Popular Teas from Tea DesireSee All 125 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Yesterday at Calendar Club we received so much stock that I spent my entire shift unloading it, and had absolutely no time for internet. Seriously, they just about tripled our stock! So time to catch up on tasting notes…
Tuesday, where I’m picking off from, I had a large gap between shifts so I went down to the mall and deposited my paycheck and, because I was in a “spending mood” bought myself a beautiful, over sized sweater with a giant duck on the front. It’s cuter than it sounds, believe me. I also got some antibiotics for my infected gums (damn you, Wisdom Teeth!) which have healed up nicely now, and I went to Tea Desire.
This was the sample tea of the day, and it’s one I’ve never had before so I gave it a try. I have to say I’m a little saddened – not by the tea, but by the sample tea set up. Tea Desire used to have this really, really ornate clear glass teapot filled with the tea of the day, and you’d get the sales associate to pour you a little plastic shot glass worth of tea. They’d keep it on a stand and directly underneath would be a lit tea light candle keeping it hot. But now they’re using a metal thermos type thing with a “pump” dispenser. It’s probably more effective at keeping the tea hot and I guess it’s more accessible for customers to pour the tea themselves – but it feels less special.
As for the tea, I’m honestly slightly frustrated because there’s no record of it on the Tea Desire website at all. Which pisses me off a little bit, because now I can’t accurately add it to the database. And, I swear 90% of the dozen or two Christmas blends have been added as little ingredient blurbs at the very least, but not this one. Boo!
So, all I can remember from the ingredients list is black tea base and caramel bits. But I know there was other stuff in this too. Otherwise, in regard to the flavour, it was very, very faintly bitter – possibly from sitting in that thermos thing for most of the day. The black base was pretty apparent and brisk, but then softened a little bit by a darker, richer caramel flavour. Kind of like the “dark caramel” they use in Reisens candies. It was also a little malty. I’m not sure how the “bakery” aspect fit in – nothing I tasted indicated that for me.
Not bad overall, but I wish TD would do a better job getting the seasonal teas up on the website – if only as ingredient blurbs. Not only because I want to accurately add this to Steepster, but because the website is how I choose what I want to try as To Go teas (I look them up at work) and helps guide what I want to look at when I’m actually purchasing tea…
Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Malt
Yesterday I went to the bank to deposit my Christmas checks from my Grandma/Dad. I could have gone to the bank that’s in the same mall as DT, but I chose the one with Tea Desire because I feel like my will power is slightly better there, despite all the gorgeous Gaiwans, Cast Iron teapots, infuser mugs, and other teaware.
Picked my latte blindly from the wall of blacks; this jumped out because cranberry is a bit of a “Christmas” fruit (in my eyes, anyway) and it seemed like an interesting latte. Taste wise it was very weird, but less from the tea itself I think. This was probably the thinnest/most watery latte I’ve ever had – and my hunch is that the newbie sales associate brewed it up incorrectly. But despite the “off” consistency it tasted fine.
Definitely tasted the cranberry in this: it was fruity, and had a little tartness/“zip” in the end of the sip. I thought that there was something “off” about the black base too, but could’t for the life of me figure out what until I had to look up the tea on the Tea Desire site just now to add it to Steepster’s database. This is a black/green mixed blend – which definitely explains the weirdness of the black base. And, apparently, there’s also mint in the blend, though I totally missed that aspect as well. I’m blaming my being distracted with the mouthfeel for the complete lack of observations about the tea itself.
Really though, I just thought that this was a straight up black/cranberry blend…
I think that Bamboozled from Davids is the only other bamboo tea that I’ve had. This one seems similar IIRC.
To me it’s mostly lemon grass with a hint of sweetness pineapple. Lemongrass isn’t my favorite and this is just ok for me. I would like this better if the other fruits came through more. Back into the box it goes.
Ooh, this is tasty! It’s really creamy, and fruity. I didn’t pick out strawberry exactly, but it’s cool that that’s the berry flavour.
Thanks so much for sharing, Roswell Strange! Sorry I haven’t tried all your lovely samples yet. :/
Flavors: Berry, Creamy
I am not a lover of mate but this one is pretty good. There is a little bit of the earthiness that mate tends to have but in this cup it is highlighting the toffee elements of this tea. It is sweet and reminds me a bit of skor bars. Its not something I need to keep around but its not something I would turn away either. And with my last couple of tsps, I think I will be trying this as a latte. Thank you Roswell Strange for sending some my way. I can see why you are such a fan.
I’m a little surprised this one wasn’t already in the database; I know Tea Desire isn’t the most popular company on Steepster but this is one of their more popular blends, so I was expecting at least one review?
