New Tasting Notes
A really complex and deep, oily, juicy, thick oolong. Really really enjoyable tea, I went through stages where it reminded me of dancong, of TGY, of dahongpao, it even started out similar to taiwanese black tea, so many desserty notes leading into fruity notes, leading into floral notes. Complex and delicious, grandtea kindly sent me this sample so I did a full review on my new blog:
I’m drinking this december 2016, so it’s a bit old, but it tastes nowhere near as good as the 2016, it’s less flavourful, similar to the 2016, more woody and just less of everything.
Drinkable, but a bit of a let down.
my review of the 2016 spring harvest:
The autumn version of this tea is delicious. Similar to regular laoshan green but nuttier and with fruity overtones. The nuttiness reminds me of oats and basmati rice. Sometimes I get a little chestnut or toasted rice type of flavor too. The liquor is a pale green color and has a green bean like taste. The mouthfeel is thick, buttery, and sweet. Steeped at lower temps, around <175 F, it’s sweet and fruity. Higher temps produce a more savory flavor profile.
A fine green tea typical of the Laoshan style though not as complex nor full flavored as the spring reserve bilochun was.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Green Beans
ARRAGHH, I hate when I have tasting notes written and then they disappear. Anyway. Day #3 and here we have a black tea with hints of orange, cranberry and hibiscus. I didn’t see much in the blend other than black tea, so I’m glad the hibiscus didn’t take over. Just hints of cranberry so I would have loved to have more cranberry elements and flavor here. This base was not as strong as the base for Chestnut from a couple days ago.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
I really miss having a chance to read everyone’s tasting notes! I just took a gander at the dashboard and saw a few Steepsterers that had been missing for a while had returned. That’s always good to see! Hope all of you are well!
Tea #2 – This was the tea for yesterday, but when I drink rooibos, I usually have a second steep the next night. So first steep was last night and second steep was tonight. Couldn’t write the review until now! This is a chai with a honeybush base – no black tea. The spices aren’t too spicy. But there is an odd flavor of bubblegum… not sure how! The cocoa nibs don’t offer much flavor here either. Maybe I should have used two teaspoons. Otherwise, I’m just happy to have another no-caff option, especially honeybush since I rarely see those. The second steep was left alone for a while, so it had much more flavor than the first. Yum. I think Angry Tea Room’s teas have been very unique so far! This isn’t even the only pumpkin no-caff tea from Angry.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // many minute steep
I started this sample pretty late in the evening. I’ve been drinking down some samples today; however, this session was the longest from the few sessions.
This tea has a darker color than most shengs I’ve had. Not a lot of bitterness. I tasted earthy-mint (with a touch of honey toward the first few steeps) notes throughout the session. I’m not aware of the total number of steeps, but this tea didn’t give even after I stopped after 3 hours….I might be willing to get a whole cake later down the road.
One more review ‘cause my queue is getting ridiculous, but then I think I better use the sleep because this is looking to be like the fifth day in a row where I’ve gotten less than five hours of sleep at night…
- Cold Brewed, and consumed at Job #2
- Shared it with a coworker who I know has an appreciation for straight teas
- She really liked the fruity notes; she described them as strawberry like
- Red Fruit undertones; don’t entirely agree with “strawberry” but it’s along those lines
- With a light, bright cream/honey top notes
- And body notes of lightly roasted nuts
- Very smooth, medium bodied “easy drinking” tea; good for thoughtless consumption
This is a queued tasting note.
So, I’ve got like 2 1/2 people left to get holiday presents for and all three of them are getting tea related things. The first is the lovely VariaTEA though to be perfectly honest I still don’t entirely know what I’m grabbing for her, the second is my Grandmother, and the 1/2 is my Secret Santa person from the Tea Chat group on Slack. The ‘1/2’ is ’cause I already bought 1/2 the gift on Black Friday, and I just have the second half to go now.
My grandma is going to be getting an infuser mug from DAVIDsTEA though ‘cause I got her tea samples and sachets last year just to test the waters on weather she’d like/use them and since that was a success it’s time to invest in something more permanent! I’m also grabbing larger amounts of the samples I nabbed her that she liked the most, and then I wanted to get something new as well…
Last year all I grabbed was green tea options ‘cause that’s what she drinks the most of but it was suggested to me that she might like something caffeine free for before bed, and that’s where this tea comes in to play! My grandma loves all things lavender, so those were the options I started exploring as night time blends for her. I ruled of Jessie’s Tea because she’s not big into coconut and from what I remember the coconut notes in that one are pretty strong. So that leaves this one…
I decided the best way to feel out whether it’d work for her would be to actually drink it, so during one of my shifts last week I did just that. I was actually surprised by how much I liked it myself given that I’m not a fan of lavender and from what I could remember when I tried this one years back I wasn’t a fan then either. To be fair, the element I liked a lot about this one when I made it this week wasn’t the lavender though; it was the really juicy, sweet and ripe strawberry notes that came through so clearly.
I think this will work perfectly, though! It’s really refreshing, what with the cool spearmint finishing notes. Plus the sweet strawberry and apple-y quince flavours aren’t too sweet or tart to be really jarring for her. And of course, it does taste a lot like lavender so I think she’ll really appreciate it. I just have to remember to let her know this is a milk free tea because of the hibiscus…
So one more Christmas present figured out! I just have to go out and acquire it now…
Friendly reminder that I’m not currently numerically rating DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently seasonally employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.
