3229 Tasting Notes

70
drank Congou Keemun by Butiki Teas
3229 tasting notes

I need to try at some point to sort out the various subtleties of straight black teas, so this is one step in the right direction, with a sample courtesy of Stacy at Butiki. Can’t say I’ve tried very many straight keemuns… just one, I think. And I honestly don’t much remember what I thought of it! So hopefully this one’s tasty.

The aroma is a bit fruity and…. play-doughy. The latter is usually a flavour associated with flavoured teas, so I can’t say why I’m getting it here, but it isn’t offputting.

Flavourwise… I don’t know what I was expecting, but I think this is exceeding my expectations! I’m getting a honey sweetness, and fruitiness… kind of like the Premium Taiwanese Assam in that respect, but not really any chocolate. These two tasty notes are backed by a malty black tea flavour which is fairly standard, according to my palate. There is some astringency, which I’m not fond of, so perhaps dropping the infusion time by 30s would be useful.

Overall, this is pretty good and makes me interested in trying more keemuns, but the astringency would be a bit of a problem for me, since I like to drink my tea straight and dislike when teas even hint at it. Thanks for the sample, Stacy!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I love this with milk and sweetened in the morning.

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80
drank Professor Grey by Della Terra Teas
3229 tasting notes

Ok, so I’m one of those people whose ears perked up when they heard complaints that this tea tasted smoky…. because I like smoky tea! And what did I purchase in one of my post-Christmas Della Terra orders? A Try Me pack of this tea!! :D

Upon opening the packet of tea, it definitely smells smoky. Of course, my tastebuds started watering…

Awwwww yeeaaaah! This is great! Guys, if you have a sample of this and don’t like it…. waves This is delicious! Like a smoky cream earl grey. Nuts, I would have probably picked up more of this had I known (or maybe I did… Steepster is down right now so I can’t check the tea description, so perhaps it’s even listed as a smoky EGC. Either way, yeah, this is really lovely. The smoke isn’t harsh, probably tempered by the cream, and the bergamot is subtle enough that I think even a bergamot-hater like Sil might find this enjoyable. :P Either way, I’m really dying to read all the other reviews on this and see if I’m the first person to write a positive review… because I can see anyone who likes smoky flavours enjoying this tea!

[Hmmm… I see that there’s supposed to be chocolate here? And no mention of smoke? How very odd.]

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
momo

bahhh I have an ounce I haven’t opened and I didn’t realize the complaints about it were about smoke.

Tealizzy

Okay, I guess I just don’t like smoky teas, but also, I hate it when expectations aren’t met, and they didn’t say anything about it being smoky! Anyway, I was going to see if a coworker liked it. If not, I’d be up for a swap!

Sil

hmmmm…….

Alphakitty

Mine is really smoky too, and no chocolate—but honestly, I really like smokey teas I was kind of happy about it!

Kittenna

momo – if you try yours and it’s smoky (I’m not sure if it’s a batch issue or something, as I definitely saw reviews that didn’t mention smokiness, and to me if was blatantly obvious in my batch), I’m probably a willing recipient of it.

Tealizzy – give it a shot with your coworker (I love milk & sugar with my smoky teas, though I found this one didn’t need it), and if that’s a bust, let me know :)

Tealizzy

Will do! :)

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78

Thanks to Boxermama I get to give this one a second shot! I was worried that my first sample had sat too long and lost flavour, and felt I was perhaps being unfair to the tea. (This is the same thing that I think happened with Pistachio Ice Cream, so I figured it was worth another shot.)

Turns out, I do think my sample had lost flavour. Although the flavour is not strong here (I also may have underleafed), I can taste hints of spices and pumpkin (like, actual squashy pumpkin) and creaminess. It’s growing on me the more I sip it, which unfortunately means it’s also almost gone :( I’ll have to use the rest of my sample in a teensy mug to see if I can amp up the flavour, but I’m certainly more impressed than I was the first time. However, I don’t think that this tea is what most people seeking a pumpkin spice-flavoured tea would be looking for – it’s tasty, but the flavours are too light (although deliciously complex), and I highly doubt it would hold up to sitting in a travel mug all day. For those occasions, Della Terra and/or DavidsTea would be better options, but for a nice mug to savour, I’d certainly choose this above some more robust options!

Thanks again Boxermama! Hopefully I’ll get to more of your samples (which are nearly all Butiki teas, super excited!) later this week :D

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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80

Threw some of this in a travel mug yesterday because I was in a hurry and wanted a tasty flavoured black, but didn’t want to finish off anything (and I had enough of this left to still leave a cup’s worth). I don’t honestly remember thinking too much about it as I drank it, but I finished it, and it was good. Tasted much like the chocolate base of many of Della Terra’s teas, minus any of the additional ingredients that make them extra delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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98
drank Quangzhou Milk Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
3229 tasting notes

Sipdown! I was going to pick more of this up, but instead I ordered some milk oolong from Tealux. Hence, this purchase will be postponed for a while. Tasty tea though (even though it didn’t taste quite right in the mug this time for whatever reason).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

I think I might like the David’s version better, so I’m excited to see your opinions on the Tealux one.

Plunkybug

I think I actually like Teaopia’s version better, but they are close.

Kittenna

I lately have actually been loving the quangzhou milk oolong from a local place, Bon The Place, so yeah, it will be interesting to see how everything compares! Really, as long as I enjoy one, I’m happy though, haha.

Indigobloom

I haven’t found one that compares to the uber expensive American Tea Room version. Sooooo heavenly!

Kittenna

I feel like I tried that from someone, but wasn’t wowed. Either way, price has gotta factor in. The DT one is quite expensive; Tealux’s is definitely cheaper, and I don’t know the price of the locally-available one.

Indigobloom

Might have been me, but the sample was super old.

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82

Apparently I don’t have too much of this one left! Which is ok only because I have too many other teas :D Anyhow, into the travel mug it went, and it was oh-so-tasty. I had somehow forgotten about all my S&V teas when choosing flavoured blacks for the morning; I’ll have to migrate some into the “potential morning selections” bin :P

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91

Delicious, delicious tea-for-breakfast yesterday morning. I think this and other dragonwells may become my go-to first thing in the morning teas, because they sit so much better in my stomach than flavoured blacks which sometimes edge towards astringency (Laoshan Black and Premium Taiwanese Assam are good too, but more limited in their supply in my cupboard at the current time). Anyhow, it was great in the travel mug yet again, all rock sugar and chewy vegetal. I deliberately overleafed to give it a stronger flavour, which was quite successful.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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86

Brewed up at the boy’s place and didn’t really finish it…. but it was good! This is definitely more of a travel mug tea for me than anything else though. A nice flavoured black to look forward to when working hard :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

I’m bad; had another travel mug of this one and now I only have enough left for a single small cup :( It was sooooooo good though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Coconut Chai by Zhena's Gypsy Tea
3229 tasting notes

Drank at the boy’s place yesterday, but regret throwing out the bags after one infusion. Sigh. Also, definitely should have used Brita water.

Indigobloom

I hear you on the brita :/

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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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