2756 Tasting Notes

84
drank White Whisper by Butiki Teas
2756 tasting notes

This tea seriously looked exactly like water when it was steeped. Just the barest hint of colour. There’s a wonderful sweet aroma emanating from the cup. Flavourwise, the tea is so light I can hardly taste it. It’s almost a.. corn nut? corn silk? sort of flavour with a bit of tea aftertaste.

I think I’m going to try the second infusion for closer to 10 minutes. This tea’s just a bit too light for me, personally, although the flavour hints at deliciousness.

ETA: Second infusion (82C for 10:15) has more flavour, and tastes kind of like sweet peas! Like, the flowers, not edible pea pods. Interesting! I think this tea simply needs a longer infusion time for me. Delicious, and so smooth.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

Delicious! Reminds me of Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan quite a lot initially, even though it should taste quite different (I would think). There’s a light cinnamon undertone, a delicate bai mu dan flavour underneath, and citrusy notes at the forefront. This tea is marvellous. I love it!

Second infusion (4 min/82C) is definitely more lemony (like, a lemon verbena/lemongrass sort of lemony), and retains the bai mu dan flavour as well. I can’t really pick up the cinnamon this time.

Thanks so much for the sample, Momo! I’m surprised that even though this tea is nearly a year old, it’s still quite delicious!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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Final tea of last evening was a sample from Stacy at Butiki! I drank a bit and fell asleep before posting a tasting note, so here it is.

There wasn’t a great deal of aroma to the cup. Unfortunately, I was getting quite a lot of astringency, which kind of tarnished my opinion of this cup. There were some interesting flavours, and I was getting a lovely “tea” aftertaste (which speaks to the quality of this tea), however, the mouth-drying sensation and bitterness weren’t making me all that happy. I think there was a bit of a light wild blueberry flavour, but unfortunately after having had 52teas’ Blueberry Zabaglione, I found it difficult to pick out (bad timing on my behalf). I tried to drink a bit of the rest in the morning, and it was possibly the most bitter cup of tea I had ever tasted :( I couldn’t pick out any of the potentially nice flavours from the night before.

I feel it’s unfair to rate this tea… I know I enjoy the straight Purple Tea, so something must have happened to cause all this bitterness. The tea was quite broken up in the sample bag, but I used a Finum filter so would be surprised if particles got through… ah well. Perhaps I’ll try it again someday.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Strawberry Zabaglione by 52teas
2756 tasting notes

Sorry guys… I’m so spammy late at night when I drink tea!

Anyways, two to go… this one’s a sipdown of a sample Azzrian sent me in our first of many swaps! I steeped the tea for a bit of a shorter time this attempt (although I meant to only give it 3 minutes, not 3.5). I think it definitely cut down on the astringency to some extent, but I really wish I has paid more attention and nicked off that additional 30 seconds, and there definitely is still a bit. Much like Blueberry Zabaglione, I don’t know what flavours aside from strawberry I’m supposed to be picking out, although I can get a bit of creaminess/custardy flavour.

If I had to choose, I think I’d go with Blueberry Zabaglione over this tea; I do like both strawberries and blueberries, but the base tea is nicer in BZ (less astringent), and the blueberry flavour is more potent and tasty, whereas the strawberry is a bit more drowned out by the base tea here. I also think that the blueberry flavour is much more authentic than the strawberry (though I like the fake flavours of both these fruits :D)

ETA: Second infusion (3.5 min) pretty light in flavour. Not a tea I will miss.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

I agree on strawberry vs blueberry of this tea heh

Babble

I guess I’m the opposite, I liked the strawberry over the blueberry version. BUT they are both solid teas and great as cold brews!

Kittenna

Well, I only had enough leaf for a couple cups of each so didn’t try cold-brewing, but I think I tend to like blueberry flavours better than strawberry. Not sure why!

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84
drank Blueberry Zabaglione by 52teas
2756 tasting notes

Oh… I am kicking myself for brewing up so many teas right now…. :S This sample is another from Azzrian – a blend I wanted to buy, but knew I shouldn’t at the time.

The aroma is pure, heavenly blueberry. My mouth is watering! I wish I had thought to grab the last of my Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish (also from Azzrian) to see how the two compare, but it’s definitely too late for that now. The flavour is simply a (very tasty) juicy blueberry black to me, though. I still don’t really know what zabaglione is, although I’ve gathered that creaminess is involved, and I can believe that there’s creaminess here taking the edge off of potential blueberry tartness, but that’s about it. The base tea here is slightly astringent and not overpowering yet present, which is just perfect.

I think I probably will still prefer DavidsTea’s Blueberry Jam for a blueberry black tea, even though the stevia sometimes tastes funny to me, but I’d have to do a comparison to be certain. Perhaps in the future!

Thanks again for (all the) sample(s), Azz!

ETA: Second infusion is pretty light on flavour, probably not worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Sweet Temptation by Tsaa
2756 tasting notes

Finally getting to this one, thanks Indigobloom!

The aroma to me is a fairly standard sweet rooibos aroma. I can’t place exactly which tea it reminds me of, but perhaps it’s a creme caramel rooibos, or some truffle one. I really don’t recall. Flavourwise, there’s also a sort of familiarity. I think it’s nougat, that I’m picking up. Not toblerone, as I can’t taste any chocolate here, but kind of a tangy sort of nougat. It seems to be growing on me as I sip more of the tea…

This one’s definitely a different rooibos blend, and quite palatable given the tame version of rooibos found here, but I have to admit that it’s not my favourite, and probably not a blend I’d seek out again. However, I very much appreciate the chance to try it out, so thanks Indigobloom!

