198 Tasting Notes

drank Prairie Berry by DAVIDsTEA
198 tasting notes

I wanted a fruity tea this morning and I figured this would be a good one. What with all the fruit in it and it smelling just as fruity.
Lots of big chunks of berries when I measured it out, but not much actual tea. I probly should have put it back and stirred the bag up better. That might explain why this was so tart when I went to drink it. All I could taste was tart cranberry water essentially, with no hint of any sort of oolong tea. And since I have no idea what a Saskatoon berry tastes like, forget trying to pick that out. Lol.
I added truvia to this and it helped somewhat with the tartness, but not enough since it was still almost undrinkable to me.
Second steep – same temp – 4 min – weak/watery tasting with that tart/sour overlay.

I’ve held off rating this because I’m pretty sure didn’t get a properly mixed measure out of my bag. It wouldn’t be fair to rate it lower than I might otherwise have rated it if I had actually gotten tea with this. Lol.
I’ll add a rating when I make this again with a better mix…hopefully. In any case, I’ll rate it regardless on if I get the same tart/sour taste out of it. Lol.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
198 tasting notes

Another tea I got from DavidsTea the other day that I had rather high hopes for. While it didn’t completely crash and burn like the other one I tried tonight, it didn’t quite reach what I was expecting.

I didn’t really get any of the honey notes like the description mentions, just earthy/woody, maybe a bit of fruityness (which was strange and I may have imagined it).
I kinda wish I had read the reviews on here so I knew better what I might be getting into, and kinda glad I didn’t since I likely would’ve never bought this if I had. Mainly because I think my tastebuds are just not cut out for Darjeelings and those teas similar to them. I just don’t care for that kinda of musky/woody/earthy sort of taste. Though where I didn’t care at all for the first (and so far only) Darjeeling I’ve had, this tea is just unsimilar enough to a Darjeeling that I find myself finishing my cup and pondering another (or trying a resteep), but similar enough that it could be considered vaguely comparable. Even possibly as an easy introduction step to actual Darjeelings.

It has no astringency or bitterness that I could detect, but then I steeped it for 30 sec less than the minimum recommended temp, and at a slightly cooler temp. (Though I’m not sure how a few degrees really would have made a difference.)

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t reorder this one, but if I drink enough, the taste may grow on me. But I can at least see myself finishing what I have. Which makes me happy that it wasn’t a complete bust or I’d’ve been really irritated. (I also got cajoled into buying an ounce of this instead of a half ounce. _ I need a backbone. Lol!)

Edit – Second steep – Same Temp-ish/ 4:30 min – Much like the first but toned down on the woody bite. Stiil a pleasant black tea. Not bad. /Ups the rating just a smidge for that./ Lol.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
198 tasting notes

So I picked this up the other day when I was at DavidsTea since it smelled so tasty. Toasty coconut with a hint of fruit. Despite my original intention, the clerk managed to convince me to get an ounce of this when I’d originally wanted only a half ounce…..I should’ve stayed with what I wanted originally. /sigh/

Steeped this smells heavily like coconut, with no hint of fruit. And it tastes just like coconut…and nothing else. Which is unfortunate because it smelled so nice dry. Toasty coconut, which is nice if you like that sort of taste. Though the black tea is rather bitter under it. I should’ve just steeped it at my usual 3 minutes rather than listening to what the package said. Though I’m not sure I’d’ve liked this even without the bitterness.

This is just too pure coconutty for me. I guess I know better now that coconut isn’t really my favorite taste. Maybe I’ll try to mix some of this with one of the pineapple blacks that I have to see if that does anything for it. That may help me get through what I have (along with swapping) but I’m not going to order this one again. But it was nice to try anyway.

Definitely one I’d recommend to anyone who likes coconut, though I wouldn’t count on tasting any fruit in this. Lol.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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After oolongs and blacks I decided on something light. So this one came out of the untried bin for the day.
The dried leaves are fuzzy and a pain in the butt to try to measure out. I think that’s just a characteristic of white teas since I had just as much trouble measuring out the whites from Butiki. Lol.

Steeped this for the 2 min minimum for starters and I’m wondering if I should’ve either let the tea steep longer, or increased the amount of tea I used (which was approx 1.5 tsp near as I can figure). This tasted very light overall. Lightly vegetal, lightly tea flavored. Though it had a nice crisp taste. Just not much other taste overall.

