2229 Tasting Notes

53

Last Culinary Teas sample from Jackie T.

Hmm, initially I thought there was a creaminess, but then I only really tasted spice. And not quite chai spice either. No pumpkin either. I’m also not a big fan of sprinkles in tea… they make things gross and are totally unnecessary. If you want to make a tea pretty, put in flower petals or something.

Anyways, not really impressed with this tea. I’ve had better pumpkin spice teas.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
2229 tasting notes

I think I might prefer this one brewed for a bit less time than the “ice wine” brewing parameters. First infusion ended up being way too strong, but the second one is quite delicious. I thought that maybe I’d lost my taste for this tea, but I don’t really think so, I think I’m just not brewing it properly!

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82

This one was good. I drank it a bit absentmindedly while the boy was over, but I recall it tasting better than I expected; like a light, creamy toffee. The second infusion was also tasty! For some reason, I had previously dismissed Culinary Teas as being a company I’d perhaps want to order from, but I am now wondering if I’ve done so in error, because I’ve rather enjoyed most of the teas I’ve recently tried. The last one I have from Jackie is on the list for a bit later tonight (gotta get through some re-steeps of the previous ones first) – maybe I’ll check my swap list to see if I have any others lurking about that I could try.

Thanks again Jackie T :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Maple Tea by Culinary Teas
2229 tasting notes

I’m assuming that this tea is what I got a sample of, not Maple Cream. :D Thanks for yet another one from Culinary Teas, Jackie T :)

The first sip of this one, for whatever reason, instantly made me think of 52teas. My suspicion is that something about the flavouring is very similar to a 52teas blend… though I’m not certain which one. I’d say Pancake Breakfast, but I’ve actually only had that tea maybe once. It actually may be Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake (RIP) that I’m remembering.

Anyhow, this tea is probably better than the maple ones I have tried from Tealux, but it doesn’t quite satisfy me as a maple tea should. The flavouring is fairly weak (although not bad), and there’s some astringency despite my short steep. This is probably my least favourite of the five Culinary Teas I’ve tried recently (I don’t know if I’ve tried others previously… memory problems!) It’s still ok, though.

ETA: Bleh, not a fan of the second infusion. Astringent and almost no flavour.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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74

Another tea from Jackie T :D

This tea smells and tastes very much like other strawberry teas I’ve had recently. Like Yaya Strawberry (is that a tea? I’m too tired to look it up. Although whatever I’m remembering was green). Also like… something something Strawberry… something. From Sil. By Majesteas. Ah – Leslie Grove Strawberry Patch! There’s hope for my memory yet (watch me get it wrong).

Anyhow, basically yes, the flavour here is familiar. It’s candy strawberry. But the big difference I’m finding here is that there is very little or no astringency. Woo! Of course, it got only 2 minutes of hot water, but if my memory serves (hmm…), LGSP had some serious astringency issues. So, this tea is superior in that sense. However, I don’t think that this is much like strawberry shortcake… perhaps the strawberries on the top of shortcake, but I’m not getting any cakey flavours. DavidsTea’s Strawberry Shortcake was better in that regard for me.

Thanks Jackie!

ETA: Yum! Tasty second infusion.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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69

Delicious! This rivals Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish as the best blueberry tea I’ve tried (for a while DavidsTea’s Blueberry Jam held that spot… until the stevia became too much). There’s a strong, delicious fresh blueberry aroma and flavour, and although the cream isn’t overly apparent, it’s present as a softening of what could otherwise be a tangy flavour. This is definitely a well-done tea. Thanks for passing some along Jackie T!

ETA: Also a mediocre second infusion.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Pecan Pie by Culinary Teas
2229 tasting notes

Trying a whole bunch of teas from Jackie T today! Thanks so much!

