139 Tasting Notes

68

Given to me awhile ago from a friend who was visiting Paris – y’know, when people actually, like, traveled and stuff. She has recently started traveling again, so that’s progress.

I do have to up the amount of tea because I definitely underleafed – although it is getting kind of up there in age. It’s such a balancing act – too little and you don’t get the full, creaminess of it, too much and you get this metallic note that comes with overleafing or oversteeping oolongs.

I feel it’s unfair to rate the tea since the brew was a bit weak, but I believe once I get the ratio right, it’ll be great. I did still enjoy the weak brew, so I’ll keep going with this one, and adjust the rating if needed.

Flavors: Cream, Grass

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

There is a vlogger I follow that seems to really love this tea. Not a tea vlogger, but someone who more recently got into tea. So, I’m not going to take her too seriously, but this sounded like something I needed to try. It’s also called “Malty Biscuit”, and it’s a flavored black, comes in tea bags, not loose. Take all this together, and I think what we have here is a “fun tea.” Not something that you’d spend time analyzing flavors, color, consistency, etc. Just boil some water, pour over tea bag in a mug and wait 5 minutes. Pour some milk in there and done.

And I have to say, it’s tasty. Comforting. Easy to like. I can definitely detect the tea biscuit in there – more like the cracker-y, cookie-like things rather than a tea biscuit/scone. I’ve been having a mug of it with breakfast, but I can see having it in the afternoon for a little mood and energy boost. Seeing as how it’s not that readily available here in the US – other than a couple of specialty stores that had outrageously high prices – I ended up ordering it through the evil Amazon empire. I really wanted to try it.

The price kind of bugs me – 12 bucks for 40 tea bags. I mean, not too bad, but not great. Besides, I have Cookie from Lupicia, which is different, but satisfies my baked good jones like no other. I mean, Cookie is the most amazing flavored black I’ve ever had. So, maybe I would get this tea again IF I ever see it around (Home Goods, maybe?), but not sure I’d go out of my way to order it again. It’s good, but not Cookie good.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cookie, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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78

Just finished this one and realized I’ve never written a tasting note for it! I guess that happens. This tea deserves a more detailed note, but I’m simply not going to make that effort. It’s another finely crafted tea from Song, which is such reliable tea vendor. I always enjoy the teas I get from them. All the notes are there: peach, almonds, a slightly creamy note. It doesn’t hold up to many infusions – the third one is pushing it. Do not overbrew this one or it will get too tannic and bitter. Super enjoyable. And now it’s gone. May purchase this again someday, but my current stash is too big and I’ve got to drink what I have.

Flavors: Almond, Milk, Peach

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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64

Got this on a whim since Davids had a sale and I wanted something different. Definitely cherry, definitely berry. Almost syrupy in flavor and texture. Great as an iced tea when I’m in the mood for those flavors, but I don’t have any interest in trying it hot.

Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
drank Lanikai by Lupicia
139 tasting notes

I tried this as a sample many years ago, and was underwhelmed by it. Why did I order this tea, then? I don’t know. Wishful thinking? Stupidity? It was on sale? Maybe all of the above.

Regardless, a lot has changed with this tea, but I hesitate to update the profile on it, since I don’t want to negate or confuse any reviews or information that came before. For those interested: this has neither vanilla nor coconut in it, if it ever did. The ingredients are: black tea, dried pineapple, sugar, cornflower, flavorings. This is right off the label. No vanilla. No coconut. Was it always like this or did they change the formula?

The description says: a peach, orange and mango flavored black tea. Its sweet and fruity flavor goes well with milk. Again, no vanilla, no coconut. Could be why I was so nonplussed about it when I tried it. When you’re expecting vanilla coconut and get neither of those flavors, well, disappointment is unsurprising.

Now, I just want to emphasize that I love Japan. LOVE IT. I love the people, I love the aesthetics, when I went on the trip there 6 years ago it was the BEST trip I have ever been on. And Lupicia is amazing and one of my favorite tea companies. So, Japan, I love you. But you’re nuts if you think milk goes well in this tea. To explain: Lupicia teas that are fruit flavored have an uncanny ability to capture the essence of the fruit. If you’re drinking a strawberry flavored tea, the juicy strawberry flavor is truly on target. If it’s a peach flavored tea, it really tastes like actual peach is in there, juicy with that slight muskiness that real peaches have. That being said, unless you truly enjoy your fruit with cream and don’t mind drinking a tea version of it, then you’ll be happy. As much as I love fruit and cream, it doesn’t translate into an enjoyable tea experience for me. It’s weird.

My next attempt will be iced. Straight. I really think it’ll be fantastic that way, and very timely as the summer is here and I love a nice, refreshing iced tea. Hot with milk? Not so much.

Flavors: Citrus, Mango, Peach, Pineapple, Sugar

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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64

I purchased two different kinds of this tea, and since there seem to be reviews on the various types under this one name, I’ll do the same and make notes for both under this.

