2831 Tasting Notes

95
drank Buttercream by DAVIDsTEA
2831 tasting notes

Blaahhhhh, I wish I had 100g of this one! This is my second-last cup of it, and I’m worried that I’ll miss it quite a bit once it’s gone! :( So, so, so, sooooooo good! And very tolerant to random steeping parameters. I paid no attention to anything today (just that it wasn’t boiling water, and didn’t steep for like 10+ minutes), and it’s just as delicious as before.

Interesting, just read a previous tasting note of mine, and I suggested a comparison to Whisky White. Forgot I had that tea! Maybe I’ll have it tonight as well…

momo

I always see people asking about this one on their Facebook page, they need to bring it back. I’d give you some of what I have but it’s a pretty limited quantity as is :(

Kittenna

Awww, no worries! I’m just hoping there’s someone out there who has like, a 50g bag of it and doesn’t like it…. hahahaha. A lot of people seem to want it to come back (for obvious reasons), I wish they would!

tigress_al

Ya, I was sad that it didn’t come back this fall :(

KittyLovesTea

I managed to get 25g pack of this one and after being a little 50/50 about trying it your comments have swayed me to try it sooner rather than later. We don’t have butter cream here so I will have no idea if it tastes like what it’s called. :(

Kittenna

Yes, you should try it! If by chance you dislike it…. :D :D (I also see you just reviewed Copabanana?! That’s another on my to-try list!)

PatchworkSheep

I have about half my 25g bag from last fall left. I really wasn’t a fan of this one, and there’s probably enough left for a few bags. I don’t mind giving it up if you want it; it’s just going to go to waste at my place!

PatchworkSheep

*a few glasses. not bags, haha.

Kittenna

Oh my goodness, that would be awesome!! I have all sorts of things to offer in return if you are interested :D

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86
drank Good Morning Mate by Fusion Teas
2831 tasting notes

Since I knew Awkward Soul had sent me some mates from Fusion, I took a look through my as-yet-uncatalogued envelope, and yay, found one!

The aroma I’m getting from this definitely reminds me of various roasted mates I’ve had in the past, plus… cinnamon? Is it supposed to have cinnamon? Again, can’t read the tea description, so I’m not sure…

The flavour tastes to me like a non-banana-flavoured, somewhat chocolatey roasted mate, with a definite floral note. Floral??? Interesting… I’m not sure I taste cinnamon at all though. However, this is quite pleasant! I could see myself drinking this one again as a morning pick-me-up, although I have an awful lot of Malted ChocoMate to get through before I think about buying any more roasted mates!

Thanks so much for the sample, Awkward Soul!

ETA: Wow, a second infusion really brought out the cloves and cinnamon! Although it was a flavourful second infusion, I’m not sure it was quite what I wanted.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more
Indigobloom

this sounds delish! complicated to

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86

Another guayasa sample from Stacy!

The primary aroma I’m getting from this cup is minty, which would normally not be something I’d enjoy…. but there’s vanilla too (obviously)! And I like vanilla mint!

As suggested on my little sample bag, I added sweetener (again without tasting the tea first, I’m terrible this morning!)

Wow! This is probably the best flavoured guayasa I’ve tried yet! It’s minty, but the vanilla (and possibly lavender) disguises any of the ick aspects I usually find with peppermint in teas. Granted, it is also sweetened, and that probably helps too, but I’m really enjoying the flavouring here! So this is another tea that at the very least, I’d like to do some more experimenting with. Primarily trying it without sweetener (or with a smaller, controlled amount, if I decide something like that would be allowable).

Thanks for another awesome sample, Stacy!

ETA: Nom nom, this re-steeps pretty well! I don’t think I’ll go for a third, but definitely worth a second! I hate that I’m adding both this one and Good Morning Sunshine to my “must purchase” list (although perhaps I’ll force myself to finish off Apricot Guayasa, which was not my fave, first).

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Helena

It’s spearmint goodness :D and of course vanilla~y goodness! definitely my second favourite guayusa :D

Butiki Teas

Glad you found a guayusa that you don’t hate.

Kittenna

Ohhhhh spearmint! That would also explain why I liked it better than peppermint. I couldn’t read the tea description while writing up my review, and honestly hadn’t bothered to look at what was in the tea.

