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457 Tasting Notes

90

While I’m intrigued by puerh and the fact that the tea has aged, I’m always a little apprehensive when trying one. I tend to shy away from teas with even a hint of fishiness, and puerh is notorious for it.

The cute little cake itself smells great, though it definitely smells different from fresh black tea. It smells like dried grass and promising maltiness, but with a hint of that aged flavor. Before I made this tea, I read that it only needs about a minute to two minutes to steep. I didn’t believe it, but I went with what the professionals said. By the end of the first minute, the tea was darker than a seven-minute-chai. I panicked and decided to stop it at 1:30.

It smells like sour honey and wood. But the taste is like something I’ve never had before with a puerh. I definitely taste leather, like others have said, but it’s a good thing. It’s incredibly smooth and flavorful, and like many Teavivre teas I’ve had, it’s naturally a little sweet. I can taste the same sort of flavor that I associated with fish, but it’s different in this blend. I’m glad I still have one cake left.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Pu-erhs are an adventure. When you get a really super one you will not turn back.

Kaliska

I thought you’d like this one, I have one little brick left I’m going to make it tonight and write a final review.

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72

Oh, wow, this is the most powerfully orange-flavored tea I’ve ever had.

The tea smells strongly of citrus, with a hint of dried apple and currants. It smells incredibly fruity and sharp, almost medicinal. (I mean that in a good way.) But mostly, it’s just orange. I gave it about eight minutes to steep with 6 teaspoons for 16 ounces of tea. The tea even looks orange, like a deep reddish orange.

The flavor is tart and citrusy, but not just like the citrus fruit itself. You can taste the bitterness of the peel beneath it. Like the kind one would taste in orange spice teas. The currants add another layer of sourness, but in the finish, the apple pieces mellow it out. They add a pleasant sweetness. Anyway, this is like an orange juice fruit medley. I’m not a huge fan of orange or orange juice, but I think the people that are would love this.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85

Another green tea provided by Teavivre. Like I’ve mentioned before, I feel like this is part of a green tea education I’ve needed for a while.

The leaves are very dark green and rolled very thin. Like dried moss. They’re thinner and more delicate in texture than any tea I’ve ever had. They became a brilliant spinach green when brewed, though the tea itself was very lightly colored. A faint yellowy green. It smells like the sea and vegetables and honey all at once.

The taste reminds me a little of nori, but my senses are not very refined for this sort of thing. I’m also reminded of okra for some reason. Something about it just makes me think of summer and fresh veggies from my grandparents’ garden. Despite the short steep time, this tea is very flavorful. I think I’m starting to develop a liking for green tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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92
drank Guanabana by Adagio Teas
457 tasting notes

Still on vacation, but taking a moment with Steepster. A moment away from reading and savoring the fact that my cell phone is turned off. Yes, I’m one of those people that Christmas makes miserable.

Anyway, I went through the entirety of my sample pouch in one night. We stayed up talking and getting drunk, sipping tea in between. As usual, when I serve this tea to groups, it’s always a big hit. And it was. I had three cups, myself, at least. Though by the end, I’m not sure how much it was. It’s all a bit hazy. But now my boyfriend’s mom, who we’re visiting, has ordered the pound bag.

If you haven’t given guanabana a chance, and you like fruit teas, this is something one should have at least once.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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

Mmm, this is just what I needed on this wet, cold day.

As far as Earl Grey teas go, this is a very good one. They don’t go overboard on the bergamot, and the black tea they used is nice, if not a little muted. But that’s to be expected with any flavor. It’s not bitter at all, just very tasty. Lemony, but not mouth-numbingly so. There’s also something malty in the aftertaste, which leads me to believe that this is the first Earl Grey I’ve ever had that I could taste anything besides the bitterness of the black tea and bergamot oil. Its actual flavors shine through. Kinda awesome, if you ask me.

And if it makes any difference, I’m drinking the pyramid bagged version.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

This is a top 5 EG for me…..maybe my favorite!

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90
drank Caramel by Adagio Teas
457 tasting notes

Made this as the communal pot last night. The instant I opened the pouch, I could tell that this is yet another Adagio tea that has been enhanced since I last ordered it. The caramel scent was almost overwhelming, and sweet like you wouldn’t believe. I admit, I had to sniff it again. And then again.

