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354 Tasting Notes

74
drank Russian Evening No. 50 by Kusmi Tea
354 tasting notes

Sipping this again, I’ve been getting this tinge of bitterness that’s sort of synthetic and reminds me of decaffenation. I know it isn’t, and the sharpness also makes me think of Darjeeling. Also, there is definitely Keemun in this; I’m getting that very slight breath of nut and smoke I personally associate with it.

Anyways, flipping through Kusmi’s teas as I drink this, I’ve concluded that Kusmi’s unflavoured blends have many more strongly disappointed reading notes compared to their flavoured’s. From my (meagre) experience, they definitely seem to put a little more effort into their flavoured blends.

This isn’t BAD, though. It’s a little sharp, but also goes well with orange. I’m beginning to run low on it, and I doubt I’ll get it again—I’d rather try some of Kusmi’s OTHER teas—although I hate that their tins are so permanently decorated. If I want to reuse it, in my obsession I’ll have to tape over all the pre-existing labels.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Banana by Great Wall Tea Company
354 tasting notes

Hot banana just smells bizarre. This was gifted as a sample during my latest visit (I was there when they carried in a new shipment, and this was one of the new teas included). I don’t know if I’m liking it. Dry, the smell was just “dried banana” (my dad used to dry fruits). Again, brewed, hot banana smell. It’s just odd.

The taste of the banana is very mild—barely there. It does come back in the aftertaste a bit, and there’s a natural sweetness that lingers. I probably won’t buy it, but I’ve got a good sized sample to play around with.

Edit: There was another, odd, drying taste that I thought might be the tea base, but no—or well, maybe it is—but it reminds me of banana peal. Definitely.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84

Can’t do a detailed review because I’m about to fly out the door. In a hurry.

I got the “oak” she described in the smell, but didn’t get it right away in the taste. It’s cooled considerably since then though, and I’m getting something that could be described as a strong oak, perhaps. The tea is a very solid Ceylon overall though. I haven’t had a bag of just Ceylon in my cupboard for a while, so this is nice.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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65

This smells delicious. Like candy—sour jubjubes or something. It makes my mouth water.

It’s giving me a craving for jelly babies.

Brewed, the smell isn’t AS strong but still there enough to make me hungry. Sniffing it more closely, I’m getting notes of Assam in there. Most of the tea descriptions for this tea note Ceylon and Assam as the base.

First sip is tart and sweet, and mixed with strong Assam notes. No bitterness yet, but Assam can tend do cause it at five minutes steep time, so I’ll probably consider reducing the time somewhat in the future.

The strawberry-lemon isn’t as strong as the smell, but it works because with the Assam-Ceylon as the base, all together it’s a very nice, “classic” taste. Screams British almost. In a good way. I think I’d like to liken it to a Lady’s Earl Grey (without it being Lady Grey).

Starting to get a bitterness from the Assam. It’s enough that the strawberry and lemon take a back-seat. Still very enjoyable, though.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Genmaicha by Great Wall Tea Company
354 tasting notes

As someone who rarely drinks green tea when it’s not mixed with black, I was a little obsessive today that all the parameters were perfect. So as a not-really-green-tea-drinker, I’d get the best out of it.

I got this as a sample from the Great Wall (they shower me in samples). Smells like slightly overcooked rice. Sadly, their giant tin didn’t have any rice that had managed to actually pop (I like calling it popcorn tea).

First sip… Is actually very pleasant. I can definitely get the toasted rice, and the green tea managed to turn out enjoyable and mellow. I remember trying some from Murchie’s very-cold-sample-pot. Tasted cold and slimy.

This is nice, though. Toasty. I could see me carrying this around in my tea libre.

Green’s coming out a bit more as it cools, but I’m still liking it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80

I decided to take a break from all the new-found teacompanies I’ve been visiting lately, and return to an old favourite.

Nancy has a system there, where if you buy a certain amount of teas, you get one free. It’s a card-system—Tealicious’ business cards have boxes on the back, and she punches a hole for each tea you buy, and keeps them all organized in her desk.

Anyways, I didn’t start a card until maybe my third visit, but I’m already only one or two boxes away from a free tea. Hahah.

The leaves are as dark as midnight. That kind of black you obtain by mixing a bit of red, which gives the illusion that it’s even darker.

The tea and vanilla smell together is beautifully delicious. Brewed, the ratio of vanilla-smell to tea-smell is the same. The vanilla doesn’t overpower the tea.

I still love her tea base. It’s very slightly astringent at five minutes, but the vanilla smooths it out wonderfully. This is mellow, not STRONG but not weak. I think this is a very good balance. I’m not disappointed, even as a person who normally enjoys very strong vanilla.

Her tea base choice has its own somewhat creamy element… It doesn’t SEEM to come from the vanilla, although it goes very well with it. The base is also sliiightly malty… It’s listed as a “China” tea. As it cools I can smell the tea more. It baffles me, but it’s very nice.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I have no idea what’s in this, but she gave me the very last of the tin as a sample. There was just enough left for a cup.

