506 Tasting Notes

66

Vegetal greens aren’t really my thing, but there’s no denying I really enjoyed the citrus notes in this. The whole flavour profile reminds me of eating lobster (or insert your preferred seafood), with a good squeezing of lemon and a dash of butter.

This isn’t the cup to win me over to Team Green, but I don’t mind drinking up two individual tea bags of it. Thanks, SFTGFOP, for sending this smoky smelling Myanmar tea my way!

Flavors: Lemon Zest

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

I finally got a HB temperature variable kettle for school. Now it lives in my room with the soul purpose of manufacturing oolong-perfect water at my whim. It’s so satisfying knowing I can do that!

I really should be prepping for bed, but instead I thought I would celebrate the new kettle with a cup of this. It’s crazy floral-sweet today; undeniably like honeysuckles. The salty butter on the back of the tongue wasn’t apparent at first, but it has saturated my mouth with a vengeance now. I’m getting something almost minty too today.

I told myself I’d only do one steep tonight but I lied. I forgot how much I love this one.

Flavors: Butter, Flowers

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

Yay! A new kettle! :)

Cavocorax

Is it the Hamilton Beach Pro? I think you match VariaTEA and I! And yes! ILU new kettle for letting me drink oolongs and greens! That should make for a more enjoyable semester for you! :)

Kamyria

Ohh… I want this kettle… and I think my subconscious knows and is helping me get it. My water thermometer had an accident today whereas it fell inside the regular kettle with near boiling water. The poor thing was all fogged up and rendered non-functional for time being. If it stops working for good I’ll probably get the variable temp kettle. Oolong is my Goddess… it would be so much easier with this kettle.

Bonnie

Congratulations! A good kettle and a water filter are a must! In fact, I’d choose the filter first really. Calcium and iron in water seems to especially effect the taste of oolongs for me. I’m a freak though.
Enjoy your new baby! Whoot!

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68
drank Cherry Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
506 tasting notes

Main notes for me are Sour Cherry Blasters and roses. There are some muscatel, vegetal, and citrus notes that pop up now and then but they are less defined. The coconut is barely apparent at all, but when it is it’s more akin to an oil or water than coconut shavings.

This isn’t a bad tea, artificial cherry and all, but it has to be steeped with some care. I think I burnt mine the first night and it had a bitter green veggie note midsip (between the rosy cherry and coconut-rose). Luckily the second steep that night came out smoother.

I may have my complaints and I would never add this to the “search and hoard” list, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup either. David’s has me excited about seasons months before their time, so there’s that too (my sense of time is a mess).

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

Just don’t try going outside in just a sundress and sandals. :)

CrowKettle

Almost did that when I saw how blue and sunny it was today. Then it started snowing. :/

OMGsrsly

Oh, you made me laugh. :D

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86
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
506 tasting notes

I decided to crack open my sample of this today and made one big pot long steep (+3min steep) and one little glass pot steep (15sec).

15sec is light and smooth, but on the bright and sweet side. My roommate tried some and asked if I added a little sugar to it. Big pot has a thicker flavour, and yielded honey nectar syrup. I don’t really pick up any spices from either session but long steep has something musky about it that may be reminiscent of cloves.

For me this is a very sweet tea. Maybe that changes in later steeps, but I won’t find out until later tonight.

Preparation
Boiling
Fjellrev

Oh wow, I wouldn’t have thought that this one would be that sweet.

Bonnie

Yes it has a honey quality…not dark honey though. The sweetness is cocoa cream to me.

SFTGFOP

I love Dian Hongs. A good one can taste like mead.

SFTGFOP

…and I just realized that almost all the “good” black teas in my book taste like alcohol!

Darjeelings = Champagne
Keemun = Whiskey
Assam = Bourbon

Bonnie

I have a puerh that was aged in a bourbon barrel and it’s crazy good!

Stephanie

OMG Bonnie…bourbon barrel puerh??? That DOES sound amazing.