Advent Calendar Day Three
Ooh, a tisane!? I don’t think I’ve actually had a Dammann Freres tisane before, so part of me was really excited to pop that cherry. The other part of me was all “Darn, caffeine free for my commute tea…” and somewhat bummed out. I’ve been F/T at both jobs this week, so I’m essentially running on fumes. Caffeine is pretty well my best friend in the whole world right now.
But this was SO good! The range of fruit flavours was just perfect because it featured several clear and distinct notes, but was harmonious and didn’t feel bogged down with ingredients either. I’d definitely have to agree with DF that rhubarb was the key note here; and what a note! I love rhubarb so much, so any chance to try a new tea with that lovely sweet and slightly tangy profile is bound to be a winner in my opinion. The linden in the blend was also quite strong. I think because I drink a lot of Bluebird Tea Company’s Lime + Cola guayusa blend I associate the flavour of linden with lime now because linden makes up such a large part of that blend. So mentally I kept flipping between tasting linden leaf and rhubarb and tasting rhubarb and lime. Funny how the brain works like that. Other fruity notes present were orange/fresh citrus, and a strawberry-esque note. I say “esque” because it wasn’t quite strawberry OR raspberry, but leaned a little more towards the former than the latter.
Medium bodied overall, and really fresh! Perhaps a little weird for a winter/holiday tea given the summery fruit notes – but delicious regardless. Only thing it’s missing, in my opinion, is the caffeine content.
Unfortunately I’m not impressed with this one. While I still love their green ginger offering, this one comes across plain with the mildest peach touch when piping hot, but nothing memorable. As it cools down, the peach becomes more present but not necessarily as a juicy treat. It’s not fake tasting, but it doesn’t do much, and with the coolness comes mild bitterness.
Overall it’s pretty boring, but at least the packaging is cute.
The smell of severely burnt popcorn wafts from the tin long before water even hits it. Once water hits it, it is even worse, how is that possible? Once one gets past the disgusting smell, the taste of the tea doesn’t exist. It simply had no flavour at all. Not good, not bad, just hot water.
Flavors: Burnt Food
Advent calendar day 3. When I first brewed this tea, it smelled instantly like badly burnt popcorn. Not a good start, especially after the previous 2 advent calendar days. I brewed it for exactly 3 minutes as not to oversteep and it turns out that was the right call. I can tell that this tea would get bitter very quickly. The first few sips were a light green tea flavour with some light notes of toasted rice. It wasn’t especially great, but it wasn’t terrible either. Then, as I worked my way through the cup, the aftertaste of burnt popcorn invaded my mouth and clung to my tongue. Even after chugging water and milk, I can’t get rid of it. Seriously, day 4 has to only be better, right?
Flavors: Burnt, Popcorn, Rice
I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much from this one — threw it in the cart on a whim as I was picking up some lapsang souchong. Sounded like a nice, one-note, caffeine-free tisane to sip in the evenings — how interesting could it really be?
I threw 4 tsp in my 450ml Hario glass teapot, which ended up being a very good idea, because the color development was incredible. Pouring boiling water over the flowers yielded a ridiculously bright blue-green; after 5 minutes, it had turned into a grayish purple; after 10 minutes, it was a mix of purple, gray, and gold that could honestly be the most beautiful color I’ve ever seen. I decided to leave the lavender in the pot for the whole session, which lasted about half an hour, and it held that color the whole time.
It smelled, unsurprisingly, like lavender. Sipping it, this one had a medium-thin body that’s a perfect match for the flavor profile. It was floral, of course, but beyond that there was a gentle sweetness and notes of sea salt, spice, and pineapple. The finish was crisp, cool, and lightly drying. The flavors were light but present after 5 minutes, and a bit more assertive after 10, but never got overwhelming or bitter, even after ~30 minutes. Toward the end of the pot there was a fair bit of gritty sediment, in spite of the super-fine Hario filter; I’ll probably toss that last bit in the future.
This is a really beautiful tisane that will have a permanent spot in my roster.
Flavors: Floral, Mint, Pineapple, Salt, Spices
Second day of the Advent Calander. Coffee Tea? YES. Get in my face quickly.
Once steeped the coffee element is a lot more subtle then I’d expected it to be. I’ve only had Yerba Mate once or twice, and a good while ago so I didn’t know what kind of flavor I’d get there. I enjoyed the flavor over all quite a bit, and so did my husband who rarely agrees with me on anything when it comes to tea.
The one thing I will say, I’ve heard Yerba Mate is energizing and I got none of that from this tea. I drank it in the evening and it did nothing to give me a refresh. In fact I dozed off halfway through the glass, finished it upon waking up, and went straight to sleep.
The first day of the Advent Calander I bought myself while in Toronto. Gotta say, its a good starting point. I’m a fan of Peppermint, so this is right up my alley. The mint is subtle though, not overwhelming like some I’ve had. I’d definitly drink this again, and may order it if it comes back in stock.
Flavors: Chocolate, Mint
Third day of the advent calander
I…don’t like Genmaicha as a general rule, so I’m not a good judge of this. That said, I don’t dislike it as much as I’ve disliked some others. I wouldn’t buy a bag of it though.
Flavors: Green, Rice, Roasted, Vegetal
As I’m pulling out Christmas decorations, I’m sipping down some of my oolong samples from my tea friend.
This tea is also dark and a little toasty, which is a nice warming flavor for a winter night. There’s a light floral flavor that, when combined with the roast, kind of tastes like roasted flowers. It works.
What I didn’t care for in this tea was the fruit element. The site says it’s lychee. I wouldn’t know, having never tried lychee. To me it’s that wild kind of funk that is translated by my brain as chemical. It’s tolerable, but not my favorite flavor.