2938 Tasting Notes

87
drank Tie Kwan Yin Oolong by Tea Ave
2938 tasting notes

Backlog from last weekend.

I believe this is the second of Tea Ave’s wonderful samples that I have tried – and another stellar tea! Roasty, savoury, with a strong oolong flavour – I drank at least 3 solid western-style infusions of this until it started to lose flavour. I wish I could write a more detailed note, but I’ve been lacking in writing down info lately (although I’m trying to make more of an effort now when I can!) Hopefully I’ll have a bit more spare time when I drink the rest.

Thanks again to Tea Ave for the teas and wonderful teacup set – my roommate and her boyfriend were a big fan of this and the Ali Shan I got (though not so much the Magnolia Oolong, which I haven’t yet tried) – and she’s been bugging me because she wants to place an order with the gift card we were generously sent.

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

The variety of reactions the Magnolia Oolong gets is very interesting. It was definitely my favorite of the 5 that I have tried. This tea was my second favorite, because it is the strongest/sweetest TKY I think I’ve ever had.

Kittenna

I haven’t read any of the notes on the Magnolia one yet (been too busy), but they commented that it was too floral. This tea would definitely rank quite highly among the TGYs I’ve tried previously, perhaps because of its quality and freshness.

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drank Warm Cinnamon Bread by Butiki Teas
2938 tasting notes

Backlog from last weekend.

I enjoyed this, in spite of being ‘off’ most cinnamon teas lately. I guess it was just that right sort of cinnamon that tasted good, instead of whatever is used in most DavidsTea cinnamon teas. Not sure I caught the “bread” aspect here; I didn’t really taste anything other than a warm cinnamon. It isn’t a tea I’m upset to have unavailable; I may end up passing some of this off to a new home if someone enjoys it more than me, but I am glad I ended up caving and picking it up in one of my ridiculously many Butiki orders.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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78

I believe this was from OMGsrsly? Thanks! (And it was wrapped up in two cute little 2tsp-serving pouches. So cute!)

Anyhow, I rather enjoyed this. It reminded me of Caramel Spice from DavidsTea, although missing the mulberry sweetness. So basically, an orange spice tea, which was pretty good. I was a little distracted when I drank it, but oh well! The enjoyment was still there.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Tamarind Gui Fei by Butiki Teas
2938 tasting notes

So tasty. Drank this yesterday and quite enjoyed. It was a little less tamarind-y than the last time I had it, but still a great pairing.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Black Opera by Mariage Frères
2938 tasting notes

Wow, a note that isn’t a backlog! (Pretty much everything I’ll be writing is going to be. I’m unbelievably far behind, like in the hundreds of notes. And that’s only the teas I remembered to write down).

Anyways, thanks to VariaTea for this sample! (I think?) I believe I tried the other MF tea she passed along, and am definitely curious about this one too! I have no idea what it’s supposed to be, so I’m writing this tasting note blind. My guess would have been that it would be a dark, rich, creamy sort of tea? It seems I’m wrong, though, as it smells rather like raspberry, and tastes like that too. I don’t believe it’s contaminated, so perhaps it’s supposed to be a raspberry mousse sort of thing? The base is pretty good – dark and rich, then layered with a nice ripe raspberry flavour. I’m not overly fond of raspberry teas, but I’m certainly enjoying this one, probably because of the richness.

(Now I’m going to read about it and find out that I’m way off base, hahahaha).

Yup… cranberry/grenadine/jam? I can see that. Probably makes more sense that it’s cranberry-ish instead of raspberry.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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89

Backlog. Drank this in a travel mug. Don’t really remember what I thought of it… probably that it was a decent green oolong. Sigh. Too good for a travel mug.

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80

Backlog. Definitely prefer the Killers Vanilla, but I like this too, probably because it’s creamy and bright with a really great citrus flavour, that actually works with the guayusa. A few servings of this left!

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62
drank Breakfast Earl Grey by Lupicia
2938 tasting notes

Backlog and sipdown!

Had a bag of this from a while back; I believe it came as a free sample with a Lupicia order. Either way, ended up drinking it at work (oh, speaking of that, I now have a job where I can actually brew tea during the day, which is pretty exciting and gives me hope that I can get through a lot of different teas that I don’t like to put in travel mugs, because I won’t have to do that) and added some milk/sugar to make it extra tasty, which it was. Plain, it probably wouldn’t have worked for me, just a bit too strong. If my Book of Tea has a packet of this, I may get to try it again, and write a tasting note a bit more promptly.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
2938 tasting notes

Backlog and sipdown!

Got a sample pack of this from an online order a month or two ago, and decided to take it to work to drink it. I believe I mixed it with Teavana’s Caramel Almond Amaretti, which perhaps is a bit richer/more caramelly than Forever Nuts, though they are similar. Quite yummy.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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91
drank Caramel Almond Amaretti by Teavana
2938 tasting notes

Backlog & sipdown!

Yum yum yum. A tasty treat one workday a while back.

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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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