498 Tasting Notes

89

My second pu-erh from Arbor Teas! This one didn’t brew up as dark and coffeelike as the Ancient Palace, but the taste is very similar.

The tea leaves smell stronger, however. I steeped mine at a little over 5 minutes, but next time I think I’ll try for longer. This infusion is delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I am in the mood for something very, very flavorful. It has that “aged” flavor that I described earlier with my first pu-erh, and it tastes just as smooth. It has a very soothing quality to it, and the flavor makes me feel sort of nostalgic for some reason, though I am still unfamiliar with these teas.

All in all, this is definitely worth trying and experimenting with. Which I will. And I’m sure these experiments will involve honey. Mmm. Off to work!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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68
drank English Teatime by Bigelow
498 tasting notes

First of all, on the back of the packet, it says to only steep this for 1-2 minutes. Only 2 minutes for a black tea? I’m lost.

Anyway, I mostly grabbed this because I was in a hurry this morning and didn’t have time to prepare a loose-leaf tea. (But after a long night of drinking, I was craving tea as soon as I woke up.) Upon first sip, I was glad that I let it steep the normal amount of time.

It did get pretty strong, but the flavor is nice. It’s a keemun, I think, and just tastes like your standard breakfast tea. It’s good, but not really noteworthy. I wouldn’t turn it down, but if there was something else, I’d probably leave this one behind.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Bigelow Tea

Thanks for your review.

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

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62
drank English Breakfast by Adagio Teas
498 tasting notes

Backlogging from the day before yesterday. (I’ve been a busy cat.) Made a pot of this to sip on all day, ended up sharing a lot of it with my brother. Just as good as usual. Not amazing, but good.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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89

I feel like I shouldn’t be the first one to review this tea, because in a minute, I am going to come off sounding like an enormous newbie. This is my first real pu-erh, as the cheap bagged chrysanthemum blend by Asian Taste I tried earlier doesn’t count. (Even though it was very tasty.)

Upon first sniff, I was a little intimidated. Not to be offensive, but this tea smells exactly like fish food to my inexperienced senses. As it brewed, I was stunned at how dark it became. I had never seen tea so black before, almost like coffee. It had a dark ambery red tint to it as well. I was so intrigued at this point. And the liquor itself lost the fishy scent.

For a tea this dark, I would never have expected it to be so smooth! It’s not bitter or sharp at all, and hardly astringent. It just tastes like mellow, good black tea. I really like it. It has a sort of taste in it that I can’t identify… it’s a sort of “aged” flavor that’s hard to describe. There’s also something in this that sort of reminds me of pekoe. Anyway, I think it’s great! And the caffeine content makes it a lot of fun. Honey would compliment it well, I think. EDIT: I think I’ve tasted something like this before in a bottled Thai tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
Auggy

I’m always surprised by how much cooked pu-erh smells like the dry food we feed our cats… both are very pier-like.

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83

I was a little wary of this tea, mostly because I’ve tried a mint tea before and was appalled. But when I saw it on the sample list, I decided to go for it anyway. I love the taste of spearmint, so I figured I would try it again. (This time from a reputable source…)

I’m very glad I did. This tea is milder than I expected, but in a good way. It’s not overpowering at all, as I was sort of expecting to be hit by it like a stick of 5 gum. No, this is smooth and fresh tasting, almost as if there was fresh mint used instead of dried. The gunpowder green tea’s taste itself is overshadowed by the mint, but I don’t mind. It’s especially soothing since I’ve had a sore throat all day. It was nice coming home from working a double to a cup of this on the couch.

It leaves a very clean feeling in the mouth, sort of like the feeling after brushing your teeth. Again, another winner from Arbor Teas’ Fair Trade department. I could see myself keeping this around for when I want a cup before bed.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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95

I’m not usually a huge fan of white teas… well, at least until now I wasn’t. I’ve had some negative experiences with it in the past, but this tea sort of pushes all that away.

Upon first look, this is a beautiful tea. I don’t think the picture does it justice. The brilliant red-orange flower petals mixed with the silvery and green tea leaves compliment each other well. I steeped it by the book, exactly 180 degrees for three minutes flat. The liquor is a pale and clear yellow, as one would expect. And the smell of it brewing… like others have said, just like candy, but without the artificial qualities. It just smells deliciously of sweet fruit. Ever so pleasant.

The taste is very light and delicate, almost apple-like. It seems very clean and smooth to me, and has hardly any aftertaste aside from the pomegranate flavor. I can imagine this would be fantastic over ice. It is definitely going on my Shopping List. I have been very impressed with Arbor Teas since I’ve had the opportunity to sample them, and this tea was no exception.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Plum by Adagio Teas
498 tasting notes

Hello, old friend. I’ve been drinking this tea on and off for about five years now. I always come back to it. Been slowly making my way through a 1lb.-bag I acquired not long after Adagio stopped producing this for the east coast. It was my first loose leaf tea.

As usual, it’s a very potent Ceylon blend with tart plum and a hint of vanilla. Having it hot tonight. Is there a term for having cups of tea back to back, like “chain smoking”, only with tea? Because that’s what I have been doing today.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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93

This tea comes across with a sort of fierce confidence compared to the calm, mellow darjeeling I tried earlier. The leaves are more tightly rolled and darker, almost black. The scent is sharper as well, and it has that distinct Ceylon signature.

Within seconds the water turned a deep reddish amber. I was impressed. This would be excellent on a cold morning, as the caffeine level feels pretty high. As usual, I added sugar to compliment the pleasant bitterness. I personally love Ceylon, so this was a real treat. It’s much better than any of the Ceylons I’ve tried from Adagio and other random places.

Also, I’d like to mention that not only is this tea certified organic, Fair Trade, and delicious, it comes in a compostable bag. Everything about this tea is biodegradable. I highly recommend it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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95

I’m celebrating Fair Trade Month early with my first darjeeling. Thank you, Taylor!

I knew I was going to like this tea the second I opened the bag and sniffed. It smelled so deliciously sweet and enticing, but dark. Like the woods in fall. The leaves don’t look like a traditional black I’m used to. They were a lighter brown, and had bits that remind me almost of a white tea mixed in.

I could hardly wait the five minutes I let it steep. The initial flavor is a cultured, smooth black tea with a hint of honey. It also has a sort of fruity zest to it, sort of lemony. There is no bitterness at all, and it is not astringent in the least. I can suddenly understand why people call darjeelings “the champagne of tea”.

This might be my mainstay black tea from now on.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
T.C.

“Like the woods in fall.” – great description!

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81

Brewed this double-strong and used 1 part water, 1 part milk. Added sugar and topped with whipped cream. It’s almost like a chai latte this way. Should have sprinkled cinnamon on top of the cream… hmm.

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 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, sage, apple, coconut, raspberry, lychee, bergamot, osmanthus, cucumber, lavender, vanilla, cardamom, ginger, 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.

You can assume that I’m preparing my tea using the Western method. I use zero-calorie sweeteners and in the hot months, I drink my tea almost exclusively iced.

Location

Decatur, GA

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