New Tasting Notes

100

This is without doubt one of the loveliest green teas I have ever tasted.

Using the outside part of one of Verdant’s testtube brewers, I poured out some water, and then decanted into another, this one containing a fairly generous mound of these lovely leaves. Dry, they have this lovely, sweet, grassy scent.

Within a couple of seconds, the water had become a genuine pale-green/yellow colour and smelled absolutely wonderful – so fresh, sweet and vegetal.

I decanted into a pitcher and poured some into one of those lovely Jingdezhen cups I have. The smell was really mouthwatering – vegetal, but still so sweet. On the palette, it really is like the description – so sweet and fresh, with those notes of peas and fresh greens.

This really is a lovely green tea, and its left a really delicious sweet taste in my mouth. After three brewers’ full, I’ve taken a break, but I’ll probably give these leaves another couple of infusions after my dinner. I imagine it would clear the palette perfectly!

Flavors: Grass, Peas, Sweet

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec

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Thank you again Shae! This is just one of the best teas I have ever had cold brewed. Sweet, slightly floral, citrus twist, smooth black tea base. Very well balanced.

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/05/25/tea-of-the-day-front-porch-special-from-piper-leaf/

Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine, Mint

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75

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Grass, Green, Lemon, Sweet

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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98

I love Longjing on a warm sunny day. There is something about the delicate refreshing flavors that just put me in good spirits! I opened the package and revealed long elegant leaves of vibrant green and yellow. These flat slates carried the aroma of fresh silky vegetables and a slight robust floral hint. I brewed these beauties up in my glassware to watch them dance. My tea pot gave off a spinach and chestnut aroma as the hot spring water touched the leaves. I filled my pot in three short bursts to agitate the delicate leaves. I always brew Long Jing with cool water (175F) to get the sweet flavors out. The taste was so refreshing. This brew has a delicate vegetal flavor with a honey nectar sweetness. I can feel my body relaxing with each sip. I was able to pull three steepings out of this brewe, and I deeply enjoyed each one.

https://instagram.com/p/3HAmXrTGf9/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Green Beans, Honey, Nectar, Smooth, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

love this tea. Still delicious after all this time. I really enjoy the bright fruitiness that this one has, that also has cacao notes running through it…sort of like a harmony with bass :) Yum.

78
drank Sri Lankan Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
567 tasting notes

Frank’s black teas are usually best at 2.5 minute infusions. But I think this one could have gone a little longer. It’s pretty calm for a chai. Maybe I didn’t grab enough spices from the pouch. I added some Truvia and now it’s more to my liking. The sweetness brings out a creaminess in the base that is quite yummy. It doesn’t seem to need milk at all. It could use a lot more spice though. This is like the calm, meditative, little sister of Chai tea. It’s similar but different. Much calmer, quieter, and sweeter (or at least sweeter now that I’ve added Truvia).

I went back to my tealog and read my review on 52teas’ other Pumpkin Chai. I seemed to enjoy that one better with a longer infusion, so I’ll definitely try that with this one too. I didn’t find that chai very spicy either and it did have a nice creaminess. I guess this one is pretty similar. In fact, the only difference might be the base. This is made with Pettaiagala Extra Long Leaf OP. The older chai was made with Premium Assam.

Anyway, I do like it; it’s just not what I expected. If I think of this as a creamy, slightly spiced tea, then I really like it a lot. Second infusion for 6 minutes was just as delicious. A yummy treat! I will enjoy my two pouches of this. Although I have to say that 0.5 oz of this one doesn’t go far!

Flavors: Creamy, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Jin Pin Black Tea by Yezi Tea
6157 tasting notes

mmmm morning tea is tasty tea! this continues to be a generally good cup of tea. Nothing extraordinary, but nothing bad either.

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79

Thank you TheLastDodo for the sample! I’m not too big on chamomile, but I was definitely curious about this one anyway. And, I promise that’s not a bad pun.

