74 Tasting Notes

80

Great tasting tea. The melon flavor is quite clear and easy to spot. I wouldn’t call it strong, but it’s very “present”. Loved it. I’m growing very fond of White Teas lately and this one is a great contender. The calmness of the melon matches the white tea base nicely and it’s a great idea for a chill day. Good times.

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30
drank Hoji-cha by Yamamotoyama
74 tasting notes

I tried some Hoji-cha in Japan and was so excited to see it here in the USA imported. This one was pretty meh. I didn’t really enjoy it at all – so little that I ended up giving the box away to a friend. The taste was very plain and watery, and it didn’t have the interesting complex flavors that I had enjoyed in Japan. It wasn’t at a fancy place either, just at a random small local restaurant in Kyoto. I think this one maybe is just very cheap, the price was certainly right. I think I’ll have to search around for a better Hoji-cha before I make a real judgement on the variety of tea itself. I wanted to like it a lot but found myself not really enjoying it at all.

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80
drank Decaf Muscat by Lupicia
74 tasting notes

Haha, most of the reviews suggest this tastes like those Japanese Muscat Grape Gummies and it really does taste like that. It certainly smells like them, and in taste it’s a little more mild. This was an interesting and fun choice, the kind staff member at Lupicia hooked me up with a free sample when I was buying a bunch of other stuff. It was good, I’ll probably buy some more next time I am there. The cool thing is that this is Decaf, and I need some more tasty decaf options for the evenings. Fun tea, and would definitely get some more.

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70
drank Berryblossom White by Tazo
74 tasting notes

This was one of my first forays into White Tea and it totally sold me on the idea. The blueberry style in here was very subtle and nice, and paired with white tea is a great, delicate combination. Tastes fantastic. I was sorry to hear that Starbucks pulled this eventually, I guess maybe it wasn’t selling that well? I thought it was fantastic and also made for great gifts.

I have certainly had some flavored teas with more present fruit flavoring that fit together a bit better, but this was definitely good.

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86
drank Tastes of Summer by Twinings
74 tasting notes

Mmmmmm this is great. I love this tea. It is a flavored black tea that other flavored black teas wish they could be. It’s a great summery fruit taste paired nicely with Twinings’ solid black tea flavor. A great combination and does well with Milk. Some people mentioned it as an iced tea and I bet that is fantastic, I’ve only tried it hot but man it is good. Definitely worth keeping this one always in stock.

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50

Pretty similar to the Rose Black tea, also from Red Blossom Tea Company. I’d rate them the same too. They are pretty mild black teas, and they don’t really pack much punch of flavor. They are good go-to options when you have lots of friends over and want to make a whole pot at a time but it’s nothing majorly special. The Lychee flavor is very very mild, so if you’re looking for an obvious flavored lychee tea, this is not it. But it’s a good go-to option for larger crowds.

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50

Pretty standard go-to tea for parties and when making a big pot of tea for a few friends and me after dinner. It’s good but I am a big fan of whoppingly massive rose flavor whenever possible. When making my own Mango Lassi’s, I put in way more rose water than they suggest, probably like 10×. I really love that flavor. Maybe I am crazy, but I was surprised that the Rose flavor in this tea was so mild. I was really hoping for more. Much more. But even so, it’s a good go-to tea and it was cheap enough to buy a huge bag of it so I can make it one pot at a time.

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87

This is a beautiful, glorious tea. Last time I checked at Red Blossom they said they WEREN’T CARRYING IT ANYMORE? If so, that is a travesty. This is a really amazing tea and the flavor is just unbelievable.

It smells like ice cream or popcorn or something in a movie theatre that is glorious. The steeping is pretty solid for at least 2 times or even 3 and it’s great for a dessert. The regular Silk Oolong was very nice but the Formosa version really plussed it up a lot in my opinion. I love this tea, it’s marvelous and tastes and smells like candy and happy tears of joy.

