1116 Tasting Notes

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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drank Pumpkin Pie Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
1116 tasting notes

I’m finally trying this tea after having it for a while in my cupboard. It feels like a matcha morning today haha I guess I want some energy to maybe figure out my Halloween costume today lol.

I whisked a tsp of this in a bit of 175 degree water then topped it up in a mug with water of the same temperature. The dry smell was interesting, definitely matcha with some spices and a faint added creaminess.

The flavor is interesting. I haven’t had a flavored matcha since I used to drink RLTs flavored ones, so it’s been a while. This is definitely different than I’m used too. It is a mildly grassy matcha with added sweetness that kind of tastes like a whipped cream flavor, with mild spices that are not overly identifiable. I suppose if I think aboyt it, it kind of tastes like pumpkin pie, but still a bit iffy. It is pleasant enough to drink, but I prefer regular unflavored matcha haha.

Overall, for a matcha I imagine this is not doing a terrible job emulating a ‘pumpkin pie’ flavor, but it’s not my favorite. But I’m happy I tried it!

Terri HarpLady

I tried flavored matcha a few times. For me it felt blasphemous ;)

MissLena

Haha I agree! The addition of sugar into it by Davidstea is what bugs me the most lol

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Looking at previous notes, I seem to make this tea on Sundays a lot and also once when the bf had to go into work at 6 am. Wouldn’t you know, today is Sunday and the bf had to go into work at 6! I swear there is a weird tea association that goes on when I look through my cupboard to pick teas to drink on certain days, so weird!

Anyways, I am enjoying a nice gongfu session with this sheng today. I have been craving sheng lately, must be the mild autumn weather we are having! I did 2 quick rinses with just under boiling water then about a 6s steep. Wonderful sharp, smoky green flavor that melds into honey and apricots. I forgot this is my most apricotty sheng, goes even better with this autumn day! I am listening to classical music and am hopefully going to get closer to finishing documenting our Scotland trip in my journal. Might brave the mall later for some new clothes, or start a new book. Looks to be a nice relaxing day! See previous notes on this delicious tea, I look forward to an afternoon of steeping this :)

keychange

Your upcoming day sounds wonderful!

TeaExplorer

Sounds like a perfect day :D

MissLena

Lol the only things I really did that I thought I would is write in my journal and drink tea. A good friend came for a visit so we made food and tea and went to buy a vacuum and a costco trip! A little more energetic of a day but still good! Maybe I’ll read tonight :)

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87
drank Earl Grey by Verdant Tea
1116 tasting notes

On the weekend I did some cleaning of my tea cupboard and assessed the samples I have left that I need to get to and also put some teas in a give away pile and did give some to my mom yesterday too! I will try to give a few to my boyfriend’s brother then decide what to do with the rest. In turn this has helped reduce the number of teas in my cupboard and determine which ones I should sip down or at least open haha. I am also going to try to review a bunch of my new (read: unopened that I’ve had for a while) teas, as I really need to get back to some detailed reviews!

I found this opened sample in the top drawer and I would like to drink it down before it gets stale. So I made a cup in my travel mug for this fine Tuesday after the long weekend. The travel mug always mutes flavor, but this one is still creamy with some bergamot, not as much as in a regular mug, but still there. Also some caramel notes from the LB. Tasty and the caffeine should help me get through the morning! Not a detailed note but one day I will write a detailed one haha. See previous notes on this tea :)

Sil

good plan!

MissLena

Now if my plan makes it to fruition then it will be a great plan ;) lol

keychange

You inspired me and I cleaned my tea cupboard as well!

Sil

..i think half your cupboard is still at my place keychange :P

MissLena

@keychange – hooray for clean cupboards!!

Kristal

My “tea cupboard” is actually a china cabinet lol. I gotta give it a good wipe down and transfer teas in old crappy tins to better tins. Maybe this evening :o

MissLena

@Kristal – Nice! My cupboard is technically 2 drawers :P good luck with tidying!

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First of all, a huge thank you to Crimson Lotus Tea for this sheng sample! Sorry it has taken me so long to write a note on it, I recall drinking the first half of my sample a while ago but trying to log it and the page not working on Steepster :( but luckily today it is working!

I didn’t have much left in my second half of the sample, but there was just enough for a gongfu session. After a short rinse of about 4s, I steeped for maybe 6 seconds in the gaiwan and poured into my pitcher then cup. The leaves smell nicely vegetal and slightly smoky. I used freshly boiled water left a few seconds to cool.

The first steeping is oh so mellow and smooth and sweet. It went down like nothing! A sweet aftertaste lingers, fruity, a mild apricot flavor for now. The second steep also smells lovely mmm, can’t even describe it it just smells good. The flavor is also delicious, even a bit sweeter I think, like a light marshmallow note with dewy leaves and a fruity aftertaste. It becomes a bit smoky as it cools, but nothing overwhelming, just tasty sheng-like tobacco notes. This is so good. It’s so easy to drink! I also haven’t had sheng in ages, so it is a very welcome change. I will continue to steep this throughout the evening, funnily enough, I chose a sheng hoping the caffeine would invigorate me to start cleaning. This tea, however, is providing more of the mellow flavors and feeling that cause me to relax, which is also not a bad thing haha. Maybe the caffeine will hit later :D

Overall, a delicious sheng, easy to drink and no strange notes about it, just clean, sweet tea with fruity notes. Creamy and light mouthfeel too, very light and fluffy. I recall enjoying the first half of my sample as well, so this is a winner in my books! Thanks again to Crimson Lotus Tea for the lovely sample!

