2410 Tasting Notes

85

My first dong ding oolong experience was with Teavivre’s, and it went very badly. Mostly, I oversteeped it (and probably overleafed as well) and it tasted awful. I still have at least one sample pack, so should really give it another shot some time.

Anyhow, in the spirit of trying all the teas, I picked up a sample pack of this from Verdant a while ago. And since I felt like some straight tea tonight (and am planning a teensy Verdant order in the near future), I figured I should make some progress on a few sample packs tonight!

I approximately followed Verdant’s instructions for this tea: 1 tbsp of tea, 8 oz. of water, a brief rinse, and then a 30-second infusion. I thought it would be a bit weak, but the aroma seems to indicate otherwise – it’s a bit toasty and a bit florally-green… definitely intriguing! The first sip is lightly sweet and floral, kind of like TGY but without that turpentine smell/overly green flavour. The second sip (this tea is a bit too hot for my liking, still) brings out more sweetness, and is a bit more vegetal, but also has more oolong aftertaste. I keep spying bits of Dinosara’s note as I’m writing, and I agree that it’s quite savoury. I’m enjoying it, although I’m not sure it’s quite my favourite sort of oolong (and what that is, other than good milk oolongs, I can’t really tell you quite yet to be honest.)

I’m interested to see where the next few infusions take me, but this is certainly pretty tasty so far!

ETA: Like the other oolong, the second infusion of this one (1 min) was pretty tasty, but the second infusion (2 min) tastes a bit astringent and oversteeped. Perhaps should have gone with 1.5min. I’ll try a fourth infusion tomorrow to see what happens.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Tealizzy

I liked this one a lot! Probably will pick up some in a future order.

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88

Sipdown! 817.

This one also smelled kind of soapy while I was brewing it, but drinking it cooled, I’m not getting any soapiness, just a herbally citrus flavour with a bit of spice. I bet this made a great iced tea way back when it came out like 2 years ago! There’s still a bit of bai mu dan flavour peeking out here too, which is really tasty. Overall, a pretty good tea.

ETA: Second infusion was good; third started to taste too much like lemongrass.

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

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81

Sipdown! 818.

I forgot that this tasted better the longer it was steeped. Oops. So it’s alright, but not wonderful (age may be a factor here too). It tastes a bit citrusy/orange, with the creaminess of banana, so does mimic a breakfast smoothie, although I think there are other HB blends that I’d prefer over this one.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Drank this, but confused it with sTEAp Shoppe’s White Chocolate Tea. Clearly there are similarities… This also means that I couldn’t pick up any citrus :( There’s definitely creaminess though, so this one will get another shot sometime in the future!

ETA: Second infusion of this one also smelled like dry cat food, and induced gagging and cup-dumping. As with White Chocolate, I did remember this aroma from when I was brewing it as well. I will add, though, that in this case, it was spiced cat food. But once I’d made the association, it was just downhill from there. Hopefully the second attempt is better.

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

Shudder, dry cat food. You’re brave for even considering a second attempt!

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drank White Chocolate by sTEAp Shoppe
2410 tasting notes

Uh…. so I brewed up both this and sTEAp Shoppe’s Chocolate Orange tea…. and… I can’t tell them apart. I mean, they taste a bit different, but I can’t tell which one is which, which is kind of bad, given that one is supposed to be orange-flavoured.

Anyhow, both taste alright, and have a bit of a white chocolate/creamy flavour to them, but I’ll definitely have to give both a second go to figure out which I’m even reviewing!

ETA: Uh… so the second infusion smelled a lot like dry cat food… and kind of tasted like it too… so I gagged on it and threw it out :( I forgot that I remember having that same impression of the dry leaves/brewing leaves for the first infusion as well. Thankfully the first infusion was drinkable, but #2 was not.

