I had this with a ton of honey today, and decreased the steep time. It tastes a lot better sweet. So from now on, i’ll liberally dump tons of honey in it, this also means a rating bump upwards.
73 Tasting Notes
I just opened the pouch of Boo-berry, I’ve been hard at work trying to finish the entirety of all my stash so that I can focus on getting fresh teas. I’ve changed my attitude on the procurement of tea for the past while, and that’s partly the reason I haven’t made a great amount of entries on Steepster lately. I realize that if I have a big collection of tea that gets stored for long periods of time, you won’t ever finish any and thus you will have a whole bunch of teas (probably past their prime) sitting in your shelf for 2-3+ years. I opened up a pouch of green tea earlier this year that was at least 3 years old, and it really didn’t taste good anymore, so much to the point that I threw the whole package out.
So now, I’m determined to finish what I have first and then procure more along the way.
I’ve been looking forward to this one (I love blueberries!) but it has been somewhat of a letdown. The taste doesn’t really come through after steeping, from dry leaf it smells great and full of flavor but that doesn’t translate into the finished product. The tea comes out slightly astringent and mellow. It’s fully drinkable, but lacks the bang and the wow that I was expecting. I don’t taste the marshmallow at all, perhaps there’s not enough of it? Or perhaps I’m not picking up that flavour profile.
Alas, I am confused. I don’t really know what this is. Chai Coffee tea! Baked Coffee beans so it doesn’t taste like coffee. It actually doesn’t. I get Chai.. and I’m not sure what else.
On another note, I actually got this sample from Craig Buntin himself last summer and forgot about it until I discovered it today (perhaps past the freshness peak). Story is he showed up for one of my Marketing classes and asked for help with marketing the product. It’s a pretty interesting concept but I think I would still need to be convinced that this is a “premium” product.
Curiosity has led to what I would describe as the high end teas found in this world.. Much to the same way we have A and then B list actors/actresses, premium tea is rare to find, and in the mass market of today.. especially with flavoured teas, tend to be on the lower end side. I mean certainly, loose leaf is better than tea dust in bags but just because it’s loose, really doesn’t mean all that much.
I think the general conception for most people is that if it comes loose, it’s the good stuff. But that’s far from the truth. Once you really start to realize how much quality differs on how fresh the tea is or really how intact or how “young” the leaves are. By my definition, if you get a tea, and you open it up and find half of it is cut up little pieces, 1/4 of it is just twigs, and then there’s the dust.. well that’s quite simply a crappy tea that’s offset by added flavouring and other stuff.
Welcome to what I would actually call something of quality; not that this is anything high end, but up there, before the point prices become unreasonable. Teamasters (Stephane) has been running his blog for a few years and he sell legitimate tea from Taiwan. Fresh. It even comes with a harvest date, that’s as specific as it can get. He writes up tasting notes and usually photos of all his tea that he sells served of course in its appropriate teaware. I was really enticed to try some of this “good stuff” out and it looked really nice.
I received this long ago but was kind of saving it until i drank down my large collection of rather lower end stuff from all over. My stash is still getting smaller and I’m still pretty unwilling to buy more stuff until most of what I have is done. Needless to say, I finally got to it today. Nice large rolled up balls (for a lack of a better word) and the still really fragrant smell really do look so much better than what I am used to. These happen to be handpicked so, all the more better. As noted, it is a very nice and light and sweet oolong, very appropriate for the price and the low altitude that it is grown at. Also as noted it lacks character of the higher altitude stuff but is great for a beginner like me.
This was one of those, “heeeey, what is this??? Let me try!.. oh waiit. you don’t have stock?” teas.. if that made any sense. I’m always a sucker for new things so when I saw this, with macadamia nuts (which I love). It was a purchase decision. Clearly though, I think when they put up this tea, it sold out way too fast and vanished from shelves for a good few months. I remember on the Davidstea fb fanpage there was one fellow who asked every week if they would restock it…
Eventually though, i forgot about it.. until now. Got 25g to try it out, also seeing that davids noticed the interest and demand for the product and raised the price from like $6.75 to.. $9.. wonderful.
