451 Tasting Notes

So i screwed up this tea again, this time it was because I was in a frantic hurry this morning, was running on like three hours’ sleep, and was generally a bit disgruntled (and of course I arrived at my doctor’s office without my health card, because I’m just irresponsible like that). Anyway, as I tilted the carton of cream over the mug (it was David’s perfect tea mug, actually!), a whole stream of it kind of came gushing out. I just swore and tossed in some sugar and let the tea steep as I paced about the kitchen, cursing at the fact that I would have to chug my tea in a hurry (I’ve always thought that tea evokes calmness and a sense of serenity an peace, whereas coffee is a bit more harried and frantic in its reputation), so it bothered me that I had to chug my tea at all—that’s not how tea is supposed to be enjoyed!
So yes, because my cream of earl grey was like three quarters cream this morning, it was far too creamy (even for me), but it did temper the sharpness of the bergamot down a fair bit, which was nice. A bit more tinkering and I may even want more at some point. It still seems like a cold or rainy weather tee, though.

Oh, and while i’m here writing, can I just say that it makes me a bit sad to read the discussions where people “diss” various tea companies because “they can find better tea elsewhere/this tea is just for newbies/true tea can only be acquired by personally going to the mountains and foraging around with your nose, etc”. Of course people have preferences; that’s a good thing. But we also like what we like, beginner, connoisseur or otherwise, and, I don’t know—I often think that if something exists, there’s probably a place for it somewhere in this world. It kind of reminds me of some hardcore perfumistas who downright refuse to even sniff the latest offerings at major department stores, because “only niche fragrance will do” and it’s just unfortunate, I think, to limit yourself arbitrarily like that, or to judge people who embark on a different journey of discovery from your own. Wow, that was deep. I’ll stop talking now haha.

Rosehips

I agree wholeheartedly about those discussions! They make me a little sad too. Not everyone will like the same things, and I feel that some companies get bashed on a bit, which is really too bad.
And, as you said earlier, it is interesting how we associate some teas with certain weathers. Some just feel right or wrong in certain atmospheric conditions.
I’m sorry your morning was so rushed. Hopefully it calms down!

keychange

Thank you. My day actually got progressively better, so there’s a plus! and yes, it’s funny how some teas can only really be enjoyed to their full extent in certain conditions.
The good thing is that the tea snobbery does seem to be more rare here—I think most people just love tea and love the fact that we all love tea and so we don’t really care which tea you drink, how you take it or make it, etc. It’s also, I don’t know—perhaps it’s the allure of a new hobby, and a way of distinguishing one’s self from the average person by becoming an expert. But again, I think the best experts recognize that no two people will experience something exactly the same, and that’s what makes this world so neat.

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I am a lover of chai.
This chai failed epically, and I’m really quite sad. It smells divine, and as it steeps, you feel completely justified in wandering off in your mind to a pure chai heaven, where the chai is full-bodied and has presence. Sadly, this tea—regardless of whether or not you add anything—just seems to fall flat. Drinking it sort of reminded me of those times when you unscrew the cap on an old bottle of pop, hear a satisfying loud hiss, hope it’s still full of fizz, and realize that you’ve been lied to all along: the pop is flat, and that hiss only raised your hopes before that inevitable downward plunge.
Brewing, this smells great; the taste, however, is thin, fleeting, and watery. I’m sad to say I won’t be repurchasing this one. It may be akin to blasphemy to admit this on here, but I actually prefer the k-cup chai by Timothy’s, and that’s just a fact. We like what we like, right?

Serenity

Sigh, another chai that is better of as potpourri! Been there.

keychange

It really is quite the disappointment. My quest continues!

