4629 Tasting Notes

drank Bancha Houjicha by Pure Aroma Tea
4629 tasting notes

A cup of this the other night; it was deliciously toasty but oversteeped, and managed to be slightly astringent. Whoops? Didn’t think houjicha really got that way, but who knows. It’s also nearing the end of the bag, and is pretty broken up.

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This had almost zero aroma, so I figured it would be a total bust – but it actually tasted okay once brewed up! Light, but nice bergamot and other citrus flavours, with a medium black base without too much astringency. Definitely has lost some flavour at this point, but it might be better a little bit milder.

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Sipdown 2020! 1/365

Delicious and fresh (Autumn 2019 version), but I didn’t pay much attention while drinking it, and my brother-in-law threw out the leaves before I got a second infusion. Sigh. Characteristic green beany Laoshan green + some sweetness. Quite savory.

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drank Spring Jasmine by SquirrelDuck
4629 tasting notes

I have another packet of this, and can’t remember my thoughts on it – but this one tasted mostly like a jasmine you’d get in a Chinese restaurant, with just a touch of a darker oolong in the background. So not bad, but nothing special. Cannot taste the fruits listed (mango, apple, strawberry, peach) at all.

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drank Apple Gingerbread by 52teas
4629 tasting notes

This had an odd almost minty flavour, combined with gingerbread flavours and some fruity apple – and the characteristic rooibos woodiness. Can’t say I’m a fan, but I didn’t really expect to be. This was a special blend for the December Amoda box (I think it was in both the herbal and regular boxes).

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Delicious cup of this yesterday – spinachy and nutty and pretty tasty. A fantastic caffeine-free alternative for when I really want caffeine instead of an herbal tea.

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Picked up a sample size from Amoda in the desperate hope it would be like the black/rooibos version. Sadly, no such luck, this tastes like somewhat caramelly rooibos and is not nearly as good.

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Gonna start another attempt at 365 tea sipdowns for this year – I likely nearly made it last year, but missed actually recording a large chunk after I returned to work. Might have the same problem this time, not much I can do.

This is not a sipdown, but a yummy tea. Light black tea, lightly chocolate, with just a hint of almond. Definitely desserty, though not my favourite tea.


Good luck! 365 is a tall order!

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drank Nilgiri Organic by KTeas
4629 tasting notes

Another sipdown, another tea that was no longer mine. This one was pleasant enough, and a decent counter to the sweet birthday brownies I was eating. A little more astringent than the Keemun, but still tasty enough.

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Sipdown! Buuut it’s not in my cupboard, so it doesn’t count. It’s formerly mine, given to my mom, but my teas were stuck in the bedroom with my sleeping son, so I drank it! She’s not a big fan of blacks anyhow. I was actually quite pleased with it today – it was light and sweet, and had another yummy flavour note that is currently escaping me (my post about it was eaten by a phone that died, sigh.) It was better than I expected! Thanks again to LiberTEAS for the sample!

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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