370 Tasting Notes

87
drank Coconut Cheesecake Honeybush by 52teas
370 tasting notes

It’s finally here!

And dear heaven it smells delicious. And I feel bad because my cat so desperately wants my attention, but… tea! The scent is coconut with a tang not unlike cheesecake, and I’m willing it to cool down faster so I don’t burn my tongue trying to enjoy it.

The coconut is authentic and tasty, and I’ll admit right now I’ve never had honeybush before—but there is a sweet honey rooibos-like taste under the coconut which I assume is from it.

There is definitely a tang in the taste which I assume is the cheesecake, made sweet by a very honey-like flavour (the honeybush? If so, I didn’t the “honey” in the name to be that noticeable!). This cup is delicious and I’m loving it. I need more caffeine-free teas to sip in the evening.

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p22/supermoon10/100_0416.jpg

Also with photos. Well, one.

The wait was worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Earl Grey by Hazo
370 tasting notes

This’ the last of this. I could taste that it is definitely starting to go (had this a whole year!), but I will miss it dearly anyways. This was by far my favourite earl grey, and if I ever come across it again, I will snatch it up in a heartbeat.

The tin if very pretty, and the name-label is just a sticker, so I can easily just peal that off and put a white label over the logo, and use this for any tea. Hmmm. Reduce Reuse Recycle.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Irish Cream by Great Wall Tea Company
370 tasting notes

Got a sample of this, and made it in my tea libre at school. Wiry little leaves, mixed with blue cornflowers and yellow sunflowers.

Taste was very mild, but distinctly buttecream icing. Light ceylon tea base. When they got it in for St. Patrick’s Day, we all sat around sniff-comparing it to the Cream Irish Breakfast, which is a mix of CTC and orthodox, plus assam and ceylon with the heavier and bolder cream. I liken that to a breakfast sweetness, and this a desert sweetness, although I like the Cream Irish Breakfast more.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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90

No more. This is it. I will savour this cup. Will I ever find a smoky tea I enjoy half as much? I find others too sharp, and tippy gold in Caravan and Lapsang seems rare.

I’ll persevere, though. It will be a delicious quest. There was a lapsang I saw—I can’t recall which company right now, but I think I will start there.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Russian Evening No. 50 by Kusmi Tea
370 tasting notes

Finishing this one off. Had some yesterday, and blended the little bit that was left with some Caravan for today. Despite my somewhat “meh” rating, I think I’ll miss this. It was a nice, mellow afternoon tea.

I am officially all out of Kusmi.

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83
drank Creamy Nut Oolong by Teaopia
370 tasting notes

Well, it SMELLS delicious. I thought it was a little on the pricey side, though, to be honest. For a flavoured oolong? Still, I made the trip. I decided on this one when I discovered that there was a hidden Teaopia (not even on Google Maps, let along here) near(ish) to me. Jillian’s well-timed tasting note on this tea helped with the decision.

Dry it’s very creamy sweet smelling, brewed there is definitely more of a nutty profile in there (more in the wet leaves than the brewed tea, however). It’s sweet and creamy, and definitely nutty. The nutty, I think, blends well with the natural flavours of the oolong used (looking at the large, darkly colourful leaves, I wonder if it’s bai hao). The nut flavour, I think, is the culprit behind the light astringency on the tip of my tongue, because the tea is rather smooth otherwise. I think the nut is what sets this tea apart, because without it it’s just a cream oolong of some sort (not that that’s terribly ordinary anyways, but who would think to pair nuts and oolong? I like it).

Teaopia recommends three minutes, but that had seemed a little much; I started with two, but when I poked my nose into the pot, I saw that there hadn’t been any convection at all, just a small cloud of brown surrounding the teaball; I spent an extra (timed) thirty seconds of dunking to mix the tea and let it steep a little darker. The oolong leaves themselves look dark and oxidized enough that I assume it wasn’t meant to be a light brew.

First cup’s cooled more, and I’m picking up fruity hints. This is mellow and very nice.

