635 Tasting Notes

83

This is an interesting tea. I can’t decide how I feel about it. The sweetness of the strawberry seems to conflict with the hay in the silver needle. It’s strange. The immediate aftertaste is cloyingly sweet strawberry fruit snacks. But once that fades, the taste that lingers is actually pretty great. Just perfect silver needle with a light strawberry essence. That after aftertaste is what I like most about this tea and keeps me sipping. I think I’ll re-steep this one and continue to enjoy it! Thank you Kittenna for sharing yet another great tea with me!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
635 tasting notes

I enjoyed a cup of this tea on the flight home from my brother’s wedding in New Orleans. The wedding was great, and I especially enjoyed reconnecting with family I haven’t seen in a decade. We flew back safely on Saturday afternoon before Hurricane Sandy hit. Thank goodness we didn’t stick around all weekend for Voodoo Fest or we might not have been able to get home at all! Luck was on our side.

But man, the weather was cold that last day in New Orleans! It was supposed to be sunny and 84 every day we were there. Then on Friday evening, we walked outside and the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Yikes! I don’t think people had turned the a/c off yet either, so we pretty much froze everywhere we went.

The plane ride home was especially cold, so I asked for a cup of hot tea. They served me this Mother Parker’s Orange Pekoe. It wasn’t the best cup of tea I’ve ever had, but it was hot and tasted like tea, so it met my expectations. :) I’d rank it somewhere in between Lipton and Twining’s. Not bad stuff!

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67
drank Strawberry Ginger by DAVIDsTEA
635 tasting notes

On to the next herbal! The aroma is strongly ginger followed by light strawberry. The taste is just like the aroma. Hmm, this one’s not bad. It’s not uber delicious, but that’s because it’s an herbal. :P

It’s not my favorite combination of flavors. But it is nice and calming after my earlier bamboo experience. I think I need something dessert-y though, so I’m off to make another tea! Thanks to Kittenna for the sample. Only 3 teas left from your giant swap package! :D

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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2
drank Blazing Strawberries by DAVIDsTEA
635 tasting notes

Hurricane Sandy came and went and oh, we made out like bandits! The power only flickered on and off a couple times. We’ve had no damage at all. Very lucky indeed. My in-laws-to-be, on the other hand, lost several trees that took out their shed and are blocking their driveway. So, they’re stuck until further notice! :/ But we’ve got power so I’m having some tea! ;)

Oh dear Lord!! The aroma of this tea is potent to say the least. I don’t think this is going to be a winner with me. I let my fiancé sniff the cup and he said, “It doesn’t smell good.” LOL! I’m afraid I concur with his assessment. I also set the cup down across the room so I didn’t have to smell it as I wrote my initial thoughts down. Phew! I better gather my courage and take a sip already!

At first, I thought, “Hmm, it’s not as bad as it smells.” Then the aftertaste overwhelmed me and I thought, “Oh yes, actually it is.” Yuck! I am not a fan of bamboo tea. Oh no! I’m so sorry to write such an awful review, but I just can’t take this tea. I suppose I’m more of a traditionalist who favors blacks, greens, and whites. Herbals have never been my first choice.

But hey, life is all about new experiences. Maybe I would have loved bamboo tea! You never know till you try. Thanks to Kittenna for the sample. I’ll leave the rest for you to enjoy. :P

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Interesting! This one is actually very mild, so I wonder if it picked up flavours from something else. It usually tastes very light, a bit fruity, and a bit… refreshing.

Bonnie

So glad you made it through without harm! And to have power and tea!!! Great!

CHAroma

@Kittenna, Well, I used the entire sample in one cup…maybe I should have used less leaf? It was VERY strong!

@Bonnie, thanks!! We’re very happy to have made it through unscathed.

Ellyn

I’m glad the storm did not harm you! I never lost power either, although there were several flickers where I thought “this is it”.

Kittenna

I honestly don’t recall how much I sent, although it should have been enough for 2 cups (so 3-4 tsp?) as I have a large bag of this one. Either way, you didn’t like it, and your sample is gone! Hurrah! :P I think I dug out your box of samples last night, and rediscovered some treasures I’d been meaning to sample! At least, I think it was your box. I’ll have to double check, haha. (If you sent me Butterbeer, that’s the box I was nosing around in :D)

CHAroma

I did send Butterbeer!! :D I hope you enjoy it! It tastes exactly like butter and root beer to me. :)

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4

I’ve gotta’ get another cup of tea in before the power goes out. Thanks Hurricane Sandy! (That was sarcasm in case you couldn’t tell). This tea’s aroma is weird. It smells like blueberry and…something else. You know, it almost smells like green unripened blueberries. Hmm, it’s a weird aroma to be sure.