This tea might have to stand as my staple caramel tea. I like to have one around, as caramel is one of my favorite flavors and if it’s in tea form, I don’t have to feel bad about having a lot of it. It’s a mellow Ceylon with a very realistic buttery caramel taste. It doesn’t come across as artificial, and it even has a sort of creamy aftertaste. Sort of like a caramel square you’d get from your grandma.

Sadly though, this just makes me miss Sweet Caramel O’ Mine. It doesn’t have that nice hint of smokiness that I liked.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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86
drank Candy Apple by Adagio Teas
457 tasting notes

So, I logged back into Adagio the other day and realized I had wracked up enough points there to get some free tea! Like a kid in a candy shop, I picked four sample sizes and paid $1.75 total for it. Love! And this was the first tea I selected.

The first time I reviewed this tea, I was talking about the bagged sample version. Now I’m trying the loose leaf and it does taste a little different. The mouthfeel is much heavier, but otherwise, it seems about the same. Still can’t really taste the cinnamon. Hmm. Also, the apples taste like baked apples, not fresh. I don’t believe I mentioned that before.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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92
drank Guanabana by Adagio Teas
457 tasting notes

Guanabana! ♥ Again, I haven’t ordered this tea in 2 years, and it looks like another blend Adagio has stepped up a bit. Last I saw it, the Ceylon leaf was lower quality, and there were much fewer sunflower petals. Plus, I don’t remember there being actual chunks of dried guanabana in it at all. But I could be remembering that wrong.

This was one of my absolute favorite teas for a long time. I used to make it for friends all the time in the summer of 2009. Tasting it again now, I still feel very strongly about it. It’s fruity in a serious way, but it also has a sort of toasted sugar taste and scent, like someone caramelizing it in a pan. But mostly, since I’ve still never tasted real guanabana, I compare it to starfruit. It has that sort of tart floral/citrusness that really appeals to me.

Happy to have this in the cupboard again. Might go for a 4oz again once I get low.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Dinosara

Wow, guanabana tea, I never would have expected to see that flavor! Awesome!

Ninavampi

Guanabana is an “everyday” fruit here in Ecuador. I am going to be ordering this in my next Adagio order for sure! I can’t wait to see how they pulled off Guanabana tea!

Tabby

I’ll be looking out for your review, Nina! I’m really curious about that. Also, did my tea make it to you?

Ninavampi

Not yet. But no worries, things take forever to get here! : ) Have you received mine?

Tabby

I haven’t, but I came home to a notice on the door saying that they tried to deliver a few days ago. Since, I haven’t heard anything, so it was probably delivered to my complex’s office. I’ll check in the morning.

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88
drank Yunnan Gold by Adagio Teas
457 tasting notes

I feel like I tried this a few years ago, but didn’t like it. I most likely oversteeped it then, which I was prone to doing. (And still am, occasionally.)

But this time, having a little more basis for what a yunnan should taste like, I like it. The leaves smell bright and sweet, but satisfyingly malty. They aren’t smoky, just smooth and very flavorful. It’s strong enough to be good with breakfast. The description mentions a peppery taste, but I’m not getting it. I guess that comes out if you give it the full 5 minutes.

This would be a good yunnan to have around, but I still prefer Teavivre’s Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tips.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Kaliska

This is the tea that really got me loving Yunnan, I agree with your assessment on Teavivre’s being a bit more…complex? But Adagio’s will always have a warm spot in my heart<3

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81
drank Pomegranate Oolong by Harney & Sons
457 tasting notes

So, my favorite lunch place on Peachtree has Harney & Sons tea now! They have a few different teas there, so I picked two to go in my purse for later. This one intrigued me because I haven’t had many flavored oolongs in the past. Also, the package said it was a tie guan yin (Iron Goddess), and I’ve had a few of those that I really liked.

Anyway, the fruit flavor is very powerful in the scent. It burst out as soon as I opened the packet. At first glance, I thought the balled up leaves were a little small, and not as glossy. However, they expanded enormously in the pyramid bag, filling it completely. I gave the tea 3 minutes to steep, and it became a pale straw-like yellow. Upon tasting it, I think it could have benefited from steeping longer.

The fruit is in the forefront, as one would expect. It does taste a bit like tart pomegranate, but also sort of like strawberries. Real ones, not the artificial strawberry candy taste. The actual oolong flavor is hardly present. It’s more present in the scent of the tea. Still, I like it. I would probably grab another and try again.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

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, golden monkey, chai, and keemun. My favorite add-ons are plum, cinnamon, coconut, apple, raspberry, bergamot, cucumber, sage, 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

Website

http://www.facebook.com/profi...

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