2606 Tasting Notes

62

Oh. Looks like I didn’t care for this one the first time around. Aaaaand I think I know why. Even with a 2.5 minute infusion, there’s astringency, and although there’s definitely a sweetness to the cup, it’s missing the chocolatey notes that I like in a black. That really does seem to be my critical factor as to whether or not I enjoy a black tea. (Also astringency.) It tastes like it would be a great breakfast tea for someone who enjoys a robust kick in the pants in the morning, but since I don’t enjoy that, it’s not for me. (Although that said, I am enjoying the sweet, somewhat golden raisiny lingering aftertaste post-sip.)

Also, this is a sipdown. Yay me, getting in a couple a day now!

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Thanks for some of this one Sil. I am reasonably unimpressed, but given a) the comments I read and b) the age of the tea, it sounds like there wasn’t a ton of flavour to begin with, and what was there is likely gone. It’s still not a bad cup of tea – less astringent than 52teas’ Almond Happiness, but to be fair, it also has less flavour. Ah well, not a big loss – I don’t seem to be a big fan of Sloane teas in general for whatever reason. Not rating out of fairness to the tea, but I’d guess it would garner around a 60 fresh, for me.

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89

Sipdown! Oh man, this is still crazy delicious. I don’t care if there are a few piddly calories in here (there must be, it’s far too decadent not to have any). Black tea, nougat, deliciousness. I shall be getting more of this at some point. This and Creme Brûlée. Thanks again Cavo for sending some :)

donkeytiara

oh….no….. now i want this…. i LOVE nougat!

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83
drank Almond Happiness by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

Welp…. looks like I should have savoured this one when I had the chance. Flavour is falling flat now – there’s still a faint hint of flavour, but it’s mostly gone. Ah well, at least it means I won’t crave it! (Unlike Cashew Turtle… come, tears…)

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48

Thanks again to mystery swapper! This tea is kind of a bust – tastes just like a rooibos cream to me. Seabuckthorn is pretty sour and astringent, and I’m not picking up any of that here. Probably for the best; although I wanted to try this tea, I’m not entirely sure I thought it would work anyhow. Kind of makes me think curdled… Anyhow, average rooibos cream, and that’s about it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

I think this came from me and if so, I am sorry you didn’t enjoy it.

Kittenna

I honestly don’t recall who sent me this lovely bundle of teas, but it totally could have been you? Either way, I requested it, and it really wasn’t bad… just no seabuckthorn flavour!

VariaTEA

I believe I sent this when I passed along the Butiki Nutmeg Cream and other fun teas.

Kittenna

OH YEAH! Haha, such a bad memory. I think I only juuuust finally relocated those two Butikis. Did I ever send you anything in return? Did you want things? Gah!

VariaTEA

Haha no worries. With a cupboard your size, I am surprised it didn’t take longer until you got to them. And no you never sent anything back because I was sort of just passing along the teas and so I tossed in some samples once I was sending out the package.

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89
drank Frankenberry by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

Kicking myself so hard right now. Bang – another winner! Love the pillowy soft strawberry fruitiness in this black. Reminiscent of Raspberry Cream, but even better because I prefer strawberry flavouring (although I imagine it’s a berry mix here, I’m mostly tasting strawberry). There’s more creaminess here too, with the marshmallow root (I was briefly worried that it was ginger. Thankfully not.) Quite tasty. Thanks for sharing, mystery swapper! (I’m now convinced I’m referring to *Rachel*…)

VariaTEA

haha yeah this was from me. I suppose I am your mystery swapper :P. I am glad you liked this one. I actually ended up giving away the bag because I hoped I would like it far more than I did.

Kittenna

Hahahaha, I did some sleuthing and yup, it was you! Really glad I can clearly reference you now (and also add teas to my swap sheet). Maybe we communicated about this swap on Facebook and that’s why I couldn’t figure it out. Anyways, I just had a second infusion of this one and was very disappointed – totally flavourless. So probably not as big a fan as I would have been otherwise, since I usually get at least 2, sometimes 3 infusions from 52teas’ blacks. Still quite tasty the first time around though!

VariaTEA

I think we did talk over Facebook so that would explain it. And at least the first infusion was good. For me, even the first infusion was underwhelming so I am happy you are enjoying it more than I did

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84
drank Lime Bang by DAVIDsTEA
2606 tasting notes

Sipdown! I regret not finishing this sooner, because I think it picked up some strange herbal flavours while sitting around, but the underlying creamy lime is still good. Wish I had been able to try this one back when it first came out.

Indigobloom

ugh I get that with herbals too. and mate as well. almost spicy in a weird way

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81
drank Apricot Fusion by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

Sipdown! Well darn… I actually like this one. Apricot flavouring is another one that 52teas does well (I also like my Apricot Shou Mei Cheesecake), and this tea is no exception. Juicy apricot flavour and a bit of creaminess as well – the apricot flavour lingers on the palate long after I finish a sip, too. I did mess up the base a bit – I assumed this was a white and brewed it as such; it probably should have been brewed as a green due to the long jing, but oh well, it didn’t suffer too much, just a bit of bitterness (and to be honest, I probably could have added a bit more water and eliminated that).

Anyhow, it’s too bad this tea is gone, because I probably would have like to have some around. Thanks for sharing some, Sil!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

i don’t even remember giving you this hahaha

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76
drank Amaretto by Culinary Teas
2606 tasting notes

Strange that there are so few notes about this tea…

Anyhow, an extremely, 2+-years belated thanks to Alphakitty for the generous sample of this tea! I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried it prior; possibly because it got lost in the swap shuffle, but I have tried it now, and it’s pretty decent! I’m sure it has lost some flavour, but it’s still a nice, nutty black, with hints of caramel. I didn’t really pick up any cherry, but that’s probably an age thing. One big bonus here is that it fared quite well with a 2-minute infusion (prevented most astringency). I wish I had tried this back when it was newer, but I’m happy to drink it up now!

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91

Drinking some of the Spring 2014 version of this tea… and it’s glorious. It was even more glorious when I drank it when it was fresher, but it’s still quite good. Sweet, vegetal, rock sugary, beany goodness. A perfect dragonwell, and you can get multiple infusions from it too, which is great! I drank three total over the weekend (and am currently using the second half of the packet for a new set of infusions!)

Previous comments about this tea stand – although fresher is definitely better!

Thanks so much to Teavivre for this delicious sample!

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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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