888 Tasting Notes

93

Yum yum yum…having a decadent cup of this on this fine Tuesday evening. I can’t wait until it’s the weekend already LOL long week already…le sigh. Ah well, that’s why I have good tea to keep me going, and good company (the bf’s mom and brother are up for a few days). This tea is marshmallowy creamy goodness with a lovely bergamot note in there too. I need to have this more often. And now I am in a black tea mood since it’s chilly outside and supposed to snow. Blargh. Must get some sleep tonight though..haha. See previous notes on this tea!

Flavors: Cream

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89

Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the free sample of this black tea! I was excited to try this tea as I’ve had good luck with the Fujian black teas from Yezi, so I was sure this would not disappoint. Let’s just say I was right :D anyways onto the review!

The dry leaves smell of sweet potatoes and cocoa. Mmmm. Lovely golden brown thin leaves, I used about half of the sample packet and steeped in 195 degree water for 2 minutes. The resulting liquor is a light brown color and smells strongly of sweet potatoes and honey.

As for the flavor, wow this is so good. This is the black tea I’ve found closest in flavor to Verdant’s Golden Fleece. This starts out malty and grainy, with lots of sweet potato flavor but a definite smoothness from the grain, giving it a chewy mouthfeel. As it cools..BAM. Honey galore!! SO much honey! It’s just dripping off my tongue right now. Wonderful malted grains, smooth, sweet honey flavor…this is a definite winner. This might be my favorite of the three black teas from Teavivre I have tried yet. It’s so rich, and so different from the other varieties I tried (Keemun, Bailin). There really is so much diversity among black teas, well, any tea for that matter!

Overall, this tea is a sweet, comforting treat. I imagine this as a cozy wintery day tea, or when I’m just feeling indulgent. Thanks again to Teavivre for the opportunity to try this lovely black tea! It definitely is going on the wishlist :D

Flavors: Honey, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TeaVivre

So glad to hear that you like this tea. I like its full and strong aroma, especially the sweet potato fragrance. Yummy!

MissLena

Yes it is sooo delicious! The honey aftertaste lasted quite a while afterwards too, so tasty!

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84

Another huge thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this sample!! I had such a tough time deciding which of my samples to try first today, but since this will be my first Keemun (I think), it’s up!!

The dry smell was a malty and a bit fruity black tea. I steeped for 2 minutes with 195 185 degree water Western style, a slight variation of the recommended parameters so we will see how it tastes!

The steeped scent is fruity and a bit dry, definitely reminiscent of a tasty red wine. I like it! Not much sweet potato in the scent to me, which is a bit refreshing lol. Also the barest hint of smoke, adding depth and mystery :D

As for the flavor, this is a very good black tea. It is very fruity and rich. A slight astringency to add to the wine-like mouthfeel, and this might also go down with a lower brewing temperature, but I don’t mind it as it still tastes very smooth and full. It is bold yet muted, if that makes any sense. The fruitiness is so similar to red wine, I really can’t believe it! There is a little bit more malt when it cools, but still mostly fruity and fresh.

Overall, a very nice tea to try, I am excited to brew it with a lower temperature, I will try that with the re-steep. Fruity, slightly dry..a lovely red wine like tea! Once again thank you Angel for the opportunity to add to my black tea tastings with this variety!

ETA – A slight smokiness is present as it cools even more, adding a rich depth to the fruitiness and toning down the astringency to a smoother flavor. Brewing with cooler water would probably make this tea shine!

ETA again – oops, looks like I brewed the first cup with 185 degree water haha, while the recommended params are 176. Off by 10 degrees in my initial review haha…I will change that now to match :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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78

First review! Haha I haven’t paid a lot of attention to this cup so far, but I’ll do my best. This was part of the March blend of the month club. I’ve sampled all of the teas from this box and the club itself actually except this one!

The dry smell is not very appealing to me, but that is the sarsaparilla giving it the woody, strong scent. I do get a bit of a vanilla-ness in there too along with the floral oolong base. I steeped this for around a minute and a half with 195 degree water.

The steeped scent is a bit better, more oolong, but still that sarsaparilla note that I don’t really enjoy. A bit cinnamony as well. The flavor is much better than the smell luckily. The first tastes reminded me of Master Zhang’s genmaicha with the toasty flavor, I think that might be from the dandelion root as it’s a common ingredient between the teas. As it cools there is more oolong flavor and almost a marshmallowy flavor, definitely can taste the sarsaparilla as it is like that foamy rootbeer flavor but not as sweet lol. There’s still a woodiness in there too, and that’s the one thing killing it for me, I haven’t really liked it in any of the blends with sarsaparilla from the blend club.

