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Recent Tasting Notes
So I was one of the ones who managed to get onto the list for Peony Tea S.‘s “free samples for Canadians if you tell us how long it took to deliver,” list. I’m 99% sure that Canada Post just tried to deliver it, but I was the only one home, slobbily dressed and was also…indisposed at the moment they rang the bell. But I heard something drop into the mailbox, and ran happily to the door as soon as I was able, anticipating the package.
…Er, what? Failed delivery notice? I have 15 days to pick it up, starting after 1 pm tomorrow? They couldn’t just put the package in the mailbox like with my 52teas and Verdant orders? Surely 3 teas and a small spatula don’t make so large a package that they can’t fit in the box?
How annoying. Thankfully, I think the postal outlet it’s getting dropped off at is the one that’s a 20 minute walk up the road, so I guess I’ll go Wednesday. (I’m working tomorrow.)
IN THE MEANTIME…
I believe I have mastered my own version of the flash-chill method!
1) Steep the tea double-strong in a Teaopia Tea Master filled a bit less than half-way with hot water. (“A bit less than half-way” because of the shape of the Tea Master. The best words to describe it escape me, but it gets wider towards the top.)
2) Fill a glass cup almost to the brim with ice to measure it, and then pour the ice into a stainless steel Thermos while waiting for the tea to steep.
3) Dispense steeped tea from the Tea Master into the Thermos, seal the Thermos up and shake, shake, shake for about a minute. (Dunno what the shaking accomplishes exactly, but the SAs at Teaopia always seem to shake the iced tea and cubes together before pouring them into the cup, and I wouldn’t want to skip an essential step.)
5) Open the lid of the Thermos enough for “pouring liquid” and pour into the aforementioned glass cup. (I have a model that allows you to pour liquid without completely removing the lid.) This strains any extraneous ice cubes.
6) Ice cold tea!
I am still trying to determine exactly how much milk or cream to use in Root Beer Float to get that perfect enhancement of floatiness without shouting down the tea. Nevertheless, this cup was much, much better than my failed pitcher from earlier!
(Apologies in advance because it is 2 am and I know I will ramble.)
This one just came out yesterday with Cherry Cola; and while I’m generally too lazy to bother getting anything done before my work day starts, I hauled ass out of my house early yesterday just to get to DAVIDs for this one so I didn’t have to wait even a day to try it.
Getting the impression I like root beer? Oh yes. I’m such a kid. Depending on the day, I can never decide between orange, cream soda or root beer as my favourite pop. I’ve mentioned before that I essentially gave up pop for tea, yes? So I imagined this being the best of both worlds.
My local DAVIDs is busier and busier these days, to the point that I walked in last week and did a double-take in shock when the store was empty. That never used to surprise me! And when I got there yesterday, there was a line-up of about four people while all the SAs were serving people (including one little old lady who looked to be buying probably about two hundred dollars worth of gift sets and then being picky about how they were packed). The woman behind me – holding her $1 iced tea mug – was clearly agitated by this, saying, “There’s a line-up for the damn tea?!” I kind of wanted to ask her if she didn’t want the tea store she frequents to be financially successful.
(Unexpectedly though, she turned out to be quite sweet. As I didn’t want her making dagger eyes at my back, I offered to let her go first when an SA freed up. “Oh no, dear, you were first! You go ahead!” Some people, I can’t figure them out.)
ANYWAY. The tea.
I got 160g of this packed into a shiny silver tin and the tea in my $1 mug as well because they were, unexpectedly, serving this one at my store as the TOTD instead of Cherry Cola as scheduled. Not sure why. But I kinda squeed to myself when I tasted the dollar TOTD, because it really, seriously tasted like root beer! I know I’ve groused on here before (in my DT’s Tropicalia review) about people saying that teas taste “just like” something else, but this is as uncannily close to “just like” as I think a tea can get.
So I rushed home to make my own pitcher of this one. In order to do this, I was planning to throw out the last fifth or so of my pitcher of DT’s Lime Gelato.
Now, I would not normally do that. I’m not really the child my taste buds think I am. I would normally wait and drink the last of the last pitcher. Unfortunately, that particular pitcher really, really didn’t turn out so great. I cold-brewed the Lime Gelato for about 4 and a quarter hours, and then yanked the leaves out because I was concerned about it eventually getting bitter the way Kiwi’s Big Adventure did. And it was unbelievably tasteless. Faintly lime, faintly green tea, and…that’s it. I talked to an SA in the store, and she told me that she doesn’t think Lime Gelato cold-brews well. Oops. So I’d just been using it up in boozy mixed drinks. And I planned to throw the rest of that failed pitcher out, because it just wasn’t that pleasant to drink even then.
As it turns out though, my loose-leaf hating sister actually drank it! Although she apparently told my mother, “Weird, it smells much stronger than it tastes.” (gigglesnort) And then she and my mom puzzledly went through all my teas in the cupboard trying to figure out which one it was! …Of course, they didn’t because they don’t know that half my stash (including that one) is actually in my room so that no one in my family but me knows how many teas I actually have. Shhh…
So. This isn’t a review of Lime Gelato, but I had to mention that because it’s made me nervous now about cold-brewing. This was the first time ever that the cold-brewing method has failed me, and I couldn’t help but think, “What if it doesn’t work for Root Beer Float?!” But I figured, nah, none of the listed ingredients are things I haven’t cold-brewed before – I think? – and it should work, no problemo.
But. Twelve-plus hours of cold-brewing later (yes, I lost track), guess what?
Root Beer Float cannot be cold-brewed either!
Now, I might not have realized that if I hadn’t had a to-go cup from the store, because it does still have a root beer taste to it and is drinkable. But nothing like what I had from the store! Sheesh! So just a heads-up for anyone thinking of slow-brewing this one cold…nope. Don’t waste your leaves.
