2603 Tasting Notes

84

Ooh! This one’s really good! It clearly tastes like an oolong, and I definitely taste a fruitiness moreso than floral taste. This is really, really delicious! I’m actually rather surprised! The aroma is also fruity rather than floral. I’m really pleasantly blown away by this one! It’s also deliciously buttery and good. Man… I’m so impressed! I would buy this again in a heartbeat :) I used about 3g of leaf (maybe 4 by accident?) in about 8 oz., maybe less, water, at 94C. Yum! Going to go do another couple infusions now. Thanks to Fong Mong Tea for this sample!

ETA: Second infusion (94C/3 min I think, or possibly 4) is not nearly as tasty :( Smells like an oolong, tastes like a weak oolong that has somehow been oversteeped. I’m a bit disappointed. The first infusion was spectacular. Downgrading the rating a bit, because I expect at least 3 good infusions from an oolong, otherwise it’s not worth my while as they are typically expensive. It’s possible that I used too much water, and did use 4 min which was too much, but I’m not sure. I’ll try a third with quite a bit less water.

ETA again: Sadly, disappointed with the third infusion as well. There’s a bit of oolonginess, but it’s just not up to par with other oolongs I’ve had. I’m so disappointed because that first infusion was worthy of a high 90 rating.

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

ohh. now I know who you are, I was wondering!

Kittenna

Yeeeah. I had a little disclaimer up for a while but have since deleted it. I’d direct you to my recent post on ’Mom’s Apple Pie’ by DT to read more :P

Did you realize it was me by the ETA?? shame

TeaBrat

no, I think earlier you changed your name and the photo and I couldn’t figure out who it was. Now the photo is back.

Kittenna

Oh, that’s just a cache thing then. I’ve changed both permanently :P (Although I’m not fond of this alias, I just couldn’t think of anything better!)

ScottTeaMan

PM me & let me know who you are Kitt -you can always delete the sent msg from your mailbox. Or Amy , you could let me know. :)) I still don’t know who Kittenna is {oh wait, maybe I do-but I’m not sure]. ://

Kittenna

I’m Krystaleyn :D

TeaBrat

Scott- I told you that, you need more tea, clearly!

Kittenna

Hahahahahahaha :P I really hate that I did things so suddenly; I just panicked. Had I had a bit more time, I would have switched things one at a time so people could follow.

Bonnie

Ya’ll have got to stop smokin the tea!

ScottTeaMan

Amy, I posted the comment before you told me. :)) Yes I clearly do need more tea!! :DD

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94
drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
2603 tasting notes

Brewed this one up to compare to Lemon-Lime Kukicha, since I had an available infuser and was curious :D

The aroma is pretty similar to Lemon-Lime Kukicha, nice and limey and creamy. I’m getting a bit less of a key lime pie association though. Also, the flavour is definitely different (smoother, creamier, less tangy citrus), and I think I actually prefer this to the 52teas blend, perhaps mostly because of that bit of bitterness I was getting.

Yum, I hadn’t had this one in quite a while. Definitely need to cold-brew/ice some of it soon!

ETA: Second infusion is even limier, and still smooth, although I’d hesitate to say creamy. I wonder if the lemongrass is making more of an appearance? Yum.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
tigress_al

The only thing with cold brewing this one is that the yogurt doesn’t melt if you only use cold water. I didn’t even think of that the first time I tried to cold brew this. Lol I guess I just wasn’t thinking in general!

Kittenna

I’m not sure I’ve actually cold-brewed this one, but yeah, I remembered about the yogurt drops. I might try the hot-brew for 30s method and then add cold water, or maybe a full-on hot brew stuck in the fridge. So good though.

Anny Oxidant & the Tea Bullie

This sounds wonderful. Must purchase!

Kittenna

It really is very good! I had forgotten! Definitely one I need to pick up 100g of at some point!

TeaBrat

Is there real yogurt in it?

Kittenna

You ask because you’re vegan, I assume? Well, my best guess is that the yogurt in it is like any sort of candy that has a ‘yogurt coating’. And I don’t know if those contain real yogurt. It wouldn’t surprise me if this tea wasn’t vegan though (which really sucks because I think it would be delicious without the yogurt bits too. I have heard of people picking them out, but didn’t really look for them myself).

Kittenna

Apparently there’s lime yogurt flavouring, and dairy is listed as an allergen. :(

TeaBrat

that’a a bummer, yeah dairy products in general make me very allergic

Kittenna

:( I’m glad I don’t have any dietary restrictions. That really sucks.

ScottTeaMan

This one sounds really scr-yumtious!!

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75

I decided to poke about in my sample box from LiberTEAS tonight, and ran across a few 52teas that I hadn’t yet tried. Of course, since I’m trying to sample them all, I had to get started!

