New Tasting Notes

Yesterday my tea of the day ended up being a Blueberry Tea from the Keg. Essentially they bring a Brandy Snifter with a shot of Grand Marnier and Amaretto and a small pot of tea with one Lipton teabag. It was really nice and warm and comforting…like a hug in a glass…but it wasn’t blueberry. The other elements took over and more than anything I got a nice citrus/ orange flavor. I don’t know if I would get it again but it made for a nice finish to a tasty meal. Plus, it paired nicely with my tiny Mango Creme Brulee dessert.

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82

Last tea left to try from the fall collection (‘cause I’m not revisiting Pumpkin Chai)!

So, of all the teas this year I personally thought this was the most “question mark” worthy before smelling things in store – and then when I picked up my sample, I hated the aroma of the dry leaf the most out of any of the blends. Don’t ask me why; it just didn’t sit well with me. So, I put off making it. But the more I put off making it the more I actually found the dry aroma growing on me. Instead of smelling weird/funky/plastic like it gained more of a creamy, peanut butter aroma and that intrigued me…

Fast forward to me actually brewing this one up, and I’m basically drooling as I hover over the infusing mug because it smells exactly like peanut butter toast and creamed honey. Mmm! Comforting, and kind of the epitome of “fall” if not just breakfast in general. Quite the turn of events, no?

Taste wise; I think this was the clear favourite from the collection and at this point in time the only one I see myself actually buying again. If I close my eyes, shut down my brain for a second and just drink it as a “whole” rather than breaking down ingredients it tasted exactly like creamy peanut butter and honey. It’s really soothing and comforting, and quite refreshing because it’s not really a “fruity” blend but not exactly a sweeter, “dessert” blend either. If I do look at it more as the parts that make a sum, I notice the apple notes in the blend a little more, especially in the top of the sip, and I pick up on the coconut a touch which I think it virtually non existent when you flip back to looking at the sum of the parts. This was just a pleasant experience overall, though!

And trust me, I’m quite surprised that after all four teas THIS was the one that’s initially won me over. I wouldn’t have called that, but it’s how it worked out.

Fall Rankings:

1. Nutty Granola Crunch
2. Pom Cider
3. Blueberry Muffin
4. Carrot Cake

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NXnxTNIWkc&index=131&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ

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69
drank Pom Cider by DAVIDsTEA
3837 tasting notes

Time to talk about another fall tea…

Of the new collection, despite some iffy ingredient choices (stevia, and SO MUCH fennel), this seems like the “safest” of the new blends. It’s not overly creative or ambitious, but it seems like a solid flavour pairing as well. So, I was hopeful – but reserved also because this collection has been a bust so far.

It’s not bad, honestly. The blend does have an AWFUL LOT of fennel in it – like more fennel than actual tea leaf. And I’m someone who really likes fennel so I can’t imagine what someone who dislikes fennel is gonna feel when drinking this one. Despite that overload of fennel though, I didn’t find it overwhelming. Basically, the sip starts off with almost candy like pomegranate flavour. It’s similar/comparable to the pom’ in the summer collection’s Pom Diggity blend. Middle/body notes are more muddled pomegranate/apple notes with a touch of hibiscus like tartness and then a strong, sweet fennel/licorice finish. I expected more tartness to be perfectly honest; so I’m happy with what I got in that regard. Also, for a “cider” blend I expected more apple as well, and in that regard I do feel a bit let down.

Ultimately; I think this could have wound up being a much, MUCH bigger disaster with some of the ingredients and proportions of ingredients in the blend – but I found it better than both Carrot Cupcake and Blueberry Muffin so we’re moving in the right direction with the rest of this collection. This is really rich and sweet so ere on the side of less leaf, though. I think I used 2 tsp for my 16 oz. mug, and in the future I’d want to try 1 1/2 tsp of leaf instead to cut down on some of the fennel and built up pomegranate notes.

But not bad.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT2_F-1esPk&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=6

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78

Sipdown (133)!

