3229 Tasting Notes

31
drank Garlic Vanilla by Distinctly Tea
3229 tasting notes

Sipdown! Thanks to Raritea for a sample of this interesting tea!

The dry leaf didn’t have a great deal of aroma, but once infused, it was kind of a sweet, stinky foot sort of smell, haha. Kind of strange.

The flavour is… very interesting. I’m picking up on the tomato-y note that Raritea mentioned, and definitely can taste the garlic, which is coming off as weirdly savoury. I suspect that’s in part because of the rooibos base. I can’t really taste the vanilla, but I honestly think it would taste really funky here, alongside the garlicky tomato-y rooibos-ness.

Caaaaan’t say I’d want to be having this again :) It’s a bit on the weird side for me, and I’m not a big fan of rooibos blends to begin with. Perhaps a garlic-flavoured white tea would suit me a little better. Or a vegetal garlic green.

Thanks again for the sample though, Raritea!

ETA: Apparently I should be thanking Sil for this as well?? Anyhow, let this cool overnight, and just took a sip… holy garlic! Much stronger than last night, and actually a little stomach churning first thing in the morning. There are 2-3 sips left, but I think I might toss the rest. The thought of more garlic doesn’t appeal to me right now.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Oolong Owl

that be interesting, vegetal garlic green or garlic white! Oooh a mate garlic!

Kittenna

I think vegetal flavours could go well with garlic! You’d have to be careful about too many caramel/sweet notes though (or perhaps it would work…. I’ve caramelized garlic with brown sugar and such before, and it was tasty albeit strange…)

ohfancythat (whatshesaid)

Garlic with vanilla? That sounds like a joke to me! Ew. I love garlic but cannot imagine wanting to drink an infusion of it. Also can’t see how it would mingle pleasantly with vanilla?! Weird!

Kittenna

Yeaaahhhh. Weird is the right word for it…

Ze_Teamaker

This tea is as weird sounding as pickle snow cone flavor.

Kittenna

Pickle snow cones? I adore pickles but the thought of that makes me gag a bit.

gmathis

Beeee-zarre!

Kittenna

Eh…. I didn’t mind it when I had it just after it was brewed, but man…. I almost barfed when I took a sip in the morning…. and I love garlic! It just wasn’t the right combination for me.

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79
drank Dragon Feelers by Butiki Teas
3229 tasting notes

Deliberately overleafed this one tonight, with lovely results. It has just a whisper of rock sugar/vegetal sweetness, just enough to stir your imagination into thinking you’re tasting it, but not nearly as much as most other teas have. Quite an enjoyable cup. I still can’t believe that this one stands up to boiling water, but that’s what I used!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Love In A Cup by Della Terra Teas
3229 tasting notes

Gotta say that I’m pretty sad to say that this is a sipdown. This was really a very, very tasty tea. Quite sweet and marshmallowy, and I really think it would be a great addition to my travel mug rotation (which it was in, twice). I am guessing that this tea has been at least temporarily discontinued as it was a holiday tea, but I’m hoping it’s back next year! Yum yum yum.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

I have a 2 ounce pack of this that I haven’t tried yet, though almost every time I go in the kitchen I open it to sniff. I think this weekend I will do a side by side comparison of this, Eight Candles & S’mores!

Tealizzy

What? It’s being discontinued? I better savor every little bit I just got!

ohfancythat (whatshesaid)

I would love to read a review comparing this, Eight Candles and S’Mores! I was wondering about the differences.

Kittenna

Tealizzy – actually, I see that it’s still around! I figured since Professor Grey was discontinued, they had maybe discontinued all holiday teas.

whatshesaid – I no longer remember what s’mores tasted like (though I have some left), but in my opinion, Eight Candles was similarly flavoured but did not have a strong enough base tea. It tasted much too fluffy/sweet with nothing behind it. Love in a Cup was WAY better for me. I think I liked S’mores too, so I’ll try it again soon to see.

