590 Tasting Notes

87
drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
590 tasting notes

This was a fairly enjoyable cuppa tonight.

Today brought sun, rain, hail, snow, and lots of wind. All at random times in like 5-10 minutes spurts. It was pretty blustery when I went to leave my building to meet up with shizukanix for her first time to DAVIDs. I’d tried several times to leave, and finally just toughed it enough to the bus stop without my brolly buckling over from the wind. I’m grateful I pushed on, as it wasn’t so bad downtown (which is only a 5 minute or less bus ride from my neighborhood), and I had really wanted to exchange my Sweet Ginger Heat and Jungle Juju. I’d been smelling Fantasy Island the last few times I’d been in, but I was fairly certain that today was the day to get some. I needed an escape from the blustery cold wind and rain.

It smells really lovely…almost like a mix of Love Tea #7 and Mulberry Magic (or possibly Checkmate). And as I like all of the aforementioned teas, I figured I’d like this one too. I think that to me, I get a little more of the raspberry sweetness in the dry leave, but it fades to the back in the brew, and the coconut dominates. I don’t think this is all that bad, though I do wish there was just a wee bit more of the fruit taste in the mix.

I found the tea to be mild…but in a calm sort of way. I found it kind of like Checkmate in that respect, which is why I listed it with the others, but in parenthesis. It was definitely nice on this horrible March eve.

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90

What a lovely cuppa.

When I first brewed this, I thought it smelled nice…sort of warm and earthy, and I tried hard to see what flavours I could pick up. I chose this tea from the Teavivre site for a future tasting based on the picture, and a description somewhere of a honey aroma. I tried to pick up the honey note, but really, I suck at that. Unfortunately, I’m the first to review this tea, and I am not great at picking out the flavours in teas.

It brewed a nice medium golden red shade, and almost seemed like a very mild black tea, like maybe a yunnan or possibly a darjeeling? I guess that’s part of this oolong being more oxidized than some…this tea is definitely on the darker spectrum than the lighter spectrum.

I only had time for 2 steeps of this today: my first was this morning (with my cheese tea biscuits), initially unadulterated, but I added sugar partway in. When I did this, it brought out what honey notes I could perceive (or think I perceived) more…but it could just be that is was sweeter overall. The second time was later this afternoon, after my physio appointment and stroll through downtown while the sun was out and it was kinda warm. Warmish, though I was still bundled in my wool coat and scarf, and had my boots on. I popped into a few tea shops I hadn’t been to in quite a long while (Special Teas and Murchies…our Special Teas here in Victoria, BC is not the same as the one in the states that went under and has been bought by Teavana). Anyhow, back at home I made my second steeping, didn’t use as much sugar, but added a splash of milk. It was nice and comforting.

I think, on my next steeping, I’m going to try honey instead of sugar, and hold the milk.

It was a very enjoyable cuppa, as I said initially. I’m very grateful for teavivre sending this one to me. I know I will enjoy the remaining samples on this one. I look forward to more steepings and tastings.

TeaVivre

Hi Heather, I am glad that you like this kind of oolong tea. You are right, it is more oxidized than some other oolong teas. This Taiwai Oriental Beauty (Bai Hao) Oolong Tea is aroung 75-80% oxidization. Others are less than 50%

Amariel

Hi, yes, I think that I prefer the more oxidized oolongs, but I do like all oolongs. Looking forward to trying the Big Red Robe soon.

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85

So I’ll preface this by saying a few things…

1) I was at work when I first tried this and,

2) I’m not terribly good at describing the subtle tastes of things like wine or coffee or tea and,

3) I’ve been more a Japanese green tea drinker in the last few years than a Chinese one.

With that said, I did delve into this green tea, one of three that Angel from Teavivre sent. I picked this one because of the reference to chestnut flavours…though I’m fairly uncertain what chestnut actually tastes like.

The dry leaf is dark green in colour, and sort of thin spindly leaves. The smell is clean and earthy and a little roasty toasty. Brewed, they expand and turn into a mossy green colour. The liquor was pretty pale and yellow, and still smelled much like the dry leaf. The taste was crisp and clean, and reminded me a bit of a green oolong. There was a little roasty toasty flavours though. There was a barely noticeable astringency, but I wouldn’t say bitter by any means. I think that the main flavours I picked up were vegetal, and reading about asparagus as a flavours, as odd as it is, I think I can make that out, but I’d never know it unless I read others saying that.

