438 Tasting Notes

drank Cotton Candy by DAVIDsTEA
438 tasting notes

This is odd. I love carnival/circus themes, so I had to try this, but as I have mentioned before, I am distrustful of tea with sprinkles and candy. I didn’t add any sugar, but this tea has a sweetness of it’s own. I don’t get much on the sip, a little tart on the sides of my tongue, but the back part of the sip starts to taste like cotton candy as does the aftertaste. Afterwards I get that dry mouth rooibos thing happening and then a little sour taste. Not a horrible drink, but not amazing either. Glad I got to try some!

darby

I had this made in store for me, she added a bit of agave and it’s awesome!!! No Rooibos flavor.

Dustin

Hmmmm, I may try adding a sweetener next time and see how I like it. It was a little sweet on it’s own, so I hadn’t thought of adding more. Did you have it hot or cold?

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drank Pommier by Lupicia
438 tasting notes

I feel a little eh about this one. It is very apple tasting and there is a little something else that I’m guessing is the maple, but I am really disliking the rooibos flavor. It has that drying effect in the aftertaste. I think it is a little better sweetened, but it’s not something that I’m getting excited about.

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reviewed Glass Carafe by DAVIDsTEA
438 tasting notes

I am really liking this thing! I chose this one because there were no plastic parts to soak up and transfer flavor from one tea to another. The lid is silicone, but the tea doesn’t touch it other than when you pour, so I’m not too worried about it absorbing flavors and I’m actually not sure if silicone is known to to that. The basket for the tea is nice and long, reaching close to the bottom of the carafe, so it seems like the tea is well submerged. Only thing about the basket it that it is harder to clean out all the leaves, being so long and skinny. I’m sure a baby bottle brush would make that job much easier, but I haven’t tried it yet. The other thing that I go back and forth on how I feel about it is the size of the carafe. It isn’t very big. Sometimes I’m turned off by that. If I have guests over I’m not going to have much tea to offer them, maybe a glass or two then I’m out, BUT….. if I bought a second one I could have TWO different cold brewed teas to offer and choose from. I’m constantly cold steeping teas in a variety of mason jars in my fridge, so this is a much more elegant solution. I asked at a David’s store if they had any plans to make this pitcher bigger and they said no, it was an in house design. I’m not sure why in house design means they can’t make it bigger, but whatever. I think I’ll just go back for a second one and solve my problem/dilemma that way.

mj

This one’s so cute! I’ve thought about getting it….

Dustin

I say get one! I have no regrets.

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drank Ripe Mango Oolong by Lupicia
438 tasting notes

Having this tea again and again steeped it overnight in the fridge. I may have overleafed it (really hard to tell how much is enough when steeping in a pitcher and not my normal mug) and I’m having it unsweetened. I was eating a really sweet muffin with it for my first cup and the tea was perfect, but without the sweet it looses a little of that perfection. The aftertaste is a perfume like oolong flavor, which is nice. Still not in love with it, but it is really good.

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I tried a sample of this in their NYC store the other day. I didn’t like it. All I could taste was baby powder and lots of it. I have had that experience with one other French tea Fauchon’s Afternoon in Paris, or maybe it was Garden in Paris…. anyways, I’d love to compare the ingredients in the two to narrow down what it is that my brain translates to baby powder. I smelled the tea dry and it smelled lovely, but it didn’t come through that way in the taste for me. Pity too, I usually love almond flavored things.

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drank Caramel & Rum by Lupicia
438 tasting notes

Eh, this is okay. It has a subtle creamy rum taste, but it also has a bit of that woodsy rooibos taste. The rooibos was over powering when I tried it straight, but it becomes much more pleasant when I add a little cream and sugar. At first the taste of the cream took over, but as I kept sipping the caramel rum taste crept out. It isn’t bad, it is just really underwhelming for what I have come to expect from Lupicia.

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drank Jasmin Mandarin by Mariage Frères
438 tasting notes

On a recent trip to Dean and Deluca, I received a generous sample of this tea from the tea gal there who was really excited that I was so excited about the teas they carry. I was excited that there was someone to geek out on tea with me!

