2361 Tasting Notes

50

I’m with Sil, here – this really tastes nothing like grapefruit (ok, I get the slightest hint of something I could be convinced is grapefruit), has pointless sprinkles in it, and is overall a pretty meh tea. The flavour reminds me of some other Della Terra one I’ve had previously…. maybe a kind of berryish one? And there’s no way this is contaminated on my end, since it’s in a nice sealed pouch. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. The sort of tea you’d drink because it’s hot and has more flavour than water, but then you wouldn’t be able to remember how it actually differed from hot water…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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54

Not sure what I think about this one… the flavours were much milder than I had anticipated (which is good!), and nothing was unpleasant, but I can’t really taste the elderberry… or anything else specifically, for that matter. It’s just kind of a spicyish water. Maybe it’s partially related to the fact that I’m kind of sick, although I do seem to be able to taste reasonably well at the moment.

I think I’ll try steeping it for longer next time to see what happens. It did only get about a minute this time, as per the recommendations.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
NofarS

I love elderberry, but it is kind of a delicate flavour, so I can see how it could disappear in a tea.

Sil

Try longer steeps for most of verdants blends from the club. Almost none of them work well with recommended times ppl have found

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72

Hmmm. Not sure what I think about this one. I’m getting quite a bit of pepperiness over a very dark, almost burnt-tasting base black. There are hints of chai-y flavours reminiscent of Chocolate Phoenix Oolong Chai (? that’s not right…), particularly in the aroma, which smells like gingerbread, but at least straight, it’s a bit too heavy on the black tea/peppery flavours for me. I’ll try it with milk/honey at some point, and I’m sure it will be divine, but at this point, it’s nothing special beyond Verdant blends I’ve already tried. (That said, it’s tasty. Just not overly different/special IMO.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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86

The first “Verdant Blends Club” tea that I’m reviewing! I have tried one of the others from the previous month… but can’t recall which it was, nor really what I thought of it… so I’ll have to try it again and write something later.

Of the 3 November teas, this one sounded the most interesting to me. Some of the ingredients in these blends are making me a bit hesitant – I tend to dislike a bunch of herbal add-ins that are used – but nothing here is an ingredient that I know I hate, and the previous Verdant blend that I’ve tried in which coriander was a feature ingredient was quite delicious.

Aroma-wise, I’m smelling a bit of toastiness, a creamy oolong, and definitely a gingerbready sort of aroma, which is probably the coriander (although why coriander comes off as gingerbread, I have no idea). Flavourwise, this is a delicious mash-up of oolong, genmaicha, and spice. The sip starts off with the spice, morphs into toasty genmaicha flavours, and ends with oolong and a bit of a spicy kick from… the cinnamon? I’m not really sure. Either way, this is quite a delicious blend. I’d like to compare it to… that other one with coriander (I sent some to my mom at some point, so I’m sure I can achieve this at Christmas); I’m not sure if I like the toasty oolong or green beany laoshan green better as a base tea.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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100

Wow… apparently it has been two months or so since I last wrote a tasting note? Whoops! That’s not to say I haven’t been drinking any tea, I’ve just been busy/lazy/sick/on holidays. Although my tea consumption had dropped significantly in the last little while (I drank a bunch while in New Zealand, but almost none since.)

Anyhow, I decided to try to get myself back to my more usual tea habits, and made 3 thermos-fuls of tea to go watch the boy play soccer this weekend… I hadn’t realized how much I missed drinking tea! I had forgotten how incredibly amazingly delicious, dark and raisiny PTA was. Perfect tea to lure me back into drinking tea more often again.

It also appears that I need to acquire more of this sometime soonish… I’m running dangerously low!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i know! you’ve been MIA!!

NofarS

Glad that you’re back!

Ysaurella

welcome back Kittenna !

Kittenna

Thanks guys! :D Gonna take me a while to catch up on everything here, I think!

TheTeaFairy

I join the crowd to welcome you back :-)

Indigobloom

Missed you round here!

