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709 Tasting Notes

88

I am unsure as to what the grades suggest. I assume it is to do with the quality of the tea but I would like to know what it refers to. I did a quick internet search and did not come up with much. This is the teavivre info page: http://www.teavivre.com/info/guide-to-choose-high-quality-keemun-black-tea. It discusses different grades of keemun but then changes to discusses Grade A, B, and C. I assume that could be synonymous with the grades but I have no idea.

So anyway, this tea smells strongly earthy and more vegetal than smokey. It is smooth, but not the smoothest keemun I have had. There is a slight smokey flavour, I would describe it as more rustic. There is also a bit of an earthy flavour. There is just a touch of astringency on the back of my palate towards the end of the sip but it goes away really quick. There is just a tinge of sweetness.

This reminds me of a gulping tea, not a sipping tea. It is the tea you drink down with your breakfast, it tastes really good but you are not stopping to notice any subtleties or nuances of the tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

i have grade 1,2 on their way so that i can do a final comparison of the last of the keemuns from teavivre. :)

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95

So I took today off work because I was supposed to be going to a wedding which I had to travel for. Over the past weekend, I wasn’t feeling too awesome, but nothing ever came of it. I just moped around and watched movies. Then I worked yesterday and felt horrible, not horrible enough to call in sick, but horrible enough to be in a bad mood. Then I woke up this morning and couldn’t breath and have a headache. It finally hit. So needless to say I am not going to the wedding :( Happy New Years, yuck.

I have been drinking lots of tea today. Maybe not the right kinds of tea, but drinking lots. Now I am starting to feel worse. So I decided to try a cup of this to see what happens, the next step I think is just some plain water and going to bed.

The first and last time I had this was at the trade fair when I had a sample dispensed from a pump type thermos. The salesman told me it was just the plain spice mix with hot water.

This didn’t seem to mix very well for me. There is a lot of particulate in the cup. But that appears to be a lot of the spices that are not supposed to dissolve anyway. I didn’t have any of this mess when I tried it from the salesman but it came from a pump thermos, and that may be why. There is a lot of ginger in this, which is helping to open my sinuses and hopefully settle my stomach. I am also getting a lot of pepper and cardamom. The first time I had this it was quite sweet, so even though the salesman didn’t admit it, I think he had a bunch of sweetener in his sample.

Anyway, this one is feeling good. I might stick with it for a bit and see how it feels.

I used 1/8 tsp in 8 oz hot water. I think next time I would use less spice to dull it down just a bit.

keychange

New years eve is no time to be sick! I hope you rest up and feel better soon.

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78
drank Kambaa by Metropolitan Tea Company
709 tasting notes

Sometimes I feel like I need a strong cup of black tea to cleanse my palate, just like any “normal” person would need a glass of water. I am much more a lover of straight black teas than I am of flavoured teas, although I do like flavoured teas. I am trying to trim down my cupboard before I order any more tea. So that has left me with a lot of flavoured teas to drink. So today, after drinking a lot of flavoured teas, I felt like I just needed something “normal”. Ha ha. The only problem was I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I found this in my cupboard a few days ago. I thought it was long gone. I am excited to still have some but I know it has been in my cupboard for a long time.

This one is smooth, there is a little bit of astringency in the aftertaste, which I do not remember being there before. It is sweet, without having added anything to it. It is malty and thick. I feel like I am getting notes of dark plums and a bit of cocoa beans. Its delicious and hitting the right spot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

i am with you on that one! I’m working on getting my cupboard down to a much smaller volume and then just bringing in samples of flavoured teas for when the mood strikes me

Terri HarpLady

Yum! This one sounds delicious

Lala

This was one of the first black teas I fell in love with. Terri, I can send you a sample if you like.

Terri HarpLady

I’d love that! Of course, I’ll be glad to reciprocate!

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80
drank Dreamsicle Puerh by 52teas
709 tasting notes

Made this one as an iced tea and it is Delicious!

It is all orange creamsicle and no puerh. Just perfect. It is not as creamy as it is when hot, but it is still smooth. There is a bit more peppery orange rind in the iced tea.

I brewed 4 tsp for 2 minutes and then filled up a liter jug with cold water. I added about 2 tsp white sugar to sweeten.

Sil

mmmm i so need to pull this out to try it

Terri HarpLady

ohhhh, this sounds interesting too!

Sil

terri – i should have enough to share at some point.

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83
drank Watermelon Xylophone by Butiki Teas
709 tasting notes

I swear I have written a tasting note for this before. I know I have had it before. But there is nothing here. Steepster is making me crazy, although my craziness has been previously well documented.

For some reason when I pulled this out of the cupboard, I expected it to be a green tea with a tart watermelon flavour, which is what I was looking for. But when I opened up the package to brew it, it was a much more creamy, delicious, bubblegum watermelon flavour. The silver needle is very smooth and mellow. The liquor us really thick. I feel like I am drinking watermelon candy.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

That’s happened to me a couple times too! Kudos to Steepster to making us feel like we need to get our heads checked.

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72
drank Eggnog Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
709 tasting notes

Received this one as a free sample from Red Leaf Tea.

I am neither here nor there with eggnog. I will drink it if it is around, but I do not think I have ever purchased a carton of eggnog for myself before.

