Featured & New Tasting Notes

100

This was an incredible ripe tea. Most teas that call themselves ripe LBZ are fakes. Not this one. Made by Hai Lang Hao and sold by Yunnan Sourcing at a very high price you know it is real. The first thing about this tea that I really noticed was the Qi. In the second steep it hit me like a steamroller. It kept going for quite a while too. I can still feel it and I am on the 16th steep. This tea was perhaps the strongest tea I can remember drinking. It started out quite bitter. But this bitterness gradually changed into a sweet note. I did not add any sugar to this tea. But in the sixteenth steep it tastes like I did. There were definite fruity notes and perhaps chocolate notes but I am unsure about that. This tea was perhaps the best young ripe I have ever drank. And it is very rare for a ripe tea to have any qi, let alone a strong qi like this one. I am tempted to buy another brick at some point to store for the long haul. This was a spectacular tea when viewed over sixteen steeps.

I steeped this sixteen times in a 70ml teapot with 5.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 7sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, and 45 sec. I definitely recommend that anyone into ripe tea buy a sample of this from Yunnan Sourcing. This tea was so strong I altered my steeping pattern to have more short steeps. This tea was spectacular in the end.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
Sil

Amazing!

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75

Rant about life

So yesterday and today were a bit of a shitshow for me. I went in early to work yesterday to spread some holiday cheer (aka put presents on the desks of the coworkers I am actually friends with) only to get to my desk and realize I had to push everything aside because the lawyer who works on our team but is based in our U.S. office can’t do his job properly. He had to write a lengthy letter on behalf of our client and it took him over a week only us, as our boss put it, a “big bag of nothing”. So it fell onto my lap since apparently I can do this shit better than an actual licensed attorney but I had only the day to do it because the client has been asking for it and today/tomorrow are holiday days for me. I got it done but that meant staying late to complete it.

I finally left my office around 1.5/2 hrs late which was fine except on the way home I managed to get in a car accident. The person I dealt with was very nice and thankfully no one was hurt (save for my sore back). However when I got home I was tired and angry and sore so I went straight to my room and told my family I wasn’t hungry. My mom didn’t take that well and got pissed off, yelled, stormed around and closed herself off in her room. I went to bed at 9 pm.

Today I woke up and pretended like my mom didn’t throw a temper tantrum last night and that seemed to force her to get over it. We then took my car to get an estimate (about $5000 worth of damage because I drive a mini) and off to the collision reporting center we went. We got there around 3:30 and were told we had a 4-5 hour wait ahead of us. We sat down and they called #4, we were #73. So we waited and waited and waited and then some lady starts bragging to the guy behind us that she had #97 but went to the counter when they called a number which people weren’t responding to and they let her jump the line. She then said that she told them to take the guy behind us (#82) next. That didn’t sit well with my mother who went to the window the next time they called a number people weren’t responding to and complained. So at around 6:30, in an effort to keep my mom from causing an uproar, they took down our report and we left.

Unfortunately we still had to return my car to the auto body shop to be repaired so we did that and then went to buy alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Then dinner. And now, finally…tea. And not just any tea…the first tea of 52 Teas’ 12 Days of Christmas Teas!

Actual review of the tea

I was excited to see this was included since it is not one I grabbed for myself. As much as I enjoy these breakfast inspired teas, I find I need to be in the right kind of mood for them so I don’t drink them often. That, combined with the fact that the DAVIDsTEA version of this is much more accessible for me as a Canadian, meant I wasn’t as tempted to grab this when it was released even though it did pique my interest.

Sipping on it now, it is definitely a nice tea. Less eggy than the DAVIDsTEA version but more maple-y, which I think is better. There is also a definite bread note which works with the maple to sell “French toast”. Cardamom is also contributing a great deal of flavour here which sits nicely against the sweeter maple. One thing I do find I’m missing in the taste is the coconut which is weird since there is a lot of coconut in the dry leaf. I eat something that is buttery which could be from the coconut but I just wish the actual taste of coconut was more distinct. That’s just me though. All in all, I’m really glad I got the chance to try this one and am glad I have some to play around with.

Arby

Well that just sounds like a whole lot of chaos and headache. I hope the next few days are much easier for you.

VariaTEA

Well despite the sore back my mom keeps telling me that cleaning needs to be done. So much for my “vacation”

52Teas

I’m sorry to hear about your accident – I hope your back gets to feeling better.

