2606 Tasting Notes

80

Ok! Time to try this out! I need something nice and relaxing this evening. Trying to get back on a regular schedule. By some miracle, it’s only 11pm! Exciting. Anyways, thanks to Lynne-tea for letting me try one of these! After the one I tried from Amy oh, I was super excited to try more :D

The aroma is that same lovely sticky rice aroma (and that’s pretty much all I can identify), and it intensifies pretty quickly when the hot water hits the tuocha! I did a ~10 second rinse with boiling water, and then 2 30-second infusions. The first was absolutely delicious, and left a lingering sweet flavour in my mouth, while the second tastes fairly similar but a bit too strong/oversteeped, as there’s some bitterness. Next time I try this it will be with a regular infuser basket, so I don’t have to worry so much about overinfusion due to the time it takes to pour the tea out (which may have been a factor here).

One thing I should note is that using my little glass teapot was not ideal for this tea, as the strainer let quite a bit through, and I had to strain the tea again after pouring it out.

Thanks again, Lynne-tea! This was just what I was wanting to try right now, and I’m happy that Amanda put some up to offer so I can have a little stash of them :D It’s not my favourite tea, but it’s interesting and soothing and something I will crave once in a while.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I had some success cold brewing this one.

Lynne-tea

No problem! Glad it wasn’t repulsive

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87
drank Green Apple Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2606 tasting notes

Attempted a caramel apple matcha latte this evening, and way overdid it on the apple, so much so that I couldn’t taste the caramel at all! Even when I added an additional teaspoon of it. I also may have made the latte extremely strong, so it was a little bit bitter and in need of agave. So, next time I’ll be trying it with a pinch of apple matcha and a load of caramel!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Indigobloom

these ones are tricky to balance!

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86

Lynne-tea – is this what you sent me? It was in a little red package, so I’m not entirely sure.

Anyways, when I opened up the little vacuum-sealed package of this tea, I was surprised to see that the leaves looked somewhat crushed! I had been hoping to use my little glass teapot, but its strainer would let the leaf pieces through easily, so I had to use an infuser instead. I don’t know if this was a consequence of mailing or not, but oh well! Still smelled deliciously green/vegetal.

I haven’t had a TGY in a while for whatever reason, and I definitely have missed them, as I just sniffed this one and nearly swooned! Hahaha. Buttery/vegetal/delicious. The first sip unfortunately screams ‘under-infused’, so it’s a little weaker than it could have been. I was worried about oversteeping because of the broken leaf, but apparently that was unnecessary. The flavour is smooth, a bit buttery, and “green”, but not too strong on the latter element. It isn’t really particularly floral to me, although I could see someone saying it is. Just a tasty cup of tea. I do think I like Verdant’s more, but this one is quite tasty as well. Looking forward to more infusions tomorrow!

ETA: Second infusion, accidently for 4.5 minutes, is still quite tasty and pleasant. Less bitterness than the second infusion from my sticky rice tuocha, and a lovely oolong aftertaste. Almost a touch too “green” for me right now though, but still good.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

Yes I do believe you are correct! It was hard for me to figure out which was which at first too.. sorry – I could have labeled it a bit better I guess. I do think that the mailing may have crushed it a bit. So sorry for that >.< I know how to pack for next time!

Kittenna

It’s ok – usually the tea companies label things properly! Anyways, no worries, because it was super tasty regardless. Everything else seemed to be fine, so I was wondering if this one was pre-crushed. Ah well!

Lynne-tea

Yes I agree.. that taste absolutely makes up for it. Bummer about the crushed leaves though..

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69

Thanks to Lynne-tea for sending me a sample of this one!

The dry tea smells strongly of a chocolatey sort of ginger; brewed up I’m smelling chocolate and ginger and something else I can’t place my finger on. Which makes me uncertain as to whether I actually like the aroma or not.

The flavour of this one is quite interesting. Initially, I taste the ginger, which is at a perfect level for me (apparent and burns the throat a bit on the way down, but not overpowering), and then the chocolatey-cocoa flavours take over. I think the “odd” flavour might be the spicing, and again, I’m not sure if I like it. To me, this is coming off as a bit of a different take on a spicy hot chocolate. I can’t say that it’s entirely successful, as something in the blend is coming off a little strangely to me, but it’s an interesting idea! Chocolate ginger tea! My mom would be all over this sort of thing as she loves dark chocolate-covered ginger :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

I was the same on this one! Sadly, I got all excited when I bought some in Jasper and got 100g without trying it. Now I’m stuck with it.. hmph.

Kittenna

Well it’s not terrible! Just a bit off. Definitely some tasty elements though.

