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185 Tasting Notes

73
drank Summer Lemon by Rishi Tea
185 tasting notes

This tea is fairly good steeped at about three minutes. However, it is a very artificial, overpowering lemon. If you’re an Arnold Palmer drinker, you’d probably enjoy this (maybe). It’s really quite lemony.

Thanks to Sandy for sending this home with me :)

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

LOL that is my hubby’s vice – Arnold Palmer bought in giant jugs!

Sandy Stith

You’re welcome. =)

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99
drank SBT: Cotton Candy by 52teas
185 tasting notes

This tea is quite amazing. It’s also kind of strange. Let me explain.

Missy made a batch of this in one of our 64 oz Takeya pitchers (which I’ve highly recommended elsewhere, and will recommend again!) yesterday. The normal method of brewing it hot for three minutes in a pitcher full of hot water, adding some sugar, and tossing it in the fridge. Today, we drink!

I take a drink of it today, and WOW does it taste like cotton candy! Not just sugar, but honest to goodness spun sugar, with a little bit of caramelized sugar flavor in there. Behind that, way in the distance, I could taste a little bit of the tea base.

However, once it warmed up a smidge, still well under room temperature, but no longer fridge cold, the cotton candy toned down a bit and that smooth tea base had a chance to shine a little more. I don’t know if that trend would continue the warmer it got, and I never really tried the Cotton Candy black tea.

So anyway, that’s what I’d say. If you want super-in-your-face cotton candy flavor, do yourself a favor and put a mug in the freezer, and pour this tea into it. If you want a more melded experience with the black tea, pour it into a normal cup and wait until it’s ~50 degrees before you drink (anecdotal, made up number based on the fact that my fridge sits at about 40 degrees).

And that’s in Fahrenheit! So no getting confused and heating your iced tea to a sweaty 50 centigrade, blech!

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec
Dylan Oxford

Can’t get strikethrough to work, but Missy informed that I was totally wrong with how she made iced tea :)

Babble

This teas sound so interesting. Thanks for the review. I may try them later on.

Kittenna

Ahhhhh I want this now! Curse my ordering of only two teabags.

CHAroma

@Dylan, have you tried re-steeping the bag? My re-steep was reaaaally watery and honestly not worth drinking. Maybe I should have made it more concentrated instead of going for another full 2 quarts?

Dylan Oxford

We haven’t actually re-steeped any of these yet. I just talked to Missy (while I was writing this… IN REAL TIME!), and she said we have two pitchers free, so we can try resteeping it. Though, it won’t be cotton candy. I bought a second bag of it, but I’m sending it off to a friend. I’ll probably be buying more after payday though :)

Dylan Oxford

1 gallon of Razzleberry, currently cooling off! And a big batch of un-pulled pork to go with it!

DaisyChubb

You’re livin’ the good life!

Azzrian

I re-steeped this but only half the amount of water and it was excellent!

Dylan Oxford

Life is good!

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99
drank Northern Lights by DAVIDsTEA
185 tasting notes
DaisyChubb

Is it still around? Or is it gone forever? I have a heck of a time finding it!

Dylan Oxford

I hope it’s still around! I actually ordered 100g of it a few weeks ago from their website. I don’t have any nearby DAVIDsTEA shops to walk into, being a left coast American.

Though, that little bit in the newsletter made me think that might not be true for much longer!

If they discontinue it, I’m going to have to buy a kilo.

DaisyChubb

haha well there’s a discount on 500g online so there you go! :D
I’ve been meaning to make an online order, since one of my faves (Dulce & Banana) is online exclusive now! I’ll have to pick some of this up too

Kittenna

I think this is online exclusive, and I am hoping that they at least give us noticed is they decide to remove the teas they’ve put up like that. There are a few I’d want too (I just bought 50g of Dulce & Banana, but I think Chocolate Cake is up there too, and the seasonal collections).

Dylan Oxford

Yeah, I would be the saddest panda in pandaville if they got rid of this

tigress_al

On Tuesday, the girl at the store told me it is no longer in stores, so I guess on-line exclusive.

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84

Just a quick note on this one -

Missy brewed this side by side for us to taste against Teavivre’s Yun Nan Golden Tip. There is no discernible difference between the two. So, for any fans of this teas flavor profile, as opposed to the cute presentation, that tea would be a viable alternative.

Click here for the skinny:

http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/21629-yun-nan-dian-hong-black-tea-golden-tip

Bonnie

http://youtu.be/gGg6wta1qWA I think you and missy should bellydance tonight! You’ve reviewed a lot of tea! Happy 4th!

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90

As part of our ‘try every black that Teavivre has’ thing, we also were hoping that this Golden Tip was going to be a replacement for the discontinued Teavana tarantula tea that we had picked a couple packs of when they discontinued it.

Side by side, I cannot make a distinguishing difference between this and Teavana’s Golden Imperial Lotus (though, obviously, it’s not held together by a string in a round formation).

The tea is smooth, but with a very rich, malty flavor to it. There is a sweet, caramel undertone that really finishes off the taste. It doesn’t feel quite as thick on the tongue as say the Bailin Gong Fu, but it still has quite a bit of weight to it. It’s a very, very enjoyable black tea.

We’re definitely going to keep this one around, me thinks.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
DaisyChubb

Taste ALL the teas!

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82

The other side of the coin, yet again my friends!

The full leaf yunnan brews into a notably lighter colored beverage than the ‘standard’ black tea (now referred to as half-full). To match, the flavor is lighter as well. Less bold than the half-full, it still has some of the same maltiness, but where the half-full leaf ends in a very apparent smoky finish, this has a light fruitiness at the end of the sip. A little sweet, somewhat indecipherable flavor that kind of creeps in while you’re drinking.

