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homais

Tea Reviewer

Member since Nov. 29th, 2012. Reviewed 21 teas.

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Picture of Organic Ryokucha Green Tea

Organic Ryokucha Green Tea from Samovar Tea Lounge

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 13th, 2014

This tea really grew on me, and by the end I adored it. The sample I got - which was enough for one cup - suggested brewing it very quickly, just 30-45 seconds, with water just below the boiling point. In retrospect I think that following those instructions would have worked out well, but I'm paranoid about using water...

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Picture of Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea

Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Milky Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 5th, 2013

This is an unflavored milk oolong (teavivre has a different product that is the same thing but with milk flavor added), meaning that it's a pure oolong tea whose flavor is usually described as smooth or milky. I've been drinking it a lot lately, and trying it a number of different ways. What I've found in general is th...

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Picture of Ancient Baked Heart Tea

Ancient Baked Heart Tea from Wild Tea Qi

Style: Green Tea – Region: Dali, Yunnan, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 27th, 2013

Every tea I've had from this company has been singular, more of a fascinatingly complex taste experience that warrants attention and a little bit of ceremony than an 'everyday' tea. This one was no different. And like the other green teas I've tried from this company, it stays tasty and interesting for more infusions t...

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Picture of Guangzhou Milk Oolong (Quangzhou Milk Oolong)

Guangzhou Milk Oolong (Quangzhou Milk Oolong) from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Flavored Oolong – Region: China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 25th, 2013

I should say I like this tea, but I do have a gripe about labeling. Milk oolongs aren't, in and of themselves, flavored teas. As I understand it, the name is applied to a particular oolong variety that has a milk-y flavor and aroma. However, some companies add flavor to their milk oolongs further to increase the milkyn...

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Picture of Liquid Jade Matcha

Liquid Jade Matcha from The Tao of Tea

Style: Matcha – Region: Kyoto, Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 6th, 2013

I'm not amazingly experienced with Matcha, but I usually find them to have some combination of sweet, bitter, buttery, and seaweed flavors. The best matchas I've had have kept these taste characteristics in balance, though I have a fondness for when the bitter and the butter tastes pop out a bit more strongly than 'bal...

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Picture of Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea

Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Jasmine Pearls – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 26th, 2013

This is meant to be a 'high-end' jasmine pearl tea, which, to be honest, is not something that I had thought to look into until I got a free sample of it. To me, jasmine teas are lovely, but the jasmine always overpowers the tea, making them all taste roughly similar.

I found this tea to be genuinely a cut above oth...

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Picture of Imperial Assam (Tea Bags)

Imperial Assam (Tea Bags) from Hampstead Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 26th, 2013

I think I've found my breakfast tea, or in any case a certain kind of breakfast tea for a certain kind of mood. I think I've mentioned in other reviews that I tend to like my breakfast teas sweet, strong, and milky: my taste buds aren't so good at subtlety early in the morning.

The tea doesn't smell particularly str...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Twinings

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 17th, 2013

When I first wake up, I don't have it in me to be a tea snob, carefully sniffing out the grassy hay notes in obscure Chinese teas. It's not what I crave at that hour, and the subtlety would be lost on me anyway.

So, with breakfast I usually like some kind of milky, sweetened, very strong black tea. A breakfast blend...

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Picture of Fengqing Paddy Flavor Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2006

Fengqing Paddy Flavor Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2006 from TeaVivre

Style: Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh – Region: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 14th, 2013

I don't have a lot of experience with higher-end Pu Erh tea, so I don't have much to compare this to. In the past I've drank (and rather liked) the cheap stuff you find in Chinatown, the kind that smells fishy and tastes of dirt.

This tea was an altogether different experience for me. I didn't have much of it, so I ...

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Picture of Matcha Infused Genmaicha

Matcha Infused Genmaicha from Aiya

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 13th, 2013

Straight out of the bag, this tea had a strong matcha smell, very grassy in a fresh and invigorating way.

I didn't have a lot of tea to play with - I had only a small sample, and thanks to a spill I had an even smaller sample than usual - so I brewed it as close to the recommended instructions as possible - 194 F f...