Ook! Yeah, that aroma is even weirder and, I’m sad to say, grosser in the taste. It’s definitely an unripened blueberry taste. Tart and bitter and blech. I’m not sure what could save this tea. I find it undrinkable. Just yuck all around. :( Nope, two sips and I’m done. This one is going down the drain. Thank you to Kittenna for providing the sample though! Sorry, I’m just not a fan.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Fjellrev

Hope everything is ok over there!

CHAroma

Thanks! We actually fared through the storm extremely well.

yssah

following you :)

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97
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
635 tasting notes

Holy crap!! This tea is EXCELLENT! I guess I wasn’t expecting much from a coconut tea, but this is truly incredible! It tastes strongly of coconut and vanilla, as described. But the black tea base lends a chocolaty flavor too. Yum! I especially recommend adding some sweetener. Wow!! Pie indeed!

Too bad it doesn’t hold up to a second infusion very well. But the first cup is well worth buying a package anyway! Thanks sooooo much to Kittenna for giving me a sample. I’ve only wanted to try this for over a year. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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89

I woke up with a very nice cup of 52teas’ Butterbeer and then remembered that I had meant to brew up a new tea. Whoops! So after having a second cup of Butterbeer, I washed out my tea paraphernalia and began anew with this sample from Kittenna.

The brewed tea aroma smells strongly of nori (seaweed). The taste is a fresh, spring green and luckily not grassy. I’m surprised this tastes so wonderful considering it’s a rather old sample and hasn’t been stored in ideal conditions. But it tastes great! No bitterness or astringency. Just a nice nori flavor.

The description on Verdant’s website describes this as sweet and juicy with citrus lime notes and a creamy grassiness reminiscent of matcha. I’m definitely getting all of that! Although I do have to say that in my opinion, it’s more sweet/juicy/citrus than creamy/grassy/matcha-like. Which is a good thing for me because I’m not 100% sure that I like matcha yet. But a sweet, juicy, fresh, spring green?? Oh yes!

On to steep number two at 175 degrees for 2 minutes. Hmm, maybe I should have let it steep just a little bit longer. I can still detect nori, but it’s much quieter now. I am getting a bit more creaminess than in the first cup. For steep #2.5, I tried putting the tea back in the second cup for another minute, but that was definitely a mistake. It brought bitterness to the forefront of the sip, although the aftertaste retained its lovely nori self. I won’t hold that against the tea though. It’s my fault for shoddily infusing it.

On to steep number three! I’ll try 175 degrees for 2.5 minutes. Success! This third cup is back to the perfection of the first. Not a trace of bitterness to be found. Mmm, yum! This is such a lovely tea. I’ve had a very relaxing Sunday. I slept till noon, laid around all day with my kitty cat watching Halloween movies, and now I’m enjoying a truly wonderful tea from Verdant. Thanks for making it possible Kittenna!!!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Yay, glad you liked this one! I do love the Verdant greens!

CHAroma

Everything I’ve tried from Verdant is amazing!!! I definitely love their Yunnan Blacks the most though.

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46
drank Cherry Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
635 tasting notes

I NEED some tea. You don’t even know. I’ve had the worst past couple days of my life. The only thing that could have made it worse was if someone close to me died. Emphasis on the close to me part because someone did die, my dad’s best friend’s father. My finances are in tatters, I didn’t get a promotion that I was really counting on, my fiancé and I have been fighting nonstop, and my eye doctor sent my glasses out for new lenses and UPS lost them!

And did I mention that I can’t wear contacts because my eyes are allergic? I don’t have back up glasses, and my brother’s wedding is in 3 days, for which I’m leaving tomorrow. GREAT! Now I get to be blind for my brother’s wedding!! The eye doctor refuses to pay for the glasses, so I just went to Lenscrafters and spent about $450 to buy new glasses, which I can’t even see out of because they don’t carry the anti-reflective lenses in the store. They’re special order only. I need to see NOW, not in 10-14 days!

