695 Tasting Notes

70

This is yet another tea that we purchased, sampled once or twice and promptly lost in the back of the cupboard. I decided to try this again today at switchboard because the aroma was SO appealing! I am not a fan of green tea at all and am not much for earl grey’s, as I mentioned in my previous note. However, the aroma of this is so crisp and reminiscent of fresh orange zest (almost like when you peel citrus and the spray comes out everywhere, you know what I mean?) that I couldn’t resist. I like citrus teas and am always hoping for a great one – unfortunately they tend to be paired with greens, so I have yet to find the perfect one.

I steeped this in my Perfect Tea Mug for about 2 – 2.5 minutes, which is about as exact as things get while making tea at switchboard. Thank God I am only here an hour a day, because it would drive me batty for any longer stretch of time! The steeped aroma is muted and a bit flowery/dusty. It reminds me a bit of dryer sheets – this does not appeal. More likely than not, it is the bergamot I am picking up on. I am also getting a sense of froot loops, as I usually do with EGs.

The first sips are a bit of an adventure. A bit too much dusty floral-esque bergamot, but underneath that I get a bit of sweet green tea and a hint of something cinnamony – but here’s the shocker: I’m liking the green tea underneath! Maybe I over-steep my flavoured greens? Something to consider, though I’m still not even close to ready for green tea. This does have me craving a good green oolong though. At the moment, this is hitting the spot, but it doesn’t seem to have lasting appeal. I think I want a bit more citrus in here. Maybe some grapefruit? Oh, how I love grapefruit.. One of the issues with flavoured green tea for me is that the green tea needs less steep time, but the flavours seem to need more (or higher temps). Bah!

I think it’s time I tried the new citrus teas I got at DTs a month or two (or three?) ago.

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72
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
695 tasting notes

This definitely isn’t the first time I’ve brewed up a cup of Queen Catherine, but it may very well be the first time I did so without screwing it up quite badly. This is part of a swap with Simply Jen W from probably a year ago now. Clearly, punctual tea drinking is not something I put on my resume – though I do appreciate all swaps and samples, very much so!

This time I used a teaspoon of leaves, steeped around 3 minutes and have a much more pleasant seeming cuppa. (Last time it got busy at switchboard while it was steeping and I had a 15 minute steeped disaster). This is an odd duck. It doesn’t quite smell like black tea, there is another edge to it. It smells as if it should be bitter, but the first sips yield a slightly sweet liquor. Again, it’s not quite plain black tea, there is something different here. There is no bitterness (a bonus in my book!) but there’s not really a lot of character either. As it is, I would have no porblem drinking this but I can’t imagine craving it either.

Thanks for the chance to sample, Simply Jen W!

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51

I know I just logged this a week ago but I wanted to share with the tea drinking world in case any packrats have some of this bad boy left. Steep it in a T-Sac. I realized today that there is just too much broken “leaf” in this one to do well in my infuser and prepared it in a T-Sac instead. If only I had thought of this a year ago..

I will be honest though and warn you that using the T Sac really mutes the lemon flavour. I’m okay with that though, as the bitterness from the black tea and the lemon rind aspect were just too much for me. This way I get a lightly sweet lightly lemon flavoured black tea. Kind of blah but much better than bitter! I’m adjusting the rating back up a bit because it is redeemable but a lot of work.

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66
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
695 tasting notes

I don’t know how I’ve managed to never log this one – especially since we bought it months ago and I am positive that I’ve tried it before now. I recall it being too sweet and bubble-gum as opposed to cranberry or pear – in the way that many DT teas tend to be to me for the last year or so.

On to the tea! Steeped a pot up with the beau and father-in-law, the aroma is very much of bubble gum. I’m starting to worry that my memories are correct. First sips are sweet, but not exactly bubblegum. Maybe artificial pear. Very artificial. LIke a lightly flavoured hard candy or something. There is no cranberry and no tart (I would expect tart in this one!). It’s tolerable but not fabulous. No black tea taste, but I can feel it on my tongue if that makes sense. It’s a supporting role. Unfortunately, this is another middle of the road sweet fruity tea. I’m not so fond of those anymore. : (

Edit: I can’t believe I’m so out of tune with everyone else on this one – what is going on with me?!

