354 Tasting Notes

79

Hooray for me! I finally bit the bullet and decided to try my very first Pu-Erh!

I’d been simultaneously intrigued and dissuaded from trying Pu-Erh by the many descriptions I’ve read on Steepster. Some exalting the rich earthy flavor, while others describe the taste as having fishy qualities – ick!

I thought the best way to get me to try Pu-Erh, is to gently dip my toe in the water, with a tea that covers the base with plenty of flavors. I needed the Pu-Erh to be hidden like how my parents would hide zucchini in spaghetti sauce when I was a kid (and wouldn’t you know it, I like zucchini now). When I saw that the Della Terra Fall Try Me Pack had a sample of a Chocolate Chai Pu-Erh, it was a no-brainer.

I placed my order last Fall, and I happily sampled their teas, pulling this one out of the box, imagining a cartoon fish (you know the silver-gray kind, that looks a bit haggard, with the x for an eye), and I would quickly shove it back in the box to be passed by for something more “familiar”. For months, this packet was more of an obstacle to other teas than a tea destination. A tea pylon.

Well, Fall turned into Winter, and Winter into Spring, and I decided that I should stop being a chicken and give it a go…

…of course, another month passed…

…and a few more weeks…

…then a few more days…

“buck, buck…buck…BuckAHH!” I could practically hear the package taunting me. So I mustered up the nerve, grabbed the packet and headed for the kettle. As I poured the hot water over the tea, I snickered with a villainous grin (no…not really, but how great would that have been?)

I took my first sip…

…Chai!…mmm…chocolate. I can’t say that I detect anything fishy at all. The aftertaste sits on my tongue a little differently than a regular chai. A little drier at the back of the tongue, almost salty, but not quite. It’s mostly Chai. I was almost disappointed at how anticlimactic the whole thing was. I pictured the cartoon fish coming back to life and swimming away, and laughed at my over-active imagination.

Overall this tea is not bad, but it’s not one that I’d necessarily need to try again. However, it was the perfect stepping stone to a whole new area of teas that I had always shied away from. It was the perfect way to hide zucchini in spaghetti sauce.

Cavocorax

Sounds like the best strategy! I enjoy a lot of flavoured puerhs now, but I’m afraid to try one on it’s own after the disastrous attempt with Zen Tea’s Puerh. (It tasted like dirt)

canadianadia

Dirt! Yikes, I’ll be steering clear of that one at least until I gain a firmer footing in the Pu-Erh department.

yyz

I know how you feel. I’ve only tried flavoured ones as well. One I quite like ( a blood orange one which has a rich deep flavour and re-steeps amazingly well for a flavoured tea) and another which was really horrible ( a strawberry one that reminded me of ammonia). So at the moment I am all for experimentation but only in small doses.

Dexter

Congrats on trying your first pu’erh. This is one of the best/funniest tasting notes that I’ve read in a long time. :))
“Some exalting the rich earthy flavor” – this is just a fancy term for dirt. LOL I actually like the earthy/dirty taste of pu’erh, and have just started exploring them plain. I have several in my cupboard that I haven’t tried yet.
You weren’t revolted by this one so maybe don’t give up on all of them. I’m agreeing with your strategy, baby steps.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

I loved this note! :-) I too have been intimidated by Pu’erh and have been putting off tasting them until I’ve tried lots of other things first. I am intrigued by the idea of drinking “dirt” though, so maybe I’ll do it soon.

canadianadia

@yyz – wow! ammonia, something must have gone when they made that flavor, but it’s good that you found the blood orange to enjoy, and the strawberry one didn’t scare you away from all Pu’erhs.

@Dexter3657 – Thank you for your kind words. Now that I think of the “rich earthy flavor” description, you’re totally right – fancy term for dirt – hahaha! Yes, for sure, baby steps seems like the way to go – so far, so good, at least.

