50 Tasting Notes

68
drank Chinese Flower by Harney & Sons
50 tasting notes

I found this on clearance at Target. I can recommend it if you like Lady Gray teas with flower flavors that attack you. Sometimes I’m in the mood for that.

These pyramidal bags contain some dark green, matte, curled up leaves that I will call large pieces. They also contain some large chunks of dried lemon peel and dried petal pieces.

The aroma in the pink tin is strong. Not surprisingly, it smells like green tea, citrus, and roses. It’s pleasant and unusual enough a combination for me to keep smelling and trying to separate and identify the smells.

I brewed the tea for three minutes and poured it over ice. The color was a straw-yellow and slightly green. The room smelled like flowers. Fun! A big sniff over the cup is sharply floral, like something medicinal or like a cleaner, but pleasant.

Sips give first a floral aroma, then a floral taste, then a later and weaker green tea flavor. The floral notes in the aroma and flavor are different, with the flavor being more fruity. The tea flavor is bitter, which goes well with the flower flavors. There’s not much astringency, but there is a small sweet flavor in the aftertaste, with just some lingering side of the tongue bitter.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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28

This is Chinese (?) Sencha with orange peel, natural flavorings and a specific broccoli seed extract. I enjoy pungent broccoli sprouts, and green tea, and oranges. Why not give this a try?

Color: more orange than a tan or light brown liquor from some green teas.

Aroma: two components. The stronger note is essence of orange; a fainter note is the smell from when greens are off after sitting in the fridge too long. The second note is faint enough to not put me off.

Taste: the sip starts with a soft orange essence flavor, but this doesn’t last long. It gives way to some vegetal flavors and something else I haven’t tasted before. It’s almost like the spoiled greens smell, but not quite. Then the orange comes back with a very short flash of orange creamsicle flavor. Interesting. There are bitter flavors in there, too, but covered up by everything else.

The sip ends with a decent dryness in the back of the palate. A faint bitter and faintly sweet aftertaste remains, as expected for green tea. After a few sips, it is starting to dry my whole mouth.

Kudos to whoever blended this. I like the idea, after reading about broccoli sprout tea being used in some studies on broccoli and health benefits. If I’m tasting the broccoli extract, I think I’m only barely tasting it. However, this is not quite tasty enough as an orange flavored green tea for me to buy again. I think I’ll drink other green teas and get my broccoli compounds from sprouts.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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69
drank Russian Blend by Samovar
50 tasting notes

This is the tea I wanted to try second most in the black tea sampler from this company. After smelling the leaves, I felt like tossing this into the samovar, but I don’t have one, so no zavarka as suggested on the Samovar website. I steeped two well-rounded teaspoons for 5 min at 205F in a 12 oz cup instead.

The dry leaves are in longish pieces and dark in color. The aroma of the tea in the pouch is smoky, reminds me of new shoes in the box, and hints at anonymous fruit.

The aroma over the dark liquor (on the red side of black coffee in color) is sweet and strongly smoky (to me, but this is my first smoked tea), but not like hickory BBQ. The smoke is like a piney wildfire smoke.

I brace myself, nose above cup, for a powerful cup of smoke. The taste is instead silky and out of proportion with the smoky aroma. The sip tastes of bitterness in the back, in balance with up front flavors that include a strong sweetness, a tongue-tickling bitterness, and some smoky sweetness or sweet smokiness. This taste reminds me more of hickory smoke than the aroma. The sip finishes with a smoky, lingering sweetness aftertaste. The sip is moderately astringent.

As the cup cooled, the flavors seemed to soften. The sweet flavor became more fruity.

The smoke breath I experienced after this cup is exciting, but I’m not sure whether I like it.

