New Tasting Notes

46

Smell like dried mango, pineapples and berries. Taste pineapple, young dates, and barley.

Flavors: Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Green Rooibos Bonita by Adagio Teas
2409 tasting notes

Tropical fruits, green rooibos, some nice mango sweetness at the end. I think citrus dominates this, mostly orange and lemon zest. The green rooibos does well for a base, but there is nothing too complicated here. It is just some orange/citrus and stone fruits with green rooibos. It is good, but nothing unique.

Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Zest, Fruity, Mango, Orange, Stonefruits

Preparation
Iced

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80
drank Oolong Châtaigne by Dammann Freres
2409 tasting notes

Despite the desserty flavours of this blend, I decided to do a cold brew today. (2 tsp in 750 mL cold water)

Some cocoa, vanilla, very nutty (much like the dry leaf), hazelnut, toffee.

Flavors: Cocoa, Hazelnut, Nutty, Toffee

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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84

Damn this is smooth. Steeped for at least an hour because I forgot about it, but added milk and it is fabulous. Deliciously blueberry (more like blueberry jam, none of the artificial blueberry candy flavour you get in some tea). Super, super malty base, very flavourful (also because I steeped it a long time), but no bitterness.

Flavors: Blueberry, Jam, Malt, Smooth, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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72

This was a mellow Darjeeling. easy to drink. Powerful without being overbearing.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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65
drank Sunset Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
302 tasting notes

I finally got the chance to try a cup of this to go – also purchased 50g. Definitely not sweetened, haha. But I wanted it plain so I could get the full taste effect. I taste the orange flavours, not so much the strawberry. This really reminds me of the pu’erh tea ‘Juicy Orange’, which I wasn’t a fan of for it’s weird aftertaste – but this is drinkable. I was drawn to it because it’s the first red-ish matcha I’ve tried, and I could smell the orange citrus notes in it. I think what would make this better would be adding lemonade like they suggested, or adding the matcha to a smoothie. :) I will definitely make use of what I got. Interesting tea.

Flavors: Citrus, Orange

Preparation
Iced

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81
drank Bogart by Leland Tea Co
1504 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 73 of 2018 (no. 429 total).

I wrote to Leland a week ago to ask whether there is in fact lapsang souchong in this tea, or whether the description is intending to suggest blending this tea with lapsang souchong.

I hoped I’d have an answer by sipdown time, but alas, they never responded.

In any case, this tea grew on me. There was one time, last weekend, when I thought perhaps my interpretation was incorrect. I thought I might have tasted some smokiness which could mean lapsang was in the blend. But I got over it.

If they ever write back to me, I’ll let you guys know.

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81
drank Bogart by Leland Tea Co
1504 tasting notes

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68
drank Birthday Tea by Mariage Frères
1504 tasting notes

I got this through the Cultured Cup. The packet says it’s India black tea with vanilla and bergamot, which is interesting given the “rare citrus fruits and spices” description here.

In the packet, the smell is strongly bergamot, but in a citrusy way, not a perfumy way. I can also smell vanilla, though it is less.

After steeping, the beramot aroma is very dispersed, and the vanilla more pronounced. The tea is an interesting color: a medium-light amber/copper, which is proof (if any was necessary) that the base is darjeeling.

The sharp, piquant muscatel note that I associate with darjeelings is present, but the vanilla tamps it down nicely. Though if that’s your favorite part of a darjeeling, that’s probably not a good thing.

For me it is, as I like darjeeling flavor but don’t love the sharpness.

I don’t know whether it’s my mood, or the fact that I’ve been using zinc to stave off a cold (maybe it’s true that it does a number on your ability to smell), but my experience of this tea is good but not spectacular. It does have the expert blending of the French thing going on, which would ordinarily send me into a happy place. And it does, just not the happiest of happy places. I might have liked this better with a China black tea base.

Flavors: Bergamot, Muscatel, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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20

The package says to steep at 160-170F for 2 minutes. I’ll try that later, but for now I’m steeping at the Breville’s green tea setting.

The leaves of this one are long and twiggy. They’re a bit coarser and more tubular than those of the Mengding Mountain yellow buds, which were flat and shiny like dragonwell leaves.

In the packet, the leaves smell a little nutty, and also like dried hay.

Steeping at this time and temp may not be enough. I’m getting the white tea syndrome from this. Almost colorless liquor, very little aroma and flavor.

I’ll try again tomorrow using the scale instead of spoons and steeping according to the package directions. We’ll see what that does.

For now I have to rate this low because — no flavor at all, really.

Flavors: Hay, Nutty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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78

1500th tasting note!

Sipdown no. 72 of 2018 (no. 428 total).

This had become my take it to work tea as a break from green.

A mellow but tasty tea. Not much to add to my initial note.

Rosehips

Wooo! Congrats on 1500 notes!

__Morgana__

Thank you!

