6646 Tasting Notes

88

Discovery Tea Box – Tea Seven

So, when I first pulled this out of the box I actually thought that it was a shou with blended in chrysanthemum, and it wasn’t until I was actually measuring out the leaf for my session that I realized it was a black tea and not a shou. I pulled this one for a couple reasons; I’ve had chrysanthemum tea but I don’t think I’ve ever had specifically snow chysanthemum and I wanted to try that out, I’d really like to experience a wider range of what Yunnan Sourcing offers because I’ve never been blown away by one of their teas, and if I’m being really honest with myself the biggest reason I pulled this was just because it looked really fucking pretty.

So, I steeped this one Gong Fu – my gram scale’s battery died and I couldn’t find a new one in the house so I had to eyeball my measurement. I aimed for about eight grams for this 150ml gaiwan – though when I was steeping I tried to only fill it to roughly the 125 ml mark. I was trying to leave 7g in the package still so that I could get a second session if I decided to keep this one or, if I passed it along, someone else would still get a reasonable session. I’m pretty good at eyeballing grams – after all I do generally spend a good chunk of my eight hour work day just scooping out tea by weight. It’s one of those “special skills” that I’ve gotten scary accurate with. Very helpful at bulk barn…

Man this tea was different than expected. I really thought I’d be getting full bodied and dark/heavy with floral elements from the chysanthemum but instead it just felt very bright and lively all throughout the session – and sweet. Like, my big take away over all eight infusions that I did was just how much this reminded me of a really sweet, clean tasting shou with a whole lot of chenpi in it. So much sweet citrus notes, and then undertones of things like figs and dates which, while they aren’t weird to taste in black tea, are things I feel like I more commonly experience in shou. Near the end of the session, it did taste a little more floral/conventionally like chrysanthemum but the ride until we had reached that point was just wild – and tasty. So, so tasty.

I just really enjoyed this one and now it’s got my ass browsing through the YS site. I’m happy to see this is actually still in stock; and it’s pretty affordable too. I feel like I want a cake of this, at the very least – but also it’s got me all hot and bothered to the point where I just keep thinking that grabbing a tong isn’t so unreasonable at all…

(Side note – I was picking through the leaf in my gaiwan a little bit after taking some photos for instagram, and the tea/chrystanthemum stained my finger tips orange!)

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmwl31QHuh4/?taken-by=ros_strange

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97

Discovery Tea Box – Tea Six

So, when I saw this in the box I sort of simultaneously had thoughts of excitement and cringe because, on one hand, a really good and fresh tasting coconut oolong can make for the BEST cold brew but also if it’s an older coconut tea that has spoiled it can also be the most gnarly thing ever. So, I cautiously cracked open the package of it and gave it a whiff. Well, the angels were singing because this smelled heavenly.

I decided to pop a tablespoon of it into my cold brewing mason jar, leave it overnight and just see what would happen – and that was a great idea. Man, this one really took me back to some of the amazing coconut oolong and white teas I used to cold brew on a near daily basis back when I was living in Saskatoon still and was really getting into tea. Like, that sweet sweet ‘peak’ when I was drinking 15+ cups of tea a day and would brew up no less than three cups of tea at a time. Huge nostalgia factor, here.

It’s just really fresh tasting and light with some very strong, buttery sweet coconut notes. Kind of like a really well done coconut water!? Like, it’s just that hydrating and seamlessly perfect. Hints of florals, because it is an oolong base after all. Kind of reminded me of pouchong oolong (though I’m not sure if it actually is) – lots of orchid/lily notes and that super delicate, fresh floral thing going for it with just a TINY LITTLE BIT of “green” flavour.

PERFECT.

Yeah, I’ll stealing the rest of the bag of this out of the box. I refuse to feel bad for doing so; gotta clear out some things to make room for new things and this is just gonna be one of them. That’s how life is sometimes.

VariaTEA

Remember when we had a competition to see who could get more sipdowns (or was it who could drink more cups of tea?) and we both ended up having like 25 cups of tea that day or something ridiculous?

Roswell Strange

It was who could write the most tasting note, and we were completely insane! I mean, I think of the amount of tea I drink daily as still pretty high up there but it’s really no where near that level of crazy. I was seriously brewing up five 16 oz. cups of tea at a time to drink all at once, and doing that two or three times a day. I keep thinking of how crazy I must have looked to my roommate…

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Midday cuppa, which I sipped on while watching some stupid highschool romcom type movie on Netflix – I just needed something a little light hearted…

This was good, but artificial. I mean, I really enjoy AQTT’s white tea base because it’s light, fluffy and had a nice gentle sweet hay taste to it. However, the pistachio feels very fake even though it’s still enjoyably sweet and nutty. There was some cream in the body of the sip, but I’d have liked more – and in a more distinct way. Maybe some vanilla would have been nice here? Apart from that, there was just a bit of a general perfume-y floral vibe. It’s not a stand out blend by AQTT but it’s not a bad one either.

VariaTEA

Did you watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before?

Roswell Strange

That is 100% what I watched. I couldn’t resist; I’m also binge watching The Fosters right now, and the romantic leaf in the movie is the same actor as my current favourite character on the show. That was enough to sell me.

