drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
300 tasting notes

This is a very light, bright oolong – I tend to favour riper, fruitier ones as they always seem to infuse the flavoured tea with depth and dimension.

Accordingly, this comes off a little flat to me. This is my second time trying it – the first time around I brewed at 90C, with a steeping time of 3 minutes, and now I upped that to 5. The difference isn’t huge – a bit more complexity in the cup.

Unlike its not so aptly named traveling companion Buttered Rum, this tends to get very buttery, so maybe it wouldn’t have been a complete disaster if this tin had imploded as well.

I’m really sensitive when it comes to artificial vanilla – the vanilla in DT’s Buttered Rum was nice, but this one, even if it is the same, clashes somewhat with the floral, buttery notes of the oolong itself.

It won’t be difficult to clean this tin out, but overall, Vanilla Orchis too light and inconsistent to be a cupboard staple.

[Gifted by C, October 2013.]

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Extremely, overwhelmingly inconsistent. Ugh.

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Extremely, overwhelmingly inconsistent. Ugh.

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.


  • * *


This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.


Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.


  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.


Rome, Italy

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