3108 Tasting Notes

82
drank Gyokuro Imperial by Teavana
3108 tasting notes

Thanks to Raritea for a sample of this one! Unfortunately, although I knowingly wrote 1 tsp on the bag, I clearly put 1.5 into it, so this is not yet a sipdown :(

Ahhh, this is tasty. Vegetal and chewy, if tea can have a texture! It’s also kind of mariney and brothy, neither of which overpower one another, which works really well. Actually, it tastes kind of like the salted, flavoured seaweed snacks I like to eat. But, less seaweedy.

Overall, pretty good! I was worried that my 45s infusion would be too long, but it was just perfect here, and I’m glad I didn’t use more tea!

Depending on the price, this would be a tea I’d consider buying in the future, although I’m likely to go elsewhere for a gyokuro. Would definitely drink it if offered though, as long as I was in a green tea mood (I find that I must be in the mood for vegetal greens, otherwise I don’t particularly enjoy them).

Thanks Raritea!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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66

Well… this doesn’t taste like strawberry rhubarb pie to me…. however I do like it! It tastes fruity and sweet, with an almost caramelly, lingering sweet flavour that I’m quite enjoying. I wasn’t sure whether or not to expect spice in here like Strawberry Pie Honeybush, but it’s not here, and that’s ok. I don’t really taste any rhubarb tartness (there may have been cause to use hibiscus here for that!!) however I like this the way it is. Tasty enough that I am happily going back and sipping this one all up (as I did with Weeping Angel and Caramel Apple). No ill tummy effects from this one!

ETA: SOOOOOO. The above review is most likely for PB Cup Honeybush, which, shockingly, shouldn’t taste like SRP at all, haha. So this well get another proper shot later. I’m leaving the rating, because I did just drink what I think was SRPH, and it was delicious, and tasted fruity and much more like strawberries. Heh. Read my PB Cup Honeybush note for an explanation :)

ETA again: Re-steep was mostly flavourless (and I’m positive that I have the right tea this time).

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Alphakitty

I’m not a huge honeybush fan but I LOVE this one, it really does have a buttery pie taste to it

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43

So. Funny/possibly not so funny story. Last night I brewed up 9 cups of tea (yes, 9) and brought them upstairs. Six new 52teas, resteeps of Kamba Berry, Premium Taiwanese Assam, and the Premium Taiwanese Assam Upgrade. I tried all six of the new teas (so I thought), and didn’t drink the others. So, just now I went to finish everything off… and discovered that I had put one of the cups on a shelf that was hidden from view while lying in bed… and… it tasted like a rooibos. A fruity rooibos.

So. I’m about 99% certain that the tea I identified yesterday as PB Cup Honeybush was, in fact, a re-steep of the Premium Taiwanese Assam Upgrade. I mean, I should have known – it didn’t even taste rooibosy, just very plain. And now that I found this fruity-tasting rooibosy cup, I’m thinking that I misidentified Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Honeybush as well, and the tea I reviewed as SRPH was, in fact, PB Cup Honeybush. In which case, it was delicious!

So! My apologies for my temporary terrible rating of this one, as it was my own stupidity/tea brewing excess that caused the problem! I will clearly have to give this another shot later, and pay more attention to which cup I put it in. What I find somewhat amusing, though, is how I was able to convince myself that a peanut butter cup tea tasted like strawberry rhubarb pie. Also, I swear I was tasting the slightest bit of peanut in that assam. The powers of the mind, right? Yeesh.

ETA: Flavourless re-steep as well (the right tea this time). Ah well.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Dinosara

You’re not alone. You might not have been around back when I did my main 52teas trials, but suffice to say that I, like you, have trouble with the flavoring for some reason. I always wished it weren’t so since 52teas has so many awesome flavors, but I now know better than to try again. :(

Kittenna

Well, it looks like I made an epic mistake in identifying which tea was which last night (see completely updated note), however yeah, the flavours just aren’t always what I expect/hope for. Especially in the case of the new genmaichas… neither of those was misidentified last night, and the smell of the Browncoat Genmaicha is actually still making me gag.

Indigobloom

LOL nice, I’ve done that before. Tea musical chairs… which one will get drunk first, and will it end up where it’s supposed to? heh!