Kittenna

Stacy – I’m pretty sure I didn’t hate Tangerine Creamsicle either! I should have tried it sweetened. Actually… I think it was a sample from Azzrian, therefore I probably have enough left to try! I just bought some gum that tastes like orange creamsicle, and it’s delicious…

Butiki Teas

Definitely give that one a try sweetened. You might like guayusas in general a little more sweetened since it seems to tone down the earthiness. Mmmm, orange creamsicle sounds yummy.

Kittenna

Yeah, I think it’s the earthiness I don’t particularly care for the flavour of, and while it does come out even with sweetener, it is far more tolerable. Also, your blends are flavoured much better IMO than my first guayasa, which was DavidsTea’s Jungle Ju Ju… which kind of made me gag. I’m looking forward to my sample of the Cider Guayasa, as it smelled amazing, but I don’t think I need a third cup of it this morning! (Especially since I am feeling awake and alert now… which is some sort of miracle!)

Butiki Teas

Yeah, you definitely don’t want to overdo it with guayusas. The cider is pretty tasty.

Tawny Kira

wow this sounds so delicious! I’m going to have to add some to my next Butiki order !!

KittyLovesTea

I am waiting for this to cross the pond and pop itself into my cup. I haven’t tried any guayasa (at least not to my knowledge) but as a vanilla lover the name temped me to try it. I hope it arrives soon.

Kittenna

If you like vanilla mint, this is delicious. The lavender adds a bit of extra character but isn’t overpowering, so doesn’t make it taste soapy. Delicious!

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80

I keep reading about this tea on here, and knew I had a sample from Stacy… so since I need a kick in the butt this morning….!

I’ve learned that I’m not the biggest fan of guayasa. The flavour just isn’t one I particularly enjoy, although I think that the right combination of flavourings could make it quite palatable, if not enjoyable! Therefore, I keep trying!

Although I know this tea is supposed to be all citrusy, I’m really not getting much of that from the aroma. It smells like guayasa. Boo. Hopefully the flavour is better! (Something sure smells good in my room though… but I think it might be the Killers Vanilla, which is next up!)

I was bad and sweetened this one with some rock sugar even before trying it out, which was probably not the best idea, as I don’t know how the tea actually tastes, now! I can taste the vegetal guayasa flavour, and a bit of a hint of lemon… oh, finishing with a creamy citrusy flavour. The citrus is rather difficult to pick out though, until the end of the sip, which I find rather surprising. Although I must say, this creamy lemony lingering taste in my mouth is a little addictive…

I may have to wrangle some more of this one to try without sweetener. I actually am kind of enjoying it sweetened, although for me that sort of thing is not something I’ll allow myself to get used to… although the guayasa is behaving quite well here, and that may be in large part due to the sweetness.

Thanks so much for this sample, Stacy!

ETA: Also re-steeps well enough for a second go-round. I really adore the citrus flavour in this tea, and can definitely see why people love it! Stacy – any chance you could flavour a white tea this same way??

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Helena

This is awesome! I never add anything to it and I brew usually to the full six minutes for the extra lemony goodness :D

Kittenna

I definitely feel like mine wasn’t as lemony as it should have been. That said, this was a one-cup sample from my first Butiki order, so had been sitting for a few months. Definitely wasn’t contaminated or anything, but could have lost some flavour.

Butiki Teas

I could always do a custom blend for you. This flavor should have no problem working with a white tea.

Kittenna

That is incredibly, incredibly tempting. I’m curious as to how much that would cost?

Butiki Teas

Since that type of blend would require ingredients I have, I could do a minimum of 2oz. Really depends on which tea you choose. I think the Malawi White Peony would be awesome for that since has some light sweet lime notes. Though the tea leaves take up a lot of space.

Kittenna

Ooh, that sounds way too doable… I’m dangerously close to managing to make a $75 order on my own even without this (and I keep forgetting my free ounce of tea, too!) Yikes! Would that work out to ~$25-30? I will get back to you…. O.o

Butiki Teas

Probably about $25, maybe less for the Malawi. Depends on which white tea though. Oh wow, that’s a lot of tea.

