2390 Tasting Notes

87

Finished off the last of one bag, and nearly the other – yikes! May need to restock (or actually sort my stash and drink down any other cream earl greys I have… I think I may have either a white or green from Tealux… Hmmmm…) Anyhow. Standard, tasty, best when cooler (more cream = yum).

Preparation
3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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81
drank Raspberry Cream by 52teas
2390 tasting notes

If there’s one thing 52teas is good at, it’s raspberry. Definitely the tastiest, most realistic raspberry flavour I’ve had, and one of the tastiest red fruity blacks. And the addition of cream is perfect here. I’m close to a sipdown (so sad) and will definitely miss this tea.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

One of the few teas I’ve liked by 52Teas. :)

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drank Rhubarb Vanilla Ale by Butiki Teas
2390 tasting notes

SIpdown! Thanks so much to Stacy for including this as a sample in my last order – I knew I wouldn’t be a big fan because I dislike hops, but I have some strange desire to tryalltheteas even if I doubt I’ll like them. Anyhow, it’s not too bad, but as I suspected, I would enjoy the tea much more sans hops! I definitely tasted creamy vanilla fruitiness, but it was masked by the bitterness of the hops (which I initially attributed to oversteeping before remembering which tea I was drinking). It’s hard to really assess the tea when there’s an element in it I really don’t care for, but I feel like this is probably quite a good tea if you like ale. I’m not entirely sure if the rhubarb comes through distinctly, but again, it could be a bit masked. Anyways, satisfied my curiosity! Mission accomplished.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

Cold brewing this hides the hops and makes for a creamy vanilla/rhubarb deliciousness!

Kittenna

Hahaha, I definitely believe that – a lot of effort for a tea that is supposed to taste like hops!

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66

Sipdown! Thanks to… that same mystery person who I can’t remember. (Now I’m thinking…. Rachel? Halp!) Anyhow, drank a cup of this last night… wasn’t overly thrilled. There was certainly nothing objectionable about the tea – it was mild, sweet, a bit hay-like, and perhaps a touch fruity – but I didn’t taste any pineapple at all. It’s certainly possible that it lost some flavour due to sitting around, but usually there’s at least a bit of residual flavour. I would happily try this again, since it was a perfectly pleasant cup of tea and I’d be curious to try again to catch some pineapple, but it’s not a big loss if I can’t.

Re-steep was too long, and therefore had a bit of a weird flavour. Oops.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Thank you to Teavivre for a sample of this tea! I’m sampling it at the same time as the “Premium” grade of this tea, and I have to say I prefer the latter… it’s more vegetal and has a distinct sweetness, whereas this tea is more on the hay-y, slightly nutty side. Still similar flavour profiles, but I’m a huge fan of vegetal, sweet greens, so the Premium version gets my nod here. As mentioned in my previous note, I did perhaps understeep this (or under leaf), so more to come for my second infusion.

ETA: Second infusion, pretty similar. A bit more on the vegetal side, but the Premium version is just better, IMO.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sherapop

I believe that monorail is supposed to be higher grade than premium…

sherapop

Nonpareil = monorail in kindle speak. :-)!

Kittenna

It’s possible that it’s higher grade but older? Alternately, it’s possible that the flavours I prefer aren’t the hallmarks of fancier tea, but instead of lower grade stuff. Either way, my vote goes to the other tea.

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85

Thank you so much to Teavivre for sending this sample to review, and my sincerest apologies for taking so long in getting to it. I finally dug out my Teavivre packages, and hopefully will get the majority of them reviewed in the next few days.

Anyhow, first up is this delicious-smelling tea. The aroma from the baggie is sweet, vegetal, green beany…. my ideal green tea. I also am brewing up the Nonpareil Te Gong version, and this one was a darker green with a more intense vegetal aroma, although both smell great.

