626 Tasting Notes

65

Fiddling sent me a generous amount of teas from Harney & Sons around May, and I’ve unfortunately only gotten around to trying a few, like the awesome Florence. Thank you, Fiddling!

The cherry flavour seems ok, if a little artificial. Mid sip is sweet, floral cherry while the finish is bitter, sour cherry candies. It’s not bad, and tastes on par with the few other cherry flavoured greens I’ve tried.

This isn’t really my cup of tea, though. I’m not into the flat, grassy notes and the sweet-sour aftertaste this one has. I think I may be done with cherry greens.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80

Planning to move in and out of places can be so stressful. What do people normally do with their furniture during that one evening of contract limbo? I guess there’s no point in worrying over it today until I’ve heard back from everyone, but it’s hard for me.

It’s a while since I’ve had a black tea from Verdant, and this sample has spent most of its time lying around in a box since February. If there was a number to report tea abuse to..

I find it pays off to drink this stuff when I want calm, whether I’m already relaxed or a bag of nerves, like right now. It’s hard to be uptight when you’re drinking boiled leaves that taste like chocolate honey malt waffles. There’s more honey and cinnamon in this than anything else right now. Yeah, life is good.

Preparation
Boiling
OMGsrsly

The last place I moved out of, my roommate didn’t want to leave at the same time as me so I paid an extra half months rent to offset her costs. When we moved in there, it was empty and they let us move our junk in a couple days early (Oct 30!). I’ve been very fortunate.

tea-sipper

I hope your move goes as smoothly as possible!

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69

This is another sample buried deep in the cupboard, from winter 2012. Time to drink eight grams!

Mother thinks this is awful and tastes like watered down chocolate.. I don’t think the chalky chocolate is that bad. It’s boring but drinkable, and seems to take a lot of steeping abuse without getting bitter.

I wish it had more of a spicy kick to it, like the mildly terrifying, leathery hot Zhu Rong Yunnan from Verdant (maybe I’ve blown that one out of proportion). I don’t mind coasting on the weak chocolate and peppercorns, however. It’s more of a diluted creamy comfort thing, especially with milk, than a burn-flesh-for-fuel kind of beverage. Maybe some habeneros would be nice. Those are good peppers. I’d even settle for cayenne peppers.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

It’s really not spicy enough eh? I bought a bag for $2.50 and that’s it’s only saving grace: it was cheap. But with 7 oz of Read My Lips to deal with, I almost can’t be bothered with this one anymore…

CrowKettle

Yeah, as far as David’s chocolate teas go, I don’t feel this one stands out. I’d rather up my 100g of Read My Lips too, which has the same peppercorns, and mixes better with Baileys.

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60
drank Copabanana by DAVIDsTEA
626 tasting notes

Hmm, not sure I’m very keen on this one. I’m drinking an iced cup and a hot cup side by side. Both have a scummy surface, likely from the coconut.

The iced cup tastes primarily of banana, with frozen stale chocolate, almonds, and coconut flakes. That’s ok, but I’m not into the finishing flavour it leaves in my mouth- fruity and hinting at bitter, like orange flavoured coconut water, mixed with cocoa. Aftertaste reminds me of an Orange Julius.

I like the baked banana dessert that I get from from the hot cup. Some things melt together better here, like the cocoa. The orange coconut water isn’t as consistent. The aftertaste reminds me of an Orange Julius though. I’m glad I only picked up a small sample though; I think there may be too many things going on here (chocolate orange, chocolate almond banana, coconut water, orange banana smoothie).

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82

Thanks, Sil, for this sample! I had two cups of this tea last night while getting caught up with the latest season of Dexter (yeah, I know, I was supposed to finish off the last few pages of the fourth Wheel of Time).

Loved the cream component to this tea. It was slightly more dominant than the soft, dessert strawberry flavour. Sugar and vanilla are usually good things. The black tea base was smooth, with little astringency or bitterness, making it easy to drink quickly. I regret not saving one of the servings for another day.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

Ugh, Wheel of Time. That’s some of the worst writing I’ve ever read. The story is good, but the storytelling is atrocious.

CrowKettle

Yes! I’ve dealt with my fair share of mediocre writing (thank you fanfiction), but the length of this series drives home the absurd amount of repetition. I wonder how many times Nynaeve tugs at her braid across the whole series. Despite that, and other faults, I’ve enjoyed the story so far.

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80

This fruity black tea is from Sil, when she sent me an amazing Strawberry Rhubarb package a few months ago.

I steeped it for 3 minutes in a David’s Perfect Mug, in 208F, sans milk.

There’s more citrus to the aroma than to the taste, and it reminds me a little of an Earl Grey. There’s something lightly smoky to it too, that strangely appealing right now. I feel cozy and nostalgic while drinking this, and I have no clue why.

This seems like a good tea to sip away at while finishing off the fourth book in the Wheel of Time (I’ve unknowingly made a huge commitment).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

glad you’re enjoying it :)

CrowKettle

Thanks again, Sil. This one took me by surprise. :)

OMGsrsly

Ahh yes, Wheel of Time. Hope you enjoy them! I think I’m the only one in my family who hasn’t read them… I’m trying to resist.

