276 Tasting Notes

32

I had a cup of this 17 days ago according to tea log. Don’t worry, I don’t have a spreadsheet or anything. Can you imagine?!?

I didn’t like it then but I thought it was because of the Rooibos. I have since made good friends with Rooibos so I decided to try it again as this is my first honest to goodness sipdown weekend. I placed a rather large DT order last night — large quantity-wise not necessarily price. I basically bought 650 grams of tea, the most I ever bought in one shot so I’m freaking out a little.

This tea is still not for me. The first steep of 1.5 tsp for 3 minutes was too strong. Not astringent, just strong and reminiscent of smoky bacon. Of course, maple at play. I don’t mind maple at all but there’s something weird about this. I left the first steep in the pot and put the second steep on top, and sweetened with maple syrup. Makes sense, right? It tastes better and I can finish the pot this way — I was worried I’d have to dump it and I hate doing that — but still there is something about it I do not like. And there’s just a touch of bitterness barely there but it’s there and I don’t dig it.

Thanks goes to Dexter3657 for this generous sample that is not yet a sipdown.

Terri HarpLady

I love the name of this tea, but when I read this list of ingredients, it was like, “what?”
I can’t imagine why anyone would want to ruin black tea by adding rooibos.
Just sayin’.

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90
drank Oo Nutty Delight by Tealux
276 tasting notes

This is delightful. I can’t articulate what is it about it that I like. I like the spices for sure. I’ve only had cheap bagged chai before but I like the cardammom and the cinammon. Ever put a pinch of cardamom powder in your smoothies? or sprinkle just a pinch on top before drinking a smoothie? try it sometimes.

As for this tea, I sweetened it and added creamer. I tried it without them first but I figured for the sake of emulating authenticity I shall do as the Romans. Or in this case, the indians.

My goal is to collect a bunch of chai and make some for my brother-in-law who, after a two-week trip to India, said he misses the chai there most, and that he has not been able to find any here that tastes anything like it. And they make it with milk. I hate milk though, what am I going to do?!?

yyz

You could experiment with different kinds and you don’t have to use full milk . I’m not sure about all of India but in Rajhastan the Chai Wallah’s usually used water buffalo milk which is thinner than cows milk to make Chai. You could also experiment with other types of Chai as well. I had a green tea chai in Jaipur made with Kashmiri type spicing lots of cardamom and a bit of cinnamon. However if you’re going the traditional route you need to use milk. I know how you feel though I don’t drink milk either.

Nxtdoor

Water buffalo milk sounds tastier.
Oh… I’m going to India next year. Can’t wait!!

High Adventure

It’s not traditional, but I like to use coconut milk in my chai. It’s so sweet I don’t need to add any sugar and it adds a nice flavor.

yyz

Its an amazing, fascinating and very diverse place. I met some amazing people there. Try to learn a little of the local language in whatever region you’ll be spending the most time in. You’ll be able to bargain for better prices. You’ll never get local price but you can at least over hear what the local price is and negotiate down. I ended up learning a little be of the hindi script because it allowed me to read the non-deluxe bus schedules. My cousin who worked in India for two placements had me read culture shock India before I went in order to better understand cultural differences and communication. I spent most of my time in central and Northern India but I have a standing invitation to stay in Mumbai with my friends family and from there I hope to explore a bit of the south.

Nxtdoor

yyz I’m going with a friend who was born and raised there. It’ll make it a little easier :) she has relatives all over , still, and we will be visiting and staying with them. Sounds like you had a blast.

yyz

That’s great it will make tings so much easier and I’m sure you’ll be invited to some great parties. I did have a blast. I travelled with my cousin for a little while, volunteered for a little while and basically was adopted by some friends I made my first week there. I travelled shared experiences with them for a little while and a little on my own. To be quite honest it’s up there with one of the best experiences of my life. I find with India people either love it or hate it. I’ve never met anyone who is neutral. I hope you love it.

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77
drank Genmaicha Japanese by Tealux
276 tasting notes

Hey folks, Great news… I didn’t add sweetener to this tea!

I might have killed it a little (water too hot) because it’s a teensy bit bitter but I like it. And I like it just as is! Now this is likely because I eat a lot of sushi and all the Japanese restaurants serve green tea that tastes little like this. And they never give you sugar. So I got used to drinking it sans sucre. Hello familiar taste! Now where’s my sushi?!?

