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165 Tasting Notes

80
drank Vanilla Excellence by Harrods
165 tasting notes

Okay, this is the serving that I “snatched” from Traveling Tea Box & Cards organized by Nicole before I sent it to another person… sometime in February ;) So yeah, here it is, vanilla excellence.

I have nothing against vanilla flavor but at the same time it doesn’t make me overtly excited. I have also noticed that, with some exceptions (Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam), it is not very well pulled off in teas. Especially when it is supposed to play the main and only role, like in the case of this tea.

This is pretty successful, though! Vanilla is present in both aroma and taste. Not forced, not artificial. It tastes just as if vanilla flavor was an inherent part of the base tea (which is some kind of black – Assam maybe?). I must say, however, that the base seems a little weak, but that could be due to me keeping a teaspoon of dry leaf in a way too big baggie for like 2 months now.

While this is not something I would care to keep in stock at all times, I think it would appeal strongly to staunch fans of vanilla teas.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

It was last night’s sip down. There went my ounce of it. I have a whole bunch of Eco-Cha’s Dong Ding to try now, so… I’m not panicking! Dong Ding stock is under control.

However, I must bring the rating of this one down quite considerably. While this was a delicious oolong, the ounce that I got from Life in a Teacup never actually managed to excite me as much as initially did the sample of this they sent me before months ago (See the previous note). I am not sure if this was some different batch or if something happened to my taste buds then. It’s yummy, vegetal oolong with a wonderful flowery aroma, but I feel I can’t rate it 99 anymore.

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81

Last night I finally got around to try one of the samples that I got from the awesome Den’s Tea starter sampler pack (for $3!).

It was tasty and totally what I expected from this: green greenery, roasty roastiness. How eloquent. But you know what I mean, right? ;D Perhaps I thought I would taste more matcha in it but it wasn’t very noticeable. The roasted rice pieces were pretty big in size and they tasted delicious as a part of this concoction.

I like genmaichas a lot but the thing about them is that they are pretty sameyish no matter from where they are. In that case, having it with a few specks of matcha, might be a nice twist that adds a bit of grassiness to the taste as well as uber-cool neon green to the color of the steep. Nice!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92
drank Laos Black #05 by Steepster
165 tasting notes

Now, this is a tea I could totally have in my cupboard most of the time!

Dry leaf didn’t look too promising, seemed somewhat broken – into more pieces than was necessary. Perhaps it was because I might have accidentally squeezed the bag ;D The color of the liquor is impressive though! Deep, deep mahogany. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tea that would look quite like this.

The aroma is a little bit understated, but what you get is sweet honey notes that are yet a little floral, the kind of honey you’d find on bees’ legs (lol!) and not necessarily in a jar. For some reason I was afraid that this would be too bitter, but it’s one of the sweetest blacks I’ve had. Extremely full bodied, it almost makes you feel like you’re drinking syrup or honey.

It’s such a pleasure to start a day with a tea like this one!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92
drank Laos Black #05 by Steepster
165 tasting notes

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82
drank White Symphony by A C Perch's
165 tasting notes

Wow, I don’t know how these dudes blend their teas but they tell you to steep this white one for 5-8 minutes :O So umm… I did exactly that, although reluctantly, and voilà! It tastes… really good, actually!

No, it did not come out bitter. Not at all. It smells a little tart, but it’s a good kind of tart… like the promise of tropical fruit. The way it tastes holds up to its aroma promise I think. There’s definitely pineapple and peach… Not sure about the elderflower, I mean, what is it supposed to be anyway? Oh, there’s also supposed to be pomegranate, but it’s wonderfully subtle. I am used to pomegranate hogging all the room for itself in blends (usually it turns out it’s hibiscus, not pomegranate, anyway!) and here it is more in the background.

It gets better as it cools… Nothing about it tastes artificial. It reminds me a little of American Tea Room’s Bliss green & white blend, but this one is IMHO better. I really like it!

Big thank you to Anna for sending me a sample! :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Anna

Weirdo steeping times on those, I know. So cool that you got around to trying this! Did I send you the White Mulberry, too?

Kat_Maria

I don’t think I got that one, Anna! I just checked. Is it as yummy as this one? :D

Anna

I like the mulberry more, but my friend likes the symphony, so I’d say it’s a matter of taste. The absolute best, though, is the White Temple. Next swap!

Kat_Maria

White Temple… I think I saw that one in the swaps! I must try it soon! Let me know whenever you’re ready for the next international swap :D

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83

Thank you, VariaTEA, for a sample of this tea!

