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Recent Tasting Notes
Overnight cold brew = HELLO HEAVEN! OH GOD. THIS IS DIVINE. Smashed the weak hot brew out of the PARK! Almost crying real tears over how delicious this is. It can move straight back to the wish list now I’ve finished my sample.
Second steep is far less flavoursome, because of all the fruit that got sucked dry in a single steep… but leave it for a couple of days and you get a very subtle, lovely brew. Sweet memories of the first brew. Oh man.
I’m afraid that in a desperate effort to stretch out my small sample of this (I want to try it hot and cold!) I didn’t use enough leaf to get a good flavour in my hot cup. HOWEVER, I drank it in conjunction with eating some Lindt “zest of lime” chocolate so life is actually perfect? Never mind.
Finished this one off cold brewed, which is probably how I should have prepared it to start. It was definitely better prepared this way; though there were cons too. For one, it seemed to have significantly more ‘floaty’ bits, and the cocoa notes felt really out of place. However, the coconut was phenomenal and much more rich, creamy and dominant like I’d expected it to be in the first place.
The honeybush was still strong too; but not as strong. I think the natural flavour of honeybush actually really compliment the coconut too. And I suppose, with the ‘floaties’ adding to the mouthfeel it almost made this taste like coconut water with coconut pulp. Almost.
This was a better way to finish off the blend; but I still wont be buying more. It’s just not as impressive as the other summer teas, and I’d also worry about buying a larger amount and, since coconut is so abundant in the ingredients, having it turn before drinking all of it.
Ah DAVIDsTEA, your love of coconut is so predictable. I’m pretty sure no one was surprised by the inclusion of an obviously coconut focused blend this season. What did surprise me, however, was the classification of this tea. It’s got honeybush listed as the first ingredient which to me says that it’s the ingredient in the largest quantity and yet this is still listed as a herbal/tisane and not classed as a rooibos/honeybush blend? That confuses me a lot. I’d really like a break down of the thought process that took place here.
Also surprisingly, I had the perfect excuse to do a cold brew for this one and instead I found myself brewing it up as a hot tea! It was alright; the most dominant flavor was the honeybush which again begs the question ‘why did you class this as a herbal!?" but it was pretty equally matched by the strong flavour of both fresh coconut and toasted coconut. I actually did expect a little more coconut flavor because DT had the biggest excuse to go all out here, but I’m happy with the level that’s present. Yummy! It definitely reminds me of coconut ice, minus the ice part. But the crisp, fresh flavor is really well conveyed.
Also, COCOA SHELLS! I’m really happy that DT hopped on board with the love of cocoa shells here because they do such a better job at conveying a smooth chocolate flavour than chocolate chips would have done; plus no oily chocolate goop! Their use here was definitely a smart decision, though I did find the flavour mild in comparison to everything else going on and I don’t know if the blend would have been lacking had chocolate not been included at all. I think they contribute more to the aroma than the taste itself.
I liked this one; probably would have liked it better cold but I wanted to switch things up a bit and be less predictable with my preparation. I’m sure I’ll happily finish off the rest of my trial sample though I do doubt I’ll pick more up afterwards because while this was tasty I just don’t think it was different enough to warrant a need for me. Coconut lover will be all over this one, though. I’m sure it’s gonna do really well.
Cold Brew Sipdown (118)!
This is the blend I was least interested in from the Summer Collection, but because it’s gotten the best reviews of the three new blends thus far I decided it’d be the one I started with for my own home prep.
Dry I think this has a really intense aroma, and it reminds me a lot of Lipsmacker’s Strawberry Kiwi flavour. It’s very over the top, and really candy sweet. And as long as this doesn’t mysteriously pick up a ‘waxy’ taste then I think that’s a good thing because candy is obviously what DT was going for. I’m not totally sure where I’m getting strawberry from though since that is definitely not one of the ingredients in this: but it’s distinctly strawberry and NOT cherry or cranberry.
Steeped up and strained this has a powerful flavour; it’s incredibly sweet with just a hint of tartness. The first thing I noticed was actually the absence of a flavor – coconut in this case. DAVIDsTEA is really heavy handed with coconut as an ingredient, in fact three out of five of this seasons blends have coconut as an ingredient! It’s only the returning blends that don’t, and I can’t help but wonder if they were maybe so popular because of the lack of coconut. I definitely anticipated the coconut to be strong though – and I’m not getting it at all. It’s really weird, actually. And thinking about it, I don’t remember seeing any coconut shreds in the measured out leaf either.
