2596 Tasting Notes

78
drank Fireside S'mores Tea by Teaopia
2596 tasting notes

Oh man. Just made the BEST mug of this, ever. In addition to the delicious roasty oolong, there’s a wonderfully caramelly flavour tonight. I must have done something correctly, haha. Only downside is that I do have to use a lot of tea to make this taste good – probably 4 tsp for a travel mug (and I’ve been known to use more). I’m getting low on this… it will be a sad day when it runs out :(

Indigobloom

I got so sick of it at one point. Had it for a loooong time

OMGsrsly

I tried this one! So good. I’m so sad it’s not available anymore.

Kittenna

It’s not a flavour profile I’m likely to get sick of, because it’s desserty/roasty, but it’s not something I’d drink all the time necessarily. And yeah. So good. And decently priced when I bought it on sale!

Indigobloom

I miss Teaopia!!

OMGsrsly

I never even really went into Teaopia… :/

Kittenna

The only time I went in there was when I picked up this tea, haha. There was no Guelph location, so I made the scary drive to Kitchener to go there :P

Indigobloom

We had a location about ten min walk from my work. It was great, I went on my lunch hour! So glad it changed over to Teavana after I stopped working near there

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76
drank Blue Unicorn Reserve by Tealux
2596 tasting notes

7 spears for about 10 oz. of water. The result was pretty light in flavour, but quite sweet. It didn’t taste like any oolong I’ve ever had though, without the lovely aftertaste I usually crave. I’ll have to have it again (and/or resteep it) and make more detailed notes, because unfortunately I don’t remember much beyond a bit of mineral and a lot of sweetness, but it was certainly pleasant. Doubtful, though, that it will be interesting enough to get me to repurchase.

ETA: Resteeped it a couple days later, in 90C water, leaving it for quite a while – it actually ended up being quite flavourful, although also more astringent than I’d like. The flavour was really unlike almost anything I’ve had before, and I was struggling to figure out what it was that it reminded me of. I am thinking purple tea? It still didn’t have an oolong flavour, but wasn’t like a green either. Definitely tasty though (I diluted my too-astringent cup with some additional boiled-cooled water until it was at a bearable level). Next time, I’ll try to give it an even longer first infusion (if I remember).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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80
drank Sencha Ashikubo by DAVIDsTEA
2596 tasting notes

Sipdown! I believe this is a sample from Raritea, although I believe I also have some from Janelle (this may be confirmed later). Thanks whoever it was :)

Anyhow, it’s pretty delicious. Very vegetal and “chewy”, a bit saline and mariney. Quite enjoyable, actually!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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67
drank Choconut Mate by The TeaCupany
2596 tasting notes

Sipdown! (No change in number though – this appears not to have been on my swap sheet. Sigh.) And thanks again to Sil, courtesy originally of Dexter, I believe.

Not too bad, actually – I can taste the chocolate and what’s coming off as coffee to me, mixed with the characteristic strong roasted mate flavours. No hazelnut, really. I think this would be quite a bit better latte-style, though, because it’s verging slightly on bitter as it is.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
darby

If you’re like me you can add it to your sheet and then cross off….feeling good you sipped down! Lol

Kittenna

Hahaha, it’s something like that :) Still feels good to toss a bag and reduce a bit of clutter! I’d be so happy to get down to three drawers of tea plus my little set of cubbies… but that’s a long time coming.

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80

Sipdown! 981. Thank you to Sil for this sample (and TerriHarpLady, because it’s her writing on the baggie :D)

Pulled out my unflavoured “drink now” basket to get a few things down before I fill up my 6 Timolinos for some babysitting tonight (and those Timolinos will not be containing single cup samples). This one was at the top of the basket, so here we are! Aroma is lovely, sweet and malty, and the flavour is… unexpected. I was anticipating more of a standard yunnan/hay-y flavour based on the aroma (even though that’s not a profile I’d use for a tea called “red-tailed hawk”!), but although it has those notes, it also has… cherry? Yeah, it took me a bit to identify it, but I’m definitely tasting a cherry fruitiness. There is also some astringency here, but it might be due to slightly overleafing (under-pouring of water, more accurately), and it’s actually not unpleasant, because it’s fairly mild. Overall, pretty tasty and unique. Not a tea I’d have too often because it’s a little on the potent side for me, but it’s still delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

darjeeling…lower temp tastes better :)

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40

Thanks to Max for sending a free sample of this tea! I haven’t previously tried a coffee leaf tea, so have no real expectations (except a hope that it doesn’t taste like coffee, haha.)

