2973 Tasting Notes

90
drank Wen Shan Bao Zhong by Butiki Teas
2973 tasting notes

Backlog.

Another victim of fruity contamination. The lovely pouchong/oolong aftertaste is still there, but it’s oddly fruity. I need to give some of my travel mugs a deep clean/soak, I think… (I also think this tea may have been a bit fruity/perfumey to begin with, so the contamination really isn’t helping).

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84

Backlog.

Still think this is tasty, though I think I oversteeped it a touch the other day. Yummy dark coffee flavour with some toffee sweetness.

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93

Backlog.

Managed to thoroughly contaminate this tea with a fruity-smelling travel mug :( So I still drank it, but it wasn’t great.

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85
drank Autumn Blend by The Tea Emporium
2973 tasting notes

Backlog.

Sipdown! I really did end up enjoying this tea as a flavoured black. Sweetness, some vague fruitiness, and just a general good flavour overall. I’d actually buy this again myself (my portions are from Sil) just as a change from straight blacks, and from more heavily-flavoured teas. Really delicious.

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84
drank Yu Lu Yan Cha Black by Verdant Tea
2973 tasting notes

Backlog.

Dug through my Verdant teas to find something interesting that would work well in a travel mug – and this is what I located. Delicious! So chocolatey and good. I’m starting to not really care which black tea I have, as long as it’s in the roasty and/or chocolatey profile, with lovely smoothness and no astringency. So this one fit very well, and was incredibly enjoyable. Apparently I haven’t drank much of it yet, despite it being reasonably old, but it hasn’t lost any flavour!

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86
drank Orzo Strawberry by Lupicia
2973 tasting notes

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Ok, the orzo teas are definitely way, way better than the barley teas. This one is seriously delicious. It’s like a thick, rich, roasty strawberry milkshake. Naturally sweet, no bitterness, no fishiness, just roasty+strawberry (I was going to write roasty strawberry, but that makes me think of hot strawberries, and that actually doesn’t sound overly appetizing). As with Caramel+Honey (or whatever the other orzo tea was that I tried), I think it would be amazing with milk and a touch of additional sweetener. Probably will try it that way eventually. (Also, I can’t believe how dark/inky it brews up! Makes me nervous that it will be bitter, but it’s not at all!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Plunkybug

This is one I have been wanting to try; it sounds so intriguing! Maybe I’ll put together a Lupicia order at some point…it seems like there are a few I could get.

Kittenna

I’d certainly recommend this over any of their “barley” teas.

Plunkybug

Thanks!I want to try to drink down some stuff before I look at putting in some orders, but this one is making it hard to want to wait too long. :P

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64

Backlog.

So, this tea actually smells like seabuckthorn. Not like one other tea I had, where it just tasted like rooibos/medicinal. It’s actual seabuckthorn. Which I’m familiar with, because there’s a vendor at the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market who sells seabuckthorn products, so I’ve had juice, ice cream (or sorbet/gelato, I don’t recall), and possibly other things. Either way, I recognize the flavour. And I’m stoked to see an absence of purpleish colouring – so no hibiscus! Yay! Instead, it’s kind of an orangey colour, which again fits with the colour of the fruit. Flavourwise, it’s interesting. Kind of tangy (not unexpected), and fruity, with almost a bit of drying astringency. Certainly interesting, though probably not a tea I’d drink overly often.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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63

Backlog.

My roommate acquired a whole box of these from Costco, and gave me a few to try. It appears to be a combination of green tea + matcha – the packet specifically instructs the user to dump any remaining matcha into the tea after brewing, and it was definitely quite dusty inside the packet. I brewed this at work, so have no idea what temperature the water actually was (but I did let it cool for a while first). The tea is quite green, and smells like kind of seaweedy (in that really pleasant way, not fishy like pu’erh) and green. The flavour is similar – a light, fresh, seaweedy flavour, with a bit of a brothy, umami flavour to it. I kind of wish it was a bit stronger (but it also might be the “spring water” I used – I swear it strips flavour out of things. Blech.) but it’s ok as is. Other than being finicky for brewing (30s/not boiling water), this would be a great tasty work tea. I’m reasonably impressed, and will happily finish off my remaining bags (and depending on how I long I keep this work schedule up – possibly some of hers too! I may run out of teabags!)

Preparation
0 min, 30 sec
Plunkybug

I’ve had this before…iirc, the instructions also say to dunk it for 60 seconds or something. At one of the locations of a previous job, one of the guys there had a box of this. It wasn’t amazing, but it was decent for a bag. Let alone from Costco.

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51
drank Tropical Island Black by Kally Tea
2973 tasting notes

Backlog.

I have little recollection of drinking this one, except that it tasted as expected – a tropical/fruity black. Not bad, but not a flavour combination I care for. Thanks Sil :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

lol drink them sooner than 2 yrs later! :P

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Backlog.

Delicious tea, but I’m sad I didn’t re-steep it. I wish green tea leaves had more longevity when left in an infuser.

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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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