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20 Tasting Notes

71
drank Wuyi Ensemble by Adagio Teas
20 tasting notes

Not one of my favorites from Adagio’s oolong lineup. It is a fairly balanced oolong, but I tend to prefer the greener lightly oxidized varieties better. Still I would say it is above-average quality.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Japanese Green Tea by Ito En
20 tasting notes

I thought it was funny to see Kirkland Signature brand Japanese matcha/green tea until I noticed that it was actually Ito En rebranded for Costco. I’ve been very happy with most Ito En products in the past so I was excited to try it.

All in all, it isn’t that impressive, but it is still hard to beat for the convenience and price. The taste is a little bitter but I’ve rarely seen anything better in a bag or pouch.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80

Iced jasmine tea is a bit of a rare bird, but I think it is underrated and this is a great example. I find it crisp and refreshing, and not overly floral or sweet. Easy to pound on a sunny day.

A little expensive, but worth it compared to the over-sweetened crap that fills the aisles.

Preparation
Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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82

Probably my favorite bottled tea. Typically I don’t expect much from bottled teas but I’m a big fan of all Ito En’s white and green bottled teas in the Teas’ Tea line.

Vegetal notes of seaweed, grass, and spinach like a mild cold-brewed sencha. Crisp finish, noticeably free of any additives or sweeteners. I could drink this all the time, hot or cold weather. They are a little bit expensive (and hard to find) here in the US, but they are worth it over the syrupy sugar water that passes for bottled tea everywhere.

Preparation
Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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84
drank Green White by Ito En
20 tasting notes

Very impressed in this tea. I generally have very low expectations for bottled teas, but I loved this. Gotta be one of the very best bottled teas I’ve ever had. Light and delicate flavor is well preserved and not muted with additives or sweetness. Crisp and refreshing on a hot day, my only real complaint is that it is kind of expensive for something that I always drink down so fast. I also think it is kind of bold to offer a Chinese white blended with a Japanese green, which it seems isn’t commonly sold but I enjoy nonetheless.

Preparation
Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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79
drank Sencha Shot by Ito En
20 tasting notes

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I loved these. Very strong, but not like oversteeped sencha, it was more like a super-concentrated taste. Some astringency, but not really too bitter. Definite strong vegetal flavor typical of sencha.

I really like these as a quick pick-me-up on warm afternoons or mornings (I lived in Florida for a while where it is too hot out for hot tea by 7am). It is nice to just pound a cold shot really fast, much better than an acidic and sweet energy drink. It’s not world-class tea but what do you expect out of a tiny can?

I found these at Big Lots for $.50/can and I wish I had bought out their entire supply while they were still available.

Preparation
Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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70
drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
20 tasting notes

Pretty ordinary masala chai. Clear notes of pepper and citrus. Maybe a little more spicy than I like my chai—maybe from the cadamom?.

I tinkered with different times and temps and I found this one got really bitter and spicy if oversteeped. Better than grocery-store chai, but I’ve had better.

I have to admit that had pretty decent results sweetening it up with a bunch of honey and adding vanilla almond milk and ice on a hot stuffy afternoon.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Snowbud by Adagio Teas
20 tasting notes

Very light and delicate tea. I can see why so many reviewers are underwhelmed, but I enjoy this tea quite a bit. I definitely use more leaf with this tea (as well as longer steepings) than other similar teas. It can be overpowered by strong foods (or even milder foods), but I don’t mind this characteristic because I have other options if I want a stronger taste.

I think lighter white teas like this are great as a thirst-quenching iced tea for warmer weather.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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81

Very similar to white peony (bai mu dan) but slightly lighter and more straw colored. More delicate flavor and slightly less nutty and bamboo notes. It’s light body might deter some by I enjoy it, especially for its versatility: I think it is great for a crisp refreshing iced tea on a hot day, but also as a gently palate cleanser with a hot meal on a cold day.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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73
drank Jasmine #5 by Adagio Teas
20 tasting notes

This one is for jasmine lovers. I am a big fan of many floral teas, especially jasmine pearls, but I found this one a bit overwhelming. I imagine that for many that would be considered a positive trait, but found this tea was really only drinkable when blended with something else to balance out the flavor and aroma a little bit. No complaints about the quality of the tea itself though, so I would still recommend giving a shot if that is your style.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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Bellingham, WA