969 Tasting Notes

83
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
969 tasting notes

Second Nina’s sample of the day! Thank you again Laurent for the opportunity to try your teas! So far they have not disappointed!

The dry smell of this was caramelly and good, with a hint of toast. I steeped for 3 mins with 175 degree water, the whole sample again, and the steeped scent is caramel genmaicha. I love genmaicha and haven’t had any in AGES, so this is a nice change and now I want to order some plain genmaicha too lol.

As for the flavor, this is quite good, although I admit, my expectations were VERY high after reading the reviews. It mostly tastes like genmaicha, a good quality one, and then the caramel flavor comes in at the end of the sip. YUM! It’s roasty, popcorn like, nutty and caramel. Probably closest in flavor to a toffee, good stuff.

Overall, this is a tasty toffee like tea, but it is fairly sweet, and I do find it interesting that genmaicha, generally a savory tea to me, is paired with the sweet flavors of caramel and vanilla. It is tasty and good, but I am still a bit undecided on whether I would order more of it in the future. It definitely is sweet and delicious, but not an everyday tea, more of a treat one haha. Caramel popcorn reminiscent! Thanks again Laurent and everyone at Nina’s Tea for the free sample of this tea!

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A huge thank you to Angel at Teavivre for another round of free samples! :D this is the first of the bunch I decided to try, as I’ve only had one other white tea cake (from Verdant) and loved it.

The dry aroma of this one smells much like a sheng, a bit woody and fresh. I steeped for 7 mins (!) With boiling (!!) Water! Very different parameters for a white tea, as it was recommended to do 6-10 mins, but hey I’ll roll with it! The tea brews up quite dark too, and the steeped scent is grainy and woodsy, a sheng crossed with aged white tea to me.

As for the flavor, initially I thought it was pretty strong, almost like a black tea! But as it cools it mellows out into a grain taste (actually a bit like hay) with some malt, a bit of astringency, and a sugared sweet aftertaste. Man, I don’t think I’ve had anything like this one! It’s a variety of teas in one – black, white, sheng..so interesting. The overall flavor is definitely of an aged white though, with the grain, hay-like notes and malt with a sugar (not honey) endnote. Also getting quite the little buzz off this lol, some good sheng-like cha qi!

Overall, this is an extremely interesting tea to try! I will need to have a few more cups to be able to fully grasp what’s going on in here lol, but it’s tasty and unique and I am quite enjoying this while sitting out on the deck with the fountain running. Today I felt a tangible change in the weather, a cooling in the morning, the difference in sunlight, saw some orange fallen leaves. The season of chai and lattes is arriving soon, so I will soak up the sunlight and warmth and enjoy my white teas while I’m in the mood for them! Don’t leave yet summer :(

Once again, thank you Angel for this sample! No rating yet because I’m on my phone, but this first cup feels like an 84 to me. :)

Flavors: Grain, Green Wood, Malt, Sugar

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78
drank Watermelon Mint by DAVIDsTEA
969 tasting notes

I’m at a sipdown for this and I haven’t reviewed it yet lol, well I have mostly been making this in my iced tea pitcher (brew it half full of tea and top up with water) and it has been quite good that way! Refreshing and sweet, the watermelon is artificial watermelon flavor (that candy like stuff) but it’s good, I don’t like regular watermelon lol. The mint adds a coolness that pairs nicely when iced. If I recall correctly, it was a strange one to drink hot, but once it cooled it was good. A good tea while it lasted, but not one I will purchase again, I have too many other teas I enjoy more.

mj

I don’t like actual watermelon either! People always think I’m crazy for not liking it (love watermelon candy though)

MissLena

Haha yay I’m not the only one! I will eat it if it is offered to me but I don’t willingly pick it off a fruit plate..it’s too watery or something lol. Watermelon candy is amazing :D

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85
drank Pour Maman by Nina's Paris
969 tasting notes

First of all, a big thank you to Laurent at Nina’s Tea for the free samples! I am finally getting to them :) this is the first one I had to try due to the great reviews and the fact I have a migraine today and thought some caffeine would help. The dry smell is very fruity, definitely a red fruit scent, slightly tart, with some strawberries in there too. I steeped the entire sample (not sure how much tea, probably a TBSP, give or take) with 175 degree water for 3 minutes. The resulting scent is lovely strawberries, fruit and creamy vanilla. Yum!

As for the flavor, this is very similar to the strawberry cream black tea from Zen Tea, but with a stronger vanilla aftertaste and it’s a much smoother tea. The red fruit flavor also adds a punch of fruity flavor. First taste is strawberry, and the aftertaste of sweet, soft vanilla lingers on the palate in a wonderful way. This is a soothing and delicious tea!

