2246 Tasting Notes

62
drank Ume Vert by Lupicia
2246 tasting notes

Quick note! Smells deliciously like crisp, fresh green apple skin. Unfortunately, flavour does not follow. I’m finding it kind of bitter (maybe not enough water?)

ETA: This was the bagged version of this tea from Lupicia (if there is an unbagged version), a sample from our 2012/2013 Happy Bag. Split a cup with Sil because we both wanted to try this tea. As I said, the aroma was divine! But the flavour was bitter, and I don’t think I oversteeped. I did try adding more water as well, and that didn’t help a great deal. The green base wasn’t really the issue here; I think the flavouring was what was coming off as bitter to me. The base was actually pleasant. I do so wish the tea had tasted like crisp, fresh, tart apple skin, because that would have been my perfect apple tea :(

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

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76
drank White Earl Grey Cream by Tealux
2246 tasting notes

Another new tea. Bad bad, I need to be sipping down more things!

Anyhow, I love EG creams, and hadn’t tried a white one (other than perhaps The Earl of Lemon from DavidsTea). Hence, I picked this up! The aroma is exactly as advertised, bergamot with a hint of cream. And the flavour is actually quite true as well! The bergamot is light, as is the cream… but that means that you can actually taste the base tea (which I can’t identify for you as I am teh suck at that sort of thing). So it’s like a white tea with cream and bergamot, instead of cream and bergamot floating out in the middle of nowhere. Right.

So yes. Pretty happy with this purchase, although it certainly pales after my strongly-flavoured cup of Coco Lemon Thai! Probably would be best savoured a bit more by itself.

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

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90
drank Coco-Lemon Thai by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Yep…. broke my tea buying ban for this and a couple other new ones from DT yesterday (although they were sold out of Pom Tango…. noooooo!)

I have been dying to try this one ever since it was released. Coconutty? Thai? YES!

And it doesn’t disappoint! I will admit that I think I overleafed, and am getting some bitterness as a result, but oh the flavours in here are divine! This has gotta be amazing iced, and possibly with some milk and sweetener. I can taste delicious lemongrass (it works really well here), enough coconut, and kind of a yogurt creaminess. This is really good, minus the overleafing bitterness. I hate that I’m kind of falling in love with this! I think I have enough for another 2 cups or so, so I should be able to make up my mind before then.

The only downside? This is supposedly a white tea blend… I didn’t check the price when I bought my sample, but it’s therefore probably way overpriced. But if I do love it, I will still buy it… sigh…!

ETA: Ginger! There we go! I knew there was something else in there but couldn’t come up with it myself. That explains the pepperiness and the fruitiness. Yum.

ETA again: Oops, neglected the steeping time on the second cup, however it’s pretty tasty. Not as good though; much more lemon (lemongrass?) than anything else. My roommate and I were contemplating making Coco Lemon Thai-infused meringues if we could figure out how to… just sounds like a yummy combo (probably because this tea is reminiscent of lemon meringue pie/coconut cream pie, as someone mentioned).

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

Might have to try this one!

Kittenna

If you like the ingredients, I would highly suggest it, as I think it’s very well-blended.

jessiwrites

It is delicious iced! And also wonderful blended with Cocomint Cream.

Kittenna

I don’t think I have any Cocomint Cream left. Sigh.

jessiwrites

I could probably send you some, if you want. I have over 100g.

Kittenna

I will keep that in mind! Sounds like my mom still has the sample I left her over Christmas, so I may steal it back when I visit in a month. :D

Amariel

I do love this tea, and I do like it with milk. One of two teas I take with milk.

Kittenna

Nice, good to know! No curdling? (Perhaps lemongrass doesn’t do that, anyway.)

Amariel

Not that I had, and I was toying with trying it with coconut milk.

Kittenna

Sounds delicious!

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74
drank Yogurt Strawberry by Tsaa
2246 tasting notes

Sipdown! Yep, gotta agree with Indigobloom – this one lost some flavour. Although… it has been nearly a year (omg… it does not feel like that far away at ALL). Anyways, this tastes much like slightly tart strawberry jam. I think the yogurtty creaminess is tempering the tartness a bit, which is good. Overall, I really don’t think this one’s too bad of a herbal! Probably the most authentically strawberry-flavoured herbal I’ve tried.

ETA: Yum, got a good second infusion from this one… though it was about 1/4 of the initial water volume. Tart and raisiny, with vague fruitiness were the identifiable flavours – I’m too lazy to check, but if this blend contains hibiscus, then it’s actually done well, as the tartness was perfect. I suspect, though, that something else may have been the tartness contributor. Just didn’t make me think hibiscus (and no purple colour).