Steeped this one up hot last night; it’s a lot softer than I expected and very, very smooth. The chocolate is the focus here and it’s accented quite nicely by the cinnamon and the fennel which are subtle but add a delicate, sweet spicyness. The natural malt from the Laoshan Black is delicious; and the spearmint creeps in right at the finish to add a lovely, refreshing coolness. Also, thankfully, I can’t taste the chamomile!

All in all, this was a great tea for the end of the night! It had a rich flavour, but not an in your face one and with the chocolate and mint pairing it made me think of a really fancy, well executed tea version of an After Eight chocolate. Mmm!

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70
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
818 tasting notes

Much less muddy and more flavoursome with a shorter initial steep time. I did a 1min first steep, 2min second and 3min third—all three had a similar enjoyable flavour. Thanks Sil I appreciated getting to try this one!

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60
drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
818 tasting notes

I’m afraid that in a desperate effort to stretch out my small sample of this (I want to try it hot and cold!) I didn’t use enough leaf to get a good flavour in my hot cup. HOWEVER, I drank it in conjunction with eating some Lindt “zest of lime” chocolate so life is actually perfect? Never mind.

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60

The nutty flavors come through pretty strong, but they don’t combine very well with the tea., which is weakly flavored and gets a bit lost. There’s nothing really wrong with the tea, but there’s nothing particularly right either.

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56
drank Raspberry Birthday Cake by 52teas
2936 tasting notes

Not a fan of this one. The raspberry tastes fake, and there’s a play-doughy flavour going on as well. Maybe that’s the cake? I was really hoping for a tea along the lines of Raspberry Cream, but it was not meant to be.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Lariel of Lórien

Try it with chocolate tea, it works then.

CHAroma

Hmm, I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I thought it was pretty good. Maybe my palate is off since I haven’t had tea in so many months. I didn’t get anything fake or play-doughy. :/

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76
drank Eggnog Yunan by 52teas
2936 tasting notes

So far, this is the tea I’m most impressed with. A more solid base than the others, edging on peppery (I believe that’s how one of the other reviewers put it, and it seems fitting), combined with a bit of cinnamon, a good dose of nutmeg, and not enough creaminess for me. I’m also almost picking up a hint of smoke? Either way, I am enjoying this (even though it’s not entirely the right season in which to be drinking eggnog!)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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69
drank Marshmallow Assam by 52teas
2936 tasting notes

I have to agree with AJ (the other reviewer here) – this tea is surprisingly weak, especially for an assam. I LOVE the marshmallow flavour though, it just kills me that the base here isn’t robust and malty enough to back it up. Again, I had already overleafed (we’re talking 2 tsp/8 oz. here), so there’s not much more I can do. The second infusion was very bland, so infusing longer is unlikely to help.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

I usually find Assam a bit strong for my liking, so I’d probably find this one enjoyable. But I also thought weak marshmallow tea didn’t sound entirely worth placing an order.

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65
drank Chai-napple Gunpowder by 52teas
2936 tasting notes

Not bad; this tea tastes pretty much as it is supposed to. Very distinct pineapple, combined with a cardamom-heavy chai (which I like). The gunpowder base isn’t as smoky as I was expecting, but it works here. I’m a bit conflicted here, only because I prefer my chais with milk, but I don’t know how a) a green and b) a pineapple tea, would do with milk. I will perhaps try that combination out later though.

If a pineapple chai is something you’ve always dreamed of, this tea would most certainly fit the bill.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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64

Picked this one up in the recent 52teas clearance sale. I had high hopes, but unfortunately have noticed a trend of flavourings in these teas to be weaker than I’d expect, which definitely impacted the tea here.

First infusion – the mate didn’t have a huge presence due to the 2-minute infusion (probably good because it can be overwhelming), but I could taste distinct pecan nuttiness combined with caramel, and ended up reminiscing about Cashew Turtle. Such a delicious tea…. Sadly, the flavourings weren’t overly strong, and the base felt weak, so it wasn’t nearly as rich-tasting as I was hoping for.

Second infusion – Sadly, this mostly tasted like roasted mate.

