604 Tasting Notes

drank Cold 911 (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
604 tasting notes

Well, like most others, I’m not drinking this for the taste. I’ve had a little bit if a sore/dry throat the last few days and today I woke up with a headache and badly congested. I didn’t do any of my normal remedies as I had an acupuncture session and wanted to see how much that might help before I self medicate. Anyway, I saved a few dollars with today’s appointment with the “pay it forward” promo at the health collective where I go for community acupuncture, so I thought a tea to go was in order, but I didn’t want to pay $6 for a Vital Resistance tea from Teaopia. I went to David’s instead, opted to try one of their cold and flu teas and ended up with this.

Well, the taste isn’t my favourite so it’s not something I’d drink regularly unless I was feeling bad. I’m not sure if it’s the tea or the walk or what, but I’m feeling super warm right now. My sinuses have been slowly draining all morning, but my head is still hurting. I might make some Dulce and Banana later.

Edit: DO NOT DRINK THIS COLD! It is vile and nauseating and foul. That is all.

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86

This is the second of the two oolongs from teavivre from my recent batch. The leaves of this one are a little on the greener side, but still dark. I’m guessing this is not as oxidized as the Oriental Beauty, but more than a Tie Gwan Yin. It smells very tea like, more like a black tea, again probably because of the level of oxidation.

Brewed, this tea has a lovely golden reddish brown, lighter and clearer than most blacks, I think. Upon first (very hot) sip, I noticed it was a bit more astringent than the Oriental Beauty. It was a little tart, or sour…not necessarily in a bad way. This could just be my brewing. I did add some sugar to sweeten, though there is still that tart taste. I have not added any milk, even though this is dark enough to carry it. I’m not really getting much sweet or floral with this. It is possible that I’m just not feeling great lately, and I’m just not feeling it with the stuff I have have been having lately…my buds could be off. I will definitely be giving this another brew, and will try with and without sweetener, though I pretty much always add it once I’ve tried it plain.

Unless this is my brewing, I’m going to say that I like this, but not as much as the Oriental Beauty. Thanks again to Angel for sending this one to me. It proves that I still like dark over light oolongs, but that I like light oolongs over green.

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68

The dry leaf smells very fresh and grassy, and they’re also very long leaves! I used my bamboo spoon, since it is rather wide and flat by contrast to a regular teaspoon.

I brought the water to a boil and let it cool a few minutes before using with about 2 spoons of the dry leaf. I think I may have let the water cool too much, as my brew is very very mild, and I am not getting really much flavour at all. I did notice that some of the leaves hadn’t been fully submerged in the water, so I am having a second steeping to see what happens. So far, I like the Taimu green tea better, but it might’ve been my technique and brewing.

Thanks to teavivre for sending this one to me. I still have one more green to try, the Bi Lou Chun.

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81
drank Jolly Jellybean by DAVIDsTEA
604 tasting notes

I didn’t steep this right. I added my water and then got distracted by a shiny thing. I seriously need to start using a timer. That said, rooibos is usually pretty forgiving. I’m trying to decide if the rooibos taste is far enough in the background or not for this one, and possibly due to the longer than average steep, I think it may be further up front than I normally care for. I got a little over 25g because I was worried I might not get enough (or any) jellybeans in my bag if I went for a smaller one.

The smell on this one is pure awesomeness, and it looks pretty effing amazing too. The taste seems much, much milder and less sickly candy sweet than you might think by sniffing it and seeing the jellybeans. Again, this could be my faulty brain-dead brewing techniques from this evening.

Like just about all of the rooibos teas from DAVIDs that I have tried (and liked), this tastes juicy and I think it would be great to make iced tea with in the summer. I think I might prefer this over Green and Fruity, but it has been a while since I had that last (been saving it for the summer). I think I might still prefer Orange Blossom to this, or it is a close tie, though my beloved Alpine Punch is the clear rooibos winner.

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87
drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
604 tasting notes

This was a fairly enjoyable cuppa tonight.

