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345 Tasting Notes

65

this tea evolves with distinct changes from bag opening to sipping.

-when i opened the bag i smelled roasted coconut with some oolong in the background.
-once the water was added the evolution began, but not in a way i would have predicted: the colour didn’t deepen much but took on a milky hue AND the smell went from a fierce coconut to a lesser coconut with undefinable florals.
-a 6 minute steep because i like a robust tea and this one stayed quite pale.
-cream and sugar because it is the common way i take all but greens.
-on the tongue: i taste coconut and a VERY light oolong, no bitterness, with a refined floral smell at the same time.
-the sip is smooth, as is the caffeine (as opposed to sticky on the tongue).

nicely done tao tea leaf! and a thank you to scribbles for sharing this little gem!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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52

generally i consider andrews and dunham a staple: their tiger assam, their double knit— this is a company that has studied tea and knows what they’re doing.

i completely understand why this one was named ‘caravan’. i can taste the bonfire smoke and hear the nomads dancing about the flames. if you like a smoke heavy blend that is also smooth then i predict you will bond well with this tea. for my part it was a bit too much smoke, even with cream added. it was, however, very smooth.

thank you to scibbles for this tasting experience!

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

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90
drank Da Hong Pao by Tealux
345 tasting notes

scribbles, you are a hero among everyday folk!

this tea is the classy little black dress that every woman has in her wardrobe, but with a twist: along with this elegant slip the accessory is not pearls or gold, but a cuban cigar. oh yes!

this is a simple black tea. almost purist but for the sweet, smoky taste of organic tobacco leaf. perfectly matched, beautifully balanced. it is not even remotely subtle with its caffeine punch, but it is very smooth.

thank you so much scribbles for sharing! i will meter this out and buy more when i’m done.

….. i wonder sometimes with the amount of tea i consume how it is that i sleep at all, lol.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

I love your description of this! :-)

JustJames

it was honestly what came to mind as i sipped it, lol.

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23
drank Queen West Blend by Tealish
345 tasting notes

argh… i am experiencing tea guilt on two fronts: 1) this sample came from my dedicated tea buddy scribbles and 2) i really wanted to like this blend because it’s canadian and i loved the ingredients list.

i tend to like my teas robust, so 1.5 tsps for a steep and steeping for 5-6 minutes. now the smell of this one is excellent when it’s dry! but that’s where it stops. 6 minutes later the tea is weak, the scent that had appealed has vanished. i get a hint of fruit, no hint of the black tea and a heavy stickiness on my tongue from the caffeine (which to me translates as a rooky mistake in processing).

having tried several teas i am fairly comfortable saying i think tealish is great on the idea front, but seriously lacks in their follow through. sadly their teas all taste predominantly the same.

the caveat i will add to my review is this: i am recently out of surgery and things have tasted off to me. while i will not be finishing this cup of tea (yes, it is that bad… guilt guilt guilt) i will try it again in a week or so and review my score.

took another sip…. nope, won’t be finishing the cup. i am going to retreat to the comfort another of the favourite samples that scribbles sent to me…… bluberry jam i think.

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

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86
drank Weight To Go! by Teavana
345 tasting notes

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86

apologies in advance: i maybe be somewhat foggy as i am only 2 days post op. (ie: there may be more spelling mistakes than usual).

this is a striking tea. after my steep time had expired the first thing i noticed was colour… the tea is milky, pale, not deep in colour. hmmm.

the next thing i noticed was the smell: it doesn’t smell like tea! it smells like fall, and for me it smells like memory. when i was young i remember my mother showing us how to press flowers and leaves in books… i remember finding those pressed items years after i’d forgotten them. a dry, warm, flowery smell. that is how this tea smells.

the taste absolutely embraces the autumnal spectrum. it is light, flowery, and pure enough that (as i frequently do with verdant) i do not add milk or sugar.

excellent.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec
TheTeaFairy

I’m a fan of notes and memories…I find it is sometimes the best way to describe a tea that has a «feel» rather than a distinct characteristic.

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67
drank Patisserie by Tealish
345 tasting notes

tea is a strange thing. an organic (predominantly) blend that we add water to and tea-appropriate condiments like sugar, honey, milk or cream. why does this steeped beverage give us comfort? is it the smell? the taste? the heat? i can’t answer, and i imagine the reply would vary from person to person.

my tea buddy, scribbles, gave me great comfort today: a package arrived in the mail with a selection from tealish. the teas smell lovely, but it is also that a friend thought of me when i am the human embodiment of a spagetti monster. i have surgery tomorrow, i’ve been bumped up so less waiting time where i’m starving and stressed….do i feel any great lessening of my fear? nope!

patisserie is one of the MANY teas i am taking with me. do i think i will drink 20 cups of tea between tonight and my surgery tomorrow? no…. am i going to stash any of my selection and not bring it with? no again. it brings me comfort. i cannot explain why.

i have digressed from the tasting note, as we are wont to do when we are stressed or excited, so i will get back on track!

this is a charming little tea! it isn’t a great, robust sample, or the very best i’ve ever had…. but they can’t all be that way or we’d never have any variety because we’d never be able to make up our minds. what struck me most with this one was the strong taste of pistachios! the nutty flavour is supported by a vanilla cake like base flavour. the spices weren’t as strong as the company wanted, i think, but regardless i absolutely remembered the bakeries that i wandered by when i lived in paris. i kept thinking of the marzipan croissants and custard danishes displayed in the front window.

thank you tealish for the trip down memory lane, and thanks again to scribbles…. your package could not have arrived on a better day.

i must go and pack my tea now….

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
scribbles

Glad you got it before you went… :)

yyz

Best wishes, I hope everything goes well for you tomorrow.

