1113 Tasting Notes

drank Africa by Teafarm
1113 tasting notes

This is my morning cup, surprised I haven’t reviewed this before! I picked this up on our trip to the island a year ago. It’s a nice rooibos with a good sweet flavor from the vanilla, a nice linen mouthfeel and slight flavor from the lavender, and a good rooibos base, not too scratchy! The orange isn’t really present, maybe a mild tang in the aftertaste. For a ref rooibos, this is quite enjoyable. Nice warming and richer cup today as I continue my caffeine hiatus.

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81
drank Soothing by Epicure
1113 tasting notes

I haven’t posted on Steepster in a while because I am now on a self-inflicted caffeine hiatus until further notice, hopefully at least a month. This weekend I very much over-did it with two grande tea lattes from Sbux and kept the teabag in both of them for the duration of drinking them…let’s just say the result was a massive panic attack (also from missing the bf, who has been out of town for over a week) and insomnia from 2 am until around 5:45 am that night. Worse is that I know how caffeine sensitive I am, and it just was not a great choice on my behalf to have that much in one day. Not the best time I’ve had haha, ended up skipping Monday morning from work to sleep ugh. So now I am off caffeine and on herbal teas only, cold turkey. I have also been making some lifestyle changes this week in terms of what I have been eating and it has been positive as well, not as many carbs and many more greens ftw!

This is the tea I chose for today to help me deal with caffeine withdrawal (pounding headache, general crankiness) and a weather change headache on top of that one. This tea is still quite good, I am running low in the tin and might restock at one point. It is a relaxing ginger blend with lots of spice. Now to sit and fester with my caffeine withdrawal and keep on working on a computer screen, very good for headaches. Sigh. At least it’s sunny outside. I miss actual tea :( see previous notes on this tea!

Kristal

I can totally understand about the caffeine thing as well. I find I am caffeine sensitive, and my older brother has had to cut caffeine out of his life entirely for jitters/anxiety attacks as well. Personally I am down to only 8oz-OCCASIONALLY 16 oz of a caffeine tea a day (almost always a green tea), followed by herbals teas for the rest of the day (I’ve even had to cut out wine in the evenings due to stomach problems/acid reflux). Hope you get through the withdrawals quickly!

MissLena

I also get acid reflux :( probably also caffeine and wine/beer related, maybe it will get better with less caffeine too! I am on day 3 of withdrawal so I’m hoping this is the last day! Hit the stage where I feel super sad so hoping that’s the final stage and it will be clear sailing after today. It’s crazy how caffeine can affect a person, I really don’t drink that much of it I didn’t think but now even pretty small amounts bother me. It’s unfortunate because I love my teas oh so much, but my health needs to come first. Thanks for the encouraging words! Happy to know I’m not the only crazy tea addict who has caffeine problems :)

Kristal

Oh yes, it’s amazing how many people don’t count it as a “real” drug. I find for me by stomach can handle green tea and occasionally a mate or guayusa tea, but blacks and oolongs are a little harsh (never mind coffee…). It sucks because I have my DAVIDs tea advent calendar (also known as 24 days of tea) and many of them are black and oolong so they’ll end up going to my husband. I might be able to handle a sip or two to do a tasting note but that’s it.

MissLena

Ah yes, black and oolong have more tannins too I think which I find hard on the stomach along with the caffeine. Oolong gives me the most jitters, I re-seasoned a yixing pot because I really couldn’t drink oolong anymore :( unfortunately DavidsTea seems to have a lot of black teas, but luckily a lot of herbals in store at least!

Kristal

Yeah, a agree with the tannins! DAVIDs does have a lot of herbals, but I find most are fruit/hibiscus based and I’m not as big of a fan of those. I prefer more “medicinal herbals” (like peppermint, lemongrass, etc…) so I’ve been exploring more companies for my herbals

MissLena

Ah yes they do have a lot of fruity ones, I also like the ginger/mint/medicinal ones too, I will keep an eye on your notes for some new options! :)

Kristal

Sounds great :)

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80

I decided to try Davidstea’s ridiculously tea wasteful latte recipe tonight as this tea is getting old and if it makes a more flavorful latte I don’t mind using this one up lol. And it did indeed make a good latte! 4 perfect spoons in about 2/3 of a 12 oz mug for 2 mins, frothed up a bunch of coconut milk and heated it, and poured the coconut milk in with the tea in a big mug. There was a bit of overflow of foam lol but it was very tasty and I’m still enjoying it (it was a big mug). One more latte like that and I will probably finish off that tea! Delicious and creamy with no sweetener added, just what I needed tonight :) see previous notes on this tea!

