1308 Tasting Notes

91

Agh! So I went to a “yoga” class today… expecting, well yoga! and I really needed it after some cardio and an abs class. What did I get instead?? a pilates/core work/handstand lesson!
Which means I really need this tea to calm me down. Sheesh, I’m all tense and besides that, frustrated about missing my favourite time of the week(not to be confused with my fave time of day… can you guess what that is Steepsterites?). Well, that’s not very zen huh?
Bah, this is doing the trick, I think. Except I can’t sleep so maybe not.
This cup is understeeped. My fault. Oh well…

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84

ehhhh, not as good as Teaopia. (minus serious points!)
There’s something missing, that certain malty depth that makes tea so satisfying for me. It’s smoky, but still weak. I almost wonder how this one would taste with milk(minus points). The teaopia one was just fine on its own but I had to add some agave here(minus points!!)…
Not much else to say about this one, not when I’ve had so much better. If it wasn’t for that I think this would get maybe five extra points from me.
EDIT: ok so I may have been quick to judge… I tried this with milk and it’s a bit better. Bumping it a few notches. The Teaopia version would be terrible with milk so I assumed the same for this one!

aisling of tea

I use this in everything I cook. My wife calls it our “Frank’s Red Hot”. Anyhoo, I recently made a potato soup with this and it is amazing. Completely out of this world. It tastes like a loaded baked potato soup with bacon, but there’s no actual bacon in it! I don’t drink this tea, but if you’re looking for a way to add a lot of flavor to cooking without adding sodium or calories, this is definitely one to keep around!

…I sound like an ad >.>

teawing

What an interesting idea, I will try it!

Indigobloom

oh my, that is a great idea!! I’ll try it one day soon :)

Amanda Earl

i agree with you, IB, there is definitely something missing with this version of the tea. the malty depth is a good way to describe what’s missing. thanks!

Indigobloom

heh, glad I could help Amanda! :)
I find it a bit scratchy to. Like I need to clear my throat constantly.

Amanda Earl

scratchy…hadn’t noticed that yet. i’ll have to brew another cup :)

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91

OMG! I think I found a way to use up my peppermint!! I got a big bag of it awhile back and have been adding it to some of my teas as a pick-me-up but 50g of peppermint goes a long way….
I hadn’t tried it with Rooibos because I disliked the mint chocolate rooibos, and of course I’d never considered that it was the chocolate part I disliked! ha!
This was an actual “peppermint rooibos” sample so I will have to see if my homemade version works just as well.
Peppermint on it’s own is too much for me, so this is a great way to cut it. and the rooibos adds it’s own sweetness to.
I wonder if the organic part makes that much of a difference? we shall see…
This is a mood tea so no doubt this rating is inflated a bit.
I can’t help it! This is so very soothing, and smooth. Maybe I’ll try it before bed next time instead of my chamomile.
I need to pick up some regular (roasted?) rooibos as well.

Brittany

Haha, 50 g of peppermint lasts me a couple of days.

Indigobloom

lol lucky you! I have so many teas I can’t drink them fast enough. My eyes are so much bigger than my appetite.

Brittany

Well, I generally have the same problem, but peppermint is just too good not to have a ton of it a day!

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90
drank Toasted Walnut by DAVIDsTEA
1308 tasting notes

Hmmmm, I think I like it! alot!!!
this one reminds me of the coconut oolong I bought over Christmas, but more “green” (obviously) than oolong. There is a definite essence of walnut, with that same walnut taste in the back of the throat. Then there’s the coconut, which lends the sweetness to this brew. No sugar needed here! :-)
There is something else there, but I’m not sure if it’s the pineapple- most likely. It doesn’t taste unlike pineapple, but not especially so either.
If it wasn’t for the coconut oolong, this would get a 95 but because that other tea is SO similar, and I love that one, well I give this one a slightly lower score.
EDIT: The walnut, while good, has gotten a bit tiresome now that I am at the bottom of the cup. Down another few notches…
Second EDIT: The second cup is realllllllly smooth, as usual with a green or oolong, but it still takes me by surprise every time! It’s significantly more mellow now, but some of the walnut is lost. Hiking the rating back up! Like a rollercoaster this one…

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87
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1308 tasting notes

ahhhhh now THIS is what I remember! my terrible marco polo experience from last time has now been banished from memory and replaced by this delicious tea sensation.
Fruity, floral, black tea. Mmmmm.
My only regret is that I played with the steep time and cut it down to 4 min. In contradiction to my tea-loving past, I like the flavours to come out strong. I like it best just before it starts to get bitter which can be a little difficult to time.
There was a day when I loved “weak” tea. Funny, I never thought I would see the day where I would evolve to enjoy it so!