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92
drank Lemon Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
3229 tasting notes

Travel-mugged this one as well. Definitely more creamy today, so I’ll really have to repeat my comparison, and add Lemon-Lime Cream Tart in there too. Quite tasty though. I think that keeping one of these delicious citrusy-cream teas in my cupboard may be a necessity. Luckily(?) it will be a long time before I run out….

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
OMGsrsly

I’m looking forward to this one! Can hardly wait till my order arrives. Good to know it works well in a mug. :) Which reminds me. How do you brew your teas in your Contigo mugs? My strainers don’t fit the smaller opening of the locking style, so I’m having to use a pot, and transfer the tea into the mug. Easier to just line up mugs with strainers, really.

Kittenna

Honestly, I don’t bother brewing teas directly in-mug, even though I do have infusers that fit the Contigo mugs. I find that sometimes the flavour seems to be altered when the water doesn’t cool as the tea steeps, so I just brew in a normal mug and transfer. I am pretty sure, though, that my mom brews in-mug because she likes her tea to stay hotter. The DT perfect infuser fits into the opening of the locking Contigos (which are what I have), and I also have Finum baskets (medium size, I think), and IIRC they fit great as well.

OMGsrsly

Good to know! I’ll have to pick up a couple extra mugs or thrift store tea pots, as that’s definitely a cheaper option than the Finum baskets or perfect infusers.

Kittenna

Hahaha, yes, yes it is. I didn’t buy the infusers specifically for the mugs; they just happened to fit :)

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96
drank Strawberry Pie Honeybush by 52teas
3229 tasting notes

Took a travel mug-ful to watch the boy’s soccer game final (they lost 4-0, sadly). But the tea was good! I’m getting awfully close to a sipdown with this one… I actually intended to grab Cinnamon Roll HB today, which I have considerably more of, but couldn’t find the packet and was in a bit of a rush, so this one got the nod instead. This is one of those I-really-want-to-restock-but-have-too-much-tea types of teas… I have way too many other rooibos/hb blends to drink up before this would be justifiable. Sigh.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Sweet Canadian

How does this one compare to Cinnamon Roll? I have a packet of CR on the way, but I lovelovelove this honeybush.

Kittenna

I haven’t had Cinnamon Roll for a while, but IMO they have very similar spicing, the CR is just heavier on the cinnamon and doesn’t have strawberry flavour. Personally, I prefer the strawberry version, but both are good.

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80
drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
3229 tasting notes

Watched “Blink” tonight for the first time! Hoping I don’t dream of scary stone angels…

I sweetened this tonight as I was in such a mood for sweetness. It was alright. The highlight of my evening, though, was that boy said he would try some :) So I served him about 1/2 a cup’s worth, sweetened. He drank it all, but didn’t really have any comments about it except that it tasted like tea, and wasn’t bad, but there are other beverages he’d prefer. Which is fair enough; I don’t really think that flavoured blacks would ever be his thing. I’d be much more likely to lure him in with anything that tastes fruity/juicy. And sweet, haha. Either way, it was nice of him to try it for me :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

Awwww now that’s tea romance :P

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92

My first proper darjeeling?? I’ve only tried one prior, and was not a fan (I think age was a contributor), but this one seems like it has promise! Thanks so much to Boxermama for passing on a sample!

First off, this brews up waaaayyyy lighter than I expected. I’m convinced it’s a green tea, not a black :P Second: what is that sweet smell?! Is that the muscatel that people always talk about with respect to darjeelings? It smells lovely! And delicious! Must drink now.

Oh man. I never would have guessed that this is a black…. nor how absolutely delicious it is! This is great! Mild, sweet, much like a lighter tea than a black, and I’m definitely getting delicious muscatel. This is so good. I’m gulping it down like crazy because it’s delicious. It tastes kind of like the grape-flavoured tea I’ve always wanted, where the grape flavour is realistic instead of artificial. Yeah… this is something I’d buy again. And now, I’m super curious about trying other darjeelings! I’ve given a few straight blacks a chance over the last few days, and this is definitely one of the best and most different. I have a bunch of other teas upstairs with me, and don’t want to drink anything else now because the delicious flavour is lingering so wonderfully.