The first flavor I’m actually tasting though is the kiwi – it’s much strong than I thought it would be. It’s followed closely behind by very plump, juicy cherry, cranberry and – yes, strawberry notes too. It tastes A LOT like Strawberry Kiwi Lipsmacker, no matter how hard I try to shake the comparison. Another popular comparison with this one is Jolly Ranchers; both cherry and watermelon. I can understand the comparison, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. Although, it’s reminding me a lot of a summer cold brew favourite of mine: Prickly Pear from Tea Desire, and now that I’m thinking about it not only do both teas have intense kiwi flavour but Prickly Pear also has a rich melon flavour so maybe I am subconsciously drawing melon comparisons too.
I may be the first ‘negative’ review of this one though; while I didn’t think it was bad I did think that ultimately there was too much going on about about half way through my cold brew I was just getting really sick of the intense sweetness and artificial fruit flavours. I get why it’s getting good reviews so far, it’s different from a lot of other tisanes from DT; but I’d call myself neutral at best. It’s not going to be a restock for me.
It’s very refreshing to see another permanent white tea blend on the DAVIDsTEA walls; I’ve been complaining for months about the dwindling amount of permanent white teas – I’ve even suffered some losses that were more emotional than I’d care to admit (Coconut Grove, Sweet Strawberry, and Big Apple…). At least a lot of seasonal blends for Spring featured a white base, and one of the Mother’s Day blends as well.
And not going to lie, the fact this was named by DT’s customers (and has such a cute name) is really appealing as well; I find I’m definitely more drawn in to wanting to try a tea when it has a unique name, even if the ingredients/flavor pairings aren’t that unusual. Let us put an end to the “Earl Grey Creams” and “Jasmine Greens” that every company seems to have a version of; give yours a neat name, and make it stand out!
I’m doing this one iced; yes, iced and not cold brewed. I don’t often have the means to do iced tea because I don’t actually have ice at my place. We don’t own an ice tray, and I don’t have the freezer space in my little apartment for larger bags of ice. I know it could be easily remedied by buying an ice cube tray but I always forget; so iced tea is a special treat for me provided by being in the right place (err, chef’s kitchen) at the right time.
My initial thought when I tried this was of Trident’s Watermelon Twist gum – the sugary, candy sweet watermelon top notes were pretty identical. I was expecting something both more mellow and, based on the name, more in the line of Honeydew so I was a little taken aback but once I got accustomed to the taste I found it really enjoyable. Contrasting that, the tail of the sip was a lot more natural tasting once the sweetness has subsided, and definitely a lot more honey dew than watermelon. I like the layers of melon that this one has. Almost like Trident Layers? That’s a bad pun, sorry.
The body of the sip is interesting too; somewhere in between where the watermelon eases up and the honeydew takes over there are a lot of very strong apple notes and some very vague mango and pineapple notes. I’d say they mostly create a tropical fruit vibe rather than make an impact as unique, stand-alone flavors though.
This was really enjoyable, and I think quite different from any other white blend that DT is currently offering, let alone any of their current blends. I really, really like the way they do Honeydew flavors; I’m thinking in particular of Honeydew Mate and Cool Cucumber (two seasonal blends). I loved both quite a bit (I still have some Cool Cucumber), and they definitely honed in on that awesome honeydew flavor. While DT’s watermelon can get too sweet or artificial, honeydew is a flavor they have successfully nailed. If you’re a fan of either of those two blends I absolutely 100% recommend giving this one a shot.
Well, I didn’t work on any of the tasting notes in my queue today; but at least I didn’t add any to it either. So we’ll call it a productive day in that regard…
Finishing this one off tonight hot; I’ve now tried it a total of three different ways: Iced, Tea Soda and this way. It’s strange I never got around to doing it cold brewed; that’s become my ‘go to’ prep method. Tea Soda was definitely my favourite way I had this but I’m enjoying it hot too. It’s very, very peachy – like Fuzzy Peach candies. Unlike the tea soda version, however, the tartness/sourness is present too. This is the first incarnation of the blend where I’ve really gotten any significant tartness. I don’t think I’d enjoy it regularly, but it’s at a pretty reasonable level.
Probably, definitely picking up at least 25g more of this – but I could see myself getting a significant amount more if I can clear up a little tin space.
So I tried an in store sample of this, but was pretty unimpressed by it – something about the dry smell really interested me though, so I decided to still purchase some to try at home. When I got home and was trying to decide how to prepare this one it hit me that it smelled very juicy and sweet and that those flavours would probably apply well to tea soda. So that’s how I’m trying this one!
And really, wow. The flavour change between my own prepared tea soda and the weak iced sample I had in store is dramatic. Based on the iced sample, I wouldn’t have been inclined to buy this but going purely off the tea soda I’d say I would 100% pick up at least a little more to try and recreate the flavour.
The peach is very strong, fresh, and sticky sweet tasting. I’d describe it as Fuzzy Peaches meet Peach Bellini meets Peach Schnapps, and you all know how much I love my peach schnapps. It does a great job of navigating away from overly artificial or cloying territory though.
