3108 Tasting Notes

94
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
3108 tasting notes

Inching ever closer to a sipdown of this one. So sad. The caramel in here is so decadent. Probably 1-2 travel mugs’ worth left, plus a cup for Sil.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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94
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
3108 tasting notes

Mmmmmmm, super spicy tonight! Love it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
3108 tasting notes

Uh…. so I received my (restock) order of Laoshan Black earlier this week, and was thrilled to brew some up for today’s travel mugs. Not particularly noteworthy… except that I just took a sip, and got the most intense sweetness I’ve EVER had from a straight tea! Like, straight-up sugar. So sweet that I actually did a double-take, of sorts (AKA a second sip), with the same result. Sure, I’m tasting malty, chocolatey Laoshan Black, but never ever before has it tasted so incredibly sweet! It’s not a bad sort of sweet either; doesn’t even taste like I added sugar, the sweetness tastes natural. But it is crazy.

I’m wondering if it’s because I brushed my teeth over half an hour ago… but my mouth doesn’t taste “minty fresh” anymore, and usually toothpaste makes sweet things taste unsweet, instead of the other way around. I will have to see whether this sweetness is maintained over the afternoon, or whether it was merely a function of my tastebuds (in which case I am totally brushing my teeth before drinking this tea again, hahahaha).

ETA: It wasn’t as sweet when I finished the mug later, but a re-steep later in the evening ended up producing similar sweet results. I wonder if this is a harvest difference, and there are just more honey notes this time around. Delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec
tea-sipper

I would love to try this some day!

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82

I am so disappointed. This one did not work well in a travel mug for me (or I screwed it up). I thought this delicious earthy caramel tea would be fabulous, but I tasted mostly a sweet, somewhat caramelly but fishy flavour. It certainly wasn’t terrible; I finished it before I finished my mug of Della Tera’s Eight Candles. I wonder if this tea needs to “air out” after being brewed, or something?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

What teas have worked best in your travel mug?

Kittenna

Typically strong, flavourful teas work best. This is the first pu’erh I’ve tried; I would have thought they’d be great but perhaps as I mentioned, they need some airing out. Greens and whites are generally not worth it, as they’re too light in flavour and I’ve found that the flavour of green tea changes as it sits (particularly the delicious beany vegetal ones). Genmaicha, however, is an exception. Basically, anything that’s subtle and nuanced will be wasted in a mug; heavy, strong flavours are best.

Specifically, my favourites for mugging are:
Verdant blacks (Laoshan Black, Zhu Rong)
Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam
Della Terra’s Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
52teas’ Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake, Cashew Turtle, Lime Jello Salad
Various milk oolongs (I wouldn’t advise using expensive ones though).

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86

Ok, I oversteeped this one a bit yesterday (note to self: just go for four minutes), but it was still the first travel mug I finished drinking of the three, by a good solid few hours. There was just a bit of bitterness. There’s something about pumpkin spice teas in travel mugs that just makes me happy, so I’m glad I grabbed another 2 oz. of this one.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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57
drank Eight Candles by Della Terra Teas
3108 tasting notes

Well, it looks like I’m just going to be a dissenter on this tea. I had it in my travel mug yesterday, and while it was ok, there was something off that I didn’t enjoy. It’s light on flavour, to begin with, and I can definitely taste marshmallow, but that’s about it. I’m wondering if I’m wanting a stronger black base here to kind of offset the marshmallow/caramel sweetness, because usually I like a sweet black.

I think I have enough left for a cup or two… perhaps Raritea or Indigobloom would be interesting in sampling it (if I remember to bring it along this weekend), because I really have no desire to finish it off.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I’m really curious about this one, if you’re up for sharing!!

Kittenna

Hopefully I remember it!

Raritea

Count me in! I’ve been readings lot of good things!! That is if there is enough to share :)

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72
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
3108 tasting notes

Thanks to LiberTeas for a sample of this one, that apparently has been sitting in my box for quite a while!

I think this tea may be suffering a bit from old age; I can both smell and taste some delicious real grapefruit flavour, with a brothy green base, but the flavour isn’t terribly strong. It may also be that my expectation was for something more along the lines of Butiki’s Grapefruit Dragon, which literally tasted like unsweetened grapefruit juice.

Either way, this isn’t bad; I’d try using more than 1.5 tsp leaf next time to see if I can amp up the flavour a bit. There wasn’t any astringency, so I think I’d be ok with an extra half teaspoon.

