98 Tasting Notes

drank Shou Mei by TeaSource
98 tasting notes

Dry, this smells like vegetation and shade. The aroma of the brewed tea is soft and inviting, and the flavor…my perception of it requires some explanation. As I sip, I taste a vegetal note that spreads through my whole palate and then—this is the interesting part—seems to go down. Not in the sense that it goes down my throat, but…it deepens and spreads out. The synesthesia comes through here. I am thinking for some reason of a green, supple root of a plant arcing through the air. The strength of the flavor leads me to think that it could end up being astringent at the end of the sip, but it’s not. Not at all, just smooth and fresh. It won’t make much sense to say it tastes cylindrical, but that’s the best way I can explain it. Very slightly sweet. I’ve never been into white teas before, my previous experience with them not being great, but this…this is special. This is destined to become a favorite.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec
potatowedges

Third steep: suddenly I taste marshmallows. What? Whoa. Magic.

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100

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100
My package from TeaSouce was waiting for me when I got back to school. Yay! I started to unpack my teas and when I got to this one, I HAD to try it. I still haven’t finished taking the others out, because I’ve been partying with this tea for a while. Delicious, pure green aroma…I could bask in it all day. I love greens now! I left my thermometer at home, so I guessed at temperature again. Liquor is a warm straw color. First sips…whoa. Smooooooth. And sweet, too. I made some Oh Canada in this mug last night, but I’ve had other tea in it since then, so I don’t think that’s what’s giving it this sweetness. It’s creamy and silky and nutty, kind of reminding me of caramel. I’m fairly sure it’s not from the Oh Canada, but it might be. Slightly grassy. Delicious. I’m going to wash out this mug carefully so I can figure out where this delightful sweetness is coming from…wow, this is good. Creamy. Mmmm. A great start to the first day of spring semester.
Preparation
3 min, 45 sec

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24

Before I begin: not a particular fan of citrus tea or chamomile, although the latter one is starting to grow on me, since it was one of the most reliably available teas in Costa Rica. With that in mind, onto this tea.

Smells powerfully citrusy. No surprises there. I think I steeped this a minute or two too long, and especially after I saw hibiscus in the ingredients, I was concerned for a moment that it would be another incarnation of Wild Sweet Orange (GAH!), but it wasn’t. Tangy and citrusy, but definitely drinkable. Still not my cup of tea. Ah well. It was warm. Not bad if you like this sort of thing. I just don’t.

Side note: when steeping, this suddenly turns an odd green color, and then gradually shifts to purpley red.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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92

So I said I wasn’t a fruity tea fan…well, that’s generally true, except in some cases. This is pretty exceptional. The bouquet of the dry leaf is delicious, and after the steeping begins…oh man. All sorts of tropical lovelies that blend into something I can only call Papayapplango. The green tea, surprisingly enough, really comes through, even though it’s got the fruit as a potential obstacle. A nasty fight could ensue, and with my rather iffy experience with fruity teas, I was honestly expecting one. But…they work together almost seamlessly. And the fruit tastes full and juicy and sweet. Not the most natural-tasting of fruit, but it tastes good all the same. To keep it from going overboard on the sweet side, the soft, vegetal green balances it out. Wish I’d had enough time this morning to re-steep this sachet before I left. One of the better fruity teas I’ve tried.

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53

Tried this before at my school’s cafe, which just started carrying Mighty Leaf. I wasn’t in the mood for anything caffeinated, so I went for this one. Anyway, this time around I couldn’t determine the water temperature (no thermometer), but it was probably around 180 F (I’m getting better at estimating). Steeped around 4 min. Possibly too long. This one is a little sharp for my tastes, and a bit jumbled. I’m not the biggest fan of fruity teas anyway, but even so, this isn’t one of my favorites. I can’t really taste the tea here. It’s fighting to stay ahead of the fruit and I think the fruit won. Ehh. Smells nice though.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Sencha Uji by TeaSource
98 tasting notes

Bye, Sencha Uji. You’re delicious and grassy and slightly sweet (more evident in the second and third steepings), and you’re everything I could want in a green. I’ve got some Dark Green Needle coming in the mail, but don’t for a second think that that means I’m replacing you. You’ll always have a special place in my heart, and you’re welcome in my home anytime. I’ll see you soon.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

So happy. So. Happy. Just got home from Costa Rica last night…it was an incredible experience. Now that I’m back, I can have REAL TEA…and I kicked the celebration off with two cups of Nutcracker Sweet. Drank it black (we don’t have any soymilk right now). Perfect. Every time.

It’s good to be home.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Yellow Label by Lipton
98 tasting notes

So after my previous bad experience with this bugger, I had to figure out how to make it palatable when it was given to me when I asked for black tea. Solution: steep it for 30 seconds. The best it can do is be bland and inoffensive liquid that resembles tea…which is all I’m looking for while I’m traveling. Three more nights and I can get my Yunnan Golden Buds from Verdant!

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drank Yellow Label by Lipton
98 tasting notes

First breakfast in Costa Rica! I got pretty excited when I saw tea, no matter what the kind. This would probably have been a passable black tea if I had read the instructions and had steeped it for 1-2 minutes, instead of 5 like I normally do for black teas. It was so unbelievably bitter that I couldn’t finish it, but ah well. Gallo pinto more than made up for it! Oh, and one of my side goals for this trip is to manage to drink tea every day. So far it’s gone well!

LiberTEAS

I don’t want to say “like” to this, because… when I saw the box I wanted to cringe. So, I’ll just comment and that will indicate that I’ve read your note.

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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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