Hmm, I could maybe see myself buying this again…

Finished it off last night while I was bingeing some Netflix – they just put all of season two of How To Get Away With Murder on Netflix so of course I watched all fifteen episodes in one day. Honestly, once I started I just could NOT stop watching. Many cups of tea were enjoyed in between and during episodes.

This was good; vegetal with specifically buttered artichoke tasting notes and then a light peachy fruity undertone and whisps of smoke. If nothing else, it makes me more interested in trying a higher quality Mao Feng now that I’m done with this one.

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76
drank Malawi Twist Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
529 tasting notes

Made a pot of this to go with the Thai green curry I made for dinner. Overall I would describe this tea as . . . inoffensive. It has a mild flavor, just grassy enough to distinguish it from a straight black. Not terrible. Not in any way memorable.

Preparation
3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Fairly smooth on entry, with light malt and a mild fruitiness at the forefront. Faint notes of muscatel and wood are accompanied by slight astringency in the finish. This tea has delicate flavors and wasn’t as bold as expected.

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86
drank Citron Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
3837 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

So, I think DT has actually been carrying this one for all three+ years I’ve been really into tea, but to be perfectly honest I’d never really considered even trying it up until last week when the associate pulled the tin down for someone else to smell and I caught a whiff…

Funny story about them pulling the tin down; the lid was so warped that it took like two solid minutes for him to pry it off and then like another three minutes after measuring the leaf out to jam the fucker back on. Apparently it’s the acidity of this blend that causes that which is something I’d never even thought about; but if that’s true it’s a little freaky to think it has that much effect on the material used in the big wall tins.

This was good; I actually think it had a really, really lovely balance between the natural flavours of the oolong and then the added ingredients. And, it was a balance I honestly wasn’t expecting so it was even more appreciated. The base itself was nice and vegetal/grassy with slight buttery undertones and then a really pleasant floral, almost lily like, quality that seemed to blossom up from a subtle background note alongside the added jasmine in the blend until it was about as prominent as the citrus in the blend. I definitely have a preference for darker roasted oolongs, but these qualities in greener oolong are all ones I really appreciate.

The added flavours were interesting in how the interacted with the natural notes. I’d say at the top of each sip was the bright, brilliant citrus notes: a mix of lemonade and freshly squeezed, unsweetened orange juice. By some miracle this manages to be a blend with an impactful, full bodied flavour but that still feels really nuanced and delicate and these fruit notes are the best example of that. Alongside that brilliant fruity note was the vegetal/grassy combination of flavours from the base, and personally I think the almost ’sharp; quality of those notes really well suited the acidity of the citrus.

The mid sip and bottom of the sip was more where the floral notes rested; a combination of lily and soft, natural tasting jasmine. Starting off as a very subtle background flavor both of these notes rose to a more developed floral note in the aftertaste that lingered lightly and pleasantly.

Personally, I REALLY liked this blend. It’s the best offering I’ve had from DAVIDsTEA in recent memory – and I look forward to playing around with the rest of the small sample I picked up. If nothing else, it’s just a shame that I waited three years to try it.

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91
drank Crème Brulee by Bayswater Tea Co.
2810 tasting notes

So I started my “job” on Monday (quotes because I am not getting paid but rather it is placement that is part of my school program that is costing me $15/day for parking) and my life has basically been waking up almost 3 hours early to sit in traffic for what feels like forever to then nap in the parking garage, go to work, come home in yet another traffic-filled drive, eat dinner, and turn in. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Honestly, if not for my 365 days of tea thing on instagram, I probably wouldn’t have even looked at the kettle this week. Though I guess this is life. Plus, it comes with a cool title which makes it sound like I am legit – “Immigration Case Analyst”.

