272 Tasting Notes

82
drank Brandy Oolong, Ruby 18 by Tealux
272 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
272 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
272 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
272 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
272 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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95
drank Dragon Lychee Pearls by Tealux
272 tasting notes

I must have forgotten to write about this in past tastings even though I just finished a bag. And not a sample bag either! I love these and I will miss them. I haven’t had a lot of lychee teas but this is a great one. With or without sugar, although I prefer with. I don’t like that I’m running out of a lot of favourites all at the same time because it means I must place a lot of different orders. Hard to do when one tries to adhere to a budget or allow only one order per month. Ha! How’s that for discipline?!?

These pearls are so good though. Great flavour, good base. A tea that makes you think about it even when you’re not with it. The pearls are also very cute to look at. Tiny, black aromatic marbles, not too small either. Perfect size! I don’t like stuff that looks like mouse droppings :)

Skulleigh

LOL, having seen far too many mouse droppings in my day, I can’t say I’ve seen tea that reminds me of them. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad!

Nxtdoor

Big mouse? :) I know, really,I haven’t either. But some pearls are really small. Not these!

mj

I think pearl teas are cute too :)

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A while back I was facing some personal challenges and just overall had a lot on my plate. So it was back then that I booked this week off so my partner and I can take a short vacation together. Things didn’t turn out as planned and partner is now back to work. I decided to still keep my week off and just relax. Be a tourist in my own city, eat lunch at all the places I never get to go to for lack of time, and mostly indulge.

Part of indulging, however, was allowing myself a day home with tea, books, tv and comfy clothes. (ok, originally it was pyjamas but I find the track pants are cozier). I always envied a little those of you who seemed to lack a rigid schedule and who went on about making and drinking tea, reading books and watching the grass grow. As a chef I don’t get to drink tea at work. There’s no sitting around a desk gazing at a computer screen while sipping a cuppa. I’m also not taking tea to meetings or what have you.

So today I treated myself to a day where I do all the little things. Reading from a good book. Watching the Food Network (yay!). The saturday crossword that I didn’t get to finish because we were at our cottage (that looks like this. http://instagram.com/p/rN4DFgnqXb/?modal=true .I guess I married up) And of course, drinking tea.

This tea, umm.. I will try it again when I’m in the mood for mint. I thankfully get quite a bit of the delicious Laoshan green base but also a lot of mint. There’s something refreshing about this that makes me think of citrus but there’s no citrus in this tea apparently. I admit to not reading the ingredients when I ordered this or I wouldn’t have gotten it. Tulsi? bleah. I think I meant to order Laoshan Green and ended up with this. It’s not a verdant error because I took a shot of my ipad screen prior to ordering.

I can’t say I love this, sorry. Like I said, maybe I’m just not in the mood for mint right now.

Flavors: Green Beans, Mint

TheTeaFairy

Enjoy your time off sweetie, you so deserve it! And indulging does not involve mint…have something more decadent please!!

Nxtdoor

I guess job browsing is also a no-no while on staycation?

TheTeaFairy

NOOOOO!! Totally forbidden…unless it involves working as a chef in the Caribbean islands…with several breaks every day…and a good tea station as benefits :-)

OMGsrsly

Looking for work is a type of work. :) Hope you have a lovely week! (I get to browse the internet a bit while at work, but I’m not allowed food at my desk, so no tea here either!)

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93

Wow. This is the creamiest pure green tea I have ever had. I received the sample from Verdant with my last order. I still don’t swoon over green teas so I opened all the other stuff first. I wanted a new tea today and this is the only thing I have that’s unopened and untried. (Not in the mood for all the pu’ samples I have in a box from a tea friend).

I ripped this open and I sniffed it out right away. The sweet creamy peas are so fragrant! Ok, there’s no peas in here but that’s what you smell. Now that the pouch has been open it is not as strong but man, that first sniff was delicious. If I take some in my palm and keep smelling them, they smell so sweet, and somewhat toasty. But only if you insist on sniffing, it is not apparent at first.

I used a sort of western/gaiwan method for brewing because the verdant site said 4 grams of tea for a “medium” gaiwan. Errr, what’s a medium? I mean, we measure the time, the leaf and temperature, I’d like to measure the water too. So the western instructions said 6-8 oz water. I put it in a gaiwan. And I steeped not 3 seconds like they say (?!?) but 50. I know, I’m all over the place.

I have no idea what their steeping instructions would render but what I made here is so so good. It’s creamy and sweet, like bean sweet, and I’ve never had anything like it. Very pale brew. Drinking it out of tiny cups that came with my glass gaiwan. Pretty. Because, you know, we don’t just gulp this stuff around here! :)

Thanks, Verdant!

TheTeaFairy

I think verdant have some of the best green tea out there…
Lol at “medium gaiwan”, would it be so hard to just say “in a 5oz gaiwan” if that’s what they mean?

yyz

I like 45s start for the first steeps of Green teas. It was what was recommended for gongfu, by a guideline I have had success with. Glad you enjoyed the tea.

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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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