592 Tasting Notes

drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
592 tasting notes

Backlog. I brought this lovely tea in for my first two days of work. It was super comforting when I was running around to various orientations and meeting a ton of people whose names I have almost all forgotten. I don’t know if it was the way I steeped it (finally broke out my Finum brewing basket!) or the water at work, but I was getting first and foremost chocolate notes. When I steep at home, I feel like the chocolate mingles with all the other flavors. Anyway, I will have to experiment with my new set up at work, but I’m glad that I put in another order with Verdant for more of this tea because I’m definitely gonna need it!

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
592 tasting notes

Backlog. I had this wonderful tea this morning. I accidentally left it steeping for a whopping 8-9 minutes because I was distracted with filling out forms. To my surprise/delight, the tea wasn’t bitter! I mean, it was definitely stronger than I would have liked and there was some astringency, but all in all, not bad for steeping almost 3 times the recommended time.

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drank Bubble Tea by Custom
592 tasting notes

I was in Berkeley today to see a friend off before she moves to New York for a fancy new job. So sad! A few years ago, she introduced me to Asha Tea House in Berkeley, so we went there today. I was really craving bubble tea, so I did skip the many many tea options there to get a nice milk tea. The honey boba was delicious and chewy. The tea itself was not quite as good as I remembered, but I liked that they let the black tea shine through by not adding too much extra sugar and whatnot.

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drank 1994 Aged Bai Hao by Butiki Teas
592 tasting notes

Again, my taste buds seem to diverge from others about this tea. Instead of chocolate flavor, I’m getting more of what I think is muscat. It also tastes leafy to me (as if I could be any vaguer). Anyway, it’s not usually my favorite combination of flavors, but I really found myself wanting it today. Plus, it has a really clean taste, which I can always appreciate. I think that when I’m in the mood for it, this tea really hits the spot!

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Backlog. I’ve been reaching for this one most mornings this past week for two main reasons. It’s convenient, and I have a ton of it! Today, I have a little more to add than usual because I was only able to drink half my mug before rushing out of the house. When I got back, my tea was stone cold, but I tried it anyway. Surprisingly, there were some sweeter, honey-like notes in there that I don’t really taste in the hot tea. This makes me think that this tea will be an interesting experiment for a cold brew!

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I haven’t posted a tasting note in a while even though I’ve been drinking tea everyday. I think it’s just because I’m going through a tea blah phase where even some of my usual favorites are just slightly off-putting. I find that when I go through these phases, I just need to find that one tea that puts me back on track and play it safe for a while. I think that this oolong may be the tea to do it. I’m loving the roasty, charcoal flavors tonight. Although, I do detect some astringency that I don’t remember encountering with this particular tea before. Odd. Hopefully that’s just a fluke.

In other tea news, I finally bought a Finum brewing basket because (drumroll), I’m starting a new job next week! I’m kind of scared, actually, for my first real, full time job out of grad school, but at least now I’m armed with new tea supplies to help me make it through the day!


Congrats on the new job!


Yay, congratulations! You well deserve one!


Thanks guys! :)

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Sipdown (88)! I steeped this one at a low 180 F today, which turned out to be perfect. Also, not much leaf got through the strainer today, so they didn’t sit at the bottom of my mug making the tea bitter. The end result was a really nice, sweet and grassy tea. It was just the perfect mellow and relaxing tea to have this afternoon!

I’m bumping up the rating a little because I think that in previous steeps of this tea, I just used water that was too hot, which made it too bitter. In terms of senchas, this was a good one, but not the absolute best that I’ve had. I may consider adding it to an order if I ordered from Persimmon Tree again, but I’m not going to start an order just to restock on this one.

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drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
592 tasting notes

Sigh. I’m on the brink of a major life decision (or at least it seems so at the moment), so I don’t have the energy to try new teas. Instead, I’m reaching for another favorite, even though my stash of this seems to be dwindling quickly. Anyway, I really saw a transformation from hot to cold tea today. When the tea was piping hot, I was mostly getting baked bread and malt flavors. As it cooled a little, I really started tasting more of a white tea in terms of a hay-like flavor. Usually, I gulp down the entire mug before it gets cold, but today, I was distracted. So when I picked up the cold cup of tea, I was pleasantly surprised by a nutty taste that I didn’t notice in the hot or lukewarm cup. I am tempted to try cold brewing this one, but it takes so much leaf! I probably will chicken out and save it for hot brews.


So I believe there was mention that this tea was also sold by What-Cha…. I hope the tea has helped ease the stress of the major decision:)


So I believe there was mention that this tea was also sold by What-Cha…. I hope the tea has helped ease the stress of the major decision:)


I haven’t had White Rhino, but this white tea from What-cha is super malty and amazing and might be a good substitute. http://steepster.com/teas/what-cha/48460-kenya-premium-white

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drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Frères
592 tasting notes

Backlog. I went to afternoon tea in San Francisco, and this is the tea that my mom ordered. Our waiter said that this was his personal favorite as well as a popular pick among customers. My mom did seem to enjoy it, but I did not like it so much. First, there were some floral notes that verged on being too perfume-y for me. The main problem, though, was the strawberry flavor. It came across as very artificial and almost medicinal to me. Once that hit my taste buds, I couldn’t really tease apart any other flavors in there because I kept getting distracted by it. I just think that this tea was a little too all over the place for me, personally.


where did you go? sorry the tea was a bummer…


The Rotunda. And it’s okay about the tea because I enjoyed the other one we had (plus the cute little sandwiches and desserts!)

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drank Breakfast Tea by Dammann Frères
592 tasting notes

Backlog. My mom and I treated ourselves to an afternoon tea in San Francisco, and it turns out that they had Dammann Freres teas. I picked this one because I always like a nice, bold breakfast tea. Unfortunately, by the time they brought the teapot out, it was oversteeped. Now usually, I don’t add anything to my tea ever, but the bitterness was a bit too overwhelming for me, so I added some milk. Surprisingly, it turned out to be quite delicious. The malty flavor of black tea was still there yet the bitterness and astringency were tamed by the smooth milk. This experience is making me think that I should experiment with adding milk to other teas!

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I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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