513 Tasting Notes

drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
513 tasting notes

Had this as my afternoon cup to accompany an apple pastry. The slight tartness of the cranberry helped to cut the sweetness of the pastry, although oddly, despite the strong cranberry scent that this tea has, the taste is very much an even balance between a vanilla-almond and cranberry, and i’d even say the almond is at the front end of the sip. It’s been a while since i’ve had this in my cupboard, and I’m glad to welcome it back for a season again. I am wondering what would happen if I added some vanilla sugar to this next time, or if that’d just clash with the almond-vanilla in the tea.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Fjellrev

Drool, this is good stuff.

Rosehips

One of my favorites, easily. Lovely fall cuppa.

keychange

Mmmm definitely.

TeaTiff

I need to pull this one out again!

apieceofquiche

This sounds divine.

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What is “bop” anyway?

Had this tea with breakfast this morning. I’m going to be seeing my in-laws today and they enjoy tea quite a bit, so I’m actually going to give the rest of my sample tin to them! I thought of just plowing through the rest of it myself, but I just feel like life is too short to be drinking tea I’m not loving. I will never be a sipdown champion for this reason, although it also probably speaks to my not being good at picking teas i’ll like haha.

Anyway, still nothing wrong with this tea. It just tastes like tea, you know?

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
CHAroma

Broken Orange Pekoe. It’s the grade of the tea.

keychange

oh oh oh oh oh!! of course.

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So glad it’s almost Friday. This week hasn’t been nearly as stressful as last week, but working full-time is just really draining on my overall reserves of just about everything.

Anyway, had this tea again this morning as promised. With a generous amount of cream and sugar, a tea with what felt like ragged jagged edges was transformed into a smooth and flavourful cup. I also only steeped for three minutes, which helped.

So far, this tea still falls into the perfectly acceptable but not scrambling to restock category. And it’s just as well. At least it reminds me that my love for tea isn’t broken.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
OMGsrsly

I agree about working draining reserves. There’s a reason I’m heading to bed by 8pm most nights. :/

Courtney

I’m with you both. I am falling asleep on the couch far too many nights.

OMGsrsly

I just had a bunch of sheng, and it’s 8pm, and I’m thinking of bed. Meh.

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drank Banana Nut Bread by DAVIDsTEA
513 tasting notes

Oh no. I think I overleafed this in my travel mug this morning, and got a whole lot of date pieces. It was one of those situations where you have slightly more than you’ll need for one cup but not enough for two, and you think to hell with it and brew it all. Anyway, it’s a sipdown, and I’ll be getting more when next I go to DT, although sad-tasting sipdowns are a bit disheartening because they make you second-guess your previous love for a tea. Well they can, anyway. Pretty sure I’ll love this again when I’m not steeping the random bits at the bottom of the tin.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Kristal

Darn :(

keychange

I know! :( ah well, it’s ok.

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I’d been off tea for a long while, and have only recently meandered back. I’ve not been having too too much luck, to be honest. A lot of the teas I brew fall flat for me, and I’m quicker to give up this time around, whereas in the past I would have probably soldiered on, attempting to brew this way and that. Anyway, I decided that I’d try to go back to basics for a while and just explore plain blacks again, so I ordered an introduction to fine tea sampler from Upton tea Imports (also an excuse for me to get another finum brewing basket, which I’m in love with). Anyway, I thought I’d try this one first.

Brewed this just under boiling for about four minutes, but might try about three minutes next time. I mean, it’s certainly got a decently strong caffeine kick. If what you want is a brisk tea that will make you sit up and take notice, this will absolutely do the trick. It is quite strong, and tastes quite tannic. It absolutely requires cream and sugar, and even then, I could sort of feel it roiling in my stomach a bit. Once it had additions though, it became a strong breakfast tea, that has that sort of dry, thirst-quenching characteristic I would imagine i get from an unsweetened apple juice, although it doesn’t taste remotely of apple. I liked that aspect of the tea very much. Aside from that, however, it was just an ordinary if perfectly acceptable breakfast tea. So I’ll finish it off (that’s my rule before I’m allowed to open another sample tin), but so far, likely won’t be rushing to reorder. Expect more notes on this one though, and feel free to hit me if I review another Upton tea before this one is out.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Banana Nut Bread by DAVIDsTEA
513 tasting notes

I know I know, I keep drinking this tea. It’s because it travels so well. There are only two downsides to this tea:

-since getting back into tea again, it’s the only tea I’ve discovered that I actually really like in my travel mug.