Terri HarpLady

Would you believe that I’ve also been drinking this one all afternoon, after having it sit in my cupboard for quite some time!

Sil

Yes Terri I would… Lol

MissLena

@Terri – well better late than never! Good thing about puerh is that it gets better with age :P such a good tea though! Now I want to order some of it…haha

nycoma

why am i getting so much astringency?

MissLena

How hot of water are you using? I’d try it a bit cooler to see if that helps :)

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drank Spiced Pumpkin by DAVIDsTEA
1116 tasting notes

Happy Thanksgiving fellow steepsters! We are celebrating it in Canada this weekend :) so I am having a delicious morning cup of this. Sweet, very pumpkin pie like considering I had the real thing last night. Whipped cream, maple, graham cracker and cinnamon. Yum.

Fjellrev

Happy happy Thanksgiving!

Sil

yay! happy thanksgiving to you too!

keychange

Glad you’re in Canada today! happy thanksgiving!

MissLena

Thanks everyone!! Right back at you! :D

Roswell Strange

Happy Thanksgiving!

MissLena

Thanks @Roswell Strange – same to you!! :D

Kristal

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Canadian! I love this tea too :)

MissLena

Thanks @Kristal, it is a very tasty pumpkin tea, I’ll have too stock up!

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It has been a long time since I have written a tasting note, but that is mostly because I was on vacation in Scotland! What a beautiful place it is, the rugged highlands, epic oceans, sandy beaches, cliffs, hills, munroes..everything was great! And the weather was gorgeous to boot! I can’t wait to go back someday, it was a good 10 days there but I will definitely return to see the eastern parts (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, we saved the whole eastern coast with its castles for another trip) and I would love to go back to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides again, they were stunning! Great time, wish I was still there!

Anyways, so while on holiday I did drink a fair amount of tea, every morning in fact, although it was mostly basic bagged black teas by Twinings or Tetley, but I took those with milk and sugar so they were quite good with the delicious Scottish breakfasts. A few places had peppermint, and I had that one or two mornings to help with digesting the heavy food near the end of the trip. I also had loose tea once, in Glasgow, at a little cafe near the University I got an EG to go and it looked like it was loose tossed in a tea bag, it was also pretty good. So overall a lot of tea drinking, also, every B&B and hotel we stayed at provided a kettle, tea, sugar and milk in the room! I wish they did that here in Canada!!

Overall, a tasty week of teas and a great holiday. Now I am back to my stash, and will hopefully log some notes as the weather here is turning cooler so I should be drinking more chai, puerh and spicy pumpkin and apple things haha.

Dexter

YAY!!! So happy that you had an amazing trip to Scotland. Travel is so good for the soul. :))
I currently have the travel bug and am researching an international vacation for next year – destination is still to be determined.

keychange

Oh, we loved Scotland so much when we went also! So glad you had such an amazing trip. Looking forward to your notes!

MissLena

@Dexter – ahh it was great for the soul and for my body, just feels good to have a break from working :) and I also have the travel bug as I still have a week left of vacation to use this year :D let me know where you end up going! I can highly recommend Scotland if you want to do some great hiking and see fantastic scenery, especially the wild Outer Hebrides!

@keychange – It is a wonderful place! I can’t wait to go back :D it’s so scenic and beautiful! I will try to keep up with my tasting notes lol I have been falling behind since last winter but I will try to pick it back up and do some sipdowns too!

Dexter

@MissLena – I’m sure Scotland is amazing – it’s on my list too, but a little further down. I’m starting to feel like if I don’t cross off some of my top choices I’ll never get to go. Right now I’m looking at East Africa (Kenya/Tanzania) as my first choice but WOW expensive (or you have to really lower your comfort standards). Second choice is Egypt with Nile cruise – there are challenges with this trip to. If I can’t afford or get either of those to work then I’m going to do Rome. I’m still researching – finding my comfort levels – setting max budgets – soul searching. I’m going to do one of those, but which one?

Indigobloom

Welcome home! :)
Glad you had a great time. I’m surprised you didn’t come across any tea shops though

Evol Ving Ness

Lovely to hear about your tea drinking while away and the away part too.

MissLena

@Dexter – those sound like amazing choices!! It’s always tough to decide where to go, but on the bright side all will be epic so you can’t really make a wrong decision :D

@Indigobloom – Thanks!! I probably would have come across a tea shop if I had been looking harder for one :P there were so many other things to do that tea was pretty low on the list, especially since I can order great ones online at home haha.

Indigobloom

That makes sense, I get like that on vacation too. It’s easy to get wrapped up in other things!

MissLena

@Evol Ving Ness – Thanks! Always happy to share my experiences and tea drinking while on vacation! :D

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drank Pumpkin Maté by DAVIDsTEA
1116 tasting notes

I don’t have time for a detailed review on this one, but the first few cups I’ve had of it are pretty good! Nicely spiced, with a strong mate presence, pumpkin notes nicely present as well, and a nice sweet aftertaste. Hoping for a mild boost from this on this dreary morning. Oh, and I’m pleased that butternut squash made it’s way into a tea :P happy I picked up a bit of this!

TheKesser

I’ve heard more bad things than good about this one! Glad to hear someone liked it.

Nichole/CuppaGeek

M&K has a great butternut squash pumpkin tea that is out right now. I have a ton of it on its way to me. It is my favorite pumpkin tea. http://www.mkstea.com/pumpkin-patch-spice/

MissLena

@TheKesser – Yikes! I had only read some good reviews on it haha and bought it the day it came out, each to their own I guess :D

@Nichole – Thanks for the suggestion! I will have to check that one out when I’m not at work, it sounds tasty!

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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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