513 Tasting Notes

I was awakened several times during the night by very loud, very powerful claps of thunder. I imagined it shaking the very sky. The previously slightly heavy air had lost its humidity, and a crisp and cool rain-drenched breeze came through my window. Sometimes, when I wake up briefly in the middle of the night, I find that my sense of smell is heightened—I’ll get very strong whiffs of whatever perfume I had on that day, or smell any lingering scent of shampoo that may still be clinging to my hair. But last night all I smelled was a rain-soaked earth, and it was perfect. I checked the time and it was only 3:15 or so, and I snuggled happily under the covers for more sleep. I can’t describe how awesome that moment felt.

Anyway, it continued to pour all night and there were no signs of the rain letting up when I got up for work this morning. I knew I wanted a comfort tea, because comfort teas work so well with rainy weather. I chose this one and loved it as usual, although I was having it with a bagel and cream cheese, and I found that the cream cheese and this tea were sort of competing for my attention instead of complimenting one another (but caramel and cream cheese don’t exactly strike me as a perfect combination anyway), so although it was amazing amazing amazing, I should have probably gone with wild mountain black this morning. Although come to think of it, that tea demands my attention too, so…

Anyway, I also brewed up some David’s vanilla orchid oolong in my timolino for work, and I’m wondering what I’ll think of it. I’m kind of wishing I’d taken some cantaloupe and cream instead. LOL maybe today is one of those days where I keep wishing I’d had a different tea from the one I chose. Nevertheless, this was an excellent choice either way.

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drank Sugar and Spice by DAVIDsTEA
513 tasting notes

Oh wow, the steeping gods were watching over me this morning, because somehow I brewed a perfect mug of this for my timolino this morning. I used one of David’s perfect teaspoons, along with one of teavana’s perfect teaspoons for 12 oz of water (I often find I need to overleaf many of dt’s teas). Anyway, added in a generous amount of cream and sugar and the result was a perfectly balanced, creamy, smooth ginger bread cookie. I’m a girl who can’t stand to be even marginally cold, and I find that this tea makes me long for a wintery, blustery day just so that the tea can shine even brighter. I actually think I may get a full tin of this next time I’m at David’s!

In other news, my eyes are insisting on being closed, and try as I might, I can’t concentrate for jack at work this afternoon. I’m on the verge of listing to one side in sleep, and of course this means that each minute is five years long, and I fear I’ll never ever get to go home. Somehow the mornings seem to fly by, and the afternoon slows to a nearly backwards crawl. I have no idea how people who stay chipper all day manage it, I just have no idea.

So so so so sleepy. I want a nap!

Oh, and I still have that idiotic canker I wrote about earlier. It means that everything hurts and also that I’m not trying any new tea until it’s gone.

MissLena

I was sleepy like that yesterday, hoping to not be that way this afternoon! Might make some matcha to keep myself awake!

keychange

Good plan! I still need to buy myself a small kettle to bring to work for afternoon tea purposes.

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So I used the last of my sample (which came in an adorable tiny square tin, by the way) this morning, and am sad to have tasted the last of it for what I think will be a while. I don’t know why art of tea’s shipping rates are particularly obnoxious, especially since I order tea from the states from other companies and don’t seem to encounter the same problem. Anyway, this is definitely one I’m going to want to restock. Make no mistake: this is a no-nonsense, bold breakfast tea that you could heartily drink while you’re in a bitchy mood, getting ready for a day of annoyance, or pretty much for any other reason. I know I’ve described the texture as being woody or apple-like, and that still holds true. There’s also a dryness about the tea that is very pleasing on the tongue and which also makes it easy to swallow. I may just end up biting the proverbial bullet and ordering a full tin of this, because it’s just very staple-worthy. I steeped it for the max recommendation of five minutes this morning, and dare I say that was as strong as I could handle it. Strong, but perfectly so. Any stronger and it just may, may have tipped slightly into bitterdom and we can’t have that, oh no we can’t.

Here’s a question for you guys. For teas that you identify are going to be staples in your cupboard, how much do you typically buy at a time to ensure regular, guilt-free usage?

Dexter

That would depend on how many staples you have or want to have, how often you want to drink this tea, how often you want to have to reorder. I think that answer would be different for everyone. Also keep in mind that something you LOVE today may not be your favorite 3 months from now. For me personally, 50-100g would be the MAX I would order of any tea, even if I love it.

keychange

All good points. I think I worry, too, because although I would like to drink some of my tea regularly, the fact that it’s pretty expensive can definitely get in the way of revery-day consumption.