Indigobloom

whew, what a relief! thanks QG :)

aisling of tea

We need to find a place to buy this in Toronto!

Indigobloom

I know!!!
Apparently the distillery district has some Mariage Freres, but I’m not sure about which flavours exactly.

ashmanra

Do you have a Williams-Sonoma there? They carry it in the US.

Indigobloom

yes we do! I shall check it out, thanks for the tip!

Jessie

This is the cafe that sells MF in Toronto (two locations): http://www.balzacscoffee.com/. I was told they don’t order stock frequently so what they have’ll depend on when you go, but they seem pretty helpful and if you call ahead they’d be able to tell you what’s in stock. They have Marco Polo and the vanilla rooibos as well as a few others to go, so I assume those would be the options to buy.

Indigobloom

ahhhh thx Jessie :)
Now I know where to go in the DD! Too bad it’s such a pain to get there… ah well, it’s so worth the walk!!

aisling of tea

I was at Sherway Gardens today and checked out their Williams-Sonoma. They did indeed have this tea…for $32. I promptly put it back on the shelf XD. They also had some Harney & Sons (English Breakfast and Paris) but they were marked up considerably as well. The Blue Banana in Kensington has a bigger selection of H&S teas for better prices.

ashmanra

OH MY! Did you that Harney sachet tins are only 10.95 at Barnes and Noble but are $16.95 at Williams-Sonoma for the SAME TIN? I have only purchased Mariages Freres at Southern Season so I have no idea how much it costs at WS in the USA.

aisling of tea

Yeah, that’s the general feeling I get from W-S. “Oh, hey, our stuff might look a bit nicer than the stuff from Wal-Mart or Sears, it works the same, but we’re gonna jack up the price anyway.” Designer kitchen stores make me sad…thank goodness I live five minutes away from IKEA!

Just curious, how much does it cost at Southern Season?

ashmanra

I am pretty sure we paid about $22 for a tin of their Vanille des Iles, which is why we switched to Harney and Sons Vanilla Black! Much cheaper, and tastes as good to me! I think I paid about the same for Marco Polo.

aisling of tea

Yowza. Of course, I’ve paid that for tins of DT, but MF’s tins seem so small! Harney’s too, for that matter. I guess it really just depends on how much that tea is worth to you.

ashmanra

The MF tins are 3 1/2 oz or 100 grams, so that is a bit pricey! I think we pay about $24 for one pound of Harney Vanilla Black, so it is quite a savings! But there are one or two special teas I don’t mind paying a bit for, especially if they resteep well.

aisling of tea

Yeah, I paid $22 for a tin of Whisky White today, but it’s so very worth it to me. Still made my heart stop at the price, though. I need to find a good Vanilla black, vanilla is my one true love.

Indigobloom

the price we pay for tea… and yet I will never have enough. Still, $22 for whisky white! I hope they keep that one around :)

aisling of tea

XD Have you see my cupboard lately? I so feel your pain. So far it’s still only around for Father’s Day, but hopefully it has staying power.

Indigobloom

I think enough people like it that they will keep it. Fingers crossed! SO much better than buttered rum, IMO :)

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82
drank Tie Guan Yin by TenFu's Tea
1308 tasting notes

Thanks for sending me this one PoliticalMachine! It was a learning experience to be sure.
The leaves are typical, nice and rolled, and smell like a mild spring flower. Once steeped, it leans more toward the green side of Oolong. It has some of those irritants that make my throat all itchy but nothing like jasmine tea!
There is also a vegetal aspect when I first sip, followed by a fresh water note. It finishes with a nice nutty aftertaste.
I added no sugar, but there is a slight sweetness to it that comes out in the finish as well. There is the tiniest hint of milkiness, but I think that is more an extension of the nutty note.
The first infusion was a bit strong for my liking, but the second was much more balanced. I’ll try and do a third now!

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88
drank tess orange by tess tea
1308 tasting notes

Not that great. The tea bag was off somehow. Maybe it was the water? Hard to describe why…
The first two bags I had awhile back were amazing! I hope this is the only one like this. I’m leaving the rating as is…. for now.

