1238 Tasting Notes

66
drank Carrot Cake by DAVIDsTEA
1238 tasting notes

Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake lay down your wings
Let me taste your incredible things
Be you spicy or be you sweet
Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake will be my treat

This blend smells more fruity than carrot or spice like, not what I expected. Mixed dried fruit with a light wooden base.

Burnt orange in colour with a vanilla fruit scent, still not getting carrot cake.

Flavour is mild and nutty with a creamy, sweet after taste and some dryness. Not as fruity tasting as it smells and not spicy or carrot enough for it to be carrot cake, more like a light nut cake. Nuts are generic, nothing specific. Sweetness is like vanilla though mild.

It doesn’t taste like carrot cake :( though it’s nice enough for me to finish my cup. Such a shame, been craving carrot lately and I was hoping this would aid me well. Adding the rest of this to my trade pile.

Flavors: Nuts, Raisins, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Marzipan

To the tune of Matchmaker Matchmaker?

KittyLovesTea

It could be :) This one was written more poem style than song so it’s open to interpretation.

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82

I always start singing songs about Bi Luo Chun before I prepare it, right now I have “B B B Bi Luo Chun Bi Luo Chun, S S S Stronger than some stronger than some, C C C Curly green leaves curly green leaves”. It’s only 10:30am so it is possible I haven’t woken fully yet ergo morning songs are very simple.

Oh and just a quick note, some may remember that I require a dental operation to remove a tooth which means removing part of my gum and sanding down my jaw bone to do so….well I had a call yesterday and it’s arranged for the end of the month. Lucky me…

…………………………………

So Bi Luo Chun (sings song) is one my favourite greens but I have yet to try it from Teavivre. The leaves are very light and fluffy with green and silver curls/squiggles that have a sweet yet peppery peony scent.

Water : 176℉ / 80℃
Use 7 Grams Tea
4 steeps : rinse,30s,50s,80s,100s
Gongfu Teapot – 170ml
Rinsing time is around 5 seconds

First Steep – 30 seconds
Tea is yellow in colour with a sweet floral scent. Flavour is sweet and floral with some grassy tones and mild astringency. Also a little dry in the after taste. Floral wise it’s like jasmine but milder.

Second Steep – 50 seconds
It hasn’t increased in strength much but there an added light peppery flavour amongst it’s sweet jasmine and honeysuckle floral tones. Still with that touch of astringency and dryness.

Third Steep – 80 seconds
Very sweet and floral still, it lingers in the after taste wonderfully. Jasmine, honeysuckle, peony and lily are the floral tones I can detect. The astringency is more mild at this stage though the after taste remains dry.

Fourth Steep – 100 seconds
Delicate but sweet and still very floral.

It remained consistent throughout and had wonderful sweet floral notes with just a hint of pepper and astringency. Very mild compared to some of the cheaper varieties I have tried but the flavour was far from disappointing. May have to order some of this in place of another Chinese green when I run out.

Flavors: Flowers

Jennkay

I love that you sing about your tea!

TeaExplorer

I really like that song! When is your Greatest Hits album gonna’ drop?

KittyLovesTea

I’d have great song titles such as: Matcha Men, Wuyi Rock Explosion, Oolong To Tipperary? and Silver Tip Blues. :D

TeaExplorer

LOL :) Brilliant!

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77

Thank you Zen Tea for this sample.

The raw blend smells minty and refreshing, very fresh and vibrant. It has a generic herbal scent in the background of the mint.

After the long 7 minute steep the tea is burnt orange in colour with a sweet yet herbal scent with mint being the dominating tone. I think I can smell the licorice in the background.

Flavour is more mild than the scent though the mint is easily recognisable so it’s a light medium strength overall (best way I can put it). I can taste the licorice which is not too bad (for someone who dislikes licorice in teas) it mostly blends into the refreshing after taste of the mint. Other than the mint and licorice there is a generic herbal flavour but it’s light and not as thick as most other herbal blends. Also has some natural sweetness.

I like this, I like herbal blends as long as they are not too thick or dry and the mint is a glorious touch in this one. Husband likes it too which says a lot since he isn’t a herbal tea fan. Perhaps a touch too much licorice for my taste but it’s a pleasant bed time tea non the less.

Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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81

Thank you Zen Tea for this sample.

It smells heavily rooibos but I do notice a very sweet floral scent, like rose and violet mixed.

