1052 Tasting Notes

86
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
1052 tasting notes

I did not get that much sleep, and my head feels like it’s in a fog, so I pulled this favourite from my prized hoard. And it was wonderful for a hot 30 seconds before I immediately knocked it over with my laptop (I got three sips in). I am so numb. The end (but not really, because I’m definitely resteeping this precious beverage. Ugh).

Edit – Steep Count: 2. YAY!

Also I “rediscovered” the curry leftovers from yesterday. Now I’m comfortably numb.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Malt, Roasted, Tangy, Tobacco

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

I hope your laptop is ok. I hope you are ok.

CrowKettle

My laptop is good and I will be good in a bit. The carpet though took a bath (it’s fine too but probably is about due for a deep clean) :P

Thanks though!

52Teas

Sorry to hear about the spill – how did the second steep turn out? I’ve never resteeped mate.

CrowKettle

I find this one does extremely well on a second steep; the flavour holds up and is almost identical to first steep. I think it even makes a decent third steep. I resteep this one, and mate in general, all the time!

52Teas

Good to know! Thank you!

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75

I passed this one on to someone else today but I had some good times with Bossa Nova. This kind of roasted oolong pairs so well with nutty flavours (in this case hazelnut). It’s kind of creamy, smooth, and sweet – giving rise to thoughts of Nutella. It’s a comfort tea but I can’t help but think it could step up its game a little (it’s kind of.. pasty textured? I don’t know).

Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Floral, Hazelnut, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

Sounds like the one Zen Tea Life used to have.

CrowKettle

Yeah, I think they are on par if not identical!

Evol Ving Ness

This post has been very helpful to me (to track down wanted teas). Thank you.

Did you order from TG directly? If so, was shipping free with minimum or charged on top? I did go on TG’s site. Shipping to Canada is not clarified. It gives the impression of free shipping with minimum. I filled up a dream cart and it looked like shipping is included. BUT just checking if you have insights to offer.

(Also, I do not need more tea, but yanno..)

CrowKettle

Take my comparison with a grain of salt because it’s been ages since I’ve had Zen (I also think the old Teaopia Nut Oolong is similar) - but it’s worth a shot! They have some pretty cool flavours/aromas paired with “English tea grandma” style bases (if you want to try some of O’Connors Cream and Gina Amaretta to get an idea, let me know).

I got TG during a Canada Day promotion from their US store. I think shipping for that event was waved but they also used UPS and I got dinged duty (see if you can contact them about using USPS instead; I believe they were open to it after we complained :P). I’m subscribed to their newsletter and they are always offering promotions/deals, but I haven’t seen one that’s worth it or waves CAD shipping, so I’m sitting.

CrowKettle

Just looked up the facebook flyer: it was a promotional $5 dollar flat rate on orders $60>.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks for the feedback, CrowKettle. Much appreciated. I’ve no need for this particular one (as I still have some), but they carry several others that Zen carried that I may order one day—in a weak moment.

Evol Ving Ness

You know how those weak moments go.

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86

May 2021 Harvest – First Flush

This was included as a free sample in my last What-Cha order. Thank you! I don’t think I’d tried teas from Nepal before checking out What-Cha; all the ones I’ve had so far have been pretty good – this one included!

Aroma: The dry leaf smells like some kind of funky tree trail mix, like nuts, something fruity (dried apricot?), floral, and “plant” (yes, tea is plant. I am very observant). The broth is nutty and fruity like orange zest and apricot.

To taste, there are some lovely purple fruit notes, like grapes and plums. The nuts from the aroma carry over and so does “plant” (it’s a tree!). There’s also a “starchy” flavour that is like banana and/or sweet potato. Banana/plantain really comes out in the finish as it cools. It’s nice.

I’m having a good time, in part because of this tea but also because I’m eating Palak Paneer and Butter Chicken (maybe I should’ve picked up some momos in spirit of this tea but I was really feeling Punjabi cuisine tonight. Life’s alright).

Flavors: Apricot, banana, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Oak, Orange, Plum, Raisins, Roasted Nuts, Stonefruit, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
derk

Nice picture of the tea you paint :) And sealing the note with mention of Indian food makes it all the better.

Evol Ving Ness

This tea sounds lovely. And so does the menu. Hooray for those moments that everything lines up and one can exhale, if just briefly, with a contented sigh. Thank you for sharing.

