644 Tasting Notes

80

This has become my unofficial evening “tea” of September. It works so well at knocking me out that I haven’t been able to write a proper note on it all month. I don’t know if I’m just a wimp or a wimp who falls for placebos every time. Eh. It works so I’m not too worried about it.

The main ingredients I can pick out are hibiscus, peppermint, and lemongrass; the chamomile component is weak tonight. I don’t know what Valerian root tastes like or if it brings anything to this cup except extra sleepiness.

Against my better judgment, this “everything” herbal is a simple win. I’m one of those strange alien lifeforms that actually enjoys hibiscus and really like it here. I think it’s more placated here than it normally is in other blends that toss it in haphazardly. The other ingredients smooth it out and it’s nice.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

I nearly reached for this one as well, but was worried it would knock me out too quickly! I forgot there was hibiscus in there, but I really enjoy this blend. It’s just 100% relaxation.

OMGsrsly

Valerian tastes/smells like cheese and dirty socks. Umm. I took it every night for years to help me sleep, and I can’t stand it! One of the hikes I did this summer was lovely, except for the fields of valerian we hiked through.

CrowKettle

Oh, wow. I’m so extremely grateful that I can’t taste that; everything else must do a good job at covering it up. You’d probably be able to pick out here if you were familiar with it though?

@Cavo, I can’t believe how potent this is. I wanted to try this after reading one of your notes a while ago actually, but I didn’t fully believe you at the time. :P It probably was a mistake for me to drink it so early too.

Cavocorax

Hahaha. Well I don’t know if it’s all in my head as well too, but valerian root is supposed to be good at making you sleep, and I know that I chose this one when I want to sleep, so mentally I’m more prepared as well. It’s a keeper!
(though probably not a 100g tin keeper)

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I can totally smell it in the blend. :) Glad you smell it differently! Granted, an alcohol tincture is different from a tea, and the alcohol does not help the smell at all.

Cavocorax

That’s too bad that the Valerian bothers you so much. :(
It is a pretty flower. Deceptive.

Meg

I can’t smell the valerian root in this at all, and I’m glad..I have supplements as well and they stink! I took a good stash of this with me when I moved to China and I’m so glad I did…I only drink it right before bed though!

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84

This tea really drives home the fact that I don’t have a temperature control kettle at school. A lot of imprecise measurements and guess work goes into the making of a cup of green or white tea during the fall/winter seasons. It’s not ideal, but it means no two cups of green tea are ever the same!

It took a few sips to establish the sweet grapefruit finish today; the first quarter of the cup was dominated by buttery veggies. The fruity citrus flavour is more of a summer thing for me, although there’s a cleansing comforting quality to this tea that makes me grab for it at the strangest of times.

I don’t need much of this tea, but I like keeping a little bit around at all times.. same goes for With Open Eyes. I think Dragon Well is one of my favourite things right now.

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec
Courtney

I love your way of looking at it as no two cups being the same :) Also, I just ordered With Open Eyes, yay!

CrowKettle

With Open Eyes is so good. After trying to convince myself out of it all month, I finally ordered some today too. :)

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79

Despite being uncomfortable around licorice flavoured things, I opted to get a sample of this in my last order. It made up one fine mug of spiced chai with sweet licorice notes. My only complaint is that I drank it too quickly and now there’s no more.

I love the lingering aftertaste of sweet cloves, and I didn’t have a problem with the licorice, fennel, and anise (I think I may actually like anise). Not bad at all. Maybe I’ll pick up more as the weather continues to worsen.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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82
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
644 tasting notes

My tea escapades have been pretty minimal lately, and are not anything to write home about. Peppermint and chamomile- that about sums it up. This is the first caffeine-filled “tea” I’ve had all week. It’s a landmark.

I think I may want a chai with a bigger spice kick in the future. There’s a lot of citrus peel and caramel present today, the former of which is burdened with highlighting the sharp, tangy qualities of the other “spices” and ingredients.

Part of me wonders how this would taste if it had a dash of nutmeg, cardamon, and ginger in it (I swear at least some of those ingredients were present in past years). Eh. I guess I can play around with the spice level myself.

Note to self: maybe only stick with one of either brown sugar or sweetened condensed milk. 1-2 tablespoons of each is almost too sweet and rich (very pie-like).

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

It totally seems like it should have nutmeg, cardamom etc in it $

CrowKettle

It does! My tin from 2011 lists cardamom as an original ingredient; I wonder why they decided to exclude it this year.

