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2221 Tasting Notes

80

Quick notes, falling asleep. Smelled a bit funky coming out of the bag, but it’s pretty good! Definite pineapple, nice and tart and true flavour; the cilantro isn’t overly obvious but present. Very tasty, though I probably won’t want more than my half ounce baggie.

ETA: Eek, I don’t know what happened, but when I re-steeped this one (admittedly a couple days later), it smelled way too much like roasted meat for me to even take a sip. Had to dump it out. I won’t hold it against the tea, as it was more than likely the fault of my crappy brewing habits, but… be warned!!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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84

Sipdown! Yum! I like this. I’m getting candy strawberry flavour, which I like, and it’s quite lovely. I could be convinced that there’s papaya in here too. The green base is pretty nondescript here, adding flavour in the background but nothing overly “green” – and no astringency!

Thanks for the sample, Sil!

ETA: Re-steep was pretty weak, even in half the water. Probably wouldn’t bother with it unless I was desperate.

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

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72

Smells a lot like Black Currant Bai Mu Dan, but tastes way better, IMO. Fruitier and with more body. I’m enjoying this one, although had it occurred to me that it would taste so much like Black Currant BMD, I wouldn’t have picked it up.

ETA: Re-steep was ok, although I only had a bit before forgetting it in on the dining room table for about 36 hours…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70
drank White Ginger Peach by The Tea Haus
2221 tasting notes

Thanks to Indigobloom for a sample of this one!

I’m not sure that I’m tasting ginger or peach all that prominently (ok, at all!), but I’m getting a lovely caramelly flavour, presumably from the white tea, that reminds me of dragonwell. So in spite of the lack of fruitiness and ginger, this tea isn’t so bad, because the base must be pretty decent :) I think I have to withhold a rating, though, because it’s likely age that is causing the lack of fruitiness (I’m actually more surprised that this wasn’t contaminated, given my shoddy storage!) Based on Indigobloom’s review, I would probably actually really like this one (just for the base, it’s getting above 75!)

So, I shall finish this one up, and perhaps try it again, as a fresher batch, at a later date :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Peach Cardamom by 52teas
2221 tasting notes

Another tea Sil & I picked up and split… I’m hoping that this goes better than the other 52teas I’ve had lately.

The aroma from the package, and of the brewed cup is kind of a fakey peach. I apparently have difficulty picking up cardamom, so am not smelling it here, but I’m sure it’s around. Perhaps I’ll do a better job when I taste it.

Ah yes, I think I’m picking it up in the flavour. Mmm… I’m actually enjoying this one. There’s something very… unripe fruit, unripe peach, about the flavour, and there’s just enough cardamom to be picked up. There’s a sort of creamy flavour in the aftertaste that I’m enjoying. I’m finding that I’m noticing the cardamom most prominently at the very beginning of the sip, right when I’m inhaling in the hot steam (yes… I’m drinking this one hot!) The green tea isn’t overly noticeable, but I think if it was, it might not work here terribly well.

Glad this one worked out… high hopes for the other one I have sitting on the counter atm…

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

is it bad that i totally brought this to work to try so i could just get all my 52 teas sampled because we’ve been having such crappy luck with them? i mean the explosion at work prevented that but i’l be going through them asap to check out.

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91

Sipdown! Thanks to Indigobloom for letting me have a sample of this tea.

I seem to have become quite fond of dragonwell – the rock sugar/caramelly sweetness is better than anything I’ve tasted in a flavoured tea, and rather addicting. This particular dragonwell is no exception, producing a delicious caramelly green tea flavour. However, it’s not as intense or as fresh as some dragonwells I’ve had, and there was some astringency (I’d prefer none). Overall, I’d happily drink it again, but I do think I’ve had better. I think on average, dragonwells rate between a 90-95 on my tea deliciousness scale; this one’s about a 91. :)

ETA: I killed the re-steep. Combo of oversteeping and leaving the leaves to sit overnight. I’ve really got to remember that straight greens in particular need to be fully re-steeped quickly as they just don’t last.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

gotta love that rock sugar!! :P

Indigobloom

Omg you should have tried this when it was fresh. Over a year old now. I’ve been thinking about this DW ever since seeing your review.
It almost had that sparkling mineral note that some oolongs bring.

