Featured & New Tasting Notes

87
drank 2018 Demon Slayer by White2Tea
458 tasting notes

I really like how this tea is progressing over time. It is a very vegetal one, but it does have a good depth. The profile hasn’t changed much since a year ago. Just like Roswell Strange, I too find that each one of the sessions I’ve had with it carries that bell pepper character. It is especially pronounced in the aftertaste.

The main difference I found compared to my memory (and the previous note) is that the tea does seem a bit sweeter now, which makes it more balanced. There is a light honey flavour as well and a sort of malty finish.

Flavors: Bell Pepper, Drying, Honey, Metallic, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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93

So, trying this again as my morning brew (I know it’s almost 3PM, this is just my life, ok) and I have to say, I think it was my prep that was off last time. This time I actually measured out the water and leaf (12oz, 1.5 Tsp), but sort of eyeballed it (is that the right term) on the time. It was somewhere around 2 minutes though.

Taste is so much better! No licorice present at ALL! Instead, it tastes just like the package states: an Earl Grey Cupcake. I can taste the sweetness of the frosting, and the bergamot, and the tea, all wrapped up into one. This is amazing! I think I’m going to need to order a few more pouches of this. I could drink this all day!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Ginkgo by Yogi Tea
464 tasting notes

Prepared this tea, because I need ssome brain work to do. And I feel bit meh as for thinking today. Maybe just a bad day.

But, whatever, it is time for tea!
It seems it is only Ginkgo in, so – it is naturally herbal. Little musty as well. But it smells pretty and okay.

When drinking – it is again herbal, but as I let it steep all the time I had it in the mug it became spicy in the ned. That’s kind of weird.

Flavors: Herbs, Spicy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 10 OZ / 300 ML

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77

Additional notes: I’ve been drinking this ancientness because it tastes really good steeping the stove boiling method of brewing I’ve been doing. Despite never really tasting like white chocolate. But I’m enjoying the strength of the spices and black tea lately, especially on this snowy day. Almost sad to finish it! And yes, STILL boiling water on the stove but I have a new sinktop water filter on the way that will hopefully solve my chlorine water problem. Some of my oldest teas have been tasting really good lately, so that is some tea aging magic right there. I’m happy to drink some older teas before I have this water filter thing figured out. Soon!
2020 Sipdowns: 13

And in case anyone has missed it, there is a new travelling teabox started in the forums, the ‘Samurai’ TTB thanks to SkySamurai halfway starting it. More signups welcome!

Fjellrev

Come to think of it, can you think of any teas that have a prominent white chocolate note? I feel like most that claim to have white chocolate fall short. Or end up tasting ultra artificial leaving a greasy film on top (like DAVIDsTEA blends, ugh).

tea-sipper

I really haven’t tried too many white chocolate teas , I’m dark chocolate all the way (there really don’t seem to be too many). But you’re right, it would be a hard tea to do that wouldn’t be filmy. I enjoyed 52Teas White Grasshopper blend, so I’m sure if anyone can do a great white chocolate tea, it’s probably Anne.

tea-sipper

I notice Culinary it still open so it is hard not to order this one again. sigh. I need to tell myself I can’t reorder a tea every time I finish a tea. sigh.

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67

Another Floragold, another tea from Roswell Strange. Thank you!!

This is supposed to be black currant and raspberry. While I can sort of get whiffs of each, it falls a bit flat for me. The raspberry is coming through slightly and as a sweetness to counter the touch of medicinal from the black currant.

It’s not bad and the more I sit with it, I can say its a nice enough tea but it is not one I would need to keep stashed. I will enjoy the other tea bag Roswell gave me though.

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77

A tasty dessert blend for a weird night. I’ve taken on another job at a university and and so I’m working some odd hours. I wanted something low caffeine but also comforting and rich. I’m trying to get through more of my caffinated teas because I have a record number of teas right now and I need to cut down by ~50 or more. I’ve had to store tea in my room because both of my drawers and the cabinet are full. Oops!

