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494 Tasting Notes


1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C, steeped seven minutes, drunk bare.

I find rooibos needs a long steep.

This tastes like mint plus milk chocolate plus rooibos, with a bit of vanilla. And it’s a decent rooibos base, not woody or, oddly, minty on its own. Decent, but not great; if the rooibos were separated from the other flavours, you wouldn’t taste much.

Fun to drink.

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

I got this in a gift pack.

It is good.

It tastes like red velvet cake, and like a mild China black tea. I don’t usually enjoy flaovured teas (though I keep trying one) but this one is lovely and actually satisfied my sweet tooth.

Whenever I make it at the office, everyone asks who made the cookies.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

I got a Damn Fine package in the mail! Woot! And I ordered it just before they put the 3-pack on sale, weh. Not to worry: I wanted to snatch the Captain for one last tryst, so I got one of the remaining Hot Teas on High Seas sets … and a big ol tin of Double Knit.

The copywriting and design of A&D tins gets me every time.

Dry leaf smelled very Keemun heavy, and good Keemun, with oaky notes but no tarriness, plus some red winey notes. Big smiles.

Liquor is a medium brown. Body quite light, almost like a Darjeeling in mouthfeel. In fact, I’d swear there’s some Darjeeling or Nepal in this blend, giving a slight bite. Darjeeling and Keemun at least … mineral notes on the finish and a faint pucker — like a gentle kiss. Not a chewy black tea, but that’s what Assam is for. A really good blend, bright and thoughtful.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Not chewy, but that pucker at the end is either Assam or a Kenyan. YUM.

Michelle Butler Hallett

GOTTA be a pinch of Assam. As I get further down the cup and thibgs cool off slightly, a creaminess develops.


I like a strong cup too!

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1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C. Steeped 4 minutes. Drunk bare.

Pu-erh and I have never gotten along. Pu-erh often left me with an upset stomach. Guess what? I was doing it wrong, steeping wayyy too much.

I got Chocolate Orange in a gift pack. The scent is lovely: sharp orange, dark chocolate. Liquor is almsot coffee-dark. The pu-erh itself is quite mild (I’d tasted from horrible fishy ones). A harmonious blend, with no one dominant note. A pleasant surprise.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Too true, you have to be careful.

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1.25 tsp for 250mL water @90C. 1st infusion: 3 minutes. 2nd infusion: 5 minutes.

1st infusion: A lovely genuine vanilla scent and taste here — vanilla bean, as several others have said. Something lactic, too — vanilla yogurt, again, as others have noted. I found the finish very clean, almost cool. I didn’t get much oolong.

Liquor is a lovely sunshine yellow.

2nd infusion: less vanilla, more orchid, more oolong. Clean and mineral finish. Much prefer the second infusion.

This 30g packet came to me as a gift from the DavidsTea fan who initially suggested this recipe to the company. She sent it in months ago, they played with it, then released Vanilla Orchid. Tea geekery!

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Joy by Tazo
494 tasting notes

1 sachet for 250mL water @90C, steeped 4 minutes.

A very strong scent of apricots or peaches when you first open the tin this year, but no peach or stonefruit flavour comes out in the tea. I treat this blend like an oolong and get some decent nuances, but this year’s blend is not as flavourful as last year’s. I still quite like it, especially the creamy mouthfeel coming from the blend of Darjeeling (just a pinch this year, I think) and oolong. Needs a careful eye on water temp and steep time, though, otherwise it becomes a bland mess.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Major downer: this tea is expensive, and the sachets are petroleum-based. The leaves are decent, though. Fifteen sachets for $8.65 — ouch. Cool tin, though I’ve yet to figure out how to re-use it.

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1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ about 75 (guessing by appearance of water), steeped four minutes.

Ehhhhh …

I’m not sure what’s supposed to be special about this, what it is I’m missing. I tasted a slightly briny/scallopy medium-bodied green tea. Ttat was it.

170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 98C (DON’T DO THIS), steeped 3 minutes.

I lost focus on the kettle here at work and poured boiling water on this beautiful tea. YUCK. I can still get some ginseng sweetness, but mostly it’s a bitter medicinal horroshow, like getting a powdery pill stuck on the back of your tongue. Totally my own fault. I put this up as a warning.

Generally, I find this tea good for at least 3 steeps of 3-4 minutes each, if the water’s at the right temp.


Never had any luck with ginseng myself … tastes like you’re licking a tree root.

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1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 90C (guesstimate), steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

So my local DavidsTea was late getting their shipment of this one … and my husband bought me a whole bunch of the little sample packs to keep me going. Yes, it’s THAT GOOD. The first infusion is sweet and crisp; the second infusion gets more mellow, more oolong-contemplative. I’m greedy and steep the first infusion a good four minutes leaching out a lot of the ginseng right away. And it’s refreshing. Really refreshing. I really hope this stays part of the permanent collection.

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1.5 tsp for 350 mL (I think) water. Made for me at a DavidsTea store. Steeped 5 minutes. Drunk bare.

First off, do not steep this tea as long as 5 minutes. I got stuck in a lineup behind someone buying those scratch lottery tickets. I should have hurried him along by slapping my wet teabag upside his face.

Oh, what a lovely rose black tea. Everything balances well. You can handily taste the black team which is pretty mellow — Chinese, I’m guessing — with a very subtle toast finish. I would hvbe liked this better steeped at 3 or 4 minutes; after 5, things get bitter and soapy. But I’ll put up with a lot for roses.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.


St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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