1545 Tasting Notes

86

Steeper beware!! this one brews up STRONG!!!!
I had the bag in for two, maybe three minutes and it ended up more bitter than a scorned woman. That had never happened to me before. A new experience to be sure. No matter. Heaps of agave fixed it right up (and I mean several. At least four times more than what I normally use, if I use any at all)
Next time, I’ll try it with a one/two min steep and see what that reveals.
Anyhow, once that was dealt with… the bitterness was peeking out for awhile, and I couldn’t taste much beyond the agave/bitter aspect. Almost like black coffee. I was not impressed.
However once it cooled a bit, I started to see the wine influence. Not quite ice wine per se, but definitely wine. There was that mouth drying sensation, along with a definite grape-like puckering. Like sweet green grapes. or maybe a hybrid green/red grape. Certainly not a plain red grape of course. No, it was not quite that sweet.
I went in for a second steep and that one was quite lovely as well. I added only two swirls of agave this time and steeped for three full minutes (plus an accidental twenty extra seconds). and guess what? it was still strong! not quite bitter. More what I expected the first infusion to be. any longer and I’d have bridged bitter territory. I’m still a little shocked at just how intense it was. Is it possible they added tea dust? I’ve heard it can make a tea bitter…
but that can’t be, I enjoyed it!! I could never like the taste of tea dust. right?
If it hadn’t been for the work event I was obliged to attend, you can bet I’d have stuck around for a third or even fourth cup.
Oh and I figured out what it reminds me of!! Cloud nine from David’s tea! I don’t know why, it just does. Maybe I need to do a side by side comparison one day. It has been some time since my stash ran out.
And for those who may (or may not be! I’m not assuming anyone reads me haha) wondering, yes I did break my tea buying ban. Again.
Ice wine tea had been on my list for ages, and this is the first opp I’ve had to get a decent version. When the shopkeeper said that people come specifically to her store for that tea, well who was I to shun it?! it was no longer in my power… the decision had already been made… sighs

Tina S.

Heee! Tea ban? What tea ban? These do not exist in our universes. :D

Cheryl

Oh oh, we are paying attention … (gives you the momma-bear look) … haha, one at a time isn’t a huge sin, eh?

Indigobloom

LOL no I suppose they don’t!! if only the tea purchases came with extra cupboard space…

Indigobloom

I also justified it by the fact that I now have an extra tin :-D

Tina S.

Tins are totally something that call to me too. Tormenting things, they be!

Indigobloom

Cheryl: hides
yes, one at a time! yes, yes that is how it is :P

Indigobloom

tormenting, no kidding!! How many teas have I purchased because it comes with a tin… they might as well be sirens!

Thomas Edward(Toad)

i got some of this on order it sounds realy good o me :)

Indigobloom

Tommy: I look forward to reading your review!! just don’t steep it too long :)

SimplyJenW

Ah, we all give in to the allure of a good cuppa. What I did…I rewrote my no-buy rules, kind of like Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru..My tea ban just includes black tea……(So I have bought a few oolongs, some green, and a gaiwan!)

Tina S.

Wait, did you just make a Trek reference related to tea? I think I love you!

SimplyJenW

Well, it was an unwinnable scenario…… Yes, I am a big fan of many things that are only cool in geekdom.

Tina S.

Hey, who am I to say anything when I have the Delta as my picture on a tea site? ;)

Indigobloom

Hmmm maybe I should rewrite the my rules!
and I <3 Star Trek. I don’t care what anyone says, Cpt Janeway rocks!!!

