451 Tasting Notes

drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

Wow. It’s been so long since I’ve written a note on steepster that I…don’t really know what to say. I feel as though I first fell off the tasting note bandwagon, and then as the summer sweltered hotter and hotter, I sort of fell off the hot tea bandwagon as well. And as my samples continued to pile up around me, I just turned a blind eye to it all (har har) and chugged water. What a mistake it was to abandon tea for so long. I had this as a latte yesterday while at DT (where I of course picked up the green carry mug, omg omg omg), and made it again for myself first thing this morning. Nothing calms an anxiety-ridden heart like a cup of tea, and that, my friends, is a scientific fact.

What this tea tastes like: my goodness, I don’t even know if I have a tea vocabulary anymore. I get the thick, almost waxy and candle-like (in the best way possible) breadiness that lends this tea so, so well to having milk or cream in it, and the flavours I generally associate with pumpkin. I am no expert on what authentic pumpkin tastes like, but I know I like this tea for it’s pumpkin flavor, chai spices (although those aren’t too strong for me, I don’t think) and the candle-y breadiness that I love so much.

Let’s see how long it is until I write again! I’ve missed you guys!

ashmanra

Har har! I “see” what you did there! We have missed you – welcome back. :)

Roswell Strange

Keeeeyyyccchhhaaannngeee! :)

keychange

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaccccckkkkkkkkk!!!! yaaaaay!!

Stephanie

Welcome back :) :) :)

OMGsrsly

Hi!!!!! :) :)

scribbles

HELLLOOOOOO!!!!! :)

Christina

Holy man, I’ve got some of that spearmint oolong I’ve been saving for you in a swap. I need to send you that!

Sil

how’s the wedding stuff going!?

keychange

Oh my gosh, guys! I feel so loved! Christina, you had that set aside for me? wow, that’s so sweet! and my wedding is next week, guys!

Sil

insane! so jealous! i wanna see FB pics! :)

yyz

Excited for you. I hope everything goes well and you have a blast!

OMGsrsly

Eee! That’s so exciting! I hope you have so much fun at your wedding. :)

TheTeaFairy

We’ve missed you too, so nice to have you back :-)

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Here I am again. I’m sorry I haven’t updated, but I also haven’t been drinking much in the way of tea, although that’s a lie because I have been drinking iced tea. No excuses.

Actually, I’m just hear to say that this tea is terrible iced. It tastes like strawberry yogurt milky water, and I never want to be made to feel I’m drinking watery yogurt. It’s ok though, because this used up my entire sample, so onwards and upwards, I guess. I’m going to be tossing what’s left in the pticher (which is pretty much all of it actually), but ’aint nobody got time for bad tea, I say.

carry on, folks. Let this week end.

Cheri

You can’t know until you try it…or someone else tries it first!

Courtney

I agree about bad tea. My friend drinks everything and says she just can’t throw away bad stuff. Thank goodness we do not have that problem. Life is too short!

keychange

Oh god I know. I keep reading about people who choke down awful sip down after awful sip down and I’m like waaaaahhh why are you doing this to yourself?!?!?!

lolainred

just thinking about what that had to taste like makes me a bit queasy!

Angrboda

I agree about bad tea. Why force yourself to drink something you don’t like? If it was a pizza with something on it that you discovered you didn’t like, you’d pick that off too instead of forcing yourself to eat it, wouldn’t you? I don’t understand what the difference is. Out with it, either to the bin or to someone else.

keychange

Yes I totally agree. And people may think it’s wasteful, but I also think needlessly assaulting my tastebuds is wasting tastebud wattage on bad choices. Bad idea!

Angrboda

The wasteful argument doesn’t really fly with me. It’s also wasteful to force something down you don’t enjoy rather than give it to someone else who might enjoy it. And whether you toss it or struggle through it, the leaf is equally gone.

(deleted for editing and reposted)

DeliriumsFrogs

Euck… watery yogurt drink. I’m glad you tossed that pitcher out.
(and yes… let this week end!)

Cheri

“tastebud wattage” Hahahahah!!! I love it!

keychange

hahaha! yes, let this week be gone gone gone! also, ang, great argument about the leaves being equally gone.

mj

I was considering trying to cold brew the rest of my sample. Thanks to you, I’ll pass! Yogurt water…blech

keychange

mj1851, I honestly don’t know how anyone could enjoy this one, but I suppose you just never know. It absolutely tastes like strawberry yogurt water, though. Maybe it’s better hot? or maybe you’ll cold brew it and fall in love LOL.

