Another bubblegum tea… I held out a lot of hope for it at first, the aroma was very much like an orange creamsicle, and the first few sips even alternated between bold (yet sweet) orange and a vanilla creaminess but as the cup started to cool it began to taste like bubblegum. Now I can’t get any flavour or aroma out of it other than bubblegum and I am pretty bummed. I like orange teas, but I find it difficult to get one that tastes good. Not much else to say about this, it’s pretty forgettable. I would rather have more bagged Twinings African Honeybush Mandarin and Orange than this one.
620 Tasting Notes
So long, suckers! All in all, this was a Davids Tea miss for me. I found it fairly disappointing and the flavours did not meld in any way I appreciated. The juniper and mint were interesting, but combined with apple, etc, it ranged from okay to gross. I think that removing the apple might have made it better, but I can’t be sure. I find DT is going overboard on ingreients latley (last year or so I have felt this way) and they need to rein in a few of their blends and really make a solid tea before I lose heart.
A quick note: I brewed this last night at 80 degrees (and I know this because of my variable temp kettle!) and this was a totally different cuppa tea. I got the green tea very bold in the foretaste, almost cinnamony and then a hint of lime in the background. I do prefer the lime to be a bit more bold (as I find it is if brewed at slightly higher temps) but this was interesting. To taste mostly green tea and not hate it was a big step up for me. It did make me feel slightly nauseous (as I find green teas and puerhs do sometimes) but I might be ready to give green teas a shot sometime in the next few months. As long as they don’t make me nauseous, cuz nothing is worth that.
Also, a complaint: I wish the water temperature scale didn’t just move in 5 degree increments in fahrenheit. It is impossible to get some of the exact numbers I use in celsius (my kettle works in five degree increments in celsius).
Here’s another that smells sort of unpleasant (too strong, really) while dry but actually is nicely flavoured when steeped. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought a tin of this, but I did. The dry smell is over-whelmingly cinnamon, which is something I have grown to have very little tolerance (and even less appreciation) for. Luckily, when steeped the cinnamon is much less present. I get a hint of slightly bitter black tea and then some muted cinnamon on top of that. Though there are other components floating in the tea, they are not coming through in taste. As it cools, the tea is becoming more bitter and making me wish I had some honey.
I think it will be a bit of a struggle to finish this tin, but at least I have definitely learned to better know my tea tastes over the past few months. I have gotten much better at resisting the urge to buy tea just because there is some in front of me (though I still have my moments). As much as I want to support my local tea shops, I have been finding the quality lacking, of late. Verdant Tea has spoiled me!
Well this is ALL wintergreen this time around! The black tea is hiding under the bold mint flavours, but somehow it all works out. I do get a toothpaste/mouthwash association, but surprisingly it isn’t bothering me. If anything, the dry aroma is my least favouite part of this tea but somehow the bold wintergreen tastes “just right” in conjunction with the other mints and the tea. Not my favourite, but nice to have in the arsenal for days when you get sent to switchboard and have headaches from needing new glasses.
This is not vanilla. It’s barely even chai, honestly. On first smell, this is not super appealing. There is a whiff of vanilla in the aroma, but none of that translates to the taste. Instead I get a bit of astringent black tea and some mild chai. No spices really stand out, but they do work together nicely as a cup you don’t really have to focus on too hard. If this astringency could be eliminated it would be a much nicer cup, but this is okay, as is. This is yet another oldie that I am going to try to force myself through. I need more tea turnover!
To be fair, my stash of this is getting on in age (1 year? 1.5?)but today’s cuppa was just not great. There was no bergamot, and only a light hint of fruit to mask the black tea that went bitter despite only being steeped 2.5-3 minutes. I am thinking that a slightly lower temperature or a bit less leaf than the recommended 1 tsp. might help things, but I’m disappointed that it needs help at all. I am guessing that my evaluation of this today reflects the changes that my tea tastes have undergone over the past year and a half or so. I went through my tea shelves yesterday and am trying to use up some of my older teas, many of which just aren’t my favourites anymore.
Oh my heaven, have I ever under-appreciated this tea! The beau and I have been turning to this a lot lately as a pot to enjoy together. I find it delicious and sweetly lemon, more lemon cream pie than lemon zest – and I like that. For my Canadian friends, this reminds me of Honey Bee from Davids Tea in some ways, though obviously non-caffeinated. Caffeine doesn’t bother me one way or another, but I like the rooibos base (no bitterness, huzzah!) Highly recommended and one of the rare teas I am actually increasing the rating on after having enjoyed it for a few months. I bought the biggest tin available of this (6 oz) when I placed my order, and for once I don’t regret it – this is fabulous!
