2515 Tasting Notes

78

I guess the lotus stamens or whatever used to be in this tea are no longer, because my baggie doesn’t appear to contain any at all :( Oh well. The tea probably still tastes the same, and it’s nice – spiced and fall-flavoured, though fairly light on flavour overall. It’s nice enough though, and with a 2-minute infusion, the base is kept pretty smooth.

I see I have a note that recommends I add maple syrup for even better flavour… sadly, I just had to dump mine, because it went moldy, probably because the container wasn’t sterilized properly when it was poured in. The hazards of buying syrup from random roadside vendors, I guess. My boyfriend had to dump over a litre of his too, for the same reason. (I had maybe 300mL left). Sigh.

Anlina

Ugh that sucks about the syrup. It’s so expensive to buy too – I’d be so upset if I had to dump out that much.

Cheri

That is disappointing. Good syrup is expensive but worth it.

Fjellrev

Geez, I never thought that it could even go moldy, but lack of sterilization makes sense.

Butiki Teas

Hmmm, we never used lotus stamens in this tea. Maybe you are thinking of Pistachio Ice Cream?

Kittenna

I don’t think I meant lotus stamens (right, that’s Pistachio Ice Cream) but there was definitely something orange and fluffy in this previously, which I remember from the samples I got as well as the bag Raritea and Indigobloom split quite a while back (we had to shake it up to make sure they each got equal amounts). Maybe it was the pumpkin?? Actually, looking at the tea image – my tea doesn’t even look quite right (I dumped it all out into a bowl) – there’s nothing orange. No pumpkin??

Butiki Teas

Oh, sounds like the dried pumpkin might have not made it much into your bag. Oh no. That’s odd, really odd.

Kittenna

I wasn’t sure if it was a cosmetic ingredient that maybe you had run out of (I know the Strawberry oolong used to have teensy little flowerbuds in it, which ceased to be present in my mom’s last 2 oz.), but given the ingredient list, presumably it’s the pumpkin. [I sent you a picture of my tea on Facebook] :)

Butiki Teas

ok, I’ll check it out. We never stopped adding the pumpkin. The only thing I can think is that maybe you got the very top of the tin and the pumpkin flakes had fallen a bit. I’ll see what you posted on Facebook. I could always refund that tea for you.

Kittenna

In response to the maple syrup – yeah, I don’t think syrup itself goes moldy without being… infected, but where I was seeing mold was on the inside of where the lid was, and a bit in the handle (it was a mini milk-jug container). I’m well-versed in sterile technique, and am very good at not contaminating things myself – so I know it wasn’t my fault, especially given the mold in the handle as well. Sigh. And then there was cloudy stringiness in the syrup as well… and the aroma from the bottle smelled kind of like acetone. Exact same thing with my boyfriend’s. We threw out probably $20 worth of syrup. Next time, we’ll probably freeze portions, or buy from a bit more reputable place. Heh.

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98

Oh man. I hope this is the tea they bring back. It’s even better steeped at home, so thank you SO much VariaTea for sharing with me. I’m kind of irritated that my local DT wouldn’t sell any to me – I’ve gathered by asking about things on the DT Facebook page that they were allowed to sell them… and also the new mystery tea that they had a naming contest for. Always great when store employees don’t know what’s supposed to happen.

But yes. This is perfect pear flavour in tea form. PERFECT. It smells, and tastes like a poached pear with a hint of cinnamon. It’s really quite incredibly delicious. And quite frankly, would be The pear tea I’ve wanted. (Thank you thank you for using green rooibos instead of red or a terrible green tea base). The worst part of this, though, is that I recall also quite liking the other tea they offered up (which I’ll try again later also thanks to VariaTea). Why couldn’t they just give us both instead of releasing other, crappier teas?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’m all irritated again. (I also have a tummyache, and I’m sure this is contributing to my unhappiness.) This is another tea that was on Steepster, and appears to no longer exist. And I know it was here, because I gave samples of this tea to Sil, etc., and they tried it too. SO ANNOYING.

Anyways. Fairly basic-tasting loose leaf black blend. Can’t do a proper review because I drank it as a pro-tea-n latte today with chocolate protein powder, which kind of made it like a tea hot chocolate. It was interesting, but I think I brewed the tea a little strong. Oh well. It seems like a decent enough tea for me to start throwing in my travel mug when I want a straight black – I have a bunch of it (something my mom was given that she didn’t want), and no particular fondness for it, so sipping it down would be just fine by me.

