2225 Tasting Notes

89

Another new tea! One I’ve been wanting to try for a while. A Japanese oolong… intriguing!

So I really had no idea what to expect with this tea. Some sort of oolongy flavour, obviously, but that’s about it. However, this tea is absolutely delicious. The aroma is light and sweet, and so is the flavour. Lightly caramelly, a bit oolongy… enough that I would probably describe it as an oolong in a blind taste test, anyway. No astringency whatsoever, just very smooth. It’s also not particularly floral.

What’s bugging me the most about this tea is that it seems quite familiar, but I have no idea what it’s reminding me of. My best guess, based honestly entirely on memory, is that it’s like Butiki’s Sparrow Tongue Oolong. I suppose the best way to test out that theory would be to make Sil try a cup of it :D Anyways, this is pretty freaking tasty, and I’m very happy to have at least a few more cups left in this sample packet. Indigobloom – I think you picked some of this up too, and I’m kind of glad we didn’t split a packet! More for me!

Additional infusions to come :)

ETA: Second infusion, with the same parameters, is pretty good, but doesn’t beat the first. A bit more tea flavour, perhaps, but some of the delicious sweetness is gone.

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

OoooOooo!

My Friend Rashad

Tealux is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies.

TheTeaFairy

Kittenna, I’m not even half through my last order with them but I’m still contemplating the idea of taking advantage of their 25% off sale this week end. Please, can someone stop me?? In desperate needs of arguments to help resist…

My Friend Rashad

@TheTeaFairy Chill! It’s not like they can’t grow more of it. The tea isn’t going anywhere. There will be other sales. There will always be tea.

Kittenna

Best argument? Their teas are not really limited edition, and they seem to have sales quite frequently. Wait until your stash is smaller, and then keep your eye out for a sale. I’ve seen 20-25% off sales with enough frequency that I wouldn’t be too worried about missing this one!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Thank you guys, great arguments, I really feel the urge dissipating now, I’m chillin… (NOT!)

Cavocorax

I just bought 12 samples. So excited to try them out. :)

Nitoo6of6

Have to ask before I jump on the bandwagon (in June)….how is their shipping costs for a bunch of samples. I know they advertise free shipping over 60 dollars (I think)

Indigobloom

Mmmm I’m drinking this now. Though my packet doesn’t say takachiho,so I wonder if its the exact same? Hmmmm.

Kittenna

It is. The packets just aren’t well-labeled.

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78

Sipdown! I’ve mucked about with my numbers and such, and I’m sad to say that I’m back at 800. And I’m not even entirely sure how accurate that number is. (Probably accurate within 50… :/) Oh well. The Butiki order added ~10 teas (including samples), plus I didn’t have any of Lynne-tea’s box recorded.

Anyways, this is a sipdown, and I continue on with my tea-buying hiatus which, aside from the few samples I ordered with Sil yesterday/today, and the Pom Tango sample I picked up in the airport, is going very well. I think I may be at nearly a month? Of course, I also had about 2 weeks of not even drinking tea in there. I’m sure I will break said hiatus soon to pick up the DT summer collection + a couple others I’ve missed, but that’s kind of a given, so it doesn’t count… right?

I digress… so this tea. I’ve only tried one other Bilochun that I recall, and that would be the Laoshan version, which was pretty good. This tea seems to be reasonably comparable to it, although I definitely oversteeped a touch, so the flavour is a bit stronger than I’d like, and a little bit astringent. The predominant aroma and flavour is very green and beany, much like Laoshan green. There’s a hint of caramelly sweetness, that I suspect would be more apparent if I knocked the accidental extra 30s off my infusion time. I was hoping that there would be some sort of characteristic “ancient” flavour to this, but if there’s something in there, I’m not picking up on it. Either way, this is certainly an enjoyable tea that I’d be happy to drink again… but must remember to watch the infusion time!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
TheTeaFairy

Reality check: Sounds like a total relapse Kittenna! Hahaha!

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65

Sipdown! Thanks to Stacy for a sample of this one, so I can expand my very limited darjeeling knowledge.

This tea smells lovely and sweet. A bit grapey, as I’ve gathered is characteristic. The sweetness also reminds me of that caused by leafhoppers, e.g. in Gui Fei Oolong, etc. Flavourwise, I’d be hard-pressed to identify this as a black tea. It’s much more like… a non-oxidized Gui Fei, or something like that? It’s sweet, just the teensiest touch astringent, and kind of has a hay-y sort of flavour. Quite pleasant, but I’m not sure that it quite falls into the realm of tea I would want to drink often. It’s not bad, and certainly interesting to have tried, but there’s something about that leafhopper flavour that, instead of growing on me, is doing the opposite: I’m starting to find it unpleasant. Which is unfortunate as I have no shortage of such teas. Oh well! I definitely preferred the Glenburn Darjeeling Moonlight; I’ll have to dig out the last of my sample from Boxermama and finish it off to remind me how it tasted.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Chizakura

Maybe you just need a break from those sort of teas for a while?

