2970 Tasting Notes

95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2970 tasting notes

Backlog from Friday. I am absolutely burning through this tea. Ever since I discovered it tastes great from my thermos, it’s been a go-to in the mornings. I should have ordered more than one ounce, but I don’t imagine it will be going away anytime soon (fingers crossed???) so will wait until I actually run out to pick up more!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
2970 tasting notes

Backlog from Thursday. So I went to make a thermos-ful of Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie from Della Terra, but discovered that I only had enough tea left for a regular cup, not a thermos! At which point creativity (not really) struck, and I dug through my billions of boxes of tea and found my sample of Creamy Pumpkin Spice from iHeartTeas, and threw in about a teaspoon’s worth of it as well, since I seemed to recall liking the black base of it, but preferring the spicing of DavidsTea/Della Terra’s pumpkin teas. I must say, it tasted pretty darn good! Left me craving more pumpkin tea, that’s for sure (and I just discovered tonight that I only have a single cup of Pumpkin Chai from DavidsTea left! Oh noes!)

I think this one also survived a second infusion before I had to throw it out, so I was quite pleased :D Would probably rate this a touch higher than Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie, so close to 90??

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99

Backlog from Thursday. Mmmmm. Made the boyfriend heat me up some water before I left his house quite late in the evening so I could nurse this tea on the way home. I think living in Ontario is turning me into a wimp! Or maybe it’s just the fact that last year was a super mild winter. Either way, it feels super cold outside and it’s barely below freezing, and that’s lame. So yeah. Needed tea for the 30-minute drive home. It was delicious (and still warm/delicious the next morning!)

Also, I am now under order by my roommate to buy at least a pouch of this one for her when it’s reblended. So pretty much, if I miss out on the next reblend, we’ll be getting a pound of tea, haha (and then I can fork some of it out to others who missed out too! :P) Yummmmmmmm.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

A pound, yes!!! I’d sneak some :P

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91
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Backlog and sipdown from Thursday. I really, really adore this tea. It’s definitely on my list to purchase when I actually have room in my cupboard to purchase it (although I might make an exception and buy 10-20g because it’s so darn delicious). I was happy to empty another packet though!! I infused this one twice, and it might still be sitting in an infuser for a third, but I currently have about 9 infusers on the go, and can’t tell the black tea ones apart anymore…)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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67

I have to apologize for the significant backlog of notes I’ll be posting shortly (although I may not write too much about everything) – I’ve been drinking plenty of tea but have been so swamped with work I haven’t had the time to write anything! At least I’m almost done one annoying part of my project now… after putting in about 20 hours this weekend in an attempt to get it over with.

Anyhow, I won this from Della Terra from their Facebook page! Thanks! I’m not sure it’s necessarily a tea I’d have picked out myself, but I’m eager to purchase a bunch of Try Me packs, so it’s great to eliminate one more tea from the possible bunch I haven’t tried (pretty much everything).

Based on the description of this tea, I was pretty much expecting an earl grey, and was not disappointed. As this looked to be a CTC tea, I stuck to the recommended 2 minute infusion to prevent bitterness, however I’ll admit that I loaded my first thermos-ful with milk and sugar as that’s how I prefer my earl greys (well… I prefer straight earl grey creams over sweetened earl grey with milk, but I felt it would do). Anyhow, I appeared to be correct in my assumption. This pretty much tastes like a decent earl grey, not too heavy on the bergamot, and with a fairly nice base (or at least, it did its job well and wasn’t astringent/bitter). I’m not sure if the orange bits really add anything (I wish they had!)

I managed to make quite a nice second infusion of this one as well, steeped for 2 or 2.5 minutes (can’t recall), but discarded the leaves after that.

Thanks for the chance to sample this tea, Della Terra! Now pretty please put an awesome special on so I can go crazy ordering teas? :D

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
2970 tasting notes

Wooooaaaaah. This is way too tart for me. I thought 3.5 minutes would be enough to tame the hibiscus, but apparently not! I can tell that there is a berry flavour in here too, but mostly, TART. I can see this being ok sweetened/as an iced tea, but this is not for me, sadly.

Thanks for sending some too me, CHAroma!

