1562 Tasting Notes

60
drank Chunmee Green Tea by Made Of Tea
1562 tasting notes

I felt like a straight green tea or oolong this afternoon, so I figured I’d start working through a small box of sample-sized straight teas sitting in my tea nook. Some of them are swap samples (I’m sorry, whoever sent them…) and some of them, like this one, are from old Sips By boxes. This tea is apparently from my May 2019 box.

Unfortunately, this tea is very “meh”… It has a very generic dry leafy flavor, and a little hint of smokiness in the background. It’s not bitter or astringent, but there’s not much going on in the way of complexity.

Still, it’s a comforting sort of autumnal flavor that brings coziness with each sip. But I’m glad it’s just a small sample size. ;)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dry Grass, Earth, Smoke, Smooth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

Yay, I finally got this tea page to load! ❤

Polishing off another of my teeny tin sample leftovers with this one from Teavivre.

The aroma is very sweet and honeyed. There is a touch of honey in the taste as well, but mostly it’s thick, hearty bread with caraway seed backed by subtle earthy notes and a hint of smoke.

As it cools, the honey comes out a bit more for a nice honeyed toast flavor.

A very satisfying tea for the morning!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Grain, Honey, Smoke, Smooth, Thick, Tobacco

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dustin

OMG, Steepster was AWFUL last night with the not loading a single page!

Leafhopper

Yes! Steepster is still slow for me, though at least it’s working. :)

Leafhopper

Looks like the tea database is broken again. Ugh!

Cameron B.

Yeah, it’s pretty much always in a varying state of slowness… :P

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80

This tea has gotten a bit flat with age.

The grape flavor is still there, but the oolong base doesn’t taste like much anymore. It does still have a nice silky mouthfeel, and is pleasant enough to sip on. But mostly at this point, it’s just muscat flavoring with little-to-no oolong.

It looks like this tea isn’t offered on the Hawaii website, though they do have the Queen’s Muscat Oolong which I remember being quite similar. I seem to have never written a note on it, oddly enough…

Flavors: Floral, Grapes, Muscatel, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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58
drank Apple Chai by TeaSource
1562 tasting notes

This tea smells so amazing, both dry and after steeping.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t deliver on the scent. It’s not bad per se, it’s just a bit bland. There’s some mild spicing, maybe cinnamon and ginger, perhaps some clove. But the apple isn’t really there at all, and the base tea nonexistent.

Womp womp. Oh well!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Thé Joséphine by Ladurée
1562 tasting notes

I really should have looked at my previous note before steeping this… This tea is such a diva, it comes out fairly bitter and astringent with my usual (rather conservative) black tea parameters.

Even with the bitterness, I quite enjoy this one. It’s such a bright combination of citrus and still tastes lovely even though it’s a few years old at this point. The strongest notes are the orange and tangerine, and the grapefruit adds a nice bit of sharpness. I don’t taste the jasmine at all, but it’s possible it’s lost in my deplorable preparation. :P

I think I’ll leave the tin out on the counter, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll manage to steep this properly! Sorry, tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Citrus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Hmm, citrusy tea with black tea base. That sounds amazing!

Cameron B.

I love citrus, too! Hopefully I can try it at least once without oversteeping it. XD

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80
drank Banane Chocolat by Lupicia
1562 tasting notes

This one has a lost a bit of its luster with age.

It’s blander than it used to be, with a very light banana flavor on an unremarkable base. It does still have a pleasing creamy quality to it that reminds me of banana pudding. Perhaps a hint of cocoa in the aftertaste? The chocolate was never very apparent to begin with.

Ah well, I don’t feel too bad about neglecting it so, as there were only a couple of cups’ worth left anyway…

Flavors: Astringent, Banana, Candy, Cocoa, Creamy, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

This one sounds like it may be tasty! It would be nice to find a banana chocolate with a real banana flavour.

Cameron B.

This one is rather weak on the chocolate part, if I remember correctly.

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50

…what a weird tea this is.

It sounds good in theory, I love plum and enjoy bergamot. But the plum here is very odd and candylike, and a bit chalky. The bergamot and clove combination becomes very perfumey.

Overall, it’s a weird artificial and medicinal mix and the rest of the sample is getting tossed. A shame, this was one of their teas that I was most interested in.

Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Candy, Clove, Perfume, Plums, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

Oh my, this one sounds bleh.

Cameron B.

I feel like the flavor combination could be good, sort of the like a mulled spice Earl Grey, if only the plum flavoring wasn’t so very weird…

Roswell Strange

Plum is notoriously one of the hardest flavors to get right using flavouring – along with caramel. They just never taste correct.

Cameron B.

I was fairly pleased with the plum notes in DF’s Noël à Saint-Petersbourg that I had recently, but this one definitely misses the mark.

Courtney

I’ve been generally impressed with all of DF’s flavourings. I am fairly picky about flavoured teas, but theirs seem to really hit the mark!

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85

This was another of my Adagio mini tin residents. I find those tiny tins useful for storing opened sample packets without worrying about taping them or something. It doesn’t say what year the harvest was, but the “best by” date is in late 2018, so I’m guessing it was a 2017 harvest? This was the end of the sample, so I only steeped it for 2 minutes because of the more broken leaves.

Such a yummy and comforting green tea! It has a very creamy, sweet, and smooth flavor with corn and edamame notes. There’s also a lovely grainy quality that makes me think of raw oats. At the end of the sip, a little apricot pokes its head out, and there’s a very slight astringency that accentuates it with a feeling of fuzzy skin on my tongue.

This is a great green tea to keep around, and I’m sure it was that much tastier when it was fresh. I’ll be sure to add it to my wishlist to be restocked at a later date! I’m being a bit conservative on the rating for now, since I’m just coming back to tea and this isn’t fresh.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Corn Husk, Creamy, Grain, Oats, Smooth, Soybean, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

Can’t add it to my wishlist, the tea page won’t load. QQ

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88

Tea of the morning!

This is such a yummy tea, it’s like Yunnan and Taiwanese black teas had a baby. It has those lovely thick sweet potato and bread notes that I love from Yunnan teas, but also the rich honey and dried fruit flavors of a Taiwanese tea.

Such a rich and flavorful, but light and easy-drinking tea without the slightest hint of bitterness or astringency.

Perfect for a lazy breakfast in a mug. Nom nom nom.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

This one sounds divine!

Cameron B.

I have plenty to share if you’d like some! Though it is from 2018. :P

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62

Still making my way through my B&B backlog… This was my caffeine-free selection last night.

I admit, I am not a red rooibos lover. So perhaps I’m a bit biased, but I really did not get anything cake-like from this blend. It was perhaps slightly sweet, and I got a hint of some form of red fruit or berry rather than dessert. The rooibos itself wasn’t that bad, not overly medicinal or strong.

But still, it was mostly just rooibos. Meh.

Flavors: Berry, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
AJRimmer

This is one of my absolute favorites. When I saw the not recommended X I was like gasp. Different tastes!

Cameron B.

I didn’t get cake at all! :(

The reviews do seem all over the place for this one.

Mastress Alita

I cannot drink this one at all! I got food poisoning on my birthday once, and this was the last thing that went into my stomach several hours before the sickness hit. It is not what caused the food poisoning, the particular tastes of the flavorings in it appear to have formed a psychological food aversion for me… I feel queesy if I even notice them in other B&B blends!

AJRimmer

I hate when that happens!

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Profile

Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-year-old software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood.

Current Subscriptions:
Bird & Blend
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Sips By

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/cam...

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