121 Tasting Notes

drank Formosa Oolong by Naivetea
121 tasting notes

The leaves of this fabled tea are a mix of light brown, white and green and the aroma reminds of stone fruits such as peach or plum.

When brewed the liquor turns an amber hue with tinges of yellow at the edges. The steeped aroma turns more to hay or Autumn leaves with hints of a sweet nectar.

When imbibing I found peach and nectarine flavors while the smooth liquor evoked images of a sweet cobbler.

A slight astringency leads to a light drying of the roof of the mouth with the flavor of Autumnal leaves making its way into the finish and holding for a fairly long tail.

I would recommend this oolong to fans of Himalayan teas, Orthodox Assams, very light black teas, Silver Tips teas and other oolongs.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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For an oolong this tea’s leaves are very dark. Much more reminiscent of a black tea than an oolong. The leaves are large, roughly an inch in length on average and twisted not balled. The aroma is lightly fired and every so slightly floral.

A wonderful amber liquor results from steeping the leaves. The infused aroma remains light and roasty and reminds me a bit of a Hojicha.

On the tongue fired notes emerge accompanied by some astringency and the slightest lip pucker. The tail is very light and lingers only a little while but causes the palate to yearn for more.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Pomegranate Black Tea by 52teas
121 tasting notes

The loose material for this tea is pretty basic. You have an Indian black tea, with occasion safflower and some pomegranate arils thrown in. The aroma is notably sweet.

One brewed, the liquor turns to a slightly dark amber hue. The aroma from the spent leaves and liquor are brisker and less sweet than that of the dry leaves.

The flavor is much less astringent than I expected. While there is a slight dryness that persists on the outer edges of the tongue there’s a lingering sweetness through the tail. Unexpectedly there’s no real tartness such as you would get with an actual pomegranate, but I think it would have destroyed this tea.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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The leaves for this furtive tea are made in the fashion of Taiwanese Oolongs. They’re tightly curled balls of a dark green with some stems attached. The dry leaf aroma is clearly roasted with some vegetal undertones of steamed cabbage.

This oolong brews a radiant yellow-gold liquor and provides a sweet vegetal aroma similar to that of the dry leaf, but with the roasted notes a bit subdued.

The texture and flavor are smooth on the palate with no appreciable astringency. A bit of vegetal bitterness combines with a buttery sweetness and a bit of a roasty tail keeps this tea interesting every time.

I recommend this oolong to fans of oolong teas and milk teas.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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The liquor brews to a dark brown. New Vithanakanda describes it as a russet color, and after comparing the two, I have to agree. The steeped aroma from the spent leaves and from the liquor itself are remarkably similar to the dry leaf aroma with overtones of honey and only the faintest heat notes.

When drinking this tea, the light astringency sets in and excites the palate. The honeyed overtones remain, but accompanied by the astringency creates an interesting contrast.

This tea is good for two or three steepings with good flavor, but it does fade quickly after the first brew. Each new set of leaves provides a remarkably consistent flavor profile though and I’ve found I can count on this tea to give me the same experience nearly every time.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Shamrock Tea by 52teas
121 tasting notes

The dry aroma is sweet but minty, almost like a stick of mint chewing gum. It’s fresh and piquant. The sweetness I would guess comes only partly from the vanilla, and somewhat from the spearmint.

The brewed concoction presents a golden liquor where the aroma is mostly of spearmint though a hit of vegetal freshness also emerges.

Once on the palate the brew is excitingly fresh. Its mint mixture produces just the right amount of palate activity to draw a long tailing finish without overwhelming your tastebuds. The vanilla does seem to soften the brisk excitement caused by the mint as well.

There’s no drying of the palate or real astringency here. There is however a twinge of vegetal bite while the brew swirls in the mouth. However, it lasts just long enough to be replaced by the minty infusion.

I would recommend this to to fans of Senchas, flavored teas and mint teas. Fans of fresh Muscatel Darjeelings may also find this brew enjoyable.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This BOP quality black tea contains some stems within a mish-mash of brown, darker-brown and black leaves. The aroma is standard Earl Grey (oil of bergamot) but more assertive than most.

The used leaves retain the bergamot scenting as does the dark amber and cloudy liquor. Although, the liquor also has other hints of citrus and faint heated notes, the bergamot is the most prominent aroma by design.

The flavor of the bergamot fruit is the only one I get from this black tea. There’s a standard level of astringency from this tea as well. However, a pleasant surprise is the elongated finish and tail on this tea.

I found this tea pleasant and enjoyed it’s more prominent aroma and flavor profiles compared to other Earl Grey teas.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank ToLife by Teavana
121 tasting notes

Primarily I can make out nice large white tea buds, Jasmine green tea pearls, cornflower petals and green rooibos needles. There’s more there, but those are the highlights. The aroma is somewhat fruity (guava and passion fruit) and somewhat floral (jasmine).

The liquor brews to a stunningly beautiful orange gold color. The aroma from the loose material migrates more to the fruity side than the floral side. The aroma from the liquor is much more subtle, but has similar trends.

The flavor is much more astringent than the smooth aroma eludes to. I figured this for a creamier tea based on the aroma, though the ingredients should have pointed to a more puckery assertion. I guess you can blame that one on me. The fruity overtones start the flavor profile while the floral notes combine for the finish and an unusually long tail.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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The loose tea leaves are curled and twisted. Their color a mix from white to dark green and black with some brown intermingled in. The dry aroma is of dry grass, hay and fresh spring tree leaves.

Once brewed the leaves aroma turns sweeter and loses the hay and the dry grass takes a back seat to the spring leaves. It’s rather interesting and refreshing for a green tea.

Quixotically, the aroma from the liquor retains the hay scent. A beautiful golden caramel colored liquor pairs well with this relaxing brew.

The flavor is more astringent than I anticipated. There’s a sweetness in the initial profile but there’s a vegetal twinge which reminds me of steamed spinach or turnip greens, especially with the way it sticks to the tip of the tongue.

This tea is good for about three steeps and should be sipped to savor. Fans of gunpowder green teas, deep shade grown (Fukamushi style) Japanese greens and Darjeeling teas will appreciate this brew.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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The leaves here are uniformly dark and around 1/4 an inch in length. The aroma is extremely pungent and smells heavily of dark wood and campfire smoke.

The aroma from the spent leaves is decidedly weaker. I’d say less than half as strong, but clearly still camp firey. There’s light sweetness to the spent aroma which doesn’t carry through any of the infusions, though it’s also lingering in the aroma from the extra-dark amber liquor.

The smokey, fired, woody flavors some out nicely throughout the brew and across three or four steepings. Unlike lesser grade versions of this tea, there’s relatively little astringency and almost no dryness on the palate. Just a smooth, steady, consistent campfire flavor.

If you like smokey teas, you’ll love this Lapsong Souchong. You may also enjoy it if you like Pu’erhs.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Have you tried their Organic Keemun?

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Insane about tea and technology!

Born in Maryland in a suburb of D.C. humorously named “Chevy Chase” I moved to Cincinnati as a… wait… you don’t want to read this crap!

My tea birth came in 2004. While I had been drinking tea throughout my life it was more of a seasonal enjoyment and not something as empassioned as what it gives me now.

I’m currently working to start a couple tea related businesses and run a little tea blog reviewing tea and tea related items.

You should drop by! Seriously! The door’s open!


Cincinnati, OH



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