223 Tasting Notes

85

Second mini sipdown of the day. Green/Black tea mix which I had high hopes for since I’m always on the lookout for a green tea I’d enjoy. Granted this is a mix, but I figure small steps.
It’s got a very fruity smell dry (yes I know I say this alot, but it’s all I know. Lol). Brewed the leaves keeps their tasty smell with just a hint of what I’m guessing is the green tea. And the tea smells like pineapple papaya goodness. Drinking this unsweetened I wasn’t too impressed so I added a bit of truvia and it made the fruit pop. Definitely get the pineapple with a hint of papaya but no strawberry that I can tell. Also I don’t notice the green tea that much if at all more than support to everything else. The same could be said of the black tea whatever this base is. Astringency isn’t too bad overall, though it’s noticeable enough.
Might try this iced to see how the fruit holds up. Possibly cold brew it just because.
When I get the rest of my stash down, I’d definitely consider reordering this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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43
drank Whisky White by DAVIDsTEA
223 tasting notes

Decided to do a mini sipdown of a handful of teas since I suddenly have an overabundance of tea that I still haven’t tried. Pretty much I wrote down all the untasted teas I have on strips of paper and tossed them in a jar, then pulled a few out. Otherwise I have a hard time deciding what I want to try.
So this was tea #1 for today, thanks to Shmiracles for the swap!

It smells fruity and just a bit flowery-ish in the bag. Brewed…I’m not really sure what to think about this. If I had to identify something, it’s got a smell kinda like overripe bananas, which is a bit odd to me, but it’s the first thing I can think of.
A fruity taste, maybe a bit nutty but there’s a taste in here that I’m not really sure how to explain. It’s all a bit mixed together and I don’t have much of a desire to keep drinking it to see if I can figure it all out. I’ve never had whisky since I don’t drink at all, so maybe the taste that I’m not able to identify is what’s supposed to taste like whisky. /shrug/ It also might be the stevia that’s been added. I’ve never had a tea with it added so I’m not sure what to expect.
Overall, I’m pretty sure I don’t like this. I certainly don’t care to finish off this sample or order this myself. It’s just not for me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100
reviewed ingenuiTEA by Adagio Teas
223 tasting notes

So I mostly use a teapot with a removable filter whenever I make tea since I like to make at least two cups, then drink it over a period of time. Unfortunately this isn’t a good practice if you’re wanting to go through multiple teas in relatively short period of time. Mostly ‘cause my teapot’s filter doesn’t reach all the way down to the bottom so the leaves expand out of the water while brewing. And I wasn’t about to just dump the leaves in the pot and brew it that way since it defeated the purpose of being able to have a pot of tea sitting there since it would continue to brew and get bitter.

Enter this little gadget. I had wanted one since seeing it on Adagio’s website and after seeing it used in one of their stores, but it had always been out of stock and really I never saw the need since my teapot worked so well. To me it was just a gimmick that looked like fun to have. It was by chance that I was finally able to pick up a used one a few months ago. It had to be heavy duty cleaned ‘cause it smelled like Chai and the plastic was all stained. But it was surprisingly easy to clean. Everything comes apart pretty easily, though you have to be careful not to lose anything or it’ll all be pretty useless. Lol.
I used straight baking soda made into a thick paste and a paper towel to scrub all the discoloration on the plastic away. The little filter was a bit harder to clean, but after a soak in baking soda water and more scrubbing, that finally came clean too. Washed everything in soapy water and let it dry completely before putting it all back together. Then it got stuck in with my tea stuff to sit in lonely disuse for awhile.

When I finally had a Saturday to myself, I wanted to give this Saturday/Sunday Sipdown thing I keep seeing people doing a shot. This little gadget was perfect for it. I used a rubber band around the outside to mark off one cup since I’m horrible at eyeing a measurement. Then I just put one cup’s worth of tea into it, poured the water in and let it brew. Then I just drain into my chosen mug and voila! I have one cup of tea. Afterward it’s very easy to scoop out the old leaves, rinse briefly (I let the water run through the valve at the bottom as well) and then reload with a new tea. I was able to quickly go through 3 or 4 teas before I got tea-ed out and went to bed. Lol. I made sure to pop the filter out and give the whole thing a quick scrub and rinse before letting it dry since I’m afraid of the plastic absorbing the smell if I let the tea sit in it for too long.

