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2221 Tasting Notes

51

Thanks to Sil for picking some of this up for me quite a while back. It’s one that I was dying to try, but that my local DT didn’t carry.

I thought that 5 min would be excessive to infuse this tea, so I gave it 3. I think that 5 would have been fine… but… I don’t think I really care for this tea, haha. There’s an overwhelming dried grass-y note in here that I’m not finding appealing, and although I’m picking up some dark chocolatey tones at the end of this sip which are not too bad… I am getting major dried grass. Like, stale dried grass. Idek. I really don’t think I’m fond of this. And it shouldn’t be a storage issue, as this tea was simply in its original zip bag, and certainly shouldn’t be too old.

I’ll try this at 5 minutes next time to see how it goes, and if that doesn’t work, I guess the rest will go in a giveaway pile. I’m sure there are other people who would enjoy this much more than me. (Interestingly, I’m getting kind of a dark honey note in here as well… and the flavour is growing on me, although I still don’t particularly care for it… I don’t think…)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Wow, this tea sounds strange!

Kittenna

Yes. It is, haha. At least to me!

Sil

i bought it and then didn’t touch it! so old shouldn’t be a factor heh

Kittenna

Have you tried this one? Are you interested in trying it? And yeah, I know you didn’t (or assumed you didn’t).

CrowKettle

Mm, grass chocolate.

Kashyap

curious…if its qualified as gyokuro…is it still later harvest stage shaded before plucking to promote chlorophyll development? and then process through oxidation? I would be interested to learn

Mercuryhime

I actually quite enjoy this one even if I take issue of their use of the word “gyokuro.” :)

Kashyap

yeah..I wasn’t even taking issue with use of the term gyokuro…just wondering if it was true to the name in its finishing process

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67
drank Chocolate Delight by Tealux
2221 tasting notes

So I finally found the source of the delicious smell in my room – this tea! It’s in a plastic baggie, so that’s probably why. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t taste as good as it smells, although it certainly doesn’t taste bad! While it’s chocolatey, it’s more of a cocoa flavour than an artificial chocolate flavour, which is certainly appreciated, and I can understand why Sil enjoyed this. I wish it had a bit more flavour (I’ll steep it a bit longer next time, I think), but I can see it as a go-to chocolate tea over some of the more heavily flavoured-tasting ones. That said, if I want a chocolatey comfort tea, I’ll be having some of Verdant’s Laoshan Black Genmaicha, thanks.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Monkey Chops by Bluebird Tea Co.
2221 tasting notes

Sipdown! Due to a) throwing out the last of my funky-smelling Lime Gelato and b) apparently not deleting a tea that I sipped down a few days ago, I’m now at 786! Woo! Nevermind that order that we jointly placed on Monday… and the Butiki order. And Della Terra….

Anyways. Almost done with my Bluebird Tea Co. samples (thanks for this one as well!), and have high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, however, this one’s a bit of a miss for me. It very well may be user error (too long of an infusion at 2.5 min?), but there’s too much astringency here for me to enjoy this tea. The base is likely nice (when not astringent) and I can almost taste some yummy flavours, but… nope. That said, I would likely request this one as a sample if I made an order in the future, as I think it’s promising. It also just occurred to me that it’s possible that there was just extra leaf in the package, and so I ended up overleafing my cup… the astringency tastes more to me like “too strong” than “crappy finicky tea base”. Hmm. Oh well, it’s mostly gone now, so as I said, I’ll save a second attempt (and a rating) for sometime in the future!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Cavocorax

Haha. I better hurry up and move to Ontario so I can split some orders with you guys. But… 786 – sounds like you’re making some progress!

Kittenna

Yes yes!! Move to Ontario! We love splitting orders :D The only reason my cupboard is so high is because I always used to get tempted into free shipping thresholds… and ended up with lots of 50g pouches of tea. (That and my sample-hoarding habit that I’m trying to kick.)

Kittenna

And yes, I think 786 is good progress! Especially since I’m not really focusing on sipdowns. I have lots of 1-cup things to drink, but I’m choosing to drink what I want to instead. So slower progress, but more enjoyment :)

Cavocorax

That’s much better, for sure. I was in sipdown mode and I basically spent half my day choking down teas to finish them off, and then rewarding myself with a few choice ones. But that’s not sustainable!

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68
drank Raspberry Cream by 52teas
2221 tasting notes

Well, this is certainly successfully as a raspberry tea. The flavour in here is unmistakably raspberry – strong raspberry, at that. Almost candied raspberry or something, because it’s certainly not as tart as actual raspberries (I am thankful for this, however.) Sadly, I’m really not tasting any cream. Perhaps there’s a bit of softness to the raspberry flavour that wouldn’t be there otherwise, but I guess I was hoping for a more noticeable creaminess. I suppose I could achieve that myself with milk or something?