This has a lot of mint, but it certainly conveys candy cane because there is a nice dose of vanilla in there. I can taste the sugar/marshmallow flavour as well. The genmaicha is toasty but vegetal, which in my opinion clashes with the peppermint a bit. Rice + peppermint? hmm not my favourite combo. It was a good cup and I look forward to drinking it again however I probably would not buy it again. I like some of the other genmaichas better.

Flavors: Grain, Malt, Mint, Peppermint, Smooth, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

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drank PG Tips Loose Leaf by PG Tips
2157 tasting notes

Snow day! Up to (according to the hopeful drift-lovers in the area) eight inches expected by nightfall. (Don’t laugh at me, Maddy Barone, I know this is just skiffles compared to yours.) Although I am a confirmed winter-hater, it is a pretty one—fat flakes coming straight down, calm and quiet.

But since school got called and I had planned a couple days off toward the end of the week for work-at-home purposes, I just got the boss’ blessing to rearrange their order.
(And yes, I have been working away all morning. It’s break time.)

And since it’s break time, snow day tradition calls for a full pot of strong and fortifying PG Tips with milk. Nothing new to say about it, other than it’s dark and sharp and what one needs when you’re droopy. Evidently not everybody values it like I do, according to an article shared by another builders’ tea fan:

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/jan/30/you-cant-instagram-tea-is-trouble-brewing-for-the-classic-cuppa

Say it ain’t so.

Martin Bednář

I would like some snow here as well please. I hate that it is so dark and white snow it brights at least life a little.

gmathis

You can have mine! Lack of light and color certainly affects my mood and outlook in the winter! I am doing a little better than usual this winter; I think in part because my office light fixtures were replaced with good LED bulbs. I don’t have to sit in a dim room eight hours a day.

Martin Bednář

My lights are decent here too, but the life outside?

derk

Sam Dunwoodie obviously hasn’t seen the tea community on instagram :P

gmathis

I know what good tea looks like; I’d rather read your reviews! :)

ashmanra

I haven’t been on in a few days (or more) so I had no idea you had snow! Just the thought of it makes me want my mom’s chicken and pastry…

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87
drank Dark Star by Mandala Tea
10608 tasting notes

Not a lot to say about this one until I can get a go fund session in but right now, steeping it western on repeat for her steeps I am a huge fan. Do not want others to buy this so I have time to get more haha.

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84

Among my hei cha samples that constitute my initial exploration of the category beyond ripe pu’er, I still have a couple without a note. In an effort to remedy that, here are my thoughts on this Liu Bao.

It doesn’t have much aroma either in dry or wet form. However, these kinds of teas are rarely fragrance focused. The taste is sweet and savoury with a bitter finish. It is a combination that reminds me of Sugabow gyokuro karigane hojicha and dark roast coffee. The green aspect is still present, especially in the somewhat astringent, grassy, and nutty aftertaste. Later steeps are smoother with some woodiness, a warming, peaty finish and slightly sour aftertaste. There is a bit of an aged sheng note in the aroma too.

There is not that much taste complexity overall, but it is a nice tea to drink and it definitely has aging potential. I also enjoy the somewhat creamy mouthfeel in spite of the average thickness. I sense a decent amount of caffeine and a sort of clarifying energy during and after the session.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Dry Grass, Nutmeg, Nutty, Peat, Sweet, Umami, Wet Earth, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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77

Rooibos with chocolate cake flavour. A tea bag received from postcrossing. A Moomin related tea bag. I couldn’t find real ingredients, so leaving it blank + tea is from mixed box apparently.

I remember this tea from 3 years ago. The chocolate was well present back then, strongly aromatic. It is right now very similar, sweet, sponge cake aroma.

In taste it is nice, chocolate cake like tea without much of woody rooibos taste. As of caffeine-free tea it is very nice tea. Sweet as well!

