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448 Tasting Notes

75
drank Dulce & Banana by DAVIDsTEA
448 tasting notes

Backlog from last night! Feel Good ‘Tea’!

When I’m practicing good sleep hygiene this is the tisane I have before bed. I don’t know if it actually helps me fall asleep or if it is simply a necessary part of some sleeping ritual. I should drink this more often, although the fact that this is only available online makes me reluctant to use it up.

I don’t know if this is extremely “banana-y”; Its more chamomile, lavender, and coconut to me. I can’t distinguish the rooibos or lemongrass too well. Depending on what gets into the bag strainer it tastes more like some of those ingredients than others. I try not to use metal strainers with chamomile as it can make quite the mess. When I do get banana notes it is a hot caramelized dry kind of sweetness. It’s not perfect but has a comforting quality and contains some of my favourite ingredients.

Last night this tasted strongly of coconut and chamomile and I fell asleep quickly after finishing my cup. Magic! I wish this touch of the flu could be as easily solved. I just want to curl up, read Storm of Swords, and never leave the house. I could sleep all day, but I should go to my Ethnography class and watch those old videos on the Sami people until 9 o’clock. I should!

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

Thanks for the add, I love crows! And Doctor Who and Firefly and Verdant and Butiki and procrastinating (okay so maybe I don’t love that last one, but I’m very guilty of it)

Lady 0f Spaydes

I was skimming through reveiws and saw the name of this tea wrong. I thought it said Dolce&Gabanna and I was like “O.O designer tea?! Whaaaaat?! 8D” but alas, no designer tea. I do now wonder what tea Georgio Armani or would drink…

CrowKettle

@Autumn Hearth,so many wonderful things listed in such a small space (and yes, procrastination is the contentious object on that list)! I look forward to reading your notes. :)

@Lady Of Spaydes, this tea is far from stylish, unfortunately. Now I’m curious too and would like to see a “designer tea”. It would probably be expensive :/

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85
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
448 tasting notes

Hmm, I didn’t really get to sleep last night, for no good reason, but I need to stay awake for another nine hours. I chose to drink this tea, that BoxerMama included in the swap, to start off the day! I’m sure it will be one of many teas today; I feel like death. I reaaally need to stop drinking caffeinated things after 6:00PM..

… Like the huge pot of Peaches & Ginger I had around 11PM (also courtesy of BoxerMama). This tea actually has some notes that are similar to last night’s pot, notably the peach flavour!

I like this tea! It’s juicy and honeyed with the vaguest nip of astringency, which is very welcome right now! This has a pleasant creaminess too, to balance everything out. I’ll be picking some of this up in my next order.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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85

I picked up some of this tonight as a to-go cup. I had this almost a year ago, when it first came out, but I never bothered to pick up more as it was just too expensive in relation to how much I enjoyed it. Every once in a while, in a cup, it’s ok, though. It’s also one of those “teas” that doesn’t consist of a lot of leaf, and I can relax on the “steeping time” with the baggy; optimal for David’s Tea to-go cups!

There’s a good dose of coconut in this but the flavour is clearly dictated by the mulberries, a very strange, extremely sweet “golden yellow-white” berry. The Liqour smells like syrupy coconut.

On the bus ride back to the rented place, I couldn’t help but think this would make a very tasty “light beer”. I don’t know why, it’s not particularly malty, more a nutty and fruity honey flavour but it has something I associate with light sweet beers.

I love eating the wet leaves of this tea most of all. The mulberries and coconut still have their sweetness (I guess I could have done a second steep) but I ate everything too fast. So good! I know, I’m a strange one. There were actually a few white tea leaves this time around, which is very surprising for this blend!

Cavocorax

This sounds really good! I like getting the go-cups, then resteeping it later on. It always seems like they put a lot of tea in there.

CrowKettle

Yes, it does seem that way. I was surprised with how much was in the tea bag. This is both a heavy and expensive tea and I felt very satisfied with taking this to go.

Amariel

I ate my mulberries today too. I might get a bagful of it, but horde it and only have it once in a while. Or, add some if my white peony to it to stretch it out some. It is a weighty tea. My 24g was nearly $2 more than my 26g of Movie Night which does share some similar characteristics.

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80

Short steeps of this “not-Dragonwell” in glass gongfu pot.

