2246 Tasting Notes

94
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
2246 tasting notes

HOLY CRAP. My throat is on fire! I just drank an unsweetened/milk-free sip of the tea and it’s ridiculousy spicy. Definitely need MILK. And SUGAR. (It did taste good though, once I got past the megaspice). Apparently 1.5 tsp might be a little much for one cup. Wowza.

This is such a good chai though. SO good.

(Thanks Azzrian – still working on the sample you gave me! Even though I have my own whole package now :D)

ETA: Added milk and agave and it’s still sooooo spicy! Throat burning! Haha but I like it. I just really love this flavour combination.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

LOL yeah its intense!

Missy

I loved this one because I could still taste every thing else around the spice and the spice just sticks with you for the rest of the cup. Lovely tea!

Kittenna

Yes! It takes milk so well :D

TeaBrat

I need to try this! who wants to swap, anyone? :-D

Kittenna

I’d probably be game, although it’s probably easier to get it from someone in the US :P

Azzrian

Well, I was going to offer to give you the rest of what I had of it but I guess I already gave it away to someone. Weird I don’t remember sending the actual package out to anyone. Sorry :(

Dylan Oxford

It might have been us. Well no, I guess we didn’t get the actual package.

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90

This was the sample included in my first Verdant order. Very generous :)

The dry tea smells barely of jasmine. It’s a different jasmine aroma than I’m used to. But, it’s good.

Steeped, there’s a wonderful jasmine aroma. Quite strong. The wet leaves, although they have a jasmine aroma, it’s also a bit different than what I’m used to. Good different.

The tea tastes so light and jasminey floral. Absolutely no astringency or bitterness. Just pure jasmine. Oh, and I’m getting a lovely white tea aftertaste. Wow. This is really the epitome of jasmine teas. It’s almost a bit fruity, too. Now, jasmine teas are not something I would drink daily, but they are a nice treat, and this one would be perfect for that.

I’ll have to do some more infusions tomorrow. I’m sure the leaves have a lot left to give.

ETA: Next-day infusions.

Second infusion (2min/175F) is jasminey and white tea-y. Om nom nom. Pretty sure jasmine + white tea is a way better combo than jasmine + anything else, because I’m just not getting any bitterness or astringency. Just lovely light, floral, tasty flavours.

Third infusion (3min/175F) is also lovely and lightly tasting of jasmine, with a delicious white tea aftertaste. I think I may be able to get a fourth out of these leaves tomorrow.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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100

Wanted a no-fuss oolong tonight. As in, one I can stick in my teaball, and not worry about writing out my thoughts on every infusion. So my beloved Banana Oolong and I meet again :D After an apparently 18-day-long hiatus. Ahhhhh…. :D:D

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Azzrian

Ohhhh YUMMMMMMM!

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77

Both the dry tea and steeped beverage smell… citrusy and almost fizzy. Definitely getting orange peel.

Tastes like orange pop. Orange peel pop. That’s really interesting. I can barely taste the green tea beneath, but it’s definitely there. There’s also another strange flavour in there that I’m not too keen on, but I can’t identify it.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a fuzzy navel before, but I feel like this probably tastes quite true to it. However, orange-flavoured alcoholic beverages are not my favourite, for various reasons (haha). So high marks for accuracy, but I wouldn’t choose it for myself.

That being said, a huge thank you to Amanda for yet another sample of 52teas offerings!

ETA: Second infusion tastes more orangey, and with less of the offputting taste. Also definitely more green tea. I definitely prefer this infusion. 82C/3 min.

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

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99

The dry tea smells sweet and… fruity?? Thinking that’s a cross-contamination issue, I don’t think this one should be fruity….

The aroma from the steeped cup is almost… metallic. You know, I think I got this scent from the Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha too. I associate it with oversteeped green tea, I think? Yikes, hopefully I didn’t screw this one up. The marshmallow in the dry tea smelled soooo good. There is definitely a sweetness in the aroma too.

Ok, better than I was expecting. I can definitely taste the marshmallow, and it does taste like marshmallow to me. I’m not tasting any oversteeping, but I’m also not really getting the genmaicha flavour I was expecting. Granted, my only experience is with my ancient one and in restaurants, but I’m missing the delicious toastiness. I suppose, though, that there was considerably less rice in the dry tea for this one as opposed to the genmaicha I have in my cupboard. I imagine it would be tastier with more rice. Definitely not tasting fruitiness either, so either that was a misinterpretation by my nose, or another unrelated flavour.

You know, this one’s kind of growing on me. I can’t put my finger on what it reminds me of, and that’s annoying, but I am enjoying it. So glad it’s not oversteeped.

Thank you Amanda for expanding my 52teas horizons again!!

OH! I think I just figured out what it reminds me of. Toasted Walnut by DavidsTea! Except sweeter. Yes, I think the metallic scent reminded me of a badly oversteeped cup of Toasted Walnut, except that it didn’t translate to the flavour. This must be a sencha/green tea thing. Ah. I feel triumphant. Good job, brain :D

ETA: Second infusion smells immensely creamy/marshmallowy. YUM. Flavour similar. No more metallic aroma, there’s some more green tea coming out. This is quite good. I would probably purchase this tea if it was still available :D Love it. I can see why others like it.