Dinosara

Haha well ok then! Glad you got it somewhat sorted out. :)

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70

Well, after the unfortunate unpleasantness of the Browncoat Genmaicha, I’m not really looking forward to trying this one, especially as I seem to recall someone mentioning that it made them feel nauseated… :/

Luckily, the smell of this one is… better. Like strong, artificial banana. Like amoxicillin. I don’t mind artificial banana sometimes, though I prefer real banana (like in DavidsTea’s Banana Oolong). Either way, I’m smelling banana and toasty rice. Smells like a pretty decent combo. Fingers crossed!

Ok, well this one’s weird too, but definitely in a more drinkable way. It tastes much like one would expect, based on the aroma. Not super fabulous, but decently drinkable. I think I’ll let it “air out” a bit too, to see if it improves; I think I may have difficulty finishing this off just because I’m not some super fan of artificial banana, but I can see it being tasty when the mood strikes.

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

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16
drank Browncoat Genmaicha by 52teas
3108 tasting notes

Hrm. This smells really weird. And my package is all strangely bubbly – anyone else’s like that? Anyways, the dry tea smelled a bit strange, but the brewed tea is actually making me gag a bit. Smells kind of like chlorine?? Hopefully the flavour is ok…

Ehhhhh, this is… unpleasant, to say the least. It tastes chloriney (not from the water), and I can taste the genmaicha but it’s really overwhelming… Plugging my nose, taking a sip, and then breathing out during the sip makes it a bit more bearable, but it’s also kind of bitter.

Perhaps I’ll let this one air out a bit and try it again… I think this cup is going to have to be chucked, because I’m feeling a little nauseated now :S

ETA: Still gagging at the smell now. I had hoped it would dissipate overnight, but no such luck. I’ll be hard-pressed to try this one again…

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

Even though I love this tea a lot I also think it smells funky. No bubbles however :/

Kittenna

It just seems to be the plastic that’s bubbly… I initially thought the tea was somehow wet, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, thankfully.

Indigobloom

I had a cup, it was definitely chemical like. Not great when steeped but then I didn’t expect it to be just yet

Kittenna

My hopes are not high for this one.

Indigobloom

Me neither, but 52teas has surprised me before. Fingers crossed

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80
drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
3108 tasting notes

First impression: this tastes much like Pot O’ Gold. Kinda caramelly-sweet, and all that. I think I may have accidentally diluted it a bit too much, so the flavour’s a bit weaker than I’d like, but it’s good. Sadly though, this doesn’t have the amazing caramelly flavour of Cashew Turtle that I was really, really hoping for, but it’s a good enough blend. I’m finding it to be just a bit astringent/bitter; I need to try and remember to use my Finum filters for blends that have little particles that may make them bitter if they sit too long.

I will have to make sure that the boy warns me when we’re about to encounter the Weeping Angels in Dr. Who – IIRC they’re in season 3? And we just finished watching the sad, sad season 2 finale. :)

ETA: After sitting overnight, this one is actually BETTER. Tastes like liquid caramel corn in a cup! Awesome!

ETA again: Re-steep only has a bit of flavour, but it’s not great. Fairly typical for 52teas blacks, so I’m not too concerned! Just makes it easier to travel mug knowing I don’t need to resteep :D

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

Yay you’re starting to get in to the even better stuff. And dear god yes it’s a sad sad ending. I bawled my head off lol

Plunkybug

Oh yes, more Weeping Angels, even in the most recent season, and have your tissues too.

Kittenna

For whatever reason, I managed to hold it together throughout the last episode. My boyfriend is not fond of tears (ok, who is?), but that wouldn’t normally hold me back, I guess I just wasn’t feeling overly emotional at that time :P It was heartbreaking when the Doctor was crying though :’(

Plunkybug

I told my DH about this tea and he was all, “Don’t Drink! Drink and you’re dead!” :P

Sil

hahaha oh man that’s funny heather

Kittenna

Bahahahahaha :P

Plunkybug

Yeah, so then he said, “They didn’t think the name of the tea out very well, did they?” but I told him what the page said it was created for, and he was like, “ok” but then he is a man of many puns, so that’s what I get for telling him about it.

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73
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
3108 tasting notes

Yay, got all my teas today! It has been a week of wayyyyy too many new teas. My room is a disaster. Anyhow.

