506 Tasting Notes

90

The first thing I notice about this tea is how pretty it is! Gold and chocolate-colored tea leaves rolled into narrow strips, decorated with bright pink rose petals. My sample even included a perfect, whole rose bud. I admit, I plucked it out and sniffed it. Dried roses smell a lot like fresh ones, only a tad more peppery. It had also absorbed some of the decadent Fujian black tea flavor. Mmm.

The tea itself is a little more mellow than I expected, but I like it. Unlike some rose teas I’ve tried in the past, this one isn’t too peppery with the rose flavor. It’s mild and comforting. In the black tea I taste notes of sweet potato and dinner rolls. I know dinner rolls is sort of a weird descriptor, but it’s good! I love the fact that Teavivre never skimps on the quality of the black teas they use for flavored teas. It’s always something that would be fantastic on its own.

There’s something very relaxing about it. I would love to try this again during the winter, to enjoy the summery rose contrasted against the cold.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Rose, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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95

Yesss, another Teavivre yunnan. I absolutely love their complexity and brilliant flavors. Teavivre’s selection has really changed my taste in black teas. While I used to prefer bitter, strong blends, my eyes have now been opened up to Fujians. It’s been like going from a black and white world to a life in vivid color.

As I always do, I took a moment to look the leaves over and smell them. They’re very dark brown, in mostly uniform pieces. Simple and fragrant. Once steeped, you can see that they’re all new growth. The leaves are pointed at the end and narrow, having been harvested before they had time to become more rounded. It brews up to a bright orange amber, perfectly clear. I smell notes of honey, dates, raisins, and maybe baked goods.

The flavor is a satisfying treat. Perfectly smooth, without any astringency. The fruity notes are especially noticeable on the exhale. I can taste honey also. And yet, there’s a touch of floralness, too. Basically, there is a lot going on in this tea, but it’s a harmony.

Flavors: Fig, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Raisins, Wheat

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Vanilla Chai by Good Earth Teas
506 tasting notes

I got excited when I found this on sale for $1.80 a box. I recognized the name and immediately thought “The guys who make Sweet Chai Of Mine!! Awesome!”. But after checking out its profile here on Steepster, I realized this one might not be a winner like the other. Also, it says “Overflowing with pure pleasure” on the packet… that’s awkward.

However, upon opening one of the little pouches, I’m greeted by a very nice aroma. Cinnamon, sweet vanilla, clove, cardamom, ginger root. It actually smells a lot like Sweet Chai Of Mine. Or a cinnamon bun.

The flavor is a little heavy on anise, which I’m not really into. The same goes for the cinnamon, which gives it a Red Hots candy flavor. I’m not getting as much vanilla as I had hoped. The ginger and cardamom are very weak, but present. They add a sort of gingerbread man taste when combined with the vanilla. Anyway, this isn’t a bad chai. It’s just mild and not very interesting. I’ll be happy to finish it, but I know I wouldn’t buy it again.

Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec

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70

Initially, I bought this tea to practice blending chai with. You know, something really cheap and in bulk so I could mess up if need be. (The entire tub, about 5.5 oz of leaf, only cost me two dollars.) Now that I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of it, I’m finally trying the tea plain.

The leaves are in tiny, nearly black pieces. Its aroma is weak and sort of cardboard-like. As it steeps, the water gets a little cloudy. It has a sort of tangy scent and flavor that I’m not liking. A sort of weird, iodine-like sourness. Otherwise, it tastes like your standard Ceylon. A tad bitter and astringent with notes of hay and earth. Once I finish the tub, I’ll probably reach for some other bulk black tea to mix with… but this served its purpose.

Flavors: Earth, Iodine

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86

I have no idea why I can’t get a photo of this tea to show up. It’s mildly infuriating.

Anyway, I bought this bagged, in a sachet big enough to make a gallon. Of course, I didn’t want a gallon at a time since I’ll probably be the only one drinking it. My husband and brother both don’t like fruity tea. So, I opened up the bag and took a few teaspoons to make a single glass, and put the rest in a little Mason jar for later.

The fragrance is lovely. Sweet, soft raspberry with a hint of black tea. There’s also a note of rose in the aroma. The leaves, being bagged and all, are ground almost as fine as coffee. They slip right through the holes in my infuser. Great. Now I’m gonna have gritty tea if I’m not careful. As it steeps, the water gets really dark. It comes up to a deep reddish amber. Maybe a little too red to be natural…

The flavor, though, is surprisingly tasty. I’m not getting any rose, but the raspberry flavor is very upfront and nice. Perfect for a cool spring evening. It isn’t tart at all, and the black tea is smooth. Without bitterness. It sort of reminds me of raspberry candy, or maybe raspberry jam. Anyway, this isn’t bad. I’m glad I finally got around to it. It’ll most likely be my wake-up tea tomorrow morning, too.

Flavors: Berries, Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
gmathis

Sounds like a perfect summer tea!

Veronica

I tried to upload a picture of a tea yesterday and couldn’t get it to work.:(

Tabby

Now that I look around, I see a lot of teas have broken images. I wonder what gives.

mrmopar

Yeah a lot of today’s images are off, even the search ones.

caile

I noticed the same thing about the images.

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88
drank Sweet Chai Of Mine by Good Earth
506 tasting notes

Wow, I’m surprised to be the first to review this tea! I picked it up on a whim when I was visiting the inlaws in Ohio. I liked the packaging and the thought of self-sweetening chai, even though it involved stevia leaf. That stuff is a little off-putting to me. I don’t like how it lingers in my mouth, sweetening the very air.

What I absolutely love about this tea is its aroma. It’s mouth-watering. It smells like butterscotch or butter rum and vanilla, with a hint of cinnamon and clove. It’s absolutely heavenly. Like a decadent ice cream dessert. The flavor isn’t entirely as strong, but it doesn’t disappoint. Very butterscotchy for a chai! It’s not heavy on other traditional chai spices like ginger or cardamom, but there’s a nice note of vanilla.

Now, about the self-sweetening aspect. It really is naturally sweet, but the sweetness sort of comes along in the finish. I guess I’m not tasting the stevia until the exhale. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a sensation I’m not used to. I might be tempted to add just a little more sweetener, but I like my chai on the sweeter side, so that might just be me.

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Cloves, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

You make this sound really decadent :-)

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95
drank Bangkok Blend by Harney & Sons
506 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
506 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
506 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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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

Website

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

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