ETA: Third infusion (3+ minutes/82C) is still sweet and marshmallowy. The teaball no longer had any lovely aromas after this infusion, so this is as far as I went, but that’s pretty impressive for a flavoured tea, IMO. I’m not kidding Frank, bring this one back!!! I want it!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
DaisyChubb

I totally get that scent on both this tea and Toasted Walnut, I hear ya galpal

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80

Brewed this up last night; didn’t care for it hot, let it cool and forgot about it. So trying it today! Probably not a good idea… meh. It’s the only cold tea upstairs and I’m thirsty !

I really can’t say that I’m getting Coconut Cheesecake… at all. I’m getting honeybush, rooibos, and maaaaayyybe some coconut? Well, at least at the end of the sip.

Blegh, this is not my favourite… at all. I’ll try it again fresh, but I didn’t much like it yesterday either. Sigh. At least I absolutely adore Malted ChocoMate…

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

This is one of my my favorite roobios blends. Some days I can’t get enough of it. :)

Kittenna

I really feel like I did something wrong. How do you brew it? Time/temp/tea:water ratio?

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

For me a touch over 6oz water, 208°F, a heaping teaspoon, and 6mins to steep. I hope you have better luck :)

Kittenna

Thanks! Will try again soon :)

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2246 tasting notes

David very kindly included this, at my request, as a sample in my last Verdant order. I’m not sure I’ve ever tried a straight black loose-leaf tea before, so this will be a new experience! I really felt like trying it tonight because of the Chocolate Chamomile Curiousity Brew I had yesterday and today that has Laoshan Black as an ingredient.

I accidently brewed this with less-than-boiling water; hopefully that won’t be an issue. I’m not sure what the temperature was exactly, but somewhere around 200F. ~5g of leaf in my 250mL infuser.

The aroma of the steeped tea is very malty and bakey. Perhaps slightly sweet, but only just. I’ll admit that when I initially smelled it steeping, it almost smelled icky and fermenty to me. I’m not sure where that was coming from, and I still get a hint of it, but I can deal with it.

The flavour is definitely very baked-goodsy, ending with a sweetness that reminds me of… malted barley? Beer? Oh, perhaps that roasted malted barley they use for “chocolate” beer? (I did try some, on a recent brewery tour.) Actually, that’s kind of what the whole sip tastes like. I’ll say that there are some hints of flavour that remind me of, say, a standard bagged black, but it is much different, and a pleasure to drink unaltered.

Oh – I should note that there is not a hint of bitterness or astringency. None.

Also just realized I lied :D My first loose leaf straight black was actually from the DavidsTea advent calendar – David’s Organic Breakfast. Although I think that was a blend.

Anyways, this exceeds my expectations for a straight black tea! It’s complex and interesting, malty and a bit sweet. I don’t think I’d be likely to order this or keep it on hand; I’d more likely go with a flavoured black, but I’m SO glad I had the chance to try it and know what all the hype was about! I can definitely see why black tea lovers like it; my palate just prefers oolongs and greens :)

ETA: Figured I’d go for multiple infusions the next day. Why not! Second – boiling water, 3 minutes. The flavour is pretty similar, just a bit weaker, but still quite tasty. I’m definitely getting a burny sort of flavour this time; don’t recall it from last time, but my memory isn’t great. This is also still quite smooth, except at the end of the sip there’s a lingering sharp bitterness in the back of my tongue/roof of my mouth. Haven’t experienced that before. It’s a little odd. Third infusion – boiling water, 4 minutes. Considerable loss of flavour, although it’s still the same flavour that’s there. Same weird lingering bitterness. I should note that it’s not a problem though, and it’s nothing like the bitterness from oversteeping, although that could be the cause? I don’t think this tea has anything left now though, but I think it’s good for two solid infusions!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Uggg yet ANOTHER to add to the shopping list!

Azzrian

Uggg yet ANOTHER to add to the shopping list!

Kittenna

Haha, I know. Had I a bigger sample I’d pass some on (in a future swap, as per our discussion :P).

Bonnie

If you get another chance try sweet with milk for breakfast using boiling water. Excellent morning brew!

Kittenna

I think I might have juuuust enough for two more cups, so should be able to try it that way!

smartkitty

This tea is so delicious iced. Save a steep to stick in the fridge! Naturally sweet and delicious.

Kittenna

Oooh. I should try that!

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83
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
2246 tasting notes

Ok, figured I should get going on trying my samples from Den’s Tea before my $3 off coupon expires!

I wasn’t in the mood for a straight green, so was eyeing up the genmaicha w/matcha until I noticed this one! Yes! Yum, fruity green tea. That’s what I want.

