2229 Tasting Notes

Thanks so Sil for passing along a sample of this one, originally from Hallieod.

My verdict? Fairly weak. Maybe because I’ve been eating, or maybe because I should have used more tea since there’s quite a bit of popped rice in here. I’ll try some more after the flavours in my mouth have dissipated a bit.

ETA: Sadly, this didn’t improve after sitting, and the second infusion was very weak. Hard to give this an accurate rating, unfortunately, but I probably wouldn’t pick it up again. I’ve had more flavourful genmaichas (and actually, I really like hojicha genmaichas too! More roastiness :D)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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As I put in the description… this was a freebie generously given out by Herbal Infusions Tea Co. at the Toronto Tea Festival! There was also a black option, which Raritea and Sil picked up; I got the herbal.

Unfortunately, I should have given more thought to what would likely be in the herbal… naturally, my favourite ingredient, mint, features quite prominently (that’s sarcasm, btw). So, it’s not going to be a favourite, and I feel bad about that! However, it seems to be a pretty decent tea, as minty ones go. I feel like it’s not peppermint, but plain mint – which lends a crispness to the tea that I’m not finding offputting. I can’t really pick out any of the other flavours, but again, this had the same epic oversteep that the Creme Brulee Chai had, so it’s possible that that allowed the mint to completely take over. I’m sure this will be popular with those who like minty, herbally teas.

ETA: I have no idea how my note got cut off previously… .anyhow, second infusion actually was better. Less mint, more background flavours, which I found more enjoyable. I’ll probably have some of this again to see if I can coax those flavours out in the first infusion.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ifjuly

oh man, that there is a blend called this tickles me!

Sil

I’ll try and get around to trying the one we got soon…

Kittenna

No worries! I think you’ll like this one.

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90

One of the teas I picked up at the Toronto Tea Festival! :D It smelled divine, so I had to have it. And I do not regret my decision. Even with an epic oversteep of 7 minutes and 45 seconds (I get distracted too easily), it’s pretty darn tasty. The spicing is perfect – not too chai-like to overpower the creamy deliciousness of the creme brulee. It’s a bit astringent, but 100% I’d chalk that up to my oversteep. I expect with a 3-4 minutes infusion, it would be amazing. I’d like to try it with milk, but I have a feeling that the creaminess would be masked, and the spicing may not be strong enough to handle it…. and really, it’s delicious without, so I probably won’t. I’ll save the super strong spice blends for milk.

ETA: Second steep was quite delicious. Third steep, not particularly flavourful, but certainly better than plain water! I’m quite pleased, overall.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MissLena

Yay I have a sample of this to try :D might taste it tonight, sounds yummy!

Sil

don’t forget meeeeeee

Kittenna

Your name is on the package. You’ll be getting some, don’t worry! I think you might enjoy it.

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90

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72
drank Winter Walnut by Bayswater Tea Co.
2229 tasting notes

Hmm. I should have at least four tasting notes up about this one… but I don’t. Drank it a few times while being lazy and not logging things, I suppose! Anyhow, I’ve grown to like this one a fair bit – it’s kind of a wintery-spiced tea (shocking, I know), yet without crossing over into the realm of either chai, or those yucky herbally Xmas blends. The walnut isn’t super apparent, but I suppose there’s an additional bit of nuttiness because of it.

To sum up: tasty, wintery tea, but nothing overly special.

Preparation
Boiling 3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cavocorax

I read that as the walnut isn’t super arrogant and smiled. Damned walnuts. So pushy.

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87
drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
2229 tasting notes

Last tea from yesterday! I don’t know why I picked two cinnamon teas after saying I’m no longer a huge fan of that flavour, but that’s what I happened to do. I can’t ever remember what teas I have available over at the boy’s house, but I guess these three caught my eye.

Anyhow, I think I may now prefer this one cold-brewed – it just wasn’t doing it for me hot yesterday, but I have fond memories from this past summer of guzzling icy cold cups of it. So, I think I’ll leave the rest of the packet for that. I have about an ounce left now…. so maybe 3-4 giant mugs of cold-brew? Yum.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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85
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Another surprise sipdown! Also finished this one while watching movies yesterday. I still enjoy it, but as I think I mentioned waaayyyy long ago in some tasting note, I’ve gone off cinnamon teas a bit. That’s not to say I hate or dislike them or anything; I just don’t find them as delicious as I used to. Still, good on a chilly winter day.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Preliminary thoughts on the new Steepster design – awesome! I haven’t had much time to explore it yet, but it looks like a lot of suggestions have been implemented, and it looks pretty slick too. I’m sure there will be bugs/issues, but I like what I see so far!

Anyhow, onto the tea. Sipdown! Finished this off at the boy’s house while watching the Lord of the Rings for the first time. We only made it through one 4-hr extended version movie, so it looks like the next couple weekends may be similar – which is good for my tea consumption :) Getting back to the actual tea, this is one that always smelled better than it tasted, to me. The aroma is divine, all vanilla-oolong sweetness, but the flavour is just lacking. I’ve had better-flavoured straight oolongs. That said, it’s still a tasty enough cup, especially the first infusion. Won’t be picking it up again (if it’s still available), but glad to have tried it.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cavocorax

Yay – Lord of the Rings! Those extended versions are so long and epic, but I love them…

Kittenna

It was long, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s kind of nice having seen The Hobbit (well, 2 parts of it anyways) beforehand, because I can relate a few things back to it. I really, really need to actually read the books I bought like, 15-20 years ago…

Cavocorax

Hahah. The books are quite excellent and the Hobbit is a nice easy read (which is why the whole WE NEED THREE MOVIES!!! thing doesn’t make sense to me. :P) but I remember skimming a lot of the Lord of the Rings. Ha. Tolkien didn’t skimp out on descriptions. At all.

I still recommend reading them though! The books are great!

OMGsrsly

Goodness yes. The descriptions. I don’t regret reading the books, but they were soooo long! :)

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drank Random Black by Unknown from China
2229 tasting notes

Er… Is this listed under another name? I’m sure one of you has got to have tried it…

Anways, thanks to Sil for this one. The bag is labelled “random black”, but the moment water hit the leaves, I remembered that “random black” was mislabeled and it is actually a loose leaf pu’erh. The aroma was… unmistakeable… And by that I mean kinda fishy. And the flavour… is a little weird. Not fishy, but it tastes kind of old. Again, seems weird for a strongly-flavoured tea, to me. Starting to wonder if some weird old-smelling thing did get into that box of mine… I’ll have to try something that’s a bit more delicately flavoured to see. Boo! This hasn’t happened to me before :(

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Sipdown! Thanks Sil.

I got distracted by my computer (AGAIN.), and so this tea got steeped a wee bit longer than intended… but luckily, still within a reasonable infusion time for a black. I think.

Anyhow, there’s very little aroma… maybe this is too old? A quick sip points in that direction as well, although it’s too hot for me at the moment. Weird that a black would age badly… It’s specifically in a box with other unflavoured teas to prevent contamination, but I suppose that doesn’t simultaneously reduce flavour loss. I’ll update this note once the tea cools… I thought I’d have more to write, haha.

ETA: Well, I’m sad to say that this doesn’t have a great deal of flavour, and does taste a bit off – although I see that my original note also mentioned the same thing, and I’m pretty sure I tried this one soon after receiving it, so it’s unlikely that it’s a product of age. Ah well, there are plenty of black teas that I adore; no need to add another to that pile. It is decent enough that I’m going to drink it, though (unlike that pu’erh… eek…). My best guess is that my brewing parameters were poor – I think a rinse may have been recommended, and that could have helped, and perhaps more leaf or a longer infusion time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 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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