557 Tasting Notes

drank Winterfylleth Brew by Handmade Tea
557 tasting notes

I thought I’d remember who I got this sample from in a long ago trade, but I don’t. :/

It smells like cinnamon and yams. After reading the description I can see how the yam scent is a little apple like. When I sip it, I just get light flavors of tea. Damn you head cold!!!! If I blow my nose and then sip really quickly after, I kind of get a little flavor. This tea will have to be revisited when I’m better.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

This is why I started writing people’s names on things that I get from them. In Sharpie. :P I always think I’ll remember and then I don’t…

Dustin

I thought that I had, but apparently didn’t! I think it was Moraiwe.

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drank White Chocolate by Butiki Teas
557 tasting notes

Not getting much from this today. When I am able to get those fleeting glimpses of taste through this awful head cold, I get a nice creamy white chocolate flavor with a tiny floral notes. Unfortunately most of the cup was drank through the filter of no taste. Maybe I need to move somewhere that they don’t have nearly as many allergens. Like Alaska. My tea intake would spike drastically in an effort to stay thawed if I did that.

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drank Histoire Tibetaine by THE O DOR
557 tasting notes

One of my older samples from a trade with Barbara.

I could smell lemon in the dry tea! This tea is so well rounded and balanced! There is an almost caramel/vanilla undertone to it with slight citrusy notes in there. Almost a touch of malt, but then it slips away. It is also very nice with cream and sugar.

I wish I had made tasting notes for this tea ages ago when I first got it! Kind of funny, but this sample has been in my travel pack and has traveled with me to Ireland, Dominican Republic, California, Hawaii and New York! And I’m just now having my 2nd cup ever of it! If I come across this tea, I’d definitely like to try some fresh!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Place Saint Marc by THE O DOR
557 tasting notes

I can pick out a little fruity strawberry flavor in this. Cream and sugar is working well for this tea. It is pretty smooth and comforting on this overcast day, but it’s not calling to me to get more either.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Thé du Loup by THE O DOR
557 tasting notes

Finally finishing this sample from ages ago that has been tucked away! Today I’m noticing a tiny bit of malt with chocolate and caramel flavors that are a little stronger. This is reminding me of a couple other French caramel/chocolate teas like Palais’s Toffee and MF’s Wedding Imperial, but with softer notes and no bitterness. I added a touch of sugar and it seems to have made it a bit bland! How is that possible?! I’m still not able to pick up the hazelnut notes, but I could have sworn I tasted a touch of mint in the after taste. I steeped it a little hotter than suggested because I was guessing on the C to F conversions. I really need to learn the metric system! US public schools… you have failed me again!

This is a tea that I’d gladly cross paths with again someday!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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reviewed Double Wall Travel Mug by David's
557 tasting notes

Today my David’s order showed up! I was so excited to use this mug that I sipped way too hot tea from it and burnt my tongue and the bottom of my mouth under my tongue! Easy there, girl! I was so ready to love this thing. Upon inspection I realized that the tea basket has a perforated lid and wasn’t an open basket like I thought from viewing it online. That excitement faded when I realized how difficult it was to get lined up correctly to screw the two halves together. It’s kind of a PITA. There is also a really sharp point where it looks like they laser welded the perforated sides onto the solid part with the threads. It is like they didn’t file two of the welds smooth and now I have to do it or risk slicing my finger trying to screw it shut.

The lid, which is the only plastic part on the mug, is the biggest let down. The lever part of the lid when swung back in the open position is in a really weird spot for trying to sip. I knock my nose on it every time I put the mug up to my lips, reminiscent of awkward teenage years when you bump noses with the other person trying to kiss. So not sexy! I have seen designs where the lid had a cut out so the lever part had a recessed place to live and lay flush with the rest of the lid when open or designs where the hinge was on the opposite edge of the lid from the mouth opening, letting it swing over and lay on the side of the mug. Another part I hate about this lid? The opening for the tea to come out is ridiculously small. It’s 1/2″ × 1/4". (No idea in mm, sorry northern friends!) I was driving and trying to drink from it and had to hold it up (while bonking my nose) for way to long to get a descent amount of tea in my mouth. The small opening also makes it a little more difficult for me to gauge the temp of the tea. I’m used to openings that are large enough for me to blow into, allowing me to gauge the temp by the heat from steam that blows back up. Another annoying thing about the lid? The designers were thoughtful in the fact that they put one of those little holes to keep air pressure from preventing tea from pouring out, but they put it just slightly above the opening, so unless you hold it at JUST the right angle, the tea covers both holes and you get the pressure build up anyways. I can hold it at a 45 degree angle with the lid down, the lever open and after a few spurts of fluid coming out, the flow stops completely. Who designed this?! A six year old?! I haven’t been to any design school, but I’m pretty sure I could make a lid that works 10x better than this one.

