2725 Tasting Notes

80

I have never had a mint tea before now. Well, at least, not a straight mint tea – I’ve had mint in other blends but never as the star. I’m a bit particular about mint. I like it in some things, especially when there’s sweetness involved, and I don’t mind it in others. Opening the tin, the smell of the dry leaf is extremely strong and it is very similar to a sharp spearmint gum or mouthwash scent. The loose leaf looks like gunpowder green to me (I’ve never tried a gunpowder, but the look is pretty distinct). I brewed it for 3 minutes and added a small amount of sugar (probably about 1/2 tsp).

The brew itself smells very spearminty, although thankfully it’s not as extreme as the dry leaf. It now smells like a milder spearmint gum. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this tea. Unlike the scent, the spearmint taste does not overpower the tea. However, I think I would be happier with slightly less spearmint and slightly more tea. I can taste a light smokiness which I can only guess must be characteristic of gunpowder. The mint melds with the tea beautifully, and there is a slight but not unpleasant bitterness at the end of the sip. I think the steep time was perfect (I partially based it off of my results with Strawberry Green).

Overall, pretty tasty. I can see why this is a classic (although it likely won’t be a classic for me). This could be very relaxing in the evening or refreshing as a spring tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Smoke, Spearmint

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

Trying this one again after getting advice from the lovely Boychik. The first time, I followed the instruction on Kusmi’s site and I felt like I didn’t get any flavor other than bergamot. She recommended that I raise the water temperature and slightly lower the steeping time, so this time I did 3 minutes at about 205 degrees.

Since I forgot the first time, the dry leaf smells overpoweringly of bergamot, maybe with a touch of sweetness from the caramel. My nose had to keep its distance unless it wanted its sinuses cleared.

The liquid smells like a combination of bergamot, sweetness, and a touch of fruitiness – I would categorize it as fresh cherry. However, when the brew is freshly made and hot, I can mostly just taste bergamot with some sweetness. Yet again, I took Boychik’s advice and let it cool so that the flavors would be more prominent. I took a sip every few minutes or so as it cooled to see how it compared. I could definitely taste it getting sweeter from the caramel (I also added a little sugar so this may have interfered with the caramel flavor). I think it may be a case of an underdeveloped tea-tasting palate, but even when I let it cool to just slightly warmer than room temperature, I was getting at most a hint of cherry or “red fruit” taste.

I still really enjoy this tea, and I liked it much better this time around, since the bergamot was less overpowering. Thanks again Boychik!

Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Red Fruits, Vanilla

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

This was one of my very favorites starting out, a nice twist on a regular EG tea, I love bergamot though!

Cameron B.

I feel sad because in a lot of the other tasting notes I read on this, it seemed like the fruit flavor was obvious. I think I’m just too much of a newbie to fully appreciate this… :(

boychik

Sorry, i guess its combination of my friends, right desserts, music, the whole atmosphere makes this special for me. i dont drink this tea alone. Yunnan and Puerh are my alone teas.

Cameron B.

Boychik I think it’s just me, it seems a ton of other people taste fruit in this way more prominently than I do. :P

boychik

you know what, come back to it later. Give it sometime. You maybe pleasantly surprised or just confirmed that its not your cup of tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Sweet Love by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

This tea is the first of the three free samples I got with my Kusmi Tea order (thanks for the freebies!). First, I must say that I am slightly disappointed that their sample tea bags are not the fancy linen bags that they generally package their bagged teas in. They’re that synthetic material that most pyramid tea bags are made of but they’re in a standard rectangular shape. This seems a little cheap to me, but hey, I guess that’s what you get for free. :P

Smelling the dry tea, I immediately knew that I most likely wouldn’t enjoy this blend. It smells very strongly of licorice root, of which I am not a fan. Being a good sport, I elected to try it anyway. I steeped it for 4 minutes and added a small amount of sugar.

The brew also smells strongly of licorice root, with a slightly milder scent of spice, similar to chai. I find that I barely even taste the black tea base – it’s overpowered by the licorice root immediately. There is also a fainter taste of chai spice. The two flavors do meld together well, and I’m sure that someone who enjoys licorice teas would love this one. I hardly think it fair to give this one a rating since I was bound to dislike it. :P

Flavors: Licorice, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

You like licorice? Then you must remember to try So Long, and Thanks for All the Licorice if you ever place an order with Butiki. It’s a must for all licorice lovers!

boychik

i did not like it, i sampled in a store.

Cameron B.

No, I do not like licorice. :D

boychik

i cant wait until you try Bouquet de Fleirs. I just want to know your opinion.

Cameron B.

Wow, I really appreciate that. I’m going to do my second try on the St. Petersburg next but I’ll definitely do Bouquet de Fleurs soon!

TheTeaFairy

Lol, sorry, for some reason I read «…I knew that I most likely would enjoy…» and thought immediately of mentioning Butiki… I get it, “not a fan” lol :-0

Cameron B.