First sips… and I think I’ve made a couple mistakes here. A) contaminated palate (just ate some supper), so the tea tastes weaker than I think it actually is, and B) I think I may have underinfused. I neglected to set a timer, but was pretty sure I’d given the teas about 2 minutes, my standard green infusion (at about 180F); the bag recommends 3-5 minutes, and I think next time I’d go a bit longer. There’s certainly no indication whatsoever of bitterness, just a light, creamy, vegetal green, with a wonderful sweet, hay-like aroma. Comparing to the Nonpareil version, I think this one has greater flavour potential, although I believe both are nice. Looks like, however, I’ll be waiting until the second infusion (during which I will infuse more generously!) to make more detailed notes.

Side note: I did only measure out about 1.5 tsp… it’s possible that I underleafed, since the leaves here were delicate and intact. Hard to say where exactly I went wrong, but personally, understeeping is preferable to overstepping!

ETA: Yep, this one is the more flavourful/vegetal/beany/sweet of the two, and therefore more enjoyable. I added probably another tsp of tea to the infuser, and gave it a 4 minute infusion, and it was great. The original flavours, but amplified. No bitterness. Hard to believe with such a long infusion!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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99

Made a thrilling discovery today – my newer reblend of Marshmallow Treat, though not quite as good as the older package, seems to have improved with age. Hallelujah! It’s definitely not quite as sweet and marshmallowy, but at least now I’ll be willing to drink it. :D

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Look at you, squirreling some of this away. :) This one is definitely a 52teas winner.

Kittenna

Hahaha, my precious >.>

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64

Er…. I don’t remember who sent this tea to me :( It was whoever the last person I swapped with was… who I also got some 52teas from…. maybe if I check my Steepster messages I can figure this out…

Anyhow! My first tea from Cornelia Bean, and unfortunately I’m not overly impressed. The strawberry flavour is very similar to a bunch of other strawberry teas I’ve had previously, which is ok (of course, I’m completely blanking on their names. One I had a sample of from *Sil*… and sometimes teas with this flavour are labelled as “strawberry + papaya”, I think… bad memory today, it seems.). It’s kind of light though, but that’s to be expected as a consequence of old age. I’m more disappointed in the meringue bits – they didn’t even fully dissolve for me, so I have no idea what they really add. I may try a second infusion in less water, adding the other half of the packet into the infuser, and see what results. Otherwise, this tea is probably very similar to those other ones I mentioned, that I’ll have to look up.

ETA: I believe the tea I was referring to would be “Yaya Strawberry” by Steep City, and I believe the swapper in question was Courtney, although I am nowhere near 100% sure about that.

ETA2: This also ended up being a sipdown. Loved the strawberry flavour, but didn’t find any real meringuey-ness, and as I’ve had that same fruitiness before, this is a bit of a miss for me for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Yi Fu Chun Black Tea by Yezi Tea
2390 tasting notes

Enjoying a cup of this lovely black this afternoon. I perhaps underleafed/understeeped a bit, as it could have been stronger (or maybe it’s because the package has been open since the first time I tried it…), but it’s still a tasty, smooth black. Thanks again to Yezi for the sample!

ETA: Added the rest of the packet to my second infusion to make this a sipdown. It was pretty tasty, but I stand by my previous comment that it’s good, but not the best example of a chocolatey black.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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43
drank Maple Sugar by DAVIDsTEA
2390 tasting notes

Not a big fan. I tasted the maple and cinnamon, but there’s something about the cinnamon DT uses in a lot of blends that doesn’t sit well with me. I really don’t know what it is, but this is not the only tea that has this certain flavour that I really don’t enjoy. Oh well; at least I only have 12g!

Cameron B.

Yeah, I wish their cinnamon was more like the spice and less like the candy. :(

Amariel

I found it lackluster myself.

Kittenna

I’m not really sure what it is about the cinnamon, but it really turns me off. A bit disappointing, because I did like the maple in the tea, but the cinnamon made the whole thing gross.

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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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