632 Tasting Notes

reviewed Double Wall Travel Mug by David's
632 tasting notes

Today my David’s order showed up! I was so excited to use this mug that I sipped way too hot tea from it and burnt my tongue and the bottom of my mouth under my tongue! Easy there, girl! I was so ready to love this thing. Upon inspection I realized that the tea basket has a perforated lid and wasn’t an open basket like I thought from viewing it online. That excitement faded when I realized how difficult it was to get lined up correctly to screw the two halves together. It’s kind of a PITA. There is also a really sharp point where it looks like they laser welded the perforated sides onto the solid part with the threads. It is like they didn’t file two of the welds smooth and now I have to do it or risk slicing my finger trying to screw it shut.

The lid, which is the only plastic part on the mug, is the biggest let down. The lever part of the lid when swung back in the open position is in a really weird spot for trying to sip. I knock my nose on it every time I put the mug up to my lips, reminiscent of awkward teenage years when you bump noses with the other person trying to kiss. So not sexy! I have seen designs where the lid had a cut out so the lever part had a recessed place to live and lay flush with the rest of the lid when open or designs where the hinge was on the opposite edge of the lid from the mouth opening, letting it swing over and lay on the side of the mug. Another part I hate about this lid? The opening for the tea to come out is ridiculously small. It’s 1/2″ × 1/4". (No idea in mm, sorry northern friends!) I was driving and trying to drink from it and had to hold it up (while bonking my nose) for way to long to get a descent amount of tea in my mouth. The small opening also makes it a little more difficult for me to gauge the temp of the tea. I’m used to openings that are large enough for me to blow into, allowing me to gauge the temp by the heat from steam that blows back up. Another annoying thing about the lid? The designers were thoughtful in the fact that they put one of those little holes to keep air pressure from preventing tea from pouring out, but they put it just slightly above the opening, so unless you hold it at JUST the right angle, the tea covers both holes and you get the pressure build up anyways. I can hold it at a 45 degree angle with the lid down, the lever open and after a few spurts of fluid coming out, the flow stops completely. Who designed this?! A six year old?! I haven’t been to any design school, but I’m pretty sure I could make a lid that works 10x better than this one.

The last thing that I find disappointing about this mug is that the first version they came out with had a solid David’s teal silicone sleeve and the latest version does not. It’s a mug made for tea on the go, you are going to be all over town with it, it’s double walled glass… why was the decision made to take away a feature that would make this a little more durable and would likely help extend the life of the mug?

I was really hoping this would be a travel mug I too could be smitten with, but David, you fell short on this one and I’m going to have to respectfully disagree on the smitten part. Keep trying and I’ll keep an eye out for a glass travel mug with a lid that is functional, I haven’t given up on you yet, but I think I’m going to have to return this mug to it’s maker.

Edit: Just added some photos to illustrate my points.

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drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
632 tasting notes

Oh, I get it. It’s a toned down Della Terra’s Lime Chiffon on a green tea base. It would be delicious if I hadn’t had something even more delicious to have compared it to. Lime Chiffon way wins this round.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Dustin

Hmmm, it does get better as it cools. More flavor comes out.

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I have been sipping on this all day long! I think I’m on my fourth steep now, which isn’t as flavorful as the previous steeps, but is still enjoyable with a little cream and sugar. This tea is SO cute dry. Curly little fuzzy tan and black leaves! Today was the first time that I tasted past the orange, mallow and chocolate flavors and noticed how nice the base is with it’s little bit of malt. So glad I stocked up on it a while back. I’d be bummed if I had to say goodbye any time soon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I agree, Zhen Qu is a very cute (and tasty) tea! :)

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drank Turmeric Ginger by Rishi Tea
632 tasting notes

I’m trying not to get sick, but some of those presick symptoms of congestion, tiny cough, and a slightly sore throat are starting to pop up. I wanted a tea that I thought might help that and luckily I have a sample of this kicking around that I picked up in bulk at Central Market grocery store! This tea is really hitting the spot right now. I can taste the tumeric, which compliments the ginger quite well. The ginger is pretty strong and there is a sweetness that comes on at the end of the sip with some orange and I’m attributing the sweet to licorice root. This is such a weird savory and sweet combo that I’m really digging right now. This is a sip down, but I’m feeling like I should keep this on hand for those sick or almost sick times when I want something more complex than my usual go to plain ginger drink.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Hope you don’t get sick!

