11 Tasting Notes

picked this up at a local shop. This is the flavor of chinese restaurant tea. To me this is homey, comfort tea. Perfect for rainy days and a pick me up for down in the dumps moods.

I have read a lot of comments about gunpowder green tea today and it definately has a love it hate it reputation.
I happen to be of the love it persuasion.
Properly prepared this tea is sweet, a little fruity, a little flowery and slighly astringent. Very easy to drink. As the tea cools it exhibits a little more fresh grassiness and a lightly malty after taste. This would be quite good iced.
Many of the cooments I read today note a smokiness in gunpowder tea. I found little when prepared at 170° f but much more when prepared at 180°f. At the higher temp the tea is also more sour and looses some of its charm.

Gunpowder isnt a “fine tea”. But its imminently drinkable, comforting and tasty. Its a good loose leaf staple at a very reasonable price.

I prepared this tea a little differently than the label. I used 1 teaspoon to about 3 oz of water at 170 in a gaiwan. I let it steep for about 1 minute. My first 3 infusions were 1 minute steeps. #4 1.5 minutes #5 about 2.

Package instructions state to brew 1 teaspoon in 8 oz of 180° water for 2-3 minutes- good for 2 or 3 steeps. I tried brewing this way once and found the tea to be as above, a little too astringent, a little too " smokey" and over all rather flat tasting and far too strong, leaning towards bitter.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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drank Oolong Wu Yi by Tea Guys
11 tasting notes

I haven’t had oolong in a. very long time. I had forgotten how delicious it is. Sweet and smooth and not bitter at all. Brewed with 1.5 tsp leaves with about 8ish oz of water. At my altitude full boil is 200°f. So this is the temp I used. I rinsed once and steeped for 1.5 minutes. Best flavor was not experienced until the tea was abooy 140 or so but lovely throughout.
I did a second steep for 2 minutes and it was even better. Fruity and floral but none of that “perfume on the toung” aftertaste I got with a cheap oolong from the market.
Tasted great right through to stone cold in my cup.
Third steeping was a bit of a wash. I was aiming for 2.5 minutes but got interupted. 8. minutes later I finally got to pour.
The beautiful layered flavors were gone but the tea was still quite drinkable and even tasty. This seems like a good tea for anyone who wants to try brewing oolong but is afraid of mucking it up. A very forgiving tea.

I didnt attempt any more steeps from that pot but I have no doubt this one ccould go on for quite some time.

Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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reviewed Hario Chacha Glass Teapot by Teaware
11 tasting notes

I have a 400 ml pot so that is the size I am reviewing. I love my pot. The glass is sturdy , pours well anbd the big infuser basket naerly fills the pot so there is lots of room even for big leafy teas.
The lid, if one pours slowly, stays in place.
The only con I can think of is. the there isnt an easy way to remove the basket when your tea is ready. It gets hot to the touch and does. not have a handle. Tweezers or tea tongs make that a non-issue.
Reasonably priced, well made.
My only real complaint is that I should have bought a smaller size. The smallest size is 300 ml.

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I really want to say something positive about this tea. So I’ll start with the opinion of my co-worker “smells yummy!”.
I don’t agree on that point but taste is so subjective.
I wanted to love this tea. But to me the mix of chocolate and rose was so startling that Im still not sue what to think. My first impression was disgust. But after brewing the tea aroma began to temper the perfumy, overbearing rose, and I found myself willing to try a little harder to find positive things to say.
The tea is listed as “black tea” but seems to be a ceylon. Its light, non-astringent, forgetable and inoffensive. As tea goes it just could not stsnd up to the powerful floral flavor of this blend. A malty assam might have been kess harmonious with the florals but would have peeked through better too and might have enhanced the chocolate flavor that nearly hides under layers of grandmas perfume.
I cant say thus is bad tea. In fact it seems to be blended with the sole purpose of wide appeal. Unfortunately, the tea, while described as “roasted” has no noticable roasted flavor. The tea seems to be simply a convenient vehicle for the other flavors and is almost an aside.
This could, however, be a tea that non-tea drinkers would enjoy simply for its lack of “teaishness”.
I was not able to smell or taste the tea before purchase but I love experimenting so I was up for the adventure. However, I would have passed this by and cheated myself out of an interesting experience.
I decided that I just dont like roses with my chocolate or with my tea.
I havce a hard time using the sliders with my tablet so prep was as directed on the package. 1 tsp for 8oz water at 212f.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank White Earl Grey by Dazbog
11 tasting notes

I don’t have any real experience with white tea except a sip here and there.
I guess I had certain expectations that this tea did not meet.
The aroma in the tin was strongly bergamot and was quite pleasant. But the tea it’s self was disappointing to look at. Broken leafy bits and stems. The tea looked like matte or guyausa or fodder from the lawnmower bag.
Still I did try it. The flavor was bland in tea and lacking bergamot scent or flavor.
I will try this again but I was not impressed with the fiorst tasting.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Orchid Vanilla by Tea Forte
11 tasting notes

