1011 Tasting Notes

85
drank Buddha's Blend by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

Many thanks sent out to tigress_al for this tea!

I was bummed out that right after I moved, this tea was up for tea of the month at DAVIDsTea – if I had waited a few days to move I would of been able to buy a sample. Then when I went to do a DAVIDsTea order months later and opted to get Earl of Lemon instead (since they were both expensive teas). So Buddha’s Blend has been on my wishlist for awhile to try as I’m a sucker for jasmine/floral teas.

DRY: Ultra tangy peach smell! WOW Something about jasmine + flowers that makes that peachy smell.

STEEPED: Slight peachy smell. Steeps up some crazy huge leaves and flowers that are like 3-4" long!

TASTE: Strong peachy taste. A bit of unusual bitterness that I’m guessing is SUPER FLORAL BOUQUET OVERLOAD. A slight hint of sweetness and with a jasmine aftertaste.

WHO`D LOVE THIS TEA: Someone who loves floral teas.

COMMENTS: This is the most floral tea I’ve tasted so far.
I actually tried this tea in my travel tea glass first and actually got to it an hour later with the leaves still in and it was CRAZY bitter and flowery that I couldn`t finish it.
With that said, for this tea you need to take the time and correctly steep it – I did a quick 3 minute steep with a slightly lower temperature just to be safe (79c) and it was loads better, but still a bitterness present. Maybe it might be worth going as low as 73C/165F?

I find this tea slightly similar to “Three Wishes” but Three Wishes is much more bitter (and finicky) since it has black tea. One of my favorite teas, Lovers Cup by Silverleaf is similar to Buddha’s blend, but not as strong floral or bitter.

But overall, that peachy taste is very good and the floral is nice. However it does step into “Too much floral” zone for me (that I didn’t know existed). This be a great tea to serve at a tea party and decorate with lots of flowers.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Eisenherz

I also thought it was really similar to Three Wishes! Glad I’m not crazy!

CupofTree

I love the format you review your teas! By the way, did you know there’s going to be a davidstea location in San Francisco? I really thought the mystery store was going to be way more north.

Awkward Soul

Yeah, I found out a few weeks back – I wish there was one in SoCal, but if I ever make it up to San Fran I will be checking it out.

Teavangelical

this a 45 second steep and then icing it. heaven.

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90
drank Red Vineyard by Fusion Teas
1011 tasting notes

I just made this tea double strength with a couple rock sugar chunks and poured over a glass of ice. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

/DROOL

Very good – sweet and peachy!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Butterbeer by 52teas
1011 tasting notes

I’m another steepster that got their paws on Butterbeer when it was re-blended. I eyed it when it first came out, but hesitated, then it sold out and I was angry at myself. Minutes from Frank’s tweet saying Butterbeer was back I was buying it. MIINNEEE!

Harry Potter fan? Yes but my dad is a bigger fan though. He announces all the spells when he watches the movies (no joke). I’m totally a Syltherin, my husband is probably Ravenclaw and my dad is a Syltherin lackey.

DRY: Rootbeery (with no bubbles going up my nose), creamy and sweet.

STEEPED: Very strong rooty buttery smell. Steeps up very dark brown red.

TASTE: Quick blip of black tea with a bite of bitterness (maybe I steeped it for too long?) then a pronounced root beer taste. With a couple lumps of rock sugar the bitterness reduced and theres butteryness at the initial sip. As the tea cools the rootbeer and butteryness comes out more.

WHO’D “ACCIO BUTTERBEER!” THIS: Black tea lovers and adventurous types.

COMMENTS: I know I messed up this steeping. Either too long or too hot as I’m sure the bitterness is not supposed to be there, so I need to try again.
Overall pretty unique and tasty.

I probably have to share this with my dad, darn!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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50

Thanks to LefTea for a sample of this brain brew!

BRAAAAINNNSSS is the first thing I thought of when I saw this tea. Mmmmmm! You’d think theres walnuts in it, it kinda looks like brains?

