373 Tasting Notes

Teaave

Hi AJ,

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88
drank Red Jade Black Tea by Oollo Tea
373 tasting notes

Thiiiis I like. The smell is deep, syrupy drop fruit; plummy. The taste is chocolate, caramelly, darkly fruity. It’s malty and a bit astringent, but definitely not bitter. It’s a very fragrant tea, and definitely an assam varietal (Burma).

Actually, I get what they mean by mint too. I thought it was a bit odd when I went back and read that, but there’s a sort of vegetable menthol flavour (definitely not the artificial kind).

While I was in the popup shop that sold these teas (the company sparked my interest enough for a Tea Adventure—they’re currently sold in a popup shop off Robson’s), the owner of the brand was working there and let me try an icecream that was made specifically from this tea. It was /delicious/ by the way. I wanted to buy a freakn’ tub of it, but there were only about three tubs made (very small-batch), so they were only selling by the scoop.

Edit: Second steep (four minutes) is chewy, bakey malt. Less fruit, little less sweet but still with a faint cocoa.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Honey Scented Black Tea by Oollo Tea
373 tasting notes

When I see “honey” I usually connect it to “Ceylon-like”, because it’s usually true. It’s got very long, twisting leaves, a bit like a strip oolong; the taste is bright, honey oak (again, very like a ceylon). I get a caramel note if I sort’ve just let it sit on my tongue a bit, but otherwise it’s a little too “bright” for caramel, I think. Smooth, barely even astringent.
Edit: Second steep (also three minutes) is sweeter, I think. Though there’s still that bright oaky honey ceylon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Chai by Earth Teaze
373 tasting notes

You can smell the chai when you open the bag, but you can’t really… see it. After shaking it around I found two cardamom pods and some ginger, I think. It’s whole-leaf tea, assam I believe; brewed there’s no chai smell. Taste—malty assam, maybe some ceylon, I think a touch of cardamom.

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64
drank Coco Chai Rooibos by Earth Teaze
373 tasting notes

Been seeing these around Winners and finally decided, two bucks an ounce? What the hell.

When I opened the bag, I saw… Giant white chips. Not flakes, but centimetre-squared chips. What the hell is this? Turns out it’s giant-ass chunks of coconut (not pictured, btw). But once I got over that (I stuck a spoon in there and mixed it all in—large chunks, low density, it’s inevitable that they all just rose to the top; happens with davidstea blends), brewed it up… Woodsyness from the rooibos, with a touch of spice. Not strong, but definitely makes me think ‘watery chai’. Could probably try stovetop (really, I find most chais are pretty watery just brewed…). Not really getting any ‘fruityness’ that others are describing—well, nothing beyond the kind you get from rooibos. Don’t taste the coconut. Which by the way ‘coco chai’? Tricky and misleading. I should have realized there was a reason they dropped that ‘A’.

But still, not bad. Something to drink at night. I should try stovetop, though. And almond milk. A nice goodnight cup.

Question, Teaze: What’s the point of selling this looseleaf in a resealable pouch if, within the resealable pouch is another, non-resealable pouch you have to cut open. I don’t… extra extra freshness…? Maybe? Buy one of those machines that seals these pouches for you and apply it directly above the ziplock. Win!

Getting a bit more taste as I reach the bottom. Think that’s where all the flavour settled. More rooibos, maybe more… cardamom? Just a touch. Still pretty damn watery.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 45 sec

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drank Black Cherry by Tea Forte
373 tasting notes

More leaf, longer steeping time.

What I’m getting is watery liquorice and nothing else. I don’t know if I got an old tin and that’s why I’m not getting much of the base, but the liquorice gives it a coughsyrupy mouth-feel almost. I didn’t think it’d be this prominent in the blend—I figured it was there as a touch of sweetness and to better round out the ‘cherry’ taste. Don’t know if it’s just me, so I won’t rate this.

Heck, with 50 grams I’d probably consider trading it off so other people could see what they think of it.

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drank Black Cherry by Tea Forte
373 tasting notes

I tend to avoid Tea Forte like the plague. It’s everywhere, but every runin I’ve had with them has been poor; during the Christmas season I’ve picked up their sample packs and hated every one (I don’t even know if I even bothered to review them!); I don’t know, it was something about the base maybe, or how they chose to flavour them.

I picked up Orchid Vanilla a little while back because it was on sale half off, didn’t have horrible reviews on Steepster, and really, who could fuck up Vanilla. That one turned out pretty pleasant, so when I saw this in the window I decided ‘why not’.

