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84
drank African Skies by Tea Source
333 tasting notes

I think this is my last sample from my swap with Inkling. It’s always nice to see green rooibos—on the whole, I tend to prefer it to red, and I always wish it were more widely used in blends. The fruit flavors here are indistinct but pleasant. This isn’t a standout, but it makes for enjoyable drinking.

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82

And yet another Inkling sample! This is about what I expected it to be, a mildly vegetal green base (probably sencha?) layered with some sweet generic tropical fruit flavor—although I am getting something more specifically mango in the aftertaste. It’s nice enough, but as mango goes it’s no match for my beloved Lupicia mango oolong. I suspect I would’ve liked this better iced, since that’s generally how I prefer my fruity greens, but sadly I think we’re still a ways away from iced tea season here in New York (although it’s supposed to hit 60 tomorrow, so who knows).

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74
drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
2355 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Six – Tea #37
I expected this to be strong and DARK. But it is actually quite mild. I had one dark tea before and it was much stronger than this. It’s unique anyway. There is less charcoal flavor than a roasted oolong. I don’t notice any smokiness mentioned in the description either. I think this one might be TOO light for me though. Quite a bright, fresh flavor actually with a light copper brew. Anyone in the teabox, don’t be afraid of this one! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3-4 minute steep

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80

I got this one in my swap with Inkling. Weirdly, it tastes a lot like DF’s Pecan Pie, which is one of the teas I sent her. Like that tea, it bears very little resemblance to its namesake but tastes quite strongly of marzipan. It’s fine, but, like with Pecan Pie, I was hoping it’d do what it says on the tin, and it really doesn’t. There’s a hint of pistachio at the end, and a certain richness and sweetness that I suppose could evoke shortbread. Decent, but not a standout.

Nattie

Lol that almond just takes over everything it touches, doesn’t it?

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70
drank African Skies by Tea Source
1809 tasting notes

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70
drank African Skies by Tea Source
1809 tasting notes

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70
drank African Skies by Tea Source
1809 tasting notes

Thank you to Inkling for this sample! I brewed a cup of this last night before I went to bed, and then a pot this morning.

-Very rooibosy, woody, minerals
-Distinct marzipan/almond flavour. It reminds be a lot of African Celebration (Jeoffery’s Tea and Coffee)
-Slightly sweet and nutty
-A bit plain, but not a bad blend

Flavors: Almond, Marzipan, Mineral, Nutty, Rooibos, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 24 OZ / 700 ML

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70
drank Fireside Spice by Tea Source
638 tasting notes

I’ve been trying to drink down some small samples I have of tea today. So far, I feel I have not had a great cup of tea today but nothing really bad either.

This one was very spicy and fruity when I opened the bag. It’s got notes of nutmeg, clove, and maybe cardamom? There’s also good citrus notes from the orange. The tea base of black tea is very mild (which is okay with me – not being a black tea lover). This is definitely a good tea for a cold autumn day. Instead it is a cool summer day today but I am still enjoying the tea.

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90

Taste on this tea (or my taste buds) continues to evolve.

In addition to the flavors I already expected, getting a bit of a citrus note this morning.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

This session was a bit different. More astringent, with a smoky note I didn’t notice before. It is possible that my tastebuds were on the fritz, however – I am a bit under the weather.

Flavors: Astringent, Smoke, Tea, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

Wonderfully nutty and woody, with a fresh feeling in the mouth. In later infusions, I found it got sweeter, which was a pleasant surprise.

Flavors: Fruity, Nutty, Sweet, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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85

Upped the leaf a bit and decided to push it today.

The answer to “how long can I keep drinking this” is all day long, and about 2L of water.

The flavor didn’t change a whole lot, but got a bit more mellow and sweeter as the session went on. At the end I was at a 2 minute steep.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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85

This tea has been sitting around for a couple of weeks, in a snap-top storage tub with airholes. The “rest” time since unsealing it from the ziplock bag the brick came in has done it some good.

Very little fermentation smell even in the rinses. After 2 rinses it was gone from the tea itself. Like last time, it was a smooth, earthy cup, easy to drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
mrmopar

I always recommend a rest period after shipping. Makes the tea much better.

Eric Honaker

@mrmopar I’m definitely getting that impression. Do you do the same for shengs?

mrmopar

@Eric Honaker, especially for sheng. I am guilty of waiting 6 months to a year sometimes.

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85

Robust, with a silky feel in the mouth. The flavor is earthy, shading into a bit of nuttiness. I noticed a bit of cooling sensation on the back of my mouth, which was pleasant. After a few steeps it settles into an earthy, rich tea flavor, sort of like a black tea turned up to 11.

Flavors: Earth, Nuts, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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91

Malt, dark raisins, and just enough oomph to make it good for mornings. The taste of this just lingers…it’s a bit incredible.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHDQss6DScq/

Fjellrev

Sounds amazing!

Gooseberry Spoon

It’s hard to describe, but there’s a lot going on.

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83

This is one of those teas I can’t stop smelling and in the past few weeks this has quickly become one of those teas that I’m going to have to keep around. I was worried when I first got it because I could smell just a hint of smoke and me and smoked teas have not gotten along in the past. It remains just a hint that comes out in the steam, but plays nicely with the other flavors in the tea itself. It’s like natural cocoa, malt, and dark purple plums, and did I mention it smells amazing? I think I’ve found a tea to take camping.

Pictures: https://tmblr.co/Z2eXSl28GeZu6

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Plums, Smoke

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67

When checking out the sales associate starting flipping through the sample box and asked if I liked Assam. Being the person I am I said yes because hello it’s tea. She could have named anything other than “lotus” or “cherry milkshake sprinkles ice cream cake” and I would have responded the same. I didn’t look at it till I got home but expected some breakfast blend. I was rather suprised by this in all its golden tippy glory.

I didn’t measure but I brewed it rather strong and it came out a great deal darker than their image. It certainly smelled like assamica. Tasting it was bold and fragrant without that Assam tannic gut punch. I was most suprised by the spicy note at the end of the sip. It was not subtle, and if I hadn’t been out of my masala mix for the past month I would have assumed some cinnamon/clove/ginger heat was left in my infuser.

I guess I can see why they are wanting to get people to try this. I might make a habit of trying samples for tea I normally wouldn’t be interested in. Unfortunately, I think the caffeine amount might be a bit more than I can handle. TBD

Flavors: Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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80

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80

Mild rosehips, sweet mint and strong black keemun blend well together. The drink has some robustness without being bitter or astringent.

Flavors: Malt, Peppermint, Rosehips, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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94
drank Silver Bud Ya Bao by Tea Source
9 tasting notes

Strong, sweet notes of acacia and red clover, with a grassy bouquet. This ya bao is better than any yinzhen I’ve had and cheaper than most of them, too!

Brewed in a small gaiwan.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Flowers, Honey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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94
drank Silver Bud Ya Bao by Tea Source
9 tasting notes

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82

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #17
Interesting leaves here – they look like like a silky wiry Fujian but the leaves are very tiny coils with hints of gold. I haven’t seen a leaf like this before! I love the flavor – it’s a little like a Fujian black tea but more malty molasses. That is exactly the type of flavor I love. The brew doesn’t seem very strong either. It’s on the sweeter side rather on an astringent side. I feel like I’ve only tried a tea that tasted like this a couple times before but the leaves didn’t look quite like this. The second steep was a little lighter, which is a shame. This one is unique! Another tea company I’ve never heard of before. I love when those are included in teaboxes. :D Their site has quite the selection!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minutes
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min

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