2973 Tasting Notes

85
drank Emerald Lily by Rishi Tea
2973 tasting notes

Enjoying some of this tonight, although it tasted better before drinking H&S’s Bangkok Blend… best not to pair a weaker, more subtly flavoured tea after a stronger one. My bad. Anyhow, this is a bit old now, but thanks to *Alphakitty*’s careful double-bagging, it’s not contaminated, and the flavour is still light and sweet. Not edging towards bitterness at all, which I find some greens can do as they age. A nice, relaxing cup of tea.

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

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84
drank Bangkok by Harney & Sons
2973 tasting notes

Sipdown! Despite its age, the coconut in this blend is still amazingly delicious (which is relieving), and therefore the tea is pretty amazing too. It’s kind of like DT’s Coco Lemon Thai, but definitely not as strong, and the green base makes it a bit different too. It is quite delicious, though, with its lemongrass/coconut flavours. I believe I had cold-brewed some of this at one point and found that to be quite excellent as well, so this should go on the list for a future H&S order.

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

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98

Ok, I NEED more of this tea. It’s amazing, and by far the closest tea I’ve tried to Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam. It doesn’t quiiiite taste right, maybe a bit more on the caramelly side, but the distinct raisin notes? Oh yes. So good. SO SO GOOD. So perhaps Sun Moon Lake should be the tea I investigate to replace PTA? It probably means I’ll be making an order with Taiwan Tea Crafts sooner than I would have thought. I hope they still exist, haha. Thanks so much for sharing, Sil. (I still have enough left for one cup. That is exciting.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Christina

Ooh, I really liked PTA too. I really need to investigate assams more. I think my palate can handle it now.

Sil

they still exist and you can still get free shipping if you build a cart with 25$ sample sizes. you may want to pick up the one in my cupboard at the moment… uh lot 336 of the yuzi one? it’s fabulous.

Terri HarpLady

Did I try that one?

Kittenna

Apparently you did, but it was at a not-good time and it was too bitter for your uber-sensitivity. Which sucks – good to know this can get bitter.

Sil – you’re terrible. AKA I’ll probably make an order soon. Sigh.

Sil

Terri hasn’t tried the Yuchi one, but has tried this one. The Yuchi one is fantastic. https://www.taiwanteacrafts.com/product/yuchi-wild-mountain-black-tea/ I’m contemplating ordering another 100g.

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78
drank Wuyi Gongfu Black by Verdant Tea
2973 tasting notes

Pretty sure I should have a backlogged note about this coming up sometime… if I remember. But I drank it today, too! As Terri noted, it’s definitely not overly similar to most Verdant blacks, as there’s a distinct lack of roastiness, and I only picked up a bit of chocolatiness. However, it is characteristically smooth and fairly delicious. More on the sweet, bready hay line of flavouring as opposed to roasted chocolate. Good for a change, though probably not a tea I’d pick up more of. I think I’d also try using a bit more leaf – I felt like I had used plenty, so it just may be that the flavours aren’t overly strong here. But, it also is a rather thin and fluffy leaf, so I may have inaccurately measured. Might try a bit longer of an infusion too – I know that both PTA and LB are best with an infusion that’s 3-4 minutes, and I only went with 2 here.

Overall, an interesting try, though I believe I prefer Verdant’s latest Jin Jun Mei (and Zhu Rong/Laoshan Black/Yu Lu Yan Cha over both of them). If you are looking for a Verdant offering that’s not roasty-flavoured, this would probably be a decent bet to try.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Red Queen Cupcake by Butiki Teas
2973 tasting notes

Drinking some of this now…. delicious. My baggie of this had gotten a bit lost in my Butiki drawer, so I’m glad I found it again!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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63
drank Milk Caramel by Lupicia
2973 tasting notes

Woo, finally got to try some of this tea (which has been on my wish list for at least a couple years) courtesy of Sil :D

Although I certainly enjoyed drinking it, I was kind of disappointed in the flavour – nice lightly toasty houjicha, but not nearly as much creamy caramel as I was hoping for. The flavour was definitely there, just not overly strong. I’m pretty sure I’ve read other reviews with similar experiences, so I’m guessing it’s not an age or storage issue, but I’d try it again if I had the chance, if only because I think houjicha is a great base tea that’s underused (and I want to encourage its use).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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70

Thanks for sharing this, Cavocorax!

It’s definitely very minty, which would be expected given that it contains candy cane, plus I can taste the chai elements as well. Not bad, though definitely more appropriate for Christmas. Also, the only blend out of the four I brewed up tonight that wasn’t astringent! Woo!

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

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70
drank French Blend by English Tea Store
2973 tasting notes

I guess I inadvertently grabbed a few blends that tend towards astringency tonight, this being another of them. Well, good to know it’s not just my tea-making skills! Haha. Anyhow, this was tasty tonight, though a bit astringent. I do seem to like lavender in blends now, as long as it’s in the background and not the central flavour. Just a bit of this left, now.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Mocha Pecan Black by Design a Tea
2973 tasting notes

Sipdown!

Not very much of this was left, though it still tasted ok. Not as tasty as I recall, but I did also have a Cappuccino tea today, so am not quite as impressed with similar flavours (palate boredom or something).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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75

Sipdown!

Decent flavour (Caramelly/vanilla), but somewhat masked by bitterness and astringency – not sure if I overleafed or what (I’m pretty sure it got no more than 2.5 minutes of steeping, and was in a Finum basket, so no bits should have escaped). Anyhow, farewell little tea. Maybe you would have been better if I had drank you sooner, but it looks like bitterness/astringency are common occurrences with this blend anyhow.

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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