100 Tasting Notes

drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
100 tasting notes

I have not been a Teavana customer, but I found myself with a couple of Starbucks gift cards courtesy of co-workers and decided to see what the coffee giant has done with the place. The Pittsburgh location (I spent the holidays there with my wife’s family)was glitzy and the selection weighted towards flavored teas. I always love a good golden monkey and thought I would give it a try (though it was overpriced).

Let’s just say that I was a bit underwhelmed. The tea was fairly weak and I really had to breathe in while drinking to grasp the flavor profile (cherry tobacco/red wine/nutmeg). A frustrating experience—like straining to run in a dream and flailing.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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A tea to be savored, this delicate Keemun does not feature the smokey tobacco flavor of some, but the alluring blend of spice (cinnamon and allspice) and red wine is delicious. This is not an in-your-face tea, but often restraint is the essence of beauty.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Himalayan Gold by Capital Teas
100 tasting notes

I’m really digging this tea. It’s a little more syrupy than a darjeeling, less astringent. I just want to chug it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Bet this is from Nepal…fruity but not a real darjeeling, much richer. If it’s from Nepali TEA Trader’s it’s very good. (They sell there tea to shops)

Bonnie

Their not there

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When it comes to green tea, I’m pretty much a meat and potatoes guy. Other than first-flush senchas, I don’t really search out anything too refined. I’m satisfied with a good basic tea on those occasions when I want something with less caffeine; still I favor robust greens, and I remember drinking this gunpowder and liking it.

Well, it’s even better than I remember it and quite a bargain (a little leaf goes a long way). I love the wood-fire smokiness and the thick broth. It really is the lapsang suchong of green teas. A perfect winter green.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This might be my favorite Ceylon tea from Upton so far and a true bargain. The tea is light, lemony, minty and very refreshing—one of those do-it-all teas that is great at any time of the day and should satisfy a wide range of tea drinkers.

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

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Trying to finish this up so I can, in good conscience, dive into my new Sungma second flush. It’s more roasty than other darjeelings but I like the richness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Himalayan Gold by Capital Teas
100 tasting notes

I look forward to my infrequent work trips, mainly because I have the opportunity to visit tea shops and cafes, something I don’t have the luxury to do here in my culturally alive but tea bereft area. On a recent trip to DC, I stopped into Teaism and had a nice cup of Golden Monkey and then bought a tin of this Himalayan Gold from Capital Teas.

I have to say, I have quickly become enamored of this tea. Of course it has the same general profile as a darjeeling, but with a lingering sweetness—Oolong-like in its floweriness—that sets it apart from its more astringent cousin.

I only wish Capital had more unflavored teas to choose from; I would certainly purchase from them again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

This looks like Himalayan Gold from Nepali Tea Traders (non-profit) in Denver. They source tea from farms in Nepal, sell direct and wholesale. This is one of my favorites in their line of black tea’s. www.nepaliteatraders.com The sample sets are a really good way to try their tea’s if you enjoy tea from Nepal. (I don’t mind plugging a non-profit that helps the farmers!)

Doug F

I noticed the similarities between the two and had always meant to try teas from Nepal tea traders. Thanks for vouching for them.

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
100 tasting notes

My first foray into Mandala teas and I couldn’t be more pleased. This is a delicious, aromatic and refined tea that reminds me of an Old Tree Bohea. A mellow chai-like spiciness mingles with a honey-inflected sweetness to create a perfectly balanced cup. I can’t wait to try my Mao Cha and the two samples that were generously included with my order.

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

So very happy that you enjoyed this tea. I really appreciate you taking the time to write about your experience with it. Thank you. We have had some customers enjoy this tea at 195 degrees as well as 205, 208. It’s a pretty versatile tea, for sure. Enjoy the mao cha, my friend!

TeaBrat

this IS good!

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As the note says, a lucky find. The liquor is clean and smooth—not fishy at all—which allows the spearmint and mushroom flavor to shine through. A little bit of cherry rounds out the robust profile. A really excellent 10-year-old Shu for everyday drinking.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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Tea of the afternoon is this refined, sophisticated tea that really blossoms in the back of the throat with a blend of cinnamon, chocolate and citrus.

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Bio

I love tea and living in a place that is cold or cool nine months of the year, tea is a constant source of warmth and education. I always drink tea straight and rarely drink flavored teas or Tisanes, except for the occasional Rooibos. I’m a proud father of two young boys, an avid skier, motorcyclist, reader, and runner. I have a doctorate in English (dissertation on Emily Dickinson.)

Location

Maine

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