555 Tasting Notes


Sipdown. My laptop just bit the dust so now I’m discovering the woes of doing everything by phone not to mention sticker shock at computer prices. Why is it so fun to shop for tea and so completely unfun to shop for computers. If I look at one more spec sheet I think I’m going to lose it.

Anyway there’s nothing wrong with this tea but it is sadly underqualified to soothe me from all this computer stress. I think I may have to resort to whiskey.

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White tea will never be my favorite, but silver tips white tea seems better than most. It doesn’t taste so strongly of hay. There’s almost a light muscatel note here, plus a combination of sweet and savory notes. Re-steeped well.

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drank Organic Assam by Harney & Sons
555 tasting notes

Got a sample of this in my last H&S order. I’m enjoying it much more than I expected, because I usually don’t find assam all that appealing. It’s very smooth and has a slight cocoa note.

Unfortunately H&S sent me DECAF tea though instead of regular, so THAT has to be sorted out. No way can I drink decaf.

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drank Cape Jasmine Oolong by Tea Ave
555 tasting notes

This sample got lost in the back of the cupboard. I try to avoid jasmine because, although I like the flavor, I tend to get headaches from it. However, the jasmine in this is very pleasant and light, not perfumey at all, and gave me no problems. The oolong makes a nice base for it — I nearly always see jasmine paired with green tea, and the oolong is an interesting switch.

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drank Big Red Sun by Harney & Sons
555 tasting notes

Got a small sample pack of this in my last order. This tastes like a pretty standard black tea, except that it has a lovely malty aspect to it that I’m really enjoying. It’s probably not going to be something that I have to keep around all the time — I still prefer flavored black tea — but it makes for a nice change.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Chamomile by Harney & Sons
555 tasting notes

H&S sent me a sample of this in my last order. I don’t know what there is to say about it really. To me every manufacturer’s chamomile tastes the same, and this is no exception. But I’ve always thought chamomile was pretty lame, so maybe I’m not the best judge of it.

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Sipdown. It took me a long time to get through this tin. I liked the flavor a lot at first, but it didn’t wear well and soon it got demoted to the shelf of so-so teas. If it was oversteeped at all it got bitter and too flowery, but even when made correctly the flowery-ness was a bit much. This probably sounds like a dumb complaint about a tea called “Chinese Flower” — it’s not like H&S was being sneaky about the ingredients here — but when I got a sample of the tea, the predominant flavors were actually lemon and orange, with just a hint of floweriness. Either the balance of flavors in the tin was actually different, or my tastebuds just picked up on different things after I’d had several cups.

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drank Rummy Pu by Liquid Proust Teas
555 tasting notes

I heard great things about this one, but pu’erh in general is not my thing and I think I’m still too much of a novice to get into this. The flavor was okay, but I really didn’t like the smell (which was strong, whether it was dry leaf, wet leaf, or the brew itself). I didn’t get rum from this either. Mainly I tasted the earthy/spicy notes I’ve found in most pu’erhs. Slightly disappointed because I adored Liquid Proust’s Nostalgia, but again, I think this is just not my genre of tea.

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Sipdown. This is okay. It’s not a bad approach to the flavor, it’s just kind of on the weak side. I used 2 tsp per cup, and it still didn’t have the body or richness of H&S Soho or A Quarter to Tea’s Turtle Dove.

Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Happiness Is:
green tea
black tea
lots and lots of oolong!
vanilla things

Not Really My Style:
spices (except for ginger. ginger rocks)
chai (because, you know, the spices)
rooibos (I don’t get it. Everyone seems psyched for it. Not me).
those smoky teas, like lapsang souchong, though once in a while I’ll need something really strong and then I like them.


gypsy status



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