1235 Tasting Notes

80
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
1235 tasting notes

I woke up feeling great. You know that conquer the world feeling?

Yeah, that one. Since I’ve been ill the past few years, I don’t get that feeling very often. The first year or two, almost never, so waking up feeling that everything is magnificent and all things are possible is just wow for me. Really wow. Such immense gratitude for these moments.

One of the first things on my agenda today is to spread the joy and that means to initiate a surprise for someone. I love surprises, big or small. And because it is a surprise, that’s all I am going to say about that.

I have always loved the idea of this tea: hazelnut brittle, caramel. Truly, what is not to love?

That said, it is a tricky one. I find I need to be careful to not add too much leaf or the mineral element overwhelms.

This cup is all hazelnut brittle and mineral. Really enjoying my first steep today. I wonder what the next one will bring.

I hope everyone’s day and tea is glorious.
Spread the joy, people.

Flavors: Caramel, Hazelnut, Mineral

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Glad you’re having an excellent moment. :) I’ve seen a lot of Bossa Nova’s around and I have yet to find a balanced one. I enjoy those even if the mineral is dominant, but every once in a while I want more vanilla. But that’s my sweet tooth talking.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. Yes, me too! :)

I didn’t realize that Bossa Novas were a thing. I would like a bit less mineral, but that is why I tend to under leaf a bit. Not quite sure what you mean by a bit more balanced beyond the mineral component.

And yes, one with more vanilla would be just exactly right. This one has a nice sweetness at the tail end of the sip. I am just imagining what it would be like with an additional hint of vanilla.
Daylon R Thomas

As in a Bossa Nova that had a better balance between the hazelnut, vanilla, and oolong. Not to roasted, and not too artificial or sweet. Though I like my teas naturally sweeter.

Fjellrev

I’m so glad to hear you’ve been able to experience a day like this!

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Fjellrev! Me too.

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drank Genmaicha by Momo Tea
1235 tasting notes

Woke up with a massive killer migraine. In mulling over all potential causes, the final possibility was not having drunk enough tea. Ah, maybe that’s it.

I bought this tea at the tea festival here at the end of January. The first several times I had this, I really quite enjoyed it: classic genmaicha. Today, however, I dipped further into the bag, so my dry leaf was far more powder tea and far less roasted rice. Then, despite aiming for a very brief steep, my steeper clicky thing got stuck and didn’t drain properly or quickly enough, resulting in a far longer than optimal steep. So, today, the tea is too strong and a bit bitter. Not the tea’s fault.

My migraine seems to be slowly subsiding. I hope. If so, despite the bitterness, it’s a win.

I will refrain from rating.

Later in the day reflection…
I think I had used far too much leaf when I made this tea today, owing to the fact that it was mostly tea powder and few rice grains. That and the prolonged steeping time resulted in a poor-ish first cup. However, steeping two and three were lovely.

Preparation
1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Noon, I hope you’re feeling better now.

Fjellrev

Oh, stupid autocorrect. Noon = nooo

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you! I enjoyed steep two with some roasted coconut crunchy strips. That and the tea appear to have been the perfect solution toward wellbeing.

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100
drank Ruby Oolong by Rishi Tea
1235 tasting notes

Yeah, so I have been continuing my green, white, and oolong days as I continue my acupuncture and Chinese herbs treatments. Surprisingly, the transition from black teas has not been all that difficult. I am not giving them up forever, of course, just for the time being to not contradict what is happening in my treatments.

The tough thing for me has been giving up milk, as well as black tea. I find myself craving lovely sweetened chais and good strong tea lattes. I predict I will be breaking down and having one or two some time soon. I do miss them so. I only hope that, when and if, I do break down, the milky cup in front of me will be worth it.

Back from my tangent to this fine tea. Very very lovely.

