1480 Tasting Notes

Purchased this one at the tea meet in Victoria yesterday. :) Mine is loose-leaf.

It’s a nice black tea, but the maple flavour is really mild. I was hoping for a stronger maple flavour. Oh well. The tea has a good black base, takes a little milk and sugar well, and I will definitely drink it all. It’s not likely I will repurchase, though.

1 heaping tsp in 12 oz water. (I couldn’t find brewing instructions on this one. Hmm.)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Chizakura

Haha, darn. I got all excited when I saw this note hoping for an end all maple flavored black tea. I’m an absolute FIEND when it comes to maple. FIEND. xD

OMGsrsly

Sorry! I don’t know if the store doesn’t have great turnover so it’s a little old, or if the tea just isn’t very mapley. Do you have any recommendations for decent maple black teas?

Karys

Have you tried Steam’s maple black?

Kittenna

I think I ordered one or two maple blacks from Tealux recently – will try to drink and log them asap so you know if they’re good or not!

OMGsrsly

Oh, thanks Karys! I hadn’t realized they have a Maple Black. I’ll have to check it out.

And thanks, Kittenna. I’d love to know what you think of them. I want to make another Tealux order this summer sometime… :)

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89
drank Carrot Cake by DAVIDsTEA
1480 tasting notes

Received this one from ShayneBear at the tea meet yesterday!

It’s a nice, sweetly spiced black tea. I don’t think it necessarily tastes like carrot cake, but I do really like it. I might be needing to purchase more Persian Apple for my BFF, and if I do I hope there’s still some of this one available.

1 tsp in 8 oz water, etc.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Bear With Me

It’s actually an oolong! But a tasty oolong :)

CrowKettle

I have about half of a 100g tin of this left if you want more. Downside is it was from over a year ago .. :/

OMGsrsly

I totally knew it was an oolong, umm. shifty eyes CrowKettle, does it still smell good? I need some teas I don’t ‘need’ to add milk to for work. Oolongs are good for this, as are some puerhs.

They do still have it, it’s just getting the money together for a $50 order! I’ve kinda spent my tea budget already. :)

CrowKettle

It’s in Delta but I when I’m back for the long weekend I will test it out and let you know!

OMGsrsly

Ooh, thanks! :)

Amariel

I like this tea, though it doesn’t really smell or taste like carrot cake, I agree. I haven’t had any in a while…it is not my favourite, and i don’t always have it on hand, but I do buy a small amount of it every now and again. It’s pleasant and cozy.

CrowKettle

I don’t know how well it holds up to fresher batches but 30-40g batch smells alright, I think. I’ll make it tomorrow morning and see. :/

OMGsrsly

Ok! Thanks! :)

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85

Had this one on the ferry home last night. It essentially tastes like a tulsi and apple tea. About 1 tsp in 12 oz boiling ferry water, just left in the mug. Even this morning it tasted good cold.

Wow, I’m so tired. I think I used up all my energy organizing my cupboard and putting away samples. Now it’s time to put away the teas I bought, and all I want to do is nap! Oops. :)

Maybe it’s time for something a little more caffeinated.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1480 tasting notes

(It was so weird, guys. I had such a strange dream last night. I thought I went to Victoria and had a tea swap, only to come out into my kitchen to see a huge pile of… tea. ;) In all actuality, by the time we got back to our side of the ferry, it felt like the morning commute had been in another world. Day-tripping to Victoria is hard. Especially on about 3 hours of sleep. Even so, I’m really glad I got the opportunity to meet you all!)

Robust flavour, from CrowKettle.

I decided to open this one as I was warned the wrapping job might be suspect. Actually, the foil opened up very nicely over a sheet of wax paper, and I’ve divided up the powder into 3 servings. Just opening the foil resulted in my tiny apartment smelling like caramel. Wow, that flavour is powerful! I’ve mixed, umm, 1/2 to 1 tsp (I didn’t measure, really) in a little boiled water, frothed it and then added 8 oz hot, fresh almond milk.

