371 Tasting Notes

79
drank No. 23 Kandy by Steven Smith Teamaker
371 tasting notes

I was just about to watch out of Chapters when I realized they’d started carrying Steven Smith again. Only two blacks, two greens and two herbals, of course. But they had Kandy, which they hadn’t had the last time; I almost walked out with another box of Lord Bergamot too, but decided I didn’t feel like dumping ALL my money on tea and books today.

Hadn’t had this one yet, though it was on my list. I do occasionally like plain Ceylon blends. I still miss Tealicious’ Scottish Delight. This one isn’t quite as strong as that, and and I amused myself while sitting it and thinking that it reminded me more of Murchie’s Uva Highland, before realizing that’s one of the teas listed on the back. Probably a coincidence, because I don’t ACTUALLY have the ability to tell the difference between Ceylon growing regions.

It’s not quite as sharp as some Ceylons can be. Light, but definitely still strong, but sharp, honeyed. Kandy aint a bad name.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
371 tasting notes

Holy crap, new tea page layout. I don’t know what to think about it (I think I have some complaints, but I’ll leave that out of my tasting notes, I think).

This has been on my wishlist for a very long time, and I finally picked up a tiny 1oz tin from SOKO’s. I think I was considering removing it from my wishlist on account of some people’s reviews on it, thinking maybe it wasn’t for me, but I’m glad I didn’t.

One of the pros I really enjoy about Kusmi teas is their mostly-China bases (China-Ceylon in this case); my favourite kind. You smell the bergamot first, followed by a hint of lime. Brewed, the smell is much weaker (just a hint of bergamot).

The taste is light, the base coming through. Bergamot first, then the lime. Fresh and faintly astringent. I didn’t taste the lemon so much.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
371 tasting notes

Unfortunately, all the big chunks end up on top, and all the tea ends up on the bottom. This means that if you just scoop from the top, your drink sorta just ends up tasting like a watery, faintly sour tisane and it’s pretty boring.

If you manage to scoop actual tea into it, you get more of the added flavourings as well, and the actual tea taste helps balance and lend a good base, and then overall I rather like this tea.

Of course, this is my very last cup of it—which is why I can say all of this, because I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of the bag where all the actual tea is.

The pear isn’t too bad; it isn’t overcome by the tart cranberry, anyways. It’s sweet and nice, and I DO like pear.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Weekend in Venice by TWG Tea Company
371 tasting notes

This was a Christmas present… Over a year ago. I haven’t been very active on Steepster, so I never logged it when I first got it. This is my last cup, now.

I find it quite similar to Tea Desire’s Seven Green Treasures (which luckily I still have LOTS of); strawberry and pineapple in a base of green teas.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Balhyocha KSH by O5 Tea
371 tasting notes

It’s a dark, wiry tea. Very reminiscent of a Yunnan, but also reminds me of the one Taiwan black I’ve tried. Dusty, doesn’t really seem to have many notes. Perhaps cocoa (dry, not chocolate). I think I can get what they mean by “smoke”, but nothing that makes me think maple.

I’ve had it a few times already, both in a mug and in a gaiwan. I was gifted with another variety of it, which I haven’t tried yet, but that I think I should steep side-by-side.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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67

I’ve had this floating around in my cupboard for a while, so I thought I’d finish it off.

It’s definitely the smelliest tea I have. Every time I make a cup, everyone around me perks up and leans in questioningly. I occasionally make it at Game for the same reaction. It stops roleplay for a solid five minutes as everyone squints in my direction.

For a bagged (but full-leaf) grocery tea, it’s not too shabby, and though I have no immediate plans to rebuy it, if it’s on sale or something I’ll probably end up picking it up again. Assuming I really have finished it off—I probably have a few more bags of this floating around in various backpacks.

You get berries, chocolate and bergamot in the smell, but only a faint bergamot and (stronger) chocolate in the taste. The chocolate’s a dry cocoa taste, and I’m mostly glad that the berries aren’t supplemented with hibiscus.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Finishing this off. Gravity pot, one cup, fifteen seconds plus a ten second rinse. More mellow than I remember it. Might just be me. Still enjoyable. Tobacco savoury.

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drank Pu-er 1990 Kunming by SOKO Tea House
371 tasting notes

1 1/2 tsp per 6oz gravity brew teapot.
10 second rinse
First steep, 30 seconds

This one smells woodsy.

Now, many a puerh smells earthy, deep, like decaying logs, but this one REALLY smells woodsy. Like fresh peat, or a damp forest.

It brewed lighter than other puerhs, and the leaves don’t look like they were ever compressed. The taste is definitely lighter, not as deep and earthy. Again, light, woodsy—reminds me of the oakyness you can get in some ceylons. Almost mineral. I think that’s where the “vegetal” description comes from. Makes me think of bark.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Chai by Level Ground Trading
371 tasting notes

When I got this home, I was prepared to break out a clip (I’ve a box of them just for tea bags/sample bags), but I was pleasantly surprised to learn, when I turned the bag over, that there is in fact a pull-tab to rip it open (no scissors!), and then, beneath that, a ziplock to close it again.

Despite a paper outside, it is, in fact, foil-lined as well, and all-in-all I give the packaging an A.

When I actually got it open however, and then dished some out into my infuser, all I could remark was “hand-picked my ass”. It’s a step away from CTC. In fact, it might BE CTC, just not quite as “curled”; same size, but irregularly shaped instead of the usual loose “ball” shape of CTC.

At the very least, I can say if they WERE hand-picked, I don’t think they were hand-processed. It’s too broken. No whole spices either; most of the spices are broken up to the point they’re almost ground.

On the plus side, I was pleased that the first smell when I opened the bag was cardamom, not cinnamon.

I didn’t make this on the stovetop, because it’s quite late and I didn’t want to make a racket. Just didn’t want to wait ’til the morning.

Cardamom’s prominent; I think there’s ginger in there too. Brewed at four minutes, no milk, the base isn’t bitter. Solid. Bet this would be wiz on the stovetop.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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The aroma’s strong dry, but still there when brewed. Actually carries over into the taste quite well. The sweetness of the honeybush goes very well with that sort of sticky sweet taste of the apricot and peach.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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Profile

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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