180 Tasting Notes

Of course the one morning that I prepare a bunch of cold brew teas, it’s cold and rainy out! Of course.

Anyways, I cold brewed this up last night for my AM drive to work. Even though today was perhaps better suited for a hot cup, I still enjoyed it. Cold brewing seemed to wake up the caramel flavor quite nicely, as I noticed it a bit more than usual. As always, the assam base in this is smooth, rich, and lovely. Tiny bit of astringency, but I did leave the leaves in for 11 hours. Think it would have been perfect around 8-9 hours, but it was still awesome, so I’m not complaining!

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Cold-brewed this one overnight and enjoyed it this morning. Delicious! Sweet, buttery and tastes like wonderful, lovely coconut. No complaints.

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Popped this into the fridge at work around 10ish this morning to cold brew and am enjoying it now. So, I guess that’s around a 6 hour steep-time?

It’s really enjoyable cold. A little sweet-tartness (in a good way!) from the raspberries, and I’m also getting something creamy, that I don’t quite pick-up as much when tasting it hot.

I’ll have to start cold-brewing this one more often!

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First infusion 4min @ boiling: Smells really unique – almost like musty asparagus. (Not that asparagus can really get musty, but you know, I’d imagine this is what it would smell like if it did.) Color is a really fun golden purple; as if someone mixed apple juice with watered-down grape juice. Tastes… burnt? Maybe ‘roasty’ is a better word. It’s possible that I under-leafed, as I’m getting only a mild taste. I’m not noticing any astringency while it’s piping hot. Wait… now that’s it’s cooled off, it is getting a little astringent.

Second infusion 5min @ 180: Probably would have made more sense to do the lower temp first, but was early in the morning, and logic escaped me. Color is lighter, like a muddy gold. I guess it could be perceived as having a lavender tint, but honestly I wonder if that’s just because I’m looking really hard for something “purple.” The smell is faintly sweet, rather than asparagus-y. I think I like this cup better than the first. It’s a subtle flavor – tastes like a green and black tea blend. I used less water this time around, but it’s still pretty weak (due in part to boiling first, I’m sure) so I don’t think I’ll bother with a third steep.

Overall, this is a very drinkable tea. I’m glad I got the chance to sample it!

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Thanks to Jackie T, I’m finally getting to try this one. (I’ve been curious about it for a while now.)

First impression (dry): Holy cow, this has a LOT going on! I don’t have access to an actual ingredient list (Teavana’s website is so unhelpful), but it looks like there’s peppercorn, dried cardamom pods, cocoa pieces, chopped-up nuts, a tiny bit of rooibos, coconut flakes, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t recognize. Smells good. Like, really good. Chocolate and something a little bit minty? Not sure where that’s coming from, but it smells a tiny bit like a mild Read My Lips, almost.

First impression (steeped): Still smells good. Not getting that odd mintiness anymore. The liquor that this makes up is, well frankly, gross looking. It’s pale and murky – almost looks like dirty, scummy fish tank water. That’s not doing much for my appetite… :/

First sips (no additions): Whoa, that’s sweet! Almost sickeningly sweet. When I was searching for an ingredients list, I read a review that said to add Stevia. Ugh, I can’t even imagine how bad and overly sweet that would taste! Glad I tried it plain first. Seriously, it’s got that whole tongue-tingly feeling I get when I eat frosting or something heavily sugared. It doesn’t taste like a naturally occurring sweetness, so I wonder what they added to get it that way. Sadly, I’m getting no salt.

(Adds milk) Now it tastes more like chocolate. Sweet milk chocolate. And I’m getting a light caramel flavor – like the kind of caramel you get chocolate bars, rather than the thick, slightly burnt, stovetop caramel that I love. Ok, that “minty” smell I picked up before must actually be anise, because I’m tasting crazy licorice, especially in the end of the sip. Still no salt (sad face).

I’m glad I was able to try this one without purchasing it. It wasn’t really what I was hoping for – a thick, dark, chocolatey caramel tea with a punch of salt. Mmmm…if anyone knows of a tea like that, let me know!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Orange Brulee by Della Terra Teas
180 tasting notes

Sipdown! Thanks for the sample, JennyFur!

I’m getting mostly orange from this one. Not really detecting too much from the “brulee” aspect, other than maybe some extra sweetness and a little bit of a thicker mouthfeel. (Although that last part is probably from the oolong, more than anything.)

A nice, sweet, citrusy oolong, none the less.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I love this tea. The leaves unfurl to these beautiful, big, dark chocolate leaves on steeping. It’s malty, smooth, and complex with layers of flavor.

I can’t say that I’ve ever perceived cinnamon in my tastings, but I do seem to always get a taste or mouthfeel of caramel – particularly after I swallow.

It’s so wonderful that I can hardly believe I’m not drinking a flavored tea. This is far and away the best assam I’ve ever tasted.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Birthday Cake by Bluebird Tea Co.
180 tasting notes

Hmmm… So this is my third or fourth time tasting this one, but I’m still not sure what I think of it.

I wish it was just pure rooibos, and not a rooibos-ceylon mix, because I can’t really tolerate caffeine late in the afternoon, so that kind of limits what time I can/cannot drink it. Anyways, this is a very pretty tea in it’s dry form.

I can’t really make much of it’s taste, though. Sometimes it reminds me almost of bubblegum? Occasionally I can taste something like vanilla, but other sips are just bland.

I don’t know – maybe I’ll play around with sweetening it and see what happens.

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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A tea fanatic who works in the tech sector, I purchase most of my tea online. The numerical ratings are to help me remember which teas I should re-order. 85+ means it’s worth a re-purchase. (If I ever get through all of the new ones I want to try!)

It’s pretty obvious from my tealog, but I have special place in my heart for flavored blacks and good rooibos. I also love oolongs, but apparently have expensive taste in that area, so I don’t purchase them too often. Learning to appreciate green tea, but not a fan of overly vegetal ones. Whites make a great iced tea.

I love to try new teas and will sample most anything once. Although I’ll usually pass on Earl Grey or super floral blends.

I drink my tea with no additions, unless otherwise noted in the review.


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