BLACK: Purchased from Mitsuwa marketplace in NJ awhile back, and it was extremely inexpensive. I want to say, like 3 bucks for a box of eight bags or so. I’ve never had a sakura black, but it was displayed along with the sakura green and blossom-only teas so I decided to pick it up at the same time. It’s obviously floral, but with a light, mellow flavor that at first didn’t impress me much, but then grew on me. The black tea isn’t really recognizable, but I do like it better than the blossom-only tea. Nice to relax with on a spring evening, since it’s such a gentle taste. I’m enjoying it, but I probably won’t get it again since there are so many other sakura options out there. Very nice tea to try, though!

BLOSSOM-ONLY: To be reviewed.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sakura Sushi

AND, might I add, yes, the cherry flavor is quite present, and very natural. Every time I drink it I like it more. Not bad for a cheap, bagged tea.

Sakura Sushi

BLOSSOM-ONLY: Well, I’ve yet again managed to surround myself with as much sakura as possible. Currently sitting on the dining room table is a vase filled with beautiful, blossoming cherry branches. I’ve got sakura incense going. So why not complete the picture with the sakura tea that I’ve got left? I know I’ve drunk a bunch of it before, but for some reason never wrote a review before. That’s too bad, because I think this tea is too far gone. I had trouble even getting the blossoms out of the pouch. Not a good sign. I brewed a cup per the instructions (place tea in warmed cup, put in 4 oz. of boiled water, cover, wait one minute), and although gorgeous, with the blossoms opening up and floating around the cup beautifully, it tastes like almost nothing. Just a very faint, sickly, floral scent and taste. Kind of like cherry blossom dishwater. Blech. That’s probably all on me, as these pouches have been around awhile. The black tea was SO much better.

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68

Usually I’m not a huge fan of white tea, as I feel it’s too subtle, causing me to oversteep it and then getting a less than desirable result. This is a flavored one, though, and that makes a big difference. The orange blossom floral note is quite pleasant, which is saying a lot because generally I’m not into floral teas. Somehow, the floral notes along with the almond flavor all wrapped up with hints of honey works really well. It’s surprisingly tasty for a white tea. It makes a very nice afternoon break cup of tea, especially with a little something sweet to snack on. This sugar addict is having a rough time giving up her sweets completely.

Flavors: Almond, Citrus, Honey, Orange Blossom

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

So after some initial pondering (Do I even like flavored teas anymore? What’s happening to my taste buds?), I decided that there is room in my life for both flavored and unflavored blacks – which brings me pretty much full circle. I needed a dessert-like tea after dinner last night so I chose Cabaret.

It tasted like chocolate cake with boozy cherry filling. It’s really good, and definitely hits the sweet spot for a sugar addict like me who’s trying to cut down on the thing she loves most for health reasons. August has some very tasty flavors, and this one is no exception. The only thing I don’t find so great is the booziness of the fruit notes. I had a similar issue with Breathless, where the brandy flavored prune flavor was a bit off. I solved that by making it iced, and that seemed to cut down on the strange tangy flavor. This one, however, I don’t see as an iced tea, so I’ll try to cut down on the leaf to see if that helps. August seems to always want you to use lots of leaf per serving – maybe they really want the flavor to be very intense, or maybe they just want you to go through the tea faster so you can order more – not sure. I don’t mind cutting down on the amount just a little to see if I can still get my chocolate fix without such a strong alcohol flavor. Other than that, the chocolate + cherry flavor is a winner for me.

Flavors: Alcohol, Cherry, Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

Yet another sample from Teavivre that I have to make note of because it is so delicious. I’ve had a hankering for unflavored blacks lately. Is this a thing? As one’s tea journey progresses, flavored teas fall out of favor? I feel like it is, indeed, a thing. I still love flavored teas, though. I don’t think that will change completely.
Anyway, I was perusing my tea cabinet this morning, and realized I needed to dip into my stash of samples in hopes of finding a tea I felt like drinking. Came up with this one and it was the perfect thing. Sweet, mellow, comforting, strong scent of, well, black tea. I loved it. So much so, in fact, that I went to Teavivre to buy some. I don’t think I’ll be getting it, though, as they are currently only shipping from their US warehouse to US destinations, and this tea didn’t seem to be on the warehouse list.
The current coronavirus crisis really brings home how globally interconnected we are, and how, eventually, everything gets affected. Even the tea in your cup. Here’s hoping this outbreak is short lived.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

I believe that, yes, it is a thing to start to crave unflavored teas as we grow in our tea journey! Although everyone is different so I am sure there are many exceptions. I still love a good scented jasmine and because of guests I drink a lot of flavored tea. This is a very good tea, indeed.

ashmanra

Also, Angel has mentioned that new cases are decreasing, the tea harvest is expected to begin, and stores are re-opening so they will probably be open very soon!

Sakura Sushi

Fingers crossed!

Sakura Sushi

Just a quick note to say my tea arrived! Teavivre came through, and I’ve been enjoying this tea so much, I’m even cold brewing the spent leaves to get the most out of it.

ashmanra

Hooray! I need to order soon!

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