122 Tasting Notes

60
drank Buttered Rum (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
122 tasting notes

Backlogging from a few days ago.
Dry leaf has a creamy and coconutty aroma. Tea tastes and smells very butterscotch-y. Tastes great hot or cold— traces of coconut seem to appear as the tea cools. I’m definitely inclined to get more of this once I run out.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

Just brewed a cup of this to wind down for the evening. The dry leaves smell vegetal, but upon brewing, the tea has a light, floral aroma. The liquor is a pale, golden colour. Sipping it, I could taste something that reminded me of the aroma of wildflower honey. I could also feel a slightly dry/astringent sensation on my tongue, which might have been due to the temperature of the water. I couldn’t really detect a buttery flavour/sensation this time around. Overall, I seem to have underestimated this tea the first time I drank it; I’m definitely bumping the rating up a bit.

Edit: It seems to get more dry/astringent as it cools, but there’s also a stronger, sweeter aftertaste.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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84
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
122 tasting notes

I attempted to cold-brew a small batch of this tea (2 teaspoons for 10 oz, steeped and put in the refrigerator for about 10 hours). I added a bit of sugar, since I was in the mood for a lightly sweetened iced tea.

The cranberry flavour dominates the tea, with a hint of something vanilla-y in the background. I’d imagine this would be very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Preparation
Iced

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85
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
122 tasting notes

Made another cup of this. For some reason, this time around I was able to detect stronger notes of chocolate. Added some half and half to it, which really brought out the chocolate, but dulled the malty flavour a bit. I’m going to increase the rating on this.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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91
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
122 tasting notes

Resteeped. More cinnamon-y this time. Still also rather malty and chocolatey.

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84
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
122 tasting notes

Sorry for the brevity/curtness of my latest notes— some are backlogs and I’m running on about two hours’ sleep at the moment.

Dry leaf smells like cranberries and vanilla to me, but I occasionally thought it smelled almost cherry-like, too. Asked a suitemate about it and she could also pick up on something that seemed similar to cherries.

Aroma while steeping became much more cranberry-like with something vanilla or almond-y in the background. Taste was very similar, too, and left a slightly tart feeling on my tongue, though that may have been my imagination.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

Light, floral, and I think I detected something that could almost be described as buttery.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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91
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
122 tasting notes

My first shipment from Verdant Tea! I ordered this (autumn pick), the Yanxin Reserve ‘04 Shu nuggets, and the Autumn Tieguanyin. As I’m waiting for the water to boil, I’m clearing out a new section in my comfort drawer (filled with teas, chocolates, and coffees) for somewhere to put these new teas.

The dry leaf aroma really, really reminds me of hot chocolate. After steeping, the tea has more of a toasty/woods-y(? I don’t know where that thought came from, but it reminded me of walking in the woods on my high school campus just as spring was beginning to dry out into summer), malty aroma. I also want to say that I can sort of detect a hint of something cinnamon-y, but not as strong. I don’t know if it’s my mind playing tricks on me, though.

On first sip… tastebuds stunned, mind blown. Be back later.

Preparation
Boiling

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75
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
122 tasting notes

Backlog from two days ago. Shared some with a suitemate, who enjoyed it after adding a lot of honey to it. Still couldn’t taste a lot of the chocolate, unfortunately.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Irish Breakfast by Twinings
122 tasting notes

Backlogging from a few mornings ago.

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Bio

Update: Have been occupied as of late with graduate program applications. I’ll still be on Steepster, but will mostly be in lurk-mode with the occasional review.

Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and the occasional shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. I plan to give my rating system an overhaul and will eventually get around to rescaling older ratings.

99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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