CrowKettle

Good luck resisting this 12,000 page monster! My older sister wanted me to read this series so she could talk to someone about it, but so far she’s struggling with not spoiling everything. XD

Terri HarpLady

I have the first wheel of time. I’ve had it for a couple years. I still haven’t read it. Instead I read all the sookie stackhouse books, all the Anita Blake books, the entire game of thrones series, the greywalker series, a few others, & now I’m reading the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. So obviously I don’t have a problem with making commitments when it comes to books, but I keep avoiding that book for some reason.

Terri HarpLady

I would like to try this tea, however! :)

CrowKettle

I would love to get a hold of more of this tea, myself. :)

There are so many Anita Blake books! Lots of respect for reading all of those. I’m usually good about committing to series, so long as they’re already finished, or have an end in sight, when I start them. I read all the Sookie Stackhouse books out at the time, five years ago, and still haven’t pick up the last few.

OMGsrsly

I got the first half of the first book when it originally came out – the library had them as free “samples”. It was the size of a single book, so I was skeptical. My dad and brother immediately got sucked in, and have been trading the series back and forth for YEARS so they can re-read when new books come out, etc. I think I’ve done a good job resisting. :)

Terri HarpLady

Regarding Anita Blake, I originally started reading those because they take place in St. Louis, & some of them are amazingly good, but the last 3 or so were lousy, IMO. The kinky ness was ridiculously over the top, & there was basically no plot. The last one read like a NaNoWriMo project that had never been edited. I haven’t read the most recent one.

Sil

Agreed on Anita Blake…they went downhill :(

Terri – can you make a list of things I need to send you? Because we’ve done such big swaps ill forget what to toss in the box for you.

Terri HarpLady

Lol, Sil, I think it’s mainly just our recent teavivre order. I have verdant samples for you, but if there’s anything else you want, just let me know.

Sil

No silly I meant teas that you want to try that I still need to send you….like this one and my mousse….

Crow….i haven’t had this one in a while….if I decide I really don’t love it, I’ll see if we can swap some. I’ve got a fairly decent size of it

Terri HarpLady

OK…this one & the mousse :)

CrowKettle

Ok, Sil! The 77-some teas left in my cupboard are getting to the lower end of things (except for the matcha?), but if you want to swap let me know. :)

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78

I had an awesome matcha whisking session today! No clumps at the bottom of the bowl, with some decent froth going on. Success!

I used three scoops of matcha whisked in 175F water, then poured it into a cup with frothed warm milk. It was such a pretty cream green colour.. and then it was gone in less than a minute. Now I feel positively buzzed, and am already missing that beautiful green. I’m deeply regretting the self-imposed evening matcha curfews right now, but I think I want to sleep tonight. Maybe. Not.

Flavour-wise this one’s quirky. I think it tastes like typical plain old matcha to me, with a bit of a sweet-sour taste to it.

I don’t know what influenced me to pick up this flavour. I hadn’t seen that episode of Tatami Galaxy yet. (http://www.thiseuphoria.com/anime/tatami36.jpg)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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80
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
626 tasting notes

I’m drinking this before running off to an appointment. My mom decided she wanted a cup too, although she chose to add milk. Not sure how that worked out for her yet.

Edit: I think she liked it a lot, and seemed genuinely disappointed when I told her there wasn’t much left. I might have to order more from her when the cupboards empty out a bit.

This one is starting to grow on me. The smooth vanilla notes are really coming out today, and make a really convincing pie crust. The tartness is at the perfect level too. The lingering aftertaste makes for a very convincing strawberry rhubarb.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80

This the last of this tea, and I’ve decided I like it a lot. Today I’m getting lots of peaches and almonds, with an easy going astringency that lends itself to the nuttiness. The finish is sour and fruity-sweet (like citrus), with some floral fluff. The astringent wave retreated after I was more than halfway through the cup.

It often takes me a while to “acclimatize” to this tea’s woody (sometimes grassy) astringency, but once I do I’m able to pick up on the creamy floral notes- those are fantastic. The whole experience reminds of Wanja’s extremely astringent, surprisingly floral, OP Black. The stuff is nippy but there’s a lot of personality underneath.

Edit: Second steep of over five minutes has almost no astringency. It’s floral, sweet and rich. This is a fantastic cup.

Second Edit: Sometimes the first steep had a vegetal seaweed note that I wasn’t super keen on. It was completely absent this particular session and I have no clue why.

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

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80
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
626 tasting notes

Sil sent me some of the custom blend a while ago, but I also have some from my recent Butiki group order and thought it would be fun to drink the two side by side. They both had three minute steep time in boiling water.

Sil’s tastes a lot more astringent and sour and the dry leaf smelled breadier, while the new one has a brighter, fruitier profile. Sil’s is a little flatter and isn’t particularly sweet, except in a pie crust kind of way. The new one tastes like the rhubarb is adequately sugared, and has a slightly sweeter finish (those grahams really pop). I prefer to drink Sil’s at a cooler temperature. Both have a sweet-sour, mouth puckering aftertaste.

Well, that was my short and lazy comparison. Variables include the age of custom sample, and the quantity of fruit and graham pieces in the in each strainer. Sil’s had less fruit, and possibly more grahams.

I do prefer the newer version more, for the slightly smoother, sweeter profile. Both cups become increasingly better the more I sip away at them though. It’s a blend where it’s best to take it slow, in order to appreciate everything.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

haha nice job comparing the two! We made a few tweaks to improve things after the final version made it out this way.

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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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