Terri HarpLady

I’m down with all of the above, especially the ‘no time for bad tea’ comment! That made me smile! With as much tea as most of us have in our cupboards, why let something undesirable take up residency? I think that’s really one of my favorite things about samples & tea trades, that we get to try something & ask, “Do I really need to buy this?”
Usually for me the answer is no, although occasionally I find something hoardworthy, LOL.

Cheri

I feel the same way, Terri HarpLady. I have found a couple that I’ve gone out to buy, but mostly I just enjoy trying the things in the boxes and whatnot and just go from there. (Then again, I’m about to place a huge Butiki order as soon as I hear back from Stacy, and there have been a couple of others lately that I am enjoying and I want more of.)

OMGsrsly

It works better made hot and iced, IMO. But I’ve only had it in-store.

Dexter

I agree OMG – I just make it hot and let it cool – put it in the fridge. I think you need the hot water to “melt” the yogurt bits.

keychange

I did make it hot and then added ice…ah well, can’t please ’em all, I guess.

OMGsrsly

Now I want to try it again to see if I get the yogurt-water taste! :)

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drank Shooting Starfruit by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I’ve written any tasting notes, but i’ve been drinking a lot of tea. I’m going through this odd phase where I sort of drink tea automatically—haphazardly choosing a tea from my collection without giving it much thought, drinking it without really noticing it, and not really feeling inclined to write deep tasting notes with all my feelings and interpretations. But then I also think that one of the main reasons I update on steepster isn’t necessarily to explore all my feelings about a given tea, but mostly to feel connected to people who love what I love. And withdrawing from my various networks is never really a good indication for me, and so I’ll make more of an effort.

Random thoughts on this tea:
1. It’s wonderful iced; I haven’t even tried it hot.
2. I’m really into making my teas iced now, and I find I’m actually preferring them iced to hot now. I never thought I’d be saying that. Oh, and I really like the instant cold-brew method (that of steeping in a bit of hot water before topping up with ice) to letting it brew for hours on end, but that’s because I’m impatient.
3. This tea tastes like a conglomerate of tropical fruits, with perhaps the slightest hint of white tea at the end of the sip. I know this combination of fruit is meant to taste like nothing else, but you could probably tell me that this was a tropical papaya and guava punch and i’d believe you. That being said, I’m actually going to buy some more iced tea packs of this tomorrow because I still really, really like it.
4. I love that DT sells pre-packaged iced tea packs. People can carry on endlessly about how they can measure it out themselves, but if anything exists to support my laziness and reliance on all things convenient, I’m all over it. Besides, DT’s website says that iced tea calls for eight perfect spoonfuls of tea for each pitcher (and omg I got the blue and green pitcher and love it!), but each package seems to have far less in it than that but still yields a fairly strong and flavourful brew. So what gives? who knows. But yeah, packages are where it’s at.
Ok bye

Indigobloom

I’ve been there!! Drinking all the tea but not logging it. Especially when I don’t have many new ones to try

keychange

Oh yeah, I have a ton of tea I have yet to try, but I just can’t seem to generate anything worth writing down.

Cheri

I’ve missed your reviews, so I’m glad to see you’re here. :)

I completely agree with the laziness and convenience bit. Absolutely. I’m all about making things easier.

keychange

aww, thanks cheri! I’m glad to be back too :). And yes, convenience all the way.

Roswell Strange

Glad you’re back!

TheTeaFairy

I also miss my “partner in crime” ;-) but I understand that phase, I get that often…but that part where you said «to feel connected to people who love what I love» is what keeps me coming back here…
Glad you’re back!

MzPriss

wb keychange

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drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
451 tasting notes

Whoa. I’m running dangerously low on my supply of this, and I don’t go to California until July, so I won’t really be able to replenish it until then. I could technically order online, but really want to savour the in-store sniff and huff experience, and then subsequently buy like everything in sight. What’s also really neat is that Mr. Keychange’s mother was over the other night, and I served her this tea. She remarked, in her very british way, that it was “an exceptional melon tea” and of course you know I sent her home with some. I swear, loving tea is like a religion—once you “discover” it, you want to share it with everyone. I love that aspect of it so much. That I really take pleasure in sharing tea with other people. So many other hobbies can be laced with competition and jealousy and self-doubt, but not tea, not tea!

Heading to Toronto for the rest of the long weekend. have a great weekend, everyone!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! It’s so true that tea is like a religion!

Have a great week end too :-)

Nxtdoor

Hrm… I’m at the cottage or we could have met up.

DeliriumsFrogs

Tea as a religion… that is so accurate! Hahaha.

Sil

oh..i see how it is…come to toronto…don’t make plans to meet up with me.. sure.. BAH! lol

keychange

I’d be all over meeting you, your hair, and your melons, sil! are you fairly mobile in Toronto?

