379 Tasting Notes

75
drank RASPBERRY & LITCHI by Tealux
379 tasting notes

AMAZING, amazing, amaaaaaaaaaaazing. my nose leads the way with teas, for the most part. so buying tea online? unseen? unsniffed? it’s true, i had concerns. that said, every lychee tea i’ve sniffed locally i have found unpersuasive. so, i took a chance (cue abba!).

what an amazing return on my gamble! this is the smoothest, most elegantly liquored tea i have ever had. awesome with my standard cream and sugar and just as nice untouched (a rare thing for me… reserved only for my favourites). i have pushed this blend like you would not believe: oversteeped, under steeped, forgotten about, resteeped multiple times… i have varied the temperature, tried milk instead of cream. no hurtle seems to knock this brilliant tea down.

this is a very fine tea. refined. elegant. subtle. distinctive. and, i can’t believe it, but it has replaced my beloved amaretto from david’s teas. this is my #1.

thank you, tealux. if i could mark it higher i would, truly.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 45 sec
TheTeaFairy

Ok now, you have me convinced! But please stop abuse your tea like that, LOL!
Since it’s already in my cupboard, I might try it tonight. It would be great if I liked it, since I was not as impressed by their flavoured tea a I was with their straight teas, which I find pretty amazing so far.

JustJames

now i haven’t tried any of their straight teas…. which would you recommend? and no, i will not stop abusing my teas, lol. i need to know if i can forget about a tea or whether i have to be hyper vigilant!

TheTeaFairy

Sorry for not answering that before, busy week! I don’t really know what your preferences are with unflavoured teas, but here’s my selection:

I have tried only half of the samples I bought last, but so far, I’m impressed and will order more of these:
Jun Shan Yin Zhen (yellow tea), Oh, so very refined!
Black Pearl Sumatra – (you already know why)
Milk Taiwan Oolong – for a naturally processed oolong with no added milk scent or flavouring, it’s pretty incredible how milky this is!
2013 First Flush Rohini Darjeeling: Crisp, bright and sunny, perfect tea for spring time!

Not a huge fan of flavoured pu’erh, so I tried the Aged 5 years Naked Pu’erh, and I really liked it. It’s a good rich and comforting every day pu’erh to have around.

There you have it!

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85

i bought this particular tea less as a tea enthusiast and more as someone with a medical condition that saps energy. so i will grade this tea two separate ways.

the energy boost: keeping it simple…. it works. for me at least. my condition makes me tired and i got no sleep the night before, but midway through my first cup i began to feel like a human being! it was very, very effective. i did have to be careful though because the energizing agent is red ginseng and it can be contraindicated with some meds. so, i checked with the pharmacist and it was a go.

the tea: is unique and well balanced. i have never had a tea like it, though i have read similar descriptions that didn’t succeed as i feel this one has.

this is an old tea. an aged puerh. heavy, rich, autumnal: all words that i would use. apricot, dandylion root, ginseng… but honestly, they blend together and become a dense, flavourful entity. it is great with cream and sugar and does exactly what it says.

i am impressed.

if you’re looking for an elegantly liquored tea with an floral bouquet, then this is not the tea for you. if you’re looking for a tea that does what it says and has a heavy flavourful presence that finishes up with tons of vanilla seeds in the bottom then you’ll love it!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
TEALUX

Thanks for your feedback! it is our brand new blend and we are happy that you love it :)

JustJames

it’s a great blend! i’ve tried some teas that have tried to accomplish what your description claims, but each one had fallen down. this was very well put together. nicely done!

JustJames

so i read! now i want to try it as well. i am about to leave a RAVING review of their lychee raspberry. i am a huge fan of this company…. i wonder if i can buy stock?

TheTeaFairy

I actually bought the lychee raspberry too, but haven’t tried it yet :-)

JustJames

ambrosia has got nothing on that tea! i seriously need to look into stock options, lol.

TheTeaFairy

JustJames, I got a sample of this that tried this week on my way o work! Woohoo, now this one should be advertised as « if this stuff doesn’t wake you up, you must be dead » right?