__Morgana__

So sorry that one of my profession caused your day to go sideways. I hope the accident wasn’t caused by a lawyer, too!

Sil

I have a house and Ruby…..no cleaning to be done here! Haha

VariaTEA

Thanks everyone. I am sure my back is fine, probably just a result of tensing before the accident. Unfortunately I was the one who rear-ended someone else since my brakes decided not to work :(

Morgana, I don’t blame lawyers in general since I am hoping that I will become one in the future. I blame the dumb lawyer in the U.S. who can’t even get client’s names right. I have been cleaning up his messes since he started at the firm. However, he makes me confident that I will actually get through law school. If he did it, then I surely can :P

Sil, I will be over soon. I’ll just sleep in Ruby’s crate with her. You won’t even know I’m there. Except for your kettle boiling and the extra tea that arrives with me.

Evol Ving Ness

Gah! Sorry to hear about the non-stop nonsense. Hope that is all done with and the rest is easy-peasy. oh, and bring epsom salts to Sil’s so that you can hang out in the bathtub with all the teas.

Lexie Aleah

Sounds like you could use a nice care package and some good luck! So sorry to hear about all of the chaos that you’ve been dealing with lately. No one deserves that, especially not around the holidays.

Maddy Barone

oh my gosh!What a lousy day. Hugs

Nattie

I’m so sorry about your crappy day! Hope the rest of the holidays are much better for you.

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93
drank Jiri Horse by teabento
821 tasting notes

Notes of cocoa, roasted nuts, grain malt and marshmallow waft from my cup. Does it taste as good as it smells?

Yes.

I’m never forsaking black tea again.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Grain, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Roasted nuts

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

This is exceptional news.

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82

not much to say today. I’m having a really bad day today and just want to go back to sleep. Long story short, apparently what i am worth to the company is not as much as i imagined my worth to be. Which would be fine if my manager wasn’t a total jackass and could explain the WHY behind things…instead of saying i should be happy that my salary is what it is, when we’re talking performance bonuses. the two are not related. either i performed well or i didn’t…. you don’t give me less because i changed jobs and negotiated a salary raise.

so i’m drinking tea….and trying to relax but it’s hard since i’m hearing multiple stories from folks this year across the business….all from women. So either there’s a problem there, or the men just aren’t talking about it like we are hahaha. Either way…not cool.

Maddy Barone

Oh, man. I HATE those end of year things. I keep hoping I’ll get a decent raise, and year after year I am disappointed. Years ago companies justified paying men more by saying they had families to support. I don’t think that stood up forty years ago, and it sure as heck doesn’t stand up today. Sorry you’re having to deal with this.

Sil

i’ll get over it…but man i am going to be changing my work habits… going home at 4pm!

CrowKettle

:/

End of the year “fun”. My brother-in-law just received a big promotion, which equated to more responsibilities and a pay cut. Sometimes, even when you win you lose.

I’m sorry that this happened to you though; I don’t see how it helps a business to treat loyal employees so frivolously. I hope you have some fantastic teas, and maybe a glass of wine, lined up for the evening!

Evol Ving Ness

CRAP, Sil. I am so sorry. I thought the world was changing. Apparently not.
And you of all people, workhorse. Not right, not right at all.

Maddy Barone

It seems like the people who do a little extra are the ones to get passed by. My annual appraisal review is scheduled for late next week. I can’t wait /sarcasm

Sil

oh yeah as far as i can tell…get paid more, do less work… sigh and that’s not who i am.

Dexter

That just sucks so bad. There should be some scaled criteria attached to bonuses. Should be explained where you hit on the scale what you need to do to move up the scale. You should be happy with your salary – is not a proper explanation – so how is that a critique on how to qualify for the bonus. This is garbage. You work incredibly hard….

Sil

There is…but apparently my new boss is too effing self absorbed/doesn’t know anything to do things the right way. He will learn not to do a half ass job.

Evol Ving Ness

:(

I hope you have a lovely day today, Sil. Regardless of all this nonsense.

Fjellrev

Oh geez, I am so sorry you are being treated in this disgusting way, Sil. But good for you for re-evaluating your work habits! That carrot-dangling BS isn’t going to mess with our precious Sil.

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84
drank Ginger Cola by 52teas
9065 tasting notes

i think i’m actually going to really miss this one once it’s gone. The more i have it, the more i am a fan. Just a really interesting tea both hot and cold!

