3217 Tasting Notes

75

Brewed this up for a travel mug, and so it’s been sitting in there for about 2 days (yeah, I have bad tea hygiene… but I haven’t been sick yet, so whatevs). Anyhow, I think this one only improved with sitting! I’m actually enjoying it now. Still way prefer the non-upgraded version though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Mercuryhime

Love your attitude. :)

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85

Sipdown! And I didn’t have enough, so added in some of the DavidsTea stuff as well.

Unfortunately, even with a 3-minute infusion, I either overleafed or one of these teas tastes kinda funky… there was definitely astringency, and I’m trying to finish my mug now, but it tastes a little like something’s rotting in my mug :/ Not pleasant. This is unusual, so probably user error of some variety!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95

I have so much of this one (a bit of an overbuy, I’ll admit, if only for freshness reasons), that I was curious to see if it would work in a travel mug. And? Success! It’s certainly better in a regular mug, but it was pretty good this way. Just have to ensure I use a contamination-free mug!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Love In A Cup by Della Terra Teas
3217 tasting notes

Quick tealogging… gotta keep working.

Thermosed this one on Saturday along with 4 others to take to the boy’s house. This one went down quick…mmmmm. Chocolatey and marshmallowy. And I even got a re-steep that tastes like marshmallows! I’m not sure if there’s a ton of theoretical difference between this one and Eight Candles, but I adore this tea! If I need to add a 1 or 2 oz. packet to a future order, this will probably be it (if I still have a good stock of Lime Chiffon and Chocolate Pumpkin Pie!)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

mmmm looking forward to trying this one

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76
drank Happy Kombucha by DAVIDsTEA
3217 tasting notes

Hmm, getting an interesting mix of flavours in this one today. A much better mix of flavours than I recall having the last time I drank it – the oolong is really making itself known here! Quite a nice fruity oolong. And I am oh-so-thankful I can’t taste the kombucha – I bought a kombucha tea a few months ago out of curiousity and tried to drink it, and it was even more disgusting than beer! My roommate even thought it was gross, so I threw it out. Sad times.

(This is a 1.5 day backlog… apparently I left this note sitting open pretty much the entire weekend while I was at my boyfriend’s place).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Mercuryhime

I remember trying kombucha a few years ago. I was forcing myself to finish this supposed elixir of life. Then my sister tried some and said it tasted like sour feet. Well I just couldn’t drink anymore after that. It’s one of those foods where I think the first person to try it was somehow desperate or very very brave.

Kittenna

Ahahaha. Yeah, I tried to force myself to drink it too, but it just wasn’t happening. I hated it with a rating of about 3, on here.

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92

Seriously, I can’t even begin to describe how incredibly berrylicious this tea is! AMAZING! Pure real blueberry/cranberry flavour is what I’m getting, and it’s way better than I would have imagined. I’m very picky about flavoured greens, and honestly wouldn’t have picked this one myself, I just jumped on it when Sil wanted to try it, and that was such a good decision :) This is pretty much the perfect hibiscus-free berry tea. I don’t frankly care if it’s artificially flavoured, because it is so good!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

Lol. Well glad you liked it :)

tea-sipper

This is the last one of my Della Terra order I have yet to try… I should probably do that!

Kittenna

I was surprised!

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64

So, I was at a PhD defense earlier this week, and picking up a titbit to munch on when the teas caught my eye. There were the usual Higgins & Burke teabags, and mixed in amongst them were some “Four O’Clock” teas! Not a company I was familiar with at all. And to top it off, they had a bagged straight white tea! So of course, I nabbed a bag and took it home with me (I of course had three partial thermoses of tea on the go then, so wasn’t planning to brew anything else up to watch the seminar).

Decided tonight/this morning was the time to brew this up before I forgot about it, so I did. Went with usual-ish white tea parameters as I really had no idea…. of course, it only just occurred to me to look on the packet for instructions, and there we go, I was good on time but a little high on temp (they recommend 85C). Ah well.

Now, I haven’t had many straight white teas, so that will make this a bit difficult (i.e. I won’t be able to tell what’s different between this bagged tea and a loose version of the same). Except… I just realized that bai mu dan is actually one white I have had straight! Hmm.

