630 Tasting Notes

100
drank Loose Aged White Tea by Shang Tea
630 tasting notes

Wow. This is a seriously good white tea. Of course I say that about all of Shang’s whites. I sometimes feel like I’m being a cheerleader for Shang’s teas, but they are seriously so good!

Clover and a bit of honey, sweetness but heftier body than the White Peony King. I don’t notice any peony scent either, but this is a white tea with body and I lurve it. I’m not brave enough yet to try this in the brick form – I’m pretty sure I am not good enough at tea to take that on successfully. :)

And it’s super hard to measure since the leaves are sooooo huge! So 2 teaspoons is a total guesstimate.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
boychik

White teas are usually tasteless to me. You are giving me a hope;)

Nicole

Shang’s whites were the first and still some of the few whites that had taste for me.

Sil

hmmm i’ll have to check them out sometime

Kat_Maria

Wow, I was THIS close today to ordering the sample pack. But I resisted! Perhaps after I can manage several sipdowns of what I actually have, I will order it.

Lion

While it does require a small investment (usually 10-15 bucks) a digital weighing scale can really help in measuring out tea, since leaf sizes vary greatly. It may require a bit of snooping online to see what amount of teas to use by weight, but I find that measuring tea in grams gives me very good and consistent results. :D

Lion

And as far as that goes, I always log the amount in grams per 100ml of water on my reviews, if that’s any help. It’s easy to adjust the amount if you know how much water your brewing vessel holds. 100 ml is about 3 1/3 ounces.

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90
drank Kashmir Tchai by Kusmi Tea
630 tasting notes

I have had a little tin of this for awhile now and am just now getting around to trying it. I get cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and an okay but not awesome strength of tea. I actually really like this. I tried it without sugar at first, but didn’t get much spice. After adding sugar the spices came out. They still aren’t super strong spices, just a nice level. I would replace this when I run out if I ran across a Kusmi sale. I might try using a teaspoon more tea next time as well or maybe steep a bit longer. I was in a bit of a hurry tonight. :)

I used my standard half water/half-and-half. Chai without milk just seems odd to me. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

i miss seeing the bunny next to your name… also.. i will be faster playing! haha

Nicole

Did my bunny vanish? Or are you not seeing it? No worries on play speed. :P

Sil

ppl’s pics don’t show up in the dashboard view anymore.. that’s all. i have to visit your note to see the bunny!

Nicole

Hm. I guess I didn’t notice what it was like before. I can see pics in comment threads on the dashboard but yeah, not with their tasting note.

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67
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
630 tasting notes

I noticed this was on my shopping list and when I made my multiple Harney orders back in November, I added a tin of this. Now I can’t remember quite why. It’s good enough but I’m just not a chocolate tea type of person normally.

This is vaguely chocolatey in the way teas that are intended to be chocolate are. Does that make any sense? The teas I like that are described as being chocolatey are the ones that aren’t intentionally flavored for chocolate – the straight deep blacks that have cocoa notes to them – those I love. The flavored chocolate teas? Usually pretty meh to me.

I’ll share this one around. There is definitely chocolate flavor as well as hazelnut and a bit of vanilla. I did slightly oversteep it and it didn’t turn bitter at all so that’s something to be said for it. A dollop of cream helps it along, makes the chocolate not seem as watery.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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74
drank Yu Lu Yan Cha Black by Verdant Tea
630 tasting notes

Well, I finally tried this one again. It appears to be official. As long as I make it with my tap water at home, I like it well enough to drink it. I still wouldn’t reach for it over some others, but it won’t go to waste. The smoke is very subdued when I use my home water. The notes I liked about the sample I previously had were all there, though also a bit more subdued. While better, I’m still reducing the rating since it wasn’t what I had that I previously rated so highly and I will not be likely to restock this one.

Goes to show how different harvests can have different flavor profiles I guess. The sample I had was steeped at work with the filtered water and CoWorker & I loved it. So I eventually got a full package of it. We steeped up a pot again at work of the new stuff and we both thought it was way too ashy and harsh. It was a bummer at the time.