JustJames

i agree wholeheartedly! i have yet to have it fail to wake me up, no matter how little sleep i’ve had….. HOWEVER this is the tea i am most careful with drinking at night. i am certain it would keep me awake! LOL

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65
drank Pu-erh Cocoa-spice by Tealux
379 tasting notes

i am gaining a great opinion of tealux. my shipment of treats arrived today, well priced and decadent. my nose is exceptionally happy!

among my choices was this excellent cocoa infused tea. as i awkwardly steeped my first cup (my right arm is in a cast) the excellent smell of the tea developed and became even more exotic. chocolate. cinnamon. pepper. creaminess. well balanced. the woody taste of honeybush and the nutty taste of puerh— very well done! i had it as dessert after dinner.

a very satisfying blend! i look forward to the rest of my bag.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Precious White Peach by Teavana
379 tasting notes

okay, so i’m rating this one for both my wife and myself… Teavana is a very smart, well thought out franchise. they tend to be expensive, but overall their tea quality (in my opinion) is excellent, so maybe they’re entitled to be. what does that have to do with this tea? lots.

this is an expensive tea. wincingly so if you want a hundred grams versus fifty. white tea is more expensive, true. subtlety in taste and fragrance is also expensive. a truly balanced blend will always cost you. this tea has all of that. what costs a whole lot more? calm. peace of mind. no, i’m not digressing.

my wife recently had surgery. nothing but clear fluids 9 hours before surgery and nothing at all 3 hours before. this is the tea she wanted… and it settled her anxieties both before the big event and after, the low caffeine content didn’t keep her from sleeping and she wasn’t starving all night. it was great!

she still adores the tea and piped up some time back expressing how nice it would be if she could get a stronger peach flavour out of it. i stopped by teavana the other day looking for a herbal tea for myself and what do i see? a tea named Peach Tranquility. herbal, 1/4 of the price of the white tea and ideal for blending with the more expensive one!

why is this company so smart? because they create and deliver an expensive, elite tea that consumers want but also provide a reasonably priced herbal tea to meet the needs of average budgets. impressive all the way around; tea, service and planning.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

I’ve heard more negative that positive comments about Teavana here on Steepster, mostly related to their pushy sales techniques. When I read reviews such as this one, I am reminded of what really counts: the tea itself and how it makes you feel. Glad your wife found some comfort in it and hope she’s feeling better, I’m sure she is pleased with even more peachy tea around :-)

JustJames

true, their staff can be assertive, but in my experience that usually a directive from management…. they tried with me but once i told them to back off they started to listen, lol. sales techniques aside, i have a feeling this business is going to grow massively now that starbucks has grabbed it!
tea is the deal…. i don’t mind a higher price, but i have demands in return. there’s an amazing one from the republic of tea, but it’s 50$ for a tin! so i wrote and said ‘maybe, but not without a sample’. their reply? ‘absolutely sir.’

TheTeaFairy

I agree, I will spend the $ if quality presents itself. I find tea shops in general offer better personalized customer service than most other retailers. It’s just great when you can ask to sample a product before purchasing, it shows the owner’s confidence in his product and clientele.

JustJames

we are in full agreement!

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9
drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
379 tasting notes

looking at the overall rating for this tea compared to how i rank it i will seem very much a killjoy.

i do not like this tea. the individual ingredients are fine, i like them all. however, although no essence of rum was added, it’s a flavour that i detect quite strongly. even mixing it with another tea (i’ve tried several) doesn’t dilute the rum flavour for me. in fact. instead of diluting the taste of rum, all it did was ruin the taste of the normally excellent teas i tried to combine it with.

hot, cold, varying the steeping time and temperature— nothing improved this tea for me.

the fact that i dislike rum as much as i do did not help i am sure.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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84

simply, this is a beautiful tea. puerh is a daily ritual for me…

this golden version is not as heavy as a black, with a vague nutty flavour that comes with a puerh. it is elegant on its own and great as the base if you like to mix and match. i like it both ways and have yet to find a herbal that it doesn’t compliment. teavana’s azteca fire is a great combination if you like some spice with your morning caffeine!

