2410 Tasting Notes

84
drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
2410 tasting notes

Cold-brewed 10g of this in about 500mL of water, and it’s pretty good (but could be a bit stronger). This works out to $1.20 per “cup”, which I suppose is rather expensive… oh well! I also discovered that I should have mixed it, as it was sweeter at the bottom than the top (I cold-brew in a cup and then pour through a strainer.) Whoops :D

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Lynne-tea

Whoa that’s is kind of expensive.. I was thinking about getting 100 g of it… Who am I kidding I probably will, but still. Thank you for the heads up about it!

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84
drank Purple Tea of Kenya by Butiki Teas
2410 tasting notes

Darn… computer died and I lost the tasting note I’d written up.

Anyways, I picked this tea up as part of the ‘Explore Kenya’ sampler pack, which I bought on a whim – my Masters project is focused on health-beneficial phytochemicals in asparagus, which include flavonoids (which is what the anthocyanins that make this tea purple are a subset of), so ever since I began my project my interest in foods containing such things has been piqued.

Visually, this tea didn’t look particularly purple to me – it looked more blackish. I’ll have to look more closely under better lighting though. The steep temperature seemed awfully low, but I went with it, and stuck to the lower end of the time range, which gave me a cup of lightish yellow/amber liquor (that’s the best I can do – it’s in a green cup!).

It tastes much like green tea to me, with a bit of an mild astringency showing up briefly (but it’s very mild). It’s a touch sweet, and has a definite tea aftertaste, kind of green/oolongy (like I said in a previous post – perhaps they’re actually all the same, and I just associate it with the tea I’m drinking at the time!) Good, certainly, but nothing particularly special. I would have been more intrigued if the liquor had come out purple :D However, I would love to know if there’s a greater health benefit associated with drinking this tea… one of the professors on my advisory committee did some research on antioxidants in green tea; maybe I should look things up/ask him!

ETA: 175F/way too long, for the second infusion. Tastes… rather like a black tea, actually. Can’t believe that it’s so lacking in astringency though, given that it seriously must have steeped for about 10 minutes or more. There’s some but it’s quite bearable. I will have to try a proper second (third, fourth?) infusion the next time.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Butiki Teas

Krystalen-Give this tea a try at boiling water and a 5 minute steep (still 1/2 teaspoon). Completely different notes but very interesting. I find at the 160 F temp it tastes like a green, at 180 F tastes more like an oolong and at the 212 F range it tastes more like a black tea. Pretty versatile. I’ve heard claims that there is a much higher count of antioxidants in this tea but have not seen any test results yet.

Bonnie

I noticed that there is a rim hue…like something you see with wine. The tea is not colored (the leaves might be why the tea is called purple…I have no idea) but there was a blush at the edge that I noticed with mine that reminded me of what you see in older and newer wines being browner or pink/purpler.

Kittenna

Stacy – I will definitely try that! Always curious :D And I have lots to play with. I definitely was getting both oolong and green “vibes” from it earlier, and the re-steep leaned towards a black, so I’m quite intrigued!

Bonnie – I didn’t see that, but my cup was green. I’ll have to use a white one next time and look.

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95
drank Cantaloupe & Cream by Butiki Teas
2410 tasting notes

Ahhhh, reunited at last. This is delicious, as I remember. Light, but deliciously creamy with a juicy cantaloupe flavour and wonderful lingering aftertaste of white tea and creamy cantaloupe. This is an absolute must-try for melon lovers.

Ohh… my cup’s gone already :( Guess I better go re-steep… good thing I have a glorious 2 oz. of this one now :D

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

Good isn’t it! Butiki is now my favorite flavor maker. You can’t say Verdant creates flavors but is masterful at alchemy blends. I could live happily with these two companies and my local tea house I’m sure and be spoiled!

Azzrian

This stuff is so perfect! LOVE IT!

