11417 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! This is my last tea of the day (or first depending on how you look at it, since it’s after midnight)…
I’ve been holding onto this last tea bag for months now, waiting for the perfect time to drink it and I just now decided that I’m not going to have a perfect time, so I might as well drink it now and make room for more new teas! This is one of the few different kinds of ba teas that I did actually drink on occasion before I was introduced to this glorious world of loose leaf. My taste preferences have changed pretty significantly since I started drinking loose leaf and it’s been quite a while since I had this one that I’m wondering if I’ll even like it at all!
Since trying loose leaf I’ve learned that I’m really not a green tea girl, and yet this tea is a green tea base and it’s one of few teas I actually liked growing up (and that I consistently drank growing up). It’s also mint though, and mint is still one of my staple flavours and one I don’t seem to get tired of.
The tea in the bag smells like wintergreen gum, to me even though there isn’t actually wintergreen in the blend. Very strong mint smell, not really any green tea smell. I know from past experience that it doesn’t taste quite as minty as it smells, but I’m wondering if I’ll be able to taste the green tea more now that I’m a bit more familiar with it.
First few sips and… It’s still super good! Phew. Yeah, I taste the green tea – but I still taste the mint more!I’m actually really tasting spearmint in this cup, and less so peppermint. Yay! I still find it really refreshing, and I’m so relieved that now that I have a bit more of a distinguished palette the green tea isn’t putting me off. There’s really not a lot to add though, it’s a pretty straight forward Moroccan Tea.
Now I just have to find somewhere local to buy this! In my old city it wasn’t hard to get ahold of, we just picked it up from Superstore or Safeway. In my new city, I’ve checked both Superstore, Shoppers and Co-Op but none of them choose to stock this one (each individual store gets to pick what they stock). I guess I haven’t checked Safeway yet, so hopefully the Safeways here actually stock this one. Otherwise I’ll have to try and coerce a family member to buy some for me and bring it with next time they visit.
Late night tea (though likely not my last cup of the night)…
I was so conflicted about what to drink it’s not even funny. A quarter of me wanted a good Earl Grey, a quarter longed for something tropical (like Asia Cocktail), the third wanted something slightly minty, and the last quarter needed something decadent and chocolatey. Ultimately, I decided that I’d try and drink something I haven’t logged yet – so this one won.
I like this one a lot – it’s just a really good cream Earl Grey in general. I find that, personally, it doesn’t get bitter very easily and there’s a lovely balance of bergamot and creaminess to it. Some days I feel like it really benefits from just a small splash of milk, and others I think it’s perfectly fine all on its own. For me, this is an any time of the day tea!
In my old town, there was a coffee shop/cafe type place that sold a drink called a London Fog (Starbucks has one too which is really good), and that has regular old Earl Grey tea, vanilla syrup and steamed milk – to me, this tea tastes almost exactly like that. It’s just a really good reliable tea.
IN a move of either brilliance or idiocy, I decided today to add butterscotch pudding to my tea. Well, really it’s more butterscotch soup. I spent the last few hours trying to make my own butterscotch pudding from, essentially, scratch instead of buying those individual pudding cups. I followed the recipe to a tea, but it never got thick and pudding like. I’m gonna leave it in the fridge overnight and maybe, fingers crossed, it’ll get pudding like?
Regarding the tea, the addition of pudding makes the tea smell like plain old butterscotch pudding, and drinking it you really taste the butterscotch in the beginning of the tea, with the normal flavour of the tea following and leading into the tail end of the sip and aftertaste. It’s really good, but tonight just not hitting the spot completely – but that might be because I had so many teas calling out to me tonight to begin with.
Hmmm… Maybe this is something I’ll enter into Stacy’s contest? Would people actually be interested in drinking a butterscotch Earl Grey? Does such a thing already exist?
Regardless, rating this tea on how it usually tastes to me, and not how it’s sitting tonight (also, apologies for this post jumping around so much – I guess at the moment I’m not thinking so much in a linear way).
This was the iced tea that I made for myself to accompany me to the University this afternoon while I visited Robyn (while I was there I pawned off the rest of the unflavoured MATCHAccino and the straight green tea, with a super long name, that I tried earlier today – hopefully she’ll have more luck).
