David Rio

Recent Tasting Notes

80
drank Flamingo Vanilla Chai by David Rio
902 tasting notes

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80
drank Flamingo Vanilla Chai by David Rio
902 tasting notes

The bright pink of this packaging called to me to find out what it was…chai tea!! Then I looked at the name…Flamingo?! They also had Orca Spice and the Tiger Spice chais, and for a moment I had a very hard time deciding…until I read that this one is decaf. Decaf!!! I had to get it.

It is an instant chai powder. I mixed according to package directions, 2 TBSP to 6 oz hot water.

I could get down on this stuff. It’s rich and creamy, strongly vanilla, but I can still taste the tea along with the spices. If you like really spicy chais, I’d say this one isn’t for you. The spices are definitely there, and well-balanced, but not strong/spicy enough for a true chai afficianado. As for me, I’m going to definitely be checking into the other flavors (there’s a Toucan one with mango on the website)!!

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72
drank Fuji Apple by David Rio
104 tasting notes

One of the random teabags that Dan sent to me. I really like this one, can’t say as I’ve had a good apple-flavored tea before. This was juicy and slightly tart, very much like a Gala or Pink Lady apple, though not tart enough for Granny Smith.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
Cofftea

If you’re looking for a good apple tea (loose leaf), I suggest you try Den’s apple sencha. It’s my fave:)

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65

Steep Information:
Amount: 1 and 1/2 tablespoon powder
Water: 1/3 cup boiling water
Additives: 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
Served: Cold, hot dumped over ice cubes

Tasting Notes:
Steeped Tea Smell: coconut, sugar
Flavor: really sweet, then black tea
Body: Full
Aftertaste: sugar
Liquor: dark orange

I enjoy having thai iced tea and coffee while out so I couldn’t resist this when I saw it in the store.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/06/david-rio-instant-powder-black-tea.html

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100

This is the best flavour I have ever tasted, it is elegant and afrodisiatic, it turned me adict to it

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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68

When I was in Vancouver for the Olympics I stopped by the Blue Teapot, which is a tea shop that’s sort of an old favorite of mine, located in the Lonsdale Quay. The owner had gotten in a bunch of new merchandise in anticipation of the tourist influx and he was selling some of the David Rio chai mixes.

I’ve never tried any of David Rio’s teas but having some experience with Oregon Chai and Second Cup’s chai mixes (which can be diabetic coma-inducing) I asked the owner to tell me which one he thought was the least sweet of the bunch. He pointed out this one and since I thought it sounded interesting (I’ve never had a green tea chai latte) I got it.

Okay…the cute name might have been a factor aswell. ;P

I was expecting something a little bit like sweetened matcha…yeah. When I opened the package the powdery contents inside were a pale yellow colour and they smelled like one of those vanilla pudding mixes.

The ‘texture’ of the tea in my mouth feels a little off. The package instructions say to use hot water but I think I’d like this better with milk instead. It’s just too thin with water. It tastes sweet but not sickly sweet, thankfully. I can distinctly taste the vanilla and the spices which are a good mix – I do wish I could pick up more of a green tea flavour though. It’s there, but you have to look for it in each sip.

It’s not bad, I might buy it again if I come across it and it isn’t too expensive, but it’s not anything that’s likely to become a regular staple in my cupboard. I prefere whole-leaf chais anyway.

Preparation
Boiling

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81
drank Green Passion by David Rio
22 tasting notes

Did they discontinue this wonderful green tea? It’s a very perfumed tea, with bright blue cornflower blossoms and bits of dried wild papaya and pineapple. I’m a sucker for cornflower. I’m always so amused by seeing blue (!) leaves in my tea or bits of dried fruit. Sweet and fruity, and very delicate.

katiev

My husband decided he had to dump half a tin of it into the pot. Now I have no more of this excellent tea :(

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70

Chamomile + Caramel = Butterscotch

Janefan

what a surprising combination!

chana

Not a combination I would have thought of. I would definitely be willing to try it.

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68
drank Fuji Apple by David Rio
429 tasting notes

I found this at T.J. Maxx on sale no less. Its not a strong tea and it holds up without milk or sugar. You sure can taste the apple. No aftertaste and its not bitter. Its hit or miss with teas at TJMaxx and I may never see this tea again, but it can be ordered online at David Rio.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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10
drank Organic Masala Chai by David Rio
260 tasting notes

Blerg. Disappointing on so many levels, not the least of which that Williams Sonoma rarely lets me down.

