4402 Tasting Notes

73
drank Maple Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
4402 tasting notes

Sipdown! 257/365!

Turns out I already had a sample of this in my cupboard from quite a while back, so I decided to brew it up today in an effort to feel less tired. I don’t believe it worked, FWIW – I definitely had a nap after my husband got home from church today (and could watch the baby). Nice thought, though.

Anyhow, the dry matcha smelled like maple, but brewed up, there was little maple to be had. I do prefer the fruity ones, where the flavour is more obvious.

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93

This tea is old. Definitely a different beast than when I first bought it, but the flavour remains pretty intriguing – it’s light and almost a bit jasminey/floral, as opposed to the more green beany, chewy Laoshan greens. I don’t know if this is age-related or not, but IMO it has actually aged reasonably well to produce a cup of green tea that would still garner a rating of 80+ 7 or so years after it was picked, despite not being stored under amazing conditions. There’s a decent amount of it left in the bag, so I’m pleased that I’ll be able to enjoy the last few cups of it, since I was expecting at this point it would be a total loss.

TIL: green tea from good sources, stored in scentproof foil zip bags, actually is still fairly good, even when it’s older. Swap samples in regular plastic zip bags – nooope. This has been my experience over a decent number of teas in the past 10 months or so. (The main criterion I’m looking at is the development of that unpleasant metallic taste, which I associate with old/low-quality green teas.)

eastkyteaguy

You make a great point in this review, Kittena. I’ve long argued that green teas of decent or better quality that have been properly stored do not deteriorate as much or as rapidly as many would have us believe. I, myself, have never had issues with stored green teas. As a matter of fact, I have noticed very little if any deterioration in teas that are anywhere from 1 1/2-2 years old and have even had teas that are around 3 or 4 years old that were still fantastic though perhaps not quite as vibrant at times. Some can go even longer. Also, you may be aware of this, but aged green tea is kind of becoming a more widely known thing in certain parts of the tea world. I’ve even heard of people storing green teas for a decade or longer before drinking them.

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98
drank Poached Pear by DAVIDsTEA
4402 tasting notes

Sipdown! 256/365!

I had forgotten how tasty this one was! The perfect lightly-spiced pear flavour; my perfect pear tea aside from the base (although given that it’s not bothersome, the only real issue is that it’s not caffeinated, which I could probably fix with a bit of tasty white tea or something). Either way, this is reminiscent of the Jelly Belly pear flavour, but not quite as strong, and only as sweet as an actual pear – and with just a hint of cinnamon. It’s really lovely. It looks like I had difficulties acquiring more of this, which is too bad – would have been nice to have a bit in the cupboard.

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68
drank Black Cherry by DAVIDsTEA
4402 tasting notes

Sipdown! 255/365!

Tastes like it has stevia, but I think it’s the blackberry leaf. The bottom of the bag is always the worst for that sort of thing! Either way, this is kind of a mediocre tea, and always was – it does taste like a sweet, candy cherry, without a great deal of black tea base, but the sweetness is a bit much (at least in this cup), and it’s just not quite working for me. I still haven’t found that perfect cherry tea…

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75
drank Let It Snow by DAVIDsTEA
4402 tasting notes

Sipdown! 254/365!

I think, in my head, I had lumped this tea in with other ‘snow’ teas that are minty, so assumed it was minty and not something I’d like. However, it smells quite yummy, and I see that the flavour combo has zero mint, and some potential, especially since it mentions custard (mmmm)!

Brewed up, the tea is reminiscent of Christmas and holiday times, so it does feel a little odd to be drinking it on a day where I took the baby to an outdoor pool (a very summer event). I think it’s the clove that’s doing it, though it’s not overly strong. Other than that, the tea is sweet and creamy. Actually quite pleasant, and kind of a nice alternative to the classic Christmas spice blend (with or without oranges).

Roswell Strange

It’s supposed to be loosely eggnog inspired ;)

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90

This is the white moon pu-erh included in the bag at the Toronto Tea Festival, probably 2017? I don’t know what company it was from – it may have mentioned in the program book, which I tossed a long time ago, but I’d guess it might be from Tao Tea Leaf?

This is my favourite type of pu-erh – a soft, sweet one, heavy on the hay-y white tea notes, with only a bit of fermented flavour. Barely different than a good white tea. A very relaxing cup for this evening!

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75

This tea smells absolutely lovely – richly caramelly and decadent. The flavour doesn’t quite match, however – there’s a hint of caramel, but it’s mostly just a slightly astringent, malty black tea that I’m tasting. I’m thinking a hint of sweetener might help it out a bit, although I was hoping that that wouldn’t be the case. It tastes very much like some past 52teas, maybe Weeping Angel? So I like it despite the lack of sweetness – just wanted more from it!

Tried adding a bit of sugar – it actually doesn’t taste any better, which is kind of too bad. The astringency seems to come out more, and the caramelly flavour isn’t as noticeable. I guess I’ll just enjoy it as is.

tea-sipper

I will never drink this one for the simple fact that it beat Jelly + Ice Cream in the permanent tea wall vote. :/

Kittenna

Haha. I wouldn’t say you’re missing much.

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92
drank Jin Junmei by Refined Chinese Tea
4402 tasting notes

Sipdown! 253/365!

I have no clue what this tea is that I drank. Actually, that’s a lie. It’s a black, and I think it’s jin jun mei, in part because of the short, slender leaves, and in part because I think I might have used a translator app on the packaging at one point?

Ok yes, I just used google translate again, and it talks about how the “Jin Junmei was picked in the Wuyishan National Nature Reserve in the high altitude of 1500-1800 meters before the Qingming festival.” Etc. etc. (Note that I moved my note from “Random Steepings” to this entry after checking the translation.)

Anyhow, had this tea for the first time quite a while ago, and the open packet sat on various surfaces until the other day, when I noticed that much of it had spilled out. Oops. I recovered what I could, and brewed the last of it up. It’s quite tasty – a very rich dark chocolate flavour. A tea I’d drink again if I had any clue of where to find it, or where it came from. It’s likely either from Sil or a random sample from a swap, or even something I just picked up somewhere. I have no idea. Although, it’s in a golden foil packet, and I do recall finding two golden-packeted teas in my straight tea bin the other day, although I don’t think there was any English on them otherwise I’d have noted it (this tea does say on it, Refined Chinese Tea).

One of the better Jin Jun Meis I’ve tried, owing to the richness of the chocolate. Very good!

Sil

Ooooh :)

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87

I had an opened packet of this that I thought I’d reviewed recently… but as I see no note, I guess it’s been open longer than I thought! It didn’t really seem to affect it, though – this was a deliciously full-bodied, rich, beany green tea. The first two characteristics are probably a bit due to overleafing a tad, but the resulting brew wasn’t astringent at all, so it was definitely worth it. This isn’t a super delicate green, though – lots of flavour. It really hit the spot last night, and I actually had finished the entire cup within maybe 20 minutes of steeping it? Rare for me.

Thanks to Teavivre for the fantastic free sample!

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74

Just aiming for a less artificially-flavoured tea last night, and happened to pick out this one. I’m not sure a smoky tea was the best choice for last night, but it’s pretty tasty this morning! Nice, sweet smokiness; I’m not picking out other flavours today, though I know this tastes different from the straight base tea (softer, sweeter). Like a gentle, warming campfire in a mug.

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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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