Featured & New Tasting Notes

72

Smells amazing, tastes alright. Mate saves my bacon again. Must steep conservatively to avoid stirring the hibiscus dragon of despair.

It’s been a while since I had a mate or guayusa around the house. This long hiatus has made me realize that it’s essential for basic functions after sleep deprivation.

This was a Christmas gift from a friend who claimed to have chosen it based on the merit of smell alone (she doesn’t like or know a lot about tea). I’m glad I can show her how much I appreciate it by having it with me whenever we meet up in the morning.

Flavors: Earth, Hibiscus, Lemon, Raspberry

Rosehips

The hibiscus dragon of despair! I know that beast.

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80

Backlog 18 January 2017

Honey was the dominant flavor in this tea. I noted on a scrap piece of paper at work that it reminded me of eating the honey spoons you’d find at the World Market or a tea shop.

Although it took me a little while to finish the tea hot (I mainly drink water at work, so it takes me a while to get to every beverage at my desk), it was a great tea at room temperature, too.

Flavors: Honey, Sweet

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76

The other tea I drank yesterday – I only had time for two. This one I remember less clearly. Black, I definitely got a tangy plum compote note, with little astringency, which I was pleased about because I generally really like Butiki’s plum flavouring and I was hoping it would be the strongest note. The cashew cake was a little present, but only towards the back of the sip if I really concentrated. I added half a sugar, which brought out the plum flavouring more, and it probably the way I’d like to drink it best. In the name of trying everything, though, I added milk (admittedly too much), which muted the tea and plum notes and brought the cashew to the fore. I really like cashews for eating, they’re probably my favourite nut, but in tea it just doesn’t come across as a strong enough flavour to lead a blend. The cakiness is noticeable with milk, which I didn’t get before, but there’s just not enough of the plum flavour to cut through it and make it interesting. I might try it next time with less milk, because I did mess up the amount I added, but I really enjoyed it black and with just a little sugar, so I’m probably more likely to drink it that way instead. It was a very tasty tea, though.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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OMG.

Am I back?

I might be back.

Anyways, IDK what this tea is. Vanilla? Something else? No clue. But it’s pretty darn tasty with a spoonful of maple whipped cream.

Thank you, Bear with Me! I’ve had this FOREVER, but I swear I’m going to finish trying All The Teas™.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Maddy Barone

I’m glad you’re back!

Plunkybug

I just had this yesterday. Weird. I had a hard tome figuring out the flavour, but it wen down so smoothly. No milk or sugar needed.

CrowKettle

OMG, maple whipped cream… I forgot how much I missed your creative food insights on here! XD

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80

Hoálatha supposedly sent me more of this in our last swap.

I might go to the store and pick some of this up. I really think it’d be a great tea for work. Especially when it gets cold in the office, I’d like to be drinking something so tasty as this. I rated it 75/100 the last time, but I might bump it up. I think what I must’ve done when steeping this last was brewing it for 3-5 minutes. However, I forgot about it today and unintentionally brewed it close to ten minutes; which resulted in creating a hot spice mead like beverage, rather than a tea.

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75

Thank you to Teavivre for the free sample!

Loose leaf is beautiful to look at and smells of delicious toasty oolong tea. I love toasty oolongs, so I was very excited to try this. And, I find myself drawn to visually appealing teas |(even if the flavour is lacking).

Brewed western style with 475 mL hot water for 4 minutes. Liquid was light tan-yellow. Liquid smelled very strongly of seaweed, a bit fishy and salty.

Luckily the brew tasted nothing of fish, was not salty, but was VERY seaweedy. Very buttery, savoury/umami, quite sweet in a toasted oolong way. The sweetness + toasty flavours are actually very nice with how buttery this is. However, I’m put off by just how seaweedy the brew is, but I will try it gong fu method and use cooler water with multiple steeps.

Flavors: Butter, Marine, Seaweed, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Umami

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 475 ML
Kirkoneill1988

sea weed in a oolong? that’s new :D

Amie_O

Seaweed is actually one of my favorite tastes! I’ll have to give that one a try!

Kirkoneill1988

@Amie_O i like camphor and mushroom tastes

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92

Its my birthday! Which means that I’m drinking much beloved teas today.
I’ll start my morning with this pot of loveliness, which is fruity and layered and just wonderful.
Ahh, what a nice start to the day!

gmathis

Happy birthday! May there be much merriment, reveling, and serendipity!

Sil

wooohoo! happy birthday!

eastkyteaguy

Happy birthday!

tea-sipper

It’s a good one for your day! Happy Birthday!

