3217 Tasting Notes

50

Guys…. there is corn in this tea! I had to do a double-take and check the ingredient list, but yep it’s there! Of course, as I was just thinking about that, it occurred to me that this tea is not a white, but a white/green blend, and I very well may have used much too hot of water for it :( Hopefully it isn’t ruined.

Anyhow, in addition to the corn, there are sizeable crystallized pineapple chunks, which add to the sweet, fruity aroma from both the dry and steeped tea. The cup actually smells quite pineapple-y fruity, kind of like… Mango ‘n Friends?? Or some DavidsTea with pineapple pieces. I can’t really recall.

The flavour is definitely a bit astringent, which I’ll blame on myself for the time being, and quite fruity/pineappley as expected. Unfortunately, the pineapple seems to be overwhelming any nice “tea” flavour that I might get from this blend, so it’s really coming off as a fruity, astringent herbal to me, which is kind of unfortunate. I can’t taste anything at all from the corn… it’s a bit gimmicky in my opinion, but perhaps something will come of it in the second infusion. I’m also not picking up the jasmine at all, although it could easily be disguised by the pineapple.

For now, I’m fairly unimpressed – there’s nothing wrong with this tea, but it’s nothing special and I’ll admit that I’m happy to be splitting a Try Me pack of it with Sil, because although I once thought I was a big fan of pineapple in blends, I apparently no longer am.

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

lol i see how it is…YAY i can make sil drink the rest of this icky tea :P

Indigobloom

I’ve seen this note three times in the feed now. Oh Steepster…

Kittenna

Uh oh, sorry Indigobloom! I’m pretty sure it’s only posted once?

And Sil – it’s not an icky tea. It’s pleasant and fruity…. but given the wide range of ingredients, I was definitely expecting more. According to my rating scale, a 50 means that it’s not for me, but I can see how others might like it, haha. I’m trying to readjust my ratings downwards, where they belong. So a 50 is pretty much a rating of indifference. I’m just happy that I don’t have to drink 4-5 cups of this, instead only 2-3! Or less if I share my portion with someone else, haha.

Indigobloom

bah. things show up double time on my feed, often (from everyone) but rarely in triplicate! this was new haha

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84

To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure that this is much different from Lime Chiffon. In fact, I’m wondering if it’s a mixture of lemon and lime chiffon (I was wondering that before purchasing it as well). Either way, that means that it’s gently citrusy and creamy and quite delicious! My second cup will have to be alongside some Lemon/Lime Chiffon so I can see what the differences are, if any.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Sil

maaaaaan playing with new teas… so jealous

Indigobloom

I didn’t see this on the site, when did it come out. I was probably blindsided by the other teas haha

Kittenna

Haha Sil – I’m still dying to try the Lupicia ones, but want to split them fairly and not have things sit out for too long, so I haven’t even touched those yet! But I figured with the Della Terra ones, it’s easiest for me to drink my half and just give you the packets. I’ve weighed things out so I know how much your half should weigh when I’m finished! :D

Indigobloom – it was in “pre-orders” when we made our order, but it was listed on the site. Don’t be too worried though… you have half that 2oz. packet of Lime Chiffon, and personally I don’t see much, if any, difference.

Indigobloom

Mmmmm can’t wait for the lime chiffon! been craving the last few days :P

Sil

Not a problem kittenna….though you should be drinking your OLD samples…the space under your desk will thank you :p

Kittenna

I knowwwwww. I’m trying to split between old and new right now. And I’m definitely justifying trying these new ones just so I can give you the whole packet without having to split anything. And yes, I’m still awake. I’m writing my thesis :P

Sil

Haha that’s ok. I was out and about shortly after giving you a hard time. I got to spend the entire day today out…didn’t get much done in the way of shipping :( but I’ve picked up some treats for you, IB and raritea. Nothing super expensive but apparently I can buy for you guys but not my parents or Ian. Oh and if you we into beading…or children’s jewellery, you’d totally have scored big time today hahaha

Indigobloom

treats!!! :O

Kittenna

Yay, treats!!! :D I’m silly excited, haha.

ohfancythat (whatshesaid)

Hi! Just wondering if you got around to comparing this to the Lemon Chiffon? I’ve had the Lime Chiffon and i think i’d prefer lemon but the mix of both could be nice…. just curious :)

Kittenna

I have not! My apologies. I think momo has tried all three, so perhaps check her tea log? Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll get to it tonight, either, unless I drink a lot of tea :D But keep watch! Perhaps I’ll brew up three really small cups.