Sil

lmao sort of… lol depends on where you are really. Worse case we can make plans for the next time you’re up :)

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It’s been a while eh?

Thanks are owed to Stacy who sent me this sample with my most recent Butiki order. I love how each sample brews one cup—there’s no fussing about with measurements and such, which is a relief for sure. I was eager to try this one, not only because of the rave reviews, but also because I’ve tried (and loved) sil’s two-friended version of this tea, and wanted to see how the two compared.

I have to say that I think I prefer sil’s blend with PTA as the base and no marshmallow. I actually couldn’t distinctly identify the marshmallow in this blend, but I also felt that depending on what temperature the water was, the flavours felt a bit overwhelmed by the base, which I didn’t find to be the case with the other blend. The other blend seemed to be a bit more “in your face” Terry’s chocolate orange, whereas this one seemed to be a bit more subtle. Still quite tasty, but if anyone wants to put together a mass request for the other blend, I’d be up for it (or down with it? ha) anytime.

Thanks again, Stacy!

Sipdown!

Suziqzer

I loved this one.. Thanks to MissB’s sharing, it will be on my order when I finally place one with Butiki. I wouldn’t be opposed to trying the other version as well.. although I loved the idea of creaminess w/marshmallow I’m beginning to enjoy orange in tea and a little more wouldn’t bother me :)

whatshesaid

Interesting! I will have to try the 2 version some time :)

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Got a ton of this tea from ifjuly-thank you!!

You can definitely tell that spring is in the air. Aside from the weather, which is temperamental at the best of times to begin with, I think a lot of us are busting out different types and flavours of tea. Descriptions of this oolong seemed to fit the bill perfectly this morning.

I brewed it up the way I have other oolongs from lupicia—for four minutes, because I’ve found that the recommended two-minute brew seems to enhance this odd earthy taste and set the flavouring in the background, which I’m not a huge fan of. So four minutes it was. This smells of the gentlest of peaches, and the flavouring is rather gentle as well. It’s one of those teas where, if you want to coax all the flavour you can, you need to keep your nose buried in the cup as you sip, so that you can taste and sniff and swallow all at once. If only the peach flavouring were a smidge stronger, I’d say this was the ideal peach tea. As it is it’s pretty damned awesome, and I have a ton of it to play around with, so I’m still convinced I can make it taste even better. And god how I love the floral backdrop to all these oolongs. Floral floral floral!

In a few hours, we’ll be closer to the weekend ahead of us, guys! and a long one, for Canadians anyway. Thank god

Sami Kelsh

Man. You’re making me want peaches. And oolong. These things are good. Long weekends are also good! Ours in the UK is the weekend after this one, but since I’m working the Saturday and Sunday anyway, this weekend is MY long weekend! Woohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

keychange

Peaches, oolong, long weekends-recipe for a good life!

Terri HarpLady

I have gigs today, Friday, & Sunday, so no rest for the wicked, but luckily I love what I do!
“Takin’ care of bizness!”

keychange

You are very lucky, terry. Loving what you do makes everything feel so much more worthwhile.

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drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
451 tasting notes

I’m on a roll. Because if I don’t backlog now, I never will.

I wasn’t actually going to take tea to work this morning. But I instinctively knew that I should probably take tea anyway, and man what a good decision that ended up being. And thank heavens, because I’m not a good decision-maker at the best of times.

Nay Lynn actually sent me this package, and it was my first brand new package of this tea. Why on earth does lupicia not have resealable bags? anyway, I ended up emptying this into a tin, and man oh man the scent of this tea is unbelievable. Over-ripe melons with the slight scent of earth, almost sickly sweet but so so perfect (anna, I think I got this description from you). Anyway, brewed up in my carry mug, the tea retained its intense melon sweetness, but also had some floral and cotton candy undertones and I wanted to bathe in it. But instead I chugged it like it was going out of style at work and I have no regrets and all sorts of intentions to buy more. Unbelievable.

Rosehips

Everyone seems to be drinking this. I must get some for myself, it sounds wonderful.

keychange

You really must. If you aren’t going to be placing a lupicia order in the near future, I can send you some.

Indigobloom

Glad I’m not a melon girl. More for you! :P

DeliriumsFrogs

I drank this ALL day today…it was sooo good!!!

Rosehips

Thanks so much Keychange, but I am planning on a Lupicia order (too many much raved about teas here. I just gotta get some!)

OMGsrsly

I have to admit I’m curious, even though I’m not one for melons. :)

keychange

It sure is perfect! and omgsrsly, I’d send you some, too. I don’t have too much left but I believe the whole world should try this.