Upon opening the packet, I can detect a very herbally sort of aroma… very similar to guayusa, so kind of grassy (not too green, though), and a bit sweet/hay-ish. I opted to brew the tea in a filter basket instead of the provided paper filter, so poured it in (the tea was small fragments and dust, for the most part), and brewed with boiling water for about 4 minutes. The result tastes and smells exactly like guayusa to me. It’s pretty smooth (though there’s a touch of bitterness as it cools), but tastes very herbal. I can’t say that I understand any of the associations to black tea, though I suppose it would be most like the types I’m not fond of (ceylon? yunnan? The ones without the chocolate/raisiny goodness.) Anyhow, I’m not a fan of guayusa, unfortunately, so I’m not really a fan of this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
MaxR

Hmm, it’s too bad you didn’t enjoy our infusion. I guess it just isn’t your cup of tea, so to speak :)

Thanks for reviewing!
Max

Kittenna

I really wanted to like it, but it was just too herbally for me. There are a lot of people who really enjoy guayusa though, and I think they’d quite enjoy this :)

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75

Yep, this one still holds the position of “tasty, but not impressive next to the lesser version”. I made it for a travel mug tonight, and the tea has just cooled to the point of being just above lukewarm (my favourite drinking range, I’ve determined, is the temperatures starting maybe a degree or two above mouth/body temperature, and going about as hot as water you’d comfortably shower in. Yes, it’s a small range.) Anyhow, drinking it at this temperature, I can certainly taste the resemblance to regular PTA, with delicious raisiny tones. The problem is, they’re just not as strong, and they’re masked by a malty, hay-y flavour which isn’t bad by any means. But I want raisins.

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60

Weird… apparently my last experience with this one was rather odd, involving a mixup with the White Chocolate Tea, and an association with spiced cat food. Anyhow! This time it was better, although I greatly prefer Butiki’s Two Friends for the chocolate/orange combo. I could taste citrus (not specifically orange), and some chocolate, but was also getting some cinnamon notes, which I didn’t particularly want. I guess I want my chocolate orange teas to be like Terry’s chocolate oranges. Two flavours. Either way, it was still drinkable, but I must mention that in addition to the overleafing (1 rounded tbsp), I ran out of hot water when pouring this since it was the third tea, and so it infused into maybe 8 oz. So that’s about double my normal ratio, and the flavour still wasn’t overly strong, so I think these teas are a bit on the weak side (age could be a factor here, but the bags are and have been well-sealed the whole time I’ve had them). Overall, a decent cup, but not remarkable.

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70
drank Dark Chocolate Tea by sTEAp Shoppe
2596 tasting notes

Was craving something different tonight, and opted for this tea, which means I only have a regular mug’s worth left (another pre-sipdown, yessss). Travel-mugged it since I was headed to handbell practice tonight, and it was COLD outside. And by cold, I mean -3C and I’m lame.

Anyhow, I apparently didn’t much care for this before, but I overleafed tonight (1 rounded tbsp tea for ~12 oz. water), gave it a nice long infusion (4-5 minutes?) and found it to be pretty satisfying. Dark chocolate, roasty base that tasted kind of like there was a touch of pu’erh mixed in there, and fairly smooth. Can’t really complain! Bumping the rating a bit because I did rather enjoy my mug of it tonight.

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78
drank Nutmeg Cream by Butiki Teas
2596 tasting notes

OM nom nom. Craving spiced tea, and saw a review for this, so pulled it out. Pretty darn delicious (perrrrfect spicing), although a tendency to become astringent. I used a bit more than 1.5 tsp for my… 10 oz., probably, cup, and that seems to be a good amount. Getting delicious raisiny tones and spice in the aftertaste, and although it’s enjoyable, I’d probably prefer a different base tea. And more cream (though it’s quite apparent there’s cream in here, otherwise it would not be nearly so good.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 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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