Evol Ving Ness

Happy birthday to you, Rosehips! Happy, happy, happy, or just content with a big pot of lovely tea loveliness.

Mookit

Happy birthday, may this year be filled with wonderful new teas for you :)

Maddy Barone

Happy Birthday!

Nattie

Happy birthday!

Super Starling!

Happy happy happy happy birthday! <3

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91

Drinking this this morning because I couldn’t sleep. This is a nice aged ripe with just a vestige of fermentation flavor left. Barely noticeable in the first two steeps. There was also an aged flavor for the first four to six steeps, after that it was a nice sweet tea. This one one worth trying. I definitely recommend a sample.

Steeped this fourteen times in a 160ml Solid Silver teapot with 14.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave the tea a 10 minute rest. I gave it a 10 second rinse.I steeped the tea for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I could have gotten a couple more steeps out of the leaves but I had had enough tea at fourteen steeps.

Preparation
Boiling 14 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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90

For those that have been around a while… today we finally got around to submitting my job role for evaluation with HR. As in, after the like year? 2? of going back and forth on what my role should really entail while i do a little of everything…we’re finally getting close to the finish line. What does it really mean? Nothing yet…but the possibility of getting to hire underlings for me and a bump in grade…paving the way for more corporate ladder climbing if i’m so inclined…or yeah..and theoretically a raise. lol

so i had this tea…to celebrate. yay

Evol Ving Ness

YAY! This is likely the road to more thorough appreciation (of you). Hope the result is something you are happy with.

Sil

Here’s hoping…been a VERY long road. I’m still overworked and underpaid but i do love what i’m doing so there’s that haha

Evol Ving Ness

And that is a big big thing to love what you do.

OMGsrsly

Fingers crossed re: raise! And also underlings. :D

Ubacat

Congrats and hope all the rest works out!

Sil

thanks all!

Nicole/Tea-Historic

Minions are usually always a benefit. :) good luck!

Evol Ving Ness

Unless you need to train them and mentor them and record their progress and rate them.

Sil

yeah…haha i will…but i just need help. and contractors = not as time consuming as real employees haha

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90

Scramble, scramble—the kettle had boiled and I had two minutes to make my tea and head out the door with my travel mug in hand. There was absolutely no time to dawdle and make tea decisions. This is one of the first ones I grabbed and it survived the travel mug test. Very nicely even.

Indigobloom

Love it when my tea comes together like that. I find too often when I rush, I get distracted and bad things happen (usually oversteep, or forget that its a green and burn the leaves etc. Or I forget to bring it with)

Evol Ving Ness

That happens too. :)

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93

You couldn’t possibly dislike this blend (unless you didn’t like coconut). It has all the makings of the perfect dessert tea.

The black base is so smooth and rich. I find it malty, creamy, hints of nuts and butter. It resteeps very well also.

The coconut is super creamy and nutty, no soapy gross flavours at all. I think it might be toasted, because the nutty flavour in this blend must be coming from the coconut or black tea.

Strong sweet maple flavour, not artificial at all, but the perfect strength. As a Canadian, I can certify this maple flavour is delicious and realistic. It also goes very well with all the tasty spices (cinnamon?, very light on the cardamom, I actually would have liked more cardamom, but I think my teaspoon of looseleaf had no cardamom pod in it). The nutty flavour tastes like toasted almonds and toasted walnuts. Maybe I’m imagining the nuts because I associate maple flavoured things with maple walnut icecream, but either way, this blend has it all.

Flavors: Almond, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Coconut, Cream, Creamy, Honey, Milk, Nuts, Nutty, Pastries, Spices, Sweet, Tannin, Toasty, Vanilla, Walnut

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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drank Weaver's Blend by The Capilano
2199 tasting notes

This tea is incredibly fluffy due to the blackberry leaves and sage.

Dry, and steeping, it smells intensely sweet due to the blackberry. Upon drinking, the sage is very present.

I quite like the tea, but then, I like sage tea. It would be really good with honey as well.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
MissLena

As a fellow sage tea drinker, this sounds great!

Maddy Barone

I have Cricket from Whispering Pines. Very sage-y. This Weaver’s Blend sounds good too.

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Damn, the chocolate notes and fig are coming nicely. This is a sad goodbye, and one in which I’m dangerously high on caffeine. I am having such a huge euphoria right now. I need to keep in mind to use less leaves if I ever drink this again ‘cause hot damn it’s smooth.