Kittenna

Yes, Butiki’s flavoured teas seem to be very well done. Any flavoured tea that lasts through multiple infusions well gets high points from me! I have two others sitting here to review as soon as I stop going through notices :D

And yeah Bonnie – Verdant has blends that accentuate natural flavours in the tea, not flavoured teas. Different and delicious!

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78
drank Grape Oolong by Butiki Teas
2410 tasting notes

So guess what greeted me when I came downstairs this morning…… my huge Butiki order had arrived bright and early!! It’s seriously some sort of miracle – she sent it out on Friday, there was a national holiday in Canada on Monday, yet I still managed to get it on Wednesday. Unbelievable (well…. except that I’m totally drinking this tea right now!)

So on with the review!

The brewed tea smells like a delightful combination of buttery oolong and sweet concord grape juice, although the grape is fairly subtle. Taste-wise it’s subtly grapey with a lovely oolong aftertaste. Upon a few sips, both flavours strengthen quite nicely. The grape definitely does not overpower the delicate flavour of the oolong, which is exactly the way I like it! Not sure I’ve ever met a tea that so accurately tastes like it is supposed to (except perhaps for Cantaloupe & Cream) – my problem with most flavoured oolongs is a lack of oolong flavour, or at least aftertaste, which kind of defeats the purpose of using an oolong base, for me. So big, big points for that, and now I’m super excited to try the Strawberry Oolong as well! That will have to wait for a while though – so many other things!

(Side note: as I have been swallowing this tea, I noticed that my throat is sore! Not scratchy-sore, but lump-in-throat sore, which is sometimes a precursor to sickness (or the result of crying, but no tears yet for me today, so it isn’t that). Really hoping I’m not headed for a cold…)

ETA: Second infusion (175F/4:15) is pretty much the same. Yum. Glad the grape flavour is lingering through this infusion.

ETA again: Third infusion (175-180/~4min) still has grape flavour!! And oolong, but that’s perhaps disappearing a bit more. I used about half the water for this infusion.

ETA: Fourth infusion (175-180/infinite) is grapey and has some astringency (not surprising). I think this one can get to four good infusions, as long as the leaves are removed a touch sooner… they have been floating around in my cup for about an hour – oops! Oolonginess very limited in this infusion, sadly.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Hope you stay well!

Indigobloom

maybe put some honey and ginger in your next tea… fingers crossed for you not getting sick!

Kittenna

Hmm, I seem to be feeling better now. I’d wonder about a reaction to a tea, but I’m drinking multiple re-steeps of all three I had earlier, so that’s pretty unlikely. Oh well!! This is a good thing! :D

CelebriTEA

Nice to know I can possibly get four infusions from this ;-)

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93
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
2410 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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73

Now this one’s a teabag courtesy of one of my roommates (who is away for the summer).

Brewed aroma here is definitely more fakey-cherry. Cherry cough syrup-y?

Flavourwise, I’m again getting a similar sort of sweetness. It comes up a bit sooner though, and doesn’t linger as long, so it’s much more bearable. The hibiscus is also done reasonably well in this blend, with the tartness not overwhelming everything, even though this steep is just as epically long as the other. I’d have to say that the Tea Forte version, comparing them side by side, has a more tart berry sort of flavour, whereas this one is more of a sweet berry flavour. Both blends have the tartness of hibiscus of course, but the berry flavour itself is different.

I have to say, both definitely have their merits – I’m more familiar with Celestial Seasonings, so their ‘zinger’ blends typically taste “right” to me, but the Tea Forte version was interesting and different. The sweet aftertaste would therefore probably be the only reason I’d pick one (CS) over the other (TF), in general.

Fun experiment – I’m definitely almost asleep now.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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72
drank Wild Berry Hibiscus by Tea Forte
2410 tasting notes

I really need to go to bed early tonight… I actually fell asleep in yoga tonight :\ So I pulled out a couple herbal teabags and re-steeped my Creme Brulee from last night. Funnily enough, I pulled out two teabags of similar blends from different companies, so I get to do a bit of a comparison.

