3051 Tasting Notes

91

Sipdown…!!!! :( :( :(

Used up the last of this today plus a bit of Cashew Turtle (3:1, as I didn’t have enough of this one for my thermos). The resulting combination is unsurprisingly mostly CPC with maybe a hint of extra caramelly flavour. Tasty enough that it’s almost gone. (I used the “add a bit of cold water to the thermos” trick this morning, and was able to drink my tea at my 8:30am meeting after steeping it around 7:55! Score! Of course, the Laoshan Black to which I did not add cold water is still too hot to even attempt to drink…)

So anyhow, I have to drink 15 teas today in order to hit 1200 and make an average of 100 tasting notes/month since my Jan 29 2012 Steepster inauguration… mission accepted. (Can one die of tea overconsumption?!)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

oh man, maybe you can make half cups?

Sil

haha you’re crazy lady!

Kittenna

Well, having three full thermoses (double cups, of course) doesn’t help, since that’s six cups of liquid and only 3 teas down! I’ll make normal-sized cups after this though… see how many I can get through while at work…

Sil

just log each cup separately lol 1 themos = 2! I kid, since in theory pretty much all my tasting notes are technically at least 2 cups (ignoring resteeps) since my mugs are giant.

Kittenna

Yeah, my way of logging tasting notes has to do with a batch of leaves… so basically whatever volume of tea is made with one batch of leaves counts as one tasting note, which includes all re-steeps. I will valiantly attempt my goal but am pretty likely to fail, haha. After a while I just no longer want more tea… (and I have a bunch of unfinished cups sitting on my nighttable from last night which I usually drink before brewing more, if they still taste good).

Veronica

I’m impressed by your dedication and willingness to try. :)

Sil

Kittenna – i hear you…i do the same thing with my tasting notes. only makes me sad when i look at how many times i’ve logged something and i’m like i KNOW i’ve had way more than 10 cups of that! haha I managed to hit 900 tasting notes the other day but of course missed it.

Indigobloom

13 more to go!
I seem to have a 3 fresh tea/day tolerance level. Kindof limits my intake (not including resteeps and herbals)

canadianadia

Whoa! thats quite the challenge – good luck

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34
drank Gingered Peach by Kally Tea
3051 tasting notes

Ehhhh…. definite ginger flavour, mixed with…. weirdness. As Raritea mentioned, it’s also a bit perfumey. Bleccch. Probably not a tea I will end up finishing :/ I don’t think I can make this better. For someone who loves ginger, this one could be ok, or perhaps be mixed with another tea, but…. it’s not for me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I’m thinking of baking with it!

Kittenna

That could work. It’s not terrible, but I didn’t care for it as tea.

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77
drank Autumn Leaves by Della Terra Teas
3051 tasting notes

Strong maple flavour backed by a fairly decent rooibos base. I’d like to know how this compares to DavidsTea’s Oh Canada, but I’m out of that one, so will just have to say that it’s pretty good, and pretty sweet, but probably not a tea I’ll crave often! I should, however, mix the last of it with a lapsang souchong just for kicks…

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
CrowKettle

I keep forgetting but I want to try the lapsang souchong/ maple tea cross too. Thanks for the reminder!

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81

Yum. There’s something in the aroma of this one that I’m not keen on, but it’s much smoother, sweeter, and tastier on the sip. Kind of apricotty, probably a little like brandy (no idea on that one) and generally pretty tasty :D

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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93

Another spontaneous choice for travel mug tea which was very successful! This was absolutely delicious in my mug this afternoon. Definitely using up much of the rest in this fashion! :)

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

I think I need to own this tea. I’ve read such good things about it!

Kittenna

Yes. It’s a delicious oolong! :D

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84

So, this morning I decided I was tired of my usual rotation, and decided to quickly venture into a couple additional boxes to see if anything else might do well in a travel mug. I decided to give this one a shot, and to my delight, it worked quite well! I think this one will now be sipped down in short order. I just need to remember to use a Finum basket to minimize any particles getting into my brewed tea, so it doesn’t become bitter as it sits (it was great today, but more than one tea has been ruined like that before).

Re-steep unfortunately is bitter and oversteeped, but I don’t always have the best of luck re-steeping my teas from the morning anyhow.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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100

Ahhhh, delicious. Can’t wait to try the new extra super awesome premium special version (which is en route!), but choked about USPS rate increases. :’( Watch everyone in Ontario band together for a $500 order just to make shipping worthwhile…

So I went for my first run today (on the treadmill, it is nasty outside! Also January.) in a few months, and owwwwww my feet are killing me and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wicked sore tomorrow. Bleh. Also, I want to sleep right now… (perhaps not such a bad idea…. except that I still need to drink like 50 million teas before my Steepster-versary tomorrow!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Papaya Ginger by Tea Blendz
3051 tasting notes

Not bad! And I totally called that there was anise in here, as I tasted a bit of licoricey-ness, but it’s totally bearable. Overall, this is a decent blend – I’m not getting “papaya”, but there are definitely ginger and citrusy flavours. Again, another tea that I drank while distracted, so that’s really all I have to say! :)

Thanks for a sample of this one, Sil!

ETA: Oops, meant to write as well that I enjoyed a re-steep, and for one craving ginger, I suspect another few good ones could be had as well! I just felt like moving on to new things.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Honeybush Haze by Amoda Tea
3051 tasting notes

Another sample from Sil, thanks!

This definitely didn’t smell like any honeybush blend I’d had before, so naturally I nabbed a sample to try, and I’m glad I did! This is quite interesting: nutty and fruity, kind of like… an apple muesli? Or… nutty apple oatmeal? I’m getting a bit of spice alongside the flavour as well, which is quite nice, and as I can’t say that I’ve tried green honeybush or green rooibos straight, I can’t define exactly what they are contributing. But certainly nothing negative.

This is a pretty good, tasty caffeine-free blend! Due to the apple crumble/pie/oatmeal flavouring it makes me think it’s a great blend for autumn evenings. A tea I’d happily drink again (although, I cleverly also only picked up a cup’s worth of this one so it’s a SIPDOWN!!!!!)

ETA: Second infusion is much like the first, and in half the water I can’t really say that it has even lost much flavour! What’s driving me bonkers though is that there’s something about it that tastes ridiculously familiar, and I can’t place it. Like, the skin of a baked apple with brown sugar/margarine in the core. But, I swear said thing I’m imagining also has nuts in it (which I find confusing as I don’t often eat food with nuts in it, not for any reason except that other people are often not fond of such things). Ok, I’m rambling, perhaps someday I’ll figure this mystery out…

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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90
drank Tangerine Spice by Kally Tea
3051 tasting notes

Ok…. this smells like something SO familiar, but I can’t place it. But I love it! Argh, hopefully it will come to me…. (Perhaps it’s some citrusy drink?)

Anyhow… this is delicious. Not a flavour I’ve encountered prior in tea, but man, this is freaking delicious! And with a nice white tea finish at the end. Ack, I need more!

ETA: So! I triumphantly return to Steepster to inform you all that this tea, this tangerine spice tea, tastes bang on like some sort of sour cherry concoction that I have previously tasted. Perhaps sour cherry pie filling that my mom made. To be honest, I haven’t quite sorted that part out yet, but it’s crazy that it tastes like that! A re-steep in half the water was also enjoyable (and the leaves retained aroma after this, but I threw them out anyways, bad bad bad.)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

you can have the rest of mine!! if you are interested

Kittenna

OOMMMGGGG yes.

Kasumi no Chajin

It does sound fantastic! Will have to look this up.

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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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