98 Tasting Notes

100

I don’t even understand. This is so ridiculously good, good enough to wash away fear, frustration, shame, and rumination. It’s even good for a SOLID resteeping. Thanks, Frank, for making an anxiety-easing potion to rule them all.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 30 sec

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71
drank Secret Weapon by DAVIDsTEA
98 tasting notes

Got this from a friend of mine who received samples of it and Exotica and didn’t like the smell. I liked the smell of both of them! Plus I just like tea swaps. But I digress.

This is nice, no more, no less. It’s got a light body and a pleasant nuttiness once you get down in the cup a little bit. I’m still not good at tasting white tea, so I don’t know if it’s evident or hidden in this blend. I enjoyed eating the little swelled-up goji berries (I usually keep a stock of dried ones around and like them anyway) from the spent leaves. I liked it enough, but I wouldn’t fork over money for it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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100
drank hei cha by TeaSource
98 tasting notes

I used a serrated knife to cut this cube in half, which worked well. This tea is sweet in an earthy, straw-like way, and a perfect all-day sipping tea. It’s also impossible to over-steep—I left some going for maybe 15 minutes and it was still delicious and not at all bitter. I’m really excited to have this more—it’s really everything I could want…

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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100

Read all of these glowing reviews and started salivating. I couldn’t wait to order some and try it for myself—I seem to often be deficient of options for caffeine-free evening teas. When I opened this…mmm. Cinnamony. As it steeped, it started to remind me in an odd way of a scented candle that smells like some sort of heavily-spiced pie or cookie…I don’t like scented candles, especially ones that try to smell like food, so I was a little wary as I brewed some of this up. However…upon sipping that faded away. I don’t think I would’ve said this tasted like a cinnamon roll after that first cup, but I loved it! Perfect amount of spice and sweetness. As an experiment, the next time I added a splash of soymilk. That took it over the top—now it tasted exactly like a delightfully doughy, soft, fabulous cinnamon roll. That’s how I’ve been making it lately, and it’s the perfect nighttime treat! I LOVE this tea. Love love love. It’s a good thing I got 4 oz, because I’ve gone through almost an ounce in the past week alone. It’s also good Frank’s got this in the permanent collection…

So in conclusion, you all need to get some of this.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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98
drank Houjicha by TeaSource
98 tasting notes

I was looking around my cupboard for greens and, despite not really being in the mood for a toasty tea (like this or Genmaicha), this was one of the only ones I had left. I decided I should give it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised! Toasty, cozy, nutty, green, tasty. I could compare the grassiness of this to, possibly…Gunpowder. Very pleasant and nice. I don’t know how often I’d be in the mood for it, because I rarely feel in the mood for things like this. But it’s really good.

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100

This is a green that has been a very, very acquired taste. I remember my first time drinking it, when I made some up to sip while I plunked myself down in a hallway in the science building to do a perspective drawing. I took my first sip and…ugh…the astringency and grassiness really put me off. However, I wasn’t a particular fan of green tea to begin with at that point. I really needed to get into unflavored greens themselves, which I have (most enthusiastically) for several months now. Even after that, I avoided this tea for some reason, thinking I still wouldn’t like it.

Not so. I had some this morning, just after having a little piece of dark chocolate, and its grassy, earthy, somewhat astringent flavor was perfect and soothing. There is a definite depth to this tea—I feel like I’m tasting soil as well as foliage. I’m eagerly anticipating the second steep, and I’m also trying to figure out when I can make a big order of green again…I know I need to cool it for a while so my pantry doesn’t overflow.

This is fantastic. So much love.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Tried it again, this time with a freshly cleaned teakettle, basket, and mug. Still smoooooth and creamy. Definitely nutty. It almost tastes like there’s some milk in there…and it has a little note of what might be cinnamon. It’s as rich-tasting as green tea ice cream. How does this work? Regardless, I love it.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 45 sec
potatowedges

I have to add that this baby gives a SOLID three steeps Western-style—I’m about to try the fourth. Also, these leaves are simply beautiful—big, very intact, a lovely shade of green, robust. I want to press them between the pages of a big old book.