Yeah, like I need more suggestions from Butiki! I already have so many from them that I want to try. Don’t think I don’t see what you’re doing, TheTeaFairy! ;)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! If it makes you feel any better, I’m running out of almost all my tea from Butiki and will inevitably HAVE to place a major oder very soon…and it will hurt…my budget will be off balanced for a while…but in will be sooooo worth it ;-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

May I start by saying this tea has the most adorable tin of the bunch (especially since it’s mini!). It’s a bright, cheery red that makes me happy and excited to drink it. Opening the tin, the dry leaves have the most amazing strawberry fragrance. I would describe it as a mix of natural and artificial – it’s a nice, natural strawberry smell that’s been pumped up and given more juiciness by that touch of artificial. This is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

Once again, the tin did not list instructions because it’s a mini, so I looked it up and the website recommends a 3-4 minute steep at 175 degrees. I decided to try 3 minutes 30 seconds.

The brew itself has a lovely (but less punchy) strawberry aroma. I added a very small amount of sugar just to bring out the fruity flavor. I must say, I really enjoy this tea. I’ve never had Sencha green tea before but I suspect that I would like it because the green tea side of this brew is very tasty. The strawberry flavor is not overbearing but it is definitely there and it lingers on the back of the tongue long after you take a sip. My brew has just a little bit of bitterness but I’m sure this would not be the case if I just shortened the steep time a little bit. Very delicious, I will be sure to give it a rating once I try it with a slightly shorter steep time!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ohfancythat

Sounds tasty!

Cameron B.

Let me know if you want a sample or anything, I’m actually surprised by how much tea is in 0.88 ounces. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

The first tea to try from my Kusmi order! The tin does not have instructions so I looked on their website. They recommend a 3-4 minute steep at 185 degrees. This seems like a low temperature for a black tea, no? I split the difference on the steep time and did 3 minutes 30 seconds. There was no recommendation for the amount of tea to use so I went with 1.5 tsp (seems like a standard).

While I do enjoy the brew, it mostly tastes like an Earl Grey to me – I’m not really picking up on the fruit flavor or much of vanilla or caramel. I think I’ll try this one later with maybe a 4 minute steep time and hotter water? Maybe more tea? Any suggestions would be welcome! :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

I really like this tea. 205F 3min and try if you like it. As it cools more flavors will come out. i always keep a full size tin of this and Anastasia. its fool proof if you have guests. Amazing with pastries.

Cameron B.

Thanks so much! I got the Russian Blends mini tin set so I will be trying Anastasia sometime soon. Do you recommend the same parameters for it as well?

Cameron B.

Oh and is the 1.5 tsp an appropriate amount of tea to use for 8 oz of water? Thanks again. ^^

boychik

I always use 1 heaping tsp for 8oz. dont use too much or it may become bitter. for my Kusmi blacks its 205F.

Cameron B.

Great, thank you for your advice. I really appreciate your taking the time. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

I must say, I am very impressed with this tea. This is my third steeping and I can’t believe the jasmine flavor is still there! It has definitely become milder with each time, but I think I may actually like this brew the best. I can taste more of the green tea and it’s becoming a little less mellow, which is a good thing in my book. Starting to get more vegetal and hay notes too. Delicious with just a small amount of sugar! Big thanks to Yezi Tea for giving me the chance to try this tea for free. :)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2725 tasting notes

I need my caffeine this morning! It took me a little while to fall asleep last night so I didn’t quite get as much as I would’ve liked. Taking it straight up with just a little bit of sugar. I really do love this tea, and it’s still really delicious after it’s cooled down a bit, which is a plus.

Good morning, everyone!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Li Shan Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
2725 tasting notes

This is my third and final free sample from Yezi Tea, and it is also my first ever straight oolong. The dry leaves had a surprisingly strong peach smell, which made me very excited to try this tea. Since the packet did not include brewing directions, I looked around on various websites and found a lot of conflicting instructions. XD

I ended up brewing it for 4 minutes, which I think may have been just a little too long. Next time I would go for about 3 or so. The brew has a very strong floral smell with just a touch of fruitiness. The tea itself also tastes very floral (a little bit too floral for me, but I attribute this to the overbrewing) and there is also a very noticeable peach flavor, which I love. The tea itself tastes like a strong green tea to me, but it was a little bit bitter since I let it brew too long. I added a very small amount of sugar to help bring out that yummy peach flavor.

Overall, I really enjoyed this tea, and I feel I will love it when I steep it again for a shorter duration (I will most likely try 3 minutes). I will most likely give it a rating after trying it a few more times. I really appreciate the opportunity to try some awesome teas for free. Thanks, Yezi Tea! :D

Flavors: Floral, Peach, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
madametj

After I brewed mine they commented and told me that instructions were on their website. I found out they recommend boiling water! Definitely hotter than what it seems everyone’s been using :P

Cameron B.

Yeah, but it seems like the instructions on their website are for Gongfu/Gaiwan brewing and I do mine Western style in a French press. :(

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

It’s amazing how the flavor of this tea gains depth with each steeping. This is my third time around and I have enjoyed it each time. This brew has a strong and very deep straw flavor with just a touch of sweetness. There is still a hint of floral in the aftertaste. Thanks again to Yezi Tea for the free sample of this tasty tea!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Trying the second steeping of this one now. It tastes surprisingly similar to the first, although the green tea taste is somewhat stronger (a welcome change in my opinion). I unfortunately overdid it a tiny bit on the sugar, so I think the jasmine flavor is coming through more than it otherwise would have. I steeped this in the same manner as the first time but added another 30 seconds to the time. Tasty! :D

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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...

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer