1363 Tasting Notes

90

Allergy update! :)
So I went into the shop this AM before work and let loose on my situation, and the tea barista agreed to steep my tea in a bag instead of a tea master. Yay!
He said that they bleach the tea masters out ever week but sometimes it leeches into the plastic pretty quickly and therefore I should be careful.
So I ordered the lapsang souchong. Feeling extra diva-like this morning, I mentioned wanting to try it with milk but not being sure about it so the other worker, a girl this time, poured some into a small cup for me.
I gotta say, it was kinda weird with milk!! The DT version was great with milk, I suppose cuz the smokiness is less intense. Here, it just made the tea floral and marshmallow-ey in an odd way that made no sense to my taste buds.
So I drank the rest of it bare. Yummmm! nary a bergamot leaf to be smelled. Ahhhhh…
Nothing will compare to the first time I tried this one. I always get so excited the first time lol
Anyhow, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. One day I’ll pick some up to take home with me and maybe try more than one steep!

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80
drank Orange Pekoe by Tim Hortons
1363 tasting notes

I’ve had this far too often lately. Not that I have anything against Tims, for what they offer… but what I REALLY want is a looseleaf tea of my choosing, not this bagged concoction.
The last week or so, looseleaf tea has taken a back seat because of my hectic schedule and troubles with Teaopia. I miss it.

Sunshine Mate seems to taste ok with our tepid water. Maybe I can make some of that…

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67

Erm, not bad but not great either. As usual they left the bag in… which meant that by the time I could take a decent sip it was wayyyyy oversteeped.
I miss my savour moments! you know, when you just take a moment to really enjoy the cuppa in front of you even if your days is swarming with distractions and work.
In fact, I really can’t comment much on the flavour besides saying I think it’d be pleasant when done properly. It had a hint of sweetness at the end to.
Bah. throws hands up in the air

Kashyap

they put this tea in a bag? i think thats a crime in China. Try using 3g (1tsp) per 16 oz in 185 degree water and let steep 4-6 minutes until a luminescence-transluscent green extraction forms….but try this…but the buds directly in the cup and cover it…let the buds settle to the bottom and drink it that way…it should be a oceanic, slightly floral, sweet with just a touch of crispness to the finish….because its a bud, it takes the water longer to penetrate into the heart of the bud (not like a leaf that has a lot of surface area) and so the cooler water and the longer steep brings out its complexity…too hot and the floral aspect is blanched by the heat and the cups depth is lost

Indigobloom

Hmmm maybe I will see if they can give me the “bag” without any of the water… since their minimum purchase is 25g! and it is expensive!
and that’s how Davids makes all of their hot teas. except maybe matcha

aisling of tea

A minimum purchase for this tea alone, or a minimum purchase in general? I did notice that the last time I was in, I tried to get 10g of Cold 911 and the girl told me I would have to get a bit more to get a real sampling of the tea, but that one is full of big bits.

What De and I do is I carry little tupperwares in my purse and we pull out the teabags as soon as they’re given to us. That way they don’t oversteep and we can resteep later. They put a lot of tea in those little bags! Their iced teas are terrible, though. I got the Mango Madness iced and she let it steep for a good five minutes. I wanted to cry.

Indigobloom

hmm that’s a good idea, keeping a tupperware. I’ll have to find some! lol yeah the iced white teas are a little on the ick side. There is supposed to be a new tea ball coming out that shuts it off to the water when the timer goes off so you don’t need to worry about it. I think the guy who invented it tried to fundraise here on Steepster…
I want one!

