643 Tasting Notes

This is another tea from the Discovery Teabox (thanks to Skysamurai for coordinating and all who contributed!) I think I ran into LST (Love Some Tea) at the San Francisco International Tea Festival 2018, but considering I have a hard time remembering what I did last week let alone something from two years ago, I have no idea if this was one of the teas they had out for sample that day. Anyway, it was in this teabox, so I took a 2.5g sample to try. I prepared it cold brew style, letting it steep overnight in 350ml of water.

This tea is listed as a blend of black and green leaf, with lots of flower petals and dried mango and papaya with some natural flavorings. My sample, I’ll note, is only tea leaf, with no petals or dried fruit (maybe what was left in the bag?) I also don’t know the age of the sample… my brew is a light yellow color, and has a very faint sweet honeysuckle-esque aroma. The flavor tastes mostly like a crisp green tea — like sweet grass, with some subtle honey notes. I am not getting any fruit notes at all, and only a subtle florality that mostly reads as a bit of sweetness. I think this is mostly due to the selection/age of my sample more than the tea itself, though. It still made for a refreshing iced tea, based just on the tea leaf without the additives or flavorings.

I’m going to leave this unrated since I feel I didn’t get a fair representation of this one, but I appreciate the chance to try it all the same.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Honey, Honeysuckle, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
tea-sipper

I have some of this tea from another teabox, haven’t even tried it yet. I will soon!

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72

Another tea I yoinked from the Discovery Teabox (thanks to Skysamurai for coordinating and all who contributed!) I have been curious about this one since I saw derk’s initial review, and those of some folks she traded with, so when I saw it in the teabox I knew I had to try it. Brewed up a small teapot to have with my potstickers for dinner.

The tea looks like a rooibos in its reddish-orange color, but has a strong herbal aroma, with a hint of floral sweetness to it. The scent reminds me of fresh yellow dandelions, with a backdrop of vegetal hay. It also has a spicy aroma, a bit peppery. The flavor is slightly floral, but leaning more to the herbaceous side. I get a vegetal, warm grassy/hay flavor, with a sweet floral taste that somehow reminds me of chamomile without the unpleasant soapiness that makes me dislike chamomile so much. There is a sharpness at the back of my tongue, toward the end of the sip, that I can only describe as citrusy. A strange amalgamation of herbaceous, floral, and citrus notes, but altogether very pleasant.

Thanks for sharing!

Flavors: Citrus, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Hot hay, Pepper, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
tea-sipper

I almost had this today, digging through my neglected Yunnan Sourcing teas. sigh.

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69

I grabbed this out of the Discovery Teabox (thanks to Skysamurai for coordinating and all who contributed!) because I have never heard of lotus flavored tea and, liking floral teas, was simply curious about it. I took a 2g sample from the box, with no guesses as to age of the sample… it’s definitely been sitting in my house now for far longer than I really should’ve allowed (I’m now putting getting all teabox teas sipped down at a priority, even if that means “drinking them the wrong way and not doing time-consuming gong fu sessions that I just can never fit into my schedule”).

Brewed, it does have a floral aroma, but it’s very delicate. There is a honeysuckle sort of sweet aroma, but also a vegetal sort of note, like a marshy/water plant aroma? The black tea base itself (from Cambodia), smells of malt, honey, orange marmalade, and hay. The flavor… isn’t really a floral black like I was expecting. It’s a nice black tea, malty but not astringent, with a bit of honeyed sweetness, but there is a sort of vegetal quality at the back of the throat that reminds me a bit of that wet, marshy taste I usually get in pu’erh, just not quite as strong. I certainly like this better than the “swamp marsh” tasting pu’s I’ve had… this is a much smoother flavor, and every now and then, at the end of a sip, a subtle sweet hint of florality will pop up on the tongue, in the aftertaste. It’s a rather strange tea. Certainly nothing I’ve tasted before. I’m still not exactly sure what the “lotus flavoring” is… but I am glad I got to try something so unique, so thanks to whoever shared this one!

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Moss

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
ashmanra

I have no idea what Lotus would taste like! Glad you reviewed!

Mastress Alita

Well, even after drinking it, I’m still not sure what it should taste like either, hahaha!

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79
drank Fujian Rain by Adagio Teas
643 tasting notes

One of my old Adagio samples that I’m working on sipping down, now that I’ve finished all my old Tealyra stuff off. The leaves are very long, twisty, and dark, and smell almost chocolately in the bag. Brewed western, 2.8g in 350ml @ 205F for 3 min.