Overall, not a bad tea, but not a favorite of mine due to the woody note. An interesting tea nonetheless, I do get the marshmallow vanilla-y notes it’s going for, just not a solid winner due to personal preference. Happy to have the opportunity to try this tea though!

Flavors: Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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91

My lovely friend charchar picked me up a tin of this with her first A&D order, I was super excited when I saw this one released, Yunnans are possibly my favorite variety of black teas. I will also do a more in depth review later when I have this in an actual mug, not just my Timolino lol.

Unfortunately, Davidstea’s Cool Cucumber has attacked my travel mug and makes every tea brewed in it taste like it haha. I actually had the Yunnan tips yesterday but the flavor was so off from contamination I couldn’t even review it. Today it is a bit better, but still that sweetness is sticking around. But beyond that, this is a smooth, malt grainy tea, very smooth actually! And a lot lighter than I expected, I’ve had some Yunnans that just drip with honey and feel so much thicker, but this one is light and easy to drink. Surprising to me, as I’ve been making it with the recommended 5 minute steep time. There is a mild sweet potato note in there as well, which I imagine would stand out more when not brewed in a contaminated travel mug lol.

Overall, I am a fan of this tea so far, and very excited to try it at home! So far, quite pleased with it though. Another tasty tea from A&D. Oh, and the horse finger puppet that came with it..yes, a bit creepy, my cat likes to bat it around and chase it on the floor haha. A bit weird to watch :D and I like the coaster that came with it too!

Withholding rating until I can brew this tea properly with the care it deserves :)

Oh, and I got Tin #57!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Oh, I am so tempted to buy this,but it’s just a little too expensive. I’m waiting to see if they offer a shipping discount anytime soon…

MissLena

Yes that’s why I was on the fence, but since she was already ordering a 3 pack and one of these tins for herself, it wasn’t too hard to add mine in :) I am paying her back with an order from Verdant haha she hasn’t ordered from there in a while :D

Anna

57 is a really good number!

Aimee Popovacki

that cool cucumber is potent stuff.. my god… lol… my ice tea jug reeks of it… thanks for this review.. i’m pretty sure i’m gonna order now because of it! :) i didn’t realize this tea was up on the site right now!

MissLena

@Anna – happy to hear it’s a good number :D my favorite numbers are 12 and 19 lol

@Aimee – ugh yes it still smells contaminated this morning, 3 days afterwards! Going to have to soak my mug this weekend :( this is a tasty light Yunnan, I really need to do a review of it steeped in a good vessel to really taste it :)

Anna

I also have 19! 19, 21, 57. =D

MissLena

Yay for 19! Such a good number lol, I don’t even know why it just is :)

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84

Sipdown of this today in my travel mug..I knew this would be an awesome morning tea, it’s cinnamon toast crunch at my desk with mild caffeine hit! I need more caffeine on this St. Patrick’s Day morning though, I’m so tired almost asleep at my desk…and I forgot to wear green :( Happy St. Patrick’s Day steepsters! I will be having green tea later I think on this fine occasion! See previous notes on this tea :)

Flavors: Cinnamon

keychange

So tired at work today too! :(

MissLena

Yeah I’m like a zombie today..Monday doldrums I guess..hoping I wake up soon! You too!

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88

First of all, a huge thank you to Angel at Teavivre for the wonderful box of samples!! All black and pu’erh this time, I am so excited to try them all! Thanks :)

This tea was the first one I had to crack into as it’s rated so crazily high on here haha. And it sounds delicious. So yes, I steeped about half of one of my sample packs for 2 minutes with around 190 degree water. Oh, and the dry smell is malty and rich. Yum. I also made this in my giant mug so I have a lot of it to drink hehe.

The steeped smell is once again malt, honey, and sweet potato. Similar to a Yunnan black but with less sweet potato and grain and a bit more honey I think. The liquor is a dark rich color too, like decadent cake in my mug haha.

As for the flavor, wow this is rich and hearty. It’s actually rather filling it’s so thick and tasty! It’s very malty with honey notes, maybe a bit of caramel in the aftertaste but mostly malty grains with honey notes. Very satisfying, very smooth too, and super easy to drink! Definitely malty with cocoa I think, the honey notes are mild, but it is still sweet, so I’m thinking a cocoa flavor profile rather than chocolate though.

Overall, a very satisfying tea. This hits the spot perfectly for strength, mouthfeel, and flavor. I would like a tiny bit more honey maybe, but then that might mess with the other perfect parameters haha. A really good black tea, classic and just plain good. Not too sweet, not too weak, just right. I will try to pick up more flavors with further cups as well, this one I mostly just drank down and enjoyed haha, the flavors are more from memory as I’m almost at the bottom of my cup, and started it a while ago lol. Very good tea! Thank you again Angel for the chance to try some of this!