Overall, I enjoyed the flavouring, but the base didn’t work here for me, and despite overleafing a bit, the flavouring strength wasn’t there. A good flavour combo idea, though.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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56

I’m having a late night cup tonight after finishing up my tea cabinet. I have been meaning to go through everything for a while, to take note of what I have and what I’ve finished. Not too much had changed, but I did have several teas to add and few to take off my list so I’m glad to have finished it.

I mainly chose to have a cup of this green tea because I wanted to snap a picture to add here since I couldn’t find one on Earth Fare’s website. I’ve had this a couple of times before and, as usual, this tea is bitter. I don’t know if it’s something I’m doing or if it’s the tea. Aside from the bitterness, it’s not so bad; it just doesn’t taste at all like the pomegranate it promises. Just as it did in earlier cups, it begins to taste better once it’s started to cool.

I do think this has potential if I could just figure out its secret.

Flavors: Bitter

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I got this as a sample provided by Wymm tea. I hate to be so late getting to it but family matters weighed heavy on me the last week.
I got this sample out and weighed it , 7 grams so I got out the gaiwan for it. I gave a quick rinse and let it set for about 15 mins.
Upon opening the gaiwan the aroma was really good. It had the aroma of wet grass and honey mixed. I gave a quick 5 second steep and started away to drink. It gave a nice light yellow color in the cup. I picked through the leaves letting it cool a bit. The leaf in this is really nice .Whole leaves with a couple on a stem with 2 leaves attached.
I got into the cup and the aroma was still hanging around. I sipped it and just an instant of tobacco bitter and then it went sweet really fast. No astringency or biting notes just soft, sweet and nice. No hints smoke or anything. Just a nice one. The sweet lasts a while on this and I can see why others noted apricots , they are in there with some nutty notes as well.
Nice well done.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Honey, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil should pull this one out to try tomorrow – you’ve inspired me :)
mrmopar

Sil, you should.I liked how quickly this went sweet.I actually did 2 days of it. I got weaker the second day but really nice overall.

Sil

oh nice!

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71
drank Coconut Ice by DAVIDsTEA
2716 tasting notes

Ah DAVIDsTEA, your love of coconut is so predictable. I’m pretty sure no one was surprised by the inclusion of an obviously coconut focused blend this season. What did surprise me, however, was the classification of this tea. It’s got honeybush listed as the first ingredient which to me says that it’s the ingredient in the largest quantity and yet this is still listed as a herbal/tisane and not classed as a rooibos/honeybush blend? That confuses me a lot. I’d really like a break down of the thought process that took place here.

Also surprisingly, I had the perfect excuse to do a cold brew for this one and instead I found myself brewing it up as a hot tea! It was alright; the most dominant flavor was the honeybush which again begs the question ‘why did you class this as a herbal!?" but it was pretty equally matched by the strong flavour of both fresh coconut and toasted coconut. I actually did expect a little more coconut flavor because DT had the biggest excuse to go all out here, but I’m happy with the level that’s present. Yummy! It definitely reminds me of coconut ice, minus the ice part. But the crisp, fresh flavor is really well conveyed.

Also, COCOA SHELLS! I’m really happy that DT hopped on board with the love of cocoa shells here because they do such a better job at conveying a smooth chocolate flavour than chocolate chips would have done; plus no oily chocolate goop! Their use here was definitely a smart decision, though I did find the flavour mild in comparison to everything else going on and I don’t know if the blend would have been lacking had chocolate not been included at all. I think they contribute more to the aroma than the taste itself.

I liked this one; probably would have liked it better cold but I wanted to switch things up a bit and be less predictable with my preparation. I’m sure I’ll happily finish off the rest of my trial sample though I do doubt I’ll pick more up afterwards because while this was tasty I just don’t think it was different enough to warrant a need for me. Coconut lover will be all over this one, though. I’m sure it’s gonna do really well.

CHAroma

No oily chocolate goop is definitely a plus!

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90

Many thanks to Inkling for sending me some of this! I have been wanting to try it for a long time now and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

For the first steep, I used 1 tablespoon of leaf for 8 oz of boiling water, steeped for 30 seconds. The scent of rich hot cocoa wafts up as soon as water touches leaf. The pale golden color of the brew belies the robustly chocolatey smell and flavor. This blend totally tastes like chocolate rice krispies! It’s fantastic. Except… now my tummy kinda hurts… maybe the base here is one of those black teas that hurts me?