VariaTEA

I really like this too. It should become a staple. This and Banilla Marshmallow

VariaTEA

*Vanilla

Sil

banilla marshmallow sounds tasty…banana, vanilla, marshmallow…

VariaTEA

Anne, if you see this, can you make Banilla Marshmallow a thing?

52Teas

Do you mean with a black tea base? I have already made Banana Marshmallow Treat a thing. :)

VariaTEA

Banilla Marshmallow tea*

Lexie Aleah

it really should be a permanent tea!<3

Sil

yes black base!

Evol Ving Ness

Banana plus vanilla plus marshmallow on a black base. Yes, yes, I support Banilla Marshmallow!

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87
drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
821 tasting notes

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Keemun, Laoshan Black, or any other non- What-cha Golden Snail black tea (so good). I’ve forgotten how comforting they are in their cocoa-malt predictability, and subtle but rich profiles. I thought I was over Chinese black teas; it’s probably the time of year? Oolong is out, black tea and white tea are in- I need to draw a better year plan for my tea drinking habits so I’m not struggling at the height of tea-drinking season.

Anyways, this one is really red. Red is good. Red is warm. Red is Christmas. I’m drinking this in a festive red cup too. Lots of red happening.

I’ll write a more thoughtful note later.

(2017 harvest)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Fruity, Malt, Muscatel, Red Wine, Stonefruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Garret

yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Sil

everyone is tempting me garret! I miss my mandala teas!

Garret

Well, don’t let me tempt you! I wouldn’t want to do that. :) I’m working on a few new sources for 2018 in India and Japan, just looking at adding some new teas to broaden the ol’ tea horizon. I hope you’re really well, my friend!

CrowKettle

I only purchased Mandala teas a few months ago and ever since it’s been a constant battle to put off making another purchase. The free “new tea” samples I received were a complete bull’s eye for striking up even more temptation. Also, the dwindling levels of Milk Oolong on my end are unacceptable.

There is no winning this, but I wish you luck, Sil! :P

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This was less obnoxious than I usually find it.

The in-store sample I tried today was just not as clove-heavy as it usually seems to be, and that, for me, is a very good thing.

VariaTEA

This is one of the first teas I actually truly enjoyed. At least the old recipe was…don’t think I’ve tried it lately

Evol Ving Ness

I usually find it quite bitter and full of clove, but that is in-store. I do have some leaf around here somewhere. Wonder what home steeping can do for me with this one.

Evol Ving Ness

oh, and I have only had it black and unsweetened, so maybe that’s it.

Arby

I find it nice as a latte, but I also love clove so YMMV.

VariaTEA

I drank it black and unsweetened too though I enjoyed the clove

Jillian

I wonder if they changed the recipe.

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78

Strong mineral note, a little bit of honeyed sweetness, and a little bit of generic “sheng-y” taste. No “green” or chlorophyl taste. It’s a little bit thick in the mouth, a little bit astringent, and there’s a little bit of lingering aroma in the mouth. Not much bitterness or potency of flavor.

It’s definitely easy drinking for a young sheng, but overall it’s just ok. I was expecting more potency and bitterness from a young Hekai tea. I’m interested to see what the “ancient tree” version will be like.

Flavors: Honey, Mineral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 90 OZ / 2661 ML

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74

Here is yet another tea I forgot I had in my collection. I went ahead and polished off it at the end of last week. I think I have now finally finished all of the green teas from last year. Drinking the Keemun Maofeng and this back-to-back meant that I spent a couple days overloading on teas from Anhui Province, but hey, it was fun. I used to really love Huangshan Maofeng, but now I’m not so sure. Since I have been gravitating more and more toward green teas from Shandong, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Yunnan Provinces, it seems that I have been losing interest in many of the green teas produced elsewhere. By the time I finally got around to this one, it oddly did not seem like it had faded all that much, but I could not muster much of an opinion of it. It wasn’t bad, but unfortunately, it just struck me as being the sort of tea for which I would simply have to be in a certain mood to fully appreciate.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a flash rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 170 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by infusions of 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pleasant, though fairly fleeting aromas of butter, grass, and green beans. After the rinse, I began to pick up scents of chestnut and pine. The first proper infusion brought forth a slightly malty aroma. In the mouth, I found hints of malt, grass, and chestnut backed by touches of butter, green beans, wet stones, and bizarrely enough, flowers. Subsequent infusions brought out strong pine impressions coupled with more robust notes of chestnut, green beans, butter, malt, grass, and wet stones. The floral impressions remained elusive, though I was reminded somewhat of both chrysanthemum and marigold at times. I also began to note emerging impressions of soybean, minerals, straw, and lettuce underscored by a slightly smoky presence. From the start of the session through its conclusion, the mouthfeel grew more and more mineral-heavy and alkaline. The later infusions were heavy on mineral, wet stone, and malt notes, though I could still just barely detect impressions of chestnut, lettuce, and grass.

