194 Tasting Notes

65
drank Chai Guarana by DAVIDsTEA
194 tasting notes

I approached this sample warily because (as must be abundantly clear to anyone who’s seen my previous notes) I don’t like spice tea, and the last few spice tea samples have been particularly dreadful. This one smelled quite lovely though (the combination of ginger and anise, I think) and as it turns out, it was pretty well balanced too. Obviously it tasted like spices, but they weren’t overwhelming and the black tea came through. So though I wouldn’t buy it myself, I’d give it a thumbs up for those people who like spice tea.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Sipdown :( This is a great tea, but the ratios in this particular bag seemed slightly different to the one I’d had before. I remembered it with an emphasis on the caramelized coconut, and this bag definitely leaned more towards rum (though you get all these notes in all the batches, I’m just talking about which note comes through strongest). Anyway, this was fine, but I could have done with a pinch more coconut.

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100

I stretched this sample out as long as I could, but this is the last of it (tears). This is such an under-sung tea. So good, so natural, so green-oolongish- with-a-kiss-of-mountain-strawberry. I’ll just have to buy some more, but I need to drink some of these other teas first.

AllanK

I should be getting a sample of this from Angel at Teavivre. If you rate it at 100% I am excited to try it. It’ll be a couple of weeks though.

Tamarindel

Oooo, I hope you like it! I really love it, but I don’t want to give you the wrong expectations, because it’s not like one of those really strong-flavored teas that knock you out of the park. That’s sort of what I like about it, actually. It’s oolong first and foremost and the strawberry is a nice accent — it seems like so many flavored teas are all about the flavoring and you can barely pick out the actual tea underneath it all.

Tamarindel

p.s. If I remember correctly, Teavivre wrote their oolong steeping instructions at WAY too high a temperature, and of course that makes the tea astringent and weird. I just did 180-185 F, which is pretty normal for oolongs, and it was great.

AllanK

They wrote their Da Hong Pao instructions the same way, boiling water but I didn’t brew it like that.

Tamarindel

Good thinking! I don’t why they write such mad instructions.

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90
drank Milk Oolong by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Steeped up some of this last night, and caffeine or no caffeine, there couldn’t be a more soothing tea. I think this cup was even better than the first time I tried it. Somewhat by chance, I think I used slightly cooler water and steeped it a bit longer. Also, the leaves weren’t cramped up in the little basket strainer this time, and given the extra room, they unfurled to fill the whole steeper. I’m not sure it’s a big deal with all teas, but if you’ve got large-leaved oolongs, giving them room to breathe really helps.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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30

I got this as a sample sachet in a recent order. It’s not as bad as David’s Snickerdoodle, but still too much sickly sweet cinnamon. Keep in mind I am definitely prejudiced on this point — I don’t like spice tea — but still, I think H&S, a company notably good at balancing the ingredients in their blends, could have done a better job balancing this one. Like maybe you get a hint of the black tea that’s supposedly in this? If people just wanted to drink cinnamon, they could probably get it from their spice rack.

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87
drank Vangedi Pekoe by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Bumping the rating up slightly. The pekoes from Plucky Farm are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Fuss-free and rich on flavor. And this one tastes particularly brown sugary.

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88
drank Sencha of the Wind by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The very last of the Tealet tea boxes! This is a good one to end on. The tea has a really beautiful scent — honey and sweet peas. There’s some raw sweet pea flavor too, but mineral is the dominant flavor, and the pea is kind of an undernote. Right now this one’s vying with Sencha of the Spring Sun for the role of My Favorite Sencha. Spring Sun is smoother and mellower, something I generally look for in tea, but Wind has really interesting flavor. Hmmm, I’ll have to have a few more cups to decide.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86
drank Sencha of the Earth by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The label mentions a combination of sweetness and bitterness — I’m not really getting either. I do get lots of creamy pinenut flavor though. The tea is having a drying effect on my throat — normally I find this comes with astringency, so it seems kind of at odds with such a mellow tea.

Anyway, not crazy about the drying sensation, but love the flavor.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95
drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
194 tasting notes

I’ve nearly sampled the whole Tealet collection! Just 2 senchas left to go!

Neverless, I am taking this short detour with an old favorite, because I don’t want to be up all night on a sencha high. Lime gelato, while ostensibly caffeinated, is really an apple tea masquerading as a green tea (hey by the look of the three tea leaves in here, this has sencha in it too). I think this tea is 80% dried apple, 15% dried lime, 4.9% yogurt bits, and .1% sencha. This might not sound like the most appealing mix, but it always turns out delicious.

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87
drank Tecchan Shincha by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The instructions recommended using 1.5 Tablespoons of this, but I suspect that’s a typo (how could you possibly need 1.5 T of shincha?). This tea gets 5 out of 5 caffeine marks, and remembering how buzzed I got on the last tea that was marked that high, I used a scant teaspoon, and I find it is plenty strong.

I was curious to see whether this tea would really taste like buttered asparagus, as promised on the label, and it does! The stony mineral notes are also there, giving it a little zip, but it is primarily a smooth buttery vegetable tea. Good to focus with, as the caffeine brings plenty of alertness but the flavor is soothing. The steeped leaves are lime green, and the liquor is a pale gold.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

Happiness Is:
green tea
black tea
white tea if it’s heavily dosed with peaches
oolong? I’m starting to think oolong is the best of both worlds — I haven’t had many yet, but those I’ve tried have been divine.
fruit!
vanilla things
lots of mint!

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.

Bergamot.
Bergamot lives in a weird little category of its own. Sometimes it’s very good. Sometimes it’s very bad. I don’t know why my feelings toward it are always in flux, though the brand is a factor to some extent. Tea companies seem to have vastly different opinions about how to make earl grey.

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