VariaTEA

Hahah that’s why I watched. Jesus caught my attention and Peter K stole my heart :P

Roswell Strange

**romantic lead…

I’m nearly done The Foster (like ten more episodes left) and I just don’t understand how anyone could NOT like Noah Centineo. Sure, the recast after season two was a little jarring but he’s honestly just such an amazing actor. It was a really good movie though. Plus, the soundtrack!!! I don’t think there was a single song that wasn’t somewhere in my giant tea drinking/music playlist.

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60

Sipdown (645)!

Thanks for the share VariaTEA!

Turmeric is kind of weird ingredient for me – I seem to really enjoy it in very mild amounts, but if it’s even a little heavy handed it’s too much for me. I don’t handle spice very well. Ginger is also not a favourite of mine. So, I was already worried before evening opening up the teabag and then when I actually did I was smacked with so much ginger and turmeric that I sneezed three times.

However, now that I’m actually sipping on the tea? Yeah, it’s not so bad. I mean it isn’t really GOOD either – but I don’t feel like I’m being assaulted by either the ginger or the turmeric. In fact, I think this is rather floral tasting with more of a warming ginger/turmeric “hint” in the finish. It’s a little surprising, actually.

Glad to have finished off another tea, though.

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76

Sipdown (642)!

Discovery Tea Box – Tea Five

So, I’ve definitely creeped on Wendigo tea before – how could you not with a name/theme like that!? However, their shipping is a little steep and the teas they carry aren’t really unique enough in my mind to warrant a blind try of the company. I was really excited to see this in the box though; even if jasmine pearls are something I’ve had A LOT of exposure to I still like the idea that I’m getting to sample something from this company.

Really there’s not much special about this blend; it’s definitely really smooth and I’d say medium bodied. It feels very fresh, and I think the jasmine is pretty high quality/natural rather than done with jasmine “flavour”. Good ratio of jasmine to green base, also. Kind of sweet, like honeysuckles. Not the best jasmine pearl I’ve ever had but it’s also FAR from being the worst.

I’m thankful for the try!

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73

“Sipdown” (643)!

This is another one that I’m adding into the Discovery Tea Box, since it was requested by someone later on in the line up. VariaTEA was really generous with her sample of it, so I’m happy to share! Just gonna sneak in one last cup before I pack it into the box.

Delightful banana notes make up the bulk of the sip, but there’s also marshmallow and peanut butter notes as well. The peanut butter notes are what I find the most interesting; I don’t remember it tasting at all like peanut butter the last time I drank it. It’s good though; I’m loving that sweet, nutty end to the sip! Makes me think that there should be more peanut butter and banana teas out there. The honeybush feels stronger as the tea cools, as does the peanut butter element. So, it’s progressing into more of a banana, peanut butter, and honey sort of taste. Really good!

I hope the rest of the people in the tea box line up enjoy this one!

VariaTEA

How did you brew this? I can’t seem to coax out the peanut butter.

Roswell Strange

It may have just been a fluke, because I brewed it my normal way for honeybush blends – boiling water, and four minute steep.

tea-sipper

Oh goodie.. can’t wait to try this… :D

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86

Today’s cold brew.

I just had to revisit this one – I know I had it recently, but I couldn’t get that grape note out of my head. It’s something that AQTT does really well. True to my cravings, this brew was super smooth and juicy with really plump, bursting with flavour deep grape notes in the top of the sip and in the body, and then more of that raspberry taste in the undertones. It almost felt like it should be fizzy, but it definitely wasn’t.

Very, very good.

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89

A little bit astringent, but mostly a really nice sweet orange profile atop a good quality black base. It’s not really anything “new” at this point; but just a good consistent staple tea in my cupboard. Glad I stocked up. I feel like I say that a lot when I drink this one, but that’s just ‘cause it’s true.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfOckNahTTU&t=0s&list=WL&index=17

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68

Cold Brew!

Another one that tasted pretty reminiscent of some sort of childhood candy; still can’t totally nail down which one but I feel like I can get close in terms of the general category. I feel like it’s reminding me of some sort of hard candy – like a jolly rancher, but also definitely not a Jolly Rancher because none of the Jolly Rancher flavours match up with the sweet, jammy and tropical pineapple/cranberry profile this one has. It was bloody good though, and the whole time had me going “Well shit, why don’t I drink this more often!?”. And really, why don’t I!? It’s so popular at work, and accessible to me…

I don’t really have a good reason. I’m just glad I brewed it up…

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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Hot cup from yesterday.

This tasted pretty distinctly like some sort of berry candy from my childhood, bu I couldn’t 100% put my finger on exactly what it was reminding me of. Maybe one of those berry gummy candies!? I just know it was sweet and juicy, and definitely blackberry flavoured.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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Profile

Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually about five years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more than straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

A personal goal of mine has been to do a proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for. I can’t say I’ve been doing great staying on track with this goal, but I haven’t forgotten about it!

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, and honey, but only in moderation.

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, often Chai spices in general, mushrooms, overly vegetal or marine/seaweed, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/looking to try: Shou Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas!

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Wood Fired Old Man: Leopold

I also have a real life pet – a fancy rat named Wasabi.

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.

Location

SK, Canada

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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