2931 Tasting Notes

70
drank Masala Chai by Tea Desire
2931 tasting notes

Well… now I know with 100% certainty that my tasting notes are not all here. Or, that teas have been deleted instead of being merged, or something. Because it was me who gave pretty much everyone here this tea, and I know I wrote notes on it, rambling on about how I have 250g of this darn tea. How incredibly irritating. Makes me really want to copy-paste everything offline, since Steepster has been so unreliable.

Anyhow, steeped a bunch of this to make a pseudo latte with skim milk. Added some maple syrup, discovered that my maple syrup may be going bad (REALLY. I didn’t think that was possible. FFS.) but drank the tea anyways, and it was alright, but not spectacular. I think I should mix some of a strong lapsang into it next time. I love smoke with chai.

(Also, I am very grumpy not only because of this notes-missing realization, but because I was so excited about popping a cob of popcorn in my microwave tonight (picked it from a local farm about a month ago when we were getting pumpkins), and the damned thing pretty much caught on fire in the microwave 1 minute and 44 seconds in to its 2.5-3 minute nuking. I had to panicfully grab a bowl of water, grab the corn with oven mitts and throw it in, watching sadly while it smoked and fizzled. So the whole freaking house smells like smoke (because I am NOT opening windows when it’s minus a bajillion out there), and I got no popcorn. AND because of the weather, my boyfriend didn’t drive over tonight for supper, so I had a pot roast all by myself. And no snuggles. Woe.)

Sil

Sometimes they’re not there and then they are….but yes. Frustrating

Anlina

Boo, I’m sorry about your tasting notes and the corn.

dragondrool

Sorry everything went wonky on you. Hope things are much improved today.

Kittenna

Thanks guys! It just so irks me when things are gone when they shouldn’t be. Also, popcorn. mourns

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Ehhhhhh this was weird. Oddly sweetish aroma from the bag – familiar, but not what I was expecting, in that it neither smelled like chocolate nor pumpkin spice, more like… floral something. Odd. The flavour, though not bad, was also kind of weird, and not exactly how I’d expect a pumpkin brownie to taste. To be fair, though, I retrospectively am thinking that chocolate + pumpkin is a bit of an odd combo… maybe I wouldn’t like it to begin with! Ah well. Was playing ‘Stone Age’ online with my boyfriend tonight while drinking it, and wasn’t paying as much attention to it as I should have. Next time!

ETA: Hah, while resteeping I remembered what the aroma reminded me of. It’s of the spicing in both Cinnamon Roll HB and Strawberry Pie HB. Which is not, in itself, a bad thing, but it doesn’t quite fit to me here. Also, there’s not enough other flavour along with it – Cinnamon Roll HB was packed with this, plus frosting & baked goods flavouring, while Strawberry Pie HB was, duh, strawberries + baked goods. This is… eh? But as mentioned, I’ll properly review a first infusion of this at a later date.

Marzipan

Love Stone Age!

OMGsrsly

IMO, pumpkin does not go with chocolate. :)

Kittenna

Marzipan – I may love it when I win at it a bit more… or even, once… (I did enjoy it though. Just need to improve my strategy!)

OMGsrsly – I agree, except one glaring exception is Della Terra’s Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, cuz that tea is GOOD.

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drank Kiwi Cheesecake Oolong by 52teas
2931 tasting notes

Going to have to try this properly the next time, because I way oversteeped (6.5 minutes! Whoops!) However, I kind of liked it. Light greenish oolong flavour with a nice light fruitiness. Not real kiwi, but I can believe that it’s kiwi flavouring. Didn’t really get cheesecake, but a) I rarely do, and b) it’s probably way oversteeped for that. Regardless, it was enjoyable and I’ll see how it fares when properly brewed.

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87

Sipdown! 990.

This is a sipdown of apparently 3 different sample sizes I have of this tea. Not entirely certain if I know the locations of the others, but hopefully they are unopened (this was open). Anyhow, I don’t have any particular aversion to jasmine (as long as I am wanting/expecting it), and this is quite a nice version of it. No artificialness, a great silky smooth and flavourful base, strong yet delicate jasmine aroma and flavour. Not always something I’m craving, but it was nice tonight.

Sil

No more tea for you lol not until you get a smaller cupboard!

Kittenna

Hahahaha. I need to spend some time organizing, too, and cross-referencing with my spreadsheet.

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83
drank Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong by Yezi Tea
2931 tasting notes

Sipdown! 991. (Added my en-route Butikis and Verdant, hence the upswing. I am hovering dangerously near 1000….)

