451 Tasting Notes

So far, bringing the mini keurig into work to use for hot water has been a sort of success. Sort of because it’s a bit finicky to operate, but given that there are only two buttons, I feel I can handle it.

It’s never quite the same when you’re brewing away from home, but I suppose that’s to be expected. The flavour, given that I was using a tea filter, was a bit muted, but still creamy and delicious. Certainly helps me get through the morning when I’m pretty much the only one here. tea can really find your sore spots and massage them just so. And now, because i’ve disposed of said filter into the wastebasket in my office, all I can smell is blueberry and I’m loving it.

pyarkaaloo

this is definitely on my wishlist from Davids. i love blueberry things.
the madness has got to stop!

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When I’m feeling under the weather or otherwise particularly sorry for myself, I reach for what I call “the big guns”, and this tea is one of them. As I tossed in my sleep last night, I realized in that semi-conscious way that you do that my knees were hurting. I woke up this morning and my knees were indeed hurting, along with my elbows and fingers. And as is typical for pretty much everyone I know with any medical issue whatsoever, no one knows what’s wrong because “it all looks fine”. Oh ok then, I’ll just eff off and admit that i’m making the whole thing up. Need some drama in my life, ya know? things get a bit dull without joint pain.

Haha sorry. I feel I complain far more than is appropriate in tasting notes. This tea was as delicious as always, and made me feel as though I was drinking a liquefied funnel cake drizzled in confectioners’ sugar. Add strawberry and you really would have the entire funnel cake experience. And although I might go so far as to say this tea doesn’t “need” guar, I always add some (along with some cream) to really emphasize the tea’s natural and unique sweetness (seriously, I’ve never tasted a sweet tea with this type of sweetness—must be the leaf hoppers!)

Anna

“Things get a bit dull without joint pain”. Hahaha.

donkeytiara

ok, that’s it….I’m trying this tea this week….I have a sample at home…..thanks for the poke in the behind to motivate me….and good luck with your knees. I take New Chapter Zyflamend, if that helps at all. :)

keychange

Oooh, definitely try it!

pyarkaaloo

“liquefied funnel cake drizzled in confectioners’ sugar”!!! o_O

yum-meee. so gonna try this & then add strawberry to it.

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Cue the sense of dread that just courses through you (or otherwise sits in your stomach) when you see the work week stretching out before you, accented with awful, awful weather. Sometimes it feels like tea is the only thing that can cheer me up on a Monday morning. After having this cup turn into a disaster of epic proportions on Saturday, it was lovely to have a perfectly creamy vanillay cup this morning. I am also taking my mini keurig into work today, and i’m hoping i’ll actually use it to enjoy tea in the afternoon, but it’s starting to feel complicated, and I might not. I hope I do though!

Sami Kelsh

Work is so much better with tea. You can do it!

keychange

It really is. Thank you!

Suziqzer

Sorry you have a dread about work today.. hopefully your Keurig and your tea will warm your spirits and the rest of you and make your day better :)

__Morgana__

I know that sense of dread well, and I don’t even have the awful weather to deal with.

keychange

Sad you guys can relate. I have 85 (week) days left here though!

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Ok, so this isn’t actually going to be a tasting note about this tea, because I’ve written about it enough for you to know that it’s a lovely EGC, and that’s about all you need to know.

But last night, I decided to take a timolino full of this to a friend’s place for dinner and hanging out. And instead of using my Keurig to dispense the hot water like I typically do, I used Watson (Watson is the name I’ve given to our Culligan water cooler, that has both a hot and cold water tap—we named him Watson after the computerized jeopardy contestant! /nerd). Anyway, from my understanding, the water dispensed from Watson is around 107 degrees F, while the Keurig website says that the Keurig dispenses water that’s 192 degrees f, so that’s definitely a noticeable difference. The thing is, however, that I never never successfully brewed a cup of satisfactory tea using Watson, and it seems odd to me that a temperature of about 207 (ETA—sorry, I originally wrote 107, which explains the general wtfness in the comments below, but it really was 207) would be too hot for absolutely every tea (especially since I drink mostly blacks, which are reputed to almost always take extremely hot water). As for the water I use, the Keurig takes filtered water through my brida filter, and Watson uses Culligan’s water—both are filtered, but are provided by different companies, so perhaps that has to do with it. But last night’s tea tasted bitter and horrible, just horrible. No vanilla cream notes to speak of—only an amped up bitter bergamot note that was bitter and gross.

But this has me terrified to ever get myself a variable temp kettle, because what if the Keurig is the only acceptable source for hot water for me in this universe? this is actually really upsetting to me! Because i so badly want the Bonavida goose-neck one liter variable temp kettle, but like, if I drop 100 dollars on it but it makes all my tea taste like bile, then…then…then what?!?!?!?!!?

Please comfort me.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Anna

(Have you actually checked Watson’s temperature?)

keychange

I haven’t checked it myself, but I have a friend who works as a distributor for Culligan, and she checked the temperature of her hot water dispenser and reported back to me.

Anna

Maybe that’s a good first step to rule any temp problems out. But isn’t 107 exceptionally low? Like 42 degrees C?

