2936 Tasting Notes

70
drank Creme Brulee by Simpson & Vail
2936 tasting notes

Wow, does this tea ever smell potent! It’s rich, strong, caramelly goodness to the max! Almost too intense! Brewed up, it still smells much the same. The aroma is coming off as a bit artificial to me, to be honest, but hopefully that converts to delicious flavours?

Hmm. Well, there’s definitely no shortage of flavour here! However, I’m having a difficult time relating it to creme brulee. The predominant flavour (and aroma) is intense caramelized sugar, which is backed by what is oddly coming off to me as a bit of a cardboardy flavour (which I actually think is the custard). I realize that sounds unappetizing, but that’s how it’s coming off to me. How custard and cardboard are alike, I’m not sure, but I can imagine I’m tasting either when I take a sip! Consequently, I’m not sure whether I love this tea or just like it, but this is certainly enjoyable! And at 3 minutes, there’s a minimum of astringency, which is quite nice.

I suppose I shall see how this does in my travel mug, but I’m excited for another caramelly flavoured black. This is not as good as 52teas’ Cashew Turtle, but the abundance of flavour will probably make it a treat to discover in my mug in the morning (because by the time I get to drinking my teas, I can never remember what’s in each mug!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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47

Ehm…. this one’s just a liiiiiiittle too weird for me. And my mom. I knew as soon as I opened my (thankfully) sample packet that it was not going to be my thing. It smells quite spicy, and a weird sort of savoury that doesn’t appeal to me. Can’t say I’ve ever had sage in a tea, so that could be part of it, although there are a few “new-in-tea”-to-me ingredients lurking in here.

My mom thought it tasted much like drinking liquid turkey stuffing. She thought perhaps it would taste good consumed alongside a turkey meal. I… thought it tasted less spicy and less strange than it smelled, but… definitely savoury, and rather weird.

Both of us did agree that the aftertaste is quite pleasant, once you get past the sipping and swallowing stages! I think it may be the ginger that leaves a nice spicy aftertaste.

I think I can get why people mix this with a pu’erh or something, but I just don’t think this is something that’s going to appeal to me in any form. Just too strange.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Ze_Teamaker

I like it, but I can see how it would be weird for some people. It kinda reminds me a Italian food personally.

Kittenna

Yeah, I’m wondering if I don’t care for tulsi. I honestly haven’t ever tried it on its own before! I do have a sample of 52teas’ Tulsi-rama in my box of teas from LiberTEAS, so perhaps when I get back home I’ll dig that out and give it a shot.

Indigobloom

LOL liquid stuffing. I so wanna sample this now if you don’t mind!

Kittenna

Well, I only got a sample size…. but as luck would have it, I don’t want the rest!! Ahaha, I’ll save it for ya. Better add to the swap list!

Bonnie

I’ve got to say that if you removed certain things from most of the alchemy blends they would taste strange. This is why adding Laoshan Black and a little puerh brings this blend somewhere close to the Summer Imperial Breakfast Blend with a little extra ginger (in my opinion). Sort of a magical thing that happens…and I like it! Plain, adding honey transforms the flavor into a more delicious cup.

Indigobloom

hehe thanks Kittenna! :p
Bonnie, you are a tea mixing master!!

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78

Yay, my S&V order finally arrived today!!! Naturally, I had to immediately get started on trying the new teas! I picked this one to start, as we were heading out shopping, so I had to travel mug it and thought it would hold up.

The dry tea smells a bit cinnamony and chocolatey, and a bit… cakey, which I suppose could be brownie. Brewed up, I recall it being ok although somewhat astringent while hot, but once it had cooled to lukewarm and sat for about 3 hours, I liked it a lot more! I will have to properly review a first infusion in the future. My mom tasted a sip and did not like it at all (thankfully we had made up Butiki’s Strawberry Oolong (which she adores!) in her mug). She doesn’t like chocolate in teas, apparently.

I’ve just brewed up the second infusion in half the water (3 min, boiling) and it smells much like a cinnamony baked good. Not really any discernible chocolate, but it’s pretty tasty! A bit astringent (so maybe 2:30 would have been preferable), but it tastes very much to me like the inside of a cinnamon bun, where there’s cinnamon in/on the bun part but not really any stickiness or icing.

I think this will work nicely as a morning thermos tea for me! That seems to be the best use of flavoured blacks for me, while the more delicate teas are best drank in the evening from a mug :)

Preparation
Boiling

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82
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
2936 tasting notes

This is pretty good! Very much like Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong, although it tastes a little more “flavoured”. Basically, you can taste the delicious pouchong base with toasty notes of coconut and as it says in the description, a nice hit of floral from the base tea as well. IMO it’s a bit less subtle than Coconut Pouchong, but perhaps I used more leaf here. My mom likes coconut pouchong (but I didn’t really want to leave my whole package here), and she seems to like this one as well, so I’m leaving the rest of my pouch here.

