124 Tasting Notes

drank GABA Tea by Tea from Taiwan
124 tasting notes

I’ll add my vote to the “this smells… interesting” camp. To me, it is kind of like fish rolled in graham crackers. Not like… old fish and not fishy in the way that pu erh can be, just like I walked into a fish market. Pu erh makes me feel like I’m on Canal Street in New York when they hose the sidewalks down from the fish cleaning. This is more like a costal fish market in Massachusetts. … plus graham crackers.
The color is absolutely gorgeous – the closest to gold I have ever gotten in a cup of tea.

The taste is rather baffling to me because I can’t identify the flavors. Very very very velvety and smooth, fairly buttery with the vegetal notes hiding behind something that isn’t quite orchid flavor. This has some green characteristics in terms of the astringency and the nature of the vegetal flavors.

I really like this and I do consider myself a tea snob. I am so picky I am really almost down to just a few teas that I think are great, and yet I really like this. So are we tea snobs that like this, or tea snobs that hate it? Or perhaps this is just a really divisive tea!

At any rate, I had a splitting sinus headache, so this was just perfect for today. I don’t know how tranquilized I feel but I am really sensitive to everything, so I’ll have to update this if I feel any significant effects!

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec

And now I wonder how sardines would taste like on a Graham cracker…


Wow interesting!


fish rolled in graham crackers (scrunches nose) lol

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This is good – it manages to be creamy and fruity at the same time.
Otherwise it’s fairly unremarkable. I don’t really know what to say about this tea. Pleasant but eminently forgettable.
I know this is a short note, but that’s all I really have as a reaction!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Pretty darned good iced! And sweetened!


Thanks for the tip! I never seem to think of doing either of those!

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drank Miami-Ice by ESP Emporium
124 tasting notes

Holy Hibiscus, Batman!
I happen to like hibiscus. A lot. And I think there is too much hibiscus in here. In fact, I really didn’t taste much else.
If I’m in the mood for something bitter and fruity I will actually make this again, but that said, it’s not at the top of my list.

Boiling 6 min, 30 sec

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The loose leaves smell like a weird jolly rancher candy with chocolate. All sorts of candy like fruits with that mocha undertone.
The chocolate notes really came out after brewing. The (phantom) chocolate scent is foremost but underneath is something interesting. It is sweet and fruity but earthy and a little wrong smelling – I think it’s a strawberry scent. I like it, it’s a little musky and wild.
I really don’t care for the taste of this. It was bitter from the fruit (I brewed it at 165 for 3 minutes rather than 4) and just not my cuppa. At least it didn’t taste like a jolly rancher…

165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This isn’t a full tasting note, I’ll have to come back and write down all the notes in this, but I have to remember just how much I loved this.
It was rich, the leaves were fresh and wonderful with incredible life. The brewed tea was engaging and smooth and really perfect.
I drank this watching the third presidential debate, so I really wasn’t focused on the tea, but it was wonderful, I plan on being decadent and making this my everyday morning tea for a while :)

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

I watched too

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This was my first real experiment with pu erh where I know what it is (young sheng). I admit I am pu erh ignorant and have been hit or miss about them, so the odyssey continues. I don’t tend to find them offensive I just tend to find them lacking in flavor or having cardboard elements.
This tea came in nuggets, but they were excellent looking – whole long leaves pressed together rather than the little broken pieces I have seen before. It came apart fairly easily and smelled great. Almost musty in a way, but musty like a garden shed in mottled shade – something fresh and deep, yet green.

This is like nothing I have ever tasted before.

It is almost floral, as though I am mouthing a damp garden in the rain with earthy notes taking over. These dry and come to the front as leaves of an old book. This one is a really synesthetic experience for me.
Mmm. And it fades into a sweetness at the end… perhaps from some kind of bourbon candy or … no, it is like an amaretto, a deep smoky amaretto, mixed with a harder liquor. Don’t misunderstand, there is no bite, just a smokey sweet aftertaste.

I think I’m in love. A tea that is damp gardens and old books on a rainy day with a dash of an amber sweetness? I couldn’t ask for anything else.
Thank you, Amanda for including this in the box you sent!!

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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My third (okay, fourth) matcha of the day because I have decided never to sleep again.
Okay, so this was great. At first, I thought it was overpowering in terms of the spices, but after I added milk and sugar it really tasted like pumpkin pie.
And now I can stay up all night considering that fact.


I think we should make this into a slogan.
Matcha: never sleeping again never tasted this good!

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This was great! I made it in a milk base. Actually when I opened the package, I was kind of turned off because this smelled so much like… cheese.
Thankfully when I mixed it up, it tasted more like cheesecake rather than just cheese. I added a little sugar which rounded it out.
I really liked it on the white tea base as well.

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I guess I’m in a green tea mood (it seems to go well with creative projects. Good green tea that is!)
First infusion:
This has a nice umami kind of nature to the scent of the liquor. The flavor is pretty light and bright with a little bit of astringency. I can see where other people would get a citrus flavor – to me there is an element of orange or lemon rind or zest that I think makes the astringency seem more forward than it is.
There’s an interesting sweet fruit-like aftertaste.
Second infusion: Went to a bonfire, got completely distracted, so I can’t comment. I’ll have to brew this again to see if the flavor changes!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

sorry, bluekitty, I just noticed I must have « unfollow» you by mistake!

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This was my first flavored matcha (thanks, Rachel!) :)
I made this with water but added a little bit of cream as I usually drink my matcha with a milk base.
This was really good! I still have a great aftertaste of caramel and I’ve been done for a while. I like how the caramel flavor works with the nuttiness of the matcha flavor.

185 °F / 85 °C

Glad you liked it. And glad I decided to pop it in there, too. Hope you enjoy the others :)


And apparently I completely forgot to thank you ::facepalm::.
So: Thank you!! All of the matcha are wonderful – I just tried the cheesecake one and it really amazingly tastes like cheesecake :)


Aww it’s okay. Glad you liked the matcha. :)

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I’m a writer and as such, am obviously an emotional rollercoaster. I used to drink tea a lot more, but kind of stopped and switched to coffee. Now, after too much stress, I’m completely unable to drink coffee anymore, so I figured tea would fulfill some of my “awake” needs as well as calm my emotions. I’m working my way through a huge selection of samples of pretty much everything, leaving notes so I remember what I like.
I love being adventurous and trying new things, even (especially?) things that sound strange or off-putting. Aside from tea I also enjoy tasting wines. The last really interesting one I tried was a dandelion wine! (And yes, it actually was delicious. Extremely bizarre and herby, but delicious).

I don’t have a set of numerical ratings set down yet, mainly because I’m very intuitive (read: disorganized and opinionated) about how I rate things. Basically, If something is in the 70-85 range, it’s pretty good, totally drinkable. Below that, in the 50-69 range, it was probably incredibly boring. I really hate boring tea. Below 50, I wouldn’t drink it again and might not have finished it (I actually really hate leaving ratings below 50, it makes me feel bad. I’m probably too nice). If it’s above 85 then I really liked it. Super high ratings are reserved for teas that totally blew me away.



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