2823 Tasting Notes

81

At the first whiff of this one while steeping, I was pretty sure this would not be a tea I’d like. The name makes it sound so good, but… so much mint! And I really, really don’t like mint, especially when it’s the dominant flavour in a blend.

Surprisingly, however, although it smells incredibly minty, the flavour is so much more complex! It’s kind of creamy and rich from the white chocolate and vanilla, and although the spearmint is quite apparent, the combination of the flavours works quite well and masks whatever it is that I hate about mint (I’m not too certain about this…) Definitely a blend I’d drink again!

Thanks for passing some of this along to me, Amanda!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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74

Felt like trying a new-to-me honeybush tonight, so poked around in my box from Amanda and found this one! Perfect!

The flavour is definitely fruity (I could be convinced that it’s raspberry), however it’s also a bit perfumey, and the aftertaste seems to morph into a bit of a fakey-fruit flavour. I can’t say I’m tasting the ‘cream cheese danish’ part at all, but given my usual inability to taste such flavours in teas, I’m not terribly surprised.

Ok, the more sips I take, the more I believe I’m tasting raspberry, but unfortunately, that’s it. However… it’s a pretty good honeybush anyways! I’ve been looking for new options to drink in the evening, and don’t have too many fruity rooibos/honeybush blends, so I’m quite happy to have another cup of this one for a future evening!

Thanks for sending me a sample of this one, Amanda!

ETA: Bleh, not really enjoying the second infusion of this one. No surprise, as it’s a honeybush. Down the drain you go!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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91

Made some more of this to take to work tonight. Soooooo delicious. Limey marshmallow fluff. I think I prefer this blend to Sun & Cloud Mist, although I think I should try a side-by-side comparison someday, since both are citrus + marshmallow.

Second infusion, also for 2.5 minutes, is a touch oversteeped (bitter), so I’d drop that infusion down to two minutes.

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

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89

Ooh, my tea is suffering from a bad leaf:water ratio. I knew I should have finished the rest of my sample for this cup! Ah well. It’s still tasty, just a bit mild. I maintain that the hibiscus is fabulous here as well, and I adore how creamy it is. Yum!

ETA: Second infusion a few days down the road, and it’s still pretty good. This one is definitely a winner! As it’s a TOTM, I’m hoping it’s permanent, therefore I don’t have to go all crazy and pick up 50-100g of it before it disappears/becomes online-only…

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

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98
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
2823 tasting notes

I decided to brew some of this one up this morning to take to work in my Timolino, as I thought it would be a great tea to drink at work. I definitely wasn’t wrong! It was delicious, although not as ice winey as usual (probably because my leaf ratio was off as I was brewing a larger cup). However… I clearly didn’t properly clean my Timolino after it had Mayan Chocolate Chai in it… so although the tea tasted great, every time I went to drink some I got a huge whiff of chai! Kinda unpleasant, since I wanted my oolong!

Anyhow, I also would like to note that I brewed this one up prior to 9am, popped it in my mug after it had cooled some (call me weird, but I hate that super hot tea doesn’t cool in the Timolino! I don’t drink scalding hot tea), and didn’t really drink any until the afternoon, finishing it at 5:30pm. And although it was cool at that time, the flavour was still excellent. I had been trying to talk myself out of purchasing more of this one, but I am absolutely in love with it! At some point I’ll have to try the recommended infusion time, but I’m so addicted to the flavour I get at 8 minutes….

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more
Daniel Scott

I have that problem with the Timolino too, I can’t drink the tea for ages once it’s in there, so it almost defeats the purpose! One the other hand, it keeps drinks cold for a good long time, so… Iced, it is!

Kittenna

I haven’t tried putting anything iced in there… interesting thought! I usually enjoy drinking most things lukewarm though :D

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67
drank Papayarama by DAVIDsTEA
2823 tasting notes

A) I didn’t realize how incredibly poorly rated this tea is.
B) I didn’t realize that this was a honeybush tea.
C) I didn’t realize that there was lime flavouring in here.

This could be interesting! I requested this as a sample in a DavidsTea order from a while back, and hadn’t yet gotten around to trying it. The aroma is vaguely fruity and a bit limey-citrusy. Nothing objectionable so far!

