Mmmmhhhh. Dragonwell. Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one. To my palate, it is a fairly standard dragonwell, which means it’s sweet and light and vegetal-beany. Quite tasty, and a big step up from the “Green Bamboo” tea I just drank. I may not be getting the full extent of this one given that I’m using it as a palate cleanser, haha. I have some more left to try later, though, so I don’t feel too bad. My general conclusion on dragonwells is that as long as they’re reasonably fresh, I like them. I have way too much other stuff going on to attempt to find “the perfect dragon well”; besides, they inevitably change from year to year, so I feel like it would be a futile search. Hence I am happy to drink whatever variation of this tea I come across, so yum! (Also, I probably could/should have steeped for an extra 30s for a bit more flavour).
1692 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! 7-something-something. Thanks to Indigobloom for this one. Yeah… it’s odd. I’d be curious to try a fresher harvest, but… yeah this isn’t quite my cup of tea. It tastes a bit metallic, and kind of has a musty vegetal sort of flavour. Not dump-worthy, but not re-steep worthy.
ETA: 784 teas left, because I added the three Amoda ones. Sigh… one day, maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll hit 750…
I’m not even trying to sipdown teas today… just drinking whatever I see that’s appealing. Such is the case with this. It was sitting next to my bag of Wild Mountain Black, and sounded appealing enough, so I went for it. Added some brown sugar today because that’s the sort of mood I’m in. Still not my favourite – a very raw/unripe sort of mango flavour, or perhaps unripe banana – but for whatever reason it’s hitting the spot. I have a cup or two of this left, maybe I’ll drink the rest tonight. Who knows.
ETA: I think I noted this previously, but a hint of spice starts to come out in the aroma during the second infusion.
Sucked back a cold brew of this yesterday. It was pretty decent, if perhaps “overleafed” (as in, I could have watered it down). I should be on track to finish off all of this tea sometime this summer, which would be great to do before it loses flavour!
Feeling incredibly stressed today. Thesis is progressing, but so slowly. Going to miss the deadline of next Friday. And I have so much other stuff to do as well… I need clothes for Mexico, and to pack up my stuff since I’m moving once I get home from my travels. Ugh. Can this be March again, please?
Since I enjoyed this one with milk so much a few days ago, I decided to brew up a big mug of it since I’m being indulgent and don’t particularly care if I’m drinking something that’s doctored, as long as it tastes good. Result? Delicious, though I wish it was a bit stronger. Should have left the infuser basket in longer.
Finally brewing some of this up. It certainly reminds me of Premium Taiwanese Assam, with some fruity raisiny notes, but there’s also a bit of hay in here, instead of chocolate. I don’t have time to check other people’s tasting notes, but I have to imagine that others felt similarly?
I do get the leafhopper notes, which is what’s coming off as raisiny/fruity to me – they’re less pronounced IMO than in Gui Fei or Mi Xian, which is fine; I probably like this tea better for it.
Anyhow, I still think I prefer PTA because of the chocolate, but I’ll have to refresh my memory once I get ahold of my bazillion ounces that’s currently waiting for me a couple provinces away.
ETA: Second infusion, less water, accidentally untimed infusion length. Still tasty, and I’m getting more of the leafhopper notes and less sweetness (it’s present in the aroma, not really the flavour). I preferred the first infusion. The lack of sweetness almost gives it a bit of a cardboardy flavour, which is a bit odd.
Tastes like I underleafed this one tonight, sigh. Still good flavours, just weaker than I would like. I should have knocked some sugar into this cup too!
ETA: Sweetened my re-infusion, and it was delicious. Perhaps I’ll have a properly sweetened first infusion tonight! (Who am I kidding, I’m going to forget all about this and do the same thing next time I have it. And the following time. So forgetful.)
Well, I didn’t catch the popping of the pop rocks (but wasn’t listening for it)… Anyways, this tastes a lot like Glitter & Gold from DavidsTea. Sweet, and a similar sort of cinnamon. Lately I’ve had an aversion to cinnamon teas though, so this is not my favourite cup. Unfortunately, I also still have another cup’s worth left. Sigh. I’m only drinking this tonight because my stomach didn’t roil when I looked at the little packet. On the plus side, this tea does taste pretty good, so for anyone reading this, my review is definitely an “it’s not you, it’s me” sort of deal :)
Cold brew! Again, lightly sweetened (as in, you really can’t even tell that it’s sweet, it’s just not as “dry”) which makes it perfect.