Anyhow, the flavour of this tea is rather familiar. I don’t know if it’s the same as the BMD I had previously, but that’s certainly a possibility. It’s vegetal, but not in that juicy/beany/chewy sort of way. More… grassy, almost, except that’s not accurate either. It’s a bit astringent, but I must say… it’s actually not bad at all! It certainly doesn’t taste “high quality”, but to me, it doesn’t taste bagged either – I’m getting a nice lingering “tea flavour” at the end of the sip which is not something that I’d expect with a bagged tea, though that said, I think I’ve really only drank bagged blacks before, and I don’t get “tea flavour” from blacks whether loose or bagged.

Anyhow, I’d probably pick this out again if that basket of teas reappears at the next thesis defence (which sadly, won’t be mine, although… sooooonnnnnn…….)

Apologies for this rather confusing log – my sleep schedule is impossibly out of whack, and I’m a little crazy right now…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

You get to watch other people’s defense’s?? neat

Kittenna

Yep! There’s always a seminar that’s open to everyone, and we can stay for the questioning if we want. I just went for the seminar this time.

OMGsrsly

Haha. That’s pretty much exactly why I don’t want to do a Master’s. Sad that defending in front of random people might be my deciding factor, but I absolutely lose my brain to panic when people I don’t know are there when I’m presenting!

Fjellrev

Ha! Way to be. I need to start eyeing up the teas at the colloquia. Shifty eyes will ensue.

Kittenna

Actually OMGsrsly, I’m quite terrified of public speaking myself. It’s the major reason I opted not to transfer from a Masters to s PhD. When I’m speaking, I sometimes completely and utterly lose track of what I’m saying, and it’s really awful/embarrassing. It happens sometimes in conversations with people, but it easy to brush off/laugh about, but when speaking to your advisor/a room full of people, it’s really… not good. I’ve certainly improved, but I’m still pretty worried about four months from now! (My anticipated defense date.)

Kittenna

Incendiare – Hehe, doooooo it! I grabbed a couple Higgins & Burke samples one day, and feel like I should “collect” the rest they have. Just for curiousity/research purposes. I usually bring my own tea, so really, it’s not like I’m taking more than my fair share or anything!

OMGsrsly

Fingers crossed for you! I have a while to decide, and have 2 potential supervisors lined up already, although they’re not in the field I really really want. :)

Kittenna

Haha, thanks! Yeah, make sure you REALLY like your project…. :D I could have stayed with my supervisor for a PhD, but have opted not to do one for the time being… I’ve had enough…

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74

Yep… in the world of pu’erh, I am still so much a newbie. Perhaps with enough consumption, I’ll be able to distinguish beyond sheng/shu (like I can now distinguish a bit between different straight black teas), but until then, my palate remains terribly unrefined.

I still find that sheng is much more to my liking; it doesn’t brew up nearly as dark and inky as many shus I’ve tried, and the flavour tends to be more sharp and spicy than a mellow shu (and also, I don’t tend to notice things like earthiness and fishiness, which I still have trouble with).

Anyhow, I attempted to use about 2 tsp of this cake for my ~8-10oz. cup, and gave the pu’erh a 15 second rinse prior to a 30 second infusion. I’m quite pleased with the results – pleasant, light flavour (but lots of it), and that characteristic “sheng” flavour. It’s also quite smooth, which is very enjoyable. Unfortunately… that’s about all I can tell you. I’m enjoying it while reading/writing about antioxidant activity assays, and it’s a welcome distraction, heh. Hopefully I’ll have the chance for another few infusions later this morning, or tomorrow.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Tealizzy

Is that what your thesis is about? Antioxidants? Sounds interesting… I have a chemistry background.

Sil

Her thesis is on asparagus grin

Kittenna

Sil & Tealizzy – yep, asparagus, but more specifically, the genetic variation in phytochemical content and retention of phytochemicals during cooking. Of course, the phytochemicals in question are mostly of note due to their antioxidant capabilities, so I did a few antioxidant activity assays for my cooking trial. It was a part of my project that had been tacked on mid-way, so I hadn’t written a lit review about it yet, which is what I was/am doing. :D

Sil

Blahblahblah….asparagus….blah blah blah :)

I kid of course ;)

Kittenna

Nope, that’s ok… My boyfriend and his mom do the same thing, but I kind of wish that they would at least try to understand instead of assuming it’s too complicated!

Sil

lol i actually wouldn’t mind reading your thesis sometime :)

Kittenna

It’s currently at about 47 pages :D Which includes my intro, much of my lit review, and my materials and methods. No results, discussion, figures, tables, references, extraneous front matter…. hahahahahaha it’s going to be long .

