699 Tasting Notes

67
drank Ice Cream Cake by DAVIDsTEA
699 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
699 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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51
drank Neapolitan Honeybush by 52teas
699 tasting notes

This one came to be as part of the enormous box of samples I purchased from LiberTeas months ago. The smell is very faint, but creamy and a hint of chocolate. Ordinarily I shake the “powder” out of my infuser before steeping (I hate floaties in my cup!) but as I was doing that with this one I came to the conclusion that I might be shaking out the flavourings, which would be pretty dumb. So, I am doing it with all the dust (and there’s a lot of it). Since there’s no proper tea in here, I hope that won’t be a problem.

Steeped, the aroma has a chickory note and reminds me of stale milk chocolate – you know when it gets old and turns white-ish. The liquor is a deep brown and quite fragrant. I’m really just getting the chocolate aspect of neapolitan, so far at least. I find that even in the ice cream though, that’s what happens. The vanilla and strawberry ( my favourites!) get buried beneath the chocolate.

The flavour is fairly bland, possibly because of age/storage. I get a hint of old chocolate, but it isn’t very assertive and if I were blind testing this I might not have got it right. I didn’t get any strawberry at all, and a sense of vanilla could only be present in a slight creaminess. Nothing objectionable at all, but certainly nothing special. I’ve got enough for another cup worth and I think I’ll take it to work to use up.

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70
drank Mango Madness by DAVIDsTEA
699 tasting notes

Eight months later, here I am trying to finish up my sample of this tea. I do have a fondness for some aspects of this tea, but it is just so sweet. I am getting a very strong juice flavour here, with no tea peeking out anywhere. If there were no cost to factor in, this would be high 70s for fruity drinkability. When you factor in the cost, though….this tea just doesn’t deliver. I’ve learned the hard way about most of the DT ‘white tea’ blends, it just took a while for the lesson to sink in. One more cuppa this and we’re through! It;s good to make room, my tea shelf needs serious turnover!

ps – This reminds me quite a bit of the new Spring tea: Daydreamer, which I just tried the other day. I use the term “new” quite loosely though, a lot of the recent blends seem to just be re-creations or gimicks. I think I’m falling way out of love with DT ! : ( Anyway, the faux mango flavouring really makes the two almost indistinguishable. Accordingly, I get a hint of Tim Horton’s peach juice in this one too. Plus, it has pineapple built right in! (my theory being that pineapple juice is what pushes Daydreamer over the edge into peach juice territory).

Daniel Scott

I totally hear you on the teeny-bits-of-white-with-large-chunks thing, but I’m tempted to grab it anyway, because I LOVE mango flavours, and I like the idea of a mango tea with a white base better than a green base. Hmm.

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80
drank Chocolate Rocket by DAVIDsTEA
699 tasting notes

This is another example of my past tea indulgences. I tried one cuppa in store about 6 months ago and then bought 100 grams of it. Of course, since then I have made approximately 0 cups and have bought probably 50 more teas. I’m glad I have finally learned to buy in moderation, but I wish that lesson had been imparted earlier.

So, for my second sup of this – this is pretty good. I’m not as fond of it as I was the first time (but then, I never am). I find the first few sips to be very bold with a hint of smoke from the chickory and the roasted mate. The flavour improves as it cools a bit, and I get more of a sweeter dark chocolate with an aftertaste of raspberry. It smells and tastes like decadent chocolate treats. There is a very bold flavour that remains on the end of the sip – this, I like. Powerful. I’ve lowered the rating slightly, but this is still a very nice tea. One of the DT successes, in my books!

A side note about mate: I’ve learned that I really prefer the roasted stuff to the green. If you’re wary of mate due to ‘grassiness’ give the roasted stuff a try!

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec
Daniel Scott

Ha, when I started buying tea I absolutely got talked into 100g tins as well! Especially at DT, where the tins are free with 100g. I heard that and naively thought, “Oh, sounds good!” I’ve learned better now!