I steeped this for a minute in under boiling water. The beginning of the sip is pretty mellow. There is a bit of jasmine, but not as much of a kick as some other jasmines I have had. When it reaches the back of my tongue, some jasmine bite comes in. The after taste is a strange dance of jasmine and mandarin. They seem to take turns leading and merging for a nice long finish. When I sweeten it, the mandarin comes out more in the beginning of the sip and in the aftertaste. It is almost candy like in the long aftertaste. I love jasmine and this is a really nice alternative to the straight jasmine teas I am used to. I think I may cold brew this one for a second steep and see how it does. I’m guessing it would be quite crisp and refreshing!

If I didn’t have a million different teas right now, I’d be tempted to pick some of this up. In the mean time it will stay on my radar for a later purchase.

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This smelled the most intriguing out of the six TWG tea I sniffed yesterday, so it came home with me. It smells chocolatey and maybe a little malty. I’m getting a good solid breakfast tea base in the flavor, topped with mild yet present chocolate. I’m having it unsweetened and I wonder how much the chocolate will round out with sugar. As it is, this is a really smooth tea! I may have overleafed, but this tea seems forgiving and I got a nice cup out of it. Well done TWG!

TeaBrat

yummy. I’ve always wanted to try some TWG teas!

Dustin

Me too! I think D&D is the only place in the states that sells their teas, so the gal working there was really excited I had heard of them. Tea nerd points scored!

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drank Strawberry Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
438 tasting notes

I ran into the Kusmi New York store the other day maybe ten minutes before they closed. I was desperately trying to smell everything and decide if it was a must buy while the sales girl tried to hide her itching to go home. I picked up this tea and one other, but I was surprised that I wasn’t taken by more teas.

I’m having this one without sweetener and it has a bitter edge to it, a tang that gets the sides of my tongue and mingles with the green taste of the tea. There is also a very distinct strawberry scent that carries over into the taste. I may have over leafed this (a recent trend for me) and will have to adjust things in the future to find the perfect cup.

TeaBrat

jealous, I wish we had a Kusmi store in SF!

Brooklynsheep

Dustin, if you get there earlier next time, ask them to brew some of the tea you’re interested in; when I was there last, they offered this service — very small cups — for up to two teas!

Dustin

Cool, thanks! I do wish I had been able to get there earlier. Maybe on my next trip out here.

Dustin

I wish there was a Kusmi store in SF too! I spend a total of a few months out of the year there, so there are way more chances to visit tea shops in the bay.

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reviewed Carry Travel Mug by DAVIDsTEA
438 tasting notes

My mug keeps getting worse. The glossy base under the matte finish is making a slow creep up from the bottom of the mug which makes it look like crap. There are now several scratches down to the metal and I have no idea how they got there. I have been traveling with it and keeping it in my backpack most of the time, which is fairly protected. It’s not like I have thrown it in the back of truck with a bunch of tools and scraps of engine and gone off roading. The secret compartment lid doesn’t want to stay on when I open the lid and there is any pressure built up. The last time I used it there was hot water spurting out the side and when I looked closely, I noticed that the edge of the metal rim now has a subtle flat spot in it totally ruining it. It must have tipped over or taken a tumble that I wasn’t aware of and now I have to see if I can bend the metal back and get it to non thermal geyser spraying mode. In the mean time I just take the top off and use the steeper in a regular mug since it is the only steeping device I am traveling with.

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but I bought the 16oz capacity and it has been throwing me off a little when it comes to how much tea to add. It isn’t something that can’t be overcome, but it takes a little more thought and adjustment to get the right ratio for the amount of water this mug holds and I’m finding myself overleafing when I’m steeping in a mug recently.

So if I were to redesign this with the knowledge I have know, I’d do a smaller size (none of the teas I have steeped have filled the entire basket of the larger version so I think the smaller basket would be fine), I’d like to see it in a brushed steel maybe with a silicone sleeve to protect the outside, I’d eliminate the secret compartment because it is more hassle than it is a good feature (or put it on the outside of the mug and not in the chamber that holds the water) and I wouldn’t have such high expectations of it possibly being the perfect travel mug.
The search for the perfect travel mug continues….

Cheri

I hate the secret compartment. I never use it to store anything, but I too have it come off when opening the top on occasion. Blah. Otherwise, I don’t have issues with the finish on the outside of the mug, or any other issues with it.

Dustin

Maybe I got a lemon with the finsh! Glad to hear yours is holding up.

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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!!!!

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Austin, TX

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