90
drank Birthday Cake by DAVIDsTEA
2498 tasting notes

I am trying to concentrate on catching up with posts on here… but I’m having trouble because the amazing smell of birthday cake is sooooo distracting! I can’t believe how delicious this one smells! I really had low expectations for it, but the aroma is intoxicating. Sweet and mapley vanilla, perhaps? VERY sweet. So sweet that just sniffing this makes my tastebuds think they’ve had dessert. Gah. Pleasepleaseplease let this taste as good as it smells, because then I’ll have another wonderful go-to dessert rooibos for those nights (or days) when I want something disgustingly sweet, not just hinting at it. Steep faster, delicious-smelling tea! (Side note: I’m moderately concerned that I may have steeped this one too hot – in my excitement to get it going, I grabbed my cup out of the microwave with boiling water in it, and plunged my filter basket in, which caused it to go all fizzy and bubbly and boiling. I probably should have given in 30s or so…)

Review pending the stupid tea cooling down! ARGH!

Ok! Finally get to try it! It’s not bad; the initial part of the sip is kind of strong (probably my fault – I was not skimpy on the dry tisane!) and rooibos-y, but the aftertaste is sweet vanilla-y maple. I have to agree with everyone else that it’s kind of sickly sweet… but I’m kind of in the mood for it right now. I’m definitely not getting ‘birthday cake’… but I don’t like birthday cake anyhow, so that’s not exactly an issue.

Overall not a bad rooibos, but not good enough to bump Alpine Punch or other tasty ones. It’s just a bit one-note for me, and I want more than that. But the sample will definitely get finished in the evenings as a yummy dessert tea!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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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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