2410 Tasting Notes

84
drank Bangkok Blend by Harney & Sons
2410 tasting notes

Another winner in the cold-brewing experiments! As with Tokyo, I somewhat followed ScottTeaMan ’s suggestions and brewed 1 heaping tbsp in hot water for 30 seconds (I used 175F water) then poured that into a larger cup filled with cold/cool water, and it ended up brewing in the fridge for probably 36 or so hours.

The result was a creamy, lemongrassy brew with much less green tea flavour than Tokyo. Initially, I definitely preferred it as there was much more flavour, and the creaminess was quite delicious, however something I found interesting was that as the two teas warmed up, Tokyo became more delicious, and Bangkok started tasting a little funky. I’m not sure what it was. Not an off-flavour, more like a warmed-up-tea strangeness. So this is definitely one to finish off while it’s still cold, as I did really enjoy it that way, and Tokyo can be allowed to sit a bit longer if need be.

(It’s funny, I only even managed to discover this because I forced myself not to drink all the tea on the way to my destination and to save some for the way back… it was so good I wanted to drink it all right away!)

So this is another tea to add to the future purchase pile, and another ratings increase here as well.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

This is my favorite tea to drink cold!

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89
drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
2410 tasting notes

I almost forgot to log this today!! Whoops.

So I have to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been talking about icing/cold-steeping Tokyo and Bangkok, because I tried both today and they were absolutely wonderful, probably the best cold-steeped teas I’ve had yet!

I somewhat followed ScottTeaMan ’s suggestions and brewed 1 heaping tbsp in hot water for 30 seconds (I used 175F water) then poured that into a larger cup filled with cold/cool water, and it ended up brewing in the fridge for probably 36 or so hours.

The resulting brew was so delicious. Initially, the primary flavour I was getting was a seaweedy green tea, which I liked well enough, especially as it was followed by a lovely caramelly aftertaste. As the tea started to warm up a bit (I brought it on my 3 hour drive to get the Absolute Last Batch of Asparagus today), the sesame appeared and the caramel flavour intensified a bit. Truly, it was lovely, and there were no off-flavours.

I may need to acquire some more of this in the near future. I definitely need to raise the rating; this was so much better cold-brewed than it was hot, although it wasn’t bad hot either. Yay for a cold-brewing success!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

I haven’t tried cold-brewing this one yet but my tea pitcher is currently empty so I might try it tonight, sounds delish!

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71
drank Apricot Guayusa by Butiki Teas
2410 tasting notes

The smell reminds me of pu’erh, not that I’m terribly experienced with them however! I think it’s mostly an earthiness that I’m getting, along with a bit of fruitiness.

The flavour unfortunately just isn’t doing it for me. All I’m getting is an earthy sort of taste with a touch of sweetness and maybe a suggestion of fruit, which I’m not finding terribly appealing. Ok… a few more sips in and the sweet fruity flavour has intensified a bit and I’m finding it more pleasant, and less earthy. I should temper all this with the fact that I do have a cold and although I can still taste things, it’s entirely possibly that things are a little wonky.

Anyways, I think I have one more guayasa in my stash to try (also from Butiki), but it may just be that guayasa is not for me. Perhaps a bit mixed into a different herbal tea would work better for me if this actually gives me a caffeine kick (kiiind of hoping not, since it’s 10:30pm), but I’ll try that later. I think I might prefer the flavouring in this one to the only other guayasa I’ve tried, DavidsTea’s Jungle Ju Ju, but neither is something I’m likely ever to crave.

ETA: I removed my rating from this, because it’s probably not fair to judge this tea since I appear to not be fond of guayasa itself. Personally, I’d give it a rating of 63, but for people who do enjoy guayasa I imagine that this is a fabulously flavoured version of it more deserving of a rating in the 80s.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I think this is best in the morning when well! Get better!

Kittenna

Thanks :) Starting to worry I have strep throat or something, but hopefully not.

Alphakitty

Get well soon! Hopefully you don’t have strep throat, it’s so awful, but at least tea is one of the best things for.

Indigobloom

Oh no, get well soon!!

Missy

I’d send chicken soup but I’m afraid it wouldn’t make the trip like tea can. Hope you kick this bug soon. Take care.

Lynne-tea

Ohh no! You need a mighty strong tea to kick the cold! I hope you feel better soon

CHAroma

Sorry to hear you’re feeling under the weather. Hope you feel better soon!

Kittenna

Thanks – I’m still sick (seriously?!) but I think I’m finally on the mend. I’m just really thankful that I haven’t a) lost my voice or b) lost my sense of smell, both of which used to happen with stunning regularity a few years ago whenever I fell ill.

CHAroma

Maybe you need antibiotics or something?

Missy

Perhaps it’s stress that’s keeping a full recovery from you. You need a spa day!

