682 Tasting Notes
So I bought this one (and my tea pet and a few others) a year ago. Because my stash is so ridiculous and I tend to keep my favourites eternally, I still have almost all of it left. I booked today off to indulge myself in bad wedding movies, tea and bread-making, so I enjoyed a few gong-fu infusions of this while watching Made of Honour. I’ve gotta say, I don’t know how I am going to make it 6 more months waiting for my wedding. I already live with my fiancee and we’ve been together for going on nine years but I am just so excited to have a big party with everyone we love to celebrate us. Plus, I adore my dress and just want to wear it all the time! : )
Anyway. This tea. So yummy. Despite the aging, it is lovely and rich, there is smoothness and some definite malt, but no bitterness to be found. There is a lot of cocoa and earthy tea flavour, but as I say it is just all so smooth! I’ve done three infusions so far in my gaiwan and this afternoon I will do a few more, I think. This is a sensational tea, and I have even more respect for it now than I did a year ago. Now I just need to enjoy it all before it gets too old!
Here’s another improperly stored sample from last year’s 12 Teas of Christmas that I didn’t quite get to. I should never have opened the parcels unless I intended to make a cup that day, since the little envelopes weren’t resealable. Oh well, too late for “should have done”s!
The aroma is interesting, though it doesn’t put me in mind of cookies. I actually get a bit of spicy chocolatey something. I’m having trouble pinning it down. Keeping in mind that the old 52Teas black tea base gets way bitter, I steeped it just about 3 minutes. Steeped aroma is very accurate to the dry leaf – something spicy (nutmeg?) and a strange cocoa. Not necessarily appealing cocoa, but it’s there. I’m more of a milk chocolate girl, sadly. Also, I HATE milk, so I’m hoping the milk part of milk and cookies doesn’t really happen. I almost never add anything to me tea as I feel that a good tea (flavoured or otherwise) shouldn’t require any help, so it’ll be interesting to see how this fares on it’s own two feet.
The initial flavour is mostly black tea, something sweet in the background (identified as brown sugar after reading the description!) and something off to the side that isn’t quite materializing. I just had pineapple for a snack so that may be amplifying the sweetness, but the brown sugar seems SO distinct to me now. I think that is probably the aroma I am mixing up with the cocoa too. The black tea is a bit too present for my liking, I wish the rest of the cookie would materialize.
I’m loving the brown sugar, though. Not getting anything in terms of cocoa, and nothing that makes me think of cookies or milk, but as a brown sugar flavoured black tea, this is solidly okay. As I sip, I am getting more hints of that black base bitterness. Perhaps a bit less leaf might have been in order. I am pretty certain this is the “old” black tea base that I wasn’t fond of, I don’t think I’m had any encounters with the new one, though I hear it’s a lot smoother.
This is one of those teas that works better hot for me, so rather than continue to type I think I shall enjoy the remainder of this as quickly as I can. This is a decent offering, though not true to it’s title. Of course, as always, this sample has been kicking around for a year so degradation of quality could always be a factor.
EDIT to add: It gets much more bitter the further I get in the cup. I gave in and added a few granules of raw sugar to make it palatable to the bottom. I wish the base weren’t overtaking everything with it’s bitterness. I had a hard enough time finding the flavours without that horning in! : )
Seeing all the hubbub about the 12 Teas of Christmas has reminded me that I never finished mine from last year – in fact, I don’t think I even tried half of them! I found Christmas far too busy with family and food to have time to deal with the 12teas, and then they were forgotten at the back of the tea shelf until now. Luckily, only one last year contained an ingredient I loathe (coconut) so there were still 11 others to try. I am excited that Frank is doing bigger sample sizes this year as I thought it was a bit of a ripoff last year (2 cups per sample, so $30 for 24 cups), but I will not be partaking this time. Unfortunately, 52Teas don’t tend to be to my liking, with a few notable exceptions.
All that aside, I’m brewing up some cinnamon roll honeybush – the cinnamon is certainly there in aroma, though I’m not getting anything pastry or bakey. 5 – 6 minute steep yields cinnamon flavoured water, with a hint of something honeybush at the end. I am not a huge fan of cinnamon and I find it to be very overwhelming in most teas, but when it’s done well it can be really nice. It may just be because of the age of my sample (obviously it’s a year old) but this one isn’t yielding anything beyond the two notes of cinnamon and honeybush. I would like to see something in the middle there filling it out, a bit of sweetness to represent the icing, or something bakey. I love cinnamon rolls, but this is just cinnamon tea, to me. : (
Tried this one with the beau a few days back and forgot to log a note – I remember being pleasantly surprised with the quality initially but finding it become bitter as time went on despite careful steeping. The falvour and aroma were rich and earthy, but the finicky nature of the tea didn’t endear itself to me. Will try again with the rest of our sample later on, at the moment I wouldn’t feel the need to restock it. I could certainly live without it, there was nothing remarkable going on.
