276 Tasting Notes

75

The company I work for is putting together the Christmas loot bags for our clients and tea is part of the bag. They had some left over and it’s how I got to score a handful of different Stash teas. I’ve been meaning to try Stash but at the same time didn’t feel like spending money on it because if I didn’t like them, now I’d have a whole box of it to drag around my cupboard.

This one’s ok. I used double the water this bag could take. I knew I wouldn’t want to get out of bed to resteep so I did double the quantity from the get go and I just left the bag inside seeing how it’s herbal.

It’s definitely convenient. I haven’t done bagged teas in so long I forgot now nice it is sometimes to not have all the accoutrements dragging around, cleaning them after and … stuff. It gets messy in the morning when one reaches over to snooze the 4.30 am alarm and knocks over the kettle or the infuser with the spent leaves. Now there’s nothing but a mug! And yes, it’s not too bad. I don’t feel like I’ve sacrificed my evening tea pleasuring (heh) for the sake of convenience.

(But something in this tea makes me sleepy. I should have gone for caffeine.)

mrmopar

We all “cheat” with the bagged stuff :P

TeaBrat

I know I do!

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81
drank Santa's Secret by DAVIDsTEA
276 tasting notes

I’ve finished most of my favourite DAVIDs teas during this hiatus I’m on so it’s getting down to those that for me are just ok. Because a staple of mine is DAVIDs “Read My Lips” some people suggested I might enjoy “Santa’s Secret”, some even feel it is better. So I bought 50 grams a while back and after trying it originally and deciding I do not favour it, I left it there on the shelf.

Well, it’s getting to where I’m drinking everything. This is fine but it doesn’t have chocolate. Yes, I can add that with chocolate syrup but .. Meh. It’s still comforting as a mint tea, especially on cold nights when you snuggle up by the fire with a book and a shot glass of whatever to drop in your tea when the mood strikes.

In conclusion, I prefer Read My Lips and will continue to stock it over Santa’s secret. It has a bit more chocolate and the mint is just a little more muted. When it comes to mouthfeel they’re both the same.

PS. for those who don’t know already, Verdant just re-stocked our most favourite blends. You should hurry and buy the LB chocolate Genmaicha before I buy it all. Really. Buy now! I already got 8 oz but am thinking it’s not enough.

mrmopar

You are a “Tea Hoarder” ;p LOL!

Nxtdoor

@mrmopar I most certainly am not :) my cupboard is puny variety-wise. I just have large quantities of selected few.

mrmopar

I know, just ribbin ya a little.

Nxtdoor

Says mister i-have-cakes-upon-cakes-of-pu’erh in my specialy designed room :) @mrmopar

mrmopar

And you are 100% correct. Now if I can only find another place to put some more……

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drank Apple Custard by DAVIDsTEA
276 tasting notes

I picked up 50 grams of this yesterday as my frequent steeper reward. I figured if it’s free it doesn’t matter how heavy it is. I like the taste of it save for the pesky chamomile.

I didn’t know it was in there. the description goes on about apples and vanilla and I didn’t even think about chamomile. There aren’t a lot of things I dislike in tea and I just failed to check. I knew this wasn’t Rooibos, which I usually avoid, and I didn’t think anything past that. Sigh. I was also hoping that maybe there won’t be a lot of chamomile but there’s quite a presence. You can see it and you can taste it. Aside from that, it’s a pretty good tea. Good flavour, nice crispness and smooth mouthfeel. I wonder what it would taste like without chamomile… I’d probably love it.

mrmopar

Good to see ya!

Nxtdoor

I miss you too, @mrmopar! Hope you’re keeping well.

mrmopar

We are and hope you are doing well also! (:

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91

I’m still here and still drinking tea but have gotten more into old favourites which already have notes so telling you they are tasty is redundant.

This one is in my cup right now and the first time I tried it I likened it to DAVIDs Bai Hao Yin Zen. Not anymore. That is more vegetal to me whereas this one tastes a lot more like pine and pu’erh. It is stone cold — been sitting here a while listening to Jann Arden, tweeting and tackling the crossword — and the aftertaste is piney. I like it.

Have a pleasant Saturday evening everyone!

