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820 Tasting Notes

87

First of all, let me say this – I haven’t actually had a straight oolong in AGES. I make them all the time for my boyfriend (his favorite type of tea) but I haven’t had one in a longgg time. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a gongfu session in a while either! I got all caught up in my flavored teas that my poor straight greens and oolongs and gaiwan have been left to the back of the cupboard :( well, time to remedy that!

This came to me as a free sample from Verdant, thank you! I The dry leaves smelled fresh and green, like buttery greens, as do most oolongs to me. This one in particular reminds me of fall.

I did a quick rinse, then steeped for about 5-6 seconds before pouring into my double wall glass cups. The aroma is delicate and mildly sweet, at first I thought it was cinnamon, but I think it’s the incense coming out. Haha, I just looked at the description and cinnamon is listed, happy I could pick that out!

As for the taste, mmm very nice. At first I honestly couldn’t taste very much lol, my poor tastebuds are used to POW flavored tea POW sweet POW chocolate as of late, but now that it is cooling I am tasting a beautifully refined, delicate oolong. The first steep doesn’t have as much mineral quality as a few other oolongs, or that really strong green oolong flavor, but it’s only the first steeping. It’s mildly buttery and floral, with a trickle of spices somewhere in there too. Not much kettle corn yet, but I imagine it will come. I like it! Hopefully I don’t get too waterlogged tonight having a few more cups of this :) thanks again Verdant for another solid sample tea!

ETA – Yes, there is the kettle corn in later steepings and also the smell! I cannot get over how much a tea can change in flavors throughout multiple steepings :)

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Orchids, Plants

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
Courtney

I go through those phases too. Straight teas all the time, or flavoured teas all the time it seems.

MissLena

Me it’s more focused on types of tea – chais, black teas, oolongs, etc..I guess lately has been rich, flavored blacks lol..oolongs are normally a spring tea for me, but this one is buttery enough to be good on this cold night :)

Courtney

Actually oolongs strike me as spring-like too now that you mention it. I steeped Gui Fei last night, but it didn’t work out so well, and it was back to my black teas this morning hah.

MissLena

It might also be that I love the spring tieguanyins haha so fresh and floral! Awe it’s no fun when a tea doesn’t work out and you end up going back to the staples and never drinking it again :( I’ve had that happen with a few as well

__Morgana__

Sounds yummy.

MissLena

It is quite good :) flavor is still going strong after 6 steeps between myself and the bf :)

cryptickoi

yummy stuff..

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85
drank Pu-erh Vanilla Mint by Zen Tea
820 tasting notes

Lol well since I only have enough left for one more cup of this tea, I should finally review it :P this is a very good flavored pu’erh. If you are wanting to delve into the world of pu’erh I highly recommend this one as a starter as it is really tasty! The dry smell is minty with a hint of cinnamon, no pu’erh scariness for me!

I steeped this for 5 minutes today, I think the rest of the cups have also been that long. It brews up a dark deep reddish brown, almost coffee-like, but nothing like coffee. The aroma is creamy vanilla with mint, and again that hint of cinnamon.

As for the flavor, this is a comforting hug on a warm day and is awesome for the stomach! The pu’erh and mint do a great job evoking a sense of calm, while the vanilla and cinnamon add a richness and a cozy sensation. The 5 minute infusion really makes for a satisfying cup, it’s hearty but not too harsh. I don’t remember if I’ve tried this with milk, but it definitely would take it nicely. Oh, and as for the pu’erh, it adds a pleasant earthiness and to the full body of the tea!

Overall, I should order more of this haha, I forget how enjoyable it is until I’m down to the last few cups. Very tasty, and a great starter pu’erh tea in my opinion!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Courtney

Good to know :)

MissLena

:D yes it’s a very non-scary pu’erh in my opinion, and definitely one of the better flavored ones I’ve had.

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93

Omg omg omg….ok. This is SO GOOD RIGHT NOW. Like wow. At first I was like hmm strong bergamot..but then it was all like BAM MARSHMALLOW. And fluffy. And creamy. And toned down just enough by the bergamot and black tea. Very good base for this tea too, not overpowering or too weak. I am just enjoying this to the max on this Monday afternoon at work. Not even sure how long I steeped it for lol, probably around 2 minutes. Yes, I really like this, not even filtered water used! Rating now added, although if I come to my senses and this one isn’t as epic, it might go down haha.

