793 Tasting Notes

90
drank Gu Zhang Black by TeaSource
793 tasting notes

Just finished this one off and realized I had never logged it! TeaSource has a lot of Chinese black teas that I really enjoy and this one has been a favorite since I first purchased it last fall. The leaves are small and tightly twisted, so dark brown they appear black. The tea steeps up to a deep color with a rich and fruity molasses-sweet flavor. I can get several good re-steeps out of this one as well. Will definitely be re-purchasing at some point!

Flavors: Molasses, Stonefruit, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Market Chai by Market Spice
793 tasting notes

I am on an ongoing (and thus far fruitless) quest to find a replacement for TeaSource’s old Reena’s Chai blend. Thus, every time I place a big tea order, I tend to throw in one of that company’s chais to see if it might be “the one”. This one is…fine. A pleasant, well-balanced chai with ginger and cinnamon and a malty assam base. It smells great and takes milk well. But it tastes exactly like a dozen other chai blends that I’ve tried for other companies. Nothing special or unique here and definitely not my dream chai that I’ve been looking for. The quest continues!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Malt, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
tea-sipper

I hope you find the best chai!

Inkling

Thanks! Open to recommendations for sure. :)

Martin Bednář

Not sure what is your preference in chais, but I liked (from recently) Cha Cha Chai from Cup of Té.

tea-sipper

I have been drinking older chai, so have no idea what the hip new chai is… or definitely not the chai that stands out from the rest. ha

Inkling

Thanks for the suggestion, Martin! I haven’t tried that one, so I’ll have to add it to my list. :)

Martin Bednář

You are welcome!

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95
drank Yunnan Gold Bud by TeaSource
793 tasting notes

Just finished off the last of this and am sad to see it leave my cupboard. This is one of the pricier black teas I’ve ordered from TeaSource, but the quality is excellent: lots of fuzzy, unbroken golden tips with a wonderful sweet, malty aroma. It brews up to a rich golden brown and sips down smooth and sweet with notes of brown sugar and sweet potatoes. Steeping Western-style, I can get at least 3 good steeps from these leaves without any loss of flavor. I’ll likely be re-purchasing this one in the future!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

I got a Rare Tea Co. gift set for Christmas that included six different unflavored teas. This one is by far my favorite of the bunch and quite possibly my favorite white tea I’ve ever tried! The buds are very downy and brew up such a sweet, delicate fresh-tasting brew. It tastes like sugar-snap peas fresh off the vine and sips down super smooth with no astringency at all. It also re-steeps beautifully! This is definitely going on my wish list.

Flavors: Peas, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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55
drank Caramelized Pear by Market Spice
793 tasting notes

I wish that Market Spice would offer samples of their tea blends or even just let you order sizes smaller than 4oz. They have some wonderful blends that I love so much, but I’m always leery about trying something new from them because I know I’ll have SO MUCH to figure out what to do with if I end up not liking it. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those situations. I love caramel and I love pear, but this tisane doesn’t really taste of either! I do smell a bit of pear in the dry leaf, but for some reason they added cinnamon and ginger to the blend and those flavors are completely overwhelming everything else. It’s not a terrible tea, but it’s definitely not what I was hoping for.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
tea-sipper

Yeah, I like Market Spice’s Cranberry Creme and their Cinnamon Orange, and I think that is 2/2 of the Market Spice teas I have ever tried.

Inkling

Haha, well that’s nice that both of them worked out for you! I LOVE their Gingerbread Rooibos (one of my all-time favorites!) and they half a dozen others that I’ve really enjoyed. But there have been a couple of real duds too..

tea-sipper

Adding Gingerbread Rooibos to the wishlist!

Inkling

Would you like a sample of the Gingerbread Rooibos? I have a bunch and would be happy to share so you can try it out without committing to the full 4oz. :)

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80
drank Cabaret by August Uncommon Tea
793 tasting notes

Chocolate and cherry are both flavors I tend to steer away from in tea blends, as chocolate is often too thin and artificial-tasting and cherry tends to be either medicinal or hibiscus-tart. But this one was a pleasant surprise! It’s one of the better chocolate flavorings I’ve run across…rich and dark and just the tiniest bit bitter, like a quality dark chocolate. The cherry plays second fiddle, but provides a nice dark fruitiness that combines well with the chocolate…no hibiscus and it also doesn’t taste like cough syrup! This blend is quite pleasant straight, but I’m thinking it would be outstanding as a latte.

Flavors: Cherry, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

I’m not generally a fan of floral tea, but violet may be the exception to that. This one perfectly balances the violet and elderberry flavoring on a rich black tea base, creating a delicious blend that does NOT make me feel like I’m drinking perfume! Another pleasant surprise from August Uncommon.

Flavors: Berries, Floral, Fruity, Violet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

I find it odd that August Uncommon markets this as an Earl Grey, because I barely taste the bergamot at all! But once I got over my disappointment at this not really being a flavored Earl Grey, I do like it for what it is: a strongly-flavored plum and clove black tea. The clove can be a bit overpowering (I’ve learned not to get more than 1 whole clove in my infuser!) but brewed correctly, this is a lovely balance of fruit and spice on a malty black base that resteeps beautifully. I don’t love this one as much as some of the others in this sampler pack (looking at you, Low Country and Silencio!) but I definitely enjoyed getting the chance to try it.

Flavors: Clove, Malt, Plums, Spices, Stonefruit

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90
drank Dark Iris by August Uncommon Tea
793 tasting notes

Oh my goodness, the SMELL of this tea! It has one of the richest aromas I’ve ever encountered in a tea blend, filling my whole kitchen with a mouth-watering peach scent while steeping. The flavor isn’t quite as amazing as the aroma, but it is still quite delicious. Very peach-forward with pistachio coming through in the aftertaste. I don’t really notice the lime, but I also don’t miss it as the tea is quite lovely just as it is. The oolong makes a nice smooth base for the other flavors. This is another one I’m hoping to repurchase when I finish my sample!

Flavors: Nuts, Peach, Smooth

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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95
drank Silencio by August Uncommon Tea
793 tasting notes

I honestly did not expect to like this one. I have a pretty low tolerance for spice, so “spicy” worried me and pineapple, chocolate, and pepper just sounded like an odd combination. But somehow it works! The pineapple comes out strongly in the aroma, but is more muted in the flavor, coming in behind rich dark chocolate, a bit of smoke, and just a hint of peppery warmth. The base tea is strong enough to support all these intense flavors without overpowering them and it actually resteeps surprisingly well for a flavored tea. Since I finally got brave enough to try it, I’ve found myself reaching for this one more often than almost anything else in this sampler pack and definitely plan to order more when I run out!

Flavors: Black Pepper, Dark Chocolate, Pineapple, Smoke, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ~ C.S. Lewis

I was introduced to loose leaf tea by a roommate in 2012, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon Steepster in 2014 that I discovered a world of tea that went beyond Teavana and the grocery store.

My tastes continue to evolve, but black tea is currently my favorite. I am especially drawn to strong, malty breakfast blends to wake me up in the morning and flavored dessert teas to sip throughout the day.

Just about everything in my cupboard is available to swap, so feel free to ask!

Location

Milwaukee, WI

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