1011 Tasting Notes

75

I had just moved to the USA from Canada and I rigged it so I had a 52 teas order waiting for me when I arrived!
This is my first venture into 52Teas – being a DavidsTea fan (since DT is close to me). This is 1 of 3 teas I ordered off their permanent collection.

Pancake Breakfast Black tea.. wow.. pancakes?

Dry Leaves: Smells like maple syrup. The woodsy kind. Nice big black tea leaves with a spattering of marigold petals.

Steeped: The colour is your classic black tea. Smells slightly maple but strong black tea.

Taste: (I did not add milk/sugar) Black tea, as it goes down, a hint of maple and butteryness. Slightly sweet, but I"m not sure if it’s my senses messing with me (I love how tea does that). As I drink the cup and as it gets cooler, I can taste slight pancakey cake taste.
I find the black tea is the biggest flavour with the pancake/maple/butter flavour being a secondary effect. As the tea is cooler, the pancake/maple/butter comes out much more with the black tea mixing in. When it is in this temperature state of warm/hot – the flavours are at optimal pancakey taste.

If you like black teas you’ll like this tea. Loving more fun teas is great but if you aren’t a black tea fan it might be too overpowering. I made this tea very strong last time and wow it gets really strong black tea taste!

Admittedly, I was disappointed at first with this tea. I thought it would be stronger in terms of pancake flavour. I think of DavidsTea’s “Oh Canada” and how maple-canadian-nice it is with 2-3 times the maple flavour. Pancake breakfast is more subtle in its taste.

But.. this tea is quite tastey and well put together. It’s a great tea, warms me up, tastes like pancakes without the guilt. Great to start a morning… pair it with pancakes even! Ha!
However, I can live without this tea and I don’t think I’d buy more. I plan to buy more from 52Teas or maybe try the Tea of the week/month deals.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Happy Kombucha by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

I’ve never heard of kombucha before.. maybe that’s why I wasn’t up to buying this tea despite being shown it. But the sales gal said if I like fruity teas, I should try it. I like oolong teas so I decided I might as well try it.

Dry: Strong sweet mango.. pineapply or peachy tangy? A similar tea “Life Long Oolong” I find smells less sweet, more nutty and peachy.

Steeped: classic oolong, but a tad less saturated. Smells like pineapple

Taste: deep oolong and something kind of pungently earthy (kombucha I’m guessing), hint of mango and little sweetness from the pineapple. It does get a little peachy with the mix of fruit and earthy. I sneaked a glass of this tea at work after I bought it, in which I left the leaves in and I found it more fruity.

I found this tea very strong the in the oolong/earthy department. Not the typical oolong taste. It’s not bad but it makes this tea different than just fruity oolong. With that said, a very different taste compared to “Life Long Oolong” which is more clean oolong/peachy/nut. This is almost black teay tasting for the earthy/pungent.

If you like earthy teas – maybe towards the black tea range or a strong cup of oolong, this is a good match up. I found the fruit took a backburner to the oolong/kombucha? here – what made this tea a different flavour to set apart from typical oolong, was too overpowering for me.

For fruity oolongs, I think DavidsTea’s Banana Oolong is much more complimentary to oolong tea.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

I was scared to get this tea. Something about fruity bits, citrus bits and freaking eucalyptus. WTH eucalyptus? I didn’t really understand why they’d add it to a fruity citrus tea. Whatever, worth a shot. Everyone in the store said it tastes like grapefruit… hmmm oookay.

Dry leaves: citrusy orange, lemonygrassy, leafy. Pretty mouthwatering. The leaves are visually appealing with the hunks of orange(?), deep red bits, and green.

Steeped: A ruby red colour, crazy hibiscus.. geeze so much hibiscus stuff this spring. I’m going to be hbiscus’d out pretty soon. Smells lemongrassy.. minty? citrusy.

Taste: WTH grapefruit! What kind of crazyness is this?! There’s a taste of hibiscus tart, with citrusy orange, shot of lemongrass and some kinda aftertaste on the tongue (maybe the eucalyptus?) that rounds it out to grapefruit. Crazy! How do they come up with this stuff? As I keep drinking, it gets more tarty.

Tart-o-meter: Not as tart as Kanpe, but more tart that Paradise Lost. Moreso tart in a hibiscus/citrus combination, vs the crazy hibiscus like the other tears.