Today brought sun, rain, hail, snow, and lots of wind. All at random times in like 5-10 minutes spurts. It was pretty blustery when I went to leave my building to meet up with shizukanix for her first time to DAVIDs. I’d tried several times to leave, and finally just toughed it enough to the bus stop without my brolly buckling over from the wind. I’m grateful I pushed on, as it wasn’t so bad downtown (which is only a 5 minute or less bus ride from my neighborhood), and I had really wanted to exchange my Sweet Ginger Heat and Jungle Juju. I’d been smelling Fantasy Island the last few times I’d been in, but I was fairly certain that today was the day to get some. I needed an escape from the blustery cold wind and rain.

It smells really lovely…almost like a mix of Love Tea #7 and Mulberry Magic (or possibly Checkmate). And as I like all of the aforementioned teas, I figured I’d like this one too. I think that to me, I get a little more of the raspberry sweetness in the dry leave, but it fades to the back in the brew, and the coconut dominates. I don’t think this is all that bad, though I do wish there was just a wee bit more of the fruit taste in the mix.

I found the tea to be mild…but in a calm sort of way. I found it kind of like Checkmate in that respect, which is why I listed it with the others, but in parenthesis. It was definitely nice on this horrible March eve.

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90

What a lovely cuppa.

When I first brewed this, I thought it smelled nice…sort of warm and earthy, and I tried hard to see what flavours I could pick up. I chose this tea from the Teavivre site for a future tasting based on the picture, and a description somewhere of a honey aroma. I tried to pick up the honey note, but really, I suck at that. Unfortunately, I’m the first to review this tea, and I am not great at picking out the flavours in teas.

It brewed a nice medium golden red shade, and almost seemed like a very mild black tea, like maybe a yunnan or possibly a darjeeling? I guess that’s part of this oolong being more oxidized than some…this tea is definitely on the darker spectrum than the lighter spectrum.

I only had time for 2 steeps of this today: my first was this morning (with my cheese tea biscuits), initially unadulterated, but I added sugar partway in. When I did this, it brought out what honey notes I could perceive (or think I perceived) more…but it could just be that is was sweeter overall. The second time was later this afternoon, after my physio appointment and stroll through downtown while the sun was out and it was kinda warm. Warmish, though I was still bundled in my wool coat and scarf, and had my boots on. I popped into a few tea shops I hadn’t been to in quite a long while (Special Teas and Murchies…our Special Teas here in Victoria, BC is not the same as the one in the states that went under and has been bought by Teavana). Anyhow, back at home I made my second steeping, didn’t use as much sugar, but added a splash of milk. It was nice and comforting.

I think, on my next steeping, I’m going to try honey instead of sugar, and hold the milk.

It was a very enjoyable cuppa, as I said initially. I’m very grateful for teavivre sending this one to me. I know I will enjoy the remaining samples on this one. I look forward to more steepings and tastings.

TeaVivre

Hi Heather, I am glad that you like this kind of oolong tea. You are right, it is more oxidized than some other oolong teas. This Taiwai Oriental Beauty (Bai Hao) Oolong Tea is aroung 75-80% oxidization. Others are less than 50%

Amariel

Hi, yes, I think that I prefer the more oxidized oolongs, but I do like all oolongs. Looking forward to trying the Big Red Robe soon.

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85

So I’ll preface this by saying a few things…

1) I was at work when I first tried this and,

2) I’m not terribly good at describing the subtle tastes of things like wine or coffee or tea and,

3) I’ve been more a Japanese green tea drinker in the last few years than a Chinese one.

With that said, I did delve into this green tea, one of three that Angel from Teavivre sent. I picked this one because of the reference to chestnut flavours…though I’m fairly uncertain what chestnut actually tastes like.

The dry leaf is dark green in colour, and sort of thin spindly leaves. The smell is clean and earthy and a little roasty toasty. Brewed, they expand and turn into a mossy green colour. The liquor was pretty pale and yellow, and still smelled much like the dry leaf. The taste was crisp and clean, and reminded me a bit of a green oolong. There was a little roasty toasty flavours though. There was a barely noticeable astringency, but I wouldn’t say bitter by any means. I think that the main flavours I picked up were vegetal, and reading about asparagus as a flavours, as odd as it is, I think I can make that out, but I’d never know it unless I read others saying that.

