout in my face with its aggressive flavor-added gimicky self. This is great for those quiet moments. It’s also surprisingly good with food, for me.

I think I may have brewed this a bit weak- because of the size of these gorgeous leaves I thought “hmmm, this looks like about a pot’s worth”. Maybe not. But it’s a credit to the tea that I’m still enjoying it.

The taste, to me is almost grassy, but in a very light way. There’s something in this that reminds me of wheatgrass, but less aggressive and, um, horsey.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

Wheatgrass is horsey?

PS: try the pot I just made, I think I fixed your brew.

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88

I like pu-ehr. It gives me wonderful flashbacks to the acupuncturist I saw in Chicago, who had me drinking daily cup fulls of it in a brew she called “Liver Peace Tea”. It was also a component in a beauty tea she told me to drink if I wanted to soften my smile lines.
Anyway, I came to associate pu-ehr with feeling more relaxed, and as a comfort during what was a particularly severe Chicago winter.

This one comes in beautifully wrapped single serving pucks that can be steeped around six times a piece. If you’ve never tried pu-ehr, this is a good one to start with even if, like me, you mostly drink bizarrely flavored rooibos and honeybush blends. It’s gentle, with a slight backdrop of sweetness to it. Pu-ehr is always a bit earthy, with kind of mossy, loamey-ness to it, but even if that turns you off at first, reading about the health benefits might coax you back. On the first steeping it’s not too strong at all, and would pair really well with all sorts of food.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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67

I’ve found that people either like Ti Kuan Yin oolongs, or they cannot stand them. I’m in the like camp because, despite its flowery overtones, it’s still a tasty oolong. I’m so pleased that this one is organic too!

Oolongs are great for me during meals or just after, as they really seem to settle my belly. This one actually seems to have hints of jasmine or orchid in it, but not to the extent that it’s as grim as that might sound :) The floral is really delicate, and the leaves huge and beautiful.

I like this one, but I think my taste in oolong is a bit less toward the floral end. Nonetheless, if you’ve had Ti Kuan Yin oolong before, this is quite a good one. I’d love it with dim sum, to contrast the strong tastes of my food.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Grad student in sociocultural anthropology. I drink tea while reading for my courses, and it makes the books go down easier. I genuinely like most kinds of tea – although fruit tisanes kind of scare me.

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Houston, Texas, United States

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