New Tasting Notes

Redberry Tonic + Main Squeeze (1:2), iced.

It’s been another very trying week. One day I’ll be one of those people that loves their job and enjoys going to work. One day, but that day is not today.

I’m not super pumped about the weekend either. I’m gearing up to sell/trade/donate a lot of things that have accumulated in various “do something with this crap” piles over the past few weekends of spring cleaning.

Oh well, TGIF.

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95

Its flavour seems lighter than some Yiwu cakes from other vendors at the same age. A dry fruit/honey aroma, sweetness and tartness are not so intense; however, they are gentle, delicate, and linger in my throat/tounge for an hour. Like the previous review, I can also feel a nice white wild flower at the begining time of the sip. The tea soup has almost no bitterness, astringency and smoky tobacco smell, impressingly, even with extended brewing time. In addition, most of raw pu-erh tea taste become worse if we (unintentionally) drink it at room temperature but Xi kong remains more delicious for me. This tea is pleasing and I like it very much.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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85
drank Luscious Watermelon by DAVIDsTEA
263 tasting notes

Having read that this brews up weak, I decided to use more “leaf” than typically would: 10tsp for 1L, it’s practically half the bag! A pity because this is really good. Fruity and definitely watermelon-y with some other melon notes in the background. Something kind of strange too, maybe the carrot. Maybe I’ll try a batch with less tea to see if the flavour is still nice, because as good as this is, it’s not worth the price.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 10 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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79

Had a cup of this the other night to say goodbye to it. The last of this is off to be shared with tea friends! I still really enjoy this one, though my tastes have changed enough since i had my first sample of this, to warrant dropping the rating a little. It’s a tasty green, but there are others out there that are more reasonably priced and deliver some fantastic taste.

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74
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
7433 tasting notes

Gotta love working from home on a day when all your meetings are cancelled. Now i can be productive with both work, home stuff and exercise lol this particular tea is growing on me. The more i have it, the more almost chocolatey it seems.

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GCTTB

I wanted to try this one before i send out the box today/tomorrow so i’m working on sipping through this one now. I vastly prefer shou to sheng, but i’m always open to trying new teas in case i find that hidden gem that i love.
woke the tea up and then let it sit for a bit – these tiny bricks are fairly compressed.

Initial steepings of this one are quite nice. This is, so far, a milder sort of sheng – light on the vegetal sort of taste i don’t love – smooth and there’s a hint of sweetness starting to poke through. interesting to see how this plays out this morning

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88
drank Black Orchid by Mariage Frères
7433 tasting notes

still love this one. So glad i have lots left to enjoy. Here’s hoping i can get organised with my cupboard this weekend so i can really have a small-er cupboard with things i adore instead of just enjoy. this would fit nicely in to that type of cupboard heh

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75

Took a gamble and bought 6 of these cakes and I’m very impressed with the results,
First 1-3 infusions had a very smooth honey and rose taste, and the infusions after that got a definite sweet chocolatey taste as described.

After finished drinking it left a very mellow aftertaste without any dryness left on the tongue. Definitely a favourite black tea of the tea drinkers in my family and it being in a sealed cake is a nice convenience.

Flavors: Honey, Honeysuckle, Rose

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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71

I wasn’t originally interested n trying this one…untilI heard it had been discontinued. I was lucky to find one location that still had some left. Made it in a gaiwan. After a 15 sec rinse, so far I’ve had two 40 sec steeps. It brewed a pale green-yellow colour. The taste was closer to a green tea. It was mildly floral and vegetal. Very light though. No overpowering flavours or scents. I’m curious to see how this taste may evolve with subsequent steeps. I may also increase steep time though I like the lightness.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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75

I had high hopes for this one… It’s not as strong as I would have liked, despite me steeping it for ages and using a fair bit of the leaves. The smell is good, though! And it does make a good iced version (though again, not as strong as I would like). Some people might like the milder taste, as a general rule, I do not. :P

Kristal

Just double checked my review of this tea from the summer, and apparently I thought it was pretty weak too!

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80
drank China by Delhaize
52 tasting notes

Not too keen about green teas as in general they don´t seem to give me the necessary full flavour I get from black teas, but I like jasmine tea : not only how it smells, but also the rich taste of it. Delhaize offers a very decent jasmine/green tea in high quality tea pyramids, and I really enjoyed drinking it. Maybe not as good as the jasmine tea I once had in a tea house in one of the gardens of Suzhou, but when you just want to make yourself a quick cup, this is a sure pick!

Flavors: Green, Jasmine

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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This tea made my day beautiful……….Awesome

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70

A friend kindly sent me a sample of this. I really like the idea of pairing blueberry and currants — but neither is coming through strongly here. I get a hint of the currant, but I don’t think I would have guessed blueberry if it wasn’t in the name. I guess the acai is responsible for that hint of bitterness. Though I’m not that crazy about white tea, I think it’s a good choice here, as anything stronger would overwhelm the fruit flavors. Overall, not a must-have, but still a pleasant lightly-fruity tea.

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drank Earl Grey by Pique Tea
576 tasting notes

I’m planning to do a fuller review of Pique tea, conceptually, when I review the sencha. However, I only had two packets of the Earl Grey and have now used them up, so I wanted to write this tasting note while my memory is fresh.

