490 Tasting Notes

79
drank Golden Yunnan by Rishi Tea
490 tasting notes

Made a pitcher of this as sweet tea tonight, which I admit, I do with black teas that don’t really impress me. I don’t mean to sound snooty, but I’ve had some really great yunnans lately, and they’ve kinda raised my standards. I wanted to love it, but it’s just a little boring and bland.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82

This is the last of the teas Teavivre sent for tasting. I still have a few unfinished samples here and there, though, so it’s not completely over.

However, I don’t feel as if I have much to say about this tea as I have about the others. To me, this tastes exactly like their other slightly roasty oolong, Taiwan Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin. I’m not entirely sure what ginseng tastes like, as most things I’ve had with it as an ingredient have also had overpowering ginger. I associate the two, unfortunately.

What I’m trying to say is that I can’t tell the difference between this and the other oolong I received. Am I the only one?

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Mercuryhime

The ginseng is very subtle, I think. I did sort of oversteep mine when I had it so that oolong flavor was doubtlessly dominating. I could get a bit of ginseng flavor in the back of my throat though. It’s that lightly bitter cooling sensation. The Chinese are very fond of cooling bitterness.

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80

Another bottled Harney & Son’s tea from Fresh To Order!

I know I said I’d get to the currant flavor next, but this one really caught my eye. Now, this is a little different from the other two I’ve tried. It’s much sweeter and lighter on the actual tea aspect. I can tell there is black tea in it, but just barely. It’s mostly in the aftertaste, and dries the mouth a little bit. If I didn’t know better, I might have missed it and just thought this stuff had a slightly bitter finish.

The berry aspect is delicious, though. Raspberry is what I taste the most, then blackberry, and maybe grape juice. (Though I don’t think there actually is any in there.) It says there’s apple juice, hibiscus, and honey in it, too, but I don’t really taste it. Maybe there’s a hint of hibiscus if I really feel for it. It mostly just tastes like berry juice. But I like it. It’s tasty for what it is, if you don’t take it too seriously.

ashmanra

Oh my! They didn’t have this flavor where I bought mine or I surely would have gotten it! They just sent me a sample of one of their iced tea bags, though, so I think I will make that tomorrow!

Tabby

Ooh, was it free? And how do I get on that list?! Haha!

Tabby

Also, I think this flavor is new. I had to add a page for it on Steepster. :)

Jillian

Too bad Harney & Sons don’t ship their bottled iced tea internationally, this sounds like one I’d love to try. :(

ashmanra

The iced tea bag is a free sample they sent in with my gigantic order! :)

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97
drank Golden Spring by Adagio Teas
490 tasting notes

This is actually the third time I’ve tried this tea. I’ve just been incredibly busy this week with work. (I made the mistake of mentioning that I needed money in front of my manager. He gave me nine shifts this week. Thanks, but I’m gonna die!)

This has been one of my absolute favorite new teas lately. I’m actually pretty impressed with Adagio. The beautiful, fuzzy gold and chocolate-colored leaves unfold long, slender, and pointed. They smell very sweet, and slightly fruity with a bit of that malty black tea scent.

The flavor reminds me of yunnan tips. I can taste a sort of raisin-like fruitiness. There’s also a strong note of caramel that I have fallen in love with. This tea is such a treat. I highly recommend giving it the full five minutes, as it brings out a certain cocoa-like quality as well. And it doesn’t get bitter with that much time — just more flavorful and satisfying. I might have to get more than the sample size next time.

Also, I have no idea what all of you are talking about when you say this reminds you of meat. Seriously. I don’t get it.

Preparation
Iced 5 min, 0 sec

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83

Alright, after a week of tooling around, drinking iced Earl Grey and bottled stuff, it’s back to my “tea homework”.

I’ve never had a monkey picked oolong, but they seem to be very popular. I’m sure they aren’t actually picked by monkeys… right? That seems like a health hazard. Anyway. It brewed up to a pleasant shade of yellow after two minutes, and smells different from most oolongs I’ve tried. This smells like it has been roasted. I’m getting sort of a nutty scent, along with cooked veggies. Interesting.

As is my habit, I made it over ice. Wow, is this different from any oolong I’ve ever had. Where most of Teavivre’s oolongs have been gentle and fruity or floral, this one is very hearty. It tastes like straight up roasted nuts and maybe a hint of sesame oil. It’s a very foreign flavor to me, but I like it. I could certainly get used to this. I want to pair it with wakame salad or maybe satay chicken. Mmm.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I do have the one frm Thinkgeek that is actually picked by monkeys! Now hubby says he wants platypus picked tea. I will certainly keep an eye out for that…

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81
drank Organic Peach by Harney & Sons
490 tasting notes

Posting from Fresh To Order in midtown on my break. I plan on trying all of these eventually.

