251 Tasting Notes

A sample of this tea, in a cute little tin, came free with my last order. I did over-steep this one a little (hectic morning = forgot to set steep timer) but I don’t think a couple minutes would have done it too much harm. It doesn’t taste like Lipton or Twinnings, and while I’ve been going crazy with Earl Greys, I still think of those two brands first and foremost when it comes to English Breakfast. This tastes kind of chewy, with a slightly bitter flavor and high astringency. Hopefully a lot of that has to do with the over-steep, and I will make sure to set (and mind!) the steep timer next time.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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drank White Pear by Revolution Tea
251 tasting notes

This was another of the samples I received, and I’ve been surprised at how much I enjoy it as an iced tea. I made a very small batch up and took it to school in a water bottle. It’s nice and subtle, a smooth white with just a hint of fresh pear in the aftertaste.

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80

Rant ON/OFF

Wow – DAVIDsTEA tins are really the worst. No wonder they have to give them away. I went to pick up my tin of this to check the steep time and didn’t get enough of the base under my fingers. I was left with the lid in my hand and half the tin dumped onto the floor. And this is a light, light tea!

You can pretty much kiss away the concept of air-tightness if the lid is going to just fall off like that. But then, I might have been in a bit of a pissy mood to start. I just completed the hunt through my teas to weed out apple… and it’s everywhere! Midsummer Night’s Dream? Apple. Pink Flamingo? Apple pieces. Pink Passionfruit? Yep. Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait? Oh, yeah.

Dude. We just wiped out my stash of caffeine-free teas/tisanes.

But this is for the tea… and I’m glad that at least one of my DAVIDsTEA blends is apple-free. The other was the Earl Grey, which I did check just for temper’s sake, because apparently they love to sprinkle it around like pretty pretty sparky fairy dust… Grrr.

Rant ON/OFF

With its minty aftertaste and lemony goodness, this is a good blend to cool your temper to. And the warmth of a cup of tea in my hands is always so soothing. Tomorrow is the first day of school, so I’m trying to get myself to bed early tonight. Hopefully the valerian will help me along into dreamland.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
caile

I have some of those tins and some lids fit really tight while a couple others are more loose – although not as bad as the one you have! If I get a tin in-store now, I’ll have them check the fit of the lid beforehand.
And yeah…the apple!

Dr Jim

It must be really tough living with food allergies. Adagio is another company that uses apple in almost all their blends.

moraiwe

My apple allergy only goes so far as to give me an itchy throat (which I guess has something to do with the type of grass allergies I have). But I have other food allergies, so I definitely sympathize. :(

wheezybee

I posted in a moment of frustration, but I really appreciate the thoughts! My mom is actually much worse off – she’s violently allergic to eggs, and can’t even eat most ice creams. It’s crazy where different kinds of foods turn up.

I’m glad most of my food allergies didn’t turn up until I was over thirty, because my shellfish issues would have totally sucked in Italy if they’d presented themselves yet!

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75

When Revolution sent me some of their Earl Grey for the Battle of the Earl Greys, they included a whole passel of various single-servings, and I am having a lot of fun sampling through them. This sachet was in a little individually wrapped box. I couldn’t find a suggested steep time on the box or their website, so I went by the steep times other Steepsterites mentioned on here. I started at five minutes, then bumped it up to eight after a quick check-in.

The rooibos is definitely the primary note, although after increasing the steep I am now enjoying the hint of caramel. I did add some raw sugar, but only a teaspoon… and for me that’s showing a lot of restraint! On its own, this blend is so sweet that it doesn’t really need it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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95
drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
251 tasting notes

This has been a fantastic weekend for tea, and I can’t help but smile as I continue to drink my re-steep of this blend. Thank you, Kelsey of Verdant, for the opportunity to try this out! It’s very different, but wonderful in a way that’s completely all its own.

