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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown success!!! I like this tea. It smells like coconut, tastes like toasted coconut and has a creaminess behind each sip. It is a lovely tea! What I don’t get is the mistaken impression of chocolate, although adding some to this tea would be interested. I hate it when tea descriptions try to tell me what I might taste that isn’t in the tea especially when it comes to teas tasting like certain times of the day in various famous cities. Bah! Bah I say, bah! Anyway, aside from the disgruntled digression, I enjoy this tea and would consider buying it again.
Just read my first tasting note for this tea and I didn’t really like it much then! Funny how tastes and expectations can change over time.
When I opened day 17 of the advent calendar, it said this was a white tea. Although I do see some lighter leaves, it looks like it is largely black leaves. A little confusing, but on to the tea! It smelled coconutty when I opened it and tastes like toasted coconut aaaaand that is it. I really didn’t get much more than that out of it. Coconut and tea. Decent, but kinda boring. Reminds me of Zhi Tea’s Ambrosia, which I like better.
Sample sipdown #1 of the day! I still have a bit more of this in my tea for the holidays pack, but I finished off the advent calendar sample. This still tastes like Christmas. I wonder how it would be iced in the summer. It isn’t my favorite black, but it has its place on days that I crave it. Don’t oversteep or it gets really astringent.
I bought a little bit of this at the beginning of November to try. Another one I had experienced before but wasn’t super crazy about. However now I am craving it all the time like crazy, good thing it is in the tea for the holiday box!
I always thought I liked Read My lips better because it has chocolate. I’ve decided this one has redeeming qualities too, it is minty and relaxing, but black and energizing. If brewed properly it has this comforting candycane sweetness that I cannot get enough of because it is the holidays.
Alpine punch. I have had a love/hate relationship with this one for a few months, mainly because my friend LOVES it and I had such high expectations when she offered me some. I had two cups of it at her place before Davids announced it was part of the winter collection, and when it came out at the beginning of November it was the only one I didn’t buy to have at home.
Fast forward to now, I decided to give it another chance. This was inevitable because I got the tea for the holidays pack from Davids for myself, and it is one of the few caffeine free options in there. And I had a really nice cup of it last night, and I see why others would like it. It is a very comforting winter blend that faintly tastes like marzipan.
Advent Calendar Day 15! I straight tea! I have learned a lot since last year when I was advent calendaring and was very conscious this time about steep time and water temp.
I had a truly delightful cup of this. The colour was a light bright green. The flavour was very light, sweet, and almost earthy as well. I haven’t been very into green teas, but drinkings this one the way I prepared it makes me want to try some more highly rated ones.
I picked up 30g of this one last week at DavidsTea. Just boiling the kettle now. It smells pretty great dry – minty yet almost creamy.
And steeping (4 minutes). Already on my second cup of tea and it’s not even 8am – joy.
Usually I reserve minty teas (especially peppermint alone) for upset stomachs but perhaps this one will put me in the Christmas spirit :)
Update: Pretty good, seemed to be more so than anything else, a peppermint tea. I added a drop of milk when I had about half a mug left which was still pretty good. DavidsTea says it’s energizing and I’ll give it that. Perhaps not in my permanent collection but for someone who likes peppermint definitely a must-try.
#16. Wow this smells bad. It might just be me but the smell put me off right away and I’m struggling to describe it, maybe clove? Luckily it doesn’t taste anything like it smells. Green tea and mint, that’s it. I thought it was quite boring and didn’t finish the cup.
#13. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the name but not bad. To me it smelled like melons, kind of like cantaloupe. Surprisingly it had a melon flavor since that doesn’t seem to be one of the ingredients. It tasted like the white part between the rind and red part of watermelon. I don’t think it will make it into regular rotation but it was enjoyable.
This has been my tea of choice the last few weeks (actually it’s been my tea of choice forever, but much more so in the past few weeks). It’s exam time and every morning I’m up before the crack of dawn at my computer. I love black tea and this one seems classic to me. A great morning tea (although I’ve been drinking it all day lately), and a wonderful start to the day. Once my exams are over later this week I’ll be off to DavidsTea to refill my stash.
When it comes to green tea (and white and oolong teas, for that matter), you should never steep it with boiling water. Slightly cooler water is needed, or else you’ll scald the leaves.
There are three methods that I know of in order to reach the ideal temperature. One is to let the boiled water sit for a few minutes. Another is to temper with cold water, and a third is tempering with an ice cube. In the second and third case, you’re technically using boiling water, but you’re making sure to pour the hot water over the colder parts, and not directly on the tea (if at all possible).
Over my three forays with green tea so far, I’ve played once with each of these methods. To date, I’ve no favourite. I do, however, think that I’d feel much more confident if I had a thermometer handy so I could measure how hot the water was, and making sure I was staying close to suggested steeping temperatures.