My first steeping was full of lovely heavy red wine— reminds me of Mondavi vineyards— and chocolate notes. These flavours dissipated in subsequent steepings, but the cups continued to be lovely. Many many steepings later, I am still enjoying the tea.

I might have to make a Rishi order very soon. Just as soon as I can justify it.

Flavors: Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Red Wine

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
VariaTEA

Sounds lovely :)

Indigobloom

Yikes! that’d make me sad. Can you do an herbal almond milk chai?

Daylon R Thomas

I hope you were able to enjoy the blacks I sent. I think I also added a few dark oolongs, but I could be wrong. And I’m guessing the ruby is on the muscatel side?

Evol Ving Ness

Daylon, I am ashamed to say, that I am WAY behind on tasting and sending and the tea world in general. I am sorry. hangs head

I will get to them and I will enjoy them. I promise.

And yes, I think there were dark oolongs too. The selection of all of them was totally ohmygod fab and I thank you for that. I should go through it to see just what teas I can drink NOW on this current regime. I have just been foolishly assuming that everything is out of reach. Or maybe it’s been fatigue and this heat.

Evol Ving Ness

Indigobloom, I will have to ask about almond milk though you know how it is when only the exact same thing of the craving will do.

Evol Ving Ness

VariaTEA, yes, the first steep was really quite remarkable.

Evol Ving Ness

I am just reading up on this tea. Apparently, it is grown in Thailand. I had been unaware of that. I also did not know that Rishi is an American company. I had been under the impression that it was Canadian. Ooops.

http://www.rishi-tea.com/product/ruby-oolong-organic-oolong-tea/oolong-tea

Evol Ving Ness

I just took a look at Rishi’s shipping rates for Canada and that’d be a nope.

Indigobloom

Evol, yup I know what you mean!! here’s hoping the time goes quickly for you

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. :)

Daylon R Thomas

Rishi is not bad. Their coconut baozhong blend is good.

Evol Ving Ness

Their teas are lovely, but $20 US or so shipping to Canada is insane.

I see you are really in a Baozhong state of mind. :)

Daylon R Thomas

I’m in a light Green Oolong state of mind. I typically have a staple of some throughout the year, but right now it’s the main type of tea I’ve been craving. I’m currently on a quest to find a Milk Oolong as sweet as Mandala’s for a more affordable price.

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70
drank Berry Poppins by DAVIDsTEA
1235 tasting notes

Berries and vanilla and a bit of sweetness and a bit of something artificial. This tea is, thankfully, from before the time that DT began stevia-ing everything to death. I am drinking it hot. I like the whiff of juicy black and red berries that comes up from the steam in my tea glass. I like the tartness of the hibiscus with the mix of berry and vanilla. I save myself from the artificial flavours by underleafing somewhat: strong enough to steep up a bright red flavourful cup without much of the nonsense.

Flavors: Apple, Berries, Hibiscus, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

This is one of my most favourite herbal teas: a perfect balance of all the ingredients.

I was ready for bed at about 7pm, but managed to keep myself awake long enough to drink this tea. Party animal, I know.

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90

So, the other day, I started taking Chinese medicinal herbs. The vilest smelling and tasting things, but apparently, they work well, so I am in. You steep up the ground blend of roots and plants for ten minutes and drink the whole thing down.

This morning, I just couldn’t bear it. I needed a bribe to get through. This tea was the bribe. If I drank my herbs, I would treat myself to the generous sample of this tea, containing a whole cherry even, that Daylan R. Thomas kindly sent me some time ago.

Delicious. Thank you for helping me get through. I much enjoyed it.

Flavors: Cherry, Vanilla

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Glad it helped. What herbs are you taking?

Evol Ving Ness

It’s a blend made up for me based on my various issues by a TCM herbalist. It’s a long list which I have somewhere here. Shall I find it and let you know the ingredient details?

