1714 Tasting Notes

90
drank Pumpkin Creme Brulee by Butiki Teas
1714 tasting notes

Pumpkin is a hard flavour to get right and there’s only a few teas that manage it – most just cover up the flavour (or lack thereof) with spices. And while there is a bit of spice present (there was a huge chunk of cinnamon bark in this scoop) the blender was smart enough to let the other flavours do the talking and only making the spices strong enough to accent them. This is such a smooth, creamy tea, the only thing that’s missing is the sweetness of the cream brulée – a bit of it is there as the tea cools but it could be more prominent. I think I’ll add some honey next time to see what that does.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85
drank Mango by Granville Island Tea Co
1714 tasting notes

I was quite surprised to see these strange-looking little puffy bits in the tea when the shop assistant showed it too me – as it turns out they’re popped amaranth seeds which I can’t say I’ve ever had in a tea before. I’m not sure what they added – maybe they help hold the flavour? Unfortunately they soften in the water and leave a bit of a mess in my strainer.

Flavour-wise they really did a good job with this blend – I’ve found that many mango teas (and to a lesser extent fruit teas in general) smell nice but are rather lacking in the flavour department. This manages to be the exception – I think it might be helped by the tiny little bits of mango that are blended in and the result is the flavour is nice and fruity and distinctly mango with just the right amount of sweetness.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
drank Kiwi Cheesecake Oolong by 52teas
1714 tasting notes

I’m actually pretty surprised at the number of people who didn’t know that kiwi cheesecake was a thing – it’s actually semi-common here.

The smell of the tea is absolutely mouth-watering and I could spend all day sniffing it, lol. An oolong base was a good choice for this tea as it give the tea just the right amount of sweetness. I can taste the kiwi, though it tastes more like the dried kiwi I’ve occasionally eaten as a snack than the fresh fruit. The creamy cheesecake note is there but it could stand to be a bit stronger. Still it’s a really nice flavoured oolong, and I’m not sure why it’s as slow to sell as it seems to be because this blend is TASTY.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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44
drank Lapsang Souchong by Golden Moon Tea
1714 tasting notes

Mmmm nice crispy, bacon… At least that’s what the tea smells like. I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of lapsang souchong, preferring its milder sibling Russian Caravan but I have found a few that I liked so I try and keep an open mind.

This one is definitely smokey but at same time apart from the smoke the flavour is curiously bland making this tea something like a one-note wonder. There’s just a bit of sweetness somewhere in the middle and something weird that might be pitch. Whatever it is I’m just not feeling it with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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96

Let me start off by saying that I love cilantro and I use it often in my cooking so I try to keep a bunch of the fresh herb in the fridge as often as possible. Unfortunately the boyfriend-creature HATES it so it usually ends up being used more sparingly than I’d like. Cilantro seems to be one of those all-or-nothing foods, and I think I read somewhere that there might actually be a genetic component to this that makes it taste unpleasant to some people (the boyfriend says it tastes like soap).

Right off the bat the scent intrigues me – faintly fruity and distinctly fresh. It took me awhile to work out what those pink things mixed in were (amaranth petals) which add an attractive touch even if they don’t do anything for the flavour.

I can taste a stronger pineapple flavour than I did in the Flowery Pineapple Oolong. This is both distinctive and authentic and the cilantro works with the tea base to give the tea a fresh, green flavour that leaves a sweet aftertaste. The cream is less of a distinct flavour than it is a smoothness that brings all the elements of the tea together.

Man, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to try this tea because once I’m done my little bag there’s no more where that came from (and with such a unique flavour there’s no way I’ll find a replacement).

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

there is a genetic component! it’s neat :)

Butiki Teas

I feel your pain with not being able to use an herb. My hubby HATES mint. The smell makes him ill, so I can’t keep it in the house, grow it or order it at restaurants.

Anlina

I love cilantro – I’m a more-is-better kind of person. One of my partners is indifferent to it, and the other one really dislikes it. But it’s working on acclimating to it, since it was in almost everything when we went to Mexico and we’re headed back there soon.

