317 Tasting Notes

85
drank Black Gold by Mandala Tea
317 tasting notes

A sample that was kindly included with my Mandala order. This has all the makings of a a great malty black tea. Very smooth, full-bodied, with an inviting fragrance, and right along the lines of other great Yunnan black teas I’ve tried (many also with “gold/golden” in the English names). I accidentally added a bit more leaf than I intended to, but to no detriment at all.

caile

I just had this today too! :)

caile

And oddly I was sure I wrote a review but can’t find it..

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
317 tasting notes

Another great tea from Mandala. The dry tea has a lovely cocoa-like aroma, and it brews up to be unbelievably silky and smooth, light but substantial. The cocoa notes are a major part of the charm, in addition to a fresh petrichor and mineral notes. It’s not one of those black teas that are big-bodied or particularly malty, but highly worth savoring slowly. I enjoyed this even in spite of the intense summer heat today.

(On that note, I have been at my dream job for two months today—it’s definitely worthy of a nice cup of tea to celebrate!)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74
drank Rose Royal by Lupicia
317 tasting notes

I’ve brewed this a few times since it came in the mail, but haven’t written a proper review yet. Maybe my expectations were too high due to the description (and how long it’s been on my wishlist), and there just isn’t much to say. It’s a nice flavored black tea, though a little too sweet—I can see pink sugar crystals in the mix before steeping. The base is decent and smooth, as is always the case with Lupicia. Not really extraordinary, but not bad either.

At this point, I’ve tried enough of their repertoire to know which teas are my favorites, so I won’t need to do as much hit-or-miss exploration. And summer means more barley teas!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Milk Oolong Tea by Mandala Tea
317 tasting notes

My, it’s been a while since I’ve tried a new tea…fortunately, this one doesn’t disappoint! Just opening the package gives off a lovely, baked-treats aroma. The tea itself has that same quality to it, less “milk” than “cookies that have a substantial amount of butter in the recipe”, but not overwhelming. As recommended, this was good for multiple infusions, with the fragrance lingering on and becoming more subtle, bordering on floral. The gradual unfurling of the tea from tightly-rolled pellets to unbelievably large leaves is also quite impressive.

I’ve only had milk oolong once before, in a blend where some coconut pieces were added. Even though it was long ago, this tea seems identical to the base of that blend, which I loved at the time. It’s a light tea, gentle as green oolongs go, and ideal for a long afternoon.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74
drank Rose Royal by Lupicia
317 tasting notes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
317 tasting notes

I’ve been a longtime fan of Lupicia teas, so of course I had to try this one eventually. The scent of this blend is a very fresh, authentic whiff of cherry, maybe a little on the underripe side and all the more appealing for it! The same flavor is present in the tea, along with just a little bit of heat from the peppercorns and herbal, almost savory coolness from the rosemary. I definitely wasn’t expecting those two ingredients, but they make the blend a bit more interesting than if it was just fruity and sweet. The tea base is unassuming but a good backdrop for these flavors to play on. Overall, a fun blend and one that makes it feel like springtime.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank La Belle Epoque by Lupicia
317 tasting notes

Got this as a sample with my Lupicia order. I really miss living close to a Lupicia store, but getting their teas in the mail is the next best thing! It’s nice to have old favorites like Napa Blanc back in the cupboard again…

I’m surprised I haven’t tried this one yet. I get mostly darjeeling from this tea, but more tempered and smoother. It’s very floral and light, without as much of a drying or astringent quality. It’s just what I’d think of when “afternoon tea” is mentioned.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Revisiting this because my last note on it was along the lines of “I liked it, but I don’t remember specifically why”. So, taking it nice and slow! This is a complex but not overwhelming tea. The initial impression from sipping is a roastiness that floats off the top, then a good, substantial dark-oolong feel. And then there’s a lingering sweetness that has a surprisingly fresh quality. For a while as I tried my first few What-Cha teas, I’d feared my palette was just very different from Alistair’s, as I rarely got what was in the written description of the tea, even though I found them all enjoyable. This time I’m happy to say I do get a plum note from this tea, and it’s a fresh juicy one. When I think of plum notes in conjunction with tea, I usually mean Chinese dried/candied plums (hua mei) or green plums, but in this case it reminds me of something entirely different!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68
drank Constant Comment by Bigelow
317 tasting notes

I gave this a try during a busy time at work. The mornings have been very cold and gray here lately, making me wonder if it’s really spring. This is a nice cup of tea to warm up with. Even if it comes in an ordinary-seeming little bag, sometimes that’s just what you need. The black tea base isn’t very strong, which with simpler bagged teas can be a good thing, as it reduces astringency. The orange zest has a nice natural quality to it, and there are little pieces of orange rind in the mix. The spice flavor isn’t too strong, either—and the spice has always been my least favorite part of orange spice so in this case, it’s also a good thing.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

72
drank English Teatime by Bigelow
317 tasting notes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Science 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
-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
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

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer