2225 Tasting Notes

34
drank Dance With Elephant by Tealux
2225 tasting notes

This was a random, fruity pick from Tealux when we made our order. They are certainly not lying about the huge chunks of fruit (which is great, though difficult to measure), but I’m not entirely sure that I read carefully enough to note that there was rooibos in the blend. Oops. Oh well.

Brewed up, this tea smells pretty fruity. Very banana-y. Tastewise, it’s the same. Quite banana-y, with definite coconut creaminess. There a bit of rooibos scratchiness as well. The one thing that I’m not liking here, however, is that… there’s a bit of a funky flavour going on. Kind of a yucky, pukey flavour. And aroma. Kind of like the flavour I tasted in Adagio’s Pina Colada, although not neeaaarrrllly as strong. Consequently, I’m wondering if the tangy pineapple in some of these pina colada blends doesn’t sit well, or blend well… because… blech. I was pretty darn impressed with this blend other than that though, because it’s very real-banana (like a smoothie), plus lovely coconut, but I just can’t take that flavour in tea. And this I know isn’t caused by sickness. Sigh. Oh well, at least I only picked up a sample size!

Preparation
Boiling
canadianadia

Doesn’t sound yummy, that’s too bad…it has such a fun name!

Indigobloom

oh… pineapple :(

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68
drank Lychee by Lupicia
2225 tasting notes

Really? First to log this? That’s weird.

Anyways, this was part of Sil’s and my shared Lupicia Happy Bag, 2012. I’m not overly fond of lychee-flavoured teas, as I think they tend towards the overly floral side (yes, I know lychees are floral, but eating the fruit is different from tasting it in tea!) Anyways, this one smells delightfully like lychee, but not too floral, which is good. And the flavour? Actually pretty decent. I’m getting a moderate lychee flavour overtop of the black tea base, which is not astringent at all. More juicy than floral, which would be my preference. Really, as far as lychee teas go, this is pretty good. The only weird thing is that once the lychee flavour fades and I can taste the black tea, I get a bit of a rotted garbage sort of flavour lingering in my mouth. However, this may just be an artifact of residual Honey/Caramel Orzo tea in my mouth as well, because it’s not noticeable until the end. Also, sickness, so who really knows. So for now, rating does not reflect that off-flavour, because I’m not totally convinced that it’s real. Sil obviously has some of this too, so I’m sure she can verify this one way or the other at some point!

ETA: Nope, no off-flavour when my mouth isn’t contaminated. Actually, it’s kind of tasty and fruity :)

ETA again: Didn’t care for the re-steep and dumped it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

yeah your glowing review, complete with rotting garbage references REALLY makes me want to dig this out and try it. lol

Kittenna

I’m pretty sure that it’s just a strange-combo-of-flavours-in-mouth thing :P That orzo tea is strong, and lingers.

Kashyap

the best lychee flavored anything I have ever had was the lychee oolong from naivetea and it was so amazing I bought a pound and spent time coming up with recipes for it, including poached pears, simple syrup, and sorbet. I found out that the way the scent and flavor teas is vastly different from others and happens while the tea is undergoing transformation into an oolong and its not a post ‘production’ flavoring, so the naturalistic and balanced flavor is captured…I would recommend them highly

Dinosara

I’ve had some of this for a while but haven’t gotten around to it (mostly because I have a lot of it and it’s not sipdownable :P). But I love lychee congou so I am looking forward to it.

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90
drank Orzo - Caramel & Honey by Lupicia
2225 tasting notes

Woo, another sip down! 795 :) And yes, Sil, it’s a sipdown even though you gave me more, because they are separate entries on my swaps sheet. That’s just how it works. There are many ways in which my large cupboard may be slightly artificially inflated…

This isn’t quite as good as the first time I had it, but I think that’s partially because I oversteeped it a bit (so it’s a bit strong) and because my tasting ability is compromised. Still tasty though, and one I’ll likely look at picking up sometime in the future.

Preparation
Boiling
Sil

haha

Indigobloom

I saw this and got confused. Then looked at the other reviews and saw that it’s a coffee alt. Bleh :P

Kittenna

:P Yeah I like the taste of (sweetened) coffee. So this works for me. I have yet to try it as a latte, but I’m 100% certain it will be amazing.