A rather interesting tea, I enjoyed its very sharp, hard mouthfeel and pleasant mix of aromas and flavors, but I must knock it somewhat since it faded so quickly. Also, while I enjoyed the sharper, harder-edged mouthfeel for the most part, I would be willing to bet that it won’t be for everyone. If nothing else, this session reminded me of why Huangshan Maofeng normally seems to be a cult tea in the West. In the end, this was pretty good, but I would not want to have it regularly.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Floral, Grass, Green Beans, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Pine, Smoke, Soybean, Straw, Wet Rocks

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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65

Having been super busy with work over the past few weeks, continual plans to visit DAVIDsTEA to redeem my points for 100g worth of tea kept getting foiled, so of course, when I finally got there today, it was too late as they expired on the 3rd. Damn. I kept thinking I had until the end of the calendar year.

But I was able to still redeem my free birthday cup of tea from last month. I chose this because I didn’t feel like dealing with their sugary sweet blends this time around. It was ok but expectedly astringent, so astringent that it covered up most of the plum notes I was picking up on. Nothing memorable, to be honest.

Evol Ving Ness

Wow! I think you should call their helpline and do some screaming.

Evol Ving Ness

Their prices are far too high to let your FS points expire.

Fjellrev

Yeah, it sucks because I was planning on stocking up on more Lemon Pound Cake since it’s pretty pricey but I did check the email they sent me in October and it did specify that they were going to expire on the 3rd. I thought they transferred over to the next period if you didn’t redeem them and only truly expired at the end of the year, though?

Fjellrev

I did submit an inquiry about it just now, just out of curiosity. I reviewed the program stipulations, but it just seems odd how points themselves roll over to the next period (and ultimately expire at the end of the year) yet the rewards themselves do not. Doesn’t really make since.

Fjellrev

Lollerskates, make sense, rather.

Evol Ving Ness

What? The points roll over to the next period, but then, all of it is gutted at year end to start again at zero?

Evol Ving Ness

Well, the end of the year is coming. In three weeks.

Evol Ving Ness

And they’ve now stipulated that if you have 100 points for one free bag, it can only be $19 or under, which eliminates the pure teas like Organic Ruby Oolong.

Fjellrev

Yeah, points reset to 0 at the end of the calendar year. It’s just odd how points roll over from period to period but not actual rewards though. So, a person can earn 99 points in the 1st period which could roll over from period to period, until near the end of the year, yet, once you earn that one extra point, which would then get converted to a 50g reward, you absolutely have to redeem it within two months, and if not, you lose that reward (essentially 100 points) entirely.

They claim though that at least, since the beginning of this year, they have introduced a new policy that any leftover points at the end of the year will be converted to free cups of tea unlike before, but whatever.

Evol Ving Ness

In other works, it is ****ery.

Evol Ving Ness

How many free cups of tea? How does that work?

Fjellrev

That about sums it up!

I have no idea. They’re very vague about it: “Effective February 24th, 2017, after we convert every 100-point increment into free tea rewards at the end of December, any leftover points will then be converted into free beverage rewards you can redeem in any DAVIDsTEA store. Your points balance will go back to zero and you’ll have 60 days to claim your rewards. So you can start sipping all over again!”

CrowKettle

There rewards system sounds so ridiculous and half-***ed- like they just wanted to have one on paper without actual big rewards being redeemed for long time (although maybe irregular) customers.

Evol Ving Ness

Exactly, when they rolled out this new FS version, they lost me as a client. I used to shop there quite regularly. Though I did take advantage of their 40% off deal the other day. Even with 40% off, I would have been better off spending my money elsewhere in terms of value for dollar. And my points from that purchase apparently will expire in three weeks or turn into a free cup of tea—woohooo!

Evol Ving Ness

The whole thing just pisses me off.

