894 Tasting Notes

91

After years of contract work, consulting, working from home, and other non-traditional work arrangements, I actually have a pretty normal job where most of my days are spent in an office. I have a space that’s mine, but I’m almost always in another room, so I’m travel mugging it, and this has become my go-to tea for travel mug steeping (even though I should be sipping down the way too much tea I already have in my cupboard, I keep ordering more of this.)

This tea is so, so flexible and forgiving, which is a wonderful quality for steeping in a travel mug. I can use two, three or four pagodas for a 16oz cup, steep from 3 min to indefinitely, use 96C water or much cooler and always get a delicious cup that’s not astringent or bitter. It’s also one of the few teas that I find worth resteeping western-style.

Lighter cups are very malty and chocolatey. Long steeps with lots of tea bring out very rich, almost meaty notes, with a hint of tartness. There are lots of faces to this tea and all of them are good.

The flavour and quality has also been consistent over multiple purchases and multiple years, which I appreciate.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Meat

Kristal I hear you. I love a good vegetal green tea but gunpowder green tea is my work day tea since it’s also so forgiving with steep times and temps.

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87
drank Indonesian Gold by Teavana
894 tasting notes

I bought this tea, loved it and then stuck it in my cupboard and forgot about it till now.

It’s still wonderful. Fairly light, not at all astringent, and brown sugar and squash notes dominant in both the fragrance and the taste. The brown sugar peaks mid sip and fades out in the finish to a malty flavour which pairs well with the squash note.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butternut Squash, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Mike

Oooh, interesting! The description is confusing, is it an oolong tea or a black tea?

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85

This is so good and now it’s gone. A rich, bold Assam with a dominant brown sugar note, lots of malt and a hint of fruitiness.

Minimally astringent – this would be great with milk and sugar, but it doesn’t need it.

(2014 harvest)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Fruity, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

hey! welcome back!

Anlina

Thanks! I keep meaning to come back and then I get distracted. :) Hopefully I will be a little more present now.

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95

I sipped this down recently and I’m so sad it’s gone now. The dominant flavours are cinnamon and squash, with some malt and cocoa richness.

I feel like this would be the perfect base for making a really good pumpkin spice tea, except that it’s almost too good on its own to adulterate with flavours.

If this is still available with the same flavour profile I may need to cave and place a Greenterrace order sometime in the not too distant future.

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
OMGsrsly

Soooooo good. :) I actually was just looking at it recently. But then I tallied my teas, and now I’m not allowed to buy anything.

Ubacat

Love this tea too.

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82
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
894 tasting notes

Sipped this down today and it was delightful. Both fruit flavours really shine out, and while there’s some tartness, it’s not hibiscus tartness (yay!)

I’m on more of a straight teas kick lately but this is worth restocking for me, eventually.

Flavors: Cranberry, Pear, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Heads up. This one is currently 40% off. Word is that it is going to be retired soon.

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84
drank Birthday Cake by DAVIDsTEA
894 tasting notes

I hadn’t had this in years but I got a free tin as part of a sale, and I’m glad I did. I made this as a latte with sweetened condensed milk and it was just heavenly – very sweet, borderline syrupy and deliciously cakey. Definitely lives up to its name. <3

Flavors: Cake, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Kristal

love, love this as a latte.

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75
drank Butter Tart by LuxBerry Tea
894 tasting notes

The cumin in this just overpowered everything today. I should have added some sugar.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

My morning cup again. This one is so tasty and easy to reach for. So glad I rediscovered it in my cupboard.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

I thought I drank this all up and was sooo happy to discover that I still have a fair bit when I sorted my tea cupboard the other day. It’s still a delicious cup of chocolate raisins. So amazing.

Flavors: Chocolate, Raisins

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Profile

Bio

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.

Beyond tea, I’m a sex educator, polyamory activist, and radical queer. I love backwoods camping, abstract painting, baking & cooking, nail polish, cats, ceramic sculpture, and home nesting.

Location

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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