258 Tasting Notes

100

This is one that got lost in the shuffle of all of my new tea. Pulled it out from a pile this morning. When I opened the package, I got a very nice creamy berry type of smell. Not tart dried/dehydrated berry but very sweet and creamy.

When brewed, the dry leaves initially send up a classic, high quality, malted honey scent that I am familiar with in well done black tea. But, what is this? I stick my nose a little closer and there is that berry scent again. Hot damn! This is almost unlike any scent I’ve gotten from tea before. It is kind of like a mixed berry because I detect hints of blackberry, blueberry, strawberry but I can’t really nail it down to one specific kind as being the most dominant.

My first steep was admittedly light in that I let the tea brew for about 15 seconds. But, as we know, in gongfu style most of the first (and sometimes second) steeps are a bit lighter until the water really gets a chance to saturate the leaves. But the promise is there in a light malt and, again(!), fruit flavor.

The leaves on the second steep smell more of the same. The liquor looks a bit darker despite leaving the steep at 15 seconds, which is to be expected. But when I say darker, I mean it is a buttery blonde color at this point. Not dark in the traditional black tea sense. The berry flavor has intensified where now I can taste it on my lips even a few moments after taking a sip.

Honestly, this is one of those kind of teas that makes me fall in love with tea all over again. It makes drinking through all of those bad or mediocre ho-hum teas worthwhile. A true delight.

Flavors: Berry, Cream, Honey, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85
drank Turmeric Ginger by Rishi Tea
258 tasting notes

I’m very glad I bought myself a big tin of this a while back. I’m a big believer of turmeric and ginger for digestive aids and their anti-inflammatory properties. I actually take turmeric capsules 1-2x a day in order to help keep inflammation down from my Ulcerative Colitis.

As far as flavor goes, I understand how this one might not be for everyone. I happen to really enjoy it. I really enjoy the way the lemon and ginger interact for the dominant up front flavor while the licorice gives the throat a nice soothing sensation. The turmeric also plays a role in that it gives a certain little spice to it that only turmeric could. It is not the top note but it certainly is there.

I reached for this one because, full disclosure, I ate too many Mango Habanero wings for lunch yesterday at Buffalo Wild Wings. My stomach doesn’t like me today and drinking caffeinated tea today was not an option I was willing to indulge. This tea would seem to be perfect. Non-caffeinated AND contains ingredients that could help ease my tummy. Bingo.

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84

Do you ever wonder what makes you tick? Or, another way of putting it, what makes you, YOU? Is it just a random collection of atoms, cells, etc arranged in just the right way to make you have a certain preference or is it because of years of exposure that has helped you refine your preferences?

As I sit here and drink this tea, I have to wonder: Why am I so drawn to not only the roasted flavors of tea but also just to stronger flavors in general (hot sauce, ginger, horseradish, pungent cheese, etc)?

Either way, whether nurture, nature or some combination of both, I am a big fan of this tea. It has a slight vegetal note but that is underhanded and mostly covered by a smooth and not too bold roasted profile. I am getting flavors of toasted grains with a creamy texture. Maybe a certain woodsy quality here. I can certainly imagine enjoying this among the trees. And while I wouldn’t have zeroed in on it myself, Verdant’s website mentions dandelion and I can totally see that as the vegetal flavor. Something green and just slightly bitter (but not, if that makes sense).

This is a nice daily, or maybe weekly, drinker.

Flavors: Creamy, Dandelion, Grain, Roasted, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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100

Enjoying the last half of the sample that Brenden gave me… Oh my god it is still so, so good. Light, smooth, creamy, sweet. I am so pumped for it to be released later this year so I can buy a full cake of this stuff. Quite possibly, no hyperbole, one of the best ripes I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking.

Oh man, release day for this can’t come soon enough.

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Earth

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Haveteawilltravel

This is a great daily for me :) Very nice lil cake, that’s hard to overbrew.

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95

My god. This is, quite possibly, the most amazing “herbal” tea that I’ve ever had. Sweet, chocolate-y (like, hot chocolate kind of chocolate-y), and really fricken good. It isn’t super thick but man, if you brew it with a generous heaping it gives off just a nice decadent flavor.

Served this up at my tea book club last night and ate some girl scout cookies with it (our daughter recently joined the scouts so we are loaded) and it was just really really tasty. I WILL be buying more of this.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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82
drank Nutty Granola Crunch by DAVIDsTEA
258 tasting notes

Thanks to SuperStarling! for sending me a big bag of this. I see there has been a lot of low ratings for this tea so I must be an outlier here.