I don’t drink black tea much. I actually used this to make iced tea for my partner. Same recipe both times: honey in the bottom of a glass, add hot water and mix, add the powdered tea, add cold water, mix. It was quick, easy, and tasty. The bergamot is very notable. It’s not overwhelming or too tart, but it is about half the flavor. The other half is a smooth black base that isn’t particularly complex but makes for a solid iced tea. My partner was pretty pleased with it too.

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With around 6g of beautiful chocolate chunk, a 150ml celadon gaiwan with boiling temperatures, one quick rinse and 10-15s infusions counting up for about a dozen times before one last 2m steep of happiness. This is such a smooth hei cha with a milky mouthfeel and enough cha qi to push you right into happy town. Beautiful large leaf and a dark orange liquor and sweet bamboo flavor notes. Great tingling sensation on the tongue. Traditional methods often add dairy and sugar or salt but personally I love this just the way it is. One of my favorites from Dark Matter 2016.

https://instagram.com/p/BExNg_uBUm6/

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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79

12:20 am Thursday Indianapolis, IN

This tea soothes every fiber of my body.

I enjoyed it western style with a tsp of vanilla syrup.

Although this tea is good, and the bergamot flavoring is definitely a high quality (the smell in the bag is powerful) I believe I like the flavor of the snails themselves better and would have liked this tea more without the essential oil part. Lucky for me Whispering Pines offers Golden Snails in a more traditional style. Along with that, the tea was astringent. The level of astringency wasn’t a deal breaker but it was noticeable and started getting worse after the 2nd or 3rd cup. Next time I will make it gongfu style.

Lastly, I feel like this tea doesn’t have as much stamina as similar teas I have tried. To me, it could have been better in that area. Those are the main reasons why I gave this tea a 79. I think when I try the plain golden snails the score will be closer to 90. :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec 3 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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32
drank Je t'Aime by Nina's Paris
475 tasting notes

So I got a new bag of this in the mail today, but in contrast to the last batch I had of this, which was rich and strong and delicious, this batch just tastes old. The flavoring seems to have completely faded away; even the base tea tastes weak and worn out. Considering what a knock out the base is normally, I’m pretty disappointed :(

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74

Got this with Dark Matter 2016. Used my whole 4.2g in my 60mL gaiwan with boiled water. I enjoyed this tea, but I continue to believe that I just don’t like shou as much as sheng or oolongs. Used more than I often would for a ripe, so I kept the steep times down a bit longer than usual, sub 10 seconds for the first 4 or 5 steeps. I only did one rinse, so the first steep was a little bit funky. By third steep, funk was mostly gone.

In the aroma of the wet leaves and the first 2 steeps I got hints of a sour almost fruity note that was barely there at all, but mostly this tea was an earthy, creamy sweet tea. Also got some mineral notes throughout most sessions and some brown sugar coming out in the final few steeps. Leaves were pretty small, but seemed mostly intact. Started out strong and dropped off quickly after around 9 steeps. Seemed like a good shou to me, but not sure I’d be inclined to pick anymore up myself.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Earth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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70
drank Oolong Formosa by T2
25 tasting notes

A good, dependable, if slightly underwhelming semi-fermented oolong.

Nose – Light. I get light stone fruit, floral notes and sugarcane. Very slight oolong butteryness and oats. Fairly characteristic of a ‘green oolong’.

Palate – Subtle and well balanced. Quite fresh and vibrant with light but lingering buttery sweetness with a touch of grassy zing. Handles three steepings, with a deeper, more vegetal flavour developing in the second steep and some of the more delicate notes dropping off by the third.

Colour – light golden green

Overall: Very pleasant but slightly unremarkable. A nice everyday drop and one for those who like their oolongs ‘green’.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sugarcane

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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An old acquaintance came by a couple of months ago to get a keyboard I was giving away. We hadn’t seen each other in about fourteen years. I gave her tea and we chatted a while, and then I start seeing boxes of tea in her Facebook page! Ha ha! Yay! A new recruit! She and her husband are such nice people. When you meet anyone who knows, that is the first thing they say…“Such great people!”

So after that day, she sends me a message that she was out of town and saw a spice company and got something for me. (I had also given her some Penzey’s cinnamon to take home to try.) She was letting me know that she was mailing the package.

I was expecting a small jar of spices or something, and pretty excited to try it, but lo and behold when it arrives it is a big box with a set of four Japanese style teacups and a parcel of this tea! Wow! Just wow! It was such a blessing and I could hardly believe it!

I am pretty sure this is the same tea that Tealux sells as the descriptions are identical. I looked at the Spice Merchants website and many of their teas have to be from Harney and Sons…same names and identical descriptions.

We have already finished half the package of tea! This is so mild that even my friend who isn’t fond of bergamot could hardly taste any, but liked it. She really got vanilla and fruity as her main impressions. Youngest seemed to like it a lot, too. I do smell the bergamot but don’t find it overpowering or sour here. I didn’t see the short steep time and probably gave it four minutes, but it didn’t hurt anything.

I may need to plan a little day trip to Wilmington to check this place out!

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