2224 Tasting Notes

Alright, so in an effort to detect the subtle distinctions of different straight black teas, I decided to do a side by side by side comparison of this tea, Zhen Qu, and Jin Pin.

This tea is courtesy of the very generous Cavorcorax (thank you!!). Of the three, it is my second favorite. It is very smooth and has a nice malt. It is also quite rich and I am definitely picking up on the clove element of the tea. Oh and unfortunately this cup means it is a sipdown and there is no more PTA in my cupboard :(.

I pulled the sample of Yezi’s Jin Pin out of the SSTTB. It is my favourite of the three I am trying and the one I think I want to have stocked (which makes sense given it is the tea that inspired this exploration). I get a lot of malt and caramel in this and for my tastes, it is the most preferable. This is not to say the others are not amazingly delicious, however this is the closest to dessert teas of the straight blacks I tried and so it is a good transition while my tastes are still changing.

Zhen Qu is my least favorite of the three teas but it is still a really amazing tea. It has an astringency to it which in this case is not a bad thing but is still one of the reasons I prefer the other teas. Flavorwise, this is quite nutty which is enjoyable. Also, the malt on this is a bit less than the other two cups. Very tasty but just not preferred when compared to the other two options. Nonetheless, thank you Cavocorax for helping me with my straight black journey! Oh, and this is a sipdown as well so no more Zhen Qu for me.

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
2224 tasting notes

Thank you Cavocorax for the sample of this tea. I am realizing that my tastes have changed enough that I enjoy straight blacks. However, my palette is yet to have developed enough to distinguish all the subtle nuances of the teas. Consequently, they all taste the same to me: malty, sweet, and delicious but still the same. Perhaps I should try them side by side and that will point out the differences but as it stands now, as embarrassed I am to say it, I can’ really tell them apart from one another.

Courtney

It seems that, just like any tea, time and trials will do the trick. I’m excited to see your notes on this adventure.

VariaTEA

I think I may do a side by side by side comparison of this, PTA, and Jin Pin to see which I prefer of the three. And perhaps I shall toss Lord Petersham in too as that was another that I found tasted super similar.

Courtney

I love doing side by sides. I rarely actually end up doing them, but they’re enjoyable when it happens.

whatshesaid

I’m kind of in the same boat, for the most part

VariaTEA

One day. One day we will all be able to try the slight differences of all the teas.

whatshesaid

I hope so! It’s frustrating not to be able to. Like being denied membership to a very exclusive club, haha

Roswell Strange

@VariaTEA – My most recent parcel to you have a straight black in it that I’m confidant you’ve yet to try! I haven’t had it recently but I remember it being very malty. Hope you like it when it makes it to you!

VariaTEA

Yay! Try all the teas!

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70
drank Jessie's Tea by DAVIDsTEA
2224 tasting notes

Sipdown!! So long Jessie’s Tea. I loved you once but now I am happy to see you go.

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drank Lord Petersham by The Devotea
2224 tasting notes

SSTTB

So this box is a great opportunity to explore some straight blacks and this morning I decided to make the acquaintance of Lord Petersham. He is quite nice. Strong and a touch astringent but in a good way. Unfortunately this tea cooled quite a bit before I tried it given I was searching for classes my sister and I can take this summer (a little while back, we did cake decorating so we are looking for something fun to take now). Perhaps I will have to try another cup before I pass along the box because even cooled, this was very pleasant.

keychange

Isn’t having a sister the best? I have three and think it’s awesome.

VariaTEA

Sometimes. Other times I really want to kill her. I also have a brother so I know the perks and the negatives of having both.

Robert Godden

Thanks for recording your thoughts on Lord Petersham. I have drunk many cups I’ve let go cold of this over the years, but it is certainly best piping hot with a snack.

VariaTEA

I will certainly keep that in mind when I brew up a second cup.

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Thank you Cavocorax for being so kind and giving me some unflavored Butiki blacks in support of my new journey into straight teas. This one is quite good, malty and sweet with delicious notes of caramel. It reminds me slightly of Yezi’s Jin Pin, which is great since that is the tea that inspired this exploration. However, of the two, I think I prefer Jin Pin, but this is delicious in its own right as well.

In other news, got my haircut today, after quite some time and it feels like I lost 10 pounds :P. Alas, my happiness is being spoiled by the fact that my friends birthday is tonight (that is not what is ruining my mood since birthdays are happy times) which means I have to get dressed up and mission downtown to spend a few hrs with drunk people I don’t know only to have to subway back at midnight. All I really want to do is stay home in pajamas and drink tea but oh well. Also, the dressing up part is annoying given we are going to a pub which, at least in Montreal, meant jeans and tshirts were acceptable

keychange

Oh god, knowing you have to get all dressed up and loiter around town with drunk people (all be it for a good reason) just so irritating? I mean, it isn’t always irritating—but when it is it really, really is.