Dinosara

I just realized the other day that my rule will be broken too… the NY Coffee and Tea festival is in late February, and I can’t expect myself not to buy any tea there! So yeah, already writing exceptions…

Indigobloom

ahh well you deserve it, after all that denial Dinosara! :P

Dinosara

Haha, thanks for being my enabler. :D

Indigobloom

anytime Dinosara, it’s what tea buddies are for ;)

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My tea of the morning, accompanied by an awkward tea moment:
So I feel a bit guilty taking up so much time with my extensive tea prep… even though it’s only a few minutes here and there, it does add up. Thus, I try to mitigate it as much as possible. This is why I filled up the kettle to boil and returned to my desk for a minute or two. My cubicle is close enough that I can hear the click of the kettle turning off most of the time.
Except this morning my lovely tea friend who I share much of my tea with had already poured it when I walked in! ack! a white tea…
She is a sweetheart so I really did not mind. Especially since the tea didn’t turn out bitter at all. In fact, the berry overshadowed most of the tea! it brewed up a gorgeous purple colour. Much deeper than I expected. and it smelled heavenly!!
The taste? well that was nice to. Very rich in the berryness.
Odd though, I enjoyed the first steep more than the second. Mostly because the second one was so… weak! I could definitely taste the berry, a little more tart and a whole lot lighter this time. and the white part was a little more present.

I think my love affair with white teas is over :(
There was a day when white tea was my amore. The delicate notes, the crisp dryness. I had so much love… but now?? now I don’t get it at all.
In fact, this one reminds me very much of Strawberry White from David’s tea. At one time that was my fave tea of ALL TIME! Now I haven’t had it in ages, but I strongly suspect that it would not get me a tea high at all. :moment of sadness:
Bah, I’ve fallen in love with a whole range of other teas. Can’t have it all, right?
I shan’t rate this one now. I need to try it again when the leaves are cooked up right. I know it has the potential for me to adore it… I know it does!

Daniel Scott

Oh, helpful people. My sister keeps throwing out my jiaogulan on me before I’ve gotten a chance to re-steep it – she’s used to Tetley bags, and even though I carefully set the infuser aside for the next cup, she’s convinced that steeped leaves are automatically “garbage.”

We had to keep having “talks” about it (and the price of it!) before she understood how…not optimal this is. The last time we talked, I think she got it, because she said, “Okay, the stuff that looks like mutant weed? Don’t throw it out, right?” God, finally.

Indigobloom

ahh helpful people indeed! well I’m glad to hear your tea leaves are no longer in jeopardy. Maybe you can make a tea convert outta her yet ;)

Tina S.

A boiling water steep might be why the second steep was so weak. I’m mostly a one-steep kind of girl though.

Indigobloom

yah it is possible. I am hoping that’s why! otherwise drinking all of it will be a chore… or it will be sampled out

TeaBrat

I like white tea, certain ones but others not so much.

Indigobloom

I hear you on that. I’m willing to try them all! :P

Bonnie

Did’nt Berry (BARRY) White sing Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe….

Indigobloom

heh heh yes I believe he did. I’ll forever associate it with this tea!!!

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93

So after Cold 911 denied me any relief, I just had to have some of my precious Ginger Pu’erh tea. it really did work wonders! Tea gold this one is.
Oh and I know I’m super congested because I could barely taste the ginger! and there was no hint of fishiness either. Hey, I’m not complaining! :)

Plunkybug

I’m drinking Organic Nettle right now to help kick out the crud that wants to take residence. I think I need a super duper ginger tea too.

Indigobloom

I definitely recommend this one as a super duper ginger tea! if you can get ahold of some :)

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76
drank Cold 911 (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
1545 tasting notes

Ugh, I’m sick!! blegh.
And this tea… well I thought it would help! but boo hoo, it’s not really doing much for my cold. and it tastes like regular mint tea?! Sure, if I did a side by side tasting it might highlight a few of the differences… but who has the energy for that when sick?
Now, my ‘buds are super dampened today so that is definitely not helping the cause. However, if the reason I bought this is to destroy my headcold and it isn’t working… well then I say it’s failed at it’s mission… yes??
maybe I’ll try it when not sick just to see if I can actually taste the juniper.
I doubt I’ll buy it again. Yep. I have nothing against it, but nothing for it over and above regular mint tea. So the rating here is kinda low because while I did find it very tasty, it wasn’t effective nor unique.

OMG brainwave… this tea mixed with Exotica when sick!!!!! how “sic” would that be :)
Guess what I am trying tomorrow!

Tina S.

Yay tea blending!

Try Honeybush Ginger Lemon . . that one cleared me up fast.

