425 Tasting Notes

84
drank Firefly by The Simple Leaf
425 tasting notes

I actually had this yesterday, but when I was steeping it, I completely forgot about and left it for a good twenty minutes. It was bitter, but the bitterness didn’t quite set it until it had cooled a bit.

Having it again today. Properly steeped this time.

I’d like to start by pointing out that I just recently came down with a cold, so my tastebuds may be off. I should be drinking smokey teas instead. That’d clear me right up.

It’s got the usual lighter flavour of the darjeeling. I’m finding it hard to discern much flavour, but I remember it being good and flavourful yesterday, and the bitterness again mixed in pleasantly to give it a walnut taste. However, no bitterness today it seems. But that might just be my tastebuds out of whack. My nose isn’t plugged up at least.

I’m not getting any fruity or wine notes. I am getting something akin to nuttyness but not quite (makes me think of Keemun). It’s enjoyable though. This’ only the second darjeeling I’ve ever tried, after Margaret’s Hope that Jillian sent me.

It got a bit bitter as it cooled down, but not in an unpleasant way. Just like how Margaret’s Hope did. Walnutty.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Walnutty tea sounds good!

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90
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
425 tasting notes

The dry leaves smelt of earth and chocolate, surprising me because I hadn’t thought I’d get any actual chocolatyness until I tasted it. The leaves are HUGE and wiry, and difficult to measure for me, because I do everything by volume, since I lack a fine enough scale. But the leaves are so huge that attempting to scoop out a teaspoon is impossible, because you can SEE the gaps.

The brewed tea smells merely of earth, no chocolate. A dark, dusty, maybe toasty sort of smell.

It’s a very unique tea taste. Earthy again, sort of toasty I guess. I want to say ash-like. There is a dry bitterness to the earthyness that makes me think of cocoa powder. Overall, the tea is very odd. I’m not sure how much I love this at this point, luckily I have a lot to experiment with. Gimme some time, I can’t give this a rating yet.

I just realized when now that there is a deep, rich cocoa after-taste in the back of my mouth, made even more evident when I breathe out. Overall the taste is just full bodied. Dark. So odd.

Truthfully, I’ve never been a chocolate person, but I’ve never DISLIKED it, so I had to try this tea anyways.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Golden Yunnan by Tea Desire
425 tasting notes

The leaves are black and gold, and they brew into a dark amber-red cup.

The cup is bright, but doesn’t particularly hold any uniqueness. It reminds me a bit of Assam in the strength and slight bitterness (I brew Assam in two minutes to keep it from getting TOO bitter), but with more of a briskness as well. I don’t think I’m getting any of the pepperyness that people describe for Yunnan blacks. There is, however, a Keemun quality to it as well. …Sort’ve makes sense, I guess. Both provinces in China.

I keep wanting to pick out a peppery SENSE, although not taste, but I assume it’s more me trying to find what I EXPECT to be there, than actually getting any pepper.

It’s very nice, though. I quite like it. I realize I’ve really missed plain black teas. I’m glad I’ve got three new ones now. No flavours added, just single-estate black teas. Mm. I’ve been too busy attempting to dwindle down my overall supply of teas, so.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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69
drank Honeybee by The Simple Leaf
425 tasting notes

I decided to skip the last untried Tea Desire tea I’d purchased and try this one. I didn’t want anything black for the late evening.

It smells very deeply vegetal, like that bagged ti guan yin I have.

Luckily it doesn’t taste anything like that. It’s light, but dark, not green, more closer to a very milk black. But not a Darjeeling black. I’m not tasting anything significant right now, but it’s still quite hot.

But I like the bright honey colour. I hope I see some semblance of the name in the taste when it cools a bit more. However, enjoyable so far. I think this is my kind of oolong. Not green, but definitely far enough away from black for a difference in taste.

When I breath out I’m getting that sort of Ceylon black taste that reminds me of honey (not in the taste, just in the Black Tea And Honey = The Perfect Match mind-set I grew up with as a kid). With that is a bit of Black-style astringency. But there’s also the sort of oolong taste I remember from Jade Teapot’s ti guan yin. Hard to explain.

There is almost a touch of bitterness as well. I spent some time trying to decide if I should go with two minutes or three, because the package reads three, but looking over the tasting notes many did two minutes instead. Perhaps next time I will try a lower temperature as well. Their samples are pretty hefty, I have a lot to experiment with.

I’m not getting any touch of the honey factor, but when I take large gulps I get a sweetness, and overall it has an appealing smoothness. Also getting more of a nutness. It’s odd, it smells vegetal but doesn’t taste it. I think someone said woodsy, and I can see that too, somehow, even though I don’t know what ‘woodsy’ should taste like. Deep, I guess.

The second steep has a sharper taste, less dryness.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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72
drank Monk's Blend by Tea Desire
425 tasting notes

My Simple Leaf order came in today. THE TIMING. I splurged on Tea Desire because I figured I had another week before my order came in. Now I’m SWIMMING in resealable plastic tea bags.

The smell is so fruity and delicious; It must be the grenadine. And I’ll admit to you right now, I haven’t the faintest idea what grenadine is. Let me google it.

Oh! …Looks like a pomegranate.

Anyways, my first sip was quite bitter, but it’s lessened considerably to just the back of my throat coupled with the usual dryness.

