169 Tasting Notes

100

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Cocomint Cream by DAVIDsTEA
169 tasting notes

Probably the most coconutty tea I’ve ever had. It almost feels like I’m drinking coco milk. The addition of mint creates a nice fresh feeling, both work really well together (who would have thought!). I’m happy they left this one so simple, because it shines just like that, without any complex flavour profile. I can easily see this as a dessert tea with the addition of a sweetener, but I’m glad they didn’t add any ingredient that would have made it such dessert tea (people can do that on their own!). It’s just so refreshing and comforting this way (I never, ever sweeten my teas). The apples probably add something to the flavour, but I don’t really taste them.

DT has been on fire lately! First Vanilla Orchid, then this… they are really hitting the spot with such simple yet delightful flavours, I’m impressed! Surely, this one is my favourite from the new winter collection (well, not counting Alpine Punch since it’s returning from last year…!).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Sleigh Ride by DAVIDsTEA
169 tasting notes

First tea battle!

So, I feel like I need to give a short explanation before I go on with the review. I’ve had, for the last 3 years, the aim of trying all of the teas from DT, buying at least 25g of each (usually 50g) to give them all a true shot at impressing me. I finished the endeavour about two months ago, and I was totally thrilled about the achievement (so was the staff at my local DT, lol). But all along, I’ve been doing it with the goal of building, afterwards, a 32-teas cupboard with my own “permanent collection”, that is, all my favourites. Narrowing it to 32 is REALLY difficult, and sometimes, it’s not worth taking up 2 different spots for 2 teas that fill the same “role” (that is, when I feel like having one, I usually don’t mind having the other instead). Sooooo, this is why I am making tea battles (exciting, right?! I think it is!), where I brew 2 teas side to side, compare them, and choose a winner to be part of my collection of 32 teas.

Today’s contest is: Kanpe Tea vs. Sleigh Ride

I always felt like these two teas were essentially the same, both being very tart from the hibiscus, as well as fruity and spicy and comforting and sort of juicy. I LOVE both, but it certainly isn’t worth having both at hand as they are so similar. Going into the tea battle, I did feel like Sleigh Ride had an advantage, having it linked to fond memories. Comparing them side to side really made the differences more apparent:

- Kanpe is really an in-your-face tea, the flavour is bold, very bold, and rich. Right away, you get a huge amount of sweetness, and a huge amount of tartness. Yum! I know hibiscus haters are a plenty, but I love it! Behind all that sweetness and tartness, you can definitely pick up the fact it’s very fruity, yet it’s really difficult to point to specific fruits, it just feels tropical. It’s also a little spicy, with a hint of cinnamon. But that only adds depth to the prominent sweetness and tartness, which compliment one another in a very balanced way. Maybe it actually is a little too sweet, but that doesn’t keep me from craving one more sip after each of them! It is very slightly astringent. Not enough for it to be unpleasant, but I’d do without that hint of astringency.

- Sleigh Ride is surprisingly (well, it surprised me anyway) a bit less bold. As similar as it is, I see big differences now. What you get right away is the hibiscus: it’s very tart. Probably, not more than Kanpe, but all of the spotlight goes on the tartness, since it is not nearly as sweet. However, after the initial hit of tartness, the spices are very prominent, especially cinnamon. I think I can taste what the popped rice adds to the mix, and I like the additional dimension, but it gets a little lost in all the rest. It’s also fruity, but the spices are really what I naturally concentrate on after the tartness has passed. It has the hint of astringency that Kanpe had as well, so on that level it’s a draw.

Comparison: While Kanpe is so sweet it is almost too much, the in-your-face sweetness compliments the in-your-face tartness so well that I can’t help falling in love with every sip. Sleigh Ride is awesome, but feels a little empty on that level compared to Kanpe. The additional spice taste gives it a few extra points, but that won’t do it. I think Kanpe is a keeper. Sorry Sleigh Ride, I love you nonetheless!

Winner: Kanpe Tea! Yay!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Hahaha, great idea, good luck in your battle rounds! Please make sure none of them get hurt:-)

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100
drank Kanpe Tea by DAVIDsTEA
169 tasting notes

First tea battle!

