25 Tasting Notes

91

This is seriously delicious tea! The creaminess is buoyed by a light floral undertone that’s more evident in the aroma than the sip. There’s something in the lingering flavor which reminds of a toasted marshmallow – difficult to put my finger on, but it’s quite unique, and even more evident as the cup cooled.

The leaves themselves unfurled into large, whole, deep green leaves during steeping. I’m glad I got plenty of this particular harvest – I think I’m going to enjoy having it around.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Marshmallow, Milk

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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69

This is more what I thought tea was before I started drinking it. It’s what kept me a satisfied coffee drinker for so long. Nothing wrong with it – the Jasmine is aromatic and evident, the Vanilla is sweet and delightful – I just enjoy the flavor of tea more than I do the “extras”, I guess.

My wife enjoyed it, and it’s low enough on the caffeine scale to enjoy pretty much anytime. For me, what I have left will sit right where it is until I make her some more.

Flavors: Jasmine, Vanilla

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95
drank Jiri Horse by teabento
25 tasting notes

Easily the best surprise I’ve had in a long time just streamed from the gaiwan to my cup. This is an amazingly complex and delicious treat! At first I had a problem defining what my senses were rejoicing in, but after some contemplation over 2nd and 3rd pots, I will take a stab at it: Nuts. Chocolate. Real chocolate, not that ooey, gooey stuff that make into hollow bunnies.

This Korean tea is amazingly good! I lived in Korea for a while and learned a little about cooking and other fun things to do with rice, but nobody – nObOdy – told me about this stuff! Balhyocha is a secret which needs sharing. Great pick from Teabento.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey, Nuts, Nutty

Preparation
4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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91

Another great sample from teabento!

I prepared the tea in a Kyusu at about 170 degrees. The pleasant (but not overpowering) jasmine aroma was evident shortly after the water hit the leaves, and grew stronger as the leaves began to unfurl.

The first infusion was really more a 1-minute rinse, and produced a nice cup. The second infusion was shorter – around 30-seconds and produced a delightful and aromatic cup.

The tea is light, minty and refreshing. The jasmine is very evident when it’s warm; as it cools, the flavor profile takes on a honey-like edge and the lingering taste of mint is more prominent.

Delicious, delightful and delectable!

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Mint

Preparation
4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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88

After trying other Silver Needle teas, I was expecting something light and difficult to discern. This Vietnamese tea is actually quite distinct. The aroma is somewhat spicy, but still has a gentle floral tone to it.

The cup is delicate and creamy, but has an edge of smokiness to it. Overall very pleasant – infused four times in a gaiwan, ranging from 30-seconds to 5-minutes. This is interesting enough to order more and play with the times and temps a little more.

Flavors: Creamy, Smoke, Spicy

Preparation
4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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I know ashmanra is not on anyone’s payroll, but she is making a lot of tea vendors happy. Shortly after sampling Queen Catherine, I got an email from Harney offering discounts on their breakfast teas. A fan of black tea – I ordered. Several.

Harney’s Irish Breakfast is a brisk, malty Assam blend bursting with both flavor and aroma. Methinks there may be an “Irish Lunch” somewhere in my future…

ashmanra

A favorite of my youngest!

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When I first got this sample, I overlooked it, thinking it was a chocolate heart in its gold foil wrapper. Once I saw the label, I started plotting the perfect day to give it a shot.

Wow! This could easily become a habit. This smells exactly like sticky rice (a staple in my home). The aroma is so powerful I can’t help but taste it with each sip. There’s a hint of mushrooms or something similar, too.

Now I need to invite my wife to try it to justify an inevitable order. Ho-o-o-o-o-ney!

ashmanra

It is bizarre how much it smells just like sticky rice, and all due to an added herb. Teavivre has some bagged, and I think I have by…Whispering Pines perhaps? Or it may be Upton. I have a couple of Lapsangs on the way that you guys need to try! Will send asap.

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From Ceremonial and Premium to flavored Culinary, I’ve tried several grades of Matcha in the past month. This is by far the creamiest and least bitter of them all.

