2229 Tasting Notes

80

Thanks again to Sil for a sample of this one.

Mmmm, dragonwell. My favourite type of tea. This one is no exception, although I admit that I got the teensiest bit of cat pee aroma/flavour while drinking it. There must just be some compound common to cat pee and some green teas. Really not sure what. Anyways, drank it and enjoyed it. However, I really seem to have a soft spot for Verdant’s Dragonwell-Style Laoshan Green. I know it’s not “real” dragonwell, but even though the samples I have are at least a year old, it still has a sweet, rock sugariness/beaniness that I love, that isn’t present in typical dragonwells. Ah well – this tea still made a delicious cup. At least two, in fact, unless cup #2 couldn’t handle the extra minute and 45 seconds it got while I was distracted putting my tomato plants back outside.

ETA: Cup #2 was just fine, but I didn’t give this a third infusion. I find I really prefer the first couple infusions of greens only.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown! 851. Thanks to Cavocorax for letting me nab a sample of her pouch while it was still sitting around with Sil :D

Hmm. Something about this tea seems kind of familiar, and I’m sad to say that it’s not in a good way. I’m starting to think that me and sTEAp Shoppe’s teas don’t agree… or perhaps, something about their chocolate flavouring/cocoa nibs. It’s not bad, or undrinkable, or anything of the sort, but there’s something that I’m not completely enjoying.

Anyhow, my first impression of this was that it’s creamy and a bit chocolatey. I’m blanking on more details right now though, so will have to go have a bit more and update later.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Tealizzy

I had the same problem with their teas! Love cinnamon swirl bread though!!

Kittenna

Yes, I do like Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I’m 0/5 on the others I’ve tried though. Still have some Cranapple Oolong to try at some point; I’m hoping that chocolate is the problem in those other five blends.

Cavocorax

I can’t wait to try this and see how it compares to Checkmate from DavidsTea. I’ve got those marked as similiar in my head.

Kittenna

I had that same thought! IMO, not very similar. Checkmate is way better.

Cavocorax

HMmmm.. Well I guess mine will be in this week so I’ll find out first-hand! If it’s not great, that’s what I get for being impulsive. :P

Kittenna

At least some of it is already gone though, if it turns out you’re not a big fan! :)

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72
drank Divine Cream by Sloane Tea Company
2229 tasting notes

Sipdown! 852.

So, uh… this smelled like a delicious EG cream when brewing it up, but the flavour was off. Too much bergamot, IMO, and… I was getting a minty note?! I was going to say that this was impossible given that I got it less than a week ago and Sil had it stored in its tin… but it just occurred to me that it was in the box with Butiki’s Peppermint Patty. Which is in a permeable baggie. Oops. My apologies to Divine Cream, as I don’t think I’m doing it justice. I will, however, give it another few sips keeping in mind that the minty note is contamination, and maybe I’ll like it better…. update to follow.

ETA: Let this sit for a while, and while I still got the odd minty note, I really enjoyed it once it was cool! Pretty much a good example of an EG cream – the cream came out a bit more, and the bergamot receded. Tasty; would drink again.

ETA again: Second infusion was a pretty good EG cream (no more mint, yay!), but third infusion, while it smelled great, was pretty flavourless.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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63

Sipdown! 853… Yes, you read that right. I’ve tallied up everything now and am officially over 850 :( Here’s hoping I can make short work of that… July 1 goal: 750.

Anyhow! Thanks to Sil for giving up one of her precious Peaches and Cream teabags. :) I was dying of curiosity about it given the rave reviews!

Steeped it up this morning before I head off to the Farmer’s Market. Haven’t slept yet, but I did try. Sigh. Stupid sleep schedule. But yes, back to the tea. I didn’t look up any brewing parameters beforehand, so just went with my standard 90C/2 min infusion for white teas (heh, I’ve noticed that I pretty much standardly brew all teas aside from oolongs for 2 minutes now. Greens, whites, blacks. Oolongs (green ones) get 3 minutes usually; dark ones I go with given parameters or 1 min). Uh yes. Back to the tea. I’m rambly this morning. I didn’t really get a good whiff of the aroma as I had other teas brewing and just didn’t bother to separate out the cup, but it smelled a bit peachy and vegetal to me. Flavourwise, I’m getting light peach (makes me think white peach), with a gentle, somewhat vegetal white base. No astringency, so it’s very smooth. Definitely a bit on the creamy side, but I think I wanted more of both the creaminess and the peach. I don’t think that a longer infusion would have helped either of those; this tea is probably just meant to be somewhat subtle.

