Featured & New Tasting Notes

drank Chocolate and Mint by Teapigs
598 tasting notes

Sipdown!

I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I have never done an advent calendar. BUT. This year, Christmas Eve is also the first night of Hannukah. And I love Hannukah. And countdowns are fun. SO. I have spent the past month getting a bunch of teas to sip-downable levels so I could DIY a Hannukah countdown sipdown bonanza. As an added treat, I picked up a chocolate advent calendar from Trader Joe’s so I could have my own little tea and chocolate ritual each evening. Naturally, I had to start the event by doubling down on the chocolate with this tea.

This reminds me strongly of Andes chocolate mints. It’s just a clean, minty, creamy, chocolate brew. Yummy hot, terrible cold. Would happily drink again.

Fjellrev

You know, come to think of it, I haven’t had much luck with chocolate mint teas cold. They all seem to go wonky.

Kaylee

Hmm. I have some thin mints tea that I could experiment with. I think most chocolate teas are just better hot though.

Fjellrev

Yeah, it seems like it’s the chocolate that doesn’t translate well in cold tea. Too bad since chocolate mint works so well in ice cream and the like.

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86

thanks again for letting me try thes dexter. so much fun getting to try new things :) enjoyed this one sometime between today and 3 days ago hahaha

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drank Jumpy Monkey by DAVIDsTEA
2201 tasting notes

Day 2 of the DavidsTea calendar! I like this more than most of the other reviewers did. I am not a coffee drinker but I like mild coffee flavor if the bitterness can be curtailed. And this has a lot going on.

I taste the coffee flavor, I taste sweetness, and somehow there is a little hint of mint-like brightness. Overall, it is smooth and delicious. This seems like a great tea for sipping as you read a book quietly by yourself. This is one I may repurchase for just such an occasion.

Thank you, SuperAnna!

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70
drank Snow Day by DAVIDsTEA
342 tasting notes

Day One in my DAVID’s Tea Advent Calendar. This is the first year I’ve ever managed to snare one before they were gone! You can imagine how pleased I am to be able to open the first door.

So many people have given this tea a low rating that I was almost afraid to try it. It’s not as bad as I expected it to be. Nothing I’ll rush out and buy 50 grams of, but certainly drinkable. My first few sips were sort of meh. But the mint began to grow on me. It borders on toothpaste-ish, but the creamy chocolate helps mellow that out. I may have under leafed it, which is probably good.

I’m glad to have had a chance to try this one but I’m glad I don’t have a lot of it to finish off. :)

Flavors: Mint

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

I like this one. In small doses.

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93
drank Pecan Pie by Dammann Freres
2184 tasting notes

I bought this tea a while ago, but I never wrote a review for it. It is the first tea in my Dammann advent calendar this year, though, so it seemed like a good time to do it.

This is pecan pie, but it’s really more a melange of nut pie. It smells a lot like almonds and hazelnut, and a bunch of other general nuttiness. I like this one better than the standard almond one because I think the other nuts give it depth. There is maybe a hint of custardy flavor, but it’s mostly all nuts all the time. Pretty tasty all in all.

Flavors: Almond, Hazelnut, Pecan

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Welcome back!

Roswell Strange

Yay advent calendar buddies!

Dinosara

I can’t resist the advent calendar!

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97

Oh my gosh, this tea! I can’t believe there aren’t more blackberry pu-erh blends, because it is a wonderful combination. The blackberry is perfectly balanced with the dark pu-erh. It’s even the perfect ripe pu-erh flavor to pair with the blackberry. Awesomely balanced! The pu-erh is very dark but has none of the unpleasant pu-erh qualities. I’m not tasting much from the vanilla or the rose petals but the blackberry is good enough for me. I think this will become a pu-erh staple for me, especially if the flavor really lasts.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min steep

greenteafairy

You’re making me wish I’d gotten some of this one! I kept going back and forth on it but ultimately decided to pass because I’m not that much of a pu-erh drinker. Next time!

tea-sipper

It’s a very pleasant pu-erh even for those who don’t normally love it.

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80

This tea is a bit floral, a little bit buttery and a faint vanilla note to it. I am drinking from a cup I got from TeaAve. Do some of you remember getting those free tea samples with the free cup, taster cup, & tray? It seems everytime I drink a tea from this cup I get vanilla notes. Is it the cup? I don’t know but I was just wondering. Is it even possible for a cup to give vanilla notes to tea? Maybe it’s just that every tea I’ve had in it has vanilla notes.

Evol Ving Ness

I do like the concept of a vanilla-making cup though. (If it is a good vanilla, of course.)

