2756 Tasting Notes

91

So… I did a Bad Thing today, and my mom and I went to DavidsTea. Turns out the one here has many of the online-only teas, so I picked up some Super Chocolate, and a few other teas I didn’t need….

Anyways! This was delicious as usual. Both parents seemed to like it. I remember how much I loved it. Glad I bought it :) Re-steep excellent as well.

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

Oooh! Lucky you!

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drank Narcissus Oolong by Culinary Teas
2756 tasting notes

Thanks to Alphakitty(?) for this one. Unfortunately, I must have done something wrong, because it had almost no flavour when I brewed it up. Literally, did not taste like anything, and I gave it three minutes. Oh well. Better luck next time!

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

Yup, this one is from me! I think this one needs a large amount of leaves per cup.

Kittenna

Yeah – it’s not like there was a bad flavour or something! I will try again. :D

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59

Another sample from Azzrian!

I did a crappy job of trying this one though, so will have to rate it another time, but it was an interesting flavoured black. I couldn’t quite place what I was tasting, kind of a nutty fruitiness. Not bad, but probably not a favourite either. I also don’t recall it being astringent.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Babble

I got a sample for Azzrian too that I’ve been meaning to try. It’s so interesting.. how can you not, right?

Kittenna

Yup! I think I need to brew it a touch stronger next time. And drink it before it has sat cold for a few hours!

Babble

Sometimes I like to drink things after they’ve sat cold just to see how differently they taste

Kittenna

I often end up drinking things that way – usually they taste better than when the tea is boiling hot!

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75

Sample from Azzrian! I think. Did I mention I’m in Saskatoon now? I brought a big grab bag of tea samples and am hoping I don’t mis-attribute things!

Anyhow. Brewed for 6+ minutes at about 185F. This is by far the best tasting guayasa blend I have tried – the combination of citrus and a bit of creaminess really works with the earthy guayasa. I can see myself drinking it again. On iPhone so having trouble rating, but I’d give this about an 81.

Also, mom liked this one. Not keen on flavored teas, but I told her it was natural. She’s really looking forward to the jasmines I brought!!

tigress_al

Saskatoon is so pretty with all the bridges, I miss living there.
I will have to try this with my next Butiki order!

Dylan Oxford

I’m kind of jonesing for a trip to Canada right now. A coworker of mine just came back from a bike trip to Banff National Park with some photos that were just unreal.

Kittenna

Dude, I’m not getting message notifications anymore!

Anyways, yeah, I love Saskatoon :D Rainy right now, but oh well! And Dylan – you totally should! Banff is wonderful. I haven’t been there in a while; need to go back!

Lynne-tea

Banff is really beautiful Dylan. The Miette Hotsprings are about 4 hours away in Jasper and they are awesome. Though – if you wanted to go for hotsprings in Canada.. I would check out any in BC (http://www.travel.bc.ca/features/hot-springs/). I may be biased, but they are amazing and there are always beautiful hikes and trails around.

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90

Shared with my parents this morning. Dad said it tasted like cat pee (I think he was half serious), but my mom enjoyed it. Tasty and vegetal for me, as always. 1min at 170F.

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec
Scatterbrain

That’s funny, I gave my mom some Dragonwell from Teavivre and she said it “tasted like piss”. My dad said it tasted like warm water. I try so hard to convert people but they’re rarely actually open minded about it. : /

Bonnie

You should have stoically asked dad which cat?

Invader Zim

That’s hilarious Bonnie!

LiberTEAS

What I would want to ask these people is how often they’ve actually tasted pee so that they could make that kind of assessment.

Azzrian

LOL!!!!!

Hesper June

Well, I worked as a veterinary assistant for 8 years, so…um, I guess I could offer myself a tie breaker in said discussions if it was seriously needed… :-)

Kittenna

My mom did ask my dad how he would know!!!! He conceded that he didn’t. Hahaha. I anticipate more interesting reactions in the future!

CHAroma

Hahahahahaaa!!! OMG, that’s hilarious! I guess he’s not a fan then, LOL!

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88
drank Xinyang Green Tips by Peony Tea S.
2756 tasting notes

Ahhhh! I wasn’t intending to try any of these samples today, but opened them to sniff, and this one just smelled delicious! I love green teas with this super vegetal aroma/flavour! Thanks Peony Tea and Derek Chew for these wonderful samples!