Indigobloom

I have some at work actually!! it’s pretty good. Anything with ginger helps a cold! :)

Dinosara

Feel better soon!

Indigobloom

I plan on it haha. thx Dinosara!!

gmathis

Get better soon. (Now’s the time to pull out all the minty and spicy stuff to unclog with. I like Tazo Refresh because of the tarragon when I feel yucky.)

Infusin_Susan

Sorry to hear you’re sick. When I’m ill, I drink a lot of Gypsy Cold Care and Echinacea teas from Traditional Medicinals. The trick is to steep it for the full 15 minutes to get the benefits of the herbs. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

Indigobloom

Gmathis and InfusinSusan- awesome tips… I’ll try them next time I get sick for sure! but now I am off to a ski chalet with friends so won’t have a chance to pick any up. Thanks so much tea friends XO

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91
drank Chai Guarana by DAVIDsTEA
1545 tasting notes

this was unexpectedly delicious!!!
I’m rather skeptical about Chai in general… having had so many that did nothing for me but the ingredient list seemed pretty benign and so I gave it a shot.
With some agave and heaps of milk, this was just the kind of chai I enjoy. It reminds me of the cuppas I’ve had in Indian restaurants to close the meal. The spices were perfectly balanced, with none of them poking out or lacking.
I did however, see a note in someone else’s review about it seeming a bit thin, and I think I know what they mean.
Initially, I had hoped to get a second steeping out of this, but as I moseyed on to work, taking random sips here and there… I kept thinking “just another minute steeping and it will be poifect!” (yes I’ve taken on an accent, in my head)
but oddly, that minute never seemed to end!
Which is super strange because I typically enjoy my teas on the weaker side…
I suppose it was my conditioning learned in Indian food houses that’s taught me to relish a strong cup in my chai???
Nonetheless, I love this one anyhow. Even moreso because it tasted just like “chai” without the hassle of making it into a bonafide latte! I mean, I’m sure it would be incredible as one, but I couldn’t seem to tell the difference so… shrugs
If it wasn’t for my tea buying ban (which I broke today. Bad IndigoBloom, bad!) I could seriously see myself buying some up for the cupboard!!
Disclaimer: I do have a bit of head cold going on. It’s no doubt affecting my senses!

Tina S.

This is one of my two favourite chais at Davids, I’m so glad you liked it!! :D

Indigobloom

hehe me to! :P

Anthony Bazic

really need the boost!

TeaBrat

Your tea buying ban lasted longer than mine did. :)

cteresa

Does it have guaraná in it? It might be interesting – not sure if in good or bad way. But guaraná in tea, hmmm.

Indigobloom

Anthony: it gives a really big boost!!
Amy: well atleast I made some progress in my sample pile :)
Cteresa: it does, and it seems to work for me! not sure if my tastes are similar to yours?

cteresa

Guaraná for me is mostly associated with the fizzy drink (it´s dunno sort of what Irn Bru is in Scotland, Guaraná is for brazillians. I am not brazillian but when i think of guaraná I think of the bottles in the supermarket aisles). Caffeine yeah and that taste but the health-food claims are well not something I associate personally. Putting in tea is a pretty interesting idea though!

Indigobloom

I’ve had the soda version, it’s pretty good!! I’ve seen it in a few teas. I guess it’s a new trend. One I likey!!!

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95

ok I swear I reviewed this earlier… but where did my review go?!? I scoured the pages twice! Hmph.
Anyhow, I just used up the last of my sample and gave some to Dad. He likes his tea cold, so I’ll find out in the morning what he thinks.
More importantly though, I think this is superb!!!! SO tasty. It really hits the nail on cinnamon rolls. I get that bakey taste too. A touch of agave brings it up to the perfect place.
I get a hint of artificial flavour, but I typically get that in actual rolls as well so I suppose that is to be expected!
Thank you so much for sending me the sample Jenn!! xx
If I was to ever order a 52Teas batch, this would be one of them, most definitely

Tina S.

This is on my 52teas order I’m waiting on, and can’t WAIT!