In making this tea this morning I brewed two cups. The first was a very over leafed cup (about a tablespoon) brewed for somewhere around seven minutes. The second was the same leaves steeped for around eight or nine minutes, which produced a much weaker cup in comparison to the incredibly strong cup I got in the first brew. They were then poured together in my water bottle and tossed in the freezer to chill while I finished getting ready.
I think I like this cold pretty much the same as I like it hot. It’s VERY citrus smelling – and not so much a sweet citrus but a sour one. When I smell the dry leaf I get hit with grapefruit and orange slices (and man, there ARE actual dried out orange slices in the leaf – when I use my teaball I have to break them in small pieces so they actually fit), and hibiscus. Yeah, if you’re not a hibiscus lover or fan probably stay away from this one. I personally like hibiscus, so for me it’s not a big deal.
Drinking this today, my tea tasted slightly metallic, but I know that’s from the fact I’m using a lower quality metal water bottle instead of something like a timolino (I really need to buy one, once I have steady paychecks), so it’s not the tea’s fault at all. Taste wise, this sort of reminds me or what orange juice and pink lemonade would taste like mixed together – but more watery and a little less flavourful. Lots of sour citrus and orange flavour, with some tartness to it. Definitely a large kick of hibiscus flavour right alongside the citrus as well.
Definitely more of a summer tea (I bought it in the summer, and drank lots more of it in the summer compared to my drinking it now), and something that doesn’t strike me at a “before bed” tea to relax. It’s totally more like juice. Something to drink with your breakfast or, like I did today, take with you as an iced tea on a day out.
My favourite way to enjoy this one, overall, is hot mixed about 50/50 with DT’s Peppermint Amour. You still get all the citrus flavour, but it’s much more refreshing and the peppermint, I find, really helps to negate the tartness.
Another from Lala’s package. Decided this morning, before I head to the University to see Robyn, would be a good time to try out a straight green tea! Honestly, I just picked one of them at random. I have some cold brewed tea that I plan on taking with me later today, so I’ll review that later today.
This is DEFINITELY not something I would have bought myself, so it’s kind of interesting to get a chance to try it (and other teas) that are so out of my comfort zone. Visually, the dry leaf is really pretty – it reminds me of yarn, sort of. However, I find the aroma really off putting. Yes, it’s sweet (just like the description says) but there’s also a really unappealing vegetal smell.
1 tsp steeped for about 1 min and 30 seconds. The smell is really off putting and unappetizing. First few sips? I almost spat it back in the cup…
I can’t really explain WHY I dislike it – it’s for sure sweeter than other straight green teas that I’ve tried and I usually like sweet teas. But there’s something just not sitting right about this one. The aftertaste is really funky too…
I think I’m going to give the remainder of this to Robyn today.
Unrelated, this (http://jonathanmangum.tumblr.com/post/61788079605/whimsical-autumn-teapot-fully-functional-clay) is what I’m going to enter into Stacy’s contest – the art one that is. It’s fully functional, and I do make tea in it occasionally! It’s kind of fitting, I think, that this contest is starting as Autumn is and I’ve got a fun, whimsical autumn teapot!
I decided to organize my tea collection today in anticipation of my Della Terra order (which I’m gonna have to wait an extra week for since one of the teas I ordered was out of stock; no biggy though! Gives me more time to try out all the samples Lala sent me)! Pre organization, all of my teas were just sitting out in the open on top of our dishwasher. To clarify, I live in a basement suite, so the teas weren’t being exposed to direct sunlight or a lot of heat or anything – we have next to no natural light in the suite and it’s always pretty cool. However, post organization I now have all the small sample sizes and anything that was packaged in a clear bag or in a brown paper bag (I’m looking at you, McQuarries – 50g in a brown paper bag does not a happy customer make!), along with some tools like strainers or tea balls or measuring spoons, tucked away in a fairly sizeable drawer right next to this dishwasher! My tea is still within reasonable reach from the station it’s prepared at, but now there’s so much less clutter! The only things left out on the counter space/dishwasher are now my Tea Desires bags, which are large resealable bags with foil lining, and my tins of tea (along with the electric kettle)!