A 2-minute infusion kept the black base in check here, so it works fairly well. I think I prefer this with a black base over generic green sencha base, as well. Overall, I don’t really see the hype around this one, as to me it isn’t anything overly special, but it’s certainly not bad! Better than a few other blends I’ve tried recently.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

I always have the highest difficulties to detect “cream” in the blends.It also seems to be an American obsession to create “creamy” blends, never mentioned so many creamy crème, crémeux blends in the European Blends.
Does this tea tastes like a natural rapsberry ? I am searching for the perfect Raspberry tea :)

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83

Since I ran across my packet of this at the same time as Strawberry Lemonade BMD, I decided to cold-brew some of it as well. I was never as fond of this one, possibly due to “tequila” flavouring, or just something being a bit off in the blend for me, but it’s still pretty good for iced tea. I also definitely ate a chunk of kiwi out of the bag last night. Mmmmmm, haha. In this blend, kiwi and the possible tequila flavour dominate, in my opinion. I may give this one a bit of sweetener later to see how it fares (whereas I was thinking to add a squeeze of lemon to Strawberry Lemonade…. yum).

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Sil

this sounds yummy

Kittenna

Want a sample? It’s nearly gone but I can save a regular cup’s worth for you :)

Sil

sure heh

Kittenna

I’m thinking I should cold-brew some of that Blackberry Pomegranate Shou Mei…

Sil

i was thinking about that as well, though i haven’t tried hot brewing yet either…other teas have called to me first.

Kittenna

Ahh. It’s not too bad; I think I liked it well enough hot. Will probably attempt a cold brew of it soon though. Finding that even though the weather is super cruddy, sometimes I just want to suck back something cold.

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90

Inspired by Awkward Soul, I decided to cold brew almost the last of this one up last night. And yep, it’s still pretty tasty. Since I seem to be so finicky as to what I like in a cold brew, it’s not often that one actually works really well for me. I can’t really taste much strawberry in here anymore, but definitely some lemon, as well as some bite from the white tea. I’ll probably let it warm up a touch before drinking the rest of it whenever I get to it later today, because I think the flavours might pop a bit more. This is certainly a blend I’d want to pick up again if it was re-blended (and tasted as good as it did originally).

Also, have I mentioned that I’m in love with my bombilla? :D

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Terri HarpLady

What’s a bombilla (I’m too lazy to search, LOL) :)

Sil

Think straw with a filter on the end of it. no brew basket, just stick a straw in it and drink, no fear of getting leaves up your straw.

Terri HarpLady

Really? I’ll have to check that out, cuz little Terri likes drinking from a straw :)

Kittenna

It’s SO awesome for cold brews. I don’t bother with it for anything hot though; drinking a hot beverage out of a straw is a little weird anyhow.

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64

Thanks to momo for a large packet of this one!

Dry and steeped, this tea smells quite pineappley. Perhaps a touch of creamy coconut, but predominantly pineapple, which is unsurprising given the fact that there are pieces of candied pineapple in the dry tea. The flavour follows, being predominantly pineapple with just a bit of coconut. I can’t even taste any black tea.

Overall, this isn’t too bad, but not a favourite. I may try icing some of it, as that sounds tasty!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Black Buckwheat Tea by Tiger Line
2221 tasting notes

Ummm, heck yes, this is SO DELICIOUS! I catch exactly what you’re saying, Indigobloom, about this tasting like sweet pretzels. I’m not quite sure that I would have likened it to that, but mildly sweet, toasted baked goods? Definitely. This is super tasty, and definitely a tea we probably need to locate a non-China source for, because yeah. It’s pretty darn good. Thanks for sharing, Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

huh… i’ll need to try this sooner rather than later then

Indigobloom

It is amazing, right?! right??? and it resteeps well, or so I discovered this morning :D

Indigobloom

I’m gonna have to find those pretzels again and see if they have buckwheat in them lol

Kittenna

Haha. Yeah, second infusion smelled a lot like potato chips or something. Still tasty.

Indigobloom

potato chips, oh man now I have a craving lol

Terri HarpLady

hmmm…interesting!

Sil

Terri – not that my memory is great but i’m pretty sure i sent you along a couple of these lol so you may get to try it out too. i think? lol

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67
drank Orange Chocolat by Lupicia
2221 tasting notes

Ok! Second shot at this one, courtesy of Sil.

All I remembered without reading my previous tasting note was that it was bitter last time. Well… I went with a 2-min infusion, which is about half the time I infused it last time, so if it’s still bitter, I give up!! The moment of truth…. woo, no bitterness!! That said, this doesn’t taste as good as I remember, so either I should use a bit more leaf next time, or I should lengthen the infusion a touch. Anyhow, it’s definitely heavy on the cardamom, but I’m not tasting a great deal of orange or chocolate (which I did last time). Still a decent cup of tea, but not quite what I was after. We’ll see how the second infusion fares :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

you just let me know..

Kittenna

Feel free to swap away the rest of this that you have. I definitely like it, but don’t love it as I expected, and since we both have a bunch of chocolate orange deliciousness en route, I’ll be ok. I may consider ordering it in the future from Lupicia, though!

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77

Sipdown! 789. Thanks to momo for this one.

Yep, this one remains solidly on my list of “favourite 52teas”, and it’s one that I’d purchase in a heartbeat if it came back. Banana is not my fave flavour in tea, but it’s very banana-chip-esque here, which works well, plus the creaminess and the amazing toastiness. It’s like the adult version of banana cream pie. I checked my tasting notes and it looks like I must still have some left from LiberTEAS as well – I was worried that this would be my last taste of this tea, but it seems not, which is super :D

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Tea Sipper

This is one of my favorite 52s also. I almost had it today!

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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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