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99
drank Yume by Lupicia
2607 tasting notes

Current time is 6:30 a.m. Current temprature is 77 degrees outside, 83 in my house, because the world is terrible.
Current (and possibly only) tea is Yume, one of the Lupicia holiday offerings that I like to drink in the summer time.
I am already sweating. I am already uncomfortable. And later today I need to drive a long distance in a car with a wonky air conditioner.
Uuuugh.
Even the soft fruit and rose flavors of this tea will not help, and I sincerely doubt I’ll be able to bring myself to drink more tea today.

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86

At first the ‘fishy’ smell was overbearing, but as this tea cooled, the aroma dissipated and gave way to amazing flavor. Multiple steeps reveal a sweeter cup each time.

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65

224/365

This one is interestingly described as an “organic vegi infusion”, but what I love most about it is that it’s the cutest shade of pink. I do love a good pink tea. This one reminds me a little of Bird & Blend’s Beet It, although I think that’s a sweeter blend on the whole (at least as far as I can remember.) I’ll have to renew my acquaintance with that one at some point.

This one is pretty savoury; I get quite a lot of carrot, initially, and then the sweeter earthiness of beetroot. There’s a touch of sage, and just a hint of spiciness. There are a few fruits among the ingredients that I would have expected more sweetness from – blueberry, pineapple, mango – but they don’t really seem to have any impact on the overall flavour. It’s not a sweet/fruity blend, and I don’t think it’s supposed to be.

As to whether I like it…I guess, kinda? I don’t mind savoury tea, and there have been some I’ve really enjoyed, but I suppose it still seems like a bit of an alien concept. This one has a combination of ingredients that work well together, but I think it’d be better suited to autumn/winter drinking. I might revisit this one later in the year, when I can imagine I might have more appreciation for it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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45
drank Watermelon Sorbet by T2
2040 tasting notes

223/365

This was my second watermelon tea of the week, and the second that was slightly disappointing. Bird & Blend’s tasted to me mostly of pineapple and coconut, but this one is mostly liquorice and mint. It reminds me very strongly of Teapigs’ Liquorice & Mint blend, in fact, which I dislike intensely. There is a little watermelon here, mostly in the mid-sip, and it is sweet and watery in a way that’s refreshing and pleasantly flavour accurate. It’s totally surrounded by the heavy dankness of mint on one side, and the intense sweetness of liquorice on the other, so that the overall effect isn’t particularly one of watermelon.

I made this one as a cold brew, and I think that was probably the right way to go. I don’t think it would be any more successful brewed hot, but I’ll give that a try in time just to see. Maybe I should put this one in lemonade? Or try and make an actual sorbet with it?

I think I can see what T2 were trying to achieve. Given that the flavour is watermelon sorbet, it’s like the mint is providing the coolness and the liquorice the sweetness. I get it, and I think it’s quite clever, but I don’t think it really works. Both of those flavours are far more powerful than the watermelon, with the result that it just seems to get squeezed out.

Are there any really good watermelon teas?

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML
Mastress Alita

I’ve had a fairly good Cucumber and Melon green tea, though it tastes less like watermelon fruit to me and more like the “melon flavor” that is popular in Asian countries like Japan (and which is entirely different than the artificial watermelon flavor found in the west, too). It’s a little closer to honeydew, though not quite? It was a good tea though, and I don’t even like to eat cucumbers or melons! I drink it iced and it comes across as refreshing cucumber water with a sort of honeydew/watermelon-hybrid flavor.

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55

222/365

Another one I’m revisiting after a long time. I remember not being super-fond of this one first time around, but I like the idea of it so much that I’m willing to try again.

It’s a lot more delicate than I remember it being. The cola is really light, but actually pretty flavour-accurate, and right up there at the beginning of the sip. The lime comes in slowly through the mid sip, but is also very subtle and light-handed. There’s a hint of guayusa in the background, slightly dank and earthy-tasting, but it doesn’t distract terribly from the lime and cola flavours. If anything, it’s a fairly successful harmony!

I would like it to be a bit stronger, so I might experiment a bit with leaf quantity and brew time. I used 1 decent teaspoon for this cup, and added a slice of dried lime from the bag (they’re too big to spoon…) then gave it about 4 minutes in boiling water. It’s a little on the soft side for my tastes, but I don’t want it to be excessively pungent. I might try 2 tsp leaf next time, and then obviously I’ve got plans for a cold brew. Who drinks cola flavoured things hot, anyway?! Experiments ahead with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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drank Malty Black by Ronnefeldt
38 tasting notes

Actually had this yesterday, but for some reason I couldn’t login.

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85
drank WanGong GuShu by kingteamall
9 tasting notes

WanGong(弯弓) directly means “Pull the Bow”, though just a name of tea region.
Taste character is soft, sweet, lingering tea flavor, viscous.
Bitterness and astringency is so minor near none, though still can be perceived.
Brewed tea leaves are like noodles curled together.
Sleek silk like smoothness and brightness.
Always called “油润光泽 YouRun GuangZe” in mandarin.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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85

I had this tea again and again it was Western style. I am starting to warm up to it, actually. Yes, it is till very demanding to its management (i.e., easy to oversteep), it is still not particularly intense and thus requires a very neutral or sweet water to shine… but I came to enjoy its understated sweetness and generally muted but oh so pleasing flavor palette. This seems to be a very good tea for a very particular kind of mood: relaxed, quiet, mellow, self-contented.

