3229 Tasting Notes

77
drank Smoky Chocolate by 52teas
3229 tasting notes

So I’ve been craving a smoky tea for days now. I keep thinking of brewing up some more of my Verdant reserve lapsang souchong, but I don’t have much of it left…. (Ok, I should just brew it up before it loses flavour!)

Anyways, I have a pouch of this from LiberTeas, and also acquired a pouch during one of 52teas’ sales, so I figured I should try to drink it down. I don’t recall liking this tea much straight, but to me, smoke goes incredibly well with milk + sugar. In this case, heavy cream and sugar, because we happen to have cream in the fridge from some culinary experiments last week.

Aside from the fact that this is absolutely decadent due to the cream + sugar… this is perfect. Delicious smokiness. Not tasting chocolate per se, but all I was really after tonight was the smokiness.

When I got in on an Upton order a while back, I ordered both their Lapsang Souchong Dragon (??) and Baker Street Afternoon Blend, which IIRC has something smoky mixed in there. I’ll have to try them and see if either’s something I can drink straight, as having my tea doctored is not a good routine option for me (the only tea I allow that treatment with is Mayan Chocolate Chai, because it’s smoky too, and because it’s a chai).

ETA: Had an amazing second infusion too. Soooooo good. Holds up to additions so amazingly well.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

the 12 days of christmas tea i picked up from majesteas is a really nice smokey tea that has a unique profile to it. If i end up picking up more i’ll pass a sample off to you.

Kittenna

That would be awesome! I seem to like smoky teas, but need to work on finding ones that are smooth. The Verdant one is so good, I wish it was available for purchase :(

Alphakitty

Tealux has a very smooth maple-flavored Lapsang Souchong, I have no issue drinking that one straight (but I do love smoky blends)!

Kittenna

Maple-flavoured??? Heck yes….. searches

Kittenna

More details, please? :)

Sil

noooooo alphakitty! no recommending companies that aren’t on our existing lists lol Kittenna! don’t you dare do it! lol sooo many teas to order still..

Alphakitty

http://steepster.com/teas/tealux/27381-russian-maple-souchong

They have sample sizes so you don’t even have to invest in a large portion! Maple and smoke go perfectly together in my book

Kittenna

Too late…. :D :D :D :D

Kittenna

PS Thanks Alphakitty!

OMGsrsly

OMG. I might need to place another tea order! Russian Maple sounds amazing. Thanks Alphakitty! (I’ve ordered from there, and my parcel took forever after Christmas. They were very quick authorizing a trace and offering to re-send if it didn’t make it.)

Terri HarpLady

maple lapsang souchong? hmmmm….I might like that…

Kittenna

Soooooooo thanks entirely to you, Alphakitty, I now have a wish list of like 20 teas, totalling like $40, and will be making an order very, very soon. Thanks….. ish? :P

Alphakitty

Haha, sometimes I think Steepster is the worst thing that ever happened to my wallet. We’re all enablers XD

Kittenna

Wallet, space in my room….

Terri HarpLady

Yes, we probably all need a 12 step program…if only we were willing…

OMGsrsly

I wish I knew more locals who were into tea, since I pretty much want sample sizes of everything to try, but $60 of samples is just too much.

Sil

just find tea friends! kittena and indigobloom and raritea and i found each other :)

OMGsrsly

Know anyone on the site in or near Vancouver, BC? :D Ooh, or maybe there’s a Discussion thread…

Kittenna

Actually, I think there are a bunch of Steepsters in Victoria? I know, not the same place, but neither are Guelph and Toronto :D

OMGsrsly

Victoria is easier to get to, AND there was a post for a meetup that I have hijacked! So awesome.

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79

Augh. My computer is all sorts of not-working, and even writing tasting notes is not going so well. I think the computer needs a restart, and perhaps some “medical” attention…. :/

Anyways, this was the last of the teas I threw into a travel mug this morning, courtesy this time of LiberTeas. I’m still quite the fan of this tea and the hojicha base. It’s so toasty and perfect; the banana flavour isn’t runt-like, but like actual banana chips, and there’s such a lovely creaminess. I’m getting some astringency with my boiling water infusion, but it’s the sort of astringency that I find bearable (hard to explain). I would really like this blend to make a reappearance!!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

that sounds interesting. I don’t remember this blend coming out!

Kittenna

It was from probably a year or more ago; I got some from both LiberTeas and momo.

Indigobloom

ah. I wasn’t paying as much attention to 52teas back then

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83

Mmmmmm. Just getting pretty much a caramel flavour here, but man is it delicious. Sometimes I wish that there was actually some pineapple here, and then I remember that it seems I’m not actually terribly fond of pineapple in teas, as it turns out, so best it stays this way, haha.

ETA: Nom nom nom, delicious infusion #2. Tea is really hitting the spot for me today.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

Since the pineapple is faint here I find it great for mixing to make other “cake” teas. Blueberry cake, chocolate cake, chai cake…

Kittenna

Ahahaha, chai cake. Yeah, the caramelly flavour is wonderful in this tea. Probably the strongest I’ve had! I imagine it would be great mixed with anything needing that boost of sweetness. I don’t find it particularly cakey myself, but it’s quite tasty.