Evol Ving Ness

And I don’t drink tea to be irritated by it.

Fjellrev

Right? Half-assed rewards system for sure. I just dropped around $35 on teaware on the last day of their in-store 30% sale but do they really expect me to rush within the next twenty days to drop another $65 just to get 50g of free—yet otherwise overpriced—tea? No dice. Negative dice considering I lost 200 points for not making timely FS rewards redemption my #1 life priority.

Sil

Pretty much why they don’t even get me going in for 10g samples of their new teas….why risk loving something when it will be stupidly expensive and have stevia in it…not to mention that the times that’s ever happened are faaaaaaaaaaaaar and few between so they were getting my money to try mediocre teas.

Fjellrev

By 10g samples you mean resulting-likely-intentional-overpouring-and-doubling-the-amount-you-asked-for, right? And bonus points for getting added snark from the sales associate for asking for that much (or “little”).

At least there seems to be a correlation between price hikes and stevia usage?

CrowKettle

Yes! I stopped picking up small samples of new teas primarily because of the snark and resistance. I was going to buy +$50 worth of teas but now I’m just going to spend $10 on one tea, or nothing at all, thanks.

Stevia is my “hibby” or “blergamot” and I have not forgiven DT for adopting it as their new flagship ingredient. I feel very strongly about its infiltration into everything and I know if I ever accidentally buy something with it in it I’m going to go on a long, angry rant. :(

Evol Ving Ness

^^^What Sil said.

I used to go and pick up about 10 grams of each new tea that came out and then all this stevia and imitation flavour nonsense started and all their teas started tasting more or less the same and then the butchering of their FS system and nope, not doin’ it.

Evol Ving Ness

I just get swept up in a rant every single time I start thinking about the degeneration of DTs, from the time it was more or less reasonably priced for several reasonably good and fun teas with a reasonably good customer appreciation program.

Evol Ving Ness

Thankfully, I never had a problem with snark and resistance and upping my intended quantity. Generally, my servers have either been low-key indifferent or stellar.

CrowKettle

I had someone flat out tell me they couldn’t sell me 10-15g once. It was around the time I had a friend who worked at another DT who sold me oodles of little samples, so I was more unimpressed than I normally would’ve been. XD

Fjellrev

That’s rough when a sales associate is already resorting to lying. You have sales goals to tackle, cool, but these types of selling strategies hurt the business far more than they truly realize.

So, they ended up getting back to me and said that they would reimburse 100/200 of my points lost as “an exception” then passive-aggressively linked me to their FS program page to review the policies in spite of the fact that I referenced that very page in my inquiry and demonstrated my understanding of it very clearly. I just wanted an answer as to why they have structured it the way that they have. Sigh.

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73
drank Cotton Candy by DAVIDsTEA
3735 tasting notes

This was never added to my cupboard count so I am back up to 341 (technically more since the 12 teas of Christmas arrived yesterday) but that’s okay. I made this as an eggnog latte while simultaneously setting up a chocolate milk cold brew of Candy Cane Crush. This really is one tasty eggnog latte and I think because it is two beloved childhood flavors – cotton candy and bubblegum, which is the flavor I sometimes get from eggnog lattes. Yum!

Sil

So what you’re saying is, that I’m still 300 less teas than you ;)

Arby

Don’t rub it in! lol

Dexter

Ok – I’ve been gone for too long. “chocolate milk cold brew”? Are you actually cold steeping Candy Cane Crush is chocolate milk? or have I missed something – and this is getting lost in translation?

Evol Ving Ness

aha, I am guessing chocolate milk cold steep of Candy Cane Crush. Has there been an eggnog cold steep of anything yet and if so, how did it work out?

Dexter

You can cold steep tea in milk?!?!?

VariaTEA

Lol that’s what I’m trying to find out, Dexter

Dexter

Please let us know how that works :)

Evol Ving Ness

Now this would be a major breakthrough, a new frontier in tea life altogether.

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drank Outlaw by August Uncommon Tea
821 tasting notes

Smoky black teas are not something I reach for regularly, but they have some sort of allure that keeps me coming back (albeit irregularly). Outlaw has a little more allure than most and kept me amused all last night (erm, unintentional Tobias moment).

