2725 Tasting Notes

78
drank Rose Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

This was another one of the teas that I put in to cold brew earlier. I didn’t necessarily think it would be good chilled, I’m just determined to try everything cold. May I just say… NEVER AGAIN! This is almost comically horrible, in a way that I almost burst out laughing when I took a sip. It’s just bitter on top of bitter with an aftertaste of roses. I don’t know, maybe florals just aren’t good for cold brewing.

Ew. Yuck. Blegh.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

It was very LOL. And then it was very dumped down the sink! XD

Anna

Hahaha, I’m sorry, but I LOL:ed at your distress. I’ve also had exactly one tea that made me burst out laughing because it was so incredibly bad.

Veronica

…but tell us how you really feel. :) Seriously, I have tried some teas as cold steeps that turned out the same way. At least you’re willing to experiment!

Sami Kelsh

Oh man :( I don’t think I’ve had a laughably bad tea before, but that is pretty impressive.

Cameron B.

I’m forcing myself to try every permutation of my teas before I allow myself to ORDER MOAR! XD

Anna

Veronica: LOL.

sherapop

If it’s so bad, why a 78???? ;-)

Cameron B.

The 78 was from the hot version. I’m not going to lower it just because it’s bad iced.

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75

I put four teas in the fridge to cold steep this morning, and this was one of them. I have to say, I’m very impressed with this iced. It came out a slightly murky pale green with a brown tinge. I added some syrup and it tastes remarkably similar to ginger ale, but without the carbonation. I think I actually prefer it without the bubbles! The ginger tastes lingers in a pleasant way and the lemon is very mild and lovely. I could see myself drinking this chilled regularly. I guess I know what’s going to happen to the rest of that tin! :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
yyz

Sounds good!

Cameron B.

If you’re a fan of ginger ale, I think you would enjoy it. I’m not even that big a fan of ginger ale! :P

yyz

I do like it, but I like ginger beer better. It’s more a nostalgia thing. There is a ruin that is supposedly a site of its early production along the Bruce Trail ( a hiking trail along the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario), not to far from where I live. I remember that trail because at that time there were caves and crevice s in the rock face where I was told there was ice that hadn’t melted since the last ice age.

Anna

Interesting – I’ve never even envisioned trying this one cold. Now I will have to!

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My last cup of this, aww… My sample from Yezi was big enough for two cups since this is such a fluffball tea. Since I think I neglected to say last time, the dry leaf is amazingly creamy smelling with notes of honey and sweet hay. I can’t wait to to try a creamy flavored bai mudan (I’m looking at you, Cantaloupe & Cream!). This time I elected to add a little more than half a teaspoon of honey because I felt it would go beautifully. And it did! Om nom nom. Creamy and hay-like with just a touch of honey taste on the back of the tongue. So far, white tea kind of reminds me of a milder version of honeybush.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

I am determined to like this tea as much as everyone else seems to! For some reason I can’t seem to find the red fruit flavor that is apparently there but hiding from me. So I decided that this time I would try adding some dried cranberries (just happened to have some on hand). So I added about a tablespoon or so of them to a pyrex cup with my water and microwaved it until the water was up to temperature, then poured it over the tea and let it steep.

Smelling the brew, there was a definite tart fruitiness with vanilla and bergamot in the background. And it was quite tasty! Lots of yummy cranberry flavor. Next time I’ll use slightly fewer cranberries- maybe 2 teaspoons instead of 3. I could still taste the vanilla and bergamot notes but I feel like the cranberry overpowered them just a bit. This also might work a teensy bit better with a sweeter dried fruit like a strawberry or sweet cherry. Yay experiments! :D

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

Dried cherries, yep. love them. i think St Petersburg has red currants notes. if you can find preserves in international section with Polish food, or maybe you have Russian/Polish grocery. Currants were banned in US;( because they spread some virus to some pines(something like that).