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100
drank Lemon Solstice by TeaSource
98 tasting notes

I read the description and had to add it to my cart. Almond brittle? Yes. Vanilla? Yes. Flowers of some sort? Yes. Licorice? Yes. Lemongrass? Sure! It had so many interesting flavors that I knew it would be, if not delicious, at least memorable.

When I opened this up it smelled like…I couldn’t figure it out for a while, but…like the Tofu Lime Tarts that the deli at my hometown co-op makes sometimes. Vegan pastry crust + tofu lime creamy cheesecake-ness= best ever. I think it must be the lemongrass in this that reminds me of this fantastic dessert. There’s no licorice in tofu lime tarts! Anyway, I couldn’t wait to try this.

Morning came, and I brewed some up. As soon as the water hit the leaves, the aroma changed to a more pungently lemon one, and I got a little concerned, because sometimes my relationship with citrus is less than amicable. But I was still excited to sip it—and I did, far too early, nearly scalding my lips. But it was worth it. This is…fantastic. And unusual. The zing of the licorice plays across your palate, followed by lemongrass that tastes, somehow, creamy…maybe it’s the almond brittle and vanilla. On the back of the sip you can taste the nice Yunnan black tea that’s under it all. There are so many delightful flavors in this that it never stops being interesting…some I don’t notice, like the strawberry pieces, but I really don’t mind. I hope I can get a few steeps out of this.

Wow. This is awesome. It tastes like I added some unsweetened soymilk, it’s so creamy. (But I didn’t.) Maybe this really IS the tea incarnation of tofu lime tarts…with a little licorice.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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100

Had my last bag of this this morning, and dang if it wasn’t fantastic. Creamy, smooth, spicy (but not really spicy). Better than all the other bags, I think…this tea knows how to go out with a bang.

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100

Part of a Christmas gift. I brought a few bags with me while traveling, as it was a little easier than bringing my basket, loose tea, etc. I hadn’t had a jasmine in a while, and I’m not always in the mood for jasmine, but I was, so I made up some of this to try. And it’s delicious! The jasmine doesn’t come across as overbearing or perfumey, just a nice, sweet companion to the green, which is also tasty. I’m often wary of bagged jasmine greens, but this one is very well done. I’m glad I have it on hand for travely-type situations.

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Profile

Bio

I’m a college tea drinker.
I cook feverishly.
I draw.
I make movies.
I knit.
Someday I wish to own chickens.

I love tea because of the complete sensory experience it offers me. Clock time fades away as I lean into my cup, watching the delicate cascades of steam waft up from the brew. Peace. Stillness. Feeling centered. It’s my meditation…

To give you a little background on my tea preferences (which will put my ratings into perspective)…

I love teas that are strong without bitterness and have earthy flavors to them, like rooibos or a really good black tea. (A few favorites in this category: Toffee Almond Supreme, Popped Rooibos, Oh Canada, Nutcracker Sweet.) Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutty are some of my favorite flavor notes. After about a year of warming up to greens, I absolutely love them—from the sweet, nutty, green-tea-ice-cream-like to the bold, grassy earthiness of Gunpowder Temple of Heaven. I also enjoy a nice white every once in a while. Fruity teas aren’t my favorite. I do have a few fruity teas that I love though, like TeaSource’s Green Tea with Pomegranate, Lemon Solstice, and Blueberry Fields.

I drink all of my teas unsweetened; if a tea needs sweetening, I usually don’t like it. A couple of notable exceptions: I sometimes sweeten straight green teas and matcha, and I drink my chai with soymilk (but no other sweetener). I sometimes like my black tea with a little dollop of soymilk.

Location

Northfield, MN

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