The leaves remind me of grape leaves just more smaller pieces, taste is nutty and vegetal though not at all unpleasant, brew was fairly dark, it was enjoyable – innocent. Pretty easy to drink this one though it doesn’t come across as something memorable. I read somewhere that mulberry tea contains some extract that inhibits the absorption of carbohydrates? Oh noo. (well good for women looking to lose weight perhaps). I need caffeine.. and you take away my carbs that give me engery? nooo.
In all cases, nothing bad about this tea but probably not something I would really crave for constantly. It does come slightly pricey as you have to use more leaf than a standard black per brew.
Hey look! I found some more of this! I thought i ran out long ago..
This was one of my first Davidsteas, I remember being sold on the smell of it (which is I guess, how they make most of their business). I’m actually pretty happy about this one; it smells wonderful, looks and tastes almost like white wine. It’s also on the expensive side, which i really wonder how i coughed up $20 for a 100g bag/tin.. Kinda sucks that they don’t make this one anymore, I would say that this was one of the better ones I’ve tried.
It’s finally cold outside, came home and decided that I need some tea. I added a good amount of honey into it making it a very nice smooth warm drink =)
So okay another one of these cult blends from Davids. We can pair this right up with Buttered Rum and the likes. At first, I had tried a small sample in store about two month ago, I wasn’t impressed. It tasted very weak and bland. Now reading the reviews on steepster seem to say otherwise and actually I was ordered by a friend to go buy some (and thus I did -50g worth of it).
The base of the tea seems very similar to the one they use for Glitter and Gold with a fairly crappy quality tea base but the core of the tea, with all that pumpkin themed stuff inside it that smells absolutely wonderful. The little candies and caramel pieces along with the pumpkin really make it look and smell great.
While steeping the tea, I noticed a few developments. The little candies melt and so does the caramel but not fully, this leads the brew to become slightly cloudy as those bits disintegrate into the hot water. David’s says there are no orange peels in there, but I’m pretty certain i saw one inside.. It was advised to make this as a latte with milk and brown sugar. I was too lazy to go steam up some milk, so i just added a small teaspoon of brown sugar inside. Generally I don’t like my teas sweet but I guess with chai’s it normally works out pretty well.
The tea tastes like pumpkin and cinnamon, which is pretty good (It had more taste than my experience in store). The thing about pumpkin, I’ve been having a crazy craving for this stuff especially in the pie format, and when I couldn’t find anywhere that sold pumpkin pie.. I decided to make it myself. MAN DOES IT EVER TAKE LONG. Cutting the pumpkin up, cooking up, separating it from the peel, squeezing the water out… it’s a fairly long process but I got my pie (which was pretty decent for a first shot effort) and roughly… the tea tastes quite similar. Which is good! Not as strong, but it does resemble real pumpkin pie. Awesome!
Now I do have a few issues with it, the unmelting caramel bits and also the rather weak “chai” part of the tea. I guess I was hoping for a stronger spicier tea like the Saigon Chai or something, maybe add some peppercorns in there as well. The cinnamon was sufficient but it lacked that spicy punch i wanted, which if you sweeten up becomes pretty good. I guess that’s a personal preference, so for a tea that tastes like pumpkin pie, I’m still pretty happy with the end product. I have become more and more drawn to the higher quality straight teas that now, most of Davids “new” teas that come out every other week don’t really interest me anymore. I would add though that this one was interesting enough for me to go and try.
So… I’ve been pretty MIA for awhile..
Honestly didn’t drink much tea all summer, been having stomach problems and was advised by the docs to stay off tea/caffeine and the whole bunch. Though, I’ll also blame laziness and lack of appeal of hot tea in summer too for not touching it at all! Still having stomach problems, but the weather is getting cold again sooo that means i’ll drink it anyways :)
I actually bought this tea back in spring, didn’t really touch it till now. I’ve read and heard about the raves of Dan Cong oolong tea so I bought this one from DTH, figuring it can’t hurt to give it a try. The tea comes in the regular one and this “Spring” edition promising younger leaves. Apparently this one is supposed to taste like peach, but I can’t taste any of that. It’s just a tad bit bitter and tastes more like an out of place green tea of some sorts. Overall no real complaints, drinkable.. tea..