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Picture of Holy Basil Purple Leaf

Holy Basil Purple Leaf from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tulsi / Holy Basil – Region: India

83 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 11th, 2013

For me, the flavor of this tea was the least interesting thing about it. It's complex, herbal, a bit cinnamon-spicy, less basil-like than I would have expected. Some bitterness, and it was annoyingly hard to stop little fragments of leaf from leaking into the brew, which is a pet peeve of mine. It disrupts the texture ...

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Picture of Premium Gyokuro

Premium Gyokuro from Aiya

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 10th, 2013

As a matter of preference, I should say that my 'ideal' Gyokuro tastes strongly umami, a bit sweet, and grassy/vegetal on the finish. I was able to get Aiya's Gyukuro to display something like this flavor profile - along with a pleasantly sharp, matcha-like aroma - when I brewed a relatively heaping teaspoon of it for ...

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Picture of Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea

Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 9th, 2013

Usually when I write a review, I do it from the perspective of trying to give whoever reads it a sense of what to expect - what the tea is likely to taste like, how it will respond to different kinds of brewing conditions, what other kinds of teas and experiences it's likely to resemble - rather than saying whether I t...

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Picture of Matcha Infused Sencha

Matcha Infused Sencha from Aiya

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 8th, 2013

I played around with the brewing times on this one a bit, and find that I like it best a little 'overbrewed'. The website says to steep it at 176F for about a minute and a half, but that made it come out a little bland by my standards. Doubling the time to three minutes produced a bracing, umami type flavor I really li...

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Picture of Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea

Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Green Tea – Region: Zhejiang, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 6th, 2013

I notice that a lot of people who review teas use this turn of phrase "everyday tea", which I take to mean something unfussy and satisfying that you can happily drink on a regular basis. This tea had that quality for me.

The instructions say to brew it a little hotter and shorter than I'm used to with green teas - a...

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Picture of Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) from TeaVivre

Style: Silver Needle – Region: Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 1st, 2013

This tea was wonderful as a complete, sensual experience. The leaves are light and elegantly pointed, covered in fuzzy silver-white hairs. They didn't smell like much when it was dry, straight out of the package. It was a bit nutty and a bit floral, maybe. But once I had brewed them the leaves gave off a completely une...

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Picture of Yunnan Breakfast

Yunnan Breakfast from Rishi Tea

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 21st, 2012

I only had one bag of this, so I brewed it according to the instructions - straight off the boil and let steep for four minutes. Neither the leaves or the brewed tea had a very strong aroma. I'm not sure what to compare it to: it was something dark and faintly bitter smelling, but not like coffee or chocolate. More lik...

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Picture of Bilouchun Green Tea

Bilouchun Green Tea from Starway (Tea King of China)

Style: Bi Luo Chun – Region: Jiangsu, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 13th, 2012

I came across this randomly at an Chinese supermarket in Philadelphia, and like the last reviewer, I think it's one of the better bargains I've ever run across. I've been using it as a nice 'everyday' sort of green tea for a while now. The large six ounce tin I bought for about four dollars is still going strong.

Af...

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Picture of Tamayokucha

Tamayokucha from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Tamaryokucha (Guricha) – Region: China

60 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 5th, 2012

I only had one teabag to play with, and I think I brewed it badly. I followed the instruction on the packet to brew it for five minutes. It didn't say what temperature to use, so I guessed 175F or so, which I think was a mistake.

Aroma-wise, the leaves were pleasantly citrusy, but once I brewed it, the aroma turned ...

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Picture of Wild Snow Sprout Tea

Wild Snow Sprout Tea from Wild Tea Qi

Style: Green Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 5th, 2012

This tea was surprising, and delicious.

The biggest surprise was unusual aroma, and the disconnect between that aroma and the taste. I should say: for me, the smell of tea is a thing to savor, as much a part of the experience as drinking it. Unless you buy something after drinking a sample, the smell is probably yo...

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Picture of Jade Cloud (aka Green Jade)

Jade Cloud (aka Green Jade) from Rishi Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: Hubei, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 3rd, 2012

I had just a sample of this one, the version that comes in a teabag, not loose. So I only got to experiment with making it one way, rather than brewing it a couple different ways to see what changes.

That said, I steeped it exactly according to the instructions on the package, and it came out really nicely. The aro...

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