DRY: subtly sweet and nutty. Appears to be mostly mate leaves with a scattered twigs of rooibos.

STEEPED: light brown. robust smell and mate.

TASTE: Bright green mate with a little bitterness coming out, slightly nutty and roasted taste. No chocolate flavor.

WHO’D LIKE THIS: straight up mate drinkers.

COMMENTS: Hmmm. I’m thinking this is more of a yerba mate tea than a flavored one. I find the potentially delicious extras (chocolate, vanilla, hazelnuts, apples) aren’t really present, I see the odd apple and chocolate piece in the dry leaves.

Overall, okay tasting mate, but no fun magic present. Or brains.
(apparently the brain thing is the brand, checking the website it’s a whole line of brain tea quoting health benefits of mate).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Hesper June

So, you are saying this tea would be a disappointment to Zombies then? ;)

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70
drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
1011 tasting notes

I received this tea in a trade with Ze_Teamaker Thank you!

I admit I’m a hot food fanatic. I can drink Tabasco sauce, when I eat a burrito I always splash hot sauce on it before each bite. Spicy tea I haven’t found the right one yet, but I’m not sure what I’m looking for.

DRY: Surprisingly with the name (and not looking at ingredients), I thought it be a chicory robust chili tea. However, smells like strawberries, sweet and chocolate. Very chunky with pieces of apple and strawberries – oh yeah the strawberries look good! Looks like delicious fruity trail mix without the nuts! I used 2t for a cup of tea.

STEEPED: Cloudy light brown. Smells like like dark chocolate and fruity.

TASTE: Slightly smokey chocolate and fruityness, strawberries coming out. Some sweetness from the apple and mystery mellowness. A little watery. No tartness.

COMMENTS: Wheres the fire? I’ve had a few teas that are much hotter than this! /checks ingredients “Chili” that’s it? Should have some peppercorns or more chili threads. Those 4 dried chilies in the Teavana picture online taunt me. Maybe I didn’t get enough “chili” in my steeping or my hot threshold is crazy so mild spice I don’t pick up anymore.
I’d say Azteca Fire doesn’t live up to its name, I expected more than a tiny bit of smokeyness. This tea is closer to a watery hot chocolate with a hit of fruit. When thought of that way, it’s not bad of a replacement to actual hot chocolate. Steep it strong with some rock sugar and milk and it be interesting.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA? well… I think without the heat, you disappoint spicy peeps. With the name Azteca Fire, you scare off the “omg spicy food wahhh!” people.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

If you like very spicy teas, 52tea’s Flaming Chocolate Mate is the spiciest I’ve found. It packs a real punch!

Kittenna

And if you don’t have a sample of it and want one, I’m more than willing to pass some along in your package!

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65

Love sent out to Emilie for sending me this tea for a tea trade!

OBSERVATIONS: Why is there pictures of cantaloupe in the background of this tea on Teavana’s page? Theres no cantaloupe in this. At least I think it’s cantaloupe (or maybe over exposed watermelon?), seems too light for papaya and it would be easy to identify with papaya + seeds.

DRY: Fruity. I’m trying so hard to smell out some candy papaya but not smelling it. Darn. Very tight and chunky tea. The oolong is in rolled ball form and lots of chunks of fruit and rosebuds.

STEEPED: Light cinnamony and sweet smelling. This tea would be impressive to steep into a glass travel mug with all the colourful chunks, leaves opening and rose bits. Steeps up to a pale yellow. I was crazy and dug into the steeped leftovers and ate chunks of apple and pineapple, yum!

TASTE: There’s a lot going on here. Warm cinnamon (not spicy), bit of citrus, floral, slight bitterness from the oolong, slight papaya essence, sweetness. Kinda tropical. Burpy pineapple aftertaste.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Oolong drinkers or peeps who like complex flavors.