Nxtdoor

Omg. You and me both. Except mine is just oral surgery, I’ll be back in the afternoon! Best of luck. :)

TheTeaFairy

Good luck James, come back soon :-)
p.s. now I understand where your learned your Français!

Terri HarpLady

Best wishes for you James!

JustJames

thank you so much for your well wishes, friends. i’ll be off a bit while i recover, but i’ll be back reading your review and reporting on tea!

canadianadia

Wishing you a speedy recovery

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96

this tea kicks a**! A HUGE CAPS LOCK THANK YOU TO SCRIBBLES FOR THIS!!!!!

robust, a heavy handed caffeine punch that doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t but somehow ZERO bitterness. this tea is an unbridled wake up! as well quite the finest assam i’ve ever had.

i will not be sharing this sample. i will be buying more when i’m done.

taking them at their word i steeped conventionally the first time and flagrantly ignored it on the counter the second. awesome both ways. not to mention their marketing amuses me.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Definitely one of my Favs!

JustJames

i do like companies with the confidence to be cheeky, and then have their cheekiness stand up!

TheTeaFairy

Hmmm! Kickin’ unpretentious Assam… right up my alley :-)

Cavocorax

I hope you didn’t already buy it as they have free shipping right now! Free to Canada! :O

JustJames

argh… Cavocorax, you’re totally challenging my tea budget!!!!! lol.

Cavocorax

Hahah. Welcome to Steepster! Where the people are friendly, and completely enabling when it comes to tea-buying.

JustJames

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..

Nxtdoor

Step away from the computer!

JustJames

argh…. i spoke with stacy at butiki teas today to che on my order (lovely individual) and she cheerfully informed me that because i’m canadian i can choose 3 free samples. i have been pouring over the butiki website ever since. Nxtdoor… i’m pretty sure you can’t reach me from where you are, lol. and if you could you’d need a few crowbars.

you did read the line about 3 free samples and being canadian, right?

Nxtdoor

I have my own butiki order on the way so feel free to wax poetically about it, wont bother me. Yah, Stacy set the bar pretty high, I’m not sure too many can compete in the customer service dept.

JustJames

every person i have spoken to has raved about stacy’s tea sense, and declared her among the best in the business both in the purist eastern approaches and the western flavoured. i am very excited to sample her skill sets.

how on earth do i choose 3????

Nxtdoor

When I ordered, I paid attention to my first instinct to see if I was torn between two teas. I made one my sample and ordered the other. I also stick to one variety so I’ll pick 6 oolongs to buy, for example, and take a couple more in samples. That way I’m exhausting a pretty good chunk of oolongs. Next time I might do black. And so on. Otherwise, there’s too much and Im just flailing.

JustJames

that approach makes good sense. i was drawn to butiki’s flavours by a bunch of my friends here, so that’s what i want to try first. that and i have zero experience with gyusa. so aside from the jasmine pearls, i’m looking at flavour first. after that i’ll go purist.

Nxtdoor

Dexter3657 gave me a sample of “good morning sunshine” and I liked it. Not sure if it was the flavour that spoke to me or the base. It’d be interesting to see the same flavour with different bases so one can tell what’s what. Whatever you chose, I’m sure it’ll be good.

JustJames

butiki offers a great sampler, a ‘choose your adventure’. i’ve pretty much chosen what i want, then maybe you and i can do an exchange!

Nxtdoor

I’m at the “hoarding butiki” stage but you never know, maybe you and I have opposite tastes and will end up making good swapping partners.

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60
drank Climber's High by Tealux
345 tasting notes

thank you so much to scribbles for this one!

puerh is a not-so-secret favourite of mine. i love it when tea companies add ingredients and compliment the puerh fermentation technique.

the ingredients of this puerh sound excellent— who doesn’t like saffron, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves? BUT sadly, i don’t taste most of them! i had expected warmth from spice, a vanilla undertone, nuttiness from the puerh… the blend isn’t balanced and so the exceptional ingredients are convoluted: like a paint box where all the colours got mixed together and none of them clear. for the most part i got cinnamon and cardamom.

it isn’t a bad tea, so much as not meeting up to its own standards.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Time For A ReWrite!

A good friend of mine on here kindly asked me to do the Steepster world a favour and list my allergies front and center (fair enough, lol):

-COFFEE … rare, nasty, not even a bit funny if i’m exposed. (call me original)

-ROOIBOOS … is a new appearance. under certain circumstances i’m okay with it (ie if it’s GREEN and paired with mate) but because i have an auto immune disease i try not to poke at things.

*NOT an allergy, but an abnormality that drives my tea buddies bananas, i AM INCAPABLE OF TASTING CARAMEL AND TOFFEE. so i thought i’d list it at the top too. it’s very annoying. they smell great!!?

Hi! I’m James!

I’m a student: double major of human geography and psychology with the intention of chasing a double doctorate. (reading that over it occurs to me again that i must be crazy).

i’m a live and let live sort. i look and see alot of silver linings. my discovery of tea has only served to further that viewpoint. for me tea is art and nuance, watercolours and bold brushstrokes….

swaps are grand things! the element of surprise in a tea swap completely trumps forrest gump’s chocolate box life metaphor, lol.

favourites: french teas dammann freres, mariage freres and nina’s paris especially.

i have recently discovered a german tea company that has romanced me: tea gschwendner (sp?)

mandala teas is brilliant and a company i count on.

justea and tealet are companies i study because of both their exceptional products and and business models, as well as their work with farmers who are TOO POOR for fair trade certification. this is highly relevant to my studies.

90-100 i need more
80-90 i might need more, or it might be a respect vote
below 75? it was likely an oops buy. my evolution into french teas has vastly focused what i like!!

however, i’m always open to trying things.

dislikes so far: guayasa, darjeeling, most peach teas.

Location

Victoria, BC

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