3107 Tasting Notes

51
drank White Rain by Bon The Place
3107 tasting notes

My roommate gave me a sample of this one tonight. Not sure what it is, other than a flavoured green. I tasted what was coming off to me as rosewater; it was less floral than other rose blends I’ve had, but that’s the closest I could come to an accurate description! The re-steep wasn’t bad either, but as I’m not overly fond of floral-ish teas, this wouldn’t ever be a favourite of mine. Still, it was nice of her to let me try some!

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

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81

Yum! Another Advent Calendar sample. Not quite gone yet, but now there’s just a single cup left :) I think this tea’s a little old now, but it’s still tasty enough; I really love green teas that have caramel notes, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint in that area! It tastes like a fairly straightforward green, a bit vegetal but not overly, and not particularly mariney. It probably wouldn’t be my first choice of green tea, but it’s pretty good and I’ll happily have that last cup of it, unless my roomie beats me to it!

ETA: Second infusion, ~1:30 is not bad, but it’s a bit more marine, and less caramelly. Won’t take this one to a third infusion.

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

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74
drank Elf Help by DAVIDsTEA
3107 tasting notes

Sipdown from the Advent Calendar!

This tea tastes so much like 52teas’ Virgin Fuzzy Navel green. It’s very citrusy, and I’d say peachy, with almost a fizzy taste. The sencha base comes out mostly in the aftertaste as kind of a caramelly flavour, which is pretty tasty. Overall, it’s not bad, but I don’t tend to be a huge fan of flavoured greens, so probably wouldn’t buy it again (although I think it may have been discontinued anyhow).

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

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77
drank Crème de Menthe by DAVIDsTEA
3107 tasting notes

Argh, still have another cup of this left! Anyhow, although I’m not a fan of minty teas in general, I figured I’d put some effort towards drinking down some of my 2011 Advent Calendar samples, and besides, I hadn’t written a note on this one!

Admittedly, the aroma’s actually not bad. Kind of vanilla mint-ish, which I actually tolerate fairly well (if not enjoy, when I’m in the right mood). And the flavour matches the aroma very well, just minty with vanilla – I can’t even taste the pu’erh! It’s just there as a nice base, but I can’t even pick out it’s earthiness. Obviously this is another inconsistent pu’erh from DT, as I see that other people mention that it smells like fish/dirt, which mine doesn’t at all (but I’ve had this problem with DT’s Oh Christmas Treat, so completely understand).

As long as this isn’t one of the discontinued blends, I’m thinking it might be another that my mom would be happy to try. She loves mint, and pu’erh, and liked another vanilla-minty tea I gave her over the holidays (aside from asking “is this a black base? I can taste it!”)

Ok… the only issue I’m having here is that it tastes like there’s sweetener. AKA licorice or fennel, or something of the sort, and it’s hitting me in the back of the throat, and it’s not super unpleasant, but I would prefer it wasn’t there.

ETA: Second infusion not too bad, more pu’erh, less mint, but still the sweetness in the back of my throat.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70

Sipdown!

Hmm. Brewed this up today with what I thought was a good leaf:water ratio, but it’s very weak. Luckily, I just took a look at my previous tasting note and I wasn’t the biggest fan of this one, so I suspect that’s just the case here (although I wish it had a bit more flavour!) Ah well. Thanks again for the sample, Tea from Taiwan!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Detox (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
3107 tasting notes

Nuts. Literally as I plopped the infuser into near-boiling water, it occurred to me that there was green tea in here…. argh. Hopefully it isn’t ruined!

Luckily, I think there’s a small enough amount of green tea in here that it’s ok. Whew! I had forgotten that I actually didn’t mind this tea; it was Exotica(?) that my roommate and I didn’t like, I think. I’m also more open now than I used to be, haha.

This tea is slightly lemony from the lemongrass, which I apparently no longer really dislike in teas (I think I just had to get used to the idea), and I can taste the rooibos but it works quite well here, just sort of a woody flavour. And if it tasted a bit medicinal, it would probably fit in anyhow.

I can definitely see that this tea would be nice and refreshing to drink after a night of overindulgence, although that’s not really my style anymore, so it’s ok to keep this out of my cupboard :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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59
drank Winter Blend by Tealish
3107 tasting notes

Interesting. Not sure what I was expecting here, but not what I’m getting… The hibiscus is thankfully not overwhelming; I can taste apple, and possibly lemon/lemongrass? And a host of other savoury-ish flavours. This tea is not really sweet, as I would have been expecting. In both aroma and flavour, I think I’m also getting a hint of cinnamon.

Not a bad tea; very unique and not a flavour I have experienced before. Not something I’d likely crave, either. Thanks for the sample, Indigobloom!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Golden Imperial Lotus by Teavana
3107 tasting notes

And it continues… thanks to Indigobloom for yet another sample!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this one, but it seems to be a tasty, slightly sweet and malty black. With a hint of smoke, but I’m not sure if that’s contamination from the Gunpowder it sat with for ages, or if that’s part of the tea. Either way, this is pretty delicious and smooth, and I’d definitely drink it again, though likely not buy it (especially as I read that it cost $40 for a tin!!! $40!!!!)

ETA: Second infusion, also for 3 minutes, is still pretty tasty. This is quite a good black for those times when something like Laoshan Black would be a bit too bready and heavy; this tea is lighter and caramelly and I imagine it would go quite nicely with a meal. Mmm.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

glad you like it! :)

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76
drank Gunpowder by The Tea Haus
3107 tasting notes

Another sipdown from my Indigobloom pile!

Ok, this one grew on me. Sure, I think I still prefer more vegetal greens, but I’m enjoying the light smokiness of this one right now, and can actually see myself craving it in the future when I want a bit of a roastier green. Yum. Rating upped a bit :)

ETA: Second infusion for 2 minutes is pretty astringent, but otherwise tasty.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

I could not get to like this one at all, for some reason

Kittenna

Ahh. Your tasting note indicates that you liked it, but it made you nauseated?

Indigobloom

Hmmm. I tried it again before giving the rest away to Raritea, and it just wasn’t for me. Maybe age was a factor

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34
drank Baked Apple by The Tea Emporium
3107 tasting notes

Another sipdown of a sample from Indigobloom! I used the entire ~2.5 tsp in one 10-12oz. mug.

Unfortunately, although this one definitely had an appley aroma to it, I’m getting essentially nothing from the flavour. :( I guess I will chalk it up to age, although assuming this tea isn’t quite a bit older than the others, I don’t understand how it would have lost all flavour so quickly when the others still taste fairly good!

Of course, reading the tasting notes below, I now suspect that this tea was pretty sub-par to begin with (not that I’m complaining about trying it!). Ah well!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

talk about forgettable, I don’t even recall having this in my cupboard. Eeesh!

Kittenna

LOL It was from a year ago, I think.

Indigobloom

ah. From that first meetup at Tsaa!

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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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