Continuing the oolong trying extravaganza, I splurged on some of this. Not very much of it, mind you, as it is $10 for 25 g. That makes it the single most expensive tea I have purchased to date. Anywho, on to the tea. Heated the water with my variable temp kettle (so I finally have exact temps!) and steeped it in my gaiwan. To the untrained palate (IE – mine) this is almost indistinguishable from DT’s Tie Kwan Yin.
1st steep (1 minute at 90 degrees) – Mild and unassuming, slight flavour, no bitterness, not very vegetal. Light floral note in there, lightly sweet. A non-steep, really.
2nd steep (2 minutes at 90 degrees) – Much better, there is more flavour here. Slightly vegetal/floral, still no bitterness.
3rd steep (2 minutes at 90 degrees) – Similar to the second, almost has a milkiness (is this what others think of as buttery?) but I might be reaching for that. The beau says the third steep is the best and “clearly tastes different than the other ones.” There is an elusive hint of something underneath it all, almost like a mild spice (sweet cinnamon?)
4th Steep (3 minutes at 90 degrees) – This is a fairly thin steep. I get a hint of the nice sweetish flavour I picked up on in the last steep, but it is quite watery. Not much depth or richness, this will be my last steep. I still maintain I got a hint of spice like cinnamon but the beau compares it to rosemary.
I think I might prefer darker oolongs to greener ones (not surprising, as I don’t like green tea but love black tea) but this is a nice one to have tried. I like that it never got bitter, but I prefer stronger flavoured teas. Again, this is certainly an enjoyable tea but one I won’t re-purchase. Though it was a beautiful tea, with the large leaves completely unfurling after two steeps, there just wasn’t enough there for me. For my tastes, the cheapo Tie Kwan Yin is a better purchase in terms of quality/taste to cost.
This is a tea that has really lowered in my esteem since first tasting. Even just smelling it now makes me uneasy, the bold dark chocolate smell (I don’t like dark chocolate!) is giving me a bit of a headache/upset tummy. Either that or I’m going crazy. I haven’t even brought myself to sip it yet! Can’t wait to have this finished off, I think I might pawn off a few cups on co-workers, that should do the trick.
The taste is not as bad as the aroma seems to me, but it really is not a favourite. If anything it is TOO chocolatey, and I am not feeling the chili love. At least not anymore. This has been my reaction the last couple times I’ve tried it, so I finally admit that this isn’t the best tea for me. I need to learn to stop trying teas at David’s just because I haven’t had them – usually my nose is a solid indication of whether I’ll like a tea or not and this one has always been a little off-putting for me.
Brought the rating down a bit. I love mint teas, so it can be hard to differentiate one pure mint from another in terms of uality or taste. This one is quite bold, and so minty (if you steep it a good amount of time) that it almost seems cold – if you’re not a true mint fan I do not see this being the thing for you. I had a big cuppa this morning as part of my efforts to reieve a migraine (which worked, yay!) and really enjoyed it. I find myself turning to the milder spearmint from Davids Tea more often that not, but the Peppermint definitely has a place in my heart.
Re-visiting this one today. At first sniff, this is a very tart smelling tea. The sort of tart that makes your mouth water in anticipation, if that makes sense. The first sips were surprisingly sweet, and honestly my favourite part of the cup. As it cools the tartness develops but doesn’t take over. A drop of honey might have done well in here but it is perfectly palatable as is. I don’t often turn to berry herbals lately, but if I did this would be a strong contendor. I imagine it would be lovely iced (though I’m not generally a fan of iced tea and it would need to be sweetened). This one does best with natural flavours, and now I am thinking that a drop of lemon juice or even some fresh strawberry or other berry would really take it up a notch too. Now I want to make this a cocktail, in the middle of the workday!
Well, wow! I am not very experienced in oolongs, so please comment with any tips or advice to really get the most out of them. I found that this had strong cocoa notes, and a bean-like aspect. I noted that it reminds me of Golden Snail, and in general seemed similar to a number of high quality black teas that I’ve enjoyed. Done in my gaiwan and wee little double walled teacups. Excess tea used to “season” my tea feet (also from Verdant, love them!)
Steep 1 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 30 second steep. Rich and robust, lightly sweet without any bitterness. I got chocolate in the aftertaste. Very enjoyable.
