2494 Tasting Notes

88
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2494 tasting notes

Thanks to whatshesaid for generously sending me a sample of this tea! I had no real idea what to expect, except that reading that it’s a blend of 3 Chinese teas makes me guess that I’ll like it. Which, as it turns out, is correct. It’s a little chocolatey, a little hay-y, a lot malty, and wonderfully smooth. The finish turns a slight bit fruity, but otherwise I’m not really picking up any fruity flavours. Overall, I’m pretty impressed. The smooth yet strong character of this tea would make this a great breakfast blend for me (if I wasn’t in the mood for something overly chocolatey, roasty, or fruity), because it definitely requires no additions to make it palatable to a hungry, astringency-averse morning tummy. Yum.

ETA: I swear I did not read the “flavours” list before listing off the flavours I picked up here. Score for my tastebuds! :P

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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78
drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
2494 tasting notes

Wish this was a bit more fruity – it’s definitely quite coconutty, which seems to make it a bit drying, but the strawberry(?) is fairly weak. I guess i’m more used to teas like Butiki’s Red Queen Cupcake now, which is quite fruity.

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84
drank Caramel Cocoa Loco by Kally Tea
2494 tasting notes

Nuts! I thought this was a sipdown, since I usually have separate entries for tea from different sources, but apparently not. Sigh. On the plus side, I did finish off what was in a baggie; the remainder is in a lovely tin that belongs to Indigobloom, and it has retained much more flavour, so will be rather enjoyable to finish off. Although… there are probably a few travel mugs’ worth left in there, haha. Anyhow, much more caramelly and toasty this time. Quite good.

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95
drank Cacao Tea by Herbal Infusions
2494 tasting notes

Nearly out of this now, so I probably shouldn’t have had it again, but oh well. LBCG will have to tide me through until I can reorder it. Made in a travel mug again, and just left it steeping while I drank it. Not even that annoying when bits get in your mouth, because they kinda taste good :P

Sil

get the version from tisano if you need to order cacao.

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100

So roasty and good :D Limited options for travel mugs today, so this one out. Deeeeelish.

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96

Bleh, I’m getting a minerally (or chlorine?) water flavour marring the gentle sweetness of this tea. I do need to change my Brita filter; perhaps that’s part of the problem. Also possible that travel mug flavours are causing issues. Ah well, if I get past the weird flavour, I am rewarded with some of the expected deliciousness. Just not as much as I’d like.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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97

Decidedly NOT as good in a travel mug, probably because the smokiness is most noticeable in the aroma, which is hampered when drinking from a Timolino. Oh well. Didn’t have a lot of time to pick travel mug teas tonight.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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71

Sipdown! 980. There was probably a bit more than I really needed left in the bag… but I used it all anyhow. The result is potentially a little strong (a little bitter, a bit drying, but nothing a bit of dilution wouldn’t fix), but enjoyable. Chocolatey, a bit minty, creamy, and a bit of chamomile just to add interest (I guess). I do prefer other chocolate mint teas, though, preferably without chamomile, so I’ll probably stick to those in the future :)

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78
drank Fireside S'mores Tea by Teaopia
2494 tasting notes

Oh man. Just made the BEST mug of this, ever. In addition to the delicious roasty oolong, there’s a wonderfully caramelly flavour tonight. I must have done something correctly, haha. Only downside is that I do have to use a lot of tea to make this taste good – probably 4 tsp for a travel mug (and I’ve been known to use more). I’m getting low on this… it will be a sad day when it runs out :(

Indigobloom

I got so sick of it at one point. Had it for a loooong time

OMGsrsly

I tried this one! So good. I’m so sad it’s not available anymore.

Kittenna

It’s not a flavour profile I’m likely to get sick of, because it’s desserty/roasty, but it’s not something I’d drink all the time necessarily. And yeah. So good. And decently priced when I bought it on sale!

Indigobloom

I miss Teaopia!!

OMGsrsly

I never even really went into Teaopia… :/

Kittenna

The only time I went in there was when I picked up this tea, haha. There was no Guelph location, so I made the scary drive to Kitchener to go there :P

Indigobloom

We had a location about ten min walk from my work. It was great, I went on my lunch hour! So glad it changed over to Teavana after I stopped working near there

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76
drank Blue Unicorn Reserve by Tealux
2494 tasting notes

7 spears for about 10 oz. of water. The result was pretty light in flavour, but quite sweet. It didn’t taste like any oolong I’ve ever had though, without the lovely aftertaste I usually crave. I’ll have to have it again (and/or resteep it) and make more detailed notes, because unfortunately I don’t remember much beyond a bit of mineral and a lot of sweetness, but it was certainly pleasant. Doubtful, though, that it will be interesting enough to get me to repurchase.

ETA: Resteeped it a couple days later, in 90C water, leaving it for quite a while – it actually ended up being quite flavourful, although also more astringent than I’d like. The flavour was really unlike almost anything I’ve had before, and I was struggling to figure out what it was that it reminded me of. I am thinking purple tea? It still didn’t have an oolong flavour, but wasn’t like a green either. Definitely tasty though (I diluted my too-astringent cup with some additional boiled-cooled water until it was at a bearable level). Next time, I’ll try to give it an even longer first infusion (if I remember).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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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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