Given an average rating of 53, the flavour here is far better than I was expecting. Does it taste like papaya? Not particularly, to me anyways. It tastes like a generically fruit-flavoured honeybush, with perhaps a limey aftertaste. Although I dislike the medicinal flavour of red rooibos, I usually enjoy red honeybush, and this tea is no exception! That said, there is absolutely nothing special about this tea. I have less than a cup’s worth left in my sample packet, and will use it up, but certainly wouldn’t seek more.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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77
drank Rainbow Sherbet by 52teas
2823 tasting notes

Ok, so I know I just said the last tea was potent in dry form, but woah, this one! The aroma here is so pungent and tangy… but in an amazingly delicious sherbetty way! Can’t even wait to get started! This tea also came to me by way of the very generous silvermage2000!

So I wasn’t watching the timer particularly carefully today, and this tea got an additional 30 seconds more than I intended. It shows in the form of unpleasant bitterness; next time I’ll definitely lower the infusion time. However, in spite of the bitterness, I can still taste the medley of tangy fruity sherbet flavours! It tastes kind of like a fruity sour candy, as well, grounded by a strong black base.

I’ll have to try this one again to see if I can manage to avoid bitterness, but I must say that this is another tea that really needs to be resurrected so all of us newbies can pick some up to try! Yum!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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91

Thanks to silvermage2000 for very generously sending me her packet of this tea!!

Oh wow, does this one ever smell potent, and exactly like lime jello! I’m not even a fan of lime jello, however that’s more of a texture than a flavor thing, so I’m definitely excited for this tea! And my excitement is justified – it tastes just like a creamy limey jello! Can’t really taste the green tea at all, but the flavouring here is amazing. I’m really enjoying the 52teas blends that use marshmallow root for creaminess. It seems to add something extra-delicious that I really can’t get enough of! Definitely regretting not ordering Graveyard Mist now.

I can definitely see why everyone’s a big fan of this one. I think this is one of the SBT teabags I’ve tried as well, and I have to say that it unfortunately definitely falls very short on the flavouring. However, I have an ample amount of this one, and will be enjoying it for quite a while! Yum!

Thanks again, silvermage2000!

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

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73

Guayusa and chai? Sounds like a good combo. I’d really rather have some of Butiki’s Good Morning Sunshine right now, though…

The aroma of this one is definitely chai-like, but smells like it’s missing something. I suspect that “missing” ingredient is a strong base tea; I managed to enjoy 52teas’ Melange Rooibos without a proper tea base, but I think I dislike the flavour of straight guayusa even more than rooibos… Bleh. Yeah, it’s much more like spiced water that I’m smelling.

Eh… the flavour kind of follows the odd aroma. Strangely enough I’m not getting the classic “guayusa” flavour, just light spices on top of something that’s coming off as creamy and pleasant. An creamy aftertaste that actually reminds me of GMS, but without the Meyer lemon. I wonder now whether that’s a flavouring aspect, or part of the guayusa itself… interesting.

Anyhow, although I’m not disliking this one nearly as much as I thought, it still isn’t likely to be a tea I pick up again. The spicing also isn’t strong enough to make me think that it would make a good latté (all chais should make good lattés!)

Oh well! Another tea down (not a sipdown though, still a couple more cups before that happens!)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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77
drank Chocolate Rocket by DAVIDsTEA
2823 tasting notes

Well… my morning had started out well…. until I found out that the freeze-dryer was again broken at work. This suuuuuucks…. but at least I’m out of bed, and it’s not 9am yet!

Anyways, I have tried this one before as part of last year’s Advent Calendar, but apparently that was pre-Steepster for me, so now I get to review it for real! (I should have actually tried to find the Advent Calendar sample… this was from a new bag I purchased not too long ago, whereas the other stuff was from 10-11 months ago… Oh well.)

The aroma is practically identical to the chocolate raspberry Lip Smackers I used to have (and may still have, somewhere). It was never my favourite, but somehow it’s one of the few I remember the aroma of most vividly. Hopefully the tea actually tastes like the aroma, instead of the lip gloss.

Thankfully, no lip gloss flavour here. However, also not as flavourful as I was hoping. I can taste the banana-y roasted mate, and definitely chocolate, but the raspberry is kind of eluding me. Or at least, it’s not tasting like real raspberry, and more like an artificial version of it, if anything. It’s also a bit thin-tasting. I’m pretty sure I used enough tea (probably nearly 2tsp for my mug, which I think is maybe 10oz?

Not bad, but… not super tasty, either. Oh well! I feel like a comparison between this one and Butiki’s Raspberry Truffle is required. Different tea bases, of course, but similar flavouring intentions. I think Butiki’s tastes better…

ETA: Second infusion waayyyy too much later is actually surprisingly tasty. Somewhat chocolatey, but not really much raspberry flavour. Well worth it IMO, though.

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

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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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