2880 Tasting Notes

90

Finally getting around to a sample from Sil! Thanks for letting me try this one! (Backlog from Tuesday morning.)

The aroma is deliciously malty and cocoa-y, reminiscent of Laoshan Black (not exactly surprising, of course). The brew is quite light, and quite delicious! Primarily, I’m tasting the bready, malty, cocoa-y notes of the Laoshan Black, but it’s definitely a lighter on these notes than if it was straight Laoshan Black. I can’t really identify much else, though. The silky-smooth, thick texture of the tea is also quite appealing.

The second infusion (2 min at ~96C) is a bit sweeter and still cocoa-y and light, although I’m catching just a bit of astringency at the end. However, this is still a cup that I think I could drink quite happily in the morning – neither my stomach nor tastebuds seem to like astringent or bitter teas in the morning, so this would be perfect! Perhaps I’ll get to a third infusion tomorrow – I feel like the leaves definitely aren’t done yet.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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84

Brewed this one up this morning, but honestly can’t say too much about it, as I apparently didn’t drink it until just now (and green tea does not retain flavour terribly well). All I can say is that it’s a tasty green beany/vegetal sort of green, just what I love!

I re-steeped the leaves tonight, for 2.5 min at ~180F, and am getting a somewhat bitter yet surprisingly palatable, caramel-ish brew. Once I figured out what it was, I actually started to enjoy it! (I couldn’t remember what was in all the cups I brought up tonight.) Looking forward to a proper review and cup of this one in the future!

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

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82

Stacy was kind enough to pass along with my last order a sample of the Watermelon Dragonwell that she concocted prior to the creation of Watermelon Xylophone, as I was quite interested in the idea!

The aroma of this one dry was a bit difficult to discern, as the packet was located next to the packet of Cider Guayasa (which smells absurdly good!), so that’s all I could smell. However, once out of the packet I could smell a bit of sweet fruitiness.

Unfortunately, as is typical of me, I brewed up a bunch of teas and forgot about them for a couple hours, so this one is cold now… however I’m rather enjoying it! The dragonwell is light and a kind of green beany flavour, but I can still taste a melony flavour lurking in the background, and unlike with Watermelon Xylophone, it’s coming off a bit more like watermelon than cantaloupe! It’s been recommended that this tea be tried with some rock sugar to bring out the watermelon, so attempt #2 will involve that, but I wanted to taste it on its on first. I’m intrigued by the idea of blends with green teas that lean more heavily toward vegetal as opposed to seaweedy/brothy notes, and this one seems to indicate that it would be possible and tasty to make such a blend! I think the tea would definitely be better with stronger flavouring, but as that wasn’t really an option, it was probably best to go with a white tea, but I enjoy this regardless.

Thanks so much for the sample, Stacy!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Butiki Teas

You’re quite welcome. I do intend on flavoring dragonwell at some point. With what is really the question. I’m thinking maybe some type of citrus.

Alphakitty

Ooh, citrus dragonwell sounds delicious! Maybe yuzu? (okay, I just want more yuzu teas haha)

Butiki Teas

I don’t think I’ve ever had yuzu. What does it taste like?

Alphakitty

Yuzu is kind of like a cross between lemon and grapefruit, but with a really unique taste that’s hard to describe exactly. It’s my favorite citrus, but there don’t seem to be a lot of teas flavored with it.

Butiki Teas

Huh, that sounds interesting.

Alphakitty

It is! Lots of Japanese candies are yuzu flavored, you can probably find some if you have an Asian market nearby.

Kittenna

Sounds delicious!! As long as the citrus is a fruity flavour and not a peel flavour. I dislike how citrus peel is used to flavour so many things. Ick!

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76

Wow, this is better than I expected! The rooibos is nicely tamed, and I’m tasting some banana, but less chocolate than I would like (although it is definitely there!) If you’re looking for a desserty tea, this would probably fit the bill, but it’s not quite as banana-y or chocolatey as the name would suggest. Getting a bit of throat scratchiness from the rooibos though, which seems to be a common issue with me. This is a nice blend for the evening, but not something I’d stock up on.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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98
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
2880 tasting notes

Accidently brewed this one for over 8 minutes, my bad! However, it doesn’t seem to have suffered! It’s just a toasty oolong, with… wow, a super sweet flavour that reminds me strongly of an ice wine I had recently. Like, very strongly of this ice wine. So delicious! Oh man. I’m drinking this one waaaayyyyyy too quickly now. I suspect I won’t get a second infusion this fabulous, but this is absolutely delicious!!

Wow. I can definitely see myself picking this one out again when I’m looking for a darker tea that isn’t a black but has lots of flavour! Too many times I’ve found darker oolongs to either be super finicky, or lacking in flavour. This is neither!

I just realized I’m the first person to review this one?! Seriously!? C’mon, people!

ETA: Second infusion, not sure how long I let this one go, is still pretty tasty, but not nearly as intense in the syrupy ice wine flavour. There’s a bit of astringency, perhaps, coming out (but it may have been a very long infusion, again), but it’s still very delicious, and the aftertaste remains that delicious sweet ice wineyness. Hopefully I’ll get to #3 tomorrow. This tea definitely hit the spot tonight! Exactly what I wanted, apparently!

ETA again: Third infusion, 180F for 5 minutes, is more your generic sort of woody oolong flavour. Nothing wrong with that, and it’s still quite flavourful, but I definitely enjoyed the first two infusions much, much more. I may try for a fourth tomorrow if time permits.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more
Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

ooooooh, tastes like ice wine? I’m all over that! /adds to shopping list

Kittenna

It was crazy! It was initially that typically woody oolong flavour, but then there’s a huge rush of delicious sweetness that yeah, was bang on the mark for ice wine for me. It may need a long infusion to be like this, I’m not sure!