Work is fairly interesting at least though I am not loving my “mentor” who is pretty fake and seems far more interested in gossiping with the other girls in the area than she is in teaching. Anytime she does give me something to do, it is clearly something just to keep me busy and out of her hair, like filing or organizing the file folders on the computer. Luckily, she tends to pawn me off and have me shadow another girl in the office who is actually teaching my stuff, or if she has nothing new to teach me, she arranges for me to go with someone else who can show me something they are doing. So I am not loving it but it could be worse.

Anyways, back to the tea…I made this as a smoothie and when I took my first sip the first thought that came to mind was that this was a deeper flavor than normal. Weird description but its what came to mind. It is like the difference between milk chocolate and dark. This isn’t overly sweet but still has a great dessert flavor. It is sort of nutty but this definitely captures creme brulee. Add to that the banana element from the smoothie and its like bananas foster with a dark chocolate drizzle. Rich and satisfying while also being a little bit sophisticated.

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drank Bokel Assam Second Flush by Vahdam
761 tasting notes

Need to do a side by side with some of their other Assams but this one so far is not a standout. The leaves smell of a strong sweet malt but the flavor is somewhat lackluster. From this first cup, I get a moderate, average black tea. Need to try again. No rating.

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95

Yum. The dry leaf smells like molasses and hay. The flavor is indeed plummy as their description says. A good heft of malt. A very classic taste. I can’t remember any more what the full leaf Nahorhabi from Harney tasted like but being from the same estate, I can’t imagine it was too different and I loved that one as well. Might have been a different flush, though, no idea and Harney only offers broken leaf now, which I don’t care for as much.

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90

Finally got to trying this Dark Matter sample – it was highly recommended by a few teafriends. I used 5g in a 100mL gaiwan with 200F water. The dry leaf smelled roasty and a bit fruity. After a rinse, the leaf smelled much more strongly of the roast along with hints of grape – the aroma reminded me a bit of a really roasted Dancong oolong.

From the first steep, I knew this was a quality Wuyi. Very thick and sweet right off the bat, with earthy, roasty notes that reminded me of coffee, and a dry mineral finish. It thickened up even more as I kept going, with the coffee flavors leaving and the mineral notes becoming more sweet. Starting from the fourth steep, I got a bit of a metallic flavor on the tip of my tongue. It wasn’t unpleasant. The tea continued much the same way throughout around 12 infusions. The metallic flavor did fade in the later steeps, as did the texture.

This tea was rather simple, but was quite good. The texture and flavor were mostly consistent and definitely enjoyable throughout the session. Glad I finally got to trying this one, and I think I’ll need to try to get my hands on some more higher quality Wuyi oolongs.

Flavors: Coffee, Metallic, Mineral, Roasted, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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I was really looking forward to a good cup of English Breakfast. I LOVE Ceylon Tea. In fact, I had already had a few good cups earlier in the day. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything that good about this one.

The dry leaf didn’t have any interesting aromas. Broken Orange Pekoe, I suppose. You can see tea stem and leaf in the finished product. It’s uniform.

Cup brewed up to a darker red colour. No interesting brewed aromas. I noticed a little bit of dryness on the tongue.

I even brewed the second brewings both together to try to increase the strength of the brew. Still nothing amazing. Sheesh.

The thing that galls me about it is that Ceylon teas are not expensive, so they should be able to provide a flavourful cup. Blending should make that easier too.

.

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85

Hurray, my order from A Quarter to Tea came in! Everything smells delicious :) I ordered a very small sample of this to try, mainly because I was tempted by the description of Sansa’s lemon cakes.

For some reason my first sip of this tasted like bitter lemon rind, but when the tea cooled just a little, the flavors settled down and nothing was bitter at all. In fact, it’s an extremely mellow tea. The assam base is very smooth. The lemon is mild. I get a hint of honey and a hint of floral. I can smell the pastry/cake note pretty strongly, but when it comes to the flavor, it plays a background role.

I thought this was a very pleasant lemon tea, but not a distinctive one. It reminded me a lot of David’s lemon (though it smells a lot better than David’s). I’m really glad I got to try it though, A Quarter to Tea’s flavors come and go so quickly. I missed their Key Lime Jade and I’m still kicking myself.