The touch of sweeter but also slightly tart green apples stops this from being totally monotone in flavor, but really that secondary flavour is all this needs – the absence of blackberry doesn’t disappoint me. This is just a simple, fun tisane that’s incredibly hydrating and energetic with the peach candy flavour. I can’t get enough of this one; and just writing about this tisane soda has me craving it again so badly; I’m sure a restock will be in my future – I think the question is just how much I’ll be picking up.
So I finally got around to picking up the summer teas from DT; definitely later than I had wanted to, but I’ve now tried all five – reviews to follow (hopefully today) for them. I definitely wasn’t impressed by at least one of them, but most I felt were pretty solid.
This one I tried as an in store sample, iced. The other one they were sampling the day I went was Mint To Be; definitely did not have an interest in that one. And actually, I didn’t have much of an interest in this either if I’m being honest. I know it was around last year; but there were a few seasonal peach teas last year and I didn’t bite on any but one. Regardless, I didn’t write about it – but I can’t remember if the one I tried was the Spring peach tea or the summer one. I had a few sips of the hot version on a date; and I don’t remember being overly impressed.
Since the sample was so small of this, I don’t think I got to make as many observations as I normally would. It’s supposed to be peach and blackberry, which is definitely a cool pairing but I only tasted the peach. I also thought it was really weak/watery but I know it’s also likely that’s because it was the watered down/stretched out in store version. Regardless, I picked up some of it along with all the other blends and I tried it out on my own terms at home – but based on this tasting alone it’s not an impressive blend.
Today’s word of the day is… Melodramatic.
Melodramatic means: “exaggerated and emotional or sentimental; sensational; overdramatic”. A good real life example? Tre was being totally melodramatic when I got home today about the amount of dishes in the kitchen sink (it’s his turn to clean them – and they’re only so bad because he left it so long). Domestic squabbles. We’re like an old married couple with the old and without the married couple part.
Another tea my coworker gave me. I think she may have taken 1-2 tsp out of the 25 gram package but otherwise I used the whole package for 2L of tea in 185 degrees F water. Steeped for 4 min, then let it cool off for “iced” tea.
I think I may have overleafed this tea a tad bit, but the main flavours I’m getting is a ever so slightly bitter white tea taste, then floral, and a slight (artificial?) berry taste. My husband says this tea would go well with a shot of vodka, but I don’t see it, lol.Overall this tea is just okay. Like so many teas I’ve been reviewing, It’s interesting to try, but nothing I’d buy for myself.
This is the first flavored matcha I’ve tried, I got it in a mix pack of matchas from Davids Tea. I was definitely the most skeptical of this flavor, but thought I’d jump right in. I made it in a more traditional way, in a bowl, warm, and whisked. The dry leaf smelled like earthy hot chocolate mix. This didn’t froth as well as the other matcha I made, but I think this might be because I overfilled the bowl a bit. This tea is okay, in this method. It tastes good, but a little odd; sort of like a fruity smoothy that was a bit heavy handed on the undertone of kale. This is warm, sweetened with coconut nectar, and flavored with a coffee/chocolate profile. It is sweet and chocolatey, but the green grass smell and undertone is still present. it’s an accurate mix of matcha and chocolate, but maybe not the way I’d pick to drink it all the time. I bet this would be better suited to a cold late with some almond milk for extra sweetness. Definitely still drinkable and a fun experiment.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, Grass, Green
I got 10g of this and a few others the other day. My cupboard is feeling a little stale since I’ve been trying to par it down and thus haven’t made any purchases in awhile. I figured it’d be good to throw in a few new ones that make for easy sipdowns, and shake things up as well.
I’m not sure what made me grab one that focuses so heavily on cinnamon. I haven’t been a fan of the spice lately. It smelled so purty! and the organic tag reassured me that there’d be no artificial shtuff in there (ugh if I could just figure out which ingredient causes my ickness I’d be so happy!).
So today I made this cuppa. Looks like I got the bottom of the barrel as there were no orange bits to see or taste. It’s mostly cinnamon. I’ll have to go back and ask them about that…
Either way, it was nice for a change. I would definitely not want it more than once or twice a year but overall I found this particular blend rather drinkable. Also very smooth, unlike so many other cinnamon teas I’ve sampled. Colour me shocked.
Today I made my first cup of matcha. I’ve had the lates, iced and hot, and even got a cup from the David’s Tea matcha shaker at their store. But I hadn’t tried it on my own.
(see more on my blog: dong-tea.tumblr.com)
I like the history and tradition of matcha and I like the idea of building my own little ceremony. In my everyday life, I tend to be anxious and impatient, and thought a process with some focus and contemplation could be a nice new part of my tea routine.
