490 Tasting Notes

91

Finished my sample yesterday. I woke up thirsty and made myself a tall glass, iced and lightly sweetened. I will certainly miss this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Buy more. It’s worth it

Tabby

I probably will! My next tea order is definitely going to be with Teavivre.

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96

This is my first milk oolong. I’ve tried black milk teas before, but this is almost entirely different. While in black teas with milk flavoring, I felt like the milk was there to soften the bitterness of it… but with this oolong, there is no bitterness or harshness to hide. It’s only there to add a subtle creaminess.

Last night, I made it hot, and enjoyed it greatly. I decided to have it again as my take-to-work tea, over ice since it was already in the 90’s when I left. It was wonderful iced. The Teavivre oolongs I’ve tried before were on the floral side, but this one is fruity! The flavor reminds me of peaches! It’s like a light peaches and cream oolong! I absolutely love it. Best oolong I’ve ever tried; will order.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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89

First of all, I’m honored to get to try this aged tea. When it was harvested, I was still at my first place away from home, working for Wolf Camera.

Now, onto the details. I gave it just over two minutes and it brewed up very dark. The scent reminds me of leather and the forest floor after a good rain. Now, I’m always a little afraid of puerh because I don’t like fishiness, but this puerh doesn’t taste like that at all. It tastes fresher and smoother than other puerhs I’ve tried, and completely not astringent. It makes me think of a really good yunnan, just… aged, for lack of a better word.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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91

This was my commute tea yesterday. I deviated a little from the instructions this time and let it steep for an extra 30 seconds, which deepened the flavor. This time, I used eight pearls for about 10-12 ounces of water and was very pleased with how it turned out. The cocoa was enhanced and stronger. I’m still loving this tea, and will definitely order it next time I place an order with Teavivre.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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91

My Teavivre samples arrived today! This will be my third round of tasting from this generous company, and as usual, I am like a kid on Christmas. This tea was the one I was most excited about. I read everyone else’s reviews on it and it got me quite excited for my turn. I am in love with Teavivre’s black teas, and when I smelled the pearls, I knew it was not going to disappoint.

As far as preparation goes, I used two pearls in about 10 ounces of water with a steel infuser. It unrolled rather quickly into long, whole, pointed leaves much like their yunnans. I let it go for the whole two minutes because I was a little worried by how pale amber the tea was. But the scent of it as it cooled reassured me that it would be flavorful.

Maybe next time I will use three pearls, but this is still a delicious cup. Malty cocoa is the strongest flavor, I agree. It reminds me a bit of their bailin gongfu, but a little more astringent. Also, there is just the barest hint of smokiness that makes it very satisfying. It is by no means your average black tea, and I can’t wait to get through this cup so I can make another. It’s great.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I used about 5 pearls for 8oz and had lots of cocoa with no astringency. Tasted more like nibs…really good!

Tabby

I tried a second time with more pearls and it was just like that. Delicious, smooth cocoa-y goodness.

Bonnie

See, glad you tried it with more. Sometimes it’s like that. I’ve had that happen before and I just try it again after reading a note from someone. It is really good! I just ordered some from Teavivre because I liked it so much!

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75

This is my first of Harney & Sons’ bottled tea line.

First of all, the flavor is light and it isn’t over-sweetened like most bottled teas I’ve tried. In fact, there are only 10 grams of sugar in the whole bottle. The taste immediately makes me think of pairing it with Thai food and how this would go well with panang curry, tom kha gai, or pad Thai.

There is enough lemongrass in this to be the dominant flavor, which is nice, but I was expecting a bit more coconut. The vanilla falls short, as well as the ginger. There is barely a hint of it, so sadly no ginger burn. The green tea might as well be water, because you can’t taste that at all, either. It’s like it’s just there for color. Anyway, it’s refreshing and different, but if you’re looking for a tea that tastes like tea, you might want to try something else.

Preparation
Iced

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77
drank Nepal First Flush by Adagio Teas
490 tasting notes

The dry leaf smells like a very sweet darjeeling — like a fresh, summery “green” black tea without a hint of smokiness or earthiness. After a steep, it smells more vegetal, but still sweet. The tea is pale and yellowy-green and smells a bit like fresh cut grass. (I mean that in a good way!)

The flavor is light and dries my mouth a little bit. It reminds me a bit of local honey in the way that I faintly taste flowers. I think my preparation should have had more leaf, and maybe another thirty seconds since I find the flavor so mild. I will return to this after a second try.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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87

Giving this chai a try over ice. I was right — it’s better this way. Or maybe I’m just biased because it’s 90-something degrees outside. I really can’t imagine having hot tea during the Georgia summer.

The mango flavor still sits on the surface and overpowers the chai spices and black tea. It still definitely reminds me of mango nectar, especially now that it’s cold.

I also want to note that I do have a pretty bad headache and it has helped a little bit. But I think that’s the caffeine talking. A caffeine addiction headache would probably be the only thing this tea actually could cure.

Preparation
Iced 5 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Bolder Breakfast by The Tea Spot
490 tasting notes

Chocolate tea is still weird to me, but I still like this one, even though it’s a flavored-black-puerh mutt.

I decided instead of having it hot, I’d experiment. I made it the same way I made the Thai Chai earlier — using 4.5 tsp of leaf in half a cup of boiling water, then adding sweetener, milk, and half a glass of ice. Even with the milk and ice, it remains strong. The chocolate is enhanced by the milk, making the tea creamier and calming the black tea’s bitterness. There is a hint of vanilla there as well, and I’m not sure if I mentioned that in my initial review. But it’s not as smooth as a milk chocolate, I’d say. More like baker’s chocolate, or dark chocolate. Strong on the cocoa. Anyway, it’s interesting iced. I might do it again when I’m craving chocolate.

EDIT: Came back to mention that if you choose to prepare it the way I did, expect a pretty strong caffeine buzz!

Preparation
Iced 4 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
490 tasting notes

What was I waiting for? Ninavampi sent me a sample of this months ago!

I’m always willing to try a new variation on chai. Chai has always interested me in its balance of spices, so adding coconut and lemongrass is pretty intriguing. Especially since I planned on having it cold. Anyway, I let it brew for six minutes in about half of the amount of water I would for normal iced tea. I then added a splash of cold milk and two good handfuls of ice.

The result is a delicious summer breakfast. The traditional chai spices are there on the surface; cinnamon, cardamom, ginger. I can’t say I can really taste the lemongrass, but the coconut is there. The coconut is faint, and reminds me a little more of plain vanilla. Since I love vanilla chai, I don’t mind. The black tea is hardly present, but that might have something to do with me neglecting this sample for so long. I would have to try a fresher batch to make any judgements there. In summary, I really like this chai, and it’s great iced.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Ninavampi

I am happy you liked it! :)

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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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