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111 Tasting Notes

16
drank Pink Lemonade by DAVIDsTEA
111 tasting notes

A co-worker gave me her sample of this. She doesn’t drink herbals, and knows that I do somewhat, so she thought I might like this. I think this is from the summer collection. But it’s something I would’ve avoided since it has artificial flavoring in it. We live in a world full of so much chemicals, that I feel like I need to take control somewhere, and so therefore I refuse to touch tea with artificial flavors in it. But she already gave me this, and one cup won’t kill me, so I decided to give it a go.

The smell of the dry leaf was really really good. Smells exactly like actual pink lemonade. The liquor is frighteningly dark. It’s pretty, but since there’s hibiscus in this and it’s this dark, my mouth is puckering just at the thought.

Turns out it’s nowhere near as tart as I was expecting, which is a relief. At first the taste is pretty good. Pretty much tastes like hot pink lemonade, but then at the swallow the chemical taste kicks in, along with something foul.

It turns out there’s stevia in this and I think that’s what’s causing the foulness. I just realized that stevia was also in the coffee chai I tried about an hour ago, which was probably what was giving me that weird banana-medicine taste. A few more sips in, and now that weird sickly sweetness is all I can taste. Blech. I won’t be finishing this, it’s making me feel nauseated.

Dear DavidsTea, please don’t put stevia into your teas. :( I’d rather have the choice of whether or not to sweeten my teas than have you decide for me.

I need to get that taste out of my mouth. Time for a cup of Peppermint Patty from Butiki! :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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34

Unearthed this from who knows when. Found it whilst digging through my sample sizes. I probably hid this away in my drawer when I saw the word “coffee”. I HATE coffee. Hate. Detest. And even for people who enjoy both tea and coffee, mixing the two just seems weird. I don’t care that there’s such a thing as ‘Dirty Chai tea latte’ it’s still weird.

Couple those two factors made this a sample I vanished into my drawer and since forgot about. Finally decided to get rid of it. Looking at the score on Steepster and my already strong opinions against it, I’m thinking this probably won’t go over well.

The liquor is surprisingly light for a black tea, especially considering there were cursed coffee beans floating around in it. I figured that’d make it pitch black. The aroma is pretty standard of a chai, but gives off the impression that it’ll be a sweeter than typical chai.

… And it’s weird. At the beginning of the sip, I get that weird fake banana flavor like that banana flavored medicine for kids. Then it starts tasting like peppercorns — though a bit stale probably because this is old — and then right at the swallow you get a small bite from the coffee beans immediately followed by a burning spice. If it weren’t for that weird banana-ness at the beginning, this would actually be pretty decent. The coffee beans don’t really take over. It doesn’t taste like a cup of coffee. Instead it tastes like a chai (with weird banana) but with a bit of a chalky finish that the beans provide.

It’s spicy, but not over the top reach for a cold-glass-of-water spicy. But again, that banana medicine taste is not good and ruins it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
111 tasting notes

I can’t get over how much my palate has changed the past several months. The first time I had this — I think it was as a sample on my first Butiki order — I remember that until I added some sugar I literally couldn’t taste anything. Now I taste more flavor straight than I did back then with added sugar!

The leaves are pretty Christmasy, green with red bits. The aroma of the dry leaf is intoxicatingly sweet, almost like smelling frosting.

It starts off with that sea-weedy flavor typical of green tea and then the sweet and creamy taste kicks in right at the end. While I’m not sure I’d say this tastes like eggnog exactly, it’s wonderfully sweet and I could definitely imagine craving this around the holiday season. It’s very vanilla-y which is a good thing, as I love vanilla. This is one of the very few green teas that I actually quite enjoy. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
111 tasting notes

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A few months ago, I had the privilege to be one of the first to try this (if not the first) with a prototype sample. My mind was blown with how much it tasted like root beer. Drinking a sample of the finalized version, I can still say the same thing, except there’s something a little more now. A vanilla-y sweetness! :) Now this version of this honeybush takes it from “Root Beer Honeybush” into “Root Beer Float Honeybush”!

It definitely has a sweet ice creamy taste now. Truth be told, I hate soda. And I very rarely have ice cream. But I’m finding myself enjoying this so much anyway that I could see myself purchasing this sometime down the road, haha. :)

Really nice and unique! Thanks for letting me try it Stacy! :)

Edit: Mmmmm, cannot get enough of that vanilla. I’ve since finished the cup and just keep smelling the mug since the sweet scent is still lingering in it. Hoping for more teas with that vanilla flavoring in it in the future~~

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

I feel guilty. I got this as a sample in my Butiki order a month ago, and I’m only just drinking it now. In fact, I don’t think I wrote any tasting notes from that order at all yet. I had a bit of a mix of my tea drinking slowing down a bit (for a while there I was only having one or two cups a day) and being on the laptop less and less lately, so my tasting notes suffered.

Anyway, this is quite a nice Earl Grey. It’s very potent. 195 degrees and 2 minutes seemed very little for a black tea, but I suspect this could get bitter in a real hurry if it was hotter and steeped longer. At the recommended parameters though, it’s perfect! :) The blend of teas is quite good, and this seems really sweet. It’s a lot like drinking a ‘cream’ or ‘vanilla’ earl grey, which is a good thing as I generally prefer vanilla-y earl greys over standard ones.

Anyway, this Earl Grey is definitely one of the best I’ve had. There’s something unique about this earl grey, but I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly sets this one apart from others. I recommend this to earl grey drinkers, and I also recommend it for someone looking to give earl grey a first try. There are thousands of earl greys out there, and this is definitely one worth trying. :) It’s apparently hitting the spot, as I’m finding myself constantly pausing in this note to take another big gulp!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Got this as a sample on my last order.

