696 Tasting Notes

82

This is a sample I bought in my last Teavivre order. Or one of the free, I actually don’t remember which. Either way, it’s new!

Dry, this leaf has a powerful smell. The more I inhale it the stronger it gets, but I am having trouble naming the aroma. Something reminds me of fresh herbs, like my basil with some honeyed cocoa as well. There is a note of something sharp like lemon zest as well. It is interesting and appealing, though more complex than many others I’ve been drinking lately.

I used the full 7 g packet in my 14 oz mug with 90 degree-ish water (from the tap at work), though it was way more leaf than I usually use so I only allowed it to infuse about two minutes. The steeped aroma yielded more honey and cocoa than the sharp herb and citrus smells from before.

The liquor came out a warm yellow, and provides a much lighter taste than expected. It is still very present and enjoyable, just not as bold as anticipated. I get some honeyed sweetness, and a bit of a tingle on the tongue that reminds me of those initial herb and lemon aromas. It is nice and dark and really quite appetizing. I think the second steep on this one with more time will really be impressive. This is a good balance of leaf/temp/time/water, I’m glad I might I made the right call for my tastes.

I don’t get any green or grassy flavours from this (that’s important for me). The cocoa has largely subsided as well and as I get deeper in the cup/it cools I find the citrus sense is really developing. It is pretty interesting but I don’t think I will stock it regularly since I already have a couple roasted oolongs I enjoy. This is a really nice one though, maybe I will alternate between this and the big red robe?

Edit to add: After reading the other tasting notes I could see grape/currant/grapefruit in lieur of what I was picking up on as citrus-y. Someone else also mentioned IPA and I totally see that. Now that this cup is almost gone, I am really digging this one. Might be a contender for a future order, I’ll have to see what the beau thinks of it. It’s also a great deal at $12.90/100 grams. Okay, I’m putting it on the shopping list, even though I won’t be ordering from Teavivre for a few months.

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70
drank Phoenix Oolong by Boutique Teas
696 tasting notes

I am sipping on this one today while at switchboard. It arrived unexpectedly yesterday – I had won a Sororitea Sisters contest a few months ago and the prize was meant to be this tea. After a few months I gave up on it, but lo and behold! It looks like it was shipped on May 20th, so it took a little while, but such is the price of being Canadian. :)

I do not know a whole lot about oolongs other than that I prefer roasted ones. This one looks pretty dark in the package with long thin twisted leaves. I thought it was a roasted oolong but it steeped up surprisingly green. It must be somewhere in the middle, maybe? Anyway, I have an amber liquor which has strong sweet and floral notes, like peaches and flowers. The taste echoes the aroma quite strongly with a bit of astringency lingering on the sip (my fault as I thought it was darker!) It is quite nice and surprisingly unassuming. It doesn’t reach out and grab you but when you pay attention it is an experience to enjoy. I would prefer it to be a bit darker but for what it is I think it is an excellent oolong, just not the best one for me.

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49

I got a sample of this one on my Teavivre order a month or two back and am finally taking a moment to enjoy it. I am using the whole packet which is a bit much for my tastes but not nearly enough to split into two cups at work. Ho hum.

The dry aroma is light and sweet, seems floral and with some fruity notes but once steeped it comes across as astringent and bitter in aroma. Very reminiscent of standard bagged black tea. Darn you slightly too large sample!! I even decreased the temp and time to account for it. We’ll see how it tastes.

Luckily I don’t get any astringency in the sip, but neither am I getting a whole lot else. It’s black tea. Maybe some light floral behind it all, but nothing impressive. I am getting a lot of Red Rose associations here. It is drying my mouth a bit so I guess it is astringent, but at least it isn’t bitter.

I was hoping this might be a replacement for Keemun Mao Feng from Harneys which I loved but this didn’t do it for me at all. Oh well!

