54 Tasting Notes


I wasn’t prepared to enjoy this tea, as it was among the different boxed tea bags at about half the price of others. It’s Ceylon black tea, nothing surprising in its base notes, but it’s the subtleness of the black cherry that drew me in. I’m not a huge fan of sweet or over-done fruit blends, and this one is neither. True black cherry flavor that appears as a secondary note to the Ceylon. I’ve made doubly-strong infusions in travel tumblers for work, and the flavor is still very subtle. I’m not convinced that it’s gourmet or deluxe quality as is written all over the box, but it’s certainly refreshing.

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I was a bit skeptical of this being a tea bag, but the taste was fresh, and the leaves, after brewing, appeared to be quality, whole green leaves.

It was the first Gunpowder Green I’ve tried, and I enjoyed it. Though I didn’t find the vegetal and sweet balance to be much different than other greens I’ve tried.

I steeped two bags in a 16 oz. tumbler w/infuser for 5 minutes, and I enjoyed a morning’s worth of nice green tea. A definite improvement over other grocery aisle tea bag greens, though next time I might open the bag and infuse the pearls as loose tea. Seems a little counter-intuitive to offer a whole-leaf in a traditional bag instead of a sachet.

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My favorite “treat myself” tea type, I bought this from Indigo when I learned that the brand I was looking for wasn’t available even to purchase here in the U.S. Earl Greys can be spectacularly fabulous and memorable, or they can be ho-hum.
Indigo’s offering is great – a clean bergamot finish, just enough creaminess to satisfy without clouding over the qualities of the black tea. My personal preference is toward a bit more cream flavor to balance the bergamot, so I’m still in search of that elusive batch of Mariage Freres when I can find it, but I’m happy with my batch from Indigo.
You know you’re going to enjoy the cup when you open the storage container and can smell the three components – it’s not just simple black tea mixed with citrus.
The company’s picture doesn’t show it, but there are lavender/thistle(?) petals included in this blend, which makes it a nice tea for display teapots.
A treat for the eyes, nose, and palate!

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This is the third and most expensive of the Pu-erhs I’ve tried that arrived in the Samovar Pu-erh sampler.

Difficult to say whether this is “better” than Maiden’s Ecstasy because ME will appeal to the person who likes hints of sweet. Royal Palace Organic is a classic malty, deeply woodsy Pu-erh that will appeal to the purist.

I’m not sure I detect the chocolate or cocoa notes that have been described. The malt and wood notes are strong, but yet it drinks smooth. This is the first Pu-erh I’ve tried that actually had me craving to drink mass quantities of it, so it’s possible the cocoa finish is subtly there, beckoning me back.

It’s smooth, it finishes a bit cleaner than other pu-erhs, I would say it’s almost got a crispness to it that I haven’t yet experienced in other brand’s higher-end pu-erhs.

Still deep and earthy after 6-7 infusions.

I would drink this everyday if it were affordable, but I’ll stick with my other finds and reserve Royal Palace for the occasional “ah, this is the stuff” moments. It truly is the clean finish that distinguishes it from other brands, but that’s not enough of a “wow” for me to convert to it for my go-to brewing.

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drank Maiden's Ecstasy by Samovar
54 tasting notes

There’s not much I could add to the 83 descriptions of this Pu-erh that precede my entry other than to say:

Yes, it is a balanced and slightly-on-the-sweet-side Pu-erh.

I’m on the 7th personal-sized steeping of the sample that came in my purchase of the Samovar Pu-erh sampler and it’s still a delicious brew.

If you’re sitting on the fence about whether Pu-erh is for you, this is one to try. If you find it to be “too” something or other, you’re probably not inclined to enjoy other varieties of Pu-erh.

In the descriptions I’ve seen in Samovar’s videos – this is named Maiden’s Ecstasy because it’s reminiscent of tea traditionally given in a bride’s dowry. I now understand why a Pu-erh with this flavor profile would be so prized.

I’ll be purchasing more of this when my sample leaves are exhausted.

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Received this as part of Samovar’s Pu-Erh sampler. I’m already sold on Pu-Erh, it’s among my very favorites, but had not really tried it blended with other flavorings before (just the strawberry Teavana variety, which is sort of a Pu-Erh junior, more flavoring than tea).

Wow. Surprising from start to finish.

The aroma upon opening the storage packet is a citrusy, earthy ginger ale. Sweet, not tart. Followed the directions on the packet for the first steep.