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Malt

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Courtney

This one is pretty awesome!

MissLena

Yes indeed I love how rich and thick it is but it’s not overwhelming, it’s just good. So malty and smooth. :D

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87

Woooo I got my last month’s box from my friend!! Hehe more new tea!! I creeped on these teas on Steepster before receiving the box and was very excited about the selections! This is the first one I’m trying from the February box, as this definitely screams morning tea at me. And I love trying EG style teas without a black base!

The dry smell is really nice to me! Bergamot and citrus galore, with a sweet hint of lavender. If you like bergamot and lavender, you will love the smell of this! The leaves are very pretty and springlike too, bright green leaves. I enjoy my sundried Jingshan green, so I am excited to see this base in a blend in another blend, I think I’ve only seen it in summer garden citrus mint.

I didn’t really know how to steep this tea lol, so I used my best judgement – 2 minutes with 175 degree water. The smell during steeping morphed from lavender to citrus to strong lemon!! Very tasty smelling, almost savory when steeping was complete. Now that the basket is out, I really smell the grassy-honey scent of the Jingshan green base.

As for the flavor, wow, I really enjoy this. The first flavor is the green base, a honey grassy flavor that is quite delicious. This turns into a bright, rich citrus flavor, almost like a poppyseed cake with it’s lemony rich flavor. There is a bit of astringency in the aftertaste from all the citrus and bergamot, but it’s not overly mouth drying. As the cup cools, the lavender comes out more in the first flavor and mellows it out so the base is the aftertaste now. The citrus is decreasing. Very light cup, oh and the bergamot is also still presentI can never get over how much these teas from Verdant change just with the simple cooling of the cup. I love it!

Overall, this is a excellent tea for bright Sunday mornings or afternoon tea with lemon cake or cupcakes of some sort. It reminds me of a fresh dew covered garden with the flowers poking out for the first sun rays, or a rain kissed garden. Spring tea through and through. Recommend if you like citrus, bergamot and lavender!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
CelebriTEA

Oh, I love your tasting note! Spot on!
I love Bergamot, citrus & lavender~
I found the lavender to be in perfect proportions for this blend.
I do LOVE many of Verdant blends…esp. The EG blends ♡
…lol…and to think I had this just sitting in a drawer, almost afraid to try it…
I was unsure if I would like the green base, but for me this is
Sweet Perfection

MissLena

Yay! I’m happy there is one other odd duck on Steepster that likes this blend with me :) I find it very serene and relaxing! My friend also tried it and loved it, definitely a love it or hate it blend it seems like! :)

CelebriTEA

Must be, but that surprised me as I was head over heels for it!
Glad to know I am not the only odd duck ;-)

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96

Having a Yixing session for the first time in AGES this afternoon. Mmmm I missed this. More muted today, but it might be because I’m doing 2 consecutive steepings to fill 2 cups for myself and the guy, so the leaves are getting double the workout. Still a lovely mild fruity grapefruit flavor though, and a roasted honey flavor peeping through. Delicious, I am debating stocking up on this before it’s out of stock on Verdant’s site, but I already have another 2 oz bag to last for a while. It’s one of 2 teas I brew in my yixing, so I don’t want to run out! See previous notes on this lovely tea :)

Flavors: Honey

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81
drank Soothing by Epicure
888 tasting notes

Another Epicure tea from my order :) I had to try this one, ginger herbals tend to draw my attention, mostly because I love ginger! I am almost heading to bed, so this note will be short tonight haha. Basically this tea can be very strong if you use too much leaf, and can also clog fine strainers such as my Finium. But by using a metal brew basket or in this case a fillable bag tonight, it is much better, actually a lot better with the bag than a basket. The bag keeps the fine floaties contained and tones down the crazy spiciness this tea has going on. Gingery, spicy, strong. Some peppery flavor from the lemongrass, a lot of ginger. However with honey added it turns into a milder, more friendly brew, and while I like ginger, this one without sweetener has a LOT of spice. Tumeric could also be the culprit, I think this is my first tumeric tea haha. Anyways, with honey, it is awesome. Soothing, if you will. Haha :D anyways, enough babbling for one night, tasty tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hello all, I’m a newly graduated electrical engineer as of 2013 (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it’s excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte haha)

I enjoy a variety of herbal, white, green, oolong and black teas. I have also tried a few pu’erhs and matcha I am a bit sensitive to caffeine, but I find that in moderation I can still indulge in black teas and matcha.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I recently tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.

I am happy to say that my caffeine intolerance seems to be subsiding! This is allowing me to try a wider variety of teas :)

Location

Canada

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