Bonnie

Comes from Oregon…I’ll have to review it…but Happy Luckys Tea House in Fort Collins has a few pounds for sale (might be on the website.. www.happyluckys.com don’t know though). Not ‘flavored’
but ‘aged’ in the bourbon barrel until all that yum gets infused into the puerh. Pretty kickin!

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95

Sipdown. My last pot of this was so rich, like buttered spice cake, that I may have to pick up more asap.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec
Chizakura

I love this one too. So good~ I love how well Verdant’s blends re-steep :)

CrowKettle

I was surprised how well this one re-steeped after the initial 6min first steep. :)

Fjellrev

Because of you, I busted out my Vanilla Citrus spice and just downed two Nordic mugs. The second steep was indeed very flavourful. :)

Lily Duckler

So glad you enjoyed! :) Since you might want to pick more up, I do want to let you know: we are running very low on the base to this blend! So far, it looks like we’ll be able to keep this in stock just through the first week or so of February.

OMGsrsly

CrowKettle, I have a $10 certificate and was thinking of picking some tea up. Did you want me to add some of this to my order?

CrowKettle

If it’s not inconvenient for you that would be awesome :)

CrowKettle

That sold out quickly! It just goes to show you should never hesitate when it comes to something you love. I’ll anticipate the return of this blend (and the Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha).

caile

I know! I was waiting for the Black Chocolate Genmaicha to come back in stock as was going to order both of these, but alas, now this is gone as well.

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This is part of my recent fruit-herbal kick.

This is tart, fruity, with a dab of yogurt. I was surprised to find that I liked this better hot than cold (it’s too much like sour yogurt for me). A shorter steep time (4min?) prevents Hibiscus from manifesting completely in all its sour glory. I often never remember this though, which results in a thoroughly shredded tongue and throat. Whoops.

On a side note: DT and Purdy’s decided to join forces today at Hillside (maybe they’re doing it in other places?). They’re handing out samples together, which included two “tea” chocolates (Passion-fruit, Chai). Interesting stuff!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Courtney

This is the second post I’ve seen today and I had it so early on in my “tea career” I may not have given it the proper chance.

CrowKettle

Maybe? I’ve had a few pots of it so far, but am not wowed by it either. I’d rather give something new a shot first.

Courtney

I’ll keep that in mind. Perhaps next time I go to fill my guayusa tin I’ll pick up a wee bit. No special trip needed!

Fjellrev

Neat! I’d go down there and check it out but there’s no way I’d make it on time.

CrowKettle

Aw, I hope they do something like this again. It was nothing big, but I wouldn’t mind more free tea and chocolate.

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80
drank Coco-Lemon Thai by DAVIDsTEA
506 tasting notes

The thing about not having microwave and trying to reheat Indian food is.. it really makes the aroma sink into everything. I have an easier time heating up rice and veggie dishes on the stove, like eggplant bharta (new favourite thing!), than the meat/potatoes dishes.

Anyways, this tea. I’m not as big a fan as I used to be, but every once in a while I get “cravings” for it (umm..). Today’s cup ended up being in the top percentile of Coco-Lemon Thai cups, which is amazing because I don’t know how long I steeped it or what the temperate of the water was. Somewhere between vindaloo and tandoori chicken tikka.

I want to get over this tea but I can’t- it has that awesome citrus cream thing going for it that I love so much in Della Terra’s Lemon/Lime Chiffon. The whole coconut cream and lemongrass thing gives me a cheery spring vibe. I think this tea was released during the onset of spring last year, so there’s that going into my overall impression too. It’s a tea full of happy (and it goes well with curry).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
TheTeaFairy

That’s one thing I hate about Indian food! But it’s so delish…ever went to indian restaurant? You come back home smelling like a portable spice boutique!

Fjellrev

Ha! That happened to me when I went to an Indian restaurant a few days before going home for the holidays. My jacket smelled like curry for days, so I left it to air out. Luckily when I got back, it was back to normal. Powerful stuff.

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88

I hate it when I carelessly steep the last of a good tea (it happens way too often). I managed to completely kill this one! Think unsweetened dark chocolate slime mixed with crunchy coffee beans. Bah! I hope I didn’t ruin my chances at a second steep when I dumped all that potential down this bleak pit of lost time and flavour.