First of all, let me say that this is essentially a powder. I opened the tin, expecting…you know, spices. This is a not that. It looks like sand. It looks granulated.

The smell of…whatever it is, kind of smells like chai. It definitely has that spiced quality to it. But overwhelmingly, and it took me a second to recognize this because I was NOT expecting it, it smells like rubber cement. I kid you not. It has that distinct, alcohol-like quality to it, and it does that sharp, not quite stinging thing to my nostrils that rubber cement does.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t just stop here, but the guy in Williams Sonoma had spoken very well about it. I’m guessing that they’d had samples before in the store and he’d tried it. I know you’re thinking “retail spiel” etc., but I used to work retail and I can usually recognize when someone’s trying to sell you something just to make a sale. Plus, I don’t think that the people in Williams Sonoma are commissioned, but I could be wrong on that. Anyhow, I figured why not, since Angrboda had had some of David Rio’s stuff [from a completely different part of the collection] with some success.

So I, somewhat dubiously, measured some out and shook it into some milk that was heating in a saucepan. I didn’t bother adding any sugar, since it looked like it already had some in it.

Once the mixture had heated adequately [though some of the powder never quite dissolved, which was somewhat disconcerting], I poured it into a cup.

Ehm…

Okay. This kind of makes me think of what it would taste like if Swiss Miss did chai, except you don’t get any mini marshmallows. It’s synthetic tasting. And at the risk of sounding gross, the overall taste makes me think of that taste you get in your mouth before you brush your teeth in the morning. That, plus maybe some spices, plus sugar. If you dumped a teaspoon of sugar into your mouth first thing in the morning, you could probably replicate this pretty closely.

I’m already trying to strategize trying to return this to Williams Sonoma. It would be ridiculously pretentious, so I won’t do it, but a big part of me wants to bring in some of Samovar’s Masala Chai and make it for them, then say, “This? This is chai. This is spiced rubber cement. Can I return this please?” Likely I’ll just go in and ask nicely and hope they allow me to exchange it for something else. Though if I see the guy that recommended it to me, I’ll probably give him a few polite words on what I thought about it. Plus, he was kinda cute, so…you know. That doesn’t hurt either.

If that doesn’t explain why this rating is going to be abysmal, I don’t know what else will.

Angrboda

Eh, I’m not chai-experienced anyway. Except for two (one of which was years ago and vast disaster) this powdery stuff is my whole experience. Maybe it’s like… training wheels and you’re too experienced for it?
The ones I’ve had was those with animals in the names, and they’re very sweet, but I think maybe I prefer that.

takgoti

It could very well be. I actually think that added flavor could help the taste quite a bit. It’s kind of like how I feel about Starbucks, I guess. The coffee they use really isn’t that great, but does that mean that I wouldn’t drink an Espresso Truffle at the height of my coffee phase [or even now]? No. Same thing with hot chocolate. I love my ACKC chocolate shavings “fancy” chocolate that involves whisking and whatnot. But I’ll still drink Swiss Miss.

This particular one, however, just wasn’t…I don’t know. I think the weird smell did a lot towards turning me off, but something about it was very…bizarre.

Angrboda

Yeah, mediocre stuff can be surprisingly awesomely good, but it doesn’t work if one wasn’t expecting mediocrity.

Ricky

Doooo it (go and have a taste test with the guy). Let us know how it goes.

teaplz

I think they do get commission in Williams-Sonoma. At least, the sales people are always prowling the floor where I go… that could be why? Yeah, nobody needs instant chai mix unless you’re on the go. Ew.

takgoti

@Angrboda Seriously. It’s the same thing with me and movies. And actually…pretty much everything.

@Ricky Hah, it’s going to have to wait until the malls stop being crazy. I’m not bringing in my own tea to WS, though. That’s just…ugh, I’d have to hate myself afterwards and that’s not pleasant.

@teaplz Heh, as a former retail monkey I could go into this in much more depth, but there are several reasons for prowling [a cranky manager, for example] and my experience tells me they’re not on commission. It could be that things differ in certain stores, but I’m thinking they’ve got personal trackers but aren’t commissioned. They don’t ask you who helped you at the register and I’m often rung out by people who didn’t help me on the floor. [Usually commissioned sales people are tracked through the registers in some way or another. And they’re usually MUCH more aggressive.] But retail mini-rant aside, yeah. I think that the fact that they call it “Organic Masala Chai” made me laugh even more. There was hardly anything in the entire experience that read to me as organic. Sigh.