the higher the brew temp, the stronger the taste, but i haven’t had it go bitter on me yet… impressive!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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42

last time i was in at david’s teas i was in to grab more ‘the earl’s garden’ because i’d burned through my supply and the woman inquired as to whether i was looking for something new. i hesitated, always interested in new tastes. ‘because,’ she continued, ‘if you like tea and berries you might like berry good.’ the woman knew me well enough to know that when in doubt my nose often makes my decisions for me. she opened the container and two things happened at once:
1) i saw tea with reddish bits
2) i smelled strawberries sitting on my patio in the summer sun
wow! what a smell! and the taste was as good as the smell….. the added bonus of puerh, which is one of my favourites.

this has become a combination wakeup/comfort tea for me. amazing but true, it’s hard to imagine both tea genres combined, but for me the description in entirely accurate. puerh for the wake up and summer berries to soothe the early morning start. (if you need more puerh power just increase the heat a bit and lengthen the steep…)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Coco-Lemon Thai by DAVIDsTEA
379 tasting notes

refreshing, summery, unexpected…. these are all words i would use to describe this tea. it tastes of summer and would be a great cooling opposite to curry. this tea is thailand in every way! AND because it’s lemon myrtle and not lemon essence if you want it sugared and creamed it won’t curdle. (it tastes like ice cream that way, lol).

this is a great tea that will catch you offguard with it’s unique and gentle flavours.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
379 tasting notes

‘a tea made of nuts, apples and BEETS?’ i thought to myself. cool. it smelled interesting. i had read mixed reviews, but i like to think i’m open minded…. and beets are grand. the hot water did it’s magic and the tea changed from crunchy looking to fluffy. again it smelled good…

sadly, i must review that while the colour was striking and the smell continued to pique my interest, the beverage itself did very little for me. HOWEVER, the idea behind it was sound. i will consider this a work in progress and re-evaluate in a year.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
379 tasting notes

chocolate, orange, puerh…. these are a few of my favourite things! this creation was very well balanced, with the individual elements blending so that they become a tapestry while still retaining their private presences.

rich, but not overpowering. nicely done.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Time For A ReWrite!

A good friend of mine on here kindly asked me to do the Steepster world a favour and list my allergies front and center (fair enough, lol):

-COFFEE … rare, nasty, not even a bit funny if i’m exposed. (call me original)

-ROOIBOOS … is a new appearance. under certain circumstances i’m okay with it (ie if it’s GREEN and paired with mate) but because i have an auto immune disease i try not to poke at things.

*NOT an allergy, but an abnormality that drives my tea buddies bananas, i AM INCAPABLE OF TASTING CARAMEL AND TOFFEE. so i thought i’d list it at the top too. it’s very annoying. they smell great!!?

Hi! I’m James!

I’m a student: double major of human geography and psychology with the intention of chasing a double doctorate. (reading that over it occurs to me again that i must be crazy).

i’m a live and let live sort. i look and see alot of silver linings. my discovery of tea has only served to further that viewpoint. for me tea is art and nuance, watercolours and bold brushstrokes….

swaps are grand things! the element of surprise in a tea swap completely trumps forrest gump’s chocolate box life metaphor, lol.

favourites: french teas dammann freres, mariage freres and nina’s paris especially.

i have recently discovered a german tea company that has romanced me: tea gschwendner (sp?)

mandala teas is brilliant and a company i count on.

justea and tealet are companies i study because of both their exceptional products and and business models, as well as their work with farmers who are TOO POOR for fair trade certification. this is highly relevant to my studies.

90-100 i need more
80-90 i might need more, or it might be a respect vote
below 75? it was likely an oops buy. my evolution into french teas has vastly focused what i like!!

however, i’m always open to trying things.

dislikes so far: guayasa, darjeeling, most peach teas.

Location

Victoria, BC

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