And trust me, in this case, out of sight is NOT going to equal out of mind ;)
And what goes best with tea organizing? Well, tea of course! I settled on this oolong tea because I was definitely in the mood for something fruity after eating a dinner of primarily savoury foods, and because I’m definitely going to want something I can resteep at least once tonight.
At the moment, this is my favourite oolong from DAVIDsTEA; the dry leaf reminds me of peaches and cream which is my favourite breakfast oatmeal. There’s also a floral quality to the dry leaf which melds with the sweet peach and apricot flavours at work. There are so many large slivers of almonds too which add a nuttiness to the overall smell and flavour (and, if like me, you can’t resist picking them out and eating them – each almond sliver has absorbed a sweet fruitiness to it and tastes like peaches and apricots too). Growing up, I always thought that the pure almond extract my mom would use in her baking kind of smell fruity – sort of like subtly sweet, nutty cherries. So, it’s probably not surprising that to me I can very faintly smell something resembling cherries in the dry leaf.
Steeped for four minutes and thirty seconds. The liquor is basically the colour of apple juice. The smell is a much more muted peach, but it still reminds me of peaches and cream oatmeal.
This tea has a lot of flavour contributors, but it works out really nicely and comes off, to me at least, quite well balanced. There’s a floral contributor at work here, but I can’t quite name what exactly I’m tasting that seems floral. The peach flavour is pretty strong, with a more subdued apricot. The real nuttiness of the almonds seems to be most present in the aftertaste as the peach flavour fades away. I have to say, overall, I can’t really pick out the flavour that the orange peel is contributing.
If I didn’t eat peaches and cream oatmeal practically every morning (well, realistically, every afternoon since I sleep on a reversed schedule – get up at 2:30ish PM go to sleep at around 3 AM) for breakfast this would be a really good early morning breakfast type tea. With that in mind, I think this is a perfectly good tea for the odd day out when I have cereal or waffles or something instead of oatmeal or for travelling with for days when I don’t have access to oatmeal.
A gift from Lala! I’ve never tried a Teavivre tea before, nor have I tried dragon pearls so this is a really new experience for me! Out of the Teavivre samples Lala sent me, I picked this one to start off with because it’s not REALLY a straight green tea – there’s jasmine in it. So, that seems like a pretty decent middle ground when it comes to trying out new green teas and straight teas.
I’ll admit, I haven’t had a lot of exposure to jasmine flavoured teas. That’s not because I dislike jasmine though (I actually quite like jasmine), more so it’s because there are just so many flavours I like more. Dry leaf for this one DOES smell like jasmine, in almost a perfumy sort of way but still more natural than perfumy. In fact, all I CAN smell is jasmine – no green tea. Hmm, that’s pretty appealing to me. I’ll be honest though, I think I’m secretly hoping that I’ll hate this tea since, based on the different stores and websites I’ve been to, dragon pearls are NOT a cheap tea. It’d just be so much easier on me if I turned out to have a taste for the really cheap stuff!
So, I’m using 1 tsp for about 6 oz of water, steeped for a minute. The liquor barely changed colour at all during the steeping time, but finally settled on a very pale (almost peachy) yellow colour. The smell is still purely jasmine, but a much more toned down jasmine.
First few sips and… Ugh! I’ve made a mess! I totally forgot I was wearing BRIGHT metallic red lipstick, and now it’s all over my cup and all smudged. On the plus side, the tea itself tastes great! The tea is very lightly jasmine flavoured but still has enough flavour you don’t have to search for the jasmine. I CAN actually taste the green tea, but it’s not really all that vegetal so I’m not minding it too much.
Well darn, I was really hoping I wouldn’t like such an expensive tea. Maybe I can make it work by getting relatives to buy me it for holidays and such, so I don’t have to sell out the money myself. I’m probably gonna have to look, now, for a cheaper jasmine alternative since, now that I really think about it, I don’t actually own any tea with jasmine in it. I think jasmine definitely needs a spot amongst the teas I permanently stock. My friend Robyn has DT’s Buddha’s Blend and I think that has a large amount of jasmine in it – I’ll have to see if I can steal a sample from her.