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reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
632 tasting notes

Whoa! Get ready to witness some stain miracles! This stuff totally works. If you love tea stained patina on your cups, stay away. If you have items you want clean, especially those with hard to scrub areas, this is the soak you want! David’s glass perfect mugs with those lids that have those impossible to clean under lips, Aladin travel mug with that lever basket mechanism, metal steepers, David’s travel mugs, super old Teavana gravity steeper, old steel thermos… all amazingly clean! I was able to get quite a few things cleaned with one quart and reheated it a couple of times to soak more items in it. It finally gave out on the gravity steeper and I had to make a fresh batch of soak. I wish I could post the before and after pictures because it’s such a drastic difference from dirty to clean!

The only thing that disappoints me about this product is that I can’t put it in my mouth and soak the tea stains off my teeth. Work on that, would ya Mandala? ;)

I should add that this came to me as a sample with one of their puerh sample specials. Thanks for that!

Kittenna

My travel mugs really need a good cleaning, as do my infusers. One day I’ll get some of this!

Dustin

I didn’t realize how dirty my stuff was until I cleaned it! Looks like I can add photos! Just added a before and after.

Garret

I’m working on one for the teeth :) Thanks for writing it up and for the photos, too!

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Having this again this morning! Such an incredibly crisp zesty lemon flavor without any unpleasant bite. This time I added a little cream to it and it was nice, but just like when I tried it with sugar, it didn’t really seem to change this tea for the better. The cream just made it a touch creamier. I’m on my second steeping now, which is just about as crisp as the first cup and only a touch toned down than the first. I think I’m loving this tea!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Yes! This has the same delicious creamy nutmeg flavor that Nutmeg Cream has! It has a little brighter or lighter of background to it (I’m comparing the two side by side at the moment), I’m guessing due to the different base. I am going to be kicking myself when this is gone for not having bought more. So if anyone who ordered it didn’t end up liking it, let me know cause I’d love to buy or trade!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

We do have an extra ounce of this. Someone cancelled there order and they had purchased one ounce of this. I can save it for you if you want?

Dustin

OMG YES!!!

Butiki Teas

No problem, it has your name on it (literally).

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drank Red Queen Cupcake by Butiki Teas
632 tasting notes

Oooo! This is neat! I get high notes from the strawberry and base notes from coffee and chocolate merging. Adding sugar brings out the sweet and tart of the berry for me. Adding cream changes it into a cup of delicious! They berry is more muted and the chocolate more prominent. Aaaaand my cup is empty. Now for the big decision… do I buy more of this while it is still available?!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ost

Yes! The answer is yes!

Dustin

Is this one of your favorites? :)

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drank Kenya Obsidian by Butiki Teas
632 tasting notes

This came to me as a freebie with my order! Thanks Stacy!

Artichoke! I think I taste artichoke at the start of the sip. I get a bit of malt at the end of the sip. The first few sips had a little bite, but it mellowed out quickly. The aftertaste is interesting too in a way I can’t describe. This is the type of tea that I go crazy for with cream and sugar. I feel like I’m disrespecting the tea a little by doing that, but… I’m going to do it anyway. And you can’t stop me. I did it! And it’s delicious. Creamy artichoke! And buttery. I do love artichoke. I have had so much tea this morning that I think it’s making me a little loopy!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
aisling of tea

I love a good tea high!

Kittenna

Wow. 7 different Butiki teas reviewed in a row on my dashboard :) By 5 different people.

Dustin

^Who knew closing shop would be so good for business and hype?! I’m about to make a second “last” order!

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This tea smells amazing! I can pick up the raspberry and cashew. The base is really interesting! It is like a combo of hay and floral! I get a hint of cashew in the beginning of the sip and raspberry in the end. Adding sugar brings out some creaminess in the cashew and I can taste the raspberry sooner. I just want to eat this tea! Is that wrong?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! I like a little sugar in my tea. I love caffeinated tea, but since I limit myself to one cup a day, I have been exploring more rooibos and honeybush teas. Rooibos now = meh and I have upped my caffeine tolerance. BRING ME CAFFEINE!!!!

Location

Austin, TX

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