263 Tasting Notes

69
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
263 tasting notes

I really wanted to like this tea. Especially since I purchased a 4 oz tin. I love Florence and SoHo Blend and this was also a crowd favourite it seemed. Maybe I overleafed and steeped too long — it was too much bergamot and also bitter. No caramel, no vanilla, just bitter bergamot. The aroma of the brewed tea was also really strong, very Earl Gray like.

I am somewhat frustrated that Harney doesn’t provide much steeping direction aside from the general “black tea = boiling water for 5 minutes” which is way too long for me.

I’ll go for 2 minutes next time to see what happens. For now, thumbs down. Sorry, H & S!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Dinosara

It is odd that they provide those instructions because in their tasting rooms they brew their flavored blacks at 200F for 3 minutes.

Nxtdoor

it’s odd. but it’s right on the tins. it’s not even a label, it’s printed on the tin itself, so they’ve commited :)

Cavocorax

I hope it works out with the shorter steep time! And I think they just paste generic labels on some of their tins – I’ve got a few like that, but I ignore them and just steep for 3-4 min at under boiling, and it’s always flavourful and mild.

Fingers crossed for you!

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52
drank Butter Brandy Cake by 52teas
263 tasting notes

I have nothing to say about this except … How do you brew this to make it taste good?

I had it this past weekend while camping and I didn’t like it. I thought it was the rough conditions as well as the different water. I bought spring water but there was a lot of mineral salt in it so I thought it affected the tea and made it unpleasant.

I tried this again today and it is bitter and it has a chemical taste. Not a faint chemical taste but quite a strong one. I added agave and caramel creamer to make it palatable. I read someone is steeping it at lower temps to combat the bitterness so I will try it next time. If it doesn’t get better, it’s getting swapped/gifted.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

52 teas black typically = slightly lower than boiling for 2 mins.

Nxtdoor

Thanks Sil. I will try it this way soon, maybe tomorrow. I need to find out quickly if this is something I can enjoy.

Sil

NP. I haven’t tried this one but that seems to be the way to go with most of frank’s black based teas for the ones i have had.

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76
drank SBT: Monkey Fart by 52teas
263 tasting notes

I made 2L of this before I went camping for the weekend. Smells very much like banana candy or liquor or any banana flavoured thing you can think of, both before and after steeping. Sadly, a lot of the flavour is lost. I know that smell contributes a great amount to our sense of taste but my tongue really didn’t get an awful lot of banana. I gave some to my partner to try without telling her what it is and she could not identify that it was a banana tea. So there.

Brewed as per instructions, bag in 2 cups of boiling water, added cold water to complete a 2 quart (translation: 2 litre) pitcher.

If I could rate on smell alone, Booyah, it is out of the park banana. Flavour disappointing, sorry. I now have the bag cold steeping, we’ll find out tomorrow if it is more flavourful.

6 days later

I resteeped the bag with cold water in the fridge for over 24 hours. Sweetened with agave. It has more flavour this way but still quite subtle. The banana is more in the aftertaste.

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83
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
263 tasting notes

Will it be redundant if I keep saying “I love this tea?”. It seems I hit the jackpot with Harney & Sons. I am three for three so far and still have more to try.

I abused this tea this morning and it forgave me. I overleafed and overstepped because I was running around to get ready and forgot the timer. It was probably around 5 minutes or so, more than I like to steep my black teas even though Harney recommends a 5 minute steep for black teas.

Slight bitterness (cause I was a moron) but still so good, so flavourful. I get mostly apricot but can tell there’s another fruit with it because it’s not pure apricot. I know they say cherry but I can’t really tell it is cherry with all the apricot in there. I took it in travel mug at work and took the lid off. As I worked, I kept getting whiffs of it, it stays so fragrant even when cold. I think if I cold steep this it will hit it out of the park.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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97
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
263 tasting notes

I’ve died and gone to …. Florence!

My first Harney & Sons order. 95% of the teas at my house are fruit teas and I needed desperately to remedy that. Everything was dandy until one day I no longer craved fruit teas and found there was almost nothing to drink… Wha? I tried Glitter and Gold and some other things first but they did not satisfy so, Harney to the rescue. I remember reading about Florence and a few others so I gave it a go.