My preparation was electric kettle boiled water, left to rest about 3-5 minutes before adding thee strainer with he tea leaves, of which I used about two bamboo spoons wort. The tea is so lightweight and thin that it was a little difficult to get a good measure. Steeped about 2 minutes in between running back and forth from customers.

Overall, I like it and will be interested to see how it compares to the other greens and oolongs I got from Teavivre. I’ll be interested to see if I can discern any subtleties in them.

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68
drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
590 tasting notes

I have to agree with the others that while the roselle is a bit tart, it isn’t the punch in your face from hibiscus tart. I did add some sugar to this, and I’m sure that helped mellow it out some. I got interested in this one when I saw aislingoftea write about it, and I knew that I wanted to try this in my next batch of samples from teavivre. So thanks to Angel for sending this one to me.

The smell in the bag is simply intoxicating. My palate isn’t as refined as some to be able to pick out the individual fruits, and as the roselle offers that bit of tartness, it masks the other flavours a little bit for me. But I can say that the fruits all blend seamlessly into a nice fruity concoction. I can only imagine how awesome this will be as iced tea come summer. I wonder how it would be cold brewed. This tea makes me want one of those clear tea tumblers so I can show off my cheeky fruits!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this one. I had a feeling when I first requested this that the roselle might be a bit hibiscus-like, so I was a little nervous, but the other fruits just sounded so yummy, how could I not try this? :P

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23
drank Sweet Ginger Heat by DAVIDsTEA
590 tasting notes

Licorice punch, right in the face.

Le sigh.

One sip, the rest down the drain…I hate doing that.

I just don’t think I can do any of the ayurvedic teas due to licorice-y things.

Uniquity

Agreed (re: not doing ayurvedic teas, that is!)

TeaBrat

this also sounds gross due to the stevia, I don’t like that stuff…

ScottTeaMan

I thought stevia is supposed to be natural?!

Amariel

Stevia is supposed to be natural, but, yuck, I don’t like it. I think it gives me headaches.

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60
drank Jungle Ju Ju by DAVIDsTEA
590 tasting notes

I don’t know how to rate this one. Taste was kinda bland to me, but I used a stick of agave vs regular sugar, so that could have been the culprit. It didn’t taste super fruity, but it did taste rather herbal. Again, this could be related to the method and amount of sweetener used.

I didn’t notice a perceived burst of energy, like a POP! or a BAM! or a WOW! but, I was soooo super tired this morning, and I was able to stay rather focused and it was busy at work. It was a very busy day, and I didn’t crash. But I did still feel tired. So, I don’t know if it got me through, or if it was just pure momentum from adrenalin pushing me through. Curious to try it more with regular sugar. I’ll have to look into the herb more too.

I may come back and raise the rating, but as of this afternoon, I had thoughts of possibly returning it for something else.

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49

Well. Hmmm. Where to begin….

I went to my second community acupuncture session today. It had been a month or so since the first one, due to illness and travel, and such, so it was kind of like my first time again. I saw a different person, though actually the person I’d wanted to see initially. It was a good session, I think. The big thing I have is tension, like, all over. She pegged me for a nervous, worrying over-thinker by just looking at my tongue, feeling my pulse, and lifting my legs. I basically hold in all my stress and tension and so my muscles are uber tight and sore.

Anyhow, as I was leaving, I got to thinking about the ayurvedic teas. Thinking about balance and relaxation and all that. Thinking therapeutic teas. So with that in mind, I walked in the cold, spitting rain just wanting to turn into snow to my nearest DAVIDs just a few blocks away from the community acupuncture clinic.

Now, I admit I was/am a bit leery of the ayurvedic teas, as I really strongly dislike fennel, anise, and anything that tastes remotely like licorice. And, well, ayurvedic teas are loaded with them. Fired Up Fennel was a disaster. I tried to drink it all, but I couldn’t. Too much. Against all my senses and warnings, I still tried that one. I was talked into it by the SA in the store that night. But ever since thn, I’ve been curious about Turmeric Snap. And New Delhi Delight, even though they still have those dislike-able ingredients in them.

Anyhow, back to today. I told the girl in the shop that I was interested in the ayurvedic teas, and why, but also my dislike of things licorice-like. So she pointed me to Sweet Ginger Heat, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking sunny yellow turmeric. So since I was curious about them both, but knowing that the turmeric stains, I opted to get Turmeric Snap as my to go cup, and a little of the Sweet Ginger Heat (and later Jungle Ju Ju) to try at home…about 20g of each.

