405 Tasting Notes

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
405 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
drank Golden Yunnan by Rishi Tea
405 tasting notes

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
405 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
drank Golden Yunnan by Rishi Tea
405 tasting notes

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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
405 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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Hm. It’s been a little while since I had a non-Chinese breakfast tea, so I’m mostly noticing the Ceylon in this one by contrast. There is a slightly smoky note, but it’s not very strong. There’s something sweet also, maybe malt or honey, but mostly the Celyon. I think the aroma’s being thrown off by it’s having sat next to the Spearmint Green in the sampler box – it smells kind of minty-sweet.

Interesting, and pretty good, but this certainly isn’t making me desperate to buy more. Drinking plain, at the moment, but will add milk shortly and see if that brings out anything new.

ETA: I did like it better with milk, and better plain on the second steep. It might have just been too strong for me at first, somehow, though it wasn’t overly bitter. Peculiar.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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83
drank 1001 Nights by TeaFrog
405 tasting notes

Drinking some of this hot with honey, chilling some to drink later. The green/black mix is always a little frustrating to steep, but this one is pretty forgiving, and adding sweetener makes it even more so. Might get more of this with my next Teafrog order (which will be soon, since Love just ran out!)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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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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