77
drank The Earl's Garden by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Drinking this one last time before I send it off with the boy, since it just doesn’t do it for me (and he’s an Earl Grey fan). However, since I haven’t ever properly reviewed it, I figured I should do so before getting rid of it!

The dry leaf smells like a good (to me) Earl Grey; lots of flavour and bergamot and a big POW of a delicious florally-berry scent. That’s the reason I bought it, hoping that delicious berry/floral scent would be predominant. The smell of the steeped tea retains the delicious scent, which makes my mouth water every time.

And I have to admit… today the tea actually is pretty good. I meant to steep it for four minutes but missed the timer going off, so I’m not sure how long the tea ball was in there. Probably only an extra minute or so. It’s reflected in the small amount of astringency I can taste, although it’s not nearly as strong as the last time. And I can actually taste the berries this time! Exciting! I do like Earl Grey’s, but I’m so accustomed to drinking them loaded with milk and sugar that my mouth rebels a bit when the creaminess isn’t there (which is why by contrast, I can drink Cream of Earl Grey just fine).

So. Looks like this one isn’t the washout I thought it was, but I’m still sending it away :P I can always buy more later, and right now I’m preoccupied with trying other sorts of tea.

Hmm.. ok, as I’m drinking it down with a freshly made oatmeal raisin cookie and some dried mulberries (did you know Bulk Barn has them?? I’m SO adding extra to Gold Rush next time I buy it!) I am actually rather enjoying its lack of sweetness, but can’t much taste the berry flavour anymore. Oh well!

Hmm.. ok, as I’m drinking it down with a freshly made oatmeal raisin cookie and some dried mulberries (did you know Bulk Barn has them?? I’m SO adding extra to Gold Rush next time I buy it!) I am actually rather enjoying its lack of sweetness, but can’t much taste the berry flavour anymore. Oh well!ETA: A second steep is weak, but still drinkable, with a lingering floral scent. I think that’s as far as I’d take this one though.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 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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