I just know it’s black and green tea… And I can taste that. But there were also some huge purple-yellow flowers mixed in this (I had to pick them out to get a proper scoop, they were bigger than my teaspoon; I put them in the infuser with the tea, though—I just needed them out of the way to scoop better).

There’ll probably be information once they get their site up. There’s a sweetness, though. Maybe from the flowers. Reminds me of grenadine or whatever from Monk’s Blend.

There’s a touch of bitterness, but I didn’t very strongly take into consideration how much green tea might be in this, so it’s probably from that and the hotter temperature/longer steep time. Still, the bitterness and the stronger black tea does impart a “breakfast blend” feel. The sweet flavouring is just a nice touch.

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

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78
drank Vanilla Chai by Bigelow
354 tasting notes

Mmmm. This is my ideal dessert tea. Plain, although I keep meaning to try it with milk.

Sipping and reading Watchmen. Checked it out of my college’s library. This is one thick graphic novel.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
AmazonV

a good read though, and different than the movie

Uniquity

True. I own both the movie and the ‘novel’ – so different, but both enjoyable. Except I didn’t like the black freighter stories.

AJ

Never saw the movie, actually. I thought everyone was apparently pretty impressed with how true the movie was to the book?

I never see movies unless my friend comes over from the island and physically drags me to the theatre. I am a social recluse.

Uniquity

The end is extremely phenomenally different. But it was a good choice, I think.

AJ

Aaah. I’ll have to rent it someday.

Alannah

Yay, Watchmen! A classic. :)

Bigelow Tea

AJ,

Glad to hear that the Bigelow Vanilla Chai is being enjoyed along with a good book!

Thanks for the mention,

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

Daniel McCash

apparently that was the first comicbook to be awarded a “Hugo” prize for science fiction 1988. The rest of the literary world responded, “WHAT? You say that a COMICBOOK is one of the best books of the year??!!!!! WTF!”

Daniel McCash

oh hey, also: I’ll lend you my copy of the dvd. You know where to find me! :)

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76
drank Histoire Tibetaine by THE O DOR
354 tasting notes

Enjoying this in my tea Libre. Yes, definitely DON’T steep it for more than three minutes, because the jasmine just takes over. Hints of jasmine I like. It can mix well. It’s pleasant. Lots of jasmine makes me squick.

The jasmine’s still fairly strong with three minutes. Vanilla is a definite second. If it could just overpower the jasmine life would be grand, because I like lots of vanilla. The bergamot… I taste hints of it from here to there, and it mixes somewhat oddly with the jasmine. Very nicely with the vanilla! Overall though, it’s more evident in the smell.

I’m actually at school, and this is now my second steep. So my timing probably isn’t perfect… Most likely a bit over three minutes. I’ve got the school’s hot water system temperature down, though. Will have to try two minutes next time, I think… But I’m sipping the second steep while working on my co-op application (which I will follow with some needed calculus homework).

When I sipped this in the store (they had it out as a sample) it was a good, strong vanilla with just a hint of jasmine. I should ask them what their perfect brewing temperature and time was… Hmm. There is a bit of bitterness from the green tea, so I’m definitely going to consider lowering the temperature next time.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Yunnan Golden Bud by Life In Teacup
354 tasting notes

Had about a teaspoon and a half of this left, so I just threw it all into a mug and steeped it for five minutes.

There’s a nice, good Yunnan Tea smell to it. The taste is very mild, but drying on the tongue. It’s sort of a smooth bitter. I could use buttery to describe it, almost. Perhaps.

But anyways, that’s the last of that sample. Not a fan enough of Yunnan to order it. Besides, I’ve got lots of OTHER teas I would already like to buy from Life in Teacup. And many more I’d just like to grab a sample of.

Soon.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I change icons often, apologies. On that note, they are usually Doctor Who related (so no, that is not me pictured in the icon, it is most likely one of the Doctors).

A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in the third year of college, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot. It’s the highlight of a good day if I have time for a pot.

My notes and reviews will often sound dis-jointed, repetitive and confused, as usually I don’t work on them as a whole, but rather add notes as I sip without rereading what I’ve already typed.

On most occasions I won’t take my tea with anything (I reserve milk for chai). Occasionally agave nectar if I want to test to see if it’ll smooth it out. Chais I will make with either the nectar or honey. Although on occasion I will sweeten unflavoured blacks the Russian way—with jam or jelly. Occasionally I will take it instead with a slice of a citrus fruit. Normally orange, occasionally lemon if I have any on hand.

When I was a kid, I used to experiment by ripping open bags of Tetley’s and stuffing in extra ingredients.

I prefer Earl Grey, and a good friend of mine (who considers himself a great tea enthusiast) hates me because of it. I cannot explain his irrational hatred of bergamot.

Also, I am a Doctor Who fanatic. As one may have noticed by my icons. For the record, my favourite Doctor is number three, Jon Pertwee.

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Location

BC, Canada

Website

http://artoftea.teatra.de

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