373 Tasting Notes

drank Queen Mary by Tea Desire
373 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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drank Histoire Tibetaine by THE O DOR
373 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.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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drank Tie Guan Yin by Unknown
373 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.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I needed something to calm my nerves, because this day (nay, this week) has been nothing but, frankly, shit. I am apparently going to lose my job, and there is little I can do about it. They thought they gave me a choice, but there isn’t one. Unless “give up school for your job, or give up your job for your school” counts. Except school is why I need a job, thus if one goes, so does the other.

I have a stress headache from furrowing my eyebrows too hard for too long. I snagged this from my mother’s cupboard, because it seemed interesting enough. You can definitely SMELL the spices, and sniffing it, it’s very christmasy. Spicy sugar plum—very fitting. I just threw the teabag in and didn’t even bother with a set steep time—so yeah, the bag’s still in there. It’ll survive. It’s got a good spice base. Not too strong, and luckily the hibiscus (which is very apparent) doesn’t overpower it. I think I’m actually getting some form of sweet, plum flavour in there as well. The spices are solid—cinnamon of course, but there are others (I didn’t look too closely at the ingredients, forgive me).

I think it balances very well; I can see myself snagging a few more bags of this in the future.


I’m so sorry to hear about your awful week! It’s like being in a rock and a hard place. I hope better options open up soon!


As do I. I’m signed up for co-op work next semester, so if I actually manage to land a placement (no guarantee; it’s all on me), I’ll be fine. At least for that term.

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Just finished off the box. I’ll have to get more. I really like to have some on-hand for stomach aches. Although I could just buy a chunk of ginger-root and grate some into a cup whenever I need it. Could be cheaper.

Edit: Nevermind, found ONE LAST BAG hanging out behind a few tea tins.

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And so I bid you adieu, sweet Formosa. I don’t think we will meet again. Not in this life. I thank you for allowing me to make your acquaintance.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Accidentally let this sit for six minutes. But it’s forgiving, although a little sharp. This tea really defines “malty”; I think of cracked wheat bread when I drink it.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

Bread tea, now that’s something up my alley!



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drank Ice Wine by Granville Island Tea Co
373 tasting notes

Trying this again—five minute steep now, instead of four. It’s really… blech. Maybe I just don’t like wine flavours. But it honestly makes me think of soap. Grapy soap. There’s really no trace of the base in it—it’s weird. Still, I’m sipping it a lot in hopes that maybe the taste will grow on me. At the very least, I’m not spitting it out. And occasionally it does remind me of wine. More the smell, though. Well, I’ve got a good fifty grams of this to experiment with. Although it doesn’t seem like there’s much I can do. Certainly unique.

Edit: An aftertaste is developing and coating my mouth, I’ve noticed—and it’s definitely more grape-y and wine-y. I’m very on the fence about this one.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Caramel by Great Wall Tea Company
373 tasting notes

If you’ve got dietary problems with milk or sugars, this isn’t a good tea choice as it quite clearly DOES have chips of caramel added.

I have no such problems, so naturally I find this delicious either way. There are sunflower petals as well, probably to carry some of the flavouring oils and to decorate with even more yellow colour.

Dry, it smells strongly of caramel, brewed it smells strongly of deep, toasty caramel and tea. I’ve already done a little entry review before, but I thought I’d type this one up as if I hadn’t, just because I’ve got much more time to sit back and savour it.

There is definitely a dark caramel sweetness. It reminds me of Tealicious’ maple tea, in the weight of it.

Slightly astringent, leaves my mouth dry (although it’s been a little dry all day so this might just be me); the base is definitely Ceylon, I can taste it coming through, and it’s all right—I don’t dislike it, it’s fairly solid.

The caramel chips seem to be the cause of the cloudyness of the tea. The caramel lingers far into the aftertaste. This’ a nice tea to have in my cupboard. I think it’d be fun to mix it with others too.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
373 tasting notes

After making a huge stovetop pot of traditional chai (using President’s Choice) for everyone in my family, I decided I needed to follow it up with something a little bit more mellow.

I opened this tin to find that I’ve only about a teaspoon and a half left, and was a little surprised at how sad this made me. Not to mention, I haven’t a clue what to do with the tin after save covering it with white tape or something so that I may reuse it for another tea.

As I took my first sip, I realized how much I would miss this tea. I believe I got it from AmazonV’s art contest? I think I’ll have to go and buy more. It’s not a love relationship, but it’s like a Lady Grey. And it’s very nice to relax with. Light and cheery and citrusy. It’s a little drying, but I keep sipping it.

Edit: Decided to throw the last half a teaspoon of fanning dust in with the second steep of this, to give it a little boost and to allow me to decupboard it.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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


BC, Canada



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