EDIT to add: Wow, am I the lone dissenter or what? I love black tea but this was a disappointment. I wonder if it was mislabelled or maybe a weird batch as there was no cocoa and nothing I typically associate with keemun. Weird. I know the sample wasn’t very old either.

Kittenna

One always has to wonder when they’re pretty much the only person who doesn’t like something… but sometimes it happens!

looseTman

did you follow TeaVivre’s recommendations?
- Gaiwan 3oz Tea: 5g 6 steeps: rinse,15s,30s,45s,1m10s,1m40s,2m10s 90ºC/194ºF
- Teapot 8oz 1-2tsp(7g) 3 steeps:1m,2m,3m 90ºC/194ºF
http://www.teavivre.com/keemun-fragrant-black-tea/

kOmpir

It was good to me, but not worth the price (IMHO).

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34
drank Pink Lemonade by DAVIDsTEA
696 tasting notes

I tried a sample of this in store and found it way too sweet. Nonetheless, the beau talked me into picking up 50 grams. We made it hot last night (I still don’t really like iced tea) and it was, once again, way too sweet. Davids, you need to cut back on coconut and stevia. Like now. The beau enjoyed it (though he preferred it cooled) but I would be happier to never taste that much sweetness in a ‘tea’ again. I am considering adding some lemon myrtle or maybe a bit of a tart tea to try to bring it from sugar water to lemonade but for now it is just an unnecessary sugar bomb. I should have known better.

Sil

so glad to see this since i was nearly tempted to look into this one. now i don’t have to!

KeenTeaThyme

Yikes! I wanted to try this one too. I had hoped the stevia would balance any tartness but it seems like it overwhelmed it!

Aimee Popovacki

i still don’t get why mango has to be in pink lemonade ha ha..

Uniquity

This is one the rare times that I actually wanted MORE hibiscus. How strange is that?!

Aimee Popovacki

mmm you know what, with that combo of ingridients.. i could see that!

Nicola

Definitely wasn’t too sweet. It had a tartness to it. Your taste buds are off!

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80

Finished these off today. I had saved four of the marbles for one last hurrah and it is proving delicious. If this weren’t so obscenely over-priced ($14.50/50g) I would definitely re-stock but at this price I won’t be. I will remain contended with my dragon pearls from Teavivre even if they don’t have jasmine.

Anyway, this tea. The black base can go bitter so I like to keep it around 3 minutes steep or use slightly cooler water. I know it will go two steeps with solid black tea flavour and fairly dominant jasmine. The jasmine gives it a sweetness that I really like – I never knew I liked floral teas until this one. The black is bold enough to remain present and provide a good base for the jasmine to dance on.

TL;DR: Great tea, too pricey.

20monkies

I picked up a 25 gram bag of this for $2.50. It was in their 2 for $5 bin in-store. I’m looking forward to trying it!

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80
drank Peppermint by Tim Hortons
696 tasting notes

So this was my first tea as a married woman – we have been so busy with wedding preparation, setup, enjoyment, take down and aftermath that this may be the only tea I have had in a week. I love mint so it really hit the spot, and it was thoughtful that my mother-in-law made it for me. We have been together for nine years so nothing really changed but it was amazing to get together with our best friends and family to celebrate. It was a true Nova Scotia kitchen party – we are thinking of having a celebration every year in the same style. Happy tea!

Nicole

Congrats!

Terri HarpLady

Congratulations!

Kittenna

Congrats!!

Cavocorax

:) Congrats!

CHAroma

Oooh, congratulations!! Welcome to the newly married woman club! ;)

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47
drank Mango Fruit Punch by DAVIDsTEA
696 tasting notes

Well, the name is accurate on this one. I had been referring to it as mango bubble gum but mango fruit punch works better. This is a very heavy tea that smells delicious, like something you should eat immediately. I ended up using the entire 26 gram packet for our 24 oz teapot as it was very heavy and hard to get enough to flavour up. That basically makes this 1.75 a cup. Yikes!

