408 Tasting Notes

85
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
408 tasting notes

Pretty tasty – fruit and caramel, yes – but I think I liked Prince Vladimir better. This reminds me of something I’ve had before, but I’m not being able to place it. Blue moon, maybe? Except that it really doesn’t have the apple notes, hmm.

It is very nice, and sweet enough to drink plain, but would probably benefit from a dash of sugar. I’ll try that next time, since Kusmi considerately puts 2 of each tea into the sampler!

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

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90

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

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86
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
408 tasting notes

To my delight, there’s a specialty foods store in Harvard Square that carries Kusmi Tea. Not knowing what to try first, I picked up a box of their “essentials” that has two bags each of twelve of their (I assume) most popular teas. For some reason I was expecting normal-ish bags, so I was pleasantly surprised by the individually-sealed muslin sachets! Now, on to the tea :)

… delicious! Perfectly delicious, hot and plain. I always appreciate black teas smooth enough to easily drink plaint. Sweet and fruity and aromatic – citrus and vanilla, as described, but a very soft citrus. A like lemon coffee cake? I expect to get a second steep out of it, but haven’t yet. I’ll probably try with milk next time, but don’t want to mess with it at the moment – this is just tasty.

I’ll have to try the rest of the sampler first, but this could easily be one to buy a tin of!

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

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83
drank Coconut Oolong by Rishi Tea
408 tasting notes

Mmmm, very tasty. I never used to like coconut much, but the coconut oolongs are definitely converting me. This is a little stronger than I recall Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong being, but they are similarly real and well-blended flavors.

I got this with Rishi’s oolong sampler, so the other 3 will be up in the next week or two as I get to them.

The packaging suggests using 190˚F water, though the description here says 175˚. I’ve steeped it a couple of times now, and either seems to work fine. I found the higher temp gave a stronger flavor, lower was sweeter.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec
gmathis

Coconut is one of my very favorite tea additives…especially in summer.

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I think I need to get some of this soon.

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88
drank Vanilla Mint by Golden Moon Tea
408 tasting notes

Delicious! I don’t usually like mint mixed with things, but this is really tasty. Good vanilla, and peppermint. I love that GM uses real things to flavor the tea – even in my sample I could see chopped vanilla beans. Not sure I’d drink regularly enough to buy, but I’d definitely recommend trying this one.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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87
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
408 tasting notes

Finally bought a big bag of this :D It is hands-down the best decaffeinated vanilla black tea I’ve tasted (… hey, it’s a relevant category!) The tea flavor is a bit overwhelmed by the vanilla, but the vanilla is delicious – round and sweet and creamy. I like this with a bit of honey and/or milk, especially at bedtime.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec
LadyLondonderry

Yes, this is the perfect bedtime beverage — so creamy and soothing!

JacquelineM

I can’t believe how much of my 1 lb bag is gone! I am going to have to get another when I do my fall ordering!

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83
drank 1001 Nights by TeaFrog
408 tasting notes

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68

I got a bag of this at SpecialTeas going out of business sale a few months ago, so it’s a bit old now, but still enjoyable – I just up the leaf a little. Rich malt and honey flavors, but emphasis on the honey; it’s sweet for an Assam.

Taken with a dash of milk.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Moonlight White by Rishi Tea
408 tasting notes

Cold-brewed this overnight, and it turned out pretty well. Teas like this are why I bought a glass waterbottle; it’s delicate enough to be overwhelmed by plastic or aluminum.sweet and refreshing, though- a good tea for a summer morning.

This tea also has the most gorgeous leaves I’ve ever seen, wet or dry: green, and maroon, and sparkly from the “silver” hairs on the needles.

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drank Ancient Emerald Lily by Rishi Tea
408 tasting notes

I just placed an order with Rishi (last day for 20% off with their mother’s day code!) So I’m trying to finish off some of my last round from them. I was looking forward to this one, but tragically didn’t rinse my filter well enough after washing it, so lost a whole mug to soap :(

More rinsing and a fresh batch of leaves makes a better cup, but now I’m paranoid and keep thinking I taste soap. Arg! It is being a little bitter, but I probably just used too much leaf…

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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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