EDIT: Got a really good resteep out of this one. I doubled the steep time, but otherwise everything was left unchanged. Tastes practically identical to the cup I enjoyed earlier today.
From the package Lala sent me! This is one of two teas I specifically asked for. I’ve been practically drooling over quite a few Butiki teas and have built up quite a list of things I’d like to order and try, but the smart thing to do is definitely to try a few sample sizes of things if I can before I go a blow like $80 on tea from a company I’ve never tried before.
I love watermelon so much, so I’m hoping for a very refreshing melon taste – it doesn’t so much matter if it’s crazy flavourful melon or a more subtle melon taste: I just want to taste it! In the past I’ve really liked white teas with a silver needle base, so the fact this tea uses silver needle as a base is quite promising for me.
The dry leaf smells like watermelon juices and, I don’t know if I can explain it properly but, it smells “cool” and sort of mellow while still being REALLY fragrant. Just going by the smell, I bet this would be a very good tea in the summer time, and maybe as an iced tea. I don’t think I’ve seen any reviews about people having this iced. Is that a thing people have tried out with this tea?
Lala wrote out brewing instructions for me on the little baggy, and there are also brewing instructions on the page for this one. They match up, except for the amount of leaf to use. Hmm. I think I’m gonna make this Lala’s way (with 1 tsp) because if I do like it that way then I’ll have more leaf left to enjoy more cups! Yeah, that seems logical.
At first while it was steeping I didn’t smell anything, but now halfway through the steep time the tea smells VERY watermelony. It’s sweet smelling, but a much more natural smelling sweetness as opposed to some of my other dessert tea. Not sickly sweet. But real honest to goodness “fresh fruit” sweet. The liquor in this is so pale it’s almost unchanged, but there is a very faint greenness to it.
Oh. OH! This tastes AMAZING. Like real watermelon. It’s so fresh and delicate but still full bodied. There’s something divine and holy about this tea. I’m so glad I’ve been branching out of my safe zone with flavored blacks and trying more whites because this tea is AMAZING. Yeah, I need to own it. SO badly. I’ve been sharing the samples I’ve gotten from Dala with Tre, just splitting cups of tea with him – but he’s not getting any of this! I am going to be so greedy and stingy with this tea in regard to sharing it. MINE MINE MINE. It’s so natural and smooth, but without being “creamy” smooth.
One of my favourite flavours is watermelon with peppermint, and if I had more of this I’d totally be adding just a touch of peppermint tea. I’m sure that would be crazy refreshing.
Yeah, there’s NO way I’m going to be able to put off a Butiki order now. Just NO way… Lala also sent me Cantaloupe and Cream, and now I’m just DYING to dig into the sample for that one.
EDIT: I continue to be impressed with this! Just resteeped a ridiculously still good second cup of this. It’s definitely not as flavourful as before, but still packs quite a punch! Mmm! Yummy.
Bit of a backlog from earlier this morning.
Woke up with a serious craving for this tea. Don’t really know why, since I wasn’t in love with this the first time I drank it. Maybe I just needed a stronger black tea with a little vanilla creaminess to it.
Steeped for around four minutes I think? First few sips, and sort of what I was craving? There’s the strong black tea base which is soothing right now, but there’s not really much creaminess to it. I think I actually noted that the first time I drank it, so what’s up tastebuds? I don’t really know what I was thinking exactly – I’m definitely craving something with a strong black tea base but MUCH more cream. I think I have to break my own rules and add milk and sugar to this.
Added about a tablespoon of milk and half a teaspoon of sugar. Still a very strong black tea flavour, but now the creaminess I wanted is there along with a more obvious vanilla.
I think I’m in a weird tea drinking mood today.
Midnight tea? I think yes! Wanted something without caffeine because I’m actually hoping to fall asleep soon… Fingers crossed. Wasn’t really digging any of the herbal teas I have right now, so Birthday Cake it is! Honestly, this is the only rooibos tea I have on hand – I should really try out some more or restock on ones I’ve tried in the past and liked (last time I was at DAVIDsTEA, the salesman was telling me about October’s tea of the month – a rooibos blend called Currant Affair; I absolutely love anything with currants, so maybe I can hold out until then).
