271 Tasting Notes

86

Getting to the bottom of this one, so a lot more rice ends up being scooped out. It makes for a much creamier, starchy-sweet cup. The rice-to-tea ratio being higher means the brew is not as strong caffeine-wise, but very comforting. Still highly enjoyable, and I’ll miss this one when it’s gone.

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84
drank Sencha "Chiran" by Lupicia
271 tasting notes

Last one of the Lupicia samples I got from my last visit back home. This one is a vivid green sencha that brews out to be a nice golden-green color, and is quite cloudy in the cup. As for the aroma and flavor, it’s definitely sweet potato. There’s something a little crisper, almost snow-pea-like on the finish. I didn’t read the description before drinking, and was amused to see that sweet potato was indeed in the official description, but elusive for many reviewers. Each tea is a different experience for everyone who tries it! This is one of the least grassy sencha I’ve tried, and not very intense—some of the others are like a kick in the head, but this is truly mellow and mild. An enjoyable and nourishing-feeling cup that I would be happy to try again.

Mike

I love senchas so much…this one sounds very different!

Mikumofu

I’m still learning but so far I’ve been amazed at the variation!

Mike

I’ve only had a few of them, but I like the grassiness. As far as green teas go, Japanese teas are definitely on the top of my list! :)

TeaBrat

this is one of my favorite senchas. I love the sweetness it has.

Mikumofu

TeaBrat- have you tried their Sencha Ariake? I have heard it’s similar to this one and am curious.

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82

This is it! The last unlogged tea in my cupboard, and the last sample to try from beelicious. Thanks again for the huge bag of goodies!

Compared to the unblended Wuyi Big Red Robe, this one isn’t as strong or roasty. The oolong here reminds me even more of a honey-citrus-heavy Dancong, which is also enjoyable. There’s a hint of cocoa, a savory quality, and something like woodsmoke. Not sure how whiskey-like it is, but it is interesting and a completely different, and lighter, experience than the base tea.

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80
drank Houjicha "Shigaraki" by Lupicia
271 tasting notes

A very roasty houjicha with an intense aroma right out of the bag. The recommended steeping time was 45 seconds to 1 minute, and while I didn’t time it exactly, I think I did even less than that. Even so, the brew came out very dark and richly flavored. Toasted grains, something a little coffee-like, bittersweet or caramelized. There’s a faint nori-like note in both the aroma and flavor if you look for it, possibly a quality of the green tea prior to treatment. Probably the most intense houjicha I’ve tried so far, but the aftertaste is crisp and a little sweet, almost like a Ceylon.

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78
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
271 tasting notes

The cool weather has returned, and it looks like it might rain for the next few days. Perfect time to break out this sample. It’s definitely got a substantial cinnamon spice kick to it, nicely warming and a little bit sweet. The cayenne makes it rather different from the typical cinnamon flavor. The green tea base is initially vegetal, and develops some of that preserved-plum quality I’d found in my curious unknown green tea (which is probably also Longjing). The overall effect is like a hua mei rolled in spicy-sweet cinnamon powder. While it’s not something I’d reach for every day, it’s nice for colder weather and fills a niche usually occupied by black teas and chais. Thanks to beelicious for the sample!

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86

Another tasty wine-inspired tea from Vintage Teaworks. I don’t know why I held off trying this one for so long!

The blend consists of dark twisty green tea leaves and some petals. The smell is intoxicatingly fruity, but not overwhelming. For some reason, I wouldn’t have imagined grapefruit from either the aroma or taste without reading the description. It struck me much more as a peach and tropical fruit combination. The taste is crisp and fresh, a little tart, like a fruity and slightly dry white wine. Both the fruit flavors and the light grassiness and mild astringency from the tea base contribute to the impression. I would say there’s a little green apple as well—definitely the greener and fresher end of the fruit spectrum. But still no grapefruit! Even so, this was a highly enjoyable flavored green tea, and very distinct from the numerous others out there. Thanks beelicious!

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90

This is marvelous. It’s hard to describe the aroma of a Da Hong Pao. There’s just something very right and very tea about it. Taking a whiff of the dry tea instantly takes me back to my childhood, those times when I was curious about my family’s tea collection and would open the canisters to see (and sniff) what was inside. This one also reminds me of a summer trip to Fujian, and taking a raft down the river by Wuyi Mountain. Some of the most incredibly blue skies I’d ever seen that side of the world. (Yes, I actually went there! But I was too young to appreciate the tea culture as much, and was more interested in finding the supposedly 30 different kinds of cicadas on the mountain that all made different noises.)

The flavor profile of this is roasty, with a touch of caramel and a lingering sweetness. There’s a honey citrus zest to it that reminds me a bit of a Mi Lan Xiang Dancong, as well as a more meaty fruit sweetness like longan fruit. I’m sure this one will stand up to further exploration. Thanks to beelicious for the sample! I also have another sample from a Verdant order last year in an unopened pouch. Maybe it’s from a different harvest, and it would be interesting to compare the two.

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82

The art for this seems to suggest that Accidental Awesome is kind of like…walking off a cliff? Fortunately, the actual tea doesn’t offer that kind of experience. The blend consists of black tea and lots of mint leaf. Lots and lots of mint leaf. It has a pleasant, chocolate-and-mint aroma. Brewed up, it initially tastes like peppermint candies or maybe candy canes—this would be great right around Christmas time. The chocolate flavor comes out to play a bit later, and is mild and sweet. The tea base is smooth and light, with a little raisiny sweetness of its own. It makes for a nice dessert tea overall, and all the flavors are present in just the right amounts.

With all the mint teas I’ve tried over the past few months, I feel like I’ve gotten a quick education in mint and finally learned to appreciate it. Thanks beelicious for the sample!

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Bio

Biologist, aspiring writer, and a cat that learned to type.

I grew up in a tea-loving family, and tea has always been a part of daily life. I’m still astounded by the amount of tea and teaware back home every time I visit! While I’m most familiar with straight Chinese teas, I’m growing to explore and appreciate other types of tea, including blended and flavored ones. A good blend can reflect the thought and creativity that was put into making it, instead of being too sweet or busy in a way that gives the “genre” a bad rap.

Likes:
-most black teas (even lapsang)
-most oolongs, especially Fujian teas, baozhong and dancong
-houjicha
-straight white teas
-citrus
-stonefruit
-almond/amaretto
-coconut
-vanilla

Variable (some are great, some not so):
-most green teas
-tie guan yin
-flavored white teas
-assam
-rooibos
-melon
-mint
-grape

Ratings:
90-100: definite repurchase if possible, recommended
80-90: enjoyed, possible repurchase
70-80: fair to good, unlikely to repurchase
60-70: fair with some shortcomings
50-60: there’s still a chance I’d take this if it were free
under 50: absolutely not

Location

Southern California

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