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85
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

Trying this lovely tea with milk and sugar this morning. I wanted it to be really creamy and latte-y so I brewed it up with 6 ounces of water instead of 8 and added those 2 ounces back in as whole milk mixed with sugar. Yum! I could stand for the tea to be a little stronger, so I may try adding extra tea in addition to reducing the water the next time I have this. Or I might try making it as a boychik chai and steeping it in simmering milk… Hm…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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80

Okay, this is take 2 for cold brewed Strawberry Green Tea! After my first try, a cold brew for about 12 hours in the fridge that left something to be desired, I was hopeful that I could get the strawberry flavor to come out with a different technique. Yyz and Boychik each gave me a method to try in their helpful comments (thanks guys!). So this time I made this tea two different ways: I brewed it hot and then left it to chill in the fridge, and I did a cold brew for 6 hours instead of 12.

The verdict: this tea is just disappointing cold. Even with added sweetener, I got little to no strawberry taste out of either try. However, it was interesting to see the difference between the two methods. The hot brew liquid was a pale to medium slightly brownish green, while the cold brew was a pale yellow-green. The taste was also quite different: the cold brew tasted quite grassy and fresh while the hot was more vegetal and sweet. They were both pretty tasty, but with no strawberry… I guess it’s a good thing I like this one hot!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

So weird! Flavored greens are my favorite iced! shrug :)

Cameron B.

I would guess it’s just the type of flavoring or something… The spearmint I did came out really well and I have a couple others in the fridge right now, so I will let you know how those come out in a few hours! NEVER SURRENDER!

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70
drank Imperial Label by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

I have to say, I was a little scared when I read the ingredients on this one… Orange and vanilla (yum), cinnamon (meh), licorice root (his royal evilness), and sea buckthorn berries (…whaaaaat…?). This tea visually has the most “stuff” in it that I’ve seen from Kusmi – I’m assuming it’s chopped licorice root and the berries. The dry leaf smell is bizarre. There are obvious (and very powerful) cinnamon and licorice scents, but for some reason the overall smell reminds me of bubblegum…? There’s also definitely a sharp orange oil note. Smelling this tea made me sneeze – I think my nose thought he was under attack so he activated his ultimate defense. Yes, my nose is apparently a dude… Anyway, I brewed it at 175 for 3 minutes.

The aroma of the brew was much less worrying. It still smelled chiefly of cinnamon and licorice, but there was no bubblegum. I could also pick out the orange and a slight whiff of vanilla. Tasting it hot, the cinnamon and licorice kind of combine into one flavor and there’s a slight undertone of orange. I thought this isn’t so bad, added a bit of sugar, and let it cool a bit. Somewhere in the warm-hot range, I started tasting a lot more orange and vanilla, and it became a kind of spiced creamsicley tea. However, as it cooled past a certain point, I started to taste mostly licorice. Or should I say l-ick-orice? I read in a tasting note that this is better iced, but I can’t imagine how if it’s going to taste like eau de licorice root. I may or may not try it. Overall, this tea is not as bad as I thought it would be, but I would enjoy it more if it had more orange and vanilla flavor. Also, I don’t taste the actual tea in this at all. It seems like a strange flavor profile for a green, I would peg this description for a black tea.

P.S. – I was tempted to put “Sea Buckthorn Berries” in the flavors just to be a smartass, but it wasn’t there. No fair!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice, Orange, Vanilla

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

i have a sample of it and im planning to make it as chai

Cameron B.

Oh, how do you go about doing that? Just brew it with additional spices?

boychik

Steep it in simmering milk and add some sugar or maple syrup to taste, I dunno maybe like 5 -7 min

Cameron B.

Sounds tasty, I’ll have to try that sometime. Thanks. :D

TeaBrat

I find that less is more with this one. I like it better when it’s underleafed a bit because the flavor is so strong.

Cameron B.

Do you still get the orange and vanilla at all? I found them to be very subtle even with the amount of tea that I used.

