1388 Tasting Notes

100

It’s been one of those days. So glad to come home to a quiet house and a sweet husband who makes me tea when I’m feeling blue.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

I sweetened this cup with honey and added a splash of half and half to give it some creaminess. There isn’t much new to say about this one. Love it.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Almond Plum Perfection by Teavana
1388 tasting notes

I mixed the last of my Almond Plum Perfection with Teavana’s Imperial Acai Blueberry a couple of days ago and stuck it in the fridge for later. Drinking it now, I can see that I put way too much sweetener in this cup. Not only that, the taste and smell remind me of the inside of a home decor store. There is definitely something here that reminds me of potpourri. Not sure yet if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Let’s just say it’s fragrant.

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58
drank Earl Grey White by Teavana
1388 tasting notes

This tea is noticeably pale in color so I am thinking that it shouldn’t be too bitter.

Nope, it’s still bitter. Even at this lower temperature. I guess I’ll try dropping the temperature further, but what else can I do? You know, I’ve always been in the habit of dunking or dipping my tea bag (or tea ball) a few times at the end of the steep time. I’m wondering now with this white tea if that’s such a good idea. Does it even offer any benefits? Is that why mine is coming out bitter in this instance?

No dunking and a low, low temperature next time. This is just way too bitter to be enjoyable.

Flavors: Bitter

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

I was craving something heavier and a bit savory today as the weather is starting to get cooler here. I bumped around the kitchen all morning looking for the perfect snack and just realized that what I really wanted was this deep, rich tea. This one has become my favorite – I love everything about it.

I’m not sure the pu-erh taste comes out like it’s supposed to. I had the chance to visit a tea shop in Georgia recently that carried a straight pu-erh, and I noticed it had a fishiness to it that others here have commented on. I don’t get that with the Strawberry Slender at all. It really just tastes like a black tea to me. And I’m okay with that.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

Good puerh, like that sold by Mandala and Teavivre, shouldn’t have that fishy smell. I had some cheap puerh from another company that had to be aired out for hours or even days to get rid of that nasty smell!

Shae

Good to know! I was actually thinking the exact opposite – that the fishier the tea, the better the quality. I’m so glad to know I was wrong! I’ll definitely look up Mandala and Teavivre. I’m still pretty new to tea and haven’t tried a lot of different varieties so I appreciate the recommendations!

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58
drank Earl Grey White by Teavana
1388 tasting notes

I can smell the bergamot in the dry blend but am not able to distinguish a difference between this and Teavana’s Earl Grey Black tea. Once brewed, it is very pale in color and smells almost fruity.

When I’m at work, I use the hot water dispenser on the coffee maker which shows the temperature when it’s between 195 and 200 degrees. It doesn’t go higher than 200 and any lower than 195 just says “heating” so it’s often hard to get an exact temperature this way. Because of this, I think I may have steeped this tea at too high a temperature – it definitely came out bitter. I used honey to sweeten, which has helped a little, and am able to taste the bergamot slightly. I still taste something fruity though – maybe peach? This just doesn’t feel like an Earl Grey to me.

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Fruity, Peach

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
1388 tasting notes

This has been the most delightful Saturday. I woke up early to run some errands and was back home by 8am to work on some packages I’ve been meaning to send off via snail mail. I’m not at all a crafty person by nature, but I’ve been trying to push myself to be a little more creative. So the majority of my morning was spent putting together little handmade trinkets for a few friends. I surprised myself by loving every minute of it!

As the sun was going down and the evening air began to grow colder, I thought to myself that tea would be the perfect end to an already good day. I’ve been traveling this past week so this is the first cup of tea I’ve had in several days. What a comfort.

After reading some of the tasting notes for this one, I decided to double the amount of tea leaves and brew for a full four minutes with boiling water. I have to say, this cup is very strong. I think maybe even a little too strong for me. Next time, I’ll probably go back to using one teaspoon of tea and/or cutting the steep time to two or three minutes. I don’t taste any of the bergamot in this cup – only tea. I will say, however, that the cooler it gets, the more mellow it feels.

Sitting by the kitchen window with tea in hand is such a satisfying place to be.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Pumpkin Spice Brulee by Teavana
1388 tasting notes

It’s Halloween so a pumpkin-flavored tea seemed to be the perfect choice today. As is expected with this blend (and some others from Teavana) there was an oily sheen that rose to the top. There were also pieces of tea and/or spice floating in my cup and lots of tea bits in the bottom of my mug. It may be time to find a new tea ball. I steeped this a little too long but with a little honey it was still good.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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62
drank Chamomile by Stash Tea Company
1388 tasting notes

My stomach has been a little sensitive today so I needed something light and mild this morning. This tea always seems to do the trick. I used a slight amount of honey to sweeten and sipped for a couple of hours. It was cold by the time I made it through half the cup, but I finished it all the same.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Peachberry Jasmine Sutra by Teavana
1388 tasting notes

Backlog from October 29th:

This is my first time trying green tea pearls, and I am amazed at how beautiful they are – like miniature brussels sprouts, compact and perfectly round. Alongside the pearls were bits of unidentifiable fruit – I’m guessing peach. The dry mix smells just like the peach gummy rings my grandmother used to eat when I was a kid so I was a little worried about the way this would taste. Those were never my favorite and I couldn’t imagine that flavor working in a hot tea. As it began steeping, the color moved from a steely grey to a berry red as bits of pink started seeping out to color the tea. The aroma also changed, going from sweet peach candy to fragrant blossoms. I’ve never before experienced a floral tea so I was quite surprised (and delighted) to find that the flavor matched the floral scent I caught while steeping.

This is a unique tea, at least compared to those I’ve tried. I am really enjoying it. Since it’s also one of my husband’s favorite teas we’ll likely be keeping this one well stocked in the pantry.

Flavors: Candy, Floral, Fruity, Peach, Rose

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring herbalist, excessively proud cat lady, and tea fanatic. Thirty-something elder millennial. She/her.

I love flavored black teas most of all, always with cream and honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of green or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy.

I’m open to tea swaps and/or just sharing what’s in my tea cabinet! Please reach out if you see something I have that you’d like to try. I do my best to update my cupboard regularly.

It will take me longer than usual to get to the post office while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, but I would still love to send you something next time I’m out and about!

Favorites
Any and all black teas, smoky teas, raspberry, strawberry, red fruits, bergamot, chai spices, floral teas, caramel/toffee, jasmine, rose, vanilla, peaches, plums, valerian root, cinnamon, cardamom

Not a huge fan
Lime, white teas, green teas, artificial sweeteners, sarsaparilla, licorice, lemongrass, lavender, hot hibiscus, hibiscus in black tea blends

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband, James, who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-49: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

50-70: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

71-79: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

80-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Updated July 2021.

Location

Alabaster, Alabama

Website

https://www.goodreads.com/sha...

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