408 Tasting Notes

79

Remember how I didn’t want to mess with this one? I changed my mind :P I had a cup of it straight this morning, then decided to add some of Rishi’s Pe-erh Vanilla Mint; it’s usually too minty for my taste, so the extra vanilla and black tea flavor worked very well! I’ll be making this blend again, for sure.

With the pu-erh in there, it’s been re-steeping well all day, especially with the occasional extra 1/4 tsp of leaves.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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79

So, I was in Cardullo’s last night, buying another Kusmi sampler (for a friend!), and thinking of maybe getting a little tin of Paris for myself, when I saw that they had a sale shelf. With Golden Moon on it O_O. With, specifically, several of my favorite GM teas at ~40% off.

I ended up getting this one, White Persion Melon, and Coconut Pouchong. I made myself a batch of the Melon to drink iced today…. then left it in the fridge this morning :( But, at least remembered to bring this tin in.

I like this as a vanilla tea – it’s not a big, strong vanilla flavor, but it’s not weak either. Just light, and smooth, and fruity – best drunk plain, I think, or maybe with a dot of honey. I’ll try it with some milk later to be sure, but it’s so smooth and sweet on its own, I don’t think it would hold up well. There’s just this lovely sweet, aromatic aftertaste that I don’t want to mess with!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Winter Blend by SpecialTeas
408 tasting notes

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Second cup: this was definitely being contaminated by the mint, so I’ve moved those out of the box now. I’m less overwhelmed by the flavor this time – not having that weird too-strong-but-not-bitter experience – but still not overly impressed. It’s nice with milk, but I’ve had many breakfast teas wow me more, so this won’t be making a home in the cupboard.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
408 tasting notes

Having the other sampler bag of this today. I’m getting a little more spice, less citrus, than before. It reminds me of Harney’s Holiday Tea now, though it’s been long enough since I had that one that I can’t say how similar they really are. Though, it looks like JaquelineM mixes them together (her Winter Holiday Cheer is showing up in the sidebar as a “similar tea”) so they must go somewhat well together!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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57

I’m… not liking this one as much as I’d hoped. They recommend a lot of leaf – I’m using about half the suggestion, at 1 1/2 tsp for 8oz, and I think even this might be too strong? I really don’t know. My steeping time was right on :/ Maybe a second steep will go better?

This tastes dark, a little bitter, but mostly just kind of muddy. Like puerh, almost, without the barnyard flavor. I’m having a lot of trouble pulling individual flavors out of the earthiness. I’ll keep playing with it, but at this point I definitely wouldn’t buy more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Joshua

Sounds like you are having a similar problem. I think the steeping instructions are completely off. Did you have any luck adjusting?

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85
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
408 tasting notes

Oh! I remembered what this reminds me of: Strawberry Zabaglione from 52teas! The flavor here is a little more subtle, a little less cream and more fruit, but the profile is quite similar.

I probably won’t buy a tin of this immediately, but maybe the next time I’m in the mood for a sweet subtle fruity tea.

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57

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I usually like floral, but this is a bit too much. Any black tea is pretty well buried in the flowers, and even the bergamot is a little subdued in comparison. Just too light and tart for me overall. Might be nice iced?

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drank Sweet Love by Kusmi Tea
408 tasting notes

Blech. Tastes like liquorice. There’s some other spicy flavors too, and I think I can taste the guarana? But mostly liquorice, or which I am not a fan.

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Bio

Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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