2515 Tasting Notes

74
drank Jumpy Monkey by DAVIDsTEA
2515 tasting notes

Awake before noon? Good time to try this tea, finally!

It smells rather like a coffee, to me. Definitely reminiscent of 52teas Malted ChocoMate, but that’s not surprising given that they both contain roasted mate.

The taste is definitely much more palatable than coffee. It’s slightly sweet, with no bitterness, and almost a toasted barley sort of flavour(?) I can perhaps taste a hint of chocolate as well.

Overall, quite pleasant, and definitely doesn’t require additions for me to drink it. However, I don’t like it as much as Malted ChocoMate (whew), so once this small sample packet is finished, I think that will be it for me :) I’m also not sure if I’ll have a problem with the coffee in it, but we’ll see.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Pina Colada by Fusion Teas
2515 tasting notes

I can’t believe there aren’t any tasting notes for this one!

I have to say… this one actually smells like a pina colada! Like, it smells like the drink I had tonight tasted! DELICIOUS! Sweet and pineapply and coconutty and rummy and good. Definitely most excited for this one!

Steeped, it still smells like a pina colada, but I’m getting more apple than I would like.

Ohhh why did they have to add hibiscus. sigh It’s tart, but luckily not too tart. And… it definitely tastes more like pina colada than either of the other two, but it’s still not quite right. Pina coladas are not tart, and do not contain a bunch of apple.

That all being said, this is a flavourful tisane that I won’t mind finishing off. However, the quest for a pina colada tea continues.

ETA: Ohhhh, my bad. Thanks to Fusion Tea Room for the generous sample!

ETA again: Finishing the cold cup this morning (since last night I felt pretty gross after the Adagio tea, I didn’t finish anything I brought upstairs for fear it would come back up anyhow). I feel like if the hibiscus was removed from this blend, there would actually be a fairly authentic pina colada flavour. Who cares about the colour – I’d rather a gross looking tea that tastes great than a great-looking tea that tastes gross.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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54
drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
2515 tasting notes

:/ Not sure I should continue tasting the other two pina colada teas tonight, as I have a small fear that I’m going to be sick later. (And Azzrian, don’t worry, I tried the Adagio one of my own volition knowing it was bad, but a tea should never be this horrible.)

I had this one before and wrote a tasting note, but didn’t find it that great. Tonight, comparison-wise at least, it is fantastic. However, in terms of pina-colada flavour, I’m finding it a bit lacking. It’s a bit sweet, the honeybush base is definitely present, and I taste both pineapple and coconut, which is good, but something’s missing to make this into a low-cal replacement for a pina colada. Oh well.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Azzrian

LOL you Pina away girl! hahaha its a pina night for you! :)

Azzrian

Hey Krystaleyn – this here: And Azzrian, don’t worry, I tried this of my own volition knowing it was bad, but a tea should never be this horrible.)
Is that supposed to be in the other review or this one?

Kittenna

I was writing the reviews sequentially and was referring to my previous one. I’ve made it a touch more clear now. I’m feeling a little queasy now, haha.

Azzrian

Poor thing – girl I should have tried to talk you out of it lol

Kittenna

It’s completely fine. I’m serious though, that I think there is something genuinely wrong with the batch that came from. There’s a difference between a tea being old or not suited to one’s preferences, even bitter/astringent. That one tasted like rotten vomit. And given that two of us feel that way…

LiberTEAS

Hopefully this tea tastes better than vomit.

Kittenna

Oh yes! The 52teas version is a perfectly fine honeybush; it’s just not cocktaily enough for me. The Adagio Pina Colada on the other hand…….

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1
drank Pina Colada by Adagio Teas
2515 tasting notes

Pina Colada night, apparently. Went out for drinks for a friend’s birthday and had a virgin one (I was driving), and came home and decided to brew up the three different versions I have to try.

First up, Adagio’s. Thanks for the sample, Azzrian. :)

Smells kind of sweet dry, but with a gross fermenting fruit sort of flavour. Makes me a gag a bit, actually. Steeped…. it smells rather like vomit. I’m sorry, but that’s truly the only way to describe it.

!@#*#()$&() This is absolutely DISGUSTING. I can’t even….

Azzrian, I completely understand why you rated this a 1. It tastes. Like vomit.

I think there is something seriously wrong with this tea. I think you/we should contact them about it, because this is the most disgustingly vile tea I have ever had the misfortune of tasting. I know i only asked for it because of curiousity as to how something could be that bad, but I didn’t imagine quite how bad it would be.

I actually gulped a bit down and am starting to feel sick to my stomach. Whether that’s simply concern over what I just ingested or what, I don’t know.

I still have some of the sample left if Adagio wants to take a look at it for themselves…. this is NOT right.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
TeaBrat

the pineapple kona pop from Teavana is disgusting too

Azzrian

See that is the word I left out of my rating but yes VOMIT all the way. OMG it is horrid just HORRID!!!!!!!!!

LiberTEAS

OK… Vomit flavored tea just doesn’t sound good.