Nuts. I definitely didn’t need to acquire a taste for yet another type of tea!

Anyhow, thanks so much for letting me try this, Boxermama! I am slowly but steadily trying to get through all the wonderful samples you sent me :D

ETA: Second infusion was alright, but I shouldn’t have let the leaves sit so long. When I finish off my sample of this, I’ll have to make sure I have time to do multiple infusions within a few hours.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

You might also enjoy the Glenburn Estate Darjeeling. I prefer that one to the Moonlight a little bit since it is a bit peachier. The Estate version is a special harvest and considered the best harvest of the FF.

Sil

I have one of these…though off the top of my head I can’t recall which I bought lol

Kittenna

Sil – if you have the Estate one I’d love to try. Stacy – I’ll probably request it as a sample in my next order, then! :D

Sil

doh. just checked. i have this one in my cupboard. I should make a note to pick up the estate with my next order

Bonnie

There’s a great deal of variety in black teas,now that you know the adventure continues to be amazing!

Donna A

I enjoyed Moonlight very much, and like Stacy, I liked the Glenburn Estate just a little more. But I scored both in the 90’s. And yes, there is an amazing variety in black teas. Darjeelings are quite unique. The ones Butiki has are definitely worth trying.

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62

Ah, yes, I see here in the description that astringency is to be expected. No wonder it’s not sitting super well with me! Anyways, in the comparison between this and Khongea’s Assam Leaf, this one wins out by the barest margin simply due to being a little bit sweeter. Neither is my favourite sort of black though, given that I prefer my blacks to be ultra-smooth and chocolatey (and with raisin notes if possible, haha!)

Thanks for Boxermama for letting me sample the two of these!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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68

Strange – no description or picture?! I’d fix it but I don’t have the time right now!

Anyhow, thanks to Boxermama for letting me sample this one :) Hopefully I have kept it straight from the other Khongea assam I just brewed up… (we’ll see if I notice any flavour differences?)

Flavourwise, this is a decent straight black tea, to me. I can taste some maltiness, but also some astringency (and I even steeped under the recommended time). The astringency is turning the flavour a bit bitter, which I’m not fond of, so I’m kind of glad I only have samples of both of these, instead of entire packets.

Comparing this to the Khongea Golden Tippy Assam, all I’m picking out as a difference is that the tippy version is perhaps a bit sweeter. The leaf definitely looks different, with the golden tippy version fitting the name, but the overall flavours are very similar.

An interesting taste-test, but as I said, glad to only have small samples as these would not be favourites.

Thanks again Boxermama!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Butiki Teas

I didn’t do a picture or description for this tea. I received a few packages of this tea by mistake and was told to keep it. So, I offered 1 ounce of it to customers for free when they purchased an ounce of the tippy Assam. I didn’t want to bother with a description or picture. We ran out of it pretty quickly. I wasn’t really a big fan of this one.

Kittenna

Ahhh, gotcha. I didn’t really look anything up about it :)

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70
drank Creme Brulee by Simpson & Vail
3229 tasting notes

Eh, this one was tasty enough when I drank it yesterday, but definitely not as good as Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake. A good, sweet, dessert-treat tea, but nothing like creme brulee, IMO.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

agreed.

Alphakitty

Are there any creme brulee teas that accurately capture the flavor? It seems so elusive, even the matcha from Red Leaf isn’t quite creme brulee.

Kittenna

I wouldn’t think it would be so difficult, either. All you need is a custardy creaminess, and then sweet burnt/caramelized sugar. The DavidsTea version was tasty, but mostly just sweet, without the custard creaminess. Also, it has a rooibos base, blech. Perhaps honeybush would be more effective.

Alphakitty

I’ve been thinking of mixing a vanilla/custard tea with the sugar caramel oolong from GMT since that has a nice caramelized sugar taste!

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Bio

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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