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40 Tasting Notes

73
drank Earl Grey Russian by The Tea Table
40 tasting notes

Really quite sweet. The bergamot is there, but the orange and clove are what really come through for me. Probably the least “Earl Grey” of any Earl Grey spin offs I’ve seen. A good, enjoyable tea, but nothing I feel the need rush out and force people to drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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91

Up from the depths and rolling (momentarily) out of the gutters. I’m back to smoking cigarettes, the dreads were cut last week, new job started, leaving the bookstore behind for good in a matter of days. These last eight months have not been kind. Trouble at every turn, mistakes were made, both lessons and love forgotten. Odd winds are blowing in, carrying the faint smell of new beginnings. As anyone who’s seen a storm roll in knows, a light breeze can turn into a thunderous affair before anyone’s had a chance to realize what has happened.

Many things went awry in the time I’ve been gone, and one that I’ve missed the most is tea. You see I don’t handle heat all that well. As the temperature rose and the madness I try so desperately to keep at bay with it, this drink we love so much was cast aside and forgotten about. Too hot I told myself. You don’t have the time. You don’t really want iced tea. You’d rather drink gin. Lots and lots and lots of gin. Who would drink that scalding lettuce juice when you have this beautiful clear nectar dancing among tonic water and dashes of lime. The cool glass sweating so beautifully. Reminding you that she holds the key to relief from the warmth that is trying most successfully to smother you.

Well now. That temptress winter is approaching, and an increase in financial status is coming by to say hello, so what better way to greet them than with your old, neglected, yet ever faithful friend tea? After a few steepings of the Earl to talk to some sense into yourself, you know what to do. You know exactly will help set you back on a more satisfying path.

A kiss. Not just any kiss though, not for you. You’ve always got to do things the hard way. That’s always been your problem. Well go on, you’re in luck. You know exactly where to find her. Every time you walked by that cabinet you heard her song. Faintly creeping out like a distant memory just lingering. Now though it’s picked up. Louder, sweeter, more enticing. It’s time again to embrace the Mermaid’s Kiss.

(Yup, still wonderful. A few steepings were greatly appreciated while watching Deathly Hallows part 2.)

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94

Still wonderful. Time is taking it’s toll, as these beautiful tins aren’t exactly air tight, but it still tastes magnificent none the less.

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95

So a fair bit back, I just so happened to be the lucky winner of Teavivre’s Facebook contest. The timing was amazing because I had been planning on placing an order for this tea and a few others, but the day I was going to do so just happened to be the day I got a call that my debit card had been stolen. A day or two after was when Angel informed me of my good luck.

The dry leaves are amazingly tight little balls of dark green goodness stripped with the occasional bit of light green, just waiting to explode. There’s a very clear vegetal scent here. Once brewed though, the only thought that comes to mind when I smell the leaves is good, sugary, sweet southern greens. I’d like to pick out specifics for you, but that’s the total package, and you just have to know that taste/scent to know what I mean. Delish.

The tea is super smooth with a nice heavy mouth feel. This is one of those teas that I (literally) end up chewing. As many have stated, the milkiness isn’t super pronounced, but as a lifelong skim drinker, I tend to prefer a more subtle taste when it comes to milk. I’m loving the buttery vegetal taste with hints of sweetness coming through.

This tea is wonderful, and certainly warrants a purchase.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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71
drank Blue Mango by Tropical Tea Company
40 tasting notes

This is so much better iced. I did enjoy it hot, but I probably won’t ever drink it hot again after having it iced. The flavors are so much cleaner and more prominent. The mango and pineapple seem far crisper when iced. The flavors don’t completely overwhelm the green tea base, but they’re certainly the star of the show. I did add a couple of teaspoons of sugar. It probably wasn’t needed, but the thought of unsweetened iced tea just sort of confuses me still.

This will most certainly be a staple in my cabinet.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

This was my favorite tea from Tropical Tea Company.

Blake

At this point it may be mine. I still need to try some others I’ve got, re-evaluate a few, and a couple I’ve got I think will be better served iced. I enjoyed this well enough warm, but wasn’t in any rush to have it again. Not that I was avoiding it by any means, but it just didn’t have that “you need to drink me!” factor. Iced it really is another thing altogether.

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86

So I went for a second steeping, and found it pretty flavorless. Granted, I did go pretty bold on the first steeping, so I’m really not surprised. As a result, I decided to dump some gin in and see what happens. At first I took a small glass and just mixed the two with a two to one tea to gin ratio. The tea was too flavorless and definitely still too hot. I could smell the alcohol evaporating (and I shed a tear). Also, the gin just blared through. It really didn’t even taste watered down at all. I felt like I was just drinking hot Seagrams.

