403 Tasting Notes

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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80
drank Tie Guan Yin by The Jade Teapot
403 tasting notes

Finally getting around to trying this. It’s very pale—when I was pouring it it looked like just water. But it’s a very, very pale green. Based my steep temperature off of a general average of others I looked at on steepster, and did one half a teaspoon to three ounces of water.

Leaves didn’t really unfurl completely.

The taste is very light—sweet but vegetal. I actually like it. It’s green, but not extremely so. At least it doesn’t taste like just hot water. There’s an almost nut (not really nutty—maybe a nutty buttery) taste.

Second steep, the leaves’ve opened up a bit more. I think I need a smaller pot, to give the leaves room to open up a bit more, since I’m using such a small amount of water. The water’s maybe slightly greener in colour, and in smell. The taste’s stronger, more sharply green. Not much different from the top otherwise, I think.

Steeped for three minutes this time. The colour’s the same. Stronger taste, vegetal, a faintly nutty sweetness. Reminds me of Murchie’s magnolia oolong, but fainter and sweeter. I actually kind of like this. I could see myself sipping this in the evening.

Fourth steep—same colour, hasn’t gotten lighter yet. Three minutes again this time. There’s a stronger floral note. Overall it’s been sort of milky. It’s still sweet, but I don’t think I’m really tasting any changes with the steeps. Then again, I’m pretty experienced, so.

Fifth steep, I think it’s starting to get paler finally. Maybe? Hmm. Getting a slight ‘water’ tang taste now, less milky. I’m pretty sure I could continue drinking this for MANY more steeps.

Sixth steep, still not any lighter. The taste is less milky again, slightly more metallic/tangy.

I would go for a few more steeps to see how long it’d last, but I don’t really feel up for it. I decided to take a look at the leaves instead. The edges are a bit degraded, and there are some leaf-halves and stems. The smell isn’t spinachy, it’s just faintly vegetal in a nice way.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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69

The water temperature’s really very low because I was impatient and downstairs waiting for something on my laptop, but also wary around leaving the water upstairs alone waiting for it to boil. So I just hoped it was hot enough, poured it into my pot, brought it down, and stuck my thermometre in it. Bah! I didn’t want to go back up and finish boiling it.

It smells like fruit rollups. Seriously. The kind of strawberry flavouring they use in fruitrollups. It’s making me crave them.

Slighty tart from the berries, and faintly green. A bit meh, but I did steep it at a rather cool temperature. Pleasant, actually. I don’t know how strongly I’d be able to drink this tea, so the mildness is nice. Berry with a hint of green. Less green than I was expecting. I get a very fruity tartness at the back of my throat after each sip. I sort of get the green tea taste first, and then get hit with the berryness.

I wouldn’t mind getting this myself, to drink on occasion. Actually, the deli inside the department store I work at sells Stash teas, including this one, and I was amused (and reminded!) when I saw it.

I’m noticing more tartness the more I sip it. Also, my cat seems to approve, because he keeps eyeing it.

For something that’s supposed to contain matcha, I really don’t taste it. Hmm. Ah well. Still enjoyable.

With this gone, I think the only thing I have left from Jillian is the darjeeling and the white pear.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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

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16

WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS TO MYSELF? It’s like a train-wreck!

I seem to have sworn to find out what’s wrong with this tea and FIX IT. I bumped the temperature down to 180, even though it’s a very black tea, and was very vigilante about my two-minute steep time.

I kept sniffing the teabags and thinking, “does this smell bitter? I think it smells bitter” and then calming myself and telling myself that “it’s just the bergamot”. I got the actual tea, set it on my little teatray, and carried it downstairs.

Tasting it, it’s got a faint tea astringency, and a touch of bergamot. And I think I can SENSE the rose in there somewhere. At least it’s not outright bitter anymore. I’m getting a very slight sort of bitter aftertaste, but I don’t know if that’s just me being paranoid or what. It’s fairly watery (for a black), but it’s drinkable now. Hrm. Maybe next time I’ll try boiling water, but add honey. I haven’t sweetened anything in a while.

Hrm. It gets a little more bitter as it cools. Still drinkable, though. At the moment.

And then it go REALLY bitter towards the end. THIS TEA REFUSES TO BE LIKED.

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

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16

I couldn’t stop myself, and decided to try this one again. The tea smells of rose. And bergamot and tea, but the rose is what I noticed first this time around.

Lighter cup, because I shortened the steep time to somewhere around two minutes (I didn’t have a timer on me to use, so I stared at my computer clock).

Still got bitterness at first, although not as bad, and it seems to have lessened with cooling. I wonder if it’s the rose. I don’t know. It’s mostly on the tip of my tongue. It’s different. Not getting that artificial numbing taste this time, though. But still very bitter. I had to pour the last cup out. Two minutes! Aaaugh this tea. Why?

