379 Tasting Notes

49
drank Ginger Twist by Mighty Leaf Tea
379 tasting notes

Well, it’s officially too late to drink an actual tea, so I spent some time leafing through my tisanes and decided to try another of the ones Jillian sent me. I wasn’t really in the mood for ginger, but the tasting notes for this all seem to agree that the ginger’s quite weak.

The bag looks… ehr. Weird. Bread-like pieces and leaf shreds, and it smells dusty but herbal. Brewed this in my little teapot, but decided to test out the beautiful handmade mug (and matching tiny dish which I now designate as my teabag/teaball holder) that I got from a nice lady vender from the setup on-campus today. She sold her own-made clayware (and some pieces from friends with permission) as well as her knitwear (and again, a few pieces made by friends with permission). When I walked over there, she was seated and knitting another scarf. All organic wools.

Brewed light. A pale gold colour. It looks like just plain water in my mug, because it’s such a deep maroon colour.

…Ehr… Smells… I think there’s some ginger in there. Smells hot and sour and musty to me, though. Like… one of those ‘wellness herbal potions’. I’m afraid. There’s smells I recognize, but I don’t know from what. Sour smells, though.

It… pretty much tastes like it smells. A bready mustyness, with slight ginger… And lemon. Lemon without the tart, actually, which I assume must be the lemongrass (I’ve never really tasted lemongrass by itself, so I don’t have the experience to pinpoint it exactly).

It’s not BAD, at least. It’s actually quite calming to sip. Although the taste and smell are pretty much identical, it’s better as a taste than as a smell. I don’t like the whiffs I get before I take a sip. I’m not getting the tart and pucker mentioned. It tastes like it’s ALMOST sour—or at least trying to BE sour—but doesn’t quite make it. Also, I taste the mint as an aftertaste. Well, really more of a coolness on my tongue. But I definitely BURPED mint there.

Otherwise, I don’t know. It’s not… bad, but in personal opinion, it’s not really for me. Hurray for my first experience with Might Leaf, though! I’ll finish this pot, but after that, it was only a single teabag, so it’s gone from my cupboard. I don’t think I’ll attempt a second steep. I’m not sure yet. Get back to me when I finish this one.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

Sipping this as a morning tea today. The black base makes it a good morning choice, and the maple (especially in the morning!) is always welcome. Who needs pancakes and syrup when you’ve got this? Mm.

This is to help me concentrate on typing out my geomorphology glacier limits and area averages report.

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86
drank White Pear by Revolution Tea
379 tasting notes

Pear pear pear. Unlike the Doctor (both the Tenth and the Seventh), I like pear. Love it, actually. Especially canned (although I find that many people dislike canned fruit due to the sugary syrupness); it goes well with vanilla icecream. And I needn’t bother with the skins when they’re canned. Plus, the brine is delicious to drink.

The smell of the dry leaves was faint but pleasant. The wet leaves and the tea itself hold a much stronger pear flavour, although it is slighty sugary (that is to say, more similar to canned pears than fresh pears).

Although if you really stick your nose in close, it smells more ‘fresh pear’.

This is another tea from Jillian (how did she know I loved pears!), and I got two teabags instead of one, so at least I have one more to try after this before I have to remove it from my cupboard.

The colour is darker than I expected it to be (I haven’t much experience with white teas except in Numi’s flowering white teas, which brew quite light), sort of a pale black tea colour. The pear smell is delicious, and I think I get a tea smell in there too, but fainter.

Don’t know what to say in terms of taste. Again, I barely remember my last experience with white tea, but this is light, like a very light black. Not vegetable and green (luckily!). There’s pear in there, and it’s pleasant and not artificial and too sweet. I’ve heard that whites can get quite bitter. The pear taste isn’t confined to an aftertaste, it’s there during the sip, but it’s very pleasantly light.

Daaaamn, I quite like this and I only have one teabag left. I wonder how many times you can resteep a white. Hmmm.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Jillian

I’m glad you like it, hon. I got this tea at my local Safeway so odds are good you could pick a box up for yourself if you’re inclined. :)

AJ

Ahah! Safeway!

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82
drank Assam Pure by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
379 tasting notes

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Strong and pungent and GINGER. It helps with my crappy digestive system, takes away my stomach aches, and warms me up. And actually, I’m a little fond of ginger. Although a thick dust comes from the bag and settles to the bottom (making it spicier the more you drink).

I’m sipping this through astronomy lecture because I had a stomach ache earlier. Effectively cured.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

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66
drank Black Ginger by Tealicious Tea Company
379 tasting notes

Finishing up the last of my sample. I still maintain that it tastes rather… gingeraleish. Plus, it went right through my infuser. Again. The Libre is simply no match for it. I’m makin’ a mess everywhere aaaah.

I feel bad that this one just isn’t too good, because it makes Tealicious look bad, since only two other teas from her have been reviewed on this site (both by me, hahah) and so although I really liked those ones, the ratio of tea I liked to tea I didn’t like is quite small. This will have to be rectified by buying more Tealicious tea.

In the tea’s defence, the sample did come from the big, huge tea tin, that has probably been opened quite a few times (Air! Light! Moisture!). So the tightly sealed, packaged-to-buy ginger tea could taste FABULOUS for all I know. And I will maintain that until proven otherwise.

I stored this in the little kitty tin I bought from Tealicious (I broke down and bought a few of the tiny tea tins for travel-tea purposes), and now that it’s empty, I’m to bring it home, descent it, and fill it with another tea to drink on the go. But what, I wonder… Hmm… Maple?

