2931 Tasting Notes

91

I thiiiink this is the one I brewed up today. Just threw it in the thermos. It tasted good, but not mind-blowing or anything, but I suspect this one really needs to be a) attempted gong-fu style, and b) consumed more quickly after harvest.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Ummm… I had some of this as a sample from…. someone…. possibly CHAroma? Thanks!

Anyhow, brewed up last night (it had the same sort of berry scent as 52teas’ Forest Berry Silver Needle!!), but didn’t drink until the morning. And apparently… I really liked it, as I drank the whole thing and have none left to try now, haha. But yes, it was quite tasty, and I look forward to being able to properly rate a cup of it! (And by that I mean, drink more of it, of course.)

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

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87

Last night when I was rifling through my box from LiberTEAS to find my Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha sample, I came across this little gem and instantly developed a craving. Which I didn’t satisfy until the morning, when I actually remembered to drink some of the tea. It was delicious. And it still is, cold and everything. I really need to pick up some more Earl Grey Cream of some variety; unless there’s some hiding in a sample box that I’ve forgotten about, I have almost none left. The horror!

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94

In my earlier tea-obsession days, before I realized the joys of sampling many teas, I bought a 100g tin of this. Since then, I’ve massively regretted it, not because I don’t like the tea, but because 100g is an awful lot to finish off before it goes stale when your tea preferences are ever-changing and ever-curious! Anyhow, it occurred to me last night that I should make a cup of this to use some up, so I did! Of course, it was super super late (aka morning), and I ended up going to sleep before even touching it. Fast-forward to when I woke up and sampled the variety of cold teas by my bedside. I tried this one, and couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was… but I thought it tasted like Cantaloupe & Cream! Even though I knew I hadn’t brewed that up super recently. Anyways, it did finally occur to me that it was this tea, and then I tasted light strawberry instead of cantaloupe, but I was reminded that I really must try a straight silver needle tea, because it’s clearly the common thread between those two teas, and I really, really like it!

Anyhow, I’m rambling. I’ve had a bad day filled with new project deadlines and endless sample grinding and I’m tired and drinking cold tea. At least it’s tasty cold tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Ellyn

Hope today is a better day!

Kittenna

Thanks! Today has been a tired day, but otherwise not too bad :)

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86

Mmmmmmm. Wanted Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha tonight, but decided it would be better to go through some samples I have instead of getting closer to finishing off my beloved half-empty bag (I think I have two marshmallow treat samples, and one of this). I can’t taste a whole lot of cherry here, but I definitely feel like I can taste the creamy cheesy tang of cheesecake, and it’s quite delicious. If this came back, I’d buy it too!!

Thanks to LiberTEAS for passing a sample of this one on to me :)

ETA: Oh Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha, you remain delicious even after sitting out for nearly 24 hours. swoon :P

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
tea-sipper

What did you find was the best time & temp for the marshmallow? I have a couple cups left of my sample and the one cup I made didn’t seem to turn out right…

Kittenna

I used the same parameters as I have here, actually! 3 minutes (any more and the first infusion does get bitter) and 82C since it’s a green. Seems to work fabulously for me, and gets out lots of flavour while preventing bitterness. Typically I’d steep a green for only 2 minutes, but this one seems good with 3.

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82
drank Pistachio Ice Cream by Butiki Teas
2931 tasting notes

So, my memory tells me that I wasn’t particularly enamoured with this tea the first couple times, which were from a sample from Azzrian. However, I received some as part of a Butiki sampler quite a while back, and hadn’t actually tried it from my own batch. So here we are!

I opened the baggie to a… delicious aroma of creamy pistachios?! What? I don’t remember this aroma! How exciting!

For whatever reason, this tea is definitely working far better for me today! I admit that I probably overleafed my cup (maybe 2 tsp to 8oz. water or so?), but I’m getting a nutty pistachio flavour, creaminess, cardamom??, and a lightly seaweedy sort of green tea. This is certainly not what I remember from my previous attempts! The creaminess and green tea leave a lovely aftertaste in the mouth, as well. The only negative is that I feel like I’m tasting a hint of licorice/anise in there that I’m not liking. I’ll have to try this with sweetener someday to see if I can really bring out the “ice cream” flavour, because as it stands, this is more of a creamy nut tea with seaweedy undertones.

I don’t think I’ll ever be quite the fan of this tea that some people appear to be, but it’s much better than I originally gave it credit for. I suspect it perhaps was a tea that suffered for whatever reason by being packaged up as a sample (too much exposure to air, cross-contamination, etc.) Rating bump!

ETA: A re-steep with less water and the same parameters yields a pretty tasty cup as well, although with reduced seaweedy green tea flavours. (Bonus, it withstands sitting cold for 24h too!)

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

I got a sample of this from someone and couldn’t get it to work in my favor. I’m glad you at least got it to work for you even if you don’t love it as much as others seem to.

Kittenna

I am wondering if it doesn’t hold flavour well when packaged up for swaps…

Invader Zim

That’s quite possible.

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88
drank Creamy Nut Oolong by Teaopia
2931 tasting notes

Mmmmm. Haven’t had this in a while. Smells pretty much the same as I remember (creamy, nutty goodness), and tastes similarly too. My only complaint is that I find it a little weak (I used 2 heaping-ish tsp for my ~8 oz. cup and am still saying this…). I still have noted down somewhere to compare this to Salted Caramel from DavidsTea, which although it is a black, has similar flavouring, and I seem to recall liking it just as much or more.

Anyways, still a yummy tea with a bit of lingering oolong flavour at the end. I’m a bit chilly though, so wish I hadn’t let ALL my teas cool while working away on stats on my computer…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Fireside S'mores Tea by Teaopia
2931 tasting notes

Another Teaopia tea requiring overleafing. I’m pretty pleased with this one today though, in spite of the fact that the marshmallows certainly didn’t melt fully even though I steeped this one as indicated. Eh well. The aroma is deliciously sweet and nutty (kind of like Creamy Nut Oolong, which I stupidly neglected to save a sip or two or for comparison). The tea is also similarly somewhat sweet and nutty. I’m fairly certain that this tea is the sweeter of the two though. It’s definitely quite weak if steeped as indicated – I used 2 heaping teaspoons of tea for about a 10 oz. mug, and it’s acceptable, but the base tea is a bit weaker than I’d personally really like. Decent tea, not fabulous but certainly tasty and comforting!

ETA: This does not re-steep well. Ick.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Secret Weapon by DAVIDsTEA
2931 tasting notes

This is the last of mine/my roommate’s tin of this one from last year’s advent calendar. I had a recollection that neither of us particularly liked this one, although I tolerated it a bit better. Sure enough, it tastes like dry, ground-up almonds. And smells like dry nuts. Looks like I said the same last time. I do have a little sample packet of this still, but I’ll probably send that off as a bonus sample in a swap to someone!! :D

Also, wooo, it’s getting windy now! I have doubts that “post-tropical cyclone Sandy” will have too much impact here in southern Ontario, but it’s gross outside regardless. (Maybe school will be cancelled tomorrow?!)

ETA: Second infusion similar, but lighter. Unsurprising.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 45 sec

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94
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
2931 tasting notes

Interesting. I wasn’t going to write another note about this one, but as I’m drinking it from my thermos tonight, trying to stay warm while graphing some data, I’m struck by the fact that it almost tastes like steeped raisins! I mean, I’m getting caramelly notes, etc. etc., but for some reason, it’s tasting a lot like someone threw raisins in my infuser to plump up. No issue with it, it’s tasty! Just wanted to note it down for future reference :D

Preparation
Boiling 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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