390 Tasting Notes

drank Tourbillon by Dammann Freres
390 tasting notes

this was one of the last teas remaining from my truly life changing exchange with Ysaurella…. life changing how? well, french teas are wont to do that.

…. ……. unless you are james and the blend has any caramel or toffee basis whatsoever. because i can’t taste it. the tea was very smooth. but it was just tea to me…. there was no other flavour. sorry Ysaurella!!!!

no numbers because this is a genetic oops, not a tea oops.

it really is weird… i can smell the stuff, but i can’t taste it =0(
not once— every single time in every single tea.

MissB

Oh, wow! Here I thought it was the tea when you mentioned this to me the other day with something I’d sent you. Now I get it. It’s just a flavor your tastebuds refuse to acknowledge. Phooey.

JustJames

i cannot explain the phenomenon. not in the least. everything else i can taste to a microscopic degree….. not this one. BUT i CAN taste butiki’s caramel vanilla assam. IT MAKES NO SENSE!!!! lol

Bonnie

I understand. I can’t taste some green tea’s at all. Some of Stacy at Butiki’s tea (Eggnog for example) I can smell but not taste.

JustJames

i think ‘why’ is a perfectly good question to ask…., lol.

Aimee Popovacki

i get that a lot with white teas… no matter what it smells like i get this weird taste that tastes almost like stale tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84
drank Oreo Cookie by Tea Desire
390 tasting notes

i’m tired. it’s late. i should be sleeping….. i REALLY should be sleeping, instead i am going to enjoy one last moment for myself before the sun rises on another gong show tomorrow…..

i have no idea how this tea accomplishes oreo, but it does. i actually feel the need to confess that i have always been an oreo brat….. everyone knows the only reason the chocolate cookies are there is to hold the yummy icing in place.

i would unscrew the two cookies, scrape the icing off of each with my teeth, then chuck the cookies. you could argue that it was wasteful, but i would argue that in fact it was a reliable method of sustainable caloric intake =0) i could eat more icing while eating fewer cookies, see? perfect sense!

that said, i was always in trouble over it though….. well, mostly just when i stuck them back together and put them back in the bag. it’s kindof amazing i don’t have a back condition from the amount i got spanked as a kid, lol!!!

this tea is white icing all the way…. no chocolate cookie. but that’s okay because i’d have to pick out the chocolate bits and mail them back to MissB. hee hee hee…..

NOW sleeping is not optional.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
BrewTEAlly Sweet

Oh my gawd! Oreo brat right here (raises hand)!!!

BrewTEAlly Sweet

I need this tea in my life!

JustJames

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! i’m not alone!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Muscat Oolong by Lupicia
390 tasting notes

lol, this one is fun. deep, sweet dessert grapes, reminiscent of the ones i used to shove in the freezer and suck the syrup out of when i was a kid. very grape, but not candy. perfect to finish up a ridiculously long day before i take on another.

there is a great element to this blend…. there’s a hint of stem to it!

sorry…. not my best review. too tired.

thanks to ifjuly for this one!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87

this enticing sample came to me by way of MissB.

not a blend i would normally have purchased for myself, but lovely to try nonetheless. this tea is stewed apricots in a cup! i have tried mangosteen, lychee, dragonfruit and any number of other exotic fruits that make steepster’s autocorrect put endless red squiggly lines under my writing.

i had never heard of maracuja before, and i will likely forget the name until i read it again, lol. i will however forever remember this blend as rich, heavy, juicy stewed apricots. delectable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Mmmmmm!

VariaTEA

JustJames, you are really quite the poet. Your tasting notes are always so fun to read.

JustJames

i love tea =0) …. hee hee, and love messing with steepster’s red vocab squiggles ;-P

MissB

This tea place is the warehouse down the street from my place, and I added this particular tea to my order only because of the unique ingredient name. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!

ifjuly

wow, i’ve never heard of it either. that sounds really interesting, all those exotic fruits. yum.

ifjuly

oh wait, i misread, ha. still intriguing though!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82
drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
390 tasting notes

luxurious definitely….. strong orange presence that doesn’t overwhelm and carries no bitterness. the chocolate aspect is neither a milk nor a dark…. a very nice cross.

i find myself in an awkward position— i like this but….

i have yet to find a company whose expertise trumps nina’s paris with fruit, berries specifically, red berries more specifically.

i will assume this comes down to personal preference only…. and given the respect i have for this apothecary i do not like to withold numbers based on that.

technically: a very smooth base, a very balanced blend. the orange and chocolate sit at 60/40, respectively in terms of presence…. the cream i don’t detect, but i’m not sure it’s supposed to be a taste so much as a texture. as a texture it is definitely there. i do feel this blend accomplishes what it sets out to do…. it’s just not my favourite nina’s blend is all.

the number you see is what i rank the accomplishment at.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Lala

I LOVE Nina’s Paris teas as well. Its like magic how they can get the blends to taste just right.

