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Thanks to JoonSusanna I get to try this tea (that’s been on my list for quite a while now!)

When I opened the packet, the first aroma I caught was a play-doughy scent. Not good. I seem to have noticed that bai mu dan teas, when they get old, seem to develop that sort of aroma/flavour, which I fins quite unpleasant. I’ve smelled it with multiple teas, but it doesn’t always carry through to the flavour, so I’m hoping it doesn’t here!

Clearly I’m out of tea-steeping practice, because it just occurred to me that I steeped this in boiling water. Oops! Anyhow, once brewed, the aroma of the tea thankfully is no longer like play dough and a bit like alcoholic/cherries.

The flavour is definitely a fruity bai mu dan, with some astringency (I imagine that’s my fault though). It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. I suspect that this has lost some flavour due to its age, but it’s not reading as Cherries Jubilee to me (although I was just hoping for a non-floral cherry white). I’ll have to try a re-steep on this though, as there’s a huge cherry in the infuser that probably needs to be sliced open or something beforehand.

Anyways, thanks for this one, JoonSusanna! I always love trying new teas :D No rating as there’s too much likelihood of age being a factor here!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
JoonSusanna

Yeah, I was worried that this one might have been too old…I’m glad you were able to try it, but sorry I didn’t think to send it for swaps earlier!

Kittenna

That’s ok – some blends hold up, some don’t! I have some stuff that I really have got to put up for swap asap, otherwise I’m going to have the same problem.

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JoonSusanna

Yeah, I was worried that this one might have been too old…I’m glad you were able to try it, but sorry I didn’t think to send it for swaps earlier!

Kittenna

That’s ok – some blends hold up, some don’t! I have some stuff that I really have got to put up for swap asap, otherwise I’m going to have the same problem.

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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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