The tea smells like malt, honey, caramel, and strongly of roasted nuts. It has a pleasant roasted flavor; I’m getting notes of malt, toasted bread, roasted nuts (particularly a more earthy walnut flavor), honey, and a bittersweet cocoa that settles toward the end of the sip. There is a hint of a cherry note, as well, but it is subtle. There is some earthiness and minerality as well, but the tea is quite smooth. I’m really enjoying this one.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Toast, Walnut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
gmathis

Yum. This sounds lovely. I really need to revisit Adagio. It’s been a while!

Mastress Alita

I’m not much of a fan of the flavored stuff (though I do like the obnoxiously strong rose one, but I’m a fan of obnoxiously strong rose flavoring!) but some of the straight teas are aight. I really like the Fujian Baroque Chinese black.

ashmanra

Oh, I need to try the rose one!

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65

I’ve tried a few different Rooibos EG’s and haven’t liked a single one thus far. I’ve had this one in my cupboard for ages and have yet to have tried it, probably because of my bad track record with bergamot on rooibos. However, I’m out of a black lavender EG and that was what I was craving to go with my lemon poppyseed cookie, so I finally decided to try this. Maybe the lavender made a big difference, because I actually didn’t mind this. The bergamot tastes a little grapefruity, but doesn’t come across too sour, even on the lighter base. The lavender is lovely and strongly floral, and pairs well with the strong citrus flavor of the bergamot. The rooibos is a strong flavor, a bit woody, hay-like, and sweet. I wouldn’t select this over a good black lavender EG, but this is surprisingly suitable for a rooibos alternative when I have traditionally hated bergamot paired with rooibos.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit, Honey, Hot hay, Lavender, Sweet, Tart, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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80

I received this from Ost’s cupboard sale in summer 2018. I had about enough for a single cup so I brewed that up this morning. The tea is a lovely brown color and does have a nice fruity aroma.

The taste of the tea is slightly malty with some honeyed notes, but the lychee flavor fills out strongly in the brew. I really love the taste of lychee, I get strong notes of pear and rose. The fruitiness and florality leave a lot of sweetness in the brew and the tea is very smooth. I think I enjoy Art of Tea’s Lychee Peach a bit more, but the age of this sample might have something to do with that; fresh, it could easily be on par with that one for me. Even aged, it is still a very enjoyable cuppa.

Thanks for the sample!

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Honey, Lychee, Malt, Pear, Rose

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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78

I thought I had reviewed this before, but a Ctrl+F of my steepster.txt file proves that my memory is atrocious as ever. And since I’m working on sipping it down, I’d better rectify that before it is gone. I received this from tea-sipper in a cupboard sale in early 2018, so thanks, tea-sipper! I’ve prepared it as a cold brew, letting the leaf soak in a glass mason jar overnight before straining and then drinking ice cold.

The tea is a purpley/crimson hue, and has strong aromas of berries (a bit of a blueberry/muscatel scent), citrus (heavily lime), and pine/sage. And the flavor reflects the aroma. I’m getting hit with a strong lime flavor, and this nice, fresh pine note from the juniper and find this sort of cooling effect left on my tongue from the citrus and pine. The fruity notes are more muted against the strong citrus/pine, but there is a berry sweet/tart note beneath that, and it can be tasted at the back of my tongue, especially as the citrus and pine starts to wear off. The berry flavor tastes more like red berries in the brew, while the aroma smelled more like blueberries/grapes on the nose.

It’s a nice iced tea, and I always like the inclusion of juniper in a blend. I’m not sure how I’d feel about this tea as a warm brew, and am kind of content to just drink it as a refreshing iced blend during these warm months.

Flavors: Berries, Citrus, Fruity, Lime, Pine, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 g 32 OZ / 946 ML
AJRimmer

Ooo I love pine type flavors. I hope B&B brings something like this back!

Mastress Alita

I do too! Usually whenever juniper berries are in something, it’s a win for me. I’ve been drinking more of this today, it’s a scorcher today and its so refreshing!

tea-sipper

I’m glad you like it. :D

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69

I received this as a sample from Plum Deluxe some time ago, only now getting around to it. I love chocolate and lavender as a flavor combination but have never seen any tea go down that route and was excited to see they had a chocolate lavender tea so of course I selected that as one of my samples to try. Thank you, Plum Deluxe! And this is a lazy, Sunday morning, so it seems appropriate, even if I do usually reach for caffeinated tea in the mornings and reserve my herbals for the evenings. I felt the mood for this and a cookie for breakfast… the sweet hankering hit me hard today, I guess!