Kristal

I know it’s wasteful, but I do use DAVIDs tea latte recipe for all of my lattes. I used to only use 2 perfect spoonfuls of tea before for lattes and they never came out tasting like the lattes I got in store. Sometimes to save a bit of leaf I will make one latte for me and resteep the leafs again to make one latte for my husband.

Also, the way I justify using that much leaf is that I did the math and the cost of buying the leaf and making the latte at home is still half the price of buying it in store for $4.50 :P. Not to mention, for me, lattes are an occasional treat for when I have time :)

MissLena

Very good points Kristal, I also drink lattes so infrequently that I don’t mind doing it every once in a while, especially since I do have too many flavored teas I won’t get to drinking before they go stale on me. It did taste a lot better than any other latte I’ve made! Probably will become my new method as well :D

Kristal

Yay! Good to hear!

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Having this dark, woodsy shou today. It’s grey and cool out with no snow, but still has a chilly dismal air about it that makes me want to stay cozy. I am curled up in a blanket watching curling and might continue reading my book soon. I will keep steeping this in my teapot from Crimson Lotus and relax today. Wish I didn’t have to work tomo :( see previous notes on this tea!

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I made a deep, rich cup of this to accompany my reading on a cold, blustery, snow/rain mix day here. It is perfect and warming me and relaxing. Delicious.

I am so pleased I got back into reading finally! Hopefully I can keep it up all winter haha. See previous notes on this tea :)

keychange

Reading and tea are so lovely during the winter!

MissLena

I agree! Haha I read most of the day yesterday since the weather was not that great, just a small pitstop to go to Chapters to get the second book in my series (which I read over half of yesterday already, oops) and a new blanket! I am all set now haha

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83
drank Cardamom French Toast by DAVIDsTEA
1113 tasting notes

Mmm I like this tea. This will not be my detailed note on it as I’m at work and poured it out of my travel mug, so not the best conditions, but darn this tea truly does have a bread-like, french toast-esque flavor!! Yum yum, cinnamon, that bread-dipped-in-egg french toast sweetness, very impressed. Off to a good start with this year’s winter collection.

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87
drank Earl Grey by Verdant Tea
1113 tasting notes

I hate those mornings when you wake up and are craving a tea you know you don’t have in your cupboard anymore lol. This morning, it was Laoshan Village Chai for me, which I haven’t had for ages! The chocolate notes of LB are what I needed, and I couldn’t find my sample of straight LB either (if I still have one even, I might have drank it!). So I got out the next closest – Verdant’s delicious Earl Grey, with LB!! The chocolate notes are present that I was craving, albeit quite muted due to the travel mug I brought this tea in to work haha. But it will do. See previous notes on this tasty tea!

Fjellrev

I could go for some Village Chai right now too!

KiwiDelight

I don’t ever think I’ll be over it. It was so good.

MissLena

@Fjellrev and @KiwiDelight – I agree with you both! It was excellent and I miss it so :( I definitely don’t think I could blend my own lol even from the recipe they posted

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Ahh I finally am getting to reviewing this tea, so sorry for the delay Teavivre!! A huge thanks for this free sample!

I was originally just going to make a big cozy mug of this as it’s freezing here on the first day of November and I have been trying to warm up enough to do something all day, but I looked at my little teapot from Crimson Lotus and thought man it’s been a while since I’ve used it! This is the teapot I didn’t season and just went for it when I first used it and it yielded excellent results, so I’m excited to try another shou in it today!

I used probably a little over half of my sample for this session, I was going to use it all but since the teapot is so small I thought I better use close to half to start, plus I will have enough for a Western cup another day! I did a quick 10s rinse with boiling water and poured this over my teapot, mmm there is a lovely musty, almost creamy rich smell about it. Man I always say this – I need to drink shou more often!

The first steep I did for 10s with boiling water as well, and the liquor is nicely dark already, not opaque but a nice rich reddish brown color. It smells sweet and woodsy. As for the flavor, mmmm this is a pleasant puerh, it is actually super sweet!! Like a drippy caramel flavor, toffee-like, melding with a rich mahogany wood with the barest hint of smoke to round it out and make it even cosier. It’s thick and rich and delicious. I’m not sure if some of the flavor of Lake Huron (the last tea I had in the teapot) is adding to the thick, rich flavor, but man is this ever good. I am also detecting a slight floral dryness in the aftertaste, hmm could be interesting to see how that develops!

