New Tasting Notes

50

Sipdown (134)!

Welp; this one obviously fills the seasonal need for one ridiculously heavy blend that goes through leaf like no one’s business…

I actually made this one at work for lunch because I had an infuser mug with me ‘cause I’m back to sleeping at my own house tonight (so I had to take home the little bit of tea stuff I brought with me). I bought a 10g sample – and the hot, Nordic Mug worth of tea I made today used the whole 10g sample. So even if this wound up being REALLY good tasting (spoiler: it didn’t) it’s just not a cost effective blend. 100g would be 10 cups!? Nope. And God forbid I was cold brewing… Goodbye tea leaf.

Not unlike Carrot Cupcake; this has a dry smell that doesn’t match the brewed taste. Dry, I personally think this one smelled the most promising of the fall teas – warm, and really buttery just like a good, fresh out of the over muffin! The blueberry wasn’t actually super present to me in the dry smell but there was a nice, softer fruity component. Also, maybe because of the butteryness, I felt like I got a strong smell of popcorn too. REALLY yummy aroma…

But, well, none of that is in the steeped flavour. So that sucks.

Brewed up, this is REALLY fruity. I’m definitely actually getting blueberry flavour now along with that trademark tartness from the hibiscus. I’m sorry, but hibiscus has NO PLACE in a blend that’s supposed to resemble anything even remotely cake like. And, muffins definitely fall under that category. It’s not unbearably tart, in fact the tartness melds together with the blueberry and apple pretty well but this is just another example of a fall blend this year which doesn’t convey what it was marketed as. Now, if this had perhaps been called something like “Blueberry Cider” or “Mulled Blueberry Wine” I think it would be easier to buy into the profile that’s being delivered.

I think I liked this as much as I liked Carrot Cupcake, which is to say it was adequate enough to finish the serving I had but I wont feel compelled enough to ever drink it again. Not bad; but not good or memorable.

Flavors: Apple, Berries, Berry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Hibiscus, Tart

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69
drank Black Cherry by DAVIDsTEA
3825 tasting notes

So, when you work in retail the holidays definitely have a different schedule than the rest of the world’s… when it comes to Halloween, in the retail world that kicks off in August. Ugh.

So at the store I work at; we’re doing Halloween set up this week. Basically, a third of the sales floor converts to Halloween stuff. We’ve already done take down last week so this week has just been receiving our Halloween shipment and getting it up. In order to do this, we’re working in two (voluntary, because this is all over time) crews: an evening crew and an overnight crew. I’m on the evening crew which runs from 5PM to 10PM after my normal shift of 7:30AM to 4PM – the overnight crew works from 9PM to 5AM. Instead of sleeping at my place, I’ve been staying at my mom’s because the commute to and from work is MUCH easier: if I was going back to my place I’d get home from work at midnight and then have to get up FOR work at 5:30, like usual. Nope – not doing that.

So last night I came ‘home’ from doing Halloween and my mom saw I was just exhausted from unpacking pallets of stuff and offered to make me a cup of tea. No one ever offers to make me the tea so how could I refuse!?

This is what she picked out: honestly, I don’t actually remember when this tea got released!? DT has been releasing so many teas recently that it’s just hard to keep up with them all but even still I just genuinely have no recollection of this one. It’s from her stash, not mine. Anywho, she made it with milk added which isn’t a choice I probably would have made myself but who am I to complain when someone else did all the work for me.

It was pretty good; I want to say it reminded me a lot of those Sour Cherry Blaster candies but the creaminess of the milk negates that just a little bit. Agh; milk just doesn’t have a place with this blend! I mean, creamy cherry is totally a thing but if you’re going for a creamy cherry flavour you definitely have to commit and this isn’t committed to that profile/geared towards that sort of flavour. The cherry notes were good though! Bright, just sweet enough – a cross between realistic and candy. I don’t know; it’s kind of punchy? I’m looking at the ingredients list right now (which I didn’t have last night) and it’s got licorice root in it – I’m impressed though ‘cause I definitely didn’t taste it. So, you know, it was good for how it was prepared for me…

It’s still hurting my brain that I can’t remember when it was released…

Flavors: Candy, Cherry, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Sweet

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84

Hoping to get some restful sleep tonight, this tea is instantly soothing and calming. It tastes like…I dunno like an herbal, sweet and lightly floral and homey and zzzzzzzz. Definitely tastes like chamomile, but that’s an excellent thing tonight.

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50
drank Carrot Cupcake by DAVIDsTEA
3825 tasting notes

Autumn tea tiiimmeeee!!!

…and with the change in season comes reappearing tea friends here on Steepster! Yay!

So DAVIDsTEA just released this year’s fall collection – honestly, none of the new teas really had me interested but you know I have to try them all anyway ‘cause it’s just what I do. I did have a problem that I haven’t really had yet (this year, at least) though: that every single infuser mug they released this collection appealed to me and was one I wanted to own. That’s just not reasonable though – both from a financial stand point and a shelf space stand point. So I got one of the pretty, pretty mugs.

