515 Tasting Notes

90

Just got a bit of this from TeaEqualsBliss … thank you, oh, thank you …

2TB for 500mL water, lightly sweetened with stevia, no milk.

From the aroma, I expected a thin-bodied, faintly cocoa-tinged woody rooibos. Which can be just fine, so I happily set it steeping. For quite a while in a covered mug — hey, it’s rooibos, and I also had a cup of Assam brewed.

Instead, I’ve got a heaven-is-chocolate-scented silky, medium-bodied cup of bliss. Tastes a lot like a properly-made cocoa, but no powdery mouth-feel. So smooth, almost creamy, and I haven’t added milk. The vanilla is an inspired touch and smooths everything out.

I’m astonished at how good this is. No caffeine. No calories! A puntload of antioxidants! One of the tisanes, and one of the best cocoa-based drinks I’ve ever drunk. The rooibos itself is a tiny bit woody on the aftertaste, but then I did steep it for 15 minutes. Highly recommend.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
vanilla_bookworm

Mmmm… This one is delicious! Might have to have some later now… Lol! :-)

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89

1 bag, 275mL water, no milk or sweetener.

For a bagged Assam, really decent. Stash also carries a looseleaf Kopili Assam, and I think those leaves are a higher grade than the ones in the bag — that tea is one of the best I’ve ever tried. I’m enjoying the bagged Kopili more than I did the first time I tried it some years ago; I think I just didn’t steep it long enough last time.

A good Assam. Decent maltiness. Will develop some bitterness if steeped over 7 minues (yes, I steep that long sometmes). Undeniably more convenient for the office than the loose version, but I find it difficult to get the richness of flavour I crave.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
gmathis

One of my favorites loose.

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66

2 TB for 450mL water, lightly sweetened with stevia, no milk.

And up goes the rating. I can taste much more creme brulee flavour with a stronger infusion. Two tablespoons is a lot, yes, but the liquor comes out a beautiful light russet. The flavour is deeper and more pronounced — no woodiness this time — and the mouthfeel is lovely: silk and cream. Even my cheeks are happy.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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66

1scant TB for 450mL water, lightly sweetened with stevia, no milk.

I am having a Very Bad Day. Almost four weeks of assorted nuisances have blended, entwined and swollen to create my grotesque today. I am ready to scream. Or cry. But what did the posters in WW2 England say? ‘Keep calm and carry on.’ And what would my war-bride English grandmother say? ‘Cup of tea.’

My nerves are shot, so I figure I need rooibos. Then I remember the new packet of Creme Brulee from David’sTea I thought I might keep on hand for a gift. I, um, opened it. Steeped some.

Mmmmmm, yes, that’s better.

The green rooibos base tastes bright, but not minty or woody as some red rooibos can get, and not dull and grassy like some crappy green rooibos I’ve had. The liquor is a lovely pale brass. The scent is caramelly but not overpoweringly so. The aftertaste is a slight bit woody, but I don’t mind it. Soothing. Very mild. Silky mouth-feel.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Sorry about the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad. A co-worker of mine used to say “Even bad days are only 24 hours long.” To which I would reply, “Yeah, but some 24 hours are longer than others.”

Michelle Butler Hallett

Thank you. Yep, only 24 hours … and decidedly looking up. A whole pile of problems got solved within the same hour.

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29

1 scant TB for 450mL water, no milk or sweetener.

On my second attemot with the Chocolare Chili Chai. I expected to like this one, but I’m underwhelmed.

Lots of really good chocolate aroma, but very little tea aroma. I think the base is a China black. I dunno, I can’t help thinking an India black would have been a better choice. No real heat, just a minor nibble from the chilis on the aftertaste. Except for the Chai Guarana, I’ve found anything labelled ‘chai’ from David’s Tea to be a bit dull. No true heat, no singing marriage of hot and sweet spices. Not for me.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
heatherwassing

Without going back, I can’t see if you’ve tried/rated their Cinnamon Chai rooibos.
IT has heat and sweet. I recon you should give it a whirl, if you want satisfying spiciness from David’s.

heatherwassing

PS: I am desperately sad that you didn’t like this. I will remember to maybe amp up the tea:water? I generally do with David’s Tea teas. I need more slap-in-the-mouth than they generally offer.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I have tried David’s Cinnamon Chai Rooibos and LOVED it. Thanks for reminding me. I have some left in a packet; must brew some today.

I’m gonna try the Chocolate Chai one more time today. I think you’re right about amping up the tea:water ratio. I might add a pinch of Assam, too.

katgolik

Couldn’t agree more with your assessment!

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84

1.5 Tablespoons per 450mL water. (David’sTea recommends 2 teaspoons for 250mL water. I brew my tea pretty strong. This tisane needs the extra amount, too,)

A beautiful tisane just to look at. I’ve given serious thought to buying some just to have out in a bowl as potpourri, or in a clear jar for display.

Lovely chunks of apple and extremely fresh and fragrant cinnamon stick. A few peppercorns and four gorgeous green pods — caradmom? I brewed this completely loose, no bag or filter, as I wanted to watch it steep.

At 5 min, most of the tisane is still floating. Liquor is cloudy and pale. The aroma, my mother-in-law assures me, IS baked apples. Just like her mother made on cold days, with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts and raisins. This tisane has, in fact, scented the entire top floor of my house and beats even my good Pumpkin Spice Colonial Candle.

The taste? Red apples. You can even taste the peel. Red apples and sweet spices. (And no hibiscus! Yay!) Delicious. A very special tisane.

If you opt not to use a filter, you will have to sip around/through the ingredients floating on top. Just so ya know. The frugal amongst us may even scoop out the steeped tisane to mix into oatmeal later.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Oh, forgot to add: drunk without milk or sweetener. This tisane is quite sweet on its own, but not sickeningly so.

Michelle Butler Hallett

After about 8 min, the apple pieces are soft enough to eat. I highly recommend you do so — it would be such a waste to just throw them out.

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99

Drunk bare (no milk or sugar), 1 TB to 500mL water, 4-minute steep.

The Captain’s a bit more mellow at four minutes. Still a very fine Assam, but I do prefer the bit of atringency I get with a 6-minute steep.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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66

Bright and feisty. Little tiny leaf steeps quickly and gets bitter fast. This will wake you up.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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23

Confused. I could neither taste nor smell the lavender, though I did see it. A very minty and woody rooibos. Not for me,

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec
Dorothy

Ever try Lavender Zen? It is loaded with lavender.

Michelle Butler Hallett

No, I haven’t. Must add that to my next order. Thnaks.

Rabby

I agree completely; I got this because of the lavender as a gift from someone who knows I love lavender – and I can’t really taste it or smell it at ALL. T_T;

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94

Drunk bare — no milk or sweetener.

I did not think this tea would live up to the hype. I adore a good smokey tea, but too often, the smoke dominates.

So, I was wrong.

Caravan gives off a very strong smoke scent, but the steeped tea is almost sweet. The smoke is an accent, not a bully. There’s a wine-iness too, as you find in some Keemuns. (Keemun in blend?) Also something savoury, almost salty, that excites the sides of the tongue. Finishes clean, though smoke lingers in the mouth.

Damn fine.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Another one to binge on, not hoard. Drat these limited editions!

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Profile

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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