David Rio

Recent Tasting Notes

75

I did nothing productive yesterday, and it was great.

I had the day off from Sobeys; so after Calendar Club I stopped at the liquor store, which may have been a bad idea because I ended up walking out with about $80 in alcohol I don’t need – and there’s still more that looks amazing that I want to go buy. But alcohol costs MONEY. Ick. I’m trying to justify by “but you can mix it with tea” but over $100 in booze is not a smart thing.

Here’s my alcohol haul though, for those curious:

- Butterscotch Schnapps
- Rootbeer Schnapps
- Peach Schnapps
- Raspberry Sourpuss
- 4 Pack of “Polar White” shooters (White Chocolate liquor and Peppermint Schnapps)
- Golden Pear Liqueur

And here’s what I didn’t get, but want/ed to:

- Apple Pie Liqueur
- Bols Banana Liqueur
- 4 Pack of Caramel Vodka Mudshakes
- Beer???

TOO MUCH BOOZES.

And then I got home and had a couple drinks, because that’s what you do after a booze haul. Some of those drinks were non drinks though – by which I mean they were actually tea. Like this one: which was actually a hot tea latte. Teaception?

Some observations about this one: it’s noticeably less sweet and “weighty” than the Elephant Blend (snickers), which has a black base instead of this one which is green. There is some sweetness though, which is good for me. Visually, they’re different colours too: Elephant is like a lighter brown, and this one is kinda yellow-y. The vegetal/green tea aspect of this isn’t super obvious – great for non green tea lovers such as myself. But it is subtly there, and I imagine that would be more obvious if this was just in regular water. Spices are present (clove and cinnamon being more distinct), but not overwhelming.

I like it. Plus, it helps the animals <3

darby

Don’t feel bad, I went to a new liquor store that has amazing prices and walked out spending $190!!! Now $80 of that are presents for Xmas but…..wow!

VariaTEA

Whenever I am in the liquor store, I am always amazing at the million flavors of vodka and I am always tempted to buy them but then I remember the one time I got drunk on vodka, I became a crazy person and wound up at the hospital

Sil

sailor jerry has new pin up girls this year… sigh

VariaTEA

Haha Sil, you’re like their number one fan :P

Sil

dude… i put that stuff in my coffee in the morning when i bother to get a coffee…black + that = yums

OMGsrsly

Before work, or just before wedding planning, Sil? ;)

Sil

um… i refuse to answer that on the grounds that it might be both.

Kittenna

I am thankful that I dislike most alcohol, so I’m far less tempted by the delicious-sounding things, knowing I won’t like it on the grounds that it is booze. However, that Criollo stuff sounds amazing >.>

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78

Happy Holidays, Steepster!

Board/Dash seem quiet today which I’m going to take to mean everyone’s at home with family and loved ones. I’m stuck here at work dealing with the last minute shoppers for now, but in two hours I’ll be headed home to do the same.

currently I’m trouble shooting some technical stuff right now: our receipt printer WAS working, but it just inexplicably stopped. I am not a tech smart person: so this is rather challenging. People are getting pissed off about not receiving receipts, so I’m hand writing out everything for them. It sucks. Do not want. Gonna try the age old “turn it off and back on again” ‘trick’ next…

Anyway; had this in a timolino, without milk this time. Don’t know how it’s possible but this is even sweeter tasting without the milk? How’d that even happen!? It was still good though: thick enough mouthfeel, sweet vanilla, and gingerbread? Mmm! Surprisingly festive!

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78

Guys, there’s a childrens choir singing Christmas carols in the mall… AWWWW!

So, I did it! I bought the tin of this from work yesterday – and trying it now. When I got home last night I opened it up to inspect it, and it’s definitely interesting: visually it’s a very, very fine powder like instant hot chocolate mix, and it had a strong smell of cloves and ginger with a heavy, vanilla sweetness to it. At first I was kind of reminded of graham crackers but then I realized that it’s a dead wringer, smell wise, for fresh gingerbread!

