2661 Tasting Notes

68
drank Raspberry Truffle by Butiki Teas
2661 tasting notes

I tried this previously as a sample from Stacy, and enjoyed it, although at the time wasn’t looking to pick up any more flavoured blacks. However… then it went on sale. So here I am, with an ounce of it!

The aroma is divinely chocolatey, as is the flavour. I’m not getting as much raspberry as I did previously, but I also don’t think there were as many raspberry chunks in my infuser as when I tried my sample. The tea is absolutely smooth though, and devoid of bitterness/astringency, which is important to me! This is another tea I really need to try sweetened, to see what it does to the flavour. I’m reasonably happy drinking this unsweetened, but would really like some more fruitiness, and perhaps some sweetener would kick that up a notch. Still tasty though! Tiny ratings bump.

ETA: Added rock sugar on a whim to the second infusion… yum!! Perhaps a touch too sweet (whoops!) but I have high hopes for a sweetened first infusion!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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58
drank Tamarind Pop by Butiki Teas
2661 tasting notes

My bad, I really should have sweetened this. As is, unsweetened, it’s a pretty tasty generically flavoured black, with an aftertaste that I can make out to be tamarind. Mostly, though, it tastes like a fairly smooth black tea with vanilla and other flavours mingling in every now and again. There’s a low level of astringency (but I did oversteep this one a little, oops), but it’s very tolerable.

I’d definitely drink this one again without sweetener, just as a black, but I’m kicking myself for forgetting to add sugar when I was brewing it earlier! So curious about the tamarind soda flavour everyone’s raving about!

ETA: WOW Stacy, are you ever right that rock sugar makes all the difference here! Put maybe 1.5 tsp into my second infusion, and I definitely taste tamarind now. However, of course, since this is a second infusion of a black, no less, it’s not bad, but not great either. That said, I’m super excited to try this again properly! It’s crazy what a difference some sugar makes. Not that I intend to make this a habit, but if nothing else, it’s interesting! Will have to try with the Watermelon Dragonwell & Watermelon Xylophone for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Butiki Teas

Sweetened it is a completely different tea. I like it both ways but it is just like a Tamarind Soda with a bit of fizziness too.

Kittenna

Yeah, I had every intention of spooning out a bit of tea after it was done infusing (to try it straight) and then plopping some sugar in, but got distracted by my roommate coming home! Next time!

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98
drank Quangzhou Milk Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

There’s something to be said for actually setting a timer that makes a noise when steeping a tea…. ah well. So this one got 13 minutes (yes, over quadruple what I intended). Luckily, it’s not ruined, but the milky notes are being overshadowed by vegetal oolong flavours.

I almost feel like the quality of this oolong dropped before I picked up my most recent batch (and before the dramatic price drop); it’s just not nearly as good as I remember…

ETA: In spite of yesterday’s epically long infusion, I did a 4-minute second infusion today and ended up with a pretty fabulous cup! Smooth and milky, and with that lingering oolong flavour (which I don’t recall as much from yesterday, perhaps oversteeping killed it a little). I may yet take back my grumbling about this being lower quality than I remember.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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98
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
2661 tasting notes

Ok, after reading Awkward Soul ‘s note on this oolong, I was worried that my ’ice wine’ tasting experience last time was a totally one-off experience. Therefore…. time to try and repeat the deliciousness! I went with probably about 1.5 level teaspoons of tea for about 8-10oz. of water, and infused for 8 minutes at 180 degrees. And, I am happy to say that the tea definitely still has the same notes that remind me of the ice wine I sampled most recently. It’s not as jarring as last time (because the ice wine memory is a touch farther back), but at least to me, it is unmistakeable, and delicious. The aroma doesn’t betray this deliciousness, mostly being of a warm, slightly sweet, woody oolong, but the flavour is just fabulous, with a sweetness that builds until the end of the sip, hitting that intoxicatingly sweet ice wine flavour which lingers in the mouth after swallowing. Amazing!

