682 Tasting Notes

55
drank Mintastic by 52teas
682 tasting notes

Well this is ALL wintergreen this time around! The black tea is hiding under the bold mint flavours, but somehow it all works out. I do get a toothpaste/mouthwash association, but surprisingly it isn’t bothering me. If anything, the dry aroma is my least favouite part of this tea but somehow the bold wintergreen tastes “just right” in conjunction with the other mints and the tea. Not my favourite, but nice to have in the arsenal for days when you get sent to switchboard and have headaches from needing new glasses.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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76

This is not vanilla. It’s barely even chai, honestly. On first smell, this is not super appealing. There is a whiff of vanilla in the aroma, but none of that translates to the taste. Instead I get a bit of astringent black tea and some mild chai. No spices really stand out, but they do work together nicely as a cup you don’t really have to focus on too hard. If this astringency could be eliminated it would be a much nicer cup, but this is okay, as is. This is yet another oldie that I am going to try to force myself through. I need more tea turnover!

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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74
drank The Earl's Garden by DAVIDsTEA
682 tasting notes

To be fair, my stash of this is getting on in age (1 year? 1.5?)but today’s cuppa was just not great. There was no bergamot, and only a light hint of fruit to mask the black tea that went bitter despite only being steeped 2.5-3 minutes. I am thinking that a slightly lower temperature or a bit less leaf than the recommended 1 tsp. might help things, but I’m disappointed that it needs help at all. I am guessing that my evaluation of this today reflects the changes that my tea tastes have undergone over the past year and a half or so. I went through my tea shelves yesterday and am trying to use up some of my older teas, many of which just aren’t my favourites anymore.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Erin

Sad :( I love this one by Davids

Sandra Brassard

I love that tea so much… So sorry it was bitter for you…I steep mine for 6min and it’s always delightful☺

Sandra Brassard

I love your rating system!

Uniquity

Thanks, Sandra. Now if only I could get as good a grip on my tea stash as my rating system! : )

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85
drank Lemon Zest by Joy's Teaspoon
682 tasting notes

Oh my heaven, have I ever under-appreciated this tea! The beau and I have been turning to this a lot lately as a pot to enjoy together. I find it delicious and sweetly lemon, more lemon cream pie than lemon zest – and I like that. For my Canadian friends, this reminds me of Honey Bee from Davids Tea in some ways, though obviously non-caffeinated. Caffeine doesn’t bother me one way or another, but I like the rooibos base (no bitterness, huzzah!) Highly recommended and one of the rare teas I am actually increasing the rating on after having enjoyed it for a few months. I bought the biggest tin available of this (6 oz) when I placed my order, and for once I don’t regret it – this is fabulous!

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76

Continuing the oolong trying extravaganza, I splurged on some of this. Not very much of it, mind you, as it is $10 for 25 g. That makes it the single most expensive tea I have purchased to date. Anywho, on to the tea. Heated the water with my variable temp kettle (so I finally have exact temps!) and steeped it in my gaiwan. To the untrained palate (IE – mine) this is almost indistinguishable from DT’s Tie Kwan Yin.

1st steep (1 minute at 90 degrees) – Mild and unassuming, slight flavour, no bitterness, not very vegetal. Light floral note in there, lightly sweet. A non-steep, really.

2nd steep (2 minutes at 90 degrees) – Much better, there is more flavour here. Slightly vegetal/floral, still no bitterness.

3rd steep (2 minutes at 90 degrees) – Similar to the second, almost has a milkiness (is this what others think of as buttery?) but I might be reaching for that. The beau says the third steep is the best and “clearly tastes different than the other ones.” There is an elusive hint of something underneath it all, almost like a mild spice (sweet cinnamon?)

4th Steep (3 minutes at 90 degrees) – This is a fairly thin steep. I get a hint of the nice sweetish flavour I picked up on in the last steep, but it is quite watery. Not much depth or richness, this will be my last steep. I still maintain I got a hint of spice like cinnamon but the beau compares it to rosemary.

I think I might prefer darker oolongs to greener ones (not surprising, as I don’t like green tea but love black tea) but this is a nice one to have tried. I like that it never got bitter, but I prefer stronger flavoured teas. Again, this is certainly an enjoyable tea but one I won’t re-purchase. Though it was a beautiful tea, with the large leaves completely unfurling after two steeps, there just wasn’t enough there for me. For my tastes, the cheapo Tie Kwan Yin is a better purchase in terms of quality/taste to cost.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
Tamm

I think that I’m in the same boat as you for part of this review. I’m really not someone who knows too much about oolongs. They’re beginning to be my favorite tea but since I haven’t had much experience it’s hard for me to grasp exactly the nuances that make them really different.