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100

So. Yesterday I went to the doctor for some immunizations, and let me tell you – I am in a world of hurt today. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER get intramuscular injections into both arms on the same day. Because you may very well not be able to do anything with your arms the next day (typing, thankfully, involves mostly only fingers. Lifting up laptop, however? Yeahno. Making tea? Very painful.) Anyways. Sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache, AND intense pain at the injection sites, radiating up to my neck, makes for a very, very miserable Kittenna. (Did I mention there were three injection sites? Ohyes. There was another one in there as well.) Of course, I’m into huge crunch time for my thesis right now, and I have to go for my second bridesmaid dress fitting today, so I can’t even take (another) day off.

Anyways. Sipping down this tea in anticipation of receiving an absurd amount of it (flavoured or otherwise) in the nearish future. So for now, I’m down to 797, woo.

ETA: Discovered that I had neglected to remove the other listing for this one too! So, 796. Haha. This is what happens when one’s cupboard is so large.

Preparation
Boiling
Terri HarpLady

Below 800, eh? Congrats! Even if it is shorty lived : /
Bummer you’re feeling crappy.
Here, have another cup of tea…

Kittenna

I’m hoping to stay solidly under 800 now… I won’t be getting any of the new teas I ordered (except an Amoda box, and Bluebird Tea Co. samples) until May, pretty much, so I have lots of time. And even then, I’m not getting toooooo many new teas…. (I say this now, haha). And thanks… today is clearly not going to be very good. Sigh.

Sil

kiteenna i can always just order tea without you :)

Kittenna

No, not allowed. I will disown you if you don’t give me the chance to be part of orders! D:

Terri HarpLady

Tsk tsk tsk…look at you two, bickering like siblings…

Sil

well she is a little snot sometimes grin i have no siblings, so i’m happy to adopt

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17

Interesting – Tea Guys has a blend with the exact same name and list of ingredients. Coincidence? Doubtful, considering that there are crazy things in here like dogwood fruit (though interestingly enough… no sassafras root is listed in the ingredients… sigh…)

Anyhow. Felt like a random new tea this morning that wouldn’t be a sipdown (in case I couldn’t taste it), but would be something interesting. So here we have it. The aroma is rather root beery… and that’s about all I can detect. Same aroma once brewed.

However, the flavour? Is WEEEEIIIRRRDDD. Root beer plus a punch of fruity hibiscus? Whaaat? Bleh, this is not sitting well with me. I like root beer, and the amount of hibby in here is tolerable, but together? This is NOT a combination I would recommend. I’m not entirely certain that I’ll finish my cup of this… Perhaps I’ll leave it until I get home after my meeting (maybe I’ll be able to breathe/taste/smell properly by then?!) and see if it still tastes kind of icky.

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

straaannngee

K S

I’m pretty sure using actual sassafras root is illegal – at least in the US.

gmathis

There was a long conversation about that a while back … I think the sassafrass concoctions that are commercially sold have a particular chemical/element of the plant removed.

Kittenna

Well, sassafras root isn’t actually listed as an ingredient, just in the tea description. So who knows! This tea was icky anyways, haha.

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80

Mmm, the tastiest/sweetest of the three honeybush blends I brewed up this morning. It feels kind of muted though, so we will be blaming some of this on the stuffy nose.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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80
drank Monkey Fart by 52teas
2225 tasting notes

So, this one definitely spent a bit too long in a plastic baggie. I’ve now decided that any teas packed in crappy packaging are the only ones I’m allowed to drink for a while. Which means swap samples and teas from Teaopia, etc. Anyways, there’s definitely still banana in here, both in aroma and flavour (which makes me think that there’s even less strawberry in Walter Bishop than I thought, since my tastebuds clearly aren’t completely busted), but the tea tastes kind of stale, which I definitely didn’t notice originally. Ah well, there’s now only about a cup’s worth left, so hopefully I can make short work of it some evening!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Uniquity

I’ve been going through the same. I’ve actually started tossing some of the ones that have gotten too old in bad storage. It’s like a little tea shaked knife in my heart every time though.

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drank Walter Bishop Honeybush by 52teas
2225 tasting notes

Ok… so I should have drank this about an hour ago, because since then, my nose has really stuffed up. It definitely smelled like creamy strawberries earlier, but mostly just smells like honeybush now. And mostly just tastes like honeybush. Sigh. I don’t think the flavouring is particularly strong in here to begin with though, from what I’ve read, so it’s not surprising that I really don’t taste it much at all right now, though. I’m willing to bet that I will still prefer Strawberry Pie HB over this one, but I’m glad to have tried it! I’ll rate this when I’m not sick anymore.

