New Tasting Notes

95

In a twist of fate that made me laugh, the latest round of sample provided to me by TeaVivre arrived yesterday, just after I placed our black friday order. Hopefully these will tide me over until that order comes in! On to the tea.

This tea.

This tea, folks. It’s so damn good. The leaves seemed to burst open in my infuser. I was so busy chatting with the wife this morning that I forgot to set a time and yet this tea forgave me. As it steeped, the kitchen began to smell like fresh, buttery vegetables. Man, I was already regretting not signing up for a Mama Earth (organic produce) delivery for this morning, and the yummy veggie smell of this tea only made it worse.

On the sip, at first it’s floral, but then it expands into a buttery, steamed kale deliciousness. Ashmanra put the kale idea into my head and I can’t help but agree. I stood at the kitchen counter just breathing in this tea as my poor wife was shuffling around me trying to get the trash to take it out. But I couldn’t help it, it smelled so dang good. I’ll have to make sure my tortoise doesn’t get a whiff, she loves kale.

Now, I did add sugar. I can’t help it, I sugar every tea I drink. However, I only used about half the sugar I usually do and it is just perfect.

Here comes the honest part. I will recommend this tea with my whole heart and I will love every sip until it is gone…but I will likely never buy this tea. My wife and I just don’t reach for straight teas, we’ve learned that over the years (and seen a lot of Verdant Teas go to waste because of it.) My wife will occasionally go for a straight oolong, so there is a small chance this could find its way into our cupboard, but it is doubtful. But you never know. She could try this tea and absolutely fall in love.

But this is an amazing tea, and if you enjoy straight oolongs, give this a go. You’ll be glad you did.

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60

This came as a sample with one of my Della Terra orders from a while back. I’m not sure why it languished, but it did. As with many languishing teas, I brought it to work knowing that my limited desk selection would end my procrastination. I’m not having a great time at work at the moment, and yesterday I finally made up my mind to leave. I’m going to use the weekend to take stock and apply for some jobs (I also have a PhD application in the works), so hopefully things will start looking up soon. In the meantime, I have tea to cheer me up.

Dry, this one smells gorgeous. Honey, fruit, and grain. It reminds me of some of the breakfast cereals I used to eat when I was younger. Sugar puffs, maybe? I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it also reminds me of Special K cereal/breakfast bars.

I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 5 minutes in boiling water, and the resulting liquor is a golden brown. The base here is blend of green honeybush and green rooibos – I’ve tried both plain previously, and I definitely prefer them flavoured! They do lack some of the woodiness of the red versions, though, so that’s a definite point in their favour.

The main flavour here is apple. It’s the baked apple flavour that Della Terra do so well, rather than their odder floral-apple. After the initial fruitiness, there’s an almost toasted nuttiness. I can accept it as Hazelnut, as per the ingredients, but it’s a little generic tasting if I’m honest. The final flavour is honey, and it adds a smooth, rich sweetness that rounds out the sip perfectly and brings the apple and nut flavours together. If I’m looking for a cereal bar in a cup, this is the tea I’ll turn to! My only complaint is that it’s quite a strong flavour, and by the end of the cup it’s almost a bit much for me. A smaller cup would no doubt help with that, and that’s how I’ll approach it in the future. A unique blend among the teas I own.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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78
drank Orzo by Lupicia
2526 tasting notes

Wow does this ever brew up dark, and taste like coffee. I shouldn’t be surprised though, because the other version of it that I’ve tried had a similar flavour. Although this is quite drinkable straight, since it’s not astringent like coffee, I think it would be much better made into a latte… so I may do that either with this mug, or with the re-steep. Glad this was a 3-way split, because I prefer the honey version of this I’ve had previously.

(Fast-forward about an hour, during which time I failed to actually post this note.)

Ended up adding some skim milk and maple syrup to this, and the result is super yum. It’s just so strongly flavoured, lattes make a lot of sense.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Frankenberry by 52teas
2526 tasting notes

Sipdown! 981.

Yummy creamy strawberry black. That is all.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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90
drank Silver Needle by Adagio Teas
10 tasting notes

fine white tea, but have to choose really good water to brew it

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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93

Just Fabulous

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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85
drank Gunpowder by Adagio Teas
10 tasting notes

Good quality gunpowder. Like how it’s curved

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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60
drank Kapha Ayurvedic by DAVIDsTEA
2526 tasting notes

I’m expecting not to like this one because apparently it has “pepper” flavour. We shall see. (Odds are low anyhow, since it’s an herbal blend with 989725353 zillion ingredients, all of which I hate. Haha.) Also, thanks to Janelle for letting me sample all these weird herbals I’d never buy otherwise!