Flavor – just wow. A brothy, woodsy sweet orange. Woodsy as in you’re passing over a patch of mushrooms after a rainfall. Not strong or even musty, but earthy. The ginger kicks in at the finish and is unexpectedly piquante. It tickles the throat. The mouthfeel is much heavier than I’m accustomed to. I keep thinking of broth and stew as a texture comparison.

Pleasantly surprised and will be purchasing for my cupboard again soon. I appreciate Pu-Erh, but I feel like my palate’s been educated and tweaked a notch or two to know that Pu-Erh can be blended so well and retain its own charaacter.

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This was on the shelf amongst the greens and I had to try it, as peach is one of my favorite fruit flavors. It is definitely a japanese sencha at it’s base, fragrant with peach blossom petals upon opening the container, but it’s a fresh aroma. It doesn’t overwhelm the green tea, you can still discern the buttery, vegetal goodness. How a flavored tea should be done.
Steeped for two minutes in an unfiltered ceramic pot, perfect. Greenish amber liqueur, pleasant peach finish. Would be heavenly with a dash of cream or a buttery scone. Happy with my purchase.

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This is my second batch purchased of this tea and I still enjoy it. Not quite as “buttery” as it seemed the first time around, but my palate has matured since the first tasting note. Still a quality sencha, and will continue to be my go-to choice for a green.

This time my steeping went as follows:

First cup after water was taken off the boil for 2 minutes. Steeped for 1.

Second cup used water cooled after 4-5 minutes, steeped for 3.

Third cup used remaining hot water, allowed to steep until first two cups consumed.

All three steepings were flavorful, the first cup being the “fullest” as you would expect. A very welcome cupping on a cold January evening with cold/sore throat season creeping in.

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A nice, smooth, everyday drinkable type of Pu-Erh that stands up well to multiple and prolonged steepings. Nothing extraordinary in the nose or flavor profile, typical earthy tones that don’t dip into the usual mustiness of lower-grade or “off” brands or get overly bitter if left to steep. The third steeped pot is terrific as an iced tea. Would definitely recommend to the person looking to start training their palate without getting too deeply drawn into Pu-Erh complexity.

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I’m a green tea neophyte, and this was the first green tea that was strictly green that I’ve had the courage yet to try. Leaves are indeed very fine, the mesh infuser in my BeeHouse teapot didn’t catch everything, so the cup had some residual bits that ended up in the bottom of the cup. I followed the recommended steeping directions to-the-letter and removed the infuser after one minute.

Very fresh aroma, light mouthfeel, pleasant pale green/yellow liqueur. Flavor notes that ranged from an almost imperceptible floral to a buttery sweet “green vegetable” flavor that reminded me of fresh peas. Neither was overpowering or in competition with the other.

Refreshing, but definitively a green that should be enjoyed in a special context – would be great as an accompaniment to a savory pastry (such as a Spinach-Swiss scone that I occasionally get from my local organic bakery). I have digestive concerns with liquid sugars and true citrus, so I don’t by habit add anything to my teas, but I could imagine this tea would also be terrific with a squeeze of lemon or grated peel infused during steeping.

It’s definitely occupying a prominent place in my cupboard, though I’ll be enjoying it as an occasional treat.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Still fairly new to the life-long process of learning and appreciating tea. Got into loose leaf a number of years ago after health concerns cut soda and sugared drinks from my repertoire. I’ve been blogging about and exploring tea more in-depth for the past several years and I just plain enjoy it. I keep an eye out for French tea trends as well, so if you parlez, bienvenue!

My ratings tend to fall into these categories:

I don’t bother discussing teas that I wouldn’t recommend to other folks on some level. Not worth drinking, not worth wasting time, so you won’t see many yellow light scores from me. I will, however, post if a tea is marketed as something it’s not. There are a couple of examples in my tea log.

50-70’s : Fair. Either a quality or grade issue or perhaps not suited to my personal preference. Wouldn’t turn it down if it were a gift, but wouldn’t purchase it for myself.

80’s: Good teas. Enjoyable and well-crafted, but maybe some slight room for improvement or maybe a notch below another of the same type that I’ve tried. Would buy again if the price were reasonable.

90’s: Excellent teas. My personal favorites that I’ve fallen in love with and have been surprised by.

I don’t know that I’ve ever rated a 100, which is why the 80’s and 90’s are more representative of the teas I like and would recommend. A 96 is just about perfect.



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