Oddly enough, it looks like Raritea must have given me the second half of her packet of this or something, since I have a prior tasting note on it yet the packet has her name on it. So presumably, I have another half-packet lurking somewhere else (unless I drank it during the months I was away from Steepster, in which case I’d expect to at least find the empty packet at some point…) (Also while looking on my spreadsheet for this tea, I discovered that I didn’t add my Yezi teas to the spreadsheet, which again probably means my count is lower than it should be. Argh.)

Anyways, back to the tea. It’s really quite lovely – quite richly chocolatey with a bit of hay, and fairly malty as well. Great flavour and strength, reminding me quite a bit of Laoshan Black. Ultra smooth as well. If by chance I do find that other half packet, I should really try a side-by-side comparison of the two. It’s worth noting as well that I am not picking up smoke here. It’s possible that it’s there, and because I like it, it’s just not glaringly obvious to me (this happens frequently with me and garlic), but I’d think it’s certainly at a level for smoky tea newbs to handle.

Thanks again to Yezi Tea for these great samples, and know that had I the cupboard space and $$, I’d be all over their blacks.

Sil

Pretty sure this is a non smoke variety….

Kittenna

Yeah, I read a few reviews after and noted that. I think the similarity to the name of the version from Verdant had me thrown.

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Errp. Well, thanks to Raritea for sharing this, and Yezi for originally sending it… I guess I drank it and failed to make any notes whatsoever. How terrible of me. I have no recollection of it, but given that I don’t remember it, I suspect the flavour was super light, and I wasn’t overly fond of it. Otherwise it probably would have made an impression. Fairly standard reaction to a white tea, for me.

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76

Sipdown! 980. This is a review for the second half of my sample packet, not the larger 1 oz. pouch I also have. (I don’t believe either of these is the summer blend, but I don’t know. Agh.)

Anyways, still enjoying it; there’s the savory/umami broth flavour that I got from Chocolate Phoenix Chai, although with warming spices, most of which I can’t individually pick out, which is a positive thing for me because I hate one-note chais (unless that note is cardamom). One of the few chais I actually enjoy drinking without anything added, which is always a positive feature. Not sure why I have this rated at a 71; going to bump it up a bit because it’s pretty yum even if it’s not the perfect chai.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Krystal

Sounds yummy!

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71

The fourth and final Dr. Who-themed tea for tonight (my bladder just can’t take any more). The aroma is fairly chocolatey, which is quite present in the flavour as well. I can also taste the distinct flavour of rooibos, though it’s not the objectionable medicinal flavour, just that characteristic woody/herbal-ness, which is bearable. This tea actually tastes much like a chocolate rooibos I’ve had previously… I’m thinking the one from the Amoda box, but I could be wrong (I could probably confirm that if I was less lazy, because I know I still have that one around). It has a bit more body to it though (probably the black). What’s odd is that the chocolate comes through as almost bitter – I’m probably influenced by noticing the documented flavours before pulling up the review screen, but it’s certainly not the milk chocolate flavour that most teas seem to aim for. It’s not unpleasant, though.

Upon looking up the tea ingredients – I think almond might account for that flavour that’s coming off as bitterness to me, and there’s surprisingly not much chocolate in here given the number of chocolate-related ingredients. Ah well. Not overly enamoured by this blend, but it’s not bad. I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy it more sans rooibos. Thanks Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Nina's Paris by Nina's Paris
2931 tasting notes

Sipdown! 981. Apparently I had misplaced one of my Nina’s samples generously sent quite a while back by Laurent (very belated thanks!) and since it was both an easy sipdown AND in a baggie, it was an easy choice for tonight when I found it.

Upon opening the package, a delicious juicy aroma filled my nostrils… surprising, considering both age and packaging. By that aroma, if I’d had to guess, I would have assumed it was some version of a red fruits tea. Looks like I’d be incorrect though, and would have figured that out once I took a sip, since orange is definitely the most dominant flavour here, along with a bit of smokiness and additional fruitiness to round things out. Although a bit more muted, the orange reminds me of the orange flavour in Butiki’s Two Friends – and I really quite enjoy that flavouring. (I miss the chocolate though, haha.) Overall, it’s a pretty good blend – a fruity, possibly smoky (this could be contamination) tea, and I feel like it could be great iced, although I’ll probably never end up trying it that way.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Another delicious yum-smelling tea, a bit like caramel and vanilla. That’s kind of what I’m tasting too – kind of a caramel vanilla black. I was expecting a bit of fruitiness from the… fruit chunks (apple?) but am not really detecting anything. I see that this is supposed to be coconut-vanilla-apple (which sounds fabulous!), so I’m wondering if spending time in a baggie zapped a bit of the flavour. Possible, though it’s still good. Nine has won out for me, when comparing these three blends though (which is funny, since I even steeped it incorrectly!) Thanks for sharing another one Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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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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