Erin

I’ve got to go on an oolong trying extravaganza! I have some DT Tie Kwan Yin waiting for me back home :)

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59

This is a tea that has really lowered in my esteem since first tasting. Even just smelling it now makes me uneasy, the bold dark chocolate smell (I don’t like dark chocolate!) is giving me a bit of a headache/upset tummy. Either that or I’m going crazy. I haven’t even brought myself to sip it yet! Can’t wait to have this finished off, I think I might pawn off a few cups on co-workers, that should do the trick.

The taste is not as bad as the aroma seems to me, but it really is not a favourite. If anything it is TOO chocolatey, and I am not feeling the chili love. At least not anymore. This has been my reaction the last couple times I’ve tried it, so I finally admit that this isn’t the best tea for me. I need to learn to stop trying teas at David’s just because I haven’t had them – usually my nose is a solid indication of whether I’ll like a tea or not and this one has always been a little off-putting for me.

Amariel

I find the tea to be more chocolate than chili…but I do get a sense of the chili in the back of my throat.

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87

Brought the rating down a bit. I love mint teas, so it can be hard to differentiate one pure mint from another in terms of uality or taste. This one is quite bold, and so minty (if you steep it a good amount of time) that it almost seems cold – if you’re not a true mint fan I do not see this being the thing for you. I had a big cuppa this morning as part of my efforts to reieve a migraine (which worked, yay!) and really enjoyed it. I find myself turning to the milder spearmint from Davids Tea more often that not, but the Peppermint definitely has a place in my heart.

KeenTeaThyme

Yikes! Sorry to hear about the migraine – I so hear your pain. But yay that this worked! I may have to try this remedy…sounds a lot more fun that yelling at one’s headache to go away. ;)

Uniquity

Thanks KTT – I am lucky in that I rarely have migraines but they tend to creep up on me while I’m sleeping which is frustrating. Knocked this one out with a combo of ibuprofen, hot water bottle, hot facecloth over the eyes and mint tea. Also the beau was kind enough to turn off the lights and make very little noise. Mint tea is supposed to help though so I always include it in my remedy list.

Ninavampi

I hate migraines… When I get them they ruin my day. I have never tried peppermint tea for them. Its worth a shot next time! : )

Glad you are feeling better!

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79
drank Fruity Sangria by Fusion Teas
682 tasting notes

Re-visiting this one today. At first sniff, this is a very tart smelling tea. The sort of tart that makes your mouth water in anticipation, if that makes sense. The first sips were surprisingly sweet, and honestly my favourite part of the cup. As it cools the tartness develops but doesn’t take over. A drop of honey might have done well in here but it is perfectly palatable as is. I don’t often turn to berry herbals lately, but if I did this would be a strong contendor. I imagine it would be lovely iced (though I’m not generally a fan of iced tea and it would need to be sweetened). This one does best with natural flavours, and now I am thinking that a drop of lemon juice or even some fresh strawberry or other berry would really take it up a notch too. Now I want to make this a cocktail, in the middle of the workday!

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85

Well, wow! I am not very experienced in oolongs, so please comment with any tips or advice to really get the most out of them. I found that this had strong cocoa notes, and a bean-like aspect. I noted that it reminds me of Golden Snail, and in general seemed similar to a number of high quality black teas that I’ve enjoyed. Done in my gaiwan and wee little double walled teacups. Excess tea used to “season” my tea feet (also from Verdant, love them!)

Steep 1 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 30 second steep. Rich and robust, lightly sweet without any bitterness. I got chocolate in the aftertaste. Very enjoyable.

Steep 2 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 45 second steep. Leaves are still very closed, liquor is light amber. This steep has less cocoa and is less complex. Still beany, very nice. The beau says it is “earthy green.”

Steep 3 – Boiling water, 1 minute steep. Leaves still tightly rolled, the aroma and flavour are slightly weaker yet again. This is nearly astringent, with a slightly dry mouthfeel. Cocoa flavour is back with a vengeance, the beau says this is his favourite steep.

Steep 4 – Boiling water, 1.5 minute steep. I found this still enjoyable but weaker than I’d like. This will be the last for now.

Very enjoyable experience, a wonderful tea to help break my way into oolongs. Thank you Verdant for including this as a generous sample in my order!

aisling of tea

I got my wife the tea toad from Verdant, she loves him! Heck, I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re big Verdant Tea fangirls over here. Lots of love for their amazing teas.

Uniquity

Agreed! I feel very indulgent when I drink their teas, I don’t think I have any other teas comparable in quality (which actually makes me quite sad). It’s been a wonderful tea journey with them so far!

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75

Re-visiting this in an attempt to clean out my stash. Still 1 or 2 cups left from my sample, but getting closer! This 2 or 3 minute steep yielded a flavour more like what I expected. Sweet fruit, goji kick. No tea taste, but the fruit dominates for once. Enjoying this right now, glad to have had a stronger cup! Raising the rating a few points.

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Profile

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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