I carefully measured out what I thought was 5g of tea, and used 250mL of water at 80C.

The result is deliciously sweet and vegetal (exactly to my liking!), but unfortunately also rather bitter/strong. I probably should have known better; this happens to me too much! I will try with my standard 1.5 tsp next time, and will likely end up with something amazing. I did add another ~150mL of cold water to the tea (temperature isn’t important for me) and it’s much more drinkable watered down, but I think 2 min was also a bit too long. This tea reminds me quite a bit of Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver), both in the sweetness and the intense vegetal flavour. I have no idea as to the type/origin of that tea, so this gives me a bit of a clue as to what it could be. With that tea, I think I use 1 tbsp and steep for 30 seconds, resulting in a honey-sweet first infusion, and a more vegetal second infusion, so I feel like I can get the same out of this tea. Looking forward to it!!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Babble

Out of curiosity were you sent samples for free? Or were these samples that were included with an order?

Kittenna

These were for free, but it was a short-time offer limited to non-US residents. They wanted to figure out shipping times to other places.

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78
drank Fireside S'mores Tea by Teaopia
2756 tasting notes

This is a backlog from yesterday afternoon, when I made my first-ever visit to Teaopia! Picked this one up for 50% off, plus a couple other teas (not on sale).

I’ll need to write a proper review later, but in spite of this tea smelling pretty delicious (reminded me a bit of Creamy Nut Oolong, perhaps some of the same flavourings?) and being chock full of ultra-mini marshmallows, I hardly got any flavour from it. And I used a LOT of tea! And then used another 1.5 tsp because I couldn’t taste much. Very disappointing. I hope it was a taste bud issue. Either way, I have TONS to experiment with now….

(Ok, I just tried some of yesterday’s tea that was still in my Timolino, and it was better than I remember. So I have hope for next time, although I did use a LOT of tea for that infusion. And, the mini marshmallows left my infuser rather grungy, which was irritating to clean.)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I’ll give you some when we get together!!

tigress_al

Hmm that is odd. I have only tried it Once and though the flavour was light, it was certainly there!

CHAroma

I hope subsequent tastings are an improvement!

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81

Surprisingly, almost a lack of aroma with this one; I expected it to be along the lines of Pancake Breakfast. I feel like I’m getting that same smooth mouthfeel as with Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, but the maple is much more hidden. I’m only really catching a bit of flavour at the end of the sip, and it’s just kind of sweet-ish, so maybe more on the brown sugar spectrum than maple syrup. There is pretty much no astringency here though, which is lovely, so this is pretty nice to drink regardless. Definitely not a purchase though.

Thanks CHAroma!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Babble

Aww.. I was thinking about ordering this tea, but your review makes me think I would be disappointed with the lack of flavor like you are.

Kittenna

Yeah, I would definitely go for Pancake Breakfast over this one! But it could be that it’s old?

CHAroma

It’s a little on the older side, but I try to store my teas well. In my opinion, it didn’t have a ton of flavor to start with actually. I mean, it has flavor, just not a genuine maple & brown sugar oatmeal flavor. More like a generically sweet, yummy flavor. Still definitely worth drinking, but only because I no longer expect to drink it and taste what it’s titled.

Kittenna

Oh, no worries even if it is old, CHAroma! I know it came out a while back anyways :) Clearly I thought it wasn’t too bad though!

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67
drank Oatmeal Raisin Cookie by 52teas
2756 tasting notes

Ok, I must admit – it’s a little weird to see oatmeal pieces in dry tea! A new experience for me! Thanks for this one too, CHAroma!

The aroma is rather grapey with this one – yes, I know raisins are dried grapes, but they’re really two separate entities in my mind. So a grape aroma/flavour isn’t going to work when I’m supposed to be smelling/tasting raisin. Unfortunately, the flavour is also grapey, so this one definitely misses the mark; it’s definitely more of a grape black than anything. There’s also more astringency than I’d like. One thing I am noticing (or perhaps making up?) is a bit of a smoothness in the mouthfeel that I’m attributing to the oatmeal.