The flavours come through nicely, more as a background flavour that accompanies the tea well enough. Although I think the bitterness is starting to come back as it cools. I don’t think I’m much of a fan of the black base used in their flavoured teas. Maybe I should try making the tea below boiling next time (190F, perhaps) and see if it lessens the tannins.

Otherwise, there’s a hint of the fruityness, and I feel like I can almost smell vanilla, but I don’t think I can taste it. The ceylon used is lending its own tart sort of taste.

My next cup from the pot I tried with a dash of white sugar and milk. I wanted to go with honey, but I didn’t want to drown out the flavours. Tannins problem solved, and it helps bring through the fruityness of the grenadine. It’s sweet, fragrant. Sort of perfumy. Although the sweetness is probably from the sugar. It’s a perfumy sort of taste though. Light.

Second steep still carried the strong fruity smell, although the taste of both it and the tea itself was MUCH lighter. However, not bitter! Second steep was for five minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Irish Cream by Tea Desire
425 tasting notes

Dear god does this smell delicious. It’s a heavy sweet creamy smell, with a dominant but not overpowering chocolate scent as well.

The initial taste is black tea, but the chocolate cream sweetness rushes in soon after, and lingers strongly in the after-taste. The taste is deep, and I think worthy of the ‘Irish’ in the name. I can see this going well with alcohol, actually, which is weird coming from a teetotaller like me.

This would be equally delicious with milk, I think. But testing that would require trekking all the way back upstairs to get some, and I’m lazy.

The tea base is strong and only faintly bitter. I’m sure the added flavours would be stronger with a loner steep time (the package said 3-5 minutes, I did 3 1/4). The flavours seem to have faded in later sips. They’re still there, though. I should try five minutes for my next attempt. I was originally going to go with five minutes, but changed my mind at the last moment.

It seems to be getting a bit more bitter the more it cools. Not good for the added flavours.

Also, it took a bit of will-power, but I kept myself from picking out the chocolate bits and eating them.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Cofftea

There’s chocolate in this? Don’t get me wrong, I Iove chocolate, but I think the name should reflect all ingredients. This gives me the impression it’s just a straight Irish Cream flavored tea. I’m kinda tempted to order 52teas’ version.

AJ

I had originally planned to buy 52Teas’ version, but I was in the shop and saw this one; it was a purchase of opportunity.

I hadn’t actually realized it had chocolate in it until she started scooping it into the bag. However, it has more of a heavy thick cream taste than a chocolate taste. It’s more of just after-taste of cocoa. I think the chocolate drops themselves added are more for show. To tempt tea drinkers into picking them out and eating them.

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80
drank Tie Guan Yin by The Jade Teapot
425 tasting notes

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84

I’m finding this one astringent and drying, but considerably less bitter than my other attempts. Although it hasn’t quite cooled enough to when I REALLY start tasting the bitterness, so I could be wrong. I’ll just have to drink it faster before it cools then.

Overall though, finding this cup to be considerably more enjoyable. Reminds me of drinking it in-store. Mmm.

Also just ordered samples of Dawn, Firefly and Honeybee from The Simple Leaf. All at once. I think I’ve strained my tea-budget enough for a while. Damn, I was thinking of ordering from 52Teas too. No! Next month! Must resist.

Rating’s going up.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Pomegranate Blueberry by Life
425 tasting notes

As soon as I took the plastic off I smelt a very wine-like pomegranate. Once brewed, the water turned a deep magenta colour, very bold, and the smell was less of wine and just strong pomegranate with blueberry. The blueberry meshes so well with pomegranate though (surprising!) that it’s almost just one whole new scent. This smells delicious and I want to try it iced.

On that note, I found litchi juice at Shoppers. I wanted to get it. Mm.

The taste is not as strong as the smell (figures) or colour, but there is a sharp tangy aftertaste at the back of my tongue at the end of every sip (the lemongrass? You’d think so, but this also contains rooibos, hibiscus, and apple, so it’s most likely either the hibiscus and/or the apple). I smell blueberries when I breathe out. The tangyness gets stronger as it cools, although the pomegranate is there. …Sort of. A little bit. Blueberry is there less-so, especially since it meshes so well with the pomegranate as to be barely detectable.

I haven’t tried very many fruit tisanes, honestly, so I don’t know what I should expect, but I like this I think. Kind of wish the blueberry was stronger. I think a blueberry-pomegranate juice would be pretty tasty. I wonder if there’s some place that sells that.

Preparation
Boiling
asiantea

I need to buy that tea for myj sister ..can you tell me if i can buy it online?

AJ

I don’t believe Shoppers Drug Mart has online shopping.

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52

Sipping this one again tonight and finding that it’s got a sort of sickly sweet aftertaste in the back of my throat. Otherwise I still like the tea, but the way the taste just sticks at the back of my throat is a little… ick. I don’t know if it’s the chamomile or the flavourings for the honey or vanilla.

Preparation
Boiling
Jillian

It might be the chamomlle. I haven’t tried this particular tea but some chamomile teas I’ve tried have been almost sickly sweet-tasting.

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Bio

A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in their last year of university, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot or gaiwan. It’s the highlight of a good day.

My notes are pretty disjointed because I’m absent-minded, and I also keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

I’m a Doctor Who fanatic (Jon Pertwee, if you were wondering).

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Location

Canada

Website

http://artoftea.teatra.de

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