6964 Tasting Notes

87

Gong Fu!

One of the first pu’erh teas that I fell in love with; I was packing this into a box and I couldn’t resist holding off on packing this one until I was able to get in a session with it first. So, I paused my packing and went and did that first. Like, literally stopped what I was doing to go drink some tea first…

I think this is easily still one of the smoothest shou pu’erh teas that I’ve ever had, and even though I’m currently really into shou with distinctly woody notes to it and that doesn’t perfectly describe this tea it’s still very good. Sweet, and more fruity with stonefruit notes that lean more heavily to what I think of as a “darker” side of stonefruit elements; stuff like plums, overripe cherries or Bordeaux cherries and then other fruit notes like dates and figs. Those are the primarily profile of this pu, but there are sort of cocoa like top notes to it as well and sort of an undertone of more molasses/brown sugar undertones that add to the sweetness.

I steeped it eight times – the session only ended because it’s not a tea with lots of staying power to it; not because I was tired of it. Were this tea capable of lasting longer I would have brewed it longer; but it just dies out pretty easily.

Now it’s in a box, which is sad. This was just too good not to drink right away, though.

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92

Iced Tea Sipdown (590)!

Something about icing this tea really brings out the cucumber notes. I mean, they’ve always been there in the flavour but usually this is a mix of several different pretty equally balanced flavour notes that includes cucumber. Instead, this was dominantly cucumber with soft undertones of orange and mild chili spice.

I actually think that I equally love the more balanced and well rounded profile of this one when steeped up hot and the more cucumber dominant profile of it as an iced tea. They are different for sure, and almost feel like totally different teas in general. But both are super pleasant and delicious. Almost makes me feel like this tea can do nothing wrong; and that makes finishing it all the more sad…

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82

So, what I’ve been doing while packing is putting a mix of stuff in each box so that if any one box gets lost I don’t lose ALL of one type of thing. Like, a couple travel mugs in each box, some infuser mugs, a teapot or two, some clothing, some comic books, some tins of tea, some board games, some gaiwans, a tea tray, etc.

I’ve also been trying to have a mug or two of tea with each box packed of one or two of the tins of tea that are going into that box – a “last cup” before they get sent away for a few weeks. This was one of those teas that I grabbed to sip on while packing; and it was actually a really good cup. Like, I knew I liked this tea when I selected it but it was so much better than I recalled it being. Sweet and creamy, with very fudgey/hot cocoa sort of chocolate notes and then a brilliant jammy strawberry quality to the mid sip.

Chocolate in tea is a funny thing; I don’t hate it but I don’t love it. But something about this particular cup of tea made me realize that I have a particularly soft spot for strawberry and chocolate teas. They’re great dessert flavour pairings, and I like fruit and chocolate combos just in general…

Mmm!

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-14ylqaQC0&index=10&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ

(Just one of many songs that are part of my packing/jam playlist…)

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Sipdown (591)!

Finished this one off yesterday morning; matcha latte with a hearty squeeze of peppermint flavoured agave. So, basically I made myself a Candy Cane Matcha latte. It was really strong; there was probably more matcha in this sample packet than I actually needed for a matcha latte but I’m in hardcore sipdown mode right now so I just dumped the entire packet into my matcha bowl to whisk up and combine with my steamed milk and agave combination. Strong isn’t bad though; it gave me a real energy boost in the morning and it tasted really seasonally appropriate and rich. Creamy. Super creamy.

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70

Sipdown (592)!

Another one that I had sort of forgotten than I still had in my cupboard. Finished it off yesterday in a large teapot though…

I can’t really remember what I’ve thought of this one in the past; it’s been a long time since I last had any of this. This time around, though? I mean, I didn’t dislike the flavour or anything but I really couldn’t taste much else other than the Honeybush in the blend. It was REALLY distinctly honeybush flavour; woody and peppery, and just a little bit earthy. I might as well have been drinking a miraculously caffeinated pot of straight honeybush. I like the flavour of honeybush, so that isn’t a bad thing or anything – but I was expecting a little more pu.

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37

Sipdown (593)!

Gifted to me by one of my coworkers; I don’t know where/how she found these “instant cold brew” teas but she kindly offered to let me pick one of the three tea options to test out and how could I resist!?

So, the idea here is that each packet has what is essentially a teabag in it but it’s filled with ground up tea similar to matcha – except not matcha. This one was Tie Guan Yin oolong, and it basically looked like a darker and more brown tinged matcha shoved into the teabag. You toss that bad boy into a bottle of cold water, and you shake it back and forth “forty times” then removed the teabag/packet. Wallah – ‘instant cold brew’.