@Fuzzy_Peachkin – We can explore the world of Pu’erhs together :) Hooray for dirt! ;)

OMGsrsly

Yes. Yes, they do taste like dirt. I like adding a little sugar to cheaper loose puerhs (Tealux’s Naked Puerh is AMAZING with a pinch of sugar), to really explore the spicy earthy sweet flavours. :) The smell is still intimidating, but I love the taste. Used leaves also cold brew into a fascinating tea.

Terri HarpLady

Great review! Congrats on getting through your first Puerh experience. I haven’t really tried too many flavored ones, but the ones I’ve liked are:
Blood Orange Puerh from The London Tea Room.
Bolder Breakfast from The Tea Spot (mix of black tea, puerh, & chocolate).
I think there was one with Caramel too, that was kind of nice.

Cavocorax

OMGsrsly – I’m glad I grabbed that one from Tealux then! I just haven’t tried it yet. I grabbed 6 different puerh samples from them and so far am happy. I like a few of the ones from DavidsTea too – they’re easy starter puerhs!

canadianadia

@OMGsrsly, Terri HarpLady and Cavocorax -Thanks for all the suggestions. It’s nice to have some ideas to help figure out what I should try next. I’m treading cautiously with Pu’erhs because I feel one misstep might scare me away completely. So your suggestions are very helpful – thank you

Dexter

I’m seconding the vote for Tealux Naked Pu’erh. It’s a decent inexpensive loose shu pu’erh. I find with my sample that it needs a pretty decent rinse to get rid of the initial dirty socks/fishy smell. First steep is pretty strong, but mellows quite a bet for steeps 2 onward.

Canadianadia, when you are ready to make the step to plain pu’erh I would recommend a sheng (raw). They taste like pu’erh – dirty, earthy, but in a much gentler softer version. I drank a sheng for the first time last night (tried two different ones) and they were both much lighter on the pu’erh flavor. Might be a gentler transition for you.

canadianadia

Thanks Dexter3657 – I’ll have to keep that in mind when I venture towards the plain pu’erh

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77
drank Goji Pop by DAVIDsTEA
354 tasting notes

I only bought a 10 gram sample of this tea, and it was just enough to make a small cup. It actually tastes like it could use more of the blend. I probably should have gotten 15grams, but I didn’t realize how heavy this mix was. Oh well, it’s not bad even as it is. It’s sweet and fruity with a slight tartness, like an apple. Now that I look at the ingredients and I see that apple is the first ingredient that absolutely makes sense. The fresh fruitiness reminds me a little of Davids Tea Indian Summer, but their ingredients aren’t overly similar, so I’m probably remembering incorrectly.

I imagine this would taste even better iced?

Overall, this is a decent tea, but it doesn’t capture my heart enough for me to keep stocked in my cupboard.

Nxtdoor

I only ever drink Goji Pop iced. I’ve already restocked 100 grams twice. In this household It is our favourite tea to have iced so far. Now that’s not saying much, we’ve only tried the iced tropicalia, pink flamingo, Kokomo green and mango madness but goji pop is so far our go to iced.

Aimee Popovacki

yeah I do not like this one hot very much.. I find it wayyy tooo tart.. but iced.. its fantastic.

canadianadia

Hmmm…I’m convinced. It looks like I’ll have to give it a go iced some time

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78
drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
354 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I’ve had this tea. I believe it was one of the first teas I had ever tried from Davids Tea, back when I started with Steepster about 9 or 10 months ago. I’m impressed that I still like it almost the same as when I first tried it. It’s one of those teas that I don’t see myself drinking on a regular basis, but is thoroughly enjoyed when I have it on the rare occasion.

As I described in my previous log for this tea, hot, the smell and taste is like caramel corn, but as it cools there is a slight tartness that comes to the forefront that personally, I could do without.

It’s a unique tea, but not worth getting more than a sample size at a time. The taste is a fun novelty (or noveltea, if you’re like me and you laugh at cheesy puns). It’s certainly not a classic everyday option for me – that would be like watching the same movie every night.

