2970 Tasting Notes

75
drank Kenya Kangaita by Butiki Teas
2970 tasting notes

What was I thinking?! Nearly all the teas I brewed up tonight are black teas! Seriously, I’m an idiot. It’s already half past 4 in the morning… Anyhow, onto a tea I had yet to review!

The aroma of the tea is lovely, reminding me of a bagged tea but without the astringency and with a fair bit of richness (again, I need to work on descriptors for this particular aroma. It’s so common and I don’t know how to describe it!)

The tea is quite a bit milder and smoother than I was expecting, and tastes like…. figs?! Whaaaat? I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m tasting. Figs, like those from fig newtons, but a touch less sweet. Fascinating! I’ll admit that I didn’t have high hopes for this tea as I’m pretty picky about blacks, but this is both intriguing and quite delicious! Definitely drinkable sans additions, which is critical for me. I’m glad I finally brought this one out to try!

ETA: Second infusion (boiling/2.5 min) doesn’t have much flavour beyond that of a weak standard black tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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99

The addiction continues. I made yet another cup of this tea, this time first thing this morning (along with Mango Ice Cream). Unfortunately, I only have one travel thermos that is leakproof, and I was biking, so I had to choose which tea to take, and which to drink. So, Mango Ice Cream went into the thermos, and I attempted to gulp this one down before leaving, but one sip in, I realized that it was not going to happen. And then remembered my poor roommate upstairs studying for a midterm, and her newfound love of this tea…. and took it up to her (for which she was quite grateful!) Definitely picking up at least a couple pouches of this when it’s re-blended (yeah, I say when. It will happen if enough of us band together for it! :D)

Did I mention somewhere that second infusions of this one are pretty darn tasty too?

ETA: The third is too! But I suspect that’s it.

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

I’m making a thread/petition to have this added to his perm stock. I think this is needed all year round!

Sil

Heh ne of these days ill get to try it hah

Indigobloom

I’m setting aside my monies for this one now, so I don’t have an excuse when the reblend is announced!!

Kittenna

Sil, if you like genmaicha and marshmallowy vanilla flavours, you’d love this one :D

Indigobloom – yes, I’m pouncing on this one as soon as it’s available again. That’s what credit cards are for… (right?!) :P I was just wondering about something random – so the vanilla/cream flavouring in here is not a flavour that bugs you? It’s definitely different than in some teas that are flavoured. Just curious!

Sil

no clue if i like genmaicha. i’m sure i might have some somewhere here in the house…maybe….i just figured i might as well try this when it comes out again since if i hate it i can always tempt you with it for something else lol

Kittenna

Hahahahaha, I can just see you being all calculating… “ok, so if I buy some of this marshmallow treat genmaicha, maybe Kittenna will trade away her Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake to get it… hrrrrm…” :P

Sil

Ohhai! Totally didn’t think of that. Wonder if I can bribe frank to tell you he’s all out…..

Kittenna

Hahahahahaha. For both of our sakes, I hope he reblends both in the near future! The demand for both seems to be extremely high.

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84
drank Mango Ice Cream by 52teas
2970 tasting notes

Had a cup of this today courtesy of Azzrian! It was actually the only thing I consumed between breakfast and a very, very late supper (I was in the lab all day), so I’m glad it was as tasty as it was! A delicious, creamy, mildly fruity black tea. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a mango flavour at all, but an ice cream sort of creaminess was definitely present, and I really did enjoy the fruitiness! I wish that the mango was more present, though; that’s really my only complaint, but I thought that the base tea was fabulous – strong enough to hold its own but without overpowering the blend or causing too much astringency. This would be a 90s tea for me if only I could actually taste the mango… this is sadly not entitled “Vaguely Fruity Ice Cream” black tea. Delicious, just the same.

The second infusion (3 min, boiling) is a fairly smooth, perhaps slightly creamy black tea. Even less true to the name, but surprisingly tasty anyhow.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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48
drank Korean Sejak by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Split a pot of this with my roommate tonight. If someone had told me that I was drinking steeped seaweed, I would 100% believe them – this tea tastes salty, a bit sweet and umami, and very marine. It’s a little bit bitter at the end, but there was a lot of broken leaf in the package, so that could perhaps be the cause.

Honestly, although I adore sushi, and love seaweed, I really would prefer not to be drinking a cup of tea that tastes like seaweed as well. Give me a nice genmaicha with my sushi, thanks. And I’d rather have seaweed in dried snack form as opposed to beverage form. Certainly an interesting tea, but preferably one I won’t be drinking again!

