55
drank RadioactiviTEA by Man Teas
2515 tasting notes

Ok, I’m only trying this one because of my curiousity about 52teas’ blends and the generosity of Azzrian! It’s not something I would typically pick out myself…

The dry tea looks so much like coffee! I suppose that’s because it’s CTC, but it’s really odd. And consequently, requires a filter with teensy weensy holes, or alternately, a disposable filterbag, which is what I went with. There isn’t toooooo much smell to the dry tea. It smells kind of like a… black tea. And perhaps has picked up the slightest hint of Mayan Chocolate Chai in its aroma. Highly doubt it will be present in the tea though.

I’m really hoping I didn’t oversteep this one… used a level teaspoon’s worth in a regular mug, and 95C water for just over 3 minutes… and it smelled POTENT. The aroma actually reminds me strongly of Red Rose, an association I’m only making because of recently having drank some Red Rose. Had I not, I probably would have recognized it as a familiar smell and been frustrated at not being able to place it!

The flavour is definitely not as strong as I anticipated. It really just tastes like a “standard black tea”, which I would use to describe any black tea I had prior to 2012. There is some astringency, and a hint of bitterness – I probably could have used a bit less tea and dropped the infusion time to 2:30 and been a touch happier, but it’s not bad. I am not really caring for this one plain though, it’s just too boring-black-tea-like. It really does taste like a bagged tea. So, I’m sure it will be great once I add some milk and sugar, and I’ll be able to finish it off that way, but not a tea I’d purchase myself!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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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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