Nxtdoor

I wondered about this one and chose not to purchase. Looks like it’s a good thing! Maybe I’ll get a cup to go when I’m there to make up my own mind but so far you’ve been pretty bang on

canadianadia

@Nxtdoor – awww..that’s nice to hear. Everyone has different tea tastes, but maybe yours and mine are similar? :) This tea is sample worthy for sure, it’s fairly unique. It’s a tea that I like on occasion, but not one I’d love everyday. When you try it, I hope you like it…or possibly even love it. Cheers!

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76

I accidentally received this in my order, and was allowed to keep it – BONUS!!! :) Thank you Frank!

From past experience, I’ve been a little disappointed with pomegranate flavored teas, so this would not have been one that I would’ve selected for myself, but I’m still excited to try it. It is tea after all ;)

I find the history of this Da Hong Pao oolong fascinating and reading it while drinking the tea enhanced my enjoyment. I just googled it and read a few links here and there. I’m sure there are plenty of inaccuracies on these sites, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. Here’s a quick wiki to give the gist (although I see now – Franks description also does a good job): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da_Hong_Pao

For each steep I used a water temperature that was immediately drinkable and I increased the steep time with each successive steep

The first steep comes across as a light tasting oolong and the pomegranate taste is also light and complimentary. The tea and flavor both have a gentle presence, rather than the in your face black flavored teas that I’ve been craving recently.

The second steep is more medium light in the taste of the oolong with a light yet balanced pomegranate flavor.

The third steep continues to gain strength with an increased steeping duration. I’d say that the depth of the tea is still medium-light, but is leaning more towards the medium than the second steep with some minor astringency.

I could probably steep this again a time or two, but I feel like having something different now.

I think I’d enjoy this tea more when I’m in the mood for a tea with a medium-light depth of flavor, but lately those days seem to be few and far between. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time though – gotta love that there is such a huge variety of teas to match the many tea moods.

TheTeaFairy

Yay for free unexpected tea!

JustJames

tea surprises are always fun =0)

Cavocorax

That sounds like a really fancy freebie!

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75

I guess it depends on what comes out in the scoop, but i find that the pineapple taste can vary quite a bit with this one. Today the pineapple in it is really shining; I just wish the oolong would come through just as strong. It’s nice, but for me, it isn’t a tea that I’d buy in full size. I’d say that it’s an occasional treat tea for me…if it’s on promotion.

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84

If you’ve been reading my tealogs for a while, then you may already know that I’m working on overcoming my self-inflicted aversion to Genmaicha. (This linked tealog illustrates my departure and the first step of my return towards enjoying genmaicha http://steepster.com/teas/52teas/35653-smores-genmaicha). Note to self; never buy a bag of tea that’s bigger than your head.

Thankfully 52teas has managed to lead me back into the genmaicha waters with their fancy schmancy tea names and yummy sounding descriptions. This tea is the clincher to winning me back as a (cautious) member of team genmaicha. The marshmallow root and the organic flavors add that extra little “je ne sais quoi” that blends so wonderfully with the tea. The smell of the dry mix is sweet, and somewhat reminds me of a cream based liqueur. I used a water temperature that was immediately drinkable and the result was impressive. Marshmallow treat indeed! Bravo Frank!

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80

I had a slight sore throat last night, so I decided to take a couple of vitamins (The gummy bear kind – because they make me smile), followed by this tea. I accidentally dumped in too much leaf, but as it turns out, I think I prefer the taste this way. Inhaling the warmth of the eucalyptus is soothing, and the combined warming/cooling sensation of the sip provided some relief for my throat, something akin to inhaling hot water with vicks vapour rub (watch out for your eyes).

Personally I could do without the taste of the orange peel, but that’s just my preference. If I can find a straight eucalyptus tea, I’ll keep it stocked in my cupboard for sore throat occasions like this. I just finished this one, but I’ll be restocking this in a sample size until I find a straight eucalyptus to replace it.

Nitoo6of6

haha my favourite vitamins are gummy bear ones too! Hope you feel better soon.

