99 Tasting Notes

100

I got this in a the Verdant Tea’s monthly subscription in 2016. I’m not a huge fan of green tea, but I’ve never had Dragonwell, so I’m excited! I’m using the full 5 gram sample.

The dry leaves smell amazing—fresh and not too green.

The “instructions,” if you will, say to steep this in a tempered glass, adding water to the tea over the course of the day as yo u drink it. This is the type of setup I’m going for, because I know how much Mrs. Li cares for her Dragonwell and drinking it properly!

The first “steep” smells so good! It has such a strong, toasted nut smell! My water temperature was right at 185 degrees Farenheit, so I have to wait for it to cool to start drinking (even though the insert says to start drinking immediately).

I love steeping my tea in glass teapots so I can see it brew and the water color deepen—so this tall-glass approach is pretty neat.

The insert says to sip without a strainer—so… use your teeth to strain it, or “blow” the leaves away. Sigh. I’m using a spoon like you would to keep the foam in your frothed milk from going in your espresso. #NoSkillz

By the way, this tea is absolutely gorgeous!

First taste impressions: a little astringent, medium roast flavor, slightly bitter (I’ll turn the kettle down 10 degrees)… not too bad. I love the tingly mouthfeel. I’ll sip this down to 1/3 of the water left and add some more…

Second taste impressions: The bitterness and astringency disappeared with the second bit of water, leaving the tea smooth, refreshing, and light. So much love!

Third taste impressions: It continues to be smooth and still has that roasted nut flavor, which is amazing! I love the fact that I can just keep drinking it throughout the day. No hassle, super delicious.

Flavors: Roasted nuts

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Chocolate Chai by Adagio Teas
99 tasting notes

I went through a chai phase a while back and bought Adagio’s chai sampler. I was searching out the “perfect chai” for a coworker. lol Now I make some masala chai on the stovetop whenever I want tea, but I need to de-calcify my tea kettle. Vinegar for the win!

I made this the traditional masala chai method: dissolved the sweetener in 2 cups of water, brought to a boil, added the tea, boiled for ten minutes, added 2 cups milk (almondmilk in my case), brought back to a boil, strained and served.

It’s very yummy! The cocoa nibs make it extra smooth and little sweeter than my usual chai. The cinnamon is strong enough that not being able to find my cinnamon sticks was totally okay. The ginger gives it an extra hot punch, which is great. I kind of miss the cloves or cardamom. I think it could do with a little more actual masala. The black tea base isn’t super high-quality, but it survives the boiling without being really bitter. Overall, I’m impressed. When I’ve sipped down all my chai’s, this could be in the running for a repurchase.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Ginger, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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90

I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed this tea before, given how good it tastes!

I finally got my tea cupboard moved over to our new apartment after being almost an entire year without it!! So when I was thirsty on this warm spring evening, I went for my tea! So exciting!

I’ve got another white tea brewing for iced tea, and since I still had enough water in my kettle for a cup, why wait?

I’m here because the first sip was so good! I needed to let y’all know. It’s sweet by itself, though I added sweetener to it. (I’ve been so long without tea, I’ll have to retrain my taste buds.) There’s that lovely jasmine vanilla flavor, with lingering rose and apple… this is just the first steep.

The second steep continued the strong flavor of creamy jasmine and rose.

By the third steep, the added flavor had washed out so I could more enjoy the green tea and oolong’s own flavor—smooth, not too vegetal. It’d be a great blend without the added flavor, so it’s even more yummy with it! :)

Flavors: Apple, Creamy, Jasmine, Rose, Vanilla

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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100
drank Ice-wine Tea by Cup and Kettle
99 tasting notes

I once picked up a bagged icewine tea on a road trip in Victoria, Canada from a corner gift shop in Chinatown. It was amazing! Grapey and delicious. I was so happy to see an icewine tea in a little tea shop in Leavenworth, WA while on my honeymoon! How exciting! Since I had just one sachet of that original icewine tea tucked away, and my new hubby had given me a budget of four teas (I have a habit of spending money freely, ESPECIALLY when it comes to tea, ESPECIALLY when I’m in a physical shop where I can SMELL everything), I totally snagged an ounce. You can order online, so I figured if I fell in love, I can order more. ;)

I have fallen in love with this tea! I didn’t realize when I bought it that it’s a black and white blend. How interesting! I read the ingredients before brewing, so I brewed it like a white tea. Measuring the leaves into my Cha He, there isn’t a lot of white tea leaves, so I think it would be safe to brew this at a black tea temperature.

