2245 Tasting Notes

80

Sipdown! Thanks for letting me sample this one, Sil – and those little containers are perfect!

Anyhow, I made up quite the concoction yesterday morning with this matcha. I had about 1.5tsp of it from Sil, so whisked that into some hot milk, and took a sniff… delicious! I was thinking about just making a regular milk latte with it at first (since I don’t have any plain almond milk at the moment)… until I remembered that I had dark chocolate almond milk. Sooooo I made a chocolate black cherry latte. Only problem? 1.5tsp of matcha wasn’t really enough, IMO… so I whisked up another 1-2tsp of cheesecake matcha, plus some caramel matcha (I think… I might have just used cheesecake), and added it in. It certainly looked interesting, swirling dark green matcha liquid into dark brown chocolate almond milk, but it tasted fabulous. Sadly, I forgot to drink most of it, and it ended up being forgetten at my boyfriend’s place… thankfully in the fridge, so I guess I’ll drink it before/after heading to church tomorrow. Yum!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Sil

Well I’m glad those silly plastic containers work out. We’ll need to make sure we have them on hand again any time we’re swapping. Also it means that I’ve found a way to share matcha now in swaps, though ill see if my dollar store has bigger ones heh

Indigobloom

Also, it occured to me… that I should look for a tiny teaspoon! like the ones that come with icecream samples.
And dang that sounds amazing.

Kittenna

Sil – the amount of matcha was probably fine for anyone but me, if that’s what you were wondering. It was certainly enough for a regular-sized drink. I just wanted more, haha. Like I also said, I have tiny DT tins that I can bring along for us next time as well (they’re a bit bigger).

Indigobloom – I actually used Sil’s 1/4 teaspoon for moving matcha, and it worked great. She had a flat and a rounded set – you used the flat, and I stole the rounded one from the table where we were distributing teas. The one I used worked great.

Sil

An 1/8 th teaspoon works fine too…have one of those as well

Indigobloom

Nice. The ones I have at home are all rounded. Makes it a bit awkward heh

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89
drank Chocolate Malt by 52teas
2245 tasting notes

Sipdown! Drinking the old version today, courtesy of momo.

Unfortunately this has definitely lost a fair bit of flavour, so I’m having difficulty picking up too much chocolate, and am mostly getting honeybush. Still, it’s way better than the re-blend… :(

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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79
drank Mint Cacao Tea by Herbal Infusions
2245 tasting notes

Fairly tasty chocolate mint tea, pretty much like mint hot chocolate. Yummers. The mint, however, covers up some of the chocolate goodness, so it’s not as obviously a better chocolate flavour than… chocolate flavour in other mint chocolate blends, so I’d be torn as to whether I’d want something like this when I could have a more easily obtainable mint chocolate rooibos. That said, there is definitely no funky rooibos flavour, which is a plus. I suppose, however, that this may not be caffeine-free, since chocolate does contain caffeine?

Thanks for letting me sample this one as well, Indigobloom!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

Apparently since this is just the shell, there are only trace amounts. They had it tested! :P

Kittenna

Cool! Not that it matters particularly to me, but it might to someone else!

Indigobloom

It does to me, I can never sleep after a caffeinated cuppa. Plus it’s lighter so takes up less weight in my travel case (yes, this is going on vacation with me, when I go haha)

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88
drank Vanilla Cacao by Herbal Infusions
2245 tasting notes

Sipdown! Thanks to Indigobloom for a sample bag of this tea.

I found that it was not noticeably different from the regular cacao tea, though I didn’t brew them up side by side to really compare. Therefore, it tasted pretty much like hot-chocolate flavoured water. Tasty. I wouldn’t bother with purchasing the vanilla flavour myself though, just would stick with the plain.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I haven’t tried mine yet. Need to dig up my sample!!

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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
2245 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
2245 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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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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