Kittenna

I know! I don’t need that much tea! It’s an addiction! I was thinking that if you thought the White Peony would be most appropriate, you would know best. I think I want to try Tangerine Creamsicle once more, but I think I’m addicted to the lemony flavour in GMS

Butiki Teas

GMS is my favorite guayusa. It helps me survive mornings. I think the White Peony would be good. The only issue is that I don’t think the leaves will hold the lemon rind but it would be pretty interesting.

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84

Haven’t had any of this one in a while, so opted for this to be lab tea #2 for the evening. I was craving a straight tea, and this fit the bill perfectly. I know, you’re saying “What?! But this is flavoured!” For whatever reason, the flavouring here comes off to me as so natural that for my palate, it is like a no-fuss straight tea, complete with the ability to be infused multiple times and retain its deliciousness. Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream is similar in this regard; clearly a flavoured tea, but works when I’m craving a straight tea. Probably to some degree has to do with a lack of weird/off-flavours which are frequently present in flavoured teas that are pretending to be something they are clearly not.

Anyways! This one was great tonight. The first infusion tasted mostly of toasty/milky coconut, the second was where the pouchong base started to peek through. Deeeeelicious. Hopefully I can get some more infusions in tomorrow. A big thanks to Rachel @ iHeartTeas for making portions of this one available without having to go through Golden Moon and pay exorbitant shipping (to Canada, at least)!

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

Does Golden Moon charge a lot for shipping to Canada?

Kittenna

IIRC, they did last time I looked. Either that or they didn’t ship to Canada at all. :(

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94
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
2831 tasting notes

Haven’t had this since sometime in July, when I gifted the remainder of my packet to my aunt, who quite liked it! Wanted a flavourful black (i.e. caffeinated) tea tonight, and a chai sounded perfect! Brewed up quite strong, with some milk and maple syrup (I have got to find some other sweetener… this is an expensive use for maple syrup, and the flavour is mostly lost!) Absolutely wonderful for in the lab (I mean, uh, sipping outside the lab door, in the hallway, because it’s against the rules to have food or drink in the lab…). Spicy, and strong (and sweet) and fabulous! I don’t even notice the smokiness anymore, but I’m sure I’d miss it if it wasn’t there! One of the best chais I’ve ever had, for sure!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Green Apple Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2831 tasting notes

Frankly, I’m too lazy to create a separate listing for my Madagascar Vanilla/Green Apple matcha cold almond milk latte blend from a couple days ago. it mostly tasted like apple anyhow (it had more vanilla, though), and was quite delicious! Sweetened it with a touch too much maple syrup. Pretty darn good!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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75

Backlog from Friday night.

I’ve heard pretty good reviews about this one, especially from a coworker, so was pretty excited to try it out! The dry tea is definitely VERY cocoa-y, so much so that the other ingredients are rather difficult to distinguish, coated in a layer of cocoa dust. I brewed it up in a filter with slightly larger holes than usual (i.e. not a Finum brew basket) to allow the cocoa to actually make it into the tea. As I’ve heard from other people, this looked like hot chocolate when brewed up, as it was brown and opaque, and smelled like cocoa and cinnamon. I can’t remember specifics, but it smelled pretty good!

Unfortunately, the taste wasn’t quite what I wanted. I liked the cocoa-y base, and the roasted mate worked well here (as in, it wasn’t overpowering, and surprisingly, also wasn’t banana-flavoured! See my other reviews of roasted mate for an explanation of that…) However, the cinnamon wasn’t quite right for me. Apparently I’m a bit picky on cinnamon in teas – I adore DT’s Glitter & Gold, but disliked Hot Lips, and I found the cinnamon here to be more on the “red hot” side than the warm, soft sort of cinnamon I prefer. I really don’t know what exactly the difference is, perhaps it’s artificial cinnamon flavouring vs. actual cinnamon? Or different types of cinnamon?