Coming from leftfield, the smell of the dry leaves and the taste of the first steep remind me of a McDonald’s Apple Pie- which is something I haven’t had in at least ten years. It’s tartly sweet, in a fruity way, and loaded with brown sugar, vanilla, and something “zippy fresh”. There are hot banana notes that come out more as I sip this first steep but the fruitiness tends to drift more into the realm of apple dessert for me. A bit of puckering mouth.

This is not as buttery or creamy as Mrs. Li’s, at least, not yet. Instead, it has more of a refreshingly green quality to it that is delightful in its own right. I haven’t been drinking any simple green teas, besides Genmaicha and Dragonwell, lately. I need to fix that!

This is very good although I don’t think I’d get it again.. not that it seems I will ever be able to get the same tea twice from Verdant. I hate how I’ve fallen in love with these smaller companies that will never be as consistent (maybe “constant” is a better word) as a David’s Tea or a Teavana sized company. I guess that’s part of the charm though. :)

Kittenna

Haha, DavidsTea, for me, doesn’t seem to be as consistent as it should be! With Verdant’s stuff, I find that different pickings of the same tea taste much the same to me for the most part, even though other people can pick up different flavours, so I console myself that I can at least get close to the same tea (if they bring it back, that is).

CrowKettle

That’s true, especially with the blends from David’s Tea that have crazy amount of ingredients or have a huge weight difference among those ingredients (banana oolong, Indian summer, etc). I guess I feel better about being able to always have access to most of their teas. I’m just worried that I’ll find a tea I absolutely love and then I’ll never be able to get it again. I haven’t tried other pickings of Verdant’s tea yet so we’ll see. :)

Cavocorax

When you steep in gongfu pot, how many oz do you steep at a time? I saw a cute little glass pot at DavidsTea that I might snag if I don’t find a gongfu pot somewhere else and I’m trying to figure all this out.

CrowKettle

If they aren’t too busy and you ask, the employees should be able to do a demonstration with that little glass pot at David’s Tea! I made my friend who works there do that for me.. it was quite the spectacle.

DT’s glass pot looks exactly like this one http://www.teavivre.com/exquisite-glass-gongfu-teapot-with-doublewall-cups/ except it didn’t come with the proper serving cups (I use DT bubble cups right now..)

I’m honestly a slob when it comes to measuring things and usually fill it to full with leaves ranging from enough to at least cover the bottom to 1/3 full. I’ve read some places that your supposed to have it overflow a little? I’m probably the worst person to ask about this. XD

ashmanra

I used my Teavivre glass pot and double wall glass cups last night at Writers’ Group. One of the ladies put money in my hand as she was leaving and told me to get her those cups. LOL! People were fascinated by them, and the tea really does look pretty in them.

ashmanra

Just realized – I think my pot actually came from purepuer.com. I am not sure. It has a green handle and knob on the lid. Teavivre has one with pink, which is adorable and will probably come to live with me (and one with my daughter) soon.

Cavocorax

I like how that looks – so pretty and cute. I wonder if I should buy a gaiwan instead of a mini glass pot. But I could go to DavidsTea TODAY and get the pot and drink my dragonwell samples properly! Decisions… :/

I’ll probably end up with everything eventually, but I’m trying to fight it!

Thx for the info!

Bonnie

Cavocofax, if you can afford it buy both and you’ll be glad you did. They should both be cheap. My glass pot has lasted 5 years so far for $9 and my gaiwan’s run $10-$18 for the fancy one at the high end. These are my most used brewing instruments along with a finum basket and a small strainer. (My glass pot has a stainless basket in it). The standard tea’s from Verdant are those from Laoshan Village but that will probably expand eventually. Davids used to be better when I tried them a year ago I thought. BTW my double wall glass cups were bought at TJ Maxx for about $3.99 for 4. Not bad. Checking out the discount stores can be surprising.

Cavocorax

Thanks Bonnie. I bought the mini glass pot and am enjoying it now, but am still thinking a gaiwan would eventually be nice. But when would you use the gaiwan vs the mini pot? Functionally, aren’t they the same?

Bonnie

Well,Sometimes I do a side by side comparison so having 2 is nice, also…I use the gaiwan for puerh and often poke at it so a gaiwan is easier. Instant steeps seem easy with a gaiwan. I have a gaiwan for oolong,one for Puerh(clay), and a small white porcelain one. My yixing is for roasty oolongs but it’s a medium size pot.