Thanks to Indigobloom for sending me this! I think I slightly oversteeped it, and there was a hint of bitterness. I added half a teaspoon of sugar into the mix, and bam solution fixed. It’s been awhile since I tried to sweeten any tea at all. The mate looks like it’s just been mixed with orange peels. Smells are that of orange vicks candies and some lemon, and it basically tastes like citrus overall. Some mate undertones but really mostly citrus. I’m glad it doesn’t taste like the funky tangerine flavoring I’ve been experiencing in some teas. Overall its good, not super AMAZING but good. I wouldn’t mind a few more cups of this.
Backlog. The more I have this tea, the more I dislike it. Why did I get a whole tin of this??
Got around to drinking some herbal stuff, this was from the memorial day sale.. $2 of 1oz! And what, do I see there’s saffron inside? STEAL! Anyways, drinking this hot. Plenty of a mix inside as it seems. It smells like stride gum. Literally. Orange colour, slightly tart citrus and minty and maybe a slight floral quality to it. I like it, and at this price was certainly worth throwing in with my order, hell I might even get more next time. I think this might even be good cold. For those of you worrying, the hibiscus doesn’t really overpower here, it’s been awhile since I had the urge to have a herbal tea, this one didn’t disappoint.
Been busy recently, finally managed to make a cup of tea this morning… Well this tea before shipping costs were added on, came out to be about 4USD for 100g. I don’t know but that’s insanely cheap for a first flush darjeeling. Honey brown brew, slightly astringent if oversteeped and more malty than fruity. I would have more to say, but my thoughts are currently eluding me. Overall, great value from Lochan teas.
Another tea from Indigobloom, This one looked rather interesting. Shui Xian oolong with a whole jumble of stuff in it. It reminds me a bit of the Forbidden Fruit from David’s. Overall it is very nutty, with a rather smoky taste. I fully expected this to be a rather sweet tea, seeing the caramel pieces, but really I’m not quite sure what good they did, because clearly it did not melt and looks just a whole as before steep. I can’t really taste the jumble of the other ingredients much at all actually. The quality of the Shui Xian is better than that of David’s, and though there are awfully large pieces of twigs, there are rather bigger pieces of leaf. Instructions say to steep for 1min, but unless you’re using boiling water and packed a gaiwan full.. I don’t really see the point.
Wow a tea from Kenya! I would have never imagined… thanks Indigobloom! Recently with all my exploits with darjeeling teas I think I have understood this word acronym game. GFBOP stands for Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe. So this is neither a first flush, or a tippy grade tea. Doing some research online, I found out that this tea comes from a high altitude plantation of above 1800m.
Colour is a deep golden brown, very similiar to some darjeelings again. There is no astringency at all with this tea, the malt does come through, but stops short of being caramel. Overall, it is very sweet and very easy to drink. The floral tones only came through from the dry leaves and not so much after the brew. What comes out to the end is that it really lacks the character of darjeelings but as it is grown at similar altitudes, it does taste relatively similar. Though it is not at all a bad tea, there’s not too much that stands out beside coming from Kenya, it would make a fine breakfast tea.
Thanks to Indigobloom for sending me this! I needed a black tea this morning to wake me up, and decided on this one. I have found ceylon teas to have a pretty sharp citrus taste that can go astringent really quickly. This tea was very identifiable to be of a ceylon black but the strawberry complimented it quite nicely. The super fruity Earl’s Garden from David’s was one tea that did not do it well, and the result ended up pretty bad. Strawberry flavour was not overpowering, which was great, and a hint of cream followed. I felt this one did not need any sugar or anything, and should work pretty well with milk.
Now let me say, at first I was quite skeptical of ordering tea from ebay but DTH’s rather nice and complete set of teas and decent prices lured me to try some out. I was really after a comparison between this and hand picked oolongs from another vendor. I opted for a Jin Xuan variety because I was hoping to get that nice milky undertone to the tea. DTH also sells its version of a “milk oolong” but I was afraid of it being that of being flavoured instead of natural.
I was also unsure if this was from this year or last year as DTH tends to lie about these things, the product description for all teas were updated to 2011 harvest at the same time. Mostly i was impressed that it actually came in a box and was vacuum packed. Again, my friends at the Canadian Border control had decided to open my tea for inspection. Anyways, I just dumped my 100g out into a freezer proof ziploc bag. For the most part it comes in nice intact pieces, but there are some small fragments and dust (about 10% of it all), I just dumped out the dust in the trash..
Brewing came about in a gaiwan, and it went to 7 infusions before I gave up on it. First 2 were slightly floral but not quite as much as it smelled. Mouthfeel was rather weak, and I didn’t get any milky taste or anything out of these. Light bodied and pretty much consistent brews for the most part. I did note that these come from Ali Shan which depending on what elevation it is grown at could be something of a higher quality. The tea came out rather plain, but decent quality. Nothing comparable to the high mountain stuff, but is alright as an everyday tea. Mostly, the leaves uncurled to full stems and leaf in full portions and produced light and really uninteresting brews. I got really bored by the 7th round, and while I’m sure it could probably go 2-3 more times I stopped and threw it out. Quality-wise though, it’s better than the typical oolong you would find at a mainstream North American tea store.
This is a sample I received with my order, I decided that I need to dispatch this one as fast as possible as it smells like perfume, and literally was changing the smell of all the teas around it! I’ve had rosebuds with green tea before with some degree of success but it has never smelled as strong as this! In fact, when i opened up the package I received from Chi of Tea, this was the only smell I got.
Tea appearance is broken sencha pieces, safflowers and rose petals, and some rosehips i think. It tastes literally like perfume. I don’t taste anything but rose, with a sweet aftertaste. I’m sure there is someone out there that would like something like this, but this is fringe undrinkable. I don’t think adding sweetener will help, it’s already pretty sweet. I don’t see this working as an iced tea either. Again, there are ways to get rose and green tea to work nicely, but not when it smells and taste like perfume. (You might ask, well how do you know what perfume taste like?) I’ll leave that to you to figure out :)
Fresh tea straight from India! I’m actually pretty impressed it only took three days to arrive here. Before I begin, my experiences with first flush darjeelings is quite limited. I browsed around, curious to find somewhere to start. Most vendors have most of this stuff relatively high priced and depending on the garden it comes from, price fluctuates a lot.Out of a few websites, Lochan offered the cheapest available, so i went ahead and grabbed the cheapest and most expensive one they offer. (In truth though, i can’t say $8 for 100g is anywhere near expensive) Sites such as Thunderbolt and Tea Emporium charge up to and around $30 for a Thurbo first flush. Figuring I didn’t have much to lose, I put in an order. Story goes, that the wonderful folks from FedEx opened up the package from Lochan and opened up the tea too! Thankfully they only one they ripped open was the free masala chai they threw in with the order (a generous 50g too I must say) but I really didn’t care much for the chai at all so I was glad it was the only one they opened.
On to the brew, nice golden colour not getting much muscatel flavours. This one is really light tasting, a hint of malted barely sweetness and slight astringency. No spiciness from what I can tell (supposedly some first flush darjeelings have this flavour profile). It was not as fruity as I was hoping for, but still makes a nice cup of tea. The leaves are mostly broken but not dust like small. I’m actually currently preferring my Nilgiri Parkside from CS more than this, but as far as value goes Lochan has done fairly well. I cannot comment on how this would compare to a higher grade darjeeling and I am curious to find out really, how much of a difference it would make.
I wasn’t aware herbal stuff can go bitter too, i think i oversteeped this one a little but it still tastes alright. I never had any guayusa before and this is the only sample I got from david’s in awhile. I actually only got this one because I was wondering what it would taste like.
Anyways, brews to a lighter colour than I expected; it tastes fruity and earthy. Probably better cold actually. I would say though that the papaya is really a filler ingredient that adds a lot of weight, you don’t really taste much of it but I guess any sort of sweetness you would get would be from it. It was interesting to try, but I’m still unsure what I really think of it. I can’t really say much for the caffeine either, I feel pretty normal.
Made a big batch of this iced. I had to try a cucumber flavoured tea at some point as i love the muddled cucumber martinis and such. Now when I opened my bag of this stuff, a whiff of the smell was very… compelling. I’ll fully admit this doesn’t smell like a cucumber.. well I mean… cucumbers don’t taste like much except fresh tasting. So the smell was rather strong and that lead me to be kinda concerned. So if it doesn’t taste like cucumbers, what does it taste like then you might ask? I haven’t the slightest clue but the fact is that it is drinkable. It was refreshing enough for me to drink down my cup fairly quickly.
Good thing the flavors don’t steep too intensely but are still very noticeable. I would say that it was interesting to try, but muddled cucumber martini’s are still much better.
Made a good 2L or so of this iced with some fresh mint from the garden. It does well enough as an iced tea, but really the quality of the tea is really subpar. I don’t get how many stems I saw floating around but when a tea has 1/3 of it’s ingredients as lime peels, and 1/3 of the tea as stems… we got a problem here. Oh well, I’m drinking this as if it was water.
There are two reasons i decided to get a bag of this tea. 1. I am out of straight black teas and have never had a Nilgiri or at least one that’s not flavoured or found in a teabag. 2. it looks funky. :) Actually, I would think the latter is the main reason. It literally looks like someone dumped some green tea into the mix, but really this tea is made entirely from one estate and they process it in a way that during the oxidation process, bits of leaf will fall off first leaving behind green tea like flakes. Anyways.. it is best explained in the blog post under the description.
Colour brews to a nice golden colour, lighter than a typical black. I’ve read that most Nilgiri teas are of the ctc variety and of lower quality but I highly doubt that’s the case here! It is very smooth/sweet and mildly fruity. It doesn’t quite convince me to believe that the green leaves steep well in boiling water as i do get a slightly noticeable “green tea bitter” at the first sip. This would do great as a breakfast tea, but it’s longevity is somewhat weak. After the first infusion, the second one is rather weak but drinkable. I think I could get away with a shorter first infusion to get a stronger brew the next time around, but I think I like it as it is.
The spent leaves are pretty to look at, the green and brown leaves mixed together look great together, and I’ve mostly enjoyed the brew. Camellia Sinensis is one of the better known tea stores in Montreal and they are pretty serious about their tea. Usually fairly pricey, this one was pretty fair.
Well how shall I put it, I found a bunch of these little blue bags in my basement filled with tie guan yin. The production date stamped on it says 10.25.2006, so that makes it about 5 years old. Though it is vacuum packed.. I’m sure this kind of tea is not meant to be aged, so I am really drinking some old tea. 10 means October too, so that puts this as an autumn harvest tea and that means this is a grade lower than the ones cultivated in spring. Anyways, I pretty sure this was something my parents brought back from a trip to china (which trip, I wouldn’t know).
Tenfu (same thing as Tenren) is a massive tea company so really, if anyone ends up ever getting some of this will be beyond me. That’s one thing about steepster, most teas from North America or western Europe, can be found with ease well what about that crazy amount of asians and asian countries that drink tea? Well those will most likely never be found here at all even though they represent a significant portion of the tea consumed in this world. That’s just me saying, as I drink a lot of green tea that was brought back from China, yet I have no means of listing it or any clue who made it. Luckily this bag had a little url printed on the side that lead me to the tenfu website.
Getting down to the tea itself, I tried making it gong fu style (lots of leaf, less water, more infusions) It’s a light tasting tea, not as dark or heavy roasted as some TGY teas. I’ve gone to 5 infusions and it still tastes alright. Anyone curious to try some? I think I have like 3-4 more bags of this stuff. Figure it might be more educational to some of you than it will be for me. Swap me anything that I have never tried before, I’d be down.