COMMENTS: Too much going on in this tea! I do like lots of fun flavors going on but I think there’s something throwing it off. I blame the cinnamon or maybe the floral. Take one of those out and this might be pretty nice tea.

That or maybe this cup just had way too much cinnamon. Teavana says “subtle and sweet cinnamon”. This was not subtle cinnamon. I was hoping for a more stronger fruit taste.

Overall, okay. Maybe I’ll have better cups from this batch – sometimes I find big chunky tea gives you various results. I probably won’t buy any myself once I polish this tea off.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Emilie

I had to go look at the page myself after seeing this! I’m thinking it’s under-ripe papaya with no seeds. Or maybe Teavana just wanted to mess with everyone, who knows :P

When I tried this, I didn’t get much oolong flavor, everything else drowned it out. If you’re looking for more fruit, I think I iced this one and had more fruit flavor come out. I would say cold brew it, but that could make the cinnamon super strong.

Kittenna

I had to look too, hahaha. I’d say papaya too, but nobody presents papaya like that, at least from what I’ve seen! Ah well.

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Oh how I missed drinking mate! I’ve been chugging through my The Persimmon Tree stuff that I haven’t been drinking mate. This is the last Fusion tea sample that I haven’t tried yet.

I ordered this tea because pistachio tea just sounds crazy! I do like pistachios and spumoni ice cream. Is there a spumoni tea? /checks steepster. No? /checks google. No. OMG SOMEONE GET ON THAT!

DRY: Very weird smell. Weird as in it took me awhile to figure out what I was smelling. Lime and lemongrass. All other smells I have no idea.
As I was scooping out my tea, I got a huge 1" long by 0.5" wide lime slice. I removed it and put it back in the bag, I figured I’ll save that huge lime for another steeping.

STEEPED: Mysterious roasted or nutty smell mixed with other smells I can’t ID.

TASTE: An unusual strong, mellow and smooth nutty taste with a background of lime and lemongrass. Green mate comes through strong. Crisp lime aftertaste. No tart or bitterness. There is supposed to be coconut in this tea but I do not notice it.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Adventurous tea drinkers and green mate lovers.

COMMENTS: WHOA, this tea is WEIRD! I’ve never drank anything like this and it’s so wild and I can’t figure out whats going on!

Um, yeah. I’m not able to number rate this tea at this time because I just can’t tell you if I like it or not or compare it to other things I’ve drank. Yeah, I’ve drank green mate plenty of times, but this adds a weird addition with mystery nut taste (that I can’t ID as pistachio. Unless this is what pistachio is supposed to taste like steeped?). The lime is quite good in this, not tart or bitter like I said earlier.

Back to the spumoni tea.. SOMEONE BLEND THIS! Chocolate pieces, pistachio, vanilla bean. I dunno what kinda tea to stuff in it, stuff something in it, but make it taste spumoni. Of course, slide me some of this tea for free.. ya know, for coming up with it.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Awkward Soul

I’m now going crazy and tweeted 52 teas and Davidstea to make me spumoni tea. Must have it! MIIINEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Kittenna

I have never heard of spumoni. But that sounds delicious!

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20
drank Chocolate Chai by Adagio Teas
1011 tasting notes

I decided to do something different this morning and try making Tea Oatmeal! ya! So not my typical tea review.

I used this tea as I had just enough to make the oatmeal with a cup for myself. The cup of tea I got out of it I found fell flat. Not much of a chocolate taste and only a little bit of spice to it. I can taste a little bit of ginger and thats it. Looking at the ingredients they only added “chocolate flavoring” booo! Add some real chocolate to it!
I love my chais to be STRONG, this one is not despite doing a strong steeping. With that said, I’m glad I don’t have any of this tea left.