I got it as a latte to go yesterday while I was in the mall; the smell is delicious dry: very fresh with the smell of sweet almonds and apple fritters. As a latte, I definitely did enjoy it, but I thought that the apple flavour was actually really lacking/muted by the milk. Instead it was more like I was drinking this very buttery, liquefied pie crust which -while not bad – wasn’t what I was exactly hoping for. I could also taste the sweetness of almonds as well as a very soft, floral rosiness in the aftertaste. I’d try it again – but straight. Hopefully the apple would be more present that way.
I drank most of it while talking to the sales clerk, but I finished the last while browsing the fancy candy store in the same mall to kill time waiting for the bus. I ended up buying Beer flavoured jellybeans and Rosewater Turkish Delight, although what I was really looking for was that green tea latte candies, but they were all sold out and only had the coffee ones from the same company.
Haven’t tried the jellybeans yet, but the Turkish Delight was DELICIOUS! Way better than any other Turkish Delight I’ve ever tried…
Well, just got back home and finished making supper! I met up with Robyn at a Coffee Bar to exchange Christmas presents before she heads down to Regina for Christmas Holidays, but before that I went to the mall to cash my paycheck (hooray money!), and of course stopped in at Tea Desire, and had some tea and a good conversation with the sales associate about straight blacks.
This was the free tea to sample for the day; now that it’s December all of the Christmas teas are back and of course, similar to what DT does, they’re featuring this one. Personally, I thought it was pretty good but it seemed like something maybe better suited to be had cold? I didn’t taste the hibiscus in it surprisingly, but the apple and cinnamon were present (more apple than cinnamon) and I could sort of taste the grape. Interesting blend.
Sadly, I can’t remember if there’s actually tea in it. I don’t recall any strong base flavours, and since this isn’t part of the regular collection this isn’t up in full detail on the Tea Desire site – only as a little “blurb” along with the other Christmas Teas. And since I’m the one who added this to the database just now…
Oh well; I’m 80% sure it was herbal. I guess I’ll double check next time I’m in store if the Christmas teas are still around…
Well… now I know with 100% certainty that my tasting notes are not all here. Or, that teas have been deleted instead of being merged, or something. Because it was me who gave pretty much everyone here this tea, and I know I wrote notes on it, rambling on about how I have 250g of this darn tea. How incredibly irritating. Makes me really want to copy-paste everything offline, since Steepster has been so unreliable.
Anyhow, steeped a bunch of this to make a pseudo latte with skim milk. Added some maple syrup, discovered that my maple syrup may be going bad (REALLY. I didn’t think that was possible. FFS.) but drank the tea anyways, and it was alright, but not spectacular. I think I should mix some of a strong lapsang into it next time. I love smoke with chai.
(Also, I am very grumpy not only because of this notes-missing realization, but because I was so excited about popping a cob of popcorn in my microwave tonight (picked it from a local farm about a month ago when we were getting pumpkins), and the damned thing pretty much caught on fire in the microwave 1 minute and 44 seconds in to its 2.5-3 minute nuking. I had to panicfully grab a bowl of water, grab the corn with oven mitts and throw it in, watching sadly while it smoked and fizzled. So the whole freaking house smells like smoke (because I am NOT opening windows when it’s minus a bajillion out there), and I got no popcorn. AND because of the weather, my boyfriend didn’t drive over tonight for supper, so I had a pot roast all by myself. And no snuggles. Woe.)
Break tea at work! I’m trying not to spend so much money on fancy, unnecessary food at work by bringing my own lunches but it’s certainly hard when you work at a grocery store. Yesterday I wound up getting another tin of David Rio Chai – the green tea base one this time. I figure since it looks like hot chocolate mix I can get Tre drinking it too, and then feel less guilty. I also bought laundry detergent (it was my turn), and more fancy ass cheese.
This time I got a Wensleydale cheese called Pineapple Twist. It’s really sweet, and a little crumbly and tastes like cheesecake! But with my favourite fruit in it! It was a new one that the cheese department had just got in stock, and I probably asked the poor Cheese Ambassador a bajillion questions about how to pair it with food and what to eat it with. In the end she told me it was good with berries, or just straight. Straight is good. I can handle straight
says the not straight person. Tre yelled at me when I got home for buying more cheese. We have too much cheese right now.
Tea wise, I cold brewed the last of this one. I meant to do a shorter cold brew, but wouldn’t you know I forgot this was in the fridge so the reality is that it was cold brewed for close to a full day. The result is that this was very strong. Seriously; SO MUCH GINSENG. And then the licorice-y flavour that comes with ginseng, and natural earth/tree flavours. I want to describe it as tree bark, but as I child I have had tree bark before and the flavour I tasted and what I’m remembering DO NOT MATCH.