Thanks to Zen Tea for this sample! It’s nice to know that I can get a good coconut oolong from a Canadian company!

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

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82
drank Genmaicha by Butiki Teas
2936 tasting notes

Hmm, a bit astringent today. Still tasty toasty ricey! Mom thought it was boring, aka sushi tea. Great when out with sushi, but she’d rather have something more exotic at home! Fair enough!

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

I’ve tried Genmaicha from Zhena’s Gypsy Teas, I suppose it has got more taste, but it is rather flat too

Kittenna

I do usually like this one more (my own fault that it was astringent, I think I overleafed), but yeah, it doesn’t have the complexity of other teas, which I suppose is why it comes off as flat or boring sometimes. But sometimes that’s what I’m in the mood for! It was great in a travel mug though!

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83

Mmm, I can certainly taste the bao zhong here! DELICIOUS! But the pineapple flavour is unfortunately too light for me to enjoy it as such. I’m getting floral, slightly fruity notes at the end of the sip, which must be the pineapple (along with a bit of aroma). We just had a fresh pineapple for dessert this evening; I should have saved a touch of the juice and infused a bit here!

Either way, I think we should all be thankful that Stacy didn’t decide to put hibiscus in here to make the tea tart!! Hahahahaha.

ETA: Second infusion in half the water (same brewing parameters) is a slightly fruity pouchong. Definitely worth it, but the flavouring is pretty much absent.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

Hey! There’s nothing wrong with hibiscus in moderation :p

Indigobloom

Hibby is good, if used right!
I trust Stacy, she knows how to figure out the ratios :)

Kittenna

Haha Sil, but for your rhubarb tea, hibiscus would be appropriate (I thought it was great in DT’s Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait)! Here, however, I think hibiscus would have been a terrible idea, but you know that some blenders would put it in anyways!

Indigobloom

Kittenna, that is true. It must be inexpensive, because they use it like a filler!!

Kittenna

Inexpensive and heavy(ish)!

Butiki Teas

Hibiscus is super cheap and pretty heavy but I would be surprised if many companies used it as a filler because it doesn’t take much to go extremely sour. The difference between even 5 grams in a pound of tea can be pretty noticeable.

Indigobloom

5g per lb? wow, that is more intense than I realized.

Butiki Teas

Indigobloom-Well that would be for it to be noticed. I used 13 grams in your entire tea. I started out with 20 which was way too sour. Those 7 grams made a huge difference. Better fillers would be dried fruits though not freeze-dried (since the kind we use are super expensive and usually add cost) and some nuts would work well as fillers.

Indigobloom

Oh neat, good to know the amounts! I can’t wait to start playing with the parameters. (getting so tired of waiting for a filter. gah!!)

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85
drank Cocomint Cream by DAVIDsTEA
2936 tasting notes

Drank a cup of this last night. The mint is definitely much more tolerable when softened by creaminess! Although it was sweet, my mom seemed to like it as well. She really does seem to like minty and/or citrusy things! Anyhow, yum!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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47

Yep…. brewed this up last night, and still did not like. Admittedly, I way oversteeped (ah, whoops, I did this last time too!), but aside from a bit of astringency, the flavour just is strange. My mom commented that it was perfumey, and I agree. Although she usually likes rose teas, this was a “no” from both of us. I still have a cup’s worth left to try (and NOT oversteep), but as I remarked previously, my opinion is unlikely to change.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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59
drank White Christmas by 52teas
2936 tasting notes

Sucked it up and tried this one tonight (oh no! It just occurred to me that although I opened the 11th tea, I neglected to drink any. Haha.)

Anyhow, I was rather disappointed in the 12th tea being minty and marshmallow, as that did not work well for me in Graveyard Mist. However, thankfully, this is infinitely more tolerable. First off, it’s peppermint, not spearmint, so no toothpaste association. Second, the black base is perfect here, and definitely lends a chocolatey sort of flavour. And although I usually dislike peppermint, the marshmallow root really rounds things out here, and softens the mint so I find it fairly pleasant.

So, not a bad blend to end off the 12 Days of Tea with!

(Mom tried this and thought the black base too astringent, and the mint a bit in-your-face. She much preferred the second infusion of Butiki’s Mint Oolong she was drinking at the time.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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93

Mmmmm, drank some of this tonight. I’m incapable of drinking it in proper dragonwell style, as I can’t take such hot liquids, but my single infusion was pretty tasty (although a bit oversteeped). Mom couldn’t pick out the sweetness because of the slight bit of astringency, but thought it was quite nice, although she certainly preferred her cup of Mandarin Silk!

Unfortunately, I let the second infusion sit far too long, and although it had good flavour, it was far too astringent. Thinking now, I probably should have just diluted it a touch instead of dumping it! :( Oh well.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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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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