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Indigobloom

Definitely very true to strawberry form. I’d consider repurchasing one day. And has it really been a year?! wow

Kittenna

I don’t recall when exactly we first met up, but I feel like it was March/April/May or so.

Indigobloom

Yeah that sounds about right. I remember it wasn’t freezing out anymore, so definitely in the spring

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63
drank Magicienne by Nina's Paris
2246 tasting notes

Thanks to Laurent at Nina’s Paris for sending a sample of this tea!

I read ashmanra’s tasting note about it earlier, which spurred me to try my sample of it sooner rather than later. While the tea was brewing, I noticed a bit of a metallic aroma that screamed “oversteeped! astringent! blech!” to me… and the infuser had only been in the cup for about 15 seconds. Not good. I figured I’d keep at it and just hope for the best.

Good thing, because although that aroma didn’t really dissipate, it was joined by a delicious aroma of candied pineapple, and just a hint of coconut. Mmm.

I didn’t manage to drink any of this before it cooled completely (familiar story), but am drinking it now, and enjoying it more than I thought I would. The predominant flavour is a sweet sort of pineapple, which is really quite pleasant. It’s joined by a touch of creamy coconut, and some green tea notes… and unfortunately, a dose of astringency. It’s not all that bad, but given my careful infusion, I definitely hoped for less.

Now, I haven’t had a cup of DavidsTea’s Toasted Walnut in ages (bad bad bad, I probably have about 90g of it left!), but that’s what this cup reminds me of. I don’t think the pineapple is quite as prevalent in DT’s version, and the base, though finicky, isn’t quite as bad… but they’re pretty similar IMO. Perhaps I’ll have a cup of TW tomorrow or something to check.

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

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74

Sipdown! Thanks for sending me a sample of this tea to satisfy my curiousity, Boxermama!

I wasn’t sure how I should go about brewing this (I always entertain notions of properly gong-fu brewing pu’erhs and other fancy teas)… but rationality won out, and I went with Western-style gong-fu, which is more what I usually do (if not strict Western-style). Hence, a full tbsp of leaf in about 8oz. water (instead of 4 oz.), and a 20 second infusion. And no, I didn’t rinse.

First impression? Wow – this sure coloured/flavoured up nicely with such a short infusion! And the taste? Light, a bit spicy and earthy. And now for a momentous occasion… while sipping, I thought to myself “gee, this sure tastes like a sheng. I wonder what type of pu’erh it is?” And sure enough… it’s a sheng! Woaaaah I can differentiate the two major types of pu’erh! What an accomplishment. (Yes, there’s a bit of self-directed sarcasm there.)

Anyhow, as per usual, I really have no other taste descriptors for the flavour. It’s enjoyable, and it reminds me of other shengs, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have guessed correctly (or likely thought to guess, for that matter). Providing descriptions for things has always been a weak spot for me; while I do think I am capable of tasting nuances in fancy, expensive, delicious teas, I am incapable of describing them. [I’m the sort of person who picks up on off-flavours in various items quite readily.] It’s kind of annoying, but certainly nowhere close to the top of my current list of annoyances, so perhaps sometime in the distant future when my life no longer belongs to my thesis, SAS, my advisor, the university… I will attempt to remedy this. Until then, you get “tastes like sheng” and “tastes like yabao”. Le sigh.

On that note – my memory for flavours is also rather crappy sometimes, and I can’t remember the last time I had a sheng… and so really couldn’t tell you how this ranks up against others. I do enjoy it though!

ETA: Second infusion 30s, stronger sheng flavour, still with a bit of sweetness. I suppose smoky or leathery might be some good descriptors here.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
BoxerMama

I totally suck at describing flavours as well. lol, Glad you enjoyed it.

Indigobloom

I always get them mixed up!! the names/types of pu-erh heh

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77
drank White Silver Tips Pu-erh by Tealux
2246 tasting notes

Tackled a few new teas, and a few old teas tonight. Not that I brewed much up. I’ve been having a horrible time with oversleeping lately, and so I didn’t let myself indulge in too much tea.

Anyhow, this is nice. I used ~2 tsp of leaf, and ended up with a fairly light-coloured brew, that tastes reminiscent of “standard” pu’erhs, but is much lighter and sweeter, and smooth-tasting. This one’s not quite as smooth as the Silver Buds Yabao (not that I’m really comparing them, though they are actually kind of similar). Honestly, when I picked this up, I was looking for a tea to replaced Verdant’s Aged Yunnan Silver Needle (or… whatever it was called). I think this is a fairly close approximation to that, therefore I am satisfied. Hopefully I can remember to bring some of this along for my mom. I’m not entirely sure if she would like it or not, but it would probably interest her!

