2970 Tasting Notes

100

Probably shouldn’t have drank this while sick – the flavours aren’t really strong enough to cut through the gunk and get to my poor olfactory receptors. It had a lovely mouthfeel going down, though!

dragondrool

Feel better hugs to you!

Kittenna

Thanks – I’m getting through it, slowly!

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100

Have been super sick over the last few days and didn’t want tea except one day, where I brewed up 3 faves (this being one of them). Drank the resteeps at work today, which was tasty, even though my sense of smell/taste is clearly still compromised. Anyways, this was yummy, and I had a really interesting experience with the last 1/3 of yesterday’s mug of it (that I drank this morning) – there was a very strong, and very tasty honey flavour along with the roasty chocolatey goodness. No idea if that was from leaving it overnight, or an artifact of messed up senses, but it was incredibly delicious.

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72
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
2970 tasting notes

Don’t recall what I wrote last time, but the grapefruit flavour really is fairly accurate in this one. Quite identifiably grapefruit, not miscellaneous citrus or anything else. I still maintain that Butiki’s is better, but to be fair, there’s also a much better base tea with her version, and I think that really complements the grapefruit flavour, whereas this tea has a basic sencha, and I don’t think seaweedy notes work so well. Regardless, I had a couple yummy travel mugs of this (one resteep).

Ah – read my old note – I originally tried a sample from someone else, whereas this time, it was from my half of a 50g packet from a Jan 2013 Happy Bag. So, much more flavour, in spite of the terrible storage (I hate Lupicia’s non-resealable packaging. At least make it have a metal twist-tie closure or something!! Not airtight but better than lying open!)

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

Sometimes I just put a rubber band around mine or tape them shut. I suppose that isn’t the best way to keep them good.

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75
drank Mango Sorbet by Octavia Tea
2970 tasting notes

Sipdown! Thanks to Roswell Strange for the last of her precious sample of this tea! Also, super pleased that Octavia’s samples are in small resealable pouches.

Anyhow, I found this tea kind of interesting. The initial aroma smelled quite appealing, and reminded me of a 52teas blend I enjoy – Apricot Cheesecake Shou Mei. I think that’s the one… So clearly my brain wasn’t wanting to process a difference between apricot and mango, which was a little odd. Either way, once brewed up, it tastes rather similar too, so I think the base tea must be the same and contributing something in each case, and the flavourings, both being fruity, aren’t different enough for me to distinguish. Regardless, it’s tasty, and in the aftertaste, I get a sort of tanginess that makes me think of sorbet. To be honest, though, it’s probably not mango-y enough for me, but I haven’t really ever had a mango tea that was.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Anlina

I would love to find a mango tea that captures the depth of the flavour of a fresh mango, with that slight tangy bite it has from the enzymes.

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85

A huge thank you to VariaTEA for giving me a sample of this tea! I’ve been super curious, but haven’t had the chance to really get my hands on any of this previously.

The dry tea smells very chocolatey, and cacao nibs are clearly visible – I don’t always like the inclusion of cacao nibs for whatever reason, and the smell of the blend came off to me as a bit fakey, so I was prepared not to overly care for it. Sadly, I was a bit wrong. It’s way better steeped. Like liquid dark, fruity chocolate. Maybe a touch artificial, but it’s so rich and creamy. And dark. I do quite like it. Not enough to pay the extravagant prices that it costs, though, but it will remain in my head as a great chocolate tea to recommend. The only thing that would maybe make it better would be some cacao shell and perhaps a bit of base tea roastiness. (But then I’m probably turning it into LBCG… which is my all-time chocolate favourite).

(Oh, also I steeped this for 4 minutes by accident. It was fine. So the black base here is clearly pretty forgiving.)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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63
drank Strawberry Blush Rosé by Teavana
2970 tasting notes

I was gifted with 6 oz. (6 oz.!) of this recently, and was really hoping it would be at least decent (high hopes given Teavana’s reputation). Thankfully, it’s not too bad. There are a ridiculous number of ingredients (including many I dislike) mashed into this blend (not good for cup-to-cup consistency, sadly), but they come together to produce a somewhat fakeish, juice-like, strawberry fruit-ish tea. But forget about the oolong – it’s only in here so they can charge a lot more for the blend, because I’d estimate that maaaayyybe 10-20% of this blend is actual tea.

I actually resteeped this, and found that the second infusion was perhaps even better than the first, where everything just blended into a fruitiness. I’ve certainly had much more unpleasant blends, and I think this would actually be pretty good iced/cold in the summer. I wouldn’t buy it myself, though, because I much prefer tea that contains a noticeable amount of actual tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Sadly, putting this in a travel mug takes away some of the creme brûlée flavour… but it was still good. Just not amazing. Live and learn.

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90
drank Tangerine Spice by Kally Tea
2970 tasting notes

Made this for a travel mug again because I’m an idiot. Same thing as last time – no flavour after it sat for a while. Oops. Will try not to do it again.

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85
drank Chaud Les Marrons! by Lupicia
2970 tasting notes

Backlog. I drank this. At some point. Says my backlogged tea list. … :D

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95
drank Apple Custard by DAVIDsTEA
2970 tasting notes

Made some of this into an eggnog latte shortly before coming home from my holiday, and although it was certainly tasty, I don’t think the flavour is bold enough for the eggnog (and since I have to use so much tea for a regular cup to begin with, I felt it was a bit of a waste to use like 5tbsp for one eggnog latte, just so I could taste the custardy-apple.

whatshesaid

Tell me, when you make eggnog lattes, how are you doing it? I simply must try….

Fjellrev

This was the only one I ordered in the store as an eggnog latte and had the same experience.

Kittenna

I’m the laziest person ever with eggnog lattes. Make very strong tea (like 2-3 tbsp in 8 oz.), warm up eggnog, pour hot tea into warm eggnog. The eggnog can be cut with milk (probably a good idea in most situations), and you could make the milk foamy in the microwave by shaking it in a mason jar and then heating it (without the lid). But I never bother, because I don’t care about foam.

Kittenna

Also, I like my lattes warm, not scalding, which is why I don’t put the eggnog in the microwave (hehe yes) for more than about a minute. Then it balances perfectly with the 80C+ tea and I can drink the latte immediately :D

OMGsrsly

I’ve found that microwaving the milk/eggnog too long usually results in overflowing. I do 45 seconds, swirl it, and maybe another 20-30 seconds if I’m willing to wait…

whatshesaid

awesome, will try asap

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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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