Steeped, this smells delicious, creamy and limey and amazing. Exactly like key lime pie!! The dry tea smells similar, but not as strong. How on earth did I wait so long to try this??!

Mmmm, and it’s pretty tasty. Smooth and creamy with tangy lime. I feel like it tastes just a touch oversteeped, so I’ll reduce the time for the next attempt (I think there’s enough for two more cups!!!) This is really quite tasty though. If it was still around, I’m 95% certain I’d be purchasing a packet for myself! Mmmmmmm… On second thought regarding the apparent oversteeping, I’m wondering if the touch of bitterness is actually from the lemon/lime flavouring? Lemon/lime peel kind of have that same flavour, so that could be it. Hard to tell; I haven’t ever had kukicha before to know if it oversteeps quickly or not. I feel like this would be fabulous cold, but don’t think I want to try it like that, since flavours get muted and there’s no re-steeping.

Another thought just occurred to me – this reminds me of DavidsTea’s Lime Gelato. I should brew some up to compare; it would be nice to have a substitute!

ETA: Second infusion is mellower and creamy (3 min, 175F). Quite enjoyable.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Yogurt Strawberry by Tsaa
2603 tasting notes

Trying this one again! It smells a lot like strawberry jam to me, which I said last time.

Yum, way better this time! No soapy flavour. Light tangy sweet strawberry jam. A bit too light on the flavour, so maybe I’ll use more tea next time.

ETA: Also, does not re-steep well.

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

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78
drank Mom's Apple Pie by DAVIDsTEA
2603 tasting notes

The cinnamon/apple aroma from this tea is a fair bit more powerful than that from Hot Toboggan, although I’m not really getting any crust aroma… but the flavour is a different story. Immediately upon sipping, I tasted pie crust, followed by cinnamon… and just a bit of apple. Whaa?? The apple is so prominent in the aroma, where could it possibly have gone in the flavour?! It does seem to come out a bit later, but it’s really not as strong as I would have liked. There’s also a bit of astringency in this one. By far, this one reads more like an unsweetened apple cider, as I remarked before, than apple pie.

Given the choice, I think I’d choose Hot Toboggan, as my cup of that is gentler and more appley, and I think there’s potential to brew it a bit stronger. However, if I still have some of this around when we make it back into fall/winter weather, I’ll brew it up and sweeten it instead of using cider powder + apple juice :)

ETA: Third infusion would have been more successful on the same day, and with attention paid to steeping time. That said, not bad.

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

I tried this cold brewed, and it turned out pretty good

TheTeaFairy

you’re right about the apple let down in this one…you’d expect burst of apple, and you get a diluted taste of it!

Kittenna

Ooh, tigress_al, I might have to try that! I ended up having a partial cup of both this one and Hot Toboggan left over last night (as in, I was too full to drink them), so I left them to cool on my nightstand. I ended up with a dry throat at sometime during the night and gulped both down and they were quite good! (I have done this in the past with other teas and they weren’t so good, but I needed moisture more than flavour at the time!)

TheTeaFairy – it’s disappointing, isn’t it.

Scatterbrain

Your update made me laugh. :) This change is gonna be hard to get used to!

Kittenna

I knowwwwww, and I still may not be successful. I should have considered anonymity a little bit more when I started out on here. On the plus side, I’m going to take lots of tea when I go visit, and hopefully leave some behind!

Alphakitty

The name change confused the heck out of me for a second XD

Kittenna

I warn you it will change again. I’m just not sure what to… Likewise pic/bio will be redone. I just panicked… :P

Angrboda

Oh I completely understand what you’re doing. I have two identities online myself, one RL people are allowed to know (this one) and one they absolutely aren’t which I use on LJ. That’s why I won’t tell people my proper LJ account but use a gateway account which they can add, and I can then contact them with the real one. Not very practical but I feel better about it.

Kittenna

Yeah. I’m not even concerned about most RL people, just my family.

At least you can lock your LJ… I was freaking out last night about whether I should delete my account on here or something. Decided that was overreacting though, but for a while I had no info on here at all, and a the first random pic I found on my HD that wasn’t identifying.

Azzrian

But your pic still shows here by your comments!
What is LJ anyway?

Kittenna

Yeah, it’s because your cache hasn’t been refreshed, or something. Probably for the best it lingers for a bit so everyone isn’t so confused! LJ is LiveJournal. Not as popular as it used to be.

Azzrian

Ah okay thank ya!

Angrboda

No, it isn’t, unfortunately. They’ve made some fairly bad business decisions in recent years and a lot of people have left in protest and gone to InsaneJournal instead, or Dreamwidth. I have an account with Dreamwidth and mirror all my posts there, but I’m not very good at remembering to check it. LJ is still my internet home, and likely will be for many years to come. :)

Dylan Oxford

Man, I used to have a live journal. I wrote moody poetry there when I was a teenager.

