412 Tasting Notes

84

I’ve had this a few times since I got it, but haven’t logged it.

I remember REALLY liking this when I had it at Murchie’s, so I came home with two ounces. Only to find that it… tasted quite different. I’m guessing it was a difference in tastes from the bagged fanning-form that they serve, and the loose that I went home with.

It was a bold, black tea flavour with this faint green sweetness/vegetalness underneath, just enough to compliment, and then a hint of smoke. I brought it home, and all I got what a bitter, burnt charcoal taste. Very bitter, green, not nearly as much bold black, and burnt not smoky.

So I started experimenting with my steep times and temperatures. I don’t know what temperature their water is, but I steeped it at around four minutes and it was good. No bitterness!

This time around I brought the temperature down to 180F, the steep time to 2:30, and replaced 1/4 of the tea I used with Murchie’s Assam tippy golden.

There’s a difference, and it’s a difference for the better, although I don’t like how watery it tastes with the reduced steeping time. But I know if I steep it any longer it’ll go bitter (especially since I added Assam black). Maybe I’ll have to buy a little box of their bagged stuff. Damn.

Enjoyable, though. Blacker in taste—closer to the bagged form that I remember—with a bit of a bittergreen taste, and then a faint burnt not-quite-smoky taste.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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79
drank Earl Grey by Hazo
412 tasting notes

Drank this to stay awake to work on projects. Still good. A strong bergamot flavour, but the tea is also strong; neither drowns out the other.

Jillian

I thought at first that the company name was a mis-spelling of ‘Tazo’, lol. ;)

AJ

So did I, when I first saw it.

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50
drank Awake English Breakfast by Tazo
412 tasting notes

Funny story! I was cleaning my room quite thoroughly, and came across a box under my bed containing one half Christmas decorations, and one half Tazo’s Awake and Chai (and a small amount of sweet orange). So yeah, I’ve got a lot. I remember my neighbour giving it to me (along with the Christmas decorations).

We’ve always had Tazo in the house, but the few times I tried Awake it was very bitter and gross right through the milk and sugar. And now I’m going to try it with nothing!

Not as bad as I remember. No bitterness at five minutes steeping. Then again, when I drank it in the past, I just left the teabag in.

It’s not remarkable. I’m getting a dryer taste at the back of my throat, but it’s nothing like I remember. It’s probably been in that box for quite a while though, and my neighbour’s probably had it even longer.

Edit: As it cooled it got more astringent, but then I noticed something else. There’s a very faint hint of cherry.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
412 tasting notes

I have been trying not to drink this, in fear I will exhaust my sample, but it’s hard to stay away. It’s very delicious.

Still a little hot. I’m impatient. Light and berrylike. Mmm. I should try it with milk again, but I’ve never been much for milk, and I’m really enjoying it just how it is. Next time!

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85

I’m almost out of this! I have three, maybe four teaspoons left. I should get more next time I’m over there, stuff’s delicious. I think I’ll add it back to my shopping list right now. 1001 Nights too, because last I checked I think I’m starting to run low on it too.

Plus, I want to try Tealicious’ Cream Earl Grey. …And vanilla. And blueberry. I wouldn’t mind finding a vanilla black staple. The ones I’ve tried so far tend to fall flat. I love my bold vanilla flavours. Same with blueberries.

This tea is a bit mouth-drying today, but still lovely. Sipping it before I go to campus and dive into my statistics work. Maybe I’ll stop off at Tealicious on my way back? If I don’t stay too late. Or maybe just on Friday.

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

Trying this again at home. The smell is stewed spinach, and really isn’t all that appetizing. The colour is much lighter, a sort of pale gold.

To reiterate, last time there was a horrible gas aftertaste (yes, GASOLINE). I think I smell it again, but it mixes well with that vegetable smell, so I can’t know for sure. I’m really rather afraid of trying this again. I think the smell is giving me a headache.

Hold on, give me a few moments. I can do this.

The taste isn’t anywhere near as strong, luckily. Tastes like vegetables.

I think… I don’t know. I THINK I can still taste something akin to the smell of gasoline when I breath out, but not much. Getting a weird taste on the tip of my tongue.

There’s somewhat of a baked, bread/yeast taste to it as well. Almost.

Still getting a headache, though.

