2606 Tasting Notes

88
drank Creamy Nut Oolong by Teaopia
2606 tasting notes

Picked up my Teaopia order from Purolator today because apparently they wanted a signature (boo!) But…. I got it! Yay! Starting off with the tea I was most excited about, based on Steepster reviews. The other teas are mostly herbals for icing.

In the bag, this one smells quite caramelly and nutty. Just like dessert! Mmmmmm… It’s pretty similar when steeped, with a bit of a woody aroma (bark, stick-like??). Maybe that’s the oolong? The flavour is pretty bang on though, nutty and creamy, with a lovely aftertaste of oolong. I know this one’s loaded with artificial flavour, but I’m really liking it! Yay Steepsterites for good reviews that convinced me to buy this tea! Yum… definitely want another cup of this tonight. I feel like this is a good one to curb those dessert cravings.

ETA: Oh creamy nut oolong, there is just something about you that is so freaking delicious. Second infusion loses a bit, but is still hitting the mark for me. 2 minute infusion at 90C this time. Yum. I’m not sure the creamy nut flavour will last for a third, just the woody oolong base, I’m suspecting. (Got a good half third infusion and fourth infusion.)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

this was one of my gateway teas!! <3

Kittenna

:/ I’m so addicted – I’m drinking these other teas and all I want is this one!! Hahahaha. I wonder if it’s good with sugar… picked up some rock sugar from Teaopia as well (and cracked it open… it’s tasty! Ack!)

tigress_al

I find this one very comforting

Indigobloom

I imagine sugar would enhance the caramel. Yumm!

Kittenna

Struggling with the desire to buy more of this one ASAP since I suspect it won’t be around for much longer… but at the same time I DO NOT need more tea!! Such a dilemma…. :(

Indigobloom

LOL I feel ya girl!

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55
drank Strawberry Lemonade by iHeartTeas
2606 tasting notes

I cold brewed about 2 tbsp of this in 2 cups of water in the fridge overnight.

The taste is somewhat tart and berry-like. The tartness is definitely moreso of the lemony variety and not hibiscus, which would probably make a lot of people happy! Unfortunately though, I’m tasting the medicinal rooibos flavour that I’m not a big fan of, and that’s kind of ruining it for me. It’s still drinkable though, so anyone who doesn’t have that same association with rooibos would probably love it! Still need to try it hot before completely giving up though.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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69
drank Strawberry Island by iHeartTeas
2606 tasting notes

The aroma is of a malty, slightly sweet black tea with a hint of fruitiness. It’s not discernible as strawberry to me, particularly.

The flavour is malty and creamy, and the fruitiness comes out at the end of the sip, so it’s definitely a lightly flavoured tea. There’s also delicious creaminess at the end of the sip. Again, I’m not particularly picking out strawberry, but it does taste like a berry sort of fruitiness. My short steep time avoided too much astringency (there’s just the slightest touch), so I would definitely recommend going with a short time with this tea.

Overall, it’s tasty and I love the creaminess, but I do wish there was more strawberry flavour (as with the Raspberry Apricot Green Tea Delight, however, I may be experiencing issues with Mango ‘n Friends being so sweet as to have temporarily contaminated my taste buds). I personally think it would be enhanced with some freeze-dried strawberry pieces though.

Overall a tasty tea and I will finish my sample, but probably not one I’d want an entire package of as my preference for flavoured blacks leans towards stronger flavours (but the base and creaminess here are fantastic). Thanks for sending along a sample of this one, Rachel!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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84

The dry tea smells fruity with a metallic twinge of sencha. I’m not a big fan of green teas with that flavour, so hoping it doesn’t carry over into the flavour.

Whew, there’s no astringency or bitterness, so the metallic aroma mustn’t be linked to those (it was in my mind). Cannot put into words how relieved I am about that – so many times with green blends I’m getting unpleasant flavours from the sencha. Initially I’m mostly tasting sencha, which is pleasant enough, but not what I want. I think the flavours are coming out in the aftertaste, but I feel like I have too much fruitiness going on in my mouth right now to pick them out. I’m also drinking this warm/hot (unusual for me), and I’m wondering if the flavours will come out better when it’s cooled…. only problem, I’m not sure the tea’s going to last that long. I’m enjoying the pleasantly fruity, buttery sencha regardless.