I’m not exactly sure how this one will turn out though – as I was waiting for the water to cool to 180F, I noticed that it indicated the volume of water should be 3oz. Three?! I probably have 10 or so in my cup! So I made a quick decision to split it in half, and infuse one, then the other. Soooo we’ll see. The teaball was an inappropriate choice due to water volume, as it turned out, because it wasn’t even fully covered… oh well.

The dry tea smells mostly like tart cherries. Yum.

First infusion (179F/1min):
The aroma is slightly sweet, and a little cherry-tart. Weak, but smells delicious. Woah. Hmm. How to describe the flavour. There’s a bit of cherry sweetness, but not much, and there’s a definite slightly seaweedy green tea flavour. Drat – I drank some oolong before this and just realized that the flavour is lingering in my mouth too much. Time for some Malted ChocoMate (?) Great, now I have malty goodness lingering in my mouth. Sencha Pear? Ok, that was probably the best choice. Now to wait out the lingering pear flavour.

Ok! Back to the tea. Oh yes, flavours much clearer now. A nice sencha base with just a hint of floral, tart-ish cherry. Really lovely, actually. I thought I wasn’t a big sencha fan (probably because it has usually been bitter or astringent for me), but this is neither, and quite tasty. Ok, my taste buds are getting confused. I’m tasting oolong aftertaste again. Maybe I’m getting it confused with green tea aftertaste? Maybe they are one and the same!? Ack!

Second infusion (180F/2min):
A bit more cherry here, and definitely more astringency than I’d like, but no bitterness. Should have gone with another 1 minute infusion, I think, not 2 minutes. I really like how subtle the cherry flavour is. I was expecting it to be more overpowering, but its probably much better just being light and subtle. I feel like this tea has at least 1-2 more good infusions to give me (but I think I’ll drop the time back to 1.5 minutes).

ETA: Third infusion
Light cherry flavour, but I can’t really taste the green tea anymore :( I think I used too much water, in part, and I may have worn it out with the last infusion. I must remember that greens can’t be re-steeped as much as oolongs (IIRC). Oh well!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

This post made me search for more tea companies I have not heard of… resulting in two new tea orders …oh my o.O (sorry wallet)

Azzrian

Lynne-Tea if you ordered from Den’s you should be delighted! :)

Lynne-tea

I didn’t go with Den’s, but I did get lots from Life In A Teacup, and Teavivre! Both were so well rated for their teas and such astounding prices I couldn’t say no to so many tasty oolongs that I so love. I will absolutely have to try Den’s next time I allow myself to go on another ordering spree!

Azzrian

Oh yes and BOTH of those are also excellent choices! :) Haha I too am an Oolong fan! I think you will be happy with your teas and I totally understand about having to hold back on the sprees! At least ONE more day just ONE more day hahaha

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93
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
2246 tasting notes

Uh…. I really like this one. The fact that I’m logging it a second time when I have so many other teas to try should be proof of that. Upping the rating.

I only wish the flavours were stronger. But, that’s probably my fault. Mental note to increase infusion time and/or dry tea next time.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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24
drank Pistachio Lime Mate by Fusion Teas
2246 tasting notes

Thank you to Fusion Tea Room for the absolutely HUGE box of samples I received a couple days ago! Wow, I cannot believe the generosity of the tea companies I’ve been dealing with lately. And the customer service has been spectacular with all of them :D

Onto the review. The dry tea definitely has a limey smell. Exciting; I love lime. I’m not getting any pistachio smell, but then again… do pistachios even really have a smell? I know what they taste like, but…. Anyways, I’m also smelling a bit of what’s making me think of a medicinal smell. I don’t know if it’s the mate or green rooibos; I don’t have an awful lot of experience with either. Let’s see how it is steeped.

Forgot to log notes on steeping aromas again. Oops. I also did steep this one too long, and should try a shorter infusion next time.

Hmm, I’m getting almost a bit of a medicinal taste. Or that’s how it’s coming off to me. I blame the green rooibos. I can definitely taste the lime, which is lovely, but I’m not catching the pistachio. Hrm. This tastes familiar, and not in a good way, unfortunately. It reminds me of a tea from DavidsTea that I wasn’t fond of. Oh – in a way it’s reminding me of Honeybee. That’s probably the mate? I’m getting a sweetness at the end of the sip that also reminds me of Honeybee.

I’m not sure that this is a tea for me. I’m pretty new to mates, and have only tried a couple, so I’m not sure if I like them yet. Or perhaps I like the roasted mates (since I quite enjoyed 52teas Malted ChocoMate). Either way, I think I need to try this one with a shorter infusion to see if I can taste the pistachio and reduce a bit of this medicinal taste. So no rating yet.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Uniquity

I prefer roasted mates in general (I;m a big blak tea drinker and the two seem to go hand in hand – I also prefer roasted oolongs to green!). Glad to see others are enjoying the bounty of Fusion samples – they were very generous in mine from months ago, I still have enough left for a couple glasses of 2 or 3 of them!

Kittenna

Yes, they were so generous! I’m really hoping I like one of the other teas :)

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Profile

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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