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So I’ve had a canker for the last few days, and it’s right on the right edge of my tongue and it’s driving me insane. I can’t enjoy food, and drinking any liquid just intensifies the pain because obviously liquid isn’t easily contained to one side of my mouth. Well, I suppose I could always use a straw, but a) I don’t have any; and b) I don’t really feel like it.
To top that off, I submitted something that I wasn’t very confident about to my boss before leaving work yesterday, and it was on my mind all evening. So much so that it kept me up at night, and I kept waking with a start every hour or so, thinking about it stupidly even though it actually isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things (well, hopefully not, anyway). When i woke up this morning, I knew I needed a comforting tea, and so I reached for this one. I’m proud to say that it brewed perfectly both times I had it: once as my morning cup with my brewing basket, and then again in my timolino (not a second steep though, a fresh bunch of leaves). I really think this tea shines for me with cream and rock sugar, so I added in reasonably liberal amounts of both. I also steeped in my timolino for about seven minutes, which insured that the flavour was strong the way I like it. I think this is going to be a winter staple, because it has with it a very warming and comforting quality.
Can I just say how happy I am that I bring tea to work? It’s one little way to ensure that no matter what else happens, there’ll always be at least a little happiness with me at work that doesn’t really depend on anything else.
Ok, that’s enough from me. Back to work I go.
And hey! the weekend coming up is closer than the one we left behind now! wooo!

Anna

That’s exactly how I feel about my tea thermos. If all else fails – at least I’ll have my thermos.

keychange

That’s exactly it. Guaranteed peace! I love inserting little guarantees like that into my day, especially because I can reliably be counted on to eventually get worked up about something or other haha.

Anna

Oh, very good! I also tend to rely fairly heavily on my nail polish and my evening bath for fail-safe guarantees in my everyday life.

keychange

Oh, evening baths are wonderful. I’m lamenting the fact that our bath tub isn’t very evening-bath-inspiring.

greenteafairy

I feel the same about having tea at work – it really makes a huge difference to my day.

keychange

Yup, makes all the difference. I hope everyone has a vice like this. makes me want to give my timolino a hug haha.

ifjuly

“Fail-safe guarantees” yes—I love this conversation! I feel that way about my workday lunches. “No matter what happens, I am so excited about my leftover Thai!” Ha.

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drank Minty Cow by Della Terra Teas
513 tasting notes

Yup, I do love this tea. I used two teaspoons for 12 oz of water, threw in some milk and some rock sugar, and it’s as wonderful as I remember it being. The mint and chocolate blend together perfectly, and although I wish there was a touch less chocolate and a touch more vanilla, I honestly wouldn’t change much about it: the chocolate doesn’t really stand out and scream in your face. I’m sipping it in my timolino now, and I can see myself ordering more of this for the winter, as my sample package is nearly finished. It’s going to feel perfect during the winter months!

Shmiracles

i really like this one too. bring on the winter tea drinking!
though i’m waiting to see if the DavidsTea Santa’s Secret comes back (cuz i like it just a tad bit more). BUT if it doesn’t return, i’m gonna have to buy 4oz of this one in it’s place. Della has become the tea company that will always be refilled in my cupboard. Malt Shop and Vanilla Cafe are part of my perma-stash at the moment. perfect!!

keychange

Oh yeah, I fully intend on trying dT’s santa’s Secret as well. Why do you like it better?
Yup, perfect perfect for winter!

Shmiracles

i guess i like it for the reason you mentioned? it doesn’t have any chocolate i don’t think. just vanilla and mint and touch of stevia maybe. the description doesn’t say vanilla, but i swear there’s got to be vanilla in there. but when i bought it last year, it was a cup i could literally drink every day.

keychange

Mmmm, I can’t wait to try it now. Hopefully they haven’t changed the formulation.

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Yeah, so this tea didn’t really cut it for me, despite how delicious it smelled in the bag. I used a teaspoon and a bit for eight oz of water, added in a very small dash of cream and a few pieces of rock sugar. I could definitely taste a bit of tartness that was distantly reminiscent of apple, and couldn’t really detect the caramel or spice at all. Of course I’ll throw in the blurb about how it might not be the tea, it might be me, my bad brewing, bla bla bla, but yeah, just not ultimately inspired by this one. I don’t know what i was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I finished the cup—it’s not like it was horrible or anything. It just wasn’t anything special, and I just can’t find words to describe why. It just wasn’t. Wow, look at me being verbose.

Now, all of this pretty much doesn’t matter at the moment because my friend who travelled to the UK just e-mailed me to let me know that she picked up my Mariage Freres teas! The de Lune, and marco Polo! I can’t wait to get my hands and nose all over that package as soon as she gets back!

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Well, I’ve never tried a Guayusa tea before, but I’ve been on the hunt for a good vanilla mint tea, so Stacy very generously included this as a sample with my last Butiki order.