For the second steep, I used boiling water again for a 45 second immersion. This still tastes like cocoa rice krispies, but weaker than the first steep. I added some brown rock sugar in an effort to boost the flavor, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. The third steep, which was 60 seconds long, suffered from the same problem. For the fourth steep, I just let it sit. It steeped for a bit over 5 minutes. Alas, it was still weak even with a rice milk boost.

Thankfully, I have enough leaf to give this blend another try. Next time I think I’ll go with a longer second steep, maybe 3 minutes. Overall this is a very enjoyable cuppa but so far only for the first steep.

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87

Thanks again for the sample, Teavivre! This will be the last of the new batch to review. The leaves here look wild and tangled, but I know the tea farmers put great care into picking the leaves… it just LOOKS like a mess! The bright green leaves have a sweet corn and cream fragrance. I used half of a sample pouch (so around 2.5 grams)… that seems to work for all of these big leafy green teas I’ve tried, if you are brewing in a mug. The pale brew is delicious – some more cream and corn to match the scent of the dry leaves, with some added nuttiness. I think this is what I imagine the flavor should be if I think “mao feng”. VERY delicious! The second steep wasn’t as good because of my own fault – I didn’t steep the perfect cup (the temperature should have been hotter and the time longer – not paying enough attention.) It is impossible for me to pick a favorite Teavivre green tea. I have loved all of them, both from this year and last year.
Steep #1 // half a sample (around 2.5 grams) for 11 ounce mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 32 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015

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65
drank Hard Candy by DAVIDsTEA
2716 tasting notes

Cold Brew Sipdown (118)!

This is the blend I was least interested in from the Summer Collection, but because it’s gotten the best reviews of the three new blends thus far I decided it’d be the one I started with for my own home prep.

Dry I think this has a really intense aroma, and it reminds me a lot of Lipsmacker’s Strawberry Kiwi flavour. It’s very over the top, and really candy sweet. And as long as this doesn’t mysteriously pick up a ‘waxy’ taste then I think that’s a good thing because candy is obviously what DT was going for. I’m not totally sure where I’m getting strawberry from though since that is definitely not one of the ingredients in this: but it’s distinctly strawberry and NOT cherry or cranberry.

Steeped up and strained this has a powerful flavour; it’s incredibly sweet with just a hint of tartness. The first thing I noticed was actually the absence of a flavor – coconut in this case. DAVIDsTEA is really heavy handed with coconut as an ingredient, in fact three out of five of this seasons blends have coconut as an ingredient! It’s only the returning blends that don’t, and I can’t help but wonder if they were maybe so popular because of the lack of coconut. I definitely anticipated the coconut to be strong though – and I’m not getting it at all. It’s really weird, actually. And thinking about it, I don’t remember seeing any coconut shreds in the measured out leaf either.

The first flavor I’m actually tasting though is the kiwi – it’s much strong than I thought it would be. It’s followed closely behind by very plump, juicy cherry, cranberry and – yes, strawberry notes too. It tastes A LOT like Strawberry Kiwi Lipsmacker, no matter how hard I try to shake the comparison. Another popular comparison with this one is Jolly Ranchers; both cherry and watermelon. I can understand the comparison, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. Although, it’s reminding me a lot of a summer cold brew favourite of mine: Prickly Pear from Tea Desire, and now that I’m thinking about it not only do both teas have intense kiwi flavour but Prickly Pear also has a rich melon flavour so maybe I am subconsciously drawing melon comparisons too.

I may be the first ‘negative’ review of this one though; while I didn’t think it was bad I did think that ultimately there was too much going on about about half way through my cold brew I was just getting really sick of the intense sweetness and artificial fruit flavours. I get why it’s getting good reviews so far, it’s different from a lot of other tisanes from DT; but I’d call myself neutral at best. It’s not going to be a restock for me.

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