4943 Tasting Notes

77

An interesting tea that I guess I haven’t logged before. I didn’t buy this one specifically, but received it in lieu of a different tea I’d ordered, that was out of stock.

Due to the size of rolled oolong balls, this tea is a bit of a different experience each time (especially when brewing by the cup), which is kind of neat. Today, it’s obviously leaning towards the creamy and floral green side of things, which is a refreshing change from what I’ve mostly been drinking lately. I believe I’ve had a few less-than-stellar cups, but it’s a bit of a fun idea. Perhaps something one could do with the remnants of sample baggies? Although these 7 oolongs may very well have been carefully selected to complement each other, in which case all one would end up with would be a muddled mess. Hard to say!

In other news, I have been absolutely wiped the past few days. I slept much of Saturday, and a decent portion Sunday, and I’m currently counting the seconds until I can put the baby down for his second nap, at which time I’m going to try and have a nap myself. (He probably won’t cooperate, though – whenever I am in need of a nap, he decides he doesn’t need one.) Not fun. I’m trying to work on eating somewhat better, but am not really restricting calories, just taking them to an appropriate level and trying to make more nutritious food choices, so you’d think if anything, I should be feeling better….

tea-sipper

Hope you can find some sleep.

Kittenna

Thanks – I felt much better today, but now the baby is feverish and sick :(

tea-sipper

Oh no! Hopefully the baby gets better quickly. :/

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89
drank Frankenberry by 52teas
4943 tasting notes

Sipdown! 235/365!

From the 12 Teas of Christmas – but I do have another package as well, so this is only kind of a sipdown. It’s not fantastic; the base gets bitter quite easily, and disguises any fluffy vanilla fruit flavouring. This cup was a bit better than some I’ve had, but not a tea I’m sad to see go. I think the original, however, was pretty delicious.

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45

Sipdown! 234/365!

Mixed the last of this with a resteep of iHeartTeas’ raspberry/apricot for a jug of iced tea. Husband sadly remarked that it wasn’t as good. Which is true, because this tea is honestly pretty terrible. Hopefully he still drinks it! Next up for him is probably Lupicia’s Paradise Green, which smells like it will be even better than the raspberry/apricot, at least for sweetened iced tea.

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81
drank Caramel Corn by DAVIDsTEA
4943 tasting notes

Sipdown! 233/365!

Meant to ice this, but left it on the counter and am having it cool instead. Upped the ratio of tea:water and it’s a deliciously sweet brew, very satisfying for sweets cravings, though I’m not really having any of those right now. Have plenty more of this; this was just my original sample baggie.

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82

Sipdown! 232/365!

Yep, sad about this one. I could have had this iced all day. The aftertaste is just spectacular, with an almost caramelly tone along with the fruit. And the bonus of honeybush is zero astringency, not even a suggestion. Going to miss this greatly. I was going to brew up the last of Very Big Hill Dew tonight, but I think I’m going to switch to a less-loved honeybush/rooibos so I’m not drinking all the good stuff at the same time!

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70

Sipdown! 231/365!

Free sample with my previous order, thanks B&B! This is a tea I was curious about, because I love strawberry teas and lemonade, but often, the hibiscus is just too much. So I usually just stick with what I can get from Davidstea, since I have the advantage of being able to sample them in smaller amounts first.

This tea steeps up fairly purple, so I was wary of the hibiscus, but it’s not actually too strong, just a bit of tartness. However, I’m really not picking up any strawberry at all. Just a vaguely fruity, somewhat tart blend. Which is not bad, just not strawberry lemonade. I brewed this up hot, and am now going to stick the remainder in the fridge to try cold and see if there’s any change in flavour. I’ve been downing iced teas like crazy lately and can’t keep my fridge stocked. I really can’t believe I didn’t make them as much before (but I guess I a. wasn’t home during the summer and b. didn’t have the fridge room when sharing with roommates. And last summer, I was heavily pregnant and did basically nothing, haha.)

Tentative rating of 70; will see if drinking this cold, as it probably is meant to be consumed, changes that.

ETA: Nope, no change. More refreshing cold, but same flavour. Second steep, consumed cooled, had much more lemongrass/lemonade flavour, but still not much strawberry.

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90

Sipdown! 230/365!

Finishing off a sample packet of this that was opened – I recently inventoried the majority of my straight teas, and pulled out open samples, greens, and sipdown-level samples, so I will be drinking a bit more of that sort of thing in the near future. I think I’m well ahead on my sipdown goal, though, so no end-of-month quick roulette like last time.

This is another still-really-tasty-despite-age tea. Some of the complexity gone, and there are some spice notes here that are perhaps from contamination, but no metallic flavours, just sweetness and green bean-y umami. Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!

Also – I talked myself out of a Taiwan Tea Crafts order today, which I’m pleased about, especially since I just got a Verdant order that I probably could have waited on. However, I’m excited to see that TTC has 10g samples – not sure they had those last time I ordered, as I bought 25g of everything, which is more than necessary when you’re just curious. I also noted they have free shipping for sample orders of $25+, so this is on my list for some refills of high mountain oolongs and baozhongs at some point.

For those interested, my current tea count is 693 (oh – 692 with this one removed)…. but this does not include my most recent Verdant order, any of my paid-for and incoming teas (AQ2T, 52teas, Bird & Blend), almost all of the Anne-era 52teas, almost all Butiki, all Lupicia, nearly all misc company teas and swap samples. I’ve only inventoried 5 of my 12 bins of tea (though they were the fullest and oldest, excepting Butiki, which I just haven’t run through a second time yet). Yeesh.

Martin Bednář

Whoa. That’s load of tea. And I am annoyed with 100, while lots of them are tea bags.

mrmopar

Such a small number. You need more! We are in the same boat! Hard to hide it all.

Kittenna

Mine is not hidden at all, haha.

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94

Another iced bottle of this tea as well – I way oversteeped, but it seems to be fine. I like it cold, but not nearly as much as those honeybush blends.

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78
drank Very Big Hill Dew by 52teas
4943 tasting notes

Iced a pitcher of this last night as well, and while I don’t like it as much as Watermelon Blackberry, it’s still really darn good iced. A bit cola-y and citrussy, and just incredibly refreshing. Also planning on using up the rest of it in the next couple days though.

Upping rating from 74 to 78, as I should have been having this cold all along.

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82

[Frank version – though I don’t believe this has been reblended]
Iced a bottle of this and drank it today – it was absolutely amazing. I’m not sure it tasted like either blackberry OR watermelon, but the flavour was spectacular, and I probably could have consumed a full 2 litres of it if I’d had that much (I had 700mL or so).

I have enough left for one more bottle of it, which I’m planning to make tonight, and then it will be gone, which I’m a bit sad about. However, it has reminded me that some honeybush/rooibos blends are quite delicious iced – so I need to have more of them!

52Teas

No, I haven’t reblended this.

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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