Plus they redesigned the package—it’s part of Tea Forte’s “Noir” collection, with pan-roasted black teas (back of the tin says assam).

I’ll start by saying this doesn’t taste like an assam. But if it’s ‘pan-roasted’ (???), that might be it, but I’m getting no roasted flavours either. There’s a soft hint of vanilla maybe, and it smells faintly of strawberry and cough-syrup cherry… Might be getting a bit of fake cherry taste as well, or maybe that’s the liquorice.

For that matter, there’s a warning at the end of the ingredients about how the tea should be avoided by people with high blood pressure due to the use of organic liquorice root. What? I thought in this day and age, the glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice that /causes/ hypertension, was usually artificially removed from from most liquorice products (for this very reason), or replaced with artificial flavouring/fennel or anise. So was Tea Forte just a little slow on the origin of their root, or did they actually source un-deglycyrrhizinated liquorice, and the FDA didn’t frown on them?

At any rate, I might try more leaf next time/longer steep, because this fell utterly flat for me. I think I’m getting something like astringency and bitterness, plus liquorice. Almost three whole ounces. Lovely. Learned my lesson, I guess. Still, I’ll come back to this one.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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91

Thought I posted a review for this, since I drank it first out of my samples, but I guess I forgot. So here’s my second time around.

Dry, it smells like drop fruit, as well as something like malt chocolate; can’t say 100%, just notes that remind me of an assam varietal.

First steep (after a rinse): 15 seconds. Dry spices. Like bark, maybe cinnamon. Actually more spices than I remember the first time around I drank this (I remember there being a lot more ‘fruit’); still, there’s a deep honeyness that makes me think of drop fruits—the darker fruits like plums, rather than bright, like peaches.

Second steep: 15 seconds. Spices and sweetness; the syrupy fruityness is coming through more. It’s reminding me less of an assam, which usually has more malt than spice in my experience. This isn’t astringent. In fact, it’s very smooth thus far. Spiced sugar plum almost? Maybe?

Third steep: More spice again. Sweet—the description suggests baked bread, but it’s less yeasty, and not toasty.

Fourth steep: 20 seconds. Wow, feels a bit thicker, like chocolate. Spice and honey. Actually, very cinnamon-and-honey. Reminds me of honeycarrots with cinnamon, growing up.

Started playing TF2 around this point, and wasn’t paying as much attention. It’s actually a very nice, naturally sweet tea.

Edit: Fourth or fifth steep? Starting to get a more ‘baked bread’ taste out of it.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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drank Imperial Keemun by SOKO Tea House
373 tasting notes

Of the keemuns I’ve tried, this is definitely bolder and smokier than most. There’s still that undeniable sweet nutty taste that I love about keemuns. Also I discovered a little while ago that keemun black iced is /fabulous/.

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91
drank Honey Black Tea by Green Terrace Teas
373 tasting notes

The smell is similar to the Li Shan, but not quite as syrupy strong. Notes of assam in teh smell, but there’s no real malt in the taste. Thick and mouth-coating, honey, barley. Definitely smooth. I can get where the ‘peach’ and ‘raisin’ flavours in the description come from, though I wouldn’t tag it that personally. Light fruit flavours, again comparing this to the Li Shan sample I got, which has a darker drop fruit taste (peach vs. plum, I guess). Honey when I breathe out, but floral in the forefront with each sip.

The honey reminds me of ceylon teas, but there’s no oak or astringency to round it out. The assam smell of the leaf didn’t carry over, which leaves me wondering if it’s an assam varietal used or not. The leaves are long (but not quite THAT long).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Bio

I change icons often, apologies. On that note, they are usually Doctor Who related (so no, that is not me pictured in the icon, it is most likely one of the Doctors).

A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in the third year of university, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot. It’s the highlight of a good day if I have time for a pot.

My notes and reviews will often sound dis-jointed, repetitive and confused, as usually I don’t work on them as a whole, but rather add notes as I sip without rereading what I’ve already typed.

On most occasions I won’t take my tea with anything (I reserve milk for chai). Occasionally agave nectar if I want to test to see if it’ll smooth it out. Chais I will make with either the nectar or honey. Although on occasion I will sweeten unflavoured blacks the Russian way—with jam or jelly. Occasionally I will take it instead with a slice of a citrus fruit. Normally orange, occasionally lemon if I have any on hand.

I prefer Earl Greys.

Lastly, I keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

Also, I am a Doctor Who fanatic. As one may have noticed by my icons. For the record, my favourite Doctor is number three, Jon Pertwee.

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Location

BC, Canada

Website

http://artoftea.teatra.de

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