2390 Tasting Notes

90
drank Pony Goal by The Teaologist
2390 tasting notes

So… potentially but thankfully not super gross story…

I went to have a cup of this tea the other day, and discovered a huge lump of… something in my bag. I hadn’t previously noticed it. The lump was covered in fuzzies from the tea, and was slightly squishy… unsurprisingly I was quite grossed out. My best guess was that it was a wad of gum or something. Anyhow, I ended up getting up the nerve to take it out of the bag and cut it in half… and lo and behold, it was just a large dehydrated strawberry!! Whew! So crisis averted, and I had a cup of this tea :D

(So basically, if you pick up some of this tea and find something “foreign” in it, fear not, odds are good it’s just a strawberry!)

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

I was freaking out halfway through the story and was then relieved to figure out it was a strawberry xD

Fuzzy_Peachkin

haha! Good thing it wasn’t something much worse!

Kittenna

You have no idea how relieved I was!!! Since i had drank two previous cups from the bag…

Cavocorax

Ugh. Yeah, that would be horrifying!

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58

Pretty sure this one has lost a lot of its floral by sitting for so long… but it’s not too bad iced anyways! Hot-brew and chill method. Thanks to Indigobloom for a sample!

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

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89

Sipdown! 817 (finally added in teas from momo… sigh). I thought that I didn’t have any of this left, but apparently I did… and not just the remnants from one package, but two are apparently listed in my tea spreadsheet. Interesting – I’ll have to see if I can find the second one… I swear I finished it, though.

Anyhow! This is still pretty darn delicious, though I definitely prefer the heavier blacks in the winter, it seems. Dark, rich chocolatey flavours. Looking forward to another couple infusions.

ETA: My previous tasting notes indicate that I did in fact sipdown my other sample already, so 816! Hurrah!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I love this one!

NofarS

I admire you for being able to keep track of all this tea in a spreadsheet. After several tries, I’ve mostly given up :)

Kittenna

Haha, it’s definitely not entirely accurate, but I do make the effort to delete things when I drink them, and add them when I get them, so it’s not so bad. I’ve always had a list for swap items (so I can keep track of who gave me what), but it did take some solid effort to write up the list of non-swap teas :) It’s nice to know what I should have – even if I can’t find it!

Kittenna

Also Terri – I quite like this one too. Can’t justify buying any right now, especially since I still have plenty of the Laoshan Black and Premium Taiwanese Assam, but perhaps sometime in the future (if Verdant has it again in like, 3 years when I have less than 200 teas, hahaha.)

Cavocorax

Kittena – what are we going to do with you when Black Friday hits? Are we going to have to lock you away from all computers so you don’t double your collection? :P

Terri HarpLady

I print out my spreadsheet on the first day of each month. As the days pass I manually check off the teas I drink (with cute little symbols), making notes on if it’s a sipdown, or the steeping parameters, etc. At the end of the month I update the list on my computer, then print & do it all again.

Cavocorax

Oh I like that system! That would be a nice way to keep track of the TYPES of tea I have. What else do you guys track on your spreadsheets? (If I’m going to go and make one, I’d better start with all the important fields than have to redo it…)

Terri HarpLady

On mine, I start with whites, then flavored whites (both small catagories), then green, then flavored…etc.
Right now there are 4 columns: Type, Name of Tea, brand, & re? (as in reorder). Each section is alphabetical by brand.

Cavocorax

That sounds like a good start. Do you track ALL teas that you’ve tasted and then hide the ones you’ve finished?

Terri HarpLady

If it’s something I want to restock, I keep it on the list with asterisks around it, to remind me to restock.
If it’s something that didn’t really float my boat, I delete it.
I also have all my trades listed, using the name of the person who sent them as the ‘category’.

OMGsrsly

I stole Kittenna’s spreadsheet (thanks!!). Name, Type, Company, Swap From?, Purchase Date, Original Size, Remaining?(if tried), Rating, Tried?, and a count. If there’s a “1” in the count column it will add, and I put an X if I no longer have it. I also have a notes column that I’m starting to work on. The nice thing about Excel is you can filter and just print the teas you currently have.

Kittenna

Cavocorax – Black Friday might be bad for me…..! We’ll have to see I guess!

And yeah, OMGsrsly pretty much sums up my spreadsheet. For swaps, I replace the 1 with an X when it’s gone; for teas I’ve bought, I used to just delete the entry entirely, but now I just move it to a second page in the workbook. Steepster would have the most accurate list of all the teas I’ve ever tried; I didn’t start tracking things at the very beginning.

Cavocorax

Thanks guys! That gives me lots of ideas!
And it’s too bad we can’t just export our data into a spreadsheet.

OMGsrsly

Cavo, that would be the most awesomest, geekiest tea thing. :D

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91

Sipdown! But another tea from Christmas… sad sad.