Kittenna

Yeah, my old LJ is filled with things I’d rather forget! The life of an undergrad… (yeah, i wasn’t even a teenager. Lame!)

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81

I picked this one up in the good old days, and by that I mean the time when people thought coming home with ten different samples from DavidsTea was ridiculous! If only they knew then… Anyways, I remember being told that this one was supposed to taste like a caramel apple, and although I found it ok, I don’t remember it being a favourite by far. I had it earmarked to do a quick comparison to DT’s Mom’s Apple Pie, so figured tonight was as good a night as any! Sadly, neither of these is a sipdown; there’s still one cup left of this one, and lots of the other.

It’s funny, I took a sniff of this one, and could have sworn it was Mom’s Apple Pie! That’s how it smells, like warmed cinnamon apples with a bit of crust. And really, flavourwise, it tastes rather like the aroma. A bit heavy on the crust (which is probably the… almonds??), but definitely like apple pie. I’m not getting any caramel, so wouldn’t call it caramel apple, but the light cinnamon and fruitiness combined with a really distinct buttery crust flavour is 100% apple pie. The only problem is that it’s kind of weak. I suppose the tea is over 6 months old, but it has been stored properly, so maybe my leaf/water ratio is just a bit off, or maybe it needed that extra three minutes that I so cautiously didn’t give it. On second thought, I see the package directions indicate using 1.25 tsp, and I used a generous 1.5, so maybe it’s just meant to be on the weak side. This is nice though, and the aroma is very soothing.

ETA: Third infusion a day and a half later is heavy on cinnamon aroma (but not flavour), and mostly tastes nutty. Not bad. This one’s growing on me, but I probably won’t ever see it again since it’s online exclusive, and I don’t want 50g of it!

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

Mm.. this sounds delicious, although the green tea they use looks … interesting. Does DavidsTea give a lot of in store samples?

Kittenna

Oh, I just purchased a sample size :) They will sell you as little as 8g of tea. They do sample two teas daily (brewed up) though, which are free. I don’t think there’s much green tea in this one, but there is lemongrass.

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77
drank Superberry (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2603 tasting notes

Ok, this one’s not really one of the teas on my list to drink down, but it is a new sample I bought to try, and I thought a comparison of it against Ever Green could be worthwhile, since they both contain berries…. yeah, I’m trying too hard to justify it, aren’t I?

Anyways, I made this one and now I’m going to drink it. Strangely, the dry tea smells like an alcoholic berry. Like a berry that just got home from the bar and really needs to sleep it off. But seriously, I’m getting a weird smell along with the blueberries; perhaps it’s the juniper?? I don’t like juniper, and it unsurprisingly reminds me of gin, which I also dislike, so maybe that’s what I’m smelling? (Awww… gin reminds me of some of my hometown friends, one of which I will be seeing in a couple weeks, the other of which I may see then as well, unless he has already moved to Europe for his studies… sad times.)

The aroma is much more like blueberries (and pomegranate??) and therefore moreso like DT’s Blueberry Jam once steeped, so perhaps it’s even a flavouring oil/alcohol sort of thing I’m smelling in the dry tea. Although it appears that I have also oversteeped this cup a touch (bah, seriously, I cannot get DT’s blacks steeped correctly! Three minutes is too short for many, then I try four for some and they’re still too weak, then I try four for others and it’s already too long. Sheesh), it reminds me a great deal of berry juice. Maybe a pomegranate-blueberry blend. Something pseudo-healthy. There is acai powder in here, so it’s possible I’m confusing pomegranate and acai, since I don’t actually have a clear idea of the flavour of the latter since I’ve only had it in juice blends before. So actually, aside from the astringency, this reminds me a great deal of juice. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of such juices for whatever reason, so this tea is only ok for me.

Second infusion (can’t recall parameters) was also astringent, and got dumped because my stomach can’t deal with that tonight.

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

HUmm I might like this one!

Kittenna

Awww, wish I had sent some to ya!

CHAroma

“Like a berry that just got home from the bar and really needs to sleep it off.” Hahahahaa!!! Great image!

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68
drank Ever Green (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2603 tasting notes

I don’t think I gave this tea a fair shot the first time I drank it; I know I didn’t re-steep it, and I feel like I may have been preoccupied while drinking it, so it needs a second try! Also, I remember finding it rather pleasant, so why not? (Or maybe I should have saved it for the day where I get to have my second try of all the nasty rose-flavoured teas I have…. ewwwwwwwww).

