505 Tasting Notes

90
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
505 tasting notes

The Caramel Matcha experience began with the ceremonial “opening of the packet”. Upon completion of this holy act the entire basement in which this vessel dwells was flooded with a divine overpowering scent. Mere mortals were never meant to be privy to such a force. Ever.

Usually my roommate thinks I’m cheesy and overdramatic but she’s with me on this one, guys. She asked me if a cake exploded in the kitchen. I never thought robust would be so… robust.

The aroma makes me think a little of alcohol and the richest caramel laced dessert known to man. No big deal. I have no experience in preparing matcha with milk but I decided to experiment this evening a whisked some warm milk in. It tastes like the stuff of lattes. Very sweet and creamy.

My roommate suggested I use some Hazelnut Bailey’s and then dumped in a “lid” amount in (maybe too much). It sure accentuates the caramel and doubles the sweetness.

Likely hood of addiction to this is staggeringly high. The smell reminds me of Christmas for some reason (although that doesn’t say much as lots of things remind CrowKettle of Christmas).

Thank you Sil for helping me make my first Red Leaf purchase!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Fjellrev

Yay, I’m glad you got your order! Last fall, I was obsessed with mixing Biscotti-flavoured Bailey’s with this and the French Vanilla.

CrowKettle

I’m glad I finally got to try this too, although I think I’d go with “delicate” next time. I’ve yet to try Biscotti Bailey’s but I’ll have to fix that soon.

Sil

Well I’m so glad that you finally got to try this out!

Amariel

Oh I totally agree! That little packet you gave me went into the baggie with the stuff from OMGsrsly by accident, instead of the one your stuff was in, and when I opened the baggie to catalogue the contents, all I could smell was the caramel matcha. I look forward to making some!

CrowKettle

Thank you again, Sil! I can’t say that enough. It’s hard to resist drinking this stuff all day.

I hope it didn’t explode everywhere! Next time I swap matcha I’ll put it in the little sample tins.

OMGsrsly

Haha. Oops! I’m excited to try this tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing the matcha. :)

CrowKettle

Anytime :)

Sil

Well I’m glad you also encouraged others to try some haha

You can get little craft plastic tins at the dollar store that seem to work….picked some up yesterday and used them to share matcha with the girls here :) little cheaper than actual tins

CrowKettle

Ah.. plastic tins! I should never ignore the wonders of the dollar store. :)

Cavocorax

Sounds so good! I’m expecting my matcha latte samples from red leaf this week – it’ll be my first foray into the mysteries of matcha!

Can’t wait.

Cavocorax

Also, I was just at the dollar store and I totally forgot to get craft bags. :/

CrowKettle

I’m extremely curious about your matcha latte samples and hope it goes well!

I want to get proper bags before swapping with anyone again but I keep forgetting, or when I do remember the dollar store is closed.

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70
drank Caramel by Fauchon
505 tasting notes

Thank you ToiToi for sending me this sample! It tastes like Salted Caramel. It’s sweet and slightly salty, with a bright ceylon base that gives it a toffee-like edge. I’ve had a lot of caramel today.

I’d initially forgot this sample at my parents’ when I went off for school but they mailed me a card with an encouraging message and some of the smaller tea bags that I’d left lying around the place. I say this all the time but parents are freaking awesome.

It’s been a while (10 days) since I made a tasting note here. I know this is a long time because Cavocorax changed her profile picture since I was last on. It’s a big deal.

Edit: This tea has a lot of caramel flavour! When I steep this for less time and drink it lukewarm it’s more syrupy and salty-sweet and less like a solid piece of toffee.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

Mmmmm this sounds good.

CrowKettle

This one is pretty good, although I think I like syrupy caramel teas over hard toffee caramel teas, which this one is the latter.

Sil

mmmmmm caramel…. nom nom nom nom nom

TastyBrew

Any idea where to get this in the US? It sounds so good!

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66
drank Browncoat Genmaicha by 52teas
505 tasting notes

Now I can taste the chlorine… boo! :(

This becomes something I like more as it cools down.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

Wow, I really dodged a bullet there. Despite looooving genmaicha, I had a strange feeling about this one.

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76

Awkward back story! This tea wasn’t originally a part of my initial online order. One of the random teas I’d selected was out of stock, and someone from New Mexico Co. phoned to inform me about that during the Christmas season. She offered to substitute in a similar tea instead… and I replied by telling her she could pick whatever she wanted and I could just find out when they emailed the adjusted receipt. Clearly I need to work on my early morning phone call skills. Decisions were made that I was happy to have no part in, and this chocolate rooibos found its way into my possession.

I actually like this rooibos a lot. I’m not always a fan of chocolate, or rooibos, but I’m happy with both here. The leaves have a chocolate liquor smell and the flavour is like that of rich dark chocolate bar with fruit and nut notes. At least for me, this one isn’t cloying in anyway, despite the cocoa and vanilla, which makes it easy to drink later in the evening.

Edit: for non-rooibos fans,you can definitely taste the base in this one.

I’m glad this one came my way! Now I just need to figure out if I want more or not.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Wow, that really worked out. Is the rooibos quite prominent?

CrowKettle

It blends nicely with the chocolate but it’s there, unfortunately. I think a lot of the fruitiness from this blend is due to the rooibos.