2 minute steep, 1 perfect measure.

Dry it smells toasty, a little like popcorn. There’s popped kernels in there too. A pale yellow liquor. Tastes like popcorn (or toasted rice, the bag says).

Thank you goes to Dexter3657 who sent me too many teas for me to ever be able to reciprocate.

Kittenna

I think that the act of steeping genmaicha should cause a plate of sushi to magically appear. Mmmmmm.

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92
drank Hazelnut Honeybush by Fusion Teas
276 tasting notes

So it turns out I enjoy Fusion teas — the few I tried courtesy of Dexter3657 , anyway — enough to place an order. You all keep quiet now, my partner need not know, since I bought a bunch of DAVIDs on the weekend too. And I abandoned a couple of carts elsewhere. I wish the shipping wasn’t as high but I find their prices quite reasonable. The sad part is there is no size between a sample (10 cups) or 3 oz. Errr… no, I will no longer buy 100 grams of a tea I’ve never tried now that I’ve had a chance to see what’s out there.

Way to go, Fusion teas. Reasonable prices made for a quick decision. Are there teas out there of better quality? Of this I am certain. However, when one is just starting out and has yet to fully appreciate the finer teas, affordability plays a huge role.

Anyway, this little tea is really good. While I seem to not like rooibus a whole lot, honeybush is pleasant. I’ll be breaking out my hazelnut creamer for this one. I suspect the hazelnut flavouring is artificial, because it’s so there and I’ve learned that with nuts, unless you artificially flavour, the taste is not as strong (coconut being the exception for me)

Steeped for 8 looong minutes. The dry leaf smell is hazelnut and the liqour is caramel-coloured. And the taste is hazelnut but you get the honeybush too. actually, as it cools it gets less nutty and more … .. bushy :)

I’ll ruin it with hazelnut creamer for the second steep for what I’m sure will be heaven.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more
Dexter

mmmmmmmmhhhuuummmmm……. oh my grasshopper…..

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95

I am determined to get the blueberries in here if I have to drink this tea for a week and brew it different times, temperatures and quantities. GAH!

Everyone is raving about blueberries. Granted, some people don’t like the fact that they taste artificial or too sweet or too stevia or whatever but they’re getting blueberry. I, on the other hand, can smell blueberries and see blueberries but cannot taste them for the life of me. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… holy hannah it’s a blueberry!

Seriously, though, I must be doing something wrong. It smells so intoxicatingly blueberry but I’m only getting a faint blueberry taste. I had it in my travel mug and drank it partly in the car and the rest at work. I could smell the blueberry wafting up from the cup and I so desperately wanted to get that in the taste too. I just got mostly black tea. Maybe I overleafed? I didn’t think I did, I followed the label, but maybe for me as a newbie the base is too strong and covered the fruit? It wasn’t too astringent but lightly bitter.

HELP me find the blueberries :)
________________

Two Days Later

Someone suggested cold brewing and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself. Eureka!! As a cold brew it is indeed one of the most delicious teas I have had so far. My first attempt at cold brewing and what a success! Gawd, I just want to hug myself :) Maybe I’ll just start another pitcher instead.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C
Lala

Maybe try adding some sweetener to see if that helps bring out the blueberry taste.

Sil

Yay!glad you found your happy spot with this one :)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! This really gave me a good laugh, it made me think of my other half when he’s trying so hard to «see» the hidden object in 3D stereogram images! He knows it’s there, people have been know for seeing them, but HE just CAN’T!
Glad you finaly figured it out :-)

Nxtdoor

TheTeaFairy you’re so kind. Thanks for getting it. That’s exactly what it feels like. It’s maddening, really. Like when you’re looking for your phone and you know it’s there but you can’t find it. Turns out you’re holding it. Ever done that? I have. I swear!

TheTeaFairy

I do that with sunglasses sometimes…where are they? Oh right, ON MY NOSE silly! Different situation but worse, I sometimes look at my watch…while holding a (full) cup of tea. Yeah, you can say it, it’s the dumb «brunette» in me, lol!

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80
drank Coco-Lemon Thai by DAVIDsTEA
276 tasting notes

Gorgeous day. Came home from work quite thirsty. Put the kettle on and tried to decide between Pink Passionfruit and this one, not having tried either before now. Looked at the score, read some notes, seems people favour this one (because the other has the much dreaded hibiscus). I do like hibiscus so we’ll see about that one later this evening.