68
drank White Chocolate Frost by DAVIDsTEA
2515 tasting notes

Soooo I guess I bought some of this tea… and never actually tried it. Heh. (Or maybe I did, but I really don’t remember, and there seemed to be a fair bit left of the 10g… if not all…)

Anyhow, given all the fuss about it, I figured I’d try my sample. It’s quite pepperminty (in that candy way, not peppermint leaf), then fades into a creaminess. Basically like Santa’s Secret or Mint To Be minus the black base. It has a bit of a weirdness, almost a sourness, to it, that could easily be something from the white chocolate (or maybe the peppercorns), but it’s not overly strong, nor overly off-putting. Honestly, I prefer Cocomint Cream/Santa’s Secret/Mint To Be, probably because there are other flavours in the tea than just creamy mint. I might mix the rest of it with a black and see how it turns out.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Working on getting this one to sipdown level. I think I brewed it a bit strong tonight, but it’s reasonably tasty, all limey and a bit creamy. Probably would be a bit better if I diluted it some, though, because it’s verging on bitter. The flavour profile, now that I think about it, is actually fairly similar to Sun & Cloud Mist, which I definitely prefer – this one just maybe has less base tea, and more lemongrass.

TeaBrat

Is this a recent re-blend? I remember having this one years ago…

Kittenna

Haha, this is an ancient tea from LiberTEAS, sadly not a reblend.

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81
drank Cantaloupe Bai Mu Dan by 52teas
2515 tasting notes

Sipdown! 981.

Another super oldie. But, was in a nice Mylar(?) package, and retained flavour, so it’s still fairly tasty. Nice cantaloupe flavour, mild creamy-ish base. I do greatly prefer Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream though, perhaps because it’s softer and creamier, though the actually melon flavour is reasonably similar.

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80

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80

Sipdown! 982.

A half-finished package, so clearly I’ve tried this before… and have no note to show for it. Argh. I don’t even remember trying it, which is perhaps even more irritating, haha. Anyhow, it smells pretty nice brewed up – lightly spiced with a dash of orange and sweetness. It smells kind of like Christmas, because I guess orange spice = Christmas, to me. Flavourwise, that’s pretty much what it is – an orange spice tea, with some creaminess from the vanilla (presumably). Cinnamon is the predominant spice, but overall, it’s quite balanced, which I prefer. I would imagine there has been a bit of flavour loss here, given that this has not been sealed for a while (sample packet, so just clipped shut, and probably not all that well), but it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m not sure what the base tea is (I’m guessing Laoshan Black but have no real idea), but it’s really not terribly obvious here. Or maybe it’s an herbal? (I thought I saw leaves though.) Overall, pretty enjoyable, probably better when fresh, and I may throw another sample into a future order if it’s around, perhaps next Christmas, because I don’t think I’d drink this outside of the winter months.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

Zhu rong

Kittenna

I saw that after, but would be hard pressed to ever guess it!

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1
drank Chrysanthemum Flowers by DAVIDsTEA
2515 tasting notes

Thanks to Janelle for a sample of this tea! Another tea where I really have no idea what to expect, just a hope that it’s not completely like chamomile, haha.

And it’s not. But oh, is it WEIRD. And not entirely pleasant. There’s almost… a metallic taste to it. I did use a metal infuser basket since I was concerned the Finum would get all gross like it does with chamomile, but it must be a flavour from the tea itself, because I’ve never had an infuser impart flavours to a tea like this. So… doesn’t taste like chamomile, but does taste like metal has been leached into the water. I’m really not finding this good at all… O.o Dumping time. (Oh man, I just burped and it tasted like this tea/metal. I am so grossed out right now, you have no idea.)

ETA: If you can get past the metal association, this might be a reasonable tea. But it’s quite distinct, and making me gag, so it’s a big no-go.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Lilysmom

That does not sound good….

Kittenna

It wasn’t. And actually, reading someone else’s post a bit later, it dawned on me what I meant – rust. It tasted like rust. Like well water with a lot of iron. But, doubtful that it’s the water given that it was the only tea of the four brewed up that had that flavour/aroma.

AllanK

While I have not tasted the David’s Tea version, Chrysanthemum Flowers are an acquired taste. They are earthy. If you have more sample try adding sugar.

JC

Chrysanthemum flowers are a completely different flavor profile than Chamomile for sure, but it should not taste like what you described :P They are very lightly sweet, but mostly medicinal and refreshing (not really camphor, but similar). I’m sorry you had to try something like what you described.

Kittenna

Hmm. Maybe I overleafed or something? It just tasted like a cup of rust/metal (plus other tea-ish flavours, but that was the predominant one). Sigh.

JC

It could be, but by the sound of the it I would go with the possibility that they were just old or not stored properly (happened to my first bag), I have mine well sealed now and it still tastes and smells the way it is supposed to after a year and a half.

JC

Or try 185-195 degrees, if you have some left. ;)

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90
drank Mi Lan Dan Cong by Canton Tea Co
2515 tasting notes

Sipdown! 983.

Holy lychee! Brewed up the last of this tonight, and my goodness, is it delicious. I should have figured out by now that “mi” seems to mean “leafhopper” (or something to that effect), so I should have remembered that this tea would be all sweet and delicious PLUS dancong roasty goodness. And wow, is it ever sweet tonight. Honey and lychee, with a bit of roasty in the background. Probably better lychee flavour than lychee-flavoured teas. It’s ridiculously good. I only wish that my palate was a bit less… pre-flavoured… so I could taste it more clearly (I have had some snacks). Anyways, noms.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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