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drank Darjeeling Ambootia by Teaopia
1363 tasting notes

So I have a bergamot sensitivity… yada yada yada…
Normally, this would never impact my having a plain darjeeling, savy? well it does if the tea master used to steep leaves has bergamot essence leeched into the plastic! which is my best guess as to why for the second time when having a black from this location, I had to dump my purchase. I paid extra for it, since it was a premium tea!! I’m a bit put off…
Esp since I doubt they will break out a new Tea Master and keep it bergamot and maybe even jasmine free just for me.
I would HATE to ditch teaopia just because they can’t accommodate me. Here’s hoping they can. *fingers crossed

Kashyap

oh that sucks….I could send you some that hasnt been defiled with bergamot…it was the first darjeeling that ever convinced me that such teas really were the champagne of teas

Jessie

That’s rough! I’ve never been in a Teaopia (though just noticed one is opening on Queen!) but hopefully they’d be able to help you out by steeping it another way.

Indigobloom

darjeelings?
that is really generous of you Kashyap! not sure I can take advantage like that lol

Indigobloom

Jessie: I really hope so! it’s the only tea place with a decent selection where I can grab a morning cuppa omw to work!!
The new girl for the Queen location was training there the other day. Looks like it will be near Tealish… that could be trouble!

aisling of tea

Dun dun dun…tea wars! I’ve never been in Teaopia, they strike me as a bit too similar to Teavana. But then I find out they were started in Mississauga, so I’m torn! Support local businesses or continue to feed my snobbery XD

Indigobloom

I hear you on the snobbery Rita, the quality is not as high at the Teaopia, but the staff are really friendly (except one girl who always seems a little sad to me for some reason, like she could use a nice cup of tea and a hug).
Some of their blends are really unique and must haves in my collection :)
—and supporting local business is always a good motto! ha.

Kashyap

well…let me know if you want a sample K? just send me an address to send it to

Jessie

Yeah, I’d like to check them out but I really love Teaopia and being sandwiched between Teaopia and DT is definitely trouble. It’s going to have me going on tea sprees, probably.

Indigobloom

Kashyap- is there anything I can send you in return?
Jessie- oh I know what you mean! I’ve tried most of their teas so the need isn’t as urgent anymore but I still have like 5 other tea places to raid!

Kashyap

I work in the coffee and tea industry and have lots of tea….but (as my recent posts and my profile suggests) I’m very much into doing charity work and I would happily send tea in exchange for passing the word forward on my upcoming charity ride :) or if you felt donations to fight ALS of any kind would be amazing…but as for sending tea, just let me know I’m sending some out to a few other ‘steepsters’ today ….

Amariel

Can you ask them to use a tea sac? Just say you have an allergy to certain things and to prevent cross contamination, so to speak, it is best to use a tea sac.

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92
drank Berubeula Ceylon by Tealish
1363 tasting notes

Wow, what a difference!! this is fantastic when done right.
I taste more raspberry than chocolate, which I find odd since it was more chocolatey before. Then again I used a proper measuring spoon this time.
With or without milk, I would love this. A dash of sugar really helps bring out the raspberries to.
Ceylon is typically not my style, but this, THIS is my new love of the week. It reminds me of childhood for some reason, and I suspect it’s sentimentality that causes my swooning. My tastebuds are impressionable, by memory, it seems.
I wonder if they will pop in the second steep as well…

On unrelated business: The hot water I can get at my Monday/Wednesday office is terrible! ick! I’m so not looking forward to work tomorrow…
On the plus side, I’m over my tea aversion! :)

gmathis

I hate to waste good teas on office water, too.

Indigobloom

it’s awful! The walking distance tea shops are terrible as well. I’m actually considering leaving for work early just so that I can make the trek to my local Teaopia first!