Very neat tea – if you are a citrus lover, this tea is up your alley. Don’t let the crazy ingredients list scare you off! It’s so crazy it tastes like grapefruit.

Me? Well.. I have a good rooibos Passionfruit/Grapefruit tea from ESP emporium. I find that one pulls out the better qualities of grapefruit (by actually having grapefruit and no tart). I like the citrus notes in Pink Flamingo quite a bit, but that hibiscus tart I’m tired of.

hmmm.. why is my tea red when it should be pink? SIGH, same with Paradise lost, I steep a deep red tea, when DavidsTea quote doesn’t (as well as other reviewers) Maybe I keep getting the blasted hibiscus! GRRR. I dunno.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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60
drank The Earl's Garden by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

I had sampled DavidsTea’s green earl grey, I asked to see their other earl greys. This one stood out the most for uniqueness with a very fruity smell.
The only loose leaf earl grey I’ve had is Adagios, which I’ve given a bad review on as it didn’t taste good at all.
I love a punch-in-the-face bergamoty earl grey. In fact, the only earl grey I like is Stash’s “Double bergamot Earl Grey”… yeah… I fail.

Dry Leaves: Bergamonty and mouth watering berry fruity smell.

Steeped: I did 4 minutes, it came out a ambery-brown…. and… smells like raisins? Actual sweet raisins. OOOkay.

Taste: Raisins? No wait.. I taste the blacktea and the berries with a bit of bergamot bitterness at the end. Or maybe it’s really just raisin tea. I’m drinking this cup straight right now, lets add my usual silk soy creamer and honey to this (I rarely add creamer to my teas, unless it’s earlgrey or chais)
With creamer, it doesn’t taste like raisins. Tastes slightly strawberry black tea. And creamy (duh). I think I like the tea straight, as the flavours come out more… the raisin flavour (ug)

Can I give this tea a “Weird” rating? I can’t get past the raisin tea taste. I wonder if I steep it long as a chai if it would be raisin chai? eeehhhh, not sure if that would taste good, a quick steeping seems best. How about iced? I dunno.

Maybe I’ll try with a shorter steeping time or a smaller scoop, I used 1.5t. I see this tea with the potential to be amazing, but falls into the weird range of messing with my senses.

If you want to try a new kinda Early grey, give this one a shot.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Paradise Found by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

Seeing this tea for the Spring collection got me pumped, I love mixes of green and black tea!

Dry: the leaves smell fruity with a hint of tart. I can maybe detect the orange. The appearance is quite nice with the black, orange peel hunks, green, flecks of blue and pieces of candied mango.

Steeped: Paradise Found steeps into a deep red. And the longer you steep, the redder it goes (hibiscus). Smells tart and fruity still.

Taste: I bought this tea before work and immediately steeped some in a glass when I got to work – as my meeting went on, the tea got more tart and red. But that steeping was very good – fruity, slightly sweet, and not too tart (until it sat in my glass for 30 minutes, then it got really tart). It was like drinking unsweetened natural fruit punch.
This steeping (for this review) was for 5 minutes. I can taste the orange, sweetness of the mango and I think I can detect the black and green tea, adding some earthy yum. Of course, there is tart at the end. This round doesn’t taste as super fruity as my work cup, but I’m not sure if that was a better scoop or longer steeping, leaning on the latter though.
For tart comparison, less tart as DavidsTea’s “Kanpe” by far. Kanpe is stronger with also more tropical with banana, coconut. Then yeah, Kanpe has no caffeine. Paradise Found has a rounding of flavours that compliment each other – with the presence of black and green tea that mixes lovely together.

Oddly, as per what DavidsTea says:
“Liquor: Pink-golden colour and clear, with a sweet tropical mango aroma.”
They must be getting much less hibiscus for their steeping to not go crazy red. I dunno.

So, if you like: a little tart and fruity teas, you should give Paradise Found a shot. If you don’t drink or not into black tea, I wouldn’t let it scare you off trying this tea as it’s very light and not a strong black tea taste at all.