I couldn’t smell much from this one while steeping, but after it had cooled a bit – yum!! Definitely nutty, malty, pecan pie. This is pretty good – there’s a bit of astringency, but I imagine if I went with my intended time of a 2 minute infusion, it would mostly disappear. I would love to put a bit of cream into this tea, but I’m afraid that the flavours, which aren’t super strong, wouldn’t hold up to it, but luckily it is quite enjoyable plain as well.

I would happily drink this one as a travel mug staple – there’s enough flavour and a twinge of sweetness, which is pretty much what I look for in that sort of tea. Sadly, I only have enough for another cup (+one for Sil), so will enjoy it while it lasts!

ETA: Mediocre second infusion. Not unexpected for a flavoured black.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
Sil

YAY! you love me! you really love me!

Kittenna

Or am I just scheming to dump more teas on you so you can never reach 150? Hmmmm……. :D :D

Sil

LOL yeah probably…. though i do a good job of that myself. Placing a small order with cavo and terri to take advantage of the 50% + 10% sale with tazo. grin

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53

Thanks for sharing some of this, Courtney!

Unfortunately, I’m not terribly impressed with it. I could taste a bit of watermelon, and some green tea, but it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. However, I think that maybe an infusion time of 1 minute would serve it better, since it’s a higher grade of green tea – so I’ll give that a shot next time.

The second infusion, though light, was perhaps better than the first, so I still think there is some hope!

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

Thanks for this. I had been eyeing this tea and would have ordered hoping for lotsa watermelon! Now I know.

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56
drank Fu Man Chu by SerendipiTea
2229 tasting notes

Well, perhaps I overleafed, but in my opinion, there was simply too much jasmine in here. I have to say that the pu’erh is an interesting touch to pair with the jasmine, but I really can’t taste the pouchong at all, which is the flavour I was hoping would come out the most. I’ll try a bit less leaf next time to see if I can get a lighter, tastier cup.

The second infusion pretty much tasted just like a reasonable shu pu’erh, and since I wasn’t really in a pu’erh mood, I didn’t bother to resteep the leaves further, although they probably could have gone another couple infusions.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Hmmm. I’m not so excited to try this one as jasmine doesn’t really excite me – maybe I’ll try it as a lighter cup like you did!

Also, this was my last Amoda box! I don’t think I’m going to renew it as I wasn’t crazy about the Organic Goddess either, but I think I was biased because of the hibiscus. :P

I haven’t reviewed it yet, but I DID have some of the Pony Goal iced and with vodka as it was suggsted, and it was tasty! My bf even liked it and so far he hasn’t liked any tea.

Kittenna

Yeah, definitely try it a bit lighter.

I think I have one more Amoda box coming due to a messup with my first one. I don’t know whether I’ll renew it again or not – it’s certainly fun to get the tea, and I’ve liked at least one from each box… but often it’s only one that I really like.

Yeah. I really like Pony Goal. Big winner for me.

Sil

I pretty much try to stay away from boxes in spring and summer. I find that I prefer them a lot more in fall and winter as the taste profiles are more to what I prefer.

Kittenna

I don’t really think that Amoda is like that though, since they aren’t sourcing absolutely fresh teas. I mean, to some extent they’re offering teas good for cooler weather, but I would have pegged Fu Man Chu as a cooler season tea, personally.

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74

I was worried that this tea would be overly hibiscusy, so gave it a very cautious first infusion of only 2 minutes, which is crazy for a herbal. But I think I needn’t have been so careful – the hibiscus was not even noticeable, and I don’t think that it would have ruined the cup had I let the infusion go a bit longer. The tea tasted much like berry juice (how shocking!) – kind of like those 5 cent juicy berry candies that you can buy at a convenience store. It was actually pretty tasty! This might be one that I could sweeten and feed to the boy, if I decide to continue with my efforts to get him to drink tea.

I infused this a second time, and recall the liquor looking a lot more hibiscusy…. but I have no recollection of drinking the tea. I did leave a few teas on my nighttable over the week that I ended up dumping, and I suspect it was one of those. Oh well.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 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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