So I just made some hot. This review is for that instead. If I can cool this enough before I go to bed, I will maybe try half the cup cold.
First, the smell is amazing. It does smell like root beer, both dry and wet – even hot. It’s another one of those “huff over the cup” teas.
Hot: The first sip was disturbingly tasteless, but it seems to be one of those that gets more flavour as it cools rather than less, so I gave it a few minutes and…yeah, there we go. Root beer and vanilla! I taste the base more hot, and I think it is rather middle-ing…there’s a faint bitterness to it. But I’m okay with it as the flavour is pretty well done. I can’t really separately taste white chocolate in this, and for that I’m grateful as I despise white chocolate.
I really just wish it was sweeter. I know that people have been bitching endlessly about stevia in DT teas lately – although I’m not sure why, it’s even considered safe for diabetes according to what I’ve read – and this tea does not have it. I wish it did. I have not had much of an opinion on the stevia thing until now, but now – I think they should have added it to this one in particular, and I do not understand how so many recent teas have that ingredient which probably don’t need it and this one doesn’t! I do not want to be adding too much of my own sugar to the tea because I don’t want to change the flavour, but this is supposed to be root beer. It should not be about subtle flavours. I don’t want to swirl this one on my tongue trying to pick out notes. I expect tea, but I also expect it to taste a little more like it will rot my teeth.
Cold: Okay, I should probably save this as I’m falling on my face. But this is definitely better cold (as I’m sure you’d already assumed); I keep seeing people on the FB page saying it needs fizz, but floats go flat! It has that nummy flat float taste.
I’ve also been experimenting with adding milk or cream and a swirl of DT’s vanilla agave to bring out the float-y aspects more, and that’s AWESOME. This is another get-me-through-the-work-day tea.
And with that, I’m up too late and talking too long and I’m out!
Trying to drink up as many teas in my cupboard as possible before my next Verdant order arrives and my family loses their shit…
This one is astonishingly good with milk. I mean, it’s not the best tea in the world, but I’m astonished at the fact that it’s good with milk. I like it so much better than I did with only sugar. Who knew? I’ve been slipping back into drinking tea with milk, which I feel like I shouldn’t do (considering how much tea I drink, I should really drink it in as healthy a way as possible), so I’ve been drinking more greens and fruity blacks. But this strategy almost backfires, because now I’m adding milk to tea I wouldn’t have before, just to see what happens.
Anyway. I can recall before this that this tasted like a sweet rooibos, but nothing special. Somehow, with the milk, the pineapples and strawberries are both distinguishable but don’t clash while the coconut takes a nice backseat and just adds this note of creaminess. Lovely. I almost want to buy more now. Almost.
(Also, I applied at Teavana, and the manager literally almost jumped up and down with excitement. So we’ll see how that goes. I don’t like the company, but I don’t like the company I currently work for either, and I like tea better than the stuff I’m selling now. Although I talked to one of my friends who works there, and he tipped me off that THEY DON’T HAVE A BATHROOM IN THE BACK. How the holy hell do you have a tea store with no bathroom? I almost regret applying now, I go like every 1.5-2 hours…where the hell is the closest bathroom? I must find out.)
This is nearing a de-cupboard, and I always hatehatehate removing teas from my cupboard without reviewing them (for my own records, if not for other people – I’m sure most people who were curious about this one have already tried it), but I have almost nothing to say about this one. Hence there being no review of it until, uh, June. I was excited for this because I love wacky teas, but eh. It’s just kinda meh on first, second and third impressions. And yes, I did get jelly beans in my sample, but I never honestly noticed them making a significant difference to the taste. I probably would have been better off eating them.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike it. Actually, I think I steeped this cup longer than previous cups and it’s pretty good. It’s mostly got a strawberry flavour with something else fruity and sweet underneath that and an underlying creaminess to the whole sip. Not bad at all.
And yet, there’s a fullness to the sip that’s just missing. Even for a rooibos (which never has the fullness of flavour that I associate with tea-tea). I don’t know – it has the same problem that much of the spring collection did in that there are Swiss cheese holes in the flavour. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder if that whole collection was rushed for some reason.
And actually, it gets more hole-y as the cup cools. Some teas have more flavour when they cool – this is absolutely not one of them, as it tastes more and more like sweetened water as its temperature drops. Ick.
It’s all right, but I don’t mind the fact that it’s gone from stores/online only now at all. It was a cute idea for Easter, anyway.
I received this in one of my orders as a sample. I just knew it needed to be an iced tea to help combat this 100 degree weather. I also decided that it needed to be subjected to my first attempt at cold brewing. I have to say that my experiment was definitely a success! I’d been making my iced teas so far by brewing them hot, then icing them. This definitely brings out the subtle flavors more. As for the tea, I really like it. It’s not overpoweringly mango, the mango feels much more subtle, almost as if it’s enhancing the tea. Overall, I’m very happy with this.
I am a new tea drinker so I don’t have all the official terminology down but I will simply say, I did not like this tea at all. I was extremely disappointed because with a name like Blueberry Jam, I expected something amazing. I have never tasted or knew anything about Stevia prior to tasting this tea but I know now. It instantly made me sick to my stomach. I tried it both hot and cold and it was the same disturbing taste. I made my daughter iced tea with it and she felt the same about the Stevia. Not sure what to do with the rest of the bag!
SO have you ever had A strawberry shortcake? In your glass? Oh you havn’t? that’s because you havn’t had the Strawberry Shortcake by David’s Tea. NOw I got this as a sample with my Swamp Water and Kiwi..and trust me.. Its Good. It is really really good BUT I just can’t see myself drinking this as a part of my everyday regiment. It is savory.. and creamy. While It Is Great.. it just isn’t for me.