2898 Tasting Notes

94
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
2898 tasting notes

This week is a five-day series of sleep, starve/drink protein shakes while doing lab work until the wee hours of the morning, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. So no time for tea decisions, I’m sticking with the most easily visible. So, more of this guy. Still love it, and yes Sil, there will still be some left for you. It just might be in the original packet…. because the rest is all gone…

Claire

I feel you right now. I have a 10 pager on Twelfth Night and King Lear due on Monday and I keep thinking weird Shakespeare thoughts. Oh finals.

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2898 tasting notes

I made the horrifying discovery earlier this week that I’m nearly out of Laoshan Black! I think I had only ordered 1 oz., and have been drinking it in my Timolino, which takes a double helping of leaves… and I just made a huge Verdant order. Argh. I guess I know how I’ll be spending my voucher!

Oh, and this was delicious as always. Still can’t believe that a straight black tea can taste this amazing.

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88
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
2898 tasting notes

Another failure from the boy’s house, although this one I did drink. It just tasted funky and off, but I’m certain the off flavour was related to the water. He has a Brita pitcher; I should replace the filter in it and use it (because who knows how long it has been there, haha!)

Looking forward to a proper cup of this soon! :D

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

Oh no, I hope you get to drink some tea with tasty water soon.

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98
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
2898 tasting notes

Brewed up at the boy’s house on Saturday… but I clearly did something wrong, as it wasn’t very good. Ended up dumping the cup. I suspect a combo of the water (unfiltered) and either too little tea or something wrong with my leaf:water ratio. Or perhaps temperature. So many variables! Ah well.

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100
drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
2898 tasting notes

Ahhh, round 2 of this tea does not disappoint. Cake batter, eggnog, best vanilla tea ever… either way, it tastes like it’s absolutely loaded with calories, yet not a heavy tea… so perfect. The creamy green base really works SO well here. You may notice that I’ve now awarded this tea the coveted 100 points. A perfect score. Yes, it’s that good.

I’ve gotta try it with some rock sugar eventually, but I’m down to having 8 cups’ worth left (and I have to save some to let my mom try at Christmas!) I’ve gotta say – there are not many teas that I would be reluctant to sample out to people, but this tea is one of them! I’m dying to give my roomie a sample of it, and I feel super Scroogey because I want it all to myself…. bad bad selfish girl…

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

Not that it needs sugar but I do recommending trying it with some rock sugar. Its really desserty with a little sugar. Not something I go for every time I make it but occasionally it’s really perfect for my sweet tooth mood.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Kittenna, I too feel like being selfish when I get one I judge to be spectacular! But my enthusiasm is usually stronger than my selfishness and I always end up wanting the whole world to try it! I bet that’s what you’ll end up doing yourself :-)

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82
drank Genmaicha by Butiki Teas
2898 tasting notes

Mmmm, delicious! A nice, light, sweet genmaicha. No astringency when following the recommended brewing parameters. I can only wonder what this might taste like with a touch of vanilla… probably absolutely fantastic :D The rice makes this lightly toasty while the tea base leaves a lovely “tea” flavour (yeah, I still don’t know how to describe that savoury flavour) lingering in your mouth, which makes this one of the better genmaichas I’ve tried (a couple I’ve had fall a bit flat or astringent on that front).

Can’t wait to receive my genmaicha from Verdant so I can compare the two! Base teas will be quite different, so I’m expecting them not to be comparable at all, but I’m curious as to which I will prefer.

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

Kittenna-I also recommend trying this tea with boiling water and steeping for 1 minute. The boiling water puffs up the rice and gives it a more toasty flavor. Both ways are tasty but lately I have been going for the hotter shorter steeps.

Kittenna

Interesting! I’m quite enjoying it as recommended, but out of curiousity I think I will have to try that too!

Butiki Teas

Its worth a shot. I’ve tested sampling this tea to customers with both methods and the boiling water method got more genmaicha purchases. If you try the boiling water method, I’d love to know which way you prefer.

Kittenna

I tried boiling water for the re-steep (although I should have timed it, it probably got about 1-1.5 mins). The result is definitely stronger, and toeing the line of bitterness, which I’m not terribly fond of. I realize the second infusion wasn’t really the place to try this, but I was curious! I definitely liked the first results better, but perhaps with a first infusion, the result would be different. I’ll try to remember to do this next time!

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81
drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
2898 tasting notes

Another black from Butiki that I felt compelled to try. This one is definitely tasty, and I’m catching the chocolatey notes, but it’s not as tasty to me as Laoshan Black or Butiki’s Taiwanese Assam. It’s actually a bit more reminiscent of Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu Black, as there’s some of that hay-y flavour poking through here. Still, tasty enough and without astringency, just not a tea I’d repurchase!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79

Tasting this alongside everything else this evening, I conclude that this is not my favourite oolong from Butiki. Although it does work quite well as a base for the Maple Pecan Oolong, by itself it tastes to me like a fairly standard oxidized oolong. Lightly woody, a bit sweet, a bit fruity. Not particularly remarkable. Other offerings are definitely better IMO! I think it might do well in the Timolino, so I’ll likely drink most of it that way :)

ETA: Second infusion (160F/nearly 6 min, oops) has a raisiny sort of sweetness and a bit less woodiness. I don’t think this is actually as typical an oolong as I first indicated, but I’m just finding that it isn’t quite suited to my liking. Not bad at all though.

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

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88
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
2898 tasting notes

Shocking…. another hit from Butiki! This tastes just like maple nut fudge. It’s even sweet and everything. I think I prefer Creamy Eggnog… but only by a smidge, because this is absolutely decadent. This is much more of a dessert sort of tea.

Yeah, I’m too lazy to write more. I’m just going to enjoy drinking this amazing creation…

ETA: Second infusion retains that delicious lingering sweet mapley flavour. Not as good as the first infusion, but still pretty darn delicious. Probably would have been better if it had only been steeped for ~4 minutes instead of the 5:30 I gave it. I’m being bad and not paying attention tonight, haha.

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

Only thing I don’t like about accidental oversteeps (besides possible bitterness) is that you can eke out fewer infusions :s

Kittenna

Yes, that too!

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96
drank Strawberry Pie Honeybush by 52teas
2898 tasting notes

I have been drinking tea in the evenings without regard for caffeine content lately, but last Friday I did opt for this caffeine-free beverage. Quite delicious, as per usual. I prefer this one to Cinnamon Roll Honeybush. So glad I took the leap and ordered this in my first 52teas order!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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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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