Flavors: Cake, Chocolate

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 10 OZ / 300 ML

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80
drank Nettle Chai by Teafarm
2805 tasting notes

This sipdown is a long time coming. I’ve been giving away tasters of it in tea boxes and to friends and I’ve been drinking it when I remember. It is a tasty herbal, but to be honest I’m tired of it now.

Nettle is naturally slightly sweet (liked the smell of fried autum leaves), and never bitter or acidic. It makes a good base. The main problem with this tea is that the chai spices are lmited. I can taste some cinnamon and maybe clove but I think it really needs more of every spice. I like my chais to have a good level of peppercorn, clove, cardamom, and cinnamon with some spicy ginger. This tea is pretty mild.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Sweet, warm grass

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49
drank Apple Maple Bacon by Tickled Tea
4703 tasting notes

Another sweet Apple tea. Got a touch of maple which was not really what I wanted since it was already pretty sweet. No bacon, which could be a good thing but salt, smoke, or even “meat” would have been welcome to cut through the overly sweet apple. Maybe it’s me and this cold or maybe I’m just off apple teas but once again, not loving this.

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90

This is another reblend from the January box. It’s no longer a Shou Mei, but I thought it made sense to keep everything on the same listing. This is one I had been wanting to try for a very long time, and was ecstatic to see it make a reappearance. It’s exactly as I hoped, and by far the best grapefruit tea I’ve ever had. I love grapefruit, but there always tends to be an unpleasant acridness that is so synonymous with grapefruit. The brown sugar really balances out the natural bitterness of the grapefruit, and the overall mouthfeel is so smooth and velvety.

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70

Decided to do a gong fu session this morning while I have the time for it. This is one of the remaining teas from the last Here’s Hoping Teabox, so thanks to tea-sipper for organizing and those that contributed for sharing! I brewed the 3.77g sample I had of the tea in my 100ml shiboridashi using 185F water (I brewed it and put it in a hot/cold thermos rather than have to make trips back and forth from my kitchen to my dining table to the kettle).

3.77g / 100ml (shiboridashi) / 185F / 20s|30s|40s|50s|60s|70s

Dry, the leaf reminded me of the aroma of a summer field, smelling of dry hay, dandelions, and pollen. Wet it still had the hay smell and had a very herbaceous aroma. The brewed liquid was nearly clear, almost looking like water, though there was a very pale yellow upon closer inspection. The aroma had a faint citrus aroma, like lemongrass. The flavor of the first aroma was initially like hay and herbs, but then a strong fresh pine flavor came forward at the end of the sip. All subsequent infusions had a strong camphor and citrus aroma with both pine and citrus notes being very forward in the flavor, with a very subtle sesame seed note in the aftertaste.

There wasn’t really any variety from steep to steep and I wasn’t able to pull many flavor notes from the tea, but I was really digging the strong pine/citrus flavor I was getting from the tea, since I’m a sucker for pine notes and rarely find them in teas. Thanks for the share!

Flavors: Camphor, Citrus, Dandelion, Hay, Herbaceous, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pine

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80

A few weeks ago a friend came to a meeting with a box of lipton tea bags, a bottle of honey and a bottle of lemon juice. She was getting a cold and brought her own meds for it. Knowing I was a tea drinker, she offered to make me a cup. I dislike Lipton with a passion but I didn’t want to be rude, so I accepted a cup.

It wasn’t half bad that way. So yesterday when I got a tickle in my throat I thought about making some tea with honey and lemon. I didn’t, but it is much worse today. Like, my joints ache and I keep coughing up junk , and it hurts a little to breathe, and I feel miserable, but my nose isn’t plugged. So I decided to see what straight black teas I had. I found a sample sized pouch of this. I remember having it quite a while ago. It’s languished since then, although I recall I liked it fine.

Anyway, just a tish of lemon and a teaspoon of honey in a large, 14 ounce mug. I used double the amount of leaf I normally would, but the tea sin’t really coming through,. It is overpowered by the honey and lemon. Although, I do get a hint of mint. I don’t know if this is actually helping, but it certainly isn’t hurting. I imagine I will finish off the pouch today.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Shae

Oh goodness, I hope you feel better!

