616 Tasting Notes

90

I never thought 60 degrees and sun would feel so good!

So today’s cold steeping experiment was…weird?

This tea actually crosses the line into too flowery this way! I didn’t think it could be done. It lost the delicate balance between florals and white tea and WHAM right in the perfume. A little sugar coaxed back out the white tea and made the roses seem almost…juicy and fruity. A little weird on the palette, but definitely grew on me! So, sure, I’d do it again, but definitely have some sugar handy!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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56
drank Ti Kuan Yin by English Tea Leaves
616 tasting notes

First Steeping, 3 minutes
Really pale liquor. Light vegetal flavor, has a some mineralness going on. aftertaste kind of strawy tasting. Wishing I would have rinsed this. Curse laziness :(

Second Steeping, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Golden liquor. Kind of a broccoli vegetalness. I find myself missing the floral notes that a lot of ti kuan yin seems to have by now. Still has a little metallic flavor coming in with the inital flavors, luckily it seems to get much much better as the tea cools. Aftertaste is far better, less grassy, more vegetable (spinach) Leaves are about half unfulrled now.

Third Steeping, 4 minutes
Best so far! Same color as second steeping, but the flavor is is starting to be less veggie and my flower notes are there! Not picking up on the mineral taste any more either, instead it’s becoming nice and buttery. Maybe getting a slight spice note, though. Aftertaste is kind of a soft floral with the spice (pepper? saffron? I can’t quite place it). Leaves are mostly unfurled. This cup disappeared way too fast.

Fourth Steeping, 5 minutes
And better yet! Really buttery. Definite unexpected pepper notes on an asparagus and light flowery flavor. Really good depth of character. Aftertaste is very asparagus. I should be able to get one more steep out of this tea.

Fifth Steeping, 7 minutes
Back to a pale yellow liquor. Nice light green asparagus flavor with flower notes. Aftertaste is floral. Pretty sure this is the end. Thank you for the hours of enjoyment, Mr. Tea. :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

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95

I realised today that I can’t open this without making myself a cup. It smells like fresh pastry. It’s nutty and cinnamon-y and buttery, but really the flaky delicious pastry note is the biggest. And it tastes like an almond croissant bathed in butter and cinnamon. It’s so hard to go wrong here.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Anyanka

I just said on another note that I want to try this. I want this tea!

whatshesaid

I wish they had a better option for shipping to Canada!

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79

This tea smells amazing. Just like blackberries. And has big chunks of blackberry in it (that my finace thought would be funny to eat two of last night!)

Hot, I kind of lose the blackberries, which take a backseat to the tea itself. I get the tang, but not the taste. I do get a nice greeny spinach finish from the sage.

So, I cold brewed this overnight and I found my blackberries! They’re fruity, and juicy and tangy and right there! The spinach splash from the sage becomes more prominent too, as the tea itself just seems to bind all the flavors together smoothly without making itself known as much.

I like this tea both ways for sure, but I think iced edges out hot just because that’s where the blackberry flavor is!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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72
drank Casablanca by Georgia Tea Company
616 tasting notes

Cold steeped this before I left for work so I’d have a before bed sip. :)

The hibiscus is less obvious this way and it really becomes a wonderful super fruity drink. Apple is the dominant flavor, followed by strawberry, with just a tang of everything else. Sugar only made this better. I definitely prefer it this way!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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77

Opening the bag, I was blown away by pear, in a ‘holy moley is this tea or shampoo?’ kind of way. It was overpoweringly pear with the slightest floral tinge — definitely reminiscent of body lotion or shampoo or pretty smelly things.

Brewed, this tea smells more floral and less pear. What’s left in the filter smells really pear-y, but what’s in my cup is definitely floral first, then black tea, than pear. Luckily, taste for me it was the inverse. The pear hit my tongue like a juicy, drippy bordering on over-ripe pear, followed by a mellowness that the black tea offered, ending on a citrusy floral note. Huh.

The taste is a tad artificial with just a touch of cloying sweetness. But for whatever reason or mood, I actually really like it. It’s akin to eating a pear candy, or a baked pear where all the natural sugars are released and you end up with something sweet and dessert-y.

This isn’t a vibrant springy pear tea. It’s more get in you face with dessert pear tea. And for that reason, I guess I find myself wanting something more than pear here. I think next time I’ll steep with a cinnamon stick and drink with milk for a pretty killer spiced poached pear tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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58
drank Tahitian Limeade by Teavana
616 tasting notes

We had a high of 50 degree (F) today, so why not make iced tea? I really only enjoy this one iced, so it seemed appropriate that I rustled it out. I prepared it hot and poured 10oz over ice and two teaspoons of sugar.

I steep this one with a slice of lime typically, because otherwise I find that I taste more apple than lime. And really what’s the point of limeade if it tastes like apple juice?

Anyway, this is one of the few rooibos blends I drink where I don’t taste any rooibos. And for me, that’s pretty much a good rooibos tea. It’s limey, but not overly tart. There’s still a hint of apple, but it really takes a back seat and takes the edge off the lime. Yum yum.

Overall this is a happy summer tea. And I’ll be breaking it out more as the weather gets better :)

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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93

If you like jasmine tea, these are pretty much pure perfection. These are smaller and sweeter than most other jasmine pearls I’ve tried, and the base has a really light almost butteriness that’s only enhanced by that delicate familiar flowery flavor of jasmine. It’s not cloying or artificial, just amazing really.

I was able to get 4 steeps brewing with a standard gravity steeper, and probably could have gotten one more, but it was inching close to bedtime. Will definitely have to experiment here. Especially with my gaiwan.

Unfortunately this was a sipdown, so to the shopping list!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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5
drank Pineapple Bacon Rooibos by 52teas
616 tasting notes

This is a really weird tea. Which I was expecting.

The dry leaf smells like fruity mint bubblegum. Which I was not expecting.

The brewed tea smells like smokey fruity mint bubblegum. Okaaaaay.

The taste though tastes like pineapple, lemons, with a hit of smokiness. A pinch of salt and now I have pineapple, lemons and bacon. And I’m still picking up a kind of woodsy citrus mintyness that is the rooibos. This is the most out-of-place taste in the mix. There’s also a bubblegum taste (like the zebra stripe gum of childhoods past) Contrary to all these crazy mixed flavors the tea itself is a seemingly cohesive unit. It’s just absolutely not for me.

My biggest gripe is that I’m not really keen on the weird earthy flavor that rooibos adds — mostly because I’m not keen on rooibos in general as it tastes how wet cedar mulch smells to me — and I guess I was hoping the other flavors would overpower it more. And not taste like bubblegum. Or mint.

Still, hyperkudos for getting a cup of tea to taste like pineapple and bacon (and rooibos).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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80

I think I was way too harsh on this guy the first time. The slightly waxy feel still bothers me a bit, but I just adore the sweet, nutty toasty flavor too much to find myself actually caring. Also, the afterfeel is greeeeeeatly diminished with subsequent steepings.

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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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