Butiki Teas

Wow, I can’t believe that survived 8 minutes. How accurate would you say our description of the tea is based on the 8 minute steeping? Hmmm, maybe I should try a long steeping to see what it tastes like.

Kittenna

I was shocked, to be honest! It would have gone into the cup at 180F, and stayed there for about 8.5 minutes. Not sure what the temp was when I removed it, but it was fabulous! I think the honey notes were intensified by such a long infusion, and there was definitely no astringency. I’m terrible at picking up specific flavours, so I’m not sure about almonds/apples. It was very, very good though!

Kittenna

I’ll have to try the tea with the recommended infusion time and compare :)

Indigobloom

makes me think this might be good cold brewed :P

Kittenna

Possibly! I don’t have a ton of it so may not try that since it’s so good this way.

Sil

apparently you need more teas that let you make them and be distracted cough

Kittenna

I am innocent!

Butiki Teas

Very interesting. I’m going to try this at a long infusion.

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62
drank Peach Oolong by Butiki Teas
2880 tasting notes

Brewed some of this up last night, and made the unfortunate mistake of putting it in my plastic travel mug, which I now am certain is giving off a soapy flavour. It last happened with my Yogurt Strawberry tea from Tsaa, and now this one. I’m certain it wasn’t the tea, as I did taste it prior to putting it in the mug :(

So the soapiness definitely ruined the flavour, but I have to admit that I didn’t taste much flavour to begin with. It just tasted kind of like a light TGY.

However, I just brewed up the second infusion of it tonight (which was left to infuse for probably a half hour, oops), and it’s actually rather good! I can taste the background oolong, with some floral peachy notes that I wouldn’t usually expect in an unflavoured tea. Maybe I just didn’t infuse long enough last time? I’ll have to try again, but I’m enjoying this half-cup now! Rating withheld until I have a tasty first infusion.

ETA: Third infusion likely has merit as well here, but I did a bad thing and left the leaves in the cup for WAY too long. Like, overnight-style. I tasted the tea and it tasted ok until I swirled it and the bitterness permeated the whole cup. Ah well. Next time.

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

D’oh soap! That’s actually some thing I worry about when I’m washing up the tea ware.

tigress_al

Shoot, that is so disappointing when your tea is ruined.

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88

Picked a sample of this one up as I was curious as to how it compares to DavidsTea’s Dulce & Banana. The aroma of the dry tea is quite similar, caramelly-sweet and chamomiley, but I’m definitely getting a bit more chamomile than I’m used to, and it’s a bit offputting. Steeped, however, it smells very similar. The flavour, too, is quite similar; not really much discernible banana, some caramelly sweetness, all rounded out by chamomile.

I’ll have to do a direct comparison to DT’s version at some point, but I think I like it a bit better.

ETA: A re-steep worked out ok here, definitely got heavier on the chamomile though. I opted to stick with just the two infusions as the smell of the chamomile was getting to me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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94

Um….. YUM!!!! Of all the four teas I tried tonight, this one REALLY hit the mark! Finally, for once, I taste cheesecake in a tea! And the apricot flavour is wonderfully authentic and prominent! I can definitely taste the white tea base as well, and it’s so, so good. I am drinking this cold now, and it’s absolutely delicious. It was when it was warm, too. Yum yum yum!!! I would buy this again for sure!

ETA: Second infusion was fabulous, third was still pretty good, but tasted oversteeped (usually third infusions don’t manage to get that way, but this one did!) Fabulous blend though!

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

darn now I wish I’d gotten this one to in my last order! haha

Kittenna

… It. Is. Delicious. If I have some left when we meet up again, I’ll bring you some, unless you don’t want to taste what you missed out on, haha :P

Indigobloom

it sounds amazing! hope we get to meet up soon ;-D

Sil

Mmmmm…..tea

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86

Finally trying my tea from The Persimmon Tree! I got this one in a free 1 oz. promo they had. Hoping it’s delicious!

The dry tea smelled a bit like guava, if I recall correctly, but not as strongly as I would have liked. The flavour is also rather mild… BUT it does actually taste like guava! I just read Azzrian’s note below and see that there’s apparently ginger in here?? I’d believe it, and it’s at the perfect level too. Strawberry? Hmmm, can’t really pick that up. I’ll have to try this again when I’m in less of a rush, and can review it before it sits cold for a couple hours. Seems quite promising though!

ETA: Second infusion was even better, if I recall correctly! Threw out the leaves after that though, as they had been sitting too long. Many more future attempts await :)

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

sounds like an interesting mix of flavor profiles. I assume the flavor is not as strong because it’s a white tea? Or is it too light even for a white tea? In all cases, sounds like it would have a unique and quite an exotic flavor to it.

Kittenna

It very well could have been that I didn’t use enough tea, too! I was quite distracted while brewing things up this evening :) What I did taste was pretty good though. I imagine the flavour won’t ever be super strong because it is a white tea – you are right on that front – and it may be that the flavour I got is all it has. Worth a try though!

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83

Second new tea to try!

The flavour of this one is quite tasty; a delicious green oolong paired with fruity pineapple notes. I’m enjoying the fact that it definitely does taste like pineapple! I’m not sure I am really catching the “flowery” aspect though. The flavouring here reminds me quite a lot of another tea… perhaps a DavidsTea (not Pineapple Oolong). It’s quite tasty though!

ETA: I re-steeped this one once, but can’t recall the results. I don’t think it was all that wonderful. However, I looked in the infuser, and it seems like I may have used way too little tea… so will definitely have to fix that next time.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °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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