Overall, I am definitely not as taken with this tea as other people have been, which is perfectly ok with me. I still haven’t found a great peachy tea – though Peach HoppiTea minus the hops might make a good case for it. This one’s definitely tasty though, just not one I’d be too likely to stock up on (especially given the price!)

ETA: Meh… really didn’t care for the second infusion. Lowering the rating… I don’t think this is a tea I need to drink again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

100 teas in 30 days, providing you don’t get more anytime soon. I believe in you!

Kittenna

Thanks! :D That’s only 3-4 sip downs a day, which is manageable on average. The only teas I should be getting during June will be a few from DavidsTea, as I haven’t yet picked up the summer collection or three of the TOTMS, plus my 3 from the Amoda box, but I think I’ll be ok even with those added. But it will definitely be tough! Hopefully I can wrangle another few yet tonight :D
(Lucky for me, even if I place an online order, I’m unlikely to actually get the teas until July because Sil will probably have them! Hehe.)

Fjellrev

Are most of them samples? If so, then it should be a piece of cake! I haven’t touched DT in a while, but would like to pick some up too. The convenience makes it hard to ignore.

Sil will be the one to press the reset button haha.

Kittenna

Most (2/3?) of them are less than 1 oz., probably most of those less than 0.5 oz. There are definitely enough 1-cup samples for me to get down 100 teas though. Or if I have to extend into 2-cup samples, it should still be ok. I run into problems with having to resteep sometimes, though! Still have two Verdant oolongs sitting and waiting for me to finish with them.

Sigh. That Sil….

Cavocorax

Exciting. 100 teas in a month. It’ll be fun to see how you do.

Hope the teas I’m sending you don’t hurt you too badly! :P

Kittenna

Haha, hopefully I’ll be ok! :D I should really bring down some 1-cup samples right now to get started… hahaha.

Cavocorax

I love 1 cup samples. :) I’ve got a tiny little shoe box just for those!

Kittenna

I should really organize things like that, but I almost prefer not knowing exactly how much tea I have…. hahahaha. That way I can make assumptions like above :D

Cavocorax

Hahah. I’m afraid to see how you’ve got yours organized! I have mine organized broadly by type, and then my little sipdown box that I force myself to dig through and drink up periodically!

Kittenna

Mine is in cardboard boxes (like, the ones I received the tea in), organized by tea company or swapper. Some tea companies are in the same box, some take up two boxes (e.g. 52teas). At the very least it makes things relatively easy to find (except that I also have some teas that never made it back to the right box when I moved… sigh.)

Cavocorax

:P Whatever works! I think that would drive me crazy but when I’m craving tea I narrow it down by type instead of by company. But who am I to judge! Haha. I think not knowing exactly how much tea you have is safer for your sanity!

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88
drank Blazing Strawberries by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

I seriously cannot get enough of this tea as a chilled hot brew. I craaaaave it. It’s crazy! And I’m running out quickly. Sigh. I should really be trying to drink down other teas…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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78
drank Honeydew Mate by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Cold-brew! I thought this one would do really well cold-brewed. And, it is pretty successful, although I think I underleafed slightly. There’s definitely tasty honeydew flavour, but there’s a bit too much mate flavour (or possibly green rooibos?) and I’m not a big fan of it. I think I have just a bit of this one left; I may still cold-brew the rest because it is certainly refreshing and all that, but it’s not my favourite. I’m guessing it would be better with sweetener, but I’ve been a bit too sweetener-happy lately!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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93
drank Lime Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
2229 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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93
drank Lime Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
2229 tasting notes

Ohhh maaaan. Finally got around to cold-brewing this (and I did a side-by-side hot-brew-then-chill comparison as well). This stuff is wicked cold-brewed. Massively creamy, delicious, limey goodness. It’s perfect. And I didn’t notice any difference between hot-chill and cold-brew methods, so don’t bother doing anything but chucking some of this tea in a cup, filling it up with cold water, and leaving it in the fridge for a while. I highly recommend a bombilla for subsequent consumption of this tea, as it eliminates the necessary to futz about with straining the tea or whatever. And for the most part, the bombilla prevents little rooibos pieces from making their way into your mouth.

