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Time for a bit of sample crunching :D Treating myself to a nice tea time tonight as I ran a 10K race this morning. Didn’t quite hit my goal time of 60 mins (63:09), but I haven’t been training as much as I should have been (for various reasons), so I’m pretty happy. And apparently I was pretty “out of it” after crossing the finish line, so I don’t think I lacked in effort put in. Therefore, tea time reward :D (Of course, I also spent the day with my boyfriend & roommate playing board games and watching Dr. Who, so I’ve already been “rewarded”…. shush!)

This sample is from Momo and one I requested waaay back (or so it feels) when she last sent me a swap package. I’m trying to develop a taste for desserty rooibos for the evenings (it’s working) so I don’t get so sad when my evening tea selection is super small.

The tea smells quite chocolatey and a touch rooibos-y in the glass… there’s almost a bit of a sour smell to it, but as long as it doesn’t indicate a flavour present in the tea, it’s irrelevant. Hrm. Unfortunately that touch of sourness does seem to appear in the tea. I can’t say whether this is a case of “tea contamination” or just the way this rooibos tastes (my tastebuds think it could easily be either, as it’s almost a potentially citrusy sort of sour). Other than that, I do quite like the flavour of this one! It’s creamy, it’s smoothly chocolatey, and perhaps that note I’m getting could also be “truffle”. I’m actually finding it less bothersome as I sip, so really tough to know where it’s coming from. There’s certainly no icky medicinal rooibos taste here though, which is relieving! So really, the biggest negative is the fact that I’m getting a bit of a scratchy throat feeling from the tea, which seems to be a common occurrence with me and rooibos (though not honeybush). Makes it a bit less desirable to be drinking, but as long as I’m not drinking cups and cups of it, it’s not so bad.

Thanks for letting me try this one, Momo!

ETA: Not a bad second infusion. Still chocolatey, but fairly weak, and still the throat scratchiness

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Claire

Congratulations on finishing your race!

Indigobloom

Congrats Kittenna!! that is an accomplishment :)

Ninavampi

Yay for 10k!!! :)

Kittenna

Thanks guys! I am paying for it today… I have an extremely sore back and I think I’ve given myself shin splints again. Blehhh. Ah well!

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Comments

Claire

Congratulations on finishing your race!

Indigobloom

Congrats Kittenna!! that is an accomplishment :)

Ninavampi

Yay for 10k!!! :)

Kittenna

Thanks guys! I am paying for it today… I have an extremely sore back and I think I’ve given myself shin splints again. Blehhh. Ah well!

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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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