It’s… fine.

I mean, it came out a weird, bordering on fluorescent green colour which was a little freaky and there’s definitely a lot of sediment in the cup from the “powder” that is basically getting cold shaken into the water. I thought it tasted more like a very nutty/softly roasted green tea than any Tie Guan Yin I’ve had recently; but I don’t know if that’s placebo effect because the whole time I was making this I couldn’t help compare the appearance to matcha. I suppose, because of that nutty/roasty element, is does kind of remind me of Tie Guan Yin? I definitely wouldn’t call it a good version of the tea though.

I think maybe this concept could work; but I don’t think straight/traditional teas are the way to go to do it well. I’d focus, instead, on flavoured and scented teas where you can compensate for the lack of quality of the straight tea base with some of the other flavours that you’re bringing to the mix. So stuff like jasmine or rose scented teas, Earl Grey, maybe a green tea version with some sort of fruit like mango!? Straight tea just feels like you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

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drank Sweet Tart by DAVIDsTEA
6964 tasting notes

Do you ever eat/drink/smell something and just immediately associate the flavor/scent of that thing with a colour!? I was drinking this last night while I was packing up boxes for Montreal and while it certainly tasted deliciously of cherry candies the whole time I couldn’t help but think that it “tasted like red”. Not like, a bright stereotypical “cherry red” colour but something with more of a pink hue to it.

After some quick searching on Google, I think I finally found the right colour that it was reminding me of:

http://www.sewingroom.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Eco-Cottons-Fuchsia-1-520×600.jpg

Sure, that’s more of a pink than a red but that’s definitely what I was thinking of in my head as I drank it. It would be easy to say I was just influenced by the colour of the tea’s liquor, except that’s not the colour that this tea steeps up! So, it’s definitely something that my brain was coming up with on its own.

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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74
drank Ginger Beer by DAVIDsTEA
6964 tasting notes

Pleasantly spicy, with a bit of sweetness from the golden raisins in the blend. This is one that I’ve got a few more cups left of, but that I’ve left out of the boxes I’ve packed up with the hope that I can finish it off before I leave for Montreal – so expect more of this in the next few weeks or so.

Maybe as a teapop!?

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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Quick cup of this one at work; but steeped for a really short amount of time because I’m still kind of wary about this tea…

For those who might not recall; I drank this on a day where I was feeling really sick and not long after finishing the mug I threw up pretty violently. Ever since then, even though I know I was already sick and the tea isn’t to blame at all, I’ve kind of associated this tea with that feeling of being really violently ill. The good news? I was able to make it through my whole cup of understeeped tea without feeling queasy or uncomfortable because of my past experience at all! The bad news? I still wasn’t super into the weird moringa/citrus/coconut flavour profile.

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.

Mastress Alita

There is one B&B rooibos blend I still can’t drink because it was the last thing that was in my stomach right before a super violent food poisoning attack that lasted 12 hours hit me. I never tasted that rooibos tea during the sickness, yet for some reason, my body formed the aversion to that one specific tea. It didn’t even form an aversion to the food that caused the food poisoning, and which I tasted very clearly during the sickness. And it is only that one specific rooibos blend, not all rooibos, or even blends with with a similar flavor profile. So strange! But if I try drinking it, I always start feeling queazy afterwards. I had to just gift it and accept the fact I just won’t be able to drink that one tea anymore… or at least not for the forseeable future.

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70

Sipdown (594)!

Finishing this one off literally right now; I’m about halfway through a large Western sized pot of it. With some milk, of course. It’s a good way to spend the first part of the day on a day off work; snuggled up in bed, writing tasting notes and drinking tea.

In the past, I’ve been disappointed by the intensity of the banana and chocolate notes in this blend – they’re present, but sort of watered down and weak. I want more! A richer, denser flavour. For once, I’m finally getting that! It’s splendid, and makes for an excellent note to finish this tea off on. More banana that anything else; and as I’ve hit on before it’s more of a banana candy kind of banana than a natural banana flavour. Think those marshmallow banana candies you used to be able to find at convenience stores or banana flavoured penicillin. That banana flavour certainly isn’t for everyone, but I’ve always really liked it. With the milk and chocolate added into the pot, it adds this almost “hot fudge”/banana split kind of element!? Like eating a melted down banana split; complete with sugary syrups, creamy vanilla ice cream, and chocolate.

I do wish that the oolong itself was stronger; but I realize that if it peaked out more than I’d probably also go back to wishing that the banana/chocolate notes were stronger. So, it’s a bit of a catch 22. Best to just enjoy this pot of tea for what it is; sweet and delicious!

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Profile

Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a mid twenties 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

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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