143 Tasting Notes

83

Yet another tea I bought way too long ago and never finished. Now that the colder weather is here, I thought it would be nice to start the day with a cup of this. It’s definitely one of those teas that makes me wonder why I don’t drink it more often. There’s really no smokiness, just a hint of toasty-roasty flavor, and a lovely honey sweetness. So good! I think I may just make this a priority for my morning tea until it’s gone. I have to remember how good it is! Brewed it western style because I didn’t have the time for a gongfu session. It doesn’t matter – still great.

Flavors: Honey, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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81
drank Iseul Balhyo by Tea Dealers
143 tasting notes

How is this a green tea? Amazing. Roasted cocoa with some almost grain-like notes. This was a gift from 29b Teahouse for a tea-tasting event they had several years ago. Upon opening the bag, I saw that these were actual sachets rather than loose tea, but that’s OK. I’m spending these autumn mornings plopping a sachet in my tea bowl and surveying the beautiful foliage while I sip. It’s delicious! They say you can get 4-5 steeps out of it, but after 3 my tastebuds are done. So good!

Flavors: Cocoa, Grain, Roasted

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
gmathis

This sounds delicious!

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67
drank Melbourne Breakfast by T2
143 tasting notes

I haven’t been into getting T2 teas for quite awhile, but when I saw this in ye olde Home Goods, curiosity got the better of me, and the price was so good, I decided to go for it. A nice, creamy vanilla black tea, quite nice. I drink it as a breakfast tea with milk, and although I don’t tend to like a marshmallow-y vanilla, I don’t mind it with this tea. This one is not loose leaf, so yay for convenience.

Flavors: Cream, Marshmallow, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
drank Jade Mountain by T2
143 tasting notes

i do believe this is the oldest tea in my current cupboard, and I finally opened it today. The T2 retail shop I bought it from is long gone, sadly, and I remember getting it on impulse. You know how it goes, they always have a couple of teas brewing for tasting when you’re in the store and somehow you end up buying. Sneaky devils!
I admit I had below low expectations. Although unopened and still sealed, this tea’s been languishing in the back of my tea shelf (technically two shelves at this point) for years. Essentially, it’s a genmaicha with chocolate flavor. Sounds rather disgusting at first glance, but it works – I really like it. The genmaicha is very faded at this point, so I’m not getting a ton of nuttiness, but the chocolate is very cocoa-y and really pleasant. Imagine if I had opened this up years ago – probably would have been excellent. So weird, but really good.

Flavors: Cocoa, Nutty

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

I’ve only found one tea I like from T2, and I’ve been disappointed so many times that I stopped ordering from them. This does sound intriguing though, especially because the chocolate element is from cacao and not flavoring…

Sakura Sushi

Hmmm, just one? Which one is it? I’m curious. I was on a T2 Terrific Toffee binge for awhile, but I do tire of their teas over time. Lamington was another that I really liked. I find that I’m really particular about flavored teas at this point, and always seem to go to my tried and true favorites, so the odds of replenishing any T2 teas are slim at best.

Cameron B.

French Earl Grey is the one I like (though I find the name very misleading). It’s a fruity Earl Grey. I will say I tend to dislike chocolate flavoring, so perhaps that’s why I don’t enjoy a lot of their dessert blends. :(

Although I see they have their advent calendar out… Hmm… XD

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68

Given to me awhile ago from a friend who was visiting Paris – y’know, when people actually, like, traveled and stuff. She has recently started traveling again, so that’s progress.

I do have to up the amount of tea because I definitely underleafed – although it is getting kind of up there in age. It’s such a balancing act – too little and you don’t get the full, creaminess of it, too much and you get this metallic note that comes with overleafing or oversteeping oolongs.

I feel it’s unfair to rate the tea since the brew was a bit weak, but I believe once I get the ratio right, it’ll be great. I did still enjoy the weak brew, so I’ll keep going with this one, and adjust the rating if needed.

Flavors: Cream, Grass

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sakura Sushi

Update: after upping the leaf, it’s better! Mariage Freres calls for 3.5g per 200ml, and I increased it by .5g. It may take a tiny bit more, but it’s definitely more tasty. Perhaps 3.5g would have worked if I had gotten to this tea earlier, but it’s past its prime for sure. I noticed a tiny bit of soapiness, but I’ll still drink it. I have GOT to STOP letting good teas get old before I get to drink them. I believe a cupboard cleanout is in order!

