1858 Tasting Notes
I was interested in DT’s new chai blends since I’m a big fan of chais in general. My local DT store was sampling this tea at their store when I dropped by (after work I’ll often cut through the mall on my way home and I’ll usually swing by to try whatever samples they have going that day – I think they all know me by name there at this point).
As it turns out it was a lucky thing that I was able to try it for free because it really wasn’t my thing. It starts off quite nice with a good balance of spice but then the licorice hits and totally ruins it. Davids Tea seems to have this love-affair with licorice root recently and while I don’t dislike the ingredient on principle DT always seems to over-do it. Maybe it isn’t as bad with milk, but I don’t want to shell out the money to try it that way and be disappointed.
I put off trying this tea because of the hibiscus which I’m not a big fan of. But near the end of summer I was looking to stock up on fruit teas for icing because I knew they’d be going out of stock the salesperson recommended this one. The wonderfully fruity smell drew me in and I bought enough for a pitcher of iced tea.
Fast forward to today when I came across it in my cupboard and went “Oh yeah…I should probably try that out.” It might just be the best decision I ever made. The tea is wonderfully fruity like a fresh, juicy orange and hint of something a bit like fruit punch underneath. The hibiscus turned out to be just the right amount to bring out the tanginess of the orange flavour. An excellent iced tea – and the picky boyfriend-creature enjoyed it too!
Another tea that I recently brought home from work, this one because they were discontinuing it so I got it for a very nice discount. I’m not normally a big lapsang fan so I probably wouldn’t have paid full-price for it just as a matter of principle. It does smell very camp fire-y though I can pick up a bit of sweet maple in there too. The flavour is quite smokey and, while the black tea base is quite smooth, unfortunately I can’t taste all that much maple flavour. Next time I’ll try adding milk or agave nectar to see if that brings it out a little bit more.
I love the smell of this tea as it really does evoke freshly-picked blackberries. The flavour of the berries in the tea itself could stand to be a little bit strong though. The cream flavours are well done as the shou mei base has a nice natural sweetness that works well with that hint of vanilla smoothness.
I’ve never tried a tea from this region of India before so my curiosity was piqued. The dry leaves are black and quite large so measuring properly was a bit tricky. The flavour is like a cross between an autumnal Darjeeling and a light Assam. It has that wine-like muscatel flavour but at the same time it’s a more robust tea than most Darjeelings would be. There’s also a distinct malty undertone and a tannic finish that you’d normally get off of an Assam tea.
I decided to take full advantage of my free 50g of tea from DT’s Frequent Steeper program and get a free pouch of (what was at the time) the most expensive tea they stocked.
To me, it tastes a fair bit like a sencha with that initial grassy tone, but it mellows out into something fuller and sweeter with a slightly nutty flavour that reminds me of the genmaicha they serve at my local sushi hangout.
I haven’t tried many gyokuros so I’m not sure how this rates over all in terms of quality, but I found it to be a decently enjoyable plain green tea. It’s perfect for drinking with a sweet dessert as the slight bitterness counters the sugar nicely.
I’ll be honest – I wasn’t expecting too much from this tea. I’m not a mate person in general, but as it turns out it works very well as a base for this blend. It has a distinct earthy flavour, a bit like a pu’erh but less sweet and more…green, I suppose you’d say. It goes well with the spices from which I’m getting mostly cinnamon and cloves. You can actually taste the pumpkin which is always appreciated in a tea touted as ‘pumpkin-flavoured’ and the butternut squash is a nice addition too. I don’t see this being a tea for everyone but for some reason it really worked for me. I’ll have to try it as a latte as I bet a little milk and sweetener would really hit the spot.
There was a free cup of tea with any purchase today at my local DT store and since I’ve loved just about every pumpkin tea to come out of this company so far I decided to try this blend. Even though it’s a herbal blend I asked for a little bit of skim milk as an experiment as some of DT’s other herbal blends still make great lattes. The results were very taste. The dominant flavour is a sweet, slightly nutty pumpkin flavour nicely accented with cinnamon and maple. It’s a nice change having a pumpkin spice tea that isn’t more ‘spice’ than ‘pumpkin’. I’d totally buy more of this tea given the chance.
I steeped this blend more like a Darjeeling – with a lower temperature and shorter steeping time – than most black teas. And indeed it does have some of those astringent, muscatel notes though the body of the tea is more robust with distinct notes of bitter cacao, so I’m thinking that there’s maybe Assam in there too. Not a tea I’d drink with milk but it’s certainly nice enough plain.
I tried icing this tea hoping it would bring out the citrus flavour but unfortunately what it brought out instead was the herbal/smokey flavour of the mate base – which is fine hot but ends up tasting rather icky and medicinal when it’s cold. I ended up mixing it with juice to tame the flavour.