This is why it is so highly rated. I was happy with it before, but now I deeply enjoy it. The chocolate notes are super rich even into the later steeps. Sorry, tea snob vocab. IT IS A SMOOTH TEA THAT IS CREAMY AND ROASTY. I am so lucky to have another tea that is very close to this one ’cause damn I would be desperate if I did not have some. Talk about getting a quick fix. #caffeineaddictproblems.

Evol Ving Ness

:)

What’s the other tea?

ashmanra

Ditto: what is the other? My two favorite toasty smooth cocoa teas are sold out or discontinued!

Daylon R Thomas

It’s What-cha’s China Yunnan Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea. That one is maltier while this one is chocolatier, but they got some similar characteristics. They have the same type of sweet-potato chocolate note along with a slight smokiness, but that one is better brewed western whereas this is better Gong Fu.

Super Starling!

If you didn’t use tea vocab, how would newbs learn it? Keep snobbing!

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90

Here’s another of the spring 2016 teas I have been working on finishing. I do not have a ton of experience with four season oolongs, but I know they are generally viewed as being basic teas suitable for daily drinking. I found that to be the case with this one.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I noted that the dry tea leaves emitted mild aromas of sweetgrass and fresh flowers. After the rinse, I detected strong aromas of hyacinth, lilac, honeysuckle, lily, cream, and sweetgrass. The first infusion saw aromas of magnolia and butter emerge. In the mouth, I detected a strong note of sweetgrass balanced by lily, magnolia, lilac, honeysuckle, and hyacinth. There were also subtle notes of cream and butter. Subsequent infusions grew creamier and more buttery, with less sweetgrass and more floral character. Subtle notes of pineapple and honeydew also made themselves known. Later infusions were dominated by cream, butter, and sweetgrass aromas and flavors, though traces of minerals and distant floral impressions were evident on the finish.

This was about as basic and satisfying as a Taiwanese oolong can possibly be. Though it didn’t display the depth or complexity of many high mountain oolongs, the aromas and flavors on display here worked together perfectly. I think this particular tea would make a great introduction to Taiwanese oolongs or a near perfect oolong for everyday consumption.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Pineapple

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Four seasons need more love. I’ve either had really fruity ones or really flat, floral grassy ones.

eastkyteaguy

I haven’t had many myself, but the few I’ve had I’ve really liked. I also think baozhongs and jade oolongs need more love. Muzha Tieguanyin and traditional Dong Dings could use a little more attention too. I am about at the point where my interest in Taiwanese oolongs tends to lie mostly outside of the high mountain teas. I like them, but good ones tend to be so pricey.

eastkyteaguy

Oh, and by the way, I’ve noticed the same thing with four seasons. The one I had prior to this one was over-the-top fruity. It was a random sample. I have no clue where it was from, so I didn’t bother reviewing it. This one is both very floral and very grassy, but there’s some other stuff going on too. I’m beginning to find that some of Floating Leaves’ less expensive teas (their four seasons, Jin Xuan,and big leaf) are worthwhile. I think I got this one for $4.50 plus shipping. It was definitely worth it.

Daylon R Thomas

Awesome. It sounds like it. I loved the crap out of the Jade sampler Floating leaves had and really enjoyed the Dong Sing. As for now,Alistair is mixing in some similar varietals in my next What-Cha order, a Thailand Ruan Zhi and a Vietnam #12.5 mix between a Jin Xuan and a Cui Yu. He wrote that they might be good everyday teas, and I can’t wait to see how they hold up against Taiwan oolongs.

Daylon R Thomas

Dong Ding
Curse bad typing

eastkyteaguy

I have yet to try their jade Dong Ding. I know it tends to get strong reviews here and elsewhere. I’ll probably spring for it and the charcoal roasted Dong Ding the next time I order from them. I have samples of the Thailand Ruan Zhi and the Vietnam #12.5, but I haven’t tried them yet.

Daylon R Thomas

Nifty. :) I look forward to seeing how they compare for you.

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84
drank Tricera-Tips Assam by Tea-Historic
8059 tasting notes

Noms. I made a small order the other day from tea-historic as i like to try and support the folks within the community who are trying things out. Plus, given our swapping history, i was fairly sure that i’d enjoy at least some of the selections from her store, as she wouldn’t be selling them if she didn’t like them :)

This one is tasty! I have often dropped cacao shells in to my LB, but i can’t say that i’ve tried it with an assam. As expected, this one works. It’s very much a delicious chocolatey tea that isn’t overly sweet. I supposed you could add a little sugar to it (or milk and sugar!) to really turn it in to a decadent beverage but i won’t need all that. Even cold, this is yummy!

