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So I’ve decided I’m a bit iffy on honeybush/rooibos blends, as I don’t always seem to enjoy them. However, when they’re infused with super sweet flavours like maple or caramel to make decadent dessert blends, they tend to be quite nice!

This is a surprise/not-really-surprise-because-I-spoiled-it sample from Azzrian! Yes, tonight is indeed yet another samplealltheteas sort of night! Kind of as a reward for being well on the road to meeting some project deadlines (sure, I have some stuff left to do tomorrow, but it’s the easy part. Just 102 HPLC vials to filter into. Couple solid hours. Yay!)

This tea smells unimaginably delicious dry! I’m getting sweet cream cheese icing though, not custard-filled maple long john. But hey, I’m not usually terribly fussy on how true to the name a tea is if it smells good and I like it. I can smell the honeybush a bit though, and that makes me wary.

Steeped, it smells like sweet honeybush. Eek. Where’d the delicious flavours go??? Please come back!

Oh man, ok. There they are! This is definitely not mapley-sweet like DavidsTea’s Oh Canada, but the maple is definitely there. Oh yes, definitely. At a perfect level. In the aftertaste I am getting flavours reminiscent of donut. Not really tasting custard though. And wondering where the cream cheese aroma went and why it couldn’t just go hop into the Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish bag… Or show up in the flavour of this one. Either or!

Another tea that’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t purchase. I’m finding all honeybush/rooibos dessert blends to be quite similar, and this one doesn’t strike me as anything particularly special.

ETA: Second infusion just tastes like a flavoured rooibos/honeybush. Nothing special.

Might try a second infusion a bit later, but I can feel my stomach getting fullllll of tea.

ETA: This is better cold/cooled. Getting much more maple and deliciousness.

Preparation
Boiling 4 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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