Here’s to a very bittersweet sipdown. At least the empty cup smells amazing.

Preparation
Boiling
Butiki Teas

I am a chronic oversteeper. I usually just dump a little bit out and add more water and keep doing that until I get it to my liking. Most of the time I can get the tea back to exactly how I want it.

Chizakura

I always did that too, until the day I started using the oven timer for steep times. The sound of it going off is so irritating that I HAVE to get up to turn it off, and then there’s my tea right next to me. So I still get a cup of fresh tasting, and still hot tea to drink. (I used to literally leave things for like half an hour before I’d remember them, so it’d be luke warm by the time I’d take the first sip, argh)

CrowKettle

I used to rely on our annoying microwave timer but it broke last month, and now I’m in a transitional state for timers. I tend to make tea while getting ready or watching a series, so a timer is a must have for me as well.

I wish I’d thought to add extra water, or at least sucked up my reluctance to add sugar or coconut/almond milk- anything to cut down my mess!

Butiki Teas

CrowKettle-It works. I have brewed CTCs for a half an hour and still been able to make them work, even if I did end up having to pour out 9/10 of the cup and add some fresh hot water. I have the same issue too. Our microwave broke last month and we still haven’t replaced it but to be fair I wanted to challenge myself not to use the microwave for a while. It is requiring us to use a lot more pots and pans but I feel like its somehow better for us.

Chizakura

Yeah, supposedly the microwaves kills most (some say ALL depending on who you ask) nutrients in your food, so I try to use it as little as possible now.

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68
drank Sichuan Caravan by Verdant Tea
506 tasting notes

Happy New Year!

I thought I would have this tonight after being without caffeine for two days but it wasn’t meant to be. First the sample bag split open on both ends, and half the tea fell on the dirty floor. Then I unintentionally dumped the rest down the drain when I attempted a rinse. Definitely up their with my top embarrassing sleep deprived moments. I guess the first caffeine beverage of the new year will have to wait another day!

Luckily, I had some a week back via glass gongfu session, although I only got up to 3 steeps. I liked the spice but I wanted to play around with the puerh parameters, as it wasn’t too my taste (too much sweet earth dirt).

Sil

doh!

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96
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
506 tasting notes

Thank you, Mandala Team, for making my first purchase quick and painless, and for adding extra samples! I haven’t branched out to new companies in a long, long time.

This is delicious. It’s sweet, creamy and cocoa tinged, with a nice finishing accent of pepper spice and sour chips (also smoke in some of the steeps). Smooth cocoa notes come out thicker at the end as it cools a little.

It’s also a relatively forgiving steeper: 1tbsp, first steep boiling for 30sec, in a mug (wait, is this thing more than 8oz?). Second steep 174F (ahhh..nooo!), for 1min. Third steep, boiling 1min (this is gold).

This is turning out to be a rocky session, but the tea plows through all the challenges I present it. Thank you, tea; I’ll treat you (and all puerh) better next time.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Earth, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Oh wow, you actually made pu-erh sound good to me haha.

JustJames

love love love this tea!

CrowKettle

I picked this one up because of you and all the people you shared it with JustJames! :)

Fjellrev, this puerh is magic. One of the steeps smelled a little fishy but it never translated to the taste.

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Tea Preferences: My absolute favourites are the floral inclined oolong and white teas. I also enjoy unflavoured green and black teas. Puerh is a hit or miss.

Fruit, cedar, anise, and vanilla are good. Black licorice, bergamot, and cheap chocolate are less good. Jasmine, cinnamon, and hibiscus are usually too strong in teas for my taste, but otherwise I like these flavours!

Ratings:

95-100: A Personal Favourite; I’m never without this tea.

90-94: Great! I’ll try to keep a small amount around.

80-89: Enjoyable; I may buy more at some point.

70-79: Nice, but not something I’d drink often. I may have a few problems with it.

50-69: Something about this tea falls flat for me. Still drinkable.

30-49: This isn’t a particularly pleasant cup.

1-29: There’s no way to put it nicely..

Location

BC, Canada

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