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

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88
drank Butterbeer by 52teas
2970 tasting notes

Sample sipdown! Although this one’s so tasty, I am sad about it :( It really does taste much like root beer, and the licorice blends in so well that even people who hate such flavours won’t mind it. I hope this one is brought back every now and then, as it’s such a different blend.

I think I’m at the point of having had enough/too much flavoured black for the evening though… my tongue is loving the flavour but my stomach is rebelling. Although, that could be the way-too-old meat I just thawed and ate from the freezer…. Uh oh…

(PS Thanks again CHAroma for giving me some of this delicious tea!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Sil

I have a pack of this as well. Heh if you ever have a craving

Kittenna

Not your favourite?

Sil

Oh I enjoy it but there are others I over more. I mostly bought this to send to a friend heh.

Alphakitty

I want to try this one, but in my head Butterbeer is like a warm, buttery cream soda, not rootbeer, and I just don’t want to tarnish my perfect HP mental image!

ashmanra

My daughter just sent me a photo from HP theme park of her drinking their Butterbeer! She is vacationing there this week and seemed to love the Butterbeer.

Kittenna

Yeah Alphakitty, it could potentially ruin your mental image. I don’t personally think of this as Butterbeer, just a tasty flavoured tea.

Ashmanra – so jealous!!!

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60
drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
2970 tasting notes

Onto some more samples from CHAroma tonight as I await trick-or-treaters!

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting with this one, but I was initially quite put off by a very soapy aroma from both the dry and steeped tea. It dissipated after the tea sat a while, but kind of grossed me out a bit. Other than that, the aroma reminded me a lot of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai; sweet and coconutty, with a hint of exotic spiciness. I think I can also smell the lemongrass.

Unfortunately, I’m getting soapiness as a flavour as well. The flavours otherwise strongly remind me of the above mentioned coconut chai, which I adore, but the soapiness is unbearable for me. I really have no idea where it’s coming from; this was sent in its original packet so I doubt there’s flavour contamination. Sometimes I wonder, though, whether old coconut goes soapy after a while…

Either way, I really want to like this tea, and I am adoring what I can taste of it and the delicious mix of lemongrass, chai spices, and coconut, but I can’t get past the soapiness. (I’m trying to!) Perhaps it would go away if I sweetened/added milk to the tea, but my hopes aren’t particularly high. I may give that a shot later, though.

Thanks for passing some of this one along, CHAroma!

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

Huh, I never tasted soapiness, that’s strange! I like it a lot with milk and sugar.

Buy the Stars

I have a sample of this that I keep forgetting to try! I was attracted to it because I loved the idea of a masala chai with lemongrass and coconut, but that’s too bad about the soapiness. Flavour contamination might have happened on Adagio’s end, maybe?

Kittenna

Yeah, I don’t know, it was very strongly soapy to me, and way too much to be the infuser or something (also, I usually just rinse them with water anyhow). I have enough to try again. I really wonder if it was an ingredient going off…

Arison – I got part of a sample packet from CHAroma, who didn’t seem to note any soapiness, so I’m not sure where it’s coming from. It’s pretty unpleasant though. Thankfully it reduced a bit as the tea cooled, and I got through the cup, but it wasn’t as nice as I would have liked.

bookshark

Having just finished off a sample packet of this, I just want to validate your soapy feeling. Yours is the only tasting note I saw that mentions this, which was odd to me since that was basically my only feeling about this tea. I tend to drink all of my tea without milk or sugar, but I added milk to this and I can confirm it helped a lot. A bit of honey helped, too.

Kittenna

Thanks bookshark! I think I still have some of this left, so may try that. I feel like the soapiness might be from the coconut going off; I have slowly been noticing a trend where nearly every tea that has a funky aroma/flavour, be it soapy or rancid/pungent, contains coconut. And usually with such teas, there are many people who do not notice those flavours, which makes me think that the thought that an ingredient has gone a bit off is likely.

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84

Bleh. In spite of a 3-minute infusion, this one definitely tastes bitter and oversteeped. I wonder if little leaf fragments got through and made it so. Sigh. I was hoping for a tastier thermos of tea than this one. There are hints of buttery/caramelly flavours, but I prefer Pot O’ Gold, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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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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