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196 Tasting Notes

Drinking this now, I admit to reading the description of it to see what notes I was being told I should be tasting.

So it may be an exaggeration but I almost feel like I can taste key lime, like a sweet tanginess.

Or it might be my imagination. :)

It is a nice cuppa, though!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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91

I think I’m getting excited about tea again….

I had a sample of this from a local fancy tea shop last spring which has since closed down, I decided to brew some up to take to the movies with me this afternoon (hubster and I went to see the new Captain America flick)

I brewed it close to boiling and for about 3 minutes, and sealed it in my Contigo mug hoping it would remain hot, it did.

So I brought a few snacks to the movie, I’m trying to eat healthier and avoid popcorn….but I got a date cookie and was eating that and when I went for the first sip of tea I was like “WHOA!!” This tea is so delicious, you guys! (For the record, I had added a splash of milk)

I don’t know what it is, there’s something besides the vanilla, maybe just that the black base is tasty and adds to the whole thing. But everytime I took a sip I couldn’t believe how yummy it was.

There really is something to be said for a quality flavored tea vs the cheap, synthetic tasting blends, this isn’t that, not at all. It’s delicate but tasty and not overly sweet, so it’s easy to drink while eating sweets.

Remember I said I was eating a date cookie? Well you’d think that compared to a cookie, a subtly flavored tea wouldn’t taste like much, but you would be wrong! It was very complimentary and still managed to be sweet enough and flavorful enough to hold its own beside a cookie. But subtly. I wish I could figure out what else I was picking up besides vanilla.

I was looking forward to coming home to log this.

I’m actually drinking my second steep now, but it doesn’t quite hold up, it’s much weaker, especially with the milk. But in trying to stretch out my stash I probably under leafed this, good enough for one steep but obviously not two.

MF why you gotta be so hard to get?!

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Courtney

Tea excitement for the win.

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76

After my pecan pie tea disaster (tea-saster) I decided I’d rather drink something simple and unflavored, since lately I’ve been disappointed by flavored teas.

Found this one in my sample basket, in retrospect I can now remember requesting it from Stacey as a sample so I could try the base of the Creamy Eggnog tea to see what I’d get out of it.
However, when I pulled this sample out of my basket 10 minutes ago I had not yet recalled that, so I thought to myself “this should be interesting”… Brewed as per the directions on the bag and when I took my first sip I was really impressed with myself because i immediately identified it as the base of Butiki’s eggnog tea which is not something I remembered after almost a year of being Tea Free.

I used to walk around thinking I hated green tea, because I was drinking grocery store tea and no one told me to not use boiling water, therefore to me, green tea was this super gross bitter thing that people OBVIOUSLY only forced themselves to drink because they were told it was some kind of miracle health product.

Now I know better!

This has a mild natural flavor, that I am able to pinpoint as being buttery and light, and not super vegetal, which works for me.

I’m rating it as 76 because I don’t have a lot of plain green teas to compare it to, and I think I prefer a bit more richness to my tea. I definitely see why this was used as the base of my favorite eggnog tea. At the end of the day I still prefer this with a bit of flavor added (in the delicate, natural way that only Butiki seems to be able to pull off)… But one day I will revisit this, after I drink a bunch more green teas so that I have a basis for comparison.

Very glad I got to try this though!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Courtney

I tried both this one and the Wild Huangshan and I actually preferred the Wild haha. I didn’t realize they’d be so different.

whatshesaid

Oh neat, I will have to add that to my “must try” list!

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44
drank Pecan Pie by Culinary Teas
196 tasting notes

Received a sample of this last year from the awesome TastyBrew.

In my cup it smells very faintly dessert like, but not really. And I don’t taste any pie at all. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Della Terra’s flavored teas because these ones that merely suggest some sort of vague non-specific dessert just don’t do it for me.

I’m debating not finishing it and going to make something else. Something…GASP…unflavored.

I do appreciate getting to try this because the name sure sounded promising, but if I had to compare the taste to something I would say it’s a flavour akin to if I was chewing on a brown paper bag. Yeah. So that is to say a complete lack of flavour.

I put a little splash of milk in here for an after supper treat and it’s totally weak.

I know it’s probably at least a bit affected by the age of the tea but there’s no way it was delicious to start with. I can tell.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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36
drank Blue Lagoon by DAVIDsTEA
196 tasting notes

Yesterday I was at the mall with my friend who is visiting from out of town, and after a long stretch of hardcore shopping (with my 3.5 month old who appears to be out of the “you do whatever and I will just sit here and sleep” phase…), we realized we were mega thirsty and decided to get an iced tea from Davidstea.

Now this is the first new DT I’ve tried since before I was pregnant.

