1108 Tasting Notes

100

Damn. This is good tea.

Oddly enough, this tastes almost exactly the same as Jiri Horse Balhyocha by teabento that I’ve been enamoured with recently. Same dark chocolate notes. The difference here is that the sweet potato is more pronounced and there’s a slightly bitter aftersip.

Really really good. And local even, so yay! Not cheap, but local—reminder to self.

I will be stocking more of this, likely soon.

I can totally see why this is Dexter’s favourite.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Sil

It’s agood one. :)

yyz

Yes. It’s a very nice Zhenghe.

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100
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
1108 tasting notes

In tea years, this one is probably ancient as it has been discontinued for quite a while. That said, it tastes like no time has passed. It may well be stuffed full of imitation something or other and imitation sweetener, but it does not taste like that is what it contains. This is one of the very earliest teas that thrilled me. And it still does, even after all this time.

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drank Cookies for Santa by 52teas
1108 tasting notes

The flavouring here overall is lovely. That said, something is lacking. In my opinion, this tea lacks a certain richness which, I think, could be corrected with either a hefty dose of chocolate, cocoa shells, or an adjustment in the tea base, or all of these, in which case I think it would then be a stellar tea. Perhaps vanilla might be another option.

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80

Unearthed this one which I bought a year ago at our local tea festival. Conveniently, it was still in the tea festival shopping bag which made it easy to locate and as our annual festival date is rapidly approaching again, I needed to get busy. With my tea situation being the way it is, I am indeed starting to wonder whether I have any business at all going to the tea festival this year.

Now that I’ve covered the context, now about the tea. Mostly smokey, but nicely so. I don’t detect any maple, not even when I squint, though that might indeed be what is softening the smoke. I am guessing that the base here is a blend of Lapsang and possibly Keemun. There is the slightest bit of sweetness on the tail end of the sip. And the sweetness creeps up as you continue on with your cup adding legitimacy to the maple concept. I like it and will not have any difficulty finishing off the rest of the bit that I have left.

Happily on steep number three.

If I do end up going to the tea festival, I might just seek out more of this if the vendor is there.

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drank Cookies for Santa by 52teas
1108 tasting notes

Today, this tea tastes like these, with a bit of chocolate instead of the candied fruit and icing. http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/desserts/pfeffernusse/

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93
drank Jiri Horse by teabento
1108 tasting notes

And so I am back to this. I had the jitters about attending a thing today and this seemed the logical choice, not to calm, more like to placate and to help get me there. Dark chocolate sweet potato bready deliciousness works, apparently. Yay me, and yay stellar lovely tea!

I am just hoping that this tea does not make me forsake all others. For now.

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90

I’m seeing a daily pattern here. Took this with me this morning when I headed out bleary-eyed. No regrets.

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90

This time, I dipped well into the bottom of the tin and must have gathered all the cinnamon sugar with the leaf. Sweeter cinnamon custard-like. I am not big on cinnamon really, but I am a fan of the gentle cinnamon used here.

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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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