What I like about this tea is the fruity and the mix of teas. I like black tea blends and this one is much lighter and fruity compared to other blends I’ve tried. I wanna play with steeping times, which I think really changed the flavour between the 2 cups I’ve now had. Then of course, this would be amazing iced. I’m not scoring it higher though as though I’m happy it’s not Kanpe horrible-tart, but it’s pushing my acceptable tart levels.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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45
drank Kanpe Tea by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

I never bothered with this tea until I was told if I like DavidsTea’s Goji Pop, I’d love this tea. Then of course it was sold out when the sales gal suggested. It drove me crazy for awhile until I could get my hands on some.

Dry Leaves: smells red fruity candy sweet, like red licorice but more fruity.

Steeped: steeps into a beautiful deep red, like fruit punch. Smells sweet, like cherries and slightly nutty (from the coconut maybe).

Taste: wahh, Tart! That first hit on the tongue is super tarty, booooo! I’m not a fan of tart as I associate it with that crappy bagged fruit tea that adds hibiscus to make it fruity – though this is a cleaner tart than bagged tea. Very fruity, but I can’t peg down the mango and papaya but I can taste the banana and coconut mellowing it out at the end. As the cup goes on, I start to notice the warmth of cinnamon. The tartness dries out my throat. For a 5 minute steep, this tea is quite strong. I don’t notice the stevia sweetness.
I’m not sure how this is like Goji pop as it doesn’t have that sweetness of the melons and Kanpe is much much more tart vs. the goji berry tart.

Kanpe Tea, I think, would make a good fruit base for sangria. Or maybe good iced or as a punch spliced with some Sprite/7up to pull out the tart.

If you like hibiscus and tarty teas, you will love Kanpe! It is also a herbal, so you can drink it into the wee hours of the night.

Me? I’m going to pass on this one. Too tarty for me (unless I just got a bad scoop of mostly hibiscus). I’m going to save it to splice with soda or sangria (I’ll review again then), but otherwise, I’m not going to buy more. I’m going to stick to Goji Pop.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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35

Dr. Chocolate. I always looked at this tea online – oolong tea with chocolate and carob? hell yeah! Carob brings me back to my vegan days! But I’d get scared off by the other stuff in it – cardamon and ginger. Uggg cardamon, I always tried making my own chai teas with it and cardamon is expensive plus I found it added a horrible flavor to my teas.
When I was in store, I can’t remember if it was another sales gal or a customer that said this tea is good. Ehhh.. why not?

Dry leaves smell – spicy with a hint of chocolate. Not bad. Please this taste like super chocolate punch to the face.
Steeped – smells like chocolate and yeah.. cardamon. Steeps a light brown.

Taste – DAMN YOU CARDAMON. That flat spice of cardamon hits me right at first sip! However, the lovely part of this tea is the ginger zinging you at the end with an aftertaste of chocolate and carob. Definitely reminds me of a chai tea. However, I’d have Chocolate Chai teas (Adagio Tea) that I found was nicer in terms of more chocolate flavour, but weaker in spice. I wish that tea and this one would combine (with less cardamon). However, Dr Chocolate lacks that deep earthy flavour of stronger black tea to make it more chai-like, setting it apart.

With that said, I’m going to try brewing this as a chai next time, add some milk. Overall, I’m not going to buy more and I might unload it on someone. I would like to taste more chocolate or have a creamy element, like a vanilla or white chocolate.

If you like spicy tea and something different than a black tea, give this one a try. Unfortunately not very chocolately or caroby though to my liking.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Strawberry Ginger by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

I was upsold on this tea – dammit! I wasn’t planning on getting this one – I was actually going to pass as I thought “ehhh.. weird combination, and ginger sounds too funky” despite myself being a ginger lover.

But the smell of the tea leaves at the store + the salesgal sold me.

Smell (dry leaves) – fruity with that weird ginger skin smell (very slight). Overall, interestingly appealing.

Steeped – hmm.. Gogi Pop? Very fruity and sweet.. mmm.. very sweet smell. Steeps a pretty light pink.

Taste – fruity – the apple and berries come out, not tart at first. the blackberry really adds a different dimension of fruity that’s quite nice. Of course, the ginger comes out at the end as a little zing and aftertaste and then some tart hits the throat. Not sweet like Gogi pop though. This team is nicely refreshing hot. Might be that theory on stuff with a little zing cools the body? I dunno.

After half the cup.. I’m reminded of strawberry/raspberry ginger ale but without the sweetness. Yes.. that is the best way to describe this tea! Geeze DAVIDsTea.. you could advertise it like that and might scare people off less. The ginger taste is more real ginger, like those good expensive glass bottle local ginger ales vs. fakey stuff.