Ubacat I always seem to get good vanilla notes out of this one. LOL

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87

I have been so obsessed with 52Teas lately. The concept of a new blend every week is so tempting! Also, they sent me another freebie in my order?? A full sized Gingerbread Chai! I don’t know what I did, but I’m grateful!

I should start this review with a disclaimer that I’m sick with a cold and my tasting ability is somewhat off.

First of all, I’m really impressed by the big, whole raspberries in this. Yum! I felt bad tossing them out with the leaves. Maybe next time I’ll give one a nibble. The aroma is also lovely, like a fruity, raspberry dessert. Or raspberry candy.

I know there are more aspects to this tea besides lush berry, but it’s kind of all I can taste. There is a mild note of cocoa, yes. It’s mostly in the exhale and aftertaste. I’m not getting the custard notes others have mentioned. But they might be there?

Will add steeping details later as I’m on mobile and the sliders are not wanting to cooperate.

Flavors: Berries, Berry, Cocoa, Fruity, Raspberry

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Old Whitey by White 2 Tea
998 tasting notes

This one is surprising me a little, but I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  It says 2016 so that means it’s not an aged white.  Leaves are completely different from a moonlight. 
It doesn’t have the old book, library thing that great aged whites have.  It doesn’t have the super sweet honey apricot thing that great moonlights have.  So it’s not really like either of those.  So what is it…..
It’s fantastic is what it is.  Light fruity juicy hint of hay (but in a fresh summer way).  It’s absolutely beautiful.  I’m going to steep it a little hotter next time and see if I can coax out some honey.  If not is still amazing the way it is.  Thanks so much Caile for sharing.  
 https://www.instagram.com/p/BNdFGwwArFq/

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79

I guess i forgot to make a note on this one the last few times i had it. This is another from dexter and is a pretty decent yunnan black. It’s malty, strong and smooth. pretty tasty!

Dexter

I find it interesting that you did better with the Red Blossom Teas than the ones from Imperial Tea Court. :)

Sil

yeah they’re all tasty though to be fair… :) i apparently like yunnan blacks :)

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93

Thanks SO much Zennenn for all the work you put into the group order and thank you to everyone who split teas. This is enabling me to try so many of the DF blends. Though I’ve been sipping teas for years, DF is pretty much new to me. I wanted to try this one first, as it was the blend I wanted most. It was also a little pricier than most of the other blends I bought. Luckily, it is as delicious as I expected. A lovely bergamot over a blend of assam and yunnan teas. I love the briskness from the assam but would have loved more yunnan. I was hoping it would have been one of those lighter, golden Yunnans to better balance the strength of the assam but I suppose I could always add some light yunnan of my own! The Earl flavor was perfect in the first cup (note to self: steep it this way next time) but I think I should have waited a little while after boiling to brew the second cup. I’m happy with this one!
Steep #1 // heaping teaspoon for a full mug// 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

greenteafairy

This one sounds so good! I was tempted to go in for 25g, but the price was a little off-putting given that I have a bunch of (slightly) more affordable EG favorites lined up already.

tea-sipper

Yes, I was a little hesitant about this one too, but it turns out I enjoy it, so I don’t regret buying it. :D

Zennenn

This one is really yummy!

tea-sipper

I’m glad you like it too, Zennenn. :D

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80

Uh oh. I woke up with that slightly sore throat that indicates post-nasal drip. Drat, I’m getting the illness that the boyfriend had last week!
Grumble.
So I’m packing tea today. I’ve got tons of the stuff, to get me through this working day, and then when I get home, I will have even more, probably with some honey while curled up under a blanket.
Its a busy week. I gotta get it under control. And tea is the only home remedy I really know.

Evol Ving Ness

Hope this passes quickly and easily.

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89
drank Silver Himalaya by Mariage Frères
7950 tasting notes

love this tea. Nothing else to say…sick and just trying to stay warm, and be ready to go tomorrow.

Nattie

Feel better!

Evol Ving Ness

Aww, Sil, hope you wake up feeling as spry and frisky as always.

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Friends, it is time for a change, specifically a hair change. Yesterday was root day (aka the day I hide it from the world that I am naturally a blonde) and I realized I needed to touch up my blue tips. Sadly I also realized I was out of blue dye, so I thought…why not change things up a bit? I went to the store to get bleach and some purple and later today I will have purple tips instead of blue. Maybe. Last time I went purple it was not the best choice, but I think since it will be the tips rather than my whole head it will look pretty cool.

