2229 Tasting Notes

42

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…

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

You can do it! :)

TheTeaFairy

Nice progress Kittenna, I’m impressed, ONLY 784 to go… a breeze!

infused1

I really want to see a picture of all your tea. How do you organize 784 teas? I have a bit over 100, and they take up a full cupboard.

Kittenna

Uh, I wouldn’t exactly call them organized…. :P Things are in boxes by company or by swap, mostly, and they’re kind of piled under/around my desk. I’m hoping to organize a bit more once I move. A lot of my teas (close to half) are small sample sizes, which is convenient. The 52teas/Butiki Teas and other larger packets take up a fair bit of room though.

Cavocorax

I bet if you drank just the smallest samples for an entire week you’d be able to knock that number down a lot! But then you wouldn’t get to drink your favourites…

Kittenna

Yep, I definitely could. But I’m in such a crunch with school and other stuff right now, I don’t have time to log things/pay proper attention to them. Once I have time, I should be able to drop that number quickly :)

Cavocorax

Hahah, well those are more than valid priorities. :P

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67
drank Mango Lassi by Butiki Teas
2229 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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84
drank Irish Cream by Shanti Tea
2229 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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88

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
2229 tasting notes

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.)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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58

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 :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Cantaloupe & Cream by Butiki Teas
2229 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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84
drank Irish Cream by Shanti Tea
2229 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Peach Matcha by Naked Teas Galore
2229 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more
Cavocorax

Aww. So only one out of three this time around eh?

I have to say I was most excited about this as the only matcha I’ve had is in a Green Tea frap at Starbucks, and those matchachinno samples from Red Leaf. And it looked like these guys had cheaper prices than Red Leaf, but I guess there’s s reason for that…

Kittenna

The Citrus Earl wasn’t bad, so i’d consider this 2/3. It may just be that I’m not fond of matcha in non-latte form! I really didn’t get much peach, though. And I’m not super fond of pre-sweetened tea, although as I said, it was ok for me in this case. If the prices are cheaper than RL, it could be in part because of the sweetening? I didn’t look up as to whether all their matchas come pre-sugared.

Cavocorax

I checked a few and they had sugar cane, so I assume they all do. :/ Ah well.

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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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