Cavocorax

Huh. Strange! Well, that’s good in a way? Maybe I’m not crazy for finding it flatter this year. :P

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76
drank Mango Lassi by DAVIDsTEA
644 tasting notes

I picked up 30g of this and Mother’s Little Helper the other day, in preparation for school related insomnia problems. While I’ll probably stock more of the latter, I’ll likely pass up a second round of Mango Lassi, as decent as it is.

Mango, chamomile, and vanilla are all dominant flavours in this cup. It’s quite sweet in a candied fruit way, and is reminiscent of David’s old Buttercream blend, which shares a few mutual ingredients with Mango Lassi and has that same borderline creamy tone. It’s not quite authentic Mango Lassi, however, and a little too sweet for my taste.

The best thing about this herbal is the aroma of both the dry leaf and the empty cup. The roommate agreed too, and even asked if she could make some herself after smelling my empty cup. As a rule of thumb, she’s not usually in a hurry to try my teas.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec

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71
drank Gyokuro by DAVIDsTEA
644 tasting notes

Grassy-sweet, vegetal (seaweed), and buttery. Lately, that’s all I’ve wanted in a cup. I think I may have OD’d on all my flavoured and unflavoured black teas, or maybe it’s the indecisive weather here on the northwest coast. I just want greens, funny herbals, and chais made on stove top- all of which are teas I didn’t care much for last year.

The main con with this tea is the price. I’m not sure if this is a top notch gyokuro specimen, but it’s alright for now. Like some of the lighter tasting teas, each consecutive sip builds up on a foundation of flavour. While the first few sips were watery and lackluster, the bottom of the second cup consisted of a creeping sweetness with a moist nutty aftertaste.

On a side note, living a 10 minute walk from David’s Tea this year is not going to be a happy thing for my tea budget.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Ha! I do a lot of my shopping at Uptown so I always try to ignore the store as I walk past it, pretend it’s not there. Be strong. :)

CrowKettle

I’m near the one at Hillside. I know someone who works there on Saturdays, and she’s always notifying me about upcoming things. Life’s hard. :)

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88

This is powdered sugar.

The other day I found out that the tip my glass gongfu pot’s spout was chipped. This tea makes it all better.

Preparation
Boiling
Chizakura

I am so so SO excited to get mine. I’ve been waiting for this one to come back very eagerly :D

Terri HarpLady

I hate when my tea ware gets damaged. I have a crack in my little glass teapot that I like to use as a pitcher.

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83
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
644 tasting notes

I’m procrastinating doing the serious part of the packing in favour of sorting through what tea stuff I want over on the island with me. It’s surprisingly difficult. I’ve only picked out three teas so far: Earl of Anxi, Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black, and this one.

I can’t say this Coconut Oolong has the classy finesse that the other two teas in the box do, but it makes up for that by being full of delicious floral-coconut gaudiness. It’s a big, showy comfort item that I find helps curb the appetite. I don’t understand how I enjoy the floral notes yet have such a low tolerance for them.. that first steep is almost too much.

Edit: In the future I’d be tempted to dump the first steep in favour of the second one. The buttery notes came out more here, and the flavouring seemed to blend better. Still heady though.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Cavocorax

You’re not bringing all of it? :O

Plunkybug

I have some of this from Cavo yet to try.

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80
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
644 tasting notes

Backlog. Lots of running around lately, doing that summer end, everything-decides-to-break-now, thing. Uhaul Victoria could be a little better at things.

Anyways, I’m loving Incendaire’s sample envelope. Everything is just the right size and makes it easy to choose something quick. I dumped this one into a David’s perfect mug, not expecting much and looking for a quick steep fix.

It was surprisingly nice to get something with such a syrupy, chocolatey finish. As it cooled the dessert-like sweetness increased. Not a bad flavoured maté at all! Thanks Incendaire!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

I’m glad you enjoyed this! I would love to give you more but I divided up the last of what I had amongst everyone. This one almost reminds me of a Rolo or something. :)

Sorry for the all the crazy breakage. Not what you need when class is just around the corner.

CrowKettle

Thanks for the consideration! It does taste like it has some kind of syrup filling. :)

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Backlog. After completing some stressful housing things I opted to have this with Baileys Irish Cream. That means I didn’t get the chance to pick up on the subtleties of the vanilla, but it it was a good comfort drink. It didn’t seem quite as sweet as some of the other chocolate mint teas I’ve tried either.

Thanks, Incendaire!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

That sounds tasty! If you ever want more, just let me know. :)

And that’s why this is my favourite chocolate mint tea so far, because it’s not as sweet as others. Read Me Lips has that artificially sweet chocolate note that kind of gets to you after a while.

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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.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and green oolong varieties are my favourites.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, caramel, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, rose, vanilla.

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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