Indigobloom

oh and the second steep is just as lovely as the first

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90

This is indeed a very tasty tea! no surprise there… I knew the same tea combination from Davids was amazing so I expected more or less the same. One day, I’ll do a side by side comparison to see which I like better.
Sadly, the Davids tea may win that battle. Apparently places that do blends like this usually use flavoured oils to enhance the tea, and this shop, being more “pure” has decided not to indulge in such unpure practices.
Also, the white peony from Tea Dynasty is a little rounder, and not as delicate in flavour… which is part (just a small part!) of what I love about the Davids version.
Does anyone know why some white teas have that delicateness, and others don’t?? I’m curious!
That said, the TD version uses freshly dried strawberries that really punch through on the first steep. They come out nice and tart, while DTs is only sweet and far from tart, compared.
By the second steep of the TD tea however, the strawberry is mostly gone… leaving the barest suggestion of strawberry, and mostly in the aftertaste.
On another note, I just love that the shop owner will make whatever blend I want! this wasn’t on the menu so I asked him to do it up for me and he did! one of many things that sets this place apart from the other shops :)

Kashyap

white teas are often harvested only in the spring from buds and new growth, this leaves the plant little time from a period of relative dormancy, to spring flush, and so the plant has little time to translate flavors from the soil and surroundings to the new growth…the tea is also only plucked, steamed, lightly oxidized and dried, this doesnt allow for a period of chemical transition in the leaf that can also add additional flavors

Indigobloom

interesting! so the “rounder” whites have been more oxidized then?

Kashyap

bai mu dan/pai mudan, white peony, white eyebrow all are slightly oxidized (like black teas and oolongs) you can see it in the ‘browning’ in the leaves….white bud teas are rare and lack the oxidation

Indigobloom

hmmm. I will have to look out for this browning.
So what makes the white peony at David’s and Tea Emporium taste fresher than that of Tea Dynasty’s? is it the region where it is grown?

Kashyap

could be they source the tea more directly or have higher turn over of that product, could be they are sourcing from a more organic dealer, or they are choosing a less oxidized, more ‘green’ version from the many sources they are cupping from…i was surprised how different rooibos could be when I requested simple, plain, non-flavored sourced from the same region…the flavors ranged from ‘fruity’ to almost ‘fennel’ strange and wonderful how the plants can offer such a flavor profile difference from subtle changes in climate, soil, processing…

Indigobloom

I agree, it’s fascinating how different one tea can be, even between batches from the same retailer.
My mission of trying every tea out there is proving impossible. There are just too many!

Kashyap

journey of a lifetime..enjoy each sip and each footstep

Indigobloom

indeed! that very much fits the way of a tea drinker Kashyap :)

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83

This was… tasty. Milky, but not all that sweet except for the finish. There was also a distinct fruity note but of what variety I can’t be sure. A bit “green” and vegetal as well. Solid, but not my fave oolong from this shop.
Sorry for the rushed reviewss… I am dead tired!

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83
drank Aztecs Gold by Teaopia
1363 tasting notes

In an effort to consume less floral caffeinated beverages, I opted for this tisane. It was interesting, but I’m not in love.
Hot, it was very fruity and sweet. As it cooled, I tasted… bubblegum?! Odd. Not something I would normally choose… but I’m glad to have tried it atleast.
My tasting abilities seem to be dampened with this darned allergy plaguing me. Gah, come back taste buds, come back!!

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86
drank Assam SF Budla Beta by Teaopia
1363 tasting notes

This was my first tea of the day. Unfortunately, it seems that I’ve overdone it with the Bergamot and Jasmine experimentation and was temporarily allergic to tea!! :(
but I seem to be over that, as long as I stay away from those nauseating petals.
So… when I tried this tea, it really did nothing to impress. I’m still queasy so I’m thinking I need to take a break from blacks for awhile- until my body figures out that there are no flowers in plain black tea!
Anyhow, I’m leaving the rating on this one til I come back with a fresh palate. I should try lover’s leap again to… I don’t want to be an anti-black tea drinker!!

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84
drank Mint Tea by Aroma Espresso Bar
1363 tasting notes

So after my earlier experience I tried everything I could think of the rid myself of the everlasting nausea. This, while tasty, did not work!
Still, I enjoyed it. The fresh mint makes is very zesty and intense.

ashmanra

Hope you feel better soon!

Indigobloom

thanks Ashmanra, I do feel better! It seems I overdid it with the bergamot and jasmine, which it seems I am allergic to. Now I know to avoid them!!

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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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