556 Tasting Notes

All the licorice. I like all the licorice, sure! The first time I tried a cup of this I went in a little cocky and realized I had possibly reached my licorice limit. It is SUPER licoricey and I didn’t quite know what to make of it. For my second cup, I’m approaching it will a little more caution. When I smell the tea dry, I’m getting mostly rootbeer! When I sip, I get the same. I’m always intrigued but wary of warm rootbeer flavored drinks. It is like a push/pull sort of reaction, yet I gladly give them a go when I come across another. After a few sips I added a little sugar which gave it a fuller taste and after a few more I added a touch of milk. At first the milk seemed to nuke a lot of the flavor, but as I continue to sip I realize it just took the intensity down a bit. I’m now able to pick out clove and possibly cardamon in the aftertaste. It is a strange sort of tea! I have had a few really creative Butiki blends puzzle me like this before. It is like I don’t know what to make of them, so I poke them and jump back to wait and see if they leap at me. When they continue to sit and stare at me unamused I creep a little closer and poke again. I guess it is a cat with toy approach I’m taking with this tea? Anyways, enough of my weird narrative. I’ll be back to poke at this tea again to figure out if we play well together!

Update: Second steeping was better than the 1st IMO and was great with just a bit of sweetener. I may try a shorter initial steep next time.
Third steep was good. Fourth still has a lot going for it. Alright, I’m impressed!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Vert Provence by Mariage Frères
556 tasting notes

So far I kinda like this tea. It is kind of fruity floral, but not any one thing that I can put my finger on and pick out by name. It is nice and smooth with the green tea hanging out in the background, but so far isn’t anything I have to have in my cupboard. We’ll see if it grows on me.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Milk Oolong by Oolong Flower Power
556 tasting notes

When I was in Dublin last year, I was scouring the area for tea shops and came across Oolong Flower Power. They had hundreds of jars of tea to choose from and I took two selections home. All the tea is under their shop name. I asked the guy working at the counter about it and he said they have a vendor who they buy all their tea and coffee from, so I get the impression that they don’t do any blending or flavoring themselves and that these teas may be available by other companies who buy from the same vendor.

Anyways, onto the tea itself! I think I overleafed this tea a bit in my effort to use up the last of the tea that didn’t fit into the tin, but it seems to have turned out alright! I’m not familiar with milk oolongs (or regular oolongs for that matter) so I’m not quite sure what to expect. The first sip tasted slightly floral to me. It is extremely smooth and creamy… almost buttery, a taste that is pronounced after each sip. There is also a slight after sensation as if I drank something grassy even tho I don’t really taste grass in the sip. I’ll have to update later as I resteep, but so far it’s really nice!

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

Jealous of your trip to Dublin! Also Milk Oolongs are tasty :D

yyz

Nice review. Hope you liked Dublin! I still miss it sometimes. The pictures looked familiar and looking attheir other stock, I’m pretty sure the tea is from Oxalis a Czech company. http://www.oxalis.eu

There are some companies here who sell their teas. I know of one company locally that sells some of them, and I know another co pany in Romania that seems willing to ship to Canada, at least, as well I have seen others as well. The tea shop looked nice!

Dustin

I did like Dublin! I got to go for a month and it was awesome. We thought about moving there for a year, but the hubs wasn’t as thrilled with it as I was so I think it is off our list. I think we’d both love to visit again tho and I know I would love to visit all the tea shops again!

Thanks for the link YYZ! Their apricot and cream cheese sounds like an interesting tea.

yyz

I’m glad you got to stay there at least a month! I liked the time we stayed there though I did get the joys of experiencing 58 days of rain ( our back yard was turning into a bog), though many of those days were that Irish specific ‘soft ’ days. I hope you do get a chance to visit again at least. Ironically I ran into someone who’s family own a pub syndicate, and run Gibney’s in Malahide which was often a meeting place for people I worked with.

You have the opportunity to live somewhere else for a year, that sounds amazing. I’ve always learned the most and had the best experiences when I’ve had the opportunity to live away from home. Where else is on your list?

Just out of interest the other companies I know that sell Oxalis teas are http://theloosetea.com, though they only have a limited selection and http://www.ctscorner.ro/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=19.

The apricot and cream cheese does sound really good. They have an excellent selection of fruit teas.

Dustin

I had hoped to see a good amount of rain while I was there. We have been in a drought in central Texas for a long while now, so it would have been nice to see it raining somewhere in the world. We got a couple of good downpours, but mostly we just heard from all the locals how we came during such an unusually beautiful sunny spell. :/

The other places we have thought about moving to for 1-2 years are Los Angeles, Sydney, Korea or South America.

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I don’t understand breakfast teas. What is it that makes them a breakfast tea? I find this tea is really strong and has a bitter edge to the end of the sip that was softened by sugar. It is okay for what it is, but I’m really not very excited by plain or straight teas.

Tuscanteal

I like the right straight tea and am just learning to appreciate them now. I didn’t particularly like this one though by DT. I found it quite bitter as well and finicky to steep.