OMGsrsly

Yay you’re back! :)

Fjellrev

I was wondering where you went. Glad you’re back!

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83
drank Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong by Yezi Tea
2361 tasting notes

So far, I am thoroughly impressed with Yezi Teas. Great customer service, our samples arrived in record time (seriously… I never would have dreamed that I’d be able to deliver them to Sil this weekend!), the samples are a perfect 2-cup size (5g), and all in airtight packets (oh how I love when samples don’t get contaminated!), and not only that, but the first tea I tried from them (this one), is great! Reminiscent of Laoshan Black with chocolatey/roasty notes, but a bit less full-bodied. As well, I was catching a different sort of flavour that I would attribute to “scotch” (though I’ve never tried it). A very good, very interesting tea. Not quite a flavour profile I’ve previously tried, and although I was worried it would be too potent for me, it’s definitely not. If black tea isn’t really your thing, and you like Laoshan Black but only because it tastes like chocolate, this probably isn’t a tea for you because those notes aren’t overly dominant, but for black tea lovers, I think this is a big win.

I would like to thank Yezi Tea for this generous free sample offer, and would suggest that lovers of straight teas give them a shot!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I can’t wait to try this one!

TastyBrew

Terri- The bbbb should be to you on tuesday! It has my 2 favorites from Yezi in it, Qing pin and the high mountain one. They are worth the wait :-)

Sil

awesome!

Terri HarpLady

Yay!!!
I love our Box!!

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75
drank Razzleberry Genmaicha by 52teas
2361 tasting notes

Thanks for sharing some of this, Courtney! I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by this tea – there was tons of freeze-dried raspberry, making for a strong, true flavour, and the genmaicha was perfectly toasty. I couldn’t really taste blackberry, but it’s easy enough for me to lump that in with raspberry flavouring. I did find that for a few sips, the genmaicha was a bit overpowering, whereas other times it was the perfect balance of fruity and toasty. Certainly a significant number of notches above some of the other genmaicha blends I’ve had (though nothing can beat the original Marshmallow Treat or Cherry Cheesecake).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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86

Roasty green oolong? Unsurprisingly, this one was a big win for me. Absolutely delicious. Roasted, creamy oolong notes, and if there were floral notes, they were masked by everything else (or toned down, and I didn’t notice them). I’ll have to try this one next to an unroasted dong ding oolong, as well as an aged tieguanyin, because in my head, the flavour profiles are all quite similar (and I don’t think that’s quite true).

Second infusion was very similar to the first – these leaves pack a lot of flavour!

A huge thank you to Angel and Teavivre for including this sample in my package!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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65

A huge thank you to Angel & Teavivre for sending me some oolong samples! It was perfect timing, since I have just been refining my ability to taste the differences between different oolongs (instead of saying they all taste oolongy) and be able to figure out which ones are floral (not my favourites), creamy (yes!), roasty (even better!), or various other flavours.

I kind of randomly selected this tea as one of the first two I brewed up (I couldn’t choose…) I was expecting a tea on the lightly creamy side, since it’s a high mountain oolong and that’s the association I have in my head, but instead, it had much more of a green, floral profile, like a tieguanyin. There was perhaps still some creaminess, but floral notes definitely dominated. As I’m not the biggest fan of floral teas, this wouldn’t be one I’d purchase myself, but it’s pretty tasty if you do like that sort of flavour profile. If, however, you want a milk oolong-type tea, my first experience with this one makes me think that you should try something else first!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Black Currant by Saharas Supplies
2361 tasting notes

Weird… loved this the first time I had it, but the second time? Couldn’t even taste any black currant. Still have another cup’s worth left, so I’ll have to see what went wrong… (there’s a small chance I confused it with Boston, which I brewed up at the same time, but I swear the tea I described in that tasting note had no black currant flavour whatsoever, and it was quite prominent in this tea, in my recollection).

Preparation
Boiling 2 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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