410 Tasting Notes

50
drank Awake English Breakfast by Tazo
410 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
410 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
410 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
410 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
410 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
410 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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80
drank Tie Guan Yin by The Jade Teapot
410 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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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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