2229 Tasting Notes

90
drank Birthday Cake by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Comparing this one to Oh Canada tonight.

Definitely much creamier/richer in aroma.

Perhaps a result of brewing it stronger (although I thought I used a similar amount of leaf, 2tsp, and an identically sized and filled cup), but this one is definitely richer and creamier in flavour as well. It’s sweet and with a lovely sweet aftertaste that, when compared to Oh Canada, makes me think buttercream more than maple.

The biggest downside to this tea is the one I noticed last time – that the sprinkles make the cup scummy and waxy up the sides as it cools (because of course I like my teas warm, not hot). It’s a little gross. But the flavour is definitely better with this one. So, I guess I should be glad that it’s sticking around on the wall, because if I had to choose, I’d go for this one over Oh Canada. Which is convenient as I still have a couple cups worth of this one left, and none of Oh Canada :)

ETA: Second infusion in half the water was good.

Preparation
Boiling

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79
drank Oh Canada! by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

4:21am, perfect time for a comparison of Oh Canada and Birthday Cake… right?

Side by side, it’s apparent that Birthday Cake is much creamier and less mapley, at least by aroma.

I think I brewed this one a touch too weak tonight – used about 2tsp of leaf (the rest of my sample), but probably too much water. However, still tastes sweet and mapley, and the rooibos only shows through slightly. The aftertaste is rich and mapley.

Compared to Birthday Cake, however, it tastes quite thin and definitely doesn’t have the same richness. Certainly not bad, but for a dessert-treat tea I need the richest, creamiest cup I can get.

ETA: Second infusion in half the water also tasty :)

Preparation
Boiling
TeaBrat

4:21 am? maybe you need to lay off the caffeine… lol

Kittenna

I have a terrible sleep schedule. Made worse by long harvest days (like today), so I just gave up on going to bed and decided to get to the field early. And then I had the bright idea to harvest everything. So I’m still in the field. Sigh. Longest day ever. May set a record for consecutive hours of being awake. :S Just gotta make the 1.5 hour drive home safely :D

Azzrian

You be careful!!! Pull off the road if you have to and lock your doors! LOL yes I am a mother! Although sleeping in your car along the road is dangerous too!

Kittenna

Ear-bleedingly loud music is what gets me through the trip home! I did quite well these last two days considering my lack of sleep. And was easy on the speeding, since it’s a long weekend and the OPP are out in full force!

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32

The concept of an oolong chai intrigues me, but I’m a bit apprehensive of whether or not I’ll enjoy it. I love straight tieguanyins, and I love chai (craving 52teas Mayan Chocolate Chai right now), but together? I’m not so sure. And the first sip does nothing to figure that out. It’s sweet, sweeter than I anticipated, and I think there’s a bit of oolong aftertaste. The smell is quite strongly of cinnamon/ginger, and it carries over into the flavour. But, something doesn’t seem quite right. The chai spicing isn’t quite right for me, I don’t think, and the oolong isn’t giving the tea enough body. Maybe I should have steeped it longer? The sweetness is also throwing me a bit – it’s a little too close to the sweet aftertaste of licorice, which I dislike. Maybe if I added some milk it would turn into something tastier?’

Bleh, worth the experiment for curiousity’s sake, but not a tea I really want to drink again. There are many, many other chais out there (a bunch of which are in my cupboard) that I greatly prefer, and although an oolong instead of black base sounded kind of neat, it ended up being so weak in the background that it’s almost like spiced water, if you understand what I’m saying, which is… weird.

Another tea that’s gonna be up for swapsies as soon as I get my act together and compile a list. I’m sure someone’s curious to try it :D And hey – they may even like it!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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76

Thanks to Fusion Tea Room for this incredibly generous sample!

I have to admit, I wasn’t super stoked about this one – I don’t recall whether I requested it specifically, but it’s been a while, and citrusy greens and I have not been getting along terribly well. However, most were from DavidsTea, so I shouldn’t give up on them entirely until I try some from other companies! So I opened up the package to give some away to Indigobloom… and was pleasantly surprised by the smell of the dry tea. Not just citrus, but there’s something a little perfumey, fruity, and delicious-smelling in there too. Makes my mouth water. Steeped, it smells lightly of citrus. (Did I mention I put a giant orange slice and papaya chunk in my infuser?!)

Well, it definitely tastes like it smells dry (this is a GOOD thing!) And I seem to be getting a creamy/nutty green tea aftertaste, which is wonderful. The taste is nicely fruity, with no specific fruit taking over, everything just blends together. Although there is lemongrass in the mix, it also blends seamlessly in with everything else. There’s absolutely no astringency; I’d be tempted to both use more leaf and try a longer infusion to make this a bit stronger.

I think it would be interesting to ice/cold-brew this one for a refreshing fruity iced tea. I probably don’t have enough leaf to do too much playing around, but hopefully can get around to trying it that way!

ETA: Second infusion still has some flavour, but not enough. I should have used half the water. Oh well!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Ancient Emerald Green by Basic Tea
2229 tasting notes

Tonight’s random tea sample courtesy of LiberTEAS :D

I selected this sample tonight by the laborious method of sticking my hand into the sample box and grabbing a pouch. I actually had to do this twice, because I told myself ‘no blacks’, and of course the first one I grabbed was some coconutty black of some sort. So here we are! A straight green sounded lovely for tonight.

