140 Tasting Notes

88

Guess what. I have an eye appointment today that I need to be awake for. So, time to bring this back out again.

I’m telling you now, I overleafed this by about a gram. I want to be awake for at least the next five hours which, if my body and brain functioned like a human, would be easy, but since doesn’t I’m gonna be riding on empty in an hour or so. (I woke up at 9:30 PM last night, I’ve been up almost 12 hours, it’s bed time…)

Anyway, the flavor on this is lovely. I’m getting notes of hay and grass, combined with some sweetness. On the other hand, it’s got a little bit of that good black tea flavor as well, but not much. Mostly I’m tasting the white tea. However, well, how should I put this. I had bourbon chicken last night (long time ago, so that’s not affecting the flavor) but there is a touch of that same flavor in it. Never having actually had bourbon, I’m guessing that’s the flavor? It’s sweet/malt/honey sort of thing. Tasty.

I’m hoping this can keep me awake long enough to make my eye appt. The office is literally across the road, so I can walk there if needed. Fingers crossed that I don’t crash somewhere around Noon or so, because if I fall asleep now, I’m not getting up.

Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
1 min, 15 sec

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76
drank 2018 Waffles by White2Tea
140 tasting notes

See, I thought I had reviewed this long ago. I guess I was wrong.

This is pretty much my only experience with Puerh. As in… ever. I refuse call whatever it was I had from Adagio puerh or even tea for that matter. So, out of all my teas and samples, this is one of only two I have.

I’m gonna say it. I like this tea. For a Pu, it’s simple. Break off a chunk, brew, drink, repeat. It’s easy to manage and I don’t have to fiddle with my scale and make a mess. I know, my need for quick and simple probably makes me sound like a heathen, but I like simple. It’s one of the reasons I tend to brew everything western… and yes that includes this. It was brewed for 25 seconds for 12 oz water on first steep (once I got the leaves to unfurl).

As far as the taste of this goes, it’s pretty good. I’m still learning to appreciate this type of tea, and still feeling it out, but I’m liking this. It has a nice peat/wet earth flavor to it. I can also taste autumn leaf pile. I can’t think of any other way to describe it, and yep, it’s a flavor and here it is. Now, I’m not going to lie. There is an ever so slight fishiness to this. Slight. But it’s there, and I would be showing favoritism by not mentioning it. I want to be fully upfront and honest here. That said, it isn’t enough to make me not like or enjoy it. If anything, it’s a background note.

Once the cup cools down a bit, I’m tasting a bit of vanilla and caramel sweetness to it that I wasn’t expecting. Also, I’m getting hints of tobacco as well mixed in there – you know, that lovely turkish kind I used to love. It’s pretty good stuff, and I’m just hoping I can stay awake long enough to finish this session. (I never do.)

Overall, I like this. I like it a lot. For my first real foray into puerh, it’s pretty tasty. It’s nothing fancy, and I’m sure someday, if I can get over my Gong Fu hesitation, I will be able to enjoy far greater cakes than this. For now, this is fine. I’m almost out though, so that makes me sad. Sometime soon, I will need to make a new W2T order. Oh my aching wallet…

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Fishy, Peat, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

Airing it out a bit may diminish the fishy aroma and taste! Maybe give it an hour or two in a bowl before steeping. I had one so fishy it got two whole days, but they were individually wrapped tuos. It did help a lot, and I enjoyed the tea.

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So I just “Discovered” this tea in the wrong drawer. It was with my non-sample teas, so it was hidden at the bottom of the teas. In reality, this was a taster that I got…??? I don’t know when I got this, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

Unaltered, this tastes very strongly of root beer. Very bitey root beer at that. However, I wanted to latte this, so I did.

Taste Latte’ed is… well it’s creamy I’ll give it that. The root beer flavor comes in on the back burner, with a strong lingering flavor and heavy on the aftersip. It isn’t as in your face when you latte it. Not that it being in your face was a bad thing, I love a good SODA! flavored tea. However, this is supposed to taste like a rootbeer float, so maybe it isn’t meant to be latte-ed? Maybe it’s just supposed to taste like the float upfront. I’ll have to resteep it and try it a second time.

Ok, on resteep, the root beer flavor isn’t nearly as noticeable. It’s unfortunate. I believe I will need to revisit this at a later time. For now, just take my word that it’s definitely Root Beer and that’s all I can tell you right now.

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71
drank Alice's Tea by 52teas
143 tasting notes

Another from the grab bag, I had hoped I would get this, as it was one I wanted to straight-up purchase but decided against as I guessed it might be among the two mystery packs I ordered! Glad to see I was right.

Anyway, this one has a lovely stonefruit sweetness to it, without any additives. I’m also tasting the floral of the jasmine and a touch of the green tea (but not much). The peach flavor more or less takes over in this cup, which is fine for me, I love a strong peach tea. That said, I’m not sure if the peach and jasmine are playing well together. There’s an… well there’s an odd note to it that I can’t place. It tastes a bit metallic? It feels like the two halves of the flavor profile don’t want to mesh properly. It doesn’t stop me from enjoying it though. It should be noted that I believe I overleafed and oversteeped this, so take that into account.