Steeped, it has a yellow colour and a sweet aroma. The taste matches it closely, with a POW of sweetness, some identifiable candied mango and then bubble gum/fruit punch under that. To be honest, I don’t like it. I am not keen to finish my cup and I definitely won’t buy any more. I don’t know what I expected but the smell was so amazing that I got carried away. What I would want here is to cut the sweetness and add maybe some tartness to round it out. Rare for me! I should probably have used less tea or less time, but I know how difficult it can be to get dried fruit to flavour up. Unfortunately I went the opposite direction. Not for me, but would probably be very good iced or if you’re a huge fan of sweet teas.

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Another poorly stored sample, but worth a go, right? This smells tart like hibiscus but I don’t see any of the typical pink tinge. I get some sour rooibos as well, masking what I would otherwise presume to be tart blueberries. At five minutes, this tastes mainly of smoke. Like there is a fire a few kilometres away but a bit of the smoke has blown in on the wind. No tart, nor sweet, nor blueberry at all. If I could get the aroma to match the taste I would be a happy panda.

At 15 – 20 minutes I can finally get some blueberry flavour in there but it is so dominated by smoke that I am not interested in continuing. This is my fault so no rating. I wish I had drank this two years ago when it was still fresh.

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69

Dry, this smells amazing. I am thinking of the horse barn at the exhibition but in a GOOD WAY. Sweet clean hay, damp wood, hard working animals and minimal stink. This is contrasting with the cow barn which always smelled much more of excrement. Blech. I have come to really enjoy the smell and taste of hay and damp wood in my teas, and trying to get into puerh seems like the logical next step for me and my tea journay. Black teas and roasty oolongs still make me a happy panda but puerh might offer me just a little bit more.

Because I am a puerh noob I have used a bit less leaf than I probably should have, but that’s okay. Coupled with 95 degree water, I am ready to dip my toes in. I am using my smallish gaiwan and very small double walled cups. I have also broken out my tea feet (tea pet) to get their tea on too.

First steep at 30 seconds. Because of my conservative leaf and temp, I figure I can up the ante on time. I am tasting this one, though I know typically the first steep is a rinse. Not much about this is typical though. The smell is strong and smoky, like tanned hide or salted meat. Smoked wood, tobacco. I am developing an appreciation for a smoky note so this is actually enticing. The flavour is sweeter than the smoke note led me to believe, and taste more like the initial smell – sweet hay, damp hide and a hint of salt. Perfectly drinkable though not my ideal cuppa. Much more earthy than sweet though.

Second steep at 45 seconds yields the same aroma of smoke and salt. The taste is much sweeter though, more sweet hay, less earth. Much nicer, though it tastes a bit light. This is very sippable, the contrast of the taste and the aroma is very interesting. The smoke really develops as the tea cools.

Third steep at 1 minutes results in a brew much like the second, only amplified. I am getting some floral tastes now. I didn’t get any fruit or spices before now but I hardly know what I’m doing and I’m okay with that. This is my favourite so far, the smoke is mellowing out and allowing the taste to dominate the aroma.

Will likely steep more later but taking a break to put together our corn chowder now. General impressions are that this is a nice tea, but not my favourite. Something to enjoy occasionally. Will try it more traditionally at some point (more leaf/less time) and see what I get. Might do a cup western style too.

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83

This is an impressive tea, especially for it’s cost. For a long time, my favourite black tea was the Wild Black Yunnan from Davids Tea. For me, this one is even better. Stronger, bolder flavours with less (read: no) astringency or bitterness. It holds strong through multiple steepings but is so inexpensive that I don’t mind calling it quits at just one steep. I actually prefer it to the other Yunnans that Teavivre offers, as this one has the cocoa and earth POW that I love. I am very glad to have 100 grams on hand, and will re-stock this one rather than the Davids when the time comes. Mmmm!

Sil

on my shopping list now! :) sounds great!

Donna A

Agree, this is very good, especially for the price.

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Bio

Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

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: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

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Canada

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