I didn’t really like the aroma from the dry leaf, which smelled a bit artificial/alcoholic in the bag around the chocolate. But brewed up. that isn’t really coming out so strongly as it was letting off. The chocolate is a bit liquer-like when it hits the back of the tongue, but also more fudgy, in both aroma and flavor, but the lavender is a nice, strongly floral note that helps balance out some of the artificialties of chocolate-in-a-bottle flavorings. It carries a lot of weight here. The tea is fine on its own, but I think it would probably do a little better as a warm latte, as I think the creaminess would help it even more. Doubly so with a chocolate almond milk. That may be what I do with it next time.

So, I think the chocolate flavoring could be a bit better, but I am certainly happy there is a chocolate/lavender tea out there to scratch that itch, since it doesn’t do a terrible swing at it and I think it could be even more workable in a latte form.

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Chocolate, Floral, Lavender

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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78

For my birthday this year my boss got me one of those glass water bottles for cold steeping with the strainer in the top, and while I still tend to make a lot of mason jars of iced tea that I strain and keep in the fridge, this is a nice alternative for something that brews a little quicker. The only real problem I have with it is the condensation on the bottom is very bad, so I have to remember to always have a coaster handy…

This was another unopened, and now expired, bag of tea from an ancient Tealyra order. I wanted a fruity hibiscus iced tea and it’s a nice red color, so hopefully it’ll deliver. I am getting pear, and it is a nice, juicy flavor, but not as strong as other pear teas I’ve had. It does have that tangy fruity hibiscus flavor, but it isn’t as tart or as fruit punchy as I’m used to in hibi-fruit iced teas, I think because the cinnamon in the blend is acting as a sweetener. I don’t really taste a distinct cinnamon flavor brewing this as a cold brew, so I may need to try this one as a warm cuppa as well, to see if it presents more as a cinnamon-baked pear or cinnamon-baked apple flavor. It is getting the job done as an iced hibiscus tea with a strong fruit flavor, though, which is what I was craving in this warm weather, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a pear one before.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Hibiscus, Pear, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 3 tsp 24 OZ / 700 ML
tea-sipper

I hope you had a pleasant birthday, whenever it happened to be.

Mastress Alita

Saint Patties! Snuck it in just before the world went mad.

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76

My cat has a very weird hang-up about going downstairs to eat unless I go with her. She’ll just lurk in my room giving me the evil eye as I try to work on my computer or get downright whiny until I finally take a break and escort her downstairs… once we are both on the bottom floor, she will happily eat. Don’t know why she can’t be a strong, independant woman who can eat by herself, honestly… in any event, since today she was doing her thing, I decided I may as well have a tea break while I was sitting there letting her take her nibbles before I got back to what I was doing, and brewed a small pot of this from a sampler so old I should be ashamed. Doubly so since it is green tea (the packet says it is an Autumn 2017 harvest, cough cough). Ah well, I’m still going to drink it. With everything else going on in the world, I think drinking expired tea is the least of my worries…

It smells surprisingly floral, an aroma I’d expect more from a green oolong than a green tea. I do get a somewhat beany scent from the aroma as well, but it is overpowered by the perfumy florality. The tea is a goldenrod color in the cup, and the flavor is like some of the more floral Bi Luo Chuns I’ve had in the past. I’m getting that vegetal beany/pea sort of flavor I usually taste in a Bi Luo Chun, but I’m also tasting a sweet orchid/lilac flavor that I most often taste in green oolongs. There are also notes of hay and minerals that settle over my tongue towards the end of the sip. I really like it! Neither flavor really overpowers the other, and while they may sound quite uncomplementary, the taste is very pleasant.

Flavors: Beany, Floral, Green Beans, Hot hay, Mineral, Orchid, Peas, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 14 OZ / 400 ML
tea-sipper

What about keeping a bit of cat food upstairs? But that just means your cat loves having you around. :D

Mastress Alita

When I go to bed at night, I actually do have to move the food dish upstairs! (It was the only way I could stop her crying in the night when I first brought her in!) During the day I tend to leave it in the kitchen, though. Just to lessen all the trips hauling the thing up and down the stairs, heh.

tea-sipper

Oh jeeze. Maybe she just likes to see you move the food around. haha

eastkyteaguy

I have one who requires constant company as well. I can’t sit down anywhere in my house without her jumping on me. Bending over is dangerous too, as she likes to climb me and sit on my shoulder. There is no longer any such thing as a peaceful trip to the bathroom. She literally has to go everywhere with me when she’s awake. Bizarrely, she will not sleep in my bedroom. Instead, she sleeps outside my bedroom door. Her new thing is crying and rattling the door if she doesn’t think I’m getting up early enough. Needless to say I have not had much sleep in the last couple of days.

tea-sipper

That is very bizarre, eastkyteaguy. If only there was a cat psychologist…

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