ETA: Third infusion, flavour is waning (or I’ve had too many flavoured teas). Either way, putting this aside to take to my mom in April!

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

3g per cup for this one is more like a tbsp. It’s such a fluffy tea!

Kittenna

LOL I meant to put a number in there! 2 tsp is what I used, and I was quite happy with the flavour. I might try weighing out 3g next time though, since that’s what I saw you had used :)

OMGsrsly

Haha! 2 tsp is closer.

My mom didn’t like it, but she is so extremely picky. I don’t remember what she said about the smell, but she refused to taste it!

Kittenna

Awww! My mom will try pretty much anything. And she likes pu’erh (actually, the only tea she really doesn’t like is black tea, but she will still taste it if I want her to). I just want to expand her tea-drinking selection!

OMGsrsly

Lucky! I did a tea tasting for my mom for Christmas, and bought her the tea (singular!) she liked best. She ended up liking one I didn’t like, and said all the other black teas were “too earthy”. IDK.

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72
drank Silver Buds Yabao by Verdant Tea
2246 tasting notes

Well, this has certainly grown on me a bit. Enough that I would almost say I like it… I’m not tasting as much juniper as I did last time, just a thick, gentle, soft brew with a tweak of sweetness at the end. I’m terrible at describing flavours (it tastes like yabao! Yeah… useful, eh?) but the texture is the utmost in silky teas.

I feel like this would be great in a fruity blend… and wish that I could create more of Autumn Hearth‘s 12 Days of Christmas tea! Or honestly, just mix this with pear chunks. Because that tea was stellar (ok, I could say “is” because I do still have a cup’s worth sitting in my from-Sil swap pile!)

ETA: Third infusion is creamy and pretty tasty, but I really don’t have a high tolerance for this tea still, so even though I’m sure it could keep going, I think I’m done. I have, however, realized that it’s an oolong sort of tea flavour that I’m picking up here as well – I only placed the flavour because I’ve been sipping on two oolongs that are both very oolongy at this point. I’ve picked it up in the aftertaste of whites before as well.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Cacao Tea by Cha
2246 tasting notes

Ok, well I brewed this up for the boy tonight. He didn’t pick up any of the chocolate aromas (which were definitely present!), and thought it tasted like hot flavoured water. Which is it… but still! I was happy that he was willing to try it, but sad that he couldn’t taste anything… and as I’m writing this I’m realizing that I TOTALLY MEANT TO SWEETEN IT! Ack! Of course he didn’t like it! Bleh. Maybe I can get him to try it again someday with sweetener.

Anyways, I told him that if he wasn’t going to enjoy it, I’d prefer to drink it as I would enjoy it (and I didn’t want to force him to drink something he didn’t like). It didn’t taste quite as good today; a bit bark-like, but still chocolatey, so I’d still like some of this to be in my cupboard :)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Indigobloom

btw, how much of this do you want when I manage to hit the shop? (when they are actually open!)

Kittenna

Not a ton. If more than one of us wants some, I’d be quite happy splitting up a 50g bag. I’d prefer about 15g, but I’d guess they don’t sell in small quantities.

Indigobloom

I think they do sell in smaller quantities actually!
But I’m getting some for myself, my Aunt, you, and whoever else wants some… cuz it is sooooo good :P

Kittenna

Ooh, good to know! Yeah, it’s quite tasty. Drinking a re-steep now :D

Sil

IB….are you going before saturday? lol

Indigobloom

Sil, I’m gonna try and go tomorrow. How much you want? lol
(or you can have a sample from mine! if you wanna risk not loving it haha)

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68

Hmm, ok. I think I overleafed (oops), and I’m not super enjoying this tea this time around. Not that it’s bad by any means, just not as tasty as I would like. It’s verging on astringency, and is a tasty oolong, but I’m barely picking up on any of the flavouring. Well, a bit of spice (or pepper?) perhaps, but that’s it. It’s actually reminding me a lot of Premium Taiwanese Assam for whatever reason, which I find to be preferable.

Ah well, interesting regardless! I’ll let my previous rating stand for now, as I do think I overleafed and that may have caused the slight bite that I’m not enjoying (which may also be interfering with some of the flavour).

I’m having strange, intense cravings for flavoured Butiki teas right now… strange. All I want to do is have some Creamy Eggnog, Pistachio Ice Cream, Maple Pecan Oolong…

ETA: Re-steep is not my favourite. I do seem to recall not caring a great deal for the base tea, which I also purchased, so perhaps that’s why.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 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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