2973 Tasting Notes

64

52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 6! (Drank Dec. 6… technically 7)
Drinking this late in the evening, so technically the 7th, but since I haven’t gone to bed yet, it still counts as the 6th… right? Haha. Not too much guessing for this one – I’m pretty sure it’s Pumpkin Brownie Honeybush, which I previously had and didn’t much care for. Kind of a spicy aroma (like Strawberry Pie HB), not much else. Similar flavour; still not a fan. Basically tastes like a watered-down Strawberry Pie HB. Ah well.

Ok, so it’s apparently Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake HB… tastes/smells identical to Pumpkin Brownie. Sigh.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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57
drank Green Exotic by Riston
2973 tasting notes

Sipdown! But no change in numbers because I guess I didn’t record this one. Sigh.

Anyways, picked this up at the Toronto Tea Festival. This is the first tea I’m actually trying from Riston – I have samples of others (teabags and a tin split with Sil), but haven’t gotten to them quite yet.

The aroma was actually pretty flavourful once the water hit the teabag (prior there wasn’t much) – the tea looks to be flavoured with black/dark purple fruits, e.g. blackberry, black currant, blueberry – and what I smelled most was a juicy sort of black currant. Tastewise, it’s not bag for a bagged tea, but even with my standard green infusion parameters, which are pretty conservative (82C/2min), the base is bitter. However, it is quite fruity – again very black currant, with a punch of lemon. I really wish the base behaved, because this could actually stand as one of the better flavoured greens I’ve tried. I may try a re-steep, but with the base bitterness, it will probably just head down the drain.

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

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85
drank Vega Reál by Crio Bru
2973 tasting notes

I have a stomachache :( Or maybe I’m just hungry. It’s tough to tell sometimes.

Either way, this was a nice tasty cup of chocolate for today, thanks VariaTea! A bit of bitterness, so probably middling between the smooth one and the more bitter one (names escaping me; I will have to look up both names and ratings later). Really fond of these ‘teas’, though I admit I kind of want some sweetener in them to make it more decadent… I might try and make some into an eggnog latte later tonight if I do indeed pick up eggnog with my groceries.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

Oooh these as an eggnog latte would probably be awesome. And as much as I enjoy them, I could see how sweetner could really make them something special. Perhaps I will have to try that…

Kittenna

I don’t even think much sweetener is needed. Just a bit to take the edge off (although Maracaibo, or whichever one it was that was the least bitter, would require even less). Probably no milk needed, because they taste pretty creamy to me.

Cameron B.

I added a little bit of sugar to mine when I tried Cavalla. :)

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89
drank Frankenberry by 52teas
2973 tasting notes

52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 5! (Drank Dec. 6… technically 7)
Missed drinking this yesterday as I ended up being busy at my boyfriend’s work Christmas party! Fun times. Anyways, this blend looks to be a black, with marshmallow root and piece of some sort of fruit… a quick sniff leads me to think it’s Strawberry Rhubarb, as it smells similar to Lupicia’s version, which I coincidentally drank this evening.

Brewed up, it still smells pretty delicious. Malty and sweet-fruity. Flavourwise it’s not much, since it’s still pretty hot, so I’ll wait a bit longer… Ok, the flavour unfortunately doesn’t match up to the aroma. It’s kind of malty, with some fruitiness, but also some cardboard black base flavour, which I’m not fond of. Bleh. SO much promise! I still think it’s probably Strawberry Rhubarb Black or something along those lines, but if so, the Lupicia version puts it to shame.

Frankenberry? Really? Weird. I enjoyed my sample of Frankenberry more than I enjoyed this cup, but I suppose I can see that they’re the same. Just wasn’t immediately obvious to me. Ah well, sad to have another repeat when I thought it wouldn’t be (but I knew it was inevitable).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Thanks to KittyLovesTea for a sample of this far too long ago!

Although the leaves look dark, this oolong brews up lighter than expected, and it appears that the leaves are actually kind of a dark green. I think it may have been a poor choice to sip this after Verdant’s Mi Lan Dancong Black, because this tea is lighter and greener, and I’m having difficulty tasting the nuances. There’s definitely a green-oolong-esque aftertaste, and lots of mineral notes to start off… but things get a bit murky in between. I didn’t look, but I assume ‘almond’ refers to notes in the tea as opposed to flavouring; I’m not picking it up, but again, palate contamination. I’ll leave it for a bit and try again.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95

Sipdown! 971.

A deliciously honeyed black with undertones of chocolate; I wish this wasn’t a sipdown, but it was a sample packet and really needed to go. I really should rate this even higher as it’s such a treat. Sigh.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Caramel Popcorn by T by Daniel
2973 tasting notes

This tea I actually enjoy enough to try and drink up my share before it’s passed on to Raritea. A bit sweet and popcorny, it’s decent enough. Nothing much else to say!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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98

Sipdown! 972.

I’m banking that this is the one they bring back, haha, so I am finishing it off since I was craving more pear (spoilers, lol), and it was just sitting in the Tea Infusion Zone. Dry, the aroma was a bit lacking today, but all was fixed when steeped. So much heavenly baked pear goodness.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Good job, self. You made a Good Decision in purchasing an extra half ounce of this one, because it’s pretty yummy (first time not in a travel mug). Creamy plummy aroma, creamy plummy flavour. I’m really quite pleased with this one and regretting that I wasted some in a travel mug. Oh well! Still on bag #1, so there’s a fair bit left to savour.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
QueenOfTarts

I love this one!

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93
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
2973 tasting notes

Had an eggnog tea latte of this tonight… and boy was it delicious :D It’s a good thing I’m not always near a DT, or I’d have trouble resisting the lure of eggnog lattes every day. Not sure I could taste a ton of cranberry or pear, but it may just be that it blended in really well… IDK. Just yum. I think I’ll try Chocolate Macaroon next, if I let myself get another. Haha.

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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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