717 Tasting Notes

drank Electric Lemonade by DAVIDsTEA
717 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday.

I’m not normally a maté person, but I was picking up a bunch of iced tea pitcher packs from David’s yesterday, and I have to admit that I was very tempted by the lemon punch of this.

Got this iced to-go with some agave nectar, and it was pretty nice! The maté really works well with the lemon and the sweetness blended with the agave nectar. I may get some more of this to play with over the summer.

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You know, I’ve been drinking this one a lot lately, and it’s grown on me. The dry leaf smells very rich, smoky, and caramelly. And today, when I steeped it, I got a sweet smoky note very reminiscent of my beloved Golden Yunnan.

I tend to do 1 tablespoon for 2 cups. This morning I steeped it for about 3 minutes (didn’t really keep count) and the liquor was a beautiful dark brown like coffee. A nice tea for a Saturday morning!

PS: I think I’ve gone a little tea crazy this week! Ubacat and I have agreed to split up some monthly tea boxes (she’s ordering from YS, I’m ordering from White2Tea, and we’ll each share half), then I bought some paper pouches on eBay, and just this morning I bought a pu’erh pick! It’s taking all of my willpower not to buy White2Tea’s $40 4-cake sampler kit.


Love this one. And I’ve been a little nuts lately with tea and tea ware, too. :)


This was the pu’erh knife I bought. I thought it would be a better choice for a beginner like me than a pick: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/201378363537


I don’t know anything about pu stuff, but that’s a very aesthetically pleasing knife. :)


….um, and I just bought samples of 2 more teas from a local tea company. (I should stop now.)


I just ordered from Golden Tips and yesterday from Mountain Tea Co. & Yunnan Sourcing. I’ve been drooling over gongfu sets this afternoon. I need to stop, too. :)


Oh man, don’t get me started there! I know that if I start shelling out for tiny pots and stuff on eBay, I’ll never stop.


I’ve been drooling over some cups on Aliexpress for a long time too. Hmmm , maybe I’ll go checkout the discussion on teaware lust….

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drank Tiger Monk by Temple Road
717 tasting notes

Backlog from last night.

It’s been a year since I’ve have this and I think that in the intervening period my palate has really developed. I notice a lot more about this tea than I did before. There’s a lot going on here!

There are the roasty topnotes that I remember from before, but the aftertaste is more noticeable and lingering – it reminds me of barley, corn, grass. Very green, in fact.
There’s a richness and sharpness that reminds me of something fresh and wet, like a humid forest – it makes me think of the Phoenix Dancong I had from the GCTTB a few weeks ago.

Lovely orange liquor, huge unfurled leaves. I really think I’ll enjoy the remainder of the leaf from this. I may even buy a box from Temple Road (but I have way too much tea already :-0 )

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I steeped this western style, 2 steeps each. About 2-3g for a 12oz mug. The first was last night, boiling water, for about 6 minutes. The second was this morning (I let the leaves sit overnight), boiling water, for about 5 minutes.

No rinse for either steep.

Last night’s steep had a smoky, bitter, tobacco note to it that I wonder was caused by the lack of a rinse. A bit of sourness underneath. Lovely orange liquor.

This morning’s steep was softer in flavour, but a bit more sour – I wonder if that’s because I let the leaves sit at room temperature overnight. (How do you store used leaves overnight? Should they stay in the fridge?) Still a nice orange colour.


If it’s warm out I put my leaves in the fridge, but if it’s cool then I leave them on the counter. Really, it depends on how you feel. :) If it’s puerh, I usually do another flash rinse before steeping it on day 2.


I’ll try to remember that for next time: store in the fridge, then flash rinse to get the leaves back up to regular temperature. Thanks!


I spread leaves on a plate. No mold so far. I keep doing it all the time. Fridge makes it weird taste

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drank Citron Green by Adagio Teas
717 tasting notes

Coldbrewed this overnight and had a glass this evening.

My little baggie of this had a lot of broken leaf, which is only to be expected since it’s been inside a TTB for a while. That led to the coldbrew tasting strongly of sencha and not quite so strongly of lemon. I added some lemongrass to the brew as well, but I don’t think it made things much more lemony.

I added some agave nectar to the remainder in the pitcher. We’ll see how that changes things.

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drank Juicy Peach by Cornelia Bean
717 tasting notes



I had enough for about 2 cups of this so I coldbrewed it overnight. Bright pink liquor, peachy smell, but the flavour was very tart. There was also a weird undertone I couldn’t describe – I guess it was a result of sitting in the box for so long and absorbing other flavours.

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drank Wild Cherry by The House of Tea
717 tasting notes



I took the whole sample from the trading box and cold-brewed it in my iced tea pitcher overnight. It brewed up a lovely magenta colour, and even turned faintly pink as soon as I started pouring water over it in the first place.

I saw very little evidence of black tea or cherries, however. Most of the dry leaf was apple pieces and what looked like rosehip or cranberry. The resulting brew was quite tart, even with sugar added, and had a sort of vanilla/powder texture to it that I don’t like in my iced teas. It was pleasant enough, but my husband enjoyed it far more than I did (he had pretty much 3/4 o the pitcher before I even touched it!)

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drank Toasted Caramel by Fusion Teas
717 tasting notes

You know, considering there are big huge chunks of caramel in this tea, it doesn’t taste like much besides regular rooibos. There’s a bit of toastiness, and the caramel doesn’t melt all the way through so you can get a second steep, but I wasn’t getting a lot of flavour from this. I think it might be better if I added some sweetener next time.

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drank TÊTÊ White Tea by TÊTÊ
717 tasting notes


Many thanks to Oolong Owl for sending me a sample of this tea. The leaf was very light and fluffy, and I ended up making a whole gallon of cold brew out of this – 2 steeps of 2L each.

The first steep was lemony, the second steep more astringent. BUT – you can read more in the first official tea review of my new blog! More info at http://booksandtea.ca/2015/06/26/tea-review-himalayan-full-leaf-white-tea-by-tete/


That is a lot of tea from just 7 grams!


The second steep wasn’t nearly as flavourful as the first. But considering the price of the tea online (~$15 for 40g) I wanted to get as much as I could out of it!

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I had just a smidgen of this left – enough to make a single cup. It smells really nice and spicy today, like gingery banana bread.

I think this was my favourite blend out of all the ones I’ve tried from JO. The orange peel adds a subtle touch at the back of the mouth.

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Updated February 2014:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen for loose-leaf tea hard. Within a year of joining Steepster, I’ve spent at least $500 on tea, and gotten a whole bunch in swaps! At this point I’ve got a better handle on what I like and dislike, but I’m sure that there will always be more to discover.

Likes: Green tea, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender.

Things I’m on the fence about: Oolong, vanilla (I prefer it mixed with black teas or rooibos rather than green tea), white teas.

Still need to do my research on: pu’er teas.

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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