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92

Spring 2021 Harvest

I’ve this online tea buying “coping mechanism” (read: bad habit) of not paying attention to currency exchange rates. Usually, this protects my sanity and allows me to try some tasty teas. This tea though (made me cry) is lucky it tastes so good! Ha.. ha.. (I need to pay better attention to currency exchanges).

The aroma of dry leaf is a Sherbet Fountain (ie – powdered sugar and licorice, but I may be remembering those wrong). Steeped up, the cup takes on the aroma of caramel, chocolate, sweet malt leftovers (like from beer processing). I love all of these smells.

1st steep reminds me of Premium Taiwanese Assam or similar, but slightly more subtle: powdered sugar, sweet potato, cocoa, caramel, pepper/berry-citrus finish (intensity fades as cooled). As it cools, I also get mineral notes, and milk.. so much milk. I love when my teas have “in-built” milk or cream notes.

2nd steep is smoother than the first, with more mineral and milk. The lingering aftertaste reminds me of dark chocolate with (black/blue?) berries and honey. It’s such an easy drinker (which makes that exchange rate burn all the more).

3rd steep (6min) has notes of sweet potato, berries, honey, powdered sugar, and cream. Very PTA.

Steep Count: 3 (+ initial Rinse)

Anyways, this tea is super neat, checks off all of my “good black tea” boxes, and comes from a pretty cool location (we can grow tea where now!?). I’d consider reordering this again, despite the expense.

Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Milk, Mineral, Pepper, Powdered Sugar, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
eastkyteaguy

I have been resisting the urge to snatch up some samples of What-Cha’s Welsh and Jersey teas simply because they are so expensive. I have no clue how much longer I will be able to hold out.

Leafhopper

Currency exchange rates are the bane of my existence! I was also considering this tea but decided against it based on the price (and also because I have a lot of other teas to get through).

CrowKettle

One of the only reasons I picked up this tea is because of my blatant disregard for numbers D:

The other reason is that it sounded neat and it IS neat. But now, of course, I want to try the other Welsh and Jersey teas too.

CrowKettle

If I had got more than 10g (regrets), and this wasn’t a 2-3tsp tea, I would share with you both in a heartbeat. Alas, it’s essentially gone now (omg) T.T

Leafhopper

CrowKettle, that’s okay. :) Those 10 g samples go fast.

Evol Ving Ness

Wow—almost $20 for 10 grams. wow! And it’s a 2-3 teaspoon tea-gah! Though your description makes it sound ever so lovely and delicious. I am also a fan of built in milk and cream. So glad that it was delightful. It IS tempting.

CrowKettle

It’s a solid resteeper (and if you’re like me you’ll definitely want to resteep this one), and I’ve gotten away with “underleafing” it – so a little less painful than what it seems. I wish I’d tried out a short steep method too though.

I’d even consider reordering this next time, and definitely want to see how it tastes in a different harvest year (will just have to stick head in the sand re £ to $ again) :)

CrowKettle

I decided to steep it in those DT nordic mugs (so actually 16oz). Out of 10g/0.35oz I got 12-16 mugs/resteeps out of it. So, not bad!

Evol Ving Ness

Oh, I am definitely a re-steeper.

Thank you for the details on the breakdown. It makes it all sound that much more manageable. Reasonable, even:)

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85
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
1052 tasting notes

Had this too tonight because it’s tradition (not really, but just got my replenishment in mail + Mom’s Apple Pie took me back to 2011! All I’m missing is Carrot Cake for the complete set).

No, the real reason I’m drinking this is because it’s probably the No.1 most requested tea by family and friends. Anyone comes over wanting tea and sees it in the cupboards instantly wants it. Pumpkin Spice Law. Oh, well. I’m not complaining and it makes a good latte.

Bumping the rating up to 85, because despite my snobbish protests, I, umm… instantly restock this when I run out whenever possible.

Flavors: Allspice, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coconut, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Spice

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Mom's Apple Pie by DAVIDsTEA
1052 tasting notes

Buying this was a pure act of nostalgia. This was my first loose leaf tea (along with Pumpkin Chai) back in Fall 2011! I used to own really fancy tins for both that have since gone the way of the dinosaur.. but the memories linger. Like the mistaken belief that maybe I didn’t need to buy so much food in undergrad afterall because tea was actually more satisfying, thank you (poor budget choices which still persist today). 100g of artificial candy green apple tea tin will sustain thee for 3 seconds!

