New Tasting Notes

70

Tea 4/6 from the fruit tea sampler I got off of amazon. I bought these teas with the intention of making pitchers of iced tea. For this tea, I stuck 1 tea bag in a 16 oz glass of water in the fridge for about 3-4 hours to cold brew.

The taste of this tea is mildly tart from the hibiscus with a bit of sweetness from the strawberry flavour. My husband swears he can taste a bit of floral in the mix, but I’m not 100% sure on that. The tea is not strong at all considering it’s a hibiscus tea. Overall it’s okay. Definitely like it better than the acai berry tea in the collection. I’ll prob use up the acai berry by mixing it with this tea. Otherwise, I don’t think I’ll repurchase this tea because it’s just okay and doesn’t wow me in any way.

Flavors: Strawberry, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 16 OZ / 473 ML

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95

This cake is simply mind-blowing, and is one of Scott’s best. One of my buddies had this in early 2014, when it was about 6 months old, and I bought one last October and still have about 150-200g remaining, so I’ve seen it change over the last couple of years. Throughout, it has been remarkably easy to drink, but has thickened and sweetened considerably this summer. It almost reminds me of a Taiwanese Oolong; there is very little bitterness, yet is cooling, it produces a thick, viscous soup with notes of vibrant, green spring vegetables. I like to make this one for people who are new to quality Chinese tea and Gong Fu.

Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Vegetal

jschergen

Always wondered how this was!

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75

I got deep and earthy notes from this one, with dark, dark chocolate when I sniffed the dry leaves. The cocoa and cardamom dust quickly drifted from the tea ball to diffuse from the tea. After steeping, the tea is a deep, rich, blackish brown. It’s definitely one of the darkest teas I’ve ever seen.

The taste is earthy (Any time I taste nuts – it’s always pecans – guess that makes me a true Texan _), too, with the cocoa just deepening the tea notes.

I’m not quite sure what I think of this tea, honestly. i like it, but I don’t think it’s one I’d reach for too often. It’s almost like it’s a little too dark for me. I might try it next time with a bit of milk and sugar, see how I like it then.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Had this last night, but the little stash in my metal tin is losing some flavour. Luckily, I have another stash saved in a heat-sealed pouch fresh from the vendor.

I think I’ll coldbrew the remainder in the metal container. I hope I like it that way!

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90
drank Spearmint Lavender by HEB
6 tasting notes

Simple and fairly plain- this is my go to tea for anxiety and really awful nights of insomnia. Literally is just lavender flowers and spearmint leaves in a pyramid tea bag. It’s perfect. It’s calming and soothing, and comforting in an uplifting way.

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80

Someone bought this for me because I was drinking the regular sleepytime every night to help me sleep and looking for something a little different. While the vanilla flavor definitely smooths out the herbal flavor of the sleepytime, which slightly disappoints me, I love this tea anyway. I drink it on particularly bad night because the added vanilla definitely helps me get to sleep.

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60
drank Darjeeling by Teapigs
1247 tasting notes

I’ve not been drinking many Teapigs teas recently – not because I don’t like them, more that there are so many other teas to try! I placed an order recently for some teaware, though, and took the opportunity to pick up a few samples of their newer teas. I’m a bit of a Darjeeling fan, although typically I prefer first flush because it tends to have less of a “metallic” tang. This one is second flush, but I’m still willing to give it a try. I used 1 bag, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a light golden brown, the scent mildly floral.

To taste, this one’s better than I was expecting. The main flavour is a mild floral, although not perfumey. I’m thinking orchid, perhaps? There’s also a very pleasant grapey, muscatel, flavour. There’s a light metallic tang towards the end of the sip, but thankfully it’s not too overpowering. Darjeelings that taste like tarnished metal are what I’m really trying to avoid when I pass over second flushes. This one is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency. It’s easy to drink, and really good with a mid-afternoon biscuit!

I used the rest of my sample (3 bags) for today’s cold brew, just to get the full effect. Again, it’s smooth, with no astringency, and has a mild floral flavour that’s pleasant and refreshing. More so cold than hot, I think. The muscatel flavour isn’t so noticeable brewed this way, but there’s also very little that tastes metallic, so it’s hard to complain. It’s a much milder prospect brewed cold – not tasteless, but certainly subtle.

