504 Tasting Notes

drank Kenyan Tinderet by DAVIDsTEA
504 tasting notes

After commenting on a post about how I don’t like CTC teas, I decided to give this one another try now that I have evolved a bit. The dry leaf looks like grapenuts, and it also kind of smells like grapenuts. Ha! I could get malty and fruity notes from the aroma. I decided to steep it for 3 minutes, instead of the recommended 4-6 minutes, at 205 degrees, instead of 208 degrees. I added my usual sugar and a splash of soymilk. Well, it was better than my previous tries. Or maybe I just have evolved to appreciate it more? Malty and a little fruity were the notes I could taste. It still was a little bitter and astringent. Maybe a 2 minute steep would be better? What a finicky tea!

Angrboda

I think the change in steeping time made a difference here. I’m always a little worried that I’m steeping CTC too long, and haven’t yet managed to find that perfect time that always works for me like I have with regular leaf (2 minutes in small pot, 4 minutes in large pot. Almost never fails to brew just the right strength for me.)

TastyBrew

Funny, most CTCs taste like grapenuts to me too. And they ALL require milk and honey.

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drank Copabanana by DAVIDsTEA
504 tasting notes

My second cold brew! And I have to tell you I was a little nervous after the way Kokomo green turned out. I really didn’t like this tea hot, but as a cold brew, it’s not bad. Probably because it’s an herbal, so no threat of bitterness from the tea leaves. It smells delicious. The taste is pretty much A WHOLE LOT of banana! So, if you like banana-flavored drinks, this is for you! Personally, I’m not sure what I think. I also got some nuttiness, maybe from the almonds or coconut, or maybe even the banana chips. I also decided it was best with a little sweetener. Couldn’t really tell if I could taste the other ingredients. Not bad, but I don’t know how often I’ll be in the mood for it. It makes me feel better about cold brews, though! Will have to try some other teas this way!

Btw, HAPPY FRIDAY!

Chizakura

I wish Fridays meant something to me. For me it’s just a regular work day with the promise of another work day (albeit much busier) after that.

Tealizzy

Awww, I’m sorry Chizakura! That’s a bummer!!

Chizakura

Maybe when I’ve worked there long enough, I can put in a schedule change for Monday-Friday only. :D

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drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
504 tasting notes

I had QUITE the morning today. Got delayed to work because some crazy dude decided to have fun running around on top of my commuter train. Yes, we heard the footsteps on the roof!

Then I had to rush to a training, but wanted to make some tea, so shoved this tea in the brewing basket of my timolino. Well, when I went to remove the leaves, I dropped the whole basket with leaves into my timolino. Ya. I did that. So, I was stuck in my training and couldn’t do anything about it, so tried to still drink it through the lid (I thought the little holes in the lid would prevent most of the leaf from coming through, and yes, I knew it would eventually get bitter) Ya, not so great….I burnt my tongue and pieces of leaf came through, so I gave up. What a morning!

Cavocorax

That’s awful! :O

TastyBrew

Ugh. That’s no way to start the day! I hope your day got better!

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I am LOVIN’ this oolong today! On my second steep right now, and YUM YUM YUM! I love how well this oolong comes out brewed western style, and because of my new variable temperature kettle, I was able to brew it at exactly the parameters Stacy recommends. At this point in my tea journey, I don’t feel like I can be bothered with gong fu style brewing, but I’m sure this tea wold be delicious brewed that way.

I got some caramel sweetness today, and it’s deliciously roasty, but still smooth. Like an oolong hug!

I definitely need more of this tea! On the shopping list it goes!!

Stephanie

I gotta try this one!

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drank Kokomo Green by DAVIDsTEA
504 tasting notes

I was trying to drink through my stash before buying more tea, but I couldn’t help but stop by DavidsTea during my lunch break yesterday. I was really going there to look for an iced tea maker, since the one I ordered on amazon arrived broken. Unfortunately, DavidsTea was already sold out of their first shipment of them! Really?!! Didn’t they just come in? Geez! I think the world just doesn’t want me to have an iced tea maker! So fine! I’ll make it with the steeping equipment I already own! There!

So, I picked up some of this tea to try, and also a new 36oz. Steeper. I decided it was time to upgrade my little 16oz. steeper from Teavana, which I may have bought before these things were BPA-free (yikes!).

Anyway, I decided to try my hand at cold brewing. My first time! I cold brewed this tea for 10 hours, and well, I think that may have oversteeped it, because there is a bitterness that is pretty yucky….kinda ruins the whole tea. Anyone have tips for cold brewing a green tea? I think I am going to have to try this tea the old fashioned way (hot) for comparison. It smells really sweet and tropical, but the taste is very light on the tropical fruit, and much more astringency than I would expect. I think it’s kinda grassy too. Oh well, I guess I’ll try cold brewing a non-green tea and see how that turns out.

