58 Tasting Notes
Before my loose-leaf tea days, a favorite tea of mine was Stash’s lemon ginger tea bags. Since then, warm ginger tea is a flavor of comfort and health to me. Super Ginger from Davids Tea, is a close approximation to that old flavor of my earlier years. I let this tea steep for a long time, and while it is spicy from the ginger, the stevia and green rooibos help even it out with a little honey-like sweetness. I like the idea that there are peppercorns in the mix though I can’t exactly pick out their flavor. As usual with Davids Teas, I would have liked the blend to be made without stevia and been a bit spicy or bitter, so that one could add sweetness as needed. Still, it is not too sweet to drink, so I’m not too worried. I am very glad that it is an herbal blend, and caffeine-free so I could drink it under a quilt at bedtime or as a means to settle both my stomach and my mind without getting myself hyped up. The purest ginger tea Davids had to offer.
Flavors: Ginger, Honey, Spicy
I got to try the pumpkin trifecta today at Davids Tea. I’m still partial to the pumpkin chai, though I’d be hard pressed to identify it from the pumpkin patch flavor. And pumpkin cheesecake is as ridiculous and decadent as it sounds. It’s nice to have a rooibos/decaf pumpkin option. All of them, but especially the cheesecake flavor, are pretty sweet or have little candies in the tea. I’ve got a favorite pumpkin flavor of my own from somewhere else, so I think I’ll stick with that for this season.
Pu Erh Ginger:
One whiff of this tea sold me. I’ve been having a stomach ache today so I wanted something with ginger. The earthy pu erh is a nice compliment to the hot and spicy ginger. I was careful not to let this steep forever, though it was probably a few over 5 minutes. The tea brews up a rich red-brown color, bright with the almost citrus, sharp taste of ginger, and smooth with the fully leafy tones of pu erh. It did help my stomach, sort of, or at least comforted me to have something warm and clean-tasting. I love ginger any time of year or day, so I knew this would be a winner for me. It’s nice to have a ginger tea that’s not also a chai; cloves and cinnamon are all nice, but I like to feature the ginger itself for once too. I haven’t found a tea quite like this at my other usual vendors, so this might be something I purchase a full pouch of this fall.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Ginger, Hay, Smooth, Spicy
Visiting Davids Tea today I got to try their “mystery tea” which is melon-themed. It was nice in that it felt authentically melon-like and wasn’t just another tropical pineapple, fruity tea blend. It was sweet, as expected, but actually kind of nice. Melon’s not a flavor I go crazy for, nor is is one that replicates super well without flavoring. It was alright and I think it will be a hit in the Spring/Summer.
Back to Buddha’s Blend…
I’ve smelled this tea few times when I walked into the Davids Tea store, so I figured it was time to actually try it. The loose leaf is gorgeous with big, white hibiscus blossoms, and smells very floral. I was warned when brewing it, not to go over the recommended 4 minutes, which may explain why this tea wasn’t a favorite for some people on Steepster. That said, it still brewed up a lush golden color, and smelled richly fruity, with a focus on peach. The scent has gentler tones of jasmine underneath. Drinking the tea, it definitely seems like a white tea (it’s a white and green blend) and there’s a lightness to the body and mouthfeel of it. The earthy (almost dusty?) flavor of white tea plays nice with the fruity notes, and comes through most at the end of the sip along with the jasmine. I can see in the aftertaste how this tea could get bitter so easily. I feel it being a little sticky or prickly on the back of my tongue. This is a delicious tea, in my opinion, and it is what I wish some of the other summer teas (like Just Peachy) had been. There is natural fruit-sweetness, lush floral fragrance, and genuine tea flavors, all without needing sugar or too much candy-flavoring. Probably too blended and sweet a tea for hardcore white and green tea analysts, but nice for a playful tea drinker.
Flavors: Dry Grass, Flowers, Hay, Jasmine, Orchids, Peach
Went into David’s Tea today and thought I’d get the rundown on some chai teas. Ironically, I didn’t go with chai at all, but a spiced blend called The Spice is Right. (The mate chai, “chai guarana” was oh so tempting, but I’m trying to cut my caffeine). Already I’m in love with The Spice is Right: orange, chili pepper, clove, cinnamon! And no sugar or stevia. That said there is still something sweet about it, light and bright and not too earthy or leafy. I like my teas spicy and love things like extra ginger and clove or anise. This one is perfect. It’s a green tea, so I don’t feel so guilty about the caffeine level, but it has the boldness of a black or a typical chai. I do feel the chili pepper, though I have also let this tea steep the entire time I drank it because I couldn’t resist. The cinnamon is strong, as it tends to be in chais, but there are other notes to the spice. It brews up light in color and looks pretty as loose leaf with all the different shapes and colors in the mix. This is the best not-chai spice tea I’ve had from Davids Tea.