This one: https://www.davidstea.com/ca_en/wood-bear-nordic-mug

But anyway, this tea…

First reviews haven’t been super favorable. When I went to look at fall stuff in store I was kind of undecided whether or not I’d grab samples of this and Nutty Granola Crunch because reviews have been so mixed. And even though I actually really liked the dry smell of this one I didn’t pick up a sample because when I was talking to the sales associate she said the whole store/staff really disliked this one: there are only two blends I’ve seen associates talk so openly about disliking (Elderflower Spritz and Choconut Oolong) so I definitely made serious note of her honesty. I still needed to try it though; so I got it iced to go in order to satisfy that bit of curiosity.

So – I definitely don’t think I disliked it as much as my tea twin VariaTEA. My biggest problem wasn’t so much that it tastes BAD: I just really don’t think that it works as a carrot cupcake flavour. MAYBE if they had called it “Spiced Carrot” or something like that? There’s just really NO cake like component to the tea other than possibly the licoricey/cloying sweet finish. And I say that only because I wonder if the reason for such a sweet finish like that was to possibly replicate the cream cheese frosting/‘icing’ on the top of this “cupcake”. Even if that was the intent, however, it’s not successful and I think that licorice flavour greatly detracts from the overall cup.

What did work for me was the carrot notes themselves which I think came through pretty well. It is always just a tiny bit weird to be tasting vegetables in flavoured tea (the distinction there is important; I’m not talking vegetal notes in base tea/pure teas) but carrots have a great natural sweetness to them so the flavour works here. And, I think the pairing of cinnamon and ginger notes complimented the carrot and weren’t horribly offensive. It definitely strengthens this as a fall blend.

So overall: I’d call this fairly average/adequate at best since there were components that worked and ones that greatly didn’t. Bottom line though – I don’t think DAVIDsTEA conveyed the flavour profile they intended though, and this works more as a Spiced Carrot blend rather than a creamy, “cupcake”. Butiki and Della Terra both had more accurate Carrot “cake” blends that I found better.

EDIT: Carrot is one of those words that the more you see it the more it really, REALLY doesn’t start to look like a word anymore…

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72
drank Nutty Granola Crunch by DAVIDsTEA
2808 tasting notes

This smelled like granola. It was simultaneously impressive and weird because this was completely accurate, in scent, at least.

In taste, the granola flavor transfers over as well. It’s like granola but with melted peanut butter on it. Alas, there is also an underlying sweetness creeping around under everything else that really detracts from the whole thing. Some experimenting is needed and this isn’t my favorite tea but it captures the flavor you’d expect from the name so that is a good start.

On another note, today I discovered mold in my push button iced tea tumbler. It was not a fun discovery especially because when I went to clean it the little rubber stopper fell down the drain and disappeared forever. I took it as a sign to say goodbye :(.

Also, why does this have the pic for the Pom Cider tea?

Roswell Strange

Hmm; interesting. This is the blend that I personally found least appealing; in concept and dry smell. Still haven’t tried it yet. Sorry the hear about your tumbler, though. I hate when teaware bites the dust.

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99

Omnomnom. This made for a full-flavored and tasty smoothie. It tasted like a cookie in a cup and it was great. Thank you, OMGsrsly

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Solid balance between wild herbaceous and wet dry wheat at the same time. Nice 8g brew in my massive 200ml gaiwan. Strong caffeine punch for sure.

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97

I couldn’t decide which oolong I was craving but when I saw this one, the decision was made for me. Need another beloved tea to calm me down after another breakdown that made no sense. Breaking down into tears over not having any soy meat in the freezer? Yep, I’m not ready to rejoin the world just yet. But hopefully this fruity, oolong-y cup of perfection will help. I genuinely love this tea and recommend it to everyone.

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Soft tannins and citric fruitiness with a somewhat candied note that transitions to lemon blossom in the aftertaste. This tea has a dryness to it, but also packs quite a punch of flavor.

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I received this tea as a sample from Joshua – thank you!

The dry leaves smell a lot like the Chinese dried plums that I loved to eat when I was little. I followed the directions and used 2 tsp/cup in boiling water for 3 minutes. The resulting brew was a pretty amber color. I’m not sure if I used too many leaves or accidentally oversteeped, but it was quite bitter. However, I do also get a maltiness and a fruitiness. It does pack a punch, so I think it’s great as an early morning wake-up tea! I rarely take my tea with milk, but I think this tea would be good with some milk.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Between friends and I, 40g of this was drank in only two days… only two days, one type of tea, 40g… yeah.

This stuff has the complex yunomi that a Japanese green tea has, BUT it also has that creamy aspect that a Jin Xuan has while carrying some of that green oolong taste with the texture.

This is some seriously good stuff. Requires a bit a concentration to realize there is more than a texture, but an actual taste as well. I used a gaiwan, I used a teapot, I used a kyusu. Each time it was lovely

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100

After some tummy trouble, this is a lifesaver. When it’s in my new camper bear color changing mug, it works even better! My stomach is calming with every sip and I am extremely grateful for this blend.

Hopefully I can keep the kitten out of my mug…

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Stale sticks.