Once steeped the tea is burnt orange in colour a sweet and very floral scent, it’s pleasant but the base is very thick (good if you love rooibos).

Flavour matches the scent for the most part, the rooibos base is thick and sweet with a slight smoky, floral after taste. Flower tastes like rose or similar, something fragrant and sweet to carry the sweetness from the rooibos. Almost vanilla pod like, creamy tones are present.

Seeing as I’m not a rooibos fan I actually like this one, despite it being very thickly flavoured. The flowers are an excellent pairing and it fools my taste buds, they think "Oh no it’s rooibos sigh…actually it’s just flowers smile ".

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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74
drank Toffee Dream by Zen Tea
1238 tasting notes

Thank you Zen Tea for this sample.

The raw leaf does have a light toffee scent, nutty and dry with some sweetness. The white tea (Pai Mu Tan) is mostly whole leaf with some stems/sticks present and what looks like blue cornflowers.

Once steeped the tea is burnt yellow and has a light, buttery toffee scent. Very nice! Flavour is very nutty with a sweet butter toffee after taste that has some dryness. Has a slight chemical taste after my first cup but it’s not off putting, could just be flavour of the nuts sticking out. I would say walnut.

More nuts than toffee in overall flavour but it’s paired well with the Pai Mu Tan white tea base. A little too dry in the after taste for my personal liking but the flavour was nice. I would try this again but wouldn’t keep it in stock.

Flavors: Nuts

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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65
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
1238 tasting notes

The blend looks pleasant enough, with small strawberry pieces and chopped up leaves amongst it’s dark brown Ceylon (which has some sticks/twigs present). It has a dry strawberry scent, rather mild but also sweet and natural. Also getting wooden tones from the Ceylon.

My steeping parameters:
Leaf – 5g
Water Temperature – 100C
Vessel – personaliTEA teapot 600ml
1 Steeps – 3 minutes
Served with milk

Without milk the tea is mahogany in colour with a sweet but soft strawberry scent, more the fruit than the herb ie leaf. The picture shows one cup with milk and the other without.

The black tea base tastes thick with wood and malt notes and a hint of smoke. Behind that is a light sweetness from the strawberry which comes through in the after taste. The strawberry smelled natural but the flavour is mostly artificial, it’s a touch too sweet and is candy like. Similar to a strawberry gummy sweet. I can’t taste any cream or anything similar, the milk would have lightened some of the wood and malt tones from the Ceylon but even that hasn’t brought out the cream taste. My personal tip to add cream to this tea would be to use a little vanilla, if you have any vanilla sugar at home this tea would taste magical. Alas I have none so I will have to settle for plain strawberry.

Overall
Honestly it’s an average strawberry blend but it can be improved with the likes of sugar/sweetener, particularly vanilla sugar. The Ceylon base is too strong for the strawberry and it’s cream flavour was missing but despite all of that it still made a nice cup of tea. If I had more I would try adding sweetener and maybe a drop of vanilla extract.

For pictures and more information please view my blog –
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/05/14/review-three-teas-from-zen-tea/

Flavors: Berries, Malt, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 20 OZ / 600 ML
tea-sipper

Sadly, this one does age quickly. Fresh, it is awesome.

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85

The leaves are dark green for the most part with a few light green pieces present and as a whole they are very shiny. They are dry and crisp leaves which are mostly short/broken and has a sweet, mineral scent. I liken it to sweet grass, orchid and fresh kale.

My steeping parameters:
Leaf – 5g
Water Temperature – 70C
Vessel – Glass Gongfu 140ml
3 Steeps – 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes

First Steep – 1 Minute
The tea is yellow and a little cloudy with a sweet floral scent. Flavour is sweet and mineral with a grassy after taste that is a little dry. It does lighten after a few seconds to leave a raw pea flavour.

Second Steep – 2 Minutes
Thicker in strength with a touch of astringency. Sweet tones but still more mineral wise than floral, strong raw pea flavour now. Also high grass notes but no increase in dryness. It’s thick enough to resemble kale or cabbage at this point.

Third Steep – 3 Minutes
Heavy mineral flavour with more astringency than before and a touch of umami. Tastes similar to an instant Sencha powder I’ve had before. More savoury than sweet now but there is some still present.

Overall
A nice Sencha that increases in strength and umami the more you steep it. Offers sweet, grass and floral notes as well as vegetal/mineral richness.

