New Tasting Notes

This month I’m going to start doing something that I have been thinking about doing for a quit some time. I’m going to pick all the teas I have from one vicinity & drink them on alternating days. I’m starting with this nan nuo mountain gu she, which I got from Sil, because I will also be accomplishing a sip down simultaneously, & that’s good too!

I have 4 other Nan Nuos in my collection, 3 from Jalam (from separate years, & maybe separate villages) & a 2006 from Life in Teacup. This one is from 2011.

So, mild, green, vegetal. It tastes kind of like a Kombu broth, with a pale hint of citrus in the aroma, not in the taste. It’s a nice follow up to the matcha I was drinking earlier.
However, it’s a little rough on my stomach, so I’m taking a break for now, and will revisit for more steeping action after lunch.

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71
drank Berry Poppins by DAVIDsTEA
15 tasting notes

It’s good, but it’s not over the moon. It’s pretty nice though, it has a hibiscus and apple base, but with a nice complexity. I don’t plan on buying any but it was good treat.

Flavors: Apple Candy, Hibiscus, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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When I was making a purchase at my local tea shop, Clipper Ship Tea Company the owner gave me a generous sample of this roasted Yancha. I generally don’t like roasted teas because they are often too roasty for my tastes. This one is nice however as it is a very light roast. The roast profile was noticeable in the first steep but not overpowering. It was slightly less by the second steep and is noticeably less in the fourth steep. I only gave this tea four steeps because I am always watching my caffeine and it is time to cut out caffeine for the day. I think it would have certainly gone two more steeps. I used a moderate amount of tea for the gaiwan because I did not want the roast to be too potent. I felt 6g for a 150ml gaiwan was enough although I know some people will fill the gaiwan to capacity.

I brewed this four times in a 150ml gaiwan with 6g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, and 10 sec. This company is rumored to soon have a website for those not close enough to stop by and I have always gotten some good tea, generally at reasonable prices. I’m not certain I would buy this one as I rarely want to drink roasted oolongs but it was nice.

Flavors: Roasted

Preparation
6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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87

Got this as a free sample in my last order. I feel like ginger tea is pretty straightforward, as long as there aren’t a lot of extraneous ingredients thrown in (I’m looking at you, lemongrass). So while there’s nothing particularly original about this ginger tea, it is a solid example of the genre, they chose a nice black tea for the base and the ginger tastes fresh.

It’s been so hot here I had to ice it, which worked pretty well. Nothing will save me from this temperature though, it feels like the whole landscape is toasting to a crisp. I keep painting irises (the real ones are completely withered) because they’re pretty easy and I am just too hot to concentrate: http://www.inprnt.com/gallery/danamartin/tropical-iris/

God, I wish it would rain or something.

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84
drank Melon Drop by DAVIDsTEA
15 tasting notes

A drop of delicious! I would definitely have it iced though. I iced it and steeped it for half an hour, SO GOOD! It tastes like a nice melon and kiwi juice. The taste is so indescribable you have to try it for yourself. It’s quite nice. Have it iced, it’s ok-ish hot. Got 100g!

Flavors: Apple, Melon, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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75
drank Elderflower Spritz by DAVIDsTEA
15 tasting notes

I actually like it! I wasn’t very enthusiastic to try it because it just seemed like white and green tea with flowers. But it’s actually really good. It has a nice sweetness from those flowers (peony flowers I think?). I won’t buy anymore, but I’ll finish my sample. Good job!

Flavors: Floral

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Perfect shade of green
Sweet reverie in my cup
Jade dreams realized.

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1
drank Strawberry Fields by DAVIDsTEA
15 tasting notes

YUCK! I had pretty high hopes for this tea. Black tea, strawberries, blackberry leaves, natural strawberry, sugar and cream flavouring, yum! But this just tastes so fake and artificial. Then it reminded me of awful strawberry or cherry cough syrup, YUCK! I tried adding blueberry agave but that didn’t make it any better. It also has this weird spice to it. Bad strawberry cough syrup with an odd spice, big thumbs down! Luckily the rest of the spring collection was great.

Flavors: Artificial, Strawberry

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

This is a delicious raw puerh that I bought about a year ago and stored in my pumidor. I am just now getting around to drinking it. It is too bad they are out of stock at Yunnan Sourcing USA or I would think about another. There was a very slight bitterness in the early steeps, not an abiding bitterness. It was smooth, very smooth. It developed into a nice sweetness that could be described as apricots or stonefruits. I don’t know if storing this for a year in my pumidor improved it as I hadn’t tried it before.

I brewed this ten times in a 150ml gaiwan with 6.6g leaf and 200 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. I didn’t use a great deal of tea for this one but still could have gotten at least a couple more steeps out of the leaves. They weren’t quite finished.

Flavors: Apricot, Stonefruits

Preparation
6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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100

Last night was my monthly tea inventory. Thanks to my continued sip down adventures, I’m down to 292 teas in my collection.
Due to my tea hoarding tendencies, I have 3 different versions of this tea:
Autumn of 2013 – The bag I’m currently working on
Spring of 2014
Autumn of 2014
This is what happens when you fall in love with a tea, & think you have to buy it relentlessly, over & over again, because once upon a time they ran out & I didn’t get to drink it for awhile. Although it’s not the same as that first season, it’s still pretty damn good! I haven’t bought any from 2015, because I need to drink what I have.
Part of me really wants to open all three bags, and do lots of side by side sipping sessions, to document how they differ from one another. But then I’d have 3 unsealed bags.
Anyway, this is a lovely tea, which I’ve described plenty of times already. It was my first tea of the day, and I’m also using it to refill my Kombucha crock today. I have plenty of it, and I bet it will be a wonderful brew!