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75
drank Lapsang Souchong by Twinings
74 tasting notes

This was my first foray into Lapsang Souchong and it is pretty tasty… and pretty, pretty, prettttyyy weird. I heard that Winston Churchill liked this tea and that makes sense, it tastes more like a fine bourbon than a tea. :) It’s awfully unusual so don’t serve it to distinguished guests who have only ever drank PG Tips. This is more like a punch in the face than a tea, so be careful. But it definitely has it’s time and place.

Note that it has a very distinctive odor. Put less politely, it STINKS. So if you put it in your tea cupboard, it will spread it’s smell around like an unwanted college roommate. I had mine in the Twinings Box and it couldn’t contain this power house. I had to eventually chuck out the box and just put the tea bags in their sachets into a ziplock bag. That seems to have roughly done the trick so that everything in my tea cupboard doesn’t also taste like Lapsang Souchong. What a crazy tea!

Anyway with all this yapping it’s still a great tea. Seems like probably some people have gone nuts and made a much stronger version of this tea so I suspect despite it’s insanity that this tea is actually “tame” as far as Lapsang’s actually go. I am keen to experiment some more though. It’s very weird, but it’s a fun and interesting tea. Never had anything like it before and it’s an acquired taste, which I quickly acquired.

Have fun and be careful. Your Grandma (unless she is super awesome) will probably hate this.

cteresa

you are right, there are much smokier versions than this one (OTOH there are some much wimpier mixes which are often too smoky for most people). I think Lapsang Souchong you either love or you hate. This version is maybe the easiest to find to me, and I find it so comforting, just right.

I hear lapsang souchong tea is usually lighter in caffeine, and personally this mix seems low on caffeine to me, which is good, means I can take it later in the evening which is when I like it best.

Mike Jutan

well said, cteresa! Thanks for your comments. I just recently had the Baker St Blend from Upton Tea House and that has been a really interesting route to go – it’s a Lapsang blend so it’s less intense but still retains a bit of the smoky flavour. Really, really good.

I wasn’t aware of the lower caffeine, that’s great news. I’ve been searching for more interesting evening teas as too many of those herbals can get boring after a while :)

cteresa

Oh, try the caffeine test with care, I can not swear to it, though googling a bit, it seems lots of different sources agree LS is light on caffeine compared to other teas – though it might still affect people.

For no caffeine teas, I have became a rooibos fan, though admittedly a rooibos snob – a lot of rooibos, particularly the cheaper ones (urgh! I warned you about the snobbery. but sort of true) seem muddy to me, but nice good rooibos it´s just there in a much nicer way than herbal teas, without messing with my sleep. Ok, warning you yet again about the snobbery, but Mariage Freres makes some very good rooibos mixes.

Mike Jutan

mmmm sounds good!

Rooibos is super awesome, good call. I am actually not a huge herbal tea kinda guy but yep, Rooibos is such a great fit for the no-caffeine evening tea for me too. Tasty stuff.

Thanks for the recommendations!

Stacy Bunny

This made my day. Haha I fully agree with the punch in the face comparison.

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60
drank Caramel Rooibos by Second Cup
74 tasting notes

Decent rooibos but go for the Irresistibles version of this instead.

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Profile

Bio

Hello fellow tea nerds!

I’m Canadian and my parents are South African, plus I lived in England and Australia as a kid… so I’m rockin some pretty mad British Empire vibe and thus I’ve been a tea fan for quite some time. I am now totally hooked on loose-leaf. It’s super fun to try a bazillion new kinds of tea and choose the right one for a given moment in a day.

My favourite teas are well balanced, mild, maybe fruity/citrusy or with interesting flavours (eg: silk oolongs, grapefruit green rooibos, jasmine silver needle white tea, melon white tea). I also like a solid malty British or other bold style black teas with some oomph (eg: Yunnan Golden Tips, PG Tips).

Let’s nerd out together about why tea is so friggin’ epic!

Location

San Francisco, California

Website

http://www.mikejutan.com

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