No appreciable smells either dry or steeped.

Interesting – this is not what I was expecting. The tea is sweet and maybe a little nutty, but not at all vegetal. I guess I’ve become so accustomed to that flavour that it surprises me when it isn’t present. There’s a bit of green tea aftertaste, but it’s very subtle. I’m thinking I should have gone with a three minute infusion after all. For some reason I feel like I’m catching a bit of flavour that makes me think “stale”, but it may just be that I’m associating a certain flavour I’m tasting with something I tasted in another, older tea and attributed to staleness.

I’ll have to see how this one fares on a second infusion, but although it’s pleasant and nicely astringency-free, I don’t think it’s quite my sort of green tea – boiled veggie/seaweedy/grassy flavours seem to be more up my alley.

ETA: Second infusion, 175F/3min, is rather bleh. Some astringency, and similar flavours to the last cup. Still a nice aftertaste though.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

It occurred to me tonight that for whatever reason (ok, it’s because I have too much tea), I hadn’t yet made it through all my samples from Teavivre! So since I was craving oolong (and dessert), it seemed like a perfect tea to try. I used the whole, sticky package in my tiny glass teapot.

First infusion (~boiling/1:15)
Honey-sweet, with a lovely round, sweet oolong aftertaste. There’s just a hint of astringency coming through at the end – glad I didn’t steep it any longer. The sweetness is reminiscent of the honey flavour I got with Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver). I’m really enjoying this infusion! It is perhaps a touch on the light side, but that’s ok.

Second infusion (~boiling/2 min):
Definitely moving into a woody flavour here. Perhaps that’s the astringency – I hadn’t meant to steep it this long but was trying to multitask. The sweetness is gone, but I didn’t expect it to last for a second infusion. Aftertaste is lightly oolong. This isn’t bad, but it’s not what I was expecting.

I’m a bit disappointed – after the amazing first cup, I was expecting something a little better for the second. I do have another package of this one, so perhaps will try some different parameters – perhaps a shorter first infusion and similarly short second infusion would help. I can’t recall what the price is, but it’s hard for me to justify purchasing an oolong that really is only capable of one amazing infusion. Even though it really was so very delicious…

Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!

ETA: I just finished off the last of my second infusion, and feel like I need to revise my previous opinion, as I wonder if my tastebuds were tainted by either the first infusion or the chocolate bar I ate… the last sip was actually quite good! Yes, there was astringency, but chalk that one up to my error. I got a lovely honey oolong aftertaste, and aside from the astringency, it was actually quite nice. I still think it might be a bit pricey of a tea, but I may actually try a third infusion now. Also bumping the rating.

ETA again: Third infusion, boiling-ish water for about 1:45, is kind of woody/dark/nutty, as late steepings of oolongs tend to be for me. Not bad, and still that oolong aftertaste. Overall, I’d have to say that this is a perfectly fine oolong, but not one for me.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec
Indigobloom

a woody oolong? interesting!!
I need to go through my samples and see what I haven’t tried yet. They’re all mixed up :s

Kittenna

Perhaps I’m not describing it terribly well. It’s a familiar flavour I get from late steepings of oolongs. What makes this one special is the fabulous honey flavour of the first infusion, IMO. (Also, waiting for a train en route to field site sucks. Is it illegal to use my phone when parked on a road???)

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98

Cold-brewed the rest of my sample and confirmed that this tea definitely needs to be part of my iced tea collection for the summer if at all possible. The cherry tartness is so well-balanced by the other fruity flavours and like with Tropicalia, there’s nothing weird going on, so if artificial flavours were involved, they were cleverly done (and as long as I can’t taste artificial-ness, I don’t really care). Not as sweet as Tropicalia (but I think I used too much tea with that one, definitely making it a “juice tea”, in the words of Indigobloom.)

Thanks again Amanda for introducing me to this tea :)

Yum.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Indigobloom

lol I’ve been thinking of using “cider” now to! :P

Kittenna

Cider has a bit of a different connotation to me, so I think I’ll stick with ‘juice tea’ :D

Indigobloom

Anything with apple (and not beets!) I tend to find somewhat cider like. I guess it depends on how I perceive the ingredients lol

Kittenna

Interesting. I equate cider to a spiced sort of mulled cider (even though I know cider you can purchase here in Ontario is little more than apple juice).

Indigobloom

yeah me to, but most of them end up like that esp if there is any spice like cinnamon in there!

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88
drank Blazing Strawberries by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Cold-steeped the rest of my sample last night, a little stronger this time. Definitely thirst-quenching and refreshing.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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84
drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Um… cold-brewed Tropicalia? Seriously the best iced tea ever! This is AMAZING! It’s sweet, a little creamy, oh so fruity/pineappley, and there are no strange flavours whatsoever. Between this, Luscious Watermelon, Blazing Strawberries, and hopefully Mahamosa Cherry Kiwi Coconut Fruit, I should be set for the summer! (Also Lime Gelato, Bear Trap, Goji Pop…. yeah I have plenty of choices now!)

Gotta say, DavidsTea would be foolish not to keep this one available permanently, year-round…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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92
drank Dulce & Banana by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Backlog (& sipdown) from last night. I think I brewed it a touch too strong though, which is disappointing. Still good though, and I drank two infusions of it. Adding to the list for an online order…

Preparation
Boiling 5 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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