Ok, I’m giving this one a temporary rating because I’m enjoying it whether or not I can taste raspberry or apricot (can’t pick out either right now). I expect that another time, when I try this cooler and with an untainted palate (I’m blaming Mango ‘n Friends here), the rating will be upped. I’m also interested to try this iced and cold-steeped. Haven’t cold-steeped a flavoured green before (other than DavidsTea’s Lime Gelato, which hardly has any green tea in it to begin with).

ETA: Resteep, 175F/2 min is similarly of buttery sencha, albeit weaker.

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

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85
drank Sweet Velvet Fog by iHeartTeas
2606 tasting notes

Received yet another package of tea today… this time it was my order from iheartteas.com!! Exciting! I ordered a few of Rachel’s custom blends (and some Golden Moon Coconut Pouchong), and am trying to make some good headway on trying everything this evening, even though I should be sleeping/working on things (but I’m so stressed out all I can do is post mindlessly on Steepster… thank goodness it’s working again!)

The aroma of this one is pretty familiar, steeped. Luckily, it’s familiar in a good way. Malty and caramelly/vanilla-y. I can see why someone (is it Angrboda???) is questing for the perfect vanilla black. So decadent.

With 3.5 minutes of steeping, I’m getting more astringency than I would like, yet the tea’s a bit weak. I think I may have overdone the water a bit, and should drop the infusion time down to 3 minutes. However, in spite of the astringency I can taste some really nice caramelly/creamy notes. Definitely looking forward to my second attempt! During which I should also brew up some of 52teas’ Pot O’ Gold and Market Spice’s Rum Butter for comparison. No need to have a plethora of similarly-flavoured teas in my cupboard.

In spite of the astringency, I’m definitely enjoying this cup of tea – it’s nearly gone already. It’s tempting to add some milk and sugar, but I think that would ruin me for drinking flavoured blacks without! Nom nom. Off I go to brew up another new tea before I toodle off to bed for the evening.

ETA: 199F for an accidental 6.5 minutes is surprisingly not astringent. Obviously not as flavourful as I’d like, but worth the second round :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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84

Steepster is so lonely… there are hardly any notes on my dashboard between the notes I managed to post last night, and the one I’m posting now. So few it only took me a couple minutes to get through. So sad :(

Cold-brewed the rest of my sample of this one overnight in a cup of water. It is so crazy sweet it’s ridiculous. I highly doubt this is a calorie-free tea. It’s almost too sweet, actually. Anyhow, it’s pretty good iced, but there’s a lingering bitter flavour that I am not enjoying. It’s possible that it’s from the orange slice in the mix, but I’m not sure. Turns me off a bit; although this one is ok, I don’t think it will make a reappearance in my cupboard. But thank you again for giving me the chance to try it, Azzrian!

Side note: the fruit somehow still tastes quite sweet! So I ate some :D Usually cold-brewing sucks everything out, but not this time apparently!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Lynne-tea

I think the lack of notes is due to the extremely slow Steepster =(… Soon enough I will be writing notes up a storm. Just you wait!

Kittenna

Yeah, I was assuming that was why. I obviously neglected to say that though. :) I’m hoping everyone is still logging everything, just offline! (I’m glad it’s working pretty well right now… knocks on wood )

Missy

I haven’t posted for a while because of the issues. Loading is a problem and steepster loses some of the things I have tried.

Alphakitty

The name “Mango N’ Friends” makes me think that this tea should be accompanied by a kicky theme song and cartoony fruit companions.

Missy

Lol alpha I totally agree!

Kittenna

Hahaha, I agree! I definitely have been imaging little cartoony orange slices with limbs and eyes dancing around :D

Kittenna

@Missy – I don’t think I’ve lost any posts, but I have lost comments that failed to post. And a lot of people’s comments are being double/triple-posted. Sigh.

Bonnie

I think the double triple posts are echo’s from yelling into the Steepster canyon! Hellllooooo your dowwnnnn againnnnn!

Bonnie

ok you’re

Bonnie

ok you’re

Bonnie

see it did it…I’m not kidding…I did not do that! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Bonnie

see it did it…I’m not kidding…I did not do that! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Bonnie

It’s you! You’re jinxed!

Bonnie

It’s you! You’re jinxed!

Kittenna

Hahahahahahahaha, holy crap that’s bad! I don’t know why it’s happening; I’ve noticed it happening to you a lot Bonnie, but it has happened to me as well, and Rachel sent me a message in triplicate earlier today. Poor Steepster.

Bonnie

(Maybe it’s you Krystaleyn!)