These glasses literally suck. I’m seeing at about 60-80%. I’m so upset and frustrated. It’s just problem on top of problem on top of catastrophe. My face is completely broken out, my eyes are super irritated from trying to wear contacts anyway, and I’m having a huge allergic flare-up from my cat. Yes, I’m allergic to my cat. Don’t ask me why I bought him in the first place. I love animals, and he wriggled his way into my heart. I just want to scream. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, now that I got that off my chest…I’ll try and concentrate on this tasting note. Sadly, I think my rant has tainted the tea. It just tastes mediocre, like barely flavored water. I think this is another sample that I let sit for too long before trying it. Oh poop. I’m giving up on this one. I’m gonna’ go brew something else. Thanks to Kittenna for providing the sample, and my apologies for ranting my problems to all of you and high jacking this tasting note with negative crap.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Uniquity

I am SO sorry to read all this. As a fairly blind glasses wearer, I sympathize with all your plights in the ocular world – on top of the other things. : ( I hope that if nothing else you can get some resolution on the eyewear front and that things settle down with your fiancee. e-hug

Invader Zim

Good Lord…HUG!

Azzrian

Wow :( I am just SO sorry (huggs)

Alphakitty

e-hugs I hope things start looking up for you soon

Bonnie

I’m not going to send you good thoughts brother, I’m going to PRAY for you! You need some HELP! Deep breath. You’ve come to a place to rant where you know that you are listened to, accepted and cared for. Really cared about, not some trite saying…not just words. Your brother’s wedding is about HIM, wash your face in white tea if you have it which will help clear up your face, put the cat in a room (with litter box), take a shower. Drink better tea. Anti-histamine maybe? Your eyes might adjust if you de-stress. God Bless you!

Indigobloom

big big hugs
So sorry you’re having a bad time. It will pass soon, I believe it. and feel free to rant here any time, we are here for you!

Babble

I really hope things start looking up :)

Kittenna

That’s a whole lot of things to go wrong all at once, I’m so sorry! Hugs! I’m sure things will calm down soon enough… I’ve been able to empathize all too well lately myself.

Daniel Scott

I broke my glasses once and spent three days without them. Without glasses, my eyes are something like 20/250. Not the worst in the world, but bad enough! It almost made me scared to cross the street. Since then, I’ve always kept my last prescription around as a back-up!

Hope things look up, sounds overwhelming!

CHAroma

Thanks so much everyone! The wedding went off without a hitch! There was some drama with late limos and a best man who almost didn’t make it, but in the end everything worked out perfectly. My brother and new sister had a wonderful day. The ceremony was beautiful (the pastor even teared up!). Once away from my cat, I was able to wear contacts without my eyes turning vampire red and I got to reconnect with family I haven’t seen in a decade. Overall, it was really really great. Sincere thanks to everyone for the kind words. It was very much appreciated. :)

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90
drank Mom's Apple Pie by DAVIDsTEA
635 tasting notes

Oh wow! Yum! This is great! I don’t know why this tea has received mediocre reviews. The brewed aroma is very reminiscent of apple pie: the buttery cinnamon apple filling and the flaky pie crust. The taste is uber delicious! It’s not exactly like apple pie, but this is tea. It can’t be exactly like apple pie or that’s what it’d be! This is the next best thing and waaaaay fewer calories.

I added a little sweetener (gasp! I know!) and it did bring the flavor profile closer to sugary pie goodness and less like apple flavored green tea. I’m really enjoying this! In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I finished the first cup before even starting this tasting note. Time for a second cup!! Thanks Kittenna for this fantastic sample!

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

I saw this on the website and was debating on getting it but it sounds delicious.

Alphakitty

I wonder if they tinkered with the blend a bit—it was discontinued for a good bit, then came back recently.

CHAroma

@Cedes, I definitely recommend it! I’m hoping to pick up some more myself. So yummy!

@Alphakitty, I’m not sure. This was my first experience with it. But if they did make changes, I can only surmise that it was for the better!

Kittenna

I think I bought this before it was discontinued/brought back, so the blend is likely the original (unless it was tinkered with before becoming an online exclusive).

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80

Sipdown…finally finishing this up after it’s sat in my cupboard for seriously about 3-4 years. I’m enjoying this last cup, but I don’t think I’ll restock it. I’d rather have a whole leaf, fresh houjicha. Not much more to say about it than what I have in the past. See my other tasting note.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!

My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.

I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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