Uh, sorry, you want comforts, and I just want to crunch numbers. I’m so sorry you’re having Watson issues. I’m sure it will be okay. I see a goosenecked beauty in your future that will make everything better and easier.

OMGsrsly

If it doesn’t work for you, you can ALWAYS pack it up and return it.

But you should probably check Watson’s temperature, because every water heater will be different. That would be a LOT different, but 107F is not very hot at all. It’s tap water hot at 40C. My tap water is actually way hotter than that (think green tea steeping temps about 65C) depending on how long the boiler has been on for.

keychange

I hope you’re right. I was so so so so close to ordering one just now! I literally had to sit on my hands and rock back and forth to stop myself. And yeah, 107 is lowish it’s true, but I swear this water yields the nastiest tea ever. And the Keurig, by contrast, makes a perfect one. Maybe I just like all my tea at an incredibly low temperature? I have no idea. But you can barely tell you’re drinking the same tea—the differences are that noticeable.

keychange

Ok, you guys are right. I should just check Watson’s temperature. I just checked my conversation with my friend on FB and she admitted that her thermometer only went up to 200 f, so I imagine she couldn’t get an accurate read, either. But like, do you guys think it’s just that Watson is super hot in real life and that the keurig is cool and that makes all the difference?

Anna

But how do you adapt the steep times if you use 107 degree water? Or 192-degree water for blacks, for that matter.

keychange

And if 207 f is so low, but Keurig’s website says its water is 192, then isn’t that even more odd still? that I would prefer (even black) tea at such a ridiculously low temperature? but I’m seirous, guys. No one would enjoy the tea from Watson. It wasn’t keychange bitter—I had two other people taste it and they thought it was nasty, too. Maybe I should try boiling our random kettle with the same water I use to fill the Keurig and comparing that against Watson. Because maybe it really just is the water.

keychange

I don’t. I always steep for about four minutes (if I’m steeping blacks) when I use the Keurig.

Anna

Hm – 207? But you said 107 in the original post. 207 would make more sense, I guess.

keychange

And Omgsrsly, it never occurred to me that I could just return the bonavida if I don’t like it. I’m so stupid LOL

keychange

This is all just so very odd!

keychange

Sorry sorry sorry!! I meant 207! oh my gosh.

keychange

Wow. Wow. And you guys kept on being like “107? that’s so low! crazy! so so low!” and I was thinking: isn’t 207 just five degrees shy of 212? how bad is my math? aaaahhhhh."

keychange

Ok, so now that we know it’s more 207 than 107, and that the Keurig really is 192…then is it more likely that culligan’s hot water just sucks?

OMGsrsly

Haha! That was so confusing! The hot water is probably too much for you. :) I steep all my black teas at 195F, so about your Keurig temp. 207 is too much for me.

__Morgana__

There, there. (Comfort comfort.) My guess is it is something about the water filter rather than the temp that is causing such a major difference. I steep my blacks at different temperatures (200,205,212) depending on the seller’s recommendations and my own tastes, but I rarely steep them at lower than 200. My parents had a Culligan system and it included water softening. Does yours? I wonder whether if it does, it’s some of the additives in the water that are making the taste sub par. In any case, I wouldn’t rule out the variable temp kettle. I love the convenience of being able to set the different temperatures without having to use a thermometer or just guess.

keychange

Morgana, omgsrsly, and anna—you are all heavenly. Just divine! thank you!
We have an answer!
Morgana, I think you were right: because I just did an experiment.
What I did was use our regular kettle that was lying around, and filled it with Brida water (so, Keurig water). Brewed up grandma’s pumpkin pie from dellaterra tea, mostly because I know what that’s supposed to taste like, and have brewed many a consistent cup. And it tasted pretty damn near perfect! soo, I think it’s just that Culligan’s hot water is a no-go for me. Morgana, I imagine that the water in the cooler is treated, so you’re right about it affecting the taste. Omg, now I want a variable temp kettle so badly!

Anna

Man, I love science. And all you amazing women, of course.

keychange

Isn’t it all just so wonderful? process of elimination FTW!

OMGsrsly

Yay! :)

__Morgana__

Yay for finding an answer! I think you’ll love having a variable temp kettle so I have no problem encouraging you to spend your money. ;-)

keychange

Now to get my variable temp kettle!

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Stopped at David’s at a friend’s urging…what? she urged me! and I smelled a bunch of tea and settled on this one (omg omg omg omg they are getting a lime green timolino!! omg omg omg!).

This tea tastes like the creamiest of creamed milk, with some more cream on top, all garnished with the slightest sprinkling of the finest white chocolate. That’s all I have to say. Delicious delicious. I had it as a soy latte (I’m lactose intolerant, and although I “tolerate” lactose of my own choosing, my stomach becomes apoplectic when it sees like 16+ oz of actual milk).
David, you done good, you really done.

pyarkaaloo

this is why i’m jealous of Canada.

aisling of tea

Lime green timolino? AWESOME! Did they tell you about any other colors? PINK, maybe hopes

keychange

Isling, I didn’t hear pink specifically. They said “royal blue”, and said they didn’t know of the rest.
Pyarkaaloo, want me to send you some?

pyarkaaloo

i’m so sorry, i didn’t see this note til just now…
this sounds so yummy! that is so kind of u to offer :D
i’m located in the US tho….is that okay?

keychange

Yup, I’ll message you.