We sniffed the Spring offerings and none of them appealed to me but this one, which almost smelled blue raspberryish, like a yummy scented candle or something.

We got it iced, hoping it would be refreshing….

I’ve gotta say, I can’t believe this is rated so well. We both thought the same thing…I looked at her and said I didn’t like this very much because it tasted like flowers (in a bad way) and she said she found it really perfumey tasting.

Not fruity at all. Pineapple?? Where?!

2 things – I’m not a huge fan of iced teas, often I might like something hot and find the flavours gross when iced

Also, I think DT has lost a lot of their shine for me…. Plus I’ve never been a huge fan of their spring/summer releases anyway, probably because they’re all fruity and meant to be iced.

If you’re looking for me this summer you will find me drinking up my leftover stash of Santa’s Secret, nice and comforting and hot….haha.

Then on top of this seriously underwhelming tea, the store was all out of the teal mason jar mugs. Boo.

Preparation
Iced

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100

I was feeling really frugal and smart earlier because I had to run out to do a little last minute shopping when the hubby got home, and usually I take the opportunity to grab myself an overpriced and calorically exorbitant fancy coffee at Starbucks or Second Cup….but I decided before leaving the house to make a matchaccino instead! So I microwaved some milk, and put it in my Contigo travel mug with a huge spoonful of this good stuff, gave it a tremendous shake and totally enjoyed myself.

Who needs Starbucks anyway?!

Still yum.

MissB

This is amazeballs, I agree! Try it iced next time, like their green tea frappuchino. If there’s more than a 100 rating, I’ll bet you’ll give it. :)

whatshesaid

I will! :)

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79

Tried to resteep the leftover leaves of last night’s cup earlier this afternoon and it was a big FAIL. Just tasted like very lightly chocolate flavored hot water.

I very well could have under leafed round 1, but round 2 ended up down the drain, it was that flavorless. I was all proud of myself for working out today even though it was technically my day off but because I know I won’t get to tomorrow I made myself do it today instead (even though my instinct was like “YEAH! 2 days off!”… So then later on I really wanted some chocolate (I always do), and had the bright idea to polish this off instead of eating actual chocolate. I was all proud of myself for that.

Then it tasted like nothing and I caught myself staring at the wet leaves and there was a split second moment where I thought about eating the little leftover chocolate chunks…but I didn’t.

I just dumped the tea after a few mouthfuls and then went and retrieved a Laura Secord chocolate heart from my secret chocolate stash.

That hit the spot.

I wonder also if I didn’t brew this hot enough, my kettle was at 95 degrees C from when I made coffee in the morning…maybe a few degrees hotter at boiling would have made some sort of difference. Who knows…but I can try that with the rest of my sample of this, once I decide it’s time.

I’m lowering my rating slightly from 86, because barely chocolate flavored water.

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79

Oh mon dieu. C’etait un the tres delicieux.

My French is slightly (lots) rusty despite living in a bilingual province. Also it loses all meaning without the very important accents which my iPad will not include.

I got this one last year from Shmiracles and I have to say that even though I stopped drinking tea when I lost interest as an ironic pregnant woman, once in a while I would peek in my stash of samples and get excited when I saw this one (and some others she sent direct from France). I’ve been working on getting my tea mojo back and tonight I decided it was finally time to crack this one open.

I was watching Face Off (the awesome tv show, not the cheesily awesome Travolta/Cage movie of the same name) with my husband when I made the call.

So I opened the package and sniffed it and ohhhh mannnnnn….chocolate! I’ve never had a REAL chocolate mousse before, like a good French one… In fact, I googled a recipe to see how hard it would be to make, based on the smell of this I know I’d love it. Here’s a Julia Child recipe I found, in case you were curious:

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/05/perfect-chocola/

So the taste was also very very good. No doubt about the chocolate. And though I’ve never had the “REAL” good stuff, I swear this actually smelled like chocolate mousse rather than just generic chocolate tea number 47.

I was wondering if, like Wedding Imperial, it would get super strong really quickly, but it didn’t, I actually ended up steeping it longer because I wasn’t satisfied with the color. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaves but obviously I’m trying to make it last because I’m not sure I will ever be able to afford ordering this directly from France to stock it for myself!

So, if I had one complaint, I guess that it would be I would have liked it to be a bit more full bodied, like wedding imperial. A tea like that can be resteeped X amount of times because you get a strong tea out of a short infusion. I suppose some people find that’s a negative, a picky black base, but with expensive teas at least you get your money’s worth!

Basically, if you’re looking for a dessert tea, this is it. I don’t always want a dessert tea these days, I guess because I’d rather eat actual dessert with a plainer black tea as an accompaniment, but drinking this would be a better option for the waistline for sure :)

I should add that as usual(lately), I added a splash of milk to my cup. It watered it down a bit but also probably helped bring out the creaminess.

