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2221 Tasting Notes

70
drank Choco*Late by American Tea Room
2221 tasting notes

Another randomly chosen sample from my box from LiberTEAS! Thank you!

The smell is the most hot chocolate-like of any tea I’ve encountered so far. It’s a very familiar smell. Like homemade hot cocoa! With milk, cocoa powder, and sugar. I should also note that the tea looks quite interesting – rooibos mixed with huge chunks of what look like nut shells! I assume it’s cacao or something (and can’t read the tea description right now).

The familiarity continues into the taste. I’m still thinking it’s homemade hot cocoa, but…. I feel like that’s not quite right. It’s definitely chocolatey/cocoa-y though. Sweet, but not overly so. It’s also a little weaker than I would have liked, but I went with the low end of the infusion range. I can’t detect the rooibos at all, which is fine by me, although I wouldn’t mind some stronger background flavour.

Overall, it’s good and chocolatey, but it is most similar in my mind to 52teas Malted ChocoMate, which I prefer as there’s a stronger, roastier flavour along with the chocolate that just makes it more robust and interesting. Interesting to try regardless though!!

ETA: Second infusion smells quite similar. I’m wondering if this tea is reminding me of DavidsTea’s Chocolate Cake. I don’t think it’s quite the same though. I still feel like somethings missing, like it needs a stronger background flavour to hold up the chocolate so it doesn’t taste so much like chocolate water. I bet this would be better with milk and sugar, but I’m not going to cave…. haha.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Rebecca Lynn

I very much enjoy the word “roastier”, haha

Kittenna

:D If you try/have tried Malted ChocoMate, it definitely fits the description of ‘roasty’, and it is moreso than Choco*Late. Hence… roastier!!

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80

First to review this in spite of being sent it from not one, but two people?? Ok…!

Steeped, the smell is definitely reminiscent of DavidsTea’s Creme Caramel Rooibos. Not surprising. Sweet and caramelly and delicious, but not nearly as strong (DT’s is rather overpoweringly sweet).

Taste-wise, this is definitely a bit different. I can taste the rooibos, but it’s secondary to a light caramelly flavour, which is actually quite tasty. Tasty enough for me to have almost gulped down my whole mug already. I think I could have used an extra 1/2 tsp or so of the dry tisane (I used three heaping 1/2 tsps already in my regular-sized mug) just to make it a little stronger, since I like my teas flavourful.

I can’t recall if I steeped this one for four or five minutes the first time, but the second infusion was for quite a while (i.e. I forgot about it). The second infusion has less flavour overall, but the rooibos is even more in the background compared to the caramelly notes. Probably worth the second infusion, but perhaps in half the amount of water to concentrate the flavour a little more.

Thanks for the sample, Amanda!! I think I’ve almost gone through my whole package from you now :D

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
momo

problem with constantly trying new things: I have yet to even taste all I ordered from them, ugh

Kittenna

Hahaha, I suppose I have that issue too! I was just surprised!

momo

when I just read the first sentence I went and looked at my spreadsheet for specifically never tried teas and it’s severely upsetting. drowning in tea!

Kittenna

Oh yes. I have bajillions :P Trying not to think about it, but at least I tried four (?) new ones today!

Azzrian

LOL did I send you some of that too? I have some of that.

Kittenna

Yup! You sure did, Azzrian :D I tried the sample from Amanda tonight, but they’re identical. Really, I should just combine them :P

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61
drank Coconut Cream Chai by Tealish
2221 tasting notes

Dry, this tea really doesn’t smell like much. Steeped, it smells like a fairly standard chai. Perhaps with a bit of creaminess.

Hmm, ok, while I think it could have used an extra minute or two, it’s good, albeit rather weak! I can taste the spices, although they are rather subtle with only 3 minutes of infusion time, but there’s a lingering coconutty creaminess which is nice. I don’t usually like chais without milk/sugar, but this one might be an exception.

Not a tea that I think I’d rush out and buy (mostly because I have tooonss of chais right now), but it’s nice! Thanks Indigobloom!

ETA: Second infusion for five minutes definitely tastes less creamy, and stronger. I’m getting an orange flavour, but that might be from something I just ate. Will have to wait another moment to try… Ok, this infusion tastes much more like a regular chai. Maybe there’s a bit of coconut/creaminess at the end of the sip, but not a ton. Not bad, but I don’t think we’ll continue to a third infusion tonight. I want to try more teas!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

haha this one def works better with some sort of milk, in my opinion! funny I found them overbearing otherwise. I hope I didn’t short you on the spice!

