688 Tasting Notes

86

I’m positive I’ve had this tea before now but apparently I have yet to log it. It’s good timing as I am considering another Teavivre order and was really impressed with the regular Yun Nan Dian Hong but wondered if the next level up was superior enough to justify buying that instead. This one costs approximately three times the price of the regular dian hong, so I am hoping for a remarkable experience. This has a remarkable quantity of golden leaves, I wuld say it is at least 3/4 golden tips. Very beautiful, and left lots of little tea leaf fuzz in the bag.

I am at work so I steeped this in a T-Sac rather than a brew basket or gaiwan. There is lots of room in it for expansion though, so I’m not too fussed. Three minutes in I have a lovely golden orange liquor and an appetizing aroma. Sweet cocoa, a sense of astringency but it’s not fully developed. It smells rich and almost has some aromas that remind me of bread. I can’t quite explain those so I’ll just enjoy.

First sips yield sweetness but surprisingly little flavour. I expected a POW of cocoa and tea, instead I get a whisper of each. I had some carrots as a snack earlier and I actually taste them more than the tea. Maybe this one requires more steep time? As I continue to sip the flavour builds on the tongue, but still doesn’t reach the level I expect of Teavivre’s teas, especially at this price range ($18.90/100 grams).

I will be fair and admit that this is an old sample (give or take a year) so it may have lost flavour in storage but it was stored well, in a double sealed bag. I will definitely try again, but this just didn’t have the punch I was looking for. A very nice tea but not the flavour I expect for the price and the quality of the leaves. I feel a little let down, but at the same time am buoyed as I can guiltlessly pick up the cheaper Yun Nan in my next order!

MegWesley

I find that this one is a much gentler tea than the full leaf Yunnan that they offer.

Uniquity

I actually like it more cold which is really unusual for me. It seems to have more nuances and flavour this way. Intriguing!

MegWesley

Cold? That’s interesting. I might have to try that. Did you just let it cool off or did you cold brew it?

Uniquity

I let it cool off (though not on purpose). It can be tricky to drink tea at work in a timely manner. :)

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38
drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
688 tasting notes

Finishing up my sample, apparently I haven’t done a tasting note yet. Out of the bag the aroma is very sweet, far more than I would prefer. It almost has a licorice smell which is not appealing to me at all. I get sickenly sweet icing from the aroma rather than red velvet cake. With some trepidation I steeped it for about three minutes. The steeped aroma is nearly as sweet as the dry and not really my cup of tea. I would like to be pleasantly surprised by this one but my expectations are not very high.

The tea steeps up a dusty rose and smells of buttercream icing, rich and sweet. I don’t like icing at the best of timea so smelling it in my tea is actually bad news. First sips yield moee white chocolate than icing and for this I am grateful. It is still quite sweet bur not as much as the smell suggests. I can taste the bkack tea occasionally but it is easily overwhelmed by the additives. Much too sweet for my taastes but woukd be good for someone craving a strong dessert tea.

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83

Wow, a flavoured puerh that I not only don’t mind but really enjoy! The flavour and aroma are both sweet strawberry, fairly authentic. Will write more when at a computer, I’m just using my new Galaxy iii at the mo. :-)

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77
drank Cold 911 (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
688 tasting notes

A wonderful co-worker of mine shared some of this with me and I truly appreciate it as I am sick at the moment and was looking for something more than plain mint! My sample wasn’t quite big enough for the mug I am using so the infusion is a bit weak after about ten minutes but I get lovely juniper and mint at the front, two flavours that I really enjoy. I’m not really picking up orange on it’s own but I think it’s there holding everything together. hey, I’m sick – what do you expect? : )

I think I prefer Detox for the bolder juniper but I love the mint in here. If the beau liked mint like I do I would keep a stock of this on hand but alas, he does not. I feel like this one cost a lot more when it first came out and that deterred me from trying it but now I’m thinking I should have some on hand for at work. If only my head would stop aching so I could enjoy it fully!

ashmanra

I hope you feel better soon!

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26
drank Hazelnut Truffle by Tea Forte
688 tasting notes

A coworker of mine got some of this with her Tea forte order and HATES it. So of course I wanted to try it, but have been too much of a wuss to try it until now! Dry, it smells really nice, I get some chocolate notes, smells like something you’d want to eat or drink. As it steeps the smell really changes though. REALLY changes. I get coconut (BLEGH!) and something sour, almost with a vomit quality. This is very unnerving. Underneath the gross smells there is something distinctly hazelnut, but it is overpowered by the other noxious odours.

Trying this one requires another application of my brave face. Diving in! The taste is not so bad as the smell but it’s definitely not good. First I get something I identify as coconut, then there is a hint of chocolate/hazelnut then back to the taste that reminds me of coconut. Which I still hate. This is really not the tea for me. Bleck!

Veronica

Kudos for getting past the smell and being brave enough to taste it. I’m not sure I could’ve done the same.

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82

If you steep this less time it really improves it. The stevia doesn’t have a chance to get so powerful and the base doesn’t have time to get bitter. Smells and tastes like big juicy blueberries. Improved over time…Mmm!!

