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33 Tasting Notes

drank Yerba Mate by Tea Laden
33 tasting notes

My only previous experience with mate was via some bottled soft-drink sort of thing, so I simply put it off to that; but now having brewed my own, I can confirm that yerba mate really does taste like watered-down Snapple Iced Tea w/ Lemon. :)

It’s tasty enough, but I am mostly interested in finding out if mate’s unique buzz really is everything it’s cracked up to be.

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25

I may have been unfairly maligning green rooibos; this is plain red rooibos with blended flavor, but it possesses the exact same “synthetic” taste I was complaining of in the Teavana blends. Looking over the ingredient lists, methinks “natural flavors” are to blame; but Tea Laden is at least upfront about theirs.

This is very sweet, almost like a fruit soda. Actually, that’s almost exactly what the synthetic taste common to all these blends is: I don’t know if it’s an actual ingredient, but it tastes like artificial sweetener (Splenda, aspartame, etc.).

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25

This tastes like vaguely peppery water. :/

I was dismayed when I opened the bag to find it was essentially powder, but it still smelled strongly of both rooibos and spices. Gave it the usual seven minute steep at 180 and… well… nothing.

Turns out they suggest 2tsp per 8oz of water boiled for ten minutes… yikes! Will attempt again following their directions, but that seems like major overkill to me. We shall see.

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drank Silk Road by TeaSource
33 tasting notes

Disappointing. This tastes more of candied ginger than anything else, and the Yunnan base is a very mildly flavored one. It’s nicely balanced—I’d love an “extra strength” version of this—but probably not for the real ginger fans.

I’ll try a longer steep next time, but as I already let this go for about six minutes by mistake, I don’t see much improvement being possible.

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75
drank Honey Apple by Tea Laden
33 tasting notes

Yum! I’m not really getting any honey from this, but the apple flavor is very tasty and natural. It’s odd, though; I guess this tea is not particularly well-blended (or perhaps the flavors are too disparate to really go together), because it’s almost as if I’m drinking two separate things at once. There’s a kind of generic, brisk black tea—maybe an Assam?—and then, pow, apple!

Still delicious. This’d be excellent in fall, might work as a dessert tea now.

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75

The lemon flavor only really comes through in the aftertaste, but the lemongrass itself helps add a lot to the rooibos’s own sweet, light top notes. A cup of this before bed time would be excellent.

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75

Delicious! Good strong rooibos with ginger that is strong enough to be definite without stinging; the calendula petals provide a really interesting, dry aftertaste, almost like ginger ale.

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drank Lemon Solstice by TeaSource
33 tasting notes

If I could find this blend without the licorice in it, I’d be crazy about it; unfortunately, it’s a sour/dirty mid-note that’s really jarring. Still, this is a really impressive balance of so many different flavors, and it is very, very foody.

ETA about three hours later: I am pretty sure this is responsible for my splitting headache. Never have done well with licorice.

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drank Pu-erh by Chung Chou City
33 tasting notes

This is the first pu-erh I’ve tried, and I’m honestly not sure whether I like it or not, but it is definitely one of the most unique-tasting teas I’ve ever encountered. It is remarkably sweet, but still manages to taste mostly nutty, almost bean-like.

I steeped it for three minutes in boiling water. Think I’m going to try a weaker infusion and see how that goes.

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75

Mystery solved!

About a decade ago, as a noob tea drinker, I bought a box of Iron Goddess tea because, c’mon, how cool is that? It was some of the most delicious stuff I’d ever had. Upon going to replace it, however, the next batch was… not the same. I’ve been sampling different varieties off and on for all these years, and have gotten a lot of “meh” green tea in return. I’d pretty much come to the conclusion that the first batch was some kind of fluke, or mislabeled package.

Then I recently learned that there’s an oolong variety. I finally managed to track some down locally and, yep, this is my long-lost love. :) A bit more perfume-y than I recall it being, but this is still one of the most robust and complex “light” teas I’ve ever had.

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