50 Tasting Notes

53
drank Cheeky Lychee by DAVIDsTEA
50 tasting notes

I had thought that lychee would be a difficult flavor to infuse into a tea, but remarkably there is a distinctive lychee note at the end of each sip. Impressive! Unfortunately, I’m finding that the floral notes are a little too strong for my taste, bordering on perfume-y. The scent is all floral, and the first part of a sip is floral through and through. It fades into a lovely lychee with a basic black tea background, though, so it isn’t undrinkable.

I love a good floral herbal tea, but I’m wary of floral blacks. This one is a good example of why. If only the fruit and flowers were more balanced, I could be a fan of this. As it is, I think I’ll finish what I have and pass on it in the future.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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92

So there I was, planning a reluctant online order (I hate paying lots of shipping just for one item!) just so I could try this tea when I find out that 3 DAVIDsTEA shops have just opened up around Chicago. And one of them is literally right off the Armitage stop! So on my way home from work I swing by, taste some delicious samples and leave happily with 2 oz of Blueberry Jam and a couple cup’s worth of Bear Trap (impulse buy, but it sounded too tasty to pass up). Then I walk across the street and pick up a blueberry-lemon donut from Glazed and Infused (teehee) and head home to dream of the ultimate blueberry breakfast next morning.

This tea was rather different than I expected, but that’s not a bad thing! From the smell and the look of the leaves, I expected a pink-tinged brew and a tart flavor, sort of like an upscale Celestial Seasonings. The actual tea is a typical brown with a strong black tea flavor mellowed out by a bit of blueberry jam sweetness. It’s definitely not tart, but it really does taste like blueberry jam! I do wish it was a little more like tart blueberry jam, though. I added a bit of honey to the second half of the cup, but I think I prefer it without.

I’m very impressed with how many dried blueberries are actually in the blend! They really don’t skimp! And if you’re shameless, like me, you can pick them out of the drained leaves and eat them after you finish your delicious donut. If this is wrong I don’t want to be right!

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Vanilla Rooibos Parfait by Tazo
50 tasting notes

In an interesting turn of events, several tins of Tazo materialized next to the rack of Bigelow tea boxes at my office coffee station this morning. Tazo isn’t tea that I would normally seek out and purchase, so this is a chance for some new reviews.

Unfortunately I can’t rate this one very high. It sounded like the most promising contender at first, but there’s just something off about it. I like licorice, and there’s even part of a sip where things get very licorice-y that I enjoy, but there’s something really muddled before it gets there. It’s earthy in a bad way, like stepped-on wet leaves. There’s some nice apple notes in there, but very little vanilla flavor. The flavors seem to all be good on their own, but they just aren’t playing nicely with each other here.

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88

My very first milk oolong! Fortunately, it’s a tasty one.

The scent of the brewed tea is delightful. There’s something sweet and almost biscuit-like about it. The taste is quite different. It definitely has that vegetal “oolong” flavor that everyone knows, but it’s softened by a buttery texture. Each sip is astoundingly complex, starting off full, grassy, and creamy and rising into a clear, salty, and slightly astringent finish. There’s perhaps a tiny bit of fruitiness at the beginning of a sip. This is a far more vegetal tea. I’m not sure if “milk” is exactly what comes to mind when I drink this, but if this is what a good milk oolong is like I will happily drink more of them!

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Kasumi no Chajin

I have some of Della Terra’s Oolong crème de la crème and David’s Tea Quangzhou. Let me know if you would like a bit of each.

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60

Very, very strange. Not bad by any means, but just so… strange! This herbal is obviously more intended for the health market than the taste market, so it’s hard to hold it to the same standards. The website talks up the health benefits quite a bit, but I’m sure I won’t notice them. The smell and taste are strangely acidic and medicinal. The chamomile mellows it out a bit, and there’s a hoppy, cinnamon-laced bite at the end of each sip. I suppose it’s appropriate for such an unusual and unique tea to come from Australia. It’s like the platypus of teas.

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45
drank Pumpkin Spice Chai by Twinings
50 tasting notes

This is drinkable, but there’s not much else to say about it. Bland, thin, watery pumpkin pie in a cup. The “pumpkin” (highly doubtful that there’s any actual pumpkin flavor here) spices come through, but there’s barely a hint of black tea taste to be found. It’s not horrible, it’s not offensive, it’s not much of anything. Just a steaming cup of “eh.”

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96
drank Grapefruit Dragon by Butiki Teas
50 tasting notes

The leaves in this one are just beautiful, so long and green and tasty-looking! The smell is a very strong, sour citrus. So naturally I had pretty high hopes for this tea!

Fortunately, it did not disappoint. The brewed cup is very bright and fresh tasting with just enough grapefruit flavor to complement the tea without overpowering it. Somehow it manages to have a crisp flavor with a very smooth mouthfeel. It’s not particularly sweet, and I think that adding extra sweetener would ruin the delicacy. It’s perfect as-is!

I would very much like to make this a regular in my cupboard if I could afford it!

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Lavender Sencha by Wegmans
50 tasting notes

A favorable sencha mixed with lavender blossoms. Very simple, and very good. Sips are salty, bright and floral and become smoother as it cools. It’s rather grassy, but not in a bad way. I don’t feel that the lavender is masking a low quality tea. If anything, I might prefer it with a little less lavender for the seaweed-y sencha to shine through even more. It’s a minor nitpick, though. I don’t have much to complain about here.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Organic Bai Mudan by Infussion
50 tasting notes

I managed to completely botch my first cup of this under the impression that white tea needed a longer steep than average. Naturally the result was quite disappointing. Fortunately after looking at the other reviews I made a second cup with a much shorter steep time and can fairly review this tea.

It’s a pretty decent bai mudan. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and buttery. The taste is more vegetal for me than floral, but my mouth might be a bit too conditioned to floral teas that have actual flowers in them. There is a slight honey taste at the very end of the sip. Not bad by any means, but I definitely prefer Infussion’s Sencha to this.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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67

Not bad, really. It reminds me a bit of drinking a chai cookie, and I love the huge slices of ginger and cardamom pods in the dry leaf. I could have asked for a bit more coconut, but it isn’t entirely absent. Like most Teavana teas I wish it was less sweet, but all in all it’s a favorable dessert tea.

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Bio

I’m a tea omnivore if there ever was one. I’ll wax poetic about the finest sencha loose leaf but have no problem slurping up a few bags of Celestial Seasonings in between them. Everyone deserves quality from time to time, but every well-traveled road has a bit of dust (and fannings) along the way. :)

Location

Chicago

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