ETA: Got more strawberry when it was cool and had sat for a while. Still tough to tell how much my cold is affecting things though.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Sil

..and then when you still don’t like it, you send the rest to meeeeeeeeeee

Indigobloom

no no send it to me me me! :P

Terri HarpLady

or you can send it to me! ;)

Sil

Back off people! I get first dibs! We split this package! Lol

Kittenna

Geez, who says I was giving any away! Though Terri, if you were wanting to try some, Sil could send from her stash (if she wasn’t already planning to) and I could replace that amount. :P

And Indigobloom, if you want a sample, I’ll put it on the swaps list.

Sil – you clearly like this one more than me, so if I try it again and am still pretty ambivalent, it’s yours. I have my fingers crossed that if I like the Cranberry TKY, I can maybe nab more of that from you :D

Indigobloom

lol no worries, I have some from a swap… I was just teasing along with Sil. (plus it smells amazing!!)

Terri HarpLady

:D
no prob, I’m getting ready to be swamped with a LOT of tea!!
I was just playin’

Sil

LOL sounds good kittenna…also DO try the cranberry one, i’ll try and check it out tonight in case i LOOOOVE it hot for some reason, but i’m guessing that’ll be one that you will love moreso than me and i’d rather get our split packages back to one another if that makes sense heh

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83
drank Luscious Watermelon by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

Another cold-brew of this one, yum. It was feeling ok on the sore throat until I hit the bottom, where there were some particles that came through the bombilla, and now I keep trying to clear them out of my throat…. bleh.

I hate that I can’t even really do any sipdowns today because I suspect I’m not 100% in the tasting dep’t at the moment, and so it would just be a waste….

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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75
drank Hearts & Roses by Della Terra Teas
2225 tasting notes

Sipdown(s)! (798 – I missed noting down my Black Cherry Matcha sipdown yesterday)

I didn’t have quite enough of either this tea or Pineapple Upside Down Cake for a full travel mug’s worth… so I decided to combine the two! There was a bit more tea than I really needed for a full mug’s worth, but I used it all anyways as Della Terra Teas don’t have strong enough bases that it would cause problems (I was right). The result was pretty decent – caramelly sweet like PUDC, but with the chocolate of Hearts & Roses. I never did taste pineapple or cherry, respectively, when I previously tried each of the teas, so unsurprisingly can’t pick either out here as well.

Either way, pretty enjoyable! I wouldn’t pick up Hearts & Roses again (Love in a Cup was better), but I’d probably pick up Pineapple Upside Down Cake, possibly for blending. I like having “sweet” teas to tote along with me :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

no more tea ordering for you. no more.

Starfevre

798? seriously? With my trades added in (which I don’t count in my cupboard or as sipdowns usually) I don’t break 300. I can’t imagine having almost 800 teas.

Kittenna

Mmhmm… I’m a bit of a tea hoarder, sigh. As in, I hate drinking the last of any samples, which leads to perhaps slightly inflated numbers.

Starfevre

I’m a hoarder as well (of…a lot of things. Like empty used envelopes. Useless things), but I’ve felt better about not hoarding tea since I encountered the term sipdown as something to be proud of.

Sil

starfevre – yeah 300 is too much (imo) totally overwhelms me

Cavocorax

Woah. That blows my mind! How much space does that take up?

Kittenna

Probably less space than you’d expect, because about 325 of them are from swaps, and of the remaining 475, I’d say at least half are sample sizes. If I organized things better, it would probably just take up… a large cupboard, haha.

Cavocorax

Haha. Well that’s not so bad then if you look at actual ounces of tea, right? (Except… except it’s probably more tea than you would ever drink in your life!)

Kittenna

Oh, haha, no, it’s definitely possible to get through it all, especially if I stop buying tea :P I’m not sure of the timeline, but it’s certainly less than a year. I only have >100g of maybe 3 or so teas, and >50g (or about 50g) of maayyyybe 25 more? If that? So they are all fairly small sizes. :)

JoonSusanna

OMG I thought 798 was a typo. Have you got photographic evidence? :)

Kittenna

Ahahaha. A select few people have seen a messy picture of my stash, but I’m not letting the rest of the world see it :P Hopefully when I get settled into my new place, I’ll have some time to organize things and take a pic that I’m willing to show to people :)

Sil

cough

Kittenna

Don’t even!

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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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