88
drank Blazing Strawberries by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

I know it has been discontinued for a while, but my local store still has some, so I figured what the heck, may as well pick it up and try it when I’m also getting 10 other to-be-discontinued teas :)

This is such an interesting-looking tea. Sharp green-grey leaf pieces with hints of colour from the strawberries and peppercorns. The smell is truly odd though – sweet, but I’m definitely getting a whiff reminiscent of Christmas tree shopping! Which would make sense if this tea had juniper in it… but it does not.

After 5 minutes of steeping, this tea is a rather light brownish-gold colour, with only a light scent that’s herbally and sweet. The first sip is very delicate and leafy, but not in a green tea-vegetal/leafy sort of way, more like… apple leafy? I suppose it’s the bamboo, but since I have never met a real, living bamboo leaf before, it’s hard to know! I’m not getting the Christmas tree notes I had been getting before, which is completely ok, as I do not care for things such as gin.

I am still really intrigued by this tea! It makes me want to have fun with it, and try it in different ways! Not sure whether I like it enough to go buy out my location (haha), but have to make up my mind quickly… I don’t know exactly what March 6 is bringing about, whether teas will just disappear on that day, or whether they’ll keep them on hand until stock runs out (which I think would be better). The girl at DT recommended trying this iced, with twice the recommended amount of tea, so maybe I’ll try that out this evening/tomorrow. It’s different and pleasant enough – a nice change! Tentatively rating in the happy zone :D

Perhaps more notes as it cools… but I have another tea to get to as I sit here in my office, procrastinating from weighing out samples upstairs in the lab (yeah, I know, it’s Saturday evening… I’m so lame.)

ETA: Mmm, yes, liking it better as it cools. Definitely taste the strawberry now. Not really getting any spiciness from peppercorns though. This is really refreshing! Definitely icing it next.

ETAA: Second steep mostly tastes like leaves. Not bad, but much of the appeal is gone without the strawberries. Probably wouldn’t re-steep unless desperate (because it’s still better than hot water!)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 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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