490 Tasting Notes

95
drank Bangkok Blend by Harney & Sons
490 tasting notes

I figured it out! The review I wrote for this tea was for the bottled version, Organic Green with Coconut! That was driving me crazy.

Apparently Harney & Son’s makes this tea under several different names. (Because “Bangkok” is too easy to make jokes about, I guess?) The ingredients are pretty much identical, and so is the flavor. However, the loose leaf is a tad less bitter than the bottled, premade stuff. Either way, it’s tasty. Super refreshing and exotic. Soothing in a way, especially if you drank a lot the night before…

sherapop

The same thing happened to me, Tabby! Fortunately, a delicious tea is a delicious tea by any other name! ;-)

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82
drank Peaches & Ginger by Harney & Sons
490 tasting notes

This has been a lovely tea to turn to since the spring months started. Sweet, summery peach. I’ll admit I’ve only had it hot once since I opened the tin, but you know, this is Atlanta. Summer started two weeks ago. You need ice.

Not only does the dry leaf smell like it’s infused with peach candy, it has little nibs of dried peach mixed in. Even better, there are actual chunks of candied ginger. I’m tempted to pick them out and eat them, but I will restrain myself.

The peach flavor comes strongly through the mildly astringent black tea base. It reminds me of the syrupy water canned peaches come in. Not in a bad way, mind you. I was the weird kid that actually liked those in the school cafeteria. Sadly, the ginger is hardly noticeable. I might not have known it was there if I hadn’t made the tea myself. Otherwise, this is a delicious tea. Very fruity and refreshing, also great with a slice of lemon.

I wonder how this would taste steeped with ground ginger…?

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
boychik

I personally don’t like ground ginger. It has such weird smell and taste. I would add fresh sliced.

Stephanie

Fresh grated ginger would be spicylicious!

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82
drank Chinese Flower by Harney & Sons
490 tasting notes

This tea is pretty as potpourri! So many colors mixed in. Dark green chun mei leaves, yellowy lemon peel, and blue, pink, and cream-colored flower petals. The blue flowers appear to be cornflower, the pink might be rose, and I think the pale petals are chrysanthemum. Harney & Son’s website doesn’t go into specifics.

It’s delightfully fragrant as soon as I open the tin. A sweet, Meyer lemon-like aroma is mostly what I’m getting. As it steeps, the water changes to a light tannish yellow. The scent is a little more pungent after the chun mei brews, but it’s not off-putting. It reminds me of lemon verbena. The flavor is surprisingly smooth and citrusy. It’s not tart in any way as I kind of expected. The lemon mutes the green tea aspects of this completely. No ocean or grass flavors whatsoever. Also, I don’t really taste the flowers, either. I know cornflower doesn’t really have a flavor and chrysanthemum is usually very mild… but I at least expected to be able to taste the rose. Alas, this is basically an exceptionally pretty lemon green tea.

I’m not saying it’s bad in anyway. In fact, it tastes lovely. I was just sort of expecting more.

Flavors: Flowers, Lemon Zest

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 700 ML

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82

Sorry for the absence, Steepster, I haven’t had much time between work and my social life lately. Also, I’ve been blending my own chai and drinking that most mornings, so I haven’t had much to write about.

Anyway, I got this in a trade with JustJames a while back. It’s a pretty tea. Short, dark leaves with flakes of pale strawberry leaf and pink strawberry pieces. The aroma is just gorgeous. Tempting chocolate cake scent mixed with a hint of sweet-tart fruit. It really does smell like a cupcake.

Steeped, it starts to get a less-than-realistic, Tootsie Roll sort of smell. It looks lovely in the glass pot, however. Beautiful ambery red. From the aroma, I expected chocolate to be the most prominent flavor, but actually, it’s the strawberry! It reminds me of strawberry preserves, not strawberry candy, which is nice. Also, I can actually taste the black tea base. It’s mild and Assam-like with just a touch of astringency, but no bitterness. The chocolate is most noticable at the end, but I still feel like I’m smelling it more than I’m tasting it.

While chocolate teas aren’t really my thing, this one would be nice to revisit every once in a while.

Flavors: Berries, Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Bangkok Blend by Harney & Sons
490 tasting notes

I swear I have reviewed this tea, but Steepster is saying I haven’t. I don’t even know.
Anyway, I was writing this to add to my previous review – which I can’t find and might re-do, I guess.

I just wanted to add that this is delicious iced, sweetened, and with milk. The creaminess the milk adds goes really well with the coconut flavor. It reminds me of bubble tea, but without the tapioca pearls. Delicious!

However, I recommend drinking it this way out of an opaque cup. It looks… foul. It’s off-white, faintly yellowish, and cloudy. It looks like… something I’m not gonna name. ANYWAY.

Flavors: Coconut, Lemongrass

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 30 sec
sherapop

Tabby: you may have reviewed Green Tea with Thai Flavors, which is the same blend, expect maybe not organic. I had the same “déjà bu” experience upon brewing up a sachet of this yummy tea! ;-)

Tabby

I thought you were right, but there’s no review from me there, either! I might just be going crazy. But I know I’ve had and loved this tea before!

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80

This is another tea I picked up when Taste went out of business. I couldn’t resist. I’m getting to it now because I’ve caught a cold. Sigh.

Again, this is packaged in a white envelope with some cool art on it, but it’s basically just sealed in a ziplock bag on the inside. This packaging was made for Taste, though… if you were to order it from Pluff’s website, it would come in a nice tin.