ETA: Im sure this one would have re-steeped at least once ok, but we really didn’t care for it, so just ditched it.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Claire

I just drank some daejak and I must be a fan of drinking seaweed!

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

lol, got me thinking about dried seaweed snacks, then I thought of my favorite one being kimchi flavored, then thought of the idea of seaweed kimchi tea. Arggg, not for me (kimchi or not).

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95

Indulging tonight… yummmmm. I think I overleafed again (why?!) but it’s still delicious. Need to compare directly to Watermelon Xylophone at some point, but I think this one will come out the winner.

Note to self: use only 2 level teaspoons when filling the regular-sized (10oz. ish) mugs.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Ellyn

I always get stuck on the 6oz/cup or 8/0z cup issue for tea steeping instructions!!!!

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95
drank Buttercream by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Although I still have a cup’s worth of this left from Awkward Soul… I started in on my large baggie-ful from Robyn tonight! Thanks SO much for sending me so much of it… I should have at least enough for a few more cups, which makes me super happy!

I accidentally oversteeped this one a bit tonight (4.5 min), so can taste just a hint of bitterness, but it’s still delicious. I’m not sure what exactly it is with this one that works so well for me, but I love it. Absolutely wonderful. So creamy, and savoury, and sweet without being… sugary. Mmmm.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Ze_Teamaker

I just wish DT didn’t discontinue it. I would have bought a pound of the stuff….

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93
drank Strawberry Oolong by Butiki Teas
2970 tasting notes

… did I seriously only drink this tea twice before gifting it to my mother? Bleh. Well, I have Sil to thank for one more cup of this before I have to order more! This is just so floral and oolongy and delicious. Love love love!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
KeenTeaThyme

I love this one! I got it as a sample a bit ago and it’s one I really need to order asap. :)

Kittenna

Me too!

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81

This one’s possibly the last honeybush sample I have from Momo, thanks!

The aroma of this one is familiar, possibly from another 52teas blend, and not one that I particularly am smitten with. The flavour, however, is much tastier. I’m getting citrusy notes, and possibly pineapple, mixed with a creaminess that I can only guess is banana. I’m shocked! I was dreading drinking this cup as the aroma just wasn’t quite right, but the flavour is marvellous! The honeybush is also hardly present at all, which is nice; it just provides a solid base for the star flavours without adding too much of its own flavours.

Probably not a tea I’d purchase, but one I’d happily drink again! Yum!

ETA: Again, got a nasty smell upon putting the infuser basket into the hot water, but the result is a tasty lightly citrusy cup with no weird flavour/aroma. Decent enough!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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99

I’m thoroughly and completely addicted to this one. If I had less tea, I would seriously consider buying an entire pound of this one. Yeah, it’s that good. My roommate is so in love with it too. Just a perfect genmaicha, paired with excellent flavours. I really want Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha to come back too!

ETA: Second infusion is a lighter version of the first, still definitely worth the cup. I didn’t ask my roommate what she thought of the third infusion she drank last night… it smelled a bit weak to me.

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

I tried buying this when it came back! but my credit card screwed up and Frank was gracious enough to hold it for me… and then they screwed up again… now I’m sad. Sighs.

Azzrian

I missed out on it too – was broke at the time. Bummer.

Alphakitty

Ugh, I’d buy a pound of this too, it’s heaven!

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93
drank Coconut Chai by Zhena's Gypsy Tea
2970 tasting notes

Yep, this one’s still a great chai for drinking straight! The aroma is of a perfectly blended spiced chai, with a definite cardamom aroma being the most present, yet not overwhelming. In spite of the flavour being fairly light (although again, cardamom is the dominant flavour), this tea tastes full and rich, and deliciously creamy from the coconut, so unlike underspiced, watery chais, this one is very satisfying. Makes for a delicious evening cuppa. Thanks again Indigobloom! One of my fave chais for sure :D

ETA: Wow, I’m on the fourth infusion, and it’s more lightly spiced but still coconutilly creamy! Delicious! And wow, the fifth infusion is still creamy and coconutty! Crazy. This tea has some insane longevity.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Babble

WOW – that is some longevity on that tea.

Kittenna

Yeah! I really like it! I’m glad I still have enough left for a few cups, because otherwise I’d be desperate to find some.

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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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