TheKesser

How long did you steep it for?

Uniquity

Maybe 3 minutes. That’s about how I do all my blacks but this one in particular needs to be watched, I find.

TheKesser

Good to know. Thanks :)

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66

This one had some smaller pieces that looked like they could get bitter quick so I was very cautious with the steep, removing the leaves at about 2 minutes. This is another outdated sample from LiberTeas that I should have drank sooner but it still holds fairly true on smell. Steeped aroma is bold black tea (very Assam!) with an afterthought of bergamot that comes through to me as a bit of fruit loops. Now, assams are not my favourite and neither are earl greys but I have discovered I apparently have a fondness for jasmine so I’m very intrigued by this blend.

With my brave face on, I delve into the first sips. Bold but then tempered by a flowery sweetness – that must be the jasmine. The sip morphs back into a bit of astringency at the end that prompts me to keep sipping. I’m not picking up on any bergamot and I think this is one that must be drank quickly so I’ll just sit here and do that, I think.

Nice blend, but not remarkable for me. Could be the age or could be the ingredients, either way it was lovely to try a new tea! I have enough left for another 2 or 3 cups, I might give it to the beau for iced tea as he likes that sort of thing. Actually, I might give it to his work as they are all into tea now. I love sharing the tea love!!

CHAroma

“With my brave face on, I delve into the first sips.” LOL! I can totally imagine this! ;)

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90

This may be my favourite black tea. It’s approachable, it’s easy, it takes a beating well and it always yields rich flavours with a lot of depth. It morphs from light smoke to cocoa to milk chocolate to earthy hay/barn. It is a chameleon and has never failed to satisfy. It’s good hot and good cold (I’m not much for iced tea but this maintains a depth of flavour that many others don’t).

I think of myself as a relatively picky tea drinker, but this one is truly impressive. For a long time, I have saved up my favourite things (tea, treats, etc) as I never want to run out. With this one, I’d rather drink it again and again and just keep re-ordering. From me, this is high praise, and I fully intend to keep this in my cupboard at all times.

Increased my rating for it’s long lasting appeal.

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82
drank Black Currant by Tea Forte
688 tasting notes

Let’s be real here – I love black currant flavoured things. Black Currant Simpkins drops are one of my favourite candies and I am always on the lookout for a tea that can recreate that taste, albeit with a lot less sugar! When a coworker of mine told me she was doing a Tea Forte order, I knew I’d end up tossing in their black currant to try it out. I piked up the 50 gram loose pouch for $7.00 – if it’s good, that’s a decent price for a flavoured black.

The aroma out of the bag is bold and very closely aligned to the Black Currant Drops I so love. MMM, a deep breath of this is lovely. Weary of a potentially bitter base, I am giving this 2.5 – 3 minutes to steep. Steeped, the aroma has diminished but if you get close to the cup it hangs heavy like fog. I wish the smell were as vibrant steeped as dry, but hopefully the taste holds true.

First sips are a good balance of the tea itself and the black currant flavouring. No bitterness but neither is it sweet. I get the sharp flavour of black currant on the back of my tongue, and it builds throughout the sip. I wish there were a little bit more of the black currant, but this is a pretty good balance. I’m not sure if I prefer it to the Twinings Black Currant (one of the best bagged teas I’ve ever had) but it’s very nice. I’m very glad to have a black currant back in my cupboard as before this I only had the dregs of an old batch from Bulk Barn.

Yay tea!

Serenity

I love black currant flavor as well!

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drank Minteas by Tea Forte
688 tasting notes

A coworker made a massive Tea Forte order and let me toss in some Black Currant to try and also a tin of these mints. I opted for the Lime Mojito as there’s pretty much no way to screw that up. I love mint so this was right up my alley – and it’s a success, at least in this flavour. The tea is pretty absent but I like to think it’s good for me (they’re made with matcha). The lime and mint are well balanced and the flavours last the length of the mint. Yummy!

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Bio

I am a lover of many things, but my passions include my records, tea and books (not necessarily in that order!) I embrace local food and good cooking as much as I can, and place great value on time with family and enjoying the bounty of nature. As of January 2014 my husband and I finally moved to the country to be closer to family and continue our journey in a family home. We have been wanting to do this for a couple years, so we are very excited to follow our hearts. We also have a wonderful kitty named Emma that is the princess of the house.

I am drawn toward good Chinese blacks, enjoy some herbals and the odd roasted oolong. Greens and whites can make me nauseous, but I will have flavoured ones on occasion. While I don’t yet adore puerh, I am giving it my best effort. Chamomile and coconut are the devil though, I wish they didn’t exist. Mint has been a particular favourite of mine since childhood, and I enjoy both flavoured and pure teas though unflavoured blacks are tops for me.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: WOW. This is the cream of the crop.
71 – 80: This is a solid tea. I enjoy it, and would recommend it to others, but may not repurchase.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. May try again to improve.
41 – 60: Bleh. Might finish it, but it’s not to my taste OR just doesn’t impress me at all.
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

Location

Canada

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