My preparation was electric kettle boiled water, left to rest about 3-5 minutes before adding thee strainer with he tea leaves, of which I used about two bamboo spoons wort. The tea is so lightweight and thin that it was a little difficult to get a good measure. Steeped about 2 minutes in between running back and forth from customers.

Overall, I like it and will be interested to see how it compares to the other greens and oolongs I got from Teavivre. I’ll be interested to see if I can discern any subtleties in them.

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68
drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
604 tasting notes

I have to agree with the others that while the roselle is a bit tart, it isn’t the punch in your face from hibiscus tart. I did add some sugar to this, and I’m sure that helped mellow it out some. I got interested in this one when I saw aislingoftea write about it, and I knew that I wanted to try this in my next batch of samples from teavivre. So thanks to Angel for sending this one to me.

The smell in the bag is simply intoxicating. My palate isn’t as refined as some to be able to pick out the individual fruits, and as the roselle offers that bit of tartness, it masks the other flavours a little bit for me. But I can say that the fruits all blend seamlessly into a nice fruity concoction. I can only imagine how awesome this will be as iced tea come summer. I wonder how it would be cold brewed. This tea makes me want one of those clear tea tumblers so I can show off my cheeky fruits!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this one. I had a feeling when I first requested this that the roselle might be a bit hibiscus-like, so I was a little nervous, but the other fruits just sounded so yummy, how could I not try this? :P

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23

Licorice punch, right in the face.

Le sigh.

One sip, the rest down the drain…I hate doing that.

I just don’t think I can do any of the ayurvedic teas due to licorice-y things.

Uniquity

Agreed (re: not doing ayurvedic teas, that is!)

TeaBrat

this also sounds gross due to the stevia, I don’t like that stuff…

ScottTeaMan

I thought stevia is supposed to be natural?!

Amariel

Stevia is supposed to be natural, but, yuck, I don’t like it. I think it gives me headaches.

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60
drank Jungle Ju Ju by DAVIDsTEA
604 tasting notes

I don’t know how to rate this one. Taste was kinda bland to me, but I used a stick of agave vs regular sugar, so that could have been the culprit. It didn’t taste super fruity, but it did taste rather herbal. Again, this could be related to the method and amount of sweetener used.

I didn’t notice a perceived burst of energy, like a POP! or a BAM! or a WOW! but, I was soooo super tired this morning, and I was able to stay rather focused and it was busy at work. It was a very busy day, and I didn’t crash. But I did still feel tired. So, I don’t know if it got me through, or if it was just pure momentum from adrenalin pushing me through. Curious to try it more with regular sugar. I’ll have to look into the herb more too.

I may come back and raise the rating, but as of this afternoon, I had thoughts of possibly returning it for something else.

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Bio

I generally like a lot of tea. I do find I have a preference for flavored over unflavoured, but I do love a good straight tea as well.

Likes are too hard, since there are a lot. Dislikes are easier, so here they are.

Hibiscus. Blech. I can tolerate a little, depending on the brew, like Berry Good from Davids and Ruby Pie from Butiki…but in general, it’s too tart and too strong for me.

Licorice. Anything that remotely resembles licorice is out too, so that includes fennel and anise. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Florals. I’m cool with petals in the tea to make them look pretty, and I’m cool with teas like oolongs having a floral note, but strong florals can give me migraines. Rose and jasmine are the biggest offenders. This is one where it can vary on the blend, as I can handle Teavivre’s Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea because there is very little jasmine actually detectable in it.

Rooibos is hit or miss. I can do some, but not others. I handle green better than red, and honeybush better than rooibos.

Um, I have an extensive wishlist. It is both a list of things I want to get again, and things I want to try. If you are sending me something, and you want to know which is which, I’ll tell you via PM.

My ratings don’t have a particular scale or method, and may on occasion contradict themselves, but I’m honestly not fussed about that. Sometimes I don’t even rate at all.

Uh, guess that’s it.

Location

Victoria, BC

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