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So last night, I decided to go through a bunch of the teas I had and pick out a select few that I either hadn’t yet tried, or hadn’t tried properly, etc. etc. Ended up with a huge pile (probably 50+ teas), and my plan is to drink through them (not finishing them, just trying them all) until I’m done, without going for other teas! Of course, I’ll probably let myself slip up a bit, but hopefully I can get through these ones fairly quickly. Some are teas that I owe reviews for (e.g. from Teavivre); some are old things I need to use up, and others I just haven’t tried. It’s not an exhaustive pile by a long shot, and I didn’t go through too many sample boxes (just ones from Azzrian, and Mercuryhime) so there are plenty of samples baggies yet to go through…. eek.

Anyways, starting with a couple from Caraway Teas. Apparently nobody else had tried this one, as I had to add it myself; I was surprised, as it actually sounds rather good. A black tea, with pineapple and papaya. I find it interesting that instead of large chunks of fruit as other companies do, the fruit here is nearly indistinguishable from the tea, being in small brown pellety form. At least I hope it’s fruit (haha). Anyhow, it’s not likely freeze-dried fruit, more likely dried in a different manner. I’m brewing this at work, so not optimal conditions, but oh well – blacks at least don’t have stringent temperature requirements!

The aroma is of a strong black tea. Little, if any, fruitiness is apparent, although the aroma is not unpleasant. A few sips in, and it’s clear that this is too strong for my liking. It’s rather bitter and somewhat astringent, which leads me to believe that a 2:30 infusion would have been better, and perhaps adding a bit less tea may also have been beneficial (my work teaspoon is currently indisposed… I eyeballed). Unfortunately, I’m really not tasting anything fruity here. I think there are perhaps hints, and maybe if I compared an unflavoured version of this black tea base to this cup, I would notice a difference, but I’m just not picking it up. There is a bit of sweetness though, so this tea is palatable to drink straight (well, it would be better if not oversteeped), it’s just nothing special at all. I feel like I could put some milk and sugar in here and serve it in a restaurant as “tea” and nobody would be the wiser.

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Azzrian

I have tried to do this a few times and keep failing.

tattooed_tea

I too have tried to at least try what I haven’t yet. It lasted a few days but I still have so much to try, but o just want to drink my fave.

Kittenna

Well, this pile definitely doesn’t contain everything I have yet to try, but a good bit of it is new to my tastebuds! Got three down today, and there’s a bunch of stuff in there that I’m eager to try, so I don’t think it will be quite the chore it could be (yet).

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Azzrian

I have tried to do this a few times and keep failing.

tattooed_tea

I too have tried to at least try what I haven’t yet. It lasted a few days but I still have so much to try, but o just want to drink my fave.

Kittenna

Well, this pile definitely doesn’t contain everything I have yet to try, but a good bit of it is new to my tastebuds! Got three down today, and there’s a bunch of stuff in there that I’m eager to try, so I don’t think it will be quite the chore it could be (yet).

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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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