659 Tasting Notes


My gravity steeper was in desperate need of cleaning, so I ordered some of Mandala’s Smart Soak, and Garret kindly threw in some tea samples as well.

This one is particularly well balanced, a delicate mix of light cream, floral, and vegetal notes. Steeped, the hearty-looking leaves smell like something between steamed spinach and swiss chard, but this isn’t in the flavor at all, as the vegetal notes lean much closer to snow pea.

I tried to follow the instructions closely, starting with a 5 second rinse and then doing 30 second steeps. This worked very well, and I do get the feeling that this is a tea you have to be pretty precise about, and definitely you don’t want to get sloppy on it with the steep times. I think I got 6 steeps out of it before I had to run, and they were all flavorful, but my favorite was probably the second or third steep.

Of course it all tasted so much better with the steeper all shiny and clean again. That Soak really is amazing! Many thanks to AllanK and Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl for recommending it.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I’m so happy you have enjoyed this. I’ve been drinking this one quite alot lately and each time happy that I chose it. Thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts! Grateful, Garret


No problem, thanks so much for the samples! I love trying new things, and I can tell these are really high quality :)

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I’ve drunk nearly all my good teas — now I’m falling back on the middling teas that always get shoved to the dark corner of the cupboard. This one isn’t terrible. But it is one that always raises questions like, Where’s the ginger? And where’s the pear? This is a cinnamon tea with a touch of very artificial apple. I would have gone to the grocery store and gotten a box of Celestial Seasonings if I wanted something like this.

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I forgot I had a sample of this tea, so finding it was a nice surprise on this otherwise lame day. The flavor is very complex. There are pea notes, floral notes, a touch of honey flavor — it’s sort of fruity and vegetal at the same time. Has a lovely and slightly spicy smell — I don’t actually get spices in the flavor though.

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Got this as a free sample in my last order. I feel like ginger tea is pretty straightforward, as long as there aren’t a lot of extraneous ingredients thrown in (I’m looking at you, lemongrass). So while there’s nothing particularly original about this ginger tea, it is a solid example of the genre, they chose a nice black tea for the base and the ginger tastes fresh.

It’s been so hot here I had to ice it, which worked pretty well. Nothing will save me from this temperature though, it feels like the whole landscape is toasting to a crisp. I keep painting irises (the real ones are completely withered) because they’re pretty easy and I am just too hot to concentrate: http://www.inprnt.com/gallery/danamartin/tropical-iris/

God, I wish it would rain or something.

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I got this as a sample a few weeks back, and liked it enough to make it my go-to earl grey. It is similar to David’s Cream of Earl Grey, but in this one the balance is tipped slightly in favor of the vanilla cream flavors, making the bergamot a bit less sharp. This is great for me, as I prefer the bergamot to be light (that’s why I’m drinking the cream versions in the first place).

Anyway, this meant a re-order as I soon polished off the sample. I got free shipping on this order, as I did the previous one. The first time I thought this had something to do with the fact that I’d only ordered tiny samples, but it seems that you can get free shipping from the New Mexico Tea Company no matter what size your order is (at least within the states, I’m not sure about internationally). So if you are curious about their tea, you can try it for only a couple of bucks, or possibly even for free. They have this page http://www.nmteaco.com/freesample.html where you can choose a free sample once a month.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Just got a new batch of this from Teavivre. The jasmine seems a lot stronger (and the peach a lot weaker) than last time, so much so that they are about equal now, with the peach taking just a little bit of a back seat. I think most people will be happy about this, as the general complaint was that you had to buy a separate bag of jasmine pearls and add them in to get any jasmine at all. But since I adored the peach and feel kind of meh about jasmine, I’m not thrilled.

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Got this as a sample in my last order. While this is a pleasant mild tea with light sweet pea notes, it’s no standout, especially compared to Teavivre’s many other oolong offerings. Still glad I got to try it though.

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Welp, this is the last of this — and in fact the last of ALL my dragon wells. While it was never a tea I got very excited about, now that it’s gone, I’m at a loss. What am I going to drink in the evenings? Or when I just need something smooth and light and mellow? Nothing comes to mind as a substitute for dragon well, it’s in its own little kingdom.

Hmm, I may have to get some more.

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Accidentally over-steeped this one, but it still turned out nice, with a good balance between the vanilla and bergamot flavors. Really enjoying whatever NMTC is using for a base in all these teas, as it is robust without between distracting. So many black tea bases have these weird acidic notes, but this one is very smooth.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Spring White by Tealet
659 tasting notes

Sipdown. This tea has some great earth and light spice notes. It’s a high quality white tea, but it just kind of confirms to me that unflavored whites are not my thing — I’d rather be drinking black, green, or oolong. The hay flavor in white tea is just kind of a downer for me.

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Happiness Is:
green tea
black tea
lots and lots of oolong!
vanilla things

Not Really My Style:
spices (except for ginger. ginger rocks)
chai (because, you know, the spices)
rooibos (I don’t get it. Everyone seems psyched for it. Not me).
those smoky teas, like lapsang souchong, though once in a while I’ll need something really strong and then I like them.


gypsy status



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