265 Tasting Notes

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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86
drank Sakurambo Vert by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

Made iced for another warm day. This is a deliciously refreshing, fruity green tea. The cherry flavor is very fresh and tastes just a little unripe, in the good way. I would have believed that it was picked right from the tree! The tea base is a touch grassy but not at all heavy, and a perfect compliment to the flavor. There’s a little bit of rock-candy-like sweetness. Overall, this is another great iceable green tea from Lupicia, similar to Ume Vert.

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drank Kokomo Green by DAVIDsTEA
265 tasting notes

It’s already feeling like summer here. Where did winter go? Did it really happen this year? Who knows…

This is an appropriately summery green tea blend with flower petals and dried fruit mixed in. The aroma is sweet pineapple and a whiff of other tropical fruit. The tea base didn’t really come through after steeping. It’s definitely fruit and sweet, but in a candy-like, slightly artificial way. It might be good as an iced beverage or tea soda, but as a hot (now warm) brew it’s a bit too sweet for me. It reminds me of one of DAVIDs other blends that is just pieces of fruit…I can’t quite remember the name right now. Thanks beelicious for the sample, there are (really) just a few left to try now :)

beelicious

LOL – it’s like the neverending bag of tea :)

Mikumofu

I was proud to discover the untrieds all fit into one small ziploc bag today :D

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73
drank C'est a toi by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

Lapsang, oolong, and pu-erh is not a combination I would have ever thought of! The dry sachet smells intensely of pine smoke in that lapsang way, with just a tiny bit of oolong roastiness in the undertone. The smokiness persists after steeping, which produces a very dark brew. Initially this tasted like a typical lapsang with no additives, with very forward smoke notes and a slightly sweet aftertaste. After cooling a bit, an earthiness from the pu-erh comes out, and it becomes a “chewier” tea with substantial texture. The smokiness from the lapsang isn’t really mellowed out by the pu-erh backdrop and actually becomes harsher against it. I enjoy a good lapsang, and this concept is interesting, but it’s not the most harmonious presentation.

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70
drank Grapefruit by Lupicia
265 tasting notes

From the Book of Tea at my parents’ place (which has become very depleted since the last time I visited!). This one should have everything going for it: a fresh, authentic pink grapefruit scent, a nicely mellow black tea base, and a juicy, natural, but not too tart grapefruit flavor. But my sachet also smelled like…melted wax? In any case, something was a little off and rather distracting. I’m not sure if it’s just my sample or something that’s common to all batches. Lupicia usually has very good fruit black teas so I’m inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt.

I hope those of you who celebrated the lunar New Year had a great time last week, and here’s to a good week ahead!

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82

Last one from the Simple Loose Leaf box. The leaves are dark green, with a sweet, intensely green, slightly seaweed-like aroma. It reminds me a bit of the matcha I had the other day. Brewed at under 140F as recommended. The taste is crisply sweet in a fresh-vegetation way. I see cucumber in the description, and that seems about right! The nori seaweed undertone is savory and subtle at first, emerging more on second steeping. It’s a light-bodied tea, especially with the low brewing temperature, and something that needs to be appreciated slowly. I am happy to have tried it!

Mike

I loved the Teavana gyokuro! I’ll have to try this one…nice sweetness with just a little grassiness. :)

Mikumofu

I’m fairly new to gyokuro and it’s definitely a type of tea I will enjoy exploring more!

Mike

I’m new to it as well! The Teavana one was my first one…I finished the first 2 oz way too quickly! :P

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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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