367 Tasting Notes

65
drank Honeybush by Adagio Teas
367 tasting notes

Blues Brothers + this tea = the saving graces of this crappy day.*

So this is what plain Honeybush tastes like! As I suspected this is that “lotioney” taste that’s been part of the flavored versions of this tea. That lotion taste isn’t bad…it’s just different. I’m also having trouble with this note since I drank 6 steeps of a Jade Oolong that I picked up today at a tea shop that shall remain nameless for now. I feel like that oolong actually steeped itself into my tongue – is that even possible? It seems that l’m still tasting the oolong while drinking this. So I plan on drinking this again in the near future when not under the oonfluence. NE

*Here’s the summary of my crap day: I drove an hour to my closest tea shop to go to a green tea tasting class with a friend. This was my first visit there. After being told by employees that the class was actually 2 hours later we went to Whole Foods (bought a couple of Rishi teas!), and then returned to the shop. Um, yeah, the class is actually next Sunday. ::facepalm:: That last part was my bad – I got my dates mixed up. My friend can’t make it next week and they said that they won’t do a class if it ends up just being me. ::sigh:: We shall see. The other saving grace is that my friend experienced her first loose leaf tea today (an oolong) and LOVED it. So, I picked up 2oz of the oolong and a sample of their Lapsang Souchon and came back home.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 7 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

I don’t understand why that first employee said ‘2 hours later’ when she meant ‘2 hours later NEXT sunday’ ???? Might have saved you some time but then again, you did get some Rishi teas and your friend liked her loose tea and you got to pick up some more tea! A nice trade off!

Rabs

It took two employees to give me the misinformation. And according to the original email the class is at the time I thought it was. My friend thought that the staff (except for one we met during our second visit) seemed a bit snobby. I didn’t think as much, but I won’t allow anyone to make me feel inferior so it kinda bounces off me unless it’s blatant. I mentioned that I found them via Steepster and the guy kinda shrugged it off and said that they had looked into it and left it at that. I thought, wow, depending on how next Sunday goes they might be getting a really less than warm-n-fuzzy review on here. (they had also “misplaced” my online order for my first teapot – I contacted them a week after not hearing anything and they found the printout among a stack of papers. And they were out of the color I wanted). I really want to support a “local” small business, but they’re making it hard on me!

I was so excited to check out Whole Foods’ tea selection since I hadn’t been there since I’d gotten into teas. I was so sad that I didn’t have any way for me to look up teas on steepster while I was there – lol! My next online order is gonna be with Rishi anywho since they have the iced tea pitcher that I want to buy. It’s like I’m getting a preview! And it really was neat to experience a tea high with someone else. Okay, so there were a lot more bright spots to my day than I’d thought. :)

~lauren.

Good for you for finding the good in a day but I have to agree, that particular local business does not seem to want your business!

Shanti

Wow…that’s awfully rude of those employees. I’d be so angry that I wouldn’t even give them my patronage (and money) on Sunday.

Also, LOL at not being able to use Steepster while at Whole Foods….I actually browse the site on my phone while in the isle! But most of their teas is bagged but in jars (deceptive!) and not very well rated usually, so I rarely buy anything.

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47

Oh the disappointment. I sooo wanted to enjoy this tea especially after reading the reviews. Buy nay, our love was not to be – perhaps my expectations were too high? This was the tea where I finally had to admit to myself that I must get my “winging the temp” issue resolved and soon. I just don’t want to think about how many teas I’ve potentially butchered. (eeek!)

This is another tea where I swear I tasted soy milk (plain soy this time – or what I like to call “bean juice”). Then the melon taste to me was like a not-quite-ripe cantaloupe. I’m so sad that this earns a M in my book.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Shanti

Oh, that’s too bad :( Is this a white tea?

Rabs

Yep, it’s a white tea which in general I enjoy.

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80
drank Orchid Temple by Golden Moon Tea
367 tasting notes

I’ve decided that I’m a floral freak and I’m letting my floral freak flag fly (say that ten times fast)! Oolongs are still new to me, so I’m guessing that someday in the future I will think this one’s ho-hum. But for now I’m loving this. I’m on the third infusion and plan to keep goin’ as many times as possible – I just had to get my first 3 steeps down before I forgot (and will edit to add more info if I feel it is warrented).