-and it’s also a really heavy tea. So like evolvingness said, this could become quite the expensive habit. But one I’m ok with having.

I do need to find other really good travel-mug teas though, because I don’t want to get sick of this one.

In other news, it’s been a long, exhausting, and stressful week at work. I have a really exciting weekend planned with my sisters coming up though, so definitely lots to look forward to. I do wish I could be more candid on here, but alas it’s not even remotely private…

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mookit

Hope you enjoy your weekend :) Hang in there!

Courtney

I had that happen with my Timolino too. Eventually I just enjoyed Laoshan Black in it. Though after my tea ‘hiatus’ of sorts, I had Campfire Blend the other day and it was awesome in it.

Evol Ving Ness

Buttered Rum and Salted Caramel usually travel well too.

keychange

@mookit, thanks! I’m really looking forward to it. This morning I seriously contemplated staying home, but decided against it.
@Courtney: I know what you mean about coming back to tea. I think we’ll find our footing eventually! glad you’ve rediscovered some gems.
@evolvingness, I have never even tried those two flavours, so I should probably get on that. Thanks for the suggestion. So glad I’m not the only one extremely picky about which teas aren’t ruined by travel mugs.

TeaTiff

Have a great weekend with your sisters. I love sister time, it doesn’t happen often enough.

TheKesser

I love straight black teas for travel mugs

Kristal

Have a great weekend!

The more I read reviews of this tea the more I want to drink it :P

keychange

@TeaTiff: I completely agree. I feel so lucky to have sisters!
@theKesser: noted. I’m going to try straight blacks next. Thanks!
@Kristal: oh, I think you’ll enjoy it. I hope you love it as much as I do.

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drank Banana Nut Bread by DAVIDsTEA
513 tasting notes

This is such a great tea to take in a travel mug, and I don’t know why, exactly. I think it’s partially because it’s an herbal so it can steep pretty much forever, and can really withstand all sorts of sloppy parameters. I steeped two tsp in about 12 oz of water for ten minutes, and got a very naturally sweet, full-on banana flavour with a touch of nutty dryness (though a little less so in this cup) at the end of the sip. I hope I never become sick of this tea. For some reason, there are very few teas I can enjoy in a travel mug, and so when I find one, I hold on to it for dear life. Do you guys find that travel mugs mute flavours very severely as well?

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Christina / BooksandTea

Yeah, which is a big reason why I don’t use travel mugs as much as I thought I would. That, and the pain of trying to clean them out and wash out sunk-in smells.

MissLena

Yes my Timolinos take away quite a bit of flavor from my tea, even after pouring it in a cup after it’s been transported in one. I hardly ever take unflavored teas to work in my travel mug due to this. Only usually pretty heavily flavored teas.

keychange

Oh I’m so glad it isn’t just me, then. I have to be very careful about taking teas into work, because I don’t want to inadvertently hate on a tea just because my travel mug is muting its flavours. I agree that only strongly flavoured teas do well in them.

Kristal

I have a sample of this in my 24 days of tea! Since I usually work 6 days a week the tea I drink throughout the day is through travel mug so I’m glad this goes well in it :).

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, my travel mugs mute the subtle flavours of straight up teas. Very sad. I think it is because the false fruity flavours have become embedded in the silicone of my carry mug especially. Not so much in my timolinos. I wonder if one used one travel mug only for pure greens for example, would it still tamper with the flavour as much. My next experiment.

keychange

Yes, I’ve actually been doing something similar. Highly spiced/cinnamon teas go into my coral curve mug. Other, fruity flavours go into my mulled wine one. And I’m thinking of buying another one (obviously!) for straight blacks. That might be one way around it.