Om nom nom. The matcha flavour isn’t strong at all in this, it’s more like WHOA, CARAMEL! Sipping on it without any sugar, I totally see how people can do this. The flavour is good! The almond milk lends a nutty flavour to the caramel. I ended up adding 1/2 tsp sugar because I like my matcha lightly sweetened, and the caramel comes out even more. If I ever do a Red Leaf order, this is totally on my list. Maybe not Robust, though. The flavour intensity is through the roof.

Chizakura

I can’t seem to prepare this properly. I got the robust flavor, thinking that would be a good way to get accustomed to matcha taste before going either down to a light flavor or just drinking regular matcha, but it seems like it’s kick your face in bitter no matter what I do. o_o; I’ve tried less matcha, cooler temp… I think I just suck at whisking or something. ‘Cause the flavors at the start of the sip is wonderful, but then it’s ruined by the end. D:

OMGsrsly

I didn’t have any problems with it at all, surprisingly. I whisked with hot water until it was frothy with big bubbles, then added a couple tbsp of hot milk and whisked until the bubbles shrank into a softer froth, more like foam from steamed milk. It took about 15 minutes for me to drink it, and it didn’t go bitter. I prefer about 1/2 tsp matcha per 8-12 oz cup.

Maybe try it iced?

Chizakura

Oh I didn’t do a latte, maybe that’s the difference. I just added hot water and drank it like that.

I think what I’ll end up doing is use what I have left for smoothies or something.

Kittenna

I have only ever used matcha in lattes! Definitely tempers any possible bitter. A bunch of people on here do drink Red Leaf matches straight though.

Chizakura

Yeah, that’s why I’m disappointed. I wanted to be able to enjoy it straight, because when you work at Starbucks you’re constantly being tempted to drink tea lattes and hot chocolates and all the rest of it, so I made a rule to myself that I can’t have that sort of thing at home to keep things under control. xD; So if I can’t drink matcha straight, I don’t want it, basically.

OMGsrsly

Oh I can understand that. All I can suggest is less matcha, more whisking.

Amariel

Looking forward to trying this one too!

CrowKettle

I’m pleased to hear you opened the foil without everything descending into a green powdered chaos. :) I had this warm, straight up and I didn’t detect any bitterness but I think I did get a little of that funky taste from over-flavouring- milk would cover it up.

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drank Classic Big Red Robe by Silk Road
1480 tasting notes

I decided to try another Big Red Robe to compare to Verdant’s Anxi Fo Shou. Wow. Such a difference. The 5 minute steep was amazing. 1 tsp in 2 cups of water. Light, toasty, roasty black tea of deliciousness. Yes! My BFF likes the 7 minute steep better, which is similar to Verdant’s 2 minute steep. So I’m getting this one and she can have the other. Perfect.

Chizakura

Ah there you go, perfect. :D

I’ve never heard of Silk Road Teas before. Do they tend to be pretty good in general?

OMGsrsly

Oh, I really like them. Their teas were basically my introduction to loose tea. I really like Jewel of India, London Fog, Golden Phoenix (Puerh, not dirty tasting at all), Sublime, Sour Cherry, Royal Abkhazi… Umm. Oh, Philosopher’s Brew, Hojicha, Lapsang Souching (if you like them). Heh.

Golden Phoenix is my favourite as I can just leave the leaves in my mug and add water to it all day long.

Amariel

I almost got some of this, but ended up with only the mandarin white pu erh. I might go back and get some at a later date.

OMGsrsly

Oh! I would have given you some if we had both realized. I splashed out for the 40 cup…

Amariel

I think I was also supposed to try a little of something CrowKetlte got too. I think we got all wrapped up in giving swaps…it was a bit like Christmas. :P I might get a cup to go sometime though.

CrowKettle

Oh, I totally forgot about that! I picked up a tiny sample of this too- it was expensive.

