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2221 Tasting Notes

drank Random Black by Unknown from China
2221 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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76

Wow… this one was a pleasant surprise last night. I was not in the mood for rooibos, but this is the tea I picked out of the basket, and I figured I should really try it, since Cavocorax was so nice to give me some! So I brewed it up, and to my surprise, it actually tasted like chocolate orange! (Keep in mind that within the last two weeks, I have consumed 2 delicious Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. Mmmhhhhh.) Unpleasant rooibos flavour was absent/minimal, and it was big on flavour. There was some oiliness on top, but I’m pretty sure it was from little melty chocolate pieces. It wasn’t scum, like you get in teas with little candy bits.

Anyhow, I have too much rooibos to want any more of this around, but I’d highly recommend it as a caffeine-free chocolate orange option for anyone who’s looking for that sort of thing.

(Cavo, I know you recommended 10-20 minutes, but I sometimes find that that brings out unpleasantness in rooibos, so I went with 4 minutes, and it was perfect for me.)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Mmmm – now I’m craving Davids version!

Cavocorax

Did I recommened 10? That doesn’t make sense unless I was trying to sabatoge you. I only did 5 myself.

I wonder if I confused it with the Botswana Honeybush. THAT one was better with the longer steep.

Glad you liked it though!

Sil

Who are you? Do we know you?

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88
drank Xinyang Green Tips by Peony Tea S.
2221 tasting notes

Yum. A tasty green, again despite its age. I’m sure that something has been lost in the… unmentionable amount of time I’ve had this tea, but it’s still pretty tasty, with a lovely brown sugary sweet aftertaste. Similar to Laoshan Green, but not quite so green beany. I did overstep a bit, but thankfully not too, too much.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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87

Yet another attempt to get back on the tea-drinking, tea-reviewing bandwagon!

I’m making a valiant effort to get through some of my older teas, particularly those not in resealable packages, and lucky(?) for me, Butiki teas fall into that category! So I’ve been neglecting swap samples and having Butikis instead. Bad.

Anyways, despite being a bit elderly, this tea is still great. Delicate and melony and quite delicious. I’ve said before that I prefer Cantaloupe & Cream because of the creaminess, and that still holds, but this one’s still quite a treat :) A couple cups left to savour before I’m out!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
keychange

Cantaloupe and cream is the best!

Kittenna

I know! Butiki fangirl forever!

Yvonne

I hear so much about these – gotta pick them up one day!

Cavocorax

Yay – glad you’re back!

Kittenna

I think this is the fourth or so time I’ve been "back"… let’s see if it sticks this time! Of course, that may also mean I start buying tea, and that would be ridiculous…

Cavocorax

Well you could always start by selling off some of your tea? We’ve got a fairly active thread for that.

Then you could justify more? Hahaha

OMGsrsly

Hi!! :)

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44

Yeah… this is my second try at this tea, and I still wasn’t a fan. There was something off about it that my tastebuds didn’t enjoy. I couldn’t really specify what, though. Perhaps carob?

Anyhow, there’s about a serving’s worth left… Sil if you want it, it’s yours…

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Sil

haha sure unless raritea/IB want to try it. I do have a full bag at my place that i ordered heh

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No notes??? Odd.

Anyhow…. yuck. Do not like. I tried a sip, and it just didn’t appeal to me in the slightest; the mint and juniper made me cringe. However, I fed some to my mom, and she seemed to enjoy it just fine, and drank a re-steep as well. So it looks like this tea will be re-homed (and I’m not sad in the least about this!) So basically, if these are tea ingredients you enjoy, this tea may be just fine for you…. but I do not enjoy them. At all. Withholding rating because it just wouldn’t be fair to give it a 5…

ETA: I see there’s another version of this, without the apostrophe. When I get around to it, I’ll get Jason to merge the two.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Genmaicha by Butiki Teas
2221 tasting notes

One more cup left of this one! A decent genmaicha, but I think I prefer Verdant’s version now, and it’s probably mostly because they use a different (non-traditional?) base tea, and I like how those flavours come out. This tea is toasty and robust, and would be a great sushi accompaniment (now there’s an idea…!)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88

Sipdown!! Man, this is a tasty tea. One of the first malty, chocolatey, delicious black teas I tried, so it will always have a special place in my… tastebud memory?? Anyhow, I still have the leaves sitting out for a possible second infusion… perhaps that’s what I’ll do after dumping the Persimmon Tea…

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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11

Unfortunately, I’ll be echoing the other reviewers on this one… not a great tea, kind of fruity-tasting, and the worst part is that the fruitiness is reminiscent of cherry cough syrup. I loathe cherry cough syrup. I don’t know whether it’s the rooibos being medicinal (certainly a possibility), or the fruity flavouring being gross, but I’ll be dumping the cup… I have one other delicious tea sitting here brewed up, and a couple boxes more to pick from if I feel like having something else.

Preparation
Boiling 4 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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