New Tasting Notes

87

yep this is delicious for me at 3 mins. Recommended 5+ mins is just too strong a cup for me.

Sakura Sushi

One of my most favorite breakfast teas!

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70

This is a little bitter hot; I recommend it iced.
The iced version brings out the sweetness in the strawberry and dials back the bitter note of the rhubarb (?). The yogurt lingers on the tongue and is tasty. It’s a little too sharp to be my go-to, but I do really enjoy it.
Two friends tried this with me. One liked it hot AND iced. The other straight-up hated it. Thankfully, the friend who likes it best is the one who owns it.
This tea reminds me of the type of person who is generally great but sometimes feels the need to “tell it to you straight.” And you aren’t sure you wanted that friend to tell you that you looked fat in those particular jeans. Or that your your partner needs a haircut. Or that your dog barks too much. Like, they’re RIGHT, but I’M NOT READY TO HEAR THAT. Dial back on the SASS.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Strawberry, Yogurt

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82

drink drink drink. love work from home days because man, i need a little relaxation in my days. Long weekend coming up so i just need to get through today. Started the morning off with a couple from bellocq since i’ve got a bunch of teas to add to my cupboard from VariaTEA :) Still enjoying this one, though there’s that underlying oolngy note heh

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100

Brenden gave me a 5g rolled ball of this to try out (The Spring 2016 harvest, I imagine). And holy cats this is good. It has a very sweet syrupy scent to it mixed in with the malt. Almost like a pancake and syrup breakfast. The taste is just as good. While not quite as sweet as the scent on the nose, it still has that signature malty sweetness. I would venture to say the taste of it is close to a honey than syrup. Still delicious either way. And it lasted a good 6 or 7 infusions with solid flavor while brewing gongfu style. This is what I look for in a black tea.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Maple Syrup

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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83

I had to guess which Tieguanyin I was sent in the 5 for $5 deal, and judging by the flavor profile, I guessed it was this one.

Flowers, but not really a specific one that I can identify. A light and dewy kind of flower. There’s a hint of vegetable in there as well, maybe spinach.

Enjoyable, but not my favorite.

Edit: It becomes a sort of creamy jasmine in subsequent steeps. It’s kind of nice. I gave it a couple of extra points for that.

Flavors: Creamy, Jasmine, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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74

This tea, despite being the cheapest tea in my Yunomi order (I think anyways) was quite tasty. The main area where I noticed a difference was longevity. With all the other teas in this box so far, I’ve been able to get at least three really tasty steeps, whereas this one was basically just the first steep. Yes, I drank the next couple after it, but they paled in comparison.

So, that representative first steep: I used 5g with 175F water for 1m as recommended on the package. The brewed leaves smelled grassy and sweet with a touch of astringency. Basically like a sencha but not quite as nutty I think. The flavor was good, but unexpected. I got grassy sweetness with the unmistakable aftertaste of caraway seeds (the little seeds in rye bread). It was weird. I don’t know if it was a trick of the mind and flavor association, but the tea started tasting a little bready about halfway through the cup. This first steep had not detectable astringency. In my second session, I did a longer first steep at 90s. I felt this ruined the tea lol. Failed experiment. With that longer first steep I got a decent bit of astringency and didn’t get the cool caraway flavor.

In both sessions, my subsequent steeps were much flatter in flavor with a pretty prominent bitterness. The second steep did still boast a slightly sweet grassy aftertaste, but it was unremarkable.

I almost wrote that this was a lower tier of tea than the rest of what I’ve been drinking, but corrected myself, remembering that this is a “raw” tea. Having looked that up, it seems to mean unsorted, so there’s still all kinds of stuff like stems and parts of the leaf not usually used in sencha still in there. It’s interesting to be able to drink something at this stage of production. And while it was good, I think that a direct comparison with a finished and/or blended sencha makes it obvious why production usually goes further than the aracha stage.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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84

It’s funny that reading the other reviews, there are a couple comments about the base being really strong on this blend. I found the base to be rather watery tasting. But since this was a secondhand purchase, I don’t know how long the leaf has been sitting in its little baggy.

Other than that, I enjoyed this. The maple is strong, and you can never go wrong with a nice maple flavor. The cinnamon is the next strongest flavor and pairs well with the maple. I suppose I chose to drink this this morning because I wish fall were here, and the maple cinnamon is doing its best to help me pretend. There’s a buttery chocolatey kind of aftertaste too.

