20 Tasting Notes

98
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
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80
drank Yunnan White Jasmine by Verdant Tea
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I received a sample of this one with my recent (and first!) Verdant Tea order, and brewed it last night. It filled the kitchen with the jasmine aroma and reminded me and my family of summer (we have “raat ki rani” plants in the backyard that bloom on summer nights). I could still smell traces of it this morning.I’m giving this a high rating because it is an excellent jasmine tea, both aroma- and taste-wise.

However, to be perfectly honest, this tea wasn’t for me (though I’m glad I tried it). I now know that I prefer green tea with jasmine to white tea with jasmine. The green tea leaves hold their own a bit better against the jasmine. I love the delicate, light flavors of white tea and unfortunately, I couldn’t find any of them in my infusions of this tea. The jasmine was just too overpowering for the white tea to stand out.

I don’t think Verdant Teas has any green tea with jasmine at the moment. But I would be eager to try that if they do end up stocking it in the future. I have been impressed with every tea in my order that I’ve tried thus far.

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75
drank Pouchong by Adagio Teas
20 tasting notes

Waxing nostalgic this evening, as I brew and sip the last of this sample…

It’s funny how one’s tastes change. I first started drinking and discovering tea about five years ago. I heated my tap water via the microwave. I bought the Adagio steeper (the one that presses down and releases tea over a mug), and marveled at how the leaves swirled around inside. I didn’t do much with straight teas then. I was more drawn by the flavored teas and blends, and tended to add sugar, honey, and/or milk with nearly every tea I drank. I think my family thought it was a phase.

But it wasn’t. As I continued to drink tea, I branched out to other companies, like H&S, DavidsTEA, etc. Those (particularly H&S) have been staples in recent years. I ventured into straight black teas, and then flavored oolongs, and finally onto straight greens and whites. I own an electric kettle, which I fill with filtered water. I drink most of my tea without additions now.

In November, I ordered a few straight teas from Adagio for the first time in about four years. I can appreciate Adagio for getting me hooked on loose tea. I thought it would be like coming home. So this is an unflavored oolong and I like the flavor. It doesn’t seem to have much of an odor. It’s one I would order again, just not from Adagio. I’ve noticed that the leaves just aren’t high quality. Both the black teas and white teas I ordered came with broken leaves. It makes me a bit sad that I won’t be ordering from Adagio again, given that it was my first love and introduction to loose tea. Then again, I guess I should just remember the good times we had, and thank my stars that I didn’t spend more money on a relationship that wasn’t meant to be long term.

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55

I bought a box of this last week when I finished up my Twinings Peppermint bags. I remembered that it received satisfactory and downright glowing reviews here on Steepster a few years ago, and decided to try it out.

Now that I have – a few times now – I find that I don’t particularly care for it. Its odor reminds me of potpurri and tasting it reinforces the image in my mind (not that I know what potpurri tastes like…). Adding at least two teaspoons of sugar helps me get it down but I’m trying to consume less sugar, so that’s not really that helpful.

I have 18 bags left and I think it might end up being pushed to the back of the cupboard (there will be a post going up in the swap category soon if you’re interested in taking some/all of this off my hands).

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85
drank African Autumn by Harney & Sons
20 tasting notes

I’m surprised that this tea has low ratings as it’s a favorite of mine. I hope that doesn’t imply anything negative about my palate, but to each his own, right?

One of my favorite coffee shops makes this as a tea latte so on my last H&S order, I bought a tagalong tin to experiment. It wasn’t very hard to emulate – in fact, I discovered one could just add milk without going down the latte route and it tastes roughly the same. It’s not exactly the same because the coffee shop puts flavored syrup in its tea latte but now that I’ve made it at home a few times, I like it more without the flavoring.

I like this one as both a hot tea latte and as an iced tea latte. I’ve never had the tea on its own, so that might be one thing that differentiates me from the other reviewers. With the “latte”, I can taste the cranberry orange-ness but the milk adds a bit of creaminess, which is quite nice. I like to drink it as a dessert tea for times when I’m trying to limit my caffeine and/or sugar intake but am still in the mood for something that tastes indulgent.

Sadly, I only have one more bag left of this. But on my next H&S order, I’ll definitely be restocking and buying a bigger size of this tea.

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drank Decaf Earl Grey by Harney & Sons
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90
drank Pomegranate Oolong by Harney & Sons
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I love love love this tea, it’s one of my very favorites. It is delicious straight either hot or iced or, as I often get it from the coffee shop, as a tea “latte”. Today was an iced tea latte sort of day.

This needs to go straight to the top of my shopping list as this should really be one of my cupboard staples.

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75
drank Blackberry Sage by The Republic of Tea
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Figured out how to make iced tea (it requires more planning than I expected), and ever since, I’ve been enjoying this one. It’s not as naturally sweet as when it’s cold-brewed, but once I add sugar or honey, it tastes a lot like the way the coffee shop makes it. My bank account is grateful I’ve discovered a cheaper alternative.

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75
drank Blackberry Sage by The Republic of Tea
20 tasting notes

Despite the cool temperatures outside, I haven’t been in the mood for hot tea. I bought this tea a few months ago. One of my favorite coffee shops stocks only Republic of Tea varieties and I’ve had this tea several times there. I ordered it hot a few times, but the blackberry flavor comes across very artificial and a bit too heavy-handed when made that way. I switched to iced on the recommendation of the barista, and it was delicious. Decided to purchase it so I’m not stopping by the coffee shop every day. I can save a few dollars if I’m making it at home for myself.

Last night was the first time I made it. I didn’t have ice at home so I cold-brewed a few bags of this tea in a pitcher overnight, and drank it in the morning and with lunch. The blackberry flavor comes out really well. It was naturally sweet, so I didn’t have to add any sweetener – definitely a plus as I’m trying to watch my sugar intake currently.

I still like iced better than cold-brewed, at least for this tea, so I’m going to pick up a few ice trays from the store soon. I look forward to enjoying this during the actual hot days of summer.

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