Now, the company recommends 3 tbsp. for 8 oz. which, to me, is SUPER extreme and the kind of crazy thing you tell less hardcore teadrinkers who need EVERYTHING super leafed and heavily sweetened so I definitely did not use 3 tbsp. Instead I compromised and went with 1 1/2 tbsp. mixed in with 50/50 milk and boiling water in a 12 oz. timolino. And even with half of what they recommended this is still very flavourful. It’s actually really rich/creamy with a very sweet vanilla flavour and then the right balance of spices to, again, really remind me of gingerbread! It’s cinnamon, and nutmeg, and a little bit of cloves, and something very cookie like! I’m pretty impressed, and happy with my decision to take a chance on this one.

I can tell you right now though, if I’d followed instructions this would have been hella sweet/cloying. Hooray common sense!

VariaTEA I’m definitely sending you some because it’s weird and interesting and I think that even though you, like me, dislike Chai you wont totally hate this one. Plus, it helps the animals.

OMGsrsly

OH, I like this so much! There’s a spicy one too, Tiger I think. London Drugs used to carry it but they don’t anymore.

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24
drank Fuji Apple by David Rio
37 tasting notes

Pretty foul and artificial tasting. Strictly a tea of last desperation.

Flavors: Apple

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85
drank Maple Moose Chai by David Rio
837 tasting notes

I got this one from Nicole. It’s a powdered chai mix, which I don’t think I’ve ever tried before. But it has maple and sounded so delicious that I had to request a sample from her! The sample was probably a couple tablespoons, but she just wrote to use the whole thing so I didn’t measure it. I made mine with vanilla soy milk because I don’t have any regular milk right now and I love vanilla!

Holy cow, this is very sweet. But I love it! Super delicious and creamy. It’s very mildly spiced and she’s right, you don’t taste much tea. The maple isn’t overpowering, just a lovely accent. Overall, this would probably be too sweet for most people, but I find it delicious and ridiculously indulgent. I wish this company offered a sampler of all of their different chai mixes. There’s a mango version which sounds amazing! :P

Flavors: Creamy, Maple, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
7 OZ / 207 ML
Nicole

I have sometimes found sample packages in places like gift and home stores. The mango is the one that got me hooked to begin with and the green tortoise is the only thing I like to put matcha in.

Only thing I dislike about the David Rio mixes is that they use so much product for a cup you go through the tin pretty quickly. I got my last off of Amazon since a 2 pack and a single can get you to the free shipping level. :) They are handy to have around on a cold morning when you want sweet and creamy.

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87
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
132 tasting notes

This is about the 5th time I’ve used this mix and I think I’ve got the hang of it. I mix about 3 tablespoons with 6 ounces unsweetened almond milk and 2 ounces of espresso. The unsweetened milk really changes the flavor and makes it more balanced. Since I’m not focusing on the sugar, the spice comes through a lot better and it’s a delight to drink. It’s bumping Granville Island down a notch!

Preparation
9 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
132 tasting notes

I’m drinking this with about 2.5 tablespoons (instead of the recommended 3) and a full cup of almond milk. I also added in 2 ounces of fresh brewed espresso. I thought the chai flavor would be lost, but it is still very noticeable. I wish the chai flavor would be stronger (probably my fault for adding too much milk in), but I don’t think I could add more mix in since it tastes very sweet to me. (Recently I have been using Trader Joe’s Spiced Chai Latte mix / Hammonds Candy Cane Cocoa, so saying this is sweet means it is!)

I’ll give it another try though, since my friend gifted this to me for Christmas!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

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68
drank Maple Moose Chai by David Rio
582 tasting notes

I got this in our family Christmas grab bag. I came home with a nice case of something tummy related and today was the first day since then that I’ve really thought tea sounded good. Even then, it wasn’t so much tea sounding good but wanting to try something new. :)

I know my tastebuds are still somewhat out of whack but this was super sweet. I did taste maple and as with many of the David Rio mixes, I didn’t taste much tea but that is okay. I don’t mind them for something sweet and milky and fast but not really tea. This one, I wouldn’t reach for over the Tiger Chai or the Green Tortoise Chai, but it’s okay.