Kittenna

It was awful. I feel like they may have gotten a rotten batch of something and put it into the blend. And given my somewhat upset stomach afterward, I am definitely rather concerned.

Ninavampi

Sounds so gross…. And I just bought some that I havent tried yet…. :S

Kittenna

It was awful. I think there’s something wrong with a batch, because there are positive tasting notes about this blend. I would suggest that if you open the packet and it smells rotten at all, or if you steep it and it smells gross, maybe don’t drink it. And for heaven’s sake, don’t swallow it if it tastes gross!! :)

Azzrian

To be honest, I have not ordered ANYTHING from Adagio since this happened. I probably won’t ever again. Something like this can really destroy a companies image – for me anyway. The fact that something like this could pass their inspection – assuming they have one – and be shipped out. Unacceptable!

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49

Hmmm, is this what you sent me Azzrian??

Anyhow, tried a bag of this tonight. Wasn’t a big fan. It tasted like black tea from my memory, i.e. the not very good stuff. I ended up dunking my steeping basket containing 52teas Mayan Chocolate Chai into the cup for a minute or so to give it some flavour. I think I’ll try again with a bit of a shorter infusion time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

What I sent is just the regular version – not the gold.

Azzrian

Oh and yes it is JUST a very basic black tea – it is what they drink in the UK instead of Celestial Seasonings, Bigelow, Lipton. They like Twinings and this according to my UK friend.

Kittenna

Ok, I’ll move my review when I figure out where it should go, haha. That’s ok – wasn’t expecting too much :) I’m sure it’s perfectly fine with milk and sugar! Thanks for passing some on :D

Azzrian

Now I wonder what the gold is like though.

ScottTeaMan

K—Do or did you try this with milk and nothing else? I’d be interested to see how it tastes with only milk.

Kittenna

I actually didn’t put anything in it, except the Mayan Choco Chai leaves for a minute or so. I brewed it up shortly before going out yesterday evening, so didn’t have the time to play around with adding milk and sugar. I do plan to next time I try it though! I have 5 teabags left :P

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94
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
2515 tasting notes

Read Indigobloom ’s tasting note on this one tonight and had to dive into my new package. Mmmm, well worthwhile. Used up some cream I had in the fridge instead of milk, plus lots of sweetener. Divine. Three good infusions :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I had only enough milk for one cup… made me so sad!! and there was no time… gah! mmm chocolate. No more cravings for me with this tea!

Kittenna

I brew mine in water and add just a bit of milk (or cream, in this case) after. I find I can drink it with just sweetener though. So good :)

Indigobloom

oh yah I don’t add much milk…but I found that it did need some!
as a latte, I think this would be incredible thoug

Kittenna

Yes, this tea and matcha are the only ones I allow myself to add things to. Therefore they’re a pretty big treat :P I want more of this now actually…. haha.

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93
drank Fukamushi-Sencha Yame by Den's Tea
2515 tasting notes

squee

This is my sort of green tea! Gahhhh!! The smell is so juicily vegetal like Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver). I nearly died when I smelled the wet leaf post-infusion, because I definitely wasn’t expecting this, and it’s going to be a wonderful treat (I expect).

Ahhhhhhh, heavenly. I can’t pick out the flavours very well, it’s just so, so good. I think I could drink this sort of tea all the time and not get bored or sick of it. It’s refreshing and cleansing with a lovely aftertaste, but unlike the green oolongs that I like, it’s not quite so…. rich. I don’t know how to describe it. Looooove it.

I’ll have to see how this holds up to multiple infusions, and try it with shorter ones to see if I can get different flavours (e.g. Emerald (Silver) had a sweet, honey-like first infusion that was incredible and I didn’t know about until I tried 25-30s infusions!)

I’m finding it rather amusing that here I am, drinking caffeinated tea to the point of my stomach screaming ‘NO MORE!’, and I’m literally almost asleep typing this. Caffeine and I have an odd relationship.

(What’s the worst part? Knowing that even if I fall asleep right now, I am guaranteed to be up again in half an hour, then again a half hour later, and probably a third time before morning, because I have just consumed a silly amount of tea. Siiiigh.)

ETA: Second infusion, 20 sec at 185. Pretty tasty. Not that in-your-face vegetal taste anymore (it’s a little muted), but still lovely. I might infuse a little longer the next time to bring out a bit more. No astringency whatsoever though.

Third infusion, 45s at 185. Ok, getting an off-flavour here. A staleness, almost? Actually, it tastes kind of plasticky. Like how water tastes when it’s been sitting in a plastic waterbottle in the sun in your car for a day or two. Still no astringency or bitterness, but I’m not fond of this weird flavour. No ratings decrease, because they only recommend two infusions, and both were quite good. Perhaps I should have stuck with 15 seconds for this one. Maybe I’ll try that next time. There are still hints of tasty flavour, but they are overshadowed by plastic flavour.