Steep 2 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 45 second steep. Leaves are still very closed, liquor is light amber. This steep has less cocoa and is less complex. Still beany, very nice. The beau says it is “earthy green.”
Steep 3 – Boiling water, 1 minute steep. Leaves still tightly rolled, the aroma and flavour are slightly weaker yet again. This is nearly astringent, with a slightly dry mouthfeel. Cocoa flavour is back with a vengeance, the beau says this is his favourite steep.
Steep 4 – Boiling water, 1.5 minute steep. I found this still enjoyable but weaker than I’d like. This will be the last for now.
Very enjoyable experience, a wonderful tea to help break my way into oolongs. Thank you Verdant for including this as a generous sample in my order!
Re-visiting this in an attempt to clean out my stash. Still 1 or 2 cups left from my sample, but getting closer! This 2 or 3 minute steep yielded a flavour more like what I expected. Sweet fruit, goji kick. No tea taste, but the fruit dominates for once. Enjoying this right now, glad to have had a stronger cup! Raising the rating a few points.
Just a quick note as I only had a few sips from the beau’s cup last night – This is a pleasant lemon tea, not too bitter or sharp but distinctly lemon-esque. The beau opted to add local honey to soothe his throat, but I found it too strong for the lemon mytrle, and it overpowered it. I really liked this (I’m a fan of lemon teas, but selective) and would like to keep some on hand constantly to drink on it’s own and also to add to teas that need a bit more lemon kick! Very nice, especially in winter with cold season.
Got myself 50 grams of this last night to try (finally!) brewed a cup this morning to go with my peanut butter toast. honestly, the toast dominated the tea but I got some lovely dark notes, almost cocoa-ish. I might have found a suitable replacement for the eternally out of stock (and wildly inaccesible nonetheless) Harney Golden Snail. Will do an in depth review at another time, but for now am impressed at the deep flavour, but with no bitterness. Definitely feels different from a “standard” black tea, an enjoyable treat in the morning.
Accidentally made this quite delicious today. Nearly 2 teaspoons to my Perfect Tea Mug (12 ounces? 14?) and an accidental 4 minute steep. The white tea is lost under the flavours, but the chai aspect is really shining. I get cinnamon and something sharper on the back of the sip. Apple is generally lost, as is vanilla but if I think of this as a mild chai it is a success. About halfway through my pouch, which is nice. I need to finish a few teas already!!
So this isn’t actually so bad. The beau and I have been looking for a good apple tea (that is more cider-esque than anything else) for a while. We’ve had a few contendors, but they always seem to be get discontinued. We tried this bagged tea last evening, and I was relatively impressed by it. Might get some to have on hand for when we want something easy and appley. Also, stay away from Tim Hortons Chai Lattes, as I’m pretty certain that espresso or coffee or something else in that terribly bitter neighbourhood was added to mine, though I don’t know why. : (
Had a wonderful re-visit with this tea yesterday while visiting the in-laws. Steeped to perfection, I had wonderful juicy blueberry taste, a thick mouthfeel and a hint of the cream cheese aspect (while hot – I find the cheesecake/cream cheese flavours to appear only when hot). The black tea was there underneath it all supporting the delicious flavours, which was nice. The beau claimed he over-steeped his, but mine was WONDERFUL!
Sad to be on my last pack of this, it is one thing that always makes me sad when I truly love a 52Teas tea. This is one of only 2 or 3 that I liked enough to want continuously, but it’s saddening to know that when it’s gone, it’s gone.
This one comes from my 12 Teas of Christmas sampler – when I opened it, I thought it was the Extra Bold Masala Chai, and was surprised to read it was Caramel Vanilla. The aroma pre and post steeping is just that of the bold chai (which I have had bad experiences with, it can get very very bitter). I did this cup with boiling water and a brief steep, maybe two minutes. After letting it cool I could get a hint of caramel aroma, but the taste was pure chai. Very similar to the Extra Bold Masala Chai. I get a hint of caramel at the end of the sip, but it is more an echo than a taste. As it cools it becomes more bitter, so I added a bit of milk which enhances the illusion of caramel and vanilla. Certainly not a favourite, but I haven’t had a chai in a while so that’s nice.
Update: That black tea is SO BITTER. Might do the rest of the sample as stovetop with milk, but I definitely shouldn’t use boiling water. Might go add some sugar as well as the milk (neither of which I usually add. I happen to think it’s a poor tea that requires milk or sugar, but I know that isn’t a popular opinion). Hoping that with alternate preparations I can really get the most out of this sample. Sugar and milk helped cut down the bitterness, but I’m still making a pinched up face while I drink!