Dustin

I’m trying to learn appreciation for straight teas too, but ones like this make it challenging. Doesn’t help that it was too heavy on my empty stomach and made me feel nauseous. Breakfast made it a little better tho. Maybe that is why it is a breakfast tea? You need to eat with or before it!

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I didn’t care for this tea on the first few sips, but as it cooled it became more complex. I love anise and the combination of that, the mint and other spices make for an interesting tea. The tea has a little sweetness on it’s own that lingers in the back of my mouth. At one point I was getting an almost plastic like aftertaste, but that has passed. It is a different twist on mint tea, but I’m still unsure of exactly how I feel about it.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Hot Lips (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
556 tasting notes

I don’t have a bottle of hot sauce on me at ALL times, but I have gone through almost half a bottle of Yellow Bird habanero sauce in a little over a week, so challenge accepted. Alright “Hot Lips”, lets see what ya got! First few sips had nothing. No cinnamon, no spice, no kick. It smells like a red hot candy. A little further into the cup and I can feel some heat. As it cools I can pick out a little of the green tea base and get a little more cinnamon, but for something that promises a big hit of cinnamon for those who love hot sauce, it really fails to deliver. At the very last part of my cup there was a little more spice on the back of my tongue. The tea tastes nice, don’t get me wrong, I just didn’t get the tea in the description.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

My BF has a thing going with a friend of his where he sends his friend a hot sauce with an outrageous name and his friend tries to outdo him. It’s hilarious! Sorry there wasn’t enough spice in Hot Lips. LOL.

Dustin

Now you have me curious! What were some of the hot sauce names?

__Morgana__

Well, probably my favorite is “Slap My A** and Call Me Sally” which came in both red and green sauces.

__Morgana__

Oooh, I must make a correction. It’s actually “Smack My A** and Call me Sally.” These find distinctions are important, you know. ;-)

Dustin

Call Me Sally?! What a strange name for a hot sauce! I think the two names together would make for an amusing name for a single sauce.

__Morgana__

It is a single name (both phrases together). I guess it looked like two different ones because of the asterisks. That’s what I get for trying to keep things clean. Communication suffers. ;-)

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drank Momo by Lupicia
556 tasting notes

I got this sample from Rie a while back. Thanks Rie!
Dry this tea is giving me nothing. I’m guessing I have had it in a ziplock for about a year, so it really is no wonder. Once steeped, I can smell faint peach which really comes through in the flavor. I don’t think I can pick out the tea base, but the peachiness translates very well and realistically. It isn’t the juiciest of peaches, but is a well rounded interpretation. I suspect adding more sweetener would up the juice factor. This tea is good, but as I’m not a huge fan of peach, I’d likely pass on purchasing.

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

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drank Coffee Cake by DAVIDsTEA
556 tasting notes

This came to me as a sample with an order. It is a larger than other samples I have had and will likely make two cups. It smells wonderful and caramel like. Very similar scent to Della Terra’s Pineapple Upsidedown tea. Once brewed, I think I can pick out some of the baked coffee cake goodness in the scent. The base of this tea is nice, but hides a little to let the caramel/brown sugar flavors dominate. If I sip it too fast I get a bitter taste on the back of my tongue. I’m used to coffee cake with lots of cinnamon and brown sugar on top. This is missing the cinnamon part, but has lots of brown sugar taste to it. I haven’t been overly impressed with David’s, but this tea strikes me as interesting enough and drinkable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Tuscanteal

You can totally have all the samples I have of it… not my favourite!

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drank The Skinny (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
556 tasting notes

This tea has been kicking around in my cupboard for quite some time now. I know I drank it before, but don’t remember what I thought of it. So far it seems okay. The first few sips were nice enough and orangey, but the congestion in my head seems to have shifted and I can’t really taste it now. Looks like I have enough dry leaves to make one more cup worth, so maybe I’ll try it again when allergies have cleared.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Winter allergies eh? That sucks.

Dustin

It’s cedar season in Austin right now. It’s always something for allergy sufferers here, but the cedar is just out of control this year. It hasn’t effected me previously, but the pollen is just so high that there is no escape. It makes tasting my tea hit or miss.

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drank Checkmate by DAVIDsTEA
556 tasting notes

Sipdown success!!! I like this tea. It smells like coconut, tastes like toasted coconut and has a creaminess behind each sip. It is a lovely tea! What I don’t get is the mistaken impression of chocolate, although adding some to this tea would be interested. I hate it when tea descriptions try to tell me what I might taste that isn’t in the tea especially when it comes to teas tasting like certain times of the day in various famous cities. Bah! Bah I say, bah! Anyway, aside from the disgruntled digression, I enjoy this tea and would consider buying it again.

Just read my first tasting note for this tea and I didn’t really like it much then! Funny how tastes and expectations can change over time.

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

Mmmm…sounds delicious – I’m a huge fan of coconut! Congrats on the sipdown :)

Dustin

Thanks! I’m slowly working through my collection eliminating via sipdown or putting it into the get rid of pile!

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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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