2606 Tasting Notes

79

Hmmm. Well, this tea isn’t as bad as it could have been. And I mean that in a ‘me disliking the flavours’ way, not on execution. The predominant aroma is star anise, though it’s not overly strong; the flavour is more a smooth melding of a beany green, smooth vanilla, and a quite acceptable (aka low) level of star anise. Not really catching the jasmine, nor the pear. It’s actually rather soothing… I was planning to send the rest of my portion off to Roswell Strange with her half but I think I may actually drink the second cup myself (with the third off to VariaTea). I feel like this is the sort of tea where, if Butiki was remaining open, I might actually pick up another small quantity. But it’s not a big loss.

However, if you enjoy creamy/vanilla licorice, and can tolerate a good green base (it’s not sencha!)…. you may want to try this.

ETA: Guys! How am I the only reviewer for this? I hope my tasting note spurs more people on to pick this up in their order, because yum.

ETA: Subsequent infusions become too heavy on the anise for me.

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

I’ve been dying to see a review for this one. A lot of customers purchased it but haven’t received any feedback. I love how this one turned out but can definitely see it might not be for everyone.

Roswell Strange

I’m excited about this one, despite the green base.

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67
drank Bilberry Black Tea by Compass Teas
2606 tasting notes

Thanks to JoonSusanna for sending this one out for me to sample (quite a while ago)! The packet was unopened(!!), so flavourwise I’m expecting it to be pretty good – especially after I opened the packet and delicious blueberry aroma wafted out at me.

Of course, I accidentally oversteeped it to the tune of about 6.5 minutes. Whoops. Surprisingly though, it was still drinkable, but I think the beginning astringency/bitterness clouded the blueberry out. I’ll have to try it again another day!

Side note: I brought the infuser to my boyfriend’s place and the whole time in the car, I kept thinking the tea had leaked because it smelled so delicious. Mmmmmm.

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71
drank Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 9! (Drank Dec. 9)
A black tea with identifiable cloves and cinnamon – even before I opened the package, I guessed it was Pumpkin Pie Black, or some variant thereof. Aroma confirms my suspicion. I’m not displeased with that, but I this is now 3/9 teas that are pumpkin, and have that same flavouring. Sure, it’s seasonal, but…. 3? I think Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell was a good choice, but these other two (particularly the honeybush) should have been substituted with something a bit different.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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5
drank Witches' Brew Chai by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 8! (Drank Dec. 8)
Oh dear…. this one’s spicy. Like, REALLY spicy. I opened up the packet (a black with cinnamon chunks and tiny bits of flavouring or as I now know, spices), and it is POTENT. Not even chai spice; it smells more like…. doritos minus the cheese? Like Mexican spicing? Bleh….

A few more sniffs, and I’m noticing some creaminess, and my roommate pointed out that it’s smoky (it’s obvious, but I got lost in the spices apparently), and it smells like cumin. Ugh. It tastes like smoky cumin. NOT flavours I want in a tea. No no no. Apparently it’s Witches’ Brew Chai – I never would have guessed that. I’m wondering if something is off with this reblend, because all the reviews are favourable, but this is a cup of smoky-cumin-never-again. It’s too savoury, and the only noticeable spice is cumin. Dumped part of the cup; wasn’t worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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66

Sipdown! 965.

This is a very perfumey tea – smells rather like rose despite that not being an ingredient. Thankfully, the flavour is grounded enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m drinking perfume, just a very floral/fruity tea. I can’t identify specific fruit flavours, but it’s on the tropical side, though a more… perfumed fruit tropical than ‘A Rabbit’s Garden’. Overall, not bad, but again with the (half) green base – not overly fond. Also, a bit too perfumey.

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

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75
drank Peach Oolong by Della Terra Teas
2606 tasting notes

Sipdown! 966.

Not too bad, but there’s an artificial sort of aftertaste that I’m finding unpleasant. It’s a nice choice for a base tea – a nutty dark oolong, and the peach flavour is surprisingly good, so otherwise, it’s quite decent. Just…. that aftertaste… :( Still rating reasonably highly though, because I’m enjoying it as long as I don’t let it linger too long (of course, some of my favourite teas are the ones where new and delicious flavours bloom in the aftertaste, so that’s unusual for me. Sigh.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Walter Bishop Honeybush by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

Sipdown! 967.

I’m appreciating the strawberry goodness of this one today, but the rest is off to a new home (ok, two new homes) next weekend, because I don’t need so many HB blends, and other people like this more. I am finding it a touch woody, but the flavour really is quite pleasant and milkshakey. Much like I wish Chocolate Malt HB was (with a bit of chocolate flavour, say, cacao shells, mixed in).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Coconut Chai by Zhena's Gypsy Tea
2606 tasting notes

Sipdown! 968.

Only a sipdown of the loose stuff from Indigobloom, though – still have some bags from momo left. Anyways, the coconut in this is starting to turn a bit soapy, so it’s best to be finished off. It’s still delicious though, and I will probably resteep it like, 5 times. Such a great chai for coconut lovers. Creamy coconut up front, spicy burn at the end of the sip. No overly dominant spices, everything just blends together perfectly.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Skysamurai

This is one of my favorites as well but as far as coconut goes David’s coconut oolong wins everytime…

Kittenna

I’ve actually found that one too drying lately, instead of creamy. Sads. :(

Skysamurai

I can understand that!. It does that too me sometimes too… not sure why

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54
drank Red Velvet Cupcake by T by Daniel
2606 tasting notes

Sipdown! 970.

Except that’s totally a lie, because a fruit fly just committed suicide in my cup, and I can’t just pick out a dead insect, so this is more of a Draindown! Perhaps I’ll re-steep, perhaps I won’t. There’s something weird here. Like a weird strawberry rooibos. Not for me, no no.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

Extra protein! :P
Haha but seriously, not so yum

OMGsrsly

Oh Drosophila. That’s why I loved the Contigo mugs when I worked in a fly lab…

Kittenna

Barf, we have fungus gnats in the house too. Not many of either, but they’re irritatingly good at locating my tea and drowning themselves in it. Perhaps I need to make decoy tea (aka the crappy stuff) and leave it sitting around to keep them out of my yummy teas… haha.

OMGsrsly

I do decoy vinegar with a couple grapes or something in it for that fruity scent. Thankfully I have fewer flies in the winter. They are my nemesis in the summer, I keep everything seriously sanitized.

Indigobloom

Yeah we get tons of fruit flies in the summer. We use decoys but it is never enough!

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72

Such an odd tea, but it’s actually pretty decent. More or less a tropical-fruity green; mild green base and the primary flavours are perhaps peach/mango/pineapple, or in that realm. I’m not sure if the dehydrated veggies add much, but there is kind of a vegetal thickness to the tea, which is perhaps the result. Overall, definitely happy to have tried this, though flavoured greens are pretty much my least favourite tea category.

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

Yeah… Most flavored greens are pretty low on the totem pole for me too. The only real exception is citrus. :)

Anlina

I was really tempted by this one, but it looks like I didn’t miss too much.

Kittenna

Cameron – I’d have to agree, since my 52teas’ Sun & Cloud Mist is one of my fave flavoured teas. I think my biggest problem, though, might be the crap/boring sencha bases that are used. Or the boring flavour combos.

Anlina – No, I wouldn’t say it’s anything overly special. Certainly drinkable, even tasty, and moderately entertaining with some of the ingredients, but the flavour is familiar.

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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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