39 Tasting Notes


Strong, almost spicy, chocolate, combined with a weak mate in a teensy little pouch. This is not bad at all, but it fails entirely at being well-rounded, although that was probably never their intention. After all, this is double dark.

The scent is strong chocolate—think cocoa powder tin in the pantry when you open it too fast and get a poof of powder on your face. There’s mate in here, but there’s not enough to give it a full-bodied flavor or the usual mate mouthfeel.

So, just add some sweetener and cream and enjoy your cocoa. That’s not so bad, right?

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It’s so pretty. Really, it’s hard to look at that teabag brewing with its bright orange bits in an increasingly golden infusion and not comment. There’s also a long steep time recommended by Numi, 8 minutes. So, you’ll have some time to stare.

Ok, so the time is up. I was surprised at how enjoyable this was, although I smelled and tasted quite a bit of chamomile mixed in with the warm, kitchen-like do of the turmeric, and I’m already a huge fan of chamomile. The turmeric itself is, well, turmeric. It’s in there, and while I don’t drink enough turmeric tea to know if this is high or low quality, I like it. I also added a little sweetener once I made it halfway through the cup. Wow. It really sweetens well, the way a chai might.

P.S. I sneezed twice while this was brewing. I’m going to blame the turmeric,as well as my sniffer getting a little too personal with the tea bag. If I don’t encounter the same thing next time, I’ll revisit this tasting and exonerate the tea.

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This is the first Bai Mudan that I’ve tried, but it won’t be the last. There’s so much flavor and aroma here that I can’t stop drinking or sharing. I don’t know, lacking the context, how much of this applies to all White Peony, but the aroma is a bit floral with a small hint of something more oxidized than what you’d expect with a white tea. The tea brews a really full golden color after only a few moments steeping, even after the third infusion.

It’s a very delicious tea, and I’d recommend it to anyone. I noticed something else as well, which is that after a few cups of this I start sweating. I’ve had this with some other good teas, but this was fairly pronounced, and my wife and cousin who were drinking with me experienced the same thing. We also felt rather tea-headed, for lack of a better term. It was probably just too much, too fast. Take that then as a testament to the quality of the tea. It’s incredibly drinkable and we did a terrible job of pacing ourselves.

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What a perfectly well-rounded and tasty sencha! So long as one pays careful attention to the color of the steep, you can expect a full bodied, toasty sencha with every infusion, and I typically enjoy five or six steeps. I mention color because there’s a lot of power in these leaves, and it’s easy to oversteep on the first brew. I just wash the water straight through and enjoy.

It’s funny how a tea so well balanced can leave me without something in particular to say, for good or ill, but you should consider that a form of praise itself. Be sure you enjoy a potentially strong green tea with a fantastic roasted flavor. If you do, you’re all set. Enjoy.

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drank Kanro by Ippodo
39 tasting notes

This review might be a bit unfair as I received the tea from my cousin, and I’m not /certain/ how old it is or how well stored it had been. That said, it did appear to be stored in a tightly sealed container.

Ippodo is not kidding around about the umami flavor. It dominates over the vegetal tones and I couldn’t detect a hint of bitterness. There was an odd sharpness to the aroma that I’m not certain I enjoy. Still, this is an intriguing tea, and I recommend investigating it for yourself.

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drank Earl Grey by Twinings
39 tasting notes

Grocery store teas often deserve more credit than they are sometimes granted by those who graduate to better teas. Are there better Earl Grey teas out there? You bet. Is this, when doctored up a bit with some cream and sugar, a reasonable tasty beverage? It is.

Disclaimer out of the way, this Earl Grey has just enough of a (vaguely lemon’ish) bergamont to carry a single steep in a small cup. After that you’re left with a one-note black with very little aroma and too much astringency.

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So, this is a tea I picked up at a fairly local Asian supermarket. I’d finished all the pu-erh, and I wanted to be sure we had some in the house. This met all the technical specifications and it came home with my wife and me. It’s fine, not like fine as in quality, but fine as in adequate. This is an adequate tea.

Expect a small tea bag wrapped in paper with some dusty flakes that smell a bit musty. After brewing this smells more like leather, although it tastes mild and sweetens comfortably.

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You know how sometimes you’re about to run out of something and you save just an teensy tiny bit so that it’s never really gone? That’s the only purpose this tin is serving right now, to keep my happily delusional about the fact that I drank all this up long ago. It was thick and delicious. It was bitter too, but there was more than enough flavor to compensate. The vibrant green and the smooth texture were also memorable enough to keep that tin in my closet until I can justify another purchase.

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Each individual cluster is so well packaged that one can throw an envelope into one’s bag and carry magic around with them everywhere, just in case they want to delight an audience with good, fragrant tea and a really beautiful bloom.

The green tea itself can be overpowered by the jasmine in the first steep, but it’s hard to mind. Later there’s a good, crisp vegetable flavor with just a bit of bitterness that I really do enjoy.

This is not an everyday tea, but it does provide a way to make any day a special one.

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I’m not wholly sure what this stuff is, but it’s pleasant and I’ve especially enjoyed having a cup after some shamefully indulgent meals. The first time I think I did so in order to simulate desert, but there’s not a lot of chocolate here. It’s more like mild spice blend with a hint of muted chocolate. There’s some earthy puerh in there, but it’s overshadowed by the not-exactly-chocolate blend.

There’s also the mystery of the bag. It’s like there’s some AI in there that detects the second steeping and turns off all flavor. I literally cannot get a second cup out of this.

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Craig Houghton studied creative writing at Southern Connecticut State University. He enjoys painting, drawing, old cameras, and gardening. He lives in Connecticut with his adoring wife and their heterochromic dog.





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