Anyhow! Very impressed with this one. I have DT’s Lime Gelato sitting downstairs to attempt both ways as well soon, and I’ll see how it compares to this one. I think it may have the edge on tasting a bit more fruity, but it probably will lose this battle. Yeah. Lime Chiffon is that good.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Tea Sipper

I’ll have to try this cold brewed but I’m new.. how do I get the leaves out of the mug after “chucking some of the tea in the cup”?

Kittenna

My preferred option is to use a bombilla, which is basically a straw with a filter on the bottom, so you can just drink the tea and avoid sucking up any bits. However, it seems that the rooibos bits are pretty fine in this tea, and I was getting some in my mouth (ick), so the other option is to then dump tea + leaves from cup #1 through a brew basket into cup #2 :)

Tea Sipper

ah, okay, I had no idea what a bombilla was. But it definitely sounds handy for drinking iced teas! thanks

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71

Another Verdant sample that I’m just getting around to trying. I discovered that my sample pack of this was not properly sealed, so the whole time I’ve had it, it has been sitting totally exposed to the air :( I’m hoping this won’t affect it, but I guess I probably will never know.

Anyhow, I also followed the Verdant instructions for this one, using 1 tbsp of tea for 8 oz. water, and rinsing the leaves once before a 30s infusion. The resulting brew has a toasty aroma that reminds me of other aged oolongs I’ve previously had (notably the other Verdant ones). I don’t know how long the other two were aged… well, actually, they were roasted. Maybe they weren’t aged at all? I have no idea. They smell the same, anyway.

Flavourwise, this one also tastes much like those other oolongs. Creamy, smooth, and lightly roasty. It’s more the sort of tea I’d turn to when I wanted something warm and comforting, than when I wanted an oolong fix. It’s tasty, but I don’t know what the difference between it and other similar oolongs is, and being that I already have good-sized amounts of two of them, I probably don’t need more of a third.

More notes on additional infusions to come.

ETA: Second infusion (1 min) was pretty darn delicious. Similar flavour profile. Third infusion (2 min) is ok, but losing flavour. I’ll try a fourth and see how it goes, but 3 might be it.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Tealizzy

Funny that you had this today! I’m on my 3rd steep! Ha! Will write tasting note in a bit. :)

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85

My first dong ding oolong experience was with Teavivre’s, and it went very badly. Mostly, I oversteeped it (and probably overleafed as well) and it tasted awful. I still have at least one sample pack, so should really give it another shot some time.

Anyhow, in the spirit of trying all the teas, I picked up a sample pack of this from Verdant a while ago. And since I felt like some straight tea tonight (and am planning a teensy Verdant order in the near future), I figured I should make some progress on a few sample packs tonight!

I approximately followed Verdant’s instructions for this tea: 1 tbsp of tea, 8 oz. of water, a brief rinse, and then a 30-second infusion. I thought it would be a bit weak, but the aroma seems to indicate otherwise – it’s a bit toasty and a bit florally-green… definitely intriguing! The first sip is lightly sweet and floral, kind of like TGY but without that turpentine smell/overly green flavour. The second sip (this tea is a bit too hot for my liking, still) brings out more sweetness, and is a bit more vegetal, but also has more oolong aftertaste. I keep spying bits of Dinosara’s note as I’m writing, and I agree that it’s quite savoury. I’m enjoying it, although I’m not sure it’s quite my favourite sort of oolong (and what that is, other than good milk oolongs, I can’t really tell you quite yet to be honest.)

I’m interested to see where the next few infusions take me, but this is certainly pretty tasty so far!

ETA: Like the other oolong, the second infusion of this one (1 min) was pretty tasty, but the second infusion (2 min) tastes a bit astringent and oversteeped. Perhaps should have gone with 1.5min. I’ll try a fourth infusion tomorrow to see what happens.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Tealizzy

I liked this one a lot! Probably will pick up some in a future order.

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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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