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90
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
1714 tasting notes

This tea came to me via the GCTTB as I’d really wanted to try this tea after hearing all the rave reviews it was getting. The steeping instructions on the sample suggested 5g of tea in 6 oz water for 2-5 minutes. I’m going to assume that those parameters are for gongfu-style brewing which I don’t really have the equipment for unfortunately. Instead I emptied the entire sample (it was about 2.5 grams) into my mug (no dainty-sized tea cups for me I’m afraid, though I should look into buying some) and filled it about half full with water for 3 minutes.

It’s certainly an attractive-looking tea as such things go. The leaves are entirely golden and quite large and whole. They open nicely as the tea steeps. Looking at everyone’s reviews I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tea described so many different ways – sweet potatoes, wood, vanilla, mushrooms, etc. it seems like it’s a bit different for everyone. As for me, I’m getting a strong cocoa note, faintly bitter and earthy. But it isn’t harsh or astringent and I notice that there’s a sweet note at the start of each sip.

Second steep (@ 3:45 min) and I notice that the wet leaves do, in fact, smell a fair bit like sweet potato. The second steep is again bitter cocoa, but milder, with an interesting hint of spice (pepper maybe?)

A wonderful, unique tea that’s totally going on my to-buy list.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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74
drank Vanilla Jasmine by Golden Moon Tea
1714 tasting notes

I’m not a huge jasmine fan but this isn’t bad. I actually think I like the flavour better with a black tea base as opposed to a green one as the stronger base tones down the perfumy quality jasmine usually has. The vanilla is a nice touch too, lending the tea a creamy smoothness.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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68
drank Rum Raisin Ice Cream by 52teas
1714 tasting notes

Sipdown. After having gone through a package of this tea I found that I enjoyed this more than what more original tasting note might suggest. And maybe it actually is a bit more like the real thing than I previously though (I recently has rum and raisin ice cream).

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
drank Organic Iyerpadi by Butiki Teas
1714 tasting notes

I got this for free with one of my recent Butiki orders. I noticed that this particular green is being used as a base for many of their recent green-based blends. I’m normally pretty ‘meh’ about most plain green teas but this one sounded interesting enough and Butiki’s teas are generally of good quality. Plus free tea is free tea. :D

The leaves are fairly broken-looking – not teabag or CTC sized but definitely not intact enough to really be called ‘whole-leaf tea’. Normally that would make for a more bitter brew but this one is actually quite smooth. It’s vegetal but there’s also a surprising sweet undertone that comes out particularly as the tea cools – I think the description likened it to spinach and corn and I suppose that isn’t too far off for me. It’s quite a nice green tea, the flavours are strong enough to be distinctive on their own but subtle enough that I could see this working well as a base for a flavoured tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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45

I picked up this iced tea at my local Chapters bookstore at the end of the summer when they discount all their summer stock to make way for the incoming fall products. Unfortunately each large teabag is intended to make a gallon of tea and I only have a smaller 2 L pitcher so steeping times and quantities are at best a guesstimate. The steeping instructions on the tin said boiling water for 15 minutes – which I ignored as it was obviously just copied over from the black tea-based iced teas without taking into account the more delicate green tea base. The water I used was 80°C and I steeped the large tea bag in 2 cups of water for 4 minutes and then added iced and cold water to make up the 2 L volume. It is convenient having the iced tea in a bag which saves me having to filter the brewed tea and results in much less mess.

Despite the reduced steeping time I found the base to be a bit bitter and it took a fair bit of my homemade simple syrup to make it palatable. The flavour isn’t citrusy lemon, instead it’s pretty obviously derived from lemongrass and that adds to the strong herbal undertone which I’m not terribly fond of. It’s a refreshing tea, I’ll give it that, but it’s not to my taste.

Preparation
Iced

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I’m a university student in her twenties who’s currently working her way toward a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree. I love both science and science-fiction and I’m a history nut on top of that. Maybe I should just call myself a nerd and leave it there. ;)

I’ve been drinking tea since I was young but it’s only in the past couple years that I’ve become interested in the good-quality stuff.

I’m also a self-proclaimed Grammar-Nazi, and improper capitalization and spelling invariably makes me twitch (yes, I mean you!)

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