86

Ohhhhh yes. This one is just divine. I love love LOVE vanilla in tea, and this combination of a good black tea and amazing creamy flavours is just fabulous. Of course, I had this tea a couple months ago as part of the advent calendar and noted “Very Good” on the back of the box, but didn’t write any other details down. Have to wait until it cools to really give it a good review, but today’s teeny taste of the hot stuff was creamy and great. Eeeee, I love the guilt-free nature of tea treats… in stark contrast to the WHOLE Terry’s Chocolate Orange I devoured last night :/ (It is really too bad that I don’t like Oh Christmas Treat, as that would solve many of my problems…)

Ok, this is definitely just as good as I remember. The more it cools, the more deliciousness emerges. The smell is a light, sweet butterscotch and the taste is gently sweet and buttery, with a light background of the black tea so it tastes grounded. I’m not sure if I taste rum; to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had rum straight before, as I’m not a big fan of alcohol. I’ve had it in pina coladas, but there are too many delicious flavours there to be able to distinguish it if you don’t know what you’re tasting for!

ETA: Second steep, for which I had low expectations as the tea ball smelled like nothingness, is actually decent. Reduced smell and creamy taste, but it’s still there; it hasn’t just turned into something tasteless. I’m impressed; probably worth the second steep most days! I don’t think I’ll go for a third, or at least not tonight, given that it’s past 11pm and I should really have switched to caffeine-free by now.

ETA (again): Third steep (5.5min), which I stupidly have tried even though it’s 3am, amazingly still retains a bit of the buttery rum flavour, but at this point I’d rather brew a fresh cup of something else as it just isn’t flavourful enough, and I don’t believe that a longer steep would have improved the flavour much more.

Overall an excellent tea if you’re craving a sugary-sweet guilt-free treat! Large tin, here I come!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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