Honestly though, I think I like this one. It’s something to do with the flat cherry vanilla coke vibe I’m picking up (I mean that in the most flattering way). It also reminds me of the time I got to lick a cave in Poland (mineral notes, kay). It’s a lot of fun, and I’m sitting somewhere in the 80’s on it. I’m going to hold off rating for a bit because I’m not having as strong a reaction to it as I did with the Black Lodge (I think someone thought that name to be nostalgic and homey, but all it makes me think of is some horror story).

And just look at all the parentheses it inspired me to use!

Flavors: Cherry, Mineral, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Dexter

I agree that this is better than Black Lodge – but Outlaw is still a strange tea. Happy you didn’t hate it….

CrowKettle

I usually have a pretty large “this is alright” threshold when it comes to tea; my reaction to Black Lodge is an extreme oddity for me! I also had more warning and a wariness going into Outlaw, so it’s strangeness was just par for the course. I kind of want to try it with ice cream or whip cream. :)

Dexter

I go into all AU teas with a bit of wariness – IMHO they are all a little strange. I really like the company because their teas are usually outside the box, but that means some are OMG this is so weird I love it – or OMG this is so weird I hate it. That’s good though – I would rather love/hate than indifference. :)
Icecream….. that’s a great idea – wonder how we could turn this into Outlaw milkshake….hmmmmm

Evol Ving Ness

How about a float with French vanilla ice cream?

CrowKettle

Yes, to both of you! That’s exactly what I want: milkshake/float thing. Maybe I can try steeping it in milk or something and using that in a blended drink?

Dexter I agree with you about love/hate over indifference. Luckily, so far I’ve been on the more positive side of that spectrum when it comes to the majority of the AU teas I’ve tried; they’re a lot of fun!

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CrowKettle wrote yesterday " It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror." LOL – ok – I just received my tin of this, so of course I had to try it.

While I may not be getting the same notes that she did – not getting the smoked bacon – I’m agreeing with the sentiment in that statement.

My first impression was charred black rotten mushrooms. As it cools that’s changing to 6 hour old burned to the bottom of the pot coffee.

I added a little sweetener and a splash (or more than a splash of milk)…. Now there is some banana in here but I’m not sure that’s a good addition to this party.

There is no doubt that this is an AU smoked tea, they all have something a little odd in the back. This isn’t a little odd…….

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bcdmd_Qhlda/?taken-by=dex3657

ETA: Because I’m a sucker for punishment I did a 2nd steep. I did 95C 4 minutes. I added sweetener and milk. The smoke has been shoved way to the back. There is some caramel banana in here (but some of that might be the sweetener). I’m also getting meaty/mushroom/umami something that I wouldn’t call truffle. This is better but still way too strange……

Evol Ving Ness

Omigoodness.

Evol Ving Ness

Did you do your magic with the steeping parameters?

Dexter

Not all the way – I wanted to try it first. I was cautious not to overleaf and I steeped 4 min using 95C water. Will cut back on all three next time. Less leaf 90C water 2.5 min steep and see what happens….

Dexter

I’m continuing to drink this as it cools – it’s actually getting better (I’m not saying good)- it’s pretty cool, almost cold now and this is smokey dark bitter chocolate coffee banana. But that gives me a little hope that if you play with it maybe can bring those notes forward sooner.

CrowKettle

I liked the second still a little more too; it lends support to the idea that less is better with this one! XD

CrowKettle

And the bacon bit is more of a dry leaf smell thing for me. It got up my nose, confused my brain, and lingered the time length it took me to consume the pot…

Evol Ving Ness

hmmm, I look forward to your reports as you explore this further.

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88

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm so happy this one is back in my cupboard. Delicious chocolatey, malty snailey goodness. Honestly. Yum. Bumping my rating up on this one because i am a fan even more so this time…

Evol Ving Ness

Malty snailey goodness. :)

Dexter

Awesome – love snailey goodness

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70
drank Vietnam Gui Fei Oolong Tea by What-Cha
9065 tasting notes

Free same in our group what-cha order. I tried this one today so i can divy up the rest of it for VariaTEA and Evolvingness. On the whole, not one i’d order for myself, though i generally like roastier oolongs. Had a cup of this while i tried to make wonton soup from scratch! haha. All in all, a decent cup but nothing to knock my socks off. IE. glad i tried it but that’s enough for me.

Dexter

You were making wonton soup from scratch? Wow that’s awesome!!!

Sil

Yeah…was a fun experiment and turned out really well…technically I used broth for the soup, but I added things to it, so I think that counts! Wonton making is fun…got the hang of it after the first couple.

