2661 Tasting Notes

88

Thank you to Peony Tea S. for this wonderful sample! I brought it along on vacation so I could try a few new things in addition to the old standbys.

I think I may have underbrewed this tea a bit (used 1.5tsp for ~8oz.), but I’m quite enjoying it. It tastes like a dark oolong, with a delicious woody sweetness, and no bitterness or astringency whatsoever. Very tasty to have alongside some overly sweet caramel corn I just made for my dad.

I’m eagerly anticipating the next few infusions of this one. My mom liked it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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74

This is the other pu’erh I brewed up tonight. Same method: 10 second rinse in water straight from the kettle, followed by the normal infusion.

This one smells mildly fishy, but it doesn’t carry into the flavour, which is remarkably mild and… straw-like? That kind of hay/straw sweetness is what I’m getting. I’m pretty new to pu’erh, so am still pretty awful at describing them, but it definitely tastes like pu’erh to me! I like it, but I definitely preferred the Farmer’s Cooperative one. And I dislike the fact that I get any fishy aroma whatsoever. It was a turnoff for my mom too (it’s unfortunate that we liked the same one, because I don’t really want to leave that one for her, but probably will leave a few cups’ worth because I have so darned much tea!)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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84

In keeping with my mom’s interest in pu’erh, I brewed up a couple from Verdant to see what she thought of them.

This one was a winner!! She likes it much better than black tea, and commented that there was a bit of a smoky flavour. Of course, she didn’t try it until after midnight, so didn’t want to finish the whole glass, which works out well for me because I haven’t drank this one myself either!

I’m sitting in the kitchen and the TV is loud, so I’m having trouble focusing on the flavours here, but it’s really enjoyable. Somewhat sweet, mildly smoky. Nice sweet tea-ish aftertaste. I gave this about a 10 second rinse in water straight from the tea kettle prior to brewing it. Definitely a tea I’m glad to have tried! Can’t believe it took me so long, though. I might reduce the infusion time just a touch next time, as I feel it’s a little stronger than necessary, but still pretty good.

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

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76

My mom loves ginger, and had expressed an interest in pu’erh, so when we were trying to come up with $20 worth of teas to purchase to get the free 50g of tea, I saw this on the tea wall and hoped maybe it would be a winner. Turns out, I think I’m right! I didn’t actually taste the first infusion of this one, but my mom definitely liked it better than the black teas I’ve had her try, and I think she enjoyed the ginger as well. There was a bit of a fishy smell to the dry tea, so I gave it a literal rinse (poured hot water through the tea in the infuser basket into the sink) before infusing it, although it still had a little bit of a fishy odour when brewed up. I didn’t find it terribly bothersome though, and as she drank the whole cup, I don’t think she did either.

The second infusion (next day) which I’ve made for myself smells more of ginger, and less of fishiness (if at all). The pu’erh gives it a nice, smooth base, and the amount of ginger is just right for me – a bit of a kick, but not too much. For me, this one’s just ok; I’d drink it again, but wouldn’t seek it out unless I was craving ginger for whatever reason.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

That fishy smell always freaks me out a little even if it isn’t in the taste at all! If you want a super ginger-y pu-erh Rishi has a very strong one.

Kittenna

I had one tea (Tangerine Ginger?) from Rishi, and I think it was good in the ginger aspect, but had hibiscus that turned the whole brew super disgusting. I imagine the pu’erh wouldn’t contain hibiscus, so I might try and get ahold of some someday. Thanks!

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88

Well, I had hoped that this one would win my mom over in terms of black tea (which she has decided she’s not a fan of, although she likes pu’erh… will get to that in a bit). Unfortunately, no dice. Not sure if it was how I brewed it, or just a reluctance to be open to liking black tea. I’m personally finding it deliciously malty and a bit chocolatey today, so an incorrect brew is unlikely. I’d like to have my aunt, who enjoys black tea, try this one when she’s here in a few days.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Kiaharii

Have you tried Adagio’s version of this?

Kittenna

I have not. How does it compare (or are you asking for the same reason?)

Kiaharii

Same reason! I think I’ll pick up a sample when I order from Teavivre.

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95

Yum. A different enough coconut flavour to make it unique, yet not artificial. Trying to drink down my sample so I can justify buying more! Mom liked this one too. I think she’s a fan of coconut teas that are done well.

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

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96

Ok… this is (I think) the 2012 Spring Harvest. I know there’s a page for it now, but I last reviewed it under this heading, so oh well. I suspect the quality is always going to be quite similar between all the spring harvests, so the only thing that may change for people using these reviews to make purchase decisions is the specific notes that are present in the tea. But… everyone gets it different with the same tea, so I don’t really think it matters! Off my soapbox now…

Anyways! I have been quite absent from Steepster lately; I miss it here! I have loads of things to catch up on… holidays are never as relaxing as they sounds like they should be. At least I’m done my conference now, so have 5 days of whatever I feel like doing left. Hopefully I can catch up a bit here before getting back to the grind :)

So yes. Managed to brew this one up well tonight, although my palate must have been a bit off initially because I wasn’t tasting the sweetness, although it showed up later. Gave a sample of this one to my mom, and she thought it was sweet and different.

Really love this tea, though it’s definitely best savoured on its own.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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86

Nom nom nom. Finally a second cup of this one. It’s not quite as blueberry-y as I remember, but I think a) there was more black tea in this cup and b) I may have raised my expectations for it. Nonetheless, it is still very deliciously blueberry, and I can taste the base tea this time. Definitely one of the better teas DT has released lately.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
TassieTeaGirl

I’m glad this one is getting great reviews (including from the lovely Natalie from customer service). It’s on my next order list.

Helena

I’ll be trying this later today :D

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98
drank Quangzhou Milk Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

Just picked up 50g of this for free! Awesome.

Delicious cup, but not quite as I remember it. Perhaps I’m not really in the mood. Also, different water and water-heating technique are maybe making it a bit different. Oh well!

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
TassieTeaGirl

Nice pick for your free tea! It’s pretty expensive otherwise, but still tasty.

Helena

I’m glad you like it :)

CHAroma

Whoa! How’d you get that much free tea??

Kittenna

DavidsTea coupon!

CHAroma

Sweeet!!!

Lynne-tea

cries I don’t live by a DavidsTea and the online coupon blows. Hmph. Glad you got this though!

tigress_al

Nice choice for the free one!

Kittenna

Yes… $18 of free tea with a $20 purchase. Well worth it. I’d love to go to my local DT and buy things for you, Lynne-tea, but I feel like they’d recognize me and not let me. And I don’t know if I’d be able to make it over there Saturday anyhow.

Lynne-tea

Thank you for saying that Kittenna! That is a kind thought =) I have been trying to get people I know in Victoria to pick some up for me, but none have a printer. Sadface. I’m sure it’s for the best (SOMEHOW)…

Fjellrev

Argh, what timing with this promo. Lynne, I’d grab stuff for you too but having just moved, I have no printer nor phone (since according to their facebook page, you can just show the coupon to the staff with your phone). This would have been the perfect time to try this tea. :/

Kittenna

Yeah, I was going to say that you can use a phone or something as well. I only have a printer since I’m staying with my parents. That sucks :(

Fjellrev

Either way, thanks for the review! Glad you were able to snag some of this. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.

Lynne-tea

Agreed! I can share some with you Incendiare until you get your hands on some =)

Fjellrev

Aww, thanks for the offer! I was thinking of just picking some up anyway. Sounds like a person can’t go wrong with this one.

Lynne-tea

No problem! It’s true – you really can’t go wrong with this one. Pick up a sample and see how fast you go through it. I bet it will be quick. =)

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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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