2604 Tasting Notes

75
drank White Ayurvedic Chai by Teavana
2604 tasting notes

A bit too sweet tonight, I think. Perhaps from the cinnamon? Still not a bad chai mix to drink sans additions, but not what I was craving tonight, apparently.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Creme Brulee by Simpson & Vail
2604 tasting notes

Sipdown! 974.

Gee, this one sure stuck around a while for me. 2 years old, by my spreadsheet. I wasn’t overly fond of it though, and am pretty happy to see it gone. I let my roommate and her boyfriend make a pot of it the other night (A whole pot!! It used up so much tea! Joy!) and they seemed to like it; when I brought it out tonight, I decided to have a farewell travel mug’s worth, and let her have the rest (probably enough for another pot). It’s along the lines of Bayswater’s Creme Brûlée, but had a funky something going on for me that put me off it (and tasted nothing like creme brûlée, perhaps a touch like burnt (not caramelized) sugar).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
Fjellrev

I swear most of their teas have a funky something going on!

Kittenna

It was a common thread with the ones we ordered two years back. Not all of them, but the baked-goodsy ones, particularly.

Fjellrev

Yes! I found the exact same. I thought it was just me.

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68
drank White Chocolate by Butiki Teas
2604 tasting notes

Tea split with the most recent Butiki order. I gave it only 3 minutes, to try and keep the base tea from overtaking the white chocolate flavouring (if that’s a possibility, I’m not sure).

I’m not overly fond of the aroma from the bag – it smells artificial, though I suppose white chocolate is artificial to begin with… Aroma from the steeped cup is similar. The flavour, however, is more enjoyable – I’m definitely not getting the full effect of the base tea (as I fail to with all the PTA blends), and it’s softened quite a bit by a noticeable but rather mild creaminess. It doesn’t particularly taste like white chocolate to me, although something creamy and more chocolatey actually is starting to emerge in the after-aftertaste, and it’s rather pleasant. I’m not sure I want to be drinking a tea for the flavour that doesn’t show up in your mouth until 5-10 seconds post-sip! (But it’s kind of interesting, regardless).

Won’t be a blend I’m going to miss once it’s gone (if it’s not already), and I’m happy enough to have split the bag and be sampling some out so I don’t have as much to drink.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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45
drank Kenya Obsidian by Butiki Teas
2604 tasting notes

Free tea with the last joint Butiki order! This counts as an immediate sipdown (yay!) because there’s probably only enough for a cup’s worth for each person in on the order.

Anyhow, this is a tea I hadn’t tried, which is exciting! Wasn’t sure what to expect (except maybe, a super dark liquor), and was bad and defied the recommendations, opting to go with my standard 1.5tsp/2min route instead of 1tsp/2.5min. The result is lighter than I had expected, being only the regular colour of black tea (dark reddish brown). The aroma is quite nice, all fragrant and sweet – sweet hay, perhaps? Flavourwise, it’s perhaps a bit overly strong (ok Stacy, you win this time! :P) and certainly has a powerful presence, verging on astringency but not into the realm of unpleasantness. Specifically, it tastes like the sort of black tea I’m not overly fond of… like bagged Lipton/Tetley. Obviously higher quality and lacking bitterness, but the same flavour profile. To be honest, it comes off a bit like mold to me, but when I say that, I’m referring to the flavour profile as a whole, not just this specific tea. Just not a profile I’m fond of, and would typically add milk/sugar, which would erase any weirdness.

Overall, I maybe brewed this a bit too strong, but I doubt proper brewing would change my opinion on it. Just not a black for me!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Nutmeg Cream by Butiki Teas
2604 tasting notes

Nutmeg-Dusted Custard blows this out of the water. But since I have more of this and less of that, I chose this instead. It’s just not so creamy. I was debating mixing a bit of it with Creamy Eggnog to see what resulted… that might still happen in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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100

I’ve really gotta write on my multi-bags of certain teas which one was, in fact, already opened. I’m hoping I opened the right one this time… heh. Anyways, drank this last night as well, and it was exactly what I wanted. Malty, raisiny deliciousness. I brewed it fairly strong, and actually got a bit of grape flavour too. Just so good. What will I do without it? :( (But that’s a tomorrow-Kittenna problem… I’m stocked up enough for a good while.)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
2604 tasting notes

Indulged in favourites last night, this tea included. And it was good. Although I’ll admit that I didn’t find it had the eggnogginess that I was expecting from the previous batch…. however, drinking the resteep today, I have to conclude that my taste buds were a bit wonky, because it’s even better than yesterday. Also forgot that the taste greatly improves once it’s cooled. I do kind of wish this had the nutmeg in it though. I haven’t had the chance to try my Spiced Nog quite yet, but am thinking I may like it even more…. yikes. The rating scale doesn’t go beyond 100, Stacy!

