515 Tasting Notes

I ordered this in a 50g pack, which I’ve not come close to finishing, and have since received several free samples of it. I want to like it more than I do, but I find all I taste is sugar and a dull China black tea. Am I not brewing it strong enough? I don’t taste anything pumpkin pie-ish, either, just more sweetness. It tastes — to me — almost as though the tea has been much stronger and assertive but eventually got whittled down by committee until it became inoffensive. No spice kick, either. A calm and gentle chai, just not to my taste.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

I dunno about skinny-ness from drinking this or any other tea, but something did counteract my last pigout. Maybe this tea. Maybe not.

It’s sharp with the ginger and ginseng. Quite hot with the ginger if you steep it over 3 minutes. The pu-ehr itself is almost lost until the gentle aftertaste.

Overall, I really like it once I start drinking it, but it’s not a go-to tea. Given my jeans size, perhaps it should be. ;) This one is like Earl Grey for me: I have to be in the mood for it, but when I am, nothing else will do.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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83

Strange — but delicious. Wow. I dared myself to order this one, because my first reaction to the ad copy was ‘Blech! That sounds terrible!’ But it’s not. Deep, a bit sweet, almost heavy. No astringency. No maltiness (oh my, imagine coffee beans with Assam: hurl!). Just one delicious fusion, straight out of The Tempest: ‘Has suffered a sea-change into something rich and strange.’ Want to try this one with a bit of stevia later. Would probably stand up nicely to milk.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Beckara

This was the ‘Tea of the Day’ today and I gave it a shot. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a bad habit of over steeping teas in the hey-I-need-to-let-this-sit-for-three-minutes-oh-look-a-bird! way, so when I made it at home it was a bit too earthy. The little sip I had today though, was delicious!

Michelle Butler Hallett

I over-steep all the time, too, either I get distracted or I just plain forget. Sometimes I set a timer … when I remember. :)

I steeped this one again today, 3 minutes, half a pack of stevia … wow. Like anything pu-ehr based that I try, the more I sip it, the more I like it.

I find if I over-steep pu-ehr it upsets my stomach.

Paul M Tracy

I just recently stumbled across DAVIDsTEA online. Unlike your reaction, I read the description for this tea (two coffee bean extracts, chocolate, caramel and almond) and thought “yum.” I’m looking forward to trying this one and I’ll keep your steeping instructions in mind.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Hi, Paul. They’re hardly instructions, just a note of what worked for me.

I came to David’s Tea online, too.

Michelle Butler Hallett

One of my cats went nuts when I opened the packet of Coffee Pu’ehr this morning. She loves the scent of it.

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76

Straight ahead cinnamon. Not much tea taste. I almost always add ginger tea to any chai I’m making, because the heat of the ginger fuses with the sugar/stevia to coax out more complexity from the tea, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Not sure how I feel about this one. Tame and calm and utterly inoffensive, as chai blends go. No real spice heat.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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36

Punches you awake but gets bitter fast. Steep carefully. Not a fancy tea, but way better than Tetley. I don’t drink this one often as I prefer my tea without milk or sugar, and this one can get ropey without such company.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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94

The bagged version of this really disappointed me — like drinking ashtray leavings. Flat, stale and nearly tasteless. And I adore smoky tea. Loose in the black tin with the green lid: quite good. Doesn’t take multiple infusions well, I find, but I can forgive that when one cup is as good as this.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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89

An excellent Assam. Bold but not bitter. Steeps well and forgives being left too long. Gorgeous colour in the cup. Brightness balances the malt. One of my favourites.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70

Very potent when drunk from a gourd and bombilla. Good for at least four infusions. I like it mich better this way then brewed as a tisane.

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75

Delicious, though I didn’t like it first go — didn’t know what to make of it. There is chocolate, of the dark cocoa-nib kind, which blends surprisinglly well with the little biut of greenb tea and the lods of green rooibos in here. Cinnamon sharpens everyone up and keeps the flavours playing nice. Very little, if any, caffeine, to this one, and it’s ridiculously healthy. I’ve drunk nearly 200 grams of it in less than a month. One TB in thre basket of my 500mL travel mug plus a packet of stevia, steeped a good while (it’s mostly rooibos, so steep away) — bliss. Happiness.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Beckara

Do you find this tastes like apples? I’ve found that it does and I can’t quite put my finger on why. It certainly smells vaguely of apples to me, anyway…

Michelle Butler Hallett

Yes, now that you mention it, some of the sharpness of a Granny Smith, say. Probably the blend of cinnamon with green rooibos, which can already be apple-y.

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93

My go-to Darjeeling when I’m sick and need cup after mad-hot cup. More muscatel and body that the Stash Darjeeling Spring. Miles ahead of Twinings Darjeeling/

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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