Kittenna

How long did you steep it? I definitely find that the cranberry doesn’t come out unless I leave it for quite a while. Or maybe your tastebuds just don’t care for this one :)

Uniquity

This was in about 4 or maybe 5 minutes which is honestly a long time for us. I’m pretty sensitive to bitterness in my black teas, so I usually only steep for about 3 minutes for maximum flavour and minimum bitterness. : ) If I give it another go I will try a longer steep though, thanks!

Scott B

You are not the only one out of tune with everyone else here-I hated the artificial flavoring so much. In fact, I just gave away about 44 grams out of a 50 gram bag.

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78
drank Wild Black Yunnan by DAVIDsTEA
695 tasting notes

Just a quick note to say that this is a tea that can take a licking and keep on ticking. (:D). We had a pot steeping when I was called into deal with a leaking shower emergency by the beau – the tea was totally forgotten and left to steep for 10 minutes or so before I had managed a redneck repair so he could have his shower. Gotta say, sick of living in apartments and even more sick of dealing with repairs myself because my landlord is annoying. We haven’t had an oven door handle on our stove for the entire two years we have lived here! Anyway, the tea is still good. Very thick and rich, almost brothy. Strong cocoa, it’s quite over-powering, honestly. Very decadent. No bitterness to speak of, which is amazing. Way to go Davids!

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51

I’ve been trying to make this tasting note since yesterday (and this tea for a year!) – the Steepster Gods have not been kind to me. Anyway, I have some of this still from a year ago, though I wish I didn’t. I sent the beau off with the tin to drink at work and I am trying to use what’s left in the bag at mine. This was purchased before I realized that you could buy less than 100 grams of something, so I’ve got an awful lot of it.

Remembering that this is a bitter tea, I steeped it for only a minute in less than boiling water and even threw in a bit of sugar (maybe 1/8 teaspoon) in advance because I am at switchboard and away from the kitchens. Under these conditions, it was tolerable but too sweet so I put the leaves back in for 30 seconds or so. Unfortunately, a tonne of loose “leaves” (aka powder) fell into the tea from my fine infuser while I was doing that, even though I shook out the infuser vigorously – I forgot to mention but this is one seriously broken up tea. I assume that is what contributes to it’s bitterness.

Anyway, after the extra steeping it was bitter. Too bitter to drink. I threw out yet another mug of this blasted tea which I have never managed to make well. Even low temps, less leaf, adding sugar, shaking the powder out and short steeping times aren’t enough to redeem this bad boy. Rating seriously decreased because I know better now!

katgolik

Yeah…..the bitterness ruins the possibilities this had…nothing seems to help.

Cattibrie

My husband loves this one. I make it iced for him and he adds some simple syrup and lemonade and says it tastes just like Nestea Iced Tea. Not sure I agree but if it gets him to drink something other than his usual crap I am happy.

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67
drank Ice Cream Cake by DAVIDsTEA
695 tasting notes

The beau has been dying to brew some of this up, so I figured we’d give it a go. The first thing I noticed was a lot of “scum” on the top, likely from the chocolate, sprinkles and freeze dried ice cream. Neat idea, but not so attractive in practice. However, I have had a couple DT teas like this, and I’m not worried. The smell is yummy but very sweet – sweet is where my fear comes in here. I rarely sweeten my tea, and it bothers me that this one has stevia built in.

This one is really sweet. Very sweet. Some sips I enjoyed, where most I felt like I was drowning in sugar. Not quite the tea for me, though the idea was interesting. I could sort of see where ice cream cake was coming from, but it was sweeter than ice cream, if that makes sense. When I think of ice cream cake, I think of Dairy Queen cakes, and yummy fudge crumble in the middle with vanilla on the top, chocolate on the bottom and whipped cream icing. MMMM! Also, I did get an alcohol smell from the dry leaf – what does that? Is that the stevia leaf? Personally, I find it a little unsettling, though I have no problem with alcohol. Just not quite my thing.

LiberTEAS

The alcohol smell is probably a residual scent from the flavoring oil that is used in tea. Teas don’t always have that smell, but, if they’ve been flavored recently, they might.

Fjellrev

Oh yeah, that makes sense. All my 52teas blends smelled really alcohol-y when they first came in the mail.