I think I have some of this on the way. I ordered that sampler, and I can’t quite remember what all are coming in it. I’m very interested in the sampler; my knowledge of Darjeeling is even smaller, I’ve never had any ever. xD

Kittenna

Sadly, I haven’t even been drinking much of them lately. I’ll keep at it though; some days I find it more palatable than others. I think it’s because of a weird association I’m making between squishing ants and that flavour… and it’s hard to break things like that. There are a few other smells that I can’t handle, too, that associate with multiple things, some of which shouldn’t be in the least unpleasant. Sigh.

Yeah, this is maybe the third I’ve tried? :D I tried one from LiberTEAS a while back that was either too old, or I screwed it up. It wasn’t very good. Then I tried the first Butiki one in a swap, and it was amazing, so I ordered this as a sample with my last order. I plan to try some more, but I don’t think it will end up being a tea I drink often (unless they all taste like Glenburn Darjeeling Moonlight, because that was amazing.)

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84
drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

Another 2-day cold brew, very tasty, but I’m definitely getting rather tired of this one. Sigh. And I still have quite a bit left…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Stephanie

I’ll swap with you if you wanna get rid of some :)

Kittenna

Send me a PM :) I have too much on my plate to deal with swapping at the moment, but as soon as I get a few things out of the way I can hopefully do a few (I have at least a couple pending right now).

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47

Sipdown! This was the rogue sample from momo that found its way into my box of samples from Lynne-tea. Therefore, I finished it.

I was going to say that sadly, I didn’t really taste too much with this one… but it looks like I felt the same the first time I tried it as well. Ah well. Perhaps it’s a case of flavour lost during transport, or something. It does sound like a delicious flavour combo otherwise…

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

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73

Sipdown! Thanks Lynne-tea!

This mostly tasted like a light, pleasant jasmine to me last night. Sometimes, I do quite like jasmine, and it really worked for me yesterday. I wish I could taste a bit more of… anything, though. Couldn’t really taste the oolong, and although there was definitely at least one goji berry in there, I couldn’t taste it either. Oh well! One more tea down, over 800 to go…

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

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85
drank Cream of Earl Grey by Tea Desire
2225 tasting notes

Thanks to Lynne-tea for a sample of this one, which I think I’ve had previously, though not brewed myself.

This is a lovely example of an earl grey cream. Light on the bergamot, heavy on the creaminess and vanilla; I would swear that someone put cream in my tea. No bitterness at all with a 3-minute infusion. This is pretty darn delicious – delicious enough that I may very well pick this one up as my go-to EGC once I drink down what I have (which consists mostly of small samples from various places, including Upton).

Very tasty. Thanks again for the sample, Lynne-tea! Much appreciated :D

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
looseTman

“Light on the bergamot, heavy on the creaminess and vanilla”
Is the classic EG fragrance & flavor overshadowed by the creaminess and vanilla? Or, can the EG & cream flavors be equally appreciated & enjoyed?

Sil

Hmmmmm…sounds like one ill have to try sometime

Kittenna

looseTman – I’ll have to pay more attention to that next time. To me, it tasted like a very creamy version of an EG, but was the bergamot overshadowed? Perhaps. It certainly wasn’t as apparent as in other EGCs, but I can’t honestly recall. I quite liked it but I do prefer a lighter touch with bergamot to begin with. It is entirely possible that there would be far too little bergamot for some people.

Kittenna

Sil – if I had more, I’d pass it on :) Since I think Tea Desire purchases are min 50g, if I do pick some up I will certainly be able to share it!

Sil

NP kittenna..you know how insane i am about earl greys….not. If you do get any in future though, happy to have a cup. A cup. just one. normal sized lol

Fjellrev

I highly recommend this one too, especially if you like heavier cream notes in your EGC.

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80
drank Russian Caravan by Tea Desire
2225 tasting notes

Ahaha, apparently I’ve also tried this one previously! Pretty much the same comments as last time; it’s smoky but a bit sweet, and quite nice to drink without additions.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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91

Ha, I thought I had tried this one before! But since I’ve been craaavvviiing milk oolong for a while, and this was from my swap with Lynne-tea… I totally felt justified in drinking some. Still have enough left for another cup, too!

Anyhow, this is a yummy milk oolong, as I said previously. It has likely lost some flavour, but I’m still quite enjoying it. A big bonus here is a complete lack of that “flavoured” taste that comes through with some milky oolongs. Not to say that this one isn’t flavoured, but it doesn’t have that accompanying chemical taste, which is perfect.

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

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71
drank Tiger Town by Tea Desire
2225 tasting notes

Thanks again to Lynne-tea for a delicious tea sample :D

I was most interested in this tea because it contained dragonwell (and I adore dragonwell), but now that I’m a bit more knowledgeable, I know that the flavours of dragonwell really don’t lend themselves to flavourings. However, this tea works quite well. It’s basically coming off as a strawberry-flavoured green, which is quite pleasant (although…. tiger town???) There’s a hint of green tea flavour lingering in the aftertaste, but the base really isn’t very prominent. Overall pretty tasty, but not something I’d purchase myself.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 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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