UPDATE: YUCK! Just made it hot, and it still has that bitterness I found in the cold brew. I even disregarded the recommended steeping parameters on the package, which said 5-7 minutes at 200 degrees. Who steeps green tea like that?!! I steeped it at 176 degrees for 3 minutes. Blech. Bummer that I spent money on this tea. At least it was only 1 oz.

Ya know, as I am sipping, I think the bitterness has to do with the enormous amount of sediment, which now has settled to the bottom of the cup and it tastes a little better. Hmmm. Still not a winner.

Btw, this is my 200th tasting note! :D

Sil

YAY! grats on 200 :)

Dinosara

I sometimes have greens get way to strong at >8hrs cold brewing, so you could always try a shorter time. Maybe even sampling along the way so that you know when it starts to turn!

whatshesaid

The thing I like about Davidstea is in the store you can buy as little as you want, I’ve even done 10 grams before not knowing if I’d like it or not! :)

Tealizzy

Thanks, Sil!

Dinosara – thanks for the tip! I’ll probably try that with another tea, though, because this tea doesn’t have enough flavor from the fruit to tempt me to drink more.

whatshesaid – ya, it is nice you can buy less. I got 1 oz. because I thought I’d need more for iced tea, and actually, I don’t have that much left because I used a bunch for the cold brew. Good, I guess.

whatshesaid

Wow that worked out then! Maybe if you had used less it wouldn’t have been so strong? The few times I’ve cold brewed I honestly used like a tsp or two in a big mason jar and let it sit overnight or even a whole day but it never got too strong, but very flavorful :) though probably not with green tea, now that I think of it

Tealizzy

I made like 32 oz. with a little less than 3 TBSP, so maybe it was a little too much. I think I was following Dinosara’s posts about using 1 TBSP per serving, although I can’t remember how many ounces she did that for.

Dinosara

Yeah I use 1tbsp per 6-8oz because I just want to brew them overnight and I find them too weak (particularly black teas) with less leaf. I guess it’s just about finding what parameters work for you.

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drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
504 tasting notes

Slowly sipping a second steep of my last leaf. This is definitely a favorite. Not sure if I will run out and restock, though….so much tea and so little time! Plus, I’m longing to get my hands on some more of the Butiki oolong that tastes like this, except, it’s not flavored, and tastes like peach instead of vanilla. SIPDOWN!!

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Enjoyed a cup of this with milk and sugar. Of course I deserve a treat!!

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
504 tasting notes

Needed something strong this morning. After even a 3-day weekend, I had trouble getting back to work this morning. Turned into a productive day though. I feel bad not resteeping this one, so I steeped the leaves twice. I still think the second steep is the best. :)

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drank S'mores by Della Terra Teas
504 tasting notes

Wanted some marshmallow graham cracker goodness, and this fit the bill! I just made another fan of this tea too (my mom), who asked me to keep her in mind the next time I order from Della Terra! Funny how we’re not satisfied with just enjoying the tea ourselves, but must make others love it too! ;)

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
504 tasting notes

Hadn’t had this one in awhile. I’m trying to drink down my current stash instead of buying even more tea, but all the mother’s day sales are killing me! I’ve been good though…let’s see if it lasts!

This tea came out a little weak today. Guess I didn’t put enough leaf. Still good dessert-y earl grey to me.

Sil

you can do it! stay strong!

Tealizzy

I’ll try, Sil!!

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Bio

I thought my profile needed a facelift, so here we go:

My obsession with tea really started around October 2012 when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed going out to afternoon tea with my mom. I was really into An Afternoon to Remember’s creme brulee tea, since they had an afternoon tea place at that time, which has since closed…so sad and I haven’t found a good replacement.

So, I kinda went nuts when I discovered both DavidsTea and Lupicia in the SF mall, and I still frequent them, though my tastes have substantially changed over time from wanting to try all the teas to being a bit more particular.

Once I discovered steepster, literally by looking up reviews of a DavidsTea tea, I was hooked! So many tea companies I never heard of and everything sounding so delicious!

I found I still love dessert teas, like flavored black teas, but I also really enjoy oolong (both green and roasted). I occasionally enjoy flavored rooibos and white teas. I’ve had a rough time with puerh, and still think it tastes like leather. Recently, after having some really amazing teas from Teavivre, I can now say I love unflavored Chinese black teas and green teas.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Teavivre, Golden Moon, Butiki, Lupicia, and DavidsTea.

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

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