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58

So apprehensive… yet another tea on the quest to find the perfect pear tea! Honestly, a black is not my base of choice, but Simpson & Vail did well with their pear-flavoured black tea, so I’m hopeful that this might be a contender.

The aroma of the brewed tea is of a bit of a floral pear; not quite what I’m looking for, but not necessarily bad either, as it is just the aroma. The sip, however, is clearly rather floral, but definitely tastes like pear, albeit a floral, fakey sort. There’s a bit of astringency from the base as well, but a drop in infusion time could probably remedy that.

This tea does have a fair bit of flavour, and it is tasty, but it’s too floral for me to really enjoy as a pear tea, and I want more of a realistic pear flavour. The search continues.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Kashyap

if you like ‘pear’ scented/flavored black teas…I highly recommend the Pear Ginger from the Tao of Tea…its very balanced and uses natural flavors

darky

ok, had a good laugh i did read ‘the perfect Bear’ by della terra tea’s! after all the food debacle with the horse meat in europe on the news i tought tis was a tea prank :)

Kittenna

Thanks Kashyap – I’ll add that to my shopping list. The tea I had from S&V happened to be pear/ginger as well, and I do like ginger, so that sounds like it could be worth a shot if I can get my hands on some!

Darky – ewwwwwwwww lol. I’m so glad that DNA testing was done on hamburger meat from various local sources by my university, and EVERYTHING was found to be 100% beef (when it was supposed to be).

OMGsrsly

A local place carries TWO pear teas, but unfortunately they don’t do any online ordering. There’s an Asian Pear green, and a Bartlett rooibos. If you’re interested I could ask for samples, but you’d have to be OK with a fellow Steepster as a shipper. :) I can’t stand pear flavour, so any testing I did of them would be incredibly biased!

darky

kittena, so long that not is wrong with the horse meat (quality wise) i don’t mind eating horsemeat. Here in Belgium we eat it on a regular base but the labels on the packaging should be correct thats for sure. But i feel its a very big waste destroying or trowing away good food just because the type off meat is different… if it was contaminated with all kinds off weird stuff ok then its normal but now? :)

Kittenna

OMGsrsly – ooooh, I totally want details! I see you’re in Vancouver; depending on whereabouts the tea shop is, I could possibly have my aunt pick some sample up for me and send them as she lives in Burnaby. Not that I’d have any problem at all being sent samples from a fellow Steepster :D

Kittenna

darky – I think the biggest problem is mislabeling, and the fact that horses are not considered food here. I don’t personally think I could stomach it, even though I know it’s really very little different from beef or any other meat. Just like I don’t think I could eat dog or cat (though that’s a bit different, as they’re also carnivores, which we don’t typically consume meat from).

darky

its probably more off a ‘culture’ thing to tough eating dogs and cats is a whole different story then the horse thing because its more a ‘farm’ animal or how do i have to say it. anyway back to tea!

OMGsrsly

It’s Steam Tea House in Donald’s Market at Hastings and Nanaimo. They have a menu on Facebook, but no website and no ingredient listings. I think they’re pretty good at responding to questions, though. The black tea, being Asian Pear, is a lot more delicate and probably not the pear taste you’re looking for. Bartlett Rooibos smells… like ripe pears. Maybe like pear jelly beans? IDK. I’m trying to think of a way to describe the flavour without remembering what it smelled like.

Kittenna

Delicate pear taste is probably ok, as long as it’s not strangely floral.

And that’s actually really funny – unless I’m mistaken, I suspect I’ve actually been to that Donald’s Market (albeit not for a few years). And if it’s the one I’m thinking of, then it’s a quick walk from my aunt’s place. When I get the chance I’ll ask them a few questions and see about getting some samples! Unless my aunt is familiar with that tea shop already, I may request you to pick some stuff up for me, if that would be cool – I can send you things in return :D

OMGsrsly

Oh, that’s funny. :) Just a note, though – they’re sadly closed Thursdays.

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90

Huh. To be honest, I have no idea which Dragonwell-Style Laoshan Green I’m drinking. I had the 2011 Autumn version, and this batch says Spring, and I have to assume Spring 2012, yet I also have logged something under the generic heading…. ah well. They all taste much the same to me, which is fine!