Flavors: Clove, Green, Orange, Pepper, Spices, Spicy
I’ve been wanting to try this tea for a while and as soon as I took a whiff of the loose leaf I knew this is what I would be brewing up today. The leaves are highly fragrant with citrus oil and visually the jasmine blossoms are startling. This tea brews up pretty pale, yellow/green, even if steeped over the recommended 3 minutes. I love the balance of floral jasmine, tart, natural citrus, and the smooth oolong body. One of my favorite teas I’ve tried at Davids Tea, partly because it is flavorful without being too sweet.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Green, Jasmine, Lemon, Mineral, Orange
I went into Davids Tea looking for a mid-caffeine tea that might not be too sweet. I had oolongs in my mind so I asked to smell a bunch of the loose leaf. I like gingery things so I thought I’d try the ginseng oolong but it was intimidating, both in its chunky appearance and earthy/dusty smell. So I thought I’d give vanilla orchid a try. This tea smells gently of vanilla, and gets much stronger when brewed. The vanilla flavor is herbal but still sweet enough not to be medicinal. I don’t take any honey or sugar in my tea so this was definitely not sweet on its own but had a pleasant green/mineral flavors like an earthy green tea rather than being too vegetal. It was more like hay or leaves in the best way possible. This oolong brews up light, more yellow/green than amber, and I suspect I let it oversteep, so it was a bit strong for me. The vanilla is vigorous but authentic and not at all candy-like. As long as you know that going in, this tea is worth the try.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Medicinal, Mineral, Vanilla
I went in David’s Tea to try some kind of black tea to kick up my afternoon. I ended up picking Glitter and Gold. A small selling point was the fact that my tea would glitter when it brewed as the gold sugar balls melted. I didn’t think this would be a big deal to me, but the effect is deliciously pretty when brewed in a clear mug. This tea is probably too sweet for me on a normal occasion, but it was fun to try. The black tea makes up the body of the drink but vanilla bean takes the frontline of flavor. It’s like having a sweet milk/creamer in your tea without the dairy. The black tea and cloves came out more in the fragrance than in the brewing. This is the perfect gift for a sparkly, fabulous loose-leaf tea lover you know. It looks good as dry loose leaf and brews up with a little fashion show. As a tea, it’s sweet vanilla black.
Flavors: Astringent, Clove, Floral, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla
I’m a sucker for peach flavors so when I heard this summer flavor was on its way out for the season, I stocked up. It is delicious iced, rich peach flavors along with more subtle raspberry or woody foliage notes. It’s a rooibos blend, so no caffeine, which means its drinkable any time of day. It doesn’t taste artificial, though I’m sure there’s added flavoring to pump up the peach. I was a bit dismayed to get home and read the label to see that there is 1g of sugar per serving. I suppose its better than me drinking a soda, but I don’t take any sugar in my tea on purpose. I’ll still love this flavor but I’d have preferred it be a bit more tart and natural if it would have spared me the extra sugar.
Update: Over time I’m finding I get a bit tired of this tea a little too easily. It definitely hits the spot when its iced and I need a treat on a hot day, but drinking it hot leaves a bit to be desired. Somehow it’s sweeter than I remember.
Flavors: Candy, Fruity, Peach, Raspberry, Wood
Some people hate hibiscus in their tea; I get it, it’s sour and fruity and kind of one note. Besides, it is one ingredient that brews up flavorful and colorful no matter what, so it’s added in every fruit blend under the sun. I don’t have a vendetta against hibiscus, I think it’s pretty good. That said, this tea is only okay for me. I can taste the stevia and would have rather this been uber-tart than to have added sweetener, even if it’s a natural sweetener. I choose to get this tea over another flavor because hibiscus punch is caffeine free, so it has that going for it, and it is still pink and fruity and cool. This tea is just about what you expect, but be sure you like your tea sweet.
Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Sour, Sweet, Tart
*my review is for the midnight green perfect mug, ceramic, not clear glass
I’ll admit that I’m only a few brews in with this mug, but so far it is pretty perfect. I got a dark green ceramic version of this at a Davids Tea store having a sale on teaware. Now that I have a job with an office and a desk, I am going to be using this baby to brew up my worktime tea.
It feels well made to me, though I tend to only hand wash things since I don’t have a dishwasher, so my lifestyle might be a bit gentler on the mug than others. The mesh basket is amazing, heavy duty, large enough for proper unfurling and brewing of leaves, but fine enough that absolutely no bits get through into the tea.
The cover is nice to keep the water warm while it brews and it fits snugly on top of everything. It is handy to have it as a coaster for the basket when the leaves are done brewing, but my one complaint is that a pretty decent puddle will form under the basket as it slowly drains whatever moisture was left after it was removed. The drippings are contained on the coaster-top, but you have to be careful with clean up or you’ll spill the puddle out of the coaster and all over your desk. I know there’s not really a good way to fix this beyond me being more patient when I drain my tea, but it should be noted.
Overall, I am excited with my new purchase, looks stylish but highly functional. I had my eye on this for a while and am feeling no regrets.