Another sample from Sil! Thanks!

So I just decided to kind of half organize some of my teas, and ended up pretty much panicking because I have way, way, WAY too much, and I will never ever finish it all, and I have so much that I really need to put on a swap list, but I don’t have time for swapping right now because I’m horribly slow with even the tiniest, itty bittiest of swaps. My very outdated, partially updated list of teas, which has virtually no swap samples on it, is at about 300 teas. It’s also missing my last couple Butiki orders. And everything I have from Caraway, Kally, Upton, Simpson & Vail, Lupicia. Plus multiple Verdant orders. Any recent DavidsTeas. So that would undoubtedly bring it up to at least 400. And then, the swap samples. Which must total at least couple hundred in themselves. O.o What have I done…. :’(

Uhhhh so this tea, which I brewed up hours ago. Smelled crazily like honey as soon as the water hit the leaves; I nearly started drooling into the other cups I was pouring water into! Unfortunately, for me, the flavour just isn’t quite there. It has that sweetness that caramel creme rooibos’ often have (so, caramel/vanilla flavouring), and I’m kind of getting berry flavour, along with honey. But, it’s not really all that great. I’m also getting the scratchy feeling in my throat like I seem to do with many red rooibos blends (but not honeybush).

Overall, another tea I’m glad to have tried, but equally glad that I have a very, very small amount of…. :/

ETA: Re-steep, not so bad! Still lots of honey flavour :D

Boiling 8 min or more

I feel the same “I have too much tea” panic! Then I think to myself, this is the best possible problem to have.

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I feel the same “I have too much tea” panic! Then I think to myself, this is the best possible problem to have.

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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