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90

This is my first Puerh that isn’t flavoured or a tuocha, and my first sheng.

I’m in-between refilling kettles to re-steep this right now, and the lingering taste is of a pungent fruity sweetness. It’s also woodsy. I’ve been slowly drinking this tea for the last hour. I enjoy it, although I haven’t built up a palate for puerh’s.

Ok, new cup ready to go! It reminded me of mushrooms in the first few steeps but it has now evolved into something quite citric and tart tasting. It actually reminds me of my intense yuzu tea with a heavy dose of citrus rinds. It’s pungent and drying, yet at the same time also vegetal and refreshing.

In Delta and Surrey, River Road is a bit of an industrial area; if you want to go to Richmond, Burnaby, or Vancouver you can drive across Alex Fraser Bridge which goes right over River Road. It’s an impressive bridge, especially when the sun sets and all the lights flicker on; then it’s like that bit on the Peter Pan ride in Disneyland. The only downside is the smell of sewage that sometimes drifts over from the treatment center on Annacis Island. When the wind is just right however, and the lumber and paper mills are running, that awful smell is replaced by something quite delightful- cedar so sharp and woodsy that clears out all the senses.

This tea has a little of that cedar quality, right down to the sweet and rough woody texture that lingers in the throat. I don’t think I would find myself drinking this all the time but it gets huge points for making me think of that and feel the need to write it down (sorry!). There’s some articles drifting around that say smell may be the biggest memory trigger? Neat!

I don’t know how many times I’ve steeped this, I must be near around ten, and new flavours are still coming out.

Preparation
Boiling
Bonnie

one of the best things about tea is the journey it takes you on through taste and scent memory.

CrowKettle

I couldn’t agree more :)

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What does everyone here do when their tea tastes extremely tired? Do you suck it up and drink it all?

I’ve had this for over two years now and time has not been kind. It tastes like wilted sweet veggies..

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

I generally toss it if it is that old and that weak.

Ozli

Chuck it. Life’s too short for bad tea. ;)

Tabby

Nah, if it’s stale, I let it go. I sort of feel bad for wasting it, but if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point?

CrowKettle

Thanks for the advice, everyone. :)

Lady 0f Spaydes

If it’s stale, let it go. If its just a diminishing of flavor, you could doctor it up with fruit and sugar and juices/spices that compliment it and make an awesome punch! Or lightly tea flavored pastries???

Kittenna

If it’s not good/unpleasant to drink, I say throw it out. If it’s lacking flavour, perhaps add more tea? I have some teabags sitting around that are super old (10+ years), but guilt is making me feel like I should attempt to drink them, when really, I should just throw them out…

canadianadia

I stick it in the compost bin

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86
drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
448 tasting notes

When I pulled a sample of this in my package from BoxerMama I thought I had won the lottery or struck gold! The leaves look like golden yarn. They’re very charming and bright! I love how they transform when steeped.

I had this about four days ago in my travel mug but I’m afraid the plastic didn’t do this mellow tea any favours. I had this a few days before that but was eating Kimchi Jjigae, which also tampers with subtle flavours.

Luckily, for a sipdown, I steeped the meager amount of remaining leaves in my tiny glass pot. I got five steeps and each one was very chocolaty and mellow. Very pleasant and definitely something I would think of picking up, in small amounts, when I want a simple smooth “chocolate” cocoa tea with a touch of honeyed sweetness. No bitterness or astringency detected.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
BoxerMama

This is one of my faves.

CrowKettle

I can see why! I’m going to need to pick up some more in the future :)

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97
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
448 tasting notes

Why, hello honey soaked dark chocolate brownie. The finish upon first steep is drenched in caramel and honey, like someone infused a caramilk bar in my cup; I can’t believe this isn’t flavoured. The smell of the wet leaves, in particular, is very chocolaty, and possibly leathery. I’m detecting no bitterness or astringency, just sweet, mellow goodness. This is a rich, moist cup with a cinnamon note that comes out upon later steeps. The sweetness also becomes more pronounced.

I hit around fifteen steeps in my flowering pot (still on the window shopping stage for a gaiwan)! I’ve never been full on board the black tea train but this Autumn Harvest Black Laoshan has changed that.

