227 Tasting Notes

87
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
227 tasting notes

My plan for today is eating very little so that I can feast tonight. This tea just arrived and I’ve dragooned it into my plot to keep me low calorie during the day while satisfying my hungry inner child. (Thanks for such great timing 52 Teas.)

The tea looks amazing with giant pieces of coconut strewn through the tea. I absolutely adore coconut and would happily live on it if that didn’t mean that I would gain tons of weight. But coconut tea? Just what the diet doctor ordered I think.

The tea’s fragrance wafts upward with a light floral note combined with coconut, vanilla and the classic tea scent. It steeps into a reddish brown liquor that has a sweet dark taste with a coconut aftertaste. It’s reasonably good and definitely what I need today to stay on my meager calorie allotment until tonight’s bacchanal.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
LENA

this sounds so good. 78 isn’t a bad score either. i’ve been on a coconut kick lately. no so much with teas, but with actual coconut. mmm!

takgoti

I’d be all over ordering this if I liked coconut more. The fact that you got me salivating a little bit with this review anyway is high praise.

Carolyn

@takgoti You’re just a sucker for floral fragrances. ;) It is a reasonably good tea. Not a fantastic tea. But reasonably good and certainly hit the spot for what I needed today. Also, it appears to be pretty high caffeine. We went for a walk in the park after I drank it and I was bouncing along the boardwalk and challenging my beloved to short races.

takgoti

HAH, it’s true. Well, that and buttery teas. Erm…and caramel. Anyway, that’s pretty funny about the caffeine! I tend to get a little loopy when I’m a caffeine high.

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80

This is the last few leaves in this sampler. It has a delightful jasmine scent and flavor, like being surrounded by flowers.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Blue Moon by Red Leaf Tea
227 tasting notes

It’s an extraordinarily pretty tea shot through with ribbons of yellow, red, and blue petals. The tea smells sweet like berries. The liquor is reddish like good brandy (but not as dark as brandy). The taste is like sweet black tea flavored lightly with strawberries.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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99

This is the most expensive tea I’ve ever bought and came in such a tiny amount (only enough for one cup) that I’ve been reluctant to try it in the course of my normal days. Today is the day I break open this excessively expensive packet of tea and see what the fuss is about.

The dry leaves are very similar to my favorite Upton tea, Bohea Select, which is not surprising since this is Bohea Select’s bigger and more elaborately hyped sister tea. The smell is similar to keemuns I’ve tasted with that slightly book-dry, slightly caramel smell. Upton says that there is a floral note there as well and I can barely smell it. As the tea develops in the cup it takes on greater sweetness. It brews into a paler color than my Bohea, but that just may be because I normally use a lot more tea than I received in this sample.

The taste is complex with the same keemun-like book dry and caramel notes as well as as a sweetness. There is no bitterness or astringency. It is a very enjoyable tea with a great deal of complexity that would be fun to explore. But is it worth $988 a pound to me? Probably not.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Angrboda

Sounds like me and the uber-special Pu Ti Cha a while ago. I’ve still got the other half of that lying around and can’t make myself use it.

LENA

wow…that’s not a cheap one! at least it scored a 99 in your book!

Carolyn

@Angrboda think it is exactly the same situation.

@LENA Yes, because of the price it will never score a 100 sadly. But it is a very tasty and complex tea. Wouldn’t be wonderful to have all the money you needed to buy any tea you wanted over and over?

takgoti

When I win the lottery, I’ll buy you a couple of pounds.

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94
drank Hawaii-Grown Oolong by Samovar
227 tasting notes

This is such an amazing tea with a panoply of fragrances and flavors as well as a wonderful sweetness. This is the last bit of the sample takgoti sent me and I’m so grateful to have it to help me get through today. It brings joy and sweetness.

The flavor is lovely with notes of resin, mango, and flowers. I need to order this tea.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

I need to get more, too [I’m down to maybe two or three cups worth?], but they’re out at the moment. I just put a huge Samovar order through, and I still didn’t get everything I wanted, so this shall wait for next time!

Cecilia Tan

Ooh neat. I will have to keep my eye out for it. I haven’t ordered from Samovar yet, but I’ve been to their tea lounge(s) in San Fran and liked them a lot.

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91

The leaves are beautiful with black and gold interspersed. The tea itself is black as coffee but smells like resin and what I have come to identify as the elusive malty fragrance and something else. It tastes marvelous with notes of caramel, cocoa, malt, and sweet tea. It is what I need this morning before my run.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Andrea in New Mexico

Nice! I have a 3oz tin of this, which I love to open and stick my nose into. I’m avoiding black teas—trying to avoid black teas—while I’m pregnant, and this one will probably be the first I’ll go for after the baby comes! Happy to see such a nice review for it!

Carolyn

It is a wonderful tea and I imagine it would be good as a celebratory post birth tea. In fact, I suspect you may need the stern dose of caffeine to get through your days with a small baby.

takgoti

I just ordered some of this! Wheee!

And yay for the forthcoming baby! Congratulations! I have a friend whose husband had sushi waiting for her after the birth.

TOMMMMMM

Mine is a nice copper color… how does yours turn out black?

