2494 Tasting Notes

Sipdown! 987. Thanks Sil!

My first impression of this tea was that it was simply a blend, without flavourings. Which somewhat suits Donna, although I feel like there should be a bit of spice along with it. Anyhow, in the aftertaste, I’m getting a hint of something… maybe orange, maybe caramel… no, maybe cinnamon? It’s pretty weak, so difficult to pinpoint. I’ll go with caramel-cinnamon. Hahaha – wow! I’m impressed with myself. I picked out all three flavours! :D Because based on a previous tea incorporating Irish Breakfast, I seem to associate a caramel flavour with it (I kind of want to try Adagio’s Irish Breakfast now…) Anyhow, I don’t know if this tea is weak due to age/storage or whether it’s typically like that, but it’s a good flavour combo, I just wish it was stronger. (Checking out others’ notes, it seems like it has probably lost some flavour, so I’ll refrain from a numerical rating).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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53

Sipdown! 988. Another from Sil, of course!

I accidentally saw the “tea type” when bringing up the review screen, so I know that this is a chai blend, but thankfully I tried it prior, and had already established that to me, it tasted like a bit of a spicy tea (very mild though), with some orange essence, and possibly some sort of “herbal” ingredient (although I couldn’t narrow that down any further). Looks like I was more or less correct (aha, raspberry leaves – that might account for “herbal”), but I can’t say I taste the vanilla, nor am I overly fond of this tea. It tastes like a very weak chai… as in, if you added even a splash of milk, the chai-ness would disappear. I like my chais strong and flavourful, so this doesn’t work for me. I do agree that a chai is fitting to Amy’s personality, but this is too weak (likely diluted by the addition of two non-chai teas to the blend).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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78

Sipdown! 989. Another Dr. Who tea from Sil, so thanks! Today is ‘companion’ day, as I have three of those to drink.

My trainer cancelled our session this morning, and as I was starting to feel a bit under the weather last night (topped off by a very bad case of the angries), I ended up sleeping away most of the day today. Oops. On the plus side, I think I feel better, but I also think there’s still a sickness lurking. Sigh. Anyhow, I figured that drinking tea can only be a good thing (though I may need to get into some non-caffeinated teas a bit more later tonight), and I figured a few sipdowns would make me happy.

So! Onto this tea. Delicious sweet, raisiny aroma – reminds me of when you make sticky buns with raisins, and the sticky-caramelly raisins on the edge get a bit burnt to the pan, and you eat them anyways even though there’s a bit more burniness than you’d like. Yep. That’s exactly how it smells (no burniness; that only comes in the flavour with the raisins, not the aroma). Flavourwise, it’s like the raisins that do not get burnt, but just browned and caramelly and very YUM. I didn’t mention it, but I’m playing “guess the flavours!” again, if that wasn’t obvious. I find it very entertaining to do this with flavoured teas when I have no idea what the ingredients are. Anyhow. Looking at the ingredients (sesame, rooibos caramel), it looks like I was about right. I believe I’ve had Adagio’s Sesame before, and it was not good at all, but in a mix, I can see how it would provide those burny notes – I assume the assam is responsible for raisin, and the rooibos caramel, duh, the caramel. I actually forgot that there was rooibos in here, so it’s worth noting that it doesn’t really have much impact aside from the caramel, which is perfect IMO.

Overall, a pretty decent tea, but probably not quite decadent enough for me to want to grab any. I’d happily drink it again if the opportunity arose, though.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

It’s a shame that their sesame tea isn’t good, it sounds like such an interesting flavor.

carol who

Hurray for Martha Jones! Love this tea!

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70
drank Masala Chai by Tea Desire
2494 tasting notes

Well… now I know with 100% certainty that my tasting notes are not all here. Or, that teas have been deleted instead of being merged, or something. Because it was me who gave pretty much everyone here this tea, and I know I wrote notes on it, rambling on about how I have 250g of this darn tea. How incredibly irritating. Makes me really want to copy-paste everything offline, since Steepster has been so unreliable.

Anyhow, steeped a bunch of this to make a pseudo latte with skim milk. Added some maple syrup, discovered that my maple syrup may be going bad (REALLY. I didn’t think that was possible. FFS.) but drank the tea anyways, and it was alright, but not spectacular. I think I should mix some of a strong lapsang into it next time. I love smoke with chai.

(Also, I am very grumpy not only because of this notes-missing realization, but because I was so excited about popping a cob of popcorn in my microwave tonight (picked it from a local farm about a month ago when we were getting pumpkins), and the damned thing pretty much caught on fire in the microwave 1 minute and 44 seconds in to its 2.5-3 minute nuking. I had to panicfully grab a bowl of water, grab the corn with oven mitts and throw it in, watching sadly while it smoked and fizzled. So the whole freaking house smells like smoke (because I am NOT opening windows when it’s minus a bajillion out there), and I got no popcorn. AND because of the weather, my boyfriend didn’t drive over tonight for supper, so I had a pot roast all by myself. And no snuggles. Woe.)