Ok, so I didn’t originally love this one as I had yet to crack the “secret” of green tea in 2011 (don’t steep it in boiling temps or for long times). Years later, I’ve figured out my preferences (and kettles), and decided to steep under DT recommendations. Now, I too love this tea. Artificial apple candy aroma steeps into a wonderful baked green apple with vanilla/brown sugar and (non-barky) cinnamon notes. I remember this tea being dry, but not anymore apparently (I’m not using the m-word, but it’s a pie flavour so really it’s a bonus).

I’d get more of this (in all it’s artificial glory), actually. I also don’t understand why this wasn’t a seasonal fall staple after 2011, like Pumpkin Chai (but that’s probably the nostalgia talking).

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Green Apple, Pastries, Spices, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Lexie Aleah

I can relate to the tea>food budgeting choices!

Evol Ving Ness

I can relate to the poor budget choices. Sadly.

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87

September 2021 Bonus/Reblend Tea

This is the bomb, and it resteeps well too. I enjoyed the original (waaaay back when), but I believe this re-blend tastes richer and smoother. Might do a more detailed note later; for now I only want to express my deep affection for Butterbeer (like butterscotch, cream soda, root beer, malty cream, and magic in a cup).

Steep Count: 3

Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Malt, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
52Teas

So glad you’re enjoying this one – when I tasted this particular tea base recently (with the most recent order I received) – I picked up on a smooth note that reminded me of a cross between caramel & butterscotch. The first thought that crossed my mind is that this tea needs to be the base of a butterbeer-ish blend.

CrowKettle

I’m glad that inspiration struck to reblend/recreate it! I forgot how much I enjoy this tea :)

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75
drank Outlaw by August Uncommon Tea
1052 tasting notes

Sipdown! And bumping the rating up once more because I drank it with milk and was happy again. No Cherry Halls cough drops today. Yay!

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Limestone, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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63

Oat milk makes everything better but this is still an odd and rough tea! The cardamom flavour morphs into musky, floral tobacco and back again. With a hint of pine, it’s pretty drying/astringent. The flavour combo definitely reminds me of a mix of essential oils (the ones that are usually marketed as “woodsy fresh” and “sweet manly musk”).

It’s a pretty neat and novel blend but I don’t love it.

Flavors: Astringent, Cardamom, Earth, Floral, Herbaceous, Maple, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 3 min, 30 sec
gmathis

You’ve described this so well I can’t get the imaginary aftershave taste out of my mouth!

CrowKettle

Yes! Aftershave in a cup.

Evol Ving Ness

Nooooooooooooooooo!

Cameron B.

Ewww ha ha.

Leafhopper

Aftershave tea! That’s a new one. :)

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84

July 2021 Bonus Tea

I’ve been hoarding this one but decided to bring it out so I could call it my second citrus flavoured Bai Mudan (White Peony) dessert tea blend for the day! While I’m starting to think this combo can’t go wrong, I do prefer this blend to August Uncommon’s more temperamental Know My Heart. This one kind of tastes like creamy lemon custard today (yes, it’s both silky and juicy enough) and that’s always a win in my book.

I don’t know whether I prefer this or Sun and Cloud Mist; both are wonderfully crafted teas with bases I enjoy. Either is welcome in my cupboard anytime!

Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Marshmallow

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

So pleased that this one is a win. It would be really disappointing if with a name like Walking on Sunshine, it didn’t measure up.

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, but I generally enjoy ALL the tea, including flavoured blends and a good ol’ cup of Earl Grey.

FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS/NOTES:

DESSERT FLAVOURS
Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

FRUIT & BERRIES
Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry, Banana, Melon, Pineapple, Persimmon, Rhubarb, Passionfruit

CITRUS
Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Yuzu (orange is a hit or miss)

SPICES
Anise (but not licorice), Ginger, Clove-forward chai

AROMATIC & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Musky, “Fresh,” and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper Eucalyptus, Mints

FLORALS
Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, etc. ALL the flowers!

VEGGIE/GRAIN NOTES
Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:

- Stevia and most sweeteners
- Cinnamon-forward blends
- Prunes
- Dark Roasts (oolong)
- Orange (if it’s a creamsicle)
- Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
- Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.

Subjective Rating System 4.0:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.

90-100: Exceptional and all-time favourite teas. I struggle between hoarding these like a dragon and consuming them like a poorly adjusted black hole.

80-89: Favourite teas (usually flavoured) that I try to keep around when possible.

70-79: Good teas that I’ll happily drink up, but with minor issues.

60-69: Ok teas, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry, and/or personal preferences.

50-59: Average to mediocre cup. Personal preference issues are apparent but still drinkable.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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