So, I feel like I need to give a short explanation before I go on with the review. I’ve had, for the last 3 years, the aim of trying all of the teas from DT, buying at least 25g of each (usually 50g) to give them all a true shot at impressing me. I finished the endeavour about two months ago, and I was totally thrilled about the achievement (so was the staff at my local DT, lol). But all along, I’ve been doing it with the goal of building, afterwards, a 32-teas cupboard with my own “permanent collection”, that is, all my favourites. Narrowing it to 32 is REALLY difficult, and sometimes, it’s not worth taking up 2 different spots for 2 teas that fill the same “role” (that is, when I feel like having one, I usually don’t mind having the other instead). Sooooo, this is why I am making tea battles (exciting, right?! I think it is!), where I brew 2 teas side to side, compare them, and choose a winner to be part of my collection of 32 teas.

Today’s contest is: Kanpe Tea vs. Sleigh Ride

I always felt like these two teas were essentially the same, both being very tart from the hibiscus, as well as fruity and spicy and comforting and sort of juicy. I LOVE both, but it certainly isn’t worth having both at hand as they are so similar. Going into the tea battle, I did feel like Sleigh Ride had an advantage, having it linked to fond memories. Comparing them side to side really made the differences more apparent:

- Kanpe is really an in-your-face tea, the flavour is bold, very bold, and rich. Right away, you get a huge amount of sweetness, and a huge amount of tartness. Yum! I know hibiscus haters are a plenty, but I love it! Behind all that sweetness and tartness, you can definitely pick up the fact it’s very fruity, yet it’s really difficult to point to specific fruits, it just feels tropical. It’s also a little spicy, with a hint of cinnamon. But that only adds depth to the prominent sweetness and tartness, which compliment one another in a very balanced way. Maybe it actually is a little too sweet, but that doesn’t keep me from craving one more sip after each of them! It is very slightly astringent. Not enough for it to be unpleasant, but I’d do without that hint of astringency.

- Sleigh Ride is surprisingly (well, it surprised me anyway) a bit less bold. As similar as it is, I see big differences now. What you get right away is the hibiscus: it’s very tart. Probably, not more than Kanpe, but all of the spotlight goes on the tartness, since it is not nearly as sweet. However, after the initial hit of tartness, the spices are very prominent, especially cinnamon. I think I can taste what the popped rice adds to the mix, and I like the additional dimension, but it gets a little lost in all the rest. It’s also fruity, but the spices are really what I naturally concentrate on after the tartness has passed. It has the hint of astringency that Kanpe had as well, so on that level it’s a draw.

Comparison: While Kanpe is so sweet it is almost too much, the in-your-face sweetness compliments the in-your-face tartness so well that I can’t help falling in love with every sip. Sleigh Ride is awesome, but feels a little empty on that level compared to Kanpe. The additional spice taste gives it a few extra points, but that won’t do it. I think Kanpe is a keeper. Sorry Sleigh Ride, I love you nonetheless!

Winner: Kanpe Tea! Yay!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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95

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Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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84

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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95
drank Ginseng Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
169 tasting notes

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Decaf Earl grey by DAVIDsTEA
169 tasting notes

Whoa! BERGAMOT! The staff did warn me, this one is even more bergamot-intense than the regular earl grey. Don’t get me wrong, I love bergamot, but when it’s that strong, it just overpowers everything and leaves an astringent feel, and too much bitterness for my taste. I might be able to brew it right by either putting less leaf, reducing the steep time (I thought 5-7mins seemed daring!), or the temperature, so more experiments will have to be made. But for now, the bergamot is just way too strong, and hides any black tea notes.

Caffeine usually has very little effect on me, so the fact it’s decaf doesn’t really add value for me, but I’m sure it does for other people.

On a positive note, the color is really lovely! Such a deep red, it’s gorgeous in a transparent cup.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Interesting to note! I want to try this one as I’m ever-curious about every single new DT, but I suspect I won’t be the biggest fan. I wish it was a decaf cream earl grey.

Eisenherz

Ohhh yes, I totally know what you mean with trying every single new DT, I have the same problem :P Agreed, I much prefer cream of earl grey, I guess they went for the “classic” to appeal new customers who aren’t too adventurous with a decaf tea. Thankfully I only got a 25g bag!

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95

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Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
169 tasting notes

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Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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