845 Tasting Notes

84
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
845 tasting notes

One of the free samples from my David’s tea order.

After the disappointment of the Salted Caramel tea, I was relieved to open up the package and smell this one. It reminded me of pumpkin pie, which really was because of the strong cinnamon and pumpkin notes. It almost seemed to have a hint of graham crackers in it, which made me think of pie crust I think.

So anyway – wonderful smell. I used the whole sample in my new perfect tea mug and steeped it in around 10 oz. of water at the below parameters. Added only a splash of milk because the initial taste seemed a little thin.

That ‘thin’ texture seems to be my main problem with David’s so far. The tea tastes fine – it just seems so watered down. This chai was definitely on as far as the pumpkin and cinnamon was concerned, but I got no other real ‘chai’ spice, and the milk really had to help to get that creamier, chewy texture.

This was another one that was just okay. I have the Chocolate Chili chai sample to try next so hopefully that one will wow me!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
845 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ve been so excited about tea since Frank announced the coconut cheesecake blend – which, incidentally, was my gateway tea way back when.

Salted caramel is absolutely one of my favorite dessert flavors ever. And both Teavana and David’s tea have blends for it this year! I got my boyfriend to spring for a perfect tea mug for both of us, then tacked this tea on (while he tacked the Organic Breakfast for himself). And then I waited for this sucker to ship from Canada down to Georgia.

My first cup was this morning, and I’ll be honest – I wasn’t impressed. I steeped it for about 4.5 minutes and added a splash of milk, but even before I added the leaf the dry smell was kind of off putting to me. Almost like musty and toffee mixed together. Even once I steeped it, that smell kind of remained. The milk made it creamy and perfectly drinkable, but – eh. Also, I got none of the salt. So I was unimpressed that first go around.

But obviously I wouldn’t give up that easily. So tonight I tried extending the steeping time with the hope that maybe that smell would transform into caramel with time. The steeped smell is a little more caramel and a little less toffee, so that’s good. And I think there’s a little salt in the sip, which is better. But plain – I’m getting some astringency that I’m not liking. We’ll see what the milk does…

The milk definitely makes it smoother – but there’s still that weird note in the background. I’m wondering if it’s the coconut or vanilla? I do get hints of caramel but nothing that makes me think of actual salted caramel. Darn.

It’s good, but not amazing. Sigh. Has anyone tried the Teavana blend? I would love to know how it compares…

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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98

Whew! I just checked and this is still available in the permanent collection!

Black tea in the morning has started to become a habit of late. This one has actually grown on me since cutting out sweetener – for some reason it tastes more like itself that way. Whatever the reason I’ll take it. And I’ll probably end up getting some more once I get that first paycheck of mine. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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94

Second day of orientation – with a few left to go. Took a thermos full of this with some milk and it went by fast, really.

This is a backlog from this morning, but I believe I tasted more of the crust this time – and of course the caramel. It was a little light on the pumpkin, but the spice was definitely there too. Since I can only have black teas in the morning (I apparently will not go to sleep otherwise) I’m glad I got this one in today. It was ridiculously cold and windy for a Georgia October.

Oh, and I believe that I will be getting my first David’s Tea order tomorrow! So excited to be in the middle of hot tea season again!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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97

I start my new (dream!) job tomorrow! So I can’t have black tea unless I don’t want to sleep tonight, but luckily I have some honeybush that can serve as my dessert instead.

Steeped at below parameters with a splash of milk. This cup is dead on for a slice of warm strawberry pie – with a nice cinnamon accent that pairs well with the pastry. Perfect on such a cold, windy night.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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98

I was nervous about trying this tea again. When it’s good, it’s really, really good – problem was, it seemed to require milk and sugar to get there.

Prepped 1.5 tsp. tea at below parameters, added 1 tbsp. coconut milk. Can I just say that I love being able to eat pancakes without actually eating them? I love getting a mouthful of creamy maple syrup followed by the cakey note. The coconut milk is usually not my preferred additive, but it pairs really nicely here – I think because it adds a thicker, chewy mouthfeel. Whatever it is, I love it!

(Although I do still have some scratchy throat stuff going on once I get about halfway into the cup. What IS that???)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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95

I haven’t had this one in a while! Actually, I have only really started tea drinking again, so most of my teas I haven’t had in a while. :) But on the plus side, I don’t really have to go shopping for anything – I have tons of variety right at home!

This is still fantastic – sweet and spicy all at once. Boyfriend went to bed early for the night so I just put on the kettle and am enjoying the solitude. This is the perfect companion.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
845 tasting notes

Okay – trying this tea out with the coconut milk added (because DOUBLE COCONUT! Also because there’s no other type of creamer, but let’s all be positive!). I recently transitioned to a paleo/primal diet, which is very heavy on the coconuts. The oil, the flour, the milk, the flakes… they’re practically in a food group by themselves now. Luckily I’ve always loved coconut, or I’d probably have had a harder time with the transition!

Anyway, back to the tea. This is hands down one of my favorites from 52Teas. It’s a new batch, too – which may mean I need to tweak the parameters just a bit to get the results I want. I wonder if my tastes have changed or actual batches can vary just enough to require this?

The smell is decadent, though I’m not getting much hint of pie crust. I do get lots of coconut and sweet cream, though. As for the taste, I think the coconut milk may have overwhelmed the more delicate crust note – its more of a coconut custard in a cup. (Which really isn’t bad at all.)

Yup, as its cooled, no crust note, just a lovely thick mouthfeel and the taste of coconut and cream. Maybe an extra 30 seconds or minute steep will help tease out that crust flavor. Note to self: try that next time!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Weird – this had a scratchy throat effect tonight. That never happens, and I don’t like it. Especially because I’m just coming off a cold and got rid of my sore throat – I don’t feel like having it back already. Maybe it was the coconut milk? Whatever it was I had to add some honey and that didn’t even really calm the irritation.

Meh. Further research is needed. My old faithful let me down tonight :(.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84

Even though I think this is one of the more popular blends, it was never my most favorite. But that was back when I could eat a cinnamon roll whenever I wanted. And whenever I would add sugar to teas.

This time, I enjoyed it with a splash of milk and 1.5 tsp. leaf steeped for 12 minutes. The taste of that gooey dough was fabulous! Sweet, cinnamony BREAD! The cup disappeared on me surprisingly quickly. Good thing there’s no caffeine..

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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Profile

Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

Location

Atlanta, GA

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