Brewed up, the aroma is… minty? With a bit of weird, and maybe some cinnamon. (IDK what “weird” is. Herbally-weird-ingredient.) It actually reminds me a little of… uh…. that green from Verdant with all the coriander, that tastes like gingerbread… ah! Laoshan Apothecary Green. I had to look it up. And the flavour? Actually surprisingly, not bad. I can taste the fennel, both on the sip and as a lingering sweetness in the aftertaste, but it’s not so potent as to make me gaggy. And the rest really does remind me of that Verdant blend. I mean, I would never buy this over that one (especially since there is the possibility that this blend has lost some flavour, making it more palatable for me), but it’s surprisingly drinkable. Better than All The Raj, that’s for sure. I can feel a bit of heat in the background, now that I’ve had a few sips – seems like it’s something that builds. I can handle that; there’s no overt roasted pepper flavour, which I so detest.

Overall, shockingly not a hater of this tea. The fennel is actually at a great level here to provide throat-soothing, and the rest of the tea is reasonably pleasant.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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77
drank Passion by Tazo
10 tasting notes

Nothing special, but good. Flavored tea in bags.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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93

One of the best Earl Grey tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90
drank English Breakfast by Twinings
10 tasting notes

Perfect classic English Breakfast

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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100
drank Peppermint by Celestial Seasonings
20 tasting notes

With the colder weather coming, I’ve been in the mood for a mint tea. After trying Stash’s peppermint and feeling somewhat disappointed with the mildness of it, I decided to give this one a try. I’m a fan of Celestial Seasonings, so what could it hurt to try, right?

Upon opening the box, I was hit with the most wonderfully crisp, minty scent. I could barely wait to drink it! The taste of the tea was just as minty and cooling as it smelled. It was comforting and perfect for winter. As I sipped it, and even now, I can’t think of a bad thing to say about this tea. It’s really great, despite being a bagged grocery store tea.

If you’re looking for a strong, refreshing peppermint tea, definitely give this one a try! You won’t be disappointed.

Flavors: Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank Read My Lips by DAVIDsTEA
10 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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96
drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
10 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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89
drank Vanilla Chai by Ovation Teas
10 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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86
drank Passionfruit Oolong by Naivetea
10 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 7 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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98

Backlog from when I tried this in-store, and quite enjoyed it, and then couldn’t purchase any. Whine whine. So pear-y.

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80

Nuts! This tea has definitely lost flavour since it was first opened. Or it’s been a bit contaminated. Either way, it tastes kind of like LB lite right now, which is tasty enough, but not what I remember (I don’t know if I have a previous note on this.. hmmm.) Oh well.

ETA: Uh, looking at the other reviews (of which I OF COURSE don’t have one, which I’m sure is my lack of tealogging), it seems like it is actually supposed to taste chocolatey, like LB. So maybe it’s neither lost flavour nor contaminated, and I’m just confused :) Quite possible. I do wish I tasted more roastiness/oolong in here though, because it really does taste like LB.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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70

This is a decent jasmine tea for the price (I paid about $10 CAD for the 100g tin on well.ca). The green tea base is mild, and balances well with the jasmine flavour. I’m getting a bit of a soapy aftertaste occasionally, which I’m not thrilled with, but overall it’s totally drinkable.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80

This is a very nice fruity green tea; very smooth, not bitter or artificial tasting. The leaves were good for 3 steeps, with decreasing fruitiness but still a nice green tea flavour.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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88
drank Earl Grey by Verdant Tea
2526 tasting notes

And I guess I’m the second to review this one :) I can understand why it wouldn’t necessarily be someone’s first choice when ordering from Verdant (LB! LBCG! Oolong! Etc.) but given their immense success with genmaichas, I figured it could be an interesting twist on regular EG! Besides, I’m not a bergamot-hater.

The bergamot aroma from the packet is quite powerful, but you can pick out some creaminess as well (which is nice) – once steeped, the bergamot is a bit softer, and the base tea peeks out with some lovely soft chocolatey aromas. And the flavour! Definitely worth trying. Chocolatey, a strong punch of bergamot (yet it’s not overpowering), and a smooth finish to the sip. This is really quite good. It’s certainly not going to replace an EG cream for me (it’s softened by cream, but it’s not a main flavour), and the black tea probably isn’t punchy enough for those who like a strong morning EG, but it’s a really unique twist on it, and I can certainly see myself drinking it again. I suppose it’s kind of a chocolate EG, actually… I wonder if Verdant considered trying to make a Chocolate EG? That could actually be really delicious… Maybe I’ll add some cacao shells to my next infusion, if I remember.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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I had a wonderful day with my family, (4 adult kids, 3 grandkids, various significant O’s), with lots of delicious food. My last cup of tea today was this one, my favorite rooibos blend, an all natural combo of real roasted & dehydrated pumpkin (locally organically grown), pepita seeds, ginger & spices. It is delicious. It is made by a local company.
At this point I have to publicly apologize to Sil, because I still haven’t mailed her half of the order off. Sorry sister, I will hopefully get to the PO this week!

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75
drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1 tasting notes

I like this tea, it has a reach fragrance. There’s nothing like a cup of Bergamot tea on a cold day. Also it’s easy to find.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec 18 tsp 13 OZ / 384 ML

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