Anyhow, brewed up a delicious, large mug of this this morning, and followed it up with an immediate second infusion in a different mug, because I’ve found that green teas really don’t sit well in an infuser. I’d like to get another infusion or two out of the leaves, but I’m happy that I at least had two! And they were delicious as always, sugary and vegetal, although I wouldn’t recommend chasing Chocolate Phoenix Chai with this tea, as then all it tastes like is the aftertaste of CPC, since the flavour is quite light.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Tealizzy

I just got a bunch of dragonwell from a friend who went to the plantation in China, but he can’t remember the name! I was like, how am I supposed to rate it on steepster? Or order more? It’s delicious too. So sad.

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87

Just found out I have to move at the end of April… stupid landlady. I’m pretty sure the world is conspiring against me sometimes. I’m so dreading moving…

Anyways, yum. Used ~3tsp for about 10 oz. water, steeped for 4 minutes, and this is tasty. Not an in-your-face spiced chai, but what spicing is here is delicious, combined with a bit of sweetness and a lovely lingering “tea” flavour at the end. Mmmmmmm. It’s so savoury/buttery that I’m still reminded of chicken broth every now and then though, which is a little weird!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

oh no!! sorry to hear that. I hope you find a nice place with cheaper rent!

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82

I’m sad; this is a sip down. I quite liked my couple tastes of this tea – as I drank some while carrying it up the stairs earlier, it definitely tasted like Laoshan Black initially (not the chocolate, just the… black-tea-ness…?), but quickly morphed into a light sweetness. Very tasty.

I did just learn my lesson that this one’s quite delicate though – ate a ketchup-flavoured Crispy Mini and took a sip…. and pretty much tasted nothing. Since I drank a bit earlier, I know that there is definitely flavour in the cup, so I guess pairing such a snack with this tea was a bad idea :P

ETA: Drank 2 tasty re-infusions, at which point I decided it no longer tasted like something special, and I wanted something else. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for an aged white tea again!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Kashyap

a great reasoning for ‘food’ pairing with teas…

Sil

hmmm i think i have some of this in my cupboard as a sample. i’ll need to pull it out if i do.

Kittenna

Haha, yes, although I’ve never had success with food/drink pairings before (except milk & cookies, of course). Sil – I quite enjoyed it. In a world where I could access any tea I wanted at any time, I’d probably drink this again :)

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30
drank Mon Secret by Nina's Paris
3217 tasting notes

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

I didn’t see any recommended brewing parameters for this tea either, so went with my standard boiling/3 minute infusion… or at least, I planned to, until I sniffed the tea while it was a minute in, and I was already smelling… astringency. Yes, I realize that astringency is a sensation, but I imagine you guys can figure out what I mean… it’s kind of a sharp, pungent aroma that gets my tastebuds going like astringency does (not in a good way). So I took the infuser basket out at 2 minutes instead, because I only have one chance at this tea, and you can always put the basket back in, but you can’t reverse an oversteeped tea!

The aroma is quite nondescript, and smells like a plain black to me. Perhaps a plain flavoured black, as it’s that sort of base that I associate with… cheap flavoured blacks? :/ Although I see that it’s Keemun and not Ceylon, as I probably would have guessed (not that I really would know, though).

Flavourwise, unfortunately, this one isn’t doing it for me. I can tell that it’s a flavoured black (it has a vague plasticky flavour to it), and that’s about it. I’m not even sure that I would be able to say that it’s fruity… the flavouring is quite vague. Luckily there doesn’t actually seem to be quite the astringency that I was worried about (though there is some, and I am drinking this tea cool, which sometimes I find reduces the sensation of astringency).

I’m pretty picky about flavoured blacks, and this one unfortunately wouldn’t be a tea I’d drink again. Perhaps it has lost some flavour during transit or something (I don’t think that my short infusion affected the flavour; usually that only affects strength of flavour), but I can’t say I’m a big fan of this one.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Mercuryhime

I can totally smell when a tea will be astringent. And thanks for the warning! I have yet to try my sample of this. :)

Indigobloom

glad I didn’t pick this. can’t stand keemum! :/

Kittenna

It seems like all the Nina’s blacks have bold bases that verge on astringent. Not good for an astringency wimp like me, but probably good for others who are sick of baseless teas! I have to say, though, that it certainly wasn’t astringent like cheap blacks I’ve had, more of a bold, brisk sort of astringency.

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93

Yeeaaaahhhhhhh…. David you have GOT to bring this one back! It’s so amazingly delicious and savoury and completely unlike any tea I’ve had before. I’m happy that it looks like I have enough of my sample left for one more cup another day, although I think I underleafed this one a tad :(

ETA: Two re-infusions of this one, although the second mostly just tasted spicy. But since I love the spicing, that was ok!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
3217 tasting notes

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

Ever since tasting 52teas’ Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha (and Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha), I have been seeking out flavoured genmaichas, so naturally, I wanted to try this one! It’s a bit of a twist, with black tea in the blend as well, but I was hoping that it wouldn’t really be a big contributor to the flavour.