The first impression on smelling this tea is, “Whoa. Peanuts.” Straight up smells like a bag of peanuts. Now, in terms of this review, there is something you should know about me. I am a huuuugeee fan of nuts. I always keep nuts (usually the deluxe mixed kind) in my house. So this was exciting for me.

The flavor of the tea itself definitely had that nutty flavor but some of the sweetness from the apple, coconut, and brittle (yes, this tea has brittle) also contributed. The result is a really nice, warm, peanut-y, sweet brew. I dig it.

If any of ya’ll who rated it below a 50 still have some, I’d love to take it off your hands. :)

Flavors: Apple, Nutty, Peanut, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Super Starling!

I included it because I thought the kids would like it, sir. But I’m glad you like it, too. ;)

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76
drank Born a Crime by Adagio Tea
258 tasting notes

I made this tea for my book club. The book was about Trevor Noah’s life, specifically growing up as half white and half black during Apartheid in South Africa. To relate the tea to the book, I blended a blend of half rooibos and half honeybush, both teas originating from Africa.

This is pretty straightforward and pretty tasty. I’m not a huge rooibos/honeybush drinker but I do enjoy them on occasion. I think it will tie in nicely with our meeting tomorrow.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Rou Gui Light Roast by Verdant Tea
258 tasting notes

Oh this is good. I still taste that roasty char flavor that I love so much in my high roasted oolongs but it is just a little bit lighter handed so as to be not so intense. This would be especially good for new comers who are interested in the roasted flavor.

Aside from the roast, I am also getting a very light background floral bouquet as well as some sort of light spice note. Perhaps cinnamon?

This is something I will considering buying more of in the future.

Flavors: Char, Cinnamon, Floral, Roasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
mtchyg

Hey, is anyone else not getting notifications anymore when someone likes their post? I used to get them but now the last notification that is showing is from 17 days ago and I know there has been activity on my account/posts since then.

Mookit

They appear to be broken. Rowell posted on my lastest post, saying that admin are aware and working in it.

mtchyg

Oh thank you! I thought it was just my account. I was/am still getting the email notifications on some things but many others are going without the notices. So thanks for that update.

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73

Gifted to me by SuperStarling!, this oolong is a nice entry into the Formosa oolong arena. It is very drinkable. A wallflower of a tea. Nothing that stands out and says look at me but it is definitely there with a consistent and dependable flavor.

Earthy, roasty, a bit of raisin flavor. A smooth every day drinker.

Flavors: Earth, Raisins, Roasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85

I have drank this the last few days and have finished the bag. I have to say that this tastes better than I remember it. Not that it was bad before but I don’t remember it being quite as smooth and flavorful.

I kept expecting this to go bitter considering the last two sessions I have really overleafed it but no. Smooth as ever. Smoother than I had any business asking it to be. The early steeps showed a more floral note while some of the roasted qualities came out to play in the 3rd or 4th steeps.

Maybe my palate is more refined now but I have been digging this tea this week. Rating bump.

Flavors: Floral, Roasted

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Profile

Bio

Michigander, Husband, father of three, lover of tea, books, nature, gardening, and passion. Stay at home dad currently. Previously a preschool teacher.

I have now completed some tea swaps and I am so totally up for swapping! What a cool way to connect with fellow tea lovers and try some new teas. My tea cupboard on here is woefully out of date though.

Black tea has been my go to tea for some time. Oolongs are good too but mainly roasty oolongs. I’m finding that there are some green and white teas (mostly Moonlight Whites) that impress me lately which they never used to do. I am getting into and developing a taste for Pu-erh. I have tried raw and my Ulcerative Colitis just can’t handle the roughness of it. So I stick to ripe Puerh. I am recently drinking more herbal tea or Rooibos especially STRONG ginger blends. I’m not too picky.

Some of my favorite places from which to purchase tea are Whispering Pines Tea Co, Verdant, A Quarter to Tea, Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co, Bitterleaf Tea, and Yunnan Sourcing.

Rating system:
90-100: Some of the best I’ve ever had. I’d be a fool not to keep it stocked as often as possible
80-89: A damn good tea. Not to be missed
70-79: A good tea but lacks the wow factor. More than likely a simple tea that could be an every day option
60-69: Eh. This is okay. Not swill by any means but fairly underwhelming.
50-59: Not really doing it for me. I’ll finish it but please don’t bring me any more.
Below 50: Life is too short to waste on things such as this

Location

Lansing, Michigan

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