Indigobloom

wonton… its even fun to say :P

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87

oh happy day…this is back in my cupboard. :D

Edit: Final count 48 (2 BF orders showed up!)

Dexter

I still can’t believe how low you got!!!! Fantastic job. I’ve taken a quick look through my stash today and decided not to order from What-Cha even though there is some crazy amazing sounding stuff there.

Sil

I can always send you a few if you just want 1-2cups to try

Dexter

Thank you – no thank you. I need to get an understanding of what I have – get my cupboard and spreadsheet updated. Re-gain control.

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80
drank The Vanilla Marshmallow. by 52teas
9065 tasting notes

last cup of the evening i think since i don’t really have any herbals. I’ve been baking this week and for those here who know me..i LOVE orange creamsicles…every time there’s an orange creamsicle tea, i have to try it. Well i found a recipe for orange creamsicle cookies…so i made them and DAMN they are so good. I’ve eaten like 5 already. along side this tea – they were an incredible treat.

Final Count: 36

Arby

Damn 36 teas…that’s amazing. Go Sil!

Sil

if only i didn’t have like uh..30 incoming hahaha actually i don’t even have a count of how many are inbound…but it works out to about 1kg.

Evol Ving Ness

hahhaha, how miserable would you be if you were down to five.

Evol Ving Ness

And orange creamsicle cookies—-heaven!

Tamarindel

Recipe request, please! Orange creamsicle cookies sound amazing.

Sil

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/orange-creamsicle-cookies/

I used semi sweet chips instead of white chocolate…and triple sec instead of the orange liquer….and 1.5 cups of chips instead of the 2…since it seemed like a lot as i was mixing things in

Tamarindel

Thanks so much! I’ve been craving cookies and these look great!

Lexie Aleah

I need to make those! Mmmn

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82
drank Keemun Classic by Capital Tea Ltd.
9065 tasting notes

Dexter sent this to me in another life and i’ve finally picked some up for my cupboard since i had ZERO keemuns! This harvest isn’t smokey, but it is a tea that i’ll be adding a drop of maple syrup to when i take it in the travel mug i think. It’s got a bit of a cocoa feeling to it but not overly so….there’s a depth here that i am enjoying.

Evol Ving Ness

ZERO keemuns! Clearly a situation that needs to be reconciled.

Sil

i have 4? now i think…

Evol Ving Ness

Excellent, way to right the universe, lady.

Dexter

Yay for having Keemun back in your cupboard

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84
drank Rocky Road by 52teas
1734 tasting notes

I drank this yesterday with milk, which made it much more like the icecream. Oddly, same as last time, I wasn’t interested in a second steep. Rare that I find something so satisfying, with no desire for more… Odd, for me! Still, I’m glad I have another sampler of this coming my way.

Fjellrev

Oh man, she NEEDS to reblend this.

Indigobloom

Definitely agreed on that!!

Arby

It should be a regular

Indigobloom

Yep, I think so too. Except I really miss the Blueberry Creamcheese Danish, so kinda want that as a regular first…

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So, I woke up today thinking oolong.

I am just starting with the first steep and I have honeyed malt—a bit like honey black— against a floral backdrop. Interesting. Unusual. Nice.

Now, as much as I’d like to continue lounging around in my flannel pjs drinking tea on this massively foggy day, I am revving myself up to go participate in some movement. Part of my inspiration is that yesterday I left one of my travel mugs in my locker at the gym and I need it for my multiple steepings in the coming days. So I may as well go have a workout. You guys can be my witnesses as I get into motion. Getting up now….

Thank you, Crowkettle. A lovely entry into the selection you so generously shared with me.

The steeps will continue. Stay tuned.

Well, I drank this until the steeps gave up almost nothing. So, yay! Deliciousness!

And it’s a sip down! I’d happily order this one the next time What-Cha hears from me.

Fjellrev

That’s an interesting way to motivate oneself to go to the gym more, actually. Leave something you need there so you have to go back haha.

Evol Ving Ness

Also, because crazy tea lady who carries four travel canisters of hot tea wherever she goes.

Evol Ving Ness

Of course, some remain hotter than others.

CrowKettle

Woo-ho, workout inspiration (whatever works)! Looking forward to getting back into exercise things this month too! :)

Evol Ving Ness

Hurray, yay! I find that it is all far less painful when I build it into my day and regularity makes it even more pleasant because then you get to know people there and the hellos and light banter make things even that much nicer. Also, it blows my mind when I am able to retain some sort of a routine. Though some days, of course, I do need that something something to propel myself out the door.

