141 Tasting Notes

56

This tea appears a bit dull and flat. There just isn’t much color or vibrance to it. The fragrance is both tart and sweet with a discernable white grape note. The ingredients list includes “flavoring” and I’m hoping it’s at least natural since the grape fragrance is so strong.

This tea brews very light; similar to a white tea. The fruit fragrance remains fairly bold but the flavor is really mild. There isn’t much to the tea body and there are only hints of the grape and currants.

If you like very subtly flavored green teas, then give this one a try. If you prefer more oomph then I’d pass.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83

The description of this tea caught my attention. It has a lot of elements I really enjoy like vanilla and bergamot but it also had a few I’ve never tried like grenadine and tea flowers.

The fragrance was a strong berry-and-bergamot. The leaves were dark and crumbly and the add-ins appeared shriveled and faded versus just dried. It wasn’t as vibrant as pictured.

Once prepared, the tea had a strong candy-like smell; think candied apple without the apple. The taste was vaguely tart and subtly fruity with a lingering vanilla aftertaste. There was also something completely unidentifiable-possibly the tea flowers?

This was an odd one but it grew on me. I really liked the flavor and fragrance but it could have looked a little better. I’ll probably try another bag later in the year to see if there’s any difference in that regard.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

I wonder if it was old stock? I bought some Christmas tea once that was so vibrantly colored, and months later was dull and lackluster. At least your tea tasted good, though!

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78

The twisty, medium-green leaves smelled of black cherry. There was also a strong presence of pipe tobacco. This created images of old English estates.

The brewed tea was a light copper color and it had a strong, sweet and creamy fragrance. The flavor had an initial bite then became what I can only describe as a “classic tea flavor.” When you think of what tea in general tastes like, this is a great example. That’s not to say that this tea is boring- just consider it friendly and predictable. I really liked this and see it becoming a staple.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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72

I just received my first order ever from ESP Emporium. It happened to include two different varieties of Darjeeling; Margaret’s Hope (SF) and Marybong Organic (FF). I thought it would be a fun experiment to prepare them side-by-side and compare and contrast them in my reviews. The text of my reviews for both teas will be the same but the score reflects how I feel about this particular tea.

First, let’s talk about initial fragrance. Margaret was clean and crisp with notes of pepper and grapefruit. (This is a second flush?) Marybong leaned towards being sweet and biscuity.

Margaret’s leaves were dark and crumbly while Marybong’s were a mix of older and newer, bright green leaves.

Both teas were prepared at the same time using the same steeping parameters.

The fragrance of Margaret was bright, crisp and citrusy while Marybong wasn’t very fragrant at all. I detected a bit of hops but not much else.

Finally, the taste. Margaret was initially very smooth but then you get this final punchy astringency. Quite a pucker! This has a really complex profile. Marybong, on the other hand, was more even tempered. It was mellow and was a consistent drink to the bottom of the cup.

Up until now, I had always considered myself a first flush kind of guy. Margaret has changed my mind. I really enjoyed the fragrance and complexity of flavor it offered over Marybong. However, Margaret might be too aggressive for some. For them, the consistency of Marybong would be a better choice.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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87

I just received my first order ever from ESP Emporium. It happened to include two different varieties of Darjeeling; Margaret’s Hope (SF) and Marybong Organic (FF). I thought it would be a fun experiment to prepare them side-by-side and compare and contrast them in my reviews. The text of my reviews for both teas will be the same but the score reflects how I feel about this particular tea.

First, let’s talk about initial fragrance. Margaret was clean and crisp with notes of pepper and grapefruit. (This is a second flush?) Marybong leaned towards being sweet and biscuity.

Margaret’s leaves were dark and crumbly while Marybong’s were a mix of older and newer, bright green leaves.

Both teas were prepared at the same time using the same steeping parameters.

The fragrance of Margaret was bright, crisp and citrusy while Marybong wasn’t very fragrant at all. I detected a bit of hops but not much else.

Finally, the taste. Margaret was initially very smooth but then you get this final punchy astringency. Quite a pucker! This has a really complex profile. Marybong, on the other hand, was more even tempered. It was mellow and was a consistent drink to the bottom of the cup.

Up until now, I had always considered myself a first flush kind of guy. Margaret has changed my mind. I really enjoyed the fragrance and complexity of flavor it offered over Marybong. However, Margaret might be too aggressive for some. For them, the consistency of Marybong would be a better choice.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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76

I received a small sample of this from LiberTEAS (thanks once again!)

The initial fragrance was a bit musty in the package but, once allowed to breathe, it became cleaner and moss-like.

I “over cooked” this a bit, but it still turned out pretty awesome. (I love a forgiving tea.) The color is copper but approaching garnet. The fragrance mellowed to something that was earthy and I also detected a slight salinity. Finally, the flavor was very mellow and even. Sometimes pu erhs have a mushroom (fungal) taste but this had notes of vanilla and caramel with just a faint metallic after taste.

There are simply too many great pu erhs to try that I don’t see myself repeating a purchase of any single one. However, if you like finding and sticking with a few of choice, give this one a try.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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54

The tulsi and chamomile were an odd pair here. At first, it started out slightly bitter and sour and there was a strong grassiness. The subtle flavor of the chamomile was lost.

As the cup cooled, it took on a more mellow and slightly sweet flavor. The fragrance of the chamomile was never very strong, but over time you could at least tell it was there.

This was OK for a bagged tisane, but I’ve had some really good chamomile lately so I’m biased.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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35

This tisane smells faintly of mint and cinnamon and introduces a bit of citrus upon steeping.

The taste was, frankly, very thin. There was a slight mint-citrus flavor and a tangy finish, but overall it was very weak and not very flavorful.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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66

This Tulsi tisane by Davidson’s is an unadulterated blend of the three varieties of holy basil that make up their Tulsi line.

The fragrance is a minty oregano that takes on a subtle lemon essence once steeped. The flavor is similar to a mint and lemongrass blend but there’s an underlying herbal and pepper base. The flavor quickly dissipates with no lingering aftertaste.

This was OK, but I think the Tulsi provides a better foundation for the addition of more full-flavored spices.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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83

It’s a nice surprise when you find something at the back of the tea cabinet you forgot about. (I guess I can start hiding my own Easter eggs soon.)

The initial fragrance on this is smoky and very slightly acrid but with no pine or resinous aspects. The clean smokiness is retained when brewed.

The flavor is astringent yet this tea possesses a subtle sweetness in a lingering aftertaste. The important mouth-watering smoke quality is present but it doesn’t overpower the tea as a whole. This is actually on the light side for a lapsang.

I had forgotten how much I like this one. I’ll have to move it towards the front of the cabinet so I don’t lose it again.

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

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avid reader and fitness freak – my tasting notes are brutally honest and range from raving fanaticism to snarky *please don’t take them personally*

Location

Scottsdale, Arizona

Website

http://flavors.me/paulmtracy

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