As this one was steeping, most of the leaves were a nice light green, but I noticed a few that were yellow-y and brown spotted. Is this a common thing in white teas? And should I try to spot them before steeping and pick them out?

The package says that this should be steeped 3 – 4 times, but I’m very doubtful since after a second steeping, this one had even less flavor than the first. It just tasted like hot water with a bit of extra something.

Maybe it’s because I’m not used to flavor of white teas that this tastes so light overall. I’ll have to try this again when I’ve been either off darker teas, or off tea altogether.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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So I open this and it smells like chocolate. Which was strange. I had to go back and take another inhale just to be sure. Lol. It’s got another layer to it, but I can’t think of the word to identify it right now. Maybe an earthy kinda of underscent? I dunno.
Brewed this for the minimum time since that’s usually how I brew all my black teas for the first time. I’d rather have it a bit weak, but still tasty than stronger, but bitter or undrinkable.
The cocoa-y taste comes through in the brew and is very nice. So does that underscent, but not in a bad way. Maybe it’s the maltyness? I’m not how to exactly identify what ‘malty’ should be, so I tend to guess. Lol. Adding a bit of truvia brings out the cocoa a bit more, but it’s still nice and smooth and woodsy/malty/etc.
Drinking this its got a fuller mouthfeel than I’m used to while drinking a tea. Almost like I’m eating something, rather than drinking it, but not like when you have soup. Kinda like, uhhh, a mouthful of a burger or something like that. Which is a really really weird thing to say in a review for a tea, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind while trying to describe this.
Hope that doesn’t put anyone off this tea because I think it’s a very nice tea. Nice enough that I’ll very likely reorder this one in the future when I run out.

Edit – Second Steep – Same Temp +1 min extra – Still kinda cocoa-y, with that malty/woodsy undersmell/taste whatever. (Yes, I lose my words the later it gets…it’s after midnight right now. Lol!)
And it’s gotten kinda sweet. Adding just a bit of truvia makes it even better, even as it sits here and cools. I’d try for a third steeping but unfortunately it’s way too late for that. It was too late for a second steeping, but I wasn’t about to let at least that go to waste. Lol.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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I’ve had this tea once, though apparently I never put a tasting note up about it. Lol.
I like this tea, though maybe not as much as some of the other teas I have in my cupboard. It’s a nice black tea for anytime I think. Kinda woody, has a mildly sharp bite to it, and it’s a smidge smokey with nice black tea maltyness. Stands up to sugar nicely. Not sure about milk since I don’t take my tea at way.
This is probly one of the teas I’d consider making when I want an easy, plain black tea. And I’d consider reordering it when I run out/if it comes up on sale.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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These leaves are so cute. Kinda like the Zhen Qu but not as twisty or as tiny of leaves. And it brews up very dark, I was surprised when I poured it into my cup.
The smell reminds me of the black dragon pearls I have. Taste wise it’s also similar to the pearls, but the taste is a a bit darker. And kinda peppery. And maybe with a bit of woody burny taste to it? And there’s hardly any astringency to this, which is very nice.
And though this is probly blasphemy to someone, but I added a smidge of sugar to it. It didn’t overpower and it helped tone the burny taste down so that it was closer to excellent as opposed to good.

I want to try a second steep on this, since I’d think a tea this dark on the 1st steep would still be good on the second, possibly the third. So I’ll edit with that later.
With the second steeping done, I’d most likely end up ordering this one again in the future. Probly with a sale or something. But it’s definitely on my list.

Edit – So I did a second steeping. Added 1 min, same temp – Very nice. The burny, kinda bitter-esque taste is gone and the tea is very sweet and kinda fruity with a nice black tea taste. A bit weak, but I may have just not steeped it long enough so next time I’ll try maybe 5 minutes instead of the 4:30. Still very little astringency, which is very nice. Gonna try one more steeping.

Edit 2 for first steeping (And to be honest this is more a note for myself where I’ll remember it, but maybe it’ll help someone else.) – Kinda got sucker punched with a spiked headache a bit after drinking it, so I’d guess this has a pretty high caffeine content in it. Normally it doesn’t bother me, but today I had to get a spinal tap and I’m thinking that and this strong tea had something to do with the headache. Drinking some water and kinda chilling out helped. But I’m gonna go lay down completely and see if it goes away.
But in case the tap wasn’t a factor in my sudden headache, just a cautionary note to myself to watch it when making it next. Lol! I’ll put another tasting note up when I make it again and make note of it I got a headache or not from it.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Terri HarpLady

I’ve known a few people who had spinal taps, & they always result in a headache! I hope everything is ok, & hope your head is feeling better! :)

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drank Vanilla Cream by Culinary Teas
198 tasting notes

So I wanted something mellow and different but still familiar, so I grabbed this and cut open the bag. The first smell I was hit with was an alcoholic vanilla scent. Kinda like that smell you get when you smell the vanilla in the bottles from the store, but without that sweetness to the scent. So right off I was very doubting of this. But I brewed on.
I always go with the lower suggested steeping time, so this when for 2 min in my ingenuitea before decanting.

