17 Tasting Notes

79

This one is pretty interesting. Let me first start by saying that I always add rock sugar to this tea, as this is another one of those teas who’s flavors are brought out by the rock sugar.

Now, speaking of those flavors… the reviewers if this tea are getting all kinds of flavors and notes, but I myself would describe this as simply this: a creamy citrus mint. I wouldn’t call this tea ‘complex’ but these three flavors play wonderfully (perhaps confusingly to some palettes) together, and I definitely can see how the illusion of vanilla is created. The cream and citrus are equal parts, while the mint is subtle. In fact, the way the mint leaves fall in your bag may vary so I recommend shaking your bag upside-down a bit just to get an even distribution of the particles before you scoop.

I like this tea even though I’m not in love with citrus (lemon, orange) flavors in general, but I enjoy the creaminess of this and how the contrast of 3 flavors lets your mind/mouth wander to come up with your own interpretations of notes on this tea. This is definitely one of those teas where I can see my opinion and perception of it changing as I become more familiar with it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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80

Just finished my sample of this tea. Definitely getting some chocolate notes in this one, quickly followed by a sharp sweetness. These flavors are brought together by an earthy, slightly malty body. I did perhaps notice a tiny bit of bitterness and astringency, but trust me as somebody who dislikes those things a lot – they are not a problem due to the boldness of the fruit flavor here. In fact, this tea may have let me develop an appreciation for how a hint of bitterness and astringency can sometimes work with the flavors to produce something good. In regards to that it reminds me of dark chocolate, where the bitterness is sort of a necessary evil that eventually grows on you. Currently I’m unsure if i would re-order this and I find it hard to rate this tea because I am still kind of ‘exploring’ the spectrum of various black teas… but I would not be surprised if, at the end of my journey, this tea ends up being one of the highlights.

3min/1.5tsp/210F/8oz

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97
drank Nutty Almond Cream by Tiesta Tea
17 tasting notes

For the longest time I was searching for an herbal to drink at night, something to kind of wind-down with and get all cozy with. I made a point to try a lot of teas with nut or cinnamon or vanilla notes, but nothing stood out… even Whispering Pines Elder Grove, which I had high hopes for, did not appeal to me. I thought that tea could not fulfill my expecations for this particular flavor, but I was wrong =) Let me first provide some perspective and preface this by saying that I am extremely critical with my ratings system; most of the teas I really enjoyed did not even make it into the 80’s, and some of the best teas I have tasted have not made it into the 90’s. So when I rate something at 97 after the first tasting, I hope that will mean something.

I received this today in my Tea Sparrow subscription service (which I highly recommend). The dry leaf smells like the essence of warm holiday memories, which sounds cliche I know but its the truth. I thought this could perhaps be the tea I had been searching for, but I didn’t want to get excited since I know that a tea’s dry leaf scent can be very different from its liquid flavor. So I put 5-6 pieces of brown rock sugar into my mug and steeped this for a bit – 2.5tsp in 8oz at 210F for 7mins, to be exact.

When it was done, somehow the steeped scent was even better than the dry leaf scent. And then I tasted it, fully expecting it to be much less flavorful than I imagined. But O_O. Within seconds of the first sip I instantly had a smile on my face because right away I knew that this was what I had wanted all this time. This tea is ridiculous; a perfect combination of nutty cinnamon with just right right amount of apple sweetness and a creaminess to meld it all together in harmony. With its strong desert-like flavor, I literally CANNOT believe that this tea does not have any sort of flavoring added to it. Not to say that the inclusion of flavoring would’ve stopped me from loving this, I literally don’t care what the ingredients are if the tea tastes this good! I had long thought that herbals were not capable of achieving the type of deep flavor I wanted, and after tasting this tea I am pleased to discover that I was wrong. This is an instant favorite, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

During my short exploration in the tea world, there have been a handful of tastings that made me do a double-take back at my cup as if to say “Whaaat is this real life?!?” due to disbelief. In these instances, I had to literally re-taste the tea to reassure myself that it did in fact taste as incredible as I thought. However, this was NOT the case with this tea. Instead, my reaction was an instant smile of satisfaction because I knew right away on the very first sip that this was exactly what I wanted. This tea became a favorite within 2 seconds of the first sip, and that’s something I cannot say about any other tea I have tasted up until this point. Perhaps its because I had no idea herbals could taste like this, or perhaps because this flavor is just something that personally appeals to me, or perhaps just simply because this tea is absolutely undeniably fantastic… whatever the reason is, I 100% recommend this tea to everybody. If you enjoy this even half as much as I did, I’m sure you will love it.