MrQuackers

Wouldn’t you normally think of milk with assam? Lemon seems kinda weird.

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90
drank Pumpkin Chai by David's Tea
31 tasting notes

Now this is a FANTASTIC pumpkin chai. Wow. It was so much better than I imagined. Really, really pumpkiny — real pumpkin. The loose leaf is so colourful and autumnal. Unlike most chais it isn’t just black tea and spices — it is predominantly pumpkin!

I love all of Davids Teas packaging for this Pumpkin Chai with two different containers (50g in a pretty orange mini tin and the 100g collector’s tin).

I bought 100g but I can easily see myself coming back for more over the next few months!

Flavors: Pumpkin

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71

A great tea to drink when you want a caffeine kick without having to drink coffee. Decent flavor — moderately intense tangerine notes. I prefer Yogi’s raspberry energy tea over this one, but it’s still a good caffeinated tea.

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61
drank Nutty Granola Crunch by DAVIDsTEA
365 tasting notes

Tried this 2 ways: regular cup and a latte.

Regular cup: 1 perfect spoonful steeped 5min in 8oz of 200F water: tastes nutty/peanuty and a little sweet in the foretaste, but what follows is kinda watery. Not so good.

Latte: 4 perfect spoonfuls steeped 5min in 8oz of 200F water, mixed with hot, frothed 1% milk: The foretaste is the same, but something weird and a bit gross lingers in the aftertaste (artificial flavoring? apple?). I didn’t care for whatever the aftertaste was, so I couldn’t quite finish my latte.

In short this is not a repurchase for me. Glad I only bought a small amount and used it up.

Flavors: Nutty, Peanut, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
MrQuackers

They actually have real tea flavoured granola crunch cereal too. Lol

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88
drank 2015 Ta Go Raw Pu Erh by JalamTeas
187 tasting notes

From the Pu TTB round 5
Grassy and buttery with a thick, oily mouthfeel. Moderate bitterness. Slight honey sweetness and a hint of fruit in the later steeps

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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85
drank Dark Rose Tea by TeaSource
53 tasting notes

I bought this tea a few years ago, and mostly forgot about it. At the time, I had a pretty narrow idea about what tea is “supposed” to taste like, and this didn’t fit.

Now that my perspective has changed, I dug it out again. I’m glad I did.

1 cute little pressed heart in my 120mL gaiwan, with boiling water. 5 sec rinse, then started infusing at 5s.

The result is sweet, floral, and smooth. No discernible bitterness. The rose mostly comes through in the scent and the aftertaste.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Rose, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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drank Earl Grey K-cup by Bigelow
1596 tasting notes

Ack! Why did I even bother to try this? Ack, ack, ack.
Not good. The kind of Earl that makes your teeth squeak with how lousy it is.
I mean, I’ve tasted worse, but this is just so uninspired, so depressing. Not again!

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55

After a good 15 second rinse, I brewed this bag for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Honestly, I think the recommended 9-12 minutes’ steeping time is overkill; it’s not as though I am going to impart some new exciting flavor in that extra 5 to 8 minutes.

I think it was the rice that made that yeasty, corn chippy scent and flavor. I could kind of see how the smell was related to rice, but it just tended toward the side of dog feet smell. Even my coworker, sitting three feet away from me, commented on how this tea smelled like dog feet. It tasted much like it smelled: heavy on the ricey, yeasty flavor, but add in some wet wood flavor and just a hint of fishbone from the shou.

And yet, despite this disgusting description, I still drank the entire cup. I’m not sure what this says about me and my palate. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed this tea, but it was a certain sort of experience.

Blog Post: http://www.catlaittea.com/2016/08/26/review-rice-ripened-loose-pu-erh-pyramid-tea-bag/

Flavors: Bark, Rice, Wet Wood, Yeast

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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