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70

The package says to steep this tea at 93C/203F, and I definitely poured in boiling water. Oops. Luckily, this package Cavocorax sent me has a few more rounds of Darjeeling to play with.

This one is more malty than the other Second Flush’s I had, and also has more of a cocoa overtone. I love the floral-sweet finish Darjeeling seems to have. It’s a little astringent mid-sip but it’s not like biting into a citrus rind, and it mellows out a bit into that floral sweetness that I like so much.

Looking at all the classification information for Darjeeling tea makes my head spin. I don’t think I’m going to be able to tell the difference anytime soon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Pom Tango by DAVIDsTEA
505 tasting notes

I had this hot as an in store sample the other day and wasn’t particularly wowed by it. Then I stuck some the fridge overnight, and it was awesome. Thank you friend who convinced me this would be better iced and that I should get some anyways. You were right.

This is very much a mango tea; my 16g bag consists mostly of mango pieces with a reasonable, yet less apparent, amount of black tea leaves. It’s a heavier blend. The mango gives it a flat, fruity sweetness that is spiked up by the subtle, more tart pomegranate. The black base is also very subtle.

This cup is nice an refreshing and deserves a sunnier day than what we’re getting right now. Happy daylight saving time from the Pacific Northwest.

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

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79
drank Matcha Matsu by DAVIDsTEA
505 tasting notes

Matcha, you are crack. Is this even the good stuff? Why is it so addicting?

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C
BoxerMama

That’s almost a haiku.

Cavocorax

I thought about trying DT’s matcha but I don’t know if I would like it, or what to do with it. #someday

CrowKettle

Almost a haiku.. I don’t think matcha is for everyone but maybe I can send you small portions of the ones I ordered from Red Leaf (caramel, Bavarian cream, coconut, etc). The package is in Delta right now but I think the flavoured kind may be a good introduction.. I don’t know why I took to the plain stuff right away!

Cavocorax

:) Thanks for the offer, but I’ve got some samples from Red Leaf coming (the lattes they are introducing?) so I’ll give that a shot. But it’s good to know that you like the DT version because that’s convenient.

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drank Honeydew Mate by DAVIDsTEA
505 tasting notes

I love the smell of the dry blend, which has a nice rooibos melon armona, but I’m not so much a fan after everything is steeped. I can definitely distinguish the smell of the mate in this cup and that reminds me of pulling all-nighters.

I can also taste the mate, as well as the green rooibos and melon. The flavours meld into each other quite nicely, actually; this is a good pairing and everything seems to bring a lot of flavour to the cup. I don’t know if I can pick out the white hibiscus, however. It’s sweet and syrupy mid-sip, like honeydew melon (also, a little watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.). I’m picking up something a little tangy in the back of the throat.

It reminds me of Lucious Watermelon from last year, except this definitely has a strong (mate) base where the LW was all fruitiness. I’ll have to try this iced soon.

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

I want to try this! On the list for when I go to David’s next :)

Fjellrev

I agree, the dry leafs smells fantabulous. I passed on it, though.

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78
drank Coconut Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
505 tasting notes

Watching the Thai horror “Shutter” in class today made me feel the need to buy small sample sizes of most of the Spring Collection (yeah, that’s totally related and not the lamest excuse, ever). Willpower of a seagull at an outdoor fries kiosk.

Nutty, sweet, and trademark green oolong vegetal notes make this a rather flavorful cup. The creaminess level is moderate. It gives me a unique impression of drinking something that is both light and frothy, yet also rich and heavy. I don’t know how it does that. The finish is a little floral in a sour-sweet plant-like way. The coconut flavour is a good portion juice and flakes, respectively.

I may have had too much coconut tea today, and I think the sweetness in this one is finally getting to me. Am I backwards for saying I would be happy if this had just a tad less coconut flavour?

I’m off to see how this re-steeps and to take a nap. Or maybe I should just go to bed. It’s 8:30.. that’s not too early…

Comparison to other brands of coconut oolong: It’s more along the lines of the Coconut Pouchong from Golden Moon then it is like coconut oolong from Zen Tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

I totally understand your want for less coconut flavour! I could taste coconut for a couple hours after finishing mine, and my mug smells so strongly of coconut. I do like it, though, especially since the oolong isn’t too grassy or seaweed-y.

Fjellrev

Oh geez, you guys make me want this even more.

Lynne-tea

Yumm i love coconut.. i want some.
Must. Resist.

OMGsrsly

Totally worth it! I only got 10g, but I’m going to get a tin filled sometime during the next couple weeks. :)

CrowKettle

I tried resiting the coconut oolong- it didn’t work out very well. :)

Amariel

“Willpower of a seagull at an outdoor fries kiosk.” Ha ha ha! Love that! I’m just drinking mine now. I’m getting a little deja vu of Toasted Walnut, but this is definitely different. I’m drinking this one unsweetened, and it has cooled off some. I am not sure if I am getting some taste from my oatmeal (maple and brown sugar with almonds) or not. I’m just reheating it in the microwave some and will do a full review later.

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75
drank Dulce & Banana by DAVIDsTEA
505 tasting notes
Cavocorax

:| (A moment of silence…)

CrowKettle

Thank you for indulging me. :(

Kittenna

:( I sympathize.

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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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