In time, I’ll work on that, and find what does work best for me. If anyone has any best practices, I’d love to hear them.
Anyway, on with the tea of the day.
Steeped: 1.5 tsp in tea ball, brewed in-cup. Brewed with boiled water tempered by ice cube.
First cup: Steeped 3 minutes.
The mint is definitely the flavour that comes out strongest in this tea. The other ingredients seem to work to intensify the sensation of mint, without actually taking it over. I can smell the spices and the ginger far more than I can taste them, but the ginger’s sweetness certainly does come through, and I have to guess that the tingliness which I would associate with the mint is actually coming from the spices as well. The overall flavour seems very simple and well-put together for all the ingredients, though.
Second cup: Resteep. Steeped 4 minutes.
The mint less prominent this time around, though it’s still detectable. With its fading, the complexity of the tea’s flavour seems to rise as the spices gain prominence. There’s still a sweetness that hits at the back of the throat, and the different kinds of heat and spice all hit at slightly different times, making for an interesting experience. It seems slightly less cohesive, but still very complementary.
Third steep: Re-resteep. Steeped over 5 minutes.
Still very strong flavour. Again, the spices are coming out more than the mint, but still in a very complimentary way.
Overall impression: An interesting flavour. Goes from deceptively simple to more complex, while still maintaining a strong flavour profile over several steeps, and evolves over the course of them. If I wasn’t so full of tea right now, I’d probably see what a fourth steep was like.
My rating: 80. A-. I like a tea that will last over time with a good amount of flavour to it. Not sure if I would buy it for myself in large quantities, but still something I’d keep in mind for sipping now and again.
I have been a mess lately. Whenever the weather changes, I get sick. I try to avoid it but it always happens no matter what I do. Also, my hockey team is terrible and I can’t leave my house because they decided to tear up my street. All of this makes it worse. I decided to make myself something sort of decadent to make it better.
The first time I tried this one, it was all “Meh”. It was weak and not chocolaty. It tasted like watered down cocoa. Not good. But I overleafed this time in a big way. And I added some cocoa powder…Valrhona…and some cream. It was absolutely delicious. The chocolate and cinnamon were perfect. And the heavy cream gave it the cocoa feeling. Of course, I had it at night so I didn’t sleep well but still…perfection.
Day 15 of this tea …. finally almost caught up :) . So this is a change from the black, then rooibos and then herbal selections. I didn’t really the the aroma of this tea at first, but when I brewed it, the smell grew on me. I think I had to get used to the taste as well, I feel that it is a stronger green tea, but it is still quite tasty. And no, this wasn’t pink like 3 of the previous teas, it was a nice yellowy green. So its nice to see a change of color. Happy Drinking
3 finals down, one more to go! To fuel my brain, I decided to steep the sample of this tea I got from my last order.
I added a bit of sugar and half and half to the brew and I don’t know… the flavors in this tea don’t really impress me at all. The banana and chocolate flavors are underwhelming, and honestly the idea of “drinking” banana kind of puts me off. I steeped this tea for awhile and still am getting a pretty watered down flavor. And while taking a sip of the tea, I notice an oily feeling on my lips. Sure enough, there’s a layer of it floating on top of my steeped tea. No coconut listed in the ingredients though, so I’m not even sure why there would be an oiliness to begin with.
Anyway, the idea was good but execution is not so much. In fact I may just throw the rest of the brewed tea out and pick a different flavor.
So this is a fave of mine and also a fave of my hubby-to-be. So I occasionally let him choose and mostly green and fruity wins his heart. We had this tea Sun Jan 20 to watch a movie at home. I love snacking on the little treats in this tea perhaps a bit too much. Oh, well, this tea is just a classic with me and him. Such happiness comes when this tea is brewed. From the smell to the taste, this tea is just amazing.
When I opened this the other day as day 13, I was totally happy. I really love this tea and already own a tin of it. I was so giddy. So this afternoon, I decided to make this tea. I made a pot of it and my dad just started drinking it before I got to it, it’s his fave too. I just love this tea. I have been having an off weekend, so drinking this tea this afternoon comforted me.
So I have this tea too, I tried it first this summer. Day 14 on the calendar, I decided to brew it iced for a busy day at work. I brewed it hot in the morning and slipped it in the fridge when I got to work. I pulled it out in the afternoon and had a refreshing iced tea. I really like this one. It is also a pink tea… so much beautiful colour.
This morning, I had day 12 of the advent calendar:) For days I have been smelling the delicious aroma of banana bread from this little tin. I decided that today I would make a pot of this tea. I was surprised to see this one come out pink, much like the sleigh ride. The taste was both nutty and flowery. I like it hot better than cold.