Brewed this one hot and chilled it… it was kind of meh. I’m not sure if that’s because the reblend wasn’t as good as the original, or because it’s better warm/lukewarm, but I don’t think I’d try chilling this one again. Lime Gelato and Lime Chiffon are better.

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

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87
drank Neapolitan Honeybush by 52teas
2390 tasting notes

Cold-brewed this yesterday, and it’s another winner :D It tastes reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake or something, which is quite good. Not quite getting all the nuances as I do when it’s hot, but it’s quite enjoyable this way, and I think I’ll add it to my cold-brew rotation.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Tea Sipper

I’ll have to try this one cold.. I just had it hot the other day…

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93
drank Lime Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
2390 tasting notes

Oh man. Cold-brewed a huge cup of this yesterday and guzzled it within five minutes. SO DELICIOUS. I’m running low on my 2 oz… but have plenty of other honeybush blends to cold-brew so I can’t justify getting any more. Sigh. Gotta try cold-brewing Lemon Chiffon soon too – don’t have much of that one left either…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Lariel of Lórien

Personally, I like the lime chiffon better as a cold-brew.

Kittenna

I like the Lime Chiffon better overall, so suspect that will be the case for me as well – but worth a shot!

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70
drank White Ginger Peach by The Tea Haus
2390 tasting notes

Sipdown! 811.

Hot-brewed and chilled this one. Apparently I didn’t really taste peach or ginger last time; this time, I think I’m getting a hint of ginger but not much else. It does taste refreshing though, and the white base is lovely; I’d definitely like to try this (or a variant of it) again in the future.

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

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59
drank White Christmas by 52teas
2390 tasting notes

Sipdown…. but another one that doesn’t change numbers, because it’s another one from Christmas. Sigh. Anyways, this cup is too pepperminty for me. I need a solid dose of chocolate with my peppermint, I’ve found, and there just isn’t enough in here for me. Pretty decent blend for those who enjoy peppermint though. I’m just not one of those people.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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77

Thank you to Terri HarpLady for directing a sample of this tea through Sil to me! :D I finally reached the Dr. Who season where I meet the Ponds (well, I’ve only really been introduced to one at this point), but that means that I may soon need my “Farewell Ponds” tea. Also, I think I shall try the Tardis blend tomorrow, if the boy and I end up watching some episodes!

Anyhow! I continue to be rambly. i’m not sure quite what I was expecting with this tea, but it wasn’t this – I definitely was expecting more of a flavoured tea, but this tea is quite simple, just a solid, high-quality black base and some chocolate flavouring to bring out the relevant flavours. Although the tea tastes ok, I’m finding that the flavour is a bit reminiscent of NesQuick(?) syrup, which means it’s coming across a bit fakey to me. Part of the problem may be that I understeeped this tea – I’ve taken to starting all blacks with 2-minute infusions to prevent astringency (it’s been well-worth it, usually), and I think that this tea, being of good quality, could certainly withstand at least 3 if not 4 minutes, which would perhaps bring out the base tea more, rounding out the flavour. We’ll see how the second infusion goes, but I do also have at least enough for another cup if it turns out this is all user error! Still quite drinkable, however! Rating reserved for now.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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68

Uhhh, so I guess this stupid-expensive tea that a bunch of people got in Lupicia’s 2012 Happy Bags hasn’t previously been logged?? Anyone?? I’ll have to fill in the proper name later, when I grab the bag… I just know it had “Thurbo” in it… and was “Far Too Good For Ordinary People” aka FTGFOP (which I see I missed an F from, ah well).

Anyhow, finally got some new teas into my rotation… I’d been forcing myself to drink only what was already sitting in the kitchen, but I was getting bored quickly. I think I’m going to be the type of person who, once I get down to about 200 teas, stays there… I need variety, and lots of it. I’m sure there are close to 100 teas in the kitchen right now, but most aren’t favourites, and so boredom sets in more quickly.

Soooo the tea. I’m still not sure what I think about darjeelings, but at least this one reminds me more of the darjeeling moonlight from Butiki than of a couple others I’ve had, which were darker, astringent, and unpleasant. I also have yet to figure out the difference between first and second flush, but don’t really have time to devote to that at the moment! Anyhow, this tastes kind of white tea-vegetal-ish, with maybe a bit of a muscatel flavour, but to be honest, it’s reminding me of Verdant’s Silver Buds Yabao more than anything, which I’m finding strange. There’s just a clean freshness to it that brings yabao to mind, I can’t really explain it. Luckily, I like it and think it’s reasonably tasty, because it sure did cut down on the teas we got in our Happy Bag. Ah well – will still probably take me a while to finish it!

(Apologies for rambling; I can’t be bothered to edit anything I type because I’ve been doing too much thesis editing lately and my capacity for such things has run out. Sigh.)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec
adagio breeze

The name of this entry made me LOL :D

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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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