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drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

Although I enjoyed this in my timolino at work today, I have to say that either it doesn’t travel well, or else this tea has lost some of its magic. I suspect it’s the former, as both Mr. keychange and I swooned over our cups of it when we had this in a normal mug. That, and I’m starting to think that pretty much every tea ought to be enjoyed in an actual mug, as due to the fact that I tend to not be able to look beyond the immediacy of my situation, a bad encounter with tea in a travel mug that otherwise tastes good could change the way I feel about a wonderful tea, and we can’t have any of that.

I still get the strong, creamy coconut flavour, and i’m sure the splash of milk helped bring that out. That being said, the overall swallow still feels particularly thin and incomplete for me today. Not incomplete enough though, as my timolino is happily empty.

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100

I know, I know. It’s such a shock that I had the Queen this morning. Had her with a bagel and cream cheese, and experienced a small slice of heaven before having to change into stupid work clothes and then plunge myself into the god-forsaken outdoors.

Stay warm, guys!

Also, is anyone else watching jeopardy? Holy smokes, Arthur!

Kamyria

I swear I’m going to bolt my doors and refuse to go out until the temps change…

keychange

I’m with you there!

Cavocorax

Wow, I can’t believe how often you’ve had the Queen. She must be quite flexible, eager and … tireless?

Anna

I’m blushing now.

OMGsrsly

Thank you, Cavo. LOL!

Cavocorax

Ahahahah. It’s Friday. Time to be extra silly. (I typed swilly, but that makes sense with all the tea sloshing…)

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This is one incredibly powerful cinnamon tea. I’ve finally found a tea that is perfect, without fail, every time I take it in my timolino. Although I won’t be restocking this immediately upon finishing the tin (which will happen very quickly), it will absolutely feature in my cupboard come fall and winter of next year. we’re having record lows again today, although I frankly shouldn’t even be surprised at this point. But hot spicy cinnamon makes even this awful weather feel slightly more palatable. I love, love a tea’s ability to soothe ruffled feelings.

And how the heck do i still have four hours left at work? aaahhhh.

Fjellrev

You should be finished work around now, it seems! Those days suck. I hope the last four hours went by quicker.

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drank Scottish Morn by Harney & Sons
451 tasting notes

Round two with this tea this morning. And, although I’m not nearly as desperate to pawn it off on other unsuspecting souls, I dare say that I’m just not all that fascinated with it myself. It is strong, yes, with a slightly pervasive raisiny note that’s slightly reminiscent of the scent in Butiki’s Wild mountain black, although that’s exactly where the similarity between these teas ends. I doctored it up with a healthy dose of sugar and cream this morning, but it still didn’t do much to make the tea taste “better”—it just tasted like a slightly less intense version of itself, which wasn’t exactly what I was going for. Anyway, like I said, not a bad cup by any means, and I imagine with a bit of sharing I’ll make it through this tin, but it won’t be a reorder.

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There actually isn’t much of a point in my giving this tea another tasting note, because i’ve waxed poetic about how great I think it is for the fall and winter. But that’s just it: fall and winter. And despite the weather people predicting that winter is going to last another 53379848959 years, I refuse to believe it’s true, mostly because if it is true I’m going to end up living in an institution. So I’m frantically trying to drink down my fall and winter teas. and, you know, thereby justifying a massive spring and summer tea shopping spree. Every time spring is about to roll in, I vow to myself that I’m going to spend more time outdoors. But then I forget how much of a hermit I am by nature like any time of the day/month/year, and old habits die hard and all that sort of thing. Guzzled this in my timolino six or so hours after preparing it. Participated in a disclosure meeting today that destroyed my faith in humanity, and although I’m still reeling from it a bit, it’s nothing compared with what I imagine the affected people are dealing with. Anyway, sorry that was coded and cryptic. Basically tea is great, I’m a hermit, and spring needs to arrive yesterday.

Suziqzer

I agree! This weather is getting the best of me too.. So ready for Spring! Maybe if we all sip down our fall and winter teas, Spring will finally come.

Fjellrev

Do you like it more than David’s Pumpkin Chai, if you’ve had that one?

Courtney

Hahaha I’ll be right there with you in the institution. It’s supposed to go back down to -25 this weekend here. FML.

Anna

Isn’t a balcony or a terrace the perfect compromise? Still very hermity, but definitely outdoors.

keychange

Suziqzer, let the sip offs begin!
Fjellrev, I’ve had David’s pumpkin spice chai as well, and do prefer this one. I find that it’s more creamy and flavourful, and found the david’s version to be comparatively lackluster. Also keep in mind that I take my tea with milk and sugar though, so my understanding of the differences may be differing from that of purists.
Courtney, fml also. Let’s find a really fancy institution that’s basically a retreat for bored wealthy people. Because eff this sh&?$t.
Anna, a balcony is absolutely a wonderful idea. But bugs and critters and blind people and ugh!

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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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