91 Tasting Notes

74
drank Guava Melon by Shaktea
91 tasting notes

This is a pleasant tropical Oolong and floral blend. The guava and melon are quite prominent both in the aroma and flavour of the tea. The floral notes from the tea flowers and sunflowers are more subtle in their presence. This tea came from Vancouver’s Tea festival in 2015 and I’m quite happy it’s quality hasn’t diminished since then. I’ve noticed it can be a bit vulnerable to over-steeping and high temperatures, the floral flavour can shift to an unbalanced bitterness. After experiencing this a couple of times though, I’ve been more attentive to it’s preparation and enjoyed the rest of the tin. This review accompanies what will soon be a sip-down. Usually I’m more prompt in my reviews, but better late than never.

Flavors: Flowers, Guava, Melon, Tropical

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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73

This was another addition to my cupboard from the Victoria tea festival. It’s a micro-milled matcha-chai powder that can be stirred into milk for an instant tea latte. I found it flavourful enough in water though, without needing the milk. The combination of chai spices with matcha is a really interesting flavour combination. The matcha brings a silky creaminess and somewhat grassy flavour which blends into a spicy and peppery finish with the chai. Looking forward to trying their other chai varieties.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Creamy, Peppercorn, Spicy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML
Fjellrev

They brought back the festival? Now that I’m back in AB? Bah. But glad you were able to go!

CelticBrew

It’s a small revival – nothing like their previous years in Crystal Gardens. Still, any tea gathering catches my interest :)

Fjellrev

Oh yeah, noticed that they had it in Nootka Court. Must have been pretty cramped!

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89
drank Black Rose by Earth's Herbal
91 tasting notes

Victoria had a very small Tea Festival this past weekend. It was a cute setup, outside in a little covered courtyard. Less than 10 tables/vendors. I enjoyed sampling some new teas and speaking with the vendors/tea crafters. Lily from Earth’s Herbal was sampling much of her line. The brands on her tea tins are fun and colourful. This black rose tea smelled just wonderful in the tin. Large rose petals intermix with black tea leaves. Brewed up it has a delicate, floral flavour that pairs nicely with the black tea. Quite enjoyable.

Flavors: Floral, Rose

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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77

Many thanks to TeaVivre for another generous sampler! This herbal tea has a wonderfully relaxing lemongrass aroma. The flavour is a nice blend of lemongrass and mint. The licorice isn’t super noticeable, but that’s for the better as I find licorice and fennel can sometimes ruin a tea for me. I can see this being perfect paired with a Thai food meal or for a spa day. I suspect it would be quite a refreshing chilled tea.

Flavors: Lemongrass, Licorice, Mint

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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69

Thanks to Angela at TeaVivre for another sample from their line of teas. The leaves for this oolong are quite dark and brewed up the tea has reddish-amber colour. The aroma has a definite toasted smell to it and the flavour is a roasted earthiness. Not as vegetal or grassy as I’d expect from an oolong. I found the first steep a bit harsh and bitter, but additional steeps were more pleasant.

Flavors: Earth, Roasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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69

Another sample courtesy of TeaVivre ‘s generosity. I’ve never had a buckwheat or grain based tea before so this was an interesting one for me that I was quite curious about. It has a roasted grain flavour that reminds me of steel cut oatmeal. It strikes me as a comforting and cozy tea for winter time but just a tad too bland for my preference.

Flavors: Grain, Nutty, Oats, Roasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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82

This is another sample courtesy of TeaVivre. Great care is put into the packaging of this tea even as a sampler form. It’s vacuum sealed in plastic and then wrapped in a foil bag. So there’s a lovely freshness that comes with brewing it. The aroma is a pretty floral like a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. TeaVivre identifies the aroma as orchid and milky. The flavour also has a sweet grass undertone along with the flowery flourish. Very enjoyable! Got several steeps from it too, although I didn’t go all the way up to the 7 steeps TeaVivre notes. Of the oolong samples I received from TeaVivre, this was my favourite.

Flavors: Cut Grass, Floral, Flowers, Freshly Cut Grass, Orchid, Orchids, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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84
drank Geisha by Chari-Teas
91 tasting notes

This is a lovely green tea that my colleague shared with me today which comes from a small tea shop up island. It has a delicate and crisp flavour which pairs well with the creaminess from the coconut. There’s also a hint of floral notes from the rose petals. Quite enjoyable!

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Rose

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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40
drank Turmeric Glow by DAVIDsTEA
91 tasting notes

I received a sample pack of Turmeric Glow with my most recent order from DAVIDs. It’s an interesting combination of ingredients – pineapple, carrots and blackberry leaves with ginger and turmeric. Ginger is the most prominent note in the tea’s aroma both brewed and in the packet. I find despite the pretty rose colour to the tea that I don’t taste much besides some sweet pineapple and spicy ginger notes. I’m not really liking that combination. I enjoy ginger by itself, like in the Super Ginger tea by DAVIDs, but the sweetness mixed in with this just doesn’t compliment it at all. As for the namesake of the tea, I find turmeric strangely absent/overshadowed by the ginger.

Flavors: Ginger, Pineapple

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML
Fjellrev

Oh weird, I would have expected the Turmeric to be ultra strong in this one.

CelticBrew

It surprised me too. Maybe the sample pack didn’t have the right ratio of ingredients.

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81
drank Blueberry Muffin by DAVIDsTEA
91 tasting notes

Originally I purchased this for a friend who sticks to mostly herbal and decaf teas because it smelled so good. I tried a cup with her thinking I wouldn’t like it because of the hibiscus and raisins in it. Surprisingly, I found it quite enjoyable and definitely channeling the flavour of baked goods. There’s a nice fruitiness from the blueberries and apples that blends into a buttery and cake-like baked flavour. I ended up buying my own pack afterwards and enjoyed it thoroughly during a visit with my folks this past weekend. I’m learning I maybe shouldn’t veto teas just because of hibiscus. But it needs to be hidden well. Really well.

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Blueberry, Butter, Cake

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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Profile

Bio

I’m a mid-thirties tea loving guy on the West Coast of Canada. Only really got into tea in the last 6 years largely because my exposure to tea was always bagged rather than loose before that. It wasn’t long for me to become hooked with loose leaf tea though.

My favourites are fruity black teas, chocolate and dessert teas and fruit/nut blends.

Other interests include films, meditation, reading, writing and computer games.

Working on living healthier and sweet teas are a nice alternative to full desserts and other sugary snacks and drinks for me.

I only rate teas once and use the following spectrum:
100 – Only one tea receive this from me. It’s that good.
95 – Only three teas receive this from me. They are that good.
90-94 – These are top rated teas for me but fall just short of my top 4 or ultimate tier teas.
80-89 – Very pleasant, enjoyable. Would definitely purchase again but wouldn’t necessarily rush out for it.
70-79 – Decent teas. They had their charm while they lasted but I’m undecided about buying them again.
60-69 – Alright teas. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing amazing either. Unless it’s on sale, I won’t buy again.
50-59 – Meh, I can take or leave this. There’s something about it that borders on dislike for me.
40-49 – Sorry this one’s just not for me.
30-39 – Definitely not for me. Wasn’t able to finish it.
0-29 – How dare they call this “tea”.

Location

BC, Canada

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