3134 Tasting Notes

91

Another delicious mug of this yesterday. Thanks so much to Sil for figuring out that 2.5 minute steeps are what make 52teas taste delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Donna A

Wish I hadn’t run out-this is one I would re-order if they ever had it available again. Until Sil posted his helpful advice, I think I had steeped it a little too long, and though I liked it, I didn’t love it until I cut back on the time, and by then I didn’t have much left. I’ve thought about trying David’s Pumpkin Chai to see how it compares. I like S&V’s Pumpkin Pie Black quite a bit, but would like something for when I’m in the mood for more spice.

LiberTEAS

I had figured that out a long time ago. :)

Shmiracles

agreed! i over steeped today…learned my lesson! 2.5 min all the way!

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87

Drank some of this in the travel mug yesterday. I think I overleafed; it was way too strong. I think one of the keys with this tea is short infusions and not a ton of leaf; also, I don’t think the delicate flavours are robust enough for a travel mug (it really just tastes strongly of jasmine, and almost soapy).

Cavocorax

Hmm. I’d never even considered how a travel mug could influence taste. Interesting!

Invader Zim

Some travel mugs do. I have two stainless steel ones. One I used for flavored teas. The other for plain teas. They are similar to yixing where, even with washing, they have a tenancy to absorb flavors of teas that you had in previously. I have noticed that you can’t taste lighter teas very well in them. But if you use mostly black teas and then try to use a green tea…well you aren’t going to taste much green tea.

Mercuryhime

This is why I no longer use travel mugs or thermoses. Sad.

Cavocorax

Oh! I guess this will have to be for black teas then! :0 Now I know!

ashmanra

I have a fantastic travel mug. The tea is so hot, it is spill proof, has an infuser basket. But the truth is, more than half of the tea experience for me is the aroma, and when you are drinking from a small opening like that it is severely diminished. I don’t mind units teas in a Abel mug or thermos, but the good stuff really needs to be poured in a cup to me!

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83
drank Laoshan Genmaicha by Verdant Tea
3134 tasting notes

Quickie note as I’m at work and therefore should be working. This tea definitely doesn’t smell like a typical genmaicha… still toasty, but much more vegetal/seaweedy. I find the seaweedy part interesting because IIRC that’s not a flavour I associated with Laoshan Green. Granted, I think I only have the autumn and spring versions; perhaps the summer version has more of the marine notes. Anyhow, it’s in a Timolino, and I’m definitely tasting the toastiness, and although it still smells quite mariney, it doesn’t taste such. It’s good, but I’ll have to compare it against other genmaichas I have at some point! For now, tentative rating as it’s good but not mind-blowing (then again, it is in a travel mug).

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

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100

Okay, I’m at work and I took a sip from my Timolino (forgetting what was in it, of course), and I was all “what IS this?! It’s delicious!” And then I remembered that it was this tea. Holy delicious. I may like this one even more than Laoshan Black. Either way, it’s getting 100 for being so awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Donna A

Kittena, I love this one. It is my favorite Assam thus far.

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98

Honestly, I don’t know if this is the specific Laoshan Green I grabbed this morning… but I think so…

Anyways, I have sadly concluded that while this tea is amazing fresh, it is…. less than awesome after sitting in a travel mug for hours (unlike most black teas, which withstand sitting quite well). I had assumed such, but figured it was worth a shot. I did have a sip when putting it into the travel mug, so I know it did initially taste all delicious, vegetal and green beany, but it developed bitterness while sitting. Also, my one Timolino appears to be tainted with lemon (I blame Good Morning Sunshine!) and so it had the addition of lemon flavour as well, which was… interesting.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Creamy Nut Oolong by Teaopia
3134 tasting notes

I discovered that this one takes to a thermos quite well, so it had been added to the morning rotation. Luckily I still think that DavidsTea’s Salted Caramel and this tea actually taste eerily similar, so I suspect I can replace this with DT’s version once my bag is done (although I think this is one tea that Teavana did keep in their Canadian stores when they bought out Teaopia). Anyways, deeeeeelicious.

Plunkybug

They have kept this at Teavana as a Canadian Classic or something like that. I like it way better than salted caramel.

Kittenna

I have yet to compare the two side by side, to be honest, so I could be wrong about my recollection!

Plunkybug

Well, the two teas both have caramel in them, so there is some similarity, and the oolong of the creamy nut is a darker oolong more like a black, so another similarity I guess.

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94
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
3134 tasting notes

This week is a five-day series of sleep, starve/drink protein shakes while doing lab work until the wee hours of the morning, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. So no time for tea decisions, I’m sticking with the most easily visible. So, more of this guy. Still love it, and yes Sil, there will still be some left for you. It just might be in the original packet…. because the rest is all gone…

Claire

I feel you right now. I have a 10 pager on Twelfth Night and King Lear due on Monday and I keep thinking weird Shakespeare thoughts. Oh finals.

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
3134 tasting notes

I made the horrifying discovery earlier this week that I’m nearly out of Laoshan Black! I think I had only ordered 1 oz., and have been drinking it in my Timolino, which takes a double helping of leaves… and I just made a huge Verdant order. Argh. I guess I know how I’ll be spending my voucher!

Oh, and this was delicious as always. Still can’t believe that a straight black tea can taste this amazing.

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88
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
3134 tasting notes

Another failure from the boy’s house, although this one I did drink. It just tasted funky and off, but I’m certain the off flavour was related to the water. He has a Brita pitcher; I should replace the filter in it and use it (because who knows how long it has been there, haha!)

Looking forward to a proper cup of this soon! :D

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

Oh no, I hope you get to drink some tea with tasty water soon.

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98
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
3134 tasting notes

Brewed up at the boy’s house on Saturday… but I clearly did something wrong, as it wasn’t very good. Ended up dumping the cup. I suspect a combo of the water (unfiltered) and either too little tea or something wrong with my leaf:water ratio. Or perhaps temperature. So many variables! Ah well.

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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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