As usual for me, I made this with 1% milk instead of water.

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70
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
4665 tasting notes

Backlog:

Yeah, I’m still really behind. sigh I hope to get caught up one day!

Anyway … I received a packet of this chai mix in one of my Love With Food boxes … and I was happy to try it. David Rio is a company I’m familiar with because back when I was first starting out in the tea business (blending/selling … not reviewing!) I sampled quite a few of David Rio’s products as I did have some customers that expressed an interest in a chai mix rather than a loose leaf … and had I decided to ultimately offer a mix … I would have gone with the David Rio product because at the time, it was my favorite of the ones that I had tried. This was many years ago, and I’ve since had the opportunity to try some newer brands out there … but this is still pretty darned good for what it is.

However, I can say this … my taste buds seems to have … developed since the last time I had this because I used to like this a whole lot better than I do now. Either my taste buds have improved or the competition has improved (or perhaps … a little of both.) I used to love this stuff … but now I’m finding it just … OK. Drinkable … but not something that I’d keep stocked in my kitchen for everyday consumption … or even more than occasional consumption.

Good, not great … but I do like that David Rio is committed to a good cause (the welfare of animals.)

Sil

haha you’ll never catch up!

LiberTEAS

LOL … thanks a bunch for your confidence! :)

Sil

mostly i just don’t want you to catch up or i feel like i’d see less fun notes to read! :)

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72
drank La France Pear by David Rio
168 tasting notes

Another bagged tea from the lovely High Adventure
After my yoga session this morning, I had a craving for Matcha.
I am currently out, till I remembered this bag I had in my sample drawer.
When I first opened the packet I was a tad frightened since the pear smell was quite pronounced and almost candy-like.
Once the tea was brewed the smell had calmed down some.
The matcha taste is there, but its is rather overtaken by the pear, however, the pear taste is not so loud and candy-like as the smell of it at the beginning.
Nice little tea to sip while I am still on my yoga high.
Thank you again, High Adventure!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
15 tasting notes

When I want chai, THIS is what I want. I have a little milk heating pot/foamer, and I add this to the milk with the mixing attachment. It dissolves/infuses nicely, leaving no clumps. The flavor is perfect with vanilla soy milk.

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80
drank Toucan Mango Chai by David Rio
582 tasting notes

After trying the Tortoise Green Chai, I ordered some and to get free shipping, I added this as well. :)

I’m not sure I can taste tea at all. That said, I can taste spices and definitely fruit. It goes together well. Sweet, yes, but not sickeningly so. I still probably don’t need more than one cup of it at a sitting.

Made with 7 oz. water and 3 tablespoons chai mix per package instructions. Curious to try with milk. I didn’t think this was too thin, but thicker would be good, too, I’m pretty sure. ;) I’d order it again if I was out somewhere and they had it, but I might or might not replace it in my cupboard when this supply is gone. Jury is still out on that.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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88

I had this as a chai latte at the DFW airport on my way to vacation last week. I was looking for some breakfast before the flight and this jumped out at me. It was excellent. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a green chai, much less a powdered one. The guy making it told me he was also putting Japanese matcha in it but who knows. He was a little hard to understand and it was early in the morning. :) He did give me the extra that wouldn’t fit in the regular cup in a little tasting cup and gave me a medium for small price. I had asked for a small and he either misunderstood or he was bored because he made a medium and then told me he was charging me the small price. Not gonna complain about that. :)

At any rate, this was thick, rich, sweet and amazing. I’m going to have to keep an eye out for some. It was best hot, but cooled off to lukewarm it was still good, though the aftertaste got stronger and wouldn’t have been my favorite part of it.

UPDATE: The dude who made this for me did indeed add matcha to it. When I made this at home tonight, it was not green and it tasted different. Still had an odd bit of aftertaste, but not as creamy and not green. :) Tried adding some matcha powder I got from Teavana awhile back and blech. I think I need to figure out how to mix matcha before I try this again. That and I’m pretty sure I just don’t care much for matcha when it tastes like matcha. :)

Tea Sipper

ah, vacation. I hope it was nice!

