650 Tasting Notes

86

So, I decided to make this tonight. This comes from TEA AVE as a sample gift set that had three samples of oolong, and an aroma cup set, plus a few extra goodies. It was all a very generous sample and gift set…so thank you so much Heidi! I attempted to use my aroma cup set for this, but as I don’t have an actual tea pot, pouring the tea into the aroma cup proved challenging, as it is tall but very narrow. I think the set is lovely….the white cups and the oak tray are stunning, but maybe a bit too fancy for me? I have a tea pot in mind though, so I’ll try this all again when I get that.

Onto the tea now. So I chose this one tonight, and the leaves are very dark green, and very tightly rolled. I used my bamboo spoon, which I assume is 1-1.5 tsp. I used oiling water like they said, and did a 2 minute steep (recommended 1-3), and then I improvised getting the tea into the aroma cup and then into the drinking cup. I did definitely get a nice smell from the cup, but I am a little stuffed up today…so I’m not confident I got the whole experience.

In the cup, the liquor was very pale yellow, and the contrast with this and the white cup almost made it look milky. The leaves after steeping grew an inane amount, and even more the second steep, and were an amazing dark green, almost resembling steamed spinach.

As for the taste, it is quite light, with a slight sweet (butter) creaminess, and saliva inducing quality, but also a little brothy too. I took this one plain, without sugar, and for some reason, these kind of oolongs I can do that with, and it’s fine. But…I have to be in the mood for a more savoury and broth tea. I did get a little oil at the top of the brew, which does not bother me.

Although I’m not that great at pointing out a lot of subtle aspects in tea flavours, but I do try, I would say that this is a great tea for a novice as well as an expert.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
CrowKettle

This oolong sounds so good. I think I got to try it as a base for the ginger lily oolong, but I’m looking forward to picking up this fragrance-free one when Tea Ave’s site goes up. :)

Amariel

It was. I have another serving of it left. I want to try the oriental beauty and osmanthus to see how it compares to the osmanthus I got in LA.

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86

So after a few days of nothing but chai and double ginger, to soothe my tummy, I decided to break this out and try it since I was feeling a bit better. I seem to remember the store noting a pineapple note, and I could smell it in the container there, but not here, nor could I taste it. However, I did get a slight juicy note in addition to the creamy aspects, so maybe that was it.

As the other reviews have said, this is a very drinkable milk oolong, and for whatever reason, milk oolongs are one of the few I can drink straight, without any sweetener in it at all. So I had two steeps of this while I went about my day and got things accomplished before my tummy started acting up and I switched back to double ginger.

I’d say it is a comparable replacement for my Teaopia milk oolong.

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87

YAY! I’m the first to review my tea creation! What started out as mixing grapefruit and maple, turned into Grapefruit Creme Brûlée. I remember having grapefruit halves with brown sugar on them and broiled a little, with a cherry in the middle, every time we would go to visit my grandma in South Florida. I never really liked grapefruit then, but I had always liked it when she made it. Grandmas are magical, yo! :P I have since grown to like them more, but I have to be in the right mood for them sometimes, and this way of making them is, and has always been, my favourite. I liked the Grapefruit Dragon green tea that Stacy made, so I thought this would be done well too, and it was. Was there any doubt?

So on to the tea. This is my first CTC, at least in loose form. It’s possible that I have had it in a bagged tea, unknowingly, and if so, I did not know anything about CTC then anyway. What I am picking up is a deep rich black tea flavour, with some lightly smokey and bitterness…the description for the base (Crimson Horizon) mentions burnt chocolate, and I can get behind that. My mouth feels really juicy, and almost acidic on my tongue! It also mentions bergamot, and I can kind of detect a tiny floral note like that, but I’m not sure I’d’ve picked out that one on my own. It mingles with the grapefruit quite nicely.

