333 Tasting Notes

drank Cloud 9 by Fava Tea Company
333 tasting notes

Yet another sample from my swap with Inkling! I was really excited to try this one, because I’m always on the lookout for herbals that are a little different than the usual. I have to say, though, this is one of those hibiscus-less fruit blends that make me appreciate the ubiquity of hibiscus. There’s just nothing to it; it lacks body—this blend is like tart sugar water. I think I can taste a tiny hint of kiwi, but it’s barely there. I’m glad to have had a chance to try Cloud 9, but it’s definitely not for me.

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This was another sample from my swap with Inkling, and my first taste of a new 52Teas blend. Weirdly, I didn’t get much in the way of coconut from it. What I did get was some pleasantly smooth rooibos and honeybush—woodsy, for sure, but not tobacco-y or medicinal—and a mild sort of strawberry syrup flavor. This wasn’t a wow, but it was very pleasant. I wouldn’t mind having this again, and it certainly made me that much more interested in finally placing an order from the new 52Teas.

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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.


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

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I got this one in my Lupicia happy bag. It’s a decent Darjeeling, fruity a little astringent with the requisite first flush herbaceousness. It’s very light for my tastes—I’m more of a second flush fan in general, and this is no exception. I’m enjoying it will enough, but it won’t be a restock.

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Chinese blacks are not usually my favorites, but I find this one surprisingly delightful. It’s very smooth, more so than the Indian black teas I usually go for, and sweet and malty. It has a hint of that characteristic cocoa flavor that usually gets me (in a bad way), but it’s very mild. It actually reminds me quite a bit of an Assam, which is a good thing in my book.

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This is a really nice basic Assam. There are no surprises here—it’s malty and sweet and strong, and that’s about it—but sometimes that’s just what’s needed. Like today, when I’m gearing up for my first day at a new job and it’s 15F outside. Not sure of the tea situation at the new office, so I’m bringing myself a huge thermos of this in hopes that it helps me stay awake—so not an early riser. This came in my 2016 Happy Bag, and while there are plenty of other comparable Assams out there it’s certainly something I might consider restocking in a future Lupicia order.

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drank Soleil Levant by Lupicia
333 tasting notes

Nasty grape medicine flavor plus grassy sencha? No thanks. I’ve never had a grape tea I didn’t find truly disgusting (including some from Lupicia), so I didn’t have high hopes for this one when I found out it would be included in Lupicia’s 2016 Happy Bags. Still, I figured I might as well give it a try. But nope, it’s just as gross as I thought. Free to a good home!

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I am obsessed with all things poppyseed, so naturally I had to get my hands on some of this—to my knowledge, the only tea out there to incorporate these little specks of goodness. Unfortunately, of the many promised flavor notes, poppy is the only one I’m not getting. There’s that sweet undertone DF passes off as biscuit—while that’s not quite how I’d characterize it, it’s certainly very pleasant—and a little bit of marzipan. It’s a very sweet blend, and as much as I’ve complained about the ever-present DF Ceylon base, I have to admit it works pretty decently here. I’m enjoying my cup, but it’s not what I expected—while I was hoping for something super unique, it’s actually quite similar to some of the other DF black blends I’ve tried, like Charlotte aux Fruits minus the fruits, maybe. I’ll just have to keep hoping that someday someone comes up with an actual poppyseed-flavored tea.

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This is a solid Chinese green. It’s vegetal and buttery, as you’d expect. It’s also a little more floral than I like, with some notes that remind me of all the things I can’t stand about green oolongs, and for that reason it’s not a total hit with me. But that’s really down to personal preference. Thanks for the sample, Teavivre, and apologies for the belated review!

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This is one of the teas I was most looking forward to from the DF group order, but instead it’s turning out to be one of the bigger disappointments. I’m mostly just tasting the sencha base, with a hint of candy strawberry and no pistachio to speak of. I think strawberry and pistachio make for a fabulous flavor combination, in general, and I was hoping for a tea that captured both components in all their glory.

I did steep it for 4 minutes, of a suggested 3-4, so I’ll try it at 3 next time in hopes that the strawberry and/or pistachio come through more strongly. I’m starting to wonder if DF’s greens just don’t work for me—and my feeling that what this company does best is old school European flavors is definitely getting stronger.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I’m sipping this one now… I think you should definitely try it at a lower temp and for a three minute steep time (maybe even two minutes?) I’m tasting both strawberry and a LITTLE bit of pistachio with mine. (I steeped after cooling the water for around 27 minutes and steeping for three minutes.)

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Likes: greens, dark oolongs, genmaicha, fruity greens and oolongs, chai, matcha, jasmine, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Dislikes: spearmint, chamomile, stevia, marshmallows, unflavored white teas, green oolongs

I’m always open to swaps; let me know if you’re interested!


New York, NY

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