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67
drank Daydreamer by DAVIDsTEA
699 tasting notes

To me, this tastes just like another Canadian classic: Tim Hortons peach juice. I used to drink that stuff as a kid when my mparents went in for coffee (my Mum worked at a Timmie’s when I was very small and my Dad hung out with the bikers in front of the store). The only thing this needs to totally bring me back to childhood is a Tim Treat. Yup, a Tim Treat. Take a donut, add a mountain of whipped cream and stick a sugar candy face on there – BAM! I just liked the whipped cream and sugar, even then I knew that the donuts were big trouble : )

I will be fair and say that I sipped some pineapple juice before having this and it is likely affecting my judgment, but it took all 10 grams to make a pot of this so I likely won’t be trying it again. I don’t think there is anything remarkable about it (other than the similiarity to sugary drinks of my youth) and I would be happy living with a couple other flavoured greens I’ve gotten from DT over the years. I will be fair and say that this smells amazing in store – very enticing. That is what made the beau buy 10 g of this and another 10 of Strawberry Ginger, even though we both know better than to fall for the seasonal tea hype anymore. I need DT to come out with a good rick black tea. Preferably a well sourced pure tea, but a good caramelly black tea would work too. Mmm.

Anyway, this gets a smily face for reminding me of simpler times – though it should cost as much as peach juice would – this isn’t worth the cost.

Daniel Scott

Timmie’s peach juice?! You just made me so happy I picked this one up. I haven’t tried it yet.

Uniquity

If you don’t get peach juice right off the bat, maybe try adding a splash of pineapple juice. I’m still not sure if that was what caused it.

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83

After another crazy week, the beau and I are sitting down to finally try this sample from Teavivre – Thank you Angel! We are off to visit my grandmother in an hour or so, so we’re just slipping this one in before we continue the madness that this week has been.

The dry leaf smells decadent. It smells very rich, I find it has a chocolate characteristic and it instantly brings to mind the Golden Snail from Harney and Sons (which I have only a small amount of and am hoarding because it has been out of stock for months and months). I might want to try these side by side at some point and see if it’s just memory playing tricks on me. I steeped this for 3 minutes at 85 degrees (package specifications) with one sample package (approx. 2 teaspoons). The leaf has a surprising number of tips, it’s very attractive, even if the leaves are perhaps a bit more crushed than I might prefer. That could be due to shipping, storage, etc.

Steeped liquor is a golden amber, a little paler than I expected, but still with a bold aroma. I find the smell is very similar to the dry leaf – bold, rich, chocolatey. I hope I’m not the only one getting chocolate! (a side note, to be fair: I’ve been in the mood for a beautiful pure black tea that has chocolate notes for weeks – the thought that this one has been sitting idly by while I rushed about makes me cringe. I’m in love with the aroma, so far!)

First sips really match the aroma. So far this is a very consistant tea. This is bold. I do get chocolate in the taste, dark chocolate with a hint of something that could be considered bitter but doesn’t make me pucker. There is a sweetness in the middle of the sip which tapers off to the richness I am experiencing in the chocolate notes. Right now, this is heaven! I think there might be a tiny hint of astringency, as my lips are feeling a tiny bit dry, but there is nothing that tastes bitter or drying. Who knows, maybe this is my lips trying to wake up. : )

General consensus: yum. Very yum. Hopefully I can eke out a re-steep before we leave and see if these leaves can go the extra mile. This is definitely a tea that I am going to want to have on hand and will definitey go on my teavivre order once I’ve tried the rest of my samples. Mmmm!

I can’t believe how many people assume that all tea tastes llike bagged orange pekoe. While I can appreciate the place for bagged OP, I find it so hard to explain to someone just how delicious all teas (and especially black teas) can be. There is so much variety out there – so much more!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

I’va had the pleasure of trying this sample too, and I have immediately ordered a bunch of it, still waiting for my order, impatiently! It is, as you so well described, HEAVEN!

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86
drank Honey Bee by DAVIDsTEA
699 tasting notes

Some of my tea friends have probably learned by now that I have a tendency to have a lot of love for a tea at first – only to have my feelings wither over time. It’s terrible. This tea, however, defies my usual tendencies. This tea is still fabulous to me. I love the fuzziness from the mate, the sweetness rocking out all over the place. It’s good hot or cool (room temperature) which is really saying something for me. It is a treat!

Kittenna

It seems the same thing happens to me: I’ll LOVE a tea on my first try and be all “OMG must have tins and tins more”, and then I must build it up in my head so much that the second time is not nearly as good. Mostly happens for flavoured teas… (and Honeybee was one of them. Initially thought I loved it the most out of everything I’ve tried, but it’s definitely off the repurchase list now).

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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.

Location

Canada

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