218 Tasting Notes

50
drank Key Lime Ceylon by Fusion Teas
218 tasting notes

I decided to go with this tea as my first tea of the day. A beautiful day, I might add. I must have had it before but I don’t remember anything about it. I really have to sip this one down, it’s one of the older teas that I own (5 months old?).

However, as soon as I opened the tin, I realized why I am so reluctant to have this one… Because it smells godawful. There’s this extremely artifical smell that the leaves and, subsequently, the steep have. I tried not to smell it. It was like… a bunch of lime zest that you just found under an old carpet.

The flavor was slightly better but there was still so much of fakeness to it. On the whole it tasted like some kind of earl grey cream gone very wrong. Because you get this lime that tastes like a really nasty bergamot and then there’s some creamy notes – which was the only thing that positively surprised me about this tea.

Fusion Teas have some really awesome offerings (Caribbean Nectar Rooibos, Raspberry Champagne White) but this, IMHO, is not one of them.

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

“under an old carpet”? I don’t even think I would try the tea if it came out smelling like that!

Kat_Maria

haha, right? I might just give this one away one day.

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98
drank Fragrant Bud by Zen Tea
218 tasting notes

Backlog.

Beautiful straw-grey, long and swirly leaves brew into copper-brown liquor of a VERY tantalizing aroma. It sure is fragrant, they got that right!

And the taste… It tastes like the sweetest Chinese black tea you can imagine, but it is even more graceful and delicate. Which doesn’t make it less full-bodied. Every sip is smooth. And SO sweet. The flavors I detect are fruit tree blossoms, perhaps very sweet melon, maybe even a perfectly ripe avocado.

It has this other flavor to it that is hard to describe but that embodies “tea flavor” in general. It’s like tea flavoring in drinks or sweets, except it is perfectly natural. Imagine that a tea plant can actually grow edible apple-like fruit. They would taste like this tea.

This could be one of the best teas I have had so far. It is also my first yellow tea. I wonder if they are all this wonderful?

I re-steeped it three times and all the steeps were delicious, although on the third steep it seemed to have lost its ethereal blossom sweetness and started to get a little bolder instead (still not astrigent at all).

It seems like Zen Tea have it on sale right now and I am so tempted to get a massive amount of it… But it will have to wait.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MissLena

Wow this sounds wonderful! adds to shopping list

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73
drank Té de Frutas by Lupicia
218 tasting notes

While I like this tea a little bit more than Lupicia’s Lychee, it is not anything particularly striking my fancy. It has all these nice fruit in there but somehow it is kind of… boring. Like an aunt’s birthday party kind of boring. You know, there’s all these good homemade pastries and cakes but then… damn, does it drag and the clock must have frozen!

Mabe it’s because its decaf? It’s good to have a decaf tea that pretends to be a black blend though, once in a while every tea drinker needs something like that.

I think I’ll move on to some oolongs soon today. It’s time!

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

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92
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
218 tasting notes

This tea… is gorgeous!

It tastes just like red-berry concentrated syrups that my grandmother used to make. You would add water to it to get a nice, refreshing juice. The last time I had it was probably nearly 20 years ago.

There exist some blends that try to imitate this kind of syrup, at least in Poland I’ve known some, they are usually herbal and bagged teas. Needless to say, they all would taste quite artificial. This one does not.

It retains this berry syrup flavor but also charms you with its delicately astringent base. And it feels like drinking this refreshing juice when I was a little girl. So amazing. I would not, not in a million years, expect this tea to take me back to an almost forgotten flavor of my childhood. Thank you, Mariage Frères!

And thank you, Anna, for a sample of this! I am glad that I like this one so much because it seems to be one of the more US-available of the French teas :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Anna

…and you’re officially a Mariage Frères fan! My devious plan worked!

Kat_Maria

And I have so many more from them to try, the sheer thought of it makes me want to squeal! :D

Sil

so wish i’d had time to organise MF with you before you left anna… though with terris teas it’s the last thing i need lol

Anna

Haha, aw, there’s always time, Sil!

Oh, and Kat – I got your package! It was there waiting for me when I came back on Sunday, so it got there some time last week. You sent me SO MUCH STUFF, and wow, thank you for being so thoughtful concerning my Tea Projects. ll be so much fun trying everything – thanks again!

