535 Tasting Notes

70

So much new tea! The order I placed with Teavivre two months ago finally arrived, along with my official second order from Butiki. To think if I had withheld myself for another week or two I could’ve tried that delicious caramel tea Stacy just put up. Next time. Only when I’m down to 50 teas.

Anyways, that puts me back to just over one hundred teas again, despite my best efforts to swap away large quantities this week. It’s like starting all over again. at least I have tiny samples that I can drink up and check off to make me feel better tonight.

This one is from OMGsrsly and it smells amazing in that sour, milky, sweet way that rich floral green oolongs have. If someone told me I was drinking Quangzhou Milk Oolong from David’s Tea right now I would just nod my head in agreement. I can’t discern much of a difference, although this one tastes and smells almost fruity. The finish and the aftertaste are sweet! I thought I was crazy for picking up fruit but Tea Sipper mentions pineapple notes so I’m not alone!

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

Aww, you can’t keep up with the tea. My DTT and 52teas came in within two days of each other and I feel like I’m at square one again too, yet I’m also itching to make another Butiki order. Sigh. It never ends.

Sil

I told you…it creeps up on ya. Just have to put your foot down at 200 lol

CHAroma

I have 142 teas in my cupboard right now, and I don’t think it’s going to hit 50 for about 3 years at the rate I’m going. LOL!

Sil

Charoma – you’ll hit a point though when it’s too much and start sipping down as quickly as possible to get to a more manageable state. At least, that’s what happened to me when i hit 300. However, there are ppl like kittenna where apparently 800 isn’t overwhelming lol

CHAroma

Oh, I definitely want to get it down to a manageable state. But I honestly can’t drink more than 1-3 cups of tea a day. And I always add to my stash before I should. So, it’s just a never-ending problem of having too much tea. Of course, there are worse problems to have in life. So, I count myself lucky. ;)

Sil

first world problems – too many cups of tea to drink :)

CrowKettle

My brain cannot comprehend 800 teas. kittenna is a force. lol

I wish I had more tiny samples that I could finish off most of my tea is 2oz or over and the rest is stuff from Verdant, Butiki, and Red Leaf, that I could easily finish off but I want to savour. I’ve dedicated weeks to drinking certain teas. :/

Sil

yeah i’m not sure how i’m going to tackle the stuff i have that’s 1.5oz+ i’ve got a bunch of those. really want my cupboard down to 1oz max of things

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79

This is my first flowering tea and I didn’t know what to expect but it worked out well. I drank this with my roommate and we both enjoyed watching it unfurl and pop up.

The jasmine isn’t very strong, especially when compared to the likes of the yunnan jasmine white, but it is still pleasantly present. My roommate said it reminded her of buttery dragonwell- the green base is a very smooth one with little to no vegetal undertones. The finish contains a clover honey like sweetness. It’s filling in a rich, heady floral way but it’s never overpowering.

The great thing about this one is we were able to take our time admiring the flowering tea, get distracted and look at animal gifs on tumblr, and pour ourselves some more tea without having to worry about it getting overwhelmingly bitter or strong. This is a beautiful, easy going tea, with a decent flavour profile, even on its third steep.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C
MissLena

What type of vessel did you brew this in? I have 2 that I have been wanting to brew but I don’t know what to make them in!

CrowKettle

My tiny glass gongfu is not tall enough, so I steeped it in a glass bodum coffee press that is used for tea by my roommate. If we’d had an average measuring glass, or pitcher, and filled it to the top that probably would’ve worked too. If it’s just you drinking it a glass mug or cup would be fine! :)

A clear bodom teapot, or a flowering glass teapot are easiest though.

OMGsrsly

I use a canning jar. :)

canadianadia

OMGsrsly – very clever! I would have never thought of that :)

MissLena

Thanks for the info! I’ll have to see what I have, I know I have a big glass pasta jar I’ve been saving for cold brewing so it might work too :)

OMGsrsly

I do all my cold steepings in canning jars, and since they’re heat proof I tried hot brewing as well. Careful with your fingers, the glass conducts heat very well!

