3051 Tasting Notes

45
drank Songyang White by Verdant Tea
3051 tasting notes

Ok, shame on me for not reading my previous review before trying this again. I went with the usual amount of leaf (1.5tsp) for 8 oz. water and gave it a 1 minute infusion at 180F…. definitely too much. Astringent and not very pleasant. Gotta try a 15-30s first infusion next time. This will work for me before it’s all gone!!!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
3051 tasting notes

Whoops! I have not been very good about logging teas lately! This is a backlog from Wednesday (actually… I think all four teas I missed are from Wednesday…. I guess the boy is a bit of a distraction!)

Anyhow, made myself a giant mug of this to nearly finish it off in anticipation of the next 0.5 ounce headed my way shortly! I haven’t sipped down too many Butiki teas (Gui Fei and Strawberry Oolong are it, I think), but this one will be added to the list shortly! (Of course, I’ve restocked all three of those, so net progress is still zero, hahaha).

Uh, and as usual, this was delicious, as was the resteep. I lost track of what happened to the leaves after that, but usually I only do 2 or 3 anyhow.

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

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91

Another travel mug favourite nearly gone! 1 mug’s worth left (plus I think I still have a cup’s worth in my 12 Days of Tea). I’ll be sad to see this one go :(

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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94
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
3051 tasting notes

Inching ever closer to a sipdown of this one. So sad. The caramel in here is so decadent. Probably 1-2 travel mugs’ worth left, plus a cup for Sil.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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94
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
3051 tasting notes

Mmmmmmm, super spicy tonight! Love it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
3051 tasting notes

Uh…. so I received my (restock) order of Laoshan Black earlier this week, and was thrilled to brew some up for today’s travel mugs. Not particularly noteworthy… except that I just took a sip, and got the most intense sweetness I’ve EVER had from a straight tea! Like, straight-up sugar. So sweet that I actually did a double-take, of sorts (AKA a second sip), with the same result. Sure, I’m tasting malty, chocolatey Laoshan Black, but never ever before has it tasted so incredibly sweet! It’s not a bad sort of sweet either; doesn’t even taste like I added sugar, the sweetness tastes natural. But it is crazy.

I’m wondering if it’s because I brushed my teeth over half an hour ago… but my mouth doesn’t taste “minty fresh” anymore, and usually toothpaste makes sweet things taste unsweet, instead of the other way around. I will have to see whether this sweetness is maintained over the afternoon, or whether it was merely a function of my tastebuds (in which case I am totally brushing my teeth before drinking this tea again, hahahaha).

ETA: It wasn’t as sweet when I finished the mug later, but a re-steep later in the evening ended up producing similar sweet results. I wonder if this is a harvest difference, and there are just more honey notes this time around. Delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec
tea-sipper

I would love to try this some day!

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82

I am so disappointed. This one did not work well in a travel mug for me (or I screwed it up). I thought this delicious earthy caramel tea would be fabulous, but I tasted mostly a sweet, somewhat caramelly but fishy flavour. It certainly wasn’t terrible; I finished it before I finished my mug of Della Tera’s Eight Candles. I wonder if this tea needs to “air out” after being brewed, or something?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

What teas have worked best in your travel mug?

Kittenna

Typically strong, flavourful teas work best. This is the first pu’erh I’ve tried; I would have thought they’d be great but perhaps as I mentioned, they need some airing out. Greens and whites are generally not worth it, as they’re too light in flavour and I’ve found that the flavour of green tea changes as it sits (particularly the delicious beany vegetal ones). Genmaicha, however, is an exception. Basically, anything that’s subtle and nuanced will be wasted in a mug; heavy, strong flavours are best.

Specifically, my favourites for mugging are:
Verdant blacks (Laoshan Black, Zhu Rong)
Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam
Della Terra’s Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
52teas’ Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake, Cashew Turtle, Lime Jello Salad
Various milk oolongs (I wouldn’t advise using expensive ones though).

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86

Ok, I oversteeped this one a bit yesterday (note to self: just go for four minutes), but it was still the first travel mug I finished drinking of the three, by a good solid few hours. There was just a bit of bitterness. There’s something about pumpkin spice teas in travel mugs that just makes me happy, so I’m glad I grabbed another 2 oz. of this one.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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57
drank Eight Candles by Della Terra Teas
3051 tasting notes

Well, it looks like I’m just going to be a dissenter on this tea. I had it in my travel mug yesterday, and while it was ok, there was something off that I didn’t enjoy. It’s light on flavour, to begin with, and I can definitely taste marshmallow, but that’s about it. I’m wondering if I’m wanting a stronger black base here to kind of offset the marshmallow/caramel sweetness, because usually I like a sweet black.

I think I have enough left for a cup or two… perhaps Raritea or Indigobloom would be interesting in sampling it (if I remember to bring it along this weekend), because I really have no desire to finish it off.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I’m really curious about this one, if you’re up for sharing!!

Kittenna

Hopefully I remember it!

Raritea

Count me in! I’ve been readings lot of good things!! That is if there is enough to share :)

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72
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
3051 tasting notes

Thanks to LiberTeas for a sample of this one, that apparently has been sitting in my box for quite a while!

I think this tea may be suffering a bit from old age; I can both smell and taste some delicious real grapefruit flavour, with a brothy green base, but the flavour isn’t terribly strong. It may also be that my expectation was for something more along the lines of Butiki’s Grapefruit Dragon, which literally tasted like unsweetened grapefruit juice.

Either way, this isn’t bad; I’d try using more than 1.5 tsp leaf next time to see if I can amp up the flavour a bit. There wasn’t any astringency, so I think I’d be ok with an extra half teaspoon.

I’m pretty sure some of this is soon en route to me as part of Lupicia’s Happy Bag sale… (so I’m hoping I can figure out how to improve its flavour a bit!)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 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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