Overall, interesting tea to try, but not one I expected to like anyhow :)

Also, I think it’s because the ex loved my oatmeal raisin cookies (and I’m really stressed out right now) – I’m getting all stupid upset and missing him. Thought I was over it…. clearly not. Sigh.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Missy

Shall I spam pm you with millions of cute kitten links as a distraction?

Kittenna

I’d say yes except then I wouldn’t get my poster done either!!! :P I so shouldn’t be on here….

TassieTeaGirl

Totally agree on the mental sultana/grape split. They’re very different in taste, texture and looks, I definitely think of them as different! And that’s a very pesky ex to interfere with tea sampling! How rude.

CHAroma

How rude indeed! :P Sorry the tea was a bust. Lots of people feel the same way as you do about this one. Although it leans towards the grape end of the spectrum, I can still make myself think it’s raisin. ;)

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84

Yeah, I chose a bad time to brew up four new-to-me black teas from 52teas, since I brought them upstairs and promptly fell asleep for who knows how long. And I’m being a terrible grad student writing these notes up, because I have a TON of work to do on my poster, and am showing it to my advisor tomorrow… eeks! Anyways, this is another from CHAroma!

The aroma of this one is definitely mapley and good, and upon sniffing, I was brought to memories of maple syrup-laden pancakes, so there must be a pancake element in there that I’m also picking up (I’m not actually a pancake fan, so maple syrup doesn’t typically evoke such memories).

… I’m pretty impressed, to be honest. I’m getting enough maple to know it’s there (but nothing like Oh Canada! from DavidsTea, which is fine), and a bit of pancakiness, which I have NO idea how Frank did. And also? No real astringency. A pleasure to drink. I’m enjoying the base tea here, even though it’s not the fabulous new base everyone’s raving about. CHAroma – I’m not sure if you didn’t like this one or what, since you sent me the leftovers from your packet, but I’m kind of thrilled to have more than two cups of this one. I don’t think it’s one I’d buy, but I’m really enjoying it for what it is right now! And did I mention, this one’s also cold?? :P

Also, does anyone know if marigold petals/cornflower petals do anything other than make the dry tea pretty, and get hopelessly clogged in one’s infuser? I definitely love the look of them, and am just fine with them in blends in spite of the clogging thing, but I almost feel like I like (black) teas that contain them more than teas that don’t… but maybe that’s just coincidence.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
momo

Well the marigolds definitely aren’t for scents or taste, I learned the hard way today that they smell vile. I wouldn’t want to eat them based on that smell.

Kittenna

I like the smell of marigolds! Summer memories. :P

momo

I’m wondering if there are ones that smell better because these sure don’t. I always wondered why no bees seemed to go near them and today I understood!

Kittenna

Oh, it’s a weird smell. Like petunias have a weird smell. My mom always plants a marigold border along the edge of the garden. Apparently they’re supposed to keep slugs away (although that was only a problem in our first few years in Saskatoon, IIRC).

tigress_al

Those petals sure do look pretty though. I thought they had something to do with flavoring. This is another blend by 52teas that I really wanna try!

Missy

I always thought they were there to hold the flavorings and make the tea look pretty.

Babble

I’ve been hearing good things about this blend. I’ll have to give it a try when I get a chance.

Also, grad students represent!!! What are you going to school for? I’m about to finish my masters in Library Science.

Kittenna

Nice! I’m in Plant Agriculture in genetics/breeding :D

CHAroma

HAHAHAHAAA!!!! You really made me laugh! First off, I love this tea. I just had a second bag of it in my cupboard. So, I decided to give you the tea in the original packaging instead of transferring it all to a ziplock. (I also added a bit more tea from the new bag to make sure you got good flavor and not old, bland leaves).

As for the marigold petals, they do actually contribute to the taste, just not in a big, overwhelming, hey-I’m-in-here! kind of way. So basically, that makes them the opposite of hibiscus. I had to try lots of different teas with marigold petals in them to really be able to pick that out apart from the other flavors. It’s hard for me to describe what it tastes like exactly, but it does contribute to the overall flavor of the tea.

Kittenna

Ahhh, I getcha :) Thanks for that! I’m all for sending tea in the original packaging to save on plastic bag waste, if it’s possible!

I’ll keep trying teas with marigold petals to see if I can pick out what flavour they contribute!

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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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