Martin Bednář

It seems we are almost all sick here. Well, it is that season

Maddy Barone

Thanks! Still sick. But the temp is down. So I must be getting better.

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85

I took this one from “huge bags section” I wonder if it is somehow new one or some really old one. I have no idea. And it was in paperbag.

But, it was in dry space. I checked the bag and it seemed fine. So let’s brew it. As it is herbal, I let it in the cup all the time. When filterbag touched hot water, it was clear that it is not dust of elderflowers but there are real pieces of them. And it smells so divine. Brew itself is very light-green, but it’s clear.

Aroma is very nice. It is indeed just elderflower, but certainly good one. No musty aroma, rather hints of honey or pollen.

The taste is as well great. Quite sweet, but it reminds me homemade elderflower syrup. It is mouth-watering tea. Simple, yet great.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Haha, whoa.

The leaf is detritus. The liquid is stagnant swampwater. The flavor is the smell of the musty edges of a swamp complete with the tastes of tangy black currant and crisp mint that can grow in such moist locations.

If this tea didn’t have the novelty reference to The Guide, I don’t know what my gut reaction would’ve been but this is freaking brilliant. Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster transports me back to my swamp work ten years ago.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Martin Bednář

I had to put this one in! It is so crazy, yet quite good.

derk

It is crazy and I’m happy I get to revel in it’s weirdness.

Martin Bednář

Haha! Great!

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88
drank Black Orchid by Mariage Frères
10608 tasting notes

Sipdown! Sad to see this one go :(

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73

I had to rush out the door only grabbing iced tea out of the fridge this morning, but I was really crazing a warm cuppa on this rainy morning, and had to wait until my lunch break to finally get to brew a thermos of hot tea. This is one of my oldest teas so I grabbed this one to start working on sipping down; it smelled fantastic steeping on my desk, reminding me a lot of the Blackberry Dumpling tea I had not long ago, which I really enjoyed.

I’m getting some baked bread and subtle honey notes from the base black tea, with a stronger sweet rose florality; it isn’t as strong as I was imagining (I’m a big fan of rose so there is pretty much no such thing as “too strong” with me and rose!), but I can pick it up toward the back of my tongue. The fruitiness of the blackberry is a much stronger flavor note and dominates over the florality, so it tastes more of a nice blackberry black tea, with a very soft and subtle floral touch to the base black; I think even someone that typically hates floral notes in teas would have no issues with this tea. Since I love rose teas, I actually could’ve done with those notes presenting a little stronger, but I still love the blackberry flavor used by 52Teas — it just tastes so full and juicy, like biting into actual fruit. It’s a good tea and I’m so happy to get a hot black cuppa on this drizzly day, but I would’ve liked to have seen a little more balance between the fruit and florals, personally

Flavors: Baked Bread, Blackberry, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Rose, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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drank The du Tigre by Le Palais des Thes
1139 tasting notes

A friend went to Paris and brought me back a bag of this stuff. She was told by the sales guy that lapsangs weren’t legal in the EU because of something to do with the way they get their smokey flavor. Strange info considering every other tea shop I visited in Paris has a lapsang. I think my friend got the new guys who doesn’t know his tea very well yet.
I was expecting not to like it as I haven’t been impressed by the selection of PDTs that I’ve had and was happily surprised to find that I really dig this one! It’s smooth, smokey and fairly well balanced. I’ve probably had a cup of it 4 out of the last 5 days and can already see a dent in the giant bag!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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76

Sipdown (353)

I decided to try to go to a walk-in clinic in London because my cough has gotten pretty bad and so I mustered up some energy to go over. Except when I got there and gave my health card to the person at reception, she told me my card was likely invalid since it is an older version of the Ontario health card that is being phased out. I told her I haven’t gotten a letter to update it yet and that they are being accepted until July 2020. She put the info into the system and when the card came up invalid, she just looked at me and basically said “I told you”. She then told me it would be $50 to see the doctor and when I offered my credit card, she told me they only accept cash and the closest ATM is at the Shopper’s Drug Mart across a busy main road.