CHAroma

I have practically nothing to brew my sample in, so I will probably end up using a glass flower vase. :P

CrowKettle

Flower vase sounds fine as long as it’s not too big and you can pour/drink out of it without burning yourself if you’re hot brewing. :P I like the canning jar idea too.

CHAroma

Oh, I will inevitably burn myself. LOL!

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76
drank Waterfall by Silk Road
535 tasting notes

This is a nice green oolong but I don’t think it will become a staple of mine. I’m on my second steep of this already and the floral and crisp mineral notes are the most dominant, with some milky butter creeping in subtly. It reminds me a bit of a tieguanyin oolong, in regards to floral crisp flavours (don’t ask me what kind of flowers).

This would be a good casual evening oolong; it’s not fancy or expensive and that makes it strangely accessible, if not particularly exciting.

I had a tiny tin sample of this that I passed along to school friend today. She’s not a big tea drinker but she likes green oolong! She’s my green oolong buddy.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Aww, green oolong buddy.

CHAroma

Don’t you love that? I have a friend at work who only likes the dark Taiwanese oolongs, while I only like the green unroasted variety. So, there’s always someone to pass along the dark oolongs to who will appreciate and enjoy them. :)

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76

Backlog from yesterday morning. Inspired by a combo breaker matcha-sugar high.

This makes the most amazing latte ever. Unicorns, mermaids, and, umm… nargles sing of its awesomeness in hidden realms. True fact. You’ll understand if you can taste the tangy cheesecake at the end.

I’m hoarding my two packets like a dragon hoards treasure, but I decided to make a cup before heading out yesterday. I had two sips before it was quickly seized by my mother and unceremoniously dumped into her coffee stained travel mug. That’s gross. I bet it tasted lousy in there.

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

Ha! You make this sound damn good. I held back thinking the base would be too strong or something.

Amariel

I love this review. Now I want some.

CrowKettle

I’m over in Victoria between the 11th-20th before moving out, if anyone would like samples and has free time! :)

CHAroma

HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAHAAAAA!!!!!! This review really made me laugh. I love it!

Amariel

MEEEEEEE!!! I would love samples, but shhhh, don’t tell my husband! :P I’m off Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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72

Nom nom nom… If this is only half up to pair with the original blend then that must’ve been a pretty fine dessert tea.

The bag has a bit of a funky aroma but, in my opinion, it is largely overshadowed by the delicious syrupy sweet smell of gooey marshmallow (root). The liquid and bottom of the cup smell sweet too, but the flavour doesn’t quite reach that point of sugary ecstasy promised by the scent. The finish and aftertaste try to fulfill the sweetness but it’s only an impression. The first half of this cup tasted mostly of plain genmaicha before I hit marshmallow (drinking it too fast maybe).

I’m going to add some real marshmallows to the strainer next time and see how that goes. I assume it will be a mess and likely result in a massive sugar overload. Fun, fun, fun.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec
TastyBrew

I was thinking about stealing marshmallows from my della terra s’mores and doing the same thing. It’s so close to being amazing, but just doesn’t quite get there on its own.

Cavocorax

Did you see Frank’s post regarding odd smells? He suggested letting it air out a little to see if that helps as he may have bagged them too quickly.

CrowKettle

I did see that. I let this one air out for most of yesterday and my room smells like marshmallows and sugar. I think it helped a little but there wasn’t much funkiness with this one to begin with. It’s the S’mores Genmaicha that I need to give another chance. :)

CrowKettle

Also, I originally had two bags of this one and have already gone through one of them. I’d probably order this one again if reblended, and buy my own white marshmallows for it.

Cavocorax

Mmm… that sounds like it’d be pretty good.
I’d air out my S’mores Genmaicha, but for me the problem was just that the flavours were too mild.