For pictures and more information please view my blog –
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/05/14/review-three-teas-from-zen-tea/

Flavors: Grass, Kale, Orchids, Peas

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
TheTeaFairy

Nice review KittyLT, That’s my everyday go to sencha, I always keep a supply.

KittyLovesTea

Thanks TheTeaFairy It was a nice Sencha, wasn’t sure it would compare well to some of the speciality Sencha I import from Japan but it did. If ZenTea dispatched tea to Europe I would consider buying it. :)

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80

The leaves are dark green with the occasional pale yellow/silver spot. They are thin and curly with a light but sweet honeysuckle scent.

My steeping parameters:
Leaf – 3g
Water Temperature – 60C
Vessel – Glass Gongfu 140ml
3 Steeps – 2 minutes, 2 minutes, 3 minutes

First Steep – 2 minutes
Very light yellow liquid with a sweet floral scent, similar to honeysuckle and sweet pea. Flavour is very light but has a sweet after taste. Crystal clear and very smooth and buttery with a slight crispness. A little grassy after a few sips.

Second Steep – 2 minutes
Still very light and more so than the previous steep. Tastes like sweet grass and butter with a slight mineral after taste.

Third Steep – 3 minutes
Extremely light but floral and it’s sweetness toned down somewhat. Less honey more sugar cane though again I stress very mildly. A slight dryness in the after taste this time.

Overall
A light green tea that offers high sweet and floral notes with a buttery finish. Was very refreshing and clear.

For pics and more information please view my blog – http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/05/14/review-three-teas-from-zen-tea/

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Honeydew, Peas

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 3 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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Not sure what angle to come at this tea as I’ve never tried anything like it before. Seaweed (or Kombu/Konbucha/Kombucha – not to be mistaken for the mushroom) is a new type of tea completely for me. In powdered form you add 2g of powder (which they kindly provide you a spoon to measure with) and mix it with boiling water for roughly 100ml volume. Very simple and quick.

Reading about Kombu on Wikipedia it claims to be high source of B Vitamins, K Vitamin, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and moderate-low levels of Vitamin C and E. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombu

Flavour wise this is very salty, I’m talking one of the saltiest things I’ve ever tasted. Not as bad as my experiment with pickled Sakura Blossoms (which I found to be inedible) but for someone who rarely uses salt this is very strong for me. Adding to the salt it’s also thick which makes it very broth like, so rather than salt water it’s a salty broth/soup which in a strange way is sort of nice. It tastes exactly as you would except seaweed to taste like. Sure I’ve tried seaweed from my local Chinese takeaway but it’s fried and mild…this tastes more raw.

No rating as I am still thinking ‘wtf is this’and ‘damn this is salty’. Will take some time for me to get used to this…if I ever do. But at least I can keep this down ie looking good so far.

Flavors: Seaweed

Preparation
Boiling 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

Thank you Yunomi.us for this free sample that added as a nice surprise as I opened my order today.

Nice large leaves and lots of sticks in my 5g sample. Beautiful sweet and toasted scent that I liken to a honey cake I used to make in my automatic bread cooker machine. The more I sniff the more grassy and mineral it becomes but it is a very nice scent.

Since there were no instructions on the website for steeping this or any other bancha (that I can find) I will use Yunomi.us standard steeping method.

Tea – 5g
Water – 80C
Volume – 180ml
Vessel – Kyusu

First Steep – 30 seconds
Yellow green in colour with virtually no scent despite it’s very apparent colour. Flavour is mild with roasted grass tones and sweet honeysuckle that dissipates quickly and you are left with a touch of smoke in the after taste.

Second Steep – 10 seconds
More roasted and less grassy. Honeysuckle and sweetpea tones with a slight smoky after taste. Also a little sour. For the most part it’s sweet and a perfect strength for me personally.

Third Steep – 30 seconds
More toasted than sweet but it does lighten a lot in the after taste. Tastes like raw pea. No smoke this time, instead the after taste is grassy and mineral.

I enjoyed this Bancha much more than I thought I would, though the first steep was nice it was far from ‘special’ compared to others I have tried. It kicked up a gear after that and steep two and three were delicious, so very natural and sweet with light smoke. Plus now my mouth is coated in a delicious roasted sweet pea flavour that reminds me a little of light pea soup. I may get more of this in the future.

Flavors: Grass, Honey, Peas

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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Profile

Bio

I’m 27 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Honey, Cassie, Mr Soots and Ivory.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.

http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/
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Location

Leicester, England, United Kingdom

Website

http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/

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