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39 Tasting Notes

37
drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
39 tasting notes

Hmmm, so my taste buds must be dead because I don’t get any chocolate or orange from this one. Or cream. All I get is a heavy black base, which is kind of nice actually, but not at all what I was expecting. I can smell the chocolate in my cup, but I don’t taste it at all! And I have no idea where the orange went.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

This tea smells amazing. In the bag it’s all coffee bean with a hint of spices and in the cup it smells even better – brewed coffee and cinnamon. I personally love my coffee with spices (a side effect of growing up with masala chai) and make cafe de olla as often as I can, so I had pretty high expectations for this tea. Unfortunately it’s more chai than it is coffee, though you do get a hint of coffee flavor every now and then. Mostly it’s spices like cinnamon and cardamom. In fact, the cardamom is really heavy in this tea, I’d almost say it’s the dominant flavor in the tea rather than the coffee. The base is not as weak as the one in Chocolate Chili Chai, which is great. I noticed stevia was one of the ingredients as I was steeping my tea and got a bit worried – I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners – but if I can’t taste it, no big deal!

I added a splash of milk to see how it would change the taste (and because I typically drink chai with milk) and it really becomes a completely different tea. The coffee is a little more apparent, the cinnamon comes out on top, and the cardamom fades to the background a little. It’s not as good as coffee flavored milk, but it’s really nice as a spiced milk with some coffee. Overall, I actually really like this one. It’s not what I expected, but it’s still good!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85

This tea smells lemony, and slightly like cake. It tastes like lemon, both the sweet lemon and the slightly bitter peel. I like the honeybrush undertones, I think it balances out the tea well (and gives it a beautiful color). The tea isn’t over the top lemon, but the flavor is definitely there, and it’s not overly sweet – more like a hint of sweetness or the suggestion of cake. Overall I really like it! Unfortunately I don’t have enough of this one to see if it tastes good iced, but I bet it would be great in summer.

Thanks go to Stephanie for sending me this sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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43

I love chocolate oranges (the Terry ones you smash to break into pieces!) and chocolate covered orange peels, so I figured this tea might be good even though pu’ers and I have an iffy relationship. I like the taste, don’t like the smell. Here, the scent of the tea is mostly pu’er (the fishy kind) with a hint of sweetness. I really wish the chocolate was more prominent in the scent. But you do get the chocolate taste in the tea, so it’s not completely missing. Unfortunately there’s not much orange (ok, I didn’t taste any orange at all), it’s basically a chocolate pu’er, which I don’t really mind… but I wanted orange!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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72

I only have a little bit of this one so it was difficult to get the scent of the dry leaves, but the tea itself smells delicious, a bit like mulled cider spices. This tea gets quite dark quickly, and I worried about leaving it steeping for the recommended four minutes, but though the color is dark the tea does not become bitter/astringent. I taste the spices in this tea, but mostly the tea itself. It’s a nice oolong, full of flavor. I expected this tea to be sweet, and it’s not at all. I added a bit of sugar and it works well, but I suspect a tiny spoonful of condensed milk would be wonderful. All in all a great tea, my first Butiki tea, but definitely not my last!

Thanks go to Stephanie for this sample!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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47

Chocolate and roses sound like a delicious combination so I was excited to try this tea. It smells like chocolate and something else (maybe florals?) in the tea sachet, but in the cup the aroma is all chocolate. And oddly, I’m picking up hints that remind me of pu’er, though there isn’t any in this tea – it’s just a black tea. I don’t smell the roses, and I can’t taste them either. It tastes just like chocolate tea – similar to H&S Florence, but not quite (that one has hazelnut). It definitely has the same chocolate base. There is a little bit of an undertone in this tea but I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to be. Overall, it’s good, but not enough for me to buy a box. I wish the roses made more of an appearance.

Thanks go to Stella for sending me a sample of this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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54
drank Cookie Dough by DAVIDsTEA
39 tasting notes

Mmm, cookie dough. I love the real stuff, so I figured this tea would be awesome. The tea leaves don’t smell exactly like cookie dough, it’s more like coffee and chocolate and a hint of alcohol (vanilla extract, anyone?). This one’s a white tea so I’m not sure why the instructions say to brew it so hot (208F) but I’m following them anyway. At about the two minute mark the scent wafting from this tea changes from meh to omg cookie dough where? It smells incredible. Have to wait a few minutes for it to cool down to a manageable drinking temperature, and unfortunately it doesn’t taste much like cookie dough. Slightly chocolatey, slightly vanilla-y, but not really cookie-like. I steeped it for a bit longer to see if that helps, but there isn’t much change except for a growing brown sugar undertone. Interesting tea, but not quite cookie dough.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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60

A pretty basic green tea. Nothing spectacular. Grassy with a hint of a roasted flavor underneath. It can be re-steeped several times, which is nice (especially for a green tea). I don’t have a thermometer so I approximated the water temperature – it’s better to err on the cooler side. If the water is too hot the flavor of the tea is nonexistant. Oversteeping will yield bitterness, stay in the 2-3 minute range.

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec

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70
drank Secret Weapon by DAVIDsTEA
39 tasting notes

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98

Got a cup of this at David’s Tea the other day. It was so much more than I expected – this might be my favorite herbal tea. It’s fruity with a nice tart bite to it and a hint of granola or yogurt or something that makes the “parfait” in the name very apt. It smells of strawberry and granola, but the tart side of strawberry instead of the artificial sweet side. It tastes just like it smells, and a little bit of brown sugar helps bring out the sweet side. The color of this tea starts off a pretty red and develops into is a deep magenta. I was worried about oversteeping when I walked out the door with the t-sac still in my cup but this tea seems to get better over time and it didn’t become bitter or unpalatable. Only thing I didn’t like is that I couldn’t get a second steep out of it!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 45 sec

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Bio

I grew up drinking masala chai and fell into the tea world a couple years ago. Black teas are probably my favorite, with Darjeeling and Earl Grey on the top of the list. Recently green teas and oolongs have been growing on me, and anything with mint or a citrus flavor is good in my book.

Location

Chicago, USA

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