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81
drank Oolong Creme by Sloane Tea Company
3735 tasting notes

My friend got this as her tea and honestly I think I just drank her tea more than mine. The consensus was between the four of our teas, this was the best. It was floral and certainly an oolong but a creamy vanilla/buttery oolong with a honeysuckle type floral that was really nice. Plus it held up to the teapot prep method that seemed to lead to the other teas being oversteeped. Not to mention we added more water to the leaves and it still had a lot of flavor. I’d drink this again.

Fjellrev

Oh yeah, this is a good one!

Sil

Sloane is just too expensive for what it is imo….unless you can get in on their sales.

VariaTEA

That’s true. I only ever owned their Heavenly Cream Tea and that’s because it was forced on me in a box set with the Mother’s Day truffles made by CXBO with Kitten an the Bear and Sloane

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drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
1016 tasting notes

I’ve had a request to start writing tasting notes again. This confuses me, I stopped writing notes because I felt I didn’t have anything interesting to say. There are lots of people here who are more articulate and have a better palate than I do. But as requested, here goes…

Tonight I’m just hanging out at home, watching the hockey game, petting the cat, eating banana bread, drinking this tea.

I normally choose and prefer China black teas, but it’s always nice to break it up with something different. This one is light with the high notes I would expect from a Taiwan black. It’s really fruity – normally I would think grape/wine fruity in this style but these are stone fruit notes. There is also some tannin (?) and a little suck the moisture out of your mouth thing. There is also a little smokiness as it cools. I don’t feel this style will every be my favorite but this was fun to try and I think it’s different enough from a typical Taiwan black to make it interesting.
Thanks Evol for sharing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcLnt-4hJGB/?taken-by=dex3657

Sil

Yay!

Evol Ving Ness

Omigoodness! She’s here! She’s here! With tea even!

Evol Ving Ness

Love your tea ware!

Roswell Strange

Ah! Welcome back!

__Morgana__

Glad you’re back!

mrmopar

Agreed write away! My ramblings are much more difficult to get through.

CrowKettle

Aw, I missed your notes. Welcome back! :D

VariaTEA

Hi Dexter!!! Welcome back :)

looseTman

You’ve definitely been missed! Welcome back!

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81
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
9065 tasting notes

soooooooooooooooooooooo boooooooooooooooooooooored….with my cupboard. Honestly 2 pages of tea cupboard is not enough. that is all. haha

Evol Ving Ness

That problem should be solved within the coming weeks. :)

Sil

soooo far away…. i was really hoping for capital teas to show up to hold me over until the US orders start coming in. At least tomorrow i can weigh my cupboard and see how well i did before i get all those orders in haha

CrowKettle

I’m sorry Sil, but I need the orders to not come in soon. I’m so swamped… Too many oolongs making everything so much more than the puny grams/ozs listed.

Hopefully Toronto sees tea long before Vancouver does! <.<

Sil

hahahahaha well the US orders will take a few….and my china orders will be longer. But here’s hoping canada orders get here this weekend!

Sil

also i have fewer teas than you! mwahahahaha (for now…)

Fjellrev

How the hell do I have double the teas you do? Madness!

Sil

Not for long sadly….not for long…

CrowKettle

It’s not right. The world has come to some great unbalance. You’re supposed to be a three-digit cupboard!

Fjellrev

Right? Is this even real life anymore?

Sil

oh god. no more 3 digit cupboards….besides this is nice..well sort of. i hate note having options but it means that next week i get to puerh puerh puerh!

Arby

Your quality of life must be terrible. I hope your teas in the mail get to you soon.

Sil

haha thanks arby! 1st world problems i know!

Evol Ving Ness

The world has come to some great unbalance. hahahhahahaha!

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82

When you have no teas…you get to drink the same thing over and over again. At least it means i’m working my way through teas haha. While this one doesn’t have the honey notes i love from ttc – it does have some erally nice cinnamon like notes that i can get behind while being a smooth tea.

VariaTEA

Soon you will have teas…and I will have ALL the teas. Btw please help yourself to any of them :)

Sil

haha yeah. Hoping some of them get here shortly…otherwise next week is going to be a whole lot of puerh drinking. which wouldn’t be terrible.

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