So this note is for Western brewing. I think I’ll do up the rest of the sample as gongfu, because I think that might be a better representation of this tea.

Anyway, as it was, Western brew style isn’t anything to write home about. The idea of buds rather than leaves is intriguing, but the result wasn’t really anything exciting. I can’t decide if what it’s making me think of is corn or cauliflower. I have nothing against corn/cauliflower, in fact I really love it, but I’d rather eat it than drink it.

Second infusion is the same. A cup of corn/cauliflower. This tea is very similar to white tea — which I really like by the way — but a very lifeless version of it.

As I said, I’ll try the rest of the sample gongfu style. Unless it’s quite a bit better that way, this won’t be anything I buy again. Too boring.

Edit It’s not corn nor cauliflower it’s making me think of, it’s rice. Sweetish rice. Well at least that mystery’s solved. lol

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Mmm, this is nice! I got a sample of this with my last sample. I’ve been curious about this one as everyone here raves about it.

The leaves are super pretty and colorful. The liquor is a bright yellow; to be honest I expected it to be reddish from all the ingredients in here. The taste was quite unexpected; it tastes like bubblegum and roses! Haha. Very sweet and unique.

I couldn’t drink this everyday, but it is quite nice for now and then. I have a sample of the regular Silver Buds Yabao that I’ll try at some point today too.

The only debate is what to do with the remaining sample. Ice it, or another hot cup? Hmmm… :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Iced might be nice. I wasn’t sure what to make of this one either. Heh. shrug

Chizakura

Yeah. I liked it, but nowhere near as much as everyone else. I see it more as a sweet drink rather than a cup of tea.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Yeah, I didn’t like this one either: It tasted too much like potpourri.

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87

Alrighty! Here we go. I decided to pick up an ounce of this on my last order in case the sample I had wasn’t a proper representation of this blend. Turns out this was a good decision as this cup is far more nuanced, whereas the one I had last month simply tasted like a cup of oolong tea.

I love the smell of the dry leave. Smells like a fancy chocolate bar with a hint of toastiness. Kind of like those chocolates that have nougat in them.

Onto the actual cup, I’m pleased to say that this tastes much more like I hoped it would than last month’s sample! :) I really especially notice the toasted rice, with a hint of chocolate at the end. I still primarily taste the wuyi over Laoshan Black, but the Laoshan Black still makes its presence known with its contribution to the chocolately taste, along with that thick, coating-your-mouth texture.

Overall this is quite nice! It’s very desserty, but still enough like tea. Part of me wishes the chocolate was amped up a bit more, but on the other side I feel like that if it were, then I’d set this one aside in favor of a more conventional tea. So for someone like me, this is probably a good balance.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
JustJames

huh, wonder what the problem was with the sample…. stale somehow? less balanced in terms of ingredients? glad you got a more accurate sample!

Chizakura

I don’t think it was stale, the wuyi tasted nice and fresh. I think it just wasn’t balanced with all of the ingredients. The tea had technically been sold out, but they scrounged some up for a sample for me by my request, but I guess there just wasn’t enough there to make a full flavored cup. Glad I gave it another chance! :)

JustJames

me too! it’s lovely =0)

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79

Verdant order arrived yesterday! :) Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to drink tea before I went to work, so I had a quick cup of Laoshan Black, and then worked the closing shift. (after that it was a shower and off to bed, so no more tea that night!) Now here I am the next morning, with my usual post-closing-shift head-splitting migraine. Late shifts don’t agree with me, you see. I’m a natural morning person. But it just provides an excuse to drink an absurd amount of tea for comfort! Ha :)

The tea leaves for this one are super gorgeous. Big full chamomile flowers, pretty yellow petals, and Laoshan Black and Wuyi leaves all mixed together in happy tea harmony.

I wasn’t sure about the parameters exactly and I was feeling too sleepy and cranky to look it up, so I just guessed: 2tsp in a 12oz mug, just under boiling water for three minutes. At these parameters, I mostly taste mint, but the nice kind of comfort sweet mint, rather than a punch you in the nose mint like toothpaste. Following the mint I get the pleasant flowery ’herbal’y taste from the chamomile which blends perfectly with the mint.

I get a hint of chocolate at the end of the sip. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what the base teas were in this if I didn’t already know beforehand. I’ll play around with the parameters to see if I can coax out their profiles better. But overall, this was a very good cup! I think this ounce will disappear pretty quickly! :) This was exactly what I needed for this headache.

Edit: Second infusion

Wasn’t sure how well this would stand up to a second infusion, but I thought I’d give it a go just in case. Turned out to be a good decision! :) The second cup of this really transformed a lot. It has a definite spice note note now! To the point that I’ve been comparing it to chai as I sip. This infusion is making me think someone should make a mint chai. :) If this is a sign of what it’d be like, I know I’d be buying quite a bit!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hello! I’m a 24 year old Canadian, currently working at Starbucks while I figure out what I want to do with myself in life, haha.

Like most everyone else, I grew up with teabags, and then discovered the grass really WAS greener on the other side with loose leaf. Nowadays I drink nearly exclusively loose, but will drink a bagged tea if I don’t care what I’m having.

My favorite kind of tea is black, and unflavored, although I do enjoy an occasional dessert black. I like whites second best. I’ve recently been dipping my toes into honeybush tisanes, greens and oolongs.

My favorite vendors are Butiki Teas and Verdant Teas. Both have fantastic teas, above and beyond customer service (especially Butiki), and fair prices for their very high quality teas. I can’t recommend them enough.

Purely for tasting notes references, I don’t use any additives for my teas. Older tasting notes for blacks was with milk+sugar, and then with just milk. Whites, oolongs, greens and herbals are all drunk straight unless otherwise specified in the notes.

Location

Canada

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