124 Tasting Notes


These are fun little things – The little tuo cha was so tiny and adorable. Just by itself, this was really fun to open.
There was an initial fishy smell. I kind of like that, but I can see how other people could find it offensive. I didn’t find it bothersome. It wasn’t super earthy or complex, just slightly fishy – I felt like I walked into a fish shop on Canal Street or something :D

I did a 20 second rinse and then did a 30 second steep with water just short of boiling.

This actually smells slightly floral! I was expecting a super strong brew. A little leathery – super low undertone there.

Flavor: really weird. This doesn’t really taste like pu erh to me at all… there’s still a kind of light fruity flavor, slightly tart. I don’t even know how to describe this since there isn’t much flavor to my palate.
I’m underwhelmed.
We’ll see if the subsequent steepings are more interesting.

ETA – I did a 1 minute steeping with slightly hotter water. No improvement. Actually dumping it. It’s not bad, just frightfully boring!
Time to make a different cup :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Mmmmm. It smells like carob!
Brewed up, the scent is mellower – really dark and rich and creamy.
The flavor is a little strange. The tea is much thinner than I was expecting. There is a light fruity note on top, from the raspberries.
I like the way the dark somewhat bitter chocolate and the berry flavors play together.
Not bad. Let’s see how much energy this gives me…

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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It’s so pretty! The leaves smell deliciously herbal (descriptive, I know). There are floral elements, fruity elements, something that is almost sweet, something else that is kind of licorice like… lots of different scents but nothing that clashed.
I meant to only steep it for around 6 minutes but I think it might have been closer to 8.
I tasted it and I love it!
The hibiscus is the first undertone, then some of the minty flavors, then the floral notes. It unfolds so beautifully. I really like this tea. It is complex in the most wonderful way and it is “medicinal” without being off putting. It just smells like it is good for you, but tastes like something that my grandmother would bring out as a special treat – old world, slightly surprising, and thoroughly wonderful.
I will definitely be ordering more of this!

ETA I tried resteeping this (boiling water for 15 minutes) and got only a pale imitation of the original. It wasn’t bad, but it was a ghost. Note to self – don’t bother resteeping this!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

Love the name :D

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drank Gold Rush by DAVIDsTEA
124 tasting notes

Wow! This is so gorgeous!
The loose tea smells so fruity and sweet and like honey. Serious wow.
I spin my own yarn and silk is one of my favorite fibers to spin. I’ve never tried anything with mulberry in it before, so this should be interesting!
I decided to steep it at a lower temp than the bag said, 190 vs 200 and let it go on the longer side (~6.5 minutes (4-7 was the recommended).
This smells so sweet steeped! It’s like honey :)
The flavor is nice and subtle – I’ve been trying a lot of tea lately that I haven’t cared much for, so I was starting to think it was just me being picky or something. This one I can safely say I like. It’s super light flavored, with a creaminess that underlays it from the coconut. The more I drink this the more I like it – as it cools the flavors really come out. I want to try this iced.

190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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My order from David’s Tea came today! And it couldn’t be a better day to have tea. Giant headache and all of my cats escaped (we found them).
This smells so good in the bag! The tangy acai berry is awesome – there’s the sweet/bitter scent going on.
I brewed this as just under boiling in my new New Leaf teapot.
The scent of the brewed tea is nice and mellow. Nothing leaps out at me or smells artificial or out of place, but I definitely get a big whiff of berries.
Flavor-wise, I’m not sure. I think I’ll try the next cup with sugar to see if that brings out some of the flavors. It’s the first non-rooibos herbal tea I’ve had in a while so it takes getting used to picking out the flavors here too.

I added some sugar to my second cup. It gives it a really pleasant initial sip, but the bitterness still came through after that. I know I didn’t brew it too long/hot, so I’m thinking that must be the juniper berries.
Martini lover that I am, I’m going to just try to think of it like a nice martini… berry… tea… thing. :D

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Yay for new teapot!

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drank Citrus Mate by Adagio Teas
124 tasting notes