Also, on the advice of the herbalist after I complained about the really challenging smell and flavour—and I am not a person who gets queasy about out of the ordinary scents and flavours—I bought some empty gel capsules and have proceeded to stuff them with the herb powder to take that way. And then, I drink a glass of hot water or tea. I suspect they are not as effective as when you steep them this way.

Daylon R Thomas

Nah, you don’t need to bother :) I actually about herbal effectiveness in general, like if taking turmeric by eating it is enough. I of course have the internet, but the studies can be more correlation based and less direct.

Evol Ving Ness

I’ve done quite a bit of research on this, actually. The turmeric information, I meant. Turmeric is excellent for dealing with inflammation, amongst other things. Unfortunately, the western diet, in general, does not contain enough turmeric for it to be therapeutic. Generally, the traditional Indian diet does.

I bought a couple of turmeric blend teas at tea festival here. Interested?

The herbs and roots on my list of ingredients contain things that I’ve never heard of. I am looking forward to researching those bits as well.

Daylon R Thomas

I just might be. I’ve skimmed info about the inflammation, and it helps with headaches personally, but I’ve wondered about it alleviating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. That condition along with dementia are common in both sides of my family, and my chances of having it are increased by my type 1 diabetes. So, it’s an herb worth watching for me. Otherwise, I sprinkle some in my yogurt and cottage cheese daily, though I don’t think it’s quite enough to have an impact.

Evol Ving Ness

Daylon, you might want to read the following all the way to the bottom. http://www.memory-improvement-tips.com/side-effects-of-turmeric.html

Daylon R Thomas

Good to know. Thanks!

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100

The colour of the steeped tea is such a beautiful pale gold: the first sign that this is no ordinary green tea.

No. 93, Feng Ling Ming Ye makes sense of how highly prized good tea has been in Asian history. This tea is glorious: smooth, so smooth. The most delicate vegetal butter. I detect an ever so slight bit of coconut here. Perhaps that is the sesame hint mentioned though my taste buds are taking it coconut way.

Thank you, Sil, for sharing this with me. This tea is making this day infinitely better.

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Evol Ving Ness

At this moment, it is hailing. Yes. I heard a rush outside, as if it began to ran, but nope, it is hail. Like a snowstorm, but the hail bits are bouncing off every surface. In May.

No global warming here.

Sil

Glad you enjoyed it.

Evol Ving Ness

And still enjoying.

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75

I think my favourite steep was number three. The oolong had mellowed out somewhat and yet a hint of the jasmine still remained.

I gave up on the leaf after steep four. Four was pleasant enough, but the flavour of the leaf and the additions were done and another one would have been flogging a dead horse.

The tea is really pretty. I’ve been steeping in a clear glass canister and watching the dark tea, jasmine blossoms, and goji berries float around. Beautiful.

It is also possible that steep one and two were good, but I was too rushed to pay much tea attention. It’s been a bit of an overwhelming week. I need to chill before I crash. Rest breaks, rest breaks. I miss being able to power through with my endless energy supply like I used to do.

A reminder to appreciate your health and wellness when you have it.

Flavors: Jasmine, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Definitely a good takeaway message!

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80

Yep, this tea is exactly like DT’s All the Nuts, Crazy Nuts, Nuts for You, or whatever it is called herbal. Nothing more to say about that.

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
tigress_al

Forever Nuts!

MadHatterTeaDrunk

Apple Pie. If you like this, you should try St. Nick’s Surprise.

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90
drank Sun and Cloud Mist by 52teas
1235 tasting notes

The first steep was a bit odd initially. I hadn’t read the writeup or reviews about the tea, so I didn’t really have any taste expectations. At first, it tasted like a green and mint blend. As it cooled, just the slightest bit of lemon came out followed by a pillow of marshmallow softness.

The second steep is lovely green with a bit of marshmallow surrounding the sip. I am still tasting a wee bit of mint. Odd.

Nice blending though, just perhaps not my thing.

Flavors: Green, Lemon, Marshmallow, Mint

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Location

Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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