Anyhow, I opted to brew this as a green (though I regret not lowering the temperature further due to some astringency even with my short 2 minute infusion), which was probably the way to go. The dry tea didn’t have a ton of flavour that I recall, but once the water hit the tea? Instant thoughts of Marshmallow Treat, though more of a caramelly version. Which is super exciting, since MT is not being reblended as I would like, but this should be much more readily available!

I let the tea cool a fair bit before drinking it (as I always do), and at first sip, I definitely have to say that I have a bit of a tea crush, haha. It’s not as good as MT, and definitely more caramelly than fluffy vanilla/marshmallow, and I’m getting some astringency (tough to know whether that’s because I used a temp 3 degrees C higher than I should have, or because of the black tea, and sadly I don’t have enough to try again). The astringency is really the most annoying thing for me, since it dampens my enjoyment of the otherwise quite delicious toasty genmaicha/caramel blend.

Overall, I think if I ever made a Nina’s order, this would be included, though I personally wish that there wasn’t any black tea in this blend, as I don’t think it’s adding anything positive.

Thanks again for the sample, Nina’s Paris!

ETA: This one re-steeped well! So I got a tasty second cup from it today :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Josie Jade

I still have this one to try too, I’m excited after reading other’s comments.

Kittenna

It’s tasty! I hate that my rating makes it look like I didn’t like it or something, but I’ve tried to go back to my “ratings scale”, as I was falling into the trap of rating pretty much everything (except teas I hated) within the top 20 points of the scale.

Kittenna

(Just bumped my rating two points so it’s bright green, haha)

Tealizzy

Ooooh, I’m so excited to try this one now! I’ve been waiting for a morning at home to enjoy it. Maybe tomorrow!

Sil

we’ll have to place a joint order with nina after we get through the samples :)

Kittenna

Tealizzy – I hope you like it!

Tealizzy

I tried it this morning and I did like it! Really interesting to add other flavors to genmaicha! I’ll have to tea log it.

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81
drank Goji Pop by DAVIDsTEA
3217 tasting notes

Sipdown! Tart and tasty, though it’s not quite as good as I remember. Probably won’t re-stock this one for a while, as I don’t think it’s a blend that will be discontinued so I should have nothing to worry about.

On the plus(?) side… I emptied out one of my DT tins, so now I can justify picking up Banana Oolong even more….

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Fjellrev

Yay for emptying a tin!

Kittenna

I know! Infrequent occurrence for me, haha.

Ellyn

How do you clean tins? I always have trouble making sure its all clean, dry, etc. I have taken to using denture cleaner tablets….

Kittenna

Honestly, I just rinsed it really well and now it’s upside-down drying. I figured that Goji Pop didn’t have too much that would linger in the tin, so I’m not too worried. I’m actually not a big fan of tins for the reason that they do have all these little crevices for tea pieces to lurk and not be cleaned out (also, my DT tins totally leak, so much for them being airtight…)

Ellyn

That is pretty much my method…although I did try the denture tablets, ha, was kinda weird when my husband (who has all his teeth) went to buy them…I have had to throw away a few tins due to the smell simply refusing to vacate!

Kittenna

Hahaha, yeah, I was thinking about picking up some tablets for cleaning some of my infusers, and possibly my travel mug. And I have all my teeth as well!

I only have… 5? tins, all of which were free from DT. Luckily I think the most smell-contaminated was the one I had Glitter & Gold in, and I replaced that with…. something else…. and it ended up being ok.

Ellyn

I use the tablets for my infusers and mugs also. They work great!

Kittenna

Good to know! Do they remove all the brown discolouration? (Also, how much do they cost?)

Ellyn

These are the ones I have: http://cvs.com/shop/product-detail/CVS-Denture-Cleanser-Tablets-Anti-Bacterial?skuId=277180

it got off the brown yickies!

Kittenna

That’s crazy cheap! Thanks :D

Ze_Teamaker

Hmm, I have the same problem with tea tins smells as well. My mom said to use lemon juice with water to get rid of it, but never thought of denture tablets.

Lynne-tea

I always use bleach to get the brown stains out of my travel mugs (as long as they’re metal interior.. I wouldn’t use it on plastic)

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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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