VariaTEA

Yeah, I think it is only super annoying because (a) I know I won’t be drinking and everyone will be drunk, and (b) there is so much money and travel time (because I am in the suburbs) that it doesn’t seem worth it for only a few hrs. I am sure once I am there, I will have fun but the thought of it is not all that appealing.

Also, my friend said to be sorta dressy so I had a simple black dress that I was gonna wear with combat boots (to stay comfortable/dress it down), however she said it was dressier than what she was wearing so I threw on jean leggings (with the dress since luckily it’s short- I don’t plan on _only- wearing leggings :P) and decided that is fine.

Nxtdoor

You back?

Courtney

Unflavoured blacks FTW! Also, I hope you end up enjoying yourself. I understand that feeling all too well.

VariaTEA

Yep and I have been meaning to message you but things have been quite hectic as of late

Cavocorax

Yay for new hairs! Also, I hope things go ok for you tonight! I totally TOTALLY understand the chill evening at home instead of the uncomfortable night at the bar. I’d wear jeans/t-shirt regardless so it’s probably good that I don’t get invited out much. haha

keychange

Hope it isn’t too bad!

VariaTEA

Thanks guys. It would have been nice to stay home as the night wasn’t all that fun but my friend enjoyed her birthday which is all that counts really. Tomorrow (today) I can spend drinking tea and it will be great!

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75

SSTTB

So I usually pass when it comes to citrus teas but this smelled so amazing I just had to give it a taste. Seriously, this smells just like a tasty orange creamsicle. Yum!

Tastewise, the creamsicle flavor is present but muted and the sip ends on a weird flavor that I just can’t put my finger on. It is almost a dry, earthiness that really takes away from the taste. With that said, I am enjoying this more than I thought I would, though I don’t think it is something I need to have around all the time.

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68

SSTTB

I am not a lover of chai teas but this one smelled really great. Plus, it was a convenient tea bag so I decided to give it a taste.

I am getting a very thin caramel flavor mixed with hints of cinnamon and clove. Overall, it just seems very weak to me so I am guessing this was underleafed. Perhaps I will try this with two teabags next time to see if that is better because the cup has potential to be pretty decent.

ETA: Tried brewing this up with two teabags and it is still pretty weak when it comes to the caramel flavor. The spices come out a bit more though which actually overwhelms what little caramel there is.

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70
drank Eggnog Honeybush by 52teas
2224 tasting notes

Compared this tea with TeaG’s Rooibush Eggnog. Review can be found here: http://steepster.com/rachel12610/posts/241510

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Rooibush Eggnog by TeaGschwendner
2224 tasting notes

SSTTB

Brewed up a cup of this and a cup of 52 Tea’s Eggnog Honeybush. They are both teas I wanted to try so I jumped at the chance when I found both in the box.

This one is not really what I would refer to as eggnog, though it is a touch creamy. It mostly just tastes of rooibos with a hint of nutmeg. Not a bad rooibos either but at the end of the day, it fails to deliver on what is promised so I am left a little disappointed.

Unfortunately, 52 Tea’s Eggnog Honeybush is not much better. It has a very sweet smell, almost like icing but tastewise there is not much else other than sweetened honeybush. Once again, not horrible but not something I need stocked either.

Of the two, neither is really all that great but I think I slightly prefer 52 Tea’s just because I think I prefer the flavor of honeybush to rooibos.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

Oh good! I’m not alone. :)

VariaTEA

No, definitely not alone.

Cavocorax

Oh no! I grabbed both of those to try. Sucks they were both meh. I thought TeaG was super amazing.

OMGsrsly

TeaG has some fails, sadly.

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Profile

Bio

My cupboard has grown exponentially since joining this site and I have a lot to share. Feel free to snoop through my cupboard and message me if anything interests you – I am always happy to swap!

For me, flavored teas are definitely my sweet spot. I will most often reach for black teas and rooibos or honeybush blends but I do keep some flavored whites and greens around for when the mood strikes. I have a few herbals/tisanes but most of the time I find myself disappointed by them as they often smell deliciously sweet and then end up tasting tart/sour. I have a little bit of an aversion to pu’erh and oolong teas. I am also wary of florals, earl greys, and chai teas. I do not like overpowering citrus flavors nor do I usually like hibiscus, licorice or chamomile. I love dessert teas – caramel, vanilla, toffee, cookie, cream, and other sweet flavors make me smile. Fruits like strawberry, peach, mango, and pineapples will often catch my attention as well.

I have also realized that although I really enjoy adding frothed milk to some of my teas, if I do not like the tea with zero additives (just in plain water without milk or sugar), I probably won’t drink it. The one exception is flavored matchas which I will happily drink in cold milk if I do not like it mixed with hot water. My theory is if the tea can’t stand on its own then it is not for me and I will more than likely try to swap it out for something else.

Location

Thornhill, Ontario

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