Steep 1 (180ish for 3 minutes): I always think that I’m going to hate oolongs on the first infusion. The dry leaf smell doesn’t do anything for me and then the first taste is always so very veggie and I’m not a huge veg fan. Still nice, but very veg and no floral (but the leaves hadn’t fully opened). Oh – and I had done a short rinse on them.

Steep 2 (180ish for 3 minutes): Less strong veg and just the tiniest little whisper of floral. Mmm…

Steep 3 (180ish for 4 minutes): Where the hell did this sweet floral side come from?!?! It’s like a completely new tea! It has a great floral taste and then it’s the most interesting sweet lingering sensation on my tongue. I’ve never experienced that lingering sensation before. If someone handed me this tea on its third steep and had me try it, then I think that I’d be utterly confused and not know what it was. A floral white perhaps? Again – remember I have a noob palate. ;) Off for the fourth steep I go! TG

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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50
drank Peach Black by Stash Tea Company
367 tasting notes

Apparently I’m a wimp when it comes to black teas. I enjoyed this a lot more than any of the loose leaf varieties with which I’ve been experimenting. This definitely hit the “spot-o-yumminess.” Right at first the peach seemed a bit fake and too strong, but then it mellowed nicely as the cup cooled.

I’m thinking that for me black teas will take time for me to grow into. It took me working as a barista for 7 years to finally embrace coffee and espresso, so I’d speculate that my black tea journey will take some time (hopefully not as long as the coffee one did!). But now I know to be patient with myself. :) NE

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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49

As inspired by Morgana’s “Tale of Three Vanillas” I chose this one out of my sampler for my morning tea. This is the first vanilla tea that I’ve ever had and it was nice. The dry leaf smell reminded me of Vanilla Silk (which is neither good nor bad – I just only have it with cereal and not as a straight drink). The steeped tea smelled like a gentler Vanilla Silk.

That being said – this is the first loose leaf black tea that was actually “smooth” to me. Maybe a little too smooth because it sort of bored me, but it did give me hope that someday I’ll like black teas more than I do at present. Ultimately it’s like this tea was going out of its way to be overly polite. M

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Spearmint by Adagio Teas
367 tasting notes

I’d never had a plain mint tea before, and so when trying to find more caffeinie-free options I saw spearmint (which I tend to reach for when buying gum) and decided to get a sample. I don’t have a lot to say about it other than it’s pretty much what I expected, only maybe a bit more crisp. I think that this shall be my mint tea of choice to keep a small amount on hand. NE

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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66
drank Jasmine #12 by Adagio Teas
367 tasting notes

Such pretty little pearls! And the tin smelled great! Then post-steep I had a moment of panic when I smelled a bit of that “tootsie roll pop” sweetness. I think that I successfully reset myself and my expectations before taking my first sip.

This one falls right between Adagio’s Jasmine #9 and Golden Moon’s Jasmine Pearls as far as sweetness goes. I’m not a huge fan of that sweetness (as discovered with the Pearls). There was a hint of that candy-o-doom in the first cup, but then the second and third steeps were less sweet, more floral/tea, and for me that made it much better. I’ll be happy to finish off this sample tin, but then I’ll even more happily reorder #9 again and again. NE

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

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1

Oh gunpowder: you evil love-child of green and black tea! Okay, maybe not, but it sure tasted like it. I shall keep my mind open to future gunpowders, but am I ever happy that this was a small sample.

So, the scent of the packet (I forgot to smell the leaves before steeping them) was a really light and pleasant smell that I couldn’t put my finger on – just a hint of smokiness. I sniffed the tea after steepage and it reminded me of the food I gave my pet Hammy the Hamster back in my elementary school years. ::shudders:: And once that scent-association happened it was all an uphill battle for this tea to become likable for me.

I thought that I had oversteeped the first cup – I tossed it out halfway through and tried again. Steep two – I made it four sips and tossed it. My face actually resembled the “yucky face” on the rating scale on my final sip. I mean, I didn’t even toss out any of my lowest rated teas until I’d had at least one cup. Therefore, even though there are probably some very redeemable qualities to this tea, it’s recieving my first 1 (because I made that EXACT face). GA

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
~lauren.

Rabs, a 1 !!!! I’ve not seen many 1 ’s but when I do encounter one, something contrary in me kicks in and I want to try it. Strange but true. A 1 – it must be awful! LOL!

