43 Tasting Notes
A tasty new flavor for me to try out for David’s Tea Summer specials. Long Life Oolong. I’m a sucker for any peach or apricot teas, so oolongs tend to be up my alley. I’m drinking this one iced, and as with most David’s Teas it is very fruity and very sweet, even without any sweetener. I don’t quite pick out what tea flavors make this an oolong, there’s only a little mineral earthiness. But there is a lot of peach and a lot of juicy fruit flavors that make this a very refreshing iced pick-me-up. It’s not a very dark tea, brewed up a pale yellow-green, but lacking the hay or grassy flavors that would come with a green tea. Overall, mild and easy and peachy.
Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Mineral, Peach, Sweet
The David’s Tea store today was crazy busy or else I would have lingered and smelled a bunch of flavors, but today I was on a mission: try a tea that wasn’t a brewed flavor of the day. More than once the staff at this David’s Tea have been drinking Coconut Oolong as they work and have suggested I try it. So today was the day; I got this flavor brewed fresh and hot at double steepage and poured over ice.
Perhaps I’m just a noob but I don’t quite understand why some oolongs are so much lighter and greener than others, both in leaf and in brew color. This one was very green, and brewed up a pale yellow green. I’m not usually a huge fan of tropical flavors but the coconut in this added mostly butter cream flavors and toasted, nutty notes along with the rich mineral taste of the oolong, and even some vegetal, floral notes on the aftertaste. I can see why this is a favorite with David’s Tea employees. I enjoyed this flavor quite a bit and was glad to get a tea from David’s that wasn’t all rainbow pompoms and sugar-flavors. I’ll have to venture away from their flashy, popular blends and give more of their core teas a try, because this was delicious. Well-balanced but attention-grabbing; creamy, nutty, complex.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Floral, Mineral, Nuts, Roasted
I ordered this tea long ago, early in my loose leaf days. At that time I felt it was very pepper-minty, perhaps a good tea for the wintertime if you’re feeling a little under the weather. The mint is seriously vigorous when hot. Since my first tasting, I’ve reordered this tea more than once. I love it iced to help me cool off. The mint adds to the effervescent cool feeling inside and out. It is the best on stifling summer days. I like to mix in a little mango melange for some fruity sweetness. On my third reorder today, I brewed up a cold cup and drank it slowly throughout the day. A real creaminess in the darjeeling is present after a long brew or a temperature change, which made me fall in love with the flavor all over again. Definitely for mint lovers in all seasons but also an infallible iced brew.
Flavors: Cream, Earth, Menthol, Mineral, Mint, Peppermint
I’ve been eyeing this flavor on the David’s Tea website for a long while so I was thrilled to see it on tap at the local store today. It is definitely chocolate-heavy but that pairs well with the roasted mate flavors and the nutty almond tones. The finish has a strong raspberry note that I wasn’t expecting, but it is very rich and sweet even without milk or sugar. I am having this flavor brewed cold today without sugar or milk, but I bet it works better as a hot tea or as a sweet chocolate tea iced late. As usual with David’s Tea flavors, this is very sweet and playful, though more robust than many of the other summer flavors. I love a good chicory, roasted mate and the chocolate raspberry pairing is nice. It’s like a mate cousin to the Adagio Valentine’s blend. For fans of coffee, mate, and chocolate.
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Nuts, Raspberry, Roasted
My brother got a sample of this blend before me, and I was lucky enough to get a taste when we celebrated the 4th of July. Hamilton is a hardworking and shrewd character of the American Revolution. Opinionated, smart, and younger than most involved in the cause, his tea is blazing with ginger and lemon when smelled in the bag. Brewed, the strong sweet-vegetal notes of kukicha are more present and balanced with the smoky but very drinkable gunpowder. (Did I mention Hamilton was killed in a duel?). An avid supporter of the National Bank, Hamilton’s tea is as green as the money within its walls. There’s a touch of green rooibos citron to add a sweet-sour lemon finish. Iced or hot this is a delectable green blend. If you need some more Hamilton, tune in for some later episodes of HBO’s John Adams miniseries. Not as sassy as Rutledge, Hamilton’s sarcasm and snappy comebacks are unparalleled.
Flavors: Fruity, Ginger, Green, Lemon, Smoke, Vegetal
This was another flavor enjoyed on the 4th of July. Be careful with this blend, over brewing can make the ceylon super intense or the cherry too medicine-like. Keeping an eye on the time makes sure this blend is tasty, a nice balance of marzipan-cookie, rich floral of ceylon black, and deep cherry. It’s a decadent tea when hot and a great iced tea with depth. The cherry tastes true to the fruit and not artificial, such a relief since Washington cannot tell a lie. Along with this tea I recommend HBO’s John Adams miniseries. Everyone is so well cast in it, and Washington is the bold but reassuring leader of legend.
Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Floral, Fruity, Marzipan, Tannin
I drank this tea iced for the 4th of July while rewatching HBO’s John Adams mini series. Edward Rutledge is the sassiest delegate at the Continental Congress by far, and has an excellent series of gifs on tumblr. Likewise his tea is hugely fruity with juicy strawberry as the strongest base. Dusty, floral lavender is next on the palette (and the most fragrant when the tea is dry). A smattering of raspberry leaves and a good dose of green pekoe add a grassy, vegetal depth to all the berry flavors. The mint comes through at the end and lingers in the cool mouthfeel. It goes well with the sharp coolness in Rutledge’s personality. I meant this to be iced and I believe it is still the best as a chilled tea but it’s a good blend for strawberry lovers. Or just fans of Rutledge. Who isn’t?
Flavors: Berries, Dust, Floral, Fruity, Green, Lavender, Mint, Strawberry, Vegetal
This was a surprisingly delicious iced flavor on tap today at the David’s Tea Store. Both mint and cream have strong forward flavors, with the coconut being slightly subdued. The mint is a cold mint, like peppermint, which lends to it being tasty when brewed cold. The coconut adds a nutty and oddly buttery flavor to the end of the sip, but the aftertaste is still pleasant cream/mint with some black tea tannins. I bet when this is hot or with some milk and sugar it would be like its own dessert. As usual, David’s Tea flavors are very sweet, even without any additions. This was an excellent break from their fruity/carnival madness happening so far this summer. I love a more classic black tea now and then.
UPDATE: A big bag (250g? I think) is on sale on the David’s Tea website so I ordered up this blend to have in my cupboard at home. Excited :)
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Mint, Nutty, Peppermint, Tannin, Vanilla
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I got a whiff of this tea the other day when the Carnival theme debuted and the leaves were very fragrant, and a little strange. Today, I got to try Root Beer Float, back to back with Cherry Snowcone. Neither were a top flavor for me, but I came to get tea, so here we go! I went with the root beer. I like root beer, birch beer, cream soda, ginger beer as sodas outside of the tea world, so this wasn’t too crazy of a step for me. If you don’t like root beer, this probably won’t be for you. I like that there is sasparilla in the mix, it adds authenticity in addition to added flavoring. I wish there more more natural things that could be in the blend to make this taste like something; but what we consider a root beer flavor doesn’t really occur in nature. I’d rather there wasn’t chocolate pieces in the blend, since I don’t really taste the creaminess and don’t need sugar in my tea constantly. Ultimately this blend is a bit strange, sort of like drinking chocolate tea cold with no milk. It tastes like root beer flavoring, but less sweet than a root beer barrel candy. I don’t know if it’s rooibos or the sasparilla that gives this a medicine aftertaste. Maybe if you drink your tea with lots of sugar and milk this ends up like a creamy dessert? Not my style, but glad I could try it.
Flavors: Medicinal, Root Beer, Vanilla