63
drank Canadian Ice Wine by Culinary Teas
2246 tasting notes

Decided I’d compare the two ice wine teas I have tonight. Should have thrown 52teas Sweet Merlot in the mix too, but I didn’t think about it and probably have enough teas on the go right now anyhow. This one is courtesy of Azzrian!

Dry, this one smells sweet and a bit tangy. Steeped, it smells sweet and perfumey and OMG I’m such an idiot, I was swirling it around and dumped a bunch on my computer. Ok, all better, luckily I missed the actual keys part of the keyboard, just got some next to the trackpad. Funnily enough this is not even the first time I’ve spilled on my keyboard today… I’m usually better, I swear!

So back to the tea. Definitely surprisingly perfumey given the relative lack of aroma from the dry tea!

First infusion (boiling-ish/4min):
The taste is perfumey. Definitely reminiscent of an ice wine. Rather mild, which is ok. I can’t pick out the black tea base specifically, but can feel that it’s there. There’s also a touch of astringency, but not bad, just a bit mouth-drying.

Second infusion (boiling-ish/5-6min):
Less perfumey in aroma, but almost more perfumey in taste, perhaps because there’s less black tea base there to disguise it? Actually – it’s reminding me an awful lot of some sort of similarly-scented soap. That’s not to say it tastes soapy, but I swear I’ve had a soap in the past that smell/tasted VERY similar. Or bubble bath or something… some bath product. Perhaps even shampoo/conditioner. To my knowledge though, I don’t think I’ve ever had an ice wine or even grape-scented bath product (unless it’s one of those little plasticky bubble bath thingers that I’m thinking of, in which case it could be grape). I didn’t get this association really until the second cup (and even went back and it’s just not quite the same in the first infusion).

Overall, an interesting tea, but I don’t think I’d choose it for myself. I’ll have to see what the next version is like! And perhaps at some point give the Design-a-Tea version a try, since that was Azzrian’s favourite.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 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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