This is a satisfying tea, and I’m delightfully surprised with Teaopia (not that I was expecting bad things). Also, they have (only in-store, not on their site) Turkish teacups! Except they sell them individually. And the saucer comes separate. Five bucks for a single glass teacup, three dollars for the saucer. Jesus Christ.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Pu Erh by Tea Desire
370 tasting notes

Again, second steep is darker than the initial rinse steep. It’s definitely earthy; I’d say even muddy, but not dirt, rather soil. Is that an odd differentiation to make?

I somewhat forgot about the tea for quite a while, and the strong smell of the dry leaf’s faded quite a bit, as has the fishy aspect of the brewed tea itself, I think. At least I remember it all being a little different, but it’s been a while. I suppose it’s the tin I kept it in, and in most tea-storage practices this all would be a bad thing, but I think it really helped. I like it more than I remember liking it, although I never truly disliked it. At least if I take small to medium sized sips. I gulped some and it coats the mouth and throat most unpleasantly.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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70
drank Queen Mary by Tea Desire
370 tasting notes

Finally finished this one off today in a little cast-iron teapot from my sister (she got it way back when she was in highschool, but soon lost interesting tea; she recently gave it to me). It gave everything a slightly off taste, and hot metal has a peculiar smell.

Ahwell. But this’ the last of THIS tea.

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76
drank Histoire Tibetaine by THE O DOR
370 tasting notes

I’ve made this a few times since my first post, although I headed a bit of advice from the other notes on this tea and now steep it just under two minutes.

I picked this up originally hopping to find something akin to Tealicious’ 1001 Nights (not that there’s anything stopping me from picking up more of that—I just wanted to branch out a little). The jasmine in that blend is a pleasant background note, unlike in this one. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly quite a bit more powerful, which for a person like me (who is not the greatest fan of flowery flavourings and scentings) is a bit much.

Two minutes, though—it really brings it down, and allows much more room for the vanilla to come through. And it’s a pleasantly strong vanilla. I still don’t get much from the teas themselves—some green bitterness for brewing this with boiling water, but that’s it. That bitterness is mixed with the sort of… sharpness? You usually get from the bergamot (sharpness isn’t the right word… I suppose bitterness; think the similarities bergamot has with grapefruit), but the fruit isn’t present enough to make you think (or even vaguely remember) earl grey. No earl grey thoughts at all from this tea.

The bitterness does get a bit stronger as it cools, which mixes unpleasantly with the sharp jasmine. Perhaps a cooler steeping temperature next time, although I’m sure that will take away from the additives. It’s odd that it can be bitter and sharp but so creamy and sweet at the same time. The vanilla in this really is delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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drank Tie Guan Yin by Unknown
370 tasting notes

My first sip is a warm, green butter. The aftertaste is most definitely bakey. It’s odd, but I feel the tension headache that I woke up with lifting already. As I sip more, I get a touch of sweetness in the back of my throat, and a mineral taste on the tip of my tongue. Could be the water, but it’s not unpleasant.

Less of a “fresh green” taste as my other experience with tie guan yin, a little more on the buttery side. This isn’t a bad thing—I rather like it this way. It’s getting sweeter as it cools as well, almost mouth-coating.

I’ve had this before, I just haven’t gotten around to sitting down and typing something up. More will be added onto this post with subsequent steeps.

Second steep is darker, given the leaves were given time to fully reopen. This one’s also at two minutes. The colour is a very nice, spring green. It’s deeper (sharper?), more minerally and less sweet and buttery.

Third steep, four minutes: More sharply (not in a negative sense) mineral and green tasting; no apparent sweetness. Not as heavy and mouth-coating as the first steep. Hints of butter, but just barely. Sort of a steamed vegetable taste, I think. But a bit fresher. I think I am still getting a bit of sweet on the tip of my tongue. As I reach the bottom of my cup, the mineral tang has gotten quite pronounced.

More steeps when I return home from work, I think.

Fourth steep, little change.

Fifth steep (six minutes), it’s been a few days so I would be working from memory. The taste hasn’t grown weaker yet. Mineral, vegetal, and bakey. More bakey now, I think—or at least more than I remember. I can taste it on my breath as I breathe out.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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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