Side note: I love that with their tasting kit, Den’s gives you a guide to the specific parameters for each individual tea. Unlike some companies who have just given general guidelines, I love how exact they are. No guesswork. Makes me confident about trying their teas without ruining them the first time!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Indigobloom

LOL Kristaleyn you are too funny :P
btw I can’t recall the name of that Tsaa tea either! I think it had Butterfly in it…

Dylan Oxford

Hahaha, I hear you on that one Krystaleyn!

ScottTeaMan

K-That’s one reason I love Senchas! I can’t get bored or sick of a good Sencha. :))

Kittenna

Hahaha, I definitely fell asleep probably within minutes of posting this. :P

@Indigobloom – yeah, that’s all I could remember too. And then I was second guessing myself and wondering if it was dragonfly, hahaha.

@Scott – I definitely had a different impression of senchas, for some reason, and was not expecting this flavour from it (the other tea I like, I have no idea what type it is as they don’t specify). But yes, it’s not a flavour I’ll get sick of! (Good thing, since I have 100g of a similarly flavoured tea sitting in my fridge :D)

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80
drank Genmaicha Extra Green by Den's Tea
2515 tasting notes

This review is for the bagged version that I received in my sampler, not the loose leaf version.

After all these flavoured teas tonight, I felt like I needed something straight and reliably delicious. I was going to go upstairs and grab something from my Verdant stuff, but as it happened, my Den’s sampler was downstairs (I was weighing potential mailable cardboard boxes), so I was lazy and selected two teas from it! Not regretting that decision at all!

So opening up the lovely foil-wrapped package, I’m greeting by green powder everywhere and a lovely toasty rice/green tea aroma. Mmmmmmm. I was a bit sad that the matcha had come out of the bag, until I realized that had it not come out, that would indicate that the teabag was entirely non-porous and therefore useless for brewing tea. So I guess it’s inevitable. Haha.

I wasn’t really sure what parameters to use for the teabag, so went with boiling water for a minute, resulting in tea of a cloudy yellowish colour. The aroma is typical of genmaicha: toasty rice.

Taste-wise I’m finding this to be a very smooth genmaicha. I can’t really say that the matcha is at all apparent. The tea is slightly sweetish, with a lovely toasty rice cake flavour.

Not bad, but I prefer my unbranded years-old genmaicha, probably because it has more flavour. I have higher hopes for the loose leaf version of this tea, which I’ll try another day. I think this entry was really meant for the loose leaf version, so I’m reserving a rating until then. This tea bag version would probably rate about a 72 on my scale.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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45
drank Black Currant Bai Mu Dan by 52teas
2515 tasting notes

This was one of my free white teas, specifically requested. In my mind I’m already comparing it with DavidsTea’s White Tiger! We’ll see…

The smell of the dry tea is kind of artificial. Very sweet, and rather perfumey.

Steeped, it’s weakened of course, and smells more natural.

Eek. It tastes a little like I’m eating a tube of chapstick. Oh, but the white tea is coming out nicely in the aftertaste, and I’m liking the black currant there better as well. I think it’s a bit of flavouring that’s throwing this one off for me. Unless black currants are really that perfumey sweet, which is possible; I wouldn’t know.

Well, I’m definitely enjoying the fact that I can taste the white tea. I’m really learning to dislike tea-containing blends where the base tea is completely lost; they may as well be herbals.

This one’s growing on me a bit. I’m still tasting too much artificial flavour for my liking though. We’ll see what happens when it cools to room temperature.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Sweet Merlot Black Tea by 52teas
2515 tasting notes

Oooooh the scent of this one has me most intrigued! Yes, upon opening the packet you are greeted by fermenty-grapes aromas, all sweet and a bit vinegary. Reminds me quite a bit of going wine grape picking last fall, where the guy had us sniff grape clusters to pick out good molds vs. bad bacteria. Unfortunately it was the grapes that had the smell that were infected with bacteria and discarded, and the fungally-infected grapes (I should know this…! Was the good fungus Botrytis, perhaps?), that looked rather unappetizing but had no smell, that they actually collected for a particular type of wine. Or something.

Anyways, I digress. It reminds me of picking grapes for wine.

Steeped, I’m getting much more concord grape aroma. Exciting! Haven’t ever had a grape tea that I’m aware of. I can also smell a malty black base…. smells good!

Hmm. Well we’re not having the bitterness problem here that there was with the Cherry Garcia, but there’s not as much body as I would like. Where’d that black base go?! Definitely getting grape flavour and grape aftertaste. Ok, actually there is a touch of astringency. Maybe I’ll reduce the infusion time next time.

Well… doesn’t exactly taste like wine to me. Maybe it needs some more time. I do appreciate the grape though, and would love to see a tea like Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish, but with grapes (as that tea really worked well).

ETA: Perhaps I should have used less water for the second infusion. Water just below boiling, steeped about 3.5-4 minutes. Definitely tastes like a re-steep. There’s a bit of grape in both aroma and flavour, but it really tastes just like a grape-flavoured black. Quite hoping this improves with age – I would have been happy if it tastes like that sickly sweetish fermenty grape scent it smelled like! More like wine to me :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 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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