2527 Tasting Notes

80

Oops, a tea that was part of a group order quite a while ago that got lost in my mess of samples. Hoping it’s not contaminated!

By the aroma and flavour of the first sip, I would say it’s probably just fine. Both are quite roasty, and the flavour is a bit creamy as well, with that characteristic roasted oolong burnt flavour. It’s a touch light, but I’m sure spending a year in a tiny plastic baggie will do that to you. Still good though, but I’m ok not having purchased more, because it is (was?) rather expensive, IIRC. Similar to Verdant’s 10 Year Aged TGY, I think.

Happy to have tried it, though!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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91

Ah yes. Hardly shocking that I see I previously rated this quite highly. It’s still quite good (and now that I remember that it’s a leafhopper tea, the aroma I was detecting while I was brewing things up makes a lot more sense. I was pretty confused.)

Anyhow, this is a bit lighter than I would have liked this time, but I’m sure that’s either a) underleafing, b) underbrewing, or c) age, since it was in an opened sample pouch. However, it’s still quite good, with a roasty aroma, and that characteristic leafhopper sweetness in the sip (which I think comes off to me as the flavour resembling ice wine).

In other news… I think I am outdoing myself tonight. I had 11 (yes, 11) mugs/teacups filled with tea in them on my coffee table (some were resteeps, but 6 were new infusions), and because the last couple teas I drank were the perfect temperature and absolutely delicious, I downed them, and am doing so with this one too… I wonder how far I will get before my bladder protests? Also, I am clearly having a good tea night, since everything I’m drinking is wonderful so far (minus a couple oversteeped second infusions of greens. Those are tough.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
MissLena

This is still my favorite black tea :) I have an opened bag that I have been hoarding, I should probably get to it before it loses all its flavor!

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93
drank Pure Buds Black by Mandala Tea
2527 tasting notes

Ohhhhhhh wow. This is freaking amazing. SO sweet (I could smell the sweetness while it was brewing!), light, malty, a bit of chocolate, but SO MUCH sweet. But that perfect sort of delicious sweet that’s not cloying or anything, just really decadent. And the tea is so smooth, too. A serious treat. Agh. I envision a solid Mandala order in the future, because so far, I’ve been very impressed. I believe I’ve had varying teas from golden tips/buds before, but nothing like this. And I even oversteeped this, based on my typical parameters.

Thanks for sharing all these absolute gems with me, Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec
Sil

glad you’re enjoying mandala teas heh i am a fan!

Cheri

This sounds really, really good.

Kittenna

To be honest, I was expecting something hay-y that I would be able to tell was good quality, but wouldn’t enjoy the profile of. I was quite wrong.

Sil

now i just have to get a few others your way kittenna…9$ shipping to canada is jokes when we split it. haha

Kittenna

I’m working on being ready for Black Friday 2015. HAHAHAHAHAHA. (But yes. OM NOM NOM.)

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88
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2527 tasting notes

Thanks to whatshesaid for generously sending me a sample of this tea! I had no real idea what to expect, except that reading that it’s a blend of 3 Chinese teas makes me guess that I’ll like it. Which, as it turns out, is correct. It’s a little chocolatey, a little hay-y, a lot malty, and wonderfully smooth. The finish turns a slight bit fruity, but otherwise I’m not really picking up any fruity flavours. Overall, I’m pretty impressed. The smooth yet strong character of this tea would make this a great breakfast blend for me (if I wasn’t in the mood for something overly chocolatey, roasty, or fruity), because it definitely requires no additions to make it palatable to a hungry, astringency-averse morning tummy. Yum.

ETA: I swear I did not read the “flavours” list before listing off the flavours I picked up here. Score for my tastebuds! :P

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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78
drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
2527 tasting notes

Wish this was a bit more fruity – it’s definitely quite coconutty, which seems to make it a bit drying, but the strawberry(?) is fairly weak. I guess I’m more used to teas like Butiki’s Red Queen Cupcake now, which is quite fruity.

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84
drank Caramel Cocoa Loco by Kally Tea
2527 tasting notes

Nuts! I thought this was a sipdown, since I usually have separate entries for tea from different sources, but apparently not. Sigh. On the plus side, I did finish off what was in a baggie; the remainder is in a lovely tin that belongs to Indigobloom, and it has retained much more flavour, so will be rather enjoyable to finish off. Although… there are probably a few travel mugs’ worth left in there, haha. Anyhow, much more caramelly and toasty this time. Quite good.

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95
drank Cacao Tea by Herbal Infusions
2527 tasting notes

Nearly out of this now, so I probably shouldn’t have had it again, but oh well. LBCG will have to tide me through until I can reorder it. Made in a travel mug again, and just left it steeping while I drank it. Not even that annoying when bits get in your mouth, because they kinda taste good :P

Sil

get the version from tisano if you need to order cacao.

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100

So roasty and good :D Limited options for travel mugs today, so this one out. Deeeeelish.

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96

Bleh, I’m getting a minerally (or chlorine?) water flavour marring the gentle sweetness of this tea. I do need to change my Brita filter; perhaps that’s part of the problem. Also possible that travel mug flavours are causing issues. Ah well, if I get past the weird flavour, I am rewarded with some of the expected deliciousness. Just not as much as I’d like.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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97

Decidedly NOT as good in a travel mug, probably because the smokiness is most noticeable in the aroma, which is hampered when drinking from a Timolino. Oh well. Didn’t have a lot of time to pick travel mug teas tonight.

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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