290 Tasting Notes

95
drank Grand Cru Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
290 tasting notes

This is my first prepared at home matcha. I picked it up with my Frequent Steeper points, since why not get something too expensive for me to normally try?

I started out making this as directed – 1/2 tsp in a cup of 74C water. I don’t have any of the right tools for making matcha, so I just whisked it in my mug, with a fork. It worked okayish, but I couldn’t really get much in the way of bubbles on top. The first sip didn’t have as much full mouth taste as I was hoping so I attempted to add another half teaspoon, and that’s when things got messy.

For starters, I forgot my spoon was wet and stuck it back in the bag. Crap. I managed to scrape out the wet matcha, but that was an unfortunate mistake. And then the added spoon was thick and clumpy, in a way that I just couldn’t smooth out with a fork.

Well fuck it. I put the whole lot into the blender with some milk and sugar, and now it’s smooth and frothy and delicious. It’s an intense deep green, very fresh and grassy tasting, and works beautifully with the sweet and cream.

I’m drinking this down way too fast and I’m probably going to go in for seconds when this cup is gone.

Edit: Yup, second cup made and done. I love how relaxing this is – I feel awake and alert but not at all jittery or over stimulated, which is amazing.

Flavors: Grass

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
darby

Ha! Love the note – sounds exactly like something I would do. Did you do the second cup in the blender too? I’ve been thinking of getting this one with my points.

Anlina

Yup. I’ll have to try it in the blender just straight, without milk and sugar, at least until I can get a suitable whisk.

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70
drank Teatoxy Morning by Teatoxy
290 tasting notes

Far too early a morning today, though I got off to a strong start and made pancakes. My impressions of this tea are minty, tart, rosehip, hibiscus, stevia and eulethero or eucalyptus, maybe lemongrass. The hibiscus is there but it’s not overpowering or offensive. This is really, really sweet, without the addition of anything. There’s a cooling tingle on the back of the tongue and throat.

Good but probably the least interesting of the Teatoxy teas, which I have been quite impressed by. The whole concept of detoxing doesn’t make sense to me, but these are tasty teas.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Mint, Rosehips, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

I don’t get detoxing teas either.

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89
drank Coconut Truffle by Two Guys' Tea
290 tasting notes

Oh my this was amazing tonight. 2tsp in probably 12oz of water for 2.5 min. Super creamy, with lots of toasty coconut and rich chocolate notes. This tasted like it had cream in it. Amazing dessert tea, and no sugar needed. Bumping my rating up.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Toasty

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
VariaTEA

Sounds delicious!

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73
drank Nepal 2nd Flush Sencha by What-Cha
290 tasting notes

What-cha is having a 20% off sale, and so far I’ve quite enjoyed everything from my last order, so it’s time to try out the last couple of things and see what needs restocking.

The dry leave is dark green and quite twisted and needle-like. The fragrance is quite mild.

Steeped 1tsp in 76C water for 1.5 minutes. The steeped leaf and liquor smell amazing. Butter, roasted nuts and seaweed. On the palate, there’s a bit of a tang, some seaweed and a hint of the roasted nut flavour at the back of the mouth. There’s a light grassiness that builds through the finish, and a faint floral note.

Nice cold as well. I had to run out in the middle of this cup for lunch plans that I completely forgot about.

The second steep, again for 1.5 min, is pretty much the same as the first.

I’m not sure I would stock up on this, but it’s about a bajillion times better than the sencha I had from DAVIDs recently.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Grass, Roast nuts, Seaweed, Tangy

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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30
drank Fig Rose by Teavana
290 tasting notes

I haven’t had this one forever, and I had a vague recollection of what it tasted like, but when I opened the bag, it smelled completely different from how I remembered it. All honeyed figs. So we shall see how it tastes.

I started off steeping about a teaspoon and a half of this in boiling water for 5 minutes and meh, nothing much there. So I threw in the rest of my bag (probably at about 3tsp total now), and I’m just going to steep it until it tastes like something.

Meh. I dunno. Now it tastes a lot stronger, but I’m not really feeling it. Lots of hibiscus tart, with some pineapple, fig, nuttiness which I think is also fig (seems to be a flavour that is in fig teas, but that I don’t ever experience when eating figs), and maybe a hint of floral? I added some sugar to take the edge off the hibiscus, but it’s mostly just made the whole thing sweet and sour.