Opening the package of I was immediately assailed with the strong aroma of vanilla and a hint of coconut. Blended together these two reminded me of a toasted marshmallow or even a sugar cookie.
This is not a tea for those looking for tea flavor. This is liquid desert. If it was not for the actual appearance of tea leaf I would have no idea that this was tea.
The leaf is quite pretty with short black wiry leaf and tiny flecks of whitish coconut. At least this stuff LOOKS like tea. But one can’t gauge these things based on appearance alone, so taste I must.
I loosely followed the package directions for my first cup. I say loosely because I used a bigger cup than the 8 oz suggested (I used a 12 oz cup) and thus, used a bit more tea too (weighing in at 4 grams). I followed the directions and used boiling water and a 4 minute seep.
After infusing, a malty tea perfume started to waft from the cup softly entwined by vanilla. Unfortunately that did not translate into tea flavor in the cup. I had high hopes that any sugary flavor would be tempered by the maltyness of the tea but it simply got lost.
As I said, this is liquid desert. The flavor is very heavily vanilla with only a slight hint of coconut and not even one tiny bit of actual tea. The lack of tea flavor might be my own fault. I really did not use enough leaf. Still there was so little tea flavor present I am not sure it would have made much difference.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a bad beverage. Sweet and smooth, this drink would work well either hot or cold, and a dash of cinnamon might enliven the cup to something almost legendary. (If you try this I suspect it will taste like Jorchata – the Mexican rice drink)
I wont buy this tea again but it might be just perfect for those who like an infusion of dessert instead of calories.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Orchid Vanilla by Tea Forte
11 tasting notes

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drank Black Mango by The Tao of Tea
11 tasting notes

I was feeling a little offish the other day and decided that a new tea would be just the thing to lighten my mood. There is only one shop nearby that sells loose tea and the choices were limited, so while I generally avoid fruit flavored teas I decided to give this one a shot.

The tea in the can is quite pretty. The calendula petals are a striking contrast to the dark tea and its a real shame that the tea does not retain the same appearance once steeped. But flavor is the game isnt it?

The aroma of the tea was a little off putting at first. The mango scent is quite heavy and overpowers any tea fragrance but it was not an artificially fruity scent so I took that as a good sign.

I brewed per package instructions with about two teaspoons for my cup and the water slightly less than boiling. The package says to steep for 4 minutes. I think my first cup was more like 5 minutes.

The tea had a very fruity aroma brewing and I was afraid that the flavor would be too fruity. But I was pleasantly surprised by the lightly malty tea peaking out from the very natural flavor of ripe mango. The mango flavor was fresh and sweet and not at all cloying or overwhelming.

The big surprise for,me though was the body of the tea. The tea had a slight viscosity that was fun to roll on my tongue without being thick or heavy.

As I said, im not,much of a fruit tea fan, and maybe it was my mood, but i really liked this tea. I only did 2 infusions which was almost too many as the second cup lost much of the tea backdrop, but the remaining fruit flavor became more developed,and took on a slightly spicy quality that reminded me of persimmons and a hint of cinnamon.

overall the tea was lightly sweet and really did not require any sweetener at all. I prefer hot tea but this seems like a good choice for iced tea too. There is no astringency at all and should keep,quite well.

I highly recommend the 180 185 temp. I made a another cup with boiling water and the tea turned bitter…still drinkable but not as enjoyable.

4 min, 15 sec

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drank PG Tips Loose Leaf by PG Tips
11 tasting notes

One does not compare an economy car with a luxry automobile for the simple reason that the two vehicles have different points of interest. And so each car must be evaluated based on it’s own merrits.

PG Tips is certainly an economy car in the tea world. Nothing fancy here and it’s not meant to be. Rather PG Tips was developed for mass consumption and to that end it favors consistent flavor and solid drinkablity over complexity and deep character.

That might sound dull and uninspiring but there is a huge dose of comfort in knowing that you get what you expect with this tea and it never disappoints.

Though its quite tastey black, this tea lends its self particularly well to milk and sugar and adding a little of each brings out carmely notes that are not readily appearant in the plain brew and is my favorite way to drink this tea.

This is comfort tea. Strong, dependable and embracing….just what I expect from an old friend when I am feeling down.

As others have noted this is a very strong tea over all but that can be tempered with using less tea and shortening steep time. Unlike other teas that would suffer if treated with a light hand, PG Tips remains true in flavor if brewed lightly so one does not end up with a simply watered brew, but rather a different dimension of the tea stands out.

Wheather your like your tea strong or mild, PG Tips can accomodate but it should never be compared to a fine single estate tea, rather it should always be considered for its own merits.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

a very appropriate review, i could not have said it any better!

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drank Bolder Breakfast by The Tea Spot
11 tasting notes

This is a very playful tea that is fun to drink. The mallow flower and chocolate add a subtle sweetness and happy kid quality. The tea combo is bright and light and not particularly malty nor overly earthy from the pu erh. The tea is slightly astringent with a mild coppery note I quite like and just a touch of fruitiness that balances any hint of mustiness. I dont think this tea is very “bold” and it won’t replace my morning joe but it has just enough kick to enliven an afternoon.

The sliders dont work well with my tablet. Steep time 5 minutes water at full boil. I tend to use a lot of tea per cup and like this one best when I use about a tablespoon. I usually steep twice with that much tea. This one holds up to that method well. The second steeping is not as full bodied as the first but more fruitiness comes out in the second steeping so I always have that second cup.

4 min, 0 sec

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