This tea (dry leaf) smells like chocolate. Not like tea, like chocolate. I don’t smell any tea at all unless I try really really hard. Now the opposite can be said about it once brewed. I put my nose to the cup and inhaled and got tea . Just a touch of astringency at 4 minutes but it’s gone once it cools. I added turbinado and creamer and it is exactly what I imagined this tea would be. Isn’t it wonderful when that happens?!? It tastes like chocolate. not like nutella, although it smells like it, but definitely like a slightly hazelnutty milk chocolate. I love that on the packaging they have a number you can call for re-order. Kinda like pizza. Wen you’re too lazy to figure out what you want, just get the same thing you got last time (assuming it wasn’t a dud, of course).

Florence, I’m so glad I found you now. We are going to have a lovely fall and winter together.

ETA: 2nd steep is a little thinner but still yummy. Not going to go for 3.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Tea buddies! I’m drinking the same one right now!
I’m happy that you are enjoying it so much. I am definitely going to make some of these H&S teas a staple.

Nxtdoor

Oh yah. Absolutely. I actually found them quite inexpensive, comparatively speaking.

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51
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
263 tasting notes

A lot of people like this… Except for me. It’s my second and last attempt. I will have to gift some of it. My partner likes it but she doesn’t drink a whole lot of tea. I will keep some back and my partner’s mother would like a little.

It’s just too much spice in here for me. I like chais, I really do, so I don’t understand why I am not enjoying this. There’s a bitterness from the cloves. Maybe I just don’t like cloves. I sugared it and put whipped cream on top too (yah, really). Too clove-y. Blech.

Changed the rating. I don’t know what I was thinking when I rated the first time at 74. No way

TeaKlutz

I keep seeing different people review this, and they all seem to have the same opinion: it’s sparkly but not good. I don’t know if it’s one I would try, but I’m curious to see what it looks like.

Sil

it’s david’s tea so you can always pick up 10g to sample it if you’re anywhere near an actual store heh

Nxtdoor

it’s not even that sparkly. I imagined really glittery stuff but you only notice this if you look at it carefully.

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65
drank Razzmatazz (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
263 tasting notes

Fruit loops. That’s what this tastes like. I kept thinking and thinking, trying to put my finger on it. And then someone wrote “fruitopia” and my brain finally formulated it: fruit loops. I don’t like milk so naturally I don’t do cereal but I did taste fruit loops on occasion.

I got this tea as a sample with my order and I thought “here goes another rose tea.” Rose hips, rose petal, same thing right? Nope. I think the lemongrass does something good here. It is there on the sip but gone in the aftertaste, replaced by some fruit thing. it tastes so sweet. You know how jam makes your mouth feel? That sweetness that somehow you feel at the back of your mouth, at the base of your tongue and almost down your throat? It even smells sweet. And someone said the dry leaves smell like alcohol. I agree. It was the first thing I thought of when I opened the sample pouch. Alcohol. Not vodka or whiskey but some sort of fermented fruity alcohol.

5g sample pack, 10 oz boiling water. 4 minutes. Although this is herbal I was afraid to bring out too much unpleasantness by leaving a full 7 minutes. (I kept thinking rose congou green). I usually reserve the higher steep time for the second steep. so if a tea says 4-7 min. I will steep first for 4 and 2nd steep for 7 min. I apply this to every tea and so far have been quite alright.

Nope, not buying this one either.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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The oh so generous Dexter3657 has decided to take in her hands my tea education and is determined to make me into more than a peasant. So she sent me this to try.

I rinsed the leaves as Verdant would like me to and I steeped in a big pot, only 8 oz at a time.

I’m presently at 1st steep: 30 seconds. Slightly bitter, but only slightly. Haven’t done too much irreparable damage yet. I get floral. Really floral. It says lotus, I say Jasmine. Don’t know about this juicy sweetness business, I don’t get any sweetness, juicy or otherwise. Interesting aftertaste. Savoury.

2nd steep: looking for juicy grapefruit. I feel like one would at a wine tasting where the guide says “look for the pepper and the oak; also leather” and you say “I get wet carpet”. I am much better at wine than I am at tea. I won’t tell you what the aftertaste is to me because I will get laughed at. (Cough. Hot dog. Cough). it is most certainly not citrus. Faintly peach.

