14 Tasting Notes

85
drank Pu Erh Dante by Adagio Teas
14 tasting notes

As a puerh drinker in a past life, I feel like I have been the only person to say something about puerh dante besides how awful it is. I don’t know, I guess I have low standards. I think it’s the kind of tea that you like for it’s flaws. At least the earlier puerh dante was like that. Since then I think Adagio found a higher quality puerh to call puerh dante. It’s very smooth, which one would expect from cooked puerh. There is almost a malty flavor upfront that ties the earthy flavors together. Puerh dante was my introduction to puerh, and I liken it to going in the woods and smelling dirt and rotting vegetation. It might not smell pleasant at first, but you learn to like it. At least, that’s how I view this tea. I didn’t like it at first, but I grew to like it. This doesn’t seem like the same tea I first tried, but it is a welcome change. Adagio traded in a very earthy puerh for a cleaner, maltier puerh. Not that earthy is bad.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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81
drank Yerba Mate by Adagio Teas
14 tasting notes

I’ve been tapering off drinking yerba, but I always get sucked back in. I threw in a sample of this with a tea order just to drink a little mate again. Opening the bag, I was surprised by the lack of palos (twigs), and the very fine cut deep green leaves. There isn’t much of a smell from the dry leaves, which I find a bit unusual too. Brewing the mate, I noticed that it’s definitely unsmoked, and the flavor is mostly a bitter green and oaky flavor. This yerba seems almost exactly like Ecoteas yerba, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if Adagio got their mate from Ecoteas. There aren’t any bright and lively flavors, it’s more like the earthy smell of a cigar. I appreciate stronger flavors like that, but I find this yerba to be a bit unbalanced as it’s a bit harsh. Maybe if it had some polvo (powder), it would taste a bit smoother.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93
drank San Mateo Yerba Mate by Guayaki
14 tasting notes

I guess I could get used to unsmoked yerba afterall… The leaves are surprisingly fragrant after adding a few drops of cool water to them. It smells piney, citrusy, and very woody. I guess I never could have noticed this sort of complexity until I let my palate reset itself after drinking only strong smoky yerba. Normally, smoke seems to meld all the flavors together in yerba, but I guess it makes the flavor more unidimensional. The complexity of this yerba, however, makes me think of walking in the woods and being surrounded by pine trees and fallen trees. Bright, piney, citrusy, combined with dark earthy and woody.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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84
drank White Peony by Rishi Tea
14 tasting notes

First of all, the leaves seem oddly abused. Instead of large white peony leaves, it’s rather broken up. I bought this tea as packaged in a box and sold in a store, so maybe it was mishandled somewhere along the way. I consider white peony to be the prototype flavor for other whites such as silver needle. Unlike silver needle, this tea doesn’t hide behind any subtle flavors. The dry leaves smell almost like roasted grain and earth. The flavor is full with surprisingly little astringency considering how strong I brewed it. The flavor is quite strong, it has a roasted grain or maybe burnt sugar flavor, and notes of plum. The plum flavors remind me of shui xian, which might not be too far off considering the amount of copper colored leaves in this tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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91
drank Organic Silver Needle by Rishi Tea
14 tasting notes

Having avoided white for so long, this tea surprised me. The smell of the leaf after adding a drop of hot water smells sweet, and almost roasted. The liquor is a very pale straw color, and the body of the tea is just as thin as the color. However, the tea has a decent amount of sweetness which is barely balanced with a noticeable astringency. The taste is very light, floral, fruity, with notes of raw sugar.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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94

This tea is a favorite of mine because the price makes it a great everyday tea, and it’s very tasty. This is the kind of tea I think of when I think of a “soothing cup of tea.” It’s not the most interesting and complex tea, but it’s very soft and naturally sweet with little astringency. The flavor is very “green,” buttery, veggie, and a decent amount of umami. The savory sweetness of this tea is what makes it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Guayusa by Harney & Sons
14 tasting notes

Trying guayusa always feels more like trying a caffeine free herbal by the taste of it, but the buzz says otherwise. Also realizing that this herb is a cousin of yerba mate, it’s shocking how they can be so similar yet have a completely different outward appearance. Yerba mate is bitter and smoky, whereas guayusa is almost completely free of any bitterness or astringency. The taste is very clean and herbal. While it tends more towards earthy and herbal flavors, there is sort of a green tea like sweetness to it (likely because it has theanine). The

I held off rating guayusa because I haven’t tried any other guayusas to compare it to. Flavor-wise, I’d compare it to rooibos, the flavor is non-offensive, but maybe a bit boring to some. The buzz is quite potent, but I’d personally opt for yerba instead.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Golden Yunnan by Rishi Tea
14 tasting notes

When I decided to order this tea again, I was excited because it’s one of the teas I first tried, and one that opened me up to Chinese teas. Yunnan blacks are very unique, and I immediately fell in love with them. This golden Yunnan has just a few golden leaves scattered in a sea of black leaves. It’s not the most golden of Yunnan blacks, but it would cost a lot more if it was more golden.
The unique Yunnan taste is definitely there. There is an earthiness similar to cooked puerh in the background, with the spiciness of Yunnan teas up front. My only complaint is that this tea is bit tannic. It has more of a brisk breakfast tea tannic note than a softer tannic note I’m more used to in Golden Yunnan.

Preparation
Boiling

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88
drank DeTox by Yogi Tea
14 tasting notes

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been drawn towards detox blends. When done right, they are gentle on the body and I notice I feel a little better after drinking them (in comparison, serious detox blends are seriously bitter and make you feel sick). Just like other detox teas, the package says to not drink continuously for longer than a month. With that in mind, this tea isn’t one to drink simply for the flavor, though it is still a tasty blend. The sarsaparilla is quite noticeable which blends in well with the other spices. Licorice root prevents this blend from tasting bitter. Overall, it’s a pleasantly medicinal root beer with a number of spices thrown in.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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91

I’m brewing this tea hotter than normal, but it seems to take the heat quite well. The extra heat seems to make it a bit more vibrant. The leaves look a little like gunpowder, and has very little dry aroma. The moment water hits it, its very fragrant, sweet, green and buttery. It has little bitterness, and a decent amount of theanine sweetness.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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