20 Tasting Notes

75
drank Darjeeling by Wagh Bakri
20 tasting notes

100g for $3.99 at a small Indian grocery. The box has the Darjeeling Mark to show that it is of verified origin. There’s a sealed foil bag inside a foldover cardboard box, so all the tea is in a tin now—it fits in a Republic of Tea standard canister.

This tea brews up delicate and mild with characteristic Darjeeling flavor. The wet leaf is a mix of broken-leaf dark and greenish pieces. The box instructions say “one teaspoon per cup, strain after a minute.”

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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89
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
20 tasting notes

This tea was by the hot water urn at a conference, and brewed up nicely in a variety of mug sizes and sub-boiling temperatures. I snagged a couple bags for more controlled brewing.

At boiling, one bag in a pint, it’s a soft vanilla caramel with a citrus undertone. The bag tag says “Brew 5 minutes”. It’s good cold, too.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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81
drank The au Chocolat by Lupicia
20 tasting notes

I walked away from the brewing and came back to nice tea anyhow, which is a huge plus. With turbinado sugar, it tastes of dusty cocoa with a tea-tannin kick (my fault), and “chocolatey” on the nose during swallowing.

I’m rebrewing this bag currently to see what the tea tastes like after the first flush of cocoa washes out.

Preparation
Boiling 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

I enjoyed the tin, but am not sad it’s gone. It’s a bit malty, a bit astringent: it feels oversteeped at 3 1/2 min—I usually steep black teas about 4 1/3 min. I don’t even like the tin quite well enough to keep; it’s really hard to get the bits out of the corner.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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40

As it cools, the pine notes come out. When it’s warm, there’s smoke and campfires. Astringency, yes, and sugar isn’t helping. I can’t sweeten the smoky aroma. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a mild tea with a heavy dose of smoke that doesn’t balance the intensity of the smokiness.

The 4/10 is for the fact that the smoke seeped out of the package and made my entire tin of mixed teabags smell of smoke. I’m airing out the tin so I can re-close it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

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87

I liked the second steeping better than the first, and got five flavored steeps out of this. Bright yellow-green liquor, toasty rice flavors.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

Snagged the bag from a motel breakfast buffet to assess properly vs semi-hot water available. A little smokey, a bit astringent. It’s nice. I’d happily drink it again, but not go out of my way to repurchase.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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66

One teabag yielded a strong 8oz steep, then two milder 8oz steeps. The fourth steep has color but not a lot of flavor. First steep is seedy/jammy, earthy toast. Second is a light fruity strawberry. Third is a mild pu-erh tea. Fourth is a bit earthy water.

Preparation
Boiling

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67

Lightly blueberry- fruity. Pleasant tea flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

At 4 min, it’s copper-colored, astringent, a little murky in the way I think of oversteeped Darjeelings. Adding a splash of milk transforms all of that into a nice toasty toffee-flavor, but I don’t usually add milk to my tea.

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

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