I usually find the blends I get from Stacy to have smooth and subtle bases, but this one, WOW, it is pretty bold. Between the CTC Crimson Horizon base, and the tangy grapefruit, it is a surefire wake up sunny breakfast tea. All this flavour in just a single minute steep! I think that in the future, I will stick to 1 level tsp, even if I am making a mug’s worth, just to tone down some of the bitterness. I don’t mind some, because hey, grapefruit IS bitter, but I’d like to see if I can get a better balance of flavors with a little less leaf. I decided to add some organic cane sugar, and later I added a tiny bit of milk…no curdling. I like the milk addition…it does something that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Well done, me, and Stacy of course. This tea is lovely and can’t wait to cold steep or ice it and maybe make it with sweetened condensed milk over the summer.

Flavors: Bergamot, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Grapefruit

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

Oh, does this sound amazing! I have some coming from Stacy, so now I’m jumping out of my seat with excitement. :))) yay! Great flavour idea, Amariel!

Bear With Me

Ohemgee DROOL!!!

Amariel

I hope you like yours, DeliriumFrogs! And Bear With Me…you know I’m saving you some, right? Along with your mystery present? :D

Bear With Me

Ooh! You ROCK!

Amariel

I’m not sure when I can get it to you…I am off tomorrow, then work Sun-Wed and we leave for LA on Thursday, about noon. Shoot me a message or text of your availability.

OMGsrsly

Ooo, that does sound good! This base tea is one of my favourites. :)

Amariel

It’s a first for me and the base. I agree with ifjuly that it reminds me of Grape Nuts. Do they still make that? Good cereal…weird name, and it was/is neither grape, nor nuts. :P

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Backlog…going from memory…nice black base with a little plummy mineral notes, and a slight sweet nutty finish. I kind of rushed this one this morning, because I had a migraine, but it was super easy to drink. My resteep later after work was accidentally 10 minutes, as I got distracted reading a story my friend’s son wrote. Whoopsie.

Taken with some organic cane sugar, no milk, but I may be tempted to try it with milk to see if it ams up the cashew cake portion.

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90

YAY! My tea arrived today! Boo that it is my last. So sad. Anyway, as I try to minimize how much caffeine I have after work. I often try to have no caffeine, but if I do have any, I try to have a low caffeine tea instead. Soooo…as this is a green base, and the rest I got are oolong and black, this was a natural choice. Plus this tea was based on my flavour combination suggestion, so yippee! And I’m the first to review it.

So, I kinda went to default 3 minute steep, and realized after that it should have been a 2 minute steep. Whoops! I still got a very flavourful orange tea, with a hint of sweetness, and a little something at the end, which I can imagine is the pistachio. I admit that the orange is quite dominating in this blend, at least at the 3 minute steep, so I could not pick up the base as well. Either that, or it just blends in to everything. On my second steep, there is a little more base coming through.

I did add just a touch of organic cane sugar, to amp up the sweetness of this tea, which I think it does well. Part of me thinks the tea should be thicker, but that is my brain thinking of actual marmalade, rather than a beverage that resembles it.

Overall, it is quite nice, and nicer than the Orange Oolong from Bulk Barn I have had, plus one of the similar ones from Della Terra…those seem quite artificial by contrast. I think that this is one that I may save some for cold steeping, or icing over the summer. Part of me wants to ice latte this with sweetened condensed milk.

I’m checking the yes recommendation box, because even though Butiki is closed, sadly, I hope that others will still try this with swaps and trades, if available.

Flavors: Orange

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

Sounds so yummy! Great flavour idea! :)

OMGsrsly

I tried to get some of this, but it was all gone by the time I got my browser working. Glad to know it’s tasty. :)

Amariel

I got a half ounce, so I’m sure I could set some aside if you wanted. I can send it to you with the caramel hojicha.

OMGsrsly

Haha. It’s fine. I have an order coming through Sil, so even though I might not have this one, I know I have others. I think I have others.

