2353 Tasting Notes

73
drank Buttered Popcorn by 52teas
2353 tasting notes

Sipdown! 780.

Well, it took me 11 months to get back to this one, but I have. And again, I got the most deliciously buttery aroma from the brewed up tea (which was unexpected, given the age and storage conditions). I just took a sip of it hot (hotter than I’d like), and I’m finding it difficult to discern anything other than black tea (with a characteristic 52teas older-blend flavour), so I’ll let it cool down a bit before I sip again.

10 minutes later… second sip. I’m still tasting classic 52teas black base and not a great deal more than that. I cleverly avoided astringency with a 2-minute infusion this time, so it’s perfectly enjoyable to drink, but I’m just not getting much in the way of flavouring. If this ever returned as a re-blend and I managed to nab a sample of it, I’d be curious to give it another shot when fresh, instead of well-aged.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Blazing Strawberries by DAVIDsTEA
2353 tasting notes

I am seriously addicted to this tea. Also, the fact that it tastes so incredibly good after a brief hot water infusion (ok, 4-5 mins) followed by cold-brewing makes me wonder if most herbals would benefit from a bit of hot water before cold-brewing. I’m not sure it would be effective for actual tea due to bitterness, but I think it may help herbals like this one out a bit.

Anyways. Deeeeeelish. I really should stop drinking teas that are in nice, airtight bags though. Gotta sipdown the plastic baggie ones.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
TassieTeaGirl

Can I post you some more? I have a bag, and I like it ‘n all, but I’m just not getting through it…

Kittenna

You certainly could! I know we have that message sitting there about a swap that I haven’t dealt with due to being busy, but you could totally throw that in there :D Let us know what sort of teas you might want from here that you can’t get ahold of otherwise. I know we’re after Rabbit Hole Teas :D

Sil

oh yes! we should see if we can figure that out this weekend or something kittenna

Kittenna

Yeah – remind me while I’m over :)

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85
drank Ripe For Romance by Adagio Teas
2353 tasting notes

SO funny story, I’m definitely listening to Hedley songs on loop right now… and apparently I confessed my teenage crush on Hedley last time I drank this tea. Teehee.

Anyways, I think I left this one too long :( A 2.5 minute infusion, and this is kind of astringent and not as flavourful as I previously said it was. Totally my fault. It’s not bad, but definitely needs some sweetener to cut that astringency. Perhaps I’ll make my way back downstairs and doctor it up. I’m pretty much out of tea at this point anyhow. Oh well!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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77

Sipdown! 781. Why did my tea count just go up, you ask? I forgot to add my last three Amoda box teas to my tea list. D: I swear, I just can’t win! 6 sipdowns to 775 now…

Anyhow, this is still pretty tasty. A bit astringent, and the flavour has clearly disappeared a bit, but this still has the best cherry flavour I’ve ever had in a tea, even though it’s quite subtle. THIS is the cherry flavour I want in a future Butiki blend. Real sour cherry flavour. Not sweet cherry, not maraschino, not cherry chapstick, not a flavour that could be confused with almond. Delicious, sour, cherry. I am now even more sad that Ovation is out of business, and that I didn’t try this prior, because I definitely would have ordered some sort of cherry-flavoured deliciousness from them. :(

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
TheKesser

Any chance you’d be willing to post a picture of your collection? I can’t even fathom what almost 800 teas looks like!

Kittenna

I wish I had the time to organize it for a picture. :( Since I moved, I did acquire shelving for it, but haven’t had the time to put everything together nicely. Basically, imagine a standard 5-shelf-high bookcase that is completely filled with with cardboard boxes of various sizes that are each filled with tea. :)

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90

Sipdown! 779. This is a generous bonus sample from Stacy at Butiki, sent along with my last order.

I kept the infusion time a bit lower than recommended as I dislike any sort of astringency, and I definitely think it was a good choice in this case. Not saying that the tea would have been astringent with a full 3.5 minutes… but that I achieved a perfectly smooth cup! Uh…. which is now gone actually, because it’s pretty darn tasty and I just downed it in like 2 minutes.

This tea is a close second to Premium Taiwanese Assam for me. It’s missing the chocolate, and the raisiny notes are quite subtle, but it has the same overall deliciousness and smoothness. So pretty much, it just tastes like a less complex version of PTA, which makes it quite delicious. I see that it’s actually more expensive than PTA, which kind of blows my mind, since I’m pretty sure I prefer PTA, but it’s certainly an amazing tea, so I can understand the price. Apparently I’m all about the really expensive black teas (probably has something to do with quality equating with lack of astringency and such).