OMGsrsly

Ooh, I really liked this one as well. Definitely one to keep on my wish list! Thanks for the reminder. :)

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82
drank Brandy Oolong, Ruby 18 by Tealux
276 tasting notes

Transitioning to straight teas slowly, it seems. How I realized this?! In my last Tealux order only ONE tea was flavoured, the dragon lychee pearls, which I have to say are a must have. All the rest are pu’erh and unflavoured teas. Monkey tips and white buds and the likes, and this one of course.

I get no grape (like Dexter did) but this tastes entirely like a black tea to me. The leaves, however, are gorgeous. Loooong long leaves. Longest I’ve ever seen. Exclamation crossed my lips upon opening the bag. Also, gorgeous as it is, I must say it ain’t exactly ruby :). More like brandy. I saw not much difference between steeps. I have yet to have the time to steep 7 times like some hard core drinkers but I did it three times. Three back to back 8 oz cups is hard corer for me!

In others news, I’m in love. During my last Jann Arden concert two days ago I became aware of this amazingly talented singer who was part of her band. And seriously, once I googled said singer and further realized how talented (and hot!) she is, I am smitten. Seriously, if you can spare a “like” in her Facebook, you should. And she has her own website, however bare it is at the moment allisoncornell.com

Yo, I even bought her iTunes album. Yes, I’m Hashtag OCD :)

Thanks bye :)

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75
drank Butter Rum by 52teas
276 tasting notes

Bye “butter rum”!!! I had this 2 oz bag for two years, drank out of it once. Then, all of a sudden, I got sick with a head cold and it’s all I’ve been drinking for the past 3 days. With a wedge of lemon, loads of honey and a splash of rum flavouring. In the evenings I have even added alcohol to it for a boost of tastiness. Today I couldn’t taste anything at all (so I should have drank some pu’erh!) but I know it tasted great just prior.

Maybe tomorrow I get to start killing off another lingering bag — oatmeal raisin cookie (della terra) — from last Black Friday purchase.

Tuscanteal

The only good thing about being sick is being able to finish tea that has been lingering in our cupboard. The last time I was really sick, I chewed through all the bagged tea that I had bought before my bf and I moved in, among other loose teas. I hope you get better soon and then you can enjoy teas you enjoy :)

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60
drank Campfire Blend by Verdant Tea
276 tasting notes

Finishing off my sample. I didn’t care for it much at first but I am realizing now it makes a good “sick” tea. I’m coming down with something and I wanted something herbal, citrusy, something I can heap with honey. Driving home from work I kept thinking about my cupboard and what I could drink. I lack in the herbal department. And then I remembered I had this which fits the bill perfectly!! It’s got spices, it’s got cirrus, you can add a wedge of lemon to it no problem and a nice dollop of honey. Blanket, book and you’re set. Maybe I should not have scoffed ad DAVID’s “cold 911” ad. Yep, this is definitely a good tea for when you’ve got the sniffles and the sore throat.

Terri HarpLady

Hopefully you’ll feel better soon!

Tuscanteal

Feel better!

Nxtdoor

Thank you kindly :)

yyz

Hope you fight it off quickly!

mrmopar

I was thinking about you yesterday! Hate to hear you down with something. Hope you feel better my friend!

Nxtdoor

@mrmopar thank you, was thinking of you also. :) so far it’s just a minor cold. It just sucks when it hurts to swallow. I see lots of hot tea this w/e. Pu’erh with honey???

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75
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
276 tasting notes

I finally bought some (50g) of this. Last year I didn’t get a chance to do so, the two stores I tried to get it at were sold out. Can’t remember why I didn’t do it online but it doesn’t matter anymore.

I bought this and the cute stout fall cups — the ones with the red and orange maple leaves on them. I have a feeling these are selling quite a bit too.

The tea? It’s alright. Too much spice. It is a chai so you can’t fault them but again, too much stuff. Too much nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. The second steep was better. I had both steeps sweetened and with almond/coconut milk in them. To me this tea is quite similar to the glitter and gold (which I really don’t care for) and also similar to the oatmeal raisin cookie from Della Terra. So… Nay on restock.

The cups are great though. :)

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drank White Christmas by Harney & Sons
276 tasting notes

Can’t make up my mind about this one. I’ve been wanting it since last year when I saw it at Chapters as part of a package. I didn’t buy it then because I wasn’t interested in the other teas that would have come along but I’ve been eyeballing it ever since. Well, now I have it.