Kittenna

Totally haven’t ever quite understood that “minerally thing”. Sigh. My tastebuds are hopeless. I do love dragonwell though…

Indigobloom

I find it’s more of a mouthfeel than a taste. Not hopeless, a work in progress! :P

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100

Holy crap. So I brewed this one up tonight, and was instantly in love. Chocolate, intensifying the natural notes of the Laoshan Black, plus toasty rice flavour. Seriously guys, I’m sure the second cup won’t be quite as amazing, but I was completely floored when I tried this (and I wasn’t expecting to be). I had a second infusion as well, and the flavour definitely changed… almost a caramelly/toffee flavour was what I was picking up. Divine. And the leaves still smell quite chocolatey, so round 3 will be tomorrow. I may re-stock this tea instead of the straight Laoshan Black, yes, that’s how delicious it was.

ETA: Round three was steeped for quite a while (probably more than 5 minutes) and is mostly kind of burny-toasty. Hint of caramel flavour, which grows in the aftertaste. Leaves didn’t have much aroma after this infusion, so I stopped. I’m pretty sure I’ll have some more of this tonight… just to see if I can repeat the deliciousness :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

Hmm. I’ll have to try the blend. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! ;)

Kittenna

Yeaaaah, it was crazy delicious. It was nice to drink a tea that didn’t taste flavoured :D

Indigobloom

Guess I’ll be digging this one out tomorrow!

Stephanie

ooooh, I will have to get some!

TastyBrew

This is one of my new favorites for sure. Next verdant order I’ll be stocking up. Never want to run out!

Marcel Duchamp

This one does sound amazing :-)

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64
drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Oooh… finally trying this tea. Massive apprehension due to the star anise (honestly, I contemplated picking it out, but figured that would be rather silly of me…)

The aroma is pretty much chocolate/coconut/star anise. Thankfully, the anise isn’t a super strong aroma, and I’m hoping it stays that way in the flavour as well (I think other people’s reviews have said that it’s not too bad??)

Yep, turns out they were right… but I still don’t love the tea! It tastes as described, chocolate, coconut, and a touch of star anise… but it’s not really working for me. I can see how other people love it, and I should love it… but… I’m not. Perhaps it’s that there’s almost a bit of cinnamon in there, and it’s coming off to me strangely… ah well. I tried!

ETA: Second infusion is a weaker version of the first, with a bit more anise. After this infusion, the leaves smelled just like star anise…. so into the compost they went.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

I felt pretty much the same way about it. Should have been good but just didn’t do it for me.

Kittenna

I can’t say I’m too sad – every tea I try that I don’t particularly care for is another I won’t be tempted to re-stock! :P

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67
drank Black Manas by Teajo Teas
2221 tasting notes

Thanks to Piccolo at Teajo Teas for such a generous sample of this tea!

I’m still not super familiar with the flavours of different black tea types, but assam seems to be one that I lean towards a bit more than others, so I was interested to try another version of it to train my palate a bit! I have to say that the tea tastes pretty much how I would expect. It’s malty and only just slightly astringent, with a bit of a raisiny finish (that part was unexpected and lovely!) I think I will try my next cup of it with additions, as I think it will hold up well.

Generally, I’m not the biggest fan of straight black teas to begin with, so it’s pretty tough to crack the ranks of teas I’d like to drink on a regular basis, and this one doesn’t make the cut for me, although I’m sure that any assam lover would be quite delighted with it!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

la la la can’t wait to try this one :)

Kittenna

I’ll actually prob let you girls have the rest of the packet. I’m just too picky about straight blacks.

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80
drank Feng Shui Wellness by Tealux
2221 tasting notes

Sipdown! Thanks to Raritea for a sample of this tea. It’s not something I would have picked myself, but it smelled good and I saw no objectionable ingredients in the blend, so figured it was worth a shot.

The aroma is tangy and quite tasty-smelling… I can’t quite place what I’m picking up, but it’s almost a little bit fruity, maybe a bit minty or something? I kind of like it though. And the flavour is actually just about as good as the aroma! Fruity but with a fair bit of complexity and additional flavours. It’s like an explosion of deliciousness in my mouth! (I just wanted to say that, heh). Anyways, I feel like I’m picking up mango/peach flavours, along with a savoury note that I can’t place. And then an intermingling of other flavours that present themselves randomly during the sip. Yeah… I kind of like this blend! I pretty much never like wellness blends, because they always contain obscene amounts of fennel, licorice, or some sort of mint… but this doesn’t have any (or if they’re here, they’re in very low amounts).

I’m not sure I’d drink this blend super often, but I’m pretty impressed! Thanks again Raritea!

ETA: A re-steep is still pretty good. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m liking the combo of ingredients in here.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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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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