~lauren.

and that EXACT face on the ratings scale? TOO FUNNY!

Rabs

LOL – I’m the same way about being tempted to try the “ick” teas! And yes – my eyes squinted whilst my tongue stuck out. Granted, my tongue might have been a bit more askew – but that was it. I bet that you could find more redeeming qualities and I almost gave it a 7. However, that facial spasm of disguist made me think: well, when would be a better time to give a tea the proverbial bird?

__Morgana__

Hamster food. Hahaha. I hope this is in the sampler, I really want to smell it now.

Rabs

I got mine in the 31 tea sampler – I’ll be dying to hear what you have to say. And please y’all, I’m a very open-to-learning tea noob, so if any of you would like to edjucate me on how better to appreciate a gunpowder, then I’d love to know. But I just can’t imagine purchasing this specific one ever again.

__Morgana__

I haven’t done gunpowder yet except in bags, but you might try lower water temp and less steeping time. Start with 175 for a minute to a minute and a half and see if that makes it any better, if not try 45 seconds. Gunpowders seem a little stronger and more pungent than a lot of other greens to start with so less might be more.

Rabs

Pungent is the perfect word! I’ll definitely take your advice on the next Gunpowder that I try – I can imagine how much that might improve the taste. So most likely it’s not this poor tea’s fault for my low rating of it, but more of a user error. After I’ve tried another Gunpowder with the altered prep, and it proves to be more positive, then I might adjust this here rating.

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89

::bangs head against a stone pillar:: What is wrong with me?!?! I’m struggling to enjoy black teas, and I really would like a healthy relationship with them. This is probably an excellent Irish Blend (I do like it more than Stash’s bagged version), but for me it’s a black tea that reminds me how frustrated I am with my taste buds. And of all the flavors this tea claims to have I think the only one I picked up on was prunes.

I’ll be going to a green tea tasting class this Sunday to get a better handle on that type of tea – I must remember to ask them if they plan on having a black tea class in the near future. Until then I think it’s time for me to start experimenting with additives (like a sweetner) to see if that will bring me around to the dark side. M

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

sweetie – (I just saw bones last night on TV and that’s what Angela always calls everybody) – banging your head on a stone pillar does not a healthy relationship make! Take a step back, breathe, think calming zen-like thoughts …. breathe!

Rabs

Aw, thank you – I needed that! I think that I was being a bit overdramatic, just a bit, but I really am frustrated that the black teas haven’t been as rewarding as the others so far. ::big zen breath:: I’ve also been meaning to get around to watching Bones (but I need to catch up on Angel first and before that I need to finish Firefly – tee-hee!).

~lauren.

BUSY busy! I know what you mean though – my son bought 7 seasons worth of the TV show ‘24’ on dvd and I am on like the 4th season or so and I am now a zombie from dvd-ing …! We did the same thing on ‘Bones’ though we rented those dvds (all the seasons released) from the public library!

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47
drank Honeybush Apricot by Adagio Teas
367 tasting notes

Now that’s what I call a cup of “meh.” The smell of the dry leaves was divinely apricot – I might just keep a sample tin for that smell. Tearomatherapy?

There was a ton of “dust” in my cup unlike the Honeybush Mango. There wasn’t much of a fragrance to the tea itself. The taste was not apricot. It really didn’t have much of a taste. I’m really wondering if I used enough tea chippies? I used more than I usually do for the Honeybush Mango, but I’ll try even more next time. So my rating may change, but for now it’s a big ’ole M.

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Profile

Bio

Proud all-around nerd, designer, fibromyalgia manager, and Assistant Library Director/Creative Director.

After being a barista for almost a decade it wasn’t until 2010 that I discovered loose leaf tea. Now I’m hooked.

I’m quite loose when it comes to tea prep. I also ended up using Steepster to find my “daily” teas which I have – and so don’t rate as many as I used to. And am not active here any more (because y’all would get tired of me drinking the same teas every single day – day in and day out).

There’s really nothing remarkable or noteworthy of how I rate teas. I do take it a tiny further step to help clarify the muddled middle grounds for myself. TG is a definite repurchase. Anything below that is less and less likely.

TG=Teagasm
NE=Nice Enough
M=Meh
GA=Gods-Awful

Location

Midwest, USA

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