This smells like orange zest! What an awesome “wake me up” scent.
After brewing, the citrus and wood scents sit right next to each other. My favorite household job is polishing the piano – this is kind of a comforting blend of scents. There is something a little sweet behind it, it’s not like… pine sol or anything!
The actual flavor is really really strange. I liked the plain yerba and I liked the scent of this spiced yerba… not sure about the flavor. It almost tastes like lemon chicken, but with some of the actual … chicken-ness added. (I should note here that my sister just made me a plain omelette which I also thought had chicken in it. I think I’m just tasting the spices. So the tea might not really taste like chicken) :)
It really woke me up, either way!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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After a disappointing cup of hazelnut honeybush which I ruined by adding honey (how on earth do those not go well together??) I decided to try the green rooibos to see if that would help me sleep. It’s after 2 am so, I’m getting concerned that I might never fall asleep again after last night’s insomnia.
I opened the package and got a really nice green scent. I can’t really say more than that, it didn’t really have any particular notes that I picked up on and it didn’t really smell like red rooibos that much.
Brewed it had a little more of that creamy rooibos scent. Also, for some reason I was expecting it to brew up green – it’s actually a really nice apricot orange color.
It’s really strange to drink – there isn’t any particular flavor, but there is a sweet/dry grassy flavor/sensation that hits the back of the roof of my mouth while I’m sipping it.
It’s completely unlike red rooibos.
I’m already feeling sleepy! I like the way that rooibos makes me sleepy better than honeybush. Honeybush kind of made me feel like I was being sucked into sleep against my will. Rooibos makes me tired in such a way that I actually want to go to sleep.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This was another adagio honeybush flavored tea that I really didn’t like the scent of in the package – I think it’s just way to strong for me. When I took a whiff from a distance it was fine.
The brewed tea actually smells a lot like hazelnut coffee, or coffee with hazelnut creamer. I love the scent of hazelnut, so this is definitely a good thing.
I like the flavor of this way more than the vanilla honeybush. Where that tasted artificial, this tastes nutty and nice. The hazelnut and the honeybush really play well together.

This is my second cup of honeybush tea tonight – 10:40 and I’m trying to go to sleep. As opposed to last night when I must have been way too caffeinated. I lay in bed drowsing unable to fall asleep until 7am at which point I thought in foggy horror “oh my god, what if I’ve become one of those people who are unable to sleep and then they just die?”
After thinking that, however, I was able to fall asleep and grab a few hours of sleep. Incredibly, I was fine today after staggering into the kitchen and grabbing a cup of tea.
My point here is, hopefully the honeybush will save me from a caffeine induced all-nighter. (And where was whatever kept me up last night hiding when I was in college and actually wanted to pull all nighters?)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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First impression on the scent of the leaves – kind of weird!
It smells nothing like the regular honeybush – it has an artificial scent that makes it seem like something I would use as a glass cleaner.
It smells much better when it’s steeping. Actually fruity and appealing.
The flavor is so so – it definitely tastes like vanilla, but to me, less like vanilla beans and more like vanilla frosting. Which is fine! And some people might really like that.
Just not quite my cuppa :) I like the plain honeybush much better.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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The scent of this is awesome! It smells like a soft leather chair. Actually, what it really smells like is the awesome barn that houses the vegetables for the local organic farm. They always have herbs drying from the rafters and I always try to place the scent. And, apparently, it smells like oolong tea :)
I gave the leaves a quick rinse first.
Once brewed the leaves were pretty – a lovely dark red-brown, like tobacco or something.
There’s an interesting scent (smoked cherry?) to the liquor. Also: dusty books and some kind of sweet almost salted caramel scent.
The flavor is slightly bitter in a good way. There is mild astringency, but I like it. The flavor isn’t much special compared to the scent (the scent is amazing though). It has the most amazing body – it’s so thick.
There is an after-taste of something toasted. Toasty and slightly bitter.

ETA: I did a second infusion. I did this one at 190 degrees for only 3 minutes. I think I was too harsh on it, following Adagio’s directions.
I’m getting a woodsy strawberry scent off this – the scent overall is fainter than the first infusion. I’m not picking up much else other than that vague fruitiness and smokiness.
The taste is rather floral – also a little biscuity. It’s nothing striking though.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’m a writer and as such, am obviously an emotional rollercoaster. I used to drink tea a lot more, but kind of stopped and switched to coffee. Now, after too much stress, I’m completely unable to drink coffee anymore, so I figured tea would fulfill some of my “awake” needs as well as calm my emotions. I’m working my way through a huge selection of samples of pretty much everything, leaving notes so I remember what I like.
I love being adventurous and trying new things, even (especially?) things that sound strange or off-putting. Aside from tea I also enjoy tasting wines. The last really interesting one I tried was a dandelion wine! (And yes, it actually was delicious. Extremely bizarre and herby, but delicious).

I don’t have a set of numerical ratings set down yet, mainly because I’m very intuitive (read: disorganized and opinionated) about how I rate things. Basically, If something is in the 70-85 range, it’s pretty good, totally drinkable. Below that, in the 50-69 range, it was probably incredibly boring. I really hate boring tea. Below 50, I wouldn’t drink it again and might not have finished it (I actually really hate leaving ratings below 50, it makes me feel bad. I’m probably too nice). If it’s above 85 then I really liked it. Super high ratings are reserved for teas that totally blew me away.



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