Given that I am sick, I didn’t have the energy to (1) attempt to dodge traffic and run across a busy road or (2) walk the block to get to a light to cross the road and walk down the block to the Shoppers and then circle back again to return to the clinic. So instead I just went home.

My sister took pity on me and sent her husband to come get me. Then this morning, my brother took me to a walk-in clinic by my sister’s place. Initially my health card came up as invalid at this clinic too. However, unlike the jerk in London, this person called Service Ontario to look into the matter and it turns out the card is still valid, they just missed a letter because on my version of the card, the number is in the middle of the card but the letter is in the bottom corner.

So this very long story basically ends with me finally seeing a doctor and getting prescribed a puffer and antibiotics and lots of fluids and this tea from Roswell Strange came to mind. It’s a mild green tea which takes honey quite well so it’s nice for when you’re not feeling great. Thanks Roswell Strange for sharing. Like you, I don’t love green teas but as far as they go, this is pretty good.

Martin Bednář

Get well soon! It sounds so bit like nightmare healthcare. And yet, I am sitting here deciding which surgeon I should visit because of my “unguis incarnatus”.

As well I am trying to recall what was last time I had antibiotics. It is has been ages.

Kawaii433

:( Glad you got your puffer and antibiotics. Speedy recovery.

CrowKettle

That’s quite the ordeal but glad you ended up getting the care you needed. Also, there are fees at Ontario walk-in clinics???

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Dustin

That sounds exhausting! Glad it’s all sorted. Feel better quick!

VariaTEA

Thanks everyone. Personally I continue to blame London because it’s slightly shittier than other places.

tea-sipper

I hope you feel better quickly!

ashmanra

Oh, how I despise red tape! Glad you have been seen and I hope everything helps you get better and feel better quickly!

VariaTEA

The puffer has definitely been helping with the cough, which honestly was the worst part so that’s awesome

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78

Decided to give this a try, since I have sent it to derk without trying it before.

Oh well. I prepared it with almost boiling water as well and it was better than I have expected. Yeah, the base tea was okay, hay, maybe bit of grass – I agree with you derk! It wasn’t water or just plain wrong or bad.

And it was really full of mint. I don’t know what are differences between spearmint, peppermint, et cetera mint. I am not able to find difference. But yeah, it was refreshing cuppa even with brewed with tea bag kept in mug all the time. Nice surprise for me!

Flavors: Grass, Hay, Mint

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 10 OZ / 300 ML

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The smell reminds me of chocolate scratch-and-sniff stickers. Fourth grade specifically, what 1993? Taste and body are thin but a strong returning sweetness like I’d expect in good loose-leaf comes about many minutes later. I used 2tsp to 10oz; thinking now that I should’ve used all three. Regardless, it’s kind of artificial. Thanks for the try, Martin :)

Flavors: Artificial, Chocolate, Hazelnut

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Martin Bednář

You are welcome :)

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83

I placed another August Uncommon order and it just arrived. I’m slowly making my way through their entire catalogue. I was intrigued by the inspiration, and was very excited for this particular blend to arrive. The dry leaf smells exquisite- creamy, with hints of stone fruit, and cherry. I didn’t care for the smell while it was brewing, it was very medicinal. I also didn’t care for the first few sips. Way too boozy and very medicinal. However, as it cooled the flavor really developed, and the creaminess and fruit flavors melded wonderfully. I couldn’t stop drinking it for some reason.

AJRimmer

Me too. I bought myself one of their gift cards during a sale and plan to buy one of everything I haven’t tried at some point.

amandastory516

Their blends are so exciting. Even blends of theirs that I don’t particularly like, I still enjoy the experience of tasting them.

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