I haven’t used the full 2 cup capacity since I barely have a mug big enough for that much tea or else I’d have to let it drain into a teapot, which I then should’ve just made the tea in in the first place. Lol.

One warning when using it. The bottom release is very sensitive to being touched (at least mine is). I managed to scald my hand awfully and spill tea all over the place the first time I used it. I made the mistake of touching the bottom slightly on one edge before I had it over my cup (I think I wanted to watch the tea drain into the cup or something stupid. Lol!) instead of just picking it up and setting it on the cup. Definitely learned from that experience.

Overall I’d definitely recommend this as something to have around. I only wish I could find where to buy replacement filters if I ever need them.

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85
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
223 tasting notes

Wasn’t sure if I was going to like this or not. I had passed up getting this in the DavidsTea store I visited awhile ago, but was able to get some through a swap with Shmiracles.

I brewed it in my new Ingenuitea (I got it cheap ‘cause it was used) which made it awesome to watch the leaves unfurling and brewing. It also was alot easier to brew a single cup since my usual teapots don’t manage one cup well at all. If you have a chance to pick one up, I highly recommend it.
But I’m getting off subject.

This tea smelled wonderfully vanilla-y with a smidge of floral/green-ness when it’s dry. Brewing it came through a bit more green so I was a bit hesitant since I find I dislike most ‘green’ tasting teas at the moment. Taking that first sip I did get that green-ness, but it wasn’t too bad. I also got the vanilla nicely mixed with the floral sense that didn’t really overpower. I did add some of my usual truvia that made it much better. The vanilla and floral came through more than the green-ness and I enjoyed the cup much better.

I went for a second steep since it’s an oolong and I figured why not. I steeped it for a minute longer at the same temp, and I almost didn’t drink it when I smelled the wet leaves after draining. They smelled awful, though I can’t recall exactly how since I shut the lid back. Wet rotten spinach comes to mind. Lol. Now that it’s cooled a bit, the vanilla has come back making me consider a third steep.
Anyway, I took a sip of the second steep and found it wasn’t all that bad either. A bit more muted, but still tasty, especially after adding sugar. I found that the vanilla came through more as it cooled, though not necessarily in a good way. Much better hot.

Tried for a third steep at 5 min total steep. It’s alright. Certainty drinkable, but nothing overly noteworthy or impressive. Maybe a bit more green and not as vanilla-y. /shrug/

Overall I might keep this around for when I want something lighter, or until I find a better replacement (read cheaper). Lol!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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50

Not too bad. Smells strongly of raspberry when dried, and the same comes through when brewed. I had to resist picking the choco chips out to munch on though. Has a nice raspberry flavor though I wasn’t getting much chocolate. Which doesn’t surprise me since I haven’t yet found a tea with chocolate that I can really detect the chocolate in it. I guess I’m too finicky. If I want chocolate, I’ll just have to make some cocoa or something. Lol.

Tried it straight and it was alright. But adding a bit of brown sugar to it made it much nicer. I was considering trying it with some milk, but unfortunately this tea set off my allergies so I wasn’t able to finish a full cup before having to pour it out. Bummer. Still, it was a tasty tea while I could drink it.
At least now I know to add raspberry to my list of tea additions that I can’t have along with mango, pomegranate & coconut. x.x; /sigh/

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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48

Got this in a swap with Rebecca R and decided to give it a try tonight.
Honestly, I’m glad I tried this in a swap instead of just buying it. While it has a lovely peachy smell dry, I didn’t get anything close to that smell when I brewed it.
I brewed it according to Teavana’s directions on their website, though I’ll probly end up tweaking that next time I make this. Overall I wasn’t impressed with the brew I got from their instructions. Maybe I’ll try more leaf, or a lower temp or something. Just to see.

I didn’t get much peach while drinking it. It was slightly floral and just very faintly peachy tasting. Even though this is supposed to be a peach tea, it has apple pieces in it, which gave it a faintly sour taste to it that I didn’t care for. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s the apple in this. It’s the same sort of taste I got when I made their Peach Tranquility Herbal tea, which has a similar set of ingredients. Adding truvia to it make it much better, though it didn’t really enhance any of the flavors, just overcame the sourness mostly.
Tried a second steep on this for the same temp but a minute longer and it was definitely weaker, though there was some sort of background taste/flavor that I couldn’t identify. Maybe a bit greener tasting or something. I’m not sure. It definitely got more astringent the second brewing.