JustJames

agreed…. i think i might just be partial to the red fruit is all, lol. that said, they are SO exceptional, i don’t like to hold out a number when it’s not their failure but my preference that’s getting in the way.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

this is very clever. brendan, if your goal is not just to blend a tea then i will state this one an absolute success.

let’s begin however, with what this is not: it is NOT graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate in a tea.

what this is: a snapshot of someone(s) crouched by a campfire, the wind blowing slightly against their favour, trying to pull the roasted marshmallows off their roasting stick without blistering their fingers (they escape mostly unburned, lol).

layers. i really can’t wrap my brain around how you accomplished them.

-i get heat and smoke. they are SEPARATE. and the smoke is not a souchong source. by diagnosis of my tongue it is campfire smoke. the warmth is distinct but seems not to be coming from a spice.

-cinnamon and a cookie qualifier are there… they chime in after the smoke and i would count as layer 2.

-layer 3 is fruit, although very distant and not nameable…. at least not in this first steep.

-4 a softness is beginning to start which i believe will end up as marshmallow.

i don’t know if this is the order that you put them down in, but this is how they manifest for me.

this is an impressive accomplishment. this is less a tea and more a stillframe. and this coming from someone who does NOT particularly favour smoke in tea.

i did amend my methodology given that you are so beautifully purist in your blending brendan: i overleafed (1.5 tbsp) for my 12 oz mug and 2) i used 1 tbsp of coconut sugar. i think the effect is brilliant.

as it cools the warmth is still there, the smoke is SWEETENING, but a charcoal element in also settling in. very, very nicely done.

so if this tea is a memory for you…. let me ask: did your fingers get burned? or was my tongue off? =0)

thanks to MissB for this excellent adventure!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

I let my marshmallows catch fire and forgot my s’mores on a hot rock. My tongue was burned yet I managed to save it with some raw honey :)

Glad you enjoyed this memory, James :)

JustJames

so i was in the ballpark, lol. nicely done…. nicely done.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thanks, James! I’m glad you’ve had a good introduction to WPTC :D

JustJames

and that’s down to your skill set and MissB’s generosity.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) Thanks for the kind words! And thanks for the kind MissB, too!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100
drank Bamboo-Pomelo by TeaGschwendner
390 tasting notes

NO DOUBT THEY WON A FIRST PRIZE!!!!!!!

this is a briliiant tea. WOW! fresh squeezed grapefruit juice as it was steeping, tempered by the bamboo shoots as i am sipping. fresh, sweet, lively, juicy: i taste the texture of pulp. i feel the texture of pomelo rind…. i get no pith (ie no lingering bitterness). beautiful!

i really wouldn’t have expected to love this tea as much as i do. i’ve been on a french kick for several months now and teas from our part of the world often just don’t match up…… that is NOT the case with this one.

i want a pound of this in a canister in my kitchen. all the time.

a HUGE thanks to MissB for this outstanding sample!!!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Bear With Me

okay, i need to get me some of that ASAP! LOVE a good grapefruit tea, and this sounds totally up my alley!!!

JustJames

definitely worthy of investment.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100
drank The Black Lotus by Butiki Teas
390 tasting notes

every 500 years there is an eclipse… the world is dark but for certain iridescent flowers. only upon the most still lakes and ponds does it gleam… the black lotus; invisible by sunlight, black light, flashlight… the only way to see this bloom is during the mere moments it exists as it floats silently by in the impossible light of the eclipse.

don’t blink.

don’t close your eyes for an instant.

the black lotus exists only for that singular drift, which stacy lim knows all too well. the secret of the black lotus has been handed down from mother to daughter within her family since time out of mind.

brown sugar flowers drifting across the water, drifting tendrils of roots trace patterns along the water, contemplating the brief existence and amber legacy it would leave at stacy’s persuasive coaxing.

such a rare existence, such a rare privilege.

thank you ifjuly. such a beautiful experience you shared…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
yyz

James, thanks for sharing poetry tonight. At this point it reminds me of Marquez ( or the English translator of, I’ve only read one of his books in Spanish) lyrical and beautiful.

JustJames

i was published for poetry a long time ago…. under very special circumstances i make a return trip. you have made me blush… thank you for your kindness.

ifjuly

Yay! I am thrilled you enjoyed it so much you wrote a beautiful review like this. It is a great feeling to share a favorite tea, one that moves me, and discover the person you send it to understands and shares that feeling. Thank you so much for that, I treasure it. Swaps are the best. :D

JustJames

they are indeed…. i am going to start nagging about whether mine has arrived yet, lol. so… has it?

ifjuly

not yet, but i don’t see how it could’ve given the holiday weekend and all that (if it passed into the US around then that is). i like being excited knowing it’s coming soon. :D

JustJames

i could call customs…. start leaving messages and whatnot. =0)

JustJames

is my number for them right? 1-800-is-it-there-yet?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Thanks to MissB for this tidbit!

this is an unusual incarnation of a mint chocolate chip blend ;0)

okay, i cheated, i peeked at the ingredients, which (because i cheated) revealed absolutely nothing! mint is a given, chocolate too, there would be issues with my palate if i didn’t notice the tea…. but i’m getting citrus! there’s no reason to think the ingredients are other than as listed…. there are lemon breeds of peppermint, sage too for that matter. you can also have one crop affect another by proximity to something like lemon balm or lemon thyme.

the citrus note is neat! very unusual! i FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS for the first steep (yeah, yeah— pick your jaws up off the floor, lol) but next time round i think i’d prefer a longer steep.

no numbers til it sits on the counter for 4.5 instead of 3. ;0P

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
MissB

Citrus? Wowza. Yea, it’s a simple tea: black fujian and mint. This is the one I brought with me to DAVIDs the other day and smelled up the joint. Maybe I messed up somehow when parsing it out? Boo.

