469 Tasting Notes

This was the last tea with a description that sounds intriguing on the back of the advent calendar. I enjoyed the experience of the calendar and the chance to explore a new brand of tea, but I do wish they had put more of their regular or best seller teas instead of special holiday blends full of varying degrees of citrus.
This has the scent of a nice black base. At first it seemed cherry scented, but now I think I can pick out fig instead if I work really hard at it. A few sips in and the individual flavors just fade and I get a nice but indistinguishable cup. Nice but unimpressive.

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This came to me in a swap from Chuckieroy!
This tea looks kind of girly in the bag, like a potpourri with the added touch of romance in the form of faux pearls. I am amused. The little pearls dissolve in the tea leaving a fairy dust shimmer in the tea. I can taste the earthy puerh base of the tea and faint strawberries. I’m not getting the mango, but this sample is older so I should go easy on the judgement. This tea is good, but it isn’t amazing me.

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I got some of this in a trade with Whatshesaid a while back, thanks!
When smelling the tea brewed I can pick out cinnamon, rose and almond. It smells really lovely! It tastes nice and similar to the scent, but a little weaker than I expected based on the scent. The aftertaste is mostly rose. I have had this tea for a little while and it wasn’t stored very well, so I’m guessing it has lost some flavor along the way. It reminds me a bit of a more natural version of a Teavana tea that I love, so I mean the comparison in a very good way. I need to try a fresher cup of this sometime to get a good feel for this tea, but even in a weakened state it is still pretty delicious.
I came back to my second steeping cooled and it was even better and more flavorful than when hot! The third steep still had a bit of flavor in it too with the cinnamon dominating that cup. Okay Almond Indulgence, you have my attention now!

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drank Lemon Cream Pie by DAVIDsTEA
469 tasting notes

I got this tea from Whatshesaid quite some time back. A long overdue thanks is in order! I know I tried a cup before, but neglected to log it. It smells slightly lemony when dry, a little stronger when brewed with an added… wet cement smell?! It tastes a bit sandy at first, then the lemon hits me. No cream so far. Sweetening it makes all the difference, wow! Now I get lemon which turns into dried lemon peel with a little cream on the end and the lemon peel again in the aftertaste. So much better with sugar! Overall it is okay. It makes me think of a weak version of Della Terra’s Lemon Chiffon and I’d much rather drink the Chiffon than this one. It was nice to try tho!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
469 tasting notes

I had a long forgotten sample of this in a trade from ??? It has been that long! When I brew this I smell light sweet cinnamon and faint pastry. First few sips are flat cinnamon with a doughy aftertaste. Probably not the best representation of this tea since it has been kicking around in a zip lock bag for who knows how long. Sweetening it perks it up a bit, but the taste keeps alternating between cinnamon roll and plastic bag. I know I tried this when I first got it, but failed to write any notes then. The cinnamon is done really well. It isn’t overpowering which is how cinnamon rolls taste to me. I could see this tea being pretty tasty, but I think I blew it with this sample.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Rooibos de Noël by Dammann Freres
469 tasting notes

Smells like orange and bubblegum, but mostly bubblegum! How strange. Wow, it tastes like bubblegum! Like woodsy bubblegum that leaves your mouth kinda dry. I’m not getting any of the flavors that are described. This is really weird and I don’t know what to make of it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Black Orchid by Mariage Frères
469 tasting notes

I got this tea in a bulk section of a shop in Berkeley almost a year ago, so I’m not sure how it compares to fresh and better stored samples of this tea. For some reason my brain is telling me I smell chocolate in both the dry and steeped tea. I can smell the rich vanilla, but why chocolate? Maybe the base is the same as a chocolate tea I have had so it is by association that I smell it? When I sip, it is smooth and vanilla like at first, but quickly turns to a burnt caramel taste… almost coffee with a tiny bit of bitter. I read Ysaurella’s notes about wanting to try steeping it at a lower time, so I only did 3 minutes at under boiling water. Considering that, I’m surprised there is any bitterness. Adding sugar knocks out the hint of bitter coffee and brings out a rich vanilla in the aftertaste. On the sip I taste the tea base, which is a nice one, but I don’t get vanilla until after I swallow. As it cools it gets sweeter and I taste the vanilla a little sooner. It is a very nice cup, but it is a little plain for my taste. I might try it cold brewed in the fridge before I totally give up on it tho. I have had some boring teas surprise me when cold brewed.

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

where did you find MF teas in bulk?

Dustin

At The Pasta Shop in Berkeley. They have two locations, but only the one right off the freeway and next to Teance has them in bulk. They have a larger selection of MF in tins too and a few other brands of tea!

TeaBrat

Good to know, thanks!

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drank Place Saint Marc by THE O DOR
469 tasting notes

I got some of this in a long ago swap with Barbara. I was having so much fun trying the The O Dor brand while traveling last March, but when I got home I was distracted by all the teas I had purchased in San Francisco and the swap teas got tucked away.

When brewed and in my clear glass cup, this tea looks like a giant piece of amber with the light filtering through it. The smell is red and fruity, but I don’t know that I’d be able to peg the scent as strawberry if I hadn’t read the description. On my first few sips I was met by a quick sweetness followed by a touch of bitter. Perhaps I steeped it too long or the water was too hot. The black base is nice and tastes familiar, but I’m not yet able to identify them. The base also masks the flavor of the fruit a bit at the moment, so I’m adding some sugar. Sometimes adding sugar makes certain flavors stand out more or taste more natural and sometimes everything still tastes the same, only sweeter. This time it tastes the same. I’m getting a slight smokey aftertaste mingling with some strawberry. It is pleasant, but unless I’m able to get better results with different brewing parameters, this tea won’t make it on my must purchase list.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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My first steeping of this tea was for 40 seconds at 175. I got one sip in before getting distracted and coming back to it when it cooled. It tastes slightly green and grassy, but it is really smooth too and leaves a nice buttery aftertaste that later fades into a grass again. If I wait long enough before taking another sip, I get this brief strange feeling on the back sides of my tongue just like a get when I drink a shot of wheatgrass. It is almost like a pucker or shudder.

The second steep was for a minute, but I had some eggs with this delicious hot sauce I have recently become addicted to (sometimes I search my kitchen for anything that I could put the sauce on just so I can have more) and the long lingering burn is still dominating any delicate flavors like tea. After some time has passed I can taste my tea again and it is a very similar cup as the first. The buttery flavors arrive a little sooner this time.

Third steep was for two minutes and the taste in the sip is much lighter on the grass. Mid sip is mainly buttery, then nothing immediately after and finally more butter which transitions to grass a while after each sip.

This tea is really nice and I am enjoying it, but I don’t know that I like it enough to have multiple cups of it in the same day. I start to get a little bored with how bright and light it is and find myself desiring something a little more heavy and earthy. I know I don’t have to drink multiple cups, but I’d feel like I was wasting it if I wasn’t. Still, this would be a nice tea to keep around when I was in the mood for an awesome buttery green.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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drank Lemon Cardamom Chun Mee by 52teas
469 tasting notes

I got a small pack of this in last year’s (or maybe it was the year before?) 12 Days of Xmas pack. Either way, it has held up well. I’m finding that my favorite 52teas are the greens and oolongs. This tea is no exception to that rule. I love cardamom and it pairs really well with the lemon to make this tea bright without over doing the cardamom. The tea base is very nice, mellow and smooth. I get the buttery quality mentioned in the description. it leaves my tongue a little dry after each sip, but it isn’t a whole mouth dryness. I don’t think can see this tea as a permanent addition to my cupboard at the moment, but I could see buying a full bag of it and having it around for a while.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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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