Flavors: Cream, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling
Courtney

All the reviews for this one were so intriguing, but bergamot is a deal breaker. Sigh.

VariaTEA

Courtney, if you want to try it I can send you a sample in one of our swaps. I am not a huge EG fan but I love this.

Courtney

Hmm. Alright, maybe just one cup VariaTEA. :)

VariaTEA

Haha. Remind me next time we swap and I will throw in a sample.

MissLena

You have to try it @Courtney! The marshmallow is truly perfect in it, just like a pillow :)

Courtney

Haha a pillow. :P That is awesome. Perhaps that will help with disguise/drown out the bergamot.

MissLena

I think it did, it helps a lot when the tea is a bit cooler, I noticed the bergamot the most when it was pretty hot

Courtney

Excellent, thanks for the heads up. :)

MissLena

No problem :)

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84
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
820 tasting notes

Sipdown! This was a very tasty tea while it lasted, might have to pick up some more, very comforting on chilly days. As I’ve said before, the caramel and black tea base go quite well together! See previous notes :)

Flavors: Caramel

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Cold 911 (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
820 tasting notes

Ah first note with the new layout! Exciting! I am out at my parents this weekend and this tea was one I gave my mom and I found a bit of it left in the cupboard :D perfect thing for my migraine that has been plaguing me all day..I already had some Mint Cacao before this, but the mint and eucalyptus in this tea will hopefully be just the thing to kick my headache to the curb. Smells and tastes just as good as the last time I had it, I really should pick up more of this to have on hand. There’s even a bit more orange flavor in this tonight I think! Very nice before bed. See previous notes :)

Flavors: Orange Zest

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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88

Happy Friday! Man I love weekends, only 4 more hours to go at work! Hehe, it’s snowy and cold here again, I knew the warm weather wouldn’t last, but I hoped it would lol. Ah well, out come my rich, warming teas again! Ok this one is really really growing on me..it’s just so rich and almost savory…warming and delicious, even in the travel mug! This is starting my day off right. Loving it! See previous notes.

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88

Ohh my goodness is this ever good. Haha, the dry smell in the bag was very minty chocolate, reminding me of an After Eight..chocolates that I really enjoy. I steeped for 5 and a half minutes again, and was a bit worried, as the initial smell of the water on the leaves was kind of weird, a strange vegetal mint scent..not very nice. But after steeping, it smells like milky, buttery chocolate with mint, very happy it straightened out!

As for the flavor, yeah, this one is just so buttery milk chocolate tasting. And I love mint, so the mint is wonderful in here! Not quite an After Eight, as it’s more herbal tasting, but the peppermint is good and the cacao shines in this blend. I almost like this one a bit more than the original..haha I will have to compare them! Not tonight though, can’t have that much cacao in one day!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Courtney

Cacao is so delish. The Strawberry Cream one is tasty too. :)

MissLena

I had such a hard time choosing which two to get 50g of! That one was very close to making it haha, but I picked the mint instead. I’m sure I will end up ordering some of that one in the future too, I also got a free sample of the vanilla, I imagine it will be just as awesome :D

Courtney

There are pretty amazing. Now I want a cup!

MissB

The vanilla is by far my favorite – just know that it’s a traditional vanilla cacao, which is more spice (like what we know as a mexican hot chocolate here) than vanilla, per say.

Yvonne

I’m considering placing an order eventually for the entire line.

VariaTEA

Yvonne, samples are pretty affordable at just $2.50 so when you do eventually place an order it shouldn’t be TOO costly for you to try them :)

Sil

excited that i can pick some of the original up this weekend without having to buy other stuff to get to the free shipping threshold haha

Yvonne

Wow, that’s quite affordable! Definitely something I’ll consider when I can load up the ol’ Paypal. Heck, not consider…I’ll be doing it :P

Courtney

HI has a shipping threshold Sil?!

Sil

courtney..yeah it’s 5$ flat rate OR free above 50$

Courtney

Well shoot. How did I miss this? Gasp. I just placed an order with them, and I really should’ve just added a few more teas. Ah well, at least now I know.

Sil

Their website isn’t exactly….well designed for news. Haha though this particular item is on the front page lol

Courtney

Ahh yes. When I start to type “herbal…” into my address bar is goes directly to my cart page. I clearly spend far too long contemplating carts on HI.