Today I am taking a break from my usual gongfoolery to try an Earl Grey variant from CuriosiTea, Lady Earl White Tea. A Blend of Bai Mu Dan, Bergamot Oil. Rose Petals and Lavender. I like my Earls with lavender, I love roses, and am quite fond of Bai Mu Dan so I thought this would be a take on an Earl I like…since usually, I am not a fan of straight up Earl Greys. The aroma of the leaves is quite potent, not really getting much of the white tea, roses, or lavender, just a small explosion of bergamot…this made Ben happy because he loves his bergamot super strong. After this initial citrus burst, undertones of roses pop up, though they are faint next to the powerhouse that is the bergamot.

Into the steeping apparatus the leaves and petals go for their soak, the aroma of bergamot pretty quickly escapes the steeper and wafts around my desk like an orange wave, it is very refreshing. There are notes of roses and wet have in the wet leaves, along with bergamot of course, though the promised lavender has not popped up quite yet. The liquid is a double blend of roses and bergamot with a slight underlying sweetness of honey from the white tea.

Well, if tasting this tea were a battle (I have been reading about European history in the 10-1200s and there are a lot of battles, it is on my mind) I would say hands down the bergamot wins. It is very decisive, I did not really taste anything else until the aftertaste of gentle roses and very distant lavender. Sadly I do not really taste the white tea base, it is totally overshadowed by the bergamot, which is a little sad since I think these flavors together could work well if it were toned down just a bit, Ben, who is well known for being Der Erlkonig felt the same way, really liked the strength of the bergamot but wish the base was stronger or the bergamot were weaker so that the base stood out more. I did give this to my housemate who I am corrupting into the ways of fine loose leaf tea and who was craving an Earl and she liked it, so I am perfectly willing to say this would be a fine introductory tea and that Ben and I are just too picky after all these years!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/11/curiositea-lady-earl-white-tea-tea.html

Rasseru

maybe just blending it with a quarter standard bai mu dan would work

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96
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
1768 tasting notes

And Boston has taken the lead as most logged tea in my cupboard, squeaking past Tower of London. Harney and Sons knows how to treat me right.
I finished Nanowrimo yesterday! 50k words, all done. Of course, its a terrible draft, but that’s what the first draft is for.
I had time to brew a pot of this in the morning, and it wa just lovely. Exactly what I wanted. Autumnal, rich, layered, crisp. Ahhh. Contented sighing sounds!

Roswell Strange

Congrats! Draft or not, that’s a great feat!

Rosehips

Thank you!

gmathis

A quote my writing buddies and I bat back and forth: “Write something, even if it’s stupid. You can always edit stupid.” :)

gmathis

Comma in the second sentence optional!

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76

GCTTB

Last night, I lollygagged on the Dammann Freres site, filling my cart up with all sorts of deliciousness. Two hundred dollars worth of deliciousness to be exact. I have neither the money nor the space for more tea. That rarely deters me.

But this time, I closed the window and patted myself on the shoulder. So yay!

Black Friday fever is a wicked thing.

Yup, this tea is a surprise. With a name like Government House Anniversary Blend, I was expecting something dark, powerful, and stately. That is to say, not strawberry and mint.

It’s nice though. Mint is not my favourite thing, but here it is pleasantly subdued by the strawberry. The tea base is slightly astringent. Thankfully, I had steeped briefly.

An enjoyable cup.

Flavors: Mint, Strawberry

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Bought this as part of the Aliexpress 11/11 sale. It was pretty cheap so I wasn’t expecting much. But I am happy to report it is better than expected. There is little bitterness to this tea. It has notes of malt and chocolate in there. It will definitely get finished and I would definitely buy it again.

I brewed 4 balls of tea in a 26oz teapot with 200 degree water for 3 minutes.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 26 OZ / 768 ML
Ubacat

That company has some really good teas at great prices. I tried out a different tea vendor (with only one tea) during the sale but was extremely disappointed. It was so bad I threw it all out.

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70

Just a quick note to say I drank this. It still seemed fresh, though ancient, in this packaging that could probably preserve a single teaspoon until the end of time. Haha. It is certainly licorice with all the anise. You probably don’t even need to include white tea because the anise drowns any white tea flavor. It probably also contaminated my new infuser. Ah well.

Dustin

I have this in my cupboard and never really got into it. I’ll have to give it another go!

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drank Yunnan Black by Little Red Cup Tea Co.
1694 tasting notes

This tea was sent to me by Little Red Cup and is the reason I have come out of tea note retirement. I love Yunnan tea. Assam is great when I need to wake up. Ceylon I like with flavors and is my base of choice for Earl Grey. Yunnan is my warm cozy slow down tea.