Now I don’t believe all of Upton Teas are stale like, but I am aware of the comments that have been made and I’m sure it comes about by having such HUGE stock of these basic teas that they source that may or may not move as quick as they should to ensure freshness

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drank Black Gold by Mandala Tea
912 tasting notes

While the notes of this tea are already accurate, I’d like to weigh in as I have drank this 3x at work in the morning.

The term bitter and chocolate does apply, but not in the sense of a bittersweet dark chocolate. This is more like the astringency of an Assam tea but a chocolate taste you would get from some leftover chocolate powder used in a mixture that happened to be on your fingertips. Not that strong, quite dry, but noticeable. I prefer my golden needle dianhong to this due to the bitterness that makes it hard to enjoy fruits right away in the morning.

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Someone who works at Harney in NY sent me some of this and I have to say that it’s not what I thought… I was thinking cassia was the cousin of cinnamon and what not…

Anyways, I brewed this up at 7g and it was delightful. The strong sour fruit came through like a fresh plum with some roast to it. Clearly this is not your basic Wuyi oolong; as you can tell from the lighter roast that brings forward more roast to the nose and then the tail leaves this fruity aftertaste which last for a good minute.

This is something that I quite enjoyed and now I must find more like this for the autumn season before it’s full on roast time for winter.

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90

This is tasty stuff, though I’m not getting much french toast. It’s more of a vanilla dessert. I wonder how it compares in the different batches.

Just a thought: AQ2T did really well with the maple syrup taste in their Syrupy Pumpkin Pancake blend. If you guys ever wanted to collaborate, I’d recommend adding some of their syrup flavoring to this, and I think it would be perfect.

Either way, I’ll be buying some more of this when it’s gone.

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95

BRAVO, SIR. Bravo. 205 degrees for 3 minutes and I got a chocolate treat.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
7 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Apricot, Citrus, Floral

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Today’s random steepin is a food pairing of Humpty Dumpty Cheese Sticks (Puffs really) with Japanese House matcha.

The matcha was prepared with 120 mL of water and one teaspoon of powder.

I choose the cheese puffs based on how long the cheese flavour lasted on my tongue. You get a real salty flavour.
Reading the ingredient list there is real cheese and also msg which should be interesting with matcha. The idea is to alternate tea and snack as opposed to drinking them together. This makes the matcha super refreshing, but also shortens how long it lasts in taste. You will also feel like you want two bowls instead of one. It goes quickly.

I also like to add sugar to my matcha. I got the acidity of the green tea for sure. The lovely greeness contrasts the orange colour of a cheese puff. There was definitely some good flavour in the matcha, and I do believe the contrast brought it out.

This matcha has been sitting for about a month since it was opened, and I think it may be moving towards a vegetable flavour.

Next time I might try a spicy Dorito. :)

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70

GCTTB Round 5 V2.0

Opening the sample package releases a burst of caramel scent. I used ~1.5 tbsp with 500ml water steeped for 5 minutes . From what I can tell this is a medium roast oolong with caramel cubes added and white (possibly sugar) butterflies. The smell reminds me of the caramel matcha I tried from red leaf tea but the taste is obviously quite different.

The caramel and oolong notes compliment each other nicely for a mild mannered slightly sweet cup. If one pays attention it’s possible to pick out the base oolong – I would actually recommend brewing this one for 3 minutes instead of 5 as I got some astringency from it. As it cools the oolong comes forward a bit more but I could still taste the subtle caramel addition.

Very decent blend! I’d be curious to see how the fresh version compares

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My second review for this tea. I had some tea bags left over from a 1/2 price box, so I decided to go all in and bet 4 bags on a cup of iced tea. I did this because I thought there were some different flavours that were clashing in the hot brew.

The cup aroma was much closer to that of the tea bag. The colour of the brew was strange yellow. Almost fluorescent.

It did seem to unify the flavours. I’m kind of reminded of one of those fruity blends that uses orange peel. But this was in no way citrusy.

Definitely raspberry jam on the nose and pomegranate. I buy the seduction argument for aroma. Unfortunately, you are going to be walking around with that aroma for some time afterwards.

Brewed for 3 minutes.

Preparation
12 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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88

This tea is from Hawaii!! By way of LP’s Regional Group Buy (Thanks LP!!!!), which is really awesome by the way.

So I’m not sure what the problem is, but I was drinking this tea today and it was trying to fool me into thinking that green teas are my favorite. Normally I prefer darker teas (blacks, pu-erhs, chais, roasted oolongs) and even when I do drink greens I prefer the sweet floral notes that go well with honey, but this tea’s vegetal, savory notes are making me super happy today for some reason instead of, well, the opposite. I guess it’s just a really good tea? Or else I’m just starting to enjoy the savory flavors in green tea, in which case I’m going to need a lot more green teas than I have, lol.

The leaves are great for at least three steepings (so far). The only thing I’ve noticed that detracted from the experience is a teeny bit of bitterness, which may be the result of my imprecise steeping temperature (I’ve just been boiling the water and then letting it rest for a couple of minutes before steeping. I really need to start using a candy thermometer or something).

Preparation
3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

OH YUM!
Pondering a FULL Review!
Keep an eye on http://sororiteasisters.com/
It’s been too long since my last Walnut Green
(Jennifer)

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