This one is courtesy of LiberTEAS – thank you!

Steeped, it smells quite delicious and berry-like! I’m pleasantly surprised! Since I left the teabag in for eons, the hibiscus is definitely present, but I like it. The berry flavour is quite apparent and the hibiscus is providing tartness but at a completely acceptable level. The strangest thing is the sweetness I’m getting, which makes me think licorice as it’s late-sip, but I don’t think it is. Maybe there’s stevia or something in here, though? The aftertaste kind of makes it taste like a fakey candy, whereas initially it’s an authentic berry flavour.

Really quite a good bagged tisane with pretty good use of hibiscus. Were it not for the strange sweetness, I’d probably look into picking some of this up to ice it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Indigobloom

Looks like we were both zonked! did you sleep during Savasannah?

Kittenna

Yes, yes I did. I was lying there, thinking that I was clearing my mind pretty well, and the next thing I knew, I regained consciousness and everyone was sitting up. Granted, eyes still closed, but still. I must have been out for at least a minute – completely missed the instruction to roll onto my side, etc. Embarrassing…

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86
drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
2410 tasting notes

Mmmmm, sweet and only lightly tasting of rooibos, which works well. Perhaps not quite creme brulee though, to be honest – it just tastes kind of caramelly. Which is ok with me. I definitely seem to lean more towards artificially sweetened creamy/sweet/caramelly rooibos blends (e.g. Birthday Cake, Alpine Punch) than fruit-flavoured ones.

Anyhow, dropping the rating a few points on this one simply because it was one of my first-rated teas, and compared to other rooibos, it’s not at the top, and I had it rated rather high. Big plus for it, however, is a lack of little candies floating around in it that make the tea scummy.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

I thought about picking up a sample of this at DT’s a month ago.. but passed. I now regret that haha. Also.. I never mind tea scum for some reason. I don’t think I have let my tea cool enough to encounter it fully (to be honest I can’t picture it in my mind either.. hmm.. maybe this is why I burn my mouth so much..)

Kittenna

Well, as some other people have said, it’s basically just a nice vanilla rooibos. I probably prefer the flavour of say, Birthday Cake, but sometimes the scumminess gets to me. There isn’t a lot of rooibos flavour, which is also a perk!

Lynne-tea

The rooibos flavour is what always worries me about trying rooibos teas. Its too much for me sometimes and so I just don’t drink it. I will have to try this one!

Kittenna

If you’re interested in it, I can send you a sample? IIRC you’re not near a DT location, right?

Lynne-tea

That is so kind of you! I live about an hr and a half drive away from one… Which is very convenient for my wallet, but not so much for tea shopping haha :)

Kittenna

Steepster is driving me mad right now. I will send you a PM as soon as I can (or you can, to remind me.) Urrrgh. I don’t even know if this will post.

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83

Trying the last of my original sample tonight in a western-gong-fu sort of style (e.g. 15 second infusions). I used about 4g of leaf in my little glass teapot, and filled it halfway with ~205F water each time (so maybe about 5oz.?) Some of the infusions crept to closer to 20 seconds.

