2606 Tasting Notes

72

This was sent to me unexpectedly by Jillian. Thanks!

The dry tea smells deliciously chocolatey; I’m not getting much banana. A chocolate rooibos sounds just fantastic though, so that’s hardly a problem!

The tea is quite strong, because I used 2 tsp since I figured this was an old blend. Initially, I do taste a wave of chocolatey-banana flavour. Kind of a banana chip sort of taste, to me. This fades into a light sort of cocoa-y flavour, and then the rooibos takes over, which I don’t like. I think this would be much better with a honeybush base, but oh well. I don’t think it will be all that difficult for me to finish, although I have acquired a huge number of rooibos/honeybush blends lately, which is somewhat unexpected (but not really). Oh well!

Thanks for the sample, Jillian :)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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46
drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
2606 tasting notes

Eh, yuck. Last time I tried this, it was a cold-brew that was absolutely awful due to the hibiscus and oversteeping. So I tried a regular hot brew to taste both hot and chill this time. Sadly, although the tea smells deliciously of grapefruit, I really don’t like it. I suppose it’s not terrible, but I’m getting a citrus peel sort of taste (I dislike citrus peel of any variety), and although the hibiscus isn’t overwhelming, I’m finding time and time again that it ruins my enjoyment of a tea even in small quantities. I’ll drink the rest of this cold tomorrow (or try to, anyhow), but I doubt that’s going to change my opinion of it. This tea is probably just fine for citrus lovers, but for whatever reason, such flavours just don’t work for me in tea.

ETA: Chilled version is no better. Bleh. I guess part of the reason I disliked it the first time was because I think it’s gross period.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

not my thing either. The hibby ruined it for me. bleh!

Kiaharii

When will they learn to just leave the hibiscus out!?

Kittenna

Soon, I hope…..

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84

Second and final cup of this one, part of a sample from Fong Mong Tea. I’m trying to drink down a few things to feel like I have things under control, which is totally not true…

I still think the first infusion of this oolong is really amazing, just lightly floral and fruity and oolongy. I’m not even sure I want to have a second infusion tonight because it was so unimpressive last time, and I have a host of other teas down here that I could have instead. Ah well. This one is serving my desire for a tasty oolong tonight, and that’s all that matters :)

ETA: Second cup is just generic, like I remember. Sad.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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73
drank Amaretto by DAVIDsTEA
2606 tasting notes

Having a small cup of this before letting my roommate take it. I have too much tea. It’s horrible, so horrible.

Smells strongly of marzipan, as before, and the flavour is like almond extract, only less sweet. Not a bad tea, but not something I really want to drink.

Farewell, little pouch of tea!

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

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83
drank Melange Rooibos by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

This is another tea I nabbed during the grab bag sale. Not one I would have picked myself, but I don’t have any rooibos chais to my knowledge, so it can hopefully fill that void?!

For whatever reason, this one smells an awful lot like Cinnamon Roll Honeybush initially. So much so that by aroma, I mixed the cups up. The only thing that got me to put them in the right order was remembering that I steeped this one last, and used a smaller cup (that I had to wash) for it. So yes, the aroma is cinnamony and chai-like, but not a great deal different from CRH.

The flavour is definitely not of a cinnamon bun, and it does taste chai-y, but it’s not overly strong. No medicinal rooibos flavour though, which is a big plus, so as a caffeine-free chai, it works for me. I’ll try brewing it a bit stronger next time though.

Probably not a tea I’d pick up again, but it will be a nice addition to the evening tea rotation (since I need to get to sleep earlier, and cutting out late night caffeine is probably a good idea whether or not I feel like it makes a huge difference).

ETA: Second infusion good; more cinnamony, and a bit light. This is a good spiced tea, I must say. I wish I’d had it when I was with my aunt, because I think she’d like it, so I could just pawn it off on her…

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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87
drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

My initial thought when opening this package (first one I’m reviewing from the grab bag sale), was that it seems to have the same sort of spicing as Strawberry Pie honeybush! That’s exciting, since I quite like that one. It keeps that same sort of cinnamony smells throughout the infusion too, which made me quite happy although slightly worried that it was going to taste like Strawberry Pie minus the strawberry. Luckily, I am wrong.