I received a sample as a gift, and in consideration of the price, I realize how blessed I am to have a friend like ashmanra. Even with my discount coupon I’m inclined to buy Harney’s Thick Grade, but this is worth the price.

It whisked easily into a creamy froth, and any sense of bitterness quickly melted into a lingering sweetness. I just might splurge on this matcha – but maybe as a gift for my wife, who would most likely share.

ashmanra

I am quite sure she would share with you! I agree, the thick grad dis really good and for the price consideration I wouldn’t be sad buying it. But if I have a coupon, I am probably going for this one. And guess what? Tea companies do GREAT Black Friday sales!

Comm Guy

My wife just surveyed and commented on my growing tea stash. I didn’t realize (or was in denial) about how big it’s grown. In my defense – some of space is herbs for tisanes…and they’re bulky. Yeah. That’s it. Herbs. I’m gonna use that.

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This could easily replace coffee as my morning cup. Robust, but not overpowering. Smooth, but not weak. This tea is anything but finicky and yields a pleasingly sweet, malty full-bodied flavor.

Sample provided by my local enabler, ashmanra, and resulted in a purchase at Harney & Sons. Perfectly timed, by the way. Just got an email offering 25% off Breakfast Blends.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
ashmanra

Perfect timing, indeed! With their frequent specials it is easy to load up on favorites and save a little while still getting good stuff and not settling for mediocre. A coupon will come along soon for that matcha, and if you ever need someone to “go in with you” to pad an order so you get free shipping, there are a few people local people who would probably be game!

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80

We were excited to try this matcha. My wife was greeted with a bag of goodies when she ran into ashmanra yesterday, and this was among them.

I made it as I’ve become accustomed to making it – no sifting – and we get 100% clump-free matcha starting cool water. This was little thicker and less bitter than the ceremonial grade I’ve been drinking. The color was a shockingly bright green, and made a deep green tea. As a former heavy coffee drinker, I consume matcha as much for effect as anything, so we’ll be able to compare in another way in a few hours.

Very good. I would buy this.

ashmanra

I do plan to repurchase this one myself. I like it very much!

Fjellrev

Ashmanra, you rule.

ashmanra

Fjellrev: Just sharing the tea love wherever I can! :D

gmathis

Living in the same neighborhood as an enbabler…lucky duck :)

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Profile

Bio

I’ve heard others refer to me as a Renaissance man. I’m more apt to describe myself in a sentence ending with “…and master of none.”

I play music. I design and build things. I love art and quirky stuff. And I have a really cool wife.

In an attempt at a more graceful aging, I entered the wonderful world of tea for its health benefits in 2017. A home roaster and seasoned coffee-ologist, I dove quickly in, gleaning knowledge from every source possible and tasting all I could afford to buy, beg or borrow. Hundreds of cups, pots, bags and blends into it, I still consider myself a neophyte Steepster.

I’ve discovered I am a huge fan of Pu-erh, and quickly warmed up to Oolong and Yunnan Blacks, White teas, and Matcha.

Flavoring? Not really my thing. I can bear a little Jasmine in a Silver Needle, but given the plethora of sensory pleasures in the realm of tea, I’ll budget for a better tea over something with an additive.

I enjoy Tisanes, too. We buy herbs in bulk and blend for both benefits and taste. In that order.

My Somewhat Subjective Rating System:

91-100: An absolute favorite tea. So Far. You could create a reality TV show from my impulses to buy and hoard this one.

81-90: A favorite tea. I can overlook any inconsistencies it may have.

71-80: I like this tea. I’ll share or finish what I have, but it won’t make the reorder list.

61-70: Definitely drinkable, but doesn’t align my stars or anything.

51-60: Something’s not quite right. Could be quality, consistency, blending, or just personal preference, but not my favorite. I’ll still finish the pot.

11-50: Undrinkable for any variety of reasons. You won’t see a lot of these ratings from me, and I probably got this one as a sample; I tend to spend money on teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Was this really tea?

Location

North Carolina

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