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.
629 Tasting Notes
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.
Santa Baby, Coming down my chimney tonight…
But only with this tea! Creepiness of that song aside, this tea is still going strong. Delicious, creamy and smooth, it has a richness that is surprising, considering the fairly minimal ingredients list. I wish I had ice cream that tasted like this… Though at this point, I wish everything tasted like this. Yum!!
I’ve had this for a while but somehow never got around to trying it. I only bought 20 grams, but it is such a light tea that I got one of those little silver bags DT uses almost full. The smell of the dry leaves is fairly typical black tea, in my opinion. The steeped smell however, is a different beast. I smell honeyed notes, a natural sweetness that I LOVE to find in my black teas. Honestly I am in the mood for something with cococa notes, but I don’t think this will suit that need. Also, I’m having some almonds with this, so we’ll see what impact that has!
Almonds aside, this was surprisingly mild. I get a honeyed sweetness in the taste, but it’s not overbearing. There is no bitterness at all, and this is a very smooth tea. I don’t know that I can pick out any specific flavours, but I am loving this. It’s a nice easy drinking black tea, the kind that would make a good companion to a lazy afternoon with a great book. MMmmm…
Found some of this in the “far back” of my tea cupboard while digging out some favourites over the weekend. I brought the few remaining bags with me to work to use while at reception/switchboard. Had a sore throat this morning so I went for this one rather than a bagged black and was glad I did. I still quite like this one for a bagged tea, the flavour comes through as sweet mandarin, but not cloyingly so. I’ve had trouble finding nice orange teas, so this one is a treat. : )
I’ve been having this one lately at work while at switchboard – When I find myself wanting something unflavoured this is the only one lying around (at work) that isn’t in bags. I find it has a tendency to become bitter if I am not careful about steeping time, but it is certainly a servicable black. I think if I could add a drop or two of milk or a few granules of sugar after a while it might improve that hint of bitterness, but when in switchboard there is none of that.
All that said, I would prefer a higher quality keemun to be the one I have on hand (something with some depth and nuances of flavour) but I should be able to use the rest of this tin with ease. When I did my large scale exploration of black teas a number of months back I made the fatal mistake of buying large volumes of tea before testing them, so I have a couple tins of servicable (but not fantastic) tea lying around that I need to use up before I can justify getting some of the good stuff. I can’t resist a bargain and the price of tea in the tin is usually far superior to the cost of samples (on a per gram basis, of course). Ah well, at least I have tea!
Had a DELICIOUS pot of this last evening with the beau (after packaging up an ounce or two for a swap!) We used two heaping teaspoons for the pot and each got two 8 ounce cups out of it, so that’s pretty good in my book. The taste was rich decadent vanilla with a hint of caramel, just the way I like it. Adjusting the rating back up based on that perfect pot – I think the key to this one for me is a bit more leaf and only about 3 minutes to steep. I don’t like astringency, so most of my blacks get about 3 minute steeps and that’s just what I like – No additions.
I’m going to blaspheme here – I actually liked this bagged chai. I find chai tea to be a great equalizer – Yes, it is better as loose leaf but of all teas, it’s not so bad bagged. This is likely because the spices dominate the tea and mask the bitterness from low quality tea, but I don’t care. A coworker gave me two bags of this as she knew I love tea and I liked this. Stuck at reception with no time to prepare loose leaf this is a good stand-in and is keeping me warm. Partway through I added a few drops of milk and a miniscule amount of raw sugar as it was getting a titch bitter (and chai handles both milk and sugar well, I find) and it made it better.
Also, it’s making me think that my recent tea apathy might just be a seasonal change in tastes and I need to figure out which ones I want – Chai, mint and chocolate seem to be in vogue for me!
Sadly, this is another one that has become less appealing to me over time. Today, I shook out a considerable deal of dust (what I believe used to be the mint in the tea) so I added a half teaspoon of Spearmint to brighten it up a bit. I’m getting a dry sensation in the aftertaste and a pretty sharp mint. The green is present, though not dominant. Not being a green fan, it is a hint more green than I would prefer, but still acceptable. I am pretty certain this cup is oversteeped though, and that is doing something unpleasant. I really am having a bit of tea failure this week, hopefully I can fix it up soon with something better. Maybe I need to get back to basics.
Had a cup of this today and was a little disappointed. Initially it was the delicious sweet vanilla tea I love, but as it sat it became bitter and over-steeped, even though I shook out the “dust” beforehand. I’ve got to finally admit that I wish I hadn’t been so quick to purchase a whole pound of this, as it will take me FOREVER to finish. Lately I’ve been feeling very blah about all my tea – I have too much of it and the turnover just isn’t there. I hope these winter blues go away as I would prefer to be loving my tea again.
I’ve got a confession to make. Even though it is cold outside now (and there is a foot of snow on the ground – Damn you Nova Scotia winter!!) I am still only drinking one cup of tea a day, while I’m at work. I think it speaks to the appeal of this tea that 4 out of 5 cups this week (also known as every cup since I bought this tea) have been Santa’s Secret.
Twice I have accidentally oversteeped it and it still didn’t get better. It has yielded a shockingly flavourful second steep and honestly reminds me of a hint of green tea taste with the creamy vanilla-esque mint flavour. I do believe that I will go get myself a tin of this one, as it seems to be the tea for me, at the moment at least.