Recently I started finding many teas while not being suitably for the role of the everyday drinkers to be perfect companions for very specific moods. Unfortunately, most of these moods only rarely descend upon me and, consequently, I am becoming increasingly saddled with many highly mood-specific teas and cannot find anything I really want when I am in my “general mood” despite dozens and dozens of tea in my cupboard.

Which makes me want to immediately place another order in this never ending quest for the elusive tea that I would want to drink day in and day out like a happy koala bear.

Mastress Alita

The fact that I also find teas so keyed to being “in the mood” for a particular taste makes packing for a simple weekend trip out such an arduous task… I feel like I have to stuff my suitcase with half my cupboard because I don’t know what “mood” will strike me within the next three days!

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91

Exhilirating aroma that is very fruity with some longan fruit, apricots, cantaloupe and passionfruit. There are some more robust notes of forest floor in the background though.

When brewed light, the taste is mineral, fruity and a little sour, with some vegetal qualities too, which are mostly absent from the smell or just overpowered by other notes. I can also taste some baked bread and roasted walnuts in the background.
The tea induces a very interesting lingering effervescent, tickling and numbing feeling after drinking.

With harsher brew (higher temp and longer steeping time), I get a full bodied crisp liquor with thick oily mouthfeel and almost no astringency. Tea-like bitterness is very present, even in the aftertaste, but it transforms into something slightly sweet, nutty and very aromatic over time. The aftertaste is probably the most prolonged I have experienced with tea. The taste here is less fruity, the floral notes are much more pronounced instead. Interestingly, in later steeps, I notices some coffee taste as well.

There is a decently strong cha qi too, compared to most oolong teas I’ve had. Overall, my first session with a Dan Cong oolong will be remembered fondly. I am very impressed.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Cantaloupe, Floral, Forest Floor, Fruity, Mineral, Passion Fruits, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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90
drank White Acai by Art of Tea
204 tasting notes

June Wedding! Time for something old, so I found another of my oldest Art of Tea samplers, White Acai, a flavor they have since discontinued.

Like most of the teas I’ve been brewing lately, I made this one cold brewed. The tea brewed up a most lovely very pale yellow, like the color of white corn, and has a somewhat tropical fruity aroma, smelling a bit of berries and pineapple.

The flavor is a fairly soft and delicate fruit tea. It has sort of a soft, sweet raspberry sort of taste to me, with a little bit of subtle currant and pineapple notes later in the sip, and it has some very natural sweet floral notes. It’s quite refreshing, and I actually like that the fruit is a bit softer rather than being really robust; I feel like a lot more of the white tea is actually coming through, and some of the soft fruit and floral notes here are from the base itself. Perhaps it was just my particular sampler, but despite the tea having hibi-hip, there is no tanginess or tartness here at all; in fact, from the sheer near-white color of the brew, I have a hard time believing those ingredients were in the blend at all. It is very naturally sweet! I love my tangy fruit teas, but something light, delicate, and sweet like this is a nice change of pace… I’m a bit sad this tea has been discontinued. I wouldn’t mind having more of this around during the hot summer months. Ah well, at least I still have a large bag of White Hibiscus, which has a very similar flavor (yes, despite the misleading name… seriously, that tea tastes nothing like hibiscus!), albeit a little more floral and a little less fruity than this tea.

Flavors: Black Currant, Floral, Pineapple, Raspberry, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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78

I woke with a scratchy throat. Now it is quite painful to swallow, but only on the right side. (That makes me nervous. I remember when I had strep throat. It started out like that.) It’s also rather warm today, so I brewed this and poured it over ice.

Hm. Let me just say I vastly prefer it hot.

I began my new position as Operations Coordinator on Monday. I was in the office all week for training, and what a change that was from rolling out of bed and staggering to the room next door to punch in and work. I will be driving in to the office only on Mondays and every other Thursday from now on. What a relief that is. I hope I have this sore throat kicked by Monday. The office has a real Jekyll and Hyde temperature. It is about 70 in the morning from 7 to 9, then it seems like they turn the heat on, because after that it is about 80. I guess I can enjoy a hot cuppa when I first get there and then switch to iced tea for the rest of the day.

Preparation
Iced 4 min, 15 sec
__Morgana__

Feel better!

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This one has some backbone to it for sure. Scent off the wet leaves clued me in that it would be decently bitter. Sure enough, got a good dose of vegetal bitterness, especially in the early steeps – I kind of thought it was a one trick pony until around steep 3 or 4, the huigan kicked in. It isn’t a big fruity huigan like some of the other ones I’ve had from Chawang – this was a more creamy sweetness, a bit nutty maybe. I really liked how it slowly made itself known. When/if I get around to making a Chawang order, I’ll almost certainly get a cake of this to toss in the pumidor.

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75
drank Summertime by 52teas
2409 tasting notes

Tangerine, cream, some vegetal white tea. It isn’t spectacular, but I did quite enjoy my coldbrew (~30 minute in 750 mL cold water)

Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Fruity, Orange, Tannin, Vegetal

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