Carolyn

I’m pretty sure Williams-Sonoma sales people are not commissioned. I think I asked once and was told that they weren’t. However, it is worth realizing that they’re not hired for their knowledge of tea. My experience with Williams-Sonoma people is that they have a lot of knowledge of cakes and pastries, some knowledge of other food items and then their knowledge falls off a cliff. I’ve often spent a good deal of time on slow days explaining how to substitute vegan items for eggs and dairy and they knew very little on the topic. When I’ve asked about the food items they sell, they frequently don’t know that much about most of them. They know their pots, pans, and knives extremely well, though.

takgoti

@Carolyn Ah, mystery solved-ish! But yes, you’re totally right on the tea front, so it’s probably a shame on me situation for buying it on recommendation, but now it’s something I know more about. Funny, I’m usually in there to either get stuff for pastry or baking. Or a pot. Or a pan. Or a knife. [Guns for show, knives for a pro.] Maybe this is why I like them so much.

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58

I purchased this a couple years ago, but I still have a few bags lingering around. The version I have contains matcha green tea and sunflower pedals, in addition to ‘natural french pear’ (whatever that is).

It’s a smooth tea, and the green tea is of wonderful quality. I hated it at first, but once I figured out how to actually steep green tea, it made sense – and it was pretty robust! Nothing to write home about, though. Don’t let the packaging fool you: this is the kind of quality you can buy as a generic grocery store brand.

That said, it’s not bad. Flowery, but no qualities that make it anything to go out of your way for.

Preparation
0 min, 45 sec

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84
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
1281 tasting notes

Apparently I’m doing my backlogs out of order. Oh well. This is from today, the train trip home from work.

Takgoti wanted me to try the spicy chai at that bagel place too, and today I was feeling brave enough to do so. I just got the smallest cup they had in case I didn’t like it.

Turns out it wasn’t really the sort of ‘spicy’ that I was expecting. I was think ‘spicy’ as in sort of ‘hot’. Not cayenne-pepper hot, but something that would definitely be felt a bit in the throat while sinking. Instead it was a more warming spicy, and it was actually quite sweet.

I was also a little concerned about the fact that it had ginger in it, and I’m under the impression that I don’t much care for ginger. The first chai I bought for myself ever and tried to make had something or other in it, a strange flavour that I can’t quite recall anymore, but when telling others about it, they said that it was most likely to have been ginger. This didn’t seem to have that particular flavour. Or at least not in a concentration where I couldn’t get it down.

I could smell cardamom very clearly. I wasn’t even in doubt about it. I could taste a little sweetness from cinnamon too and I was a bit on certain about whether or not it also contained vanilla.

It reminded me of the elephant vanilla chai, except not quite as sweet. It wasn’t the same sensation of drinking something that was actually supposed to have been a sweet dessert, but it was much better than I had feared. I can’t really decide, though, if I liked this one better than the elephant vanilla chai or not. In some ways I did, but in some ways I didn’t. I can get a medium sized cup the next time, although I still don’t think I’d be able to drink more than that of any of them without it becoming way too much.

takgoti

Way to be with the braveness and the trying!

Glad to hear you enjoyed it [and that I didn’t encourage you to tea doom]. I’ve been looking at the David Rio site lately. SIGH, too much tea. Not enough moneys.

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84
drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
1281 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I had this, but I bought a cup for the trainride home today as a reward for having walked from the hospital to the train instead of taking the bus. I need to get better at doing that again, I’ve just been lazy about it lately.

It’s been so long since I had one that I was suprised by the sweetness of it when I first took a sip. It was nice though, and I keep liking it more.

I noticed today that they now also seem to have two other David Rio chais available, bringing it up to five to choose from. Including a green one that I’ll have to try sometime, mainly because I have the hardest time imagening how that would work out…

Today, though, I’d been thinking about this all the way as I walked, so I couldn’t very well try something else.

(Travelling Teaboxers, don’t forget to sign up before Dec. 31st by sending me your address at [email protected]. There are guidelines for the box in the Travelling Teabox thread in the forum.)