Kat_Maria

Hell yeah, I am so glad you got it! I hope you will enjoy the teas! I am surely enjoying the ones from you. I was just getting ready to choose a green one from your swap :)

Anna

Oh, the site ate part of my note because I made a heart, haha. Steepster can be SO unromantic sometimes. I think it just said, ’I’m writing notes for everything as soon as I get a chance to try it, and it’ll be…’ and the rest you have there. =)

And yeah, also totally glad it arrived. I love sending packages, because it’s always like a small act of faith – it’s traveling, on its own, all intrepid. I usually think of my packages as the milk carton in that Blur video, but I’m terrible about anthropomorphing things.

Anyway, let me know if you’d like some more of this – I hardcore prefer the green one, and doubt I’ll use up all of the black.

Kat_Maria

You are right about packages. While I hate the idea of them getting lost, I kind of like the risk of that involved. The way that sending them makes you feel, like you have no control over it any more, even with tracking, anything might happen to it, really. And you cannot say that about many things in this digital age. We always know where our friends and family are, we can always stay in touch, no matter what. Whenever you send a bigger package it’s like people sending their children to faraway boarding school in the 19th century – hopefully they’ll get a letter back from them, 2 weeks later, in which kids say they are okay ;)

But yeah, anyway! I would love some more of this. We might organize another swap :D I just ordered from Lupicia a few days ago and I think you might be interested in some of my picks :)

Kat_Maria

Oh, and the milk carton in the Blur video mention (here I would put a heart, but I remembered it’s better not to).

Anna

Ooooh. You said Lupicia! Well, I’m all over this now, haha.

And thanks for nailing my ambiguous package feels so perfectly.

Kat_Maria

Great, it’s set then! I actually got a notice not so long ago from Lupicia that they’ve shipped my order. Now I just have to wait so that it crawls from west to east. I am NOT good at waiting ;D

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70
drank Lychee by Lupicia
218 tasting notes

I guess this tea is slightly better than I initially thought. It made a nice Saturday morning beverage, especially since the sun is shining nicely.

The lychee flavoring composes well with a nice day (A DAY OFF, too – very needed) and the black base seemed more definite this time around.

Anna

We already talked about the lychee oolong, right?

Kat_Maria

Haha, yeah, we did! I think it’s going to grow on me a little more, although it will never be my favorite or anything.

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95

Thank you so much, Jennkay, for a sample of this!

And the sample is pretty much done because I had it with my husband two nights ago and right now I am having the rest of it just by myself.

I love my green oolongs so much! And I think this is the best Tie Guan Yin I have had yet. I love the asparagusy quality of a TGY – this one has also plenty of green vegetable notes to it, but it is creamier, fuller, more buttery… and on the whole more complex. I love when teas have this lingering flavorful aftertaste that stays with you between the sips. This tea definitely has it, too.

It’s just chock full of qualities I love in oolongs.

And the color of the steep is so beautiful, the warm yellow of today’s sunlight. Because, guys, it was fairly warm today in PA. AMAZING.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Jennkay

Yay! Glad you loved it :) I highly recommend getting an oolong sampler from Teavivre. All their oolongs have been delicious so far.

Kat_Maria

I definitely will. They seem like a great deal, too! Thank you, again :)

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83

OOOOH YEAH! I got it, I got it, I got it! THIS IS IT!

Here’s what I did: I used 1 tsp of sifted matcha, whisked it in a bowl with 1/2 cup of 185 F water. On the side I heated up 1 and 1/2 c of almond milk to approx 170 F and then added it to the matcha mixture. I ended up with 16 oz. of delicious, creamy matcha latte GOODNESS.

I found a way to enjoy matcha and on my second try, too. Not bad. I detect French Vanilla so much more this way as well (even though it is the weakest flavoring grade).

SOOOO GOOD!

(See my previous note to find out about my confusion when I had it with just water).

EDIT: Unfortunately 16 oz. turned out to be way too much and I couldn’t finish it. The specific bitterness of matcha is really, really tasty at first, but then it gets just yucky when you have too big of a serving. At least it turned out to be so in my case. Oh matcha, matcha, we seem to have an interesting relationship.

carol who

I’ve sensed the same problem if I make too much. It smells so good you think you have to make a lot and then… the pleasure just slips away. We will have to keep working on getting it right.