Is it the rose? It reminds me a bit of Twining’s Earl Grey.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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16

So this tea confuses me. I looked up the site (this is another tea found in Winners, by the way), and on it, I found that ‘Darjeeling Earl Grey’ was not one of their blends, and ‘Singbulli’ was not an estate they had listed (which may not mean that they don’t necessarily USE it, but…).

I thought it was interesting that the company is so dedicated to the estates. Each tea is not a blend. All the tea comes from a single estate, and the estate is listed on the cat, along with the grade, etc., a bit about the estate, and the name of the actual planter.

Also, it’s earl grey. Earl grey with ROSE.

The dry pyramid bag smelt strongly of the bergamot, and more faintly of rose. Brewed, it smells mostly of tea and rose, and only very faintly of bergamot.

I think the five minutes recommended on the package is a bit of an oversteep (especially since it’s darjeeling), but I tend to do with that first then start experimenting. So it’s somewhat bitter.

I’ve never had anything with rose in it before, but I definitely smell it, and I taste SOMETHING. I’ll have to make this properly next time. I’m also getting a very weird artificial sort of bitter taste that I’m unsure about. It might just be the tea-bitterness, but I don’t know (it’s almost numbing, it’s weird). I really wish I’d prepared this one more properly so I could tell.

I’ll give it a rating next time. I’m sure I’ll end up making it in the morning.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Ricky

Earl Grey and rose….. that’s definitely a weird scary combination.

AJ

I thought it would be weird GOOD. I was wrong.

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62
drank Uva Ceylon by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
403 tasting notes

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52

Usually I don’t like going out and buying teas without first checking Steepster to see what’s been said about them (although I always get a little excited when I find teas that haven’t even been added to the database yet), but I decided to just go for it and got this one. I wanted a herbal, but I also wanted a vanilla. And they had vanilla rooibos’, and vanilla white teas, and other chamomiles, and then a lady came by and slapped a half-off price on this one. I figured it was a sign.

The flavour’s very light, and mostly chamomile, but there’s a sweetness of slightly-artificial-tasting honey in there. The vanilla is more in the smell, although I didn’t really drink it with a Steepster Review in mind, so I suppose I wasn’t really paying attention or searching for it in the taste. I remember smelling it though, and picking up a good vanilla and strong honey, and thinking “I bet this would be wonderful iced”.

After drinking it, the flavour’s probably too light for that, and if you made it double-strength, the chamomile would just overwhelm the honey (and supposed vanilla).

It didn’t make me sleepy, but that may just be because I’ve already felt tired most of the day. Didn’t get much sleep last night. I downed two cups of Murchie’s Assam Pure, then passed out on the couch no more than three minutes later; I woke up about four hours later, finished my statistics homework, and stumbled off to college. Came home, bought this—I like it, but not enough that I think I’ll get it again when it’s done (honey and vanilla are a good IDEA, but they’re sort of muddled in this, and I don’t like it much with the chamomile; maybe I’ll try CS’s Honey Vanilla White Tea next, that looked promising!). I’m still on the lookout for my perfect vanilla caffeine free drink for bedtime (although caffeine doesn’t do all too good a job of keeping me up anyways, but). I actually went to IGA with the intention of picking up a vanilla rooibos, but came home with this instead. Hm.

Sweet, light, oddly fruity, honey taste, but vanilla’s only in the smell. Ended up leaving the teabag in there the whole time. I took it out after five minutes, but decided that the flavour was so light that I’d just leave it in.

Preparation
Boiling

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77

I decided that I have been drinking the other two of the set way too much compared to this one. Green tea is okay! I don’t hate it! I need to drink this more. So I decided to make a cup. At midnight.

Also thought it was a good idea to revisit it, since it’s been a while.

Strong jasmine smell still, although I think I smell an earthyness of the green in there somewhere.

I’m not getting the grassy taste as strongly, and I don’t know if it’s just because it’s been a while, and I’ve had some experience, but I’m finding it more enjoyable. Enough so that I might try to drink it more often.

I’ve still no idea if I should be tasting jasmine or not (or what it would taste like if I should be), but there is a pleasant ALMOST floralness somewhere in there that might be it. Otherwise, just light green. I think I made this weaker than I did my last cup. One teaspoon for a cup (eight ounces); I THINK I may have done it one teaspoon to six ounces. Which may have been my problem, because I’ve since realized that lighter teas (oolongs, greens, darjeelings) are best 1/8 instead of the 1/6 I’m used to.

It’s starting to cool, and I think I’m tasting the jasmine more. Hrm. Don’t know if it’s good or bad. Although I’m also getting a very faint bitterness.

It’s gone cold now, and it tastes better (going along nicely with the claim that this would probably be very nice iced), although yeah, jasmine (I don’t drink green teas often—I’m inexperienced!).

I still meant to try it iced. I think it would be nice iced. But I’ve got a LOT of teas I mean to try iced. Some day!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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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