It’s so yummy! I can definitely taste strawberry and marshmallow fluffiness as well as genmaicha ricey base. It all melts together real well. I can envision this tea being suitable for both summer (the strawberry refreshing notes) and winter (the desserty, sweet relaxing goodness). It is also, possibly, the first 52teas creation that really impressed me. I cannot order anything from anyone for a while now, and probably by the time I can, this will be gone, but most of the recent 52teas blends sound really good anyway… so maybe, maybe… I should consider it as the company I will order from soon?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

I am glad you liked it. A lot of the 52 tea blends I have gotten have been disappointing but so far the marshmallow/s’mores genmaichas have all been good. I haven’t tried the PB one yet but I do have a pouch that I will get eventually.

Kat_Maria

You see, I tried a S’mores Genmaicha from a traveling box and it didn’t do much for me but I am so glad that you sent me some (which I requested, and then apparently forgot about it as I hogged that serving from the TB ;D) because perhaps I just happened to have an unflavorful serving or something.

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92

I am happily sipping on a resteep of this. My belly is full of cheesecake. I have a day off. My problems seem miles away. Life is good.

See my previous notes about this one to get any substantial observations ;D

keychange

Days off are magical.

Kat_Maria

They sure are… Although I should clean up at some point, LOL!

MissLena

Sounds like an excellent day! :)

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60

Well, umm, I don’t know about these herbal blends from Verdant. Let me make this clear – I only know two of them – the ones that were in the February Amoda box. The other was Love & Joy blend and I didn’t care for it much. This one also didn’t do much for me. I mean, I know it’s not purely an herbal, since there is some green tea in it, but its flavor and aroma just screamed HERBAL, so that’s how I feel I should think of it (does that make any sense?).

So, anyway, there’s sure a lot going on if you look at the impressive list of ingredients but they all merge into this herbally herbaliness that makes me feel like I should be sick in bed. I know it’s not a very constructive criticism, but I just have a weird relationship with herbals. I don’t like when they taste like herbals. And this one absolutely did. I could not find anything unusual about it, no flavor note that deserved a better scrutiny… I guess the right word would be boring. This blend was boring to me.

Oh well, I know that Verdant has absolutely awesome teas and I will definitely reach for them. It’s just that I will be more cautious about ever getting their herbal blends.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84

I have had a fairly generous amount of it for a while now and I believe it I obtained it at Shadowfall’s stash sale. I think I had it at least once before, but it is only a few days ago that I actually got around to focusing on its nature.

I must say that I really liked it! I remember that the aroma was absolutely gorgeous and sweet. The flavors I got from it were a cross between a lightly roasted oolong (perhaps dong ding?) and a delicious, not-too-strong darjeeling. I think this is a very unique tea and I wouldn’t mind getting some more in the future, whether from the Single Origin Teas or other place.

Oh, and the dry leaf is SOOOO beautiful. It’s silver-lined light green, wiry and thick leaves.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

ME & TEA

I started drinking tea when I was a teenager, my dad used to make tea a million times a day as it was (and still is!) good for his health. So he would make it for the entire family. Usually it was Lipton with a teaspoon of sugar per cup and a slice of lemon. I was fond of it made this way then a lot.

Then I would have occasional loose leaf teas, I slowly got into green tea… I would mostly stick to bagged tea though. It was just convenient.

Only recently, in the middle of 2013, did I start getting seriously into all kinds of loose leaf tea.

[LOVES]:
- Chinese black teas
- green oolongs
- super-fruity rooibos/honeybush “teas”
- interesting dessert teas

[LIKES]:
- green teas
- white teas
- dark oolongs
- non-Chinese black teas
- earl greys
- pu-erhs
- anything else that is missing from other categories

[IS INDIFFERENT ABOUT]:
- chai teas
- herbal teas
- fruit teas

[DISLIKES]:
- mint in blends (it’s ok as straight mint)

JUST ME
Apart from tea, I love reading, board-gaming with my husband, learning foreign languages (currently Spanish and Portuguese) and listening to lots and lots of music!

And if we just stick to food-related stuff I am also a great aficionado of good craft beer and dark chocolate :)

MY FAVORITE TEA COMPANIES (so far):
Butiki
Shang Tea
Yezi Tea
Golden Moon Tea
Lupicia
Harney & Sons

You can also find me here:
On Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/dairy_queen
On Last.fm http://www.last.fm/user/poziomka
On Untappd https://untappd.com/user/poziomka

Location

PA

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