I will try to resteep the leftovers tomorrow to see how it goes.

All in all I am grateful to Shmiracles for allowing me to try this, even though it took me a year to get around to it!

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Dustin

I’m still struggling to get a good cup out of Wedding Imperial. It is a tricky tea!

whatshesaid

Yes, it is, but potent!

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74
drank Violet by Kusmi Tea
196 tasting notes

Almost a sipdown, still have enough left for a cup but I may give it to my friend to try.
Received this in a swap ages ago but I forget who it was from.

I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, I’m not sure that I’m a flower drinker, but I wanted to give it a try. Surprisingly, it wasn’t super floral tasting, so even a non-flower drinker could enjoy it!

I could definitely pick up the violet notes, I’ve never eaten violet candies or anything though I’d be willing to try.

It was perfectly drinkable and not overwhelming at all. Definitely an acceptable cup of tea.
Ultimately at the end of the day, I’d rather look at my pretty African Violet plant (that I miraculously haven’t managed to kill in like 5 years), than eat it.

My rating is based on me not being a flower eater more so than the quality of this tea.
I am a fan of kusmi in general, and this was a nice, dark, thick bodied cup at a 3 minute steep.

The old me would have just drank it straight up but apparently the new, post pregnancy me wants to put milk in every cup of tea…. I liked that milk didn’t water this down. Possibly made it a little creamier and slightly less flowery, which wasn’t bad for me!

I would recommend this tea if you were looking to try something floral but afraid of being overwhelmed by a garden in your mouth :)

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Milk & Cookies by 52teas
196 tasting notes

I received this in a swap from someone over a year ago and it’s probably even older than that.

I accidentally oversteeped it while I was changing the baby and it got super bitter. Honestly, I’ve never found a 52Teas blend that I’ve enjoyed. I feel bad saying that because I know that behind the tea is a passionate dude who has a neat concept and cool flavor ideas but they’ve never worked out for me.

I’ve tried various ones received in swaps and they all seem to kind of taste the same, and the taste isn’t good. I may have oversteeped them all as I hear the base is picky, and I will allow for the fact that this one is crazy old and probably stale as all hell, but I think I just dislike this black base.

It kinda reminds me of the Pancake Breakfast blend which I was also not impressed with. Beyond the gross bitter base I am getting a hint of brown sugar, but no chocolatey taste.

If you want a tasty cookie tea I suggest Davidstea’s Cookie Dough, when they have it. Not sure if it still exists.

I won’t rate this because it’s old, but…it just wasn’t worth drinking. That’s my final answer.

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Profile

Bio

Hello!

So here’s where I am now. I had jumped head first into the world of teas after Davidstea opened in my city a number of years ago. I gave up coffee and became a huge tea freak. From there I joined Steepster and started ordering teas online like a madwoman (not that anyone here would know what that’s like…)

I was swappin’ up a storm and drinking like 6-7 cups a day and I had this tremendous stash to get through…..then. I got pregnant in Spring 2013 and my baby played a funny little joke on me by turning me into someone who had zero interest in drinking or even smelling most teas. I wanted only coffee all the time which was hilarious because of course you can’t really do more than a cup a day when you’re pregnant.

Anyway. In December 2013 I had my baby girl, and now I’m on maternity leave and though I still LIVE (I cannot emphasize that enough) for my morning cup of coffee (or two…), I am trying to get myself excited about tea again, because I have TONS.

So my mission, which I choose to accept, is to first sip down all the samples I have, sent to me last year by lovely Steepsterites, pre-baby.

Here’s what I love (or I did before, and am trying to again):

Butiki teas in general because the flavours are subtle and not fake tasting and don’t overwhelm the tea base

Harney and Sons Paris is my all time favorite tea.

Mariage Freres and Kusmi are also on my awesome list.

I love creamy earl greys.

Also have an appreciation of oolong.

I have a mega stash of super flavored teas to work through, or I may try to sell them if I decide they are no longer for me. The sip downs will determine!

I love swapping!
Please note my Cupboard contains everything I have including minuscule samples of teas so it is not intended to be reflective of what I have available for swap…

When I rate, it goes like this:

85 -100 = WIN! awesome, I love this and keep it on hand
70 – 85 = pretty darn good but I don’t NEED to own it
55 – 70 = not necessarily terrible but not a tea for me!
30 – 55 = missed the mark as far as I am concerned. Wouldn’t drink it willingly.
0 – 30 = I likely won’t rate this low very often, so if you see it, consider the tea a great big FAIL and probably disgusting.

Location

New Brunswick, Canada

Website

http://whatshesaid.etsy.com

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