Nicole

It was wunnerful. :) Ready to face the daily grind again. :)

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97
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
63 tasting notes

A friend bought me a container of this since I’m a chai fiend. I really like it. It’s NOT spicy as the name implies. Rich and flavorful, it’s a favorite of mine in the late evenings.

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99

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81
drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
2 tasting notes

This tea is a perfect blend of spices and creamy flavor. Chai spice teas usually make me think of autumn and are great for that season, but David Rio’s vanilla is definitely an autumn and winter tea. It’s not overpowering and perfectly sweet as is without sweetener (or sugar, if you go that route).

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78

This is the very last sample from our tea swap with Krystaleyn. Le sigh. I shouldn’t be sighing, I have a box of samples to get through sitting right next to me.

This would be totally awesome iced I think. It’s pretty good hot but all that berry action makes me think it’s perfect for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. Blueberry seems to be the strongest flavor here with a pomegranate sidekick. There is some thing a little different with this blueberry. I think it may be that acai berry showing up here. Very good berry mix. I can’t really taste the green tea but that’s okay berry drinks are awesome. Thanks again Krystaleyn!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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76

This was the last sample from our exchange with the always wonderful Krystaleyn!

Although this isn’t something I’d normally pick out on my own, I’m glad I got a chance to try it. It may just be the years of being a “counter-culture” nerd, but I’d probably immediately gloss over something labelled as “Organic Power Fruit Tea”. It’s just too many trendy buzzwords at once… instantly puts me back in the shoes of being an angsty teenager who hated anything popular. I’ve grown past that, I swear.

The star of the show on this tea is definitely the blueberry, with a little bit of pomegranate flavoring, and a little of what may be acai. In all honesty, if it didn’t say it had green tea in it, I would have thought this was just a fruit infusion. Not that this would be a bad thing.

The tea is sweet with just a little bit of a tang, but not too much, just enough to round out the flavor. Done a little bit differently, I could really enjoy this tea. Oooh, I bet it’s good iced!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

I admit, this wasn’t a tea I would have picked out myself – a friend actually gave it to me. I have yet to brew it properly myself and review it on here, but recalled at the very least finding it nicely fruity :)

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37

This blend of David Rio’s chai is without sugar and caffeine and I can taste a big difference between this Flamingo Vanilla version and his original Tiger Spice Chai blend. A BIG difference. I don’t like this one near as much as the other (which earns a sold 100 from me, along with only one other tea). We bought this because my mother wanted to try my tiger chai but wanted one without the caffeine. Unfortunately for us, we cannot find the version of David Rio’s which is only caffeine free (which is called Giraffe Decaf Chai, in case you are interested), so we bought this one instead. It was a big disappointment for me because I have a long history with the Tiger Spice blend (it was the original chai tea blend from Borders back before they brought in Starbucks!)
I won’t be buying this one again, and neither will my mother, but I would try the Giraffe one.

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100
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
9 tasting notes

Love, love, love, love, love this ‘tea’. I used to work at Borders and this is THE EXACT blend of the original borders chai ‘tea’. I use tea in quotes because I never make this with water (and neither did Borders). I make this tea just like I do with hot chocolate — heat up a mug of milk and add in this chai blend, stir and enjoy the guilty pleasure of it. I don’t drink it a lot because even using 2% milk, this is too fattening for me. The blend of this chai is utterly perfect: It is not too sweet and each of the amounts of the various spices (cinnamon, clove, cardamom and ginger) are perfectly in tune with each other. I will constantly have some of this in my cupboard. Love!

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88

This is my current favorite chai mix, I like sweet and this has the perfect mix for my taste buds. It’s easy to add to (I stir it with a cinnamon stick), and isn’t overpowering. I love it!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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27

This tea is fine. Nothing spectacular. Nothing is really needed to the dark, dark colored tea to make it palatable, but I did add a scootch of raw sugar. This tea is fine to carry in your purse and make your own tea at the gas station when you stop with your own mug and their hot water. Maybe one of those flavored shots of creamer would help it.

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