2511 Tasting Notes

95
drank Apple Custard by DAVIDsTEA
2511 tasting notes

Picked up a free sample of this on Oct 31st, since I needed a pick-me-up. And OMG… this is amazing. It does smell exactly like apple custard, very strongly custard-vanilla, with fruity apple and a bit of chamomile. Flavour is similar though a bit lighter than I’d like… but at least it does actually taste like it smells! The chamomile fits in quite well (and makes me think that this is the Buttercream alternative for this year). I’m really quite impressed… and have been craving it since I first had it yesterday. This might be a 100g+ purchase for me, but I’ll get another small sample first to be sure. So delicious.

Fjellrev

I’m so glad you were able to snag some!

Kittenna

Me too! Except that then I craved it ALL weekend, and the DT in Kitchener/Waterloo is nowhere near as accessible as the one in Guelph.

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82

Sipdown! …989… (That’s tonight’s final count. Yikes.) Thanks to Sil for a surprise sample of this and some other Adagio fandom blends!

I wasn’t sure what was in this, but it looked like there was some green… so I brewed it accordingly, not wanting to risk it. I still haven’t checked to see if I was correct, but it’s pretty tasty, so at least I didn’t mess it up! To me, this is a smooth, sweet blend – there are raisiny tones coming out post-sip, and there’s something creamy in here – perhaps vanilla? I’m not identifying much else, but I am enjoying this cup of creamy raisiny goodness… while playing Doctor Who Legacy on my phone. Heh.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

haha only a surprise because you forgot you asked to try them :P

Tabby

Rory! <3

Kittenna

Still a surprise!! The only teas I knew I was getting were Lupicia and I wasn’t sure if there was one more round of blends club.

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90

I’ve barely touched most of my Blends club teas… so, based on the rating and aroma of this one (YUM), I figured I’d try it tonight as well!

The aroma of the dry tea is very appealing to me – like with Yabao Snickerdoodle, it’s the right spice combination; if there’s something in here that I don’t typically like, i’m not picking up on it. It mostly smells like gingerbread, to be honest… kind of like the soft ginger cookies I just made last week (cloves, ginger, cinnamon). Delicious. Flavourwise, this literally tastes like liquefied ginger cookies, with a creamy base. Win. Big win. This reminds me a bit of Laoshan Apothecary Green, of which I just purchased a bunch more, since I love the combination. Maybe that means there’s coriander in here too? That would be okay with me… I believe people were complaining about it being in too many teas, but I like it! Now, licorice? That’s another story… but thankfully, none here.

Anyhow, loving this blend. It’s just so comforting and creamy and perfectly spiced. I have no idea why it’s labeled “Earl”, given that I don’t taste any bergamot in here at all, but meh. Happier it tastes as it does. Also, not tasting the citrus. Maybe it died of old age in the bag and I just steeped its skeletons.

ETA: Duhhhh, I brewed this up as a green for some reason. IDEK. So 1.5 tsp to 8 oz. water, for 2 min at 82 C. Curious to try it brewed as a black, now.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

It says berg oil in the ingredients. Maybe it didn’t spread over to the leaves in your batch when they mixed it? Too bad, it sounds amazing

MissLena

This was SUCH a good tea! I miss it, maybe they will bring it back for the holidays this year! I might send them a FB message requesting it :D

Kittenna

Indigobloom – I read other people’s reviews, and it sounds like it wasn’t all that apparent to begin with. Juuuuust fine by me, though!
MissLena – That would be awesome! Not like I need more, though. But they do have the base teas in stock.

Indigobloom

Ah. Good then! If I ever come across someone having a cuppa I’ll try a sip :P

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78

I’m pretty sure I drank some of this before, but didn’t log it… oh well. Anyhow, giving it a shot tonight as I was going through my Verdant blends (and realizing I hadn’t added any of them to my cupboard count. Ouch.) The aroma is very much yabao – that piney, wintry sort of smell. There’s maybe a hint of spice peeking out too, but it’s primarily just yabao. The flavour does deviate a bit – piney yabao with some heat and spice in the forefront (I feel like I’m tasting ginger, coriander?), then a lingering creamy aftertaste which is where I’m finding the “snickerdoodle” spices are more apparent. It’s actually not too bad of a blend, although I personally don’t think that the spices are strong enough to mesh perfectly with the distinctive flavour of the yabao. This could very easily be age though, especially since my half is has been in a plastic baggie (albeit a reasonably thick one) for nearly a year.