Smells divine. Taste is decent but not what I expected. A lot of notes say “chocolate”. I’m not getting chocolate at all. I’m getting vanilla and cardamom, but I think I’m getting chamomile at the end of the sip, and that’s what’s turning me off a little. I will try to mask that in later cups, maybe with some almond milk but I’m hesitant to add that to a white tea. So yeah. That’s my take. I’m drinking it out of an blue glass mug so I have no idea what color it brews.

I also wasn’t sure how much water to use for 1 sachet so I went with 8 oz, which is half the mug. 177F, 3 minutes.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I’d like to announce I have had two pu’erh tastings back to back. I am not going to say cups because I resteeped last night so it was more than one cup. Are you impressed? You should be. But maybe you’ll say last night’s won’t count because it was a sheng.

This morning I woke up early despite being still on staycation. Partner goes to work so naturally I hear moving about and wake up. Then had to go out to run an errand and now I’m back but sleepy! Didn’t want coffee, didn’t want tea. So I thought since I am not in the mood for anything, I’ll just make pu’erh. That way I’m fine with whatever it tastes like because I have no expectation, no craving.

I did everything “right”. I warmed the gaiwan, I put the leaves in the empty but warm vessel, I let them get all happy for a bit, then I added 200F ish water over them. 15 second rinse, then their actual bath for a minute.

I have to say a much as I don’t like the taste of shou pu’erh all that much, I love their color. The dark-red clay colour does it for me. Took a sip and it’s not “oh wow” I’m in love but still, not at all unpleasant. I thought about mj ‘s note from her first pu’erh experience and tried to do the same: adjust my senses for what my tastebuds are about to experience. Leather? Sure. Leather. I wish I could have one word to describe the way pu’erh tastes. I don’t like barn, dirt and mushroom. Because really, it’s neither. It sometimes it’s metallic, like blood, although it’s not that either.

This is great pu’erh folks. It really is. I am grateful to have tried it. I have enough for a few more cups, gallons of it if I resteep.

ETA: holy shit! Pu’erh gods forgive me! I added sugar and vanilla to this on the resteep.( I resteeped with half the water, for 1 minute.) Holy crap, this is amazing. It’s like a different tea. Can I still say I like pu’erh even though I … Modified it?

mj

No tea police here! Enjoy it any way you want :)
And I get what you are saying… I liked the puerh I had but not in a YUM way

Nxtdoor

As a chef, if I make a nice steak for someone and they drown it in BBQ sauce I cringe inside. And if it’s a family member, I get vocal about it. I mean, why did I just bother to give you the good stuff? I am sure people feel that way about some tea. I mean, why bother with expensive stuff if you’re just gonna add shit to it to make it taste cheap?!?

mj

You make an excellent point. It is a crime to adulterate good steak! A1 should be banned (and is foul besides)

K S

I taste it both ways. If a tea tastes better to me with an addition then I will drink it that way. I see it as no different than a little salt or other seasonings thrown into your recipe.

Nxtdoor

K S, I wholeheartedly agree with this point. I do the same with shou except I drink the first steep as is. Then, any subsequent steeps get fixed up, as a reward for making it through steep one.

K S

Nxtdoor – yes! Me too when necessary, but must try straight first. Oh, and I used to always drink the rinse, so I don’t even bother anymore.

K S

Try some chocolate mint in you shou sometime. Yum!

Nxtdoor

Oh gosh, yes. I think that would be great. I will :)

mrmopar

I modify and drink it how you prefer it. It is all about your preference. It is your cup so I say drink as you like it. I think I am very proud of you doing puerh 2 days in a row!! Smile Smile :) :)

Nxtdoor

Oh, mrmopar i was so happy with being able to enjoy this finally. Even before the addition. Thanks for the encouragement :)

mrmopar

:) Hope your weekend is good! Rest and relaxation. We are getting poured on with rain forecast for the next 2 days so I am going to kick back and sip along with you.

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Bio

Im a fairly recent follower of the loose leaf tea drinking cult. March 2013 to be exact. Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I prefer flavoured teas. It’s probably the newbie in me. I just don’t get cravings for a straight black tea. If I end up having one, I drop in a slice of lemon and artificial rum flavouring (ugh, what moron admits to this?). A black tea fixed this way reminds me of skating at an outdoor rink as a young one, with a thermos full of tea made just as I described..

Im learning so I drink them all. everything! Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

NOTE: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity. Home improvements, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.

Location

Toronto Canada

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