11 Tasting Notes

90
drank The au Lait by Lupicia
11 tasting notes

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Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Not loving this. It’s pretty smokey, though not as bad as the Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend I tried and gave away last week. I bought an absolutely (to me) enormous bag of it because there wasn’t a sample size — 4.4 oz. Will probably offer to send it to someone on the Discussions board, unless someone reading my tasting notes would like it :)

Flavors: Smoke

S.G. Sanders

Yunnan teas are nice teas! Very earthy, rich, and smokey (in the woodsy sense of the word; not the campfire taste that a Lapsang has).They have a tendency to have a pu-erh kind of taste. If you’re looking for a good black tea without the smokey taste, try something like an Earl Grey (or anything flavored). However, I know a majority of my friends who like tea, but not black tea (although they want to like it) go with something with flavor, or an oolong.

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Made at work, boiled water in microwave. 8 oz water, 1 tsp of tea, 3.5 min brew.

At first I really enjoyed this tea. Had a malty, cocoa-ish vanilla thing going on. Tasted comforting, which is what I’m looking for in tea! Then it started to either become kind of astringent tasting, or I started picking up on the mineral flavor that’s listed as one of it’s flavors on its Steepster page. I don’t think I’m capable of telling the difference between those yet.

Second steep I boiled water in the microwave again, then brewed for 4.5 minutes. I’m getting more of the astringent flavor.

I don’t want to count this tea out because I liked it so much at first taste, and my work set up is pretty crappy. I think I’ll bring it home and use with better water boiled in an actual kettle and see how that goes!

Flavors: Astringent, Cocoa, Malt, Mineral, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
S.G. Sanders

Try steeping it less for the first time (2 1/2-3 minutes) and go longer from there. Black teas are tricky, I’ve discovered, so I usually start with a shorter steeping time, and slowly increase the time with every steep afterwards. I hope that it tastes better when you’re able to boil the water more properly!

azurephoenix

I’m getting the idea that you and I sorta like the same kind of tea for work… I just picked up some Golden Spiral Dian Hong from King Tea Bay on ebay that is hitting my sweet spot. PM me your mailing addy and I’ll send ya a sample. It’s really nice and re-steeps well. :D

ekm0924

Thanks for the tip Rufus!

Azurephoenix — I will PM you :)

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I’ve had this the last several mornings. I like it, but nothing about it leaps out to me. Yesterday I used 1.5 tsp with a 4 min steep and felt like it ended up a bit astringent. Today I used 1 tsp with a 4 min steep and was much happier with it. For a second steep I did 5 min, which I think I would increase to 5.5 or 6 min next time.

Flavors: Malt

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

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Hmm, I don’t think I like this one. It’s very smokey for me and that’s not really my thing.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I made this twice this morning. The first time I messed it up big time. Too much tea, too long of a steep, regular ole tap water (I had just woken up and was stupid). It was extremely bitter. D’oh. Re-made according to Upton’s directions and liked it quite a bit. I still picked up on a slightly bitter aftertaste, but I felt that it actually became less bitter as it cooled, which sounds like it might be unusual?

Made with Crystal Geyser water in a Bodum Tea for One. Added half and half.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
S.G. Sanders

I think everyone makes the common mistake of leaving a tea for too long, or using bad water. I once left an oolong tea sit for 30 minutes before remembering that I had started it. It was horrid. Now, I usually will stand by the tea while it steeps, just to be safe.

Rasseru

Tea does get sweeter when it cools – I like making lots of mine at 80-90c and letting them cool to at least 70c (five minutes?) before I drink as I like sweet tea, but no sugar.

ekm0924

I like it sweeter but with no sugar as well. Do you know why it gets sweeter as it cools?

Rasseru

it might just be our taste buds? – tasting something thats hot in temp kinda has less flavour doesnt it

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Really enjoying this. I made it the other day at work and felt it was meh, but today I actually took the temperature of the water coming out of our ‘boiling’ water spigot and discovered it’s only getting up to 160 degrees. So I stuck my mug in the microwave to get to around 212, which took much longer than I would have thought. I think I will get a cheap kettle for work.

Edit: I made this in the For Life tea infuser that came in my Whispering Pines set and lots of bits got into the actual tea. Should I not make a non-leafy tea like this in an infuser? What do people use for making this kind of tea?