It takes the idea of the traditional Earl Grey flavor profile and turns it on its head – instead of a black base we have the Tieguanyin, which brightens up the cup and gives it a buttery silkiness. The splash of citrus provided by the orange peel lends just enough of a hint to evoke the memory of Earl Grey, but it quickly fades in the face of the jasmine and Frankincense. This tastes more like a wintery tea for me than an Earl Grey, but I loved it all the same.

You can read my full review at:
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2013/08/earl-of-anxi-by-verdant-tea.html

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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95

I wanted to find something wonderful to break in my new teacup with, but I was not expecting how truly amazing this tea was. It’s joining the Battle of the Earl Greys and there are a couple I cannot wait to try it against!

The smell, the taste, and the story. They combine gorgeously in this tea and I am apparently incapable of showing any indifference to it. The name is perfect – it truly is a silky tea, with just layers after layers of nuances. This is going to be a cupboard staple, and it’s one of the few teas so far that I’ve actually used the “Poetry may be involved” section of my rating rubric for!

You can read the full review here:
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2013/08/silky-earl-grey-by-teajo-teas.html

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

I’m so glad you liked this tea, as I saw it was one missing from your awesome Battle of the Earl Greys list and suggested it. It’s definitely a good one!

wheezybee

It was an excellent recommendation, thank you so much! I hadn’t heard of them before, but now that I have I can’t wait to sample more of their great teas. But this one… oh, it was so good!!!

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70

I hate it when my tasting notes vanish into the ether after I hit that submit button!

To get to the short and sweet of it, I was looking for something different today, after finally conceding that yes, indeed, the doctor was right about the apple allergy. So I’m backing off my apple blends and heading towards things like this.

I was hoping that the ginger would have a nice bite, but instead of nipping at my senses it just gummed at my temper. In its defense, I do wish I hand’t used the rock sugar that came with the sampler. It just wouldn’t dissolve, and stubbornly clung to the bottom of the cup. The top was plain, the bottom was syrup.

This is not going to fill the hole left behind by my favorite apples.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown. I’m feeling tired but restless, so I decided to finish up the rest of this tea. Last night I used two thirds of the sample, so tonight I dumped in the final third. This is slightly more mellow (compared to the tart zing of last night) but the flavor and the color are nearly just as intense.

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75
drank Maharaja Chai Oolong by Teavana
251 tasting notes

I was running late this morning for Convocation, so my wonderful husband was kind enough to make me a nice big mug of this. With a considerable amount of raw sugar and a healthy dash of milk, it was an excellent drink on the run!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey by Tazo
251 tasting notes

I was at a meeting today where they offered this tea at the coffee/tea station. The last time I tried it, there seemed to be some scent/flavor contamination from a Pu’erh (yeah, fishy Earl Grey!) but before I receive some of the full leaf from a swap, I wanted to try a Pu’erh-free teabag to compare.

This was actually close to par with the fishy one, if you can believe that! I didn’t have a way to time my steep or control the temperature of the water, so I just had to guess. It was a short break, so the steep only lasted something like three minutes. I was pretty surprised at its bitterness, and the savage bite of its astringency. The bergamot overwhelmed the black tea base, and the three packets of raw sugar I added didn’t make a dent.

I finished it, but mostly because I was thirsty and didn’t want to interrupt the meeting by getting up. So much for the second try!

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Feel free to browse my cupboard if you’re interested in swapping, but all the mate and pu-erh in our household is my husband’s.

For swapping purposes, please note the apple allergy. Thank you!

I tried to limit my cupboard to teas that were 1oz or larger, but that was a gorgeous failure in terms of swap communication. It’s all going back up.


Okay, I just feel wrong trying to grade things without a rubric – it’s too inconsistent! So, here is the grading breakdown:

0-50: Dump it!
50-60: I might finish the cup
60-70: Possibly finish the pot
70-80: I may keep this on hand
80-90: Cupboard space guaranteed
90-100: Poetry may be involved!

Location

Dallas, TX

Website

http://www.wordsabouttea.blog...

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