616 Tasting Notes

This sample came from shmiracles, and in all honesty — I might have been putting this one off because the combination of ingredients terrifies me. Lapsang and I have a rocky relationship. One where I drink it and it hits me with a flaming campfire log and laughs. But thank you shmiracles for sharing your most coveted tea treasure. Even if it terrifies me.

I was worried this was going to be a big old cup of NOPE, but I’m surprised that I don’t outright hate it. The Lapsang isn’t quite as potent as I feared (it’s only a kindling thwap instead of the full log) and the rest of the cup is just weird. The peppermint in there leaves my mouth tingling and the Lapsang leaves my mouth tasting like I just burped smoke.

Yes. I am the mighty Smaug.

It also inspired me to toss this together:
http://i.imgur.com/wcr3te3.gif

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Jillian

+1 for that gif :D

Shmiracles

the gif! THEE GIF!! haha brilliant

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87

This is so good cold steeped.

It’s really fruity and light. I still don’t taste much in the way of black tea, but I can definitely find the slight pineappleness in this. I still get apricot and papaya first, though I’m starting to think the apricot notes are a result of the strawberry and papaya melding in my mouth. It leaves a fantastic tropical aftertaste too.

I don’t know why I waited until now to try it this way. Bring on the humidity, I’m ready!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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67
drank Swampwater by DAVIDsTEA
616 tasting notes

Another sample from CK!

What is this witchcraft?

It looked like a brown liquor in my ingenuiTEA, and then looked dark green and murky as it dispensed into my cup. It kind of looks like toxic sludge more than a swamp. Yum?

It has a nice fruity tang, that reminds me mostly of strawberries, and a sweet sugar taste. The green rooibos is mellow and kind of nutty. There’s no bitterness and the rooibos is relatively mild. It has a little of the red rooibos flavor I don’t like, but it’s not overwhelming.

The aftertaste is really smooth and pleasantly fruity and I really enjoy it! There’s definitely a fun/novelty factor to this tea and I think that would be the reason I’d have some on hand. The taste was pleasant and inoffensive enough, but it wouldn’t be something I’d reach for on a regular basis.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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71

I just had a crazy Tea ja vu.

This tea = ATR’s River of Heaven.

It’s a dead ringer. I was absolutely not expecting that!

It’s a sweet flavored green, with a generic fruity, flower taste. The fruit reminds me of pineapple and citrus, but doesn’t quite taste like either. The sencha base is good — smooth and slight vegetal.

The aftertaste is mildly astringent with a sweet-tart taste that reminds me of drinking baby powder. It’s the exact same feeling the River of Heaven left. I don’t know if it’s cornflower related (though I have no problems with them in EG blends) but it’s not really my favorite feeling.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
greenteafairy

It DOES taste like baby powder! I couldn’t quite identify that note, but you totally got it.

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71

I had to add this tea, and couldn’t find it online, so eep! I think it’s a local shop? But I thought the picture I took was pretty decent.

I got this sample from CK.

I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t really like my roasted oolongs with light flavor. Kind of a go big or don’t bother thing.

Not that this is bad. It’s just not my thing.

The base isn’t anything special, but it offers a smooth base with little astrongency. The peach flavor used here is actually very nice. It doesn’t have that candy/gummy peach quality that so many peach flavors do. It’s a really subtle stone fruit sweetness. I really wish there was a little more, because I like the flavor that it offers.

This would probably be pretty tasty iced, though.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Courtney

That is a good picture :)

K S

It is a beautiful picture. Any tips on taking a good shot like that? I just have a cheap Kodak digital.

moraiwe

It’s all about the lighting. Natural lighting is the best, but if it’s not available make sure to adjust the white balance to compensate (otherwise your photo will look weirdly blue or reddish). Auto-focus! That’s it’s job (and I have shakey-ish hands, so it’s even more my friend) You can get it to do this, by half tapping the shutter. Also, for close ups I can recommend switching to Macro mode enough. You’ll get crisper photos with all the details you wanted. That’s kind of it. I’m by no means a professional or anything, but those are the tips that have best helped me! :)

K S

Thanks. I’ll have to check to see if I gave a Macro mode.