This strikes boldly and then follows up with subtlety. An intriguing cup of tea.
I want to try it with lemon and try multiple steeps.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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51
drank Lychee Black by Samovar
50 tasting notes

The aroma of the cup reminds me of the tea base of Zhena’s Gypsy Rose, but with a light fruit aroma in place of the sharp, floral rose of the rose tea. The tea aroma is spicy. From this aroma, I am expecting a taste from the tea that is biting.

I am surprised to taste a so-smooth, and more importantly, soft tea flavor. By this I mean that the bitterness is soft and faint (sides of the tongue, nothing in the back, no sharpness up front), and there is no astringency to speak of. I get some malty and sweet flavors from the tea.

The lychee flavor is there, but it is so light it is like a reminder of a flavor that reminds me of lychee. Lychee is not one of the most commanding flavors in the fruit world, so this light tea is a great match. The whole package is quite relaxed.

The aftertaste is, surprisingly (to me), of the tea flavor, with some stronger lychee flavor, not a bitter or sweet aftertaste.

I shared a small pot of this. One of us thought this was the cat’s pajamas.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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75

I tested a rinsing steep on these tea bags today. I put the bag in a cup of boiling water for about 10 seconds, poured it out, and then did a 5 min steep in boiling water.

I like it this way. Some of the flavors that were fleeting before were more well defined in this cup. Most notably, there was a sides of the tongue sweetness that was more prominent. The cup was less astringent. The bitter, sweet, and leathery flavors were in good balance, with the previously noted smokey flavor quite absent. The color was still dark, but more of a dark, dark rose than coffee-colored.

I’m impressed by a mass-produced, bagged tea with such versatility.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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42

I tasted this again with a hotter steep, so I thought I should enter a separate note.

I steeped it this time at 175F for 3 min.

The color and aroma are unchanged. The tea flavor has come out more. It is quite a mild green tea flavor. I get some sweetness on the sides of my tongue that I didn’t get from the 165 F steeping. There is little nuttiness either from the tea or the rice, which is disappointing. There is still little bitterness. I get a light sweet aftertaste from this cup.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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42

Funny that this is the Gen Mai Cha that “started it all” for me. A box of this was in the break room at work instead of the regular CS green tea. Now I taste it and wonder what I was so turned on by the last time I had it. I am coming back to it after tasting some other Gen Mai Chas.

I tasted this steeped 3 min at 165F. The color is a like the smily face in the rating bar below, a nice yellow green. The aroma is nutty, and toastier than other bagged Gen Mai Chas I have tasted recently. The nuttiness carried through to the flavor. I would like the tea and toasted rice flavors to both be stronger. No astringency. Smooth (but muted, in my opinion) flavors. Very mild bitterness.

This is one I should probably just leave in the mug instead of steeping only 3 minutes. I’m mild about this tea.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Dragonwell by The Tea Spot
50 tasting notes

I finished off my sampler of this today. I was about to write down a tasting note and then I noticed how alike my thoughts were to what I wrote down before! I have tasted more teas now, and I still like this. The flavors were three and clear for the first steeping: first nutty, then a vegetal taste and a mild bitterness together. The second steeping saw them all fade. I would buy this again but I am off to seek some other dragonwell samples. I did pick up a faintly sweet aftertaste. Everything about this cup is delicate.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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49

With half and half, this is good. The aroma over the cup is a fruity cinnamon, but not necessarily apple. The start of this sip is sweet, with apple and cinnamon next. The finish is a sweet, soft cinnamon, with a little cinnamon heat in the throat. Holding it in my mouth allows apple flavor to come out more. The sip leaves a strong drying sensation.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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Bio

I need coffee; I love tea.

I have been learning about tea since I was a teenager, but joining Steepster has accelerated my education.

I gave up soda (completely) this Spring and have re-discovered tea to fill the afternoon void.

I like strong, well balanced tastes. I ferment my own mead, cider, and sauerkraut.

I like green tea, oolong, black tea, flavored black tea, pu-erh, and some tisanes! Oh, and Mate, too!

Lately, I have been most enjoying nutty green teas and oolong teas.

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