OMGsrsly

Whoops! Yeah, that was fun, if a bit chaotic. :)

Amariel

Yep yep!

Amariel

Yeah, I knew I was getting some DAVIDs refills (and I was toying with getting one of those new mugs too) so I was intentionally conservative at Silk Road, but I will go back and get some stuff at some point.

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37

So weird. I generally don’t love green teas, but I actually really like this one.

Steeped as directed, Western style, it is smooth and vegetal, and a little sweet as well. It has a bit of a seaweed flavour, but nothing too over the top, and there’s a bit of the roasty flavour the Laoshan Black has. The roasty flavour is very subdued here though. This would make an excellent genmaicha, as the roasty green flavours would compliment the toasted rice really well.

I don’t drink a lot of green tea, but this is one I would definitely purchase again, especially if I only needed one more tea to make the free shipping limit. Yum!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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All. Mine. I’m not sharing this one with ANYONE. The spices aren’t the blend I generally associate with chai. Like the Phoenix one, the spices lean a bit more towards cardamom.

I don’t really know what else. It’s good, it’s mine, and now I have to try mixing the rest of my laoshan black with the masala chai in my cupboard.

(0.5 tbsp for a 16oz mug, water just off the boil, 4 minutes, added honey and creamer.)

Tealizzy

LOL! I love this one too!!

OMGsrsly

I’m really surprised, because I can’t stand the laoshan black plain. The spices just… work. Now I want to try Earl of Anxi.

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93

2013-03-21 Yes! A tea from verdant that i really like! I used to drink all these weird medicinal herbal teas, and this tastes like a much, much better version of all of them. I guess the minty flavour that is not mint is the tulsi… i should see about picking up some plain tulsi tea!

I added a pinch (about 8 leaves) of the autumn laoshan green to this, just because. I honestly can’t tell that it’s in there, but i don’t know if that’s good or bad. I used 1 tsp tea in about 8 oz water and steeped 2 mins. Just sniffing it made me want to add honey, but it’s surprisingly sweet on its own. I quickly gave in and added honey, but only about 1/4 tsp. There are definitely more steeps in the leaves, so I’m going to chuck what’s leftover into my timolino tomorrow (mine just has a screen, not a basket), and see how tastebud-shrivelingly powerful it gets after a full morning of steeping.

Anyways, i really like this one. Definitely a unique herbal done right, imo.

Edit: Steep two is just ginger. Boo! Oh well. I didn’t have super high hopes for a second steep on an herbal anyways. :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
MissLena

I loveee this tea so much!

OMGsrsly

My cup is cold now and I’m still sipping on it! I love it. So excited to drink more tomorrow. (I’m alternating tea and water right now as I’m a little dehydrated. Tea for flavour, water for hydration.)

Chizakura

Hooray! :D Glad to hear you really like this one!

TastyBrew

I love this one too! It’s totally unique but so satisfying when I’m sick, especially with a scoop of raw honey!

OMGsrsly

It was SO good with honey.

TastyBrew

Nice! Glad you like it :-)

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Hmm. I like this one more than Laoshan black, but that’s not saying much at all. Both the teas have this smoky burnt taste that I don’t like. This tea is more mild in terms of that flavour, and the rest of the flavour profile is also different, but… no. I will actually be able to finish this cup, and have a few more steeps, but I think I’m only going to keep one package. The rest can be swapped or given away.

I’m glad I did this Verdant order, but I wish I had purchased sample sizes of /everything/ instead of just a few 1 oz packages.

I brewed half a package in a normal sized mug, boiling water, 2 minutes. Second steep will be 2:30, third 3:00, etc. The other half package I’ll try next week in my tiny gong fu pot.

Edit: ok, nope. Moving on to a matcha latte. I’ll try another steep of this later, with added milk and sugar. Definitely not a plain tea for me.

BoxerMama

gong fu style should use a full package. I prefer this one western style at 1 minute steep. I think I know the taste oyu’re talking about. It’s almost nutty.