Either way, this wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really do it for me. Perhaps it could work quite nicely if sweetened, but I’d rather now. However, this is a great concept, using cocoa in a tea blend (especially with mate), and I hope another tea comes out using this same idea!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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96
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2831 tasting notes

So last night, I made myself a strong matcha latte to take to work and keep me awake while tediously grinding samples, and realized while I was making it that I actually hadn’t ever actually reviewed the caramel matcha! In spite of having drank it probably about 3 times (meaning there’s not much left in my packet, as I tend to make rather strong, large lattes when I do make one). I picked this matcha up for the obvious purpose of blending it with the Green Apple Matcha I already had received, to make caramel apple matcha lattes! This is the delicate flavouring, starter green matcha variety, which can be purchased here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html

The aroma of this one is nothing short of intoxicating. While the Madagascar Vanilla and Green Apple matchas smelled good, this one I swear I could sit there with my nose in the bag and sniff all day! I love caramel, and this definitely made me think of those little Kraft caramels I used to get trick-or-treating, that were soft and chewy but would stick to your teeth, coating your mouth in delicious caramel goodness… until they melted entirely and you had to pop another in your mouth. Anyways, I have to say I was by far the most excited to try this one, after smelling it! I used probably a solid 2-3 tsp of matcha, unsifted (I know, I’m learning that sifting is important! I did it yesterday but not with the straight caramel matcha), whisked into hot milk and then mixed with a generous portion of cold almond milk. The result? Absolutely amazing! Caramelly goodness (even without sweetener), and an aroma to die to for. What gets me the most is how I can nearly fool myself into thinking I’m eating caramels, when instead, I’m having a matcha latte containing almost no sugar. Awesome! Definitely will be purchasing more of this one!

Since I failed to keep up with writing tasting notes on all my matcha adventures (probably because I usually make matcha lattes before heading off either on a long drive or to work, and therefore am not at my computer while drinking it), I’ll summarize my caramel apple experience here as well. Unfortunately, my first attempt at blending caramel and apple together didn’t work quite as planned – I used equal amounts of each, and the green apple completely overpowered the caramel (which was unfortunate because if anything, I probably wanted it the other way around, you know, would you like some apple with that caramel??) The second attempt, with probably a 2:1 caramel:apple ratio was better, but I still didn’t manage to achieve what I wanted. That’s fine though…. this one’s pretty darn amazing on its own!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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90
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
2831 tasting notes

Ok…. I swear I’m reviewing this tea, brewing up a mate and making a matcha latte and going to work for at least a few hours, if not an all-nighter. Being a grad student sucks, especially when you promised your advisor you’d have all your samples ground by the end of September, only to realize that you still have 116 hours of grinding (at least!) left…. :(

Anyways! Enough whining. This sample was given to me by the lovely Sil during our awesome tea & pizza meetup a few weeks ago!

I honestly am not sure what to be expecting here, as I can’t recall reading anything about this tea. The aroma is a bit chocolatey, a bit “generic black”-y. Wow, is this ever smooth! Definite chocolate notes and… woah, there’s a sort of sweetness in here that I completely wasn’t expecting! A dark sort of sweetness, like with dark oolongs… intriguing. So chocolatey, kind of almost a… buckwheat honey sort of sweetness, and no astringency. This is my sort of black! I do wish there was a bit more chocolate (only because I love that flavour in black teas), but the sweetness more than makes up for it! Delicious! I’d definitely buy this one to drink again, this is pretty good! Thanks Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Butiki Teas

Did you notice some similar honey notes like the Gui Fei? Even though they are completely different tasting teas, both teas have similar honey notes. This is because for both teas leafhoppers are allowed to bite the leaves which initiates the plants healing process thereby producing honey notes.

Sil

Yay glad you enjoyed this one :)

Daniel Scott

Curious, what are you grinding?

Kittenna

Stacy – I’ll have to try the two side-by-side at some point, but yes, I would believe that the source of the sweetness is the same, just with the different, eh, tea-making process (to get black vs. oolong). It was quite tasty, and I quite liked it. I swear I’ve had teas before (Oriental Beauty?) that were leafhopper-bitten, but that lacked these qualities.

Daniel – Not as interesting as you think it might be, perhaps. I’m grinding freeze-dried asparagus samples, research for my Masters project. It’s 1pm; I’ve been up since about 2pm yesterday, and gave up grinding for the time being because I’m exhausted and my productivity had sharply dropped. Sigh…

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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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