Tealizzy

Your thesis sounds interesting, and you get to do cooking too! Fun! I totally understand about people not even trying to understand what you do. Good luck with the write-up!

Ze_Teamaker

That sounds like a good essay. I always wondered if vegetables lose some of their minerals and beneficial properties when they are cooked. I know the broccoli pretty much gets destroyed when you boil it (in flavor as well).

Indigobloom

When I cook, (if boiling that is) I try to use the water in something else like a sauce or soup etc. Dunno if that saves any antioxidants or anything but I figure it can’t hurt!

OMGsrsly

OMG that is so cool!

Kittenna

Well, it was interesting before I spent two years on it! :P And yes – nutrients are definitely lost when veggies are boiled, so it’s actually in general not the best way to cook them! Steaming is better. So yes, Indigobloom – using the cooking water from boiling is actually a good idea based on some prelim results I have – the one phytochemical I was looking at was definitely lost from the spears… and ended up in the cooking water! Didn’t get destroyed, just leached out. Sadly I didn’t get to test all the cooking liquid as I wanted; it was cut from my project due to lack of time.

Ze_Teamaker

Hey, at least you are doing one. I about choked on my tea when I read that you typed up 47 pages. I already have a hard time doing 2000 word research papers for school.

Kittenna

LOL a sign of how tired I am – I actually meant 57! 16.5 of Materials & Methods + 40-ish of Lit Review. I should go home and sleep…

OMGsrsly

I think pretty much anything is really neat until you spend 2+ years full time on it. :)

Indigobloom

aw that’s sad your project had to cut the water study out! interesting to know, I’ll have to tell Mum.. she always boils veggies

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81
drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
3217 tasting notes

Sipdown!

Ok, I confess… this tea has grown on me and now I really like it, hahahahaha. I thought it would be a great candidate for a sipdown while thesis-writing… yum, I was right. The sickly sweet mapley goodness is just working perfectly for me right now. Considering brewing up the last(?) of my Birthday Cake sample soon as well.

I can feel my willpower slipping… I may end up going into my local DT very soon and picking up 50g of this, Salted Caramel, Banana Oolong… and possibly anything else that strikes my fancy… because I deserve a treat, right? Nevermind the 10 years worth of tea I already have in my room…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ohfancythat (whatshesaid)

It is pretty freakin amazing :)

tattooed_tea

Banana Oolong has been discontinued

Kittenna

I know… I am hoping that my local store still has it in stock though. If not I may need to get it online. Already missed out on Caramel Spice, which I’m a touch irritated about.

tattooed_tea

they had it on the site last week. I’m still pretty irate about pom power.

Sweet Canadian

Banana Oolong hasn’t been officially put into the last chance section yet so I think you’ll be able to get some because the rest of their non-obsessive customers won’t know yet.

OMGsrsly

Sweet Canadian, neither has chicory dickory doc, but it hasn’t been available in stores for about 3 months. :/

Kittenna

I’m fairly sure that Banana Oolong is still available somewhere, at least. My list is now: Checkmate, Banana Oolong, Salted Caramel, Coco Chai Rooibos, possibly Quangzhou Milk Oolong. Perhaps I’ll try to finish off my tins prior to heading in to pick up the Spring Collection/March TOTM, and then buy it ALL.

OMGsrsly

All the tea!!! :)

Kittenna

I knowwwww…..

Lynne-tea

Did you pick some more up ? :)

Kittenna

I didn’t, actually! Willpower ftw!

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70
drank Eve by Nina's Paris
3217 tasting notes

Thanks to Laurent at Nina’s Paris for this sample!

Dry and brewed up, this tea smells deliciously fruity. No strong “astringent” aroma as I noted with Mon Secret, so I gave it a bit longer of an infusion, although I was still pretty cautious. Flavourwise it’s pretty fruity and full-bodied, with a lovely malty-tasting black base with is just the slightest bit astringent. I can’t specifically identify the fruits in here aside from peach (although it’s not overly peachy, I can just catch hints of it), but it’s tasty, and I’m pretty sure that the vanilla is contributing to the smooth flavour. Not bad! If you’re picking up samples from Nina’s, I’d definitely recommend this one for a fruity black.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
tea-sipper

How did you get samples of Nina’s Paris teas? They sound so good!

Kittenna

Check the discussion boards :)

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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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