Clearly overleafed this one tonight, so added milk and sweetened… delicious! The tastiness of the tea itself is not overpowered, which is really awesome. I may drink the rest of it like this.
Final April Amoda Tea Box tea. This matcha is pre-sweetened, which works for lazy me; otherwise I probably wouldn’t have tried it until another day. Laziness, etc.
Anyhow, the matcha smells somewhat peachy, but it’s not a terribly authentic flavour. I haven’t had peach-flavoured matcha from Red Leaf, although I do recall it garnering some less-than-stellar reviews due to tasting a bit chemically. This one perhaps leans a bit toward chemically/flavouring-esque smells, but isn’t too bad.
I used probably about 1.5 tsp of the powder for 8oz. of water, and just stirred it in… if there are clumps, I don’t care a great deal. Less clumpy than my lattes usually are, anyhow.
So yes. This tea is definitely sweet. My initial thought was “too sweet”, but now that I’ve had a few sips, I think the sweet is needed to mask some of the matcha bitterness. Yeah, this stuff is kind of bitter, underneath the flavouring. To be honest though, I haven’t ever had matcha in non-latte form to my knowledge, so perhaps this is just how it is supposed to be.
Anyhow, I’m not really getting peach at all here, just a sweetened cup of tea with some bitterness and “matcha flavour”, plus some sort of vague fruitiness that I can’t place. Kind of unfortunate. I think I’ll try this one as a latte sometime later; perhaps that will reduce the bitterness and astringency I’m tasting. I may also drop the water temp and see if that helps.
Oh well, interesting to try regardless!
Second tea from the April Amoda Tea Box.
Like Cavocorax, I’m not the hugest fan of earl greys. Without cream, that is :P That’s how I drank my Tetley EG with my oldest friend way back when (plus unbelievable amounts of sugar), and I loved it. Still holds a place in my heart, as do the earl grey creams that I’ve recently discovered I like, but this one? Has no cream. And a lot of lemongrass, which is hit or miss for me. So, I’m a bit apprehensive.
The aroma is reminiscent of, but not quite like earl greys that I’m used to. Definitely more citrus, particularly lemon, and less bergamot, as was mentioned in the tea description. I only gave this a ~2.5 minute infusion to make sure the base stayed drinkable without additions, which worked fairly well. The flavor is lemony with a background of bergamot and a solid but unremarkable black tea base. The lemon here is toeing the line of tasting cleaner-y, but isn’t quite there, which is good, but consequently I’m not super sure I like it. I am noticing, as Cavocorax also did, that there does seem to be a sort of creaminess at the end of the sip, but it’s not quite enough for me :P
Anyways, I think this one would be better sweetened and with milk. It’s not a bad EG at all, and for those who love EGs and lemongrass, it would probably be a big hit! I, however, would like a big dose of cream in here to bring it more into line with my preferences.
ETA: I did re-infuse this one, and it was alright. Drank it too quickly to notice a great deal about it, except that there was still flavour. I preferred the first infusion, but perhaps #2 would be just fine with additions.
First tea from my April Amoda Tea Box! Just fetched it from the ice/icicle-coated mailbox. Man, is it ever looking to get nasty out there… There have been weather advisories since Tuesday about a wicked winter ice storm headed our way, and it looks to hit fully later tonight (personally, I’m hoping that the power goes out and stays out for like, 5 days. Because then I could justify doing everything else other than writing my thesis…)
Now this tea smells much more like I would have expected DavidsTea’s Forever Nuts to smell like. Dry, the tea smells strongly of various nuts (primarily almond) and a bit like amaretto as well. Steeped, some cinnamon wafts into the aroma, which is not unexpected but perhaps not quite what I was wanting, since the almondy/amaretto combination from the dry tea was what I was really after.
