2831 Tasting Notes
So I did a Bad Thing again today, and stopped in at DavidsTea after hitting the gym… because there were ~9 or so teas I hadn’t tried and was dying to! Soooo now I have six cups of tea sitting here to review (!!!!) and they’re all cold, because I got distracted by an hour long phone call with the boy! Hazards of longish-distance dating, I suppose! Good thing I like cold tea.
This one’s first up, and the only one I intentionally bought more than 10g of, because it’s so heavy. The aroma of the dry tea reminds me quite a bit of DT’s Carrot Cake (which I didn’t mind, unlike many people), so it’s kind of sweet-ish and nutty, and if I sniff hard I can pick out banana.
I would like to sincerely thank those people who’s tasting notes I read beforehand who warned me not to use a difficult-to-clean infuser basket because wow, does this tea ever make a sticky mess! I used my ForLife all-metal filter, which is so much easier to clean than my Finum baskets. This tea brews up to quite a light colour, which I wasn’t really expecting, and the aroma is kind of banana-y (although it’s cold, so that might be unfair).
The flavour is quite sweet, nutty, and definitely banana-y. It’s also quite smooth (I’d attribute that to the banana) and if I try, I can imagine that I’m drinking a liquefied piece of banana bread. So overall, I think this tea is pretty successful! Unfortunately (well, kind of fortunately, I suppose!), I’m not the biggest fan of banana bread, so although I’m enjoying this cup, it’s not a tea I’d purchase again. I’ll enjoy the second cup that the rest of my 20g gives me (I was heavy on the leaf and made a larger-than-8oz cup). Also, I am getting just a bit of a chemically flavour from the tea. Not too strong, and not uncommon, but it is there.
Ummm… so for the first time, I’m guilty of not remembering who gave me this tea! I think it was Indigobloom? But there’s a small chance it was Sil. Thanks, whoever! :D
Anyways! Felt like a pick-me-up this morning, and some black teas seem to upset my stomach a bit (or at least the thought of drinking anything astringent/bitter is offputting), and I saw this baggie sitting around and figured, why not! I’m having a lazy morning inputting work data at home after an AMAZING night last night seeing Wicked (OMG!!!) with the boy.
I only saw gongfu-style instructions for this tea on Verdant’s website, so opted to go with a slightly modified version. I used my whole little baggie of leaves (so maybe 3 or so grams) with probably a bit less than 8 oz. water, and bumped up the infusion times a little from the recommended 10 seconds.
First infusion (20s, somewhere near boiling): I’ve not had much success with the darker oolongs from Verdant, so wasn’t sure what this first infusion would leave me with. The wet leaves in the brew basket smelled quite strong and almost burnt, so I was a bit worried! Luckily, however, for no reason! If anything, this is a little weaker than I would have liked, but is an absolutely lovely oolong! A bit sweet, creamy, and characteristically woody. Quite delicious!
Second infusion (15s, approx boiling): Unfortunately I didn’t save any of the first infusion to test this one against, but it tastes similar, only perhaps a bit stronger, more creamy and flavourful. There’s perhaps a bit more creamy honey sweetness this time.
Hopefully I get to a few more infusions later in the day! I think I’ll try 30 or 45s next to see what I can coax out of these leaves.
Thanks again, sample-giver! :P
ETA: Third infusion (near-boiling, 45 seconds) – I’m drinking this one cold, and got a interesting chocolatey flavour from it. Pretty tasty. Fourth infusion (near-boiling, 1 min) isn’t that great to me. Perhaps it needs a longer infusion. Nice oolong aftertaste, but the rest is rather lacking.
Thanks to Della Terra Teas for a generous sample of this tea! It’s absolutely loaded with coconut, which got me pretty excited – hoping it tastes as good as I expect!
Although this tea contains almond, I wasn’t expecting the aroma that I got when opening the bag, which was very amaretto-y/sweet, like marzipan. I was anticipating more of a nutty aroma. Steeped, the tea smells quite similar. At this point I was pretty worried that it would just taste much like DavidsTea’s Amaretto, which I just gave away to my now ex-roommate as it really wasn’t a favourite. However, the coconut and the black tea base really transform the amaretto flavour into tasting much more like a macaroon. I almost feel as if the black base here tastes more like a dark oolong, solid and a bit bakey, which works perfectly. At three minutes, there’s not a hint of astringency or bitterness. The coconut adds a significant dose of amazing creaminess – probably the most deliciously coconutty tea I have tried!
The only downside is that I used 1.5 tsp for about an 8 oz. cup and kind of wish the tea would be a bit stronger – I suspect I’m finding it a touch weak simply because much of the volume is taken up by coconut, which adds creaminess but not a lot of depth, a quality provided moreso by the black tea. Might try a longer infusion or more tea next time, since I have at least enough tea for 4 or so more cups!
ETA: Re-steep in less water (5 min, near boiling) isn’t great. Kind of creamy, a bit chocolatey. Not even much almond. Definitely wouldn’t hold up to a third.
Haven’t had office tea in ages! But it’s time for some computer work, so lucky me :) I think I oversteeped this one a little today, but it was still pretty tasty. I’m so spoiled now at home with a thermometer and filtered water! Yum! I had better get tea-drinking if I want to be able to justify going out and picking up the 10+ new teas from DT that I have yet to try!
Crazy. Three teas I’m the first to review! Perhaps I should see which others I can be first at reviewing, too! :P
This tea is composed of these adorable little stars that during steeping, swell up into mini flower-like things. So cute! It’s also nice and easy to measure out the appropriate amount, which is convenient.