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97
drank Whisky White by DAVIDsTEA
1308 tasting notes

now here we have a novelty tea! but I love it.
The first infusion was heavy on the whisky, not letting much else come through. It was strong, and generally what I had hoped for, except that the peach was far too mild. The second infusion was even better! I could really taste the peach here and it became super smooth, almost creamy. The third infusion was more or less the same but weaker… enough so that I doubt it could have done a fourth.
Next time, I’ll try shorter infusions and see if I can get more out of it.
Either way, this one is naturally sweet, complex, drastically different between infusions, and overwhelmingly tasty!! nothing but good things to say about this one.
Oh ya, and eating the nuts/fruit afterwards is fun to! :P

aisling of tea

I never steep my whites for more than 30 seconds on the first infusion, it somehow makes them stronger. I will definitely have to try this one hot! De had it hot first and was blown away by it.

Indigobloom

ah, see I’ve always done it for a few minutes, but I will try it for 30 seconds next time! I keep forgetting…. typical me!

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82
drank Darjeeling Makaibari by Teaopia
1308 tasting notes

so apparently this was a 2nd grade tea, where teaopia normally sells 3rd or ungraded…
I could most definitely tell that it was higher quality, maybe even some tips in there. Overall, the tea was good, great even, but not what I wanted. That fresh, first flush aroma/flavour was popping out at me and I was hoping for more of a malty tea (as always). Also, there wasn’t much complexity here. I get the nutty part, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Oh well, this is the second last pure black tea of theirs I have to try! apparently the other one is a first flush so that should be interesting.
Oh and I added milk (I know, bad bad tea drinker I am!)

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84
drank Kenyan Tinderet by DAVIDsTEA
1308 tasting notes

oh yeah, this is good stuff. A regular black tea with extremely subtle complexities. I’m not adept enough at identifying flavours but I can taste the spice note mentioned by Daniil and now that it’s pointed out I can tell that it is indeed cardamom or something similar. The maltiness is very nice as well, very mild yet lasting throughout the entire sip.
The astringency is a tad too much for me but then the girl made my tea extra strong so it could be a function of too many leaves.
Now that I’ve had most of the cup, the spice note is building in the aftertaste the way spicy foods do as you get into the meal. Very nice! I’m impressed.
The floral note is the most subtle of them all. I would not have noticed if it wasn’t in the description.
Ok so DT’s just made up for some of their failings with this one, in my books. The only issue I have that everything is so mild, as I prefer more bold teas.
I wonder, why am I the only one to find this one so very satisfying??

Eisenherz

You’re not the only one, I love Kenyan Tinderet! It’s a shame my local DT has been out of it for quite some time now

Indigobloom

really? I hope they aren’t discontinuing it! I won’t be able to buy any for awhile…
And I’m glad to know someone else out there loves this one to!! :)

ScottTeaMan

I love Kenyan teas but I don’t buy them enough. I have a Tinderet Estate Silver Tips—a white tea— I have yet to sample. How could I have missed Tinderet Estate TGFOP, excluded from my most recent order from Upton Teas?!! I hope it’s not sold out before I place my next order.

Indigobloom

good luck on that Scott, and I look forward to your review! :)

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Bio

Let’s see… I’m a tea and workout fanatic, I work in HR, and most of my friends consider me to be an egg. White on the outside, Asian on the inside :)
-from philosophy to food, I love it all
Otherwise, what you see is what you get! I can be very straightforward and yet shy.

Also, I’ve started taking tea sommelier classes and it is an absolute blast! Well, so far I’ve only finished the first out of eight courses, but I am really looking forward to the next one.

Anyhow, if your curious as to how I rate things, this is how I work…

0-25
Like eating dirt, or some other unsanitary indelicacy that mentioning in my profile here would likely get me banned.
I don’t think I’ve found cause to banish a tea to the wasteland yet though so who knows what it’d inspire ;P

25-50
You know that expression “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”? I imagine drinking that water would be terrible enough to warrant this rating!
I’d never make my enemy drink this, but perhaps I’d throw it at them. Good thing I don’t have any enemies!

50-70
This is “tea”?? I tried finishing the cup… but my body rejected it. There may be others who enjoy this tea, but it’s beyond me!

70-80
I tried liking it, and I can almost get there! I certainly don’t hate it, but something is holding me back. Allergies? Men in white suits? who knows… certainly not me!

80-90
Lovely tea! Not my all time fave but close. I likely wouldn’t repurchase, but may decide to based on many factors: price, accessibility, whether it fills a “tea gap”, medicinal applications, and how often I crave it.
Every once in awhile I find the sweet spot that bumps these up to 90+. Those are the days I need to buy a lotto ticket!

90-95
Sweet Camellia! this is realllly good tea! Don’t talk to me until I’ve finished my cup…

95-100
Tea of the gods. I would do anything to get my hands on more of this liquid gold!

Location

Toronto (Mississauga, but I work in TO)

Website

http://hrslinger.wordpress.com/

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