Thankfully, flavourwise, this does taste fairly nutty, to me, and not as fruity as Forever Nuts in spite of the addition of apple pieces (which I think are only serving to prevent this from being a dry nut mouth catastrophe!) The cinnamon is also just a background note, as is the amaretto, for the most part. I’m actually rather enjoying this! I overleafed according to the instructions (I probably used 2tsp for 8 oz.) and I wouldn’t want it any weaker, though it’s perfect as is.
I feel like this tastes similar to a tea I had from DavidsTea that I commented would more aptly fit the name “Forever Nuts”… something is telling me that was Hot Toboggan, but I’m pretty sure that’s not right. Anyways! I like this tea :D Not so apple cidery is a big bonus :)
ETA: I enjoyed my second infusion of this one as well, in half the water. And then proceeded to eat the nuts from the infuser :D Interesting experience! Will repeat.
Sipdown, 782. Thanks to Nina’s Paris for a sample of this tea :)
I couldn’t remember what the flavouring was supposed to be in this tea, and a sniff of it made me think apple… but apparently I’m wrong, as it’s strawberry. Knowing that and sniffing, however, makes it clear that it is strawberry (even though I’m pretty sure you could still convince me that it’s sweet apple!)
Anyhow, this isn’t too bad of a tea. A 2-minute infusion kept the base in check, and there’s a good dose of apple (strawberry) flavouring, which is quite nice. Overall, a fairly tasty fruity black, not my first choice of tea type but better than some I’ve tried!
Sipdown, 783. Just was in a mood to finish off my sample of this one from whatshesaid. I have some more that I’ll get sometime in May, so felt like I could indulge myself now :D I was intending to throw in a bit of brown sugar but forgot and am too lazy to go back and do it now, so I’ll have to try that with the next batch.
Sipdown, 784. Thanks again to Bluebird Tea Co. for this free sample :)
Although this tea certainly didn’t look like it contained any oolong at all, it does almost have an oolongy sort of flavour to it… Apparently it’s supposed to be a green oolong, which makes more sense (I was thinking dark oolong).
Anyways, the aroma is very herbally. A bit fruity, a bit of lemon verbena. Reminds me of some other tea I’ve had recently-ish (maybe Feng Shui from Tealux?). The flavour is definitely herbally, with touches of lemon and sweetness, and a flavour that I’m not quite enjoying (I’d say mint or chamomile, but I’m not sure if either is in here??) Or perhaps it’s the hibiscus I’m not enjoying? (Although it’s not a tartness issue here, just a flavour thing.)
I think, actually, that it might be that this reminds me to some degree of either Earl of Anxi (Verdant) or Citron Oolong (DavidsTea), both of which I like… but at the same time, had a bit of an aversion to that I couldn’t figure out. Something about flavouring a green oolong??
I’m not sure, this isn’t a bad tea at all, but something about it isn’t quite clicking for me. Perhaps I infused it incorrectly (I just went with my standard oolong parameters)? Oh well, they can’t all be winners! Don’t let my review discourage anyone from trying this tea though! It’s just not for me :)
I am completely and utterly unmotivated today. I think the weather is getting to me. I just want to go back to sleep, even though I’m not particularly tired. This tea is ok today, but I’m really not getting anything coconut, just milky oolong, which is quite tasty, plus a lingering “flavouring” taste. Probably won’t pick it up again, but yummy enough to have tried!
Yum. Still enjoy this. I can certainly understand how people just think this tastes like regular Laoshan Black, but I’m pretty sure that David’s intention was only to intensify existing notes and add additional toastiness, not make the change in flavour in-your-face obvious. And I do taste additional chocolate and toastiness, so this is successful for me, and I seem to be picking it over straight LB lately (I actually haven’t had any LB for quite a while… trying to tackle some other straight blacks first). Anyhow! Yum!
By the aroma of this one, I was definitely underwhelmed. It smelled floral, leading me to bemoan the person who decided that “pear” and “floral” should be BFFs. So naturally, I was dreading taking a sip. However, I am pleasantly surprised. This tea does actually taste like sweet pears. I’m not getting cream from anything but pear? Very much yes. It’s like Jelly Belly pear, except less artificial.
