1890 Tasting Notes

75

I think this is the rose pu’erh from what I can tell based on the wrapping – there seems to be several other flavours of mini tuocha with similar packaging that the company makes. There was also a faint hint of sweet, dusty rose clinging to the dry tuocha so we’ll go with that.

I have very little experience with pu’erhs of any kind really but I know enough to rinse it (30 seconds) before steeping. Even the first 30 second steep produced a murky dark brown brew with a reddish tinge. I’ve heard some people describe pu’erhs as smelling awful but I didn’t find this one objectionable – like a mixture of peat and hay, maybe. The flavour is mildly earthy with that sweet, cured grass undertone. Unfortunately there isn’t really much rose flavour that I can pick up.

The second steep at 40 seconds is less earthy with a sweeter, more refined slightly mineral tone creeping to the fore. I think I can faintly taste some rose flavour but it’s quite faint. I suppose that’s better than drinking rose perfume. ;)

The third steep at 1 minute was surprisingly smooth and lightly sweet. I’d go for more but it’s getting late here and I need to cut off the caffeine if I have any hope of sleeping tonight. I’m not sure where this tea would rate among all you pu’erh aficionados but I found it to be interesting and pleasant to drink. Apparently this factory makes a bunch of different flavoured pu’erhs – I’m interested enough that I might see if I can get my hands on them.

Preparation
Boiling

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88

Yup, it also rocks as a latté. It was an excellent way to finish it off. :)

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98
drank White Coconut Cream by Tea Gallerie
1890 tasting notes

Two years+ on, this tea is still amazing. The flavour has great staying power.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Lemon Pound Cake by DAVIDsTEA
1890 tasting notes

I was bummed about missing this tea last year as it sold out incredibly quickly (I’m serious, it was gone in three days) so here’s to second chances. ;)

The lemon flavouring is more like a lemon candy without the tart sourness of the citric acid, which is thanks to using lemongrass as their main flavouring agent, I think. An oolong was a good choice of base for this tea, its natural sweetness, particularly as it cools off work with the vanilla to give it a nice cakey flavour. Two thumbs up!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
72
drank Vanilla Swirl by DAVIDsTEA
1890 tasting notes

I can’t say that any of the new malt shop teas had me excited but they were sampling this tea at my local Davids Tea store today so I decided to give it a try. Honestly I didn’t care that much for the plain tea, there’s a nice vanilla lemongrass flavour at the start but then the stevia hits and it’s just too much sweetness for me. I realize that stevia isn’t an artificial sweetener but to me it still tastes wrong and I can always tell when it’s been used in place of sugar in something, regardless of the amount used. My take on sweeteners in tea is that I’d rather have natural sugar or honey and add it myself, that way I can control the amount that goes in.

I commented on this to the salesperson (who knows me by name – obviously I spend too much time there) and she recommended trying it as a latté. She’s made some good recommendations before so I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. The steamed milk dampens that weird too-sweet taste and allows a rich, creamy vanilla flavour to come out.

I would rate the plain tea as 65/100 and the latté version as 80/100.

VariaTEA

I guess I know how I’ll be making the last of the sample I got. Plain this is just way too cloying.

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79

I’m a huge mango fan and I’d like to try making stick rice pudding one of these days (gotta get my hands on some glutineous rice) so this tea was a no-brainer for me.

I was hit by a lovely strong mango odor when I opened the pouch and I couldn’t stop sniffing the tea, it was so good! It isn’t as prominent in the flavour of the hot tea, at least initially, but as it cooled off it crept back in, giving the tea a great fruity tang. The coconut is in the background more as a hint but it’s more of the nutty flavour of shredded coconut rather than the rich, creamy flavours of coconut milk which I think are what’s missing from this tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
1890 tasting notes

I loved the original version of this tea to bits (and not just because I’m a die-hard Tolkien fangirl) so I was excited to try the new incarnation of it. Unfortunately I’m not feeling quite the same amount of love for v2.0 and I think the problem may be with the base. It seems to be a very vegetal dragonwell and it lacks the savory notes and slight sweetness of other longjings that I’ve tried. The result is very starkly green and a little bit flat. It needs something sweet to balance that out, I think.

I like the amount of chili flakes in this tea, enough to give it a bit of a bite but not so much than my mouth is burning by the end of my mug. I also don’t miss all the cayenne pepper settling to the bottom of my cup. The amount of smokiness was also done well, so it’s hardly all bad by any means.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
1890 tasting notes

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81

You wouldn’t think of this time of year as being ideal for iced tea, but I live in a place where winters are very dry and I often find myself craving cold drinks to quench my thirst. My bookstore stocks these RoT iced teas every summer and I always stock up at the end of the season because I know I’ll be wanting them.

This one is a black tea with a bit of a caffeine kick so don’t drink it late at night if you have trouble sleeping. Flavour-wise though the base is quite gentle and mild and acts more as support for the other flavours rather than drowning them out. The peach and ginger are a fairly well balanced mix, though I added a bit of ginger syrup so this jug has a bit more bite than it normally would. The peach comes across as a little bit artificial, though still far more natural than the flavourings found in Snapple or Lipton peach iced teas.

Preparation
Iced 5 min, 0 sec

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70

This is another tea I got on sale at work. The description claims that the overtones are chocolate and strawberry and the undertones are black tea and vanilla. I found instead that the dominant flavours are the black tea and the cocoa with the strawberry as a subtle undertone. It’s more of a tart, dried strawberry flavour than a fresh sweet one. The base is too harsh to be drunk plain in my opinion but it takes milk nicely. Not a bad tea, but I’ve had this particular flavour combination executed better in other teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I’m a university student in her twenties who’s currently working her way toward a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree. I love both science and science-fiction and I’m a history nut on top of that. Maybe I should just call myself a nerd and leave it there. ;)

I’ve been drinking tea since I was young but it’s only in the past couple years that I’ve become interested in the good-quality stuff.

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British-Columbia, Canada

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