3125 Tasting Notes

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
3125 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
3125 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
3125 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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76

Yay, new tea!

I have to agree with everyone that the chunks of potato in here are just so cool! I threw an extra couple in my infuser, and after I give this a second infusion sometime later, I plan to eat them. Haha.

Anyhow, the tea! Steeped, it smells lightly cinnamony, and a bit like cider. Given the name and ingredients, this is pretty expected. (Ok hiccups, you can go away anytime now…) It reminds me most of DavidsTea’s Hot Toboggan and/or Mom’s Apple Pie, so that’s kind of the flavour I’m expecting, although hopefully it will be better as I wasn’t overly fond of either of those. And….. WOOOAAAH! Total apple cinnamon potato pancake, here! I’m definitely tasting raw potato, which is likely because I put extra potato chunks in my infuser :D, and light cinnamon. Very pancakey! The texture is definitely also changed by the potato, which I’m finding interesting – it’s very full-bodied and smooth. The only thing I’m missing here is being able to taste the green tea, which is odd as there was a good amount in there as well.

Overall, this is an intriguing blend that is quite true to the name, in my opinion, but not quuuiiitte my cup of tea. That said, I don’t actually think I’m a big fan of apple-cinnamon, which is funny because I have at least 5 apple-cinnamon teas, if not more. So not a re-purchase, but I will still drink this all up! And hey, with potato chunks it has a huge novelty factor!

ETA: Re-steep for an accidental 6 minutes was pancakey and a bit cinnamony… and the green tea came out! Yay! Tasty :)

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

I’d steal a sample of this off you….I think I forgot to pick this one up in my last order

Kittenna

Sure, put it on the list :)

Indigobloom

Is there enough for me to swap something for this? It looks so interesting!

Indigobloom

(for a cup)

Kittenna

Yep, should be :) Make a note.

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63
drank Kamba Berry by Butiki Teas
3125 tasting notes

First note, again?! (Also a mini sipdown, hah!)

I just received my latest Butiki order today and had requested this tea as a sample, being wary of the included hibiscus. Dry, the tea is quite powdery, with a bunch of little raspberry bits, and it smells very berry-ish. Steeped, I can tragically smell hibiscus! But hopefully it’s only an aroma, not a strong flavour…

Ok. The hibiscus is not overwhelming, but I’ve gotta say that this is one weeeeird blend. I can definitely taste what’s coming off as authentic blueberry, a bit of tartness from the hibiscus (which is kind of merging with a raspberry flavour), a bit of a burn from the ginger… and it’s leaving a rather dry yet fruity/sweet taste in my mouth. How odd! I don’t think I’ve ever had a berry blend with ginger in it before, and I’ve not quite come to terms with that yet. The sweet (yet astringent) aftertaste here is my favourite part about the blend, but I would have to say that it’s probably not a tea I’d seek out. I have to wonder how it would be iced, so perhaps at some point I’ll request another sample to try it that way, but for now, I’m glad to have tried it to satisfy my curiosity!

Thanks for the sample, Stacy!

ETA: So it seems there are no raspberries in here, so clearly I was seeing strawberries and/or hibiscus. And I somehow had missed that there was tea in here! I imagine that would be the source of the astringency.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Orange Chocolat by Lupicia
3125 tasting notes

Sipdown! WOW. This is bitter. And strangely flavoured… not your typical orange, and I’m not really getting chocolate. This is an interesting tea though… I wonder if I just need more water here…

Either way, I guess this is the first time in a while that a 1-cup sample burnt me, because I totally ruined this, heh. Thanks for the sample, Sil – I may have to nab another one at some point to give this a second shot, since I so royally messed it up this time, apparently!

(I drank the tea in spite of the massive bitterness, and really am intrigued by the flavour… bleh why did I have to wreck it… :( )

ETA: Re-steeped this last night and am drinking it cold now – it’s actually really tasty! Orangey, chocolatey, and clovey. Definitely need to give this a second shot.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

i’ve got lots just remind me when we meet up for the lupicia order hand off

Kittenna

I will do that! Thanks!

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Profile

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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