Overall, this is a very nicely flavored tea. The fruits and vanilla meld together in a lovely way. As the cup cools a bit of a floral flavor comes out. I like how the cup has changed but has stayed very smooth. Brewing at the low temperature definitely was a good choice! Ooh, a tiny touch of green tea flavor coming out in the far aftertaste as well. I am very pleased that I chose this as a free sample, and once again, thanks to Laurent at Nina’s Tea for the opportunity to sample his teas! :D great start to the day!

Flavors: Red Fruits, Strawberry, Vanilla

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89

Well I couldn’t review Golden Orchid today without reviewing Rivendell as well! I also had my first cup of this last weekend while at the lake, but logging the cup I’m drinking right now!

The dry smell is much more green, definitely that lovely Tieguanyin scent, minerally and fresh, and the vanilla adds a nice sweet smell in there too. Also a slight woody scent from the cedar. I followed Brenden’s brewing instructions again, 0.5 TBSP in 190 degree water for 3 minutes.

The brewed tea is light in color, and smells mainly of Tieguanyin, a good one at that! As for the flavor….mmmmmmmm, this really does taste good too. It’s light and has a definite mineral quality, a fresh stream over rocks. The vanilla is light and sweet here, not drippy and fudgelike as in GO. This one is light, so fresh. The cedar finishes with a light woodsy quality, bringing out some florals in the tieguanyin and putting in mind a clean forest.

This tea embodies Rivendell. It truly is pure, light, fresh, and magnificent. It evokes water over rocks, quiet forests, and soaring in crisp air. If I was an elf, this would be my drink of choice.

Overall, a very fine tea indeed. This brings about an immense sense of peace, and is not a tea you can rush through drinking. It needs to be enjoyed and savoured. Beautiful tea drawn from beautiful inspiration. And I love LOTR, so that is also a big win :D thanks again for a wonderful tea, Brenden!

Flavors: Cedar, Mineral, Vanilla, Wet Rocks

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
mj

I hope you steeped it more than once! The 2nd steep is even better :) I got 7 steeps out of my first cup!

MissLena

I had to go to a friend’s house warming so I didn’t have time for multiple steepings this time :( but definitely the next cup I will do a few!

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98

Sooo…yes, I had to get this tea after review after review praising its amazingness. And I confess – I’ve drank at least 3 cups before logging this tea. And might as well get it out now – I am ALSO on the GO fan club train!!!!!! :D

I first had this tea last weekend at the lake, where i have zero internets most of the time so I couldn’t log the awesomeness of this blend. But I am finally taking the time to write a review instead of downing the cup and sighing with happiness lol. So here we go!

The dry smell of this tea is HEAVENLY. It smells like pure fudge. When I first smelled it I exclaimed in excitement and immediately shoved the bag under various people’s noses for them to enjoy it as well (my mom..my dad..they know I’m a bit crazy about tea at least lol). And having it today, it still smells just as amazing.

I followed the brewing instructions – ~.5 TBSP in 200 degree water for 3 mins. The resulting tea is a deep rich brown and smells like an amazing Yunnan black tea with added sweet notes – honeyed, malty, rich.

As for the flavor…mmmmm. This is GOOD TEA. The base is an excellent quality, I picture a lovely Yunnan black bursting with honey and malt notes..then add in vanilla beans. Folks, this is by far the best vanilla tea I have had in my life. The main notes are honey, vanilla and yes…when they all meld together, you get fudge. The sweet notes come out more as the tea cools, and is is just wonderful. I also found I didn’t get a crazy caffeine buzz or have my anxiety act up from this tea – major plus in my books! Oh and this also tasted great, maybe even BETTER, up at the lake with non-filtered water…might have to try that! Or the water is just better up there haha.

So overall, this is a masterpiece. I have told Brenden on FB that this tea is a masterpiece, and I will tell all of Steepster too haha. If you like fudge, vanilla and good black tea, try this. I can’t even imagine how good Cocoa Amore is haha since it also has vanilla and different black teas lol. But this one is a win and a half for me. I am going through my ounce at an alarming rate, and with all the teas I have in my cupboard, I really shouldn’t order any more until Black Friday. But this one might make me…oh how I wish it was free shipping to Canada too! I applaud the maker of this blend! SUPERB TEA.