Steep 2 – 20s with boiling water – also, I am following the parameters on Teavivre’s website haha, the liquor is about twice as dark and the sweet wood smell is growing in intensity. Mmm the woody flavor is growing too, still rich, becoming deeper, still with that mild smoke note. As it cools the sweetness disperses into a mild molasses hint and a great roasted cedar note comes through. The mouthfeel has changed from less creamy to deeper now too. Yum. Amazing how just letting it cool changes the flavor oh so much!

Overall, the first two steeps of this have been great, and I look forward to an afternoon of this, steeping it out and being warm. I’m excited to see how the flavor changes, since there has already been quite a change between the first two steepings. Hopefully I can get some cleaning done too now that I’m warmer, although I feel cozy and content, this tea is evoking a nice relaxed feeling rather than energetic so far haha. Once again, thanks to Teavivre, particularly Angel there, for giving me the opportunity to try this lovely shou!

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93

This tea sadly appears to be losing a bit of flavor, it is a year or 2 old so it’s not surprising, but it is one of my favorite Earl Greys. There still is some marshmallow flavor which I am happy about, as I gave a friend a spoonful of dry tea to try just a couple weeks ago. Still warming and cozy and sweet as well. I am feeling mildly under the weather due to my sinuses being in crazy mode from swimming (I think there is still some water in them lol) and with pressure changes from the weather here. Ugh I hope it passes, that full sinus feeling is never good, and also makes my head kind of spin.

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81

I’m having a cup of this as it is getting really cold outside here (although I’m not complaining, no snow yet :D which is rare) and I wanted something cozy and warming and also with a caffeine kick. This fits the bill in all aspects. I only steeped this for less than a minute today because it gets soooo strong haha, and added honey to the travel mug as well. The result is a strong, gingery, spiced chai that I am definitely feeling today! I am happy I made this, now hopefully the caffeine doesn’t take me out! I feel a migraine coming on from the crazy wind today so hopefully the caffeine helps ward that off haha.

In other news, I went swimming in a pool for literally the first time in years (last was like in junior high or high school haha). There is a pool super close to my house so I am going to try to get in the habit of swimming at least twice a week for the winter season, since I can’t go running outside when it’s so cold (read: will not go running outside when it’s cold lol). Last night was great and definitely a work out as well as being relaxing, so I hope I can keep it up, since my running has been nonexistant for a month, since I returned from Scotland lol. Hooray for trying to be active!

Fjellrev

What a coincidence! I’m brewing up some Acquired Taste Tea right now too. And way to be tackling the swimming pool! I too would love to do that again someday, as I haven’t since junior high either.

Sil

kinsmen sports center. best pool time ever.

keychange

Hmmm, I’ve never looked into acquired taste! going to change that. And love love how swimming is both a workout and relaxing!

MissLena

@Fjellrev – what one are you having? I haven’t looked at your notes yet haha, and go for the swimming! Such a good workout!

MissLena

@Sil – I actually went to Confederation Leisure Center haha Kinsmen is a great facility but I am not hardcore enough to swim there I don’t think lol :(

MissLena

@keychange – Acquired Taste is good stuff! Local to Edmonton but I’m pretty sure they ship :) I think you can email for free samples too! And swimming is great for that, low impact but my heart was still racing afterward haha so I know it was a good workout!

Sil

i love kinsmen because it’s got a 50M pool instead of the usual 25m pool. haha forces you to keep going. add the dive tank and the hot tub pool thing (unless things have changed since i was there last) = saunas and i am a fan.

MissLena

Haha I doubt I could even swim 50m now I had trouble enough with 25! Hot tub is nice though :) Confed has one of those too and a sauna and dive tank, but I only went in the hot tub, I find saunas make me dizzy lol too hot for me!

Fjellrev

I had Winter Dream Sencha. Although it has spices, it can sometimes taste like cola bottle candies haha.

I’m too uncomfortable to go swimming right now, but yeah, Kinsmen is supposed to be the shit.

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Profile

Bio

Hello all, I am an electrical engineer (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it was excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte, or decent decaf haha)

I enjoy a variety of teas – current favorites being ripe and raw pu’erhs, chinese black teas and herbal/green rooibos blends. I also enjoy white, green, and oolong teas, although I tend to drink them more in the warmer months. I have also tried matcha and guayusa, but I don’t drink them too often as I am a bit sensitive to caffeine. As a result I don’t drink black teas as often as I used to, but in moderation I can still enjoy a wide variety of teas.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I have tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.

Location

Canada

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