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57 Tasting Notes

70
drank Lemon and Ginger by Twinings
57 tasting notes

sigh
I can’t wait to get back to Canada where my collection of tea awaits me…I brought a few teas with me thinking that if I was moving to China there would be plenty of options for buying tea….well, no where close to me! There are supermarket teas that I can’t read and don’t particularly trust. And there are some that I recognize – like this one, which has become a staple for me as I try to ration my favourites that I brought along!

My favourite thing about this tea is that I find it wonderful for an upset stomach, which, unsurprisingly, is fairly common here. It’s a bit weaker than I’d like – if I was home I’d use two teabags, but I try not to go through it too quickly. Ginger is one of my favourite flavours – I’m a huge fan of homemade ginger beer so any tea that is gingery (Davidstea Super Ginger for example) is great for me!

I do find that the bag breaks apart sometimes and I end up with floaty bits of ginger in my timolino. Not a huge deal for me at all but it might bother some people.

A friend brought me two new teas to try from Taiwan – I can’t read the packaging but I think one is a green and one is an oolong. Lemon and ginger is nice but I’ll be happy to switch it up!

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drank Bravissimo by DAVIDsTEA
57 tasting notes

I really can’t rate this because I think it’s just awful, but if it works, who I am I to judge? Bleck! It really makes me think I’m sick – like Buckley’s. Tastes awful, but it works. I’m assuming that the overbearing sweetness is the licorice root? I’ll admit, I’m not a licorice fan but I don’t actually taste any in this blend, just an icky sweetness that takes over my entire mouth. Despite the taste issues, it does seem to be making me feel a little better. I made sure I stocked up on all the essentials before moving to China – but I’m glad I only have a small bag of this and a much larger supply of Cold 911.

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95
drank Banana Nut Bread by DAVIDsTEA
57 tasting notes

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72

I am just about at the end of this sample – It made I have no idea how many pots of tea, maybe 10? It seemed like a ton! I’ve lost count over the last few days. My last steep wasn’t particularly long, but for the first time I can tell it is getting to the end. I’ll probably do one more longer steep, but I can definitely say this lasted a longgg time.

When I opened it, the earthy smell seemed less pronounced than others that I’ve tried (that is a very small list anyway). Dry, it reminded me of charcoal leftover after a bonfire – the layers were so interesting. After rinsing, I was surprised at how many small bits of tea went through the strainer (I have a large strainer that fits in the teapot and so far this is the first time I’ve ever had anything go through it; it is very fine) but they remained settled at the bottom and didn’t have any affect whatsoever on the drinking experience.

My first steep was quite dark, but I should have left it a little longer (I’m still a bit afraid of turning it into fish soup…I don’t even know if that would happen but I’ve been doing short steeps to minimize the chance that I’ll need to pour it down the drain). It didn’t taste nearly as strong as I expected, but it had a strong smell that was clean, crisp, and earthy. Subsequent steeps were a bit longer (I’ve been judging based on colour mostly, once it gets nice and dark I take the leaves out) and each steep has been flavourful.

I’ll admit that the crumblyness and bits on the bottom had me worried at first, but this is definitely a very well rounded tea. Mellow is a great way to describe it and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, particularly to someone who is either new to puerh or who – like me – has had bad experiences in the past!

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72

Venturing a little deeper into the pu-erh world is fun! This is my first raw pu-erh. I didn’t even read the label before I made it – but as soon as I saw the light, golden liquid I did! So different from the ripe ones I’ve already tried. The first steep was light and vegetal – the initial smell reminded me of canned green beans, but not as pungent. The taste was smooth but a bit astringent – just a little drying, but not bitter or unpleasant.

Second steep was sweeter – I got a distinct apricot smell. I steeped it a little longer this time (just over a minute, the first steep was probably around 45 seconds) and it was lovely.

I’m still working on my third steep but this is definitely a nice tea. I think I prefer ripe over raw, just because the flavour seemed more…blunt? My favourite thing about pu-erh is that I have experienced a mineral taste that just feels so quenching and healthy to me. I’m not sure I would buy more of this one for a while, simply because there are so many more ripe pu-erhs that I want to try, but I’d gladly drink it again :)

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23
drank Coconut Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
57 tasting notes

I want to LOVE this. I want it to be my daily matcha that I never ever run out of. But I can’t – It’s awful. I am reading the other reviews and trying to figure out what happened – maybe I got a bad batch? This and ginger (two flavours that I love) are the only two matchas that I wouldn’t order again (and may not even finish).

