373 Tasting Notes

90

The name of this tea is French Vanilla Bean but what it actually reminds me is of good white chocolate (which is a good thing, I like white chocolate). It brews to a clear copper colour and the liquor smells of cocoa butter, mixed with a buttery warm vanilla with a hint of baked almond and coconut over sweet potatoe finished with a soft floral hint.

This tea has a medium body tea base which is sweet and slightly fruity with a touch of mild bitterness dissipating into a mix of cocoa butter and vanilla. I think that for me the coconut and almond seem to be working together to make the flavour that reminds me of cocoa butter as this tea does not taste like coconut and is not strongly nutty. The vanilla in this tea is a little bit heavier and warmer than other vanilla teas i’ve had with a faint aftertaste of vanilla and yam. As the tea cools it becomes less bitter, and bright red fruit tones appear in the base tea. A warm vanilla with floral hints and an intensifying sweetness lingers in the mouth for quite sometime after drinking. The tea is not astringent, but I think I will reduce the brewing temperature and time the next time to see if I can bring out more of the creaminess and sweetness often present in green tea. Very nice.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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89

This is a really nice blend that offers the calming impact (for me a sophoric)of Jasmine with the cleansing and refreshing impact of mint blended so both are muted to create something that is deeper and sweeter and fresher, over a creamy slightly smoky sweet green tea with hints of spinach which creates a nice mouth feel and adds depth. The tea has a really nice body and the flavours blend nicely. The second steep still has a nice creamy body with the jasmine a little more prominent but the flavours still compliment and blend nicely. The scent of the dry tea at first reminds me a little bit of graveyard blend which is ironic as their is no licorice root either in the blend or the flavour. Their is a mix of green teas including some with really beautiful long twisted blades and the tea brews to a light saffron colour. I’m off to enjoy a third steeping.

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85

This tea brews to a blush pink / beige colour with a scent of citrus accents over sharp berry floral and something slightly earthy that
gives the tea some depth. There is a sweet almost minty undertone followed by lemon verbena and a slight tartness. There is also a sweet fruity floral with a bit of slightly deeper tang as a result of the citrus peel, rosehip, and hibiscus. The oolong lends a fruity sweetness to the tea and smooths out the base and gives the tea a slightly thicker creamier body. It has a pleasant tastes almost like a well balanced herbal that leaves you with a feeling of pleasant alertness. The floral taste is almost like the scent of yarrow and leaves a slightly earthy aftertaste, so it reminds me of sunny days and picnics in the countryside. I re-steeped this tea four times. This tea tastes a little bit like sumac lemonade if you’ve ever had that.

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88

I am trying to rate and review some of the teas I’ve had for a while before opening new ones. I’ve had this one for a while now and while it is enjoyable I still find myself making my own chai when I want spice rather than drinking my chai influenced blends so I am better off not buying them. Saying that this is a nice representative of it’s genre.

It brews to a copper colour and has a scent that reminds me of graham crackers mixed with gingerbread cookies. It smells of cloves and nutmeg and a biscuit tone with a hint of ginger over something sweet with a hint of vanilla. It smells closer to the store bought pumpkin pie I’ve had rather than the homebaked ones in my family which usually smell brighter in someway.

The tea has a smooth slightly sweet and refreshing base over laden with cinnamon, then the deeper tones of nutmeg cloves and vanilla mixed with vanilla that remind me a little bit of cream followed by a bittertone from the base tea mixed with hints of sweet pumpkin. There is an aftertaste of cream, spice and sweet tea and pumpkin.

The spice especially the cloves are not overwhelming as they can be in this type of blend. However this blend still makes me think more of graham crackers mixed with a slightly stronger bite of ginger and cinnamon rather than pumpkin pie for some reason. It re-steeps decently well, maintaining a decent body and has a nice spicy flavour.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

This is the second straight Keemum I’ve tried. The first I tried (Zen teas) was a little picky if over leafed or steeped too long it was very smoky but when you got it right it had a nice body and an interesting mix of flavours but it isn’t something I drink on a regular basis.