Much like the coconut green I tried previously, it’s very lightly sweetened, which is something I like. I can’t stand overly sweet bottled teas, like Arizona’s, for example. The peach flavor is great. It’s strong and realistic, and stands out the most. It isn’t tart at all, though it is a bit astringent. The black tea they used is pretty standard, and just bitter enough for you to tell it’s there. I can’t really detect any complex flavors in it because of the peach. But this is good, especially during this heat wave. I would get it again if given the chance.

momo

Ooh, after their Black Currant one I had last week, it’s good to know other places around town that carry their bottled teas!

Tabby

Hmm, maybe I’ll try that one next!

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79
drank Golden Yunnan by Rishi Tea
490 tasting notes

I was very excited when I found this tin on the clearance table in Taste, a little foodie/kitchen shop in Decatur. I only paid $5 for 3.2 ounces! Also, the lady behind the counter turned out to be the new owner, and she asked me to come in and help her figure out what new teas to carry! I’m happy to help!

So, after a night of drinking and watching shuffleboard at Twain’s, I wanted something iced and fast. I was cautious since it’s new to me, so I only gave it 4 minutes to steep. I used two generous teaspoons versus 16 ounces of ice and water. The result was a little milder than I was expecting. It still had that lovely malty but fruity taste I’ve come to adore from yunnans, but it just didn’t pack a punch. There was also a hint of caramel and smokiness, which kinda makes this an ideal black tea for me, but I’m going to have to work on making it stronger. Maybe next time I’ll do five minutes and 2.5 teaspoons.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

What a fantastic opportunity!

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90

The second I opened my sample packet, I was hit with the strong scent of woodsmoke. I immediately thought of burning leaves in fall. (And I also thought of Brimstone, a Texan whiskey known for its powerful campfire taste.) It wasn’t exactly something summer-appropriate, but the curiosity got the better of me anyway. I’ve had one Lapsang Souchong before, from Adagio, but that was several years ago and I was less experienced then. It frightened me away and I ended up trading it.

Even though I gave the tea less than two minutes to steep, it still brewed up as dark reddish amber as a standard four minute black tea. I lightly sweetened it, and let it cool for a little while. I was a little hesitant, but I trusted Teavivre. Surprisingly, the smokiness seems to be more extreme in the scent. The actual tea is much more subtle and smooth. It reminds me of their other black teas with that sweet, bread-like taste.

I should not have been afraid to try this. But I may save it for the first chilly nights of fall, for the full effect.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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94
drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
490 tasting notes

Ahh, I had been missing a good Earl Grey. I got this as a birthday gift from Kaliskaa and had it for my commute and first shift. As I’ve been doing lately, I brewed it strong and put it over ice with a little sugar. It was almost overpoweringly strong before the ice had time to melt, but I had only used 2 sachets for about 14 ounces of water! This stuff doesn’t play around!

Once I got to work, I dropped a lemon slice into the cup and gave it a good stir. Over time, it became a beautiful lemonade-like drink with the bitter bite of Ceylon. It tasted so clean, and yet so dark. I will be doing this a lot this summer.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Finished up my sample from my first round of Teavivre samples. I was craving something light and iced but still wholesome, and this is perfect. I’m really starting to get a taste for iced white and oolong teas. Working with Teavivre’s instructions has really refined my preparation, and taught me that I was overdoing it with the heat and time before.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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Bio

Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. 20-something and living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, EBM/synthpop/industrial geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

I prefer black teas, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. My favorites tend to be yunnan tips, earl grey, chai, and pretty much any black tea from Fujian, China. My favorite add-ons are plum, cinnamon, coconut, apple, raspberry, bergamot, lychee, osmanthus, cucumber, sage, lavender, vanilla, and caramel.

I’m shy about green tea, curious about white, and learning to love oolong. I hate rooibos and anything with orchid, fennel, or jasmine.

I’m currently growing my own tea. I have a 3-year-old potted Camellia sinensis, and I plan on picking a tiny bit of new growth this spring for my first try at drying my own leaves.

Since joining, I’ve traded with: Kaliska, QueenOfTarts, LiberTEAS, JustJames, Spencer, Ninavampi, Jillian, Teafreak, KeenTeaThyme, and RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas.

Location

Decatur, GA

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