The flavour of this one is absolutely delicious, and rather unexpected! Yes, there’s the same cinnamon of SP, but I definitely tasted some delicious cream cheese icing on top of a warm doughy cinnamon bun. Divine. And the best part? I’m not having to imagine a single one of these flavours. This literally tastes like a liquified cinnamon bun. How on earth did the bun flavour get in here?!

Anyways, wow. Incredibly high marks for this one! I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a blend quite so amazingly true to its name! The only problem I’m having is that instead of satisfying a craving, this has created a massive one. All I want to do is eat a giant warm cinnamon bun right now. I may in fact look up recipes tomorrow because of it.

ETA: Second infusion mostly just tastes of cinnamon, not really at all like cinnamon bun. That’s ok, though, I need more teas that only last through one infusion! :D

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Kiaharii

This sounds fantastic!

Kittenna

It really is!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I second that sentiment!

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91
drank SBT: Cotton Candy by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

Arrived home today to 3 boxes of tea. With more stuff on the way. Oy vey. I suppose I could have mentioned earlier that I am (sadly) back at home now. :(

Anyways, one such box was from 52teas, because I splurged and went for the grab bag sale, and picked up some additional SBT tea bags so I could try almost all of the flavours (the rest were purchased a while back and are en route from Amanda! And I say almost all, because I have zero interest in RadioactiviTEA :P)

Figured I’d give this one a shot tonight, seeing as it’s the only one I bought two of, based on the rave reviews.

Brewed one giant teabag up in 2 cups of water in a pyrex measuring cup at approx. boiling for 3 minutes. So my “concentrate” needs to be diluted 1 part tea:3 parts water. I tried a bit tonight (probably the wrong proportion), and I must say that I’m definitely getting more cotton candy flavour (even lukewarm) than I got with the actual tea. It smells like spun sugar. It tastes like spun sugar. Delicious strawberry spun sugar. With a nice black tea background that’s neither bitter nor astringent. Nor too strong. This is truly a treat. I can see myself drinking through this rather quickly. I think the cup I made for myself might have been about a 1:3 mix, so I might stick with that instead of 1:4.

I stuck the teabag in the fridge so I can give it a second round tomorrow, because 2 bags is probably not enough to have purchased…

ETA: Had some more today and inexplicably didn’t like it as much. Must be a mood/tastebud thing. How annoying.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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42
drank Date Nut Muffin Rooibos by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

This initially smelled a bit play-doughy to me, like some other not-great teas have smelled in the past. My cooled cup from last night tastes much the same, blech. The re-steep is moderately better, but still not very tasty to me. I wonder if it’s an age thing?

Anyways, I’ll try this again sometime and see if it improves. Perhaps I just don’t like dates in tea?? At least the rooibos isn’t particularly medicinal…

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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83

The smell of this one initially reminded me of 52teas’ Strawberry Pancake; mostly sweet strawberry flavouring coming out, with perhaps a green tea undertone.

The flavour is initially a bit tart-sweet, and the aftertaste is definitely of strawberries. Fake ones, perhaps, but I’m ok with that. The aftertaste is actually also reminiscent of the strawberry flavour from Butiki’s Strawberry Oolong, which is quite distinct from the 52teas flavour. Interesting. There’s also a light berryish flavour that I’m picking up, which fits in nicely. I’m actually rather enjoying this tea, honestly. It’s a touch too light for me, but I followed the instructions and used 1 tsp instead of the usual 1.5 that I would use, so I’ll change that next time. I am also getting some green tea flavour, both during the sip and as an aftertaste. Yum :) I don’t think I’d buy some for myself, but it was worth the taste!

Just noticed that I’m getting a bit of throat scratchiness here, not sure if it’s random and unrelated, or a flavouring thing. Not worrisome enough to make a fuss about though.

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

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67

Brewed a bit of this up to try, and although there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just a pretty bland green tea. A bit nutty-ish, which is nice, but it mostly screams generic green tea to me, so not something I’d pick out for myself. It’s not particularly vegetal, nor seaweedy, and there’s almost a hint of astringency in the aftertaste, which is actually more pleasant than a problem. It actually reminds me a touch of a genmaicha.

I won’t be re-steeping this one; I’m drowning in tea as is, so I really don’t need to drag this one out.

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

‘Precious Eyebrow’ has to be one of the silliest tea names in existence!

Missy

Lol, I was thinking the same thing!

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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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