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drank Birthday Cake by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

When I smelled this tea at the store, I knew instantly that I would love it. I’m a sucker for anything vanilla, and it also really did smell suspiciously of birthday cake. Alas, I like it, and will certainly finish up the 100 G I (rather hastily and impulsively) purchased, but I don’t think I’ll necessarily be restocking. although I don’t know—if you’d asked me if I’d be restocking this a few nights ago, i would have said yes. Perhaps I didn’t let it steep long enough today, or maybe I need to tinker around more with the quantities of milk and sugar. There’s also something…a bit artificial about the flavour (I know I know, there isn’t exactly a “natural” birthday cake taste to really rival this and put it to shame) but I think I was perhaps hoping for…well, something else, though I’m not sure what, exactly. Expect more tasting notes on this one!

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51
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

I didn’t write any tasting notes about resteeping this tea, and I just wanted to say that contrary to my initial suspicions, this tea is actually quite re-steepable and I’m enjoying my second cup. I wouldn’t give it a third infusion, however, but that might also be because I think I’d probably get bored and switch to another tea by then, but that’s not necessarily the “fault” of this tea. Still creamy (well, thanks to the added sugar/cream, perhaps? LOL), and still strong and delicious.

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drank Genmaicha by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

Here’s the thing. I’m conflicted about this tea as well, so it’s probably a good thing that I don’t actually do any numerical rating (that, and it’s inaccessible with my software anyway, so that’s that haha). When I inhaled the scent of this tea at the store, I was instantly drawn to it: it smelled warm and inviting, and not at all unlike comfort food in a canister. My sister was the one who actually asked for it, and purchased a tin of it write on the spot (she is also now obsessed with tea!).
This tea definitely has presence in your cup—that much is for sure. It isn’t a subtle flavour (unless you steep it for like five seconds), so it’s a tea you’ll likely be able to have an opinion on either way.
Here’s the conversation that took place in my head as I drank my first cup…and yes, I may be unstable!
“Oh wow! It almost has a popcorn taste to it.”
“Popcorn? well yes, if popcorn were a drink.”
“Well, it can be a drink now. It’s like comfort food.”
“Except it isn’t food. It’s a drink. And tea isn’t supposed to taste…salty, or soupy, or…savoury. or something.”
“You obviously don’t understand the intricacies of tea, then, because real tea drinkers know that not all tea need be laden with sugary sweetness in order to taste good. Do you know how amazing this would be paired with some food?”
..and so there you have it. I like it, but some part of me instinctively feels as though the concept of tea somehow precludes warm saltiness/popcornness/butteriness, but the more I drink it, the more I’m resisting that type of shoehorning. It tastes very comforting, not overly earthy, and has a perfectly soothing quality to it when not over-steeped. I will most certainly at least be getting myself a sample pack of this, and will likely be adding more tasting notes as I tinker around with it.

ashmanra

Nina’s Japon is an excellent flavored genmaicha. II am sure they would send you a sample if you email them! Through Facebook is best!

keychange

Oh, thanks for the suggestion. I hadn’t actually heard of them, but genmaicha is definitely worth exploring further.

Dexter

This tasting note is funny. Love it. You said you like bold flavors, if you get a chance I would try Verdant’s Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha. It’s everything that I love in a great black tea, with just a little chocolate added, and some wild rice to get that roasted toasted popcorn genmaicha taste.

keychange

Oooh, thanks for the suggestion! I’m going to read reviews on it this evening. :). And I’m glad you liked my tasting note—it really does tend to be accurate in terms of reflecting the actual dialogue in my head haha.

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Another odd review. I can’t really decide if I don’t like earl grey, or if it’s just that I don’t like this particular rendition of it, or if it’s just that I’m “drinking it wrong” or am having it at the wrong time in my life (I thought that perhaps this might be a tea that’s better suited for much cooler weather).
I actually went out on a limb (for me) and did two steeps of this.
First steep: I added some cream and two sugar cubes, steeped for about five minutes. To me, it just tasted like a straight forward earl grey, although I’m perhaps not qualified to say this, as I haven’t had too many of them in my lifetime. Something in it is quite strong, and I suspect this might be the bergamot, but if that’s what makes earl grey an earl grey, then perhaps this criticism isn’t really justified.
The second cup had a bit less of that “strong” (bergamonty?) taste, and I had it with only sugar and no cream. Although this is definitely a tea that can be steeped twice, I don’t know that I’d actually go out and purchase more. I haven’t closed the door on earl greys, however, and will continue to experiment with different ones. Perhaps a gentler incarnation of this will be exactly what I need.