This one is quite nice. It is very sweet and refreshing and the smoke takes a back seat. I brewed this tea in a western style according to the instructions on Whispering Pines website. 1 tsp per cup for 3 minutes at boiling water. It brews up to a maple colour hinting at copper. The tea smells of smoke, mint, sweet caramelized potato and plum hinting into cherry with a hint of lemon.

At first sip it tastes of caramelized burnt sugar and sweet potato, opening into a fresh smoky and slightly minty flavour, underneath a slightly sour sweet plum taste with a hint of artichoke. The tea is pretty refreshing and might make a nice ice tea. Later sips reveal floral notes of rose as a top note. It is a fairly smooth tea with little astringency and a thin to medium body. There is an aftertaste of burnt sugar/ dark honey, with sour stone fruit notes. This tea is a nice mix of sweet and sour and refreshing. The mint might be the result of contamination from a tea it was shipped with or might be how I detect the pine notes this tea is supposed to have, but it actually is a nice addition to the tea if it is. This is a nice everyday tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank High Mountain Jin-Xuan Tea by Ten Ren
373 tasting notes

This is a strong tasting and very fruity version of a high mountain Jin Xuan that has not been flavoured. It is quite resilient and can last well over 10 steeps with strong and pleasant flavours. Throughout a brewing session there are dominant flavours notes of pineapple, peach, cream, and gardenia with notes of peaches and cream corn, clover, hay, lemon, artichoke and grass appearing through out the brewing process. The tea retains a relatively thick and creamy mouth feel for about half of the brewing session. This tea would probably be enjoyed by those who love fruity green oolongs, the floral notes are present but remain mostly in the background blending into the cream. On taste alone I would probably rate this tea around 95. However at $38.00 per 150g it is hardly the most affordable Jin Xuan available. Mountain tea’s option is $13.00 for around the same amount and Teavivre’s would cost around $17.20 for the same amount. I am curious to compare this to Mountain Teas once I open it and will probably adjust my ratings then.

Below are more detailed notes

Dry leaf – lime to spruce green tightly coiled leaves, with a fruity, peach, pineapple, cereal/hay scent.

steeped at 60s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 65s, 80s, 85s, 90s, 95s, 105s with water temperature between 85-95 degrees Celsius (increased for later sessions)
Tea consistently brewed to a bright green gold yellow colour.

60s scent – sweet pineapple peach, cream, hint of gardenia and corn.
taste – pineapple tempered by warn peach, hint of cream, hint of gardenia hint of hay, smooth, medium to thick bodied, light freshening feeling at front of mouth. Aftertaste of pineapple and hay.

40s scent – pineapple peach, hay, cream faint floral notes
flavour – stronger vegetal notes of hay ,and floral spice of gardenia, still strong notes of pineapple and peach, creamy buttery mouth feel with stronger hints of cooling at top and front of mouth. Aftertaste is similar to original with slight floral notes.

50s scent – cream, peach pineapple faint hay
taste – gardenia mixed equally with peaches and cream with a hint of pineapple over a faintly bitter vegetal note. Slightly thinner body but still creamy.

60s scent – same
flavour – fruit/gardenia and hay thinner and slightly more astringent, clean feeling in mouth including back of mouth, aftertaste of eating peaches with clover. sweet and slightly spicy.

65s scent – fruit and gardenia and cream
taste – cream, peach mixed with gardenia and faint artichoke, slightly less sweet, and more vegetal with a hint of bitterness.

80s cream gardenia and faint fruit taste consistent with smell plus a hint of hay and a vegetal bitterness. slightly more astringent aftertaste of peach and pineapple and clover.

85s scent – same as above with a hint of lemon.
taste – thinner still with a light creamy floral note over peaches over a now stronger bitter artichoke note and a hint of grass. mildly astringent.

90s smell – sweet cream with a hint of floral
same taste touch thinner with slightly more grassy aftertaste.

95s same scent
taste – more sweet fruit with a hint of floral spice mixed with artichoke.

105s scent – corn, cream and a hint of peach with floral note
taste – sweet green tea with fruit and cream tones followed by bitter tones followed by spicy floral notes with a slightly grassy aftertaste with a hint of lemon.

spent leaves – fairly large with hints of brown along the edges.