Fjellrev

Feel better soon! I still haven’t tried the gummy vitamins.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

I’m afraid of getting those gummies because I would want to eat them all in one sitting! Feel better!

canadianadia

Thanks Nitoo6of6, Incendiare and Fuzzy_Peachkin. I feel better today, so hopefully I managed to fight off whatever I felt coming on last night. I guess I’ll just have to keep taking my gummy bear vitamins ;) @Fuzzy_Peachkin – I must admit, not eating more than the daily amount does take some willpower

Dexter

http://www.buddhateas.com/eucalyptus-leaf-tea.html
Is this what you are looking for?
Don’t know anything about this company, but had looked at this a couple of months ago. Hope you feel better.

canadianadia

Thanks Dexter3657 – That’s exactly what I want to try. Maybe I’ll have a look at the local health food stores to see if they carry that tea because the flat fee shipping to Canada pricey. It’s nice to know that it’s out there though – thanks

Dexter

Sorry don’t mean to bombard you, but there is also this one on amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Celebration-Herbals-Organic-Eucalyptus-Caffeine/dp/B0011DRYWW
The same tea is available on this website.
http://www.healthyplanetcanada.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=24606

Again I don’t know about shipping etc, but it might be another one to keep an eye for at your local health food store. There doesn’t seem to be may straight eucalyptus teas out there. Hope you find one.

canadianadia

oooh thanks Dexter3657, I’ve actually seen that brand around somewhere before. I think it was in my step-mom’s tea cupboard- it wasn’t eucalyptus, but still, it seems very promising that it should be available somewhere locally.

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77
drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
354 tasting notes

I think I’m starting to like this tea a little more now that it’s had a chance to cure, and I found a more suitable water temperature to use. The dentist association with the taste of this tea is slowly starting to wane, it’s not completely gone, but it has certainly diminished.

Even though I’m enjoying this tea more, I don’t find myself reaching for it with the same exuberance as some of my other blends. I used to be all about the green teas but I think I’ve slowly developed a preference for black teas over other types. This change is somewhat surprising because I’m extremely caffeine sensitive. On the other hand, the restricted times during which I can drink black teas may be the very thing that makes them seem extra-special? I still have to be careful with the time that I drink green teas like this one, but the consequences are nowhere near as intense as with black tea.

Speaking of tea restrictions, I keep eying up some enticing descriptions of guayusas but I fear the consequences of drinking something with such high caffeine. Who am I kidding? Sooner or later, I know I’m going to try it :)

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74

This used to be one of my favorite herbal blends several months ago, but it’s just not doing it for me anymore. The tartness is just too much for my night-time sipping pleasure. Maybe I’ll have to finish the rest of my sample as a day time iced tea?

It’s crazy how much my tea preferences change as time passes. I’m glad I didn’t buy a full size of this. There are just too many other teas out there for me to try, that getting through a full size of this would probably start to feel like a hinderance. I’m so glad David’s Tea has sample sizes.

Fjellrev

Yeah, I wish more companies allowed 10 or even 20g purchases. The stash would be soooo much smaller.

canadianadia

Yes, and the stash variety could be even bigger

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70

I’m finishing this off today, it’s also the last of my chocolate try me pack. I love Della Terra chocolate teas, and I think they’ve spoiled me into being a bit picky. The strawberry taste is a tad artificial for me in this one.

I’m glad I gave it a try, it’s enjoyable, it just doesn’t quite compare to my favorite Della Terra chocolate teas (chocolate pumpkin pie and Dubbele Chocolade).

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That’s my mug! I’ve never really been a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh, but I like the fact that this mug is more or less clear. Plus, I can’t help but giggle when I say “ewww …I have Pooh on my mug” and people in the room gawk in horror before realizing I’m talking about Winnie. Am I easily amused? heck yeah!

A little something about my interests? – In no particular order, I love tea, makeup, paper crafting (card making), home renovations, and gardening.

As a rule, I tend to drink my tea without adding anything, but if that doesn’t work for me, I indulge in the fact that rules are meant to be broken. Yep! I’m such a rebel…sometimes I even color outside the of lines :P

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