425 Tasting Notes

40
drank Thai Iced Tea Blend by Arbor Teas
425 tasting notes

I don’t drink black tea but I’ve always loved the iced tea served at Thai restaurants. I was thrilled to be able to reproduce the results at home using Pantai Thai tea mix from my local Asian grocer however I didn’t care for the added artificial orange color. So I was really excited when I discovered Arbor tea’s additive-free organic version.

I really wanted to love this tea but sadly it tasted nothing like authentic Thai iced tea. The tea leaves smelled heavily of vanilla and that’s what the flavor of the tea was. Basically a strong black tea with a very dominant note of vanilla. I tried steeping it according to Arbor tea’s instructions and simmering it (traditional way) and both were unpalatable. The smell of the tea was too nauseating to even bring to my lips.

Flavors: Spices, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

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Flavors: Fruit Punch, Plums, Tart

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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64
drank Orange Blossom by Rishi Tea
425 tasting notes

The name of this tea is really a misnomer. I love orange blossom but alas this tea has no discernable orange blossom flavor nor are there orange flowers in the ingredients. It tastes mostly of lemongrass. There is a citrusy note in there and a hint of tangerine and that’s about it. Very similar to Rishi’s Chamomile Medley and Starbucks Tazo green tea. Not a bad tasting tea, but not as advertised.

Flavors: Citrusy, Lemongrass, Mint, Orange Zest

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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94
drank Jasmine Pearl by Rishi Tea
425 tasting notes

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Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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94
drank Chamomile Medley by Rishi Tea
425 tasting notes

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Flavors: Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Mint, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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15
drank Rooibos Jasmine by Adagio Teas
425 tasting notes

Bleh. This one was totally undrinkable. The taste and smell were very artificial. I’m glad this was a free sample because I wouldn’t want to waste my money on this awful tea.

Flavors: Artificial, Jasmine, Medicinal

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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75
drank Sencha by Rishi Tea
425 tasting notes

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Flavors: Broth, Grass, Spinach

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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86
drank Bao Zhong by Rishi Tea
425 tasting notes

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Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Melon

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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64
drank Apricot Green by Adagio Teas
425 tasting notes

I’m always a little leery of fruity teas because the fruitiness tends to overwhelm. This one was no exception but it wasn’t bad either. This tea has a pleasant, candylike topical flavor which isn’t too fruity but clearly dominates. Since I like my flavored teas to have just a hint of flavor, I think this will taste best after cutting it with straight green tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Candy, Mango, Tropical

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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68

This delicately flavored tea has been steadily creeping to the top of my rotation. For a while I’ve been on a green/floral oolong kick after being turned off by some of the overroasted batches of other oolong varieties like Wuyi. This tea falls squarely in the middle of the oolong spectrum, combining the best characteristics of light roasts with its pronounced floral notes and sweetness along with the smooth, roasted flavor of a darker roast.

I usually do 3 infusions of this tea in a guywan. Roughly 3/4 tsp per 5 oz of water at steep times of 4, 6, and 7 minutes respectively. Steeping longer on subsequent infusions yields an even deeper flavor.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Roasted

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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