The leaf looks just like the picture. It is long thin light twists of gold and browns. I pretty much expect the leaf to look this way. What I did not expect, in addition to the malty, honey, scents, is a fruitiness that resembles grapes and a neat pepperiness.

I Brewed this strong (on purpose) and the cup is a deep reddish hue as opposed to the amber mentioned by LRC. The taste matches the aroma perfectly. There is a touch of dryness that may disappear if you don’t make it so strong.

It is a dreary rainy day here, and this Yunnan black is providing just the comfort I need.

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81
drank Cardamom French Toast by DAVIDsTEA
1768 tasting notes

Whew and hello! I swear I was drinking tea this weekend, but I was so caught up in all the weekend festivities (and there were a lot) that I didn’t log anything. Oh well.
So lets get back into the swing of things with this blend!
I am happy to say I’m getting the hang of brewing this again, though I could not tell you exactly what I did. Its just nice again.
I also wanted to review both the chocolate bar with this in it, and the infused shortbread cookies with CFT in it. Both were good! I’m glad they only came in small packages, or I would have scarfed a lot of them.
I cant believe we’re almost through November. I’m nearly done with Nanowrimo, and I can’t wait. This particular novel has been a bit tricky. But last night I had the idea for what I wanted to do next, so I’ll get that started as soon as this draft is done.
I loved my weekend, but now its good be be back in routine.

Inkling

Good for you for sticking with NaNoWriMo all month! I participated 3 times and actually finished twice…an amazing experience, but so hard to stick with it, especially through the Thanksgiving holiday.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
435 tasting notes

I decided to have some fun doing side by side tasting of Lopchu Golden Orange Pekoe and Lopchu Flowery orange Pekoe. I used 125ml of boiling water over 3/4 tsp of leaf brewed for 2 minutes and decanted into glass.

The resulting Tea both have the deep rich slightly earthy sweet fruity notes mixed with cocoa I love in the teas from this Darjeeling Estate.

The Golden Orange Pekoe has more of the muscat found in Darjeeling as well as some brighter floral notes, a touch of honey and a menthol slightly camphorous notes over the richer base notes.

The Flowery orange Pekoe has much more stonefruit notes, more cocoa, some biscuit and tastes much richer to me.

The Flowery orange Pekoe is admittedly one of my favourite teas and tends to be a tea most people Ihave shared it with have liked even Darjeeling haters.

As they cool the Golden orange Pekoe continues to taste brighter and sharper than the Flowery orange Pekoe but becomes a bit rounder and fuller tasting. I enjoy them both.

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90

Another of my older Teavivre samples. I’m not sure why it’s sat neglected for so long, because all of Teavivre’s black teas are absolutely amazing, and this one’s no exception. I gave 1 tsp of leaf (very long and fine, with beautiful golden tips) 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.

To taste, it’s pretty much everything I’d want in a black tea. There’s a strong chocolate note up front, very reminiscent of dark chocolate (rich, strong) but not in a drying, cocoa kind of way. The mid-sip has a more yam-like flavour, along with baked bread towards the tail end. It’s very smooth and creamy, very easy to drink.

I’m enjoying this one. It’s one of the sweeter black teas I’ve tried from Teavivre, but wonderful just the same. I’ll be repurchasing this one in a hurry!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

After a morning of a minty marshmallowy Laoshan Black, I moved on to this one while snacking on too much bittersweet chocolate and too many almonds and brazil nuts. You see, I am on a roll.

Sil

always loved this one from verdant, though i can do without the oolong in it haha haven’t tried LP’s version yet

Evol Ving Ness

Haven’t tried the Verdant version, so I can’t say how it compares. An excellent complement to the earlier minty one I had though.

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96

Coconut fans…. have I got a tea for you to try! Oh my gosh, this is the best coconut tea I’ve ever had! It is so perfectly coconut. It seems like both toasted coconut but fresh coconut at the same time. (There is probably coconut flavor as well as the coconut pieces.) I’ve never had a coconut macaroon but I can imagine it tasting exactly like this. There is certainly somewhat of a buttery cookie flavor. With only hints of chocolate from the cocoa nibs, the cocoa nibs and the light flavor from the green rooibos really lets the coconut shine. This is the only tea I would need in my tea collection for my coconut craving!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

Nicole/Tea-Historic

And green rooibos instead of red… I may need to check this one out!

Evol Ving Ness

haha, have you forgotten about Coconut Island already?!

tea-sipper

OH Whoops. I really shouldn’t have forgotten about Coconut Island because I just drank it two days ago. Okay, the OTHER best coconut tea. :D

Inkling

Sounds amazing! Adding this one to my wish list. :)

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