Maybe I should put sugar in here. I will keep going and if at some point I do indeed get any of the flavours I’m supposed to get, I will update you all on my progress. Until then… I think I should stick to flavoured teas.

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drank Rose Congou Green by DAVIDsTEA
263 tasting notes

This was one of the samples with my last order. I would have likely not tried this for a long time because I learned I’m not so much into floral teas after trying Strawberry Rose Champagne from Teavana a while back. However, they have this one as their web special sales and I had to try it to see if it’s worth buying 250 grams of it.

It really is a good tea if you like floral. Oh my god, is it ever floral. I taste no green tea, which is fine, it’s a good base for this, allows the rose to really come forth. I feel like I’m chewing rose petals. I haven’t added any sugar, this is one of those teas I can drink without, I don’t even crave it in here, it would probably make it megarose.

A 3 minute steep gives off a very fragrant brew. Flavour is exactly what you smell. Rose. It is not unpleasant but it is very much there. It has a very long aftertaste also. I used the entire sample and it’s given me 16 oz, more with resteep although I don’t think I resteep this one.

Will not rate as it is a good tea, just not for me. If you do like floral or rose teas, DAVIDs has this on special right now. They’re practically giving it away :)

momo

They seriously do just want to give it away. My replacement tea a week after an order arrived came w/3 more sample packs, and this one was a repeat! I gave the second one to a friend…I’m afraid it might be the first floral tea she’s had so I’m worried about what will come of it haha.

JustJames

samples are always good! i don’t much do david’s, but tea samples are nice! i have some coming from steap shoppe.

Stephanie

I am curious about this one too, since it is on special, but I don’t live close enough to a David’s to easily get samples :/

Nxtdoor

Stephanie, find your neighbour’s rose bush and steal a bud or a bloomed one. Chew it. Voila, rose congou green!

momo

LOL don’t even chase it with green tea, it’s that bad? now I’m even more afraid to try it and I do like florals… but now I’m having flashbacks to one of DT’s jasmine teas…bleh!

Nxtdoor

Snce you have a sample, momo, go ahead! If you don’t like it just put it on the stove, reduce it down and put it in a spray bottle. Give yourself a spritz when you leave the house. Victoria secret got nothing on this one :)

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77
drank Brazillionaire by DAVIDsTEA
263 tasting notes

I received this as a sample with my last order. I don’t keep DT samples around too long because I’m trying to go through most of their teas, pick out the ones I love and move on.

I don’t think this will make my shopping list, it is too nut heavy for me. My sample packet had two huge halves of a Brazil nut, two raisins and a skimpy amount of tea. I was tempted to blend it with something else to add more base but it would have defeated the purpose. So I put less water but I think I should have gone with even less than I did.

I sweetened it but it is not necessary. I was just in the mood for something sweet. And after the initial unadorned tasting sips I added caramel creamer. Now it’s good! Caramel, Brazil nut and coconut.

5g sample pack, 7 oz water, boiling water, 4 minutes. Predominantly nutty brew, not astringent in the least. ( I don’t get much of anything after the Brazil nut but they say there’s coconut here)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Dexter

Really……….. I’m looking for a predominantly nutty tea. All the ones I’ve tried have been too apple/cinnamon to call nutty. I might have to try this if it’s heavy on the nuts. Not sure why I haven’t tried it.

Fjellrev

This was a pleasant surprise for me when I tried it. Definitely a nut-heavy tea.

Tealizzy

Ya, this one is very nutty. Try not to skimp on the leaf on this one. :)

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Profile

Bio

Im a fairly recent follower of the loose leaf tea drinking cult. March 2013 to be exact. Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I prefer flavoured teas. It’s probably the newbie in me. I just don’t get cravings for a straight black tea. If I end up having one, I drop in a slice of lemon and artificial rum flavouring (ugh, what moron admits to this?). A black tea fixed this way reminds me of skating at an outdoor rink as a young one, with a thermos full of tea made just as I described..

Im learning so I drink them all. everything! Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

NOTE: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity. Home improvements, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.

Location

Toronto Canada

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