EDIT: It occurs to me that the flavor I am having a hard time processing may be orange zest. It’s a possibility, I’m not sure. It’s sharp and slightly bitey, so there’s a good chance it’s that, and not some weird aftereffect of the blend.

All in all, this is an ok tea which, while I enjoy, my palate isn’t nearly as discriminating as many others, so liking this is probably a “me” thing. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll enjoy what I have. I need more peachy greens in my life!

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Orange Zest, Peach, Stonefruits, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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84
drank Highgarden by 52teas
143 tasting notes

So I’m still working my way through my 52teas order, and already thinking of another. I don’t have the money for all this tea! To quote the song I’m jamming on, “paciencia y fe” :)

Anyway, I was hoping this was like drinking a bouquet of flowers (love me that floral) and I wasn’t wrong. There’s a strong lemon tartness in the forefront, which is nice. It’s not sour, just a touch tart. Also, there’s some sweetness present as well. But most of what you get once you move past the lemon is floral. I can taste the Jasmine and the green tea. The rose isn’t as noticeable as I would like, but it’s there too. Mmm, I’m loving this. Very good. I now wish I had grabbed some of this while it was lingering in the shop!

Overall, I can see how this wouldn’t be for everyone. It’s very floral, and while that works for me, I understand how it wouldn’t for others. The original name of Potpourri is very fitting for this, but I like the GoT name as well. Good stuff.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmNZ545oP8k

Flavors: Floral, Green, Jasmine, Lemon, Rose, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Another day, another… night.

Honestly, considering the hours I post on here, you would think I was either from Australia or Europe, but no, I’m from the Eastern Time Zone, I just keep horrible hours.

Anyway, woke up with Beetlejuice: The Musical running through my head, so that meant it was time for something dark, but fun. Luckily, I just got my latest 52teas order in, and one of the grab bag teas was this, which fit the bill nicely. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cotton candy tea before, even though I used to love cotton candy. Naturally, I haven’t had cotton candy since the diagnoses (dang ’betes) so my memory of the flavor might be a bit rusty. We shall see.

The smell of the brew is sweet, with a strong black tea aroma. I can really smell the tea! I’m going in assuming I will be adding Splenda to this, but to taste it first. Taste unsweetened is… welp, it tastes like tea? If there’s cotton candy flavor in this I’m missing it. Let’s try the Splenda.

Hmm… I don’t know how much of it is the Splenda, and how much is the actual flavor of the tea, but I’m really not getting cotton candy from this. Maybe as a bit of an aftertaste? Yeah, it floats lightly on the back of my throat after I swallow, but it isn’t an in-your-face sort of flavor. I’m a bit sad. I was hoping for an upfront, kick in the teeth kind of cotton candy. It’s not bad, so to speak. It has an ok flavor and is fully drinkable. It’s just rather bland. I wonder how much of this is because this was a reblend for June and it’s now February. The flavor could be fading on it. Either way, it’s ok, but nothing spectacular.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEct4Nod2iU

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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72
drank Lady Grey by Twinings
143 tasting notes

Guess what. It says “Grey” on it, so I’m sold.

I was browsing Wally World again tonight because obviously I don’t have enough quickie tea, (or enough tea that I can stash in my purse), so when I saw this on the top shelf, I figured “What the hey” and grabbed it. I really don’t know the difference between “Lady” Grey and “Earl” Grey, so we shall see.

I brewed this a bit strong at about 3:30. It wasn’t really my intention, it just got away from me. Taste unsweetened is… Hm, fruity. It’s odd, I’m getting a ripe orange flavor from this and not just the usual bergamot. It’s a sweet orange flavor, with a decent amount of bite. Now, it isn’t too much bite that it’s unappealing, mind you, but it is very noticeable. However, the sweetness of the orange tempers the bite a bit. I think I like this; Not love, but like. The black tea base isn’t very noticeable and is mostly present on the aftersip. It’s got a slightly astringent, drying feel to it as well, but just barely. If anything, it’s a burst of ORANGE! followed by everything else. Which, you know what, it’s fine. I didn’t know what to expect coming into this, but I’m happy. It’s decent enough tea. I’m afraid to put sweetener in this because it might make the orange too strong though. But I think I can handle sticking a handful of these in my purse. It’s not the best, and that dang orange explosion, but you know what? It’s fine.

That’s my conclusion about this.
It’s FINE.

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Orange Zest, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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87

So, I already reviewed this once. Back then, I was just starting to try new things.

