drank Secret Weapon by DAVIDsTEA
3065 tasting notes

The first time my roommate and I tasted this, we HATED it. I think she actually poured her cup out, while I felt forced to sweeten mine to make it palatable to drink. All I remember is that we thought it tasted like dry nuts with no redeeming qualities.

But, since there’s still some left (and I received a sample in my last online order), I get the chance to give it a second shot!

The dry tea smells like dry almonds. That’s the only smell I’m getting from it, despite the other ingredients. It doesn’t smell objectionable, but not terribly interesting either.

Steeped, I am still mostly smelling dry nuts, just in a weaker form. Hmm, this seems like it may turn out the same as last time. There’s a bit of a sweetness overtone that counteracts the dry aroma a bit.

Drinking it, I can taste the nuts, and I think I’m getting a hint of chocolatey flavour and sweetness from the cocoa nibs. I’m not sure if there was a goji berry in my teaball, but I’m not tasting anything that leads me to believe there was one in there. I’m also not tasting any licorice whatsoever (fine by me!) nor the white tea, even though there was some present. Perhaps I should have steeped this longer? I’m also feeling like it’s rather weak.

Either way, I don’t think this is a tea for me. I’m not sure why we were so put off by it the first time, but it’s not terrible, it’s just nothing special. If I want a nutty tea, Mulberry Magic is the winner for me.

ETA: After a bit of thought, I am wondering why this tea wasn’t called Forever Nuts instead of the nutty cider that Forever Nuts actually is? Secret Weapon is far nuttier…

ETA again: Second steep for who knows how long results in a similarly nutty brew. Really nothing special. And I checked – there were two goji berries in the tea ball. Not much anticipation for future steepings.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 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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