603 Tasting Notes

49
drank Pink Passionfruit by DAVIDsTEA
603 tasting notes

It’s a no go hot. Too tart. I had hopes the hibby wouldn’t be too strong on this, but for me it is. I even used a bit more sugar than normal, but it is still too tart. I can taste the passionfruit in the distant background, saying “I’m here!” but getting hushed by the hibiscus. Maybe I’ll handle it better iced, when it’s hot out. I really want to like it, but this is the first tea I’ve not been able to finish n a long time. I probably could have finished it, as I dumped it at about 1/3 full, but I wanted something else, something I like, so I swapped it for Forever Nuts, instead, keeping with the pink theme.

Kittenna

Oooh. Bad news. I’ll be sure to get the minimum of this one…

Amariel

I had only wanted 10g, but somehow ended up with 20g, which disappoints me. if I had only gotten 10g, I might have kept it all. But I have since given to a friend.

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84

Ok, so this is one of two black teas I got from Angel at Teavivre in this round of teas. I have liked most of the blacks I have received from her, so I picked either Golden Monkey or Super Fine Tan Yang Gong Fu to replace the Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea. I was worried about the fragrant part of the tea. So Angel ended up sending me both of the alternate teas, instead of picking one, so that was too kind of her.

I realized I have not properly reviewed the first black tea, the Tan Yang, aside from saying it is yummy, though I have had a few cups of it. And it is indeed yummy. The leaves on the Golden Monkey are much darker than those of the Tan Yang. The brew of the Golden Monkey turned dark red within a few minutes of the steep.

I did add milk and sugar, as always, to this tea, though I did try a sip without first. Anyhow, the first thing I noticed was the juicy mouthfeel—that saliva inducing feeling. I can’t recall if I noticed that with the Tan Yang. This brew also seems to have more body to it than the Tan Yang also, but that is neither good nor bad.

I get the same malty, bready, yammy taste with this as I do the Tan Yang. I am reminded of the carrot muffins I had recently. I don’t really notice much smokey tones at all in this tea, nor can I detect any cocoa, but I don’t really pride myself on having a refined palate when it comes to picking out the more subtle tones. Also, since I westernize the tea by my additions, I probably loose some of the more subtle tastes that are more present in a straight tea like this by itself.

I can say that, like the Super Fine Tan Yang Gong Fu black tea, this one is equally delicious. I am brewing my second steep right now. I will enjoy the rest of this sample. Many thanks go to Angel at Teavivre again, for including this one in my latest round of samples for review. Teavivre has some excellent straight black teas in their line-up.

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68
drank Peach Tranquility by Teavana
603 tasting notes

Got this as a TTG after work, as I was on my way to a girl’s night “spa night” so I thought I would give this one a go. It was pretty good. Smelled pretty peachy, but it was pretty mild. While there was no hibiscus, there was rose hips which are still tart, but not as much. So I like this tea, for an herbal. It was fine hot and once it cooled, so it is a versatile one. I might get some for summer, but I dunno. I like it but i don’t love it. It would be a nice one for evenings at home though. So maybe…

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drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
603 tasting notes

Don’t like it hot very much. It is not bad but there’s something weird about it, but it has cooled now, and it is MUCH better. Interesting that the tea seems to be a mix of Vanilla Orchid and Coconut Oolong, only with a white base. Also, the coconut seems different in this blend than other teas like Checkmate, but it is like the coconut in Coconut Oolong. I don’t know if this is an ongoing trend or not.

Bear With Me

It seems like the white based blends have raw coconut and the heavier belnds use toasted coconut. I prefer untoasted coconut myself, but the coconut oolong is nice for the days I want something toasty but sweet. I’m looking forward to trying this one though!

Amariel

Maybe. I don’t know if I like one better than the other.

Connor Rosine

I think the Oolong works best hot, and this works best iced.

Amariel

Yep. I would agree.

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80
drank Mint Julep by DAVIDsTEA
603 tasting notes

This in an interesting blend for sure. It sort of tastes like a heartier version of Cocomint Cream. This is definitely something that works better cold, or iced, rather than hot, but it is ok lukewarm too.

It is juicy, minty, light, and refreshing. I think that I will enjoy the rest of my small sample, and I might restock this.

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57

Giving this sample a go today, as I am out of milk right now. Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for sending me this one to try…she knows I like oolongs.

My first attempt, I think I let the water cool too much, and possibly under-leafed this as well. I got a much lighter and thinner liquor than I was expecting. I’m tasting something though, but I am unable to put my finger on it. It seems possibly fruity or buttery or brothy but maybe a little of it all?

Although I have a second steep coming, with hotter water and more leaf, so I can compare then if it was my steeping parameters or not. Water had cooled a few minutes (maybe 5?) and I did a 3 minute steep. this current steep I am using just boiled water and a 2 minute steep. We will see.

I am very intrigued by this tea though. The leaves are long, thin, and spindly…and the colour is a dark green with a slight purple tinge to them, I think. Someone said seaweed, and I think that is a good descriptor.

http://campl.us/gyF5P8XSsKq

What do you think?

EDIT FOR RE-STEEP:

So I used more leaf, hotter water, and less steeping time and I got a stronger brew. I’m not sure if that was for the better or not. I feel like I have gone in the opposite direction now and it is too strong a steep. I feel like I need something in between. I’m not getting sweet potato, but I am getting a saliva inducing feeling in my mouth. I am still tasting something fruity, but I am not sure. It doesn’t seem peachy to me, but someone mentioned grape, and I think maybe I am getting a raisin note, or plum or tart cherry, because I am getting a little bit of astringency with the juicy mouthfeel. There is a little smokiness too, I think, along with a mild floral note.