Overall – this would be nice iced with a bit of sweetner to be an interesting cool drink. Oooh.. or maybe good mixed with some club soda and fake that strawberry ginger ale.

I’m oddly intrigued by this tea. It’s a caffeine free tea (herbal) that doesn’t have Chamomile or Rooibos. That wins points as I’m not a rooibos person and I’m picky about chamomile (and tired of it).

I’m gonna try it with sweetner and iced, see if it adds to it. Maybe play with steeping time to see if the ginger would come out more, and reduce tart with a shorter time.
I really miss Fruity gingerales as I haven’t found them in diet yet.. and hey, this tea has no calories and tastes like ginger ale! But overall, I almost wish it was more sweet, like Gogi Pop’s melony sweet bits. Who’d I recomend too? Well.. before the gingerale connection, I would of said for the brave peeps, especially if you like ginger. Now, with the gingerale connection – hey, if you like that strawberry/raspberry gingerale, give it a shot.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Jolly Jellybean by DAVIDsTEA
1011 tasting notes

I figure this tea would be more of a novelty than anything – jellybeans in it? I got it anyways as I quite like rooibos with citrus in it.

Smell – creamy, sweet, pineapple – mouth watering smell. Very pretty with yellow and blue petals and strawberries.

For steeping, I made sure to get a jellybean in there and I was surprised it melted about 80%, just some jelly blob left. They are “Jellybelly” brand beans (if your batch got burned without beans.. you could maybe just add some, I dunno).
Brews into a typical red rooibos colour with a scent of pineapple.

Taste – well.. rooibosy, and coconut with a hint of fruity tart and vanilla, overall mild. I don’t taste the pineapple that much, mostly in the scent of the tea. I had a yellow jellybean in this scoop, but I’m not sure if it added anything to it or colour of jellybean would change the tea.

Overall, if you like novelty teas, rooibos and vanilla – this one tea is pretty neat.

I was hoping for either more of a pineapple, stronger fruit or creamy taste (not vanilla creamy taste). Not my kind of tea as I find it too light and the combination of flavours doesn’t do it for me. I wish this tea tasted more like what it smells.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

I had to try this beast of a tea – white Bai Mu Dan I quite like in other teas. Plus this tea is cool looking with all the berries and coconut.

Smell – oh man.. very caramelly but no caramel. Love it. Not as strong as DAVIDsTea “Checkmate” but quite similar. The tea is pretty much chunks of mulberries and coconut. I got a little concerned as when I went to scoop the tea, there isn’t much white tea. My tea spoon scoop got 5 mulberries, coconut pices and maybe 4 tea leaves.

Taste – I steeped for 9 minutes (as seen in other notes here). Regardless, I found it to be very light…maybe even weak.
First sip was “mmmmm…” again – caramel but the sweetness is ultra mild and not sugar sweet – a natural sweetness. The coconut evens out more with adding more to the caramel taste.
I chomped on the mulberries at the end and yum, golden, smooth caramel and sweet. Ha, like this tea, but way way way less intense.

Verdict – I wish this tea was much stronger as it’s too light for me. I love strong flavours or sophisticated and unique combinations. I want to try a heftier scoop (2t) and 10 minute steep. Overall, an interesting tea, simple and sweet but really.. it’s a mulberry tea and the tastey little nuggets are heavy MOFOs plus this tea is expensive in price equaling more expensive. With that said, this tea is named appropriately! LOL.

I want to try a few more cups, but first impression, the price for what you get is too steep for my tastes.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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Profile

Bio

I’m a crafty knitter and crocheter that loves to work on a project and drink tea. I worked as a counsellor and I chain-drink tea to keep me calm and grounded.

I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk.

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.
My recommended tea shops:
Mandala Tea
Steep City Teas
Butiki Teas
DAVIDsTea
Della Terra Teas
Lupicia
Verdant Tea
Yunnan Sourcing
52 Teas / Zoomdweebies
Yunomi.us
Red Leaf Tea
New Mexico Tea Co
Bluebird Tea Co
The Persimmon Tree

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

I have a husband and a bunny who both hate tea. More for me!!!! MUUAHAHAHAHAAA

Location

Long Beach, CA

Website

http://oolongowl.com/

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