1048 Tasting Notes

85
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
1048 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
1048 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!

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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.

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75
drank Outlaw by August Uncommon Tea
1048 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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76

This smells like a type of almond cookie we get a lot around Christmas and sort of tastes like it too. While the cup was still hot the honey flavour came on very thick but as it has cooled it toned down enough to let the almond cookies (with orange blossom highlights) shine through a bit.

The white peony (bai mudan) works really well here as a base, emphasizing those sweet, floral flavours of blossom and rich, fruity amber honey. I think I taste a hint of natural hay, stonefruit, and cucumber notes, which I didn’t expect when I smelled such a flavourful tea. Good combo.

Steep Count: 2 – Yep, it’s mellow. Barley malt comes through more on 2nd steep (interesting ingredient – builds both the almond cookie and honey imo).

Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Cucumber, Floral, Hay, Honey, Orange Blossom, Powdered Sugar, Roasted Barley, Stonefruit

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

Sounds like a good one.

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75
drank Outlaw by August Uncommon Tea
1048 tasting notes

Drinking this straight up for a change and now remember why I didn’t love it. The smoke and mineral notes are fantastic here, but the cherry is a mixed bag. Sometimes it’s alright (cherry wood is a nice combo with smoke and mineral notes); on other “fruitier” sips it’s definitely in Halls/cough medicine territory. This effect isn’t as apparent with milk, which cuts the the bitterness that gives fruity cherry that distinctive menthol trait.

So bumping the rating down again a tad. Definitely recommend the milk.

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Limestone, Malt, Medicinal, Mineral, Smoke

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72

August 2021 tea

One of my greatest loves (Anne’s banana teas) meets one of my biggest dislikes (cinnamon forward teas). Needless to say I have mixed feelings on this one. I’m pretty happy with it as long as I’m able to bask in the glory of a lightly spiced baked banana. The black gunpowder base is kind of a fun robust, slightly smoky base too. It pairs in a interesting way with banana goodness – making it a good morning tea (it all reminds me of banana cinnamon oat porridge which is both a blessing and a curse) !

Cinnamon though.. well, that’s a me thing.

Flavors: Baked Bread, banana, Bark, Cinnamon, Malt, Smoke, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

I also am NOT a far of cinnamon forward teas. That said, there have been a couple of exceptions: Anne’s Snickerdoodle and Cinnamon Star by Tea Desire, both of which have a lovely vanilla cloud enhancing the mellow cinnamon. I think it is a particular kind of cinnamon that I can live with.

CrowKettle

That sounds alright! I can sometimes handle cinnamon in small quantities when partnered with vanilla, ginger, and cloves. This one almost works for me (banana, vanilla, cinnamon), but I still need less cinnamon and/or more of something else, I guess.

.. I used to not be like this.
Evol Ving Ness

Funny how our tastes change.

Maybe a dash of a good vanilla tea would help tone things down. (i have been giving thought to which teas are not working for me all that well and how I can potentially adjust them. An experiment, of course. )

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78

Didn’t have enough leaf left to make a full pot so added some old Irish Breakfast from New Mexico Tea Company (they have the coolest tin labels btw; also IB is 9 years old, omg). This was a success. Contrary to my fears, the maple syrup flavouring was not drowned out by old robust tea but made stronger by it, somehow.

I of course added oat milk to it (it’s about to expire so it’s going in everything, folks). 150% creamy buttery maple syrup malt tea. I’m sad to see it go; there’s a syrup tea void in my cupboard once again.

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Malt, Maple Syrup

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

Somewhere in Steepster a gazillion years ago, I think it was long-gone JacquelineM that advised making Franken-teas from all old and less loved teas.

I usually do this when I have less than a spoon, but I see this on my horizon. Usually, I opt for Keemun or Assam. Time to get more creative. It’s amazing that the maple became STRONGER.
CrowKettle

I remember JacquelineM and the Franken-teas. That bit of advise was definitely the inspiration for this.

I think I commented on Cameron B.‘s note for this tea that I think this one is more “generic” pancake syrup than maple, but had to quickly rescind it after FINALLY tasting it here in full strength (Sorry, Cameron B.). Oat milk may have factored in too; it enhances some flavours that dairy milk doesn’t, plus it’s thick.

gmathis

Yes, JecquelineM inspired me to start the Junkyard Tea Jar, which serves as my tea equivalent of sourdough starter—it never goes empty; just throw in a little more…

Evol Ving Ness

For me, this one is pretty maple-y. That said, it’s been a while.

Evol Ving Ness

Oooooh, gmathis, that’s a good idea too!

gmathis

Just bits and pieces of unflavored black tea … effective when I need a wake-up change of pace; also very good for iced tea purposes when you just need something cold.

CrowKettle

Yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t get maple so much last week. It was so maple this time.

And I second Junkyard Tea Jar is an amazing idea. I have so much old unflavoured black tea.

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Profile

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 favourite teas are stuff like Milk Oolong, Dragonwell, Silver Needle, Japanese Sencha, Kenyan White Rhino… but I generally enjoy all the tea.

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

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

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

EARTHY & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Musky, “Fresh,” and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, 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)
- Coconut pieces (as a sub/filler ingredient)
- Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.

Subjective Rating System 3.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. I’ll impulsively buy in large quantities and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. I’ll try to keep this one around when it’s practical.

76-84: A good tea, but lower on my “to repurchase” list

70-75: Alright, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry, or personal preferences.

50-69: Average to mediocre cup. Personal preference issues are apparent.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.

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

Location

BC, Canada

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