OMGsrsly

For a medium gong fu pot or cup, yes, but mine is only 2oz! Teeny tiny. :) I’ll have to try a shorter steep as well. Thanks!

Chizakura

That’s too bad that Verdant proved to be a disappointment for you. :( Looks like the whole order was a bust. But at least you know now, and at least you didn’t buy massive amounts.

OMGsrsly

I haven’t tried the laoshan chai, the autumn laoshan green, or the ginger sage, and with a 4 minute steep the phoenix chai is a nice light cardamom-y chai, just not what i was expecting. :) Not terrible, but not my favourites! I am keeping my fingers crossed for the ginger sage and laoshan chai. I think it could make an excellent in-your-face chai base. Actually, i’ll try the ginger sage one now…

Chizakura

Oh good! So there are some you haven’t tried from them yet. :) Good, here’s hoping you have better luck with the remainders. :D

OMGsrsly

I like this one! With lots of caveats, but i do!!

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85

I swear I wrote something!

Something about a honey-sugar smell in the just steeped tea. I think that as I get used to plain black teas, and learn about flavour notes, I’m starting to learn why I like specific teas.

This one is a winner for sure. Excellent in a cup with just some cream, with sugar, good plain (coming from someone who usually adds milk and sugar to their plain teas, that’s saying something!), amazing even in a travel mug.

Chizakura

Have you tried Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam by any chance? It has a cocoa like flavor like Laoshan Black, but it’s FAR more mild and doesn’t have that burnt-ness that you don’t like in Verdant’s. Plus it’s on sale right now, so it’s fairly low risk. :)

OMGsrsly

Not yet! I haven’t ordered from them yet as their shipping minimum is quite high. I am compiling a list of teas to get, though! Part of the problem is that the couple friends I have who like tea won’t order online, so I have no one to split the $75 of tea with!

Chizakura

Ah I see, fair enough. :) I used to always go for free shipping too, but lately I’ve just been ponying it up. xD; Which probably isn’t all that smart ’cause what looks cheaper at the moment does cost more in the long run.

But anyway, just wanted to correct my statement about the Assam a little, turns out you can overleaf it. I’ve had several cups with no burn taste, but in this cup I put in too many leaves and now it’s quite burnt tasting. The leaves are ENORMOUS and hard to scoop, so it is very easy to overleaf it, so just thought I’d let you know just in case.

But regardless, if you do make a Butiki order eventually, I really hope you love as much as I do. I absolutely love Stacy’s customer service and her teas. Butiki has become my favorite tea vendor. :)

OMGsrsly

I tend to be a brat, and if grams aren’t listed I email and ask about how many grams per cup. :) For unflavoured black teas, i generally find it’s easier, until i know about how many tsp. then i write extra notes on my package!

Chizakura

Oh wow, that’s really smart! I’d never think to measure in grams, haha. I even have a food scale that’d make that easy to do.

OMGsrsly

I have a white puerh that ends up being about two tbsp per cup (5g). It’s ridiculous! Thankfully it can be resteeped a few times. Generally it’s 2-3 grams per 8 oz, so for a full travel mug i do 4-5, depending on the tea. Generally. Every person’s taste is different, as i’ve learned this week!

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Profile

Bio

Black teas are my favourite, although I do drink the occasional green tea. I am exploring herbal and fruity teas for summer icing and winter evenings, and oolong and pu erh are new and exciting… although I do not like a tea that tastes mostly of seaweed.

No: Spearmint or peppermint, licorice root, gluten (cookie bits, wheat, rye, barley, I’m OK with oats)

After sending my first box to the USA, bubble-envelope swaps are where it’s at.

When I rate, my ratings are based on the little faces, and depend on what face I make when I sip the tea! :)

Also: A map of tea places in Vancouver. I’ve been to some of them, but not a lot. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!
http://goo.gl/maps/gXsKK

Location

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Website

http://goo.gl/maps/gXsKK

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