Short Sorceress

I generally drink more Earl Grey in the late fall and winter. For me it has always been a cold weather drink.

keychange

Aha, so it isn’t all in my head. There was definitely something about it that screamed “don’t give up quite yet; I shine my brightest on cold winter mornings.”
It’s funny how obvious that seems to me now!

Serenity

Earl Grey: I kind of have a love/hate thing going on!

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49
drank Mango Madness by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

So it’s the middle of the night, and I can’t sleep. What could be a better time to take a second stab at this tea that I had spoiled with two needless sugar cubes earlier?
It’s odd, because it’s the first cup of tea I’ve had where I really just couldn’t make up my mind. The dialogue in my head went something like this:
“Oh, it’s better without the sugar; good call!”
“Really? You think so? It tastes kind of..flat…or something.”
“Flat? no. I was actually thinking that this would be a good tea to have when you’re ill, because it sort of slips effortlessly down your throat without too much flavour or fuss, but enough flavour to make you want another sip.”
“Really? You think a tea that you don’t have to be forced to drink is a good tea? That’s your standard?”
“It smells wonderful! but I admit it doesn’t really taste strongly of mango.”
“No, more like an assortment of random fruit.”
In all seriousness, I think my biggest issue with the tea was simply that the flavour danced for a brief second on your tongue before disappearing, never really to be found again. And it wasn’t even a flavour I would particularly even want to conjure up, come to think of it.
My bottom line: I’ll likely finish out the sample package, but certainly won’t be purchasing any more. It served a nice, calming purpose for an otherwise anxious night, but was otherwise remarkably unremarkable. It most certainly did not taste like a ripe piece of mango.

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49
drank Mango Madness by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

Oh my! So I’m fairly certain I screwed this one up myself, because I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the cup. I read several reviews on here saying that the tea was a bit too tart, and given that I tend to find things tart even when they aren’t, I figured I’d preemptively add in two cubes of sugar to make sure I liked it once I actually sipped. Bad mistake. It was like very sugary mango water—so sugary in fact that I couldn’t even focus on any other flavours in the tea (and I couldn’t taste much tea at all, but perhaps that’s because white teas are more subtle?).
Anyway, I will definitely write another tasting note for this one!

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51
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

Oh sweet heavens, I just had the most amazing, delicious cup of this tea. I suspected that I’d like the tea (to which I’d added a bit of sugar) even better with a dash of cream, but I wasn’t prepared for how head over heels I became after my first sip! I don’t know if I’m crazy for adding cream and sugar to an oolong, but does it even matter? I find that they bring out the vanilla (which is still a very “adult” vanilla if you ask me) perfectly, while still letting me taste what I’m certain is the oolong (although I don’t quite yet have the vocabulary to accurately describe it). I am definitely seeing a tin of this in my future though!

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drank Dragon Pearls by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

This was actually the second jasmine tea I tried from David’s tea, the first being the silk jasmine one. I actually found the other one to be a bit too “green” tasting, or perhaps it was simply more bitter and I just falsely assumed that that was the greenness of the tea. In any event, I really enjoy this tea, and am pleased to say it: I’d previously decided that I didn’t like any green tea, but am glad to say that I’m slowly starting to appreciate some of them. I’ve been putting in a full spoon of “David’s perfect spoon”, but after reading a few tasting notes on here, have realized that I can probably get just as strong a taste with fewer pearls. I also put in a dash of vanilla agave nectar, and that seems to mellow it out nicely.

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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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