Nicole/Tea-Historic

Glad you like it!

OMGsrsly

Plus the name is right up your alley, Sil. ;)

Sil

yeah that’s why i HAD to order from nicole..dinosaurs!!

OMGsrsly

Your package is almost together. I’m getting excited to get things mailed out on Friday! WOO.

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A rather nice tea with some balanced roast to the undertone of floral notes. Not sure that I found any fruit notes that Verdant says are there, but I tend to differ on tasting notes when it comes to most companies anyways. Overall I liked this tea and I brewed it for two days. 50g for $12 seems to be just right.

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56

Today is my early start busy day at work, and I’m really struggling to find the motivation to go in. I was doing full, busy weeks not so long ago, but lately they’ve cut my hours right back with no explanation and this week they only have me in today. It’s the least work I’ve been doing since I started 6 months ago and I’m finding it hard having no money when I’ve been used to being able to buy things and pay what I owe for a while now. How do adults do life??

Anyway, I needed a caffeine kick to get me going this morning, so this is what I went for. I don’t particularly enjoy it for the flavour but the energy boost is a big help. Flavour-wise this is mostly guayusa, and it’s not because it’s old, it’s been like this since I bought it. Even with a little added sugar the flavours aren’t willing to come through stronger. Weirdly, I got one really nice, clear sip at the beginning of my drink which was all juicy blackberry lime goodness. I’ve been drinking this like a madwoman, sipping different amounts at different speeds, trying to get different amounts of air into each mouthful, but I can’t seem to find those flavours anywhere any more! Ah well… there is a hint of blackberry in with the almost savoury leafy, earthy guayusa, hidden somewhere in the background, and every now and then I get a little hint of lime at the end of the sip. I should try this one cold-brewed, because the flavour combination sounds so delicious I wish I could appreciate it more.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

I haven’t had blackberry tea for a long time. Sounds luscious. As for “how do adults do life,” we’re still figuring that out. I have a sign in my office—KPO, which I understand was Winston Churchill’s catchphrase: Keep Plodding On.

gmathis

(Truthfully, it works better when the P stands for pray, but I forget sometimes.) May you be surprised by a little joy today!

Nattie

It’s probably my favourite of the berries in tea. Haha I might have to adopt that motto myself!

Thank you!! It got a lot better in the end. (: I hope your day was similarly joyful.

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76

I received 3.5g of this tea in one of the random boxes I’ve received from Liquid Proust a while back. I decided to drink it today as it seemed like a tea which should be consumed while at least moderately fresh.

The aroma from the leaves was slightly citrus, with a sweet floral/hay backbone. It expressed some typical white tea flavors, including that sweet hay/straw note common to the type of tea. The texture was velvety and soft, with some cream and milk notes to the flavor adding to the mouthfeel. It also often had a slight peppery finish, which was enough to make this tea decently interesting. It’s not something I’m likely to buy more of, but one which I am glad to have tried!

Flavors: Floral, Hay, Milk, Pepper, Sweet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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62

Nope. Nope nope nope. This tea was already at a disadvantage trying to please me today because I’ve been out all afternoon in the freezing cold, dreaming of coming home and making a lovely cup of Heaven’s Trash from resteeping my last ever leaves, only to find when I got home that my mam had thrown them out. If I’m honest, I took it a little to heart, partially because I was cold and grumpy and partially because I’d specifically explained to her why I wanted to keep the leaves (she has a tendency to throw things out and rearrange everything completely unnecessarily – I also came home to find that she’d inexplicably changed the bookmark in my book). So, I settled for this instead, and was already unimpressed just because it isn’t Heaven’s Trash. I’m not much of a green tea person, and first flush Darjeelings are often too reminiscent of green tea for my liking, but I tried to remain optimistic because it’s described as smooth with no astringency. Granted, I am more sensitive to astringency than a lot of people, but this is not astringency-free. The packaging says to steep it in boiling water, but I hope I remember to ignore that next time because I feel like a lot of the astringency could be avoided with a lower temperature. I would usually add milk to a black tea to get rid of astringency but this just seems so green to me that it would feel wrong. It has the usual citrus and floral notes that you’d expect from a Darjeeling, but also some fresh, light leafy vegetable notes which I’d associate with Japanese greens. For me, the redeeming feature of this tea is that after adding a small amount of sugar the tea becomes very juicy and has such a pronounced, unmistakable peach note that I’d almost think it had peach flavouring added to it. This calms down a bit when it cools, so I prefer this when it’s on the hotter side. Despite me not being able to get past the astringency and ‘greenness’, I can still tell that this is a high quality first flush, and even though I haven’t given it the best review it’s still probably one of the best first flushes I’ve tried, they’re just not really to my taste. I’m looking forward to trying it again at a lower temperature.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Rasseru

