2931 Tasting Notes

87

Ok, these are super cute and quite delicious, thanks Roswell Strange! I hadn’t tried a mandarin pu’erh before, and so wasn’t quite sure how to proceed… so I just kind of broke the whole thing in half (it’s small, like 4 cm diameter and 1.5 cm tall) and scooped out the tea to infuse. Wasn’t sure if I should put peel in, but my mom (with whom I was sharing this with, because I was 99% sure she’d enjoy it, which she did) felt like we should, so I did. It probably amped up the orange essence a bit, but I don’t really know (since I added it to both cups).

Regarding the tea itself, I think a white was a great choice for pairing with the citrus – there was a subtle orange flavour (like mandarin orange – delicious) with a lovely, light, malty pu’erh. Great smooth, warm finish, too. I’m honestly tempted to try and pick some more of these up before I head back out east (any interest, Toronto area tea buddies who I see with some regularity?)

We got three delicious steeps out of it (so far), and I only used half the cake for two mugs. Definitely a great sample for me, Roswell!!!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
AllanK

Too much of the peel will make it too smoky but you definitely want to put in some peel.

Sil

I’d try it out

VariaTEA

I have some of this and I am too scared to try given the pu’erh

Roswell Strange

@VariaTEA, I think it’s really nice! You should try it. I’ve got another still, and I’ve been really trying to find time to sit down and make it again because it’s one I think I’d want multiple infusions of. @Kittenna, did you ever find time to pick more of this up? I can always buy more and send it out to someone in Toronto like VariaTEA to be split up for people who want to try it. I think it was about $10 for three of those cakes?

Kittenna

We actually did manage to make it to McQuarries! So I got 3 more cakes. I left the rest of the one you shared with my mom, and brought the three whole ones here – one for Sil and two for me (for now). (I also bought their Cappuccino tea, and Bourbon Street Vanilla Rooibos. The latter is for my bf’s mom, and the former was pretty good, but I’ll write a note later.)

Kittenna

Also, AllanK – thanks for the input! I had no idea at all what to do, but I’m glad I did the right thing. I only put a small chunk of peel into each cup; might try a bit more next time, but good to know that “too much” is a possibility.

VariaTEA

So I might sound really dumb for asking but do I use the whole cake for a cup or should I be breaking it up into multiple pieces? Also, don’t worry RS, I shall try it eventually seeing as you were kind enough to send it but first I must build up the nerve to do so.

Kittenna

Not dumb at all! What I would do is peel back the top part of the orange, and scrape/scoop out about your usual amount of tea from the cake inside. Break off a half-thumb-sized piece of the peel, and add it to your infuser. Brew as you would a white (or rinse if you desire, I suppose. I didn’t rinse.)

Kittenna

To be honest, I found it easier to break the cake/peel in half with my hands and scoop from there (it loosened things up a bit. I didn’t want to crush all the leaves!)

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Hmm. So this was not quite as good as I had envisioned, though it was definitely still tasty. I guess I was expecting something with a more aged than roasty profile (or, a more strongly roasty profile), and this is more of a combination. Which I suppose the name indicates, but whatever :P Anyhow, the roastiness here is reasonably gentle, at least in comparison to a few teas I’ve had, and the oolong flavour is good, but a bit mild. I did have problems with astringency in my first cup, but I think I overleafed. I usually use a 3/4 tsp and measure out two per cup, but I grabbed the 1 tsp measure at my parents’ place, and neglected to remember the difference. Whoops. Oh well, lots of tea to try again :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Had a re-steep of my mom’s cup of this tonight, but I’m not sure whether it was the tea that tasted mediocre, or the tea that tasted really good (I’m guessing mediocre, since the bags had been sitting around a bit longer than they should have been). Either way, I know this is good when treated properly :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Toffee Dream by Cornelia Bean
2931 tasting notes

Thanks to Roswell Strange for passing some of this on to me! It was pretty tasty (although to be honest, I’m not sure whether I was drinking Zhena’s Double Vanilla or this tea). I’ve had Toffee Dream by one or two companies before, and I have a recollection of one tasting/smelling quite playdough-y, which this very nicely did not. I’ll have to rate this once I’m actually certain of which tea I’m drinking :D

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
2931 tasting notes

Indulged in a cup of this tonight while watching ‘Ted’ (which was reasonably amusing, I suppose!) The tea was excellent as usual, though. So creamy and perfect. Mild but delicious.

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

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69
drank Gingerbread Coffeecake by 52teas
2931 tasting notes

Sipdown! 11xx (Idk the exact number, and probably won’t for at least a month due to crazy working of two jobs, but it’s around there, haha).

Not really a sipdown though, because I’m leaving this with my mom for her to drink – I enjoy it, but I think she will like it more. I drank the 2nd/3rd infusion of her cup of it, just to remind me how it tasted before leaving it behind. Basically just a gingery green that is a bit on the creamy/bakey side (as opposed to sharply spicy).

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

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drank White Christmas by Lupicia
2931 tasting notes

Backlog from shortly after I picked up my teas from VariaTEA.

As mentioned previously, this came off to me kind of as a blend of their ‘Cookie’ tea and something else, although I haven’t quite identified what yet – in part because I have yet to brew up a non-astringent cup in spite of being quite careful to adhere to my 2 minute infusion. So, I’m not sure what I’m doing incorrectly, though I would guess that I’m overleafing a bit? It smells absolutely delicious though, so it’s been a letdown each time I take a drink from my cup :( Even my re-steeps were terribly astringent/bitter, and I tried cutting the tea with additional water to improve the flavour, but it just diluted it. Perhaps this is just a tea that requires milk/sweetener?

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Chaud Les Marrons! by Lupicia
2931 tasting notes

Mmmmmmmm thank you so much VariaTEA! Now that I’ve tried actual chestnuts, I really appreciate how delicious this tea is (and it’s so much less work than peeling actual chestnuts O.O) Sweet, dark, and delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Vwinsloe

Thanks for posting about this one. I’ve been looking for a chestnut tea with a black base.

Nicole

Single Origin has a candied chestnut black that is very nice.

Vwinsloe

I’ll check it out. Thanks.

OMGsrsly

IDK if you have DanDPak there, but you can get roasted chestnuts in bags. http://www.dan-d-pak.com/products/chestnuts-2/ They’re not as roasty, but they’re sweet and nutty and delicious. Asian supermarkets will have other brands of peeled chestnuts as well. I tend to get this one because it’s what I see everywhere.

Kittenna

Looks tasty – I did once pick up some chestnuts at an asian grocery, but recall them being kind of weird. I’ll look around – Guelph may not have them, but Toronto or KW should.

Kittenna

Vwinsloe – I would definitely recommend this one! I quite like it.

OMGsrsly

That’s another reason why I go for the dan d pak ones all the time. :)

Vwinsloe

Unfortunately out of stock Kittenna, so I ordered some from Adagio to try.

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93
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
2931 tasting notes

Had a lovely eggnog latte of this tea on Christmas Day at the airport. Apparently Terminal 3 at Pearson now has a DT, which was quite a nice surprise :D The barista was a bit taken aback by my choice, but I insisted! Because sooooooo good.

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90
drank Coco Chai Rooibos by DAVIDsTEA
2931 tasting notes

Shared some of this with my boyfriend’s mom on Christmas Eve, I believe. It really hit the spot for both of us – just spicy enough to warm us while playing a card game. Delicious. The boys had beer and cider instead, haha.

Preparation
Boiling

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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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