165 Tasting Notes

94
drank Coco Chai Rooibos by DAVIDsTEA
165 tasting notes

Holy wow this is delicious. I accidentally steeped it for about an hour and it’s just smooth and tasty. The dominant flavours are cinnamon and coconut. There’s a nice heat at the back of the throat, a touch of fruitiness and lots of really delightful sweetness. And not a trace of that woody dryness that sometimes comes with rooibos – it almost has a creamy mouth feel. I may make myself a second cup of this right away, it’s that good.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Coconut, Creamy, Fruity, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
sweetea

Yes to all of this note! It’s rooibos without being overly rooibos? Confusing and delightful.

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90
drank Masala Chai by Cornelia Bean
165 tasting notes

Part of my morning of chai/find a replacement for Bollywood Chai line up.

This is bold. Very strong and astringent brew, with ginger, fennel and coriander forefront.

I think of the cups in front of me, this comes closest in flavour profile to the Bollywood Chai, though it’s a bit hard to tell how similar they are because this cup is just so, so much stronger. The Bollywood Chai has a clear, amber brown liquor, and this is almost thick and dark enough to be mistaken for coffee.

Definitely more pepper.

With milk, it’s clearer that this has more pepper and coriander and less ginger and fennel than Bollywood.

I really like this but it’s still pretty different.

Flavors: Astringent, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Fennel, Ginger, Pepper, Thick

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
albertocanfly

Love reading your chai adventure! I’m on the hunt for the perfect chai, too…and I have to say, seeing all these reviews back to back are helping so much!

Anlina

Glad they’re helpful. If you like, I could send you some samples of the different chais I have.

emmagquist

If you like a pretty spicy chai my go to is always Spicy Seattle Chai from Market Spice. The black pepper and cardamon is just perfect.

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75

Part of my morning of chai/find a replacement for Bollywood Chai line up.

Ginger, cinnamon, smoke, astringent, woody. This chai is pretty bitter on its own. It’s thick and strong. Not getting much in the way of the ginger or fennel in Bollywood Chai.

With milk and white sugar it takes on a distinct brown sugar flavour, and maintains its warm, earthyness. Not at all similar to Bollywood.

Of the four I tried today I think this is my least favourite.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Earth, Ginger, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Chai Black Tea by Bulk Barn
165 tasting notes

Part of my morning of chai/find a replacement for Bollywood Chai line up.

Today I’m getting some coconut and chocolate on the nose that I haven’t detected before. I think this might be my first time sipping it without milk. Cinnamony and caramel. Milk enhances these notes, and pulls some of the coconut, chocolate nose into the sip.

Very different from Bollywood Chai. Less naturally sweet, with more warm flavours, less ginger and fennel, and not at all spicy.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coconut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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91
drank Bollywood Chai by DAVIDsTEA
165 tasting notes

My partner and I love this chai and were very sad to see it discontinued, particularly before we could stock up. So right now I have four cups of chai sitting in front of me, in the hopes that I can find/create something comparable.

This one quite sweet on its own, and surprisingly not at all astringent for an 8 minute steep. A very light cup. I’m getting a fair bit of ginger and fennel, with some cinnamon and clove. A slight tingling sensation on the tongue and roof of the mouth from this one.

This is pretty delicate for a masala chai. Not peppery or spicy or bold. Just nice, and substantially different from all the others I have. I could easily drink this one straight, which I rarely do for masala chai.

More fennel and ginger, much lighter and sweeter than all of them.

Less coriander and pepper than Masala Chai from Cornelia Bean.
Less earthy, no smoke, bitterness or woodiness and more cooling than warm compared to Indian Spiced Chai from Metropolitan Tea Co.
None of the chocolate, coconut or caramel notes, and more cooling than warming, compared to Chai Black Tea from Bulk Barn.

The Masala Chai from Cornelia Bean is most similar but is still pretty different. Throwing some candied fennel in and giving it a much shorter steep might make a rough approximation, though I think the pepper might just be too punchy, and the body is just so different.

If anyone has this in their cupboard and doesn’t love it, you should swap it to me or let me buy it from you :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Fennel, Ginger, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

A nice, soothing cup for a sleepy morning. I really like this variation on Earl Grey. It’s smooth and a bit sweet, with bergamot, vanilla and caramel notes. And easy cup to drink when I’m feeling a bit out of it.

Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Gui Hua Oolong by Tealux
165 tasting notes

Another sample from Dexter!

This is a lovely evening cup. It’s got sweet, floral notes on the nose, and the start of the sip is a touch floral and roasty, almost perfumed. The finish is long, tangy and vegetal, quite a departure from the sip.

Not a stand out to me, but a very pleasant oolong.

Flavors: Floral, Roasted, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

I’ve had this in my cupboard forever, in an unsealed bag. It’s picked up a bit of fruitiness from from other teas but it’s still pretty good. Lots of toasted rice and a pretty smooth green tea. Very easy to drink.

Flavors: Toasted Rice, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90
reviewed Tea Strainer by MlesnA
165 tasting notes

I bought this for camping. It’s nice and compact, reusable and washes out easily. It’s white cotton which permanently stains pretty quickly but with a good wash it looks decent. I do like that it’s all fabric, so it’s great for steeping extremely fine teas and even dust.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

tea while camping sounds like one of the best ideas ever!

Anlina

My partner and I went back woods camping at the end of August and camped in a site that at the end of three lakes and three portages. And it rained quite a lot. It was an amazing trip but dear god, did I ever need a good cup of tea after that paddling and being out in the rain.

I grabbed this because I couldn’t find any of the fillable paper tea sacks for a reasonable price, and I wasn’t going to limit myself to dust tea bags.

OMGsrsly

Oh, that sounds awesome! I totally understand needing tea after being out in the rain. :) I’ve packed up a pot and my wee stove, so I can take it on rainy day dayhikes. Yeah, I spoil myself.

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29

Me and this tea are not having a cooperative morning.

My first cup I brewed 1tsp/8oz at 170F/75C for 2 min, and it came out so astringent that I couldn’t get through more than half the cup before drinking it.

Second steep of the same leaves I did for 1 min at 70C and it was less astringent, but still pretty astringent and otherwise pretty weak.

Third try is fresh leaf with 63C water for 1 minute. This cup is drinkable, yay! It has the nice vegetal and umami, with slightly roasty notes that I was craving. Still a touch astringent, but not bad.

It’s satisfying my morning craving, but this is super finicky and I’m regretting leaving my tin of gyokuro at my partner’s place.

Edit: NOPE. Half way through this cup and my mouth feels so dry I just want to brush my teeth. Time to make something new.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Roasted, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Ugh, finicky teas suck haha.

Anlina

And I have other senchas (mostly blends, but still), that are nice and forgiving and that give me flavour instead of just astringency.

I meant to dump the rest of this cup but ended up drinking it by accident. It got less offensive as it got cold.

Fjellrev

That’s good then. Usually when I come across an ultra finicky tea, I end up cold brewing it and it’s usually better.

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Profile

Bio

I grew up drinking jasmine green tea with meals, but really fell in love with tea on a trip to Britain in elementary school. My first great love was Earl Grey, and I still adore it and all its variants.

I discovered the beauty of loose leaf tea much later, when, on impulse, I picked up a few teas that were on clearance at a home store. My introduction to loose leaf teas were Masala Chai and Provence Rooibos by the Metropolitan Tea Co and an unknown brand of kukicha and gyokuro (little did I know what a precious treasure I’d stumbled onto with that.)

At the time I was lucky to live in a place with multiple tea shops and several places to have afternoon tea, which is a delight I still miss.

Tea is part of my daily ritual and a nice, affordable way to appease the collector in me.

I enjoy distinctive whites, greens and oolongs, flavoured blacks, and herbals that are heavy on the citrus, lavender or mint.

Rating rubric, to give myself some consistency:
0-15 Yuck, not even drinkable.
16-30 Disappointing, not really inclined to give it a second try.
31-45 Disappointing, but maybe there’s potential? Worth one more try, prepped differently.
46-60 Mediocre, not terrible but not memorable.
61-75 Not bad. I’ll definitely finish what I have and might buy again.
76-90 Very enjoyable. Tasty, complex, it’ll keep me coming back.
91-100 BEST! I love everything about it and I will drink it forever.

Beyond tea, I’m a sex educator, polyamory activist, and radical queer. I love backwoods camping, abstract painting, baking & cooking, nail polish, cats, ceramic sculpture, and home nesting.

Location

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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