I’m pretty sure some of this is soon en route to me as part of Lupicia’s Happy Bag sale… (so I’m hoping I can figure out how to improve its flavour a bit!)

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

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87

Decided to use a whole 5g package of this one instead of leaving remnants… so since I didn’t want a huuuuge mug of tea, I opted to go for gongfu-style brewing, which I don’t often do. I used about 10 oz. water with my 5g of tea, so definitely a higher water:leaf ratio, but I didn’t want an accidentally overly bitter brew!

First infusion (15 seconds):
The aroma I’m getting is quite burny, at first. Not smoky, just… burny. The good sort though! As the cup cooled, the burned aroma turned a little bit chocolatey, and that’s how this cup tastes. Predominantly of… burnt chocolate! Keep in mind that this is not a bad thing at all… it’s pretty tasty, in fact!

Second infusion (10 seconds):
Less “burny”, more dark chocolate. Pretty good, although perhaps 15 seconds would have been ok after all (I now err on the side of caution with the second infusion; I’ve noticed that if I increase infusion time on the second infusion, I usually end up with something unpleasant and bitter, because the first infusion of course included the time to hydrate the leaves. I imagine that if I rinsed my teas, I wouldn’t have this “issue”, but I don’t want to waste any tea goodness!) Anyhow, in addition to this slightly modified flavor profile, there’s a nice sweet finish at the end of the cup now that I hadn’t previously noticed. Granted, I also just finished this off cold, so perhaps it’s an artifact of the tea having cooled.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Kashyap

I think ‘toasted’ sums it up nicely…

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49

Well… I think this is better than the first time I had it, but I’m still not a big fan. It’s quite cloudy, and tastes like a cinnamon, watery, somewhat chocolatey chai. Can’t really taste the coconut at all, though it’s probably just coming out as a bit of creaminess. So unfortunate; this blend sounds like it should be so tasty, but it’s really just a big flop.

Bumping the rating up a bit, because this is certainly not as terrible as the first time, but still not a tea I’d recommend to anyone.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Cavocorax

Yeah I don’t kno why I grabbed more of it. I mean it was 2.50 for the pack, but still not worth it!

tigress_al

It sounded so good, but was a disapointment

Shmiracles

i kinda was disappointed too. i had bought 100g over the internet just by the description. but i have to say that i have since tasted it with two friends two separate times. and side by side with numerous other chocolate & coconut teas, both said they liked it best! i really didn’t expect that, but it helped open my mind a bit as i think perhaps my expectations were getting in the way.

TassieTeaGirl

I’m glad I’m not the only one that didn’t quite get this one! Might try it as a latte when it cools down here.

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81
drank Toasted Marshmallow by DAVIDsTEA
3108 tasting notes

Sipdown! I keep thinking that I didn’t like this tea, and then being surprised that it’s tasty. Happened again tonight, haha. I think it’s Stormy Night, the other tea I’m having some of tonight, that I disliked. Or something else. Anyways, this is pretty tasty today. I’d call it something along the lines of Marshmallow Chai, as I still don’t taste “toasted” marshmallow, and there’s spicing in here. Along with an incredibly delicious amount of creaminess that must be from the marshmallows. Mmmmm. Not bad at all, though not something I need to keep around (well, had I fewer teas I probably would).

Anyways, farewell, another tea packet! My “sipped down” box is growing! (Yeah, I’m keeping all my used up packets so I can see that I’ve actually made progress, hahahaha.)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Cavocorax

I like that idea! I made a sipdown box for teas that are down to 1-3 cups. Then on the weekend I can focus on them. I managed to clear out 10 teas this way last weekend!

gmathis

If I tried to explain the “need to sipdown” issue to my non-tea friends, they would just shake their heads and walk away ;)

Sil

haha i managed to get through all my small samples the other day. Now i’m faced with samples that are like 5+ cups. which is practically just tea. lesigh I don’t see how i’m ever going to get down to 150 teas.. lol

Shmiracles

ya i keep all my empty packets too, especially resealable bag types, cuz i find they are very useful when i NEED to send someone home with a tea.
also i keep trying to reduce my tea inventory list too, but all of my current ‘samples’ are ALSO like 5+ cups worth. lesigh! (plus lets not mention the other samples i keep ordering.)

TassieTeaGirl

Oh I totally keep all my used packets. Except the T2 ones, because their packaging is the only one I almost hate. Don’t mind some of the teas though!

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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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