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74

There is a vlogger I follow that seems to really love this tea. Not a tea vlogger, but someone who more recently got into tea. So, I’m not going to take her too seriously, but this sounded like something I needed to try. It’s also called “Malty Biscuit”, and it’s a flavored black, comes in tea bags, not loose. Take all this together, and I think what we have here is a “fun tea.” Not something that you’d spend time analyzing flavors, color, consistency, etc. Just boil some water, pour over tea bag in a mug and wait 5 minutes. Pour some milk in there and done.

And I have to say, it’s tasty. Comforting. Easy to like. I can definitely detect the tea biscuit in there – more like the cracker-y, cookie-like things rather than a tea biscuit/scone. I’ve been having a mug of it with breakfast, but I can see having it in the afternoon for a little mood and energy boost. Seeing as how it’s not that readily available here in the US – other than a couple of specialty stores that had outrageously high prices – I ended up ordering it through the evil Amazon empire. I really wanted to try it.

The price kind of bugs me – 12 bucks for 40 tea bags. I mean, not too bad, but not great. Besides, I have Cookie from Lupicia, which is different, but satisfies my baked good jones like no other. I mean, Cookie is the most amazing flavored black I’ve ever had. So, maybe I would get this tea again IF I ever see it around (Home Goods, maybe?), but not sure I’d go out of my way to order it again. It’s good, but not Cookie good.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cookie, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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78

Just finished this one and realized I’ve never written a tasting note for it! I guess that happens. This tea deserves a more detailed note, but I’m simply not going to make that effort. It’s another finely crafted tea from Song, which is such reliable tea vendor. I always enjoy the teas I get from them. All the notes are there: peach, almonds, a slightly creamy note. It doesn’t hold up to many infusions – the third one is pushing it. Do not overbrew this one or it will get too tannic and bitter. Super enjoyable. And now it’s gone. May purchase this again someday, but my current stash is too big and I’ve got to drink what I have.

Flavors: Almond, Milk, Peach

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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64

Got this on a whim since Davids had a sale and I wanted something different. Definitely cherry, definitely berry. Almost syrupy in flavor and texture. Great as an iced tea when I’m in the mood for those flavors, but I don’t have any interest in trying it hot.

Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
drank Lanikai by Lupicia
143 tasting notes

I tried this as a sample many years ago, and was underwhelmed by it. Why did I order this tea, then? I don’t know. Wishful thinking? Stupidity? It was on sale? Maybe all of the above.

Regardless, a lot has changed with this tea, but I hesitate to update the profile on it, since I don’t want to negate or confuse any reviews or information that came before. For those interested: this has neither vanilla nor coconut in it, if it ever did. The ingredients are: black tea, dried pineapple, sugar, cornflower, flavorings. This is right off the label. No vanilla. No coconut. Was it always like this or did they change the formula?

The description says: a peach, orange and mango flavored black tea. Its sweet and fruity flavor goes well with milk. Again, no vanilla, no coconut. Could be why I was so nonplussed about it when I tried it. When you’re expecting vanilla coconut and get neither of those flavors, well, disappointment is unsurprising.

Now, I just want to emphasize that I love Japan. LOVE IT. I love the people, I love the aesthetics, when I went on the trip there 6 years ago it was the BEST trip I have ever been on. And Lupicia is amazing and one of my favorite tea companies. So, Japan, I love you. But you’re nuts if you think milk goes well in this tea. To explain: Lupicia teas that are fruit flavored have an uncanny ability to capture the essence of the fruit. If you’re drinking a strawberry flavored tea, the juicy strawberry flavor is truly on target. If it’s a peach flavored tea, it really tastes like actual peach is in there, juicy with that slight muskiness that real peaches have. That being said, unless you truly enjoy your fruit with cream and don’t mind drinking a tea version of it, then you’ll be happy. As much as I love fruit and cream, it doesn’t translate into an enjoyable tea experience for me. It’s weird.

My next attempt will be iced. Straight. I really think it’ll be fantastic that way, and very timely as the summer is here and I love a nice, refreshing iced tea. Hot with milk? Not so much.

Flavors: Citrus, Mango, Peach, Pineapple, Sugar

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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