It’s ALMOST enjoyable… I don’t know what to think. It’s a HEARTY tea. It doesn’t taste faintly of steamed vegetables, it’s like vegetables fresh from the pot, broccoli and asparagus and then with spinach. And I didn’t INTENTIONALLY make it strong, I made it with a good amount of water (in my huge beer mug, again).

Hrm.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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69
drank Blueberry White by Nativa Organics
412 tasting notes

Bought this when I ducked into Shoppers to purchase a large glass XXI Olympic stein (I’ve been waiting for them to go on sale because I wanted one as a sort of Olympic Memorbilia thing, as I never got any awesome Canadian gear [I DESPERATELY wanted the Bay’s scarf, but it sold out too soon]). I am sipping this tea from it right now. Because this is exactly what I bought it for.

The dry teabag smelt wonderfully of blueberries and tea. The brewed tea smells of tea and faintly of blueberries, but… tastes like nothing but white tea. Not bad white tea, though. It’s nice. Mild, very slightly grassy though.

I didn’t bother with the steeping instructions on the package, which read boiling water, 4-5 minutes. I did 180 water, 4:30 minutes. May try boiling next time, but this tea is light, so I think it’d ruin it. Perhaps a longer steep time would do it good, though, so I can actually get SOME sort of blueberry taste out of it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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86
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
412 tasting notes

Drinking this again. Not getting that sort of chocolatyness this time, just light and fruity. It’s not strong, but still quite enjoyable. No milk or sugar again. I’ll have to do another comparison next time; I don’t know if I enjoy it more with or without milk.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
412 tasting notes

The quiet life was nice enough to send this to me, in its own little sample tin (which I love, and will definitely reuse for travel tea afterwards). Another tea from my shopping list! I feel like I’m really doing some work on it.

Anyways, the tea itself smells fruity and sweet and chocolaty (is it supposed to? Huh) and reminds me somewhat of H&S’s Paris (which makes sense because I remember a few tasting notes saying that it’s probably a nod to Marco Polo anyways).

She was nice enough to provide the steeping instructions on the side, so I shouldn’t be messing anything up. Hurray!

I’m trying this plain first. Maybe I’ll add milk and/or sugar to the last cup from the pot, or just wait until next time.

The wet leaves smell just as delicious (and a bit stronger), perfumy and a bit like strawberry, with a good black tea smell in there as well.

First sip… I got black tea, and then a sudden aftertaste of strawberries. The tea taste is strong (astringent, but somehow ALSO very smooth), and is then followed by the berryness, and almost sweetness. The more I sip, the stronger the berry flavour comes (and the more it fades away from strawberry and joins just ‘berry’).

There’s an almost chocolatyness to it as well, I think. Hrm.

Added a bit of sugar and milk to the last of this cup. Okay, maybe too MUCH sugar. I realize I am not very adapt with sugar portioning. But there is definitely a sweetness and taste that isn’t from the sugar in there. The addition of the milk also makes it unbelievably smooth, almost silky. I think just milk and no sugar would taste very nice as well. Otherwise, I would have just jumped past the sugar for the honey, but I assume the taste of the honey would have overwhelmed it.

I went to throw the rest of this cup back and smelt vanilla. Mmm.

Back to no milk/sugar. And I think I can taste that vanilla I smelled a moment ago. I don’t know. Weird. Still, delicious.

I always wish I had more experience with flavoured teas, since most of the tasting notes I read rave about the flavour, and most of what I get is only in the smell, but I’m glad I got to try this anyways (and I still have a fair amount left in my tiny sample tin!). It is delicious and smooth, and the flavours are subtle, but actually there.

Edit: A continuation, as I resteep this. The smell is much stronger now, and I realize that it reminds me a lot of The O Dor’s Place Saint Marc. A lot!

The taste is a bit more evident, which is nice. Although the smell is really reminding me of Place Saint Marc. Berry and vanilla.

Mmm.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86

Drinking this in class right now. It’s a bit strong, and slightly bitter (and getting more so as time goes on) because—as seen in the picture—it’s pretty broken up, and went RIGHT THROUGH my oldschool non-mesh teaball (although I removed the teaball itself somewhere around two, three minutes).

Still walnutty and nice, and going very well with my cheese scone. Delicious.

The bitterness is very… front-of-the-tongue walnut bitterness. Mm.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

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Bio

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 or gaiwan. It’s the highlight of a good day.

My notes are pretty disjointed because I’m a fairly absent-minded individual, and I also keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

And I’m a Doctor Who fanatic (Jon Pertwee, if you were wondering).

“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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