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

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85

I’m fairly sure that this tea is rapidly losing flavour; I suspect it was a bit old to begin with, and now is rapidly going downhill. I have a few cups of it left, and will try my best to finish them off quickly! It’s certainly not bad, and the creaminess/cupcakey aspect is still present, but the strawberry flavouring is quickly disappearing. Although I apparently only have one previous tasting note for this, I’m pretty sure I had it in a travel mug at one point too (but I’m bad at logging those sometimes), and it was fairly tasty, so hopefully I can use it up quickly that way. Basically, travel mug blacks have only two requirements: no astringency, and some sort of tasty-enough flavour, and this one in its current state still satisfies those requirements :D

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Hesper June

I to experienced this. I could not believe how quickly the flavor faded.

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57
drank Dark Chocolate Tea by sTEAp Shoppe
2410 tasting notes

Well, this tea unfortunately kind of underwhelmed me. It was certainly dark-tasting, but I wasn’t really tasting much chocolate. There was a hint of the molasses taste as there was in the Milk Chocolate tea, but it was definitely less prominent. I’ll have to try a second cup with the recommended brewing parameters (I reduced the infusion time by a couple minutes) to see if I can coax a bit more flavour out of this one.

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

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73
drank Snowflake by Georgia Tea Company
2410 tasting notes

Sipdown! 819. A big thanks to momo for this one :)

Although I caught a hint of soapiness from a couple teas I brewed up tonight, by the time I got to this one, at least, it was gone, and what was left was a fairly pleasant coconut black with a hint of nuttiness. It was rather weak, however, but I think that the cause of that was either tea age, or perhaps understeeping, as I only steeped for 2 min, as I’ve tended to do with most “unknown” black teas lately (e.g. flavoured blacks where I don’t have reliable other recommendations, such as Butiki/Verdant).

Anyhow, I’d happily drink this in the future! Not a bad tea at all. It would probably be one to compare to Della Terra’s Chocolate Almond Coconut (which I also found to be weak, hmmm), or possibly H&S’s SoHo Blend… which is also kind of weak. Maybe it’s just the flavour combo! I think SoHo had the most chocolate flavouring… but come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that chocolate wasn’t an ingredient in here. Oops :D

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Checkmate by DAVIDsTEA
2410 tasting notes

Sipdown! 820.

Delicious last cup of this, but I’ll take a break from it for a while. It’s good, but there are just so many other teas to try. This was definitely one of my “gateway” teas though – one that made me switch from sugary coffee lattes to straight tea!

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

jay-zus! 820??? that’s the highest number i’ve ever seen (yes, i know, you have 821 further down). Is that the quivalent of a (wo)man cave full of tea?

Kittenna

Yeah, something like that! A bunch of them are fairly small samples but yeah… I really do have that many different teas kicking around here. In fact, more than that, because there are a few swap samples from Sil that I haven’t yet added…

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100
drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
2410 tasting notes

Delicious, delicious eggnog tea. Haven’t had this in a while, but it was easily available and I was craving it, therefore I made a cup of it tonight to drink while watching the last two episodes of Once Upon a Time.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

That is a great tea. I’ve been hoarding the last little bit of mine ;)

Chizakura

I’m so excited to try this again. I remember last time I had it, my palate was so unrefined that I tasted hot water until I added sugar. I’m going to get this again, and see the difference. :) (I drank the base tea in between then and now and I could definitely taste it no problem)

CheshireEyes

I sadly only had a sample of this tea. I want a full order but I must drink down some of my stash first :-/

Kittenna

Stephanie – I’ve been hoarding mine too… it has probably been months!

Chizakura – Yep, I’ve had that same sort of change happen to me. I remember thinking that teas were pretty watery, but now that I’m less used to juice (it’s actually a bit overwhelmingly sweet now sometimes!) I can pick up tea flavours much better, and enjoy teas I once thought were not very good.

CheshireEyes – Oh, I hear you. Do I ever. It will be so much more of a reward if you wait!

Sil

heh keep in mind it’s out of stock atm…i think stacy maybe hasn’t updated the website? t says to check back May 14th…

OMGsrsly

I really wanted this one, but it was out of stock when we did the order. Oh well. Next time (because there will totally be a next time!).

Butiki Teas

We just made a fresh batch. Should have this back on our site on Monday.

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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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