12 Tasting Notes

55
drank Gunpowder by Adagio Teas
12 tasting notes

This tea smells horrible while brewing, strongly of tobacco. And on its own, I just can’t stand it. I understand that a lot of people love gunpowder. It’s just not for me. However, I decided to try making Moroccan mint before I gave up on it, and sure enough it makes a pretty good Moroccan mint with enough mint and sugar. At least it won’t go to waste?

Flavors: Tobacco

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

My daughter asked for a cup of this today, so I made a cup for each of us. The peach flavor really shines in this one. The tea itself has a really mellow flavor, sweet but not overpowering. I really like this one.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
12 tasting notes

I think I just don’t like oolongs. I’ve tried Pouchong, Oriental Beauty, and Ali San, and really didn’t like any of them. And not just disliking them to the point that I’m not sure how I’ll finish the sample, but Ali San especially to the point where I actually dumped the cup today instead of finishing it. Am I doing something wrong?

It’s not like I’m coming into this not liking tea in general. I love tea. I love green tea and black tea. I feel like I ought to like oolongs, too.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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85
drank White Monkey by Adagio Teas
12 tasting notes

The first thing that struck me about this tea was its smell. As soon as I opened the package, I did a double-take. Was this a blend? I had never smelled a green tea before this with such a floral/herbal smell. The taste is very delicate. I imagine this is a love-hate kind of tea, but I love it. This is my favorite green tea I’ve tried. At 160, it can be steeped several times, and honestly the second and third steeps are better than the first. Really a pleasure to drink.

Flavors: Flowers, Herbaceous

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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75
drank Jeju Sejak by Harney & Sons
12 tasting notes

Around Christmas, my sister gave me an old sample of Sejak tea from Upton that she had never opened, and it quickly became one of my favorite green teas. Since it is not currently available from Upton, I decided to try Harney’s Jeju Sejak as a replacement. I saved a couple of tsp of the Upton Sejak so I could compare, and this morning I made the two side-by-side.

Initial thoughts: The leaves look very similar, though the Upton leaves were slightly darker, less green, and more broken. This could all be because the sample was 5 years old, of course, but it was still interesting to note. The flavor profile was also similar – mild, not overly astringent, with a slight sweetness. Again, probably due to age, the Harney Sejak had a stronger, more assertive flavor. It was far sweeter, almost a sweet corn aroma going on. I liked it, though to be honest I think I enjoyed the flavor of the Upton Sejak better. I enjoyed its milder flavor. I think I can grow to like this one just as well, but my initial thought was that it was just a tiny bit too sweet-smelling for a green tea.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Earl Grey Green by Adagio Teas
12 tasting notes

This is another one from Adagio’s Earl Grey sampler that I thought I wouldn’t like. I was glad to be proven wrong. The Earl Grey flavor was milder with this one, which I think is the right decision for a green tea. It was very balanced, a nicely flavored green tea.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This tea smells sweet and grassy, exactly how I expect Korean green tea to smell. The taste is delicate and smooth, a refreshing and easy to drink cup. This is currently my second-favorite green tea. Good for at least two infusions. I’m almost to the end of my sample, and Upton doesn’t have this in stock, so I have more Sejak coming from Harney and Sons. We shall see how it compares.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Jasmine #5 by Adagio Teas
12 tasting notes

I bought a sampler of this nine years ago from Adagio, and honestly forgot about it in the back of my cabinet. I discovered it earlier this month, and surprisingly it is still a decent cup. The jasmine flavor is still very strong, which is good because I’m sure the tea itself is well past its prime. I tried an improvised gongfu (teacup and saucer for a gaiwan) for the first time with this today with. Trying to practice the technique with this before trying it with better teas.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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55
drank Christmas by Adagio Teas
12 tasting notes

This Christmas tea tries to do what chai teas do, but not as well. Not my favorite, and I haven’t been drinking it much at all. But for a sick day, when I can’t smell or taste well enough to appreciate the good teas, this will do.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Yunnan Noir by Adagio Teas
12 tasting notes

I tried this at a friend’s house today. Delicious, smooth, and the tiniest bit smokey. This is a tea I would like in my collection someday.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

1) I’m new to tea, and not at all a tea expert.
2) I don’t like astringency, and it doesn’t like me. Therefore, as a rule, I don’t like brisker, bolder teas.
3) As a rule I drink green and white teas straight, and I have black teas with cream and sugar. I haven’t had enough oolong tea yet to know how I like them.

Guide to my simplified ratings:
15 – No.
35 – I can see why others would like this, but I can’t force myself to finish the cup
55 – Not one I would buy again, but I will finish a cup
75 – A tea I might drink occasionally
85 – A tea I could drink every day
95 – A near perfect tea

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