It tastes so amazing! It has a very floral flavor that I think comes from that ambiguous “natural flavors” on the ingredient list. A little pinker than jasmine… for a non-synesthetic person I think you could say… (insert a couple more sips here) It’s more perfumey, but not musky… like you would smell on a lily or tulip. Tulip! That’s it. It tastes like I’m drinking grapes and smelling a tulip garden. Talk about amazing! Oh, there’s also an aftertaste like lavender. Perplexing…

The tea also has a fruity smell to it, like grapes and sweet pea flowers. It’s just a whole roller coaster of floral smells and tastes that I really wasn’t expecting, but that I’m totally loving right now.

I could end each day with a cup of this…

Second steep loses some of the tulip, gains some lavender, and the grape is less bitey and more smooth and… relaxed?

Yeah, I’m ready for bed now. :)

Flavors: Flowers, Grapes, Lavender

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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65
drank Chestnut by Cup and Kettle
99 tasting notes

Decent quality black tea with “natural chestnut flavor” that isn’t overpowering. It has a maple smell and flavor to it, though. I’m very adverse to maple, so I will be drinking this sparingly; however, I do recommend it to those who love the idea of roasted chestnut with maple. The fact that I still enjoy it with the maple taste says a lot. :)

Flavors: Chestnut, Maple, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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65
drank Chestnut by Cup and Kettle
99 tasting notes

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100

I think I tried a sample of someone’s Jin Jun Mei once, and fell in love. So, I splurged and got me some.

Does not disappoint. One of my favorites pretty much ever.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

I’m pretty excited to try this tea. Greener, floral oolongs have always held a special place in my heart. :) It smells buttery/squashy. Oh boy! I’m doing relatively short western style steeps (~2 mins each, increasing to like… forever?).

I loooove watching the tea leaves uncurl when they’re so tightly rolled like these. They always end up completely filling my little glass teapot. :D

OH. I’ve died and gone to heaven.

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Floral

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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90

Oooo, My first impression was this is “nutty” of some sort. Macadamia? No… not walnut or almond, either. But a tree nut nonetheless. Like, acorn or chestnuts. Chestnuts! That’s what I’ve decided! Haha!

Flavors: Chestnut

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

I discovered my love of tea in college, in Oregon, where nearly constant rain and clouds and fog demand some sort of warm, cuddly beverage.

Since moving back to Idaho, where seasons actually exist, my adoration for tea has bordered on obsession. I like a variety of teas depending on my mood and the alignment of the planets. I’m pretty sure my love of tea saved my life after coming home from the deep freezer with hypothermia day after day. ;)

I am recently married, and my next project is convincing my husband that instant Lipton iced tea does not count as tea. sigh

Here’s my rating system:
0-19 – I did not like this tea. I will not touch it again with a ten-foot-pole. I may have family and friends try it in hopes of pawning it off on them; otherwise it’s in the trash. That bad.
20-40 – I do not like this tea. I might be able to tolerate it with large amounts of sugar and/or almondmilk and/or another tea. I will be giving it away to the first family/friend who likes it because I’m too lazy to enjoy this.
41-60 – This tea is okay. If I am careful how I prepare it (temperature, amounts) and add things to it (sugar, almondmilk), I can enjoy it.
61-70 – This tea was fairly enjoyable, but I have to be in the mood for it, and I have to at least sweeten it.
71-80 – I like this tea. I might even drink it without additives. It may still be mood-driven, but it’s pretty good. I would recommend it to visitors coming over for a cuppa.
81-90 – I really like this tea. I can drink it regardless of cravings. I will rarely if ever add anything to it. I try to peddle it to my visitors as examples of great tea.
91-100 – I love this tea. It is wonderful. Every cup is heaven. I will not share this. I will tell people to go get their own crack. This stash is mine.

Location

North Idaho

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