The tea smells good, and tastes alright, but I can taste the licorice in it, and while it isn’t a punch in the face like Fired Up Fennel, it was still noticeably there, and not all that pleasant. Also, I’m thinking I just don’t like lemongrass either, though I’m not sure why.

Now, despite this, I did have a warm relaxing feeling as I was walking afterward. I’m not sure if it was the tea or something else. As a medicinal tea, I could bear to drink this on occasion, but regularly? I don’t think so. Especially as there are potentially others, and the others won’t stain my mugs.

I’m not sure I should rate this, as I didn’t rate Fired Up Fennel, due simply to the fact that I dislike the ingredients. But I have, so maybe I’ll go back and add a similar rating. I just feel bad rating a tea when I know it has stuff in it I don’t generally like.

TeaBrat

well you probably shouldn’t try to drink teas that have ingredients in them you know you dislike… just sayin" ;-)

Amariel

Well, yes…I know…but I was told that the licorice in this wasn’t predominant. But then I was told that the girl didn’t like fennel and she liked Fired Up Fennel. And I like the smell of lemongrass. It wasn’t til this cup that I thought that maybe I don’t like it after all. But the real reason I tried this was for therapeutic reasons. Sometimes you just don’t like the taste of medicine, but love what it does for you. I’m hoping to find something to balance me out some. But, I gotta like it to some degree to drink it. It’s a bit of wishful drinking, I guess.

TeaBrat

just teasing a bit, well I actually love fennel so maybe I should try this! How strong is the turmeric though? That part worries me more…

ScottTeaMan

Isn’t Turmeric supposed to relieve inflamation? Supposedly it is good for you.

Amariel

The turmeric doesn’t really have much taste, and I think it really only adds the yellow colour (it’s a principle component in yellow curries) to the brew. And yes, it is supposed to be good for inflamation, which is one of the reasons I had tried the tea, and hoped it might be ok. I will say that this tea, for me, is far better than Sweet Ginger Heat, which has a licorice punch right away. I literally dumped the brew after a sip. Sigh…I don’t think any of the ayurvedic teas are gonna do me at all, despite my desire to drink them for their purported benefits.

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74
drank Dulce & Banana by DAVIDsTEA
590 tasting notes

Having this with honey today. Very stuffy and headache-y…figured the chamomile, lavender and rooibos might help some. I guess I just don’t really like honey in teas with exception to strawberry tea from Tetley (with milk). This is just meh. I really don’t get much banana at all in this. I guess today, that’s ok, since I am mainly drinking this for therapeutic reasons. Might have to have a cuppa Coffee Pu’erh later, after a nap, for a good kick in the pants.

Indigobloom

Ginger pu’erh is my go to “sickie” tea… makes me feel SO much better :)
—Mind you I cannot stand the stuff when I’m well!!

Amariel

I went for this one because all of the stuff I listed is supposed to be helpful for headaches, but yeah, when I’m sick sick, I reach for ginger. I’ll have to try the ginger pu’erh some time.

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drank Wild Black Yunnan by DAVIDsTEA
590 tasting notes

Definitely not as strong as the Coffee Pu-erh I had yesterday, but this was still a nice, mild, clean tasting cuppa. More details and rating on it later when I have it again. This was a backlog from this morning.

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91
drank Coffee Pu'erh by DAVIDsTEA
590 tasting notes

Mmmmmm, warm and cozy, this is!

The dry leaf on this one definitely is stronger and sweeter than when brewed, though I think that is generally pretty normal. But steeped, it was rich and earthy with a bit of sweetness. As I tend to do with my darker teas (and oh boy is this dark!) I added milk and sugar. I sent a picture to my friend who also go this with me last night, and without anything, it really does look like it could be coffee. I bet it is one awesome latte. :)

This one has potential to be restocked when my 20g bag is up. I’m not sure if I like this better, equal, or not quite as much as compared to Oh Christmas Treat/Chocolate Orange, but I do like it for sure.

MegWesley

This sounds interesting. I’ve never had a pu-erh yet, but I was interested ever since I heard about it. So, is this one coffee flavored? Or just really dark?

Amariel

It is pretty dark and rich with a hint of coffee, but also a sweet caramel it toffee note as well. I cannot recall offhand if it has chocolate or not as wellI, but it is really nice to me.

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Profile

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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