Not into it, wouldn’t buy again. I’m glad this package is done.

Flavors: Fig, Floral, Hibiscus, Nutty, Pineapple, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
The Cookie Lady

Oh boy! And I ended up loving this one so much yesterday. Sorry you didn’t feel the same about it :( Guess that means we won’t be fighting over it during the after-Christmas sale? ;)

Anlina

Hah yeah. There have been a lot of Teavana teas that I’ve tried and disliked them so much that I can’t even understand why they stock the, but since I started coming on Steepster, it’s clear that people have really different tastes, and some of the ones that taste like sour water to me are full of complex deliciousness for other people.

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90
drank Calm Me Teatoxy by Teatoxy
290 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this, because hibiscus, but this is just lovely.

The dry leaf is very fluffy, with large pieces of hops and hibiscus, whole corn flowers and lemon wedges. Very pretty, and 2-3 teaspoons for a cup really doesn’t even make a dent in the bag.

The dry lea smells primarily like mint. Steeped the citrus and hibiscus fragrance comes out a bit more. The cup is a lovely deep red.

The directions recommend steeping for 3 to 10 minutes. I started with 3, which was plenty potent, but then put the leaves back for a longer steep just to see how the hops would develop. I forgot that I was resteeping, so I probably got between 5 and 7 minutes total instead of the 4 I was aiming for. There was a bit more hoppiness, though still very pleasant and not overly bitter, and well balanced mint and citrus. The hibiscus works very well in this, and combines nicely with the lemon to give it a nice tartness. The slight bitterness and the citrus are very reminiscent of lemon rind and grapefruit, even with that slight tongue tingle.

I’m really pleased with this. I thought it might end up being too sour or in need of sugar, but I think it was pretty perfect as is.

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Grapefruit, Hibiscus, Hops, Lemon Zest, Mint, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Teatoxy Energize by Teatoxy
290 tasting notes

Ermagherd, this tea is blue! Really, really blue! I’m drinking it from my TARDIS mug and it’s damned close in colour.

The dry leaf is really pretty and extremely fluffy. The directions say 2 heaping teaspoons per cup, which sounds like a lot of leaf, but really isn’t that much. There are whole blue and yellow flowers, pink rose petals, big strips of pale green pandan leaves and curls of lemongrass shavings. There’s supposed to be lavender in here too, but I don’t see or smell it.

An 8 minute steep yields a deep blue cup that quite mild tasting. The dominant notes are lemongrass, pandan and rose. It’s pretty herbal tasting, but not in that generic herbal health teas kind of way. The rose remains distinct and builds through the finish and the pandan kind of takes on a pastry-like note.

I don’t really know which ingredients in this are supposed to be energizing, and I don’t buy into the whole idea of detoxing, but this is tasty and pretty and that’s good enough for me.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Pastries, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
darby

I can’t wait to order this one.

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85

Mmm, this is a nice chai.

The dry leave is small and twisted, with lots of cloves, chunks of ginger and cinnamon, with the occasional bit of green cardamom pod visible. The dominant notes on the nose are ginger, clove and vanilla.

I steeped 1.5tsp in 8oz of boiling water for 4 minutes. This yielded a really strong, bitter brew with a tart note of orange peel. Not something I would drink straight, but that’s okay, because milk and sugar were my plan anyway.

A teaspoon of sugar and a good amount of milk mellowed the bitterness very nicely, transforming this into a warm and gentle tasting chai. There’s no real kick to this – no heat or throat burn from the cinnamon or ginger, though the cinnamon flavour is definitely present. The clove and vanilla take a front seat, giving this a nice round taste and creaminess that’s separate from the added milk.

Not my favourite chai – I tend to like them bolder and spicier, with some cooling spices like fennel and coriander – but this is different from the other chais I have and it’s good.

Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Ginger, Orange Zest, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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70

Hmm, this isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem that different from your standard Moroccan mint tea either, aside from the addition of fennel, which I approve of. I was still getting a lot of char flavour as is typical for a gunpowder base and none of the buttery notes that should be there with the laoshan green. I’m not a huge fan of the gunpowder flavour profile, so I would have been quite pleased if this were a bit different.

Flavors: Char, Fennel, Mint, Roasted

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 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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