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m so glad you’re enjoying this one too! :)

MissLena

It’s the best :D well, Rivendell is close haha, still need to write a note on that one too! You, good sir, know how to blend teas! I need to take a trip to the US in the near future to cash in on that free shipping…hehe

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hehehe, I try :)

There is free shipping on Canadian orders over $75! :)

TheTeaFairy

Welcome to the GO cheerleaders club misslena :-)

MissLena

Haha with the rate I’m going enjoying tea, $75 does not seem unattainable :D

And a proud new member Teafairy! I’ve already been telling more people about it, and made a new tea friend at a party yesterday too :)

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First tasting note! Haha I hardly get those anymore lol…let me preface this review by saying why I haven’t tried this tea sooner. As I have a severe food allergy (peanuts), I am very wary of trying things with unfamiliar ingredients – in this one the culprit was ashwaganda. But after a skin test I decided it’s safe to have (and I’m writing this review, so I’m still good haha)

So onto the review! The dry smell in this one is…to put it simply – MEDICINAL. Man oh man, I have never smelled a more herby smelling tea haha. It is strong and almost like Vicks mixed with tonic and some basil…strong and sharp and almost hurting the nose buds. I suppose you could compare this to alcohol in that it’s sharp and almost brutal smelling lol. But don’t let that deter you! I steeped this for 1 min with boiling water, and the steeped smell was much nicer – more chamomile with mild herbs that I couldn’t really identify, probably peppercorn though as that is a strong component.

As for the flavor, again this is quite medicinal, but I think it captures the feel of a strong spirit lol. I haven’t tried Chartreuse (the beverage) but the tea form is peppery, with an almost tulsi-like component. OH LOL there is tulsi in it, well that explains it hahaha. Not much in the terms of rose or fennel, so fennel haters rejoice? Haha, and the chamomile is just providing a neutral backdrop to the strong pepper and tulsi flavors I imagine. As for the ashwaganda, I don’t know what it is like but it might be provided the smoother mouthfeel like ginseng does, since it’s supposed to be Indian Ginseng.

Overall, a pretty bizarre blend. I can’t really compare it to what the tea is modelled after, so this is not a very helpful review probably. But it was an adventure, and I now know I can have ashwaganda! It might take me a while to get through the bag though because it is so weird….haha, happy to have tried it anyways though! No rating, because I don’t know what it’s supposed to be like.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Peppercorn, Spicy, Tulsi

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86

Ehhh this is a little bit astringent this morning unfortunately, I think I brewed it a tad too long with a bit too hot water. Ah well, it still is bold and bright and is serving the purpose of kicking me awake, well, the tea and the classic rock blaring from my computer at work lol. I made myself get up early and come to work at 7 so I can get off at 1, so my brain is a bit blarggghhhh right now haha. Ah well, only 5 more hours! See previous notes on this tea :)

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94

I have never written a note on this tea! That is not good haha because I loveee this tea. Yesterday I was going through my cupboard and found this one and thought yeah, I want that tomorrow. So I made it for the morning at work today. Yes, the flavors are a bit muted from the travel mug, but this is a delicious light black tea just dripping with honey flavor. Like this is a HONEY tea. A favorite black tea of mine that I definitely do not drink often enough. This is fresh honey from the comb on toast with creamy butter underneath. Or a cup of cream mixed with honey. Whatever it is, honey is the dominant note and it is just so yummmm.

In other news, I am still ridiculously tired..I think my sleep schedule got messed up beyond repair with the long weekend (late nights, relatively early mornings) as well as the cat waking me up with his meowing at various times in the night (different each day, sometimes 2 am, 3 am, 4 am….ughhh). This weekend hopefully I can recuperate and fix up my body, I am zonked at work again.

Back to the tea briefly, overall, a delicious tea that I highly recommend!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Honey

Cheri

I hate when the cat does that. Usually only when I really need a good night’s sleep does that happen.

NofarS

Oh, my cat does that to me too sometimes, and he does have a tendency to do it during nights when I’m super tired, or when I need to wake early the next morning.

MissLena

Haha my cat unfortunately is in the habit of doing it EVERY night…I might have to keep him in the basement a few nights until he gets out of it lol it’s gradually building up to a mountain of tiredness. :( ah the things we put up with for our cats lol

darby

I love honey! I can’t wait to try this.

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89
drank Golden Earl by Verdant Tea
969 tasting notes

I am very behind on reviews lol, particularly of new tea I’ve tried recently (notably the famed Golden Orchid and Rivendell :D ) but I will get caught up eventually. I was at the lake all weekend and am now working away this week. Soo tired from the weekend and definitely also behind on sleep, so I hope this tea gives me a good caffeine kick. So far it is bready, chocolatey, citrusy and yum. So that’s good at least. PLEASE KICK IN CAFFEINE! Have lots to do today and it requires my eyes to be open lol. See previous notes on this tasty tea :)

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Profile

Bio

Hello all, I am a happily employed electrical engineer (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 was excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte, or decent decaf haha)

I enjoy a variety of teas – current favorites being ripe and raw pu’erhs, chinese black teas and herbal/green rooibos blends. I also enjoy white, green, and oolong teas, although I tend to drink them more in the warmer months. I have also tried matcha and guayusa, but I don’t drink them too often as I am a bit sensitive to caffeine. As a result I don’t drink black teas as often as I used to, but in moderation I can still enjoy a wide variety of teas.

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 have 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.

Location

Canada

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