Good to try for a swap, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever buy it.

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

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drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
223 tasting notes

I’m not sure what to think about this. It was good to try, but not necessarily my cup of tea. I’m just not that big on unflavored oolongs right now. Something I think I’ll eventually grow into a bit more, but not right now.

I taste citrus and maybe some nuttiness…I think. And it’s green tasting, which isn’t something I care for much in my tea. Might be why I’m not enjoying it as much as the other reviewers here did.
I need a list of flavors/tastes/etc when I drink unflavored tea. Might help my ineloquence when writing these things. XD

I’m gonna hold off rating it ‘cause it’s not exactly fair when it’s my taste that’s wrong, not the tea. Lol! I’ll probly keep a cup or two’s worth around to try again later when I’m a bit better at tasting nuances and the like. But this one’s mostly gonna go in my swap pile.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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92

So I decided on this tea for tonight to try. It was one of the teas I picked with my winnings from Butiki picture contest and boy am I glad I did. The scent of the tea in the bag was very caramel-y and awesome. And the leaves are so neat looking.

But trying to measure it out…Hah! Like trying to herd cats hyped up on catnip. Not that I’ve ever done that, but I can barely handle my own cat after she’s gotten into the nip. Lol! I swear the leaves were alive. Trying to spoon them up in a teaspoon was near impossible and they kept jumping out of the spoon and tangling in the bag. XD I ended up pouring the bag into a bowl and half spooning, half pinching it as a measure so I didn’t break any of the leaves.
3 min steeping in 205 water and the leaves had uncurled and puffed up in the basket quite a bit. Next time I might just dump them directly into the pot to steep to give them enough room. The leaves had lost alot of their smell but it wasn’t the leaves I was interested in at the moment.

Now, I like my teas with alot of sugar, some more than others. Maybe a bit of milk depending on the tea. But this tea, I have to say I’d actually be pretty happy having it without any sort of sugar at all. I was astounded at the taste and ended up drinking half the cup before I realized that I didn’t add anything to it yet. Lol. And when I added the sugar (cause I couldn’t resist), it was such a small amount compared to what I usually used since I didn’t want to overwhelm it. Wow did the flavor pop even more. Very caramel and sweet and wonderful. I didn’t really get the vanilla as much as I was hoping, but it may be that I was concentrating so much on the caramel flavor that it was just a supporter in the background and a casualty of my novice palate. Not sure about the cacao, raisin or citrus that Butiki’s site says should be around, but what was around was wonderful in any case.

I figured I’d give a second steep a shot, since at the relatively pricey cost (though it’s very much worth every penny) I would hope I’d be able to get more than a single steeping out of it. Same temp for the water but I steeped it about 30 seconds longer since I was afraid of it getting bitter.
It was… disappointing to say the least, especially after the amazingness of the first steep. I’m not sure if I just didn’t steep it long enough the second time or what, but the brew tasted watered down and weak. Very sad. And after reading the other reviews, I’m almost certain that I did something wrong. Next time I’ll try maybe a min longer and see if that makes a difference. Does anyone have any recommendations for a successful second steep? I’d hate to think of this as a one steep wonder.

This is one I’ll definitely be keeping in my stash to enjoy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

They are unruly leaves! I use a loose Tbl, rather than trying to balance them on a tsp.
For my 2nd steep I go 4 or 5 mins, & haven’t had any bitterness. It’s not as awesome as the first cup, but still tasty. :)

Butiki Teas

I tend to go to 5 minutes on the second steep as well.

Cavocorax

Mmmm. That sounds delicious. Glad you’re off to a good start with your prize teas!

Shadowfall

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll definitely try 4 min next time, taste and steep longer if necessary. Which is what I shoulda done in the first place. Lol. Ah well, live and learn. XD

Cavocorax – Yush! I’d definitely suggest giving this one a shot if you have the opportunity.

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46

Not bad. It’s very spice chai-y and I get the apple coming through. I tried it with both brown sugar and my regular Truvia. I liked it better with the brown sugar ‘cause it seemed to bring out the apple a little better.
I’m coming to the realization that I’m not really a chai person ‘cause every chai blend I try, I don’t really like. I don’t think I’ll ever drink this again but it wasn’t bad to try. Lol.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

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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