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This is such a relaxing and contemplative cup of tea. I am so tempted to brew it so many ways, and have enough left to do just that. I’ll be reordering, although I’m not sure what I’ll be reordering along with, as I haven’t been a huge fan of the current incarnation of North Winds. But I imagine there will be some other really good blends coming up, so I need not worry.

This tea. Still lots of lilacs and fresh, pure air.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML

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Well, this was a lesson in don’t judge a tea by its name, or even necessarily by its smell. I initially passed this over, as it struck me as a slightly more savoury tea, and I’m not generally drawn to those. I was convinced to try it, however, when countless people were raving about it and recommended it highly, so I got some on my way home from work this morning to reward myself for going in for a few hours on a Saturday.

And my faith in my ability to like tea has been restored. I doctored it up with some milk and sugar because this tea positively begs for it, and it really does taste like a thick slice of sweet French toast with a bit of savoury cardamom. Thankfully, I don’t get the coriander, because I think that would be gross in a tea. I love the way it smells while it’s brewing, too—sort of like baby oil but a nicer, drinkable version (seriously guys, think about baby oil while this steeps next time and you’ll smell what I mean). Such an innocent, comforting smell. Mmm I already want more.

While I was at DT today, I also picked up 100 g of banana nut bread because nom, and couldn’t resist the santa’s secret white chocolate bar. There aren’t nearly enough white mint chocolate bars in this world as far as I’m concerned, so I’m willing to chance it, even if it means I’ll crunch down on actual tea leaves (someone seriously needs to tell dt to sort that issue out).

So yup, you done good, dt! you done good!

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML

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I have a large pouch of this to tinker with, so that’s good. Because my first cup of this hasn’t been a success, but I know I may have ruined it somehow, as word on the street is that this tea is notoriously finicky. The flavouring in here is rather faint and artificial, although that can be forgiven because cotton candy isn’t exactly a naturally occurring taste, but somehow it just doesn’t all come together for me. I added in a bit of rock sugar, which may have been an accident because this tea already seems quite overwhelmable. I do tend to like teas that can withstand a bit of a beating because I can’t always ensure perfection in every aspect of brewing, plus I like to be able to consistently expect the same thing. That said, I am going to try this again and not in a travel mug that can mute flavours at the best of times. I am also coming to the slow realization that is very rare for me to really enjoy a green tea, so there’s that.

Preparation
1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Bio

Well, it’s been slightly over six months since I’ve joined steepster, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about this community. Like many of you, I began my foray into the world of loose-leaf tea by discovering David’s Tea, and although I’ve ventured out and have discovered many other companies that I’m extremely fond of, there are still many of David’s teas that I hold close to my heart and I will always appreciate it as a starting point for my journey.

As for my preferences, I tend to prefer bold black tea, flavoured and unflavoured alike, and I almost always take my blacks with cream and sugar. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good, flavoured white though, and I’m slowly making my way through the incredibly confusing world of oolongs and greens. I am also not a fan of rooibos, although I am starting to suspect green rooibos may be ok, but you know how it is: when you’ve decided you detest a certain ingredient, you’ll notice it everywhere—perhaps even where it doesn’t exist!

Things other than tea: I’m engaged to be married to my best friend, and feel like the richest woman on the planet because of it. I am also a veracious reader, and I also happen to have an obsession with fragrances, and have amassed quite a collection, although it pales in comparison to some collections out there! As a result of this obsession, I also follow several fragrance blogs, and am always up for a chat about scent. I’m also almost completely blind, and this does indeed mean that I come complete with a guide dog, who unlike me, hales from the sunny California campus of Guide dogs for the Blind. I think I’ve rambled on long enough, but if there’s anything you’d like to know or if you just feel like chatting to someone, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

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Ontario, Canada

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