S.G. Sanders

I would use two things: 1. Gaiwan (if you have one) for home, but be sure to use it over a sink or a tea tray. 2. An adagio tea maker. They’re $18 on Amazon, which is a nice price. Both will allow for the leaves to expand during the steep time, and you’ll get more flavor that way.

S.G. Sanders

Correction: Due to the inability to read correctly, the Gaiwan wouldn’t work for a smaller leaf; however, the tea maker is just fine.

ekm0924

Hi Rufus, is this the tea maker you’re talking about? It looks awesome.
http://www.adagio.com/teaware/ingenuiTEA_teapot.html

I was also thinking a fine mesh infuser might work better. That’s what I have at home — I have the Bodum Tea for One set. At work I just have the For Life. Seems like the Bodum one would be better for the smaller leaf tea.

S.G. Sanders

Yes, that’s the one. It works well with smaller and larger tea leaves. I find that it helps bring out the flavor more. I use it for my Broken Assam tea by New Mexico Tea Company or with any other small tea leaves. It seems to work well with not having the leaves come through the filter; however, Bodum infusers are great, too!

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drank Pumpkin Spice by Bigelow
11 tasting notes

A coworker left this in the breakroom so I popped it in my mug to give it a taste. It’s not the kind of thing I’d normally grab but this week at work is pretty stressful so a silly flavored tea was appealing. I has a delicious smell (kind of like Chai and PSL) and I pick up on an orange flavor when drinking. It’s not as bad as I thought it’d be.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Orange, Pumpkin, Vanilla

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Had this tea first thing this morning, no milk. I enjoyed it, but I think I need a milky tea in the morning — it feels comforting and soothing and I need all of that that I can get in the morning! I think, for drinking teas without milk, I might prefer a brighter, fruitier tea. I’d like to get some good green samples to drink in the afternoon.

I also purchased some spring water to make my tea with at home because I made a cup of the Wild Grey with our tap water and felt like there was something in the way of the flavor, but then tried again with the spring water and liked it much more. Related: I learned online that Earl Grey isn’t traditionally served with milk! I feel like a doofus.

I’ve noticed that the Whispering Pines teas have made me quite jittery even from the first few sips, while teas from teabags usually give me a gentle energy. I’m a bit worried that loose black teas might be a bit too much for my body, which makes me sad. Especially since I just placed an order with Upton for an Assam sampler and a bunch of other samples.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cream

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Rasseru

I would try some of these – red blossom sell them

Any of the green formosa oolongs – sometimes milky, sometimes fruity, always really fragrant
Bai Mu Dan – a cheap white tea
Yin Zhen silver needle – a not cheap white tea

I’m like you and get the jitters easy

Rasseru

Also, just looking at the info for this tea, and its actually got high caffeine listed, so its probably not you, its actually a really strong tea. Other blacks hopefully wont affect you like this

ekm0924

Thanks Rasseru, so helpful as always. I love the idea of trying the Red Blossom Oolongs you mentioned.

I will plow ahead with the black teas from Upton that I ordered! Hopefully my brain won’t explode.

S.G. Sanders

If you’re interested in a quality green tea, with a nutty profile, I’d suggest a Dragon Well tea.

I, too, would suggest a Formosa Oolong if you’re looking for a “milky” tea (or a tea that pairs with milk pretty well. I’ve tried Harney & Sons, and it’s very “milky” and kind of nutty/slightly earthy, but not overwhelming.

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Great, had with splash of milk. I don’t get much of the bergamot flavor.

Scrolled through all the tasting notes and added everything that I could kind of pick up. I really like that feature, as it’s kind of hard for me to identify the flavors off the top of my head. Like, there was a flavor I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and when I saw Butterscotch in the list, a light went off!

Used .5 tablespoon/1.5 tsp.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butterscotch, Chocolate, Hazelnut, Sweet, Taro Root

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I don’t have a lot of time for doing tea reviews, so I think I’m going to simplify by using this system to track whether or not to repurchase a tea:

100 = LOVE, absolutely need to repurchase
90 = Really like, will repurchase
80 = Like, might repurchase
70 = Didn’t really like, wouldn’t repurchase
60 = Really didn’t like

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