141 Tasting Notes

83

I just received a huge, generous batch of samples from LiberTEAS (thanks again!!) and this one jumped right out as being special. I’ve never seen a tea so green and uniform. I imagined the harvester using tiny nail clippers to individually collect just the smallest tip of each leaf.

The fragrance is clean, slightly grassy and briny. I even picked up subtle notes of sesame. Once prepared, the sesame rises to the top and this acquires a toasted oat background.

The tea brews to be relatively pale but has a substantial heartiness. It’s slightly vegetative with a bit of kelp and finishes with a mildly sweet toasted sesame. The cooling cup works towards a honey finish.

What was really unexpected was the overall body of the tea. For a green tea, it has a very rich, almost buttery mouth feel. In just a few cups, this has moved into the top tier of my green tea list.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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73

This was a free sample I received in a recent order.

The tea has a sweet, clean, traditional “tea” fragrance. For a majority of Americans, this is probably what they imagine when you say “tea.”

Prepared, it’s slightly sweet and vegetative with a moderate amount of astringency. This would be a good everyday and all-day-long tea. If I get a chance to make another purchase from DavidsTea, I’d probably throw a bag of this in as a staple item.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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72

There’s an incredible fragrance to this tea; sweet, malty and fruity. The appearance is very uniform with somewhat short segments.

The taste has a strong green tea base (which I think is required for a good flavored green tea) with notes of caramel and stone fruit. There’s also a sort of slick, creamy mouth feel to the tea which enhances the sense that it contains caramel.

On a later cup, I thought I’d try adding some agave sweetener. I thought its natural malt and toast flavor might really bring out the caramel. I was wrong. The sweetener totally ruined the cup. This tea is great by itself so leave a good thing alone :-)

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

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86
drank Coffee Pu'erh by DAVIDsTEA
141 tasting notes

This deceivingly simple tea with large, dusty black leaves results in a complex final product. The fragrance is slightly musky and earthy but with a creamy, mocha-caramel base.

This brews to something approximating a coffee color. The taste has the sweet, mossy flavor of pu-erh along with subtle coffee and caramel notes and a strong vanilla finish. As the cup cools, you simply have COFFEE. (Yes, you can smell and taste the capital letters!)

I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. I was drawn by the appealing description and it was an honest representation of the tea. I think this would be a great choice for anyone that wants to ease their way into pu-erhs.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Beckara

I want to give this tea to my coffee addicted parents, to see if I can convert them!

Lori

I ordered this one and am excited to try it.

Paul M Tracy

This is my first of many new teas I just received from DavidsTea (or David’sTea or David’s Tea depending on who did the entry.) I have to pace myself otherwise I’d do a face plant into the whole box; especially the Fall collection!

Cofftea

Paul, why don’t you shoot Jason a PM and have him merge them all under 1 cohesive brand?

Paul M Tracy

great minds, cofftea! I thought about this on the way home today and just sent him an e-mail.

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74
drank Break Time by Shui Tea
141 tasting notes

I’m a mint fan, but I prefer spearmint over peppermint or wintergreen. That gave this tea an advantage.

When you open the package, you’re hit with a fragrance of clean and slightly sweet mint- like opening a new pack of Wrigley’s. The chamomile has the same large, fluffy buds I’ve come to expect from Shui Tea.

Prepared, I was surprised by the taste and how much the mint took a back seat to the chamomile. Also, I’d say this is more a herbal tea with green tea as one component as opposed to a flavored green tea. This is actually a rather interesting combination. It’s calming from the homey herbals, but the mint perks it up making this great for a relaxing afternoon.

Also, the ingredients list includes licorice. I can tell it’s there but more by feel than taste. I would maybe amp that up just a tad so you get more of a sweet, cooling finish.

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

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69
drank Kiwiburst by Shui Tea
141 tasting notes

I received a surprise sample of this in my recent order from Shui Tea. (Thanks Jim!)

When you first open the package, you get a full-force fruity fragrance. (OK, how often does an alliteration actually work out?) It’s completely true to its name. The pear isn’t readily discernible, but the kiwi is definitely there. Together, it’s almost like a mild strawberry.

From a taste perspective, I think what took me by surprise is that the white tea flavor actually predominates and the fruit notes are in the background. Bai Mu Dan (at least to me) is so mildly flavored that any additions often shadow the tea. Either this white tea is of superior quality or Shui Tea got the blending just right here.

From my tasting notes, you can tell that I’m really into big, bold flavors. However, I really liked the true tea flavor of this blend. This would be really good with a light dessert.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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72
drank Liquid Bam Bam by Shui Tea
141 tasting notes

Even though there aren’t any tropical flavors, my first impression of this was “Hawaiian Punch.” It’s bright, fruity and somehow playful.

I’m not much of a decaf black tea person. When I want something without caffeine, I go for herbals. That said, I think this one will be a favorite of people that do like the option of a decaffeinated black tea.

If you’re OK with sweeteners, try just a touch to make the fruit flavors really stand out.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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84

Where else can you tell your friends that you had a taste for Camel’s Breath and not get an odd look?

This has quickly become a favorite. Tonight, I experimented with it and ignored the recommended steeping guidelines. Instead of short periods, I let this sit for a good four minutes. It turned out great, but completely different from past preparations. It was rich and earthy. It was a bit like a mild coffee and the brine that has become characteristic of this pu-erh (for me) was gone.

It’s nice to know that this is so forgiving that it’s enjoyable even if you’re a bit outside of ideal parameters.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Lori

I had this sample. I think I gave it away, I was too scared to try it.

Geoffrey Norman

Is it a sheng tuocha? I love the name alone.

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77
drank Butter Baroness by Shui Tea
141 tasting notes

When I read the “buttery” part of the description I thought, “yeah, right- this has come off horribly in so many other teas.” I don’t know how Shui Tea did it, but it’s dead on here!

When you open the package, you get a strong fragrance of sweet lemon butter. This was really close to lemon bars or a lemony custard. This holds up well through brewing.

Once brewed, the tea is initially astringent then presents the lemon and you finish with a rich, buttery mouth feel. I had this tea with breakfast but it would be truly awesome with a pastry- ooooh, like a lemon bar! Time to make a trip to the bakery!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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94
drank First Darjeeling by Shui Tea
141 tasting notes

I’ve been going through all of my Shui Tea samples trying to decide on my re-orders. I’m agonizing over this because it’s like trying to pick your favorite child. After tasting, re-tasting, ordering and categorizing, I’ve decided this is my favorite (only slightly ahead of Black Ruby) of their unflavored black teas.

What I like most is the complexity and the crisp “snap” of this tea. I’m upping the rating on this so it stands out from the pack.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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Bio

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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