1528 Tasting Notes
The first one to be tried from my January sub box! I couldn’t help it, this one smelled fabulous when I opened the pouch…
I really like it! The mix of citrus is very nice – I would say I get a lot of grapefruit and lemon followed by sweet orange. The lemon also tastes very lemon-drop-like, which really helps sell the candy shoppe angle.
The green tea base is somewhat robust, though I think it needs to be in order to keep up with the strong citrus flavors here. It has a bit of mineral and smoke to it that remind me of gunpowder green tea, but aren’t quite that strong.
I do get a tiny bit of bitterness here, and I’m not sure if I perhaps overleafed a bit too much or if it’s from the citrus peel. Either way, it’s pleasant and doesn’t detract from the overall taste.
ETA: Now that it’s cooling more, I am getting some lime flavor as well.
Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Grapefruit, Grass, Lemon, Lime, Mineral, Orange, Smoke, Sweet, Tart
Sample Sipdown! (12 | 81)
I had a cozy session with this one today, watching rom-coms and trying out a cheapo kyusu that I bought from Amazon.
To be honest, if this is the regular baked version of this, I can’t imagine what the “deep baked” one is like! This had a strong roast with lots of charcoal flavor.
Really, this was a bit too roasty for me for the majority of the session. It did have a very layered flavor though. The early steeps had deep charcoal and mineral notes, along with a charred wood flavor that reminded me of scotch or bourbon. I found some interesting fennel and dill notes as well, which added an unusual savory element. And there was also sweetness from honey, raisin, and very dark caramel.
About halfway through, the deep roasted notes started to fade a bit, which was very welcome. This allowed me to taste more of the nutty and sweet flavors that were hiding underneath.
The last couple of steeps were somewhat weak but very delicious, with strong sweet honey notes and creamy grain flavors. There was one infusion that reminded me of honey butter dinner rolls. Nom.
Really this was a bit too roasted for me. But I would be very interested in trying more GABA teas in the future.
10g – 200ml – 200°F – rinse/25/30/35/40/45/50/60/75/95/150/300s
Flavors: Baked Bread, Bitter, Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Char, Creamy, Dill, Fennel, Floral, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Raisins, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Toast, Whiskey, Wood
Sipdown! (1 | 11)
Trying to finish off these Wicked Teas from Adagio. Actually, I have found the tiny tins to be quite useful for storing small vacuum-packed samples from TeaVivre and Taiwan Tea Sourcing once I’ve opened them. So I’m actually glad I got this sampler – even though the tins are cute, they’re usually impractical, so I’m happy to have a use for them!
Anyway, this one is closer to caramel apple than candy apple. I will say, I find the red sugar crystals to be quite cute, and happily they don’t seem to contribute much sweetness to the tea.
It’s fine, but not great. Happy to have the empty tin for other uses!
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Sweet
365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 35
Happy Year of the Pig!
Okay, so technically Lupicia is a Japanese company, so to them it’s the Year of the Boar, and they celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st. But it’s still based on the Chinese zodiac originally, so I decided to save this tea for the Chinese/Lunar New Year!
So this is an osmanthus oolong base with citrus flavors. But actually, I’m surprised by how much it reminds me of some of their wine-flavored teas. It has the same aromatic floral note as Napa Blanc. To be honest, I’m not thrilled by that aspect… But I do understand that they were going for a celebratory tea and it does add a touch of effervescence.
Personally, I could do with a bit more citrus. I feel like the floral flavor sort of overwhelms the tangerine-like citrus notes. But that’s probably mostly because I feel like Lupicia uses the floral wine-like tea flavor too often (and it somewhat reminds me of bubblegum for some reason), and I much prefer citrus to floral. :)
Flavors: Candy, Citrus, Floral, Muscatel, Orange, Perfume, Smooth, Sweet
365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 34
This tea came from tea-sipper!
I followed TeaVivre’s recommended parameters for this session. The time progression was interesting, I’m wondering if the shorter steeps in the middle are where they expect the dragon ball to unfurl.
Anyway, I wasn’t very impressed with this one… It started off extremely light in flavor. About halfway through the session, I started to help the leaves unfurl a little bit since they were still mostly compacted in a ball and I felt like that was why I wasn’t getting much flavor. It did definitely help a lot!
Overall, this had a very smoky and mineral taste that I wasn’t expecting. There were also some more classic white tea notes of oats and hay, along with a light honey sweetness and some date and golden raisin flavors. I also tasted some apricot notes and a bit of malt. There was very little bitterness, but a slight astringency did develop as the steeps grew longer.
I found it somewhat meh. Happily, I still have one dragon ball to try, so I’m thinking I’ll try Western or grandpa style for that one and see how it compares.
1 piece – 130ml – 200°F – rinse/50/60/70/50/50/30/40/70/90/110s
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Dates, Dried Fruit, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Oats, Raisins, Smoke, Stonefruits, Sweet
Sample Sipdown! (11 | 80)
This really does remind me of a lemon cake. It has a nice buttery, cakey note in the background and a desserty lemon flavor.
I will say, the base is very bland and “tea-ish” tasting. I did a 2.5-minute steep and it’s not bitter, though there is a touch of astringency. So I think this could be improved with a more flavorful base tea.
But still tasty! I love lemon cake. ❤
Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Cake, Lemon, Sweet, Tannic
Sample Sipdown! (10 | 79)
This one is a bit underwhelming, which is a shame because it was one that I was quite excited for.
That’s not to say it’s bad. It has a nice earthy Yunnan base, and I happen to be quite partial to Chinese blacks. It’s also smooth, with nice malt and bread-ish notes.
But the peach flavor just sort of tastes like it’s sitting on top, without really blending well with the base tea. It’s somewhere between fresh and candy peach, with some sips reminding me of Peachie-O’s or Jolly Ranchers. It definitely doesn’t remind me of peach crostata at all.
So it won’t be a reorder for me!
Flavors: Artificial, Baked Bread, Candy, Earth, Malt, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits
Swap Sample Sipdown! (9 | 78)
Courtesy of VariaTEA!
I think I made this with a little too much water, but it’s still quite tasty. The honeybush taste is very pastry-like, so to me this is closer to an apple crumble than apple cider. The spicing is fairly light, mostly cinnamon with a bit of clove over a base of sweet apple and a touch of creamy vanilla.
So in my opinion, it’s a bit like apple crumble with a side of ice cream! Much tastier than I expected. :)
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Pastries, Sweet, Vanilla
Yay, I finally got my order with this tea in it! In reality, it only took about 10 days to get here, but it feels like forever when I don’t have any tracking…
This is super yummy! It’s like some sort of delicious, sweet coconut and cinnamon confection. The jasmine is very light and adds a nice complimentary flavor that keeps it from being too sweet overall. There’s also a lovely rich and buttery note that really sells the coconut dessert aspect, along with the oat-y flavor of the white base.
Wow, this is exactly what I hoped it’d be! Now I have to decide whether to order a bunch, because you know how teas with fresh coconut are… Hmm…
Flavors: Butter, Candy, Cinnamon, Coconut, Cookie, Cream, Creamy, Custard, Jasmine, Oats, Smooth, Sweet
Sample Sipdown! (8 | 77)
Nope, this pretty much tastes exactly the same as the sample VariaTEA sent.
Still tastes like artificial coconut to me, with a bit of a weird savory herbal flavor that reminds me of fennel.
Strange, and not for me. Oh well!
Flavors: Artificial, Coconut, Fennel