Nicole

That is an amazing amount of dedication to a tea tasting!

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90

Still beautifully sweet, fruity, and floral, this is probably my favourite Jasmine green.

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85
drank St Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
373 tasting notes

Kusmi’s St Petersburg reminds me on some sips of a monks blend with its mix of vanilla, from the caramel, and red fruit, but as I drink further on you get a more dominant tang and a hint of floral from the bergamot.

The caramel is buttery and creamy with a hint of vanilla and I can see why people love Kusmi’s Caramel tea. Later on in the cup, I smell the red fruit more than I taste it. There are hints of cherry and currant and blackberry.

The base is quiet and unassuming, it is quite smoooth and sweet but it doesn’t seem to have a great deal of complexity. There is a touch of bitterness that adds a bit of depth to the tea but otherwise is fairly thin. The flavour of this tea is fairly subtle it is not strongly sweet or creamy.

The second and third steeps are more bergamot and red fruit, with the caramel fading and the bergamot leaving a tingling on the tongue and it tastes at times slightly metallic.

The kusmi tins are certainly useful and fairly beautiful and the tea comes wrapped in folded plastic inside with a nice presentation.

This is a pleasant tea that makes a nice afternoon tea especially for those who may appreciate a lighter bergamot earl grey with deeper fruit tones. I think I still prefer a tea that has a stronger more flavourful base underneath it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Vanilla Sunrise by LuxBerry Tea
373 tasting notes

This tea in a some ways reminds me of starburst orange candies and orange milkshakes and a little bit of childhood. It makes a nice creamy orange rooibos honeybush blend for someone who wants one that is neither tart, overly sweet, or that is not a chai.

The tea brews up to a beautiful peachy deep orange tone. With an orange, vanilla and peach scent over a slightly powdery sweet tone from the base.

The flavour is a nice blend of fruit and vanilla. Orange is the top note followed by peach settled in vanilla. The base is pretty well hidden by the flavouring. The vanilla makes the tea taste fairly creamy and the peach acts to sweeten the tea and temper any tartness and bitterness from the orange. The vanilla is nice, it is not syrupy nor is it a cool vanilla. There is a faint powdery aftertaste from base, but it is not medicinal and is partially hidden by the tang of orange peel. The aftertaste is of creamy orange. The tea re-steeps pretty well. It looses most of the vanilla but the fruity tones remain strong. This tea would probably be really nice with cream or milk and might make nice popsicles in the summer as it tastes pretty nice when cooler. When cooler the peach comes out a little more.

Altogether this was a nice introduction to LuxBerry Teas for me. It is much more a fruit tea than you would expect from its name.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I really don’t have much information on this tea the Company name I gave above is the only thing written in English on the packaging. I don’t know where the provenance of this tea is, so I don’t know if it was produced in traditional regions known for biluochun or whether it was grown in Yunnan and made in the style of this type of tea.

The dry leaf is fairly tightly coiled with about 25% of the leaf showing the creamy yellowish hairy bud and the rest being a sage to spruce green colour. The dry leaf smells of wood smoke, and a spicy fruity green scent.

This tea is quite resilient and can easily brew up 6 or more times starting at 40s and going up by 5 second intervals if one is careful with water temperature. I was told to use a slightly cooler water temperature than I normally use for greens in order to bring focus to the fruity tones of this tea.

This tea brews up to a pale golden yellow and smells of grilled peach with a hint of pineapple mixed with smoke, salt, and a nutty tone blended with a sweet floral note.

It tastes of grilled peaches and smoke, creamed chestnut, the sweet tone of artichoke blended with the robustness of spinach, salt, and a slightly sweet at times lemony floral note. There is a light astringency at the front of the mouth though the tea tastes creamy with a medium to thick body.

The tea remains quite consistent in flavour throughout the steeping though the smoke looses it’s dominance and the tea does become a little lighter, brighter and lemony in later steeps.

This is a pleasant rather full bodied green tea that I will enjoy drinking.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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