411 Tasting Notes

drank Cacao by Tisano
411 tasting notes

Yum. Drinking a cup of this with some half and half and simple syrup. Wonderful evening treat.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

Is this as much like hot chocolate as they make it sound? :) How is it without half and half and syrup.. just plain?

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From It’s all About the Leaf – http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/1429/tea-review-golden-moon-tea-imperial-formosa-oolong/

I know I tend to repeat myself on this point, but I really adore that first whiff of a new tea. The myriad of preparation techniques and additives means that each new tea is an olfactory adventure. Or, more succinctly – dang, they can smell great! And this one – wow. Aromas of dark sweet fruit, like raisins or dates combined with malty, yeasty overtones. It reminded me of whole wheat raisin bread in the first few sniffs.

So I eagerly dumped the packet into the gravity teapot I use at work so I could try this tea. This is where I ran into my first problem. The sample size was pretty small. So I scaled back the size of cup I was planning to make and added my 190 degree-ish water and commenced steeping.

The resulting brew was a beautiful deep brown. But the flavor was a little light. Tones of nuttiness, raisins and a light floral overtone which may have been orange blossom, but nothing outstanding. It was a pleasant cup, but not an outstanding one. I did play around with the steeping parameters to try and improve it, and wasn’t able to get it to sing. I would like to get a larger sample someday and try playing with this tea again.

190 °F / 87 °C

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I found this at Whole Foods the other weekend, and remembered it was on my shopping list. It’s a little more tannic than I expected – and I even steeped it a shorter amount of time than they reccomended. I think I will pick more up and play with the parameters because I’m not really liking this cuppa as much as I hoped to.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Silkroad Chai by Tea Forte
411 tasting notes

A while ago, one of the local tea shops had a little class/preview session of the Tea Forte mixology set. You get 2-3 bags of each of their mixology teabags, two little steeping containers, and a recipe book.

I couldn’t resist. Booze + Tea? YAY!!!

My favorite of the set is the silk road chai – which I use to make white Russian chai drinks. Take the chai bag, steep in vodka, then mix with simple syrup and a milk product. Tres YUM.

Since I got this set, I’ve been experimenting with making a Earl Grey white Russian (and the testing process has been lovely) using other brands of tea. You can use any teabag to infuse in the liquor. And, if you go with Tea Forte, their teabags are strong enough to infuse multiple times (their literature leads you to think otherwise).

If you do not shun liquor, this may be something interesting to try. Their set is a nice way to start, but not necessary. Cheers!


The Wife Made some Earl Grey Tea liquor about 2 years ago since It is no longer made in England. It was Great to Experiment with the Mixes.
Happy Drinking (Mind your Responsibility)

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Met my husband at the door this morning with a large pot of this wonderful tea. He’d gone to stand in line at MicroCenter to get my Christmas present (a laptop!) and it’s COLD around here. So a hot pot of tea was just the ticket.

And it was extra yummy this morning; apparently being made as a thank you makes the tea taste even creamier. :)

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
411 tasting notes

I am thankful. I’m thankful for my friends (both on-line and off), I’m thankful for my husband, my health, my pets, and many other things.

I am also thankful that two pots of this tea can help ease the memory of the awful, awful meals my mother in law subjects us to each holiday season.

(I am not thankful for the fact she can’t cook.)

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I wandered through Whole Foods looking for that sparkling jasmine tea, and I couldn’t find it anywhere, but I did find this. What the heck! Looks interesting, so I thought I’d try it.

It’s nicely spicy, and isn’t sickly sweet like some pre-made chai tea can be. But I wasn’t too pleased with the chocolate – it felt like gilding the lily; unnecessary and too fussy.

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From http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/1408/tea-review-canton-tea-dragon-well-green-tea-shi-feng-long-jing/

These tea leaves are awesome. They look like they’ve been pressed in a book like wildflowers. Flat spiky leaves that smells delightfully like something like I’d like to have as a vegetable side dish with my dinner; well spiced green vegetables. Almost reminiscent of green beans. Once brewed up, the spicy green bean scent is enhanced tenfold.

The tea is very light colored, and as mentioned very, very fragrant. It’s both savory and sweet with hints of nuts and grass. The cup does leave some astringency to it, but just enough to make you want to drink more. Green teas can run the gambit of so tannic they make you pucker more than lemons all the way to spring water. This tea is slightly tannic but nowhere near the lemon end of the continuum.

This is a very enjoyable cup of tea – light, flavorful, fragrant, and just plain yummy.

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Oh, so much better!

After my last review was so negative, I went back to the store and had the owner show me how to make this tea right. (And can I just say how awesome it is to be able to go and talk to the guy who owns the land where the tea is grown to talk to him about how to best brew it! HEE!) He showed me what I did wrong, and how to do it right.

Now, brewed properly, it’s not a sweet tea. It’s got bitter tones to it, but brewed right – they work.

No longer do I have visions of using it for cleaner; I’ve been actively craving this tea. And I know it’s got TONS of vitamin C, so for the cold I’ve got right now, it’s a very good thing.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Another of my Angrboda teas, and this one is a nice solid black blend. My first steep, even though I thought I shorted the time a little, seemed a bit over-tannic to me. The second steep is milder, but nicely mellow. Overall – a decent cuppa. (I would like to try this iced sometime.)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I agree it can be a bit tannin-y but in my experience you’re on the right track when you shortened the steep. But then again I always ignore steeping advice, extremely rarely go over 1 minute, but use a lot of leaf instead so maybe I’m not really the most reliable one for advice. :)

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I’ve got a lot of interests: sushi, science fiction/fantasy, medieval recreation, cooking (specifically medieval cooking), reading, British science fiction (Doctor Who!), hand sewing and now TEA!!

My favorites tend to be oolongs and flavored black teas. I like highly flavored teas more than delicate ones. Rooibos tends to taste like dirt to me, and hibiscus is very sour to my palate. But I’m always up to try all sorts of things, and will often find things that I really like which I thought I’d hate.


Kansas City

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