To make the oatmeal, I steeped enough tea to replace the water and boiled the oatmeal in it. As oatmeal it also fell flat too and just tasted slightly bitter. I had to add some cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon to help it out. I’m not sure if it was the tea that wasn’t good enough or the method. But I guess like cooking with wine, you should cook with a wine you like to drink!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Emilie

You actually tried it! :D

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80

My 10th sample from my The Persimmon Tree order and final one (for now, muhhahhahahaha). This one was a last minute dump into the cart as I’m not a rooibos fan, but I subconsciously keep trying to like rooibos.

DRY: One of those Andes chocolate mints, straight up. Lots of big and interesting chunks in this tea which after checking ingredients is apple. 2t used for this steeping.

STEEPED: Deep chocolate with mint. I opened the lid of my DavidTeas steeper and got blasted with a mint facial! Steeps up a slightly cloudy light brown.

TASTE: Minty chocolate, like an Andes chocolate mint candy. Slightly sweet. Rooibos isn’t very pronounced. A smooth and slightly creamy after taste. Good balance of refreshing mint. I found the tea a little watery, I think maybe more dry leaves would help, however I added some rock sugar into my cup and a splash of soymilk to help it out some.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Rooibos haters (like me) and lovers, someone who wants a chocolately tea for a late dessert.

COMMENTS:
I wish I got DavidsTea Mint Chocolate Rooibos, it be great to compare to! However, I have “Read my Lips” which is harder to compare to “Mint Chocolate Chip” because it’s black tea, peppercorns and doesn’t have vanilla/etc.

This surprised me in not tasting horrible rooibos, however lost points for tasting a little watery weak. This tea would probably do well steeped stronger into a latte. Overall, the tea is well done, great for someone who isn’t into rooibos but wants no caffeine.

So, after tasting 10 of The Persimmon Tree teas, I gotta say all were really good. The ones that I didn’t dig were just not for me personally.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Emilie

The apple pieces seem weird to me. Did they seem like they affected the taste any?

Awkward Soul

I didn’t notice them, didn’t add any tart or anything. Unless they were masking rooibos or making it watery somehow.

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75

9th tea out of my samples from Persimmon Tree. I’m hoping to finish trying them all today, then I can make another order with some bigger tins and a few other samples I missed.

So this morning I’m very tired, tired enough that I almost dumped protein powder in my tea cup instead of into my oatmeal. That would of been gross with this tea! I tried once with a black tea, it gets all pancake battery.

DRY: crisp minty smell. Pretty spattering of rose petals in this tea.

STEEPED: Mint and rose smell – wonderfully balanced. Steeps up a nice light yellow. 2t of dry tea used.

TASTE: delicate and crisp mint comes out first, with the tea blooming in floral. Also a mysterious light sweetness and a couple sips I had a fruity taste that I can’t identify. White tea comes out as well. Very well balanced mint and floral flavor.

WHO’D LOVE THIS TEA: Mint tea drinkers wanting a hit of energy in the morning. Floral tea drinkers.

COMMENTS: I like the mystery sweetness and the floral in this tea. The mint is balanced in so well – as from what I got from other Persimmon Tree teas, they know how to blend a tea.

Overall, very good however not in my range of tastes.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Emilie

So, do you normally put oatmeal in your tea, or am I reading that wrong?

Awkward Soul

lol i see it too, fixed. I don’t put tea in the oatmeal but that is an idea…

Emilie

It has the potential to be amazing.

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Profile

Bio

I’m a crafty knitter and crocheter that loves to work on a project and drink tea. I worked as a counsellor and I chain-drink tea to keep me calm and grounded.

I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk.

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.
My recommended tea shops:
Mandala Tea
Steep City Teas
Butiki Teas
DAVIDsTea
Della Terra Teas
Lupicia
Verdant Tea
Yunnan Sourcing
52 Teas / Zoomdweebies
Yunomi.us
Red Leaf Tea
New Mexico Tea Co
Bluebird Tea Co
The Persimmon Tree

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

I have a husband and a bunny who both hate tea. More for me!!!! MUUAHAHAHAHAAA

Location

Long Beach, CA

Website

http://oolongowl.com/

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