409 Tasting Notes

85

Life Hack: Buy a samovar and use it as a daily hot-water dispenser for when you’re drinking tea that you’re not picky about water over. Or at least that’s my life plan. I’ll let you know how practical that ends up actually being.

Aroma: Honey with a touch of something vegetal.

Bright, almost brisk but very smooth. Mellows into honey-like sweetness, maybe darker. Raisin? I usually just say drop fruit. Each sip starts brisk, bright, followed by drop fruits and honey.

I’ve been drinking this for a while, but haven’t really gotten around to a proper review. Out of the Russian teas in the sample set I got, this one is definitely my favourite. I plan to reorder if I can, although What-Cha didn’t have the Russian teas separate last I checked (understandable, since they’re probably a bitch to get… damnit Russia).

Also back to the Tea Books again; been reading an independent published university study from the 60s on Tea Production, so expect there’ll be a post up on teatra.de about that. …Eventually.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Dark Chocolate Delight by DAVIDsTEA
409 tasting notes

Smells like Brookside chocolates. Specifically the blueberry ones.

Sort of a thick dark chocolate texture, vaguely reminiscent of chocolate chili chai, although there’s a touch of tartness under it from the blueberries. Not as strong as CCC, but that’s because of the chilis I figure. I was hoping you’d get a bit of that brownie-like taste that I like so much about it, but it’s not quite there. Similar, and I am surprised, actually, that something of the fruit makes it through.

Dusty dark chocolate with an after-tang of blueberries. Ceylon tea base, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Sri Lankan Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
409 tasting notes

Actually smells like it contains pumpkin! I know a lot of these blends just use the spices associated with pumpkin, but I’m sure I’m getting a bit of that creamy squash.

Disappears a bit in the brewed version; more spice coming through. Subtle but still there in the first sip. Just sort’ve a creamyness that isn’t from the spices. Dominant nutmeg, cardamom. Cinnamon isn’t overpowering, luckily.

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drank Strawberry Banana Black Tea by 52teas
409 tasting notes

I don’t know what to think of this one. Something seems a bit plastic. I don’t know if my tastebuds are still off (they’ve been on again off again messed up for a while… I was taking zinc a few months ago which seemed to fix it temporarily, who knows). Actually tasting the tea much more strongly, with a touch of banana. I’m glad there’s no hibiscus or rosehip in the blend to make the strawberries ‘pop’. Because for me all it does is make it pucker too much.

I’m avoiding giving these latest reviews ratings so I don’t sway anything until I’ve got an actual opinion.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Kiwi Cheesecake Oolong by 52teas
409 tasting notes

I agree with tea-sipper that this reminds me more of banana. But kiwis are also a similar sickly sweetness. As I sip more, it transforms into more of a kiwi flavour. Also coming through is… yup, I oversteeped the oolong. But I tend to treat teas poorly when they’re flavoured, since the flavouring comes out more with hotter/longer steeps. That tang might also be the cheesecake. I think I am getting a bit of graham cracker coming through as well.

Kiwi is a good choice for oolong.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Marshmallow Assam by 52teas
409 tasting notes

Assam goes about as well with marshmallows as it does with vanilla (and no, that’s not a joke; I mean they go really well together).

Dunno what to say. Felt a little weak, which is weird for assam. Guess I’ll just have to make it stronger next time. But it’s assam, it’s marshmallows, they’re together, and it’s fantastic.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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79

My package checked into customs last night. This morning I woke up and decided I’d give it a quick check before heading to class. Still in customs. Well, can’t complain, seeing as so far this has been probably the fastest ship I’ve seen. So I went upstairs… to find the package sitting on the diningroom table.

Decided mate was the way to go for the morning. Brewed this up at four minutes. You can smell the mate, and I think that adds to the sweet and nutty factor, because it does seem like I’m smelling pecans (well, I don’t remember them having much of a smell) and sweet caramel.

Starting sipping slightly too hot, but once it cooled enough, I get caramel followed immediately by the pecan. Not as much cheesecake, though there’s a tang in the aftertaste along with the mate which I think gives it a cheesecake feel.

Playing Guns of Icarus while sipping this. The oolong seems completely overtaken by the mate, though I think it might be coming through slightly oversteeped, seeing as I picked boiling water.

As it cools, definitely getting more pecan. Caramel is more in the back of the throat.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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It’s strawberries and cream, but some of the bitterness from the tea makes it smell like strawberries and dark chocolate.

I steeped this too long the first time (five minutes, whoop). I was told it was a black tea, and the leaves look it (being a purple tea…), but once you steep it, the leaves turn green.

Steeped at three minutes, and still a bit strong. Will probably cool down the water next time. It’s strawberries, cream and a slightly oversteeped green tea. Getting steamed vegetables and a bit of roast. There’s a hint of cream in some sips, and lingering strawberry.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Nancy Prokosh

The key is to steep maximum 2 minutes. Similar to green tea and water needs to cool down for 5 minutes after boiled. It is very delightful if prepared correctly.

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79
drank Azores Pekoe Black by What-Cha
409 tasting notes

Since this’ the last of this sample, I might as well try and write something about it.

Overall, I’ve found my favourite teas from the sets I bought where the Azores ones. Other places were very unique, but the Azores teas were smooth, with ceylon honey and oak. This one is brisker, the leaves a bit more broken up, but still definitely a solid tea. It recommends only three minutes, but it CAN stand longer.

I’m thinking my next order will be more samples from places I haven’t tried yet, and a larger bag of an Azores black. If I can decide which. This one isn’t my favourite out of the batch—hopefully I’ll remember to review it before I finish them all off.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Old Tree Baiye by Cultivate Tea
409 tasting notes

Smelt “tea” in the bag, but once I poured it into my pre-warmed gaiwan, I got a strong whiff of honey peach.

This is also kind’ve an excuse to test the little bamboo strainer I got from them as well. I usually just use a teaball-half as my strainer, but my inner need to buy tea accessories finally caved for this little bamboo one. It fits into my travel gaiwan bag well enough, and kinda matches the wood teaspoon I got with my Justtea oolong.

The leaf was surprisingly small (I don’t remember this one having a sample-jar in front of it), but the tea itself doesn’t seem to suffer any bitterness from it. Lightly green and toasty, not getting any peach from it but it’s only the first steep. Three’s usually the best. First steep was ten seconds.

Second and third steeps ~6 seconds. Eliminated the toastyness a bit with the shorter steep. Keep thinking I’m getting maybe hints of something fruity, but not sure.

Will try and post something more in-depth when I get a better chance to sit down with tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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Profile

Bio

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 or gaiwan. It’s the highlight of a good day.

My notes are pretty disjointed because I’m a fairly absent-minded individual, and I also keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

And I’m a Doctor Who fanatic (Jon Pertwee, if you were wondering).

“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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