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85
drank Cacao Tea by Herbal Infusions
820 tasting notes

Wooo! My Herbal Infusions order came! Hehe, I managed to get a bag of that wonderful marshmallow EG, I had it in a travel mug for my course tonight and it was SO GOOD. But I will save that first note for when I can truly do the tea justice in a cup at home. So I got home and made a cup of this, I also ordered the mint cacao and they threw in a sample of the vanilla! So excited to try them all!

So this tea, tisane, whatever you would call cacao shells..man oh man, smells like decadent hot chocolate in the bag. I steeped this for 5 and a half minutes with boiling water, and it smells like hot chocolate!! Off to a good start!

As for the flavor, yes, this is quite good. Very true chocolate, a tiny bit watery, but it is a tea lol so that is forgiveable. If my lactose intolerance wasn’t acting up so bad lately, I would probably have added some milk, but we will take a break from that for a while lol. This is pretty darn tasty sans additives anyways. So far, a delicious start to Herbal Infusions teas, and always exciting trying teas from new companies!!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Yvonne

I neeeeeed to buy some of this! Just wish I had money lol

OMGsrsly

I steeped mine for 20 or so minutes last night. It just gets better. Maybe that will help the watery-ness?

MissB

I drink this with coconut milk when I want more creaminess, and it’s still divine.

Sil

Yvonne – just think of the list you’ll have for your first paycheck when you get back to work lol i swear i keep ordering things and my list never gets smaller sigh

OMGsrsly

That’s exactly it, Sil. My list never gets smaller, while my budget and tea drinking capacities never get larger. :)

Cavocorax

Nope. That’s what Steepster does- introduces you to so many companies you would NEVER have heard of, and then all of a sudden you really want to try them too. LIke that TeaGreswhatchamacallit co.
(those guys need an easier name. I wouldn’t want to google that)

MissLena

@Yvonne – I have the same problem lol, I need to not buy anymore tea..I still have one order on the way and some free samples haha, I’m also running out of space!

@OMG – Hmm I will have to try that, hopefully I won’t get too much of a chocolate buzz :P I noticed it a bit last night lol

@MissB – I need to get coconut milk! Especially for chais and lattes, other milk substitutes that I’ve tried have been a no go lol.

So many new companies and so little space/money. Ah well, always more time later to try new teas! Unless they are limited editions lol

Yvonne

Definitely looking forward to an eventual fourth first paycheck again, haha! Won’t be for a while though, but it’s in my future :) It’ll be blown 100% on tea. That’s for sure.

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93

Oops, my restock of this never made it into my cupboard count lol. Oh well, a sipdown was had earlier today with this one, I really enjoy this herbal, although I will confess I preferred the first blending of it a bit better. The second one was more cinnamon and coriander, less of that berry taste, and it didn’t brew up as purple haha. But still quite tasty with honey, which is how I had it this morning out of my travel mug. Yum, this one might make it’s way back for a third stocking in my cupboard..after I restock my beloved Ginger Sage Spa blend first though haha. See previous notes!

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84
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
820 tasting notes

Yum, I’ve been craving this tea all week. Having it tonight to celebrate my guy being home from up north finally! Ahh I can finally relax :) this tea have a nice caramel flavor mixing with the black tea. I get a hint of salt in the aftertaste, which is nice. I enjoy this blend because it’s not a signature overly sugary DavidsTea dessert blend, it’s far more subtle and the base actually is present in the flavor. Light yet rich. Good for before bed and listening to zen music. Ugh, can’t believe it’s only Tuesday…can’t wait for the weekend, I just want to relax and drink tea and stay warm! See previous notes on this tea :)

Yvonne

This tea is just lovely :) Cures all my ooey gooey caramel cravings

MissLena

Nice, yes it’s hitting the sweet spot quite well right now, not overly sweet, which I am very much enjoying! I will probably stock up on a bit more of this, I only have enough left for about 1 more cup :(

Yvonne

Oh no :(

MissLena

Ah well, more room to try more teas, or restock! :D so much tea to try, and so little cupboard space lol

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Profile

Bio

Hello all, I’m a newly graduated electrical engineer as of 2013 (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’s excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte haha)

I enjoy a variety of herbal, white, green, oolong and black teas. I have also tried a few pu’erhs and matcha I am a bit sensitive to caffeine, but I find that in moderation I can still indulge in black teas and matcha.

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 recently 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.

I am happy to say that my caffeine intolerance seems to be subsiding! This is allowing me to try a wider variety of teas :)

Location

Canada

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