For me, the nose is coconut and lemon. Not lemon grass but lemon — must be the lemon myrtle. Smells really really good and sweet. Brews a ginger coloured liquor, not quite clear.

The flavour is predominantly lemongrass. I steeped for 4 minutes. Did not overleaf but am getting slight bitterness. Possibly water a smidge too hot. Is this tea that finicky? Looking forward to the likely milder and not bitter second steep.

This could be like Kokomo green. Treat it nice and it will be a good friend.

Forgot to mention I’m drinking it iced. I thought it was implied by “got home thirsty” but in case you were wondering… If I had this hot, well, I might want to throw glass noodles in there, a pinch of salt, chili flakes and call it soup.

scribbles

I too found this one a little finicky as a hot brew….bought due to recommendation from colleague. She said it was fantastic iced….we’ll see…

Dexter

I would be really interested in knowing how that mad scientific experiment goes, tea into soup. I might need to try that…..

Nxtdoor

I do have rice noodles on the counter right now, cooked off already. But if I do do this, you bet I will not tell a soul!

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79
drank Long Life Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
276 tasting notes

I tried to drink this without sugar but it tasted bland and I guess oolong-y. Maybe drinking without sugar is like cooking without salt? Blech.

Moving on… I steeped for 5 minutes and I used a DAVIDs disposable filter (bag) since I’m at work and don’t have all my accessories here. Now I heard someone say that the difference between the bagged loose leaf and the one steeped via infuser is huge so maybe I’ll drink this again at home because… I don’t get what the fuss is with this tea. I certainly don’t get the oh my god peach flavour that others seem to have gotten. Is in the aftertaste, absolutely, and it’s very pleasant, I just wish it actually tasted like this. I only get mild peach while sipping. It’s not a bad tea at all but I’m a sucker for bold flavouring. (The blueberry jam from DAVIDs also disappointed me in the flavour department but that’s another note altogether). Why of why is it that some of these teas that smell so friggin amazing when dry just don’t come through??

24 Hours Later

I resteeped this tea a day later. Is it bad I left it so long? And it was really really good and peachy. I have never tasted this much difference between subsequent steeps. Are all oolongs like that?

katgolik

I never sweeten DT ..ruins it in my mind anyways.
I’m not in love with this tea either there are much better fruity Oolongs …also with Oolong apparently resteeping makes a whole new cup of tea just keep the teabag or loose steeped tea for another round.There are better ones out there in my opinion so I agree with your review:-)

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80
drank Matè Java Espresso by Tealux
276 tasting notes

So the rule is I will not add creamer to a tea until I have had it first without it because I’m still in the process of figuring out all the differences between teas. Can’t learn squat if they all taste like hazelnut creamer. Most times I won’t add creamer at all (North African Mint and hazelnut creamer anyone? Didn’t think so) but some of the chocolate teas are screaming for it.

This tea, which I should not be having at 10 pm, tastes a little like java but mostly like mate. Can’t taste any black tea, nor was I able to smell it. Also not entirely sure about vanilla. While I might not be able to pick out anything specific beyond light coffee, it all comes together to make a tasty tea.

See, Dexter3657 ? I told you you’re batting a thousand today.

Kittenna

Ohhhh you reminded me that my roomie who is on an extended vacation left some creamer in her fridge, and an open invitation for us to consume any perishables in said fridge. I’ve gotta make up some black teas and drink them with some creamer… just because I can, and would never buy it myself. (I wish it was hazelnut, but I think it might be… French Vanilla?)

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82

After reading my notes from yesterday, Dexter3657 was getting worried that she’s made poor choices for me when picking teas. Well, Dex, you’re batting a thousand right now. All teas tried today were good. Not va va voom or anything, but good.

This tea is one that delivers. The smell of the dry leaf, and the flavour are bang on chocolate and caramel. Clear caramel liquor. I sweetened it and added creamer and I am already looking forward to steep 2. The tea itself is actually pretty weak, I had to brew longer than my usual rule of thumb for black tea so I doubt it will resteep 3 times with good result but another round should be just fine.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Dexter

Yeah you are making friends with flavored blacks….

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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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