Preparation
6 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Shooting Starfruit by DAVIDsTEA
17 tasting notes

I received a bit of this tea in a swap. It was my first tea from Davids and I am not disappointed. The taste was obviously very fruity, and I could identify the unique jackfruit/starfruit taste despite it being my first time with that flavor. The tea has a small bit of natural sweetness, but not enough for my tastes so I end up adding some sugar to my cups. I had to be careful not to oversteep this tea even a little bit, because the one time i did it tasted pretty undrinkable. This was a good intro for me to Davidstea and I look foward to trying more from them soon.

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79
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
17 tasting notes

I’m changing my previous rating on this tea. I’m not sure if I oversteeped it on my first review, but this time I did 2g/3oz/1min. This time, the brew was MUCH better… any astringency or bitterness during my first tasting was much improved on this revisit, and had a much more vegetal flavor with a good amount of natural sweetness (another tea that I do not need to add sugar to). It tasted great, and its sad that most people dismiss green teas before tasting a delicious one such as this. Its hard for me to identify and define the notes in this since its my first sencha so I apologize for the briefness, but I will definitely be coming back to this tea in the future to see how it stacks up vs other senchas. In fact, tomorrow my huge Yunomi.us order arrives, so we will see very soon =D

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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Drank a sample of this. A bright rose is the first thing I tasted, with the cream being more subtle. I can’t discern any champagne flavors in here since I’m not familiar with them, but that is fine with me since this tea tastes great regardless. Halfway through the cup I added a bit of sugar and it made the flavors explode (moreso than with adding sugar to other teas); the rose was now very sweet and at the same time the cream was more forward and full-bodied. The tea came across to my pallete as kinda confusing, probably because I wasn’t familiar with what champagne flavors should taste like. But I definitely enjoyed it and will plan to give it another try with my next order.

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Just tried a cup sample of this. This tea doesn’t remind me of something bright or refreshing, but rather something very smooth and relaxing. Though there seem to be a lot of flavors and notes going on in this tea, I enjoyed being able to clearly realize each one of them despite the fact that they are relatively similar types of flavors. Coconut, banana, and cream are the most immediate flavors in this tea, with a subtle flowery vanilla playing in the background and perhaps even a quiet nuttiness at times. I did not add any sugar to this (like I do with 80% of my teas) and it had enough flavor and sweetness to stand on its own. I will probably order some of this with my next Butiki shipment, at the very least so I can try it cold-brewed or to see how it tastes with some sugar. I just hope they have it in stock at that time, since it is a “Limited Edition” after all! This is a perfect tea for anyone who likes that tropical ‘Pina-Colada’ type of taste and also wants something exceedingly smooth and comforting.

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Just tried a sample of this. It is a pretty unique combination of flavors for a tea, and the flavors seem pretty spot-on. The flavor of a typical applesauce is very different from that of a normal apple flavor, and this tea matches the sauce flavor very well. I’m not sure if this will become a favorite since I was only able to try 1 cup of it, but I could definitely see it growing on me if I were to order more. If you are a fan of the equivalent Hanukkah food dish (which I am both assuming exists and that this tea is modeled after) then I 100% recommend this tea. If not, I still recommend giving it a try due to its uniqueness.

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Tried a sample of this. Definitely more maple than pecan, in fact the pecan was fairly subtle. That being said, this tasted fine and will be great for somebody in the mood for a maple-y tea.. but I’ll have to look elsewhere for a go-to pecan flavored tea.

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79

This was my first loose-leaf white tea, and it won’t be the last. There is a sort of juicy almost “mouth-watering” effect that the flavor has. I have not experienced this with any other types of tea, and as this is my first white tea I am unsure if this “juicy” property is found in other white teas or if it is unique to this tea in particular.

The crisp notes of hay are definitely in the spotlight, shadowed by a quiet sweetness and a very subtle honey/melon-like tone. I usually add a bit of sugar to my teas, but this one works just fine if not better without it. This tea is everything I imagined white teas would be; delicate, crisp, and clean. I look forward to seeing how this tea will stand up to other whites as my cupboard grows!

Brewing notes:
The tea leaves are pretty long so I tend to want to weigh my leaves rather than measure them. I’m not sure if measuring these leaves is as inconsistent as I am imagining it, but I just can’t imagine the leaves are going to fall into the tablespoon the same way every time you measure. I used 4g in 8oz of 190F water for 3/5/8mins.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio


Oct. 2014_____

Currently awaiting shipments from:
Joy’s Teaspoon (16 teas)
Butiki (8 teas)
Tiesta (12 teas)

In addition to these teas above, check my Cupboard for what logs/reviews to expect. It takes me a while before I log a tea because I like to taste it multiple times before writing about it. If you are interested in a particular tea in my Cupboard, we can perhaps set up a SWAP… please follow/msg me!

Companies I plan to explore in the future:
- Verdant Tea
- Tao of Tea
- Mighty Leaf
- Adagio
- Davids Tea
- Market Spice
- Teavana (maybe..)
- Tiesta
- Mandala
- Art of Tea
- Harney & Sons
- Tea Guys

Location

California, USA

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