2246 Tasting Notes

83
drank Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong by Yezi Tea
2246 tasting notes

So far, I am thoroughly impressed with Yezi Teas. Great customer service, our samples arrived in record time (seriously… I never would have dreamed that I’d be able to deliver them to Sil this weekend!), the samples are a perfect 2-cup size (5g), and all in airtight packets (oh how I love when samples don’t get contaminated!), and not only that, but the first tea I tried from them (this one), is great! Reminiscent of Laoshan Black with chocolatey/roasty notes, but a bit less full-bodied. As well, I was catching a different sort of flavour that I would attribute to “scotch” (though I’ve never tried it). A very good, very interesting tea. Not quite a flavour profile I’ve previously tried, and although I was worried it would be too potent for me, it’s definitely not. If black tea isn’t really your thing, and you like Laoshan Black but only because it tastes like chocolate, this probably isn’t a tea for you because those notes aren’t overly dominant, but for black tea lovers, I think this is a big win.

I would like to thank Yezi Tea for this generous free sample offer, and would suggest that lovers of straight teas give them a shot!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I can’t wait to try this one!

TastyBrew

Terri- The bbbb should be to you on tuesday! It has my 2 favorites from Yezi in it, Qing pin and the high mountain one. They are worth the wait :-)

Sil

awesome!

Terri HarpLady

Yay!!!
I love our Box!!

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75
drank Razzleberry Genmaicha by 52teas
2246 tasting notes

Thanks for sharing some of this, Courtney! I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by this tea – there was tons of freeze-dried raspberry, making for a strong, true flavour, and the genmaicha was perfectly toasty. I couldn’t really taste blackberry, but it’s easy enough for me to lump that in with raspberry flavouring. I did find that for a few sips, the genmaicha was a bit overpowering, whereas other times it was the perfect balance of fruity and toasty. Certainly a significant number of notches above some of the other genmaicha blends I’ve had (though nothing can beat the original Marshmallow Treat or Cherry Cheesecake).

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

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86

Roasty green oolong? Unsurprisingly, this one was a big win for me. Absolutely delicious. Roasted, creamy oolong notes, and if there were floral notes, they were masked by everything else (or toned down, and I didn’t notice them). I’ll have to try this one next to an unroasted dong ding oolong, as well as an aged tieguanyin, because in my head, the flavour profiles are all quite similar (and I don’t think that’s quite true).

Second infusion was very similar to the first – these leaves pack a lot of flavour!

A huge thank you to Angel and Teavivre for including this sample in my package!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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65

A huge thank you to Angel & Teavivre for sending me some oolong samples! It was perfect timing, since I have just been refining my ability to taste the differences between different oolongs (instead of saying they all taste oolongy) and be able to figure out which ones are floral (not my favourites), creamy (yes!), roasty (even better!), or various other flavours.

I kind of randomly selected this tea as one of the first two I brewed up (I couldn’t choose…) I was expecting a tea on the lightly creamy side, since it’s a high mountain oolong and that’s the association I have in my head, but instead, it had much more of a green, floral profile, like a tieguanyin. There was perhaps still some creaminess, but floral notes definitely dominated. As I’m not the biggest fan of floral teas, this wouldn’t be one I’d purchase myself, but it’s pretty tasty if you do like that sort of flavour profile. If, however, you want a milk oolong-type tea, my first experience with this one makes me think that you should try something else first!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Black Currant by Saharas Supplies
2246 tasting notes

Weird… loved this the first time I had it, but the second time? Couldn’t even taste any black currant. Still have another cup’s worth left, so I’ll have to see what went wrong… (there’s a small chance I confused it with Boston, which I brewed up at the same time, but I swear the tea I described in that tasting note had no black currant flavour whatsoever, and it was quite prominent in this tea, in my recollection).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
2246 tasting notes

Another tea with just a single serving left now, yay! I quite enjoyed it this (second) last time. A black tea with all the right flavours to make it delicious. I can’t even really describe it, it’s just good.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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81

Put some of this in a travel mug earlier this week as well, since I wanted to try it again after having had ATR’s fancy schmancy tea that I don’t remember the name of… oh, Brioche. Right. I think I preferred ATR’s, but this one is pretty tasty, and neither would make it onto the “must have” list, so in my mind they’d end up being more or less comparable. Which is fine by me! A side by side comparison might be interesting, but that’s not likely to happen for me anytime soon (or ever, truthfully).

Oh, and in case you were wondering, this tea does taste like almond sugar cookies. Or perhaps almond biscotti. Definitely almond, but not leaning too far towards amaretto.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Fantasy by Lupicia
2246 tasting notes

Another travel mug of this earlier this week, mostly because it tastes great that way, and because it was easily accessible (i.e. in the tea basket downstairs). Nearly done this one – can’t believe I’ve almost sipped one of the Happy Bag teas down without even trying some of the others! Haha. I’m terrible…

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I have done the same thing, a few I haven’t even opened yet.

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87

Another tasting note backlog… somehow I have less time for Steepster post-Masters than I did before I was done. Heh. I also haven’t been drinking quite as much tea, although the flurry of notes I’m about to post will make you believe differently (they’re from the past week or more, though, so not many per day).

So this tea. I swear, everytime I brew it up, I’ve forgotten how delicious it is. It’s so burny and toasty and chocolatey… mostly burny (but not in an ashy sense), and I quite like it. Stands up well in a travel mug, and for multiple western-style infusions. I think I have maybe 3 packets of it left (I use a whole 5? 7?g packet when I brew it up).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

i am so jealous of your 3 packets..

Cavocorax

I have one and am hoarding it for the right day!

OMGsrsly

Sil, I found some in my cupboard… I’ve set it aside. :)

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82

I had previously only tried one yabao tea, that being Verdant’s Silver Buds Yabao, which I find to be tasty enough, although it’s not a tea I’d want all the time. It tasted very much of juniper, in my opinion. This tea, however, is quite different. I can taste the similarity to the other yabao, but there’s a smokiness and the flavour is much less juniper-like and green – a richer, almost more complex, aged flavour. It’s actually really quite good, and makes me want to try more yabaos! One difference is that this one is darker in colour than the silver buds yabao; I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it’s affecting the flavour (I don’t know if it’s aged or roasted specifically, or anything). Anyhow, mission: try more yabao tea will be happening. Eventually.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
NofarS

I recommend Norbu’s Yabao (which is actually on sale now). It has a sweeter, more mellow taste than Verdant’s, and I like it much more.

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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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