I don’t mind this one as an occasional cup, although it’s not a tea I’d look to keep around in quantity. It’s a good everyday kind of Darjeeling – nice to drink but not especially remarkable. I’ll be sticking to my first flushes for “special” Darjeeling occasions, though.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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85

I have trouble sleeping and this is something I keep in my cabinet. I love it. It is a somewhat unique blend of herbs that all combine well. It’s different but tasty and relaxing and comforting.

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75
drank Green Tea by Lipton
6 tasting notes

Plain, boring, green tea. Which is exactly what I was looking for. Sure it’s not as high quality as other teas, especially loose leaf, but it’s cheap and convenient. It does get a bit metallic-y if you over steep it, but I don’t mind that.

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87

My brother purchased this tea for me in Austria while he was studying abroad. It is rather finely ground for a “loose leaf” and I had trouble brewing it because so much would leak through my tea ball. Eventually I found something to brew it in and found it a very lovely black tea. It’s not too terribly harsh, though I still prefer it with just a tiny bit of milk. It’s rather plain, but that’s ok with me. It’s a very good every day kind of tea.

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drank Sangria by Aromatica Fine Teas
278 tasting notes

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95

This is my favorite tea right now. It’s so comforting without being weak- unlike a lot of the other comforting flavors adagio offers. I was given the 3oz bag as a christmas/graduation present and happened to discover that it is particularly perfect on rainy dull mornings when you just want to stay in bed but you can’t. (It’s uplifting without being harsh.) I would drink it every day if I weren’t worried about running out of it before I can afford to order a 6oz tin.

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drank Irish Breakfast by Custom
216 tasting notes

I bought this from my favorite café in all of Baton Rouge when I was down visiting this summer… and I have no idea from where they source their tea. Sorry, unknown company!

I’m reviewing this but not rating because I had a rather different experience this time, because of an experiment I decided to try. A bit of explanation first: my sister came to stay for a couple of days, and while she was here she expressed an interest in having some flavored coffee. Not wanting to see her spend $$ at Starbuck’s (or, as Dave Ramsay calls them, Five Bucks), I agreed to pick up some flavored coffee creamer at the store we were headed to. She flew home yesterday, and now we have an enormous bottle of flavored coffee creamer (something we don’t normally keep stocked). So I was looking at it this morning and decided to try some in tea—specifically, this tea, since I thought it likely that the flavor would be strong enough to not be overpowered by the French Vanilla flavor. And I think I like the result.

It definitely has a different mouthfeel than normal (I discovered that the creamer my sister selected was non-dairy, which I would probably have objected to had I known, but it wasn’t marked very clearly on the bottle, and it was in the refrigerated section…). It’s a bit oily, surprise surprise, but I don’t find it unpleasant. The flavor is definitely on the astringent side, because again, the creamer was non-dairy, so there was nothing to cut the bitterness. However, the creamer did add some sweetness and smoothness that isn’t normally there, so one could almost call it a fair trade. I enjoyed it, and will probably do it again. :)

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

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81

Another day, another tea finished up. I think this is officially my oldest tea in the cupboard, including puerhs, so that’s nice as well. I really have enjoyed this one and will be drinking it all day today to get the most out of it. Always a fan of Mandala’s shou! :)

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sren

That does look disappointing.

Nichole

I agree. No tea fun there. You’ll have to let us know about the infuser tho. Looks kinda cool.

LiberTEAS

Speaking as a tea reviewer here, I have to agree that it is disappointing. I would have been really disappointed to receive this box when I was reviewing teas. The infuser is the coolest part of the box and I don’t use infusers so even though it would be cool, it would be a non-essential item.

Marzipan

Hopefully the review came across as fair, it’s tough to write them when there isn’t much good to say.