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78
drank Citrus PILEDRIVER by 52teas
616 tasting notes

I figured now that I’m on a huge tea drinking kick and accustomed to being well-caffeinated, this would be a great time to burn through as many samples as I can.

So thanks to momo for this one!

There’s a lovely earthy grassiness here from the mix of mates and guayasa. It’s very fresh and lemony without being chemical or tasting like cleaning agents. The lemon also a nice sweetness (I guess I’d call it lemon bar sweetness) from the mrytle… and is that pineapple I’m picking up? The aftertaste is very much guayasa-heavy and I’m getting hints of peach.

I’m excited to see how this stands up to cold steeping.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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69

This was my last cup of this as the rest went in the teabox.

But I still like this tea, it’s chocolate-y and orange-y and definitely captures those orange shaped chocolate-covered orange peels that come out about Christmas time. I’ve never been big on Adagio’s chocolate flavor (too artificial) but I’ve found I love it blended with fruity flavors. The orange here tones it down and prevents it from leaving that meh after taste I’m not huge on. The rooibos doesn’t add much ‘rooibos-y’ flavor, but lessens the astringency of the black tea.

I might actually miss this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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83

Tea #31 from Traveling Tea Box C

I love an excuse to get out my gaiwan and spend an hour or so getting tea drunk. The only problem is I don’t typically have a couple hours just laying around to do that.

So, I saved this one until I had some time. And seeing as I don’t have to be anywhere for another two or three hours, here we go!

1st Steeping — 0:30
Mostly a veggie flavor, with slight floral notes and hints of butter.

2nd Steeping — 0:50
Getting creamier. The floral notes are starting to open and becoming almost sweet.

3rd Steeping — 1:30
Oooh. There’s the creamy, sweet milkiness this promised. Becoming very floral, with a quality that tastes green, but not vegetal. There’s a very slight nuttiness, as well.

4th Steeping — 2:30
Remains creamy, but the floral begins to fade. Nutty flavors begin to dominate.

5th Steeping — 5:00
The creaminess is hardly present at all on this one. It’s nutty and vegetal again. Still ever so slightly floral.

I could probably get another steep off of these leaves, but I think it started losing it’s luster after the third steep, so I’ll probably refrain.

Final verdict: I enjoyed this milk oolong, and I’m very glad I had the chance to try it, but there are just others out there I like more.

This is the last tea I’m trying from the box, so that should be moving again tomorrow!

BrewTEAlly Sweet

yay yay yay!!!

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92

Tea #30 from Traveling Tea Box C

I almost opted out of trying this one, because chai is not typically my thing. But when I opened the bag and got a sniff, I just had to. I love Indian spices, and this is just amazing.

It smells like curry, and coriander, a little cumin, and cardamom. Just like my apartment when I’m making a curry. Woo!

I brewed this with a teaspoon and a half of leaf to about an ounce of water, then poured over milk and a tiny amount of sugar. The result was exactly what was promised by the smell. Creamy Indian-spiced goodness. I think this would be a chai blend even Fiance would love!

I don’t think this one is going any further. This is too awesome, and too weird to pass up.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
greenteafairy

Sounds interesting! I love coriander and cumin and curry leaves but can’t quite imagine what they’d be like with tea.

JustJames

must admit i am tempted…. i love chai, but i can be fiendishly picky about the spice mix. well, no way to tell unless i try it, lol.

Dr Jim

I’m REALLY glad that this tea found a good home. I almost didn’t put it into the box because I didn’t think it was good enough. The English tea store was one of my earliest purchases when I started to get into quality tea a year ago, and I don’t like them as well as what I’m buying now. I’m also not into chai and never even tried it!

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69
drank Irish Breakfast by Harney & Sons
616 tasting notes

Tea #29 from Traveling Tea Box C

Whoa.

This is like a tea punch to the face. It’s a pretty standard breakfast tea, though — slightly malty and really strong. There’s a little touch of floral here too.

I’ll probably be grateful I drank this while I’m upgrading computers in an office later today.

http://instagram.com/p/dcdttcCnNd/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Intro:

Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf

Hobbies:

Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.

Location

Wisconsin, US

Website

http://atinyteapot.tumblr.com/

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