I of course had to brew up all my new 52teas first, since I have oh so patiently been waiting to try them! :D

This one definitely smells like caramel apples, albeit artificially-flavoured ones. I had no idea how to brew it, so went between my standard green and black parameters for 52teas, 2.5 minutes at 185F. Flavour-wise, this is pretty decent. There’s enough caramel to keep my happy (but I’d prefer more), and it does taste like apple, but I wish it tasted a bit less artificial. I’m not getting too much from the oolong (although it’s clearly there, otherwise this would be gross, watery caramel apple), but I’m thinking I should try a longer infusion next time to see if I can bring the flavour out more.

Glad I nabbed this one, and hopefully it will lose a bit of the “flavouring” taste with age!

ETA: Re-steep has a bit of flavour, but not much. Even with an extended infusion though, no bitterness! Yay!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Plunkybug

Oh I want to try this!

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100

Just brewed up a cup of this to compare to the upgraded version, and yeah, definitely more chocolatey notes here! Strangely though, I don’t know whether it’s because it has cooled or what – I think I actually prefer this one in a travel mug! I’m not liking it quite as much just having it now. This, of course, is not a problem at all, because I absolutely adore it in my mug (aside from that one time it was a bit odd), and therefore can drink it more often, ahahaha.

ETA: This is now cold, and I take it back! It’s amazing in my cup. Chocolatey with a raisin finish. Bluuuhhhh want mooooorrreeeee….

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Kashyap

OK I will ask…how do you get an Assam (a region in India) out of Taiwan? Is this like a Chinese Sencha? Or a Nepalese Pu Erh? Why can’t our tea community strive towards transparency and stand on its creations and traditions and new movements rather than succumb to blatant marketing ploys…If I’m over speaking I will apologize. In addition I’m overjoyed you found something you love and are in tea heaven…

Kittenna

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to your question, but I imagine Stacy at Butiki could be of more help! Place of origin wasn’t a factor in my decision to purchase this tea at all, it was entirely on taste, and this is crazy delicious.

From the tea description, however:

Our Premium Taiwanese Assam is sourced from Yuchih Township in Nantou County, Taiwan. Assam bushes were brought to Taiwan in the early twentieth century but have since been refined by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station. The long dark chocolate-colored leaves produce a sweet fruity aroma. This malty tea has rich chocolate notes with notes of cinnamon, clove, and raisins.

Cavocorax

It sounds delicious.

Sil

Cavo – this is a good one!

Donna A

One of my favorite Assam teas.

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75

Hmmm, yes, this is definitely a bit different in flavour from the regular Premium Taiwanese Assam. I’m getting… almost a raspberry sort of fruitiness at the beginning of the sip, which just kind of fades. Yes, definitely raspberry. I’m not getting any chocolate, though this tea is tastily malty.

I’ve gotta go, so I’ll review this better later, but I think I may actually prefer the lower version to this one, as I love those chocolate notes! I think this tea works the fruity angle a bit more, which is only present in the aftertaste of the Premium version.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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68

I cheated and sipped before writing anything.

Yum.

I’m getting hints of spice, creaminess, sweetness. My only complaint?! It is too subtle! Perhaps I will try using more tea and a shorter infusion next time to get out a bit more flavour, because I’m quite liking what I’m tasting. I was very skeptical of the infusion temperature (gotta look to see which oolong is the base…) but it seems to have worked pretty well here. Like others, I also don’t really know what plum pudding is supposed to taste like, but I can envision that the proper combination of flavours is present in here, just very subtly.

Looking forward to experimenting more with this one!

ETA: Just finished the last of this up cold (well, room temp but my room is like 17C). Deeeeeelicious. Got more flavour. I’m so looking forward to trying another cup!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

The batch you received of the Traditional Plum Pudding is really new. It may need a few more weeks for the flavors to really set in.

Kittenna

Ok! I’ll leave it be, then. Sadly, my roommate accidentally knocked over the infuser with these leaves in it, so I don’t even get to try a second infusion. C’est la vie.

Butiki Teas

Oh no! My husband constantly throws out my leaves often after only one use.

Plunkybug

Sounds yummy! Oh to have money and a credit card, as I really want to get some teas from here.

Sil

Heather – oh yes! dooo eeeeet!

Kittenna

Yeah. Make this a priority, seriously! You’re missing out! :D

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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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