JustJames

yes! citrus! don’t boo me, lol.

JustJames

okay….. what if there are citrus tones in the fujian? hmm? smarty pants?

MissB

Lmao! Well, of course, it’s possible. I mean, I loves me some citrus. I’ll have to drink some more now to see if I get that, too. I just remember mint chocolate chip ice cream when I had it.

MissB

… and I was booing myself!

JustJames

you weren’t specific about who you were booing!

MissB

Oh JustJames, I’m always booing myself. How on earth could I possibly ever boo, you? Nah, you’re awesomesauce.

JustJames

now, for clarification purposes, is that like the stuff the white spot covers their cheeseburgers in? because that stuff is addictive. it makes me happy…. and now that i’ve thought of it i really want it, DRAT!!!!!

MissB

I’m waving my fist at you, JustJames. Yes, just like that.

JustJames

yay seed planting? =0)

yyz

I could see the citrus. I haven’t had this tea, but I have had several several fujian blacks, some of which have the fruity citrus/lychee note, either underneath or even as a top note at times. So, I could definitely see where that might come from.

JustJames

!!! i have never had a fujian before, thank you for the insight!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Citrus? Hmmm…very interesting :) Glad you’re enjoying it! Thanks for sharing my tea, MissB :D

JustJames

i have a…..unique….. olfactory sense. i’m the whacko that can taste ingredient 22 in the chocolate chip cookies, lol.

JustJames

lol, sometimes! i smell everything, even the stuff you really have no desire to sometimes! =0\ it also has its perks though! i thought this blend was inspired! very original. what i can’t state for certain is the origin or the citrus i’m detecting. (not my skill set)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thanks, James! You should try some of my other teas sometime – they are actually inspired ;) I wish my palette was more refined. It’s getting there :)

From reading your reviews, I feel like you might find a bunch of my teas interesting. If you’ve got a moment, read this and you can understand what I mean :) http://whisperingpinestea.com/whyus.html

JustJames

i agree…. i have to duck rooiboos a bit though =0(

manistee moonrise looks very interesting. i was trained as a painter, i love it if my tea paints a picture, has a story…. odd though that may seem.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Oooh not odd at all! That’s the entire reason I blend tea! :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Also, I blend upon order, so I can replace rooibos with something else if needed

JustJames

that’s a helpful tidbit to know, thanks much!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

No worries :) Love your reviews!

JustJames

i enjoy your craft!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Also, MissB – the sample I gave you in your last order was changed. The lemon verbena is now lemon balm and theres no longer any chicory root in there. Sorry you didn’t get the final version :/

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

thank you to ifjuly for this sample….

it took me a minute to switch gears! i’ve been caught up with french apothecaries since my mammoth swap with ysaurella few months back!

i like the layers in this. there’s a sweet smoke— not a lapsang, almost a hickory dipped peach, an earthy warm tobacco, and then a crisp straightforward black. i like the fact that each layer is distinct but also mutually flattering.

thank you ifjuly! a lovely experience! i would say it’s nice to get back to basics but this really isn’t basic, lol! sneaky is a better descriptor!

very nice!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
boychik

I like it a lot. I also got H&S Rose scented and mixed it 2:1 ratio
I think ashmanra recommended this mix in older posts. Very nice combination . I can send you a sample if you want or even pick up 2 oz in store. I like small amounts;)

JustJames

small amounts are handy…. i am FINALLY getting used to not buying a ton. (though i still do that with my french teas… then hoard them in airtight containers….. and sniff them from time to time, lol)

ifjuly

i agree that it feels sort of like back to basics intro tea, yet has a bit more going on in the wings than expected given that. i have really enjoyed reading your take on teas, and how when we are on the same page you word it so well!

JustJames

we do have VERY similar tastes. i haven’t tried anything you’ve sent that i haven’t vastly enjoyed. =0) swap buddies for life!

ashmanra

I love this tea! It was at my side, encouraging me through some hard places, like when I had radiation. She was an inspiring woman and this tea is a fitting tribute to her, I think.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

’It’s chaos, be kind.’~ michelle macnamara

“I said: what about my eyes?
He said: Keep them on the road.

I said: What about my passion?
He said: Keep it burning.

I said: What about my heart?
He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?

I said: Pain and sorrow.
He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

Location

everywhere

Website

https://www.instagram.com/m3t...

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer