74 Tasting Notes

78

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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72

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.

Preparation
Iced

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67
drank Lime Bang by DAVIDsTEA
74 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Iced

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88

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Dorothy

Did it say to use boiling on the package? Mine listed 90, and their website lists 95. haha

politicalmachine

My bag is listed at 95, I guess it would depend on the whoever was working that day they packed your order. I got mine in-store from Kevin, the guy who wrote that blog post. But honestly i have no idea when brewing instructions say 90 or 95. I guess I will try it after leaving the kettle after boiling for a min or two

Payton

I don’t know CS’s Nilgiri specifically (I’ll have to try it next time I’m up there!), but I’d suggest trying 90 for just under 2 minutes and try not to squeeze the leaves too much. Nilgiris should, hypothetically, be lighter and sweeter than lower-elevation Assamica leaf. Another option (suggested by a Czech friend) would be 80 degrees for 2 or 2.5 minutes, and then boiling for the second infusion, as this often preserves some of the flavor.

politicalmachine

sounds good! I’ll try the shorter steep next time.

Kashyap

Nilgiri is processed very similar to Darjeelings, but are produced in the south west instead of the north east portion of India. As such they are also generally Camellia Sinesis Assamica opposed to the unusual nature of most Darjeelings which are transplanted Chinese Camellia Sinesis Sinesis (which are sweeter, less spicy, and more floral than the Assamica). Nilgiri teas are generally spicy and lightly fruity with brisk, astrigent profiles and are usually cheap. They are medium to fine chopped and so extract quickly and shorter steep times and slightly coolor water temps (like those for green teas 170-185 degrees) work best. They are great additives to make spicy iced teas and dynamic blends. Bear in mind with pricing, you will get drastically different prices from similiar teas if the source is a direct importer, 2nd or 3rd party vendor, and if tea is thier primary business or their secondary line. I get many of my teas from Staufs Coffee Roasters in Columbus, OH just because they offer a wide diversity with a low bottom line, because tea is a side business and not their primary one – meaning even as a 2nd party vendor and not a direct importer they can offer a great value at quality and cost. Places like this are hard to find, but worth looking for. I say this only as I note that your reviews are balanced between cup and cost…

politicalmachine

What you say certainly makes sense with the tea varieties, if i were to say this Nilgiri is much to the same level as a Darjeeling. The cultivar of tea is definitely of a chinese plant. Camellia Sinensis is indeed a direct importer but will use a fairly high markup, the tradeoff I would guess would be the guarantee of quality coming from a tea specialty store like such. Recently, I have been focusing most of my purchases from importers or even small scale buyers who get the product directly at the source or happen to be the producer themselves. I find that quality-wise tends to be much higher, yet is found at around the same price as a tea from company who sources their tea through wholesalers.

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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.

Indigobloom

I’d love to try some!! is there anything you’d like to swap it for? or we can split a sample from someplace…

politicalmachine

sure, pm me where i can send it :) surprise me really, it’s more fun to try the things you never would of think of buying! Oh, i also have small packets of a darker roast TGY but I can’t identify the manufacturer, prolly should send you some of that too.

Indigobloom

Sweet, I’ll msg you tonight when I get home… I sneak peeks here at work so don’t wanna get caught! lol

Mel

Enjoyed your review. I was wondering if TeaFu was related to TeaRen. I tend to never buy tea at grocery stores since the turn around is pretty bad. I went to one with teas that expired in 2002. So the tea itself was from 2000 I am assuming. I couldn’t help myself, 4 oz of tieh kwan yin for $7. I can’t wait to try.

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35

Bye! Last bit. You will not be missed!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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82

My third and last sample from tea licious! I think the name of this rooibos tea fits it nicely, smells great and comes out to a nice deep red color. I think this is the best one out of the three I received, I have to say it really tastes very orange-y. Good thing the hibiscus doesn’t go by and overpower the brew. It may be me, but I get hints of caramel or something, but it’s definitely something enjoyable to drink. I shall re-steep this and try it cold tomorrow, which I think should be a great drink for summer! But really, Tea Licious has great prices, and I will absolutely consider this one in face of all those expensive David’s summer teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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65

New experiment, i decreased the steep temperature and let it sit for longer. I think i like the result. It is a lot lighter, but more creamy sweet and zero astringency. I think i came to realize that there is no actual partridge “berry” but rather the leaves of the plant.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 6 min, 0 sec
52teas

Partridgeberry is the name of the plant. It does have berries, but they are not in the tea.

politicalmachine

thanks for clarifying! :)

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94

This is probably the best flavoured tea Davids sells. Like no joke, it’s simply just really good. The smell is really buttery and creamy… and rum! (how do you get rum flavouring without actually adding rum?) There’s a generous amount of vanilla beans lying in the mix, and i think it’s what really makes this tea come through. The coconut works really well in this case too. I think I took awhile before getting to review this one, as I’ve always had it away from home, or always on a rush to bring in out on the go. Anyways, really this one needs no introduction, I think steepster has already affirmed that it shall be one of the highest rated flavoured black teas out there, I’m just going to add my vote of confidence :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Stopped drinking water, switched to tea. =)
(ok, this is a lie but still :) )

How I rate teas is pretty simple, different teas have different expectations based on quality and price. I’ll rate a tea based on how good it is for its category/price point. I think i rate pretty fairly, I’m not afraid to give a bad score to a bad tea, and it’s relatively hard to get perfect score (partially because i believe there are only so many that can attain such a title)

I like oolong/green teas the most
black, white, tisanes to a lesser part.

I re-steep EVERYTHING, as that’s how I’ve learned from my parents. Blacks teas normally to a max of two times.

I like it when the tea actually looks of quality (eg. whole unbruised leaves). I hate it when i get a tea, and half of it is cut up stems of the plant… give me leaves!

I drink all my teas black and occasionally with sweetener. I do drink coffee too, and love espressos and cappuccinos. Yup, I do my coffee black too. Guess, it is to say I like strong flavours.
My current way of steeping tea, is my french press which i just got a month ago. I love it (well maybe not my cheapy one; looking to get a bodum one day). I used to just dump leaves at the bottom of my cup..

Ok. Rating meanings…

0-49: Various degrees of suck. Either terrible value or just not good.
50-59: It’s drinkable. I’ll finish my cup.
60-69: Not bad… but not good.
70-79: okay to drink, nothing too special, will not be a re-buy.
80-89: Enjoyable cups.
90-99: Worth holding on to.
100: Um.. I’ll tell you when I get here.

About me?

University student, photographer, bartender..

Location

Montreal

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