Dry, the tea smells predominantly of berries, and maybe with a hint of sea lettuce, which is pretty much how I described it the first time. Steeped, the aroma is still of berries, and I could be convinced that it’s a blueberry/cranberry mix. I have to admit that the flavour is somewhat unremarkable. It’s quite pleasant, but I’m having a tough time catching all of the crazy flavours that are supposed to be in here (and there’s clearly caraway and mustard seed in the blend). Mostly, it just tastes like a light, fruity berry tea to me. It does taste a bit different, but not enough for me to figure anything out. Oh – enough sipping, and I have finally encountered caraway and perhaps mustard. I think the sea lettuce is just blending with the green tea too well for me to pick it up. In a battle of berry-flavoured blends (as in, comparing this one to Organic Super Berry), I prefer this one because there’s no astringency. I really don’t like astringent blacks; they upset my stomach.

I am going to be good and re-steep at least once before I eat the tantalizing berries. I’m really terrible when there’s fruit in blends…

ETA: Second infusion (82C/4min) is similarly sweet/juicy/berry-like, with hints of the caraway and mustard showing up at the end of the sip, if at all. I ate the steeped fruit after this infusion, and there was a ton of flavour left!! So this tea probably could have gone for numerous additional infusions. Yum.

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

Sea Lettuce? Google here I come!

Kittenna

Hahaha, seaweed I think?

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78
drank Snow Bunny (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2603 tasting notes

Sipdown! Yay! I have a bit of fondness for this tea because it was one of the first I tried, sent to me as a sample package for Christmas from my aunt. I finished that package, not liking it a great deal, but then bought a bit more and changed my mind a bit. This tea has quite a nutty aroma both dry and steeped, although the banana comes out during the infusion, making the aroma quite appealing, to me at least! The flavour is definitely reminiscent of banana walnut bread, as others have mentioned. Unfortunately, today I must have oversteeped the tea and it’s rather unpleasantly bitter :(

I think this is a good tea for nut lovers and those who enjoy flavoured blacks that are neither particularly sweet nor fruity yet don’t taste like a straight tea. Personally, I do prefer blacks with cream, caramel, vanilla (actually… this could taste great with a few of those flavours added! Has Frank ever done a caramel-glazed banana nut bread tea??)

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

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67
drank Mango Diablo by DAVIDsTEA
2603 tasting notes

I decided it was time to clean up my DavidsTea stash. Drink up the second cup of samples I don’t like (to give them a second chance), and categorize things a little. So here’s the first attempt!

I didn’t like Mango Diablo the first time I tried it, mostly due to the sweet pepper taste which I loathe, although I did feel it met the mark in terms of a mangoey, spicy green. I brewed up only a half cup (so I don’t have to suffer through it too much if it’s as I remember), and so I can send the final cup’s worth off to Amanda (so this is pretty much a sipdown). I wish I could refer to my previous note while writing this one, but apparently Steepster is down right now, so I’m stuck writing this in Word. Sigh.

The aroma is sweet from the mangoes and spicy from the chili pepper threads. There must be a hint of a bell pepper-ish aroma coming out too, because I don’t enjoy this smell. Upon sipping, there’s first a bit of a sweet taste before BAM! the chili spice hits you. I actually quite enjoy this spice level, but would greatly prefer it mixed with chocolate. Really, in my opinion, it’s not all that spicy, but I can see some people objecting (even though it’s explicitly stated that this blend is spicy!) The mango does blend in nicely, and the green tea lurks in the background, clearly offering a base for what would otherwise be a watery tea, but not really coming out in the flavour.

Like I thought earlier, I personally think this blend is a success. I just hate bell peppers and feel like I can taste them in here, which makes me dislike the tea.

[Hey, on the plus side, since I’m writing this in Word, nobody has to sit through my repeated ‘ETA’s as I re-steep teas, because I’m just tacking them on in here! Always a positive side to everything…]

Second infusion, 82C/5 min almost smells a touchy perfumey, like roses. Which makes me gag a bit, because my stomach is already a bit irritated with me for whatever reason, and I have been poking around samples all evening to figure out what all I have, and of course I’ve opened multiple rose-scented packets… ick. Anyhow, the spice is here at about the same degree as previously, although the mango flavour is a little lighter, and there’s perhaps more icky bell pepper flavour. Decent re-steep, in my opinion. But I don’t want to drink any more of this, so that’s it for me!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Dylan Oxford

But we like your ETAS, your reviews are always so thorough!

Azzrian

Wow this review made me hungry! Sounds delicious!

Kittenna

Hahaha, perhaps you like the ETAs, but I’m sure it’s nicer when I don’t keep bumping my review to the top of the pile!

Azzrian – given that you like sweet peppers, you probably would enjoy this tea?

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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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