Ricky

lol Elephant Vanilla Chai. I hate chai, but I love the name (Elephant Vanilla….)

takgoti

I like to think that you are solely responsible for the addition of the last two chais.

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84
drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
1281 tasting notes

Had another one of these on the train home today. This time I actually heard what the two other choices were, but I was feeling whimpy and didn’t dare try any of them. One was cinnamon which just reminded me of the over-cinnamoned chai-cino from Baresso and the other was ‘spicy’ which…. Yeah. Whimpy.

Today I noticed, though, that they sell small tins of their chais too, I guess about 100 g or 150 g or something like that. I don’t have one of those milk steaming things at home so I’m not sure if I could make it properly at home if I tried. Not like they do anyway. And they were kinda pricey. 139 kr for a tin. It’d be a shame to spend that if I can’t get it right. Remind me to ask my boss. Maybe she’ll be interested in splitting a tin.

Anyway, it was still good. I think actually I liked it better today where I knew what to expect than I did yesterday where I didn’t know. You know? Something that tastes more like dessert than beverage becomes less of a ‘mis-placed’ sort of flavour when you know what you’re getting.

I’ll get around to trying the spicy one some day when I’m feeling brave. But I’ll just get a small one then…

takgoti

When in doubt, expense account!

Except not always, because sometimes that could get you fired.

Tell your boss that I fully endorse her going halfsies on the tea. If you want to substitute my name for someone more important’s feel free.

I want to hear what the spicy tastes like as soon as you’ve worked up the nerve to try it.

Angrboda

Yeah, I work in the public sector. I’m just a lab rat, my job isn’t fancy enough for expense accounts. I’m not even sure you can GET that in the public sector. :p

I’ll get around to trying the spicy, promise. Just be aware that I’m not expecting to like it much. :)

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84
drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
1281 tasting notes

OMG I should NOT have checked Steepster this morning. Stupid idea. For two reasons. 1) It made me miss the train (again) and 2) I’ve spent the whole entire day in a ’don’t wanna work, wanna play!’ frame of mind. Needless to say, the day went by reaaaaaally slowly.

On the way home from work I came over kind of peckish so I stopped in at this new little bagel place at the train station to get me something to eat on the way home. They also had your basic coffee drinks, cafe latte, cappucino, that sort of thing. And they had chai. Remembering my recent experience with the Chai-cino from Baresso, I thought I’d try what the chai here was like. As it turned out, when I had ordered, they had several different kinds to choose from. It didn’t say so anywhere on their menus or signs or anything, and I couldn’t really hear the girl who made it very well, so I picked this last one because it was the only one where I could hear what she said. I had already asked her to repeat herself on two other things, and I was getting tired of it. Too much noise around. They had some awesome looking tins, though. Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to spot a brand name. I have, however, found a website that tells me they get their chais from David Rio, and then they listed their five variants. Some further poking about the internet landed me on David Rio’s site which was rather more forthcoming with the details.

Based on the description on DRs site and the fact that I’m pretty sure I picked one in a blue tin, I THINK this was the one I had.

This one was a better experience all in all. It was definitely vanilla-ish and it blended well with the milk. It wasn’t as drowned in cinnamon as the Chai-cino was, but I could still find a touch of cinnamon in it. There was also something else that I couldn’t identify at the time. It was a warm sort of flavour. Not hot like chili or something like that at all, but a warming sort of flavour. It wasn’t even really a flavour as much as it was a sort of sensation of some sort of warming spice being around. Does this even make sense? In my head it seems very likely to have been the cloves and cardamom in combination.
I thought it even had an overall caramel note underneath all the vanilla.

It still tasted quite fat, though, and it was obviously rather sweet. It tasted really nice, but it was more kind of a dessert rather than a beverage.

I think I’m getting better at this chai malarky!

And now to tackle the Dashboard. Deep breath of courage
Beware, I shall start playing with my cupboard very very soon!

Auggy

Okay, now I want rich, fattening, sugary chai – with vanilla!

Angrboda

Sorry. :D (not.)

takgoti

Your search fu is strong.

Vanilla + chai sounds like an amazing combination. Now I really want chai. That’s totally happening tonight.

Angrboda

Apparently this is even a brand that you lot over there would be likely to encounter. :)

Now that I know what’s in them, I can try one of the others some other time.

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