After doing some looking around on the internet, I was tempted by the beautiful world of matcha bowls and high quality tools and tea. I even bookmarked a set or two worth a few hundred dollars. But for all the tools and quality, the David’s Tea matcha essentials set really struck me as a good beginner deal. I ordered it up with some matcha matsu and some flavored matcha and thought I’d give it a go.
First impressions of the David’s Tea matcha essentials set were positive: the bowl was cute and well-made, the measuring spoon convenient, and the whisk pretty standard compared to the others I had seen around.
The one problem is the lack of instruction. They give you the temperature of the water on the tea pack, but no water to tea ratio, and while they set includes a whisk, there’s no directions or diagrams on how it might best be used. So out of the box, without the internet, this might be a baffling process.
Luckily I’m a tea nerd and had been looking into matcha tips and tricks beforehand anyway. Of the teas I ordered, tried the matcha matsu hot first. I used the spoon to measure the scoop, and put in as much water as I felt comfortable mixing in the bowl. After a few dabbing figure-eight motions with the whisk to break the tea up and stir it in, I went in for the froth. I mixed vigorously for about 15 to 20 seconds, moving back and forth across the bowl (not in circles, like you would in a mixing bowl).
And I got to say, the tea foamed right up and looked as perfect as the picture on the box!
As to the taste, it started off a little plain, green and warm, but the more time I spent sipping, the deeper the flavor developed. I know there’s a world of high quality matchas out there, so this probably isn’t too remarkable for you experts out there. It was grassy and smooth and gentle.
As I drank the bowl, I sat at my desk and looked out the window, watching the sky and the sun, listening to the birds and the sounds of my neighborhood. Cheesy as it sounds, it was nice to not have anything to do but sit for a while and drink a bowl of matcha.
Flavors: Grass, Plants
I love strawberry and I love coconut, so when I saw this in the summer collection I figured it would be worth picking up.
I first tried it hot, and while it was okay, It tasted somewhat sour and bitter. Sweetened hot was okay, but I couldn’t taste much of the strawberry. Iced and sweetened is definitely best. It has nice flavor, and it’s a gorgeous color. The smell is good as well.
Overall I found it decent. I’ll probably pick up some more, but I’m not sure I’ll keep a ton of it on hand.
Flavors: Bitter, Hibiscus, Sour, Strawberry
I expected to love this tea. Based on the ingredients it’s got everything I love in a flavored black tea to ice – a balance of tart and sweet flavors. Unfortunately, I wasn’t over the moon about this blend…or the blend I ended up with in my 25g bag anyway. My 25g bag was, unfortunately, very light on the mango. I drank this iced and lightly sweetened with stevia. It was pleasant, but, due to the lack of mango, it’s not something that I’d rush to stock up on.
I’ve had this tea, as an iced latte, several times before. Based on a previous experience with a banana/chocolate tea (DT’s Banana Cream Pie – blech!), I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this blend. I had it hot for the first time this morning with a bit of white chocolate mocha creamer and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can taste every note in this herbal tea (hot or cold), and, to me, it tastes like a banana split with all the toppings. I’m glad I stocked up on this a few months ago.
I think this is my first review of this one. So sad. I’ve had this one for 1.5 years according to label.
Either way, I’m enjoying this one as a latte. It’s very good. I’m definitely getting some good gingerbread flavour but it’s not super strong which is probably user error more than anything. I don’t think my tea to milk ratio was very good tonight. But either way, it is very good and I’m enjoying it a lot. I think that’s how I’m going to drink this one up. And by drink up, I mean how I’m going to enjoy it.
Got a free sample of this in my latest order, which was a nice surprise. I’ve been wondering what this tea is all about, but didn’t want to invest in a whole pack. I tried it both hot and iced, and iced is definitely better. The bulk of this tea is honeybush chocolate and huge coconut chips; hot, the coconut is a bit greasy but buttery and rich, while the honeybush takes a bit of a backseat. This tea makes more sense cold, as the low temps go better with the tropical vibe and the honeybush chocolate makes it sweet without sugar. I don’t go for teas with milk and sugar, but I bet this would be an absolute killer late.
Flavors: Butter, Cocoa, Coconut, Cream, Honey, Nutty, Tropical
Piña colada with strawberries and hibiscus thrown into the mix. I can easily taste all of that with every sip. It’s a great idea, and while it works, I’m finding this a little too sweet for my liking. Maybe tone down the sugar-coated pineapple a bit and I’d be happier.
I see some Steepsterites mentioning that this is heavy on the hibiscus. Maybe it’s the mix of dry leaf I got, but I’m actually kind of wishing there was a little more tart hibiscus in mine to cut the sweetness. Never thought I’d say I wanted more hibiscus in something.