Mercuryhime

I had wanted to try this one but I was discouraged by the stevia as well. The DT employee tried to assure me that it’s stevia leaf and not actually stevia so it wouldn’t be too sweet. I raised my eyebrow at this and pressed my lips together. Otherwise I might have said some unwise things. In any case, I wasn’t convinced. Good to know that I judged rightly.

LiberTEAS

I’m not a fan of it when companies add stevia to a tea. I like to choose whether or not I am going to sweeten a tea … and when I do choose to sweeten, I rarely (practically never) choose stevia as my sweetener, as I am not fond of the aftertaste. Stevia leaf does taste better than the processed powder (which is processed from the stevia leaf), but, I still prefer a pinch of sugar to stevia. Even with the calories.

Indestructible

Agreed on the Stevia – it should be up to us. I think what they were going for was a Neapolitan type of ice-cream cake (if that exists?)

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70

I got this sample from Joy’s Teaspoon with an order I placed more than a year ago or so at this point. At that time I did not drink chcolate in tea. I thought it was an abomination – but I’ve finally learned my lesson. So, I dug this out and embraced the lovely milk chocolate aromas from the dried (and steeped!) leaf. It smells sweet and appetizing but there is a hint of bitterness in the aroma. I find that even now some chocolate teas (such as DT’s Chocolate Chili Chai) are unappealing and even make me feel nauseous. We shall see how this one holds up – so far, all is promising. For the record, a co-worker just arrived in the switchboard office that I cover from 1 to 2 and said it smells like chocolate – so mmuch so that she thought I was having a hot chocolate, not a flavoured tea.

First sips are not as sweet as the aroma would lead me to believe. There is a bold chocolate flavour, which actually combines the creaminess of milk chocolate and a slight hint of bitterness from dark chocolate. The taste changes on my tongue, but has a very pleasant lingering flavour. The initial sip is darker than the rest, I find. It’s very rich and decadent, though a bit too dark and bitter initially.

I must confess that I have no fondness for dark chocolate. I like the adulterated milky stuff – with sweet Cadbury being my favourite of the commercial brands. I was hoping this would be like DT’s Read My Lips, sans mint, but it’s a different beast. A little more adult and not quite my thing, unfortunately.

MegWesley

I don’t know how you like milk in your tea, but by how you describe this it sounds like it would make a really good latte.

Uniquity

Sadly, milk and I aren’t great friends. I’m not allergic to it, but I hate the taste, even in latters (although I have had some good chai lattes, but if the milk is too strong, it’s all over).

Uniquity

Lattes, not latters!

MegWesley

Ah. That’s how one of my friends is with chocolate.

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51
drank Neapolitan Honeybush by 52teas
695 tasting notes

Finishing this up today I get a different taste than before. I steeped for about 10 minutes and get a creaminess behind the chocolate and rooibos notes that really suggests the neapolitan flavour. I still don’t get vanilla or strawberry, but as I said in my last note, I find chocolate always takes over.

I did shake the dust out of my infuser this time, though an annoying amount has fallen into my mug. It’s a good thing this is a rooibos, otherwise it would be undrinkable. I am getting a sharp taste of the rooibos in the back of my throat, and for once I almost understand what people mean when they say a mintiness. I must confess I am not found of this strong rooibos presence, but it’s completely my fault. Nice to see another sample finished!

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67

Re-visiting this one today – unfortunately the smell isn’t at all pleasant. Initial aroma is kind of sour smelling and had a sharp scent that reminded me of vomit. It had me wondering if what I initially thought were almond slices might not be shaved coconut. Hopefully they really are almonds. According to my tasting note I found this solidly okay last time, let’s hope this is the same.

The taste is not nearly as objectionable as the smell, but it’s not really helping to dissuade me from my new conviction that this has coconut, not almonds. The initial sip is alright, but the aftertaste is sort of bothering me. As it cools it becomes more palatable, and bigger gulps are actually kind of nice. There is a sweetness, reminiscent of desserts. Almost reminds me of baklava, which is very weird. As I keep sipping I think I get a cinnamon taste in here, but a sweet one. This tea certainly is full of mysteries!

Missy

You are braver than I! If I smelled that reminded me of vomit, I’m not sure I’d try it.

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Bio

Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

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