Ah Birthday Cake, the tea that started it all! This was the very first loose leaf tea I ever tried, the tea that introduced me to DAVIDsTEA and, evidently, the tea that introduced me to my borderline addiction of loose leaf teas and the Steepster community! I hold a special place in my heart for Birthday Cake.
The dry leaf smells divine – like sickly sweet vanilla cake with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream! Now that I’m more familiar with loose leaf teas and rooibos tea specifically I can faintly smell the “woodiness” of the base tea that apparently turns some people off from rooibos teas. The sprinkles in the loose leaf are so flipping cute and I remember it totally blew my mind the first time I bought this (for my friend Skylar’s birthday – she too has a great love of tea and this seemed cute and quirky to me) seeing that tea could have things like sprinkles in it.
Steeped, there’s a very oily sheen on the top of the cup – likely from the artificial flavourings and the sprinkles. I know that bugs some people, but it doesn’t really bug me.
I don’t think I love this tea as much as I did when I first tried it and was (even more) inexperienced in the way of loose leaf. The flavour seems ‘lighter’ to me now that I’ve tried much more flavorful teas. Still, this tea is still good. There’s a very present vanilla taste which is more than satisfying the sugary sweet vanilla flavour I was craving.
I get more of an impression of vanilla cake batter or vanilla icing than baked cake itself (although the smell is very much like the smell of a cake baking in the over), however this might be more of a psychological thing since cake is a solid but cake batter or icing are liquid. I don’t know – does that make sense? There’s a pleasantly “eggy” quality to the tea, and a creaminess that I associate with the vanilla, but also with milk (even though I haven’t added any). I’m thinking that’s from the dehydrated ice cream bits which would actually contain milk.
So even though I’m not as in love with this tea as I used to be, I do still deeply enjoy it (and obviously still crave it from time to time) and it holds a very special significance for me. Tonight, this was the perfect bedtime tea!
Figured I’d best give the other matcha that Lala sent me a fair try before I rule it out as a tea type that I don’t like, and since I spent a fairly busy day grocery shopping with Tre and am WAY too sore (recently started an “at home” exercise routine type thing – basically 10 minutes when I wake up, consistently whenever my electric kettle is boiling something, which is often, and 10 minutes before I go to bed; I am SO out of shape it’s not even funny) to actually cook or to go through a more elaborate process of making tea tonight this seemed like a good idea.
I’ve read on a few reviews that I good, and easy, way to make matcha cold is to put some into a water bottle with a smaller amount of water, shake the ever living crap out of it, and then fill the rest of the bottle and shake that all up – so that’s the method I tried. The water bottle I have isn’t really specifically for tea, and I’m not totally sure how many ounces is holds. I want to guess somewhere between 10 and 14 ounces? I used about half the sample that Lala sent me to mix up.
Taste wise, this is A LOT better than the MATCHAccino. I’m able to drink this without gagging or feeling like I’m going to throw up – which I think is a plus for any tea drinker (or at least I’m hoping that’s something many of you consider a plus). I believe that what Lala sent me was “Robust” flavouring (I quickly browsed the RLT’s website to see how matcha is sold and the naming/grading/whatever word I’m looking for system they used, and then checked the ratings for this one here on Steepster – I think I recall Lala saying it was robust).
Honestly? I don’t taste any green tea which is a HUGE plus. In fact, if the drink wasn’t green itself I don’t think I’d have remembered it was green tea. Taste wise, it’s reminding me of Nibs with sort of a cough syrupy aftertaste. That might just be the portions I used, though. It’s not the tastiest thing I’ve ever drank – and even though Tre LOVED the MATCHAccino he wont even try this one because he hates cherries. However, even though I don’t LOVE this it’s palatable for sure, and it gives me enough hope to try a few different kinds of matcha from RLT in flavours I like a bit more. I here the Caramel matcha is really good and since caramel is one of my favourite flavours I might give that a go.
Hope is not lost! And I definitely will be finishing off this sample.