69
drank Feliz Cumpleaños by BourgeaTEA
2519 tasting notes

Ok! Another sample from LiberTEAS! I’m doing this review “blind”, meaning that I have no idea what the flavouring is supposed to be here, if the tea is flavoured beyond the smattering of sprinkles that are obvious. I think it’s kind of fun to try and figure things out before looking at what it’s actually supposed to be.

The aroma of this tea reminds me a great deal of DavidsTea’s Birthday Cake, although that one is a rooibos and this is a black. It’s an almost sickly sweet sort of aroma (which I find appealing, haha), and I can just barely catch a hint of the black base. I don’t know whether it’s the sprinkles that give the tea the sweet aroma, or flavouring.

Even at only three minutes of steeping (ok, 3:07, but who’s counting!), I’m getting a bitter flavour at the end of the sip. I can taste some sweetness, but it’s quite mild, and a bit overshadowed by this strange bitterness. Blech. This tea definitely has nothing on DT’s cake teas. They’re not even in the same league. I might add some milk and sugar here just to make it palatable, but this definitely is one flavoured black I don’t feel the need to have again.

Ok, cheating now and reading some notes… of course I would read that LiberTEAS found it to be verging on bitter with a 2.5 minute infusion! Haha. Maybe next time I try it it will be better. I am definitely getting vanilla-y and possible maple-y notes; as I said, it is reminiscent of Birthday Cake, which has those same flavours, but the change in base tea alters the flavours a bit, which are then further overshadowed by bitterness. Ah well. Not bad, but not a tea I’d choose for myself :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 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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