Sil

autumn 2013 = great….the 2014 not as much :(

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75

I was expecting this to be pretty bad after reading the other reviews on it. It is true that 2014 was better. It had some nice chocolate notes whereas this one doesn’t but it’s still a nice malty black. I might add some chopped vanilla beans to it to see if I can get some chocolate notes out of it.

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79

This tea has a nice malty aroma. It has a light sweet taste with flavors of chocolate and honey wheat. It is a decent black tea, but it is more adequate than impressive.

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Wheat

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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83

as you likely know, i am NOT a fan of floral teas. This brew though? Really tasty! Not only is the colour superb, but for those that aren’t a fan of hibby, it’s not overpowering. I rather enjoy hibiscus, so no fear for me on that one, but with this blend it’s a really nice pop to the blend. I could see this being a really nice summer treat as a cold drink. Thanks again for the sample Will!

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81
drank Earl Grey by Bigelow
215 tasting notes

Backlog. Had this one yesterday early evening, after a LONG day at the zoo, in which we got completely drenched in a summer shower. So, after getting home and getting in some dry clothes, I reached for what I hoped would be a comforting pick-me-up. This tea, while not the tastiest Earl Grey I’ve ever had, certainly did the job. There was a hint of vanilla somewhere in there, though there shouldn’t have been, but it made it interesting nonetheless. I would drink this tea again, but won’t buy it to have in stock.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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37
I’ve had either really good luck with some Teavana teas (I really like their Pumpkin Spice Brulee) or terrible luck, as with this tea. The worst thing about Teavana’s teas is that they contain the nefarious artificial flavoring, even in teas that really shouldn’t have them like their traditional Earl Grey (it’s a sin against tea to not even use real Bergamot oil in your Earl Grey. I am not too impressed with caffeine-free herbal tea blend, because it hardly tastes like spiced apple cider, maybe some slight intimations of “Apple Cider essence” laced with some artificial flavoring to add an artificial boost. I am so glad this tea was on sale because any tea, featuring artificial flavoring shouldn’t be so steeply priced, in my opinion.

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Cloves

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drank Cup Cake by Tea Temptations
382 tasting notes

When the tea was really hot it tasted sort of thin, but as it cooled it became more full bodied and absolutely decadent. I taste marshmallow – I guess that is the crème brûlée. It also has a lovely caramel vanilla flavor. It’s like drinking a dessert that would have had hundreds of calories in it. This isn’t a chocolate cupcake, it is a vanilla cupcake – maybe a vanilla cupcake with caramel icing! The finish is long lasting, sweet and decidedly caramel. I don’t taste almond at all so it must just be in there supporting the other flavors.
Full review and photos: https://tealover.net/2015/07/tea-temptations-cup-cake/

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69

Thank you for the samples! I am opting to try these in the order i think i’ll like them the least :)`I am wholly not a fan of yerba mate, but i DO like the other ingredients in this brew.

Brewed up, while the colour isn’t very appealing, the aroma isn’t have bad. This one tastes largely like licorice root to me, with that sweetness from licorice being overpowering. It’s unfortunate because i think i’d rather enjoy this one a bit more if there was just a little less sweetness. Over all though, the ease of brewing this one, and the fact that it doesn’t have that yerba mate taste to it that i wholly dislike, means that it’s not too bad.

gmathis

Will be interested to see what you think of the green mint.

Sil

should be able to get to it today… trying them all today i hope since i was neglectful about being prompt with reviewing these for Will and i have the day off today. Plus then i can NOT add them to my cupboard haha

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70
drank Nilgiri Blue by The Tao of Tea
169 tasting notes

Sorry. I’ve been out of (brewed tea) commission for a while since I started a new job in April. I’ve been working long hours at an office where I haven’t time or an apparatus to brew and review new teas.

Enough with the excuses. Here I am, ready to get back into the swing of things by trying out this Nilgiri Blue tea that I picked up in the bargain bin at a local discount store.

When I opened the brown paper bag packaging (which a Teavana store associate once told me is a barbarous mechanism to store tender tea leaves – while she tried to sell me a thin metallic can for $12), a Darjeeling-like aroma wafted upward. I brewed the short mostly black leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees.

The brewed color was a deep reddish amber. The odor was mostly nondescript but slightly sweet.

My first few sips were not very powerful. After 1/3 of my cup was history, I began to discern a less-than-robust tea-like flavor with a faint sweet attribute.

This tea is not bad. It isn’t bitter. I just didn’t find it exciting or compelling (much like this review). The after taste had no astringency. It also was “ho-hum.”

I will drink this tea again but I won’t be brimming with anticipation to fire up the tea maker for it. Oh well. Can I take a nap now?

Flavors: Sweet, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Electric Lemonade by DAVIDsTEA
230 tasting notes

Dry Leaf Nose: Tangy lemon and ripe summer berries. Like a wonderful lemonade stand.

Liquor: Smells like sweet lemons with a splash of ripe strawberry. Deep orange yellow color.

Flavour notes: Lemonade flavors are very forward, and the fresh berry notes add sweetness in both the body and the finish. Not tart lemon or lemon zest.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Four Red Fruits by Twinings
215 tasting notes

Backlog.

I pulled out a bag of this a few days ago, because I wanted some caffeine and I wasn’t in the mood for something tart. I was afraid the water was too hot, but it was actually quite pleasant to drink. Definitely tart, though I couldn’t really pick out any individual fruit flavors, except maybe raspberry. Overall, I enjoyed it, but not enough to crave it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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