Kittenna

Doubt it. I think my infusion time was simply too short!

Indigobloom

hmmm, 3 min… maybe, for a chai!

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Rinsed the leaves at 208F for 15 seconds, then a second brief rinse with slightly cooler water. Used about 7g of nuggets.

First infusion (205F/4min):
Smells a bit earthy. Tastes a bit like dirt. In spite of what I thought was over-steeping, I don’t think it suffered for that extra minute. In fact, I think it could stand to be stronger.

Second infusion (205F/3min):
Less dirt flavour, more sweetness? Still not getting any of the flavours that other people have.

Third infusion (205F/4min):
Again a bit less dirt flavour, a bit more sweetness.

Hmm, ok. This is my first straight pu’er (other than the one from my roommate), and I’m not sure what exactly I think. Wondering if I put enough tea in – my scale may have messed up a bit; it was a nugget plus a couple partials. Or maybe my rinse(s) weren’t done correctly. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t particularly impressive either, in my opinion. Maybe pu’ers just aren’t for me? Either way, I’ve ordered the sampler from Verdant, as well as 1oz. of another one, so I will know soon if pu’er is my thing or not.

Reserving a rating until I’ve tried this one again.

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

I find pu-erh can be amazing or terrible. If it has a tippy yunnan base, bleh! otherwise, I love it… Ahhh, I should have brought you a sample! DOH!!!!

Autumn Hearth

Short steeps I think are what bring for the sweet cakeyness. I did the quickest of rinses and steeped for less than 10 secs. Of course I have found that not everyone can appreciate short steeps. He thinks that anything I gongfu just tastes like brewed rocks, be it yabao, shu, oolong or green. I on the other hand find then to be sweet and mineral and in this case cakey, especially on the second and third steep. Shrug.

Ian

Are you brewing western? I did and I did two rinses at 15 seconds each and then brewed with 205 water for 3 minutes increasing each by 30 seconds. I have a 12 oz mug, if that helps. If you’re using a teaball for this one I would strongly suggest you find a different way. The nuggets have a lot of sediment in them and rinsing them is what breaks them up, but they can’t fully break and can remain clumped in the tight space of a teaball, which is probably what is preventing you from getting the cakey flavor. I would recommend brewing in another mug and then pouring the liquid into another cup via a strainer to drink. That will allow plenty of room for the leaves to unclump.

TeaBrat

I agree that your infusions might be too long. I would also try this in a gaiwan if you have it.

DaisyChubb

oo yeah, are you using the teaball? Why not try just leaving a nugget in the bottom of a mug, and pouring/straining into another cup. Might be kind of messy, but honestly it’ll be worth it for the taste.

Kittenna

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I can’t imagine that 10 seconds would have any flavour at all though; I’m really questioning my accurate measurement of the tea. But, I do have enough to try multiple things!

I feel like I should explain something – I do actually have two infusing baskets (one from DavidsTea and another that essentially acts as a cup holding the water and leaves with a strainer in the bottom that opens up to let the tea flow through when I push a button. Bad description. Anyways, I try to use the latter for straight teas, or sometimes the former, but am now avoiding the teaball for anything but flavoured teas (or Banana Oolong, but that’s a special circumstance). So this one was essentially brewed in-mug :) However , I am now wondering if I should have broken up the nuggets before infusion – they are still very much in nuggety form in the basket. And that’s after a total of 11 minutes of infusing, plus the two rinses.

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93

Oh man oh man oh man. This one smells pretty normal dry, but WOW does it smell delicious while steeping! Floral! Honey-like! Citrusy?! So much so that I cannot wait to try it! Screw normal logging procedures…

Yes. This one is delicious. Honey-like and a bit floral, this is not like green teas I’ve really had before. I steeped the first infusion (175F) for one minute, and I can taste it just getting to be the slightest bit astringent – next time I’d go for perhaps 45 seconds. Delicious green tea aftertaste as well. Ah. Yum!

Second infusion (175F/2min):
Smells floral. Tastes much like the first infusion, which trust me, is not an issue. YUM.

Third infusion (175F/2min):
Losing flavour here, but still good. A bit floral.

I’m very impressed. I don’t know if the flavours here are typical of a Jing Shan, but they are distinct and lovely. My note doesn’t do them justice. I’m just too distracted to write anything better right now.