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83
drank Gyokura by Upton Tea Imports
227 tasting notes

I woke last night with an anxiety attack and during my nocturnal research (with heart pounding) I came across the information that gyokura has the highest quantity of theanine (a calming component of tea). First thing this morning I fixed a cup of Gyokura (and ordered more). It has a nice nutty vegetal taste and it worked. I do feel calmer. Now on to something sterner.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

Thanks for the info!:) This is one Japanese green I haven’t tried yet but am definitely looking forward to it.

Carolyn

This was from a sample from Upton. When I ordered more this morning though, I ordered from Den’s because I’m really impressed by the quality of their Japanese green teas. I also used Den’s instructions (15 seconds at 160 degrees) instead of Upton’s.

I think you would like this and, if nothing else, it would give you the calmness to face those bad days you’ve been having. I certainly needed it this morning after yesterday and last night.

Andrea in New Mexico

(What an endorsement! This sounds like something everyone should have on hand!)

Andrea in New Mexico

Did you add anything to it?

Carolyn

No, I didn’t add anything to it. It really doesn’t call for anything. The taste is vegetal and wouldn’t match either honey or milk and it’s a fairly mild tea.

I agree, it is something good to have on hand, especially if one is prone to stress or anxiety. (Which I unfortunately am. I should probably meditate more.)

takgoti

Wow. I’m going to have to keep this in mind. You are just a fountain of information. I mean, seriously.

Carolyn

During a panic attack it’s pretty much a choice of run to the hospital, leave state, or frantically do research on the Internet. I’ve found that running in a panic to the hospital is expensive. My beloved is not amused to be called in the morning from two states away with my explanation that it just seemed like a good idea to drive to Florida at 2 in the morning. So I do the frantic research. Maybe next time I’ll go downstairs and make the gyokura during the panic attack. (Though it may prove to be a bad idea to be that close to the car keys.)

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76
drank Chloe by The Simple Leaf
227 tasting notes

The tea has a lovely apricot and nutty fragrance. The tea itself has a sharp taste that means that I oversteeped it I suspect. It’s been a crazy, unpleasant morning and my tea-brewing skills have clearly suffered. I will probably have to rebrew it and revisit. So I’ll wait to rate it until I do so.

Update: I rebrewed it with fresh leaves. It is no longer sharp. It has a taste I associate with Darjeeling, which is not a surprise since it comes from Darjeeling. I am beginning to realize that I don’t care for Darjeeling teas. This is quite sad since they are so well-regarded it makes me feel like some boorish lumpenproletariat destined to dislike this “champagne of teas”. Well, I’m sure I’ll get over it.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec
takgoti

Boo for unpleasant mornings. I hope your day improves.

Peggie Bennett

Not every taste is for everyone. I can’t stand lobster. :-)

Carolyn

@takgoti Thanks for your good wishes. You know what they say, “Tomorrow is another day” and tomorrow starts with a run instead of a run of bad luck and clumsiness so it has to be better.

@Peggie Bennett So we can be unfashionable together. ;)

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100
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
227 tasting notes

I am wondering how I could possibly be good enough to deserve this tea and my mind is humming over trying to give examples (I cleaned out all the kitchen cupboards yesterday, I finished a significant task at work last week, etc.). But the truth is that no one is good enough to deserve this tea. It is a work of grace that this tea exists and we mortals can enjoy its warm cocoa taste with complex notes of tea and caramel. So now I’m blissing out on grace.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
takgoti

O rly? Damn it. Now I’m going to have to get it, Carolyn.

Carolyn

Hold tight and I’ll send you a sample. (I do have a pound of this tea now.)

takgoti

I heart you. Give me a few weeks to order some stuff and then I’ll ask you if you want anything from me.

Carolyn

I really don’t need anything right now. My teas have been exiled to the dining room table awaiting reorganization before I can put them back in the kitchen. My beloved says he is tired of my teas taking over the kitchen and preventing him from preparing what he likes. So what I really need right now is less tea or a bigger cabinet or some sort of mind-bending technology to use on my beloved to convince him that he loves being attacked by tea.

Micah

This looks pretty amazing I must say. Those leaves are so beautiful. Into the shopping cart it goes. I’m becoming more and more intrigued by the teas on The Simple Leaf website. They look really nice!

chana

Oh, this sounds so nice! Too bad the company only ships to the US, Canada and the UK. I do plan to write to them to ask about adding another country to the list ~_^…

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79
drank Canadian Berries by TeaFrog
227 tasting notes

It’s an interesting chunky blend of fruit that looks like something I might put on meusli or oatmeal. It brews up into a fruit punch colored liquid that smells like fruit juice and honey. The taste is like tart fruit punch. This is one tea I’m tempted to sweeten with a drop of honey. I can see that this would be excellent iced with orange slices floating within it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Ooooh, now I want fruit punch. Blerg!

Angrboda

Oh yum, that sounds lovely. Reminds me that I’ve got a small bag of something or other just labeled ‘wild fruits’ in my ancient-and-forgotten-stuff tin. I’ve never got around to trying it, but maybe I should give it a go.

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Bio

I’m a suddenly enthusiastic tea aficionado. I had no idea how varied and delicious teas could be. Also I’m a dairy-free vegetarian, so if you see me say “cream” or “milk” it means soy milk or soy cream.

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