The last thing that I find disappointing about this mug is that the first version they came out with had a solid David’s teal silicone sleeve and the latest version does not. It’s a mug made for tea on the go, you are going to be all over town with it, it’s double walled glass… why was the decision made to take away a feature that would make this a little more durable and would likely help extend the life of the mug?

I was really hoping this would be a travel mug I too could be smitten with, but David, you fell short on this one and I’m going to have to respectfully disagree on the smitten part. Keep trying and I’ll keep an eye out for a glass travel mug with a lid that is functional, I haven’t given up on you yet, but I think I’m going to have to return this mug to it’s maker.

Edit: Just added some photos to illustrate my points.

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drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
557 tasting notes

Oh, I get it. It’s a toned down Della Terra’s Lime Chiffon on a green tea base. It would be delicious if I hadn’t had something even more delicious to have compared it to. Lime Chiffon way wins this round.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Dustin

Hmmm, it does get better as it cools. More flavor comes out.

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I have been sipping on this all day long! I think I’m on my fourth steep now, which isn’t as flavorful as the previous steeps, but is still enjoyable with a little cream and sugar. This tea is SO cute dry. Curly little fuzzy tan and black leaves! Today was the first time that I tasted past the orange, mallow and chocolate flavors and noticed how nice the base is with it’s little bit of malt. So glad I stocked up on it a while back. I’d be bummed if I had to say goodbye any time soon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I agree, Zhen Qu is a very cute (and tasty) tea! :)

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drank Turmeric Ginger by Rishi Tea
557 tasting notes

I’m trying not to get sick, but some of those presick symptoms of congestion, tiny cough, and a slightly sore throat are starting to pop up. I wanted a tea that I thought might help that and luckily I have a sample of this kicking around that I picked up in bulk at Central Market grocery store! This tea is really hitting the spot right now. I can taste the tumeric, which compliments the ginger quite well. The ginger is pretty strong and there is a sweetness that comes on at the end of the sip with some orange and I’m attributing the sweet to licorice root. This is such a weird savory and sweet combo that I’m really digging right now. This is a sip down, but I’m feeling like I should keep this on hand for those sick or almost sick times when I want something more complex than my usual go to plain ginger drink.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Hope you don’t get sick!

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reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
557 tasting notes

Whoa! Get ready to witness some stain miracles! This stuff totally works. If you love tea stained patina on your cups, stay away. If you have items you want clean, especially those with hard to scrub areas, this is the soak you want! David’s glass perfect mugs with those lids that have those impossible to clean under lips, Aladin travel mug with that lever basket mechanism, metal steepers, David’s travel mugs, super old Teavana gravity steeper, old steel thermos… all amazingly clean! I was able to get quite a few things cleaned with one quart and reheated it a couple of times to soak more items in it. It finally gave out on the gravity steeper and I had to make a fresh batch of soak. I wish I could post the before and after pictures because it’s such a drastic difference from dirty to clean!

The only thing that disappoints me about this product is that I can’t put it in my mouth and soak the tea stains off my teeth. Work on that, would ya Mandala? ;)

I should add that this came to me as a sample with one of their puerh sample specials. Thanks for that!

Kittenna

My travel mugs really need a good cleaning, as do my infusers. One day I’ll get some of this!

Dustin

I didn’t realize how dirty my stuff was until I cleaned it! Looks like I can add photos! Just added a before and after.

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Profile

Bio

My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! I like a little sugar in my tea. I love caffeinated tea, but since I limit myself to one cup a day, I have been exploring more rooibos and honeybush teas. Rooibos now = meh and I have upped my caffeine tolerance. BRING ME CAFFEINE!!!!

Location

Austin, TX

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