Oh well. It was actually a very good cold brew, despite being a very intense/concentrated one. I really hope my Step Mom will like it; she’s always so critical of the things I’ve gifted to her in the past. As for me, I’m a little “Ginseng-d out”, so even though I have some of DT’s Ginseng oolong there’s no rush to drink it. Afterall it is a discontinued blend now, so gotta hoard it, right?
This timolino worth was definitely disappointing; it brewed up very weak and flavourless with only the slightest licorice-y sort of taste. But so damn subtle. I don’t think it was user error – I was very careful brewing it, but probably it’s just too gentle a tea to do in a travel mug.
One more cup left; I’ll try that one a different way for sure…
This is from the little sample I stole from my Step Mom’s Christmas gift. If no one here tells her, then she never has to know that it’s not exactly 50g I’m giving her!
Made this as my morning mug to drink while walking to work. I’ve had a couple incarnations of Ginseng Oolong now, and somewhat shockingly the DT version has been the best IMO. This one is $15.00 for 50g, so if I hadn’t picked some up as a present for someone I never would have spent so much on it for myself when DT’s is only like $8 for the same amount.
It was really good though; essentially it tasted like ginseng. Kinda just like ginseng, but with a very subtle licoriceyness or anise flavour (3338) to it. I always struggle describing ginseng because it’s rich and sugary, but so natural and almost “earthy” tasting. It reminds me of trees. Big, lush trees. Someone should tell me how to describe ginseng so I can do it for myself. That’s a good plan.
I saved the leaf, so if Tre doesn’t toss it out I’ll eventually try a second infusion. This version has the oolong really solidly coated in it and one infusion wasn’t enough to wear it all down and let the leaves really expand.
Flavors: Anise, Licorice
Latte to go at Tea Desire!
I was in the area following busing back after my interview, and I stopped in to by my Step Mom’s Christmas present. When I asked what she wanted she said sort of slightly more natural tea that I like (like as in no artificial flavours/colours) so I picked up 50g of Ginseng Oolong for her. I know that she tends to like oolongs more than other tea types, and she really likes to resteep her teas and this one definitely lends itself to multiple infusions. Plus, ginseng is sweet but very natural tasting and lastly, selfishly, I could steal a little sample baggie for myself so I could try Tea Desire’s version personally. You know, to make sure I wasn’t giving her total crap? Yeah, that’s it…
I also picked up an Adeline infuser mug for her with lilacs and hummingbirds on it since I know she’s using teaballs right now, and this suits her style and will produce better cups (especially for oolong which needs major expansion room).
This tea latte though wasn’t that exceptional. It’s pretty much just a chocolate strawberry tea and in that regard I’ve had much better. The balance between the two was really off; there was so much more chocolate than strawberry, and it was like a bitter bakers chocolate flavour with a dry nuttiness – and I think it’s impressive, but in a bad way, to have anything come off as really “dry” in a latte.
All that said it was drinkable, and perhaps I shouldn’t totally blame the tea, the “Tea Barista” making it was a trainee, and it’s possible she did oversteep it when she prepared it. So I’ll be lenient with my rating.
A sample from VariaTEA. I’m more or less out of my tea hiatus now, as my cold is beginning to depart. I know I’m not 100% back to normal in terms of taste, but I’m probably as well as I’m going to be for a fair few days. I can’t go without tea for much longer!
So anyway. I’ve never had a bamboo tea before, so I wasn’t all that sure what to expect. I followed the recommended parameters and added 2 tsp of leaf to boiling water for around 8 minutes. The resulting liquor is medium yellow, and smells fruity and a little vegetal.
To taste, I get an initial fruitiness. I can more or less pin it down to red berry, although there’s a light tropical element lurking around in the background. There was a cube of pineapple in the dry mix, so I guess it’s that! The fruitiness fades gently into a relatively think-tasting sweetness, almost like sugar-water, which I assume is the bamboo. The sip ends on a light herbal note.
I have to say that I’m really enjoying this one. I like the use of bamboo as a base – it really seems to let the fruit flavours shine through, while providing a pleasantly substantial backdrop. Often, my complaint with berry teas is that the berry is too hidden by other flavours. Here, it’s just perfect! Definitely one I’d try again if the chance arose.
This… is odd.
A sample from MissB. And now I’ve read your review, I totally get why you dispersed it. Haha.
It’s hibiscus. And I’m getting a lot of mint. So weird. I had to add some honey, without it was terrible. And even now it’s not super great. I guess it’d be good if I were actually sick instead of just run down and possibly coming down with something, but it’s not for me at all.
(I mean, peppermint and hibiscus? What?!)