The first time I tried it I used warmer water and added a bit of coconut milk. I was so turned off by the taste that I didn’t try again until now, months later. But the funny thing is, I blamed the coconut milk; I had just assumed that it was “off” somehow. So today I made it as an iced latte (my favourite way to drink flavoured matcha) without anything added at first. I had to pour it down the drain and start again with a different kind.

The smell and taste are the same – plastic-y, chemical tasting, nothing like coconut (fresh, dried, toasted…it doesn’t matter. Nothing like it!). A few people have mentioned sun screen but I love the smell of sunscreen and would gladly eat something that smelled like it (as long as it was edible) and this just isn’t it. I’ve tried twice prepared two ways – I’ve had a lot of flavoured matcha – so I don’t think it’s me. Did anyone else get a funky batch of this? I don’t even feel like I could put it in a smoothie to keep myself from wasting it. I adore my other flavours from Red Leaf Tea so I won’t let this stop me from trying some new kinds but I am starting to think I am just not meant to find a perfect coconut tea!

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89
drank Tropical Mango by Teajo Teas
57 tasting notes

First off, thanks for the generous sample!
I really enjoyed this tea – mango is one of my favourite fruits so I am always on the lookout for anything featuring it! I haven’t tried it hot yet and to be honest I may not, because it is really good iced! I found the mango flavour authentic and the base was definitely still present. A tea-loving coworker smelled it and guessed correctly that it was mango, which I think it pretty impressive!

I’ll definitely be taking a second look at this company because I was very happy with this sample :)

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97

Part of me is so sad that it’s taken me this long to learn to enjoy pu-erh tea. My first experiences were terrbile – and very rarely will you see me pour tea down the drain. Now that I’ve found some better quality teas though, and learned to rinse them, my sadness comes from having only ordered sample sizes. Maybe my timing is actually just right, because I found out some big news this week…I’m moving to China at the end of the summer!

I’ve been resteeping multiple times with steep times ranging from 10 seconds to eventually 5 minutes once I’ve steeped the tea to death. Mellow is such an appropriate word to describe it. The taste is warm and earthy but clean and not muddled. I don’t get any hint of fishiness, even with the smell.

I can’t find words to describe it, but it tastes healthy – I feel like my body likes it more than any other tea I drink. I have a few different samples left to try, but that was the end of this one. I’m not sure whether I prefered this or the one I reviewed a couple of weeks ago from Verdant…

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98

I want to like pu’erh tea. I really do. But until today I have been trying and failing miserable at making any that didn’t smell like rotting fish (I don’t even like to eat fresh fish). I even bought a flavoured pu’erh from Davidstea that I ended up pouring down the drain and returning the rest of the bag. Having read a bit more about ways to brew I decided to give it a try again.

I actually love the earth smell of the dry leaf, but I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out wet. I made sure I did a rinse, but then I couldnt remember how long the first steep should be. I went by colour and stopped after about 20 seconds when it was starting to get dark – it actually had a very beautiful rosy tint to it as well. I thought I could smell a little bit of fishyness at first, but that seems to have disappeared entirely.

This is delicious. It is so different from anything I’ve had before, and it makes me want to keep trying different pu’erhs. I am still only on my first steep, but the wonderful earthiness really reminds me of warm moss on a hotter than normal spring day. I wish I had ordered more (I got a sample size of I think every tea Verdant tea had in stock when I ordered) but that just means I’ll have to place another order soon!

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60
drank Kenyan Tinderet by DAVIDsTEA
57 tasting notes

I was surprised at the colour of this tea – it has a delightful, milk chocolate colour that I normally would associate with hot chocolate or maybe coffee, but not normally tea. I like it, it’s interesting.

I am the worst steeper ever. I am kicking myself for leaving it too long (next time I’ll try for about 2 – 2.5 mins). It probably only steeped 5-7 minutes though, so it shouldn’t be shot. It smells absolutely wonderful – sweet and rich with a malty element. I imagine it would taste better had I not forgotten about it :( It still tastes quite good, but not special. My parents drink a lot of tea – far more than me – but only Red Rose. This reminds me of a cup of too strong Red Rose that was allowed to become bitter. It’s drinkable, but for the price I’d rather have a cuppa what’s on the stove already brewed.

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