I sent an extremely small amount, only a cups worth, to Cavocorax. If I had tried this tea before double bagging some I might have forgone giving ANY of my tiny sample away.. Will be picking up more soon enough, no doubt!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Mercuryhime

This is the black tea that turned me as well. It’s magic. Still only like Chinese blacks though. :D

Sil

yay so glad you enjoyed this!

CrowKettle

I can actually imagine myself drinking this regularly, which is a huge first for a black tea. I won’t be so skeptical next time :)

Kittenna

Haha, yep, this is the first black that really made me go, “woah, straight black tea can actually be good”!

Sil

there are some really great black teas out there that are so much more than just . :)

Cavocorax

That sounds great. I’ll make sure I enjoy my sample when I’ve got time to appreciate it and prepare it properly! Thanks!

Bonnie

Master Han’s that is limited on the Verdant site is considered expensive (I think 3 Starbucks vente’s cost the same if you know what I mean) but anyway it’s maybe the best black tea I’ve ever tasted. If anyone even just wanted the $4 sample it would be worth trying.

CrowKettle

I looked at Verdant’s site and it had me at “coconut”.

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87

I love Dragonwell.

I dumped the dry leaves in my warmed flowering teapot and it smelled like a peanut butter, except more vegetal! Maybe I shouldn’t have done that but the smell was worth it. Wow!

Drinking the “rinse” and it is equally full of buttery nuttiness. I’ve never had a Dragonwell that is this full of flavour and smell. It’s almost overwhelming.

I get the green granny smith apples on the first steep; it’s sweet, juicy, crisp, and kind of tart, in a way. I can’t believe I taste that. The buttery nut notes linger in the back roof of my mouth, like mushed cashews or soybeans. My second steep is even smoother with that prevailing buttery, nutty sweetness. The unfolding flavours evolve into various items.

I think I’m going to end the note there and just focus on drinking as much of this as possible- this may be my new favourite Dragonwell! I purchased two “Dragonwells”, among other teas, from Verdant but this is the only one I bought in a larger quantity right off the bat. I’m glad I did!

On a side-note: I never felt the full effect that the water taste had on tea until I started short brewing and went from Vancouver to Victoria. Victoria water tastes of algae! It is not my favourite.

Cavocorax

That’s interesting! I was just using tap-water for the longest time, and then switched to filtered. Didn’t notice a huge difference but I feel better for doing so.

Cavocorax

Oh and that Dragonwell sounds awesome! Seems like Verdant has some pretty fancy teas.

CrowKettle

I was about to PM you- I’m actually sending you three Dragonwell samples because I couldn’t find any mention of this tea in your cupboards or ratings. Even if you don’t end up liking it I firmly believe this is a tea everyone should try at least once… or twice. Maybe three times? ;)

Miss Starfish

I was never a fan of CBD Victoria water, might be some of the ancient pipes? Van water always tasted more “chemically” to me.

Cavocorax

Oh that’s awesome. Thanks! :D

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70
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
448 tasting notes

Yum! This one is very simple. Creamy coconut with a mellow soft base. The sweetness isn’t a forward kicker except around the finish, which is soft like whip cream. As I get closer to the bottom of my cup that coconut whip cream sensation magnifies…Parks and Rec/Leslie amount of whip cream! It’s very rich and I’m impressed that I didn’t have to add milk to get that!

This tea gets even better as it cools. I may need to pick up more in the summer. The only thing left to do is compare it to my Fantasy Island from David’s Tea and the coconut tea from NM Tea co that arrived at my parents place a few days after I left for school… bummer!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Miss Starfish

Mmmm, this sounds delicious!

CrowKettle

Yes, this was very tasty, especially if you love coconut. I think It’s one of Frank’s permanent blends, which means I can restock it too!

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Profile

Bio

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

My tea preferences have changed a lot since joining here. I swore I’d never love black teas, and now they make up some of my favourites, both flavoured and unflavoured. I prefer my green and oolong teas buttery and roasted.

A good Silver Needle is my desert island tea.

Ratings:

90-100: A Personal Favourite
80-89: Great, buy 25g
70-79: Enjoyable, may buy more
60-69: OK, with some problems
50-59: Flat, but drinkable
30-49: Possibly better in cooking
1-29: This cup found sink

Location

BC, Canada

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