93 Tasting Notes

70

Sipdown 12. This is pretty good, but not as good as I had hoped. The dry leaf smelled of peaches, but there wasn’t much of mango scent. I tried this both hot and iced.

HOT
I’ve learned that I enjoy Della Terra’s black teas the most when using lots of leaf and a short steeping time. The results were pleasantly fruity. Much like the smell, I mostly tasted peaches. There was a hint of mango in the background, but frankly it was far too weak.

ICED
I steeped 2 tbsp. of tea in 16oz. of boiling water for 3 minutes, added in a squeeze of honey, and then transferred it to my 27 oz. water bottle filled to the brim with (good, fresh) ice. The results were not too bad, but nothing special. I was hoping that the mango might come out a bit more, but I still just tasted peaches. If anything, the fruit flavors were stronger as a hot tea, which is not what I would have expected.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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89

Sipdown 11. I finished off the last of my sample from Marcel Duchamp today. I’ve written a tasting note for this tea previously, but this time around I noticed the carrot cake-like quality comes almost entirely from the smell. The flavor itself is a bit mild. I can taste hints of creamy vanilla and cinnamon on top of the (very slightly) vegetal green rooibos base, but all the carroty goodness comes from the smell alone.

If I ever order from Simpson & Vail, I will probably pick up more of this. For now I’m trying to drink the tea I already have without buying more, so it may be a long time before that happens.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Northern Lights by DAVIDsTEA
93 tasting notes

Sipdown 10. Surprisingly tasty, though a bit strange. The dry leaf smelled minty with some raspberry notes. Once steeped, I could taste crisp, slightly tart apple with a not-too-overwhelming dash of mint. The juniper berries created a flavor that is really hard to describe as anything other than gin-like. As it cooled, the apple came out a bit more. I would like to try this iced, but I gave the rest of my sample away to my bf (who went absolutely nuts for the juniper berries). Maybe I’ll convince him to try it iced. :)

For an herbal, it resteeped remarkably well (10 min, boiling). The apple was mostly gone, but the mint and juniper berry still had plenty of flavor to give.

Thanks for sharing, GiggleGoddess!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
93 tasting notes

Mmmmm, coconutty guava deliciousness! There are several coconut shreds in the tin which combine with the guava to create a wonderful scent. I could smell this tea all day, though my officemates might give me some strange looks.

This is a green/black mix, but to me it just tastes like an awesomely flavored black tea. I usually prepare it as a green tea. I’ve noticed that the flavors aren’t as prominent if steeped at boiling, though it’s still drinkable. Once steeped, I can mostly taste the guava and coconut, but the strawberry finally makes an appearance too. It has a natural sweetness to it that I just adore. It really doesn’t need any added sweeteners, though a touch of honey really brings out the guava.

Caribe is fantastic as an iced tea. The fruity flavors really pop when it gets cold. I generally steep it hot at double strength, add a squeeze of honey, and either pour it over ice or just add water and let it cool in the fridge. The results are quite refreshing. This will definitely become a staple for me this summer.

ETA: Just noticed that this was my 50th tasting note. Hooray!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79

Sipdown 9. For awhile my sample box has been thinning out, so I’ve been feeling pretty accomplished. The number of teas in my cupboard has’t changed much, but I usually won’t include samples that are too small to share. This morning I went ahead and added every single tea I own into my cupboard. To my horror, it jumped from a relatively manageable 85 to 116!!! Looks like I have a lot of sipdowns to do. Anyway, back to the review…

The pumpkin is the most prominent flavor in this blend. For some reason I taste a lot of maple (which is not a listed ingredient), and I’m missing the almond. The spice is a bit understated, but still present. The maple notes complements the pumpkin flavor rather nicely, so I’m really enjoying this cup.

Thanks for sharing, JennyFur!

JennyFur

Glad you enjoyed it!

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67
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
93 tasting notes

Sipdown the 8th. At first glance I thought this was a herbal. There were several large chunks of pear and dried cranberries, but not a whole lot of black tea. After a four minute steep, the tea leaves opened up enough to convince me that there was indeed a decent amount of black tea that had been hiding away. However, the liquor was a very pale yellow which is not what I was expecting for 1 tbs. of tea in 12 oz. of water.

Nonetheless, the tea was rather pleasant. The pear added a juicy tartness, and I could taste a hint of cranberry. I sensed a very faint spiciness akin to cinnamon, but I don’t see it listed in the ingredients. The experience reminded me of drinking a nicely flavored herbal, but was not what I had in mind for a black tea.

On a strange note, I steeped a bag of particularly strong masala chai in my cup without first rinsing it out. Now I am enjoying a really great pear-flavored chai. I wish all of my tea accidents turned out this yummy. :)

Thanks for sharing, Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

mm pear flavoured chai sounds delish!

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80
drank Apple Cinnamon by Harney & Sons
93 tasting notes

Sipdown 7. I’m glad I didn’t buy more than a sample of this tea. I wish it tasted as good as it smells, because it smells amazing— warm cinnamon and gooey apple. Once steeped, the cinnamon hides away, but the apple flavor is still present. For some reason, I just don’t love the combination of the apple with the black base. It’s good, but nothing remarkable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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96

The weather is finally starting to warm up a little around here, so I’ve been experimenting more with iced teas. Last night I combined the first two steeps (3:30 at 180F) in a stainless steel water bottle, let it cool down for about an hour, and then popped it into the fridge overnight.

I enjoyed this iced quite a bit, very smooth and refreshing. The juicy cantaloupe flavor I love so much in the hot version was a bit muted. Next time I will add a squeeze of honey before cooling it down. I think some sweetness will coax the cantaloupe flavor out from hiding.

Preparation
Iced
Chelle

I enjoy this one much more hot as well. Cold for me the cantaloupe disappears and I get more cucumber.

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88
drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
93 tasting notes

Despite not being someone who cares for chocolate teas all that much, I keep trying them out thinking I’ll find one that I love. Finally, I think I’ve found the one!

I love the aroma of this one — lots of coconut and white chocolate with undertones of licorice-y (in the best of ways) star anise. The liquor is a bit cloudy and smells like spicy, creamy coconut. The most prominent flavor is coconut with star anise adding a spicy kick. While not the strongest of flavors, I can definitely tell that white chocolate is an ingredient. Together with the coconut, it makes a decadently creamy experience. I bet this would make a great latte.

Thanks for sharing, CrowKettle!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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56

Sipdown the sixth! This blend sounded intriguing to me, but I ended up finding it a bit weird. There was sweetness from the vanilla and tartness from the pomegranate, but the two seemed at odds with one another. The black base was a bit more astringent than I would have liked, but still drinkable.

Thanks for sharing, GiggleGoddess!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

I’m a Floridian living in Kansas and currently pursuing a physics Ph.D. by day (…and by night, who am I kidding?) with an immense love for all things tea.

Rating Scheme:

<50 = Undrinkable.
50-59 = Drinkable, but not my cuppa.
60-69 = Decent, but nothing to write home about.
70-79 = Good tea that I drink occasionally. Probably will not restock when it runs out.
80-89 = Very tasty. May or may not restock when it runs out.
90-100 = Delicious. A staple in my collection.

Location

Manhattan, KS

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