Wildberry Cocktail made a solid cold brew. The liquor kind of looked like red wine, and the berries were tart. It tasted purple, you know/. I wish Tea Desire made more herbal blends which would be cold brew appropriate. Although it’s nothing special, it’s still something I’d repurchase. Berry iced teas are always excellent for hot weather. Aaaaand this could be used to make a killer sangria.
Before we left Tea Desire, I got my third Tea To Go for the day; I felt so judged by Kristina. At this point, I’d had two super caffeinated things so I felt the need to offset that so I decided I was going to be having rooibos.
I told her to pick out one that sounded like it’d make a good latte, and she actually picked Strawberry Cream but the sales person actually highly advised against getting it; and I’ve learned that if that staff advise against something usually to heed their warnings since 95% of the time they’re taught to recommend EVERYTHING, or at least give everything its own little spin to make it sound good (my DT friends have totally fessed up to having to do this – they’ll avoid saying things like “I don’t like it” and instead say “It’s very fruity/floral/sweet/etc.” or “Blank who works here really likes it”). So when they advise against it, there’s usually a good reason and they’re being super blunt/honest with you.
So I went with Kristina’s second pick instead; this one! It was good – thought not mind blowing. It was definitely very smooth and silky from the milk, and I’d say more heavily chocolate than almond but it’s possible the milk was just drowning out the almond. Some marzipan sweetness poked through though! It was almost a little floral too; I swear I picked up on some rose notes.
So I sipped on this one while we walked over to Chapters to go browsing, and so Kristina could pick up the most recent copies of the European metal magazines she reads. I’d never actually been to this Chapters; there are a couple in Saskatoon – and this is the biggest one I’d seen. We had a fun time looking around; and then of course I got sucked in by the little ‘tea station’ they had set up.
The had lots of Tea Forte, some bags of loose tea from a company called Pluck (never heard of ‘em, but there wasn’t anything exciting) and lots of tins of sachets from Harney & Sons – I was very excited about the Harney, but turns out they didn’t have either of the two I’m looking to acquire more of; Wedding Tea and Soba Cha. I was very tempted to buy something anyway because I desperately want to own a Harney tin (they’re so pretty!) but I couldn’t justify getting 20 sachets of something I just wont drink.
It was fun though! And after that we bused back to my place…
So we bused down to Center Mall after DT and the record store; the main goal here was to go shoe shopping for me so I had decent shoes for the concert/work since the ones I own now are literally falling apart in pieces – but there wasn’t anything work appropriate in my size at the store, so that yielded literally nothing.
Tea Desire is in the same mall though, so we stopped there because how could we not? This was the tea on sample for the day, so we each tried a little shot glass worth. Kristina liked it and while I didn’t dislike it I thought it seemed like something much more suited to be iced/cold brewed. It was super orange/citrus flavoured with pineapple notes more present in the undertones/end sip. Pretty tart and sour, but with a lot of natural sweetness. I could be tempted into buying some in the future.
While we were there I restocked on Caramel Pu’Erh and Buddha Bamboo as well; and picked up more Walnut Truffle for VariaTEA. Kristina was so amused by how much tea stuff there is, and by all the colourful teaware. Understandable though, because even I am often amused by how much tea stuff there is an by all the colourful teaware. I’m happy that fascination has yet to go away.
Another tea from the Canadian Traveling Teabox. This black tea is sweet but not the hits-you-in-the-face cinnamon heart candy flavour that I get from so many cinnamon-flavoured teas. Instead it’s a gentle sweetness, courtesy more of the vanilla than of the cinnamon, I think. And I’m glad that someone has finally caught on to the idea that with cinnamon less is more. I think I’ll keep what’s left of this one as I quite enjoyed it – plus there’s not a whole lot left.
Cold brewed the rest of this sample from Roswell Strange overnight and I am still getting creamsicle from this blend. It is a touch more muted in this cup than the last but it is still very good. I might need some more of this one. Thank you for sharing Roswell Strange!! You always find such great treats :). 162.
This was recommended to me as a tea that’s good iced – but I had to try it hot first. The flavours are interesting – distinctly fresh with a slightly sweet, hay-like quality. It’s a bit herbal though not as much as I would expect with those ingredients. It’s all very smooth and pleasant – and I’ll definitely ice my next cup to see how it is.
Also, despite the name, it doesn’t contain any orange flavouring – I think the ‘mandarin’ part is supposed to be in denotation of the Chinese origin of the herbs (ginkgo, jiao gu lan).
thanks for sharing this one Roswell Strange this just add to my suspicion that mate is just not for me. I like mint but on the whole mate just has this weird strange taste that i can’t get behind. it’s WEIRD…like licking hot asphalt or something..i dunno it’s just REALLY present and what i always taste with mate. But i’m glad i tried it heh ’cause you never know!