Indigobloom

I know I’ve stopped posting everything I try… It’s just so frustrating :/

Ninavampi

Same issues here??? Steepster come baaaaack!

Dinosara

I’ve been out of town again, so that’s my story.

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The aroma of the dry leaf is very grassy, like freshly-cut grass. The flavour is… awwww I screwed this one up too :( It’s sharp and astringent, definitely on the grassy side. I obviously used a bit too much leaf or infused a touch too long (probably the former, I used 1.5tsp instead of the recommended 1). It’s not terrible, but clearly could be better. Guess we’ll see what infusion two brings, although it looks like I won’t get to that tonight, and my experience with fresh greens is that they don’t do well the next day… so it might be a second freshly-brewed first infusion that I rate, now that I think about it.

Thanks for the sample, LiberTEAs!

ETA: Second infusion (170F/1:30, the following evening) is nothing too special. I don’t know if it’s lingering flavours in my mouth, or the fact that the tea sat for a day, but it’s not great. I will definitely have to give this a good second attempt later.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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45
drank Songyang White by Verdant Tea
2606 tasting notes

Bugger, I screwed this one up. 45 seconds was too long of an infusion for the amount of leaf I put it, but I wasn’t getting enough aroma to tell me to pour it out sooner. It’s not bad, but there’s quite a bit of astringency. I can taste some sweetness and am certain there are some great flavours lurking in there, but I can’t taste them right now. Oh well! My bad. Perhaps the second infusion will work out better.

ETA: Second infusion (205F/1:30) was accidently steeped too long; I’m not expecting much. Ewwww, ok, it tasted like rot. Clearly a consequence of sitting overnight. Can’t believe I’ve failed this tea quite so badly. Oh well, another day.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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86

Comparing this one to Market Spice’s Rum Butter, this one is a little sweeter and more candy-like in aroma. Sniffing it, I am also reminded of some of DavidsTea’s rooibos blends. Not sure if it’s a flavouring association (although in this case, hopefully, since the bases shouldn’t be similar!).

Flavourwise, it’s a bit astringent, but sweet and rummy-tasting. There is coconut in this one, and it does come through a bit – perhaps that’s part of the flavour association? I should compare this to coconut cream pie as well. Haven’t had that one in a while since my bad experience one day in the field (using uber crappy field station water), which turned me off all teas I had that day (Malted ChocoMate, Jane Austen Mafia, Coconut Cream Pie, Blueberry Rooibos).

Although this is an unintended comparison, in terms of a desserty flavoured black, I think I liked 52teas Pot O’ Gold better than either of these. And although this one is sweeter and more desserty, the base of Rum Butter is definitely more appealing. My choice however, might be Pot of Gold… (I should do a direct comparison with Rum Butter though, as those two are the most similar. I guess it’s because of the butterscotch flavouring being pretty similar to buttered rum). So, bonus for coconut haters!

Another downside of this one is more oily scum on the top – Rum Butter barely had any. It’s possible that it’s due to the coconut flakes, though.

Second infusion (96C/5min): tastes a bit sweet/buttered rummy, but not a lot of base tea. Not bad, not great.

Dropping the rating here; I had it quite high but really wasn’t enjoying it as much as I apparently had previously.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

I have been cold brewing this one (warm brewing in all honesty) and I find the creaminess comes out really well that way.

Kittenna

Warm brewing?? Do explain!

Lynne-tea

Haha just using lukewarm to a bit warmer water. I dont measure the temp exactly, but definitely around 60-70*c I would say and let it sit for a while… Then put it in the fridge after 30 min. I just find I get so much more flavour and creaminess out of the coconut

Kittenna

Interesting. I should try it!

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82
drank Rum Butter by Market Spice
2606 tasting notes

Missy & Dylan sent along a sample of this one so I could compare it to DavidsTea’s Buttered Rum, which I got around to doing last night. Thanks guys!

The aroma is malty and rummy, with a hint of butteriness mixed in. The flavour is very much a malty tea, but I can definitely taste the alcohol flavour with a hint of sweetness. There’s clearly less flavour than in Buttered Rum – after drinking it, this one just tastes like a malty tea. The base tea here is far superior though. Although I can drink this easily without adding milk and sugar, I suspect they’d amp it up a little. Also, it reminds me of 52teas Pot O’ Gold from earlier in the night… similar base tea, maybe?

Second infusion (96C/5min): Not a lot of flavour; it is now mostly just a weak, malty black tea with a bit of rummy sweetness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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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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