83 Tasting Notes

drank Sichuan Caravan by Verdant Tea
83 tasting notes

I was very excited to get a sample of this from Dexter. I really enjoy sichuan food, and this sounded down right intriguing. And it is.

The dry leaf smells like cinnamon and vanilla – really lovely but not that unique. Steeped for 2min after a quick rinse, the smell of it changes completely. Instead of the sweet smells of the dry leaf, I notice ginger sharpness, sichuan pepper and a mustiness. The same notes come out on the palette. Ginger, sichuan pepper, mustiness, earth and just a hint of sweetness and licorice on the finish. And of course, the characteristic numbing effect. As it cools there’s also a bit of smokiness.

Second steep is much more ginger, earth and sichuan pepper. The mustiness falls away and I don’t detect any more licorice.

The third steeping is mostly ginger and earth.

This is really different from anything I’ve tried before and I think I quite like it. My experience with pu’erhs is pretty limited, but this is in a whole different ballpark than any of the flavoured pu’erhs I’ve tried.

I doubt everyone will like this, but I think it’s worth trying.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Ginger, Licorice, Musty, Pepper, Smoke, Spicy, Sweet, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Coco-Lemon Thai by DAVIDsTEA
83 tasting notes

Wow. Well the smell of this certainly lives up to its name. The fragrance is powerfully citrus coconut, with a hint of ginger spiciness and sweetness. My first whiff of the steeped tea immediately made me think of Thai green curry.

On the palette there’s lots of ginger and citrus at the beginning and middle of the sip, and then it mellows to sweet, creamy coconut on the finish. I catch a hint of the white tea, but it’s subtle and adds only a hint of earthiness and umami. The sip starts off light and then finishes rich and oily on the tongue.

I like this a lot. The taste and the fragrance remind me a lot of Thai curry. If you enjoy Thai food you will almost certainly like this.

Flavors: Citrus, Coconut, Earth, Ginger, Lemongrass, Spicy, Sweet, Umami

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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drank Skinny Wulong by The Tea Emporium
83 tasting notes

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drank Skinny Wulong by The Tea Emporium
83 tasting notes

I usually give a lot of side-eye and avoid teas that reference dieting, but lime and coconut make this irresistible to add to my Seven Sisters Tea order.

It’s quite different from what I was expecting. The lime is very subtle. The dominant flavour is the natural creaminess and sweetness of the coconut, and then secondary to that, a bit of earthiness, vegetal and umami from the oolong.

I really like the coconut flavour. It’s very natural, not sweetened, and extremely rich. You can see a fine film of coconut oil on the surface of the cup.

I’m going to have to try this iced with lime wedges.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Earth, Lime, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Oh this is different. I was expecting something more neutral, but but this has an acidic juiciness, tartness, like a fruit tisane.

There’s some notes of sweet hay and fruit – apples, grapes, pineapple maybe? A bit of earthiness. All in all a light, fresh cup, and different from any of the white teas I’ve tried to-date.

I think my rating on this is going to shift around, as I try different steeps and more cups of this.

Edit: A second steep is more mellow. The tartness is less prominent, a bit more fruitiness on the nose, and the hay comes more toward to the forefront.

Flavors: Apple, Earth, Grapes, Hay, Pineapple, Sour, Sweet, Tart

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

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Mmm tasty. I haven’t had many mate-rooibos blends before. It’s woody, earthy, sweet and toasty, with lots of amaretto and caramel. There’s something vaguely like sweet coffee on the finish, that’s surprisingly nice.

It’s nice to be able to change up my morning cuppa, and still get a bit of caffeine. I’ll have to try this with milk and sugar, too.

Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Coffee, Earth, Sweet, Toasty, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This reminds me a lot of Teavana’s Fig Rose. It has the same sweet, nutty fig flavour dominant and then lots of pineapple notes. This tea is very, very sweet.

I’m not sure how much I like this. Like Fig Rose, I really like the taste of dried figs, but the nutty quality of this flavour is a bit weird. Might be good iced. It’s an interesting tisane for sure. I think I need to try it again to form more of an opinion.

Flavors: Apple, Fig, Nutty, Pineapple, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Indian Summer by DAVIDsTEA
83 tasting notes

I’m sad that I’m almost out of this. I love this tea.

It smells sweet, of figs and cherries. On the tongue there’s lots of melon, cherries, fig and carrot. The white tea is discernible but subtle in this blend. It adds a hint of astringency and earthiness. It’s light and juicy and so, so tasty. I’m having it hot but it would be amazing iced.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Carrot, Cherry, Earth, Fig, Fruity, Melon, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Creamy Lemon by Cornelia Bean
83 tasting notes

Oh this is an absolutely delightful tea.

It smells sweet and creamy, like a lemon candy or dessert.

The sencha base is fresh and grassy. The lemon flavour is delicate at the beginning of the sip and then in the middle builds to an almost candy-like sweetness that’s creamy and bright but not at all artificial tasting. For all the lemon, it’s not tart, just delicious, through and through.

The finish mellows out, with just a hint of sweet cream on the back of the tongue, and hay notes. There’s only the slightest bit of astringency that’s not noticeable until well into the cup.

I love this tea in the afternoon. A cup goes down incredibly easily and it’s just sunny and fresh tasting.

Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Cream, Grass, Hay, Lemon, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Mmm second steep of the same leaves has less apricot but still a hint and that nice sweetness. The grassy, vegetal characteristics are still there, but the tang mellowed out.

Impressed once again.

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I grew up drinking jasmine green tea with meals, but really fell in love with tea on a trip to Britain in elementary school. My first great love was Earl Grey, and I still adore it and all its variants.

I discovered the beauty of loose leaf tea much later, when, on impulse, I picked up a few teas that were on clearance at a home store. My introduction to loose leaf teas were Masala Chai and Provence Rooibos by the Metropolitan Tea Co and an unknown brand of kukicha and gyokuro (little did I know what a precious treasure I’d stumbled onto with that.)

At the time I was lucky to live in a place with multiple tea shops and several places to have afternoon tea, which is a delight I still miss.

Tea is part of my daily ritual and a nice, affordable way to appease the collector in me.

I enjoy distinctive whites, greens and oolongs, flavoured blacks, and herbals that are heavy on the citrus, lavender or mint.

Rating rubric, to give myself some consistency:
0-15 Yuck, not even drinkable.
16-30 Disappointing, not really inclined to give it a second try.
31-45 Disappointing, but maybe there’s potential? Worth one more try, prepped differently.
46-60 Mediocre, not terrible but not memorable.
61-75 Not bad. I’ll definitely finish what I have and might buy again.
76-90 Very enjoyable. Tasty, complex, it’ll keep me coming back.
91-100 BEST! I love everything about it and I will drink it forever.


Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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