213 Tasting Notes

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
213 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
213 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
213 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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78
drank Indian Spice by Harney & Sons
213 tasting notes

Aah, so it is better with a splash of almond milk and a teaspoon of sugar. I guess I should start getting bolder with additives to certain teas.

It’s still not something I would be re-stocking. I do want to try to find my one and only chai one day, though.

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

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80

Thank you, Jennkay, for sending me a sample of this!

I had it last night to crown my Day with Lupicia. I don’t have to tell you that I had huge expectations of this one and that, if I decided it was so good I couldn’t live without it, I would include it in my upcoming Lupicia order.

The wiry and big grass-green leaves (with bits of rose petals) steep into a golden brew. The aroma, at first, wasn’t very pleasing, I must say, it smelled like an extremely generic peach tea with a twist of some bitterness.

Tasting went a little better – it is definitely a light, good quality oolong with a very subtle peach flavoring (talk about Golden Moon level of subtlety – which is nice). There was no bitterness at all, not even on the second steep. It seemed to me like its flavor is becoming more and more sophisticated and pronounced as it cooled down. And that is pretty disappointing to me, since I don’t like iced tea and I never ever cold-brew my teas.

Also, I think I am not just too excited about peach flavor in tea. I do not hate it, I will always be pretty open to any peach teas that come my way, perhaps I will even consider obtaining some from time to time, but, ultimately, it’s not a thing that I am obsessed about.

So I guess I can live without this tea. I think I will be getting something else from Lupicia this time. Next time, I might be tempted to try it again, and actually get it then.

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

Thanks for reviewing a lot of Lupicia teas. I’m hopefully planning a trip to Cali in June, and am definitely coming back with some lupicia tea.

Kat_Maria

Sounds great, keychange! I wish I could actually go to one of their stores… And yeah, by June I should review even more of their teas. They do seem to be pretty awesome, on the whole, especially if you consider that they are rather inexpensive. Too bad they don’t do samples, though!

keychange

Or ship to Canada! :( :(

Kat_Maria

Oh, right, that kind of sucks, too :(

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71

Perhaps I did something wrong when brewing (although I did it for 2 min. at 185 F like the other Lupicia greens) but this is not too spectacular. It tastes like an average jasmine tea, and it is dangerously close to the unpleasant kind of bitter that makes my throat dry up.

I cannot find any redeeming or unique qualities in it. It is just okay.

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92
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
213 tasting notes

Holy tea gods! I didn’t expect to get so much grapefruit out of this. Not just the “some sort of citrus, might as well be grapefruit” note but a full grapefruit – citrusy sweetness that ends with a typically grapefruity bitter note.

I think the bitter note is mostly the doing of the actual green tea base and it works so well…

I love the aroma and flavor of grapefruit. Having said that, I didn’t expect this tea to taste so good. It seems that Lupicia might be slightly better at their flavored greens rather than blacks. I mean, so far I’ve only had black Sakurambo and black Lychee, so it is probably not fair to say compare it like that… but the green ones I’ve had are definitely winning. Although I did also have a one serving-worth sample of Cookie and I absolutely loved it…

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90
drank Strawberry & Vanilla by Lupicia
213 tasting notes

Okay, apparently Lupicia’s greens can be steeped in boiling water. I am kind of reluctant to try it! So I steeped a bag of this at 185 F for 2 minutes.

When I poured water over the bag, the liquid instantly turned dark gold and I was like “Hey, tea! You’re not supposed to do this”. I was afraid it would be bitter and dark as hell by the time it finished brewing. Well, it stayed the same color and it definitely did not come out bitter.

This is so good! Let me tell you, the strawberry I get out of this is so much better than any of these mutant strawberries they sell at grocery stores when out of season. At first there’s no vanilla… but then it hits you and it’s beautiful! It might seem like a stupid word choice but IT IS BEAUTIFUL. The aroma is gorgeous, too.

The best thing about it is that it tastes so natural. Almost more natural than just having a strawberry with some vanilla cream on it. I am not sure what base they used for this… Somehow I think it is sencha but I know senchas can be pretty damn vegetal (perhaps there’s different kinds?? I’m still such a tea n00b!). The base is just a binder here for the AMAZING flavoring, but I don’t think I mind that – cause it’s a pretty damn good binder. Even though I cannot detect its notes too well.

Perhaps with a second infusion I would get the green tea more but since I am doing this Lupicia flight today, I don’t want to waste too much of my today’s tea cups allotment for re-steeps.

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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):
Whispering Pines Tea Co.
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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