She changed your bookmark? Wow, sounds like my ex. She would throw away anything she didn’t know what it was, including bits of my computer lol

Nattie

Yep, she’s always been like that, but this was new levels of obsessiveness lol. Oh no! Haha she once cleaned my laptop so ferociously that she broke off two of the keys, but at least she didn’t throw them out!

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50

Reading the ingredients, this sounded much better than it tasted. Very strong artificial cherry flavour and the black base was too strong for me. Lots of delicious oxidised tea flavours and some malty notes that I loved. That being said, I wouldn’t say the cream came through. I didn’t get any of the mallow root, unfortunately.

Will try this cold brewed next, because I think that will bring out the vanilla/cream and subdue the black base a bit.

Flavors: Artificial, Cherry, Fruity, Sweet, Tannic, Tannin, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 22 OZ / 650 ML
Indigobloom

With two of the Q2T blends I’ve tried, adding milk or a bit of sugar has made a huge difference for me. May be worth a shot

Lauren | A Quarter to Tea

Turning down the heat will definitely help the Darjeeling base. Most do best with temps around 185-195. This tea does best around 3 minutes @ 190.

Arby

I’ll try a different temperature! When I brew tea on campus I’m stuck with whatever temperature the hot water dispenser is at (just under boiling), but I will try a more controlled brewing at home. I’ll also give adding soy milk a try, I find many black teas go excellent with milk. Thank you for the suggestions!

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80
drank Licorice Black by 3 Teas
1607 tasting notes

I’m nearing the end of my tin. There is about a third left. Maybe less. So not enough for me to justify buying another, but close enough that I’m concerned!! ack. I love this tea. And I don’t wanna be without it or something similar in my cupboard. The tea festival, where I bought this, is coming up in two weeks. sighs. looks like I won’t be replacing it there…

Yes I hate licorice in blends, esp the health/feel better types. But straight up? yeah that gets me. No idea why. I’d love to find a green tea version one day.
And yes, since this is a chai cousin in my eyes, I do add milk Sil :D

Sil

:P milk in chai = yes

Indigobloom

I’m all about the chai this week for some reason!

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95

Counted over fourteen steeps this was an excellent tea. There was a lot of fermentation taste at first. This taste was a little unpleasant but not fishy. It was think and rich in the first six or eight infusions and I think you could say there were notes of bittersweet dark chocolate in there. This chocolate taste disappeared along with the fermentation taste and the bitterness around steep eight. Well really the fermentation was only strong through steep four or five. Another note replaced this bittersweet note, a sweet note you would call it. Not really fruity or dates flavor, more of a neutral sweet note. Still this was one good tea. It is definitely worth buying a sample of. I have not yet decided if it was worth buying the whole brick yet. When I have drank it four or five times I will decide this. But it was one of the very best young ripe teas I have tried. Now as to cha qi, Scott says it has some, but I didn’t really feel it. Maybe I will feel it before I finish my cup who knows.

I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 160ml silver teapot with 14.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 minutes. Again I definitely recommend a sample of this but I have not yet decided if it was worth buying the whole brick. If I drink it again and it is still this good I will judge it to have been worth it.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 14 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
Liquid Proust

Oh wow, didn’t know they had a ripe laomane! I will look into this one.

tea123

Did you hear about their new 1990 CNNP ripe tuo from teadb?

obritten

I’ve got one of these in the mail…can’t wait

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I started drinking this and thought to myself: Dangit, another one of the $90 cakes that I really like.

Then I looked at YS’s website and saw this is $37/400g… WHAT? You want to talk about a steal, wait for YS production sale and buy a full cake. This stuff is getting viscous and it leaves a trail of sweetness which is different than its toddler aged raw puerh taste going in.

Daily drinking material for sure!!!

mrmopar

Tis good for the price!

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Another review with pretty close notes to what I get: Butter, Fruity, Malt, and White Raisins. It also had the usual dry basil smell and taste that I associate with Darjeelings. I got two solid cups, and one third lighter cup western starting out at two minutes fifteen seconds, 6 oz of water, one medium teaspoon. I loved that this was a lighter black. Thanks Evol!

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