Kittenna

Pretty sure it’s just that I’ve had to work through being sick because my experiments demanded it, and the work days are quite long. Stress also (and that’s not going away anytime soon!) I’m hoping to take it easy again this weekend and hopefully by Monday I’ll be feeling close to 100% (or even 80% would be ok).

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89
drank The Earl of Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
2410 tasting notes

Not sure what sort of tea mood I was in tonight, because this one didn’t quite fit either. Also learned that 3 minutes makes for too strong of a bergamot flavour; I preferred it to be lighter and more subtle, allowing the white tea to shine a bit more.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

Had some of this tonight but it didn’t quite hit the spot. I think it as a bit oversteeped, so we’ll see what the re-steeps are like tomorrow.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
Bonnie

Banana and asparagas! You still channeling asparagus?!

Kittenna

Oh goodness. I had cream of asparagus soup and asparagus mushroom risotto tonight, and am headed out tomorrow for my last asparagus pickup, thank goodness! Maybe the asparagus is making my tastebuds funny.

Bonnie

Uh ya think?!

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86

Bugger, Steepster just ate my note about this tea. Basically, same method as Coconut Cream Pie, it smells lovely like sweet buttery rum (although it’s muted since it’s cold), but unfortunately has a plasticky taste, which is not likely due to being steeped in a plastic cup as it’s the first time I’ve tasted it. Basically, I concluded that icing teas may not be for me, although I do tend to like teas warm or at room temperature. I’m so annoyed right now; all day I’ve been typing up notes in Word, and I decide not to, and get the darn kettle when I try to post my note. Argh.

Oh yes, and I added a bit of agave which improved the flavour, but that plasticky taste is still there and it bothers me.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

I get the SAME thing with iced teas!! except not with tisanes or Darjeelings, for some reason

Kittenna

The plasticky taste? Or weird off-flavours? It’s really annoying. On the plus side, I had a few sips from the other two teas I have steeping in the fridge right now (Bangkok and Toyko), and I think they may actually be pretty good! So I’m excited to get to them tomorrow :D

Indigobloom

I think it tastes like plastic… and something else but I can’t be sure. Bleh! Though I haven’t tried Bangkok or Tokyo, I hope they work out!

CHAroma

If you decide to write a tasting note by typing it directly into Steepster, just select all and copy before you post it. Then if you get the kettle, you can still paste it and not have to start from scratch. I do that with my comments sometimes, and it works like a charm. ;) Just be careful when you select all that you don’t accidently hit the backspace button!

Kittenna

Hahaha, I try to remember to do that but often forget. I’ve been writing more and more often in Word, but for whatever reason writing in that little Steepster pop-up window is far more enjoyable/inspiring.

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88
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
2410 tasting notes

Experimenting with some things today… semi-cold-brewed this one, and by that I mean used about 1tbsp and a bit of leaf, poured 190F water over it and let it sit for 30s, then poured that whole concoction into a larger glass filled with cool/cold water, then put it in the fridge for probably about 8-9 hours. Time to see how it turned out…!

A pretty light-coloured liquid (especially compared to Buttered Rum from DavidsTea, which I treated the same way). Hmm… there’s a bit of a weird taste initially, but after it warms up in my mouth, it’s more sweet and creamy. I think the black tea is having a tough time coming out here; this might be a better candidate for a chilled hot brew rather than a cold brew. I swear I’m tasting banana; it’s a flavour I associate with 52teas blends for whatever reason (I really have no idea.) It’s also what I’m calling that “weird” flavour.

Oh well! Fun experiment regardless. No ratings change.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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77
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
2410 tasting notes

So Alphakitty sent me a bunch of H&S teas during our recent swap, which was awesome since I’m seeing everyone on here raving about them, and I had yet to try any! Also, I’m so taken by the city names… as if I needed convincing to want to try the whole line of such-named teas! Today I have brewed up Tokyo, Bangkok, Florence, Paris, and Boston. I have a SoHo blend too… uhhhh…. yeah, that’s it. Should have brewed that one up too!

I decided to make a game of this and guess the tea flavouring by scent/taste. I’m not actually terribly familiar with what each of these blends is, so this should be fun!!

Florence definitely smells quite like a fruity dark chocolate. The type of fruitiness in particular escapes me, although I could be led to believe it’s cherry, as the aroma reminds me a bit of chocolate covered cherries. I’m fairly certain it is not cherry, though.

The first sip tastes much like the aroma. I’m surprised to find that it’s a bit weak given my 4 minutes of steeping, 1.5tsp tea and 8oz. water, but perhaps it needed that additional minute that was written on the bag. It is definitely chocolatey though, with just a hint of fruity. I can’t taste the black tea base as much as I would like, and there’s definitely no astringency or bitterness, so an additional minute likely only would have helped. Still good though. Not a tea I’d purchase as it’s a familiar flavour, so I think it’s much like one of the teas from DavidsTea (Love Tea #7??), which is much more easily obtainable if I’m in the mood.

