347 Tasting Notes

83

This is a very nice chai blend. I tried it straight at first, at it was quite good – robust, malty assam CTC base, good blend of spices (lots of cinnamon, cardamom, a bit of heat from the ginger and pepper). Then I added some sweetener and milk, which made it even better. Tasty tasty. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

Off topic: You guys, I am SO obsessed with the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording right now. Ugh, go listen to it so I’ll have someone to geek out with. :)

Instead of buying more Whispering Pines tea I thought I’d drink some of the stuff I already own. This is an interesting and delicious blend – I love the roasted cedar and vanilla.

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80
drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
347 tasting notes

Another sample from Nicole! I had this earlier today, and it was a good mid-day pick-me-up. It’s a very rich, dark, flavourful tea (I also steeped the whole 3.3g sample at once in my 10oz mug, so that might have contributed to the intensity). To me it tasted malty, earthy, spicy, a little fruity… quite complex and interesting. This one might be an eventual order. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

YUMMMM. Oh, I really like this one. :) The dry leaf smells intensely of vanilla, sugar, marshmallow. Once the hot water hits, that continues but the roasty toasty notes of the genmaicha are added in. The aroma translates well into the flavour, and the tea is quite sweet (I actually pulled up the website to see if there was some kind of sweetener in this) and creamy and delicious. The green tea base is subtle and in the background – no bitterness or astringency.

Flavors: Creamy, Marshmallow, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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This is a pretty good cold steep, tastes (unsurprisingly) like ginger and pear, with some apple and cinnamon in the background. It tastes like a fruit tisane though – there’s enough going on flavour-wise that I think the white tea is just drowned out. So, I’m not sure I’d buy it again, since there seems little point in paying extra for white tea in a blend if you can’t even taste it.

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66
drank Maple Sugar by DAVIDsTEA
347 tasting notes

I cold steeped this one and it was pretty good. I think the name of this tea is totally wrong though, it should be called Apple Crisp, because that’s what it tastes like – apples, cinnamon, brown sugar. It’s not really very mapley at all.

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70

I cold steeped this overnight and it was quite smoky. Like, not quite lapsang levels of smokiness, but definitely maybe-this-got-contaminated-with-some-lapsang kind of smokiness. It was ok, I had it with some sausages and veggies for lunch which kinda worked out, but… meh. So then I took the steeped leaves (probably 4-5g) and decided to try resteeping them with boiling water (10oz mug steeping) and after 3min I had quite dark, malty, smoky, slightly piney brew. Not bad. Then steeped them again for 4min, and it was very similar but lighter. I don’t know, it’s ok but… I’ve had other keemuns I like better.

I guess it doesn’t matter too much since Teayama seems to have gone quite decisively out of business. They might have actually been sued out of existence by Teavana for trademark infringement! (http://www.cba.org/CBA/sections_IP/IP_CLS_2014Sept/Default_Judgment.aspx) Fascinating.

keychange

My goodness, what corners of the earth has teavana not reached? also, I’ve never thought of cold-steeping a smokey tea! interesting.

Lindsay

When I picked it out to cold steep I was thinking, “there’s a black tea I haven’t had in a while”. So I was a bit surprised by the smoke, though I definitely noticed it last time I had this tea as well. :) I like blending smoky teas with chai or spicy teas, which might be what I try next with this one.

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drank Pancake Breakfast by 52teas
347 tasting notes

I had this one… yesterday morning? So this is from memory. One thing I thought was interesting about this is that it seems to me like a classic “breakfast tea”, in the sense that the base is a fairly robust, malty, wake-up-your-tastebuds kind of black tea. It’s smooth though, I didn’t have to add milk or anything. The maple in this tea is very nice, and apparently I’m picky about maple in things. The pancakes… well, if I really concentrate I can imagine some pancake flavour there, but I think if you had just handed me a mug of this tea I wouldn’t have picked up on it. Good tea though, I’m looking forward to having it again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
347 tasting notes

I’m drinking the reblend version from the New 52Teas. :) This is a very tasty cinnamon honeybush blend – sweet and smooth and cinnamony. What I’m not really getting is any of the bread elements of the cinnamon roll. The honeybush provides a nice neutral-sweet base, but it’s not evoking baked goods for me at all. I’m also not really getting any of the frosting, even with a bit of sweetener added. I’ll have to try this again and shake the bag up a bit next time – maybe some ingredients settled to the bottom. It’s a tasty evening tea but not quite what I was hoping for. :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Another Arya sample, this one a green tea. Date of picking: Nov 20, 2014. Grade FTGFOP1, Invoice DJ 132.

The dry leaves are greenish-brown, with a herbaceous and fall-leaf aroma. The liquor is sweet and vegetal with a lot of grassy and leafy notes. I’m still getting hints of that herb note but can’t quite identify it. I tend to associate green teas with spring, but this really does seem like an autumn tea, weirdly enough. Tasty, but not exceptional for me.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Herbaceous

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Profile

Bio

Well it has been over a year and everyone I know thinks my tea obsession is a bit out of hand, so… I guess I’m not a total newbie anymore. :)

I’m drinking a lot more pure tea these days, though I still love a good flavoured blend too. Current favourites: Chinese and Taiwanese blacks, fresh Chinese greens, oolongs both green and roasted, sheng puer.

I really love companies that buy directly from tea farmers, and have an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Favourites: Verdant, Whispering Pines, Eco Cha, White 2 Tea. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so I buy almost all my tea online.

For hot tea, I’m usually brewing in either a 100ml gaiwan, or a 10oz mug with a steeping basket. For cold tea, I cold brew overnight in 500ml mason jars.

My cupboard on Steepster doesn’t include small samples, just the ones I have at least 15g of. So if you see something you’re interested in, I probably have enough to share. :)

Location

Northwestern Ontario, Canada

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