Nichole

I think it did. I saw the site and saw what you received. I would have reacted the same way.

sren

Yes, and also fair to potential consumers! I think you were kinder than I would have been. Seems like the target audience are those who don’t know much about tea.

boychik

You are very kind in your review. First box must be amazing, they failed :(

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drank Maple by Sunshine Cottage
447 tasting notes

Thanks to the lovey and amazing Marzipan for this delight. Some of the teas from Sunshine Cottage I have really enjoyed and this was one I’d had my eye on.

Unfortunately, I think I bumbled the steeping parameters or overleafed because I was greeted with an overwhelming bitter tea and none of the sweet maple notes I was hoping for. I could taste very very faint hints of a sweetness but I can’t say it was a maple flavor or not. OOPS! Teaches me to brew up a tea before deadline time.

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90

Which thank you am I on, Liquid Proust?

Anyway, brewed this one up this morning and shared it with my mom because she loooves peach. The presentation is beautiful, with some orange-pink petals laying on a bed of jade dong ding.

Peach is the distinct smell and flavor of this one, with some minor floral blossom accents in this clean, fresh cup. It reminds me of Georgia in spring. I did a ten second wash of it, sipped it, then decided it would be better western style. I brewed it the first time three minutes, and the peach was mostly in the aftertaste, and definitely lingered. It was a little bit light for me, but I really liked how refreshing it was. My mom loved it the way it was. On steep two, the dong ding (tung ting) really came out to sweeten the cup with it’s own peach like character. Afterwards, I did feel a little dehydrated, but I felt like I just ate a peach rind. The third steep is very floral, and more peach blossom than peach with some sweetness left over, though light.

It’s tea that my mom would purchase for regular drinking, and I might too. It’s a solid, good tea. I would rate it 88 based on my preference for slightly stronger teas, but when I’m in the mood for a light one, this one is perfect. My mom, though, would rate it as a 92. She likes her teas lighter, and this one is great for her. Steep two was the best.

Flavors: Floral, Peach, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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88

Oh Lordy, what a value! Buttery, sweet, and cooling, the Bangbao village is exactly what I look for at the mid-price range. There is a pungent, floral profile, with just enough kuwei to give it a little edge and keep my attention. I find myself appreciating the olive-oil like viscosity of the soup, the hints of vanilla, and the enduring after-fragrance that this tea leaves. Another beautiful cake from YS.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Vanilla

jschergen

Appreciating all the notes you’re putting out there for Yunnan Sourcing productions. Really under-reviewed teas!

Jake Dirnberger

Yeah I got 250g of samples with my last order… I also couldn’t believe these weren’t more reviewed, I appreciate your appreciation!

jschergen

Yeah, seriously. I’ve had maybe five or six from 2014, but without Hobbes and Jakub regularly reviewing them it’s a pretty unsurmountable task to sort through their stock!

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88

Bought this a while ago and finally giving it a go. I mostly drink oolong but have been somewhat hesitant to buy them from Yunnan Sourcing as I think they are really average teas and not much definition. That said I do like all they offer in greens and pu erh, that’s where they shine. This tea is from the US website and must of been sourced prior to the Taiwan Sourcing site going live.
Dry leaf has usual floral hay scents, the liquor is deep golden with a definite creaminess, floral bouquet and mild char from the roasting. You can get a hint of chocolate from the first couple brews as the website suggests. After the first 6 steeps flavors drop off but still the structure is there in the viscosity and color. I played it out for a total of 12 steeps.
Now I have to re-examine my purchasing to include more oolongs from USUS.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
TeaBrat

do you have a favorite vendor for oolong?

BigDaddy

For Wuyis and Phoenix oolongs Dragon Tea house, Tea Drunk, and Tea Urchin. All have top flight teas. Anxi oolongs I get pretty much from all types of vendors as it is one of the most consistent varieties, Aroma Te Shop has some under the shelf stuff that’s drop dead gorgeous. For Taiwan oolongs Song Tea, Taiwan Sourcing and a local shop in Flushing at New World Mall Yun Xiang. The proprietor is from the mainland but the store is mostly Taiwanese teas, she also has some of the best green jasmine I’ve ever had. Hope that helps.

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drank Peppermint by Celestial Seasonings
278 tasting notes

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95

Very delicious and absolutely faboulous.

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81
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
2885 tasting notes

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81
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
2885 tasting notes

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