Indigobloom

dang now I wish I asked for this one in my sampler

Kittenna

Well, if you’ll notice on the spreadsheet, there’s a Della Terra order list, ahahahaha….

Indigobloom

lol true!

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79
drank White Bubbly Berry by Kally Tea
3229 tasting notes

Definitely loved this more the first time I drank it… mostly getting just grape right now, no tea aftertaste, but I suspect that’s because I have been drinking other strongly flavoured teas at the same time, and only the grape flavour is strong enough to compete. Tasty enough, but I loved the complexity I tasted the first time!

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
3229 tasting notes

Hadn’t been drinking this one lately, so decided to indulge in a cup. Yummy as always, and it tasted like I was drinking hot chocolate for a moment, which was awesome :D

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec
TastyBrew

I’ve read so many rave reviews of Laoshan Black! I can’t wait for Verdant to get it back in stock so I can try it out!

Sil

i think david was expecting it in march

TastyBrew

Great! Thanks! I’ll keep my eye for it.

Terri HarpLady

March? Guess means I can quit hoarding the last of my stash…

Sil

lol Terri i was doing the same thing. However, I also pretty much tossed that out the window, not because i think it’s coming back but because it will force me to drink my other teas up while i wait. I’ll be picking up another batch of the new picking when it’s out AND the laoshan genmiacha david said he’s have available when the black is in stock as well :)

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, it’s not like I don’t have plenty of other black teas to drink! Sometimes I wonder why I hold on to these things. I had enough Zu rong for 2 more sessions, so I mailed half of it, along with my last serving of TeaVivre’s keemun, to a friend as a surprise, cuz
1 – I knew she’d dig it AND
2 – To practice letting go.
It felt good to do so!

Sil

yeah that’s so hard. I have a bunch of teas i really love that i SHOULD send off just so that they’re enjoyed while still fresh but it’s so hard…i love them lol

Marcel Duchamp

I want to try this tea!!! I’m signed up to updates from Verdant, so I will just have to order it as soon as it is available again.

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75
drank Hearts & Roses by Della Terra Teas
3229 tasting notes

Travel-mugged, and pretty decent. Love In A Cup is definitely better, though, although both are very similarly flavoured. I’m not getting rose here at all, which is not an issue for me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81

Quick backlog, forgot to note this one down earlier – glad I’m getting some flavour from it now, even if I was somehow managing to confuse it with Yu Lu Yan Cha Black! Having a second infusion now :) For some reason, I’ve been craving “dry” teas lately, as in, ones that are light and non-vegetal, which this one is. Hits the spot :)

ETA: OH man. Second infusion of this one sat overnight as I passed out early again, and I’m positive it only got better! The oolong flavour is SO strong and delicious now, I could drink this forever!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I’ve still got some of this one. I came across it and the aged trad anxi last night while I was reorganizing my teas. About enough for maybe 2 sittings of each.

Kittenna

Yummmm. I really should compare the two. I can never keep straight how they each taste.

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84
drank Yu Lu Yan Cha Black by Verdant Tea
3229 tasting notes

Backlog from earlier today. I mugged this and Verdant’s Light Roast Traditional Anxi Tieguanyin in the morning while I was making tea, in preparation for an afternoon seminar, which worked out well as they were both quite drinkable by the time it rolled around. Perhaps I could have waited a little longer to brew them up, though, so they would have had a bit more warmth.

Anyways… I actually managed to confuse which tea was which, because in the travel mugs, they tasted much the same. it was quite strange! Good, though.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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96
drank Strawberry Pie Honeybush by 52teas
3229 tasting notes

Good old reliable strawberry pie hb. See, I only brewed up this, Blueberry Creme, and Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake HB this evening, and given that two of those are quite identifiable, I definitely don’t have the PB Cup mixed up with something else :/

Anyways, this is tasty, albeit not as strong as I usually brew it, I don’t think. Maybe I didn’t brew these for long enough??? Hrm, I thought I had. Oh well.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
canadianadia

I’m not sure if this works for everyone’s taste, but I tend to just leave honeybush brewing and not take it out at all. It does result in some sediment, but it doesn’t get that oversteeped taste that would happen with other types of tea.

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43

This tea massively confuses me. I know I have it right this time, and I’m pretty sure that I used 2.5 tsp in this mug, and I swear I’m just tasting hot water. I am so confused, because I thought I had figured out my mistake from last time, but perhaps I screwed it up even more. Bleh. I think I’ll leave it until the morning and see what happens, then possibly try another even stronger attempt tomorrow, because this is ridiculous.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Sil

is this on the list for a sample from you? lol

Fjellrev

That’s too bad. The concept sounds like a winner. I’d personally like to see a Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake black though.

Kittenna

Nope… put it on there if you’d like. I’m so annoyed about the lack of flavour :(

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Profile

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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