ETA: Second infusion is pretty tasty as well, following the same parameters and probably 6 oz. of water. Still very similar to PTA, but missing the almost desserty aspect.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

i really enjoyed this one :)

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70
drank Rooibos Chocolate by Forsman Tea
2353 tasting notes

Yum, a generous mug of this tonight. I still maintain my opinion that it’s very chocolate-liqueur-esque, but actually fairly tasty. I do want/need to find a milk chocolate rooibos, or rather, honeybush. That would be the perfect caffeine-free chocolate tea.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Alysha

I’m also searching for a caffeine-free option for those nighttime chocolate cravings! Which did you like the best of the ones you’ve tried?

Kittenna

Sadly, the best I recall having was 52teas’ Chocolate Malt HB, but unfortunately the reblend didn’t live up to the sample from the first batch that I had.

HOWEVER, I would highly recommend you try out Cacao shell tea. It’s made from the shells of cacao beans (duh), and seriously tastes/smells like the real thing, but has no sugar, and I’ve been told it has very minimal if any caffeine. This http://steepster.com/teas/herbal-infusions/22103-cacao-tea is what I’m talking about, although it’s available from multiple sources. I actually had forgotten about this while writing my tasting note. Might have to brew up a cup of cacao tea for myself now, haha.

Alysha

Thanks; that sounds delicious. Onto the shopping list it goes!

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100

D: So sad. Sipdown on this one today, so I’m down to 780 teas now. Luckily, I think I can hold off on repurchasing this until fall, as I’m far more interested in fruity, summery blends at the moment than I am in warm, rich, comforting teas.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

I’d like to see how quickly you could get down to 700. :P

Sil

good luck with that.. she’s getting like 40 more this weekend..

Cavocorax

Bahahahaha.

Kittenna

:‘( 700 is a distant, far-off goal. I’m a couple teas closer as of now though…

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84
drank Purple Tea of Kenya by Butiki Teas
2353 tasting notes

Brewed this as recommended today, and am definitely getting green tea-like flavours. I love how the liquor isn’t a typical tea colour though, kind of a strange purpley-greenish tone. Very unique. I apparently have more of this left than I thought, as I forgot that it only requires 1/2 a teaspoon per cup… so I guess I have about 8 cups left. So much tea!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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85
drank Chaud Les Marrons! by Lupicia
2353 tasting notes

Sipdown! 781.

Yum. I still think it’s so unique to have such a deliciously nutty yet unsweetened tea. It’s really quite tasty. At some point (you know, when my stash gets down to a manageable 250 teas or something), I’d like to pick up a few more things from Lupicia. They have enough interesting teas to give it a shot, even if their prices are a touch expensive!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Blazing Strawberries by DAVIDsTEA
2353 tasting notes

Ohhhh man. This is pretty much the best iced tea I have ever made. Brewed this one strong (4, possibly 5 generous tsp to 8 oz.) with boiling water, and then diluted up to probably 14 oz. with cool water after about ~4 min. It went into the fridge maybe 10 hours ago, and the result is seriously amazing. It’s creamy and “vegetal”, but not in any way that tea has ever come across to me. It’s almost more like cucumber, except there’s some sweetness from the strawberry. When I was brewing this up, I fully admit that I was regretting that I had so much left of my 50g bag…. yeah, no longer. And I’m now hoarding the rest of it, because nobody I’ve sent it off to likes it, so now it’s all mine! :D So there! Haha.

Anyways, this was a very pleasant surprise this evening (er, is 4:30am still evening?) while I’m working on project stats. I’m far more interested in drinking this than the 3 hot teas I just made… oh well.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Gah! If I were up at that time I’d be chugging maté.

OMGsrsly

This is one I really wanted to try, but it had disappeared online before I decided to do a $50 order. Oh well. :) Glad to see a positive review!

Kittenna

I have a pretty messed up sleep schedule right now, so I was wiiide awake at 4:30. Come noon, and I was crashing pretty hard. Caffeine doesn’t seem to do much for me though, other than give me nausea and the jitters if I drink too much on an empty stomach.

OMGsrsly – this one is really hit or miss, or seems to have been. If you really want to try some, you might try asking on the swap threads? That’s how I ended up with about 30-40g of DT’s Buttercream, which was discontinued before I even knew it existed (and then I got it in a swap and loved it). It was a similarly hit or miss tea, so people were willing to part with theirs :D

Fjellrev

Caffeine does the exact same thing to me, especially on an empty stomach. It’s almost like a hangover.

Kittenna

Ugh, it’s awful! But at least I rarely encounter that problem (really, it’s only extra-large coffees or matcha smoothies that ever result in consequences, and the coffee has bonus intestinal consequences too).

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Profile

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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