ETA: Second infusion is kind of like sweet-ish water. Not bad, but nothing too special.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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82
drank Kenya Kangaita by Butiki Teas
2756 tasting notes

What was I thinking?! Nearly all the teas I brewed up tonight are black teas! Seriously, I’m an idiot. It’s already half past 4 in the morning… Anyhow, onto a tea I had yet to review!

The aroma of the tea is lovely, reminding me of a bagged tea but without the astringency and with a fair bit of richness (again, I need to work on descriptors for this particular aroma. It’s so common and I don’t know how to describe it!)

The tea is quite a bit milder and smoother than I was expecting, and tastes like…. figs?! Whaaaat? I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m tasting. Figs, like those from fig newtons, but a touch less sweet. Fascinating! I’ll admit that I didn’t have high hopes for this tea as I’m pretty picky about blacks, but this is both intriguing and quite delicious! Definitely drinkable sans additions, which is critical for me. I’m glad I finally brought this one out to try!

ETA: Second infusion (boiling/2.5 min) doesn’t have much flavour beyond that of a weak standard black tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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99

The addiction continues. I made yet another cup of this tea, this time first thing this morning (along with Mango Ice Cream). Unfortunately, I only have one travel thermos that is leakproof, and I was biking, so I had to choose which tea to take, and which to drink. So, Mango Ice Cream went into the thermos, and I attempted to gulp this one down before leaving, but one sip in, I realized that it was not going to happen. And then remembered my poor roommate upstairs studying for a midterm, and her newfound love of this tea…. and took it up to her (for which she was quite grateful!) Definitely picking up at least a couple pouches of this when it’s re-blended (yeah, I say when. It will happen if enough of us band together for it! :D)

Did I mention somewhere that second infusions of this one are pretty darn tasty too?

ETA: The third is too! But I suspect that’s it.

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

I’m making a thread/petition to have this added to his perm stock. I think this is needed all year round!

Sil

Heh ne of these days ill get to try it hah

Indigobloom

I’m setting aside my monies for this one now, so I don’t have an excuse when the reblend is announced!!

Kittenna

Sil, if you like genmaicha and marshmallowy vanilla flavours, you’d love this one :D

Indigobloom – yes, I’m pouncing on this one as soon as it’s available again. That’s what credit cards are for… (right?!) :P I was just wondering about something random – so the vanilla/cream flavouring in here is not a flavour that bugs you? It’s definitely different than in some teas that are flavoured. Just curious!

Sil

no clue if i like genmaicha. i’m sure i might have some somewhere here in the house…maybe….i just figured i might as well try this when it comes out again since if i hate it i can always tempt you with it for something else lol

Kittenna

Hahahahaha, I can just see you being all calculating… “ok, so if I buy some of this marshmallow treat genmaicha, maybe Kittenna will trade away her Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake to get it… hrrrrm…” :P

Sil

Ohhai! Totally didn’t think of that. Wonder if I can bribe frank to tell you he’s all out…..

Kittenna

Hahahahahaha. For both of our sakes, I hope he reblends both in the near future! The demand for both seems to be extremely high.

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84
drank Mango Ice Cream by 52teas
2756 tasting notes

Had a cup of this today courtesy of Azzrian! It was actually the only thing I consumed between breakfast and a very, very late supper (I was in the lab all day), so I’m glad it was as tasty as it was! A delicious, creamy, mildly fruity black tea. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a mango flavour at all, but an ice cream sort of creaminess was definitely present, and I really did enjoy the fruitiness! I wish that the mango was more present, though; that’s really my only complaint, but I thought that the base tea was fabulous – strong enough to hold its own but without overpowering the blend or causing too much astringency. This would be a 90s tea for me if only I could actually taste the mango… this is sadly not entitled “Vaguely Fruity Ice Cream” black tea. Delicious, just the same.

The second infusion (3 min, boiling) is a fairly smooth, perhaps slightly creamy black tea. Even less true to the name, but surprisingly tasty anyhow.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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48
drank Korean Sejak by DAVIDsTEA
2756 tasting notes

Split a pot of this with my roommate tonight. If someone had told me that I was drinking steeped seaweed, I would 100% believe them – this tea tastes salty, a bit sweet and umami, and very marine. It’s a little bit bitter at the end, but there was a lot of broken leaf in the package, so that could perhaps be the cause.

Honestly, although I adore sushi, and love seaweed, I really would prefer not to be drinking a cup of tea that tastes like seaweed as well. Give me a nice genmaicha with my sushi, thanks. And I’d rather have seaweed in dried snack form as opposed to beverage form. Certainly an interesting tea, but preferably one I won’t be drinking again!

ETA: Im sure this one would have re-steeped at least once ok, but we really didn’t care for it, so just ditched it.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Claire

I just drank some daejak and I must be a fan of drinking seaweed!

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

lol, got me thinking about dried seaweed snacks, then I thought of my favorite one being kimchi flavored, then thought of the idea of seaweed kimchi tea. Arggg, not for me (kimchi or not).

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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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