This will definitely be in my next Butiki order, which is growing quickly! Apparently I can curb my restraint in tea ordering to some degree, but when it comes to Verdant, Butiki, and DavidsTea, I’m totally helpless…

ETA: Second infusion of this today, also for 8 minutes… still getting that sweetness that makes me think ice wine, however, there is bitterness this time as well. Not intolerable, but enough to make me consider a bit of a shorter second infusion. Or perhaps, 183F was too high (3 degrees Fahrenheit making a difference? I hope not, but who knows.)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more
Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

Sweet, totally doing this next time I make this tea, which will be soon! It’s pretty amazing!

Azzrian

Mmmm Ice Wine flavored tea ….

Veronica

That sounds so good!

Kittenna

I mean, it’s not ice wine flavoured like the ice wine teas I’ve tried from various companies, there are no real muscatel/grape notes, it’s just that syrupy sweetness, and some flavour that was bang on to whatever ice wine I tried most recently. I could probably look up what it was… my recollection tells me that it was a maple ice wine. I very nearly bought some…. regretting having not, since it’s a 4-hour drive away…

The above said, I have to say that of all the ice wine teas I’ve tried (I’ve tried at least 2, possibly 3), this would be by far the best…

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80

A sample of this one from Azzrian this time! A bit of a burnt/toasted aroma upon brewing, and in the flavour as well… but I like it! Definitely caramelly too, so just what I was looking for tonight. Perfect! I think I like the DavidsTea version better, but this works just great right now. Thanks Azz!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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96
drank Strawberry Pie Honeybush by 52teas
2661 tasting notes

Drinking this one a touch hot for my liking. I think I prefer it lukewarm, as the flavours pop best then! Delicious late-night treat though!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Sil

mmmmmm want!

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81
drank Goji Pop by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

I made the horrifying discovery tonight that I have only about 2 cups worth left of this one! Definitely need to refill, and drink more often. So good. I didn’t even use an infuser, just dropped the tea straight into the cup, as I find it best when steeped for forever. Yum. Just as refreshing/delicious as always.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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87
drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
2661 tasting notes

Took the cue from Sil yesterday, and brewed some of this delight up tonight! Didn’t catch quite all the cinnamon bun nuances as I did last time, but I wasn’t looking for them, I was just drinking and enjoying! Definitely in the ranks of favourite night time honeybush, although with some of those sickly sweet ones (DT’s Birthday Cake, or any company’s caramel chunk-infused rooibos). Yum.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Yogini Undefined

This one is on my list to try, especially now that Autumn is here :)

tigress_al

Somehow, this on is just sooo comforting before bed!

Kittenna

Yeah… really quite tasty. It’s much like a cinnamon-y chai sort of flavour. And if you like this one and like strawberries, Strawberry Pie Honeybush is fantastic as well! In fact, I think I’m going to go brew some up right now…

tigress_al

lol, I really enjoyed the Strawberry Pie one as well, but this one is sooo much better IMO!

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94

Oops, backlog from my time at the cottage last weekend! Not as good as the first time I had it, but we can blame water temp, leaf measuring, bad water… any number of things, so I won’t worry too much. Still tasty though!

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82
drank Roasted Cocoa Mate by Fusion Teas
2661 tasting notes

Ok, so this is technically the second time I’m drinking this tea – the first I apparently forgot to log; I drank it on the way out to the cottage last weekend!

Anyhow! I think this is a sample from Awkward Soul, thanks!

So, I’m one of those people who has a tendency to smell/taste banana in roasted mates. From both DT and 52teas, so it shouldn’t be a vendor issue. So, naturally, I was expecting that same flavour here… and it is, slightly, but far, far less. Instead, the overwhelming flavour I’m tasting here is molasses! Not as sweet as molasses, but that almost bitter, dark flavour of cooking molasses. Very interesting. It was a little offputting to me earlier, as all I could taste was the molasses when it was hot, but down that it’s also suffered the same 6-hour cooldown as Prince Vladimir, I can taste the cocoa (and banana) notes beneath the molasses, and it’s far more enjoyable. The tea still smells strongly of molasses though. This might be best for me as a cold drink… perhaps I should brew some up and leave it in the fridge for the morning? Although it just occurred to me that I only have less than a cup’s worth left :( Oh well.

Thanks for the sample, Awkward Soul! I do seem to like these roasted mates!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

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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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