Here’s another one I’ve had for quite a well but never tried. Since I first started shopping at Davids Tea, this one has been strongly recommended. I’ve noticed that the newer sales girls tend to reach for the newest teas first, but this one used to be a strong seller for them, and I assume it still is as it’s still on the menu. Of course, for the first year or two of my tea life, I didn’t like oolong OR puerh – now it’s just puerh I can’t handle. I figured that after having a sample of this for probably a year or more we should probably try it out.
We steeped it in 85 degree water for 3 or 4 minutes, I didn’t want to scald the oolong as I didn’t know how well it would stand up to heat. The flavour was at first a bit strong, ginger and orange peel rounding out each sip and keeping the flavours together, but it became very palatable as I got deeper in the cup. I haven’t looked at the leaves, but it must be a roasted oolong rather than a green. I didn’t get any wet dog smell or taste from the puerh, so I was pretty happy with that. Altogether, these flavours work remarkably well. Unexpectedly, the beau LOVED it and wants to take it to work – this is one he would actually like to get a tin of. Will marvels never cease? He used to hate ginger, oolong and puerh. It’s interesting how our tastes have changed.
The second steep we just enjoyed came out a bit thin after five minutes of steeping, but it was also tasty. It was shockingly sweet (I assume from the oolong) and the ginger/orange were there just as a light background note. I would have preferred a bit more strength in the second steep, but the beau may have been light on the leaf so I shan’t blame the tea.
Anyway, this is a very respectable tea. Not sure what it really does for fat absorption, but if it helps at all, I support it! : ) It went quite well as a complement to our takeout pad thai as well. Hey, a girl needs a treat sometimes, right? : )
I like pears. This doesn’t smell like pears…It smells like bubblegum with some sharp fake pear on the end. The “pearness” is reminiscent of a jelly belly rather than a real pear (bosc or otherwise!) The bubblegum smell is starting to really make me mad, I have experienced it in so many of the DT blends from the last year.
Steeped five minutes or so, warm yellow colour, reminiscent of a pale ale. The taste doesn’t match the aroma, but like some of the others, I get more tart apple than sweet pear. If I even got tart pear I’d be okay with it, but I don’t get pear at all. There is a creamy sweetness at the back of the sip that I think is the vanilla – it’s not a bad blend and I’m not getting bubblegum anymore, I just think it’s misleading to call this Perfect Pear.
Actually, as an apple tea it’s quite nice. I almost wish that vanilla weren’t there though. It’s not quite working for me.
Re-visiting this one today as part of the never-ending Herculean effort to diminish my tea stash, or at least the ones I’m not crazy about. I steeped 1.5 teaspoons of this for about five minutes and got an apricotty brew with a hint more cinnamon than I would prefer, but it’s not too bad. I find cinnamon to be a tricky ingredient in tea as it always tries to take over. The blend is still pretty lackluster but decent enough. Maybe this should be a cold brew tea for the beau? Hmm.
I didn’t realize I never posted a review of this one – I bought it probably a year or so ago when I went on a bender of trying all of Davids’ unflavoured teas. Now, of course I know what a typical orange pekoe tastes like from the bag – this takes that to a more refined level. It does remind me a lot of Red Rose or Tetley, but without the gritty bitterness I find typical of those bagged teas. It could stand up to additives, but when steeped carefully you don’t need them. There is a natural sweetness in the tea which is very nice on the sip and helps take this from standard fare to something nicer.
All that said, for a LOOSE tea, this is extremely standard. This is what I would use to convince bagged OP drinkers that there is more in the world – baby steps! It makes a nice base for a chai and is okay on its own but I don’t drink loose leaf for “okay.” : )
I’m revisiting this one today and am a lot more impressed with it than the first time I tried it (May). Since then I have become a lot more comfortable with oolongs and gotten a lot better at knowing how I like to steep them – I gave it less steep temp and time and what I have here is really tasty. MUCH more like a black tea than a green, which is something I appreciate in a roasty oolong.
That said, it’s not the most remarkable tea I’ve ever had. For me, this would be an every day sort of tea, rather than a special occasions, knock-your-socks-off kind of tea. I’m used to the latter with Teavivre, so this one has me a bit flummoxed but I DO like it. I don’t think I’ll keep it in stock as I’d rather deal with a black than an oolong, but this could be a nice one for those who find black teas too harsh or oolongs too green. It hits the spot, that’s for sure!
Had this again today and the cheesecake flavour was completely absent. I was hoping that waiting a few weeks would allow the flavours to meld a bit better (like with other flavoured teas) but it doesn’t seem to have helped. There was something present in the matcha in terms of flavour, but it was mostly a light sweetness and not any identifiable flavours. Kind of a bummer.