692 Tasting Notes

83

I had this tea last night, as the first of my new Janet’s samples to break in, partly because this was the first one she mentioned was new. Now, most people who now me know that I am not fond of rooibos, however, Bear With Me was kind enough to share some of his favourites, and he said they were better than DAVIDs’ rooibos. True enough, I liked the few he let me try, so I was game to try more. I love pear, so this one intrigued me.

By all rights, I should not like this tea. Not only is the dry leaf very rooisbos-y, but it is a stronger rooibos taste….but then, the crisp clean pear comes to the front and saves the day. This tea is a bit of a conundrum…I shouldn’t like it, but I do. I’ll have to have more to see whether I need more of this in my collection, like plum and rainbow rooibos.

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83

I picked up a sample of this at the suggestion to try it from Bear With Me when we visited Janet yesterday. I have to be honest and say I am not the biggest raspberry fan, but the honey in this, at least the dry state, was WOW, and I thought it would probably mellow the parts of the raspberry I don’t like so much. And I was right. The honey is the dominant flavour of the tea, with the juicy raspberry underneath. Now, as I was on my way to work, I did add milk to this as I was unsure of the astringency of the base, however, I would like to try this without milk. I think the milk may have masked too much of the flavour. I also suspect that this would make an excellent cold brew, especially refreshing when the weather is warmer.

I’m grateful for the suggestion and am glad to have tried it.

OMGsrsly

Oh my gosh that sounds amazing.

Plunkybug

I can save you a few spoons from my sample and send with the Bird Pick stuff. I need to see if I have your address in my FB message history so I can get it out to you.

OMGsrsly

Whoops. I killed that with my heart. Haha.

That would be lovely! I also need to start thinking about another trip to Victoria. Maybe when my school teacher friend has some more time to hang out as well.

Plunkybug

Yes…I was talking with Bear With Me about setting up something maybe for April?

Plunkybug

I have Saturdays off now…so it makes it easier to meet up on a weekend now.

OMGsrsly

April might work! OMG, I could get ALL THE THINGS in April. Tea club sharing, Sil visit, Victoria trip, birthday. :D :D :D

Plunkybug

Would you like for me to hold the stuff I have for you til then? I can easily mail off before then though. Whatever works for you.

OMGsrsly

Since I’m not sure about April (I will try, but with work and my neck there’s no guarantee) it might be better if you mailed stuff.

Plunkybug

Sounds good. I have a few other packages to try to get out this week, so I’ll try to get it to you soon.

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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. :)

Plunkybug

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.

Teaave

Hey Amariel, thanks for trying our oolong samples. If you don’t mind, we would like to invite you back to our site and rate the oolongs you’ve tried when you have a minute, it will help us a lot :) Cheers.

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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!!!

Plunkybug

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!

Plunkybug

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. :)

Plunkybug

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. :)

Plunkybug

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!! :)

Plunkybug

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
692 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. :(

Plunkybug

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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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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