Smell wise the brew wasn’t bad. Nice creamy vanilla scent so I took an optimistic sip….and just about spat it back into my cup. Oh! Oh EWW! It tastes like when you lick the measuring spoon after measuring out vanilla extract without really thinking about it, expecting sweet vanilla flavor and only getting a sharp alcohol taste. BLEH! I even tried adding some sugar and I’m sorry to say that I only wasted the sugar.

Maybe the batch I got was very fresh made and the alcohol fumes of whatever flavoring they used didn’t have a chance to air off. But whatever it was, I’m not up for giving this a second chance. So Out Out OUT for this!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

oh no! okay, maybe this one will interest you: vanilla plantation by silk road teas. all natural ingredients… i grabbed some for a vanilla hound tea buddy for one of our swaps. she said it was great. (and it resteeps over and over).

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
198 tasting notes

I love how the leaves for this look. Like the leaves in Three Friends. Little curls of fuzzy golden rope.
Brews up a dark red color and smells fruity, raisiny maybe? Tasting it, well, for some reason this tastes watered down to me. I can’t understand why since I brewed it with the directions and so far haven’t been led astray. Maybe next time I’ll try a tsp and a half and see if that makes a difference.
I get a nice maltyness from this, and a sweetness which is nice. It’s a little more astringent than I would like, but then I can’t really stand much astringency sometimes. I don’t really get any chocolaty notes from it, but then, I’m horrible at picking out that kind of taste from black teas in my opinion. Added a small bit of sugar since I figure it couldn’t hurt and I get a bit more honey-esque notes (though I don’t know how much of that is just from adding sugar to it).

I’ll try it again with a heavier measuring of tea and see if I get stronger tastes from it. And while I’m glad I tried it, I’m not sure this is one I’d reorder.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I wanted to cut soda out of my life, so I started drinking more tea. Now I’m quickly becoming addicted. But that doesn’t seem like so bad of a thing considering all there is out there to try.

I started with blacks, but oolongs are quickly becoming my new favorite. Unfortunately, I haven’t really been able to find a green or white tea that I really enjoy. Eventually maybe.

Always open for swaps. If you see something in my cupboard that you’re interested in, feel free to send me a message about it. I do have alot of sample sizes in my cupboard, so there might be a few that I won’t be able to swap. But it never hurts to ask. ^^

Likes – Fruity teas (Peach, Apricot & Pineapple to be specific, but I’d likely be open to others). I’m always on the lookout for a good caramel tea too…and a vanilla one. Or any sweet, dessert teas.
Oolongs and Blacks over any others.

Indifferent/Undecided – White teas are a bit delicate for me but I’m not opposed to trying something new. I haven’t yet found a green tea I like since I dislike vegetal flavors, but there has to be something out there. Coconut can be too strong, or alright depending on the tea.

Dislikes – Spicy/chai stuff not so much since I can’t seem to get past the spice taste to anything underneath. Anything overly astringent, though I can’t imagine anyone /liking/ astringency (but I’m probly wrong. Lol). Earl Greys, heavy florals, tart/sour teas, rooibos heavy, mint of any sort, vegetal, musky/leathery, citrus, hibiscus, coffee-esque flavors, lemon.

Allergies – Mangos, some nuts especially walnuts, cherries. Rose petals/heavy rose teas make me ill though it’s not an allergy so to speak. Heavy artificial flavors also make me ill.

Brief ‘How I rate things’ scale:
(Subject to change at any time. Lol)
100-80: I’d definitely reorder this/Keeping this in my cupboard.
79-50: Possibly reorder these. Either if there’s a sale or I’d consider swapping for it’s on a list and I don’t see anything else.
49-40: It’s alright. Glad I tried it but I won’t be ordering/reordering this.
39-20: Glad I tried before buying ‘cause I’d be ticked if I bought this. Ick.
20-lower: UGH! Get it away!


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