Helena

that sounds interesting :D

Lynne-tea

It’s not terrible it’s true.. I just can’t put my finger on the one odd taste element. It’s been there since day one. Maybe the chicory? noooo idea. I don’t mind it iced with condensed milk and honey =)

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47

Although the dry tea smelled much like DavidsTea’s Kiwi’s Big Adventure, with yummy-smelling fruity kiwi chunks, I’m getting virtually zero flavour from the brewed-up tea. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf at ~81C for 2.5 minutes, and all I’m getting is a vaguely fruity water. :( I guess I will try the re-steep for a bit longer period of time, but I don’t have high hopes. I can’t even really taste the green tea. Oh well. Thanks anyhow, Amanda!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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73

I have been painfully absent from Steepster lately, and really miss everyone/need to catch up on tasting notes! Yet I am so busy. :( On the plus side, had a date on Friday night and it went well (I think)! :P

Anyways, time to launch into my samples from Lynne-tea! I’m so sorry it took so long for me to get to them – things just kept arriving, and since I took the envelopes on vacation, they ended up at the bottom of the tea stash I took with me and have yet to unpack. Good lord I have a lot of tea O.o This is the first one up tonight/this morning! I’m in an oolong mood, and jasmine seemed appropriate as well, so I went for it!

I can’t really tell what the dry tea smells like – the exterior of the baggie has been contaminated with other smells, so it’s kind of flavoured-tea-ish. The tea, however, once brewed smells like a toasty sort of jasmine. I know there are goji berries in there, but I’m not really getting any aroma from them.

I must say, this is definitely an interesting take on a jasmine tea, as the darker oolong lends some really interesting toasty notes that mix with the jasmine flavour, grounding it a bit moreso than with a lighter green/white tea which I’m more accustomed to tasting jasmine in. (Are there jasmine blacks??) Actually, what it reminds me most of is the jasmine tea that is served at my favourite Chinese restaurant, when the tea has been sitting and oversteeping for a while. Although this brew is only verging on being oversteeped. As well, I can taste just a hint of sour-fruity goji berry, but it’s not a prominent flavour.

Though interesting, I don’t think this is a tea I’d purchase for myself. I rarely select jasmine teas to drink, and I found that the pairing of white tea and jasmine is what really works for me, so I’d probably choose that if given the choice! The inclusion of goji berries here, though interesting, didn’t have enough impact for me. Anyhow, thanks for the sample, lynne-tea!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

I have a jasmine black. I try to drink it periodically to see if my tastes have changed. No luck so far! It is a super soapy perfume-y one!

Lynne-tea

Aww strike out! It is apparent that I need to work on my packaging skills for the flavour contamination.

Kittenna

Lynne-tea – no, your packaging skills were fine!! The tea was not contaminated; just the baggie had some additional smells, which precluded me from getting a proper whiff of the dry tea (I could have removed some from the bag, but too lazy). It seems to happen pretty frequently. Also, I have had it sitting next to other teas myself for a couple weeks. Definitely not a problem with how you packaged things!!

Lynne-tea

Awh phew! Thank you for letting me know that =)

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76
drank Concord Grape Bai Mu Dan by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

Another sample from Amanda :) And happily, another sipdown as this was a one-cup sample. Pseudo-progress, yes.

Although I couldn’t really get any aroma from the dry tea, the instant the water hit this I was blown away with a delicious grapey aroma. Nom. The tea is very much that artificial concord-y grape juice flavour, with a bit of white tea lurking in the background. Tasty, but not a tea I need in my cupboard, as I have a lovely Grape Oolong from Butiki already, and grape is not a flavour I tend to seek out often.

Thanks again Amanda!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

I discovered DT too late to try it :(

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87
drank Sun and Cloud Mist by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

Second attempt at Sun & Cloud Mist! Very successful. Two minutes produced a nice lack of bitterness/astringency, unlike last time, so I can really taste the creamy lemoniness. It’s really very tasty, and I’m quite enjoying it. I think the marshmallow root adds a really wonderful sort of creaminess that pairs perfectly with the lemon, which isn’t as in-your-face as in most lemony blends, which is perfect. This does taste much like a lemon pudding my mom would make, which I think is kind of meringue-like in that it’s quite fluffy and creamy (probably made with egg whites). I can now confidently rate this one highly!

I am going to have to try this one iced; I think it could be delicious, even though I haven’t been the biggest fan of iced greens aside from H&S’s Tokyo & Bangkok.

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

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Thanks to Amanda for this sample!

I’m glad you only sent me a cup of this, because all I’m tasting is a peppermint tea, with a nice creamy/something else aftertaste. Perhaps my steep time wasn’t optimal or something, I don’t know. Can’t really taste the green tea. Oh wait… I think the aftertaste is the laoshan base + creaminess, actually. Which is nice, but this is far, far too pepperminty for me. Which I expected, but wanted to try anyways, because I’m like that. This probably is deserving of a mid 80s rating, if I liked peppermint, but I don’t, so I’m not rating it :P

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

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94
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

This one looked so delicious I couldn’t resist buying up one of the last packages of it! Or rather, having Amanda buy it up for me :)

The smell is rather heavenly – sweet, malty and toffee-ish. Reminiscent of other 52teas that I enjoy. The flavour is similar – a nice malty black with the above flavours coming out, especially at the end of the sip. I’m not really tasting cashew, but this tea does taste a little nutty, and much like a chocolate turtle. Would probably be even better sweetened, but I’m happy to drink it as is, not knowing of the deliciousness that would result in me sweetening all my teas!

I’m happy I got a pack of this one; need to compare it to things like Pot O’ Gold now to determine a winner. Not that either is available to purchase, just for personal curiousity :)

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

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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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