CrowKettle

I aired out and shook up some of the s’mores before sending it away and I have to agree with you- it’s too mild. I didn’t pick up any alcohol/chlorine that time though so that’s a huge plus! :)

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63
drank Mayan Mist by Della Terra Teas
535 tasting notes

I’m not going to try to describe this citrus spice concoction. It isn’t half bad with some cream though.

I wish I’d tried this back when there were still sunny fall afternoons. It would’ve been perfect. It warms you up and freshens things out.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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76

Sipdown! Chocolate teas and rooibos blends have a rough history with me but I enjoyed this one despite it all. Before I order more I want to check out Silk Road’s Chocolate Panda herbal blend again, but it’s a toss up between the two.

This blend made me realize that rooibos can smell like old cigarettes/cigars/tobacco (can you tell I don’t smoke?) and, against all logic, I actually don’t mind it at all. I guess I enjoyed the odor of gasoline as a child too, so their is prescience for liking awful, harmful smells on this end. Yay me?

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Sil

Uh…I WAS going to say this sounds like a tea to try but old cigarette smelling tea? Lol hmmm

Terri HarpLady

The name is cool at least!

CrowKettle

It’ more like sweet, fruity tobacco than cigarettes actually, but yeah.. The rooibos base is detectable, for sure.

OMGsrsly

Oh geez. I used to work in a tobacco shop, and the smell of the high quality tobacco is amazing. Definitely sweet and fruity.

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80
drank Tian Hong by Steam Tea House
535 tasting notes

OMGsrsly is quite awesome, and swapped me this today, along with seven other samples from Steam Tea House. Only downside is my cupboard count; just when I think I’m starting to creep below 90 an order comes in, I get samples, and I’m back to over 100 again. Grr.. Seems to be my steady state.

The liquor smells like just what I need right now: malty, and fresh. There’s something vaguely cocoa-like and nutty about it but it’s only a light impression. It’s a bit nippy. I can’t tell if there is something inherently sweet about this cup or if it’s the strawberry cookie I recently ate.

I’ll add a bit more after I’ve played around with it and cleaned my palate!

Edit: Palate cleansed, and tea somewhat cooled after 15min- I can definitely confirm that there is something deliciously oozy at the finish, that toys with the idea of being sweet and smoothly creamy. I can’t describe it very well but it’s amazing. Most of the astringency is gone too. Yunnan blacks like this are magical.

2nd Edit: I can taste the walnut skins OMGsrsly mentioned in the room temperature 6min second steep. It’s prevalent and lingers in the aftertaste.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

I have my leaves out on my counter, still waiting for a second steep. But I think matcha is winning out in this war between the teas…

CrowKettle

I’m still trying to figure out what kind of matcha latte I want today. It’s a tough decision.

Btw, I’ve decided that I love this tea very much. I wasn’t sure I cared for it first sip, but now I am very sure this yunnan sample won’t last to 9.

OMGsrsly

It was a tiny sample! :) I’ll try to find out more about the tea the next time I go by there.

Amariel

Intriguing.

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69

Sample sipdown, courtesy of ToiToi!

I would have never thought that the list of ingredients (includes hibiscus petals, cinnamon, and orange peels) would create a liqour that smells like pumpkin pie. It’s strange and I can’t quite get over it.

The flavour is spiced and sour, with a hint of soft smoothness that I can imagine being pumpkin. I over-leafed this a bit but, regardless, this doesn’t have the easy going nature that both Butiki’s Pumpkin Tea, or David’s Pumpkin Chai have (I’ve abused both of those plenty and they never so much as nipped me).

Still, this isn’t bad at all! I can taste delicious, creamy sweet pumpkin near the second half- I just get kicked in the mouth first. Neat.

Grammar/spelling and me seem to be at odds with each other these last few days. I think I hurt their feelings and now they are being vindictive and petty.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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34
drank S'mores Genmaicha by 52teas
535 tasting notes

Eh. Kittenna, I’m with you on this one. Anybody want this?