As a result, I gave the rest of the tea a minute to cool while I handled some laundry, and then went ahead and dumped the rest (10-12 oz’s maybe?) over some ice. A liberal amount of honey, a splash of Rose’s Lime (because I’m too lazy to juice real limes right now), maybe 2 oz’s of gin and I got to shaking.

Not too shabby. I can actually taste the tea itself, and the Rose’s and honey seem to bring back that citrus cream flavor. I can’t taste the gin at all, which is a bit of a bummer, but because I used cheap gin, it’s not an awful thing.

This small victory has brought about a new challenge. My summer goal is to create a worthy gin and tea cocktail. So far, all I’ve found is from actual mixologists using tools and ingredients that most of us probably don’t have on hand. I want to create a tea based cocktail that the average tea loving drunk could prepare with items they most likely have on hand. It’ll start with cheap ingredients until I start to narrow down the basic idea, and eventually I’ll come up with a top shelf version using Hendricks Gin (hands down my favorite thus far) and a tea yet to be named.

(Note that this will probably never come to fruition, but it’s my next distraction)

Dylan Oxford

This tea offends me… BRING IN THE LIQUOR!

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86

Well this is rather odd. I know for a fact I drank this tea and wrote up a tasting note. Weird.

I’m sure Dylan and MIssy sent this because they’re familiar with my love or various EG’s. This is intriguing. I’ve avoided any and all Ear Grey de la Creme because of my tumultuous and storied history with vanilla. I’m not sure how much I’d like other EGdlC’s, but I’m really enjoying this one. The creamy scent coming from the bag is delicious, but worries me a bit because of the vanilla. The strong citrus smell tag teaming it does boost my confidence.

So I have to wonder how much of Dylan’s review is affecting me here, as lime is definitely the primary taste I’m picking up. It’s like lime dipped in buttery creme. With the sweetness of the lime on the front end, the vanilla is blended to come across more like creaminess than vanilla. I honestly don’t even recognize it as an Earl Grey until the end when bergamot pops back up to remind me that it’s actually his show after all.

All in all, it’s an extremely smooth and interesting take on EG that has me excited to not only try other versions of EGdlC, but also try other offerings from Mad Hat.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Missy

I did wonder if the vanilla was going to ruin it for you. I’m glad it didn’t.

Blake

I may exaggerate my distaste for vanilla just a bit. As long it’s relatively low key and blended well with other flavors, we’re okay. The problem comes in when I taste something and vanilla is the primary (or only) flavor.

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drank Gen Mai Cha by SerendipiTea
40 tasting notes

So here is another awesome sample from Dylan and Missy. This is actually the tea that sparked the super care package.

I get it. I totally understand Dylan’s fervor for this. I love the roasty foretaste. I always want to taste popcorn first, but am quickly hit with the reminder that it’s rice not corn. The slightly vegetal, yet still sweet green comes in to wrap things up. Together they make for a nice flavor combo. I really like the juxtaposition between the light feel of the green base with the hearty flavor profile of the toastiness.

I will surely place an order for this one. This will likely be a constant in my cupboard.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Missy

Yay! Glad you liked it.

Dylan Oxford

Glad to see you like it man! I’ve heard about Den’s teas being a really good gen mai cha as well, but haven’t tried it yet (though I think we sent some to… Krystalyn? so she could compare it? I can’t remember).

Kittenna

Spoiler! Spoiler!!

Kittenna

(Or maybe not, I suppose I’ll find out tomorrow? Wednesday? Sometimes this week? Come ON Canada Post!)

Missy

Lol it was a spoiler! I’m gonna have to keep a list of surprise teas. ;)

Dylan Oxford

Well, at this point, let’s hope I’m remembering correctly, and you won’t be horribly disappointed ;)

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91

Still absolutely delicious. I’m no longer picking up Pez (which is kind of a shame), so that was probably the only awesome thing that came from my plague. With that said, the flavor is still wonderful. I feel like I’m getting more of that slightly roasted oolong. and picking up less of the magnolia scent. There’s still plenty of the magnolia there though. It’s still wonderfully subtle while still maintaining a strong presence. Let me reiterate that I really, really, like the magnolia scenting. It’s a floral taste without coming across as being florally flavored if that makes sense. This was another “family visit taste test” and mom had the same reaction as a lot of the reviewers before A&D announced what the scenting was.

“It’s not jasmine, but it reminds me of it. …Magnolia? I can see that, but I never would have guessed.”

Mom and sister both liked it, but mom seemed to really enjoy it.

I’m leaving the temp on default because I don’t have a thermometer here and honestly have no idea what it was at.

Preparation
4 min, 45 sec
Dylan Oxford

Back among the living, are you?

Blake

Working on it. I’m literally not sure where the past couple weeks have gone. Gin, women, sickness (again), bars, and work have kept me off the internet. My life has been seriously lacking tea, and I’ve had my fill of all that nonsense.

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Dreaded, drunken, disaster.

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