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82
drank Ginseng Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

So tonight I decided that it was high time to sample my ginseng oolong sample from Teavivre, and alongside it, the sample of ginseng oolong that I recently picked up at DavidsTea! I brewed each according to the given instructions to see how they fared compared to each other.

I used approximately the same water:leaf ratio for this tea as for the Teavivre version (about 2 tsp for 2.5 cups), and noticed that the colour/aroma definitely took quite a bit longer to develop in the DT version, which is likely why it required 5 minutes instead of two.

The aroma of this cup is sweet and just sliiightly seaweedy. It’s interested, both my roommate and I noticed that the tea smells and tastes much like a fried seaweed snack we tried and loved last year. Basically, salted and fried up crispy seaweed. I’m wondering now if there was ginseng in it, or if it’s just a coincidence that the two are similarly scented/flavoured. It’s actually quite an interesting, tasty flavour, kind of toasty and delicious, and then an intense sweetness emerges, which must be the ginseng, along with a mild oolong flavour. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of the sweet aftertaste, as it reminds me of licorice and artificial sweeteners, but I don’t find it quite as bad as either of those, so can tolerate it. So overall, this is actually a pretty yummy cup. Perhaps not the first tea I’d go for given a choice, but it’s certainly worth trying!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

I’m glad you reviewed and compared both of them…will save me a few dollars, I won’t bother to try DT’s version since there are no major differences…

Kittenna

There may be some subtleties, but I’d say if you’ve tried Teavivre’s, you definitely don’t need to try the DT version. Teavivre is more bang for your buck, I feel, that’s the biggest difference.

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Comments

TheTeaFairy

I’m glad you reviewed and compared both of them…will save me a few dollars, I won’t bother to try DT’s version since there are no major differences…

Kittenna

There may be some subtleties, but I’d say if you’ve tried Teavivre’s, you definitely don’t need to try the DT version. Teavivre is more bang for your buck, I feel, that’s the biggest difference.

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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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