A little less economical, at about $3/oz, but could be preferable to folks that like more refinement and subtlety from their tea. We brewed these both a little on the strong side (7g for 16 oz), so I’m not entirely sure how that would change the character.

I can’t really pick a clear winner between the two, they’re just different.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82

Continuing on with Teavivre Black Tea today… Yunnan! It’s like we’re taking a tour of Chinese tea, ha!

I did order a sample of basically every black tea they had at the time (they’ve added two since). It’s great of them to offer samples so you can get a good sweeping view of their product line.

This is the Black Tea, the most economically priced yunnan black they have, at a little less than $2 an ounce. The flavor is bold and malty, with a hint of smokiness to it. Not a lapsang, and probably not as strong as the keemun I tried from Teavivre, but there’s definitely smokiness to it (which surprised me a bit).

Compared to the yunnan full leaf that Missy brewed next to this one, there are striking differences. This tea is bold and malty, where the full leaf is refined and mellow. It is definitely an interesting comparison.

We brewed these both a little on the strong side (7g for 16 oz). Made the flavor pop out good and strong for comparison ;)

Oh, the winner? Hrmm… hard to say. They’re just different.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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91

The other end of the epic taste-off between Bailin Gongfu and Organic Bailin Gongfu!

Much like the non-organic version, this tea is very malty, with a decidedly grainy flavor and texture. It has a slightly more pronounced caramel flavor that develops into a little more chocolate-y of a flavor with a teensy bit of sugar added. It’s an absolutely delightful, earthy experience similar to a very stout, dark beer.

Compared to the non-organic BGF, I find the organic version to be a bit bolder and more flavorful, but at the cost of some of the fantastic smoothness. It’s stronger, earthier, and a bit heartier.

So who wins? It’s a very close call, but I’d choose the non-organic for myself. I could see how the organic version could easily be someone’s preference.

Either way, you’re looking at a remarkably good cup of tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95

So, in honor of receiving our Teavivre packages yesterday… we’re having our first taste-off! Bailin Gongfu vs. Organic Bailin Gongfu!

Henceforth, references to this tea will be abbreviated to BGF. Act like you know ;)

This tea is malty and smooth, a very grainy flavor and texture. Beneath it all is a caramelly sweetness, and when you add a little bit of sugar it develops into an almost chocolate kind of flavor. This remarkably interesting flavor combination only reaffirms my association of this to a good, dark beer. It’s earthy, and delightful.

So how does it compare to the Organic BGF? Well, to anyone that has drank this tea before, this isn’t going to make any sense… but the non-organic version is… more subtle. The flavor, as deep and rich as it is, pales a little bit in comparison to the Organic BGF.

However, this strength comes at the price of smoothness. The stronger, earthier organic version lacks a teensy bit of that polished, malty smoothness that the BGF has.

So, I think the blue ribbon goes to the non-organic version. As a daily drinker kind of tea, I’d choose the non-organic for myself. But, I could see how the organic version could easily be someone’s preference.

Either way, you’re looking at a remarkably good cup of tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Spot on right!

tigress_al

Hmm, sugar brings out the sugar hey…thanks, I will try that

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73

Holy puckered fishface Batman!

This should come with a warning to not drink after dental work. This thing is wicked tart. I am, on occasion, very partial to sour candy. This, on occasion, could be a replacement for a good warhead or lemondrop. I’m also curious about getting a handful of these and making some iced tea out of it with 37 cups of sugar. It would be a very refreshing lime-aid tisane (which they spell teasan?), I’m pretty sure.

It also has a strangely dry, peppery smell to it. This must be the eponymous ‘desert’.

Proceed with caution, my unpuckered friends.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Missy

No my dear the answer is always 42.

Azzrian

LOL this cracked me up!

Kittenna

Hahaha, I laughed too :) At both the post and Missy’s comment.

Indigobloom

LOL so many things made me chuckle in this review…

DaisyChubb

haha I need to not be reading this at work : “This must be the eponymous ‘desert’.” made me lol

ashmanra

Sounds like a great base for a Pangalactic Gargle Blaster.

Dylan Oxford

I aim to please!

@ashmanra that sounds improbable… ;)

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Profile

Bio

My fiancé and I are beginning to enjoy tea infusion, and it’s slowly becoming an interesting hobby that the two of us can share. Maybe not slowly… it’s somewhat amazing how much tea you can buy when everything looks shiny and new.

Tea Rating system:

90 – 100: This is a tea I will always have on hand at work, and at home. I will leave it on altars as offerings of perfection.

80 – 89: This, or one of it’s close cousins, will likely be in my cabinet at home. When this tea runs out, I will buy more. I’ll always wonder if there is something better, but be too afraid to look to stray from home to find it.

70 – 79: Definitely good, but not a clear winner. I enjoy it, I’ll finish it, but I probably won’t buy it again until I’ve exhausted all other versions of this product from any reputable retailer. Though, it may enjoy a resurrection for custom blending.

60 – 69: This tea is okay, but definitely not something I’m going to brew again. I’m going to give what I have left away.

30 – 59: I didn’t finish drinking this tea. I actually poured it out, and went for something else. I’ll still give this tea away, but I’ll do it with a warning and a plead for forgiveness.

0 – 29: This tea is riding securely towards an iceberg at the helm of the failboat. I’ve taken this out of my tea tin, and laid it on a napkin as potpurri. I do not consider it fit for human consumption.

Location

Tacoma, Washington, United States

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