5193 Tasting Notes

67

Hmm, no, not really into this one. It did taste vaguely like (cinnamon) cookie, not really at all like oatmeal. I do like that it’s an herbal tea, but that’s about it. Didn’t try it as a latte, so probably should do that with the last bit I have left!

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78

2021 Sipdown 94/365!

Another sample sipdown. I grabbed this not fully reading the package, so was expecting regular dragonwell, oops. Clearly not. However, it was a nice evening cup the other day – a light but flavourful black. Not overly rich or chocolatey, more of a hay-y flavour? I can’t really recall.

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91

2021 Sipdown 93/365!

Finished off a sample packet of this. It’s a satisfying caffeine-free tea alternative for when I’ve already had too much caffeine in a day. Definitely quite vegetal, and less nutty than I’d like, but still good.

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83
drank Best of Summer Oolong by 52teas
5193 tasting notes

Enjoyed this tea, and particularly the flavour from the base. I really like flavoured teas where the base actually shines through – this is a rarity with a lot of companies, so I definitely appreciate when I can taste it! I’m not entirely sure that I would have labelled this “best of Summer” oolong, it’s kind of more like a stewed fruits flavour – which is still pretty tasty, and really complements the base. A yummy cup.

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Hmm, this wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. There was something a bit off about the flavour – almost a bit of sourness? I’m not really sure. It mostly smelled and tasted pretty good, a variant of creamy vanilla black, except for that weird note. I’d most likely blame the base tea, but we’ll see how a subsequent cup goes before I give this a rating.

ETA: Also to note, I didn’t carefully pay attention to infusion time, so it’s possible that overleafing/oversteeping is a culprit here.

Evol Ving Ness

I get that sour note from The Vanilla Marshmallow too (and another one which I am not recalling at the moment). I tend to quick steep with less than boiling water. Any ideas about that sour note and potentially how to minimize or eradicate it altogether?

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90
drank Grey Grove Black Tea by 52teas
5193 tasting notes

Bought extra of this tea as I was anticipating liking it – and I certainly do. There’s something more here than just a citrus/EG black – I can’t tell you what, maybe it’s the base tea? Maybe it’s some flavouring ingredient? But either way, the brewed aroma of my first cup was intoxicating with some decadent richness, and the tea was completely delicious. It wasn’t quite as good the second time (I think I may have hit that magical time-temp-leaf:water ratio sweet spot that first time), but I still very much enjoyed it.

All I have to say is, another earl grey win from 52teas and certainly worth trying if you enjoy earl grey variations. The bergamot is also not particularly potent, so those who enjoy citrussy blacks (citrus juice, not bitter/pithy peel!) would probably also enjoy the blend.

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81
drank Curuba Green Tea by 52teas
5193 tasting notes

I admit – it’s the black, oolong, and white teas that I tend to get excited for from 52teas. I’ve never really been big on flavoured greens, and they are often disappointing from any company (and, well, herbal/honeybush/rooibos typically don’t taste great to me regardless of flavour). However, I was in the mood for something different, and this is what I grabbed.

Immediately, my interest was piqued when I opened up the packet, as the aroma was a delicious, tropical, banana-heavy fragrance. A great sign, and somewhat unexpected how tasty it smelled. To my delight – it also ended up being pretty darn tasty once brewed up! The flavours were a bit more muted than the initial aromas, but the banana gave the tea a nice sweetness/creaminess. Bonus, I could taste the flavour of the base tea, which I’ve now forgotten how to describe, but it was very much not metallic, or with any off-flavours that often end up being detractors in a flavoured green. Overall a really pleasant green, and it made me kind of excited to try some of the others in my box!

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76

This is a nice example of a chai. I can’t recall specifically tasting maple, per se, but it fits my chai preferences pretty well, apparently (not overly heavy on the cinnamon or ginger, good dose of cardamom). Not a repurchase but I’ll enjoy what I have, possibly as a latte.

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74
drank Boy! Oh Boy! Black Tea by 52teas
5193 tasting notes

One of my (many) recent 52teas arrivals!

Didn’t mind this one – it was definitely melony, and the base was ok – but I think I prefer Watermelon Houjicha, and Butiki’s Dark Side of the Melon. I suspect it’s the base moreso than the flavouring. Not a bad tea, though.

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81

(DavidsTea already recorded)

A decent straight green, a bit mariney if I recall correctly, so not quite my preference, but still good.

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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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