382 Tasting Notes

22
drank Ti-Kuan-yin Tea by Shantou Tea
382 tasting notes

Drank this on-campus, away from computers, but I carry a little notebook exactly for this reason.

The teabag had a sort of dusty, maybe… fishy? Smell, with that greenoolongblack smell. Wet, it smelt… spinagy green. As did the tea, a bit. In an ‘oversteeped green’ way, maybe. Steeped to a dark greybrown with a green layer over top. Smells fairly vegetably, green, though darker.

I almost didn’t want to drink it because it DID smell a bit… off on top of the very strong green smell. Took a sip when it was still quite hot and got a very green taste. I returned to work, and after a minute or so got this HORRIBLE gas after taste. What.

Let it cool, and tasted it again—this weird vegetable taste. Just sort of off. But also oolong in that it reminds me a bit of the oolong I got from Murchie’s. Just stronger. Gas aftertaste again. Disgusting. I don’t know if it’s the water I used (free water on-campus put in a mug then microwaved until it started boiling). Around this point I didn’t want to finish it.

Continued to sip it though, and the gas aftertaste lessened, and it reminded me more of the magnolia oolong. Just stronger, and the tea was darker. I steeped at the recommended three minutes on the package, but I think this would need a shorter steep time than that.

The strength and the weird aftertaste was enough to make me toss the cup (or rather, go outside and dump), and I did use more water from the campus (boiled in the microwave) to make other teas, and there was no gas aftertaste, so maybe it WAS the tea. It was cheap though (1.20). But I’ll try different steep times in the future or something. Yick until then, though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Jillian

The few Ti Kwan Yins I’ve tried were sort of characterized by a sort of baked, spinachy-bready flavour – this just sounds icky!

AJ

There was definitely a spinachyness in there, but no bread/baked taste that I could tell. Maybe it was just cheaply processed (/located near an oil refinery?). Who knows. All I know is, it cost a buck, and I’ve still got nineteen teabags left.

Jillian

Garden compost, maybe? I suppose the saying that you get what you pay for might be true in this case. Still I’ve found a few gems in the foreign food sections of grocery stores. I got a 225g tin of an excellent jasmine green for only $4.

AJ

Lucky! I just wandered into my local asian market and was faced with a WALL of teas, most of which I couldn’t understand because they were only marked in characters.

There were a few with a bit of English, or the names written out in the Roman alphabet (like this one), or ones that were kind enough to show a picture of the tea on the front (a SEVERAL-pound bag of genmaicha, for example, which I wasn’t about to buy). I decided to go with something cheap(er) that I wouldn’t feel horrible about if I didn’t like it (although I suppose I could have always traded it).

Ahwell, I’ll probably fool around with it a few times (maybe microwaved water just brings out crazy flavours in it?).

Jillian

I’d advise not using boiling water since this type is one of the greener oolongs. Maybe start somewhere around 80-85ºC.

AJ

I should know by now not to listen to package brewing instructions. I’ll try that temperature next time.

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Brewed, with the mug just sitting to one side, I can SMELL the peach without even putting my nose in it. But leaning in, I also smell something… vaguely reminiscent of that Ginger Twist. I had a look of HORROR on my face there for a moment. I’m sure I scrubbed my mug well! Nooo.

Can’t really smell the tea. I think I do. Hmm.

Woah. The taste reminds me of peach wine. I’m serious. The peach isn’t that ‘fruity peach’ taste, but that ‘fermented wine’ taste. All it really needs is that alcoholic taste. Huh. Maybe I should steep it for a bit longer. I only did three minutes of the “three to five”.

The best thing about understeeping, I suppose, is that you can always just put the bag back in.

Longer steep… Doesn’t do much. Slightly stronger taste of the oolong I think. Not the peach, though. Still has a serious sort of ‘wine’ taste. Especially at the edge of my tongue. How odd. Unsure how to rate it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Janefan

Oh, I love peach wine! Hopefully I’ll like this too.

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91
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
382 tasting notes

First off, how I finally got my hands on this. Chapters! To the rescue again. I wandered in and went to their little tea section to find, of course, that they had none. Disheartened, I turned to leave but paused to look at a new teapot setup they had near the front of the store. Examining an Alison in Wonderland pot, I glanced up and noticed that, on the opposite side of the table, there was a setup of more teas. Including Paris. I practically pounced on a tin (sachets, not loose, sadly), especially since they were selling so well compared to all the other Harney and Sons teas out. I was also thinking of buying a tin of PURE LAVENDER tisane. Can’t remember what company, but one small tin was thirteen dollars, so I wasn’t sure if I should go for it or not. I have no idea what lavender tastes like, and I may not like it.

Anyways, I kept myself from buying any more books, because I have quite a few (I was considering a Sherlock Holmes novel, though), and only went home with this.

It smells like vanilla, bergamot and fruit. Brewed, you can definitely smell the tea as well.

Ah, it’s starting to go cold I left it so long. I taste the vanilla and tea, not too much the bergamot, but there are some other fruits in there.

I’ve been scaring myself by watching the Slender Man Marble Hornets entries.

Having tea while doing so is always nice. I always have such trouble with flavoured blacks, because I only get a scent, no taste in most cases. The smell of this is much stronger than the taste—which is black with hints of vanilla and berry—but it’s so delicious of a smell, and the taste that I do get goes so nicely with the black that I don’t mind. Mmmmm. This tea makes me happy.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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49
drank Ginger Twist by Mighty Leaf Tea
382 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
382 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
382 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
382 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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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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