And the verdict? I think I came the closest on this one, yay! Definite chocolate, and I can see the cherry/hazelnut confusion (even if the rest of you can’t! Hmph!) One more sip and I’m more inclined to believe that there’s hazelnut in the blend than before, but I swear it’s still a bit like cherries, too :D

Thanks Alphakitty!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Good job testing yourself!

Alphakitty

With milk & sugar this reminds me of a Ferrero Rocher… totally decadent and delicious.

Alphakitty

Oh also I found this the weakest of their flavored blacks that I own, so definitely try with the full 5 minutes.

Kittenna

Mmmmmm, Ferroro Rocher…. haven’t had one of those in a while! They’re a Christmas treat usually, and “Santa” didn’t put any in our stockings this past year.

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78
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2410 tasting notes

Round two of guess the flavouring, courtesy of Alphakitty!

By scent, I’d guess this is a strawberry-flavoured black. However….. the first sip makes me question whether it’s strawberry or perhaps raspberry?? Yum! I like this one! I’m going to go with raspberry, I think. This cup, unlike Florence, does have some astringency, but it’s quite manageable. I think 5 minutes would have been overdoing it here, so glad I stuck with 4. I want to say that there’s a touch of chocolate in here too, but I could be wrong. It’s certainly not as prominent as in Florence, if it’s there. I quite like the flavouring here. Again, I’m not always huge on the flavoured blacks, so I probably wouldn’t pick it up myself, but it was lovely to try! I bet it’s amazing with milk and sugar, but I just had three bowls of hand-picked strawberries covered in Greek yogurt and brown sugar, so I really don’t think I deserve any additional calories right now. I have enough for a second round though, so perhaps then!

Ok…. so I was way off. I do remember thinking that one of the teas smelled like an earl grey when I was steeping them, but forgot entirely by this time. It still reads as a fruity black to me, and less like an earl grey, but that’s ok! Hee… if I’m this terrible at flavours all the time, I wonder what they must think of me on the cheese panel….

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I am not 100% sure, but I think they said once that it was black currant as at least one of the fruity flavors in this!

Kittenna

That wouldn’t surprise me. I was definitely feeling raspberry though, but it could easily be any sort of berry flavour, as I’m not great at identifying them sometimes :)

Alphakitty

I couldn’t find what exact berries this is flavored with… I should ask next time I go. Tastes like raspberry/currant to me, but berry flavors tend to be kind of similar so it’s hard to pick just one out.

Harney & Sons The Store

The fruity tastes in Paris come from black currant. You were pretty close thinking chocolate, as there are vanilla and caramel in there, along with the touch of bergamot.
-RA

Kittenna

Cool, good to know! It was definitely tasty :D And I didn’t add it above, but the re-steep was pretty darn good too, which I judge to be an indicator of a good flavoured black!

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88
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
2410 tasting notes

Last of the three tonight from Alphakitty! (Ok, I lie, I brought down a couple others, but in this series it’s the last of the three :D)

Ok… now this one smells like chocolate raspberry too! My nose is so confused! Doesn’t help that I seem to have developed a bad case of the hiccups in the last few minutes. Bugger. Does not make it easy to concentrate on flavours.

Well, whatever this one is, it’s definitely my favourite! It’s smooth and without astringency, with a tasty fruity flavour. I want to again say there’s chocolate, but it could easily just be the black tea. Ok…. time to look!

Huh, cranberry and almond. I wouldn’t have guessed it, but the cranberry definitely fits – I was getting a tart sort of fruit, which is why I went with raspberry. Not really getting the almond, but that could be coming out as a nice creaminess. Given that there isn’t chocolate in this blend, I have to say that there’s a great base tea here! And this is definitely my favourite of the three, probably the one I’d most likely seek out again as the flavour is distinct and blends wonderfully with the tea. Thanks again Alphakitty!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I think this is my favorite of the three you just reviewed from Harney and Sons!

Kittenna

I can’t say I’d ever had a cranberry black before, and it was a good experience! I think it’s in part because the cranberry definitely was not overwhelmed by the (delicious) base tea. Mmm.

ashmanra

Cranberry Autumn is also good, but is a brighter blend. This one is mellowed out by the almond flavor and makes me feel cozy!

Kittenna

Definitely does! I need to look at (aka stay away from) H&S’s website… getting so curious!

CHAroma

Hiccups usually means you’ve overeaten (or in this case, drunk too much tea!).

Kittenna

Hahaha, I can’t recall if they actually could have been attributed to too much tea at this point, since I usually write tasting notes within the first few sips of a tea. Can’t be sure though, as I only vaguely remember the day. Usually when I get hiccups, I get them throughout the day randomly for a few days at a time, then they’re gone for quite a while. It’s odd.

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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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