Indigobloom

I so badly wanted some of this one, but I just couldn’t swing the budget :/

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87

I’ve actually had this tea several times, but I don’t always note them…anyway, just an update to say that I do still like this one, and I keep it on hand regularly. I tend to drink it more on my period and in the first half of the cycle. It’s a nice caffeine free tea, that is tasty, and also helping out my body. So win win win in my book. It is not my favourite tea, but I do like it a lot. I’m always amazed when spooning this out into my steeper basket how fluffy this tea is. I like this better than straight red raspberry leaf tea. The apple, lemon balm, etc really add to the tea, in my opinion. It is not the most expensive tea, but this is what I used my recent Frequent Steeper discount on, because I know I’ll drink the 50g easily.

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Continuing with my pumpkin day, I had this as a latte, and it was pretty good. I still like Plum the best, but I am content with this one as long as it is milky. :)

DeliriumsFrogs

Janet’s rooibos always sounds SOOO good!! :)

Amariel

I can send you some if you’d like, though I only have a few on hand right now. I could probably go up and get samples for you though.

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84
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
650 tasting notes

I think that this bag will be my last of this tea for a while. I don’t know if I have grown tired of it, or they have rebounded it, but I no longer love it the way I used to…it tastes much more artificial than I recall. Same goes for Chocolate Chili Chai and Chocolate Orange. Sad.

DeliriumsFrogs

I ordered this in the fall and drank all of it up pretty fast… it was exactly what I was looking for, but then again, I was kind of looking for that dessert type tea that crosses the line into artificial. I’m completely with you, though, it’s not something I’d usually want because it does have that artificial thing going on. :(

Amariel

It didn’t used to have this much or this kind of artificial…yes, it was artificial before, but different. I can’t explain. And I do like the desserty teas, so I did like this one a lot at one point.

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81

Having this one for the first time in a long time, and having it as a latte. It’s really good like this. I’m on the couch with a cold compress rotating back and forth from my right ankle to right knee, with my laptop, and listening to my friend’s radio show playing from Orlando, FL, and this just goes. I feel like I am comfy and cozy and relaxed and I have this sweet, nutty, rich beverage next to me.

For some reason, I always seem to forget I have this one, and yet, I always try to buy some when I’m in LA every February, since there is a Bird Pick near my friend’s house. And I’ll be there again in 3 weeks, so if I am by Bird Pick, I will be getting more, because it is a nice low caffeine option for the evening, and for a green tea, it had a nice hefty warmth.

Is this my favourite tea?No, but I also like to have some on hand if I can.

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drank Yogi Berry by DAVIDsTEA
650 tasting notes

I got 10g or so of this, because I was really nervous, given the reviews, but the smell in the store with the sample smelled intriguing.

I don’t know what to make of it. I’ll finish this cup, but I may set the rest aside and pass on at some point. But there is probably only one steep left and I might just save is and ice it.

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Bio

I generally like a lot of tea. I do find I have a preference for flavored over unflavoured, but I do love a good straight tea as well.

Likes are too hard, since there are a lot. Dislikes are easier, so here they are…

Hibiscus. Blech. I can tolerate a little, depending on the brew, like Berry Good from Davids and Ruby Pie from Butiki…but in general, it’s too tart and too strong for me.

Licorice. Anything that remotely resembles licorice is out too, so that includes fennel and anise. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Florals. I’m cool with petals in the tea to make them look pretty (except rose), and I’m cool with teas like oolongs having a floral note, but strong florals can give me migraines. Rose and jasmine are the biggest offenders. This is one where it can vary on the blend, as I can handle Teavivre’s Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea because there is very little jasmine actually detectable in it.

Rooibos is hit or miss. I can do some, but not others. I handle green better than red, and honeybush better than rooibos.

My ratings don’t have a particular scale or method, and may on occasion contradict themselves, but I’m honestly not fussed about that. Sometimes I don’t even rate at all.

Um, I have an extensive wishlist. It is both a list of things I want to get again, and things I want to try. If you are sending me something, and you want to know which is which, I’ll tell you via PM.

Yes, I do trades…usually on request though. See something you want to try in my cupboard? Just shoot me a message and I’ll see what I can do!

Uh, guess that’s it.

Location

Victoria, BC

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