2244 Tasting Notes

88
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
2244 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
2244 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
2244 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
2244 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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60

Second tea from the April Amoda Tea Box.

Like Cavocorax, I’m not the hugest fan of earl greys. Without cream, that is :P That’s how I drank my Tetley EG with my oldest friend way back when (plus unbelievable amounts of sugar), and I loved it. Still holds a place in my heart, as do the earl grey creams that I’ve recently discovered I like, but this one? Has no cream. And a lot of lemongrass, which is hit or miss for me. So, I’m a bit apprehensive.

The aroma is reminiscent of, but not quite like earl greys that I’m used to. Definitely more citrus, particularly lemon, and less bergamot, as was mentioned in the tea description. I only gave this a ~2.5 minute infusion to make sure the base stayed drinkable without additions, which worked fairly well. The flavor is lemony with a background of bergamot and a solid but unremarkable black tea base. The lemon here is toeing the line of tasting cleaner-y, but isn’t quite there, which is good, but consequently I’m not super sure I like it. I am noticing, as Cavocorax also did, that there does seem to be a sort of creaminess at the end of the sip, but it’s not quite enough for me :P

Anyways, I think this one would be better sweetened and with milk. It’s not a bad EG at all, and for those who love EGs and lemongrass, it would probably be a big hit! I, however, would like a big dose of cream in here to bring it more into line with my preferences.

ETA: I did re-infuse this one, and it was alright. Drank it too quickly to notice a great deal about it, except that there was still flavour. I preferred the first infusion, but perhaps #2 would be just fine with additions.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Cavocorax

I think I might try my next cup with a bit of milk just to see if there’s a difference! (I wish I had cream on hand… hmmm.)

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81
drank Nutty Enough by Naked Teas Galore
2244 tasting notes

First tea from my April Amoda Tea Box! Just fetched it from the ice/icicle-coated mailbox. Man, is it ever looking to get nasty out there… There have been weather advisories since Tuesday about a wicked winter ice storm headed our way, and it looks to hit fully later tonight (personally, I’m hoping that the power goes out and stays out for like, 5 days. Because then I could justify doing everything else other than writing my thesis…)

Now this tea smells much more like I would have expected DavidsTea’s Forever Nuts to smell like. Dry, the tea smells strongly of various nuts (primarily almond) and a bit like amaretto as well. Steeped, some cinnamon wafts into the aroma, which is not unexpected but perhaps not quite what I was wanting, since the almondy/amaretto combination from the dry tea was what I was really after.

Thankfully, flavourwise, this does taste fairly nutty, to me, and not as fruity as Forever Nuts in spite of the addition of apple pieces (which I think are only serving to prevent this from being a dry nut mouth catastrophe!) The cinnamon is also just a background note, as is the amaretto, for the most part. I’m actually rather enjoying this! I overleafed according to the instructions (I probably used 2tsp for 8 oz.) and I wouldn’t want it any weaker, though it’s perfect as is.

I feel like this tastes similar to a tea I had from DavidsTea that I commented would more aptly fit the name “Forever Nuts”… something is telling me that was Hot Toboggan, but I’m pretty sure that’s not right. Anyways! I like this tea :D Not so apple cidery is a big bonus :)

ETA: I enjoyed my second infusion of this one as well, in half the water. And then proceeded to eat the nuts from the infuser :D Interesting experience! Will repeat.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Ozli

oooh that storm passed over us and it was brutal!

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72
drank The des Anges by Nina's Paris
2244 tasting notes

Sipdown, 782. Thanks to Nina’s Paris for a sample of this tea :)

I couldn’t remember what the flavouring was supposed to be in this tea, and a sniff of it made me think apple… but apparently I’m wrong, as it’s strawberry. Knowing that and sniffing, however, makes it clear that it is strawberry (even though I’m pretty sure you could still convince me that it’s sweet apple!)

Anyhow, this isn’t too bad of a tea. A 2-minute infusion kept the base in check, and there’s a good dose of apple (strawberry) flavouring, which is quite nice. Overall, a fairly tasty fruity black, not my first choice of tea type but better than some I’ve tried!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

well…is this really a good tea if it is supposed to be strawberry and taste like apple :S ?

Indigobloom

omg I just had my sample cuppa and went through the exact same process(tastes like apple)

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80

Sipdown, 783. Just was in a mood to finish off my sample of this one from whatshesaid. I have some more that I’ll get sometime in May, so felt like I could indulge myself now :D I was intending to throw in a bit of brown sugar but forgot and am too lazy to go back and do it now, so I’ll have to try that with the next batch.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

you THINK you’re getting it…
the mice might eat it before then.

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52

Sipdown, 784. Thanks again to Bluebird Tea Co. for this free sample :)

Although this tea certainly didn’t look like it contained any oolong at all, it does almost have an oolongy sort of flavour to it… Apparently it’s supposed to be a green oolong, which makes more sense (I was thinking dark oolong).

Anyways, the aroma is very herbally. A bit fruity, a bit of lemon verbena. Reminds me of some other tea I’ve had recently-ish (maybe Feng Shui from Tealux?). The flavour is definitely herbally, with touches of lemon and sweetness, and a flavour that I’m not quite enjoying (I’d say mint or chamomile, but I’m not sure if either is in here??) Or perhaps it’s the hibiscus I’m not enjoying? (Although it’s not a tartness issue here, just a flavour thing.)

I think, actually, that it might be that this reminds me to some degree of either Earl of Anxi (Verdant) or Citron Oolong (DavidsTea), both of which I like… but at the same time, had a bit of an aversion to that I couldn’t figure out. Something about flavouring a green oolong??

I’m not sure, this isn’t a bad tea at all, but something about it isn’t quite clicking for me. Perhaps I infused it incorrectly (I just went with my standard oolong parameters)? Oh well, they can’t all be winners! Don’t let my review discourage anyone from trying this tea though! It’s just not for me :)

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

It sounds like the flavours might be good cold. I’ll put it on my list to try. :)

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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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