I’m not getting much aroma from the tea, if anything just a bit of sweetness. The flavour is a sweet, light green tea, not really like any I’ve had before. The sweetness is kind of caramelly and delicious, which is quite nice, but the biggest bonus here is how incredibly smooth the tea is. No astringency or bitterness at all. Unfortunately, I’m tasting just a touch of what’s coming off as soapiness here; it shouldn’t be the cup nor the infuser, as the infuser previously held Spring Twist and was not washed with soap in between, likewise with the cup. It’s not terribly strong though. I do wish the tea was a bit stronger, so next time will probably try 7 stars instead of 5 in my ~8-10 oz. cup.
Definitely a tea with potential, but it has no chance against the two Butiki oolongs I tried recently, which were amazing.
Woah, another Butiki tea that I’m the first at reviewing?! Strange!
Anyhow, in the mood for an oolong tonight. Had some fun making rice krispie squares with the boy tonight (oh, what an adventure! He topped them with not only M&Ms, but butterscotch chips, and then chocolate “drizzle” (AKA blobs). And somewhere in there we thought it would a good idea to put the squares under the broiler to melt the butterscotch chips, and ended up toasting the whole thing… oh boy!) and now am trying to pack quickly for our weekend at “the cottage”! Hopefully fun! Either way, it all meant I wanted an oolong. Yep.
Sorry Stacy – I completely forgot about the updated brew parameters you sent me, so just went with what was on the bag (I tested it though and definitely didn’t screw up, so no worries)! Anyways, in the bag, this smells fairly nondescript. By aroma I probably would have thought it was a vegetal green, or green oolong.
Brewed up, there’s a bit of a sweetish smell, no, more than a bit, and it’s also a bit oolongy. A little green, a little toasty.
The flavour of this one though? AMAZING, GUYS! Rich and honey-sweet, with perhaps a hint of toastiness, yet a green oolong sort of quality to it too. It reminds me of the Gui Fei Oolong I had from Butiki a couple days back, at least in terms of the type of sweetness, but it’s lighter here, and the woody dark oolong flavour is notably absent. This is another one, though, where I’m nearly at the bottom of my cup before even finishing my review, which is a very good sign. At a four minute infusion, there’s just a hint of an astringent, drying characteristic at the end of the sip, enough to make me contemplate trying a slightly shorter infusion, although if it were to cost me in sweetness, it wouldn’t be worth it.
Anyways! I’m no oolong expert or anything, but this one’s another delicious, no-fuss oolong, in my opinion. While Verdant’s darker oolongs are definitely amazing, I find them to be a touch more finicky when brewing, which is not a problem here.
Also to note: I probably used more than the 1 tsp of tea recommended here. Probably closer to 1.5 tsp. So, fewer cups from the small bag, but that’s ok. Still far cheaper than a beverage from Starbucks, or Tim Hortons, even!
Er…. so when I pulled the infuser basket out of this one, the aroma I got made me think of tomato. Like, tomato soup. Or V8 juice. Very strange. It makes me quite apprehensive to try this tea…
Circumstances resulted in this tea completely cooling before I got to try it, oops. It still smells like a herby, brothy tomato soup. So strange. The flavour is… like sweet-ish, herby tomato water. Uh oh got this impression in my head and it won’t go away! I can recognize some cinnamon in the flavour, but that’s about all that I can pick out.
Oh man. Totally just realized that it smells vaguely like autoclaved contaminated LB medium (for those of you in sciencey fields)! Combined with V8-containing media that was used in a lab down the hall from mine once upon a time. That was not a good association to have made. I think I’m doomed with this cup. I did drink it; it’s palatable, but not a tea I think I’d want to drink again. I see it has been discontinued though, so I guess people won’t be drinking it again!
I was a bit skeptical of the five minute infusion time with this one, but went with it… hopefully it won’t bite me! I used ~1.5tsp in ~8oz. water. The aroma is of a light, creamy-ish chai. Of course, I have the second infusion of the potent Coconut Chai from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea sitting next to me, so it’s difficult to say if it’s truly a light aroma, or just comparatively.
First impression is that this is quite a light chai, perhaps ever watery. However, the spices kick in a bit after the initial sip to help things along. I can definitely taste the creaminess in the tea, whether from the coconut or flavouring, and it’s enjoyable. I must say, this tea is growing on me the more I sip it. It definitely doesn’t need milk or sweetener (I don’t think it would hold up to milk, personally), and that’s a big plus in my book.
Overall, it’s a reasonable chai, and I’m happy enough to be drinking it, but especially after the other aforementioned chai incarnation, it probably won’t win a spot in my tea cupboard (and by cupboard we mean assorted collection of cardboard boxes stashed under my desk so the boyfriend doesn’t think I’m a total crazy!)
I’m wishing that I had ordered the mate or rooibos version of this tea, just for curiousity. However, I did not, and I’m on an indefinite tea-purchase hiatus since I have not been drinking much tea at all lately, and may not do so until this darn Masters degree has been completed.
ETA: Drank the rest after it had cooled, and this is not a weak chai, for sure! Not super strong, but definitely has a spicy kick. I read the other reviews, and can see where the coconut isn’t outstandingly obvious, however I do believe that the creaminess in this tea that makes it drinkable without sweetener/milk is in part due to the coconut. I could be wrong, but I don’t drink too many chais straight as I find the spices simply too overwhelming, with a base that’s too astringent. Not a problem, here!
Absolutely delicious. My roommate (who is leaving me in two days :( ) wanted to have tea with me tonight, so I was scouring my rooibos/honeybush blends and came across this one. Too precious to let her have a cup of it, but I had some myself (she had Alpine Punch and loved it, so I don’t feel bad!)
Why on earth do I have this rated so low?! Dessert in low-cal beverage form!