377 Tasting Notes

88
drank Caramel Oolong by Della Terra Teas
377 tasting notes

Mmm. I overleafed so I could start the day with a sipdown. It worked out quite nicely. This is just a lovely caramel tea. It was probably my favorite caramel tea until I tried Golden Moon’s Sugar Caramel Oolong last week. The caramel flavor is pretty comparable in both blends, but the base tea in the Golden Moon just blows the Della Terra base tea out of the water. Still enjoyable though.

Thanks to teamore for sharing this tasty treat!

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drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
377 tasting notes

The dry leaf is tightly rolled. It smells moderately roasty. I used 2 tsp of leaf in ~4 oz of water in my little glass gongfu teapot. 5 second rinse. Four steeps, all at 212f.

First steep: 30 sec. The brew is a pale yellow. It smells sweet, but there’s something a bit off about the smell. Almost ammonia-like. This steep tastes sweet, as if there’s a lot of sugar in here with a hint of apple. That weird aspect of the smell is in the taste too, though. Looking at the tea description, maybe this is a bitter almond note?

Second steep: 45 sec. The brown-green leaves start to unfurl. The color of the brew is deeper – a light orange color. There’s that weird smell again, only…warmer? deeper? That bitter almond (?) flavor is stronger than in the previous steep.

Third steep: 1 min. The orange color is very similar to that of the previous steep. The unpleasant odor is fainter, dominated now by a honey scent. There’s a stronger almond taste in this steep, less bitter but more astringent if that makes any sense.

Fourth steep: 2 mins. The leaves continue to unfurl. I can see now that they are a deep green with brown, torn/jagged edges. The brew is the same light orange color as the previous two steeps. The scent is now faintly sweet with a hint of roastiness. The almond flavor is sweeter but the bitterness is still present.

I really, really don’t like this one. Like, I’m actually surprised at how little I like it. I have never found a Butiki tea actively awful before. Did I mess this up somehow? Reserving a rating until I try brewing this Western-style, but based on this session I would rate it a 60.

Butiki Teas

Hmmm, there should be no bitterness in this one. I would try a 180F degree steep and see if that works.

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82
drank Demain by Nina's Paris
377 tasting notes

I tried this tea without looking at the description or reviews. I enjoy doing that from time to time, to see what flavors I can make out for myself.

This brews up a lovely pale gold. The taste is fruity… berries? peach? apricot? Yup, definitely apricot. Dry mouthfeel. Not bad hot, but so much better iced. The apricot stays natural tasting, with a hint of astringency that evokes the apricot pit. There’s a lingering dryness, but it’s pleasant.

Apparently this is supposed to be a berry tea. Looking at the other tasting notes, seems like I should try again at a strict 3 min steep to see if I can get the berry flavor. Or the parameters Lala suggested: “1.5 tsp for a 8 oz mug, 3-4 pieces of brown rock sugar, 190F (definitely hotter than what would be recommended for a green), 1-1.5 minutes.” (Hope you don’t mind my quoting your tasting note, Lala!).

Thanks for sending me some of this, Christina! I did enjoy this tea, even if I got the “wrong” flavor out of it. Thankfully, I’ve got enough left to play around with.

P.S. I used 2.5 tsps, but the tasting note thingy won’t accept decimal points.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Christina

Hmm, apricot is interesting. I’m not a big person for iced teas, but perhaps I should try this iced. One of the times I tried it hot, the aftertaste reminded me of fruit roll-ups!

Jude

I just tried this today and had the same experience: when hot it’s just ok but iced it really pops!

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92
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
377 tasting notes

I know I’ve already written about this tea twice recently, but I have new data to add. I accidentally oversteeped this by 15-20 minutes. Just totally forgot about it while I was getting ready this morning. And it didn’t get bitter or gross!

So, to sum up my tasting notes: add honey to really make the vanilla pop, try this iced, and rest assured that it’s very forgiving.

Christina

I’m so glad you liked this.

Did you know there’s a custom Adagio blend called Kaylee? Thought you might want to take a peek: http://steepster.com/teas/custom-adagio-teas-amy-zen/46213-kaylee

Kaylee

Squee! That is totally going on the wishlist. Thanks for the heads up!

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92
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
377 tasting notes

My darned cat just sneezed right into my mug. Ugh. I had to pour out the first steep and switch mugs. The second steep didn’t have much vanilla flavor, so I added about two tsps of honey. Niiiice. It really brought out the vanilla! Good to know.

whatshesaid

Mmmm I’ve always enjoyed this one!

Cat sneeze…funny

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92
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
377 tasting notes

Christina didn’t like this one. Good news for me, because I liked it quite a bit and she sent me the rest of hers. Thank you!

This is a nice oolong with a strong undertone of vanilla. It’s good hot, but I’ve just accidentally discovered that it is amazing cold. The smooth vanilla comes to the fore without drowning out the oolong. Man oh man this is going to be lovely as the weather warms. Whee!

Hello.Kiki

I have a bit of this left from my sample- I’ll have to try it iced now!

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85
drank A Day in Provence by Tay Tea
377 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ve ever had a floral rooibos before!

Based on the smell of the dry leaf, I did not think that I would enjoy this. It smelled very artificially floral. Once brewed, this becomes a veritable bouquet. If this is what a day in Provence feels like, then I need to book a flight. The lavender and rose play nicely with the woody quality of the rooibos, which keeps the florals in check. As this cools, the berry flavor comes out. It’s almost like a different tea actually.

Overall I find this very soothing and expect to finish it off quickly. It’s just a lovely lovely bedtime tea.

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72

I’m really enjoying this tea right now. The lemon and hibiscus are playing nicely without being too tart. Sort of soothing and energizing at the same time. Enough so that I’m actually upping my rating by a few points.

sipdown

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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62
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
377 tasting notes

I wanted to make this for some guests today. I didn’t have enough leaf for a whole pot, so I mixed up what I had with Nina’s Versailles Rose. It went over big. I think. It’s hard to tell with some guests whether they genuinely like something or are just being polite. But I think they liked it.

For me, it kind of just tasted like black tea. Very dry with a citrusy aftertaste. The Versailles Rose improved on the citrus aspect, but the Troika toned down the best notes of the Versailles Rose.

I actually picked up both of these teas at the Taste of France festival back in the fall. The Troika came from Fuzzy_Peachkin (I think) and the Versailles Rose from Laurent. Thank you both!

sipdown of the Troika

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78
drank Duchess' First Love by Tay Tea
377 tasting notes

I’ve never seen a black tea/rooibos blend before. I’m intrigued! The dry leaf smells like caramel and citrus. I would almost say orange, but I know it’s not. The color of the brew is definitely orange, though. The rooibos is very assertive. Woody. It’s tempered by a hint of caramel and citrus. The citrus peeks out at the end of the sip. It’s a generic sort of citrus flavor. I wouldn’t know what it was if I didn’t read the label. The creaminess comes out in the aftertaste and lingers pleasantly long after the sip is over. Caramel builds up in the aftertaste as I near the bottom of the mug.

This tea is ok, but nothing special. I’ll probably get my dad to drink the rest.

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