Maybe my palate is filling in the likely pairings, but I might taste a bit of clove? It’s nice, whether it’s there or not. The cinnamon sticks and the pumpkin sprinkles were a nice touch to making this blend fun.

Flavors: Butter, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Maple

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Passion by T2
1 tasting notes

This tea is surprisingly tasty with a spoon of honey, giving it a spicy sweet aroma and taste. This has become one of my teas, which has compelled me to make sure that this tea gets a better rating then it already has.

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80

I was rummaging through the GCTTB for something non-caffeinated when I came across this. My only real exposure to mullberry is eating the dried fruit in snack mixes and hearing my freind’s story about making herself sick from eating too many fresh ones when she was visiting Asia. A quick Google revealed that (aside from being silkworm food) white mullberry is touted as a means of helping regulate blood sugar. While I’m not one to buy into the latest ‘natural’ health fad it isn’t half bad just for drinking.

The smell is very vegetal and distinctly “green” much like an actual green tea, the flavour is actually quite tea like as well, though it’s more reminiscent of a roasted green oolong, particularly since a distinctly sweet note comes out after the brew has a chance to cool. I actually found it really enjoyable. I’d recommend this for someone who wants a drink that’s tea-like without any of the actual caffeine.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Ceylon #1 by thepuriTea
5 tasting notes

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drank Rhubarb Spritzer by Tealish
2695 tasting notes

I am like 95% sure this is the tea I set up to cold brew last night. I left it for 24 hrs but now I am confused since this is very sweet and shouldn’t rhubarb be tart/sour? Shouldn’t the hibiscus and rose hips contribute some sort of tartness because that is certainly lacking here. It’s like drinking berry syrup and some sort of artificial sweetner. Blech. I will not be cold brewing this again but I will also hold off on rating until I can experiment a bit more.

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90

My first oolong! Very aromatic and full-flavored. I brewed with a gaiwan and 95 C water, short infusions. Roasty, toasted-rice body, almost reminiscent of a genmaicha, with notes of sweet peach and honey. Long finish. Slight astringency which was not unpleasant, may have been user error as a result of high water temperature.

Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Peach, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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74
drank Mango n' Friends by TeaTaxi
2695 tasting notes

This is very similar to DAVIDs Mango Fruit Punch. Very similar, though this may be sweeter. And I have A LOT of Mango Fruit Punch so this sample is certainly enough for now. Always fun to try new things though.

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62
drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
2695 tasting notes

I am trying to work my way through some of the older teas, especially those that I am not loving anymore so when I decided to make an iced latte, this seemed like it could be a good choice. The milk might help coax out the creme brulee flavor and the latte format uses a lot of leaf.

Well, leaf got used but my other hope was a bust. No creme brulee flavor here. It seemed so on point when I had it the first couple of times but now each cup seems to get worse. There is notes of caramel at times but there is a metallic bit to the rooibos base that seems to get more prominent with age. The whole thing just seems very artificial and just not great. Luckily, there isn’t too much more leaf yet so I should get through it soon enough.

Evol Ving Ness

This one even when fresh did not creme brûlée me.

VariaTEA

I found it inconsistent at first and since then it just seems to have declined. That’s why I want to just finish it up and be done with it.

Fjellrev

Yeah, this one was kind of weird for me.

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A late afternoon tea session that went into late evening.

Dry leaf aromatics like fresh baked bread and roasted coffee beans. The liquor, a beautiful golden yellow hue, was just simply smooth roasted dong ding goodness. Some roasted peanut notes with extremely subtle florals trying to peek through.

6.6g, 100ml Purion, 190F with a 30s first, 10s second and climbing in 5-10s intervals from there.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BHQAJpQBDVQ/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BHQmbhKhdyb/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85
drank GABA Black by Mandala Tea
318 tasting notes

Another sample from my recent order. GABA is not really something I’ve heard about, so I went in with no preconceptions. The dried tea leaf looks like little pellets, and the liquor brews up to be a light golden color. It’s honey-sweet, with a touch of ripe fruit, maybe plum or muscatel. On the second steep, the honey note takes over completely. This is a very light-bodied, smooth tea. As to whether it has a calming effect, it’s too early to say, but it definitely doesn’t have much of a kick as most other black teas, and is a nice cup to enjoy slowly.

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