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

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55
drank Magic Dragon by DAVIDsTEA
2604 tasting notes

Another tea I thought I didn’t have, but it turns out that I bought it and just never tried it. Whoops. (Also means my cupboard number was off. Again. I really need to do a thorough inventory so I can accurately record sipdowns…)

Since this has the Dreaded Hibiscus, I kept the infusion time to a minimum, and it seems I was successful, since the liquor is only somewhat purplish. The flavour also indicates my success – barely a trace of hibby. However, the rest of the flavour is kind of odd. It tastes almost like… melons? to me, along with something floral. But the floral tastes weird and artificial. It’s reminding me strongly of something, but I’m having trouble figuring out what – my best guess is Minute Maid fruit punch, which I’m not overly fond of. Yeah… fruit punch is what I think I’m tasting. And since I’m not overly keen on that particular fruity combo… this tea is not great either. Minus points for tasting extra artificial, too, and for the unnecessary faint hibby sourness. If you like fruit punch, this probably tastes awesome to you.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
donkeytiara

…ew. hot fruit punch just sounds…..ew.

Kittenna

I actually ended up drinking it after it had cooled – it was too fruity to have hot.

Roswell Strange

I think I compared this to fruit punch too…?

Kittenna

Looks like you did :)

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55
drank New Delhi Delight by DAVIDsTEA
2604 tasting notes

Sipdown! 975.

Thanks to Janelle for sending me the last of this tea to sample :) I was in the mood for some herbals tonight, and figured I’d try out this tea, since it has fennel + two ingredients I enjoy (in food, at least)… and the fennel in Kapha Ayurvedic was actually quite a pleasant surprise both in the initial infusion and tonight’s resteep.

The aroma very, VERY strongly reminds me of an Indian restaurant, or grocery – cumin and fennel dominating. My boyfriend has some aversion to the smell of Indian spices, and I imagine this tea would make him gag (I find it makes me crave Mutter Paneer and Aloo Gobi and all that yummy stuff). Flavourwise, it’s primarily coriander, followed up by cumin (ok, those two switch depending on the sip) and surprisingly little fennel. Like, not even any sweet aftertaste of fennel. It’s also very weird to have cumin-flavoured water. Coriander, I can handle, fennel in small amounts is ok, but cumin is SO savoury, it’s throwing me off.

Despite this tea being reasonably pleasant, I’m finding that all it’s really doing is causing me to have severe food cravings, so I’m glad I only had a single cup’s worth of this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Oh yeah, cumin in tea? Weird.

That poor guy not liking the smell of Indian spices. Now I want curry!

Sami Kelsh

My partner doesn’t do Indian food either, but I swear it’s because most of what passes commercially for Indian in the UK is oddly not awesome. Canada does a surprisingly superior saag paneer!

But yeah, I’m not sure cumin in tea would do it for me, either. Just like I get thrown off by too much cinnamon in savoury foods, I think cumin in something I’m used to falling on the sweet end of the spectrum (even if only marginally so) would be super weird, especially since when I think of Indian tea, I’m thinking masala chai, which should be sweet and milky. Odd.

Kittenna

Yeah – I love Indian food, so it makes me sad that he doesn’t. Our food preferences are not entirely compatible, unfortunately.

I’m trying a second cup, steeped even longer… this might be even weirder.

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75
drank Night In Rio by T by Daniel
2604 tasting notes

Final tea of the split ones we picked up at the Tea Festival. This one is actually not a blend I’ve had before, so I have a much more favourable opinion of it. Basically, it tastes like a fruity pineapple juice. Which is pretty tasty, though not my favourite flavour combo. I see that Sil rather liked this one, though, so I’m going to call this a sipdown (976), and she and Raritea can have the rest.

Preparation
Boiling 4 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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