613 Tasting Notes

80

Today was a bit busier than I hoped it was going to be. I had been hoping to be a bit of a slug, but instead I did a fair bit of walking outdoors. This tea was with me to keep me warm. Beautiful vanilla marshmallow.

I took this tea with me to the theatre tonight to a rather inspired Toronto-Macau collaboration. Much enjoyed both.

Dexter

Yay for good tea – yay for theatre

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drank Eggnog Chai by 52teas
613 tasting notes

My second batch of not-sick tea of the day: meaning that yes, I am sick, but no, this is not a sick tea that I’ve put aside because I can’t taste anything. My tastebuds seem to be coming back though not yet a 100%.

I’ve added a bit of vanilla bean honey to this. My throat and tastebuds appreciate the addition. The spices in the blend seem to be making my throat happier too. Funny, I never consider that chai blends would be a good thing for colds, but I imagine they are.

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95

Still sick with a cold but symptoms appear to be getting better, so yay!
For a change and for the benefit of my throat, I added a bit of vanilla bean honey that I brought back from out west some time ago. My tastebuds are not fully back but things must be improving because I am tasting a bit of banana and a bit of walnut along with the smoothness of butter. The vanilla and honey sweetness amp things up I imagine.

Truly yum. Also, to be clear, this has certainly not been relegated to sick tea status.

Truth be told, I do have sick teas, but I am too sick to look for them but not sick enough to need precisely them. :)

I should probably get on that.

Nattie

I don’t like banana, but I don’t know, this tea just calls to me…

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100

I’ve come down with a cold with all that runny nose, sneezing, stuffy head horribleness. And now, a sore throat is the new development and my taste buds appear to be waning.

It certainly is freezing out there today, record breaking cold apparently for this time of year—yay! When I came in, I most definitely needed to start the teapot.

Initially, I thought that I’d be going directly to bed with my tea, but I changed my mind to dabble a bit online instead first. I added a spoon of black raspberry honey to this for my throat and it is most delicious this way. The citrus chamomile is coming through with an added red berry element from the honey. Highly recommend.

Dexter

Icky – hope you feel better soon

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Dexter. Hopefully, this will be a quick one.

Fjellrev

Oh no, Evol, I hope you feel better soon!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Fjellrev! Things appear to be moving along.

Nattie

Hope you’re feeling better!

Alfredo

you’re feeling soon!

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This was less obnoxious than I usually find it.

The in-store sample I tried today was just not as clove-heavy as it usually seems to be, and that, for me, is a very good thing.

VariaTEA

This is one of the first teas I actually truly enjoyed. At least the old recipe was…don’t think I’ve tried it lately

Evol Ving Ness

I usually find it quite bitter and full of clove, but that is in-store. I do have some leaf around here somewhere. Wonder what home steeping can do for me with this one.

Evol Ving Ness

oh, and I have only had it black and unsweetened, so maybe that’s it.

Arby

I find it nice as a latte, but I also love clove so YMMV.

VariaTEA

I drank it black and unsweetened too though I enjoyed the clove

Jillian

I wonder if they changed the recipe.

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95

The banana was quite gentle this morning but enough that there was a banana bread thing going on. I was going to go work out, but decided to snuggle up in bed with this tea and a book instead. A perfect winter Sunday.

Dexter

Tea, bed, book is a perfect winter Sunday

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Well, I took one whiff of the dry leaf and thought, “oh-oh, perfumey froo-froo French tea.”
I imagined that it was a cloud of rose and bergamot rising from the leaf and braced myself for something not altogether pleasant.

I used cooled water to prevent an astringent hit and steeped fast. As it was steeping, more rose, and then, something more interesting and complex happened. I poured the lightly steeped tea into my cup and waited a bit for the heat to dissipate. What I thought was bergamot disappeared completely, the rose deepened and settled to a woodier richness with the slightest tinge of tart green apple and possibly a bit of berry. All this was followed by the solid black base, not airily floating by as I had expected, but rather firmly planted.

Yeah, this tea is quite an unexpected surprise. Delightful even.

Thank you, VariaTEA.

Dexter

“oh-oh, perfumey froo-froo French tea.” – LOL :)

Evol Ving Ness

hhahaaa! you know exactly what I am talking about.

VariaTEA

You’re welcome. And I know the froo froo French teas you mean though Nina’s Paris was different for the most part…though I might be biased

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drank Eggnog Chai by 52teas
613 tasting notes

Somehow it is freezing today despite the heat blasting. My feet are little ice floes hiding in blankets. I dread having to go out shortly.

In the meantime, the spicy smoothness of this tea is comforting: ginger and nutmeg and clove and the kick of the black tea base.

Dexter

Stay Warm :)

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Dexter. Today, I pulled out the serious business winter coat. (Stop the insanity.)

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90

Fading a bit but very delicious. My second tea while recovering from having been whipped about by the harsh wind.

Arby

Recovery teas should always be decadent.

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drank Eggnog Chai by 52teas
613 tasting notes

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Profile

Bio

Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Location

Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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