OMGsrsly

No worries! I’ll do an order at some point, and my BFF LOVES melon, so even if I’m not a huge fan she will drink it. :)

Tealizzy

I’m drinking some right now! :)

keychange

Great choice!!

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
451 tasting notes

I haven’t trusted myself to write a decent tasting note lately, and it’s mainly because my head has been really scattered. See here:

1. I got this tea back in September when a friend got it for me from London. Little did I know that this is one of the mf teas you can get pretty much everywhere. Oh well.
2. It smells great dry, like an assortment of fruit, with emphasis on the sweeter fruits, but not distinctly strawberry.
3. Brewed for five minutes. added milk and cream.
4. Tastes exactly like a strawberry campino candy, with a hefty black base that seems to be heftier than what I would think is normal for mf but maybe i’m under-estimating them. It’s different enough from Ruby pie that I can happily say I have two favourite strawberry teas. When I sniffed this tea after it had been brewed, I smelled that signature sort of metallic smell I sometimes get from french teas, and my heart sank the slightest bit. But that smell wasn’t present in the sip and it was all creamy campino and who can complain about that?

Dinosara

Hey, someone else that gets the metallic note! I have always felt that my taste buds are crazy because almost no one else tastes (or smells) it. What other teas have you tasted/smelled it on?

keychange

Oh, you get that metallic note too? How odd. Well, I’ve mostly found it in French teas (ninas paris comes to mind, actually, and maybe some df teas as well). How about you? perhaps we can help one another avoid that metallic taste!

Dinosara

I’ve actually only gotten it in MF teas, but not all of them. They have a nut one called Trois Noix that I first noticed it in. I’ve never tasted it in a DF tea but I’m not sure about Nina’s. I can’t fathom what causes it!

keychange

That’s funny that we’ve both found it in French teas though.

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drank Dolce Vita by RiverTea
451 tasting notes

Had this for breakfast this morning, and now we’re talking. Strongly fragrant and flavourful, there’s no mistaking that this is a thick and creamy raspberry tea. Again, I didn’t find any coconut, but I’m ok with that. I would not compare this with Fantasy island by DAVIDs tea because that tea is coconut heavy with not even a trace hint of raspberry, whereas this is raspberry heavy and I can’t for the life of me find coconut. That’s ok, though—I am tea polygamous so it all works out.
Oh my gosh this tea was perfect on what felt like such an ideal spring morning.

Courtney

Tea polygamous haha.

keychange

haha the spice of life. It’s funny because coffee drinkers typically drink one kind and stick to it…whereas I’m always standing in front of my shelf being like “what do I want? I don’t want any of this! I don’t have enough tea!” haha

Courtney

So true! I enjoy my coffee too, but my tea is far more variable.

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drank Creamy Vanilla by RiverTea
451 tasting notes

I had this tea yesterday morning with breakfast (actually I think this was my breakfast), and felt so uninspired that I couldn’t really think of anything to write. As with all vanilla teas, I was hoping for more vanilla, and although the vanilla in this tea didn’t smell of alcohol or anything overly cloying or chemical, it just wasn’t strong enough. The good news is that this tea is still tasty and easy enough to drink; it just isn’t a strongly flavoured vanilla black. The vanilla is gentle, and the base…I can’t remember much about it. You can tell it’s well-blended, and between sharing with people and drinking a few more cups, I’ll have no problem finishing this off.

A good tea, just not awesome.

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Bio

Well, it’s been slightly over six months since I’ve joined steepster, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about this community. Like many of you, I began my foray into the world of loose-leaf tea by discovering David’s Tea, and although I’ve ventured out and have discovered many other companies that I’m extremely fond of, there are still many of David’s teas that I hold close to my heart and I will always appreciate it as a starting point for my journey.

As for my preferences, I tend to prefer bold black tea, flavoured and unflavoured alike, and I almost always take my blacks with cream and sugar. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good, flavoured white though, and I’m slowly making my way through the incredibly confusing world of oolongs and greens. I am also not a fan of rooibos, although I am starting to suspect green rooibos may be ok, but you know how it is: when you’ve decided you detest a certain ingredient, you’ll notice it everywhere—perhaps even where it doesn’t exist!

Things other than tea: I’m engaged to be married to my best friend, and feel like the richest woman on the planet because of it. I am also a veracious reader, and I also happen to have an obsession with fragrances, and have amassed quite a collection, although it pales in comparison to some collections out there! As a result of this obsession, I also follow several fragrance blogs, and am always up for a chat about scent. I’m also almost completely blind, and this does indeed mean that I come complete with a guide dog, who unlike me, hales from the sunny California campus of Guide dogs for the Blind. I think I’ve rambled on long enough, but if there’s anything you’d like to know or if you just feel like chatting to someone, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

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Ontario, Canada

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