The initial smell reminded me very much of the caramel matcha. But after I started to mix it up as a latte, it smelled like eggnog. I used 2 tsp with 12 oz warm frothed milk and a bit of white sugar to sweeten. It definitely tastes like eggnog, but eggnog mixed with matcha. I feel like I am getting notes of dark rum and nutmeg. The only thing, is there is just a tiny bit of that chemical taste I have had in some other flavoured matchas. It is still very much drinkable, I am just getting a tinge of it.

I am actually surprised byt the taste of this one.

Roswell Strange

I made this as a tea soda a while ago on a whim, and while it was super weird it was also surprisingly good…

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76
drank Pistachio Ice Cream by Butiki Teas
709 tasting notes

Made this one again. I was disappointed the last time I had it. This time I really stirred up the package and I realized that I think some of the ingredients had settled, as I got a bunch of different stuff in this scoop. This time it was much better. I brewed with a few pieces of rock sugar. This time it tastes much more like pistachio, it is also creamy, not necessarily ice cream, but definitely there is some cream in there. I am finding there is quite a bit of nuttiness in the aftertaste.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

yeah sadly stacy’s teas tend to settle, so i’ve taken to shaking up her teas that are flavoured before reaching in for my tsp’s

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90

Made the last of this matcha as a latte. It was ok. I think I preferred it more as cold shaken. As a hot latte there is a lot more peanut butter flavour, but I am finding there is a chalky cocoa flavour to it now.

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90
drank Winter Cheers by Handmade Tea
709 tasting notes

I have been trying to find this one for days on Steepster. I just assumed Caleb hadn’t added it yet, so I waited a few days then decided to add it myself so I can make a note. So I go to add it and there is an error saying it is already in the database. Darn you steepster.

This tea is interesting, it is not what I expected. It smells strongly of peppermint. The tea tastes like a very light and smooth mint blend, but strongly on the peppermint side. I am not sure what mulberries are supposed to taste like, but I think they add a bit of candy taste to the blend. It is sweet and fruity. I am not getting any tartness. I don’t taste much of the green rooibos at all (and I am more than ok with that). I am surprised that I like this one so much as I am very particular on my mint teas!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

Mulberries are like candy. SO sweet.

Lala

So I brewed up another cup and then ate one of the rehydrated mulberries. It was delicious. It tasted like a cross between bread pudding and gummy candies.

Sil

i meant to ask you how much it costs for the subscription. I know caleb said as long as it goes through you can do it but i wasn’t sure if there was an extra charge for canadians.

Lala

$12.95 USD for the mini subscription.

Sil

oh nice. must try it in the new year :)

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84

So here in Canada, we have a store call Liquidation World. It is essentially exactly what is sounds like. It buys poducts from stores that are going out of business, looking to get rid of product, etc, and sell it for super cheap. Liquidation World was recently acquired by the American Big Lots. Then Big Lots decided to close all of its stores (US and Canada – even though the Canadian stores were making tonnes of profit, I guess it wasn’t enough to keep the empire afloat). BOO!!!

I have some family members that love Liquidation World. You can usually find some really good deals, although most of the products are not always good quality and the expiry dates on the food are not too far away. But you can always find interesting things you can’t get anywhere else.

So I went on boxing day and they had a few kinds of Arizona iced tea on the cheap. So I stocked up. I love Arizona tea, it is real iced tea which is hard to come by in a can or bottle in Canada. And it is usually quite expensive, due to the monster size can.

This tastes lovely. A bit sweeter than I would like though. The black tea is strong but not astringent. It tastes like a Ceylon but I am not sure. There is definitely an artificial lemon flavour, but it is still delicious. Everything a canned iced tea should be. The only drawback is it is a huge 695 ml can. I read online that they now have 8oz cans in the US. But I think I will get over it.

Roswell Strange

My roommate loves these, though when I tell him he’s drinking actual tea and not artificial/sugar filled junk like Nestea he denies it. Pretty sure he just doesn’t want to admit to A) Being Wrong and B) Enjoying real tea :p

Lala

Ha ha, that’s funny. I am sure there is just as much sugar in these as there is in Nestea, but to me it still totally tastes different. You can tell this is real tea. Or maybe my taste buds are just wired to taste tea.

Fjellrev

How much were they? I haven’t been to a Liquidation World since high school!

I actually don’t mind these, especially the honey one, and the apple one too.

Lala

80 cents per can. The one I was at had this one, the raspberry one, and the ginseng with honey.

Roswell Strange

I like the Raspberry one best. Tre likes the Honey one.

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Profile

Bio

I am a lifetime tea lover.

I did foray into the world of coffee for a period of time, but I returned to my true love. I still, however, enjoy a good cup of java.

My all time favorite tea is Earl Grey, which I drink every morning, the stronger the bergamot the better. I definitely prefer natural oil of bergamot to artificial flavouring.

I mostly like black and dark oolong teas. My current favs are Fujian blacks, Keemun and Assams, and Wuyi oolongs. I gravitate towards anything with lychee in it. I also drink a lot of herbal blends but am wary of hibiscus. I do not favour mate, or pu’erh tea, although I have found a few blends that I like. (I so badly want to like straight pu’erh tea but it all tastes gross to me. I keep trying though). Rooibos, green and white teas fall somewhere in the middle. I find myself gravitating towards heavily roasted oolongs and teas from Paris/France based companies.

I love iced teas and cold brews.

My current tea goal is to make the perfect cup of chai from scratch – almost there…I think.

I am in love with the whole experience of tea.

Location

Saskatchewan, CANADA

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