It’s not that there is anything overly special about this one, it’s more that it is wonderfully executed for what it is and just plain tasty. A Davids Tea win, to be sure.
First, let it be known that I am in love with the IDEA of this tea, if nothing else. I am a big fan of mint and black tea, and I love the DT blends with little candies (Read my Lips, Oh Canada, Swampwater). Last year I passed it up as I foolishly believed I had too many mint teas. This year, I know better. Second, I tried one of the little candy pieces and they’re quite yummy. Minty and sweet, almost like there is a hint of vanilla or cream.
I am a little afraid that I’ve oversteeped this cup, it got about 4 minutes which is a hint more than I usually give. The aroma is dominantly black tea, but with mint coming in at the end – I would prefer perhaps a little more mint but we’ll see how it tastes. At least I can always add more mint! The liquor is quite dark, but the flavour matches the arome shockingly well. There is definite black tea, but the mint comes in quickly and then yields to a creamy light mint aftertaste, very similar to the little candy pieces. It is candy-caneish but not very sharp in terms of mint. Sweet, but not sickeningly. This cup, I am loving! Hopefully the appeal lasts as right now I am loving this – Might have to really stock up before it disappears.
Re-visiting this one, partially in an attempt to clear out my work stash. Today I realize that the fruit pieces I somehow confused for apple last time are clearly banana, and they are really dominating the cup. I’m not getting much chocolate this time, just sweet banana-esque rooibos. I’m actually going to lower the rating on this one a bit, as it’s just not all that spectacular. However, if you’re looking for a dessert tea with banana and chocolate echoes, this might be the one for you!
I am liking this a LOT more today than I did on first encounter. I honestly made a cup only because I would like to use it up and get it out of the way, but I am really enjoying it, at least while it’s piping hot. The mint and juniper are front and centre leaving a cooling menthol sensation, but the sweetness of the apple is in the background. I remember disliking the sweetness and honestly at the moment I prefer it staying hidden. I am getting something tart at the front of the sip – Not sure what that might be. I’m still not inclined to get more of this but if I can make the rest of it come out like this, I’ll be happy. I think the key (if you’re having it hot) is to have it VERY hot, as well.
A couple pre-emptive notes: there are three listings for this tea. I chose this one as it has the most ratings. Also, my sampling is from this year’s batch (I didn’t have the guts to try it last year!) Thankfully I learned the way of chocolate tea. I actually went in yesterday after some Christmas shopping (the earliest I’ve ever started!) to get this and Santa’s Secret but my local store had already sold out of Santa’s Secret and was waiting on stock. I need to try that tea!!! Anyway, the dry smell is chocolate heaven – I don’t smell any chai or tea, really, but chocolate sure delivers. Steeped, the aroma is still dominated by chocolate, but a bit lighter.
The taste is impressive, to this formerly chocolate-tea-hating girl. It’s extremely similar to Read My Lips, minus the mint. Occasionally I think I feel the chili heat a tiny bit in my throat at the end of the sip but it doesn’t really stand out. For those of you that like chocolate tea, this should be a guaranteed winner. Might need to get some more, for those odd days I don’t feel like having mint in my chocolate tea. The black tea base doesn’t come out to play but I feel that it’s very important to the balance of the cup, lending the chocolate some weight and really keeping the base a bit darker – I guess I’m trying to say it’s not too sweet and though the tea doesn’t shine I think it is a VERY important supporting character.
As I continue sipping, I find the impression of chili heat increases over the course of the cup. Still not dominant in the sip itself, but in the back of the throat after swallowing. This is different. I like it. Also, there’s nothing chai about this, but I don’t mind. Really impressed with this one.
Okay. When I first bought this I knew very little about white teas and foolishly assumed it wouldn’t be very different from the black teas I knew and loved. Now, however, I know more. For example, I know that I’m not a huge fan of white tea. It’s too subtle for my tastes and far too fussy in terms of steep temp. and time. However, I am revisiting this one in an effort to give my teas a more even spread.
Used hot water from spigot at work, let it cool 5 minutes, then steeped for 2 or 3 (didn’t do the “flash steep” as it is flavoured and I don’t know if it would work so well.) The flavour is sweet with a hint of under-ripe melon rind. It sort of reminds me of 52Teas Peach Cobbler green which I hated and swapped away. I can drink this, but it still isn’t a favourite, possibly because it seems SO sweet. Might like it more if I removed the dried cantaloupe pieces, but that seems like cheating. Sometimes white and green teas make me feel nauseous, hoping that isn’t the case with this one…I don’t know that I’m ever going to appreciate white teas, at this rate.
EDIT: As with my initial tasting of this tea, I find the smell a little off and I don’t like that. The taste is not objectionable, but the smell sort of brings it down a bit for me
I just lost my post. : (
In sum: This is still delicious. Bought 100 grams of this which stays at home (the beau and I both like it) and the sample stays at work. Reminds me in taste of Joy’s Teaspoon’s Lemon Zest but the mate aspect really makes it stand out. Naturally sweet, but not cloyingly so (I find myself averse to too sweet tea lately). Highy recommended! (Disclaimer: I have no discernible reaction to caffeine and the like, but I’ve hear this one can be pretty “energizing”.)