510 Tasting Notes

92

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!

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

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88
drank Joy by Tazo
510 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.

Preparation
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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34

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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96

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.

gmathis

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

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96

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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81

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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96

1 tsp for 250mL water @100C … with 1/2 tsp Tiger Assam added … drunk bare.

Yeeeaaaaahhhh. Oh, I love a smokey tea, and the first Caravan from Andrews and Dunham was one of the best I’d ever tried. Caravan Resurrected is very nearly as good, lacking only that odd, slightly salty note that made the original downright addictive. CR is strong and rich and quite smoky, but it’s not a powdery or choke-a-horse smoke. I added some Tiger Assam to heavy-up CR’s body, which tends light, as do many China black teas. Smoky but clean, with a crisp and slightly sweet finish. One of the best.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81

1.5 tsp for 240mL water @ 80C, steeped 3 minutes, drunk bare.

A sweet and spicy jasmine green … though there’s not a lot of jasmine on the go. This blend is a nostaglic favourite for me, one I drank a lot in autumns at university.

Liquor is a bronzing yellow. Lots of orange pith and peel in with the leaves, but it’s the clove and cassia that bring this tea up to its own weird and lovely level. If the water is too hot, this tea will get bitter and soapy.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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96

1 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

RICH.

Lots of muscatel in the aroma, which is great. David’s Darjeeling had really disappointed me, being all earth and twig with not a hint of muscat, which, for me, is what makes Darjeeling tea so special. I only used 1 tsp instead of the recommended 1.25, because I’ve only got a little sample pack here and want to stretch it out. No fear: this Darjeeling is quite rich and fresh and easily forgives some skimping. Liquor is dark copper with gold. Aroma is redolent with muscat, as noted, and wood. Some honey and florals in the taste, a fair bit of earth — unusual for a Darjeeling, even a second flush. Dry leaves look a bit twiggy but also very tippy. I love Darjeeling and can be quite snooty about it, declining this estate over that. This one is really friggin good, provided you like the stronger second flushes. And muscat.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Astringent finish and aftertaste. Snappy. Lots of nuance. Oh, this one is GOOOOOD.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’m guessing this is a multi-estate blend.

Bonnie

It’s OK to be snooty. I’m snooty about it in my own way too, but my Muscat love began with a dessert wine. I had my first excellent taste in Murphy’s,CA at Stevenot Winery. Here is their description.(Patience is a virtue when dealing with Muscat Canelli, as we wait until the latest possible harvest date, allowing for the highest sugar attainable, and the most concentrated complexity possible. The wine displays intense rose petal, dried apricot, peach, and mango, with a creamy toffee finish.) Remind you of tea reviews? I loved the short time when I could get fresh muscat grapes so small, pale and super sweet. Those experiences are my own measuring stick for anything MUSCAT.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Wow, that wine sounds amazing. I don’t drink alcohol, but that write-up sorely tempts me.

The first Darjeeling where I tasted muscat and fell in love was with, believe it or not, Stash Tea’s basic, entry-level, bagged Darjeeling blend. They don’t stock it anymore. It was gentle, with a creamy mouthfeel, but carried a wicked punch of muscat in taste and scent. Their Teas of India Second Flush Darjeeling comes close — and it one of my favourites, even bagged — but isn’t as sweet.

I’ve never been impressed with the tea from the Margaret’s Hope estate. I wanted to be; I love the estate name, and I love Darjeeling tea, but theirs always seems flat and a bit stale to me. The Seeyok estate’s is sharp and snappy, but not as heavy on the muscat taste as I’d like. And then you get some really awful alleged Darjeelings that taste like someone ground of a pine branch. Gah.

Have you tried the Himalayan Blend from DavidsTea yet? I’ve got that one in my sights. I’ve tasted some really, really good Nepal mountain teas that are grown outside the Darjeeling region but taste very similar to Darjeeling — soil and mountains, right?

Michelle Butler Hallett

ground of = ground up My typing is really bad.

Bonnie

The Darjeelings I’ve enjoyed most are the later flushes…almost NO flush from the Fall or after the monsoons. I think they remind me more of the Nepal tea’s that I love too. I’ve tasted a few Sri Lankan Green Tea’s that taste more like Darjeeling…especially a couple that I had from Stacy at Butiki. I’m not fond of astringency and find the later pickings mellower and deep with rich fruitiness. My opinion only. I tend to love full bodied tea, puerh, black tea, Nepalese tea. I’m a beast!

Cavocorax

Thanks for the review! I have David’s Darjeeling and I like it (but haven’t tried any other ones for comparison). I wasn’t sure if this was a new blend, or just the old one under a new name. Guess I’ll give it a shot!

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94

1.25tsp for 250mL tea @82C, steeped 1 minute 30 seconds.

Creamy for a green, though not the least buttery. Nutty. Slight mineral finish with a sweet aftertaste. Potent leaves are good for several steeps. A favourite.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

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.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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