Now, I prefer D’Anjou pears, so this is not/will not be my perfect pear tea, but it’s certainly one of the better ones I’ve encountered. A few points have to be taken off for the base tea, however, because I’m just not fond of rooibos, and as usual, scratchy throat syndrome is occurring as I sip, which is unpleasant. But overall, pretty impressed and glad to have tried this one!
Thanks to Sil for picking some of this up for me quite a while back. It’s one that I was dying to try, but that my local DT didn’t carry.
I thought that 5 min would be excessive to infuse this tea, so I gave it 3. I think that 5 would have been fine… but… I don’t think I really care for this tea, haha. There’s an overwhelming dried grass-y note in here that I’m not finding appealing, and although I’m picking up some dark chocolatey tones at the end of this sip which are not too bad… I am getting major dried grass. Like, stale dried grass. Idek. I really don’t think I’m fond of this. And it shouldn’t be a storage issue, as this tea was simply in its original zip bag, and certainly shouldn’t be too old.
I’ll try this at 5 minutes next time to see how it goes, and if that doesn’t work, I guess the rest will go in a giveaway pile. I’m sure there are other people who would enjoy this much more than me. (Interestingly, I’m getting kind of a dark honey note in here as well… and the flavour is growing on me, although I still don’t particularly care for it… I don’t think…)
So I finally found the source of the delicious smell in my room – this tea! It’s in a plastic baggie, so that’s probably why. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t taste as good as it smells, although it certainly doesn’t taste bad! While it’s chocolatey, it’s more of a cocoa flavour than an artificial chocolate flavour, which is certainly appreciated, and I can understand why Sil enjoyed this. I wish it had a bit more flavour (I’ll steep it a bit longer next time, I think), but I can see it as a go-to chocolate tea over some of the more heavily flavoured-tasting ones. That said, if I want a chocolatey comfort tea, I’ll be having some of Verdant’s Laoshan Black Genmaicha, thanks.
Sipdown! Due to a) throwing out the last of my funky-smelling Lime Gelato and b) apparently not deleting a tea that I sipped down a few days ago, I’m now at 786! Woo! Nevermind that order that we jointly placed on Monday… and the Butiki order. And Della Terra….
Anyways. Almost done with my Bluebird Tea Co. samples (thanks for this one as well!), and have high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, however, this one’s a bit of a miss for me. It very well may be user error (too long of an infusion at 2.5 min?), but there’s too much astringency here for me to enjoy this tea. The base is likely nice (when not astringent) and I can almost taste some yummy flavours, but… nope. That said, I would likely request this one as a sample if I made an order in the future, as I think it’s promising. It also just occurred to me that it’s possible that there was just extra leaf in the package, and so I ended up overleafing my cup… the astringency tastes more to me like “too strong” than “crappy finicky tea base”. Hmm. Oh well, it’s mostly gone now, so as I said, I’ll save a second attempt (and a rating) for sometime in the future!
Well, this is certainly successfully as a raspberry tea. The flavour in here is unmistakably raspberry – strong raspberry, at that. Almost candied raspberry or something, because it’s certainly not as tart as actual raspberries (I am thankful for this, however.) Sadly, I’m really not tasting any cream. Perhaps there’s a bit of softness to the raspberry flavour that wouldn’t be there otherwise, but I guess I was hoping for a more noticeable creaminess. I suppose I could achieve that myself with milk or something?
A 2-minute infusion kept the black base in check here, so it works fairly well. I think I prefer this with a black base over generic green sencha base, as well. Overall, I don’t really see the hype around this one, as to me it isn’t anything overly special, but it’s certainly not bad! Better than a few other blends I’ve tried recently.
Since I ran across my packet of this at the same time as Strawberry Lemonade BMD, I decided to cold-brew some of it as well. I was never as fond of this one, possibly due to “tequila” flavouring, or just something being a bit off in the blend for me, but it’s still pretty good for iced tea. I also definitely ate a chunk of kiwi out of the bag last night. Mmmmmm, haha. In this blend, kiwi and the possible tequila flavour dominate, in my opinion. I may give this one a bit of sweetener later to see how it fares (whereas I was thinking to add a squeeze of lemon to Strawberry Lemonade…. yum).