Well, I’m here to say that, about a year or so into my tea journey, and this one still holds up. I’m still getting the same Malt/Honey/Bread/Cacao notes as before, although sadly, I had to steep it a bit longer to get the full flavor. Not sure if it’s just fading with age or what, but I had to steep 2 minutes to have the nice, robust flavor that I commented on last time. A bit worrisome, but it just tells me I need to drink this more often and then get more! Hahaha.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cacao, Honey, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Hey yinz, so I’m in a lazy mood tonight, and while I wanted tea, I didn’t want to put any effort into it. So, here we are, using the k-cup attachment of my coffee maker.

I’d like to start by saying that this stuff is hella old. I can’t actually reach the box that it came in, but I know that the k-cups have been on my spindle for at least two years. Hell, pretty much everything on my spindle has been there that long, as that’s about when I stopped using the K-Cup function on my coffee maker. So this stuff is likely out of date.

That said, it’s still pretty tasty. Obviously it has the usual “Instant Chai” flavor to it. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I can taste the spice, I can taste the sugar, I can taste the milk. For something powdered, it’s decent. I even get a bit of tingle when I sip from the spice that lingers into the aftersip. However, I should note that, unlike most of the teas I drink, this one comes with actual sugar added, so I personally have to be careful how much I drink, because it could spike my sugar.

All in all, this stuff is ok. Naturally, properly made chai will beat this every time, but for something that takes all of 30 seconds to “brew”, it works. Here’s hoping I can get out of my funk and return to actual tea shortly… I can only drink so much of this stuff before I pass out!

Flavors: Milk, Spices, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

HELLO! My name is Shanie and I love tea!

While I have always loved various types of tea, for a very long time it came exclusively from a grocery store. It’s only been a year or so now that I’ve gotten into loose leaf. As such, there will likely be tasting notes I do for bagged tea as well as good quality (and not so good quality) loose leaf teas. I’m still learning as I go so have patience please!

Some of my favorite flavors include: Cocoa, Malt, Bread, Honey, Earthy, Sweet Citrus, Caramel, Apple, Spices, and Cinnamon.

Some flavors I don’t like: Licorice, Coconut, Bitey Citrus (like Citric Acid), Licorice, Sour, Smoke, Overpowering Fake Vanilla, Stevia, and did I mention Licorice?

NOTE: I am Type 2 Diabetic. As such, I can really not have sugar added to tea without suffering problems. This prohibits me from using either plain sugar or honey. Instead, I use Splenda as I found my system can handle it well and I like the flavor. I try to avoid stevia as I’ve found it often ruins the flavor of tea. However, not all teas require sweetener, and some are better without. Because of this, if I add sweetener to a tea, I will mention it in the tasting note and say what kind and how much. Usually, I sweeten flavored and herbal teas but leave true teas unsweetened. There are exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb to go by.

Almost all of the tea I brew is western style. I occasionally do grandpa, but pretty much never Gong-fu. I do own a Gaiwan, but it never gets used. Considering I don’t have a “sip setting” when it comes to beverages, it’s really hard for me to get into any sized amount less than 8oz at a time. I know that probably makes me a tea-heathen, but so be it. I like my mugs.

I have decided to try and make a scale for my ratings. So here goes.

As of January 2020.

100-91: These are my go-to favorites. I will likely go out of my way to always keep these on hand, including going on third party websites to obtain out of season.
90-81: This is a tea I really did enjoy, and I will likely purchase again. However, I wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth for it, and it isn’t my all-time favorite.
80-71 This is a tea that, while I may have somewhat enjoyed, something is holding me back from making it a mainstay. Maybe the flavor profile isn’t the best. Maybe there is an offputting aftertaste. It varies. But while I did like it and will continue to drink it, I don’t absolutely need it in my life, and while I will likely finish what I have, I may or may not get more.
70-61: This is a tea which I drank, but I didn’t like. However, I didn’t hate it either. It wasn’t bad enough to dump, and if it is the only thing available to drink, I would likely drink it instead of plain water. But in the end, this is just not my literal cup of tea and I will likely not get this again.
60-51: This is something that I didn’t like much at all, but for one reason or another, refused to dump. If I squint hard enough and use my imagination, I can almost BS myself into thinking they are decent, and I suppose I can choke it down and not waste it. These are teas that I will not be buying again, and may not even finish what I have.
50-41: Yeah, whatever this is, I there’s a good chance I dumped it. At this level, it’s pretty bad stuff with either weak flavor, nasty flavor, or all the wrong flavors, It has few redeeming qualities, and I likely won’t reach for this one again. On the bright side, it isn’t sewage water, so there’s that.
40-31. On it’s best day this tea has no redeeming qualities. This not only got dumped but the package it came in either got thrown away, traded, or shoved to the back of the cupboard to never be touched again. Not the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, but darn sure close.
30-Under: The worst thing I’ve ever tasted. This not only has no redeeming qualities, but it is gag inducing. “Teas” in this range are so bad I not only will never drink them again, I really don’t feel like offloading them onto anyone else because they are just that bad. Actual sewage water.

Location

Pennsylvania, US

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