When I inhaled the smell of the dry leaf, I got a mild combination of mint and vanilla. I leaned over to have myself a good sniff of this while it was brewing, however, and my stomach turned. There’s something about mint tea that, when it’s hot or brewing, just manages to turn my stomach. I have no idea why this is, as I really do enjoy mint in many other forms: ice cream, milk shakes, candy canes, etc.—but I plowed doggedly on anyway haha. Afraid I’d actually hurl, I took my first sip tentatively, and was pleasantly surprised. I could definitely detect the mint, although it isn’t that really intense mint that leaves your mouth cold and tingling. The vanilla was also present, which actually really helped to tip the mint out of the sickly category. See, I’m convinced it’s a type of mint that I don’t like—not all mint in tea entirely. Anyway, I steeped for six minutes and added in some rock sugar, and I don’t think I’d do anything differently if I were to play around with this tea again. I enjoyed my cup, especially because of the vanilla mint pairing, and might even request another sample of this with a future order.
As for the guayusa flavour itself, I can’t say I could really detect it per-se, as I wasn’t exactly sure what it was I was looking for. I really just mostly got a smooth, creamy vanilla, and maybe a slight hint of lavender, although honestly, if I didn’t know there was lavender in this tea, I wouldn’t have guessed as much—so lavender haters, you need not fear.

Glad I started my day with this!

greenteafairy

We’re tea twins this morning! I was pleasantly surprised by this one too.

keychange

Love a tea twin morning! I’m glad you liked this also. do you typically have trouble with mint too?

greenteafairy

Yes, very much so! I’m good with peppermint, but I have the same stomach-turning thing as you with spearmint. This is the first spearmint blend I’ve been able to drink a whole cup of in a long time – possibly ever. I also like mint chip ice cream and mint chocolates and stuff like that, so I don’t know what the deal is.

Stephanie

I really dig guayusa. You should try the Good Morning Sunshine! Its super good :D

keychange

Hmmm, doesn’t that have lemon in it? I’m not a fan of anything lemon-flavoured; I tend to find it too tart. But perhaps i’ll change my mind.

keychange

greenteafairy-hmmm, maybe it’s spearmint that I have an issue with as well, and maybe pepperment won’t have that weird stomach-turning effect. I wonder why we’re like this LOL.

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This is a back log from yesterday. I was actually going to log it yesterday, but ended up chatting to a dear friend forever on the phone and then sipped wine the rest of the evening. So you know, priorities, guy.

Anyway, this tea is wonderful. I’ll start with that. I’m a huge creamcicle fan, so I’m always looking for an authentic creamcicle flavour. Although this does not taste exactly like a hot creamcicle, it doesn’t have to, it’s just that good anyway. There are two things about it that don’t put it outright into creamcicleism. The first being the spices, which are absolutely detectable (perhaps light cinnamon, although it seems as though there’s more than that). Second because it has a tea base, which is obviously lacking in a real creamcicle. all that said, it’s an absolutely perfect cup of tea for a cold winter’s night, and I’m so excited that I have more to take with me to work in my timolino. I used a heaping table spoon (like the kind from my kitchen drawer), and steeped for about four minutes (no black tea should be steeped for two minutes in my opinion). Wonderful, wonderful cup of tea. I added a bit of cream and rock sugar, and it was creamy and had lots of vanilla, and much of the citrus could be detected in the swallow. definitely delicious, and i’ll be ordering more for sure. Yum yum!

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Hmmm, so in my timolino, I’m not nearly as big a fan. I think that this tea shines its brightest when the liquid is exposed to air, because in my travel mug, it kind of tastes as though the rose flavour was trapped inside and is, i don’t know, overshadowing any other element of the tea, including the tea base (although this could also be the rock sugar I added). And of course, I’ll always compare every floral up against my beloved rose violet calendula, which probably isn’t even fair because rvc is a multi-floral whereas this isn’t.
Thanks again, stacy, for this amazingly generous sample! I’m almost all out of it already!

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drank Minty Cow by Della Terra Teas
513 tasting notes

Tried this one for the first time this morning. As I measured it into my brewing basket, I felt a bit skeptical about the very concept of a mint chocolate tea. Like, minty chocolate things are supposed to be found in hot chocolate, and we shouldn’t make tea taste like something it isn’t, etc.
But I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well the base blended with the minty chocolate flavours. The base black tea (whatever type it is) is certainly not robust—it’s rather light, and so people who prefer a stronger tea might want to let it steep even longer than the max five minutes recommended. Plus the recommendations are for a six oz cup, and I usually drink a minimum of eight oz in the morning, so I put in a little more. All in all, a fairly decent tea that i’ll be really happy to finish. Jury’s still out on whether or not I’ll be needing more, though.

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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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