2661 Tasting Notes

78
drank Coconut Peppermint Patty by 52teas
2661 tasting notes

52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 10! (Drank Dec. 10)
Uh…. another minty black? O.o There sure are a lot of near-repeats in these 12 teas… and I’m getting more disappointed as I go along. Two chais in a row, one of which was pretty bad, 3 pumpkin teas (the base being the only differentiating factor), and now a second minty black. I see there’s coconut here, so I’m guessing it’s Coconut Peppermint Patty (I believe that was one of this year’s blends). I suspect I’ll enjoy it, and although it may get a reasonably high rating, big minus points to the 12 Teas of Christmas overall :(

(Turns out the label just says ‘Peppermint Patty’, but I assume it’s this tea.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

This was a tea that I asked Frank to make because last year I had a candy bar in one of my foodie subscription boxes from Theo Chocolates, it was a mint coconut milk chocolate bar and it was amazing. I wanted to have a tea like that. I had some of this tea last night and again this morning and I do think that Frank managed to capture the flavors that I was hoping for but the chocolate bar did taste better than the tea because … well, it was a chocolate bar from Theo.

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70

Yes, so I remain too lazy to change the name of this tea. I have the packet… somewhere… but not here, so… maybe next time I’m logging it?

Anyways, decided I’d try to use some up via travel mug, which as it turns out, wasn’t a bad idea. I believe I royally screwed up the brewing parameters as I was distracted while making it Friday, so I think it may have had… longer than intended, and only at 170C (I was going for 180C, but, distractions.) The initial flavour was pretty hay-y and a bit dry, so it kind of sat around while I happily sipped my other two teas – but since I only had three mugs with me yesterday while watching my boyfriend’s cousin play some pretty intense volleyball (they won gold!), I of course turned to this one, and the flavour had changed very nicely as it sat and cooled – more of a sweetish, muscatel profile with a lovely umami finish. Kind of like oolong aftertaste… just that really good tea-ness. Sometimes, I have discovered, letting a tea sit in a travel mug for 24 hours is not a bad thing (fruit infusions are a VERY BIG EXCEPTION. Also light greens like dragonwell.)

So yes, happy times with my mug of this yesterday. Debating whether to resteep today… I really need to fill all my travel mugs for games day, and cleverly only brought 7 infusers, all of which were in use this morning (oops. And I have 6 mugs with me to fill.)

Fjellrev

That really should be its name, question mark and all haha.

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95
drank Apple Custard by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

Dug into my new bag of this tonight. Yum. I don’t think I will regret my 250g purchase of this, and I love that it came in 5 separate bags, so I can keep most of the tea nicely sealed up until I need it :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

I’ve yet to purchase 250g of one tea in one go! That’s great that they split it up in that way.

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74
drank Watermelon Barley Tea by Lupicia
2661 tasting notes

Interesting. Certainly less strong than the plain Orzo tea (I know, they’re different but I find the flavour to be similar), and the melon adds a really nice sweetness without adding sugar. Still, bit of an odd combo. However, I think this would be fabulous as a latte. Probably noootttt my favourite tea ever though, haha.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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87

Sipdown! 969. (After adding my recent DT purchase and the missed Bilberry Black from JoonSusanna… which made me notice that I missed noting down a bunch of others from her, argh.)

Anyways, milk oolong, yum. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79

Hmmm. Well, this tea isn’t as bad as it could have been. And I mean that in a ‘me disliking the flavours’ way, not on execution. The predominant aroma is star anise, though it’s not overly strong; the flavour is more a smooth melding of a beany green, smooth vanilla, and a quite acceptable (aka low) level of star anise. Not really catching the jasmine, nor the pear. It’s actually rather soothing… I was planning to send the rest of my portion off to Roswell Strange with her half but I think I may actually drink the second cup myself (with the third off to VariaTea). I feel like this is the sort of tea where, if Butiki was remaining open, I might actually pick up another small quantity. But it’s not a big loss.

However, if you enjoy creamy/vanilla licorice, and can tolerate a good green base (it’s not sencha!)…. you may want to try this.

ETA: Guys! How am I the only reviewer for this? I hope my tasting note spurs more people on to pick this up in their order, because yum.

ETA: Subsequent infusions become too heavy on the anise for me.

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

I’ve been dying to see a review for this one. A lot of customers purchased it but haven’t received any feedback. I love how this one turned out but can definitely see it might not be for everyone.

Roswell Strange

I’m excited about this one, despite the green base.

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67
drank Bilberry Black Tea by Compass Teas
2661 tasting notes

Thanks to JoonSusanna for sending this one out for me to sample (quite a while ago)! The packet was unopened(!!), so flavourwise I’m expecting it to be pretty good – especially after I opened the packet and delicious blueberry aroma wafted out at me.

Of course, I accidentally oversteeped it to the tune of about 6.5 minutes. Whoops. Surprisingly though, it was still drinkable, but I think the beginning astringency/bitterness clouded the blueberry out. I’ll have to try it again another day!

Side note: I brought the infuser to my boyfriend’s place and the whole time in the car, I kept thinking the tea had leaked because it smelled so delicious. Mmmmmm.

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71
drank Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
2661 tasting notes

52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 9! (Drank Dec. 9)
A black tea with identifiable cloves and cinnamon – even before I opened the package, I guessed it was Pumpkin Pie Black, or some variant thereof. Aroma confirms my suspicion. I’m not displeased with that, but I this is now 3/9 teas that are pumpkin, and have that same flavouring. Sure, it’s seasonal, but…. 3? I think Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell was a good choice, but these other two (particularly the honeybush) should have been substituted with something a bit different.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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5
drank Witches' Brew Chai by 52teas
2661 tasting notes

52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 8! (Drank Dec. 8)
Oh dear…. this one’s spicy. Like, REALLY spicy. I opened up the packet (a black with cinnamon chunks and tiny bits of flavouring or as I now know, spices), and it is POTENT. Not even chai spice; it smells more like…. doritos minus the cheese? Like Mexican spicing? Bleh….

A few more sniffs, and I’m noticing some creaminess, and my roommate pointed out that it’s smoky (it’s obvious, but I got lost in the spices apparently), and it smells like cumin. Ugh. It tastes like smoky cumin. NOT flavours I want in a tea. No no no. Apparently it’s Witches’ Brew Chai – I never would have guessed that. I’m wondering if something is off with this reblend, because all the reviews are favourable, but this is a cup of smoky-cumin-never-again. It’s too savoury, and the only noticeable spice is cumin. Dumped part of the cup; wasn’t worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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66

Sipdown! 965.

This is a very perfumey tea – smells rather like rose despite that not being an ingredient. Thankfully, the flavour is grounded enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m drinking perfume, just a very floral/fruity tea. I can’t identify specific fruit flavours, but it’s on the tropical side, though a more… perfumed fruit tropical than ‘A Rabbit’s Garden’. Overall, not bad, but again with the (half) green base – not overly fond. Also, a bit too perfumey.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 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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