2609 Tasting Notes

84

So… somehow I ended up with the last 20g or so of this from Sil … It was just in one of the bags she gave me one time. Curious. :P

Anyhow, it’s a decent enough tea. Nice and fruity; more papaya than strawberry, but I like the fruitiness. Drank a travel mug’s worth plus a reinfusion over the weekend, and left the rest at the boy’s house since I think it will be a good choice while I’m over visiting.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Sil

zomg bold didn’t work… WHAT DID YOU DO! uh..i think you got it ’cause you liked it more than me..

Kittenna

OH LOL. I guess it’s the period after. I’ll fix it momentarily. Also, that’s a valid reason. And I’m not complaining :D

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67
drank Champagne Cider by Butiki Teas
2609 tasting notes

Thanks so much to Sil and… I don’t remember who sent her these teas :( But thank you! I excitedly got to trying them today – this was the first I brewed up. Overall verdict? Not bad. My initial sips could have been confused with a cup of unsweetened apple cider, though after it sat a bit longer, I could taste a bit of the honeybush (not unpleasant, just present), and the flavours didn’t meld quite as well. Still, one of the best approximations of apple cider that I’ve tasted, and I love how the cinnamon isn’t overpowering. Probably not a tea I’d seek out again, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Tai Ping Hou Kuai by Bonsai Hill
2609 tasting notes

Picked up 25g of this tea at the Toronto Tea Festival – it possibly has the largest leaves of any tea I’ve tried yet! (Or, largest intact leaves). Anyhow, the leaves smelled a bit like cucumber in the little sampling dish the company had out, and I found that intriguing, therefore decided to buy some.

The brewing process is rather interesting – I suspect that this tea is supposed to be brewed like a dragonwell, keeping the leaves in the cup and adding water. I don’t drink my tea hot, so can’t do that without oversteeping, so I just brewed this as a normal green (although it was a bit tricky to make sure the leaves were fully submerged, since they are so long! Nearly 3 inches, I’d say.)

The end result was definitely interesting – I hoped for a bit more cucumber, but instead it was on the smoky side, and more of a grassy sort of vegetal than the beany I’m more used to. It was definitely interesting; I’ll need to give it another go to figure out exactly how I feel about it. Certainly not bad, but not sure about buying it again (although I now want to try some from another company, perhaps Teavivre if they carry it.)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
K S

I liked Teavivre’s version but tai ping hou kuai seems to be an acquired taste. Not bad but not a favorite for me.

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89

Sipdown! Thanks again to Fong Mong Tea for this sample! Although a little old, and not properly stored, it was still a pretty enjoyable oolong. A bit creamy, a bit floral, but nowhere near as much as a tieguanyin… my kind of green oolong, for sure. I’ll enjoy the next infusions shortly.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Pleasantly surprised to find this in my January Amoda tea box – I’ve discovered that I like hojicha, and I like toasty rice in my tea, and therefore I like this sort of combination. I don’t think this is the first of its kind that I’ve tried (I could be wrong, though), but the flavour was about as expected – sweet, toasty, and ricey. No green-ness. A fairly boring yet flavourful/comforting tea to have with a meal or on its own. (And I only mean boring in the sense that there aren’t as many flavours swirling around, IMO). Anyhow, tasty, and a good pick for a tea box.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cavocorax

I really liked this one, although I didn’t expect to.

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Second tea from Amoda’s January 2014 box. I didn’t take great notes on it, but what I do remember is a definite cherry flavour, different from cherry blacks I’ve had previously. I’m not a big fan of maraschino/candied cherries (which are the types of cherries I associate with black forest cake), but I’m not quite sure it tasted like that… anyhow, I’ll have to give it another shot and pay a bit more attention! At the very least, I remember it being ok? Haha.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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57

How interesting. I just discovered that this tea is the same tea that was in one of Amoda’s boxes last year. How incredibly disappointing. I knew the name sounded familiar (and the flavour was fairly standard), but hadn’t put it together until I came to log it… Not impressed at all.

As the tea goes, I’m fairly meh about it… reasonably standard minty rooibos. I don’t recall it being bad, but it also wasn’t anything special.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cavocorax

It’s an odd choice for Amoda. It’s not like it’s difficult to find a winter themed tea!

Cavocorax

Well I guess I’ll decide if I keep up with it based on this month’s.
(But then I say that every month and then forget. :( )

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80
drank Black Currant by Saharas Supplies
2609 tasting notes

Sipdown! Not sure what happened last time (tastebuds off?), but I’m definitely getting delicious black currant in this cup. Not really any creaminess, just the rich fruitiness. That said, it is kind of weak, which I’m sure is age-related. Overall a good pick for a true-to-flavour fruity tea though. Pretty enjoyable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

Sooooo delicious. I think this is another tea I missed logging a while back, because I’m 99% sure I’ve brewed it up before. Anyhow, it tastes more or less like DavidsTea’s Salted Caramel – rich, chocolatey, caramelly, and I’m actually tasting marshmallows in this blend. Absolutely decadent dessert blend.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Two Friends by Custom (Butiki)
2609 tasting notes

Ohhhhh delicious, delicious tea. Can you believe that I forgot this tea even existed?! Crazy. Anyhow, It was amazing today. Favourite chocolate orange tea, hands down. Eventually I’ll order more, but thankfully I still have enough for a few more cups. The chocolate just blends so well with the base and the orange is absolutely lovely… definitely more fruity than peel (I don’t care for peel). Mmm.

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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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