2229 Tasting Notes

drank Four Seasons Oolong by Teavana
2229 tasting notes

(Backlogged from… Feb 14th). The boy bought me a straight tea! I was so proud, especially since he bought me an oolong :D As oolongs go, I’ve probably had better – this one was missing some of the nuances I’ve grown to love in some of the others I drink – but overall it was pretty decent, and especially after cooling/sitting, it developed the classic oolongy flavour that I adore. So again, not a repurchase, but considering how much my boyfriend doesn’t know about tea, I’m pretty pleased :) (He said that he told the lady at Teavana that I liked Milk Oolong, and she recommended this one. I’m not quite sure that I agree with her choice, but I am sooo stoked that he remembered!)

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

nice boyfriend :)

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(Backlogged from… Feb 14th). I assume this is the tea I got for Valentine’s Day… the bag doesn’t say “Luau” on it, but the description sounds about right.

Anyhow, this is probably the sort of tea I wouldn’t bother with picking up again. A flavoured white, which means you basically can’t even tell that there’s white tea in here (making it overpriced), and not my favourite flavours. However – I think it might be great as an iced tea in the summer, as there’s a tartness along with the fruitiness that I think I’d appreciate more when cold. I can’t really remember much else about this tea, so I’ll write a better tasting note next time I drink some.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Well… this one tasted how I expected an “8 treasure” blend from Verdant to taste. Prominent yabao, which is ok as I like its creaminess and different flavour, and other random herbally flavours. I like this one more than the Love & Joy Blend, but it’s not one I’d pick up. A cup of yabao every now and then is all I need (and preferably, it’s the pear-yabao that was part of a 12 days of Christmas swap in 2012). Anyhow, again a good selection IMO, because most people will not have tried yabao previously, and it’s pretty easy-drinking here.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

What is yahao?

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Hmm. Not my favourite, that’s for sure, but this wasn’t too bad. I think I’m just not the biggest fan of herbal blends, and that’s that. It does taste as the description indicates – the chamomile is apparent, and there’s an appley aroma/flavour to the tea. I could also pick out a bit of cacao, but I’m not sure the combo quite works for me; apple and cacao? Chamomile and cacao? I actually think that if the chamomile was a bit more masked, I would enjoy this more – although I’ve learned to tolerate chamomile in blends, I don’t much care for it when I can really taste it strongly, which I can here. I might try this at a bit of a shorter infusion time to see if I came tame the chamomile a bit. The frankincence is also noticeable here (I only know this because of its inclusion in a previous Verdant blend, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue what to taste for), but i

Second infusion, for I’m not sure how long (4 min?), was similar in flavour, although something else is poking out a bit that I don’t care for. I would have said something like juniper, but that’s not in this blend, so I’m not sure what it would be. I’m not familiar with all the ingredients (particularly linden leaf/flower), so it could easily be something like that.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Eggnog & Pralines by Butiki Teas
2229 tasting notes

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I haven’t seen anybody’s else’s reviews on this one (because I’ve been lazy, I see that they are there), but I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. I put maybe 2 or so tsp of tea in the filter basket, and gave it a 45s infusion to start – quite delicious. No fishiness (that’s usually shu anyhow), no strange flavours, just creaminess and that wild sheng flavour that I’m familiar with. I’m drinking the second infusion now (I let it go for a minute), and I’m still pretty blown away at how good this is. This may in fact get me back into drinking my shengs from Verdant that have been sitting a while – I’ve given quite a few to my mom, who likes them more than I, but I think now’s the time to try them again myself.

Although the tea description indicates a “bright astringency”, I can’t say I’m catching any astringency at all; this is just smooth, sweet, nutty, and VERY enjoyable. Great selection, Amoda/Verdant – a perfect intro pu’erh, but with plenty of nuances for experienced drinkers to enjoy as well.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

How many steeps did you get?

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drank Two Friends by Custom (Butiki)
2229 tasting notes

Forgot to log this from a few days ago. Such an amazingly awesome tea.

ETA: Why is “orange” not a flavour?! Just orange zest? This is most certainly not zest.

Flavors: Chocolate

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

There are so many flavors that need to be added. I’ve suggested like 20.

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drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
2229 tasting notes

Not getting the rhubarb, but this is a tasty spiced strawberry black. Great comfort tea in the evening. I did oversteep a bit, and this base tea does have the tendency to get kind of astringent when that happens, but the delicious flavours make it worth drinking anyhow!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Pumpkin Spice Rooibos by Tealux
2229 tasting notes

Thanks to Raritea for a sample of this one from quite a while back :) I’m trying to get a few sipdowns out of the way today… just to make myself feel better. Haha. I so shouldn’t have placed those two joint orders…

Anyhow, it’s not bad. Does kind of taste pumpkiny, and spiced, but it’s not quite the way I’d like a pumpkin spice rooibos to taste. Maybe a bit light on both? I’m not sure. On the plus side, the rooibos is just fine here – no weird aftertaste or anything, so it’s a perfectly enjoyable cup, just not quite what one would hope from a tea with such a name. The spicing in Della Terra and Butiki’s pumpkin teas is definitely superior.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Peach Tranquility by Teavana
2229 tasting notes

So my lovely boyfriend bought me tea for Valentine’s Day! I take that as proof that he is really not concerned about my tea addiction, and instead supports it. Haha. He got me 5 bags of tea from Teavana, 50g each (I think), and I’m super pleased – not only had I not tried most (any?) of the teas, I ended up enjoying them all! He knows me :D Apparently they tried wafting all the teas for him, but he had no idea what to sniff for. Amusing.

Anyhow, this is the only tea I think I’ve tried previously. I don’t recall caring for it a great deal (if it was this tea), but I quite enjoyed it this time – it tastes like peach juice! I’m guessing it would be great during the summer, so I may hang onto the rest of it for the hotter months. I think I may have previously been under the impression that there was actual tea in this blend, which there is not; I think I prefer it this way.

ETA: Second infusion got at least half an hour…. and it’s pretty good. I’m almost detecting a bit of chemically flavour, but it’s bearable. And fruity. And sweet. Hehe.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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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