Overall, since I like yabao, and the spices included in this blend are to my liking, I am finding this to be a winner for me. Probably wouldn’t pick up more as it’s just not a tea I think I’d find myself wanting too often (I crave yabao maybe a couple times a year when it’s on my mind), but it won’t be a problem to finish off the rest I have, especially since we’re back in the right season again :D

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

I found the spices didn’t mesh well with the yabao, and ended up giving mine away. I prefer the yabao plain or with flowers. :)

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97

Got my Verdant order today, yay! Most of the rest of the teas I ordered I’ve had before, except this one. So I decided to open it up and give it a shot before getting back to some sipdowns, which I’ve neglected the past couple days…. and… wow! The flavour begins primarily on a smoky note, which fades into a delicious roasty chocolatey sweetness. No lingering smoke-mouth – the aftertaste really only contains a (delicious) hint of it – and there’s no astringency here whatsoever. I am really thrilled with the flavour – I love smokiness, but I’m picky, so many smoked teas haven’t really worked for me (which ends in me adding maple syrup, which usually counters any problems of astringency/sharpness/just too much smoke). This tea, though, needs no additions. A perfect amount of smokiness, giving way to a fabulous black tea with pretty much my favourite profile (chocolate). Can’t really say too much more except that I’m probably going to order more of this in my next Verdant order (coming up soon, hopefully), because it’s a treat.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Awwwwwwww yeaaaahhhhh. This is delicious. Wonderfully roasty and dark, with an aftertaste of cocoa. As close as you can get to black tea without it being in that category, and so very smooth, as well. Love it. Definitely a cold day comfort sort of tea. Thanks again Sil!

ETA: Oh man. I forgot how delicious gulping down a cooled brew of a dark oolong is. Intense chocolate deliciousness. OM NOM NOM.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

haha glad you enjoyed it :)

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71
drank Chocolate Break by Teaja
2511 tasting notes

I didn’t read up on this tea before brewing it up and trying it (I actually hadn’t even heard of the company before, to be honest), so I have no idea what to expect. It looks like a blend of black tea, cacao shells, and a few little chocolate chips, presumably to create an incredibly chocolatey blend. The result is certainly malty, and somewhat chocolatey, but it’s not all that rich – the base tea doesn’t seem to be overly strong here, and possibly isn’t even all that chocolatey itself, resulting in more of a light milky chocolate flavour instead of a rich, dark chocolate. Oddly enough, despite my preference for milk chocolate, I’d prefer dark in a tea, so this tea, though reasonably tasty, can’t top the natural chocolatey notes in Chinese blacks I’ve had. Thanks Sil!

ETA: Got two good infusions out of this tea, but then the flavour was gone. Probably a good thing for someone with such ridiculous amounts of tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

yep…still looking for a good chocolate tea..

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90

Thanks to Sil for letting me sample some of this wonderful tea! I’ve had a bit of a rough day, and needed something tasty to cheer me up. This was pretty perfect. Ultra smooth, caramelly sweet, hay… not usually the flavour profile of a black tea that I look for, but it was so perfectly smooth here that it was delicious. Mandala is definitely on my list to make an order from eventually, even though pu’erhs are not my favourite. Thanks Sil :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

really glad you enjoyed this one… i’m a fan!

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This smelled good but WOW is it ever weak. I felt like I way overleafed (very generous 1.5 tsp… probably more than 2, for maybe 8 oz but probably 6 oz water?), and gave it a decently long infusion (4.5 minutes, okay, could have been longer), but there’s hardly any flavour here. I’m debating nuking my cup, adding a tbsp of the mix to the infuser, and seeing if that makes a difference, because at this strength, I don’t really want to drink it. Also, thanks Indigobloom via Sil and Raritea, apparently? :)

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76
drank Rhubarb & Strawberry by Lupicia
2511 tasting notes

Definitely can smell the rhubarb (which is more than I can say for most xx-rhubarb teas!) It is also apparent in the flavour – I can taste the same strawberry (&guava?) that I’ve had from many black blends, along with a distinctly sour note, which tastes to me like rhubarb. And not sour as in hibiscus (thankfully), sour as in tart, yet fruity. Hard to describe (and I’m lazy). Although I’m enjoying this tea, I probably wouldn’t pick it up again, and might instead go for one of the strawberry (+guava) blends, without the rhubarb, just because I don’t really think this is a flavour combination I’ll crave (but hey, I could be wrong!)

ETA: Resteeped once for a reasonably tasty cup, but the flavour fades quickly with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

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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