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2221 Tasting Notes

91

So, very interestingly I do not believe that this is a clone of DavidsTea’s Forever Nuts. My batch smells quite deliciously caramelly, and tastes much nuttier than the apple-cinnamon flavour of FN. Sure, there’s clearly beet in here to give a red colour, but… it did not seem the same to me. Granted, I can’t compare them side-by-side right now, so I could be wrong, but still.

Anyhow, this was another V-Day tea (the last of the five), and I had quite an incredibly delicious mug of it while watching the boy play soccer a couple weeks ago. So good. And I’m going to have more now, and write another tasting note shortly :D

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Hello.Kiki

This one is on my wishlist! I’m such a sucker for dessert ‘teas’ ;p

Kittenna

Definitely a dessert “tea” :D I seriously could just huff the bag for hours and probably feel like I’d eaten an entire caramel almond… something. Om nom nom.

Hello.Kiki

I have the cococaramel sea salt right now and I totally agree with you. Sometimes I catch myself reaching for the tin just so I can smell it! haha

Amariel

It tastes very much like FN to me.

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75
drank White Ayurvedic Chai by Teavana
2221 tasting notes

(Backlogged from… Feb 15th). Another V-Day tea, and a good choice. This is reminiscent of thai chais I’ve had previously, with an emphasis on lemongrass and coconut creaminess, but also quite a bit of cinnamon. I’d probably prefer one of those (or optimally, DavidsTea’s Coco Lemon Thai… drool!), but I had quite a nice cup of this while watching the third LOTR movie for the first time. Went down pretty easily without any milk, and that’s a sign of a winner for me!

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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71
drank Four Seasons Oolong by Teavana
2221 tasting notes

(Backlogged from… Feb 14th). The boy bought me a straight tea! I was so proud, especially since he bought me an oolong :D As oolongs go, I’ve probably had better – this one was missing some of the nuances I’ve grown to love in some of the others I drink – but overall it was pretty decent, and especially after cooling/sitting, it developed the classic oolongy flavour that I adore. So again, not a repurchase, but considering how much my boyfriend doesn’t know about tea, I’m pretty pleased :) (He said that he told the lady at Teavana that I liked Milk Oolong, and she recommended this one. I’m not quite sure that I agree with her choice, but I am sooo stoked that he remembered!)

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

nice boyfriend :)

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59

(Backlogged from… Feb 14th). I assume this is the tea I got for Valentine’s Day… the bag doesn’t say “Luau” on it, but the description sounds about right.

Anyhow, this is probably the sort of tea I wouldn’t bother with picking up again. A flavoured white, which means you basically can’t even tell that there’s white tea in here (making it overpriced), and not my favourite flavours. However – I think it might be great as an iced tea in the summer, as there’s a tartness along with the fruitiness that I think I’d appreciate more when cold. I can’t really remember much else about this tea, so I’ll write a better tasting note next time I drink some.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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61

Well… this one tasted how I expected an “8 treasure” blend from Verdant to taste. Prominent yabao, which is ok as I like its creaminess and different flavour, and other random herbally flavours. I like this one more than the Love & Joy Blend, but it’s not one I’d pick up. A cup of yabao every now and then is all I need (and preferably, it’s the pear-yabao that was part of a 12 days of Christmas swap in 2012). Anyhow, again a good selection IMO, because most people will not have tried yabao previously, and it’s pretty easy-drinking here.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Shelyteadrinker79

What is yahao?

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53

Hmm. Not my favourite, that’s for sure, but this wasn’t too bad. I think I’m just not the biggest fan of herbal blends, and that’s that. It does taste as the description indicates – the chamomile is apparent, and there’s an appley aroma/flavour to the tea. I could also pick out a bit of cacao, but I’m not sure the combo quite works for me; apple and cacao? Chamomile and cacao? I actually think that if the chamomile was a bit more masked, I would enjoy this more – although I’ve learned to tolerate chamomile in blends, I don’t much care for it when I can really taste it strongly, which I can here. I might try this at a bit of a shorter infusion time to see if I came tame the chamomile a bit. The frankincence is also noticeable here (I only know this because of its inclusion in a previous Verdant blend, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue what to taste for), but i

Second infusion, for I’m not sure how long (4 min?), was similar in flavour, although something else is poking out a bit that I don’t care for. I would have said something like juniper, but that’s not in this blend, so I’m not sure what it would be. I’m not familiar with all the ingredients (particularly linden leaf/flower), so it could easily be something like that.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Eggnog & Pralines by Butiki Teas
2221 tasting notes

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90

I haven’t seen anybody’s else’s reviews on this one (because I’ve been lazy, I see that they are there), but I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. I put maybe 2 or so tsp of tea in the filter basket, and gave it a 45s infusion to start – quite delicious. No fishiness (that’s usually shu anyhow), no strange flavours, just creaminess and that wild sheng flavour that I’m familiar with. I’m drinking the second infusion now (I let it go for a minute), and I’m still pretty blown away at how good this is. This may in fact get me back into drinking my shengs from Verdant that have been sitting a while – I’ve given quite a few to my mom, who likes them more than I, but I think now’s the time to try them again myself.

Although the tea description indicates a “bright astringency”, I can’t say I’m catching any astringency at all; this is just smooth, sweet, nutty, and VERY enjoyable. Great selection, Amoda/Verdant – a perfect intro pu’erh, but with plenty of nuances for experienced drinkers to enjoy as well.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Indigobloom

How many steeps did you get?

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100
drank Two Friends by Custom (Butiki)
2221 tasting notes

Forgot to log this from a few days ago. Such an amazingly awesome tea.

ETA: Why is “orange” not a flavour?! Just orange zest? This is most certainly not zest.

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Tabby

There are so many flavors that need to be added. I’ve suggested like 20.

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85
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
2221 tasting notes

Not getting the rhubarb, but this is a tasty spiced strawberry black. Great comfort tea in the evening. I did oversteep a bit, and this base tea does have the tendency to get kind of astringent when that happens, but the delicious flavours make it worth drinking anyhow!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 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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