333 Tasting Notes

A very crisp, spicy ginger tisane…oh wait, it’s not a tisane.

Not sure how to rate this. If you’re looking for a strong, fresh-tasting ginger infusion it’s perfect. But I’m still not convinced green tea was one of the ingredients…

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drank Momo by Lupicia
333 tasting notes

This has a pleasant peach scent, more like dried peaches than fresh, but very natural and not at all cloying.

The taste is…just okay, a decently malty, not too strong or distinguished black tea (I’m guessing Assam) with just a bit of the peach undertone.

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“Unusual” is probably the best thing I can say about this one. Upon brewing, it smelled burnt and even greasy, which fortunately did not carry over into the taste. The chocolate and rose flavors don’t harmonize well, and the chocolate is deeply bitter, so much so that the brew almost tastes (and looks!) like a cup of coffee. The rose is inoffensive and lingers on for a bit longer, which is the one saving grace here.

As for what the tea leaves themselves are like in this blend…I have no idea.

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drank Black Cherry by Tea Forte
333 tasting notes

At first whiff, this has a bit of that dreaded cherry cough syrup aroma, which fortunately isn’t present once you taste it. It’s a very strong black tea, and the vanilla and other notes help mellow that out a bit. The cherry, again, isn’t really there, more of a subdued sweet almond.

With all the Tea Forte flavored teas I’ve tried, the flavor in the actual name of the tea is consistently the weakest one, once the tea is actually brewed. Maybe they just pick the most appealing-sounding one?

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drank Tie Guan Yin by Heng Xin
333 tasting notes

One of the lightest Tie Guan Yin teas I’ve tried. The liquor comes out almost colorless, and the tea aroma/flavor itself is very subtle, but by no means weak or lacking. The typical TGY fragrance is very pure and consistent with this one, even vibrant.

It’s friendly toward a lot of variations in steep time, water temperature, volume, etc. More mellow and vegetal on the second steep.

The bad news is, I was gifted some of this in China and have no idea where to get more.

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Rich but soft aroma and flavor, doesn’t have the astringency of some strong black teas. It almost has a bit of a floral undertone to it, and went very well with milk and sugar. Glad I saved this one for morning and not afternoon.

On another note, I’m desperately trying to get this year’s Book of Tea now. No luck so far…

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Made a smaller preparation this time, 3 oz as seems to be recommended. Having a rather large cup at work is tempting but with a more nuanced tea like this, less is definitely more.

3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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drank Tie Guan Yin by Unknown
333 tasting notes

This is a Tie Guan Yin that comes in a red package very similar to the one pictured. As I can find no further identifying information on it, it will have to join the ranks of the unknowns.

It’s pretty much average in terms of what one would expect of a TGY, but somewhat easy to oversteep.

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drank Peach Brulée by Tea Forte
333 tasting notes

Peaches and cream. On second steep, the peaches have departed for regions unknown. What you are left with is what restaurants serve as “tropical iced tea” (except hot), with a lingering aroma of coconut/vanilla cream.

Basically, I shouldn’t like this as much as I do.

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Science writer and a cat that learned to type.

I grew up in a tea-loving family, and tea has always been a part of daily life. I’m still astounded by the amount of tea and teaware back home every time I visit! While I’m most familiar with straight Chinese teas, I’m growing to explore and appreciate other types of tea, including blended and flavored ones. A good blend can reflect the thought and creativity that was put into making it, instead of being too sweet or busy in a way that gives the “genre” a bad rap.

-most black teas (even lapsang)
-most oolongs, especially Fujian teas, baozhong and dancong
-straight white teas

Variable (some are great, some not so):
-most green teas
-tie guan yin
-flavored white teas

90-100: definite repurchase if possible, recommended
80-90: enjoyed, possible repurchase
70-80: fair to good
60-70: fair with some shortcomings
50-60: there’s still a chance I’d take this if it were free
under 50: absolutely not


Southern California

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