On a different note, I seriously oversteeped this (eight minutes, near ten? I’m not sure), but it didn’t get bitter at all.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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86

Another tea from Jillian (or rather THE tea from Jillian). The dry leaves didn’t have much of a strong smell, and it steeped to a sort of pale red-orange (not the “rich red” the description led me to believe it would be). The smell is faintly ‘tea’ like, with a sweet smell overtop. Kind of reminds me of keemun.

It’s got a somewhat green taste. It’s light, and I think it has a faintly wine-like quality to it; I’m not getting any nuttyness. Nor any real fruitiness, but it is still sort of wine like taste.

I’m getting bits of sweetness and bits of astringency. When I breath out I am getting a sort of nutty taste now, actually. Yes, definitely getting a nuttyness now. It’s part mouth-feel part aftertaste. Sort of walnutty. That sweet bitterness. Very nice.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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85
drank English Breakfast by Harney & Sons
379 tasting notes

Chapters (Canadian bookstore for those who don’t know), I found, carries a LOT of loose-leaf tea accessories (to which I mean pots with infusers, mugs with infusers, infusers by themselves, travel tea tumblers with the removable infusers…), but NO actual loose-leaf teas. All of the teas they have are bagged. Whoops. Although there were still some good teas there (“full leaf sachets”). Harney and Sons being one of them. And I had remembered seeing a tin of Paris sachets the last time I’d visited, and thus I returned today to purchase it—only to see that there didn’t seem to be any (and I don’t say ‘any left’ because I remember, distinctly, that they had four Harney and Sons teas out, and they still did, but none were Paris; maybe I was mistaken?). But I’m sure they had had some! I noticed in their giant variety sample pack for thirty dollars that Paris was included, but I didn’t really want to buy the whole giant chest of teas. Curses!

So I opted for this one, because I always enjoy a good morning tea. Opening the tin the smell is strong and divine. Very tea. It brewed quite light, and the smell of the wet teabag and the tea itself is very faint, and… different.

Granted, I’ve never really tried Keemun (that I know of), thus excuse my naivety. The tea is nice, light, and slightly (but noticeably) sweet. The ‘tea’ taste that I’m more used to IS in there, but it’s mixed with other tastes. Almost a sort of greeny taste (if you removed the vegetable). There’s something stronger in the aftertaste. Robust. Not sure. I really rather like this. I don’ts think it needs anything (certainly not any sugar), but if made a bit stronger it would probably be good with a splash of milk.

Edit: …And also mildly, faintly peppery but in a good way, and I like this very much. And did I mention that I liked this?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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63
drank Bora Bora by Vykasa
379 tasting notes

Just got the package from Jillian. I think I’m psychic (or have impossibly discerning hearing) because I heard the mail come in through the slot and thought, ‘PACKAGE!?’ And I had been about to head out the door to get tea at Murchie’s too.

I added all of the teas to my cupboard, even though most are just a single teabag (and I certainly don’t afford that luxury to the many of OTHER single teabags that I have) and thus will end up removing them after that single use (minus this one, because I’m using it up RIGHT NOW so I didn’t add it).

At any rate, I dubbed this the ‘Mystery Tea’. It wasn’t in a bag and it wasn’t labelled. I looked up the company on steepster under the assumption that it was one of the three that we have listed. I eliminated the rooibos easily enough, because even though I couldn’t smell anything really, it definitely had some green tea in there.

Steeped it as a green, and I could smell it STRONG for a few minutes (not very pleasant, but luckily that seems to have dissipated). If I stick my nose in the cup, it smells minty. Whaddya know, I think I know which one it is. Every so often I get a whiff of something REALLY weird (and not in a likable way) smelling, but then it’s gone.

Going to sip this. I’m afraid. Mint! But black AND green tea, and I usually like blackgreen tea blends. I can do this.

Don’t taste really any green. I got a slight black tea flavour and then a stronger mint that trailed into the aftertaste. There’s a fruityness in there too, but I don’t know of what. This almost just tastes like a herbal tea. A slightly fruity mintness. I’m basically just assuming it’s Bora Bora now. Too obviously mint. I don’t have much experience with any of the other ingredients listed, so I can’t pick them out, but maybe those are that weird smell I keep getting but can’t seem to taste.

It’s not bad. It’s actually kind of nice and refreshing. The mint isn’t overpowering (it usually is for me, but that’s probably just my bias against mint), but I still don’t get really any other flavours. Actually, there’s an earthy turmeric aftertaste to the mint. Huh.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Ricky

I got green, no black! Ahhh, did we switch?

AJ

Really? I got a sort of watered down weak black taste. Weird. Maybe we did!

Jillian

Sorry, I must have forgotten to lable that one. Yeah it is Bora Bora, I had one bag left after I sent Ricky’s so I chucked it in the package with the other stuff.

It’s supposed to have tropical flavours (hence the name), but I’ve never tasted them.

AJ

Well, I ALMOST got a sort of fruity taste. But not really enough to make it seem ‘tropical’.

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90

Drinking this with my very late-night dinner (two hours ‘til midnight) of baked potato, perogies, and yorkshire pudding sans the gravy. Very starchy indeed. But I love my starchy foods. Maybe I’ll try to down a few strawberries and a banana afterwards to even it out.

I wanted something savoury and dinnery to go with it. I didn’t go for the lapsang because although I was craving good smokyness, I also wanted a good strong black tea taste as well. This isn’t filling that spot as well as I thought it would, I don’t think (maybe I should have mixed it with some Assam), but it is still quite good, and definitely fits in with starchy foods (and the mysterious, unknown spices on my potato).

Also, there seems to be something wrong with my NEW kettle. Although the water was CLEARLY BOILING (and had been for SOME TIME—I know, I sat and watched it do so for a while), the kettle itself refused to whistle.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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 university, 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.

I prefer Earl Greys.

Lastly, I keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

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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