172 Tasting Notes


Not sure what to think of this tea. Part of me kind of enjoys it, but for the most part it’s just not working for me. I got this as a sample sachet with my last order from Harney and I must say that the dry leaf smelled GREAT. But when I tasted it, it was just a bit too perfumey and the flavoring seemed to overpower the tea. Somehow it reminded me of a very subtle, white tea version of earl grey. It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t purchase it.

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I was under the impression that this company made quality tea (the ridiculous amounts of money you pay for a fancy looking tin of tea bags certainly says so). Still, I went into this knowing that I wasn’t going to get something amazing out of a teabag, but I expected it to be better than a grocery store teabag. It wasn’t. It tasted EXACTLY like these pomegranate green tea bags that Salada (a cheap grocery store brand) makes. ZERO green tea taste whatsover. All that this tastes like is hibiscus and a very artificial and medicinal pomegranate flavoring. I’m glad I got this as a free sample. All I can say is that these people are very good at marketing low quality teas with aesthetically pleasing packaging, attractive names, and promises of antioxidants. Slap the word “antioxidants” on a bag of lawn clippings and rich housewives everywhere will buy it by the kilo…

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drank Megami Sencha by Ito En
172 tasting notes

I’ve heard Ito En being called the “Lipton of Japanese tea”, meaning that the quality is very low. But I saw some of this at a store, liked the aroma coming from the leaves, and decided to sample it. It was much better than I expected. It was more lightly flavored than senchas I am accustomed to, but was still very satisfying. Less buttery than other senchas I’ve had, but a little bit more sweet and vegetal. It was very good.

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drank China Breakfast by Rishi Tea
172 tasting notes

It was good, but nothing special and a little disappointing. I feel like my batch might have been a little bit stale as it was pretty bland. To me, it tasted a lot like the Tazo Awake teabags, which certainly wasn’t what I was hoping for. On to the next one.

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Being fairly new to the world of loose teas, there have been a lot of firsts for me lately. This marks my first white tea, and it seems like it was a great place to start. There’s something about the little down-covered buds that I find beautiful, and I loved the sweet hay smell coming from the dry leaves. But once the leaves were actually steeped, the aroma was AMAZING. Fantastically fruity and sweet, and slightly floral. It smelled very promising. I wasn’t let down. Subtle straw-like and sweet fruity flavors greeted me, and were very soothing. I drank this when I was sick, and it made me feel a whole lot better. Very relaxing and enjoyable. This isn’t something I would regularly buy, it’s a bit too indulgent and it’s only something I’m in the mood for every so often. But when I am in the mood for it, it really hits the spot. Good stuff.

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drank Wuyi Oolong by Rishi Tea
172 tasting notes

Today I picked up a tin of this and it marked my first time drinking a loose leaf oolong, and I quite enjoyed the experience. Very pleasant light toasty flavors, followed by delicate sweet and ever so slightly floral notes. I paired it with some spaghetti and garlic bread and it really made the meal. I’ll definitely be trying some more oolongs in the very near future, I really enjoyed this.

EDIT: Today I decided to experiment a little. I mixed two and a half teaspoons of this with a teaspoon of Ito En’s Megami Sencha and brewed for three minutes. The result was absolutely delicious, this experiment was a success.

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drank Genmaimatcha by Wegmans
172 tasting notes

This was my first time trying genmaicha tea, and I must say that I quite enjoyed it. At first, I was a little put off by it, it was just so unfamiliar and new to me and I thought it was a little strange at first. But I didn’t give up on it and as I kept sipping and familiarizing myself with the unique flavor, I grew to really enjoy it. I have no previous experience with any kind of genmaicha so I’m sure I’m not a good judge of what a “good” matcha iri genmaicha should be, and I’m sure there are much better choices out there than Wegmans, but I found it very comforting on this cold winter’s night.

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drank Sakura Sencha by Wegmans
172 tasting notes

Picked some of this up when I saw it at Wegman’s today. They don’t identify the brand on the label, but I’ve been told that most of the bulk green teas Wegman’s carries are from Ito En. Well, this is my first ever sakura sencha and it was extremely bland and disappointing. To me, it just tasted like what the third or fourth steeping of a normal sencha would taste like. Very bland and watery. I didn’t taste any of the sakura blossoms, and the tea itself had very little flavor to speak of. I’m glad I only bought about two dollars worth of this stuff, stay away.

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Being a fan of the more common red rooibos and wanting to broaden my horizons, I picked up a pound of this stuff on Amazon for around twelve dollars. There was no way I could pass up such a good deal, especially on an organic product. Upon opening the product, it looked a bit different than I had imagined. It wasn’t entirely green, there were red and straw colored pieces throughout, and it was finer than I had imagined. I took a whiff of the freshly opened bag and immediately I was reminded of hay, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It was an earthy smell, but in a pleasant and comforting way with notes of sweetness. So without hesitation, I brewed it up. I used two heaping tablespoons for twelve ounces of water. The color of the infusion, to my surprise, was not green at all. It was a bold and striking amber, and something about it called me in. I took my first sip, and it didn’t take long for my mind to process the flavors it was encountering. It was light and crisp, mild and refreshing. The biggest element to the flavor was definitely that of a sort of sweet hay. Along with this, I tasted just a little bit of the red rooibos flavor I was accustomed to. The finish reminded me of grass and a mild, mellow green tea. All this may sound a bit strange, but boy was it good. I’m at the time of year where it’s starting to get really cold and the days are shorter, and this time of year always brings my moods down. But this beverage provided a great warmth and comfort, everything about it reminded me of summer in the countryside. I pictured the sun shining after a light rain, feeling its soothing warmth on my body, inhaling the newly purified air and the scent of fresh cut grass. This proved to be just what I needed. It was soothing, delicate, crisp, and refreshing. I imagine it would be great iced, and it will make a good substitute for those nights when I’m craving green tea but need to get to bed soon. I encourage any curious minds to pick some up and try it, especially if you need something that won’t stimulate you – but will lift your spirits right up.

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Picked some of this up on Amazon because it had fairly good reviews, and it was a mere twenty dollars for eight ounces. For a dragonwell, that is a phenomenal price. Upon opening the bag, the leaves were a little bit discolored and quite varying in size and shape, which you won’t normally see in a good dragonwell. Upon tasting, it wasn’t bad but I was unimpressed. Just a very mellow and basic green tea flavor. There was nothing that caught my attention, nothing that stood out. If this were expensive, it would be receiving a bad rating. However, it is very cheap – and for everyday drinking purposes I think it is suitable. If you’re looking for an affordable everyday green, this makes a fine choice. Just don’t expect anything special.

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My name is Kyle. I love good tea, a good book, the great outdoors, and I am passionate about music. I also find enjoyment in writing and mountain biking here in beautiful Central Oregon.

Tea is a hugely misunderstood and under-appreciated gift in the western world, and my hope is to spread the gift of quality tea. It is communion between the passion of man and the raw beauty of nature. It is art, and it is therapy. I hope you enjoy my writings.


Bend, Oregon

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