I’m glad to know that my unpure water at home can salvage this for my tastebuds. :) I’ve had this happen with a few other teas, too. Love them at home, despise them at work. Could also be that I don’t get actual boiling water at work ever. Whatever the factors, this goes into the home only pile o’ tea. :)

This is also one of the teas that I still don’t get anything out of with the tiny steep time increments. I do it all in one go so that probably impacts what I get out of this. YMMV as always. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Bonnie

I steep this tea for 3 minutes and never under leaf, like laoshan black. I also have finicky taste buds because of my fibromyalgia so I HAVE to filter all my tea water even though the water here is great. I can taste minerals when they change the tea flavor. Got my filter pitcher at Best Buy because it filters fast and isn’t huge. Might be ok at work.

Nicole

That was what I thought was odd. The filtered water was what made it taste like smoke. My unfiltered tap water at home makes it better for me. /shrug

Bonnie

Maybe if the water is commercially filtered, it’s through an old salt/rock system? Those do taste weird.

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83
drank Peppermint Bark by Capital Teas
630 tasting notes

First off, it’s a lovely tea. :)

This is pretty good. Just smelling the steam wafting from the steeping cup made my sinuses feel more clear. :) It is very strongly peppermint, which I like. So many mint teas also have spearmint, and I can’t stand spearmint usually so I’m glad this one has just peppermint. The vanilla mellows out the bite from the mint without completely subduing it and the black tea base seems to be well matched. I could do without the white “chocolate” but I can see where it is maybe needed to make the peppermint “bark” part of it work. I honestly don’t know if I taste it. That white confectionery stuff usually just tastes sweet to me, not even really vanilla-y and this tea doesn’t lead me to think “sweet.” There is a dryness to the sip that isn’t objectionable, just worth noting. It isn’t a quenching drink but it’s certainly peppermint!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89

Exactly as described. Beautiful pearls, excellent aroma, sweet aftertaste.

I was not hopeful about this since smelling the dry leaves they smelled sweeter than they did floral. Once steeped the jasmine really seeps out of the cup! First sip is very jasmine, subsequent sips are sweeter with less prominent jasmine, but still floral. I really needed to pick up their Jasmine Black at the same time to compare since I remember really liking it, but this is a great green jasmine option. Excellent accompaniment to Chinese takeout. :)

I used the recommended amount of tea plus one for the pot, though figuring out teaspoons with pearls is a little hard. Stuck strictly to the recommended temperature but let the leaves sit in the pot since this pot has a built in strainer and I figured the pearls would be large enough leaves to be good with that, plus I usually like my jasmines steeped longer. I was right about the strainer, but 15 minutes in and the 2nd cup is a little bitter. My bad.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Tea friend at work shared this with me today. Funny how everyone gets different flavors from teas. He immediately got bread and sweetness. I immediately got pretzels. As it cooled, I got the sweetness and some caramely notes, he got more pretzel. :) We both like it a lot, hot and cooled. So smooth and layered.

Courtney

Ooh I always get the PTA, but I need to get this one soon.

Nicole

I honestly prefer the Golden Lion, but I’m all out! I need to try them side by side.

Courtney

Ooh I haven’t tried that one either. So many teas!

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90
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
630 tasting notes

As a latte? This is simply superb. It’s really a very good vanilla tea without any additions, but with cream? Oh, such heavenly bliss.

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77

This was nice and hearty for my breakfast tea while waiting for a flight last week. The bag was a pyramid sachet, which was part of why I thought it might have been originally Harney & Sons. That and they had an Anniversary Blend tea on the menu along with some other names that reminded me of H&S. But then again, there are only so many tea names out there, I suppose. :)

This tea was hearty, bold and tasty. Well worth it.

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75

I had this as my second cup while waiting for my flight home from Vegas last Tuesday. It reminded me quite a bit of the Harney Apricot black but not quite as good. Could always have to do with steeping parameters, etc. since I wasn’t making this. :)

It was good. And it was in a sachet rather than a standard bag which was a nice surprise. It was worth the price I paid for it. Not really bitter but not amazingly smooth either. Good flavor.

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Tea afficianado. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :)

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http://www.travelswithstinky.com

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