Ninavampi

@Tina S. You will not be disappointed! : )

Indigobloom

omg you are so lucky Tina!!!

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84

Wow, this tastes JUST like Teaopia’s Kalahari… one of my very first loose leaf teas!!
Maybe it’s my sentimental self talking here, but oh baby, welcome home :)
The orange is really mild, sort of in a rindy bitter way. It needs alot of agave to really pump up the flavour, sadly. But I am curious what it would taste like with some milk…
Big thank you to QuiltGuppy for sharing!!!

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90

ah yes, the second sample I tried. Really good!! Buttery and vegetal, it really stood apart from the first tea. Oh and not too heavy either, yet still lighter than the Ben Shan. I can’t recall much more than that though. If only I’d remembered to write it down! does the leave it to beaver fist swing

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87
drank Ben Shan by Tea Dynasty
1545 tasting notes

I HAVE A GAIWAN!!!!
Yipeeeeee! I’ve wanted one of these for SO long, and when I discovered that TD was down to their last few sets, and weren’t likely to be getting more anytime soon… well I could not resist. My tea ban is on “tea” not tea*ware* so I haven’t broken the rules yet. Right?!??
And the price was pretty darn good to. $26 is good, isn’t it? (I need to double check, maybe it was 36? my receipt is downstairs)
Aaaaaanyhow, about the tea. I sampled three kinds today so forgive me if I mix them up. I’m pretty sure I did get these out of order!
I can tell you that I tried a Ben Shan, a Buddhas Palm, and a… err, was it White Needle?? Frank, if you end up reading this, please help!!
Oh yes, let me introduce Frank! He is the lovely tea guru who was so kind to brew the tea and share with me :)
Now, if am not mistaken, this was the last one I tried. It was quite light with a hint of fruitiness, and very sweet. More sweet than the other two I tried.
My least fave of the three but still very good! Incredibly smooth, esp compared to anything I’ve tried before this.
I am rather new to actually enjoying green oolongs so I was pleasantly surprised by how different they can be. Before my ‘bud flip, I was a serious dark oolong girl who typically shunned the green side. and now? I cannot get enough! go figure.
If you are ever in Toronto, be sure to stop by the shop. It’s halfway between Wellesley and Bloor on Yonge St.

TeaBrat

Yay! Every tea lover needs a Gaiwan!

Dinosara

A gaiwan on my list, but I think I’m going to wait until China. But it feels so long! :)

Indigobloom

hehe I agree Amy! I cannot wait to try it… which sadly won’t be for a few weeks.

TeaBrat

Well you can steep any tea in a gaiwan actually…

Indigobloom

Dinosara- ooooh yah you will have so many options in China! mine isn’t the prettiest, but it IS a Gawian :P
Amy, hmm you’re right! but since I consume most of my caffeinated teas at work, and am not home often during the day… well that leaves me a little short on time so it will have to wait til my next free weekend day, which is Feb 5th! but that is only cuz on the 4th, I have a tea tasting to attend lol

ScottTeaMan

dO YOU HAVE A PIC OR A LINK TO A link to the pic of your Gaiwan??

Indigobloom

Scott- not yet, but I will post one when I get ahold of a decent camera! :)

TeaBrat

Ashmanra, those gaiwans are beautiful…

ashmanra

And the company is fabulous. They are so helpful and accommodating. We have ordered a lot of tea ware from them and love it, and I just got some tea from them as well. When you call you will be speaking to the owner or his wife!

Indigobloom

they are so purty!! not like mine, all clunky and unrefined. but probably better that way considering my clumsy ways haha.
One day I’ll have a Gaiwan to display proudly!

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90
drank Golden Monkey by Tao Tea Leaf
1545 tasting notes

Waaaooow. So so tasty!! I’ve been craving a Chinese black tea for awhile and I guess this hit the mark.
Cocoa was really at the forefront here. It wasn’t grating at all, the way I found it last time.
I have maybe two more steeps of this left. Looks like I have a sipdown on the way!!
If only I hadn’t been given a few tea samples for my cupboard today to replace it ;P

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Profile

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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