The flavours do remind me of Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver), but it hangs on a lot longer with this tea, and astringency is definitely less of a problem. It’s also less vegetal.

Very impressed though! Another hit from Verdant :D Good thing, since I just made two more orders…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
DaisyChubb

Great review! ee I think my Verdant order is at the post office but it’s pouring rain outside! I think I’m going to brave it anyways. Totally worth it.

smartkitty

This is…my FAVOURITE tea.

Kittenna

Oh it was so good. SO GOOD!

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74
drank Yogurt Strawberry by Tsaa
2221 tasting notes

Will have to re-review this one more later, but it’s definitely a “juice” tea! Yum.

It smells tasty and fruity, and tastes similarly. In particular, it tastes like strawberry jam. To be even more specific, it tasted like President’s Choice Twice The Fruit Strawberry Jam. Haha :P Which I do quite like.

The only funny part was that I was tasting a soapiness in the tea. Now, I won’t blame the tea until I’ve tried it in a different mug – my travel mug (non-Timolino) is plastic and sometimes a bit funny tasting. So I’m really hoping this is a one-time thing, because I did enjoy it otherwise!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Indigobloom

ahhh! I totally forgot to log mine. Will have to do that tomorrow, as I will be getting home super late today :/

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drank White Pear by Tsaa
2221 tasting notes

Tried a little sample of this one today, hoping that maybe it would be THE pear tea I’m looking for! No such lucky, sadly. It was definitely nice and light and pleasant, but the pear was far more subtle than I want. I think I may have to admit that I’m looking for a tea that tastes like a pear Jelly Belly, and infuses reliably. So the one I want will probably have flavouring added. Sad sad.

No rating because I didn’t drink enough of it to give a fair score :)

Indigobloom

I know, it wasn’t strong enough for me either! on with the perfect pear tea hunt…

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92

Awwww! Indigobloom was incredibly generous and gave me her last/close to last bit of this tea to try for myself! As part of an ENORMOUS amount of other samples! So excited; naturally I had to start trying things tonight, and clearly started with this one :D

Short note b/c I shouldn’t be on here at all. Too much work left.

It smells much like Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong to me. Kind of a toasty, tasty coconut flavour. Taste-wise it’s similar, but better. In which way, you ask? Damned if I know :P I suspect it’s the base, actually. I don’t recall exactly what I thought of Coconut Pouchong, but although I liked it, I seem to remember feeling like something was off. Definitely not the case here. I clearly should have brewed up about four infusions of it while I was downstairs, but now am going to have to wait until tomorrow (so tired).

Definitely leaving this on my purchase list for some time in the distant future. It is delicious. Thanks again Indigobloom! :D

ETA: Second infusion, same parameters, is pretty good. Quite coconutty. I would like to taste more oolong, but it’s quite lovely. Perhaps I’ll go for a third before I sleep tonight; we’ll see.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

heheeeee, SO glad you like this one!
You and Azzrian actually split the last of my last bit that I had found.
I think this is the only tea that can move me to order online. I will be doing that in a few months!

Yogini Undefined

Oooh I can`t wait to try this one!! Sounds awesome!

Lynne-tea

Awwwh jeez I wanted to try this one soo bad! I’ve been stalking it’s reviews for a while now. And now I want to try it even more. I will hold off until next next month as I am making a trip to a Davids Tea next week!.. (my wallet hates me I know it)

Azzrian

Puts hands over eyes – I did not see what Indigobloom said. :)

Indigobloom

Okay, so I’ll do a mass order for this one eventually as well! :)

Kittenna

So please count me in on your order – perhaps we could make a joint order? Is there a free shipping threshold? I’ll totally come down to TO for another tea shop adventure to pick it up :D

Indigobloom

Oooh I’m not sure!
I’ll investigate, after May 5!! :P

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88
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
2221 tasting notes

Drank this on the way to Toronto to meet up with Indigobloom!

Can’t remember details, but 3 minutes didn’t bring out enough black tea flavour, but the coconut was AMAZING. Started by drinking the second infusion, which was ok, and the first was like coconut heaven. More detailed notes to come next time I drink this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

ahhhh I can’t wait to try this!! and yogurt tea :P

Kittenna

Me too! My room smells like tea :D

Kittenna

Mmmmm, yogurt tea!

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88

Backlogging from yesterday morning. Oversteeped this (probably 5-6 mins) and no bitterness/astringency! Very impressed. So good.

Preparation
Boiling

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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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