The flavour is pretty typical genmaicha- buttery and rich. There’s a bit more sweetness than usual but I can’t say this tastes like s’mores, except maybe in the finish/lingering aftertaste transition- I get a bit of burnt marshmallows. Actually, that last part is extremely cool and I’m impressed.

Still, this tea smells “sanitized” and that rubs me the wrong way. The family was over for a birthday and they all had a good laugh at the expense of me and this tea. Mother said it tasted like wood and other unpleasant things. I guess I won’t be able to pass this one off onto any of them.

I wish I was on board with everyone else who thinks this is awesome. :/

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

I’d be up for trying a cup if that would be ok with you. Since I’ve been quite busy, maybe we could meet up on campus on/after exams since i missed out on the meetup? Just let me know if there is anything of mine that you would like to try.

CrowKettle

I think I found someone who wants all of this but I’ll put a cup’s amount aside! We can swap other teas but I’d consider this sample as a freebie. You’re doing me a favor by taking any amount of this tea.

Fjellrev

Nah, you don’t have to bother then! I’m glad you found someone who wants it. It’ll be more work for you and I’m no THAT keen on trying it.

CrowKettle

Ok! Thank you for offering to take some though. It means a lot.. :P

Kittenna

CrowKettle – I’m wondering if there’s something going on with an ingredient that’s only detectable by some people… like that strip of paper that tastes awful to some people and like nothing to others. Either way, I’m swapping out my package too. Better that people try my unwanted stuff instead of spending money to get their own and disliking it (although if they like it, great!) On that note, Incendiare, I commented on your Professor Grey post ;)

Ze_Teamaker

Did you add sugar to it? I noticed that the flavors come out more when I add sugar; other wise it taste like what you described above. Also the main thing I have against this blend is the sanitized smell in the bag.

Sil

Ugh yeah the smell is just wrong

DaisyChubb

Oh man I was sad I missed out on this one – better hop on the next swap wagon to be safe ;)

Cavocorax

:| Hmm, I don’t notice anything ‘sanitized’ like others have said, but I’m not really getting much from the tea except genmaicha. I haven’t reviewed it because some people say to let 52Teas sit a bit, but I’m not wowed by this one at all so far. So weird!

CrowKettle

Thank you for the suggestion, Ze_Teamaker! I tried a cup with sugar and it did improve it a little. Still not a keeper though.

I was also wondering about that too, Kittenna. I think it may be the smell that triggers it for me more than the taste. I have Marshmallow Treat reblend and it’s ok so far, so maybe it’s the cocoa nibs?

Nicole

All these reviews of S’mores tea… I think a Peep or two may need to be sacrificed in the microwave soon for a real s’more… :)

Ze_Teamaker

@CrowKettle: I think I have heard of aspartame being detectable by some people, but not others. I also think it is the chocolate flavoring Frank uses; not the nibs. Others Have commented on the smell of the chocolate flavoring in his teas before smelling weird. Personally I would like it more if it was only the nibs that added flavoring, even if it meant cutting it down to 1.75oz.

CrowKettle

@Ze_Teamaker, that makes more sense. I don’t think I’ve tried many 52blends that use the chocolate flavouring. Do you know if Double Chocolate Decadence used it?

All of this makes me want real s’mores too, Nicole. XD

Ze_Teamaker

Not sure, but a few people mention that it smelled like acholic chocolate liquor.

Kittenna

I’ve only had this strange/gross problem with Chocolate Malt HB, S’mores Genmaicha, and Browncoat Genmaicha. I wasn’t a big fan of Double Chocolate Decadence, but that was just because I didn’t find it chocolatey enough, not because of off flavours, and I’ve liked his chocolatey blends before. I think there’s something wrong with the nibs. I think I will email him about it… although I imagine he has been reading this as well…

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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.

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: …

Location

BC, Canada

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