TeaBrat

I find the licorice is so strong it kind of obscures everything else. This was great when I had a bad cold last year though!

yyz

I kind of drink this as a detox tea, as the licorice and sea buckthorn have medicinal properties, so does the cinnamon. I also like licorice, soi don’t mind this one.

boychik

Oops I take my words back, I just noticed it has green base. No hot milk but maybe cold coconut milk or almond milk and sugar to get all the flavors together.

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75

This is the only green tea that I wasn’t excited about when I ordered the Kusmi green mini-tin set. I’ve never had a ginger tea before, and I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m not a big fan of ginger and I was afraid it would be overpowering. The dry leaf smells like lemon drops! There is a ginger scent also, but it is not as strong as the lemon. Brewed this at 175 for 3 minutes.

The aroma of the finished cup is similar to the dry leaf but more subdued. The chief scent is lemon, with the ginger as a close second, and I can also smell the vegetal green tea. The taste itself is a good marriage of lemon, ginger, and tea flavors. The ginger isn’t too sharp – it’s more of a ginger ale kind of ginger. When I tasted it piping hot, there was a definite bitterness that lingered after each sip. I added about half a teaspoon of sugar in an attempt to reign it in. This definitely reduced it a bit, but I think I may have steeped it a little longer than it liked. As the tea cooled, the bitterness lessened even more and the lemon and ginger flavors really started the meld together beautifully.

Overall, I think this is a well-balanced tea, even though it’s not my favorite flavor profile. I think next time I try it, I’ll reduce the steep time by 30 seconds or so. This one seems like it might be a good one to try chilled also!

Flavors: Ginger, Lemon, Vegetal

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

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80

Yum yum yum! I cold steeped this one for about 12 hours (1 heaping tsp for 8 oz) and it came out very tasty indeed. It’s very refreshingly spearminty – I don’t really taste green tea at all to be honest. I added some syrup because I like my minty things to be a little sweet. This would be amazing after you’ve been outside on a hot day, it’s so cooling and relaxing.

I think I may try this one again with a shorter steep time just to see if I can get a combination of green tea and spearmint flavors, but I am finding it very yummy as is. I’m going to bump up the rating a couple points. :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sherapop

Great suggestion for iced tea—thanks!

Cameron B.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :D

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80

Trying this one as a cold brew today. I put this and some spearmint green in the fridge last night before bed (about a heaping teaspoon in 8 ounces of water for each one). Thanks again to Stephanie and Cheri for sharing your cold brew wisdom! Before taking it out, I made a simple syrup to sweeten with because trying to stir sugar into iced tea is one of my biggest pet peeves! >:|

I’m actually a little bit disappointed with this as a cold brew. The tea flavor is there, but I’m not getting nearly as much strawberry as I would like, even with sweetener added. There’s also a tiny bit of bitterness there, so I’m not sure if I shouldn’t have let it steep as long as I did (it was around 12 hours or so I think). Overall, it’s not bad but I definitely prefer this tea hot. I’m not going to change my rating because I feel like when a tea is also good iced, it’s a bonus rather than an expectation.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

im not good with cold steeps. But sometimes i make it like iced tea, hot and chill.

Cameron B.

Yeah I might try doing this one that way and see how it compares. That might help with the bitterness.

yyz

Bitterness could be caused by either too long a steep or too much leaf. I usually steep mine 6-8 hrs overnight,but I am definitely not a regular cold steeper. I cold brew my flavoured greens and some of my Oolong’s.

Cameron B.

I think I’ll try this one again with both of your methods – the chilled hot brew and the shorter cold steep. Thanks for your comments and advice! :3

Stephanie

Good luck…you are good for not getting frustrated and trying again!

Cameron B.

@Stephanie – If it had been horrible I wouldn’t try again. :P But it wasn’t bad, just underwhelming.

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Profile

Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something 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, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ February Sipdowns: 4
~ Total 2022 Sipdowns: 45

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. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

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. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

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 passionfruit, 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. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. 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:
3 Leaf
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.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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