592 Tasting Notes

drank Karigane #22 by Kettl
592 tasting notes

I didn’t realize until yesterday that I still had one tea to try from the Steepster Select December box! A lot of my issues with karigane, kukicha, sencha, etc. is that they are either too grassy or too savory. I think that this tea really hits the right combination of the two that makes it a very comforting tea to me. I will say, though, that I had a lot of sediment in my tea because it was so fine, and it does make for a bitter cup toward the bottom. That’s not too much of a problem for me, though, because I drank it pretty quickly before the bottom could get too bitter.

EDIT: I resteeped and I actually think I may prefer it this way. There is less sediment (I rinsed out the bottom from the first cup), which I forgot to mention before made the texture kind of thick. This cup just tastes a bit cleaner and less bitter to me. Of course, the tradeoff is that the flavor is a bit weaker, but I tend to like my tea on the weaker side anyway, so it’s working out for me!

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Thanks to bluebelle for this surprise in our swap! The dry leaves smelled so strongly of caramel and general sugary goodness that I was pretty impatient while letting it steep. The steeped tea smelled and tasted more like a combination of caramel and nuts. I was expecting the caramel, but was pleasantly surprised by the strength of the nuttiness in this tea. It did taste a bit artificial, but much better than other caramel teas that I’ve had that just taste like chemical caramel flavoring. I will savor the rest of my little sample while it lasts!

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So I made myself a pot of this early in the morning before heading off to class on a rare day when I was actually awake early enough to make and drink tea before leaving. It is as floral, sweet, and smooth as I remember. Although, this time it also tasted damp? I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense because all tea is liquid, but something about it tasted extra wet or damp. Anyway, other than that, this is a nice greener oolong, but doesn’t have anything super special about it compared to other green oolongs that I’ve had.

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Brought this one with me to class today, which may not have been the best idea because the water temps at school vary so much. It was actually unusually piping hot today, and I didn’t wait long enough for it to cool before steeping the tea, so it ended up more bitter than usual. I think the strong smoky taste helped mask the bitterness a bit, though, so it all worked out. Plus, when I’m in the middle of lecture, I’m not too picky about what tea I have as long as it helps me focus, haha.

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Backlog from yesterday. I was really excited to try this tea because people on Steepster seemed to rave about it. The tea for me started off with a bit of a tart fruit flavor and then ended with a smoky taste. I could tell that it was a good quality tea, but I think those flavor profiles just didn’t do it for me personally. I still have enough of the sample left to make another cup later, so I’ll check back and see in a while.

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Backlog. As always, the water temperature at school fluctuates like crazy and yesterday, I ended up with some cooler water than I wanted. When I first sipped this and tasted chocolate, for a moment I thought I was drinking Laoshan Black. But this tea is mellower (it is an oolong..) and as it cooled, the tart fruity notes came out as well. As I keep drinking up my Verdant stock, I am more and more tempted to place an order soon.

Edit: Resteeped and accidentally neglected it for a bit, so it cooled down quite a bit before I got to it. It has a much nuttier taste this time around. What an adventure this tea has been taking me on!

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drank Razzleberry Genmaicha by 52teas
592 tasting notes

I was recently reminded that I still have a bit of this left. Since I’ve been on a cold brew kick, that’s exactly what I did with this tea. The tea had a very strong genmaicha toasty taste at first followed immediately by a mixed berry (mostly raspberry) flavor afterward. Not sure how to say this better, but the flavors seemed really sharp. Maybe some sweetener of some sort would help mellow it out and blend together? Not really sure cause I never really add anything to my teas, but maybe it is worth trying out.

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I wanted to have something a little less caffeinated for the afternoon since I’ve been having some sleeping issues lately. This nice, roasty houjicha fit the bill! It has a slightly fishy taste like dried anchovies or dried seaweed, but I like that. I prefer the dark roast (which I recently ordered a ton of) because this one does not have as strong of a roasted taste, but I’m enjoying what I have left of this!

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A juicy lychee black tea to bring some cheer into a morning class on a snowy day. I’d say that this tea did its job for today.

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drank Tencha-Kuki Houjicha by Den's Tea
592 tasting notes

First off, thanks to bluebelle for sending me this surprise in our swap! I really love houjichas and this is no exception. It has all the toasty goodness of houjichas, but it somehow seems also sweeter and mellower than others that I’ve tried. It’s really a nice, relaxing cuppa. I will rate officially later when I’m not drinking it while eating food (though, it went well nicely). It’s gonna be a while before I reorder tea from Den’s (spending ban), but when I do, I am definitely keeping this one in mind!

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I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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