I think that I need to play around with the steeping parameters on this one still, to get the optimal balance of flavours I am looking for.

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91

Yum! Full details later.

EDIT: So it is quite some time later. I feel like rather than backlog and try to get in the mindset I was in this morning when I had this tea, I better just have another cuppa in the morning and write my tasting then, so it is more accurately described. But I can say I really enjoyed this one today.

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I’m gonna pull a shmiracles with this post, but first let me thank Angel at Teavivre for letting me try this tea.

First of all, as it has been said in other reviews, this tea comes in a vacuum sealed bag inside another vacuum sealed bag. Upon opening the inner bag, the tea immediately makes way into your senses. The smell is fresh, clean, buttery and floral, and the colour is an amazing vibrant green. Like all TGY teas, the leaves of this one are tightly rolled and they open up once they hit the hot water.

Is this not gorgeous?? Assuming it is visible outside the realms of Facebook.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/946045_10151409451372374_318358809_n.jpg

Drinking this tea, I thought of a song called “Shimmering, Warm, and Bright” by Bel Canto (a Norwegian band).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugnDTJXpSw0

I’m drinking this infusion plain, no sugar or anything. I do tend to drink my lighter oolongs plain, or with a very small amount of sweetener. I can pick up a smooth buttery feeling, slightly drying, and a light and somewhat sweet floral note. There is also a slight savoury taste, like roasted nuts or something. Whatever it is, it is all very good! I hope to get more steeps. Next time I think I may start with a shorter steep time, and build up as I re-steep.

Thanks again for letting me try this tea!

Shmiracles

bwhahaha “pull a shmiracles”?!?! oddly flattering yet playfully mocking all at once! megaloveit!
BUT seriously!! when i am doing something fun or meaningful or exciting my basic first thought is, i will mention this on steepster. i have to. i just have to.
i can’t be the only one who thinks this. i try to explain to people who don’t love tea how nice it is to have a ramshackle community that will observe my nonsense and occasionally join in the fun. people with a mix of similar and opposing interests that are all kind and thoughtful and curious.

and bel canto.
i can’t tell you how many mixed tapes i put “Paradise” on!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAbSiVF0sbM
also “I’ll Strangle You”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jgyx0tehx4
tons and tons of gothed out 90’s mixed tapes. over and over.

Shmiracles

(but bummer, i can’t see the picture link)

Amariel

I’ll see if I can work around the picture and post it another way. And it was flattering because I posted a picture link and video/music link. It was homage.

Amariel

Magic Box was my least favourite cd from them. There are good songs on there, but their first three releases are my favourites. Shimmering, Warm, and Bright is super sentimental for me.

Amariel

Try this link for pictures.

http://campl.us/dwKDQpiqVHM

Shmiracles

wowz amazingly green!

Amariel

I know, right?! Truly gorgeous oolong!

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95
drank Cantaloupe & Cream by Butiki Teas
603 tasting notes

OMG NOM NOM NOM!!!

I only have one serving left of this tea, after today’s steeping, but….I have a whole ounce on order with our group order! w00t w00t!! Because the order is nearly in, I decided to have this one again, and oh, I am soooo happy! I even took a picture of the loos dry leaves on my bamboo spoon and posted to Facebook, because, guys, it seriously is one gorgeous tea.

I am having dinner on my own tonight, so that’s really an excuse to eat what I want, and since DH doesn’t like a lot of stuff I do (especially if it is healthy) so he’d never eat what I got. His loss really, as it is very good (yes, I’m still eating it). Anyway, I have some of this tea left over from when I made it before going to the store, so it has cooled off a bit, but it is perfect to go with my meal.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/942904_10151403702307374_933811281_n.jpg

Three specialty salads from the deli (roasted yam with spinach, feta, and almonds and a dijon dressing; legume salad with lemon basil dressing; and santa fe couscous salad), seared fresh wild salmon, blackberries and a tangerine, plus a small cup of butternut squash soup. It makes me wish for more dinners on my own! It is yummy and healthy!

So yeah, the freshness of the cantaloupe and the lightness of the white base, really balance out this meal.

OMGsrsly

And your tea is ordered!

Amariel

OMG SQUEEE!!!!!

Amariel

I’m doing a second steep, even though it is nearing midnight here…I don’t work til noon tomorrow anyway…but I did the (almost) unthinkable and added splash of milk to this steep…so we shall see. Not all whites are really milk friendly, but with the word “cream” in the title, I figured I ought to try. Bottoms up!

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68

Decided to have this one today, since our weather has been very pleasant for the last week, and strawberry and lemon sounded nice. It was a toss up between this one and Long Island Strawberry from Steam, but in the end, I didn’t want to fuss with the temperament of a green today, and I also wanted a bit of a caffeine jolt to help my head feel better since I am still sick (but on the mend).

This one comes from OMGsrsly from our tea swap and meetup a few months ago now. I have been saving it for nice weather, so today was the day. It was slightly floral and fruity, and I definitely got a strong black base. I initially started it without milk, but with a spoon of sugar, but later added milk.

I can’t say it is my favourite since I picked up more of the black than the fruit, but it could be my weakened senses from being sick. I’m keen to try this blend again, when I am not sick, and maybe from another vendor too.

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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, 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.

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.

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.

Uh, guess that’s it.

Location

Victoria, BC

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