196 Tasting Notes

87
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
196 tasting notes

Gifted to me by the ever lovely SuperStarling!, this tea’s first scent reminds me of chocolate covered orange candies. Which I happen to love. I didn’t realize that they aren’t actually everyone’s favorite.

My mom introduced them to me when I was a kid because she loved them. I also took to them. I just kind of assumed that they were a decadent thing that most everyone enjoyed. Then I met my wife and was so excited when during the first few months of dating, we passed by a specialty chocolate store and they had those chocolate covered orange candies. I proudly passed one to her, took my own bite while momentarily closing my eyes to indulge. I slowly turned to her while opening my eyes, expecting to share that common look of “OMG this is amazing.” Instead, she was recoiling in disgust. To this day, it is one of her only flaws. Haha.

But back to the tea! So the dry leaf reminds me of that smell. I assumed that is what this was supposed to emulate. Chocolate orange. Imagine my surprise upon reading the description that says, “No, no orange.” No one else has even tagged it with that? Hmm. I brew the tea up and yup, still getting that familiar scent. Now that I see it is supposed to be chocolate and hazelnut, I can kind of get the hazelnut with it and perhaps that is what I am confusing with the chocolate orange scent.

Flavor wise, the hazelnut DOES reveal itself more than orange. I still get some orange because of the scent in my nose but I don’t think I would confuse the flavor with it.

Overall though, this tea is REALLY indulgent and delicious. A nice dessert tea. This may be something I consider ordering.

Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, Orange

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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96

Finished off my sample of this yesterday. I’m now elevating the rating into the coveted 90-100 spot because this is something that I absolutely want to have stocked at all times. The roasty malted flavors are there, strong, and they go the distance. I steeped this one at least 7 or 8 times and it kept giving me the flavor I was looking for.

Really well done.

Super Starling!

All I can think of is “he’s going the distance. He’s going for SPEED. He’s all ALONE, ALL ALONE IN A TIME OF NEED.”

mtchyg

Haha that is funny because, for me, all I could think about was William Hung and his rendition of, “She Bangs,” except it turns into “Da Bang, Da Bang, oh baby when she moves, she moves.”

Super Starling!

Why is William Hung STILL A THING? Will we be super-old and whispering about him on our death beds?

Super Starling!

He was like a meme, a pre-internet meme.

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80

I’m giving this a slight bump in rating. This morning it seems extremely chocolatey with almost coffee like notes. That is something I can absolutely get behind. Really really delicious this morning.

Flavors: Chocolate, Coffee

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76

Recently I have been drinking teas that take me a couple of sessions to fully appreciate. The first session, I’ll leave not impressed and ready to give away the whole bag. Then I give it another shot and it will reveal something to me or make me try a third time. Usually I end up seeing the merits and then I end up liking it for the most part. This is one of those teas.

Is this normal for some people? Or maybe it is just my own taste buds. Either way, this tea first revealed itself as a bit bland. Almost cardboard. But then after a few more sessions, I am more identifying it as subtle graham cracker with a low malt taste. I know I’m not the best at using descriptive words to get across the flavor profiles but that is what I come up with while drinking this. Oh, and smooth.

Overall, I think this is a good black tea for the price. Something to zone out with. And it seems all the better to me considering I had originally wanted to write it off.

Flavors: Graham Cracker, Malt, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Fjellrev

That’s happened to me with a few teas, for sure. I wonder if our tastebuds adjust and we start to pick up on the more subtle nuances after trying something a couple times, or if we just become accustomed to it and develop a taste for it.

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82
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
196 tasting notes

I drank this tea last night and really enjoyed the malty goodness. It is interesting. While this tea does have a very heavy malt flavor to it, it is also kind of unassuming if you aren’t paying attention to it. It is smooth and drinkable but nothing so bold as to make you sit up.

But it IS good and I found myself drinking it at an impressive rate while reading. And I think that is a pretty good compliment.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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79
drank Chai Town by Adagio Teas
196 tasting notes

Served this Chicago based tea at my book club for a Chicago based tea (Devil in the White City). The peppery spice scent knocked me back in the best of ways when I opened it. The scent translated to the flavor pretty nicely as well.

Pepper, clove, and ginger dominate. The black tea base was just the slightest bit astringent but not at all distracting. In fact, I bet if I dropped the temp down about 5 degrees (F), it wouldn’t be a problem.

Flavors: Astringent, Clove, Ginger, Peppercorn

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

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80

Served this Chicago based tea to go with a Chicago based book (Devil in the White City) at book club. Really sweet, slightly fruity and floral without being perfume-y. I didn’t think I was going to like this as much as I did. Well done.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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83
drank Old Whitey by White 2 Tea
196 tasting notes

I had first steeped this gong fu style and didn’t come away too impressed. I had a feeling I made a misstep which is why I didn’t review it at the time. I know that sometimes with white tea gong fu works nicely and with some other white teas, western style seems to get better results.

So last night, I brewed this western style for my tea book club. We read Devil in the White City which is why I picked a white tea as one of my teas. I made a point to overleaf in the pot and it paid off. The brew was thick and flavorful. And well received. We brewed two rounds of this last night. I had forgotten to empty the leaves out of the pot last night so I decided to see if I could coax a third brew by steeping it for about 8 minutes. It was still delicious.

I’m excited I found the best way to brew this because it is really good when done western style.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Profile

Bio

Michigander, Husband, father of two, lover of tea, books, nature, gardening, and passion. Stay at home dad currently. Previously a preschool teacher.

I have now completed some tea swaps and I am so totally up for swapping! What a cool way to connect with fellow tea lovers and try some new teas.

Black tea has been my go to tea for some time. Oolongs are starting to wiggle in for the number one spot. Mainly roasty oolongs. I’m finding that there are some green and white teas (mostly Moonlight Whites) that impress me lately which they never used to do. I am just getting into and developing a taste for Pu-erh. I have tried raw and my Ulcerative Colitis just can’t handle the roughness of it. So I stick to ripe Puerh. I am least likely to drink herbal tea or Rooibos though I do enjoy some of them, especially STRONG ginger blends. I’m not too picky.

Rating system:
90-100: Some of the best I’ve ever had. I’d be a fool not to keep it stocked as often as possible
80-89: A damn good tea. Not to be missed
70-79: A good tea but lacks the wow factor. More than likely a simple tea that could be an every day option
60-69: Eh. This is okay. Not swill by any means but fairly underwhelming.
50-59: Not really doing it for me. I’ll finish it but please don’t bring me any more.
Below 50: Life is too short to waste on things such as this

Location

Lansing, Michigan

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