Well. Once upon a time, I had a pouch of this tea. I found it too boldly vanilla, almost coconutty – My pouch moved along to a proper vanilla loving person and I moved on with my day. But, then came Christmas and the 12 Teas from Frank. Yesterday was the dreaded Coconut Cheesecake Honeybush (I loathe coconut) so I took the day off, looking forward to today. Imagine my unease when I smelled today’s blend. Luckily, I’m liking this. I learned from past mistakes and went light on the steep time, and I have a nice smooth vanilla, with no traces of coconut. Of course, the re-blend is likely a bit different from the original, but I am glad to enjoy this cuppa. I am moving the rating up a bit based on today’s success, but don’t regret my passing along of the original pouch. Merry Christmas, all!
Wow. I am finally in the same residence as may 12 Teas of Christmas (and my family, yay!) so I am giving this a shot. I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. I don’t like green tea as a general rule, and the idea of marshmallow green tea never appealed. However, this is quite tasty. While my conditions are far from perfect (microwaved water, eek) it yields a tasty sweet cp of tea. I’m not getting much green (which I don’t mind) but there really is a marshmallow and rice krispy taste going on here. I am pleasantly surprised! I’ll give it another steep later on and see how that goes, for now I am saving the other half of my sample for my beau, when he arrives on Friday.
An explanation, first. I have tried a small number of flavoured oolongs but am not overly keen on them. Nothing wrong with them, but never my go-to tea. I have never really given unflavoured oolongs a try, though I did try a sip of the beau’s at Sawadee Tea House once (brewed Western style) but I mostly found it bitter and over-steeped. Tonight I brought out my gaiwan and my tiny cute double walled glass teacups to do “Western style Gong-fu” (I am not using flash rinses, but instead a sightly lower temperature for 1 minute or so). I don’t really know what to call it, but that’s what I think of!
Also, a note for poor Mercuryhime who sent me a couple of lovely looking oolongs to try – I wanted to cut my teeth on the relatively inexpensive and very available DT Tie Kwan Yin so I can (hopefully!) better appreciate the ones you sent. I WILL be trying them soon!
Initially, the dry leaves smell delicious and appealing, lightly sweet and floral, but mild (remember that I’m a dedicated black tea drinker!) First steep got 1 min or so and yielded a light greenish liquor, with a mild floral taste. As I told the beau, it reminds me of a blooming tea but not as strong in flavour. Likely a user error, but really nice nonetheless. The leaves unfolded a lot and are HUGE at this point, lovely full leaves. Stunning to watch.
Steep 2: Similar steep time/temp (I don’t use a thermometer or timer, hah!) Flavour is similar (sweet, lightly floral) but with a bit more strength. The liquor is a bit more yellow, and this too is a satisfying cuppa. I’m definitely not catching any nuances of flavour here, but there is definitely nothing objectionable. I am used to bold flavours, but for a lighter sort of tea, I have no problem drinking this. I know I’ve said it already, but this still reminds me of blooming teas I have tried. I presume it is the floral notes that I am being reminded of here.
Steep 3: Stepped up to boiling water, to see if it would add anything to the mix, really. I’m afraid that if I don’t I will just be drinking hot water. This steep came the closes to a hint of bitterness, but was really the same smooth sweet floral taste I’ve had all along. I’m out of time for today, might try some more tomorrow or might let it rest.
I’m gonna give this a rating of high 70s for now, likely to be adjusted when I have more experience in the field. This was a beautiful tea and experience, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. I didn’t experience any bitterness from this tea like I did with my bad experience Western style attempt many moons ago – Yay for potential oolong appreciation!
Having a cup of this while in switchboard today. Unfortunately, today it isn’t quite what I wanted. The chocolate is still rich and bold, but I am not in the mood for that. I think I’m really in the mood (once again) for a lovely black tea with natural cocoa notes rather than a flavoured tea. I also desperately want to try the oolongs sent to me by MercuryHime (and the two I picked up at DT last night to go with them) but first I need to have time to sit down with my gaiwan (and the beau) to try them out. I am excited because I can use my tiny double walled glasses when the time comes!
Anyway, this tea. Getting dark chocolate, with a hint of sweetness (more on the end of the sip than the flavour). I am feeling a hint of chili burn on my lips, but it isn’t overly present in the taste. I do remember that coming out more as I got deeper in the cup last time though. Solid tea, just not to my tastes at the moment. If only I could afford to go home in the middle of the day for a couple hours and have lovely tea as I want it.