Sil

Sometimes they’re not there and then they are….but yes. Frustrating

Anlina

Boo, I’m sorry about your tasting notes and the corn.

dragondrool

Sorry everything went wonky on you. Hope things are much improved today.

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Ehhhhhh this was weird. Oddly sweetish aroma from the bag – familiar, but not what I was expecting, in that it neither smelled like chocolate nor pumpkin spice, more like… floral something. Odd. The flavour, though not bad, was also kind of weird, and not exactly how I’d expect a pumpkin brownie to taste. To be fair, though, I retrospectively am thinking that chocolate + pumpkin is a bit of an odd combo… maybe I wouldn’t like it to begin with! Ah well. Was playing ‘Stone Age’ online with my boyfriend tonight while drinking it, and wasn’t paying as much attention to it as I should have. Next time!

ETA: Hah, while resteeping I remembered what the aroma reminded me of. It’s of the spicing in both Cinnamon Roll HB and Strawberry Pie HB. Which is not, in itself, a bad thing, but it doesn’t quite fit to me here. Also, there’s not enough other flavour along with it – Cinnamon Roll HB was packed with this, plus frosting & baked goods flavouring, while Strawberry Pie HB was, duh, strawberries + baked goods. This is… eh? But as mentioned, I’ll properly review a first infusion of this at a later date.

Marzipan

Love Stone Age!

OMGsrsly

IMO, pumpkin does not go with chocolate. :)

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drank Kiwi Cheesecake Oolong by 52teas
2494 tasting notes

Going to have to try this properly the next time, because I way oversteeped (6.5 minutes! Whoops!) However, I kind of liked it. Light greenish oolong flavour with a nice light fruitiness. Not real kiwi, but I can believe that it’s kiwi flavouring. Didn’t really get cheesecake, but a) I rarely do, and b) it’s probably way oversteeped for that. Regardless, it was enjoyable and I’ll see how it fares when properly brewed.

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87

Sipdown! 990.

This is a sipdown of apparently 3 different sample sizes I have of this tea. Not entirely certain if I know the locations of the others, but hopefully they are unopened (this was open). Anyhow, I don’t have any particular aversion to jasmine (as long as I am wanting/expecting it), and this is quite a nice version of it. No artificialness, a great silky smooth and flavourful base, strong yet delicate jasmine aroma and flavour. Not always something I’m craving, but it was nice tonight.

Sil

No more tea for you lol not until you get a smaller cupboard!

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83
drank Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong by Yezi Tea
2494 tasting notes

Sipdown! 991. (Added my en-route Butikis and Verdant, hence the upswing. I am hovering dangerously near 1000….)

Oddly enough, it looks like Raritea must have given me the second half of her packet of this or something, since I have a prior tasting note on it yet the packet has her name on it. So presumably, I have another half-packet lurking somewhere else (unless I drank it during the months I was away from Steepster, in which case I’d expect to at least find the empty packet at some point…) (Also while looking on my spreadsheet for this tea, I discovered that I didn’t add my Yezi teas to the spreadsheet, which again probably means my count is lower than it should be. Argh.)

Anyways, back to the tea. It’s really quite lovely – quite richly chocolatey with a bit of hay, and fairly malty as well. Great flavour and strength, reminding me quite a bit of Laoshan Black. Ultra smooth as well. If by chance I do find that other half packet, I should really try a side-by-side comparison of the two. It’s worth noting as well that I am not picking up smoke here. It’s possible that it’s there, and because I like it, it’s just not glaringly obvious to me (this happens frequently with me and garlic), but I’d think it’s certainly at a level for smoky tea newbs to handle.

Thanks again to Yezi Tea for these great samples, and know that had I the cupboard space and $$, I’d be all over their blacks.

Sil

Pretty sure this is a non smoke variety….

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Errp. Well, thanks to Raritea for sharing this, and Yezi for originally sending it… I guess I drank it and failed to make any notes whatsoever. How terrible of me. I have no recollection of it, but given that I don’t remember it, I suspect the flavour was super light, and I wasn’t overly fond of it. Otherwise it probably would have made an impression. Fairly standard reaction to a white tea, for me.

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76

Sipdown! 980. This is a review for the second half of my sample packet, not the larger 1 oz. pouch I also have. (I don’t believe either of these is the summer blend, but I don’t know. Agh.)

Anyways, still enjoying it; there’s the savory/umami broth flavour that I got from Chocolate Phoenix Chai, although with warming spices, most of which I can’t individually pick out, which is a positive thing for me because I hate one-note chais (unless that note is cardamom). One of the few chais I actually enjoy drinking without anything added, which is always a positive feature. Not sure why I have this rated at a 71; going to bump it up a bit because it’s pretty yum even if it’s not the perfect chai.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Krystal

Sounds yummy!

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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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