The dry leaf smells nice, but not out of the ordinary. Tangy and pepperminty. It brews up to a medium tan and smells much better. Still a little tart in the scent. The resulting tea is soothing and light-bodied, leaving a cool sensation in my mouth. It’s making me feel a little better, at least. All around this is a nice peppermint tea. Not spectacular, but you can taste that the leaves they used are quality.

Flavors: Mint, Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Violette by Dammann Freres
490 tasting notes

Yes, another violet tea! This is the second I’ve tried, Kusmi’s being the first. Anyway, I got this in a trade with JustJames. Thanks, James!

This stuff is powerfully fragrant! My entire tea corner of the kitchen reeked of sweet, sweet flowers. I had to keep it out on top of the microwave so it wouldn’t contaminate my other teas. Goodness. It’s a lovely-looking tea. Tiny, fine black leaves mixed with little dried flowers – pale brown with a hint of the purple they used to be.

As it steeped, my kitchen started to smell purple. You know what I mean. Like some purple candy tastes, but not like artificial grape. When the tea was finished, a fully-formed violet flower had risen to the top and was floating on the surface of the dark brew. It smelled soothing and very, very floral. Upon tasting it, I see what James was talking about. The black tea base for this one is milder and less sharp than the one Kusmi uses. The flowers take the forefront, of course, in an exotic and spring-like way. Something about it also reminds me of hard candy.

If I make an order with Dammann Freres, this is something I’d definitely get again.

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Fjellrev

Awesome! I’m looking for a really good violet tea. This one just made it to my shopping list. :)

Stephanie

I made violet jelly a couple summers ago :)

Fjellrev

OMG that must have been amazing.

Tabby

Yum! Did you use fresh flowers or dried?

Stephanie

Fresh. My entire back yard is shady and covered in them! I waited till they were in full bloom and easily plucked a couple of quarts of them! You basically steep the fresh flowers like super strong tea, mix that bright purple liquid with sugar and pectin and then can it! I can post a link to the recipe if anyone is interested :)

TeaBrat

i’m skeered, lol

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

This tea sounds amazing!

OMGsrsly

Stephanie, that sounds amazing! I wonder if I can convince my parents to plant violets for me. :) (I have no outside space at my apartment!)

Tabby

Do you know what variety of violets they were, Stephanie? I live in the southeastern USA and all we have are Viola sororia, which don’t have any kind of scent.

Stephanie

Nope I sure don’t, Tabby. They grow like crazy here in Indiana though. The jelly did not have a super strong flavor in the end though. It’s really hard to describe! Based on my googling, I bet they were the same.

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84

Mmm, Earl Grey. One of my absolute favorites. As far as these teas go, this one smells great as it steeps. Pretty heavy on the bergamot oil, but not quite as heavy as what I’ve been drinking from Harney & Sons.

It brews up to a nice dark reddish brown and has a smooth black tea base. Nothing too harsh or bitter. The bergamot is lemony and pleasant. Not overpowering, but it does leave my mouth tingling a bit. Overall, this is a very satisfying Earl Grey. I admit it’s not a very stand-out version, but I like it.

Just Organic Tea’s Kickstarter is in it’s last 5 days! If you can spare a few bucks to help these kind folks out, please do. They’re still about $1300 short of their goal.(https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justorganictea/just-organic-tea-the-very-best-tea-delivered)

Flavors: Lemon Zest

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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80

Quick review because I’ve got to get to work. I got this in a trade with JustJames as a bit of a surprise! Yay! I love raspberry tea!

First of all, it’s a black/rooibos mix. While rooibos and I don’t get along, I don’t mind it if it’s blended with other stuff. The scent of the leaves is very, very strongly chocolate. But, of course, it’s not a very authentic chocolate scent. I’m starting to think all chocolate teas are going to be this way. Or maybe I just don’t like chocolate teas… I just like teas that naturally have notes of cocoa, like Fujian blacks. However, there is a strong, sweet raspberry scent that gives me hope.

Anyway, getting down to the actual flavors of this tea. This stuff tastes like straight up Tootsie Pops. The ones with the maroon wrappers. The candy-like raspberry flavor is in the forefront, followed by that somewhat artificial Tootsie Roll chocolate. It also sort of reminds me of a cherry cordial. While this isn’t bad in any way, I think it could have been executed better. I’ll definitely be finishing what I have, as I do like candy… though I don’t necessarily want to drink it.

Flavors: Berries, Chocolate

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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72

A local kitchenware boutique, Taste, went out of business recently. I saw that they were having their final clearance sale, and couldn’t resist cleaning out their tea section. This was the first thing I picked up. I took all three remaining envelopes, mostly for the picture of the moose. And because of chai, of course.

Sadly, though, I’m pretty disappointed with it. First of all, inside the pretty paper envelope with the old-timey art, there’s just a ziplock of tea. Seriously, just a clear plastic baggy.

The mix looks nice enough. A few cardamom pods, lots of cinnamon, bits of ginger root, mixed into a lower-quality black tea. Pretty standard. It smells alright, sort of weak on the ginger and no real cardamom scent. It’s mostly just cinnamon. The flavor is even more disappointing. The spices aren’t very potent, and there’s some sort of weird earthy flavor. Like they mixed a little bit of dirt or something into it. Or maybe it’s just really stale. Who knows how long it sat on a shelf until I bought it? Either way, I’m glad I used it all up so I can move on to something better.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 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

Website

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