1: Woah, so sweet! A little toasty and nutty, but a delicious sweetness, and an oolong aftertaste that takes a while to show up but is perfect. This is amazing, seriously. Only marred by the aftertaste of ginger/galangal still on my palate after the Spiced Elderberry Pu’er (whoops).
2: Lost some of the sweetness now and is more grounded. It’s getting to that woody flavour that I find with oolongs, but it’s taken a sidestep off the beaten path as there are some fruitier, rounder notes in here too. I suck at descriptions. Lovely though.
3: Oh crap. Got an initial flavour of soap in this one, and it’s somewhat stronger (pot sat with wet leaves between 2 and 3). I’m wondering if the cup wasn’t well rinsed. Argh. Second sip not so soapy, but I’d blame the cup, not the tea. There’s some astringency coming out here, perhaps because the leaves sat. Maybe I need to reduce the infusion time after the leaves have been sitting (it was only for maybe 5-10 minutes, but still). I’m getting fruity notes now that I seem to have washed the soap off the rim of the cup by drinking it (blech). Still strong and woody-ish, but quite good. Just wish that astringency wasn’t there.
4: Back to reduced astringency (although still present a bit – I think these last two infusions were also closer to 20s, so maybe I need to watch that I keep the time to 15). Moving ever-more towards that woody profile.
(I might continue and update later, but stomach getting full and my mouth is revolting against the astringency).

It seems that, by contrast to a lot of other people on here, I tend to enjoy the first infusion quite a bit more than subsequent infusions (in most teas, including greens and oolongs). I don’t know if that’s because they tend to be sweeter and less astringent, or I just prefer the initial flavours, but I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be! Glad my Huang Zhi Xiang experimentation is finally working out, and thank you SO much to David Duckler for supplying me with some extra leaves so I can give it another couple attempts!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Missy

That milk oolong you sent was awesome. I do think it should be renamed apricot oolong. The apricot flavor was stronger with each steeping! A woodsy tea sounds just as interesting.

Kittenna

Mango oolong maybe?? I think I only sent a mango one and the Teavivre Dong Ding :) Either way glad you enjoyed!

Missy

You did send a mango oolong. I thought you had also sent a milk oolong from Teavivre. I could be confused with what Dylan got from winning the facebook contest. lol le sigh I’m getting old!

Kittenna

I sent Tropical Coconut Mango Oolong and Dong Ding Oolong from Teavivre :D I think you did try Teavivre’s Milk Oolong recently though(?)

Missy

Lol there we go. You are correct. Thanks!

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74

When I pulled the brew basket out of the water, I smelled such an interesting aroma. Definitely reminded of thai food, which is probably the ginger/galangal.

Although I rinsed it kinda twice, I just ran water through the infuser basket, and am not sure this is appropriate. I still haven’t looked up how to rinse a tea properly. Anyhow, I’m getting a bit of a fishy smell from it. Which oddly works with the ginger/galangal, but is weird to smell from tea. Hopefully I haven’t ruined it by a lack of rinsing!

Tasty and spicy, I can taste both the ginger and galangal, but neither is overwhelming – I have to say that this is probably the best use of ginger in a tea I’ve ever encountered. There’s also a berry note, which must be elderberry. A lingering savoury flavour remains on the tongue after one swallows, which is quite nice. I can’t pick out the pu’er in here, but it’s obviously tying everything together. Once I have a better idea of what straight pu’er tastes like I might be able to say a bit more as to that aspect.

Overall, I’m finding this to be a very savoury, interesting tea. The spicing is very well done, with everything blending together perfectly and nothing sticking out or overwhelming the rest. Definitely would help with a craving for thai food, imo. Probably not something I’ll keep in stock, but a fabulous tea to have tried!

ETA: Second infusion (same parameters): A little weaker perhaps, but the spices are all present and I can pick up the pu’er now (possibly because of a bit of an oversteep – it may have had more like 3.5-4 minutes as I got confused when the timer went off and thought I had water in the microwave… yeaahhhh). Still smells a little fishy, but it doesn’t carry over to the flavour. Just makes me think of fish sauce here though (as I said above, it works with this flavour combo).

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

It never occurred to me to rinse an alchemy blend. I Don ‘t rinse that type. It tastes pretty good as a latte and iced also. You’re right about having this with Thai food! Really good!

Kittenna

I only rinsed it because the instructions on the Verdant website told me to :) I was dicey about it though, and maybe won’t try it next time. Is it bad to not rinse pu’er? Health-wise, I mean. I understand that at least part of the purpose is to “awaken” the tea.

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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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