Kat_Maria

Yeah, I think next time I will just make half of that!

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81
drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
218 tasting notes

Thank you, Anna, for the sample of this!

It brew into clear and ruby concoction that vaguely smells of vanilla as well as some non-describable fruit.

The base is supposed to be Ceylon and Chinese black tea(s) and I can mostly detect ceylon, although definitely toned down by the Chinese part. I really like the base this way.

When it comes to flavoring, I hardly detect any. I sure can taste vanilla, but it is very shy and hiding in the corner. I have to look for it. Hazelnut? Hmmm… perhaps. It could be even shyer than vanilla, probably to the point of paranoid kind of shy. But it’s there.

The flavors seem to come out of their corners a bit more once the brew cools down. And I greet them with an open palate.

Errr…

There’s something else I detect, too. Some fruitiness. Perhaps it is just maltiness. It’s like some sort of carmelized citrus with most of its citrusy notes seeped out and only sweetnes left. If that makes any sense?

This tea is very delicious, but it is definitely not for the impatient ones because the flavors are very subtle. In fact, if someone just served it to me and said it’s just a non-flavored morning blend, I would totally believ it. And I would still find it delicious.

There is also a possibility that I did not detect the flavors because I was just out for a smoke. I am a very occasional smoker, so it is unfortunate I decided to taste such a tea after just smoking a cigarrette. Oh well – that’s a lesson.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Red Dragon Pearl by thepuriTea
218 tasting notes

These pearls are so fat! I love them.

Steeped 3 of them, instead of 2, per 8 oz. of boiling water. That totally did the trick. It tasted better now than I remember. Brown sugar notes seemed more disctinct and the body fuller – a great start of the day.

The liquor looked a little “dusty” but it was probably my fault since I hadn’t rinsed the leaves – I hate doing it because I feel like I waste water :( So I usually don’t.

Terri HarpLady

I just polished off the last of this tea!

Kat_Maria

And it’s the very, VERY last… FOREVER! :( Do you know teas similar to this one (and with pearls this big) that are available around?

Sil

red pearls were fairly unique from what i remembered but teavivre has great dragon pearls… and mandala does too when they’re in stock heh

Kat_Maria

Thank you, Sil! I will definitely try the Teavivre ones at some point :)

Terri HarpLady

And Teavana…

Sil

no… no teavana…poop on teavana

Kat_Maria

Hahaha, I am not a fan, I’ll admit :D

Terri HarpLady

hahaha, I hardly like anything that Teavana has, but I have to admit, the pearls are decent :)

Sil

I don’t mind them either Terri….I just figure if that’s the ONLY thing I’m buying from them, why bother lol and I do like teavivre’s better

Kat_Maria

I will keep the Teavana pearls in mind when I’m, perhaps, swapping with someone who has them. Thanks! After last Teavana order fiasco, I would never order anything directly from them ;)

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69
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
218 tasting notes

I must say, this tea didn’t move me one bit.

I love honey and I love pears. But when their flavors are combined into tea, it doesn’t seem like a mix that sits with my taste buds too well. Or maybe it’s just this one.

The flavoring is not extremely strong, as is the case with other Golden Moon teas, but it verged dangerously on the artificial, and I didn’t like that very much. I was mostly getting pear with a promise of honey (a promise that was never kept) and the base was much too weak – but perhaps it is my fault, I could’ve underleafed it slightly.

I still have a serving-worth left, I’ll try to perhaps steep it longer and we’ll see how that goes.

I still love Golden Moon teas, though!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 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.

My cupboard only reflects what I have in ‘regular’ (non-sample) sizes. It could be that I have some tea you’re looking for, just in a smaller amount, even though it is not in my cupboard, so you can always just ask when swapping with me :)

[LOVES]:
- Chinese & Taiwanese black teas
- second flush darjeelings
- malty assams
- green oolongs
- Chinese green teas
- super-fruity rooibos/honeybush “teas”

[LIKES]:
- Japanese green teas
- white teas
- dark oolongs
- interesting dessert teas
- earl greys
- pu-erhs

[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
Golden Moon Tea
Harney & Sons
Lupicia
Shang Tea
What-Cha
Whispering Pines Tea Co.
Yezi Tea

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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