2229 Tasting Notes

72

Hmmm, ok. This isn’t bad, but it’s not as awesome as I was expecting. Reminds me of some of the flavoured greens from DavidsTea (I can’t recall specifically which ones). Nothing particularly special though.

Second infusion similar. Oh well, that’s ok! Thanks for the sample, Azzrian!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

LOL Im striking out here tonight but I LOVE this one – sorry Krystaleyn – we all have different tea loves :) Glad you tried it though and think of it this way – you dodged a bullet – this one is not as easy to purchase in my opinion. If you had loved it then you would have been like me – dreading running out!

Kittenna

Oh – that’s totally fine! I probably rated it a bit lower than I should have (I was distracted while reviewing teas tonight), so it’s probably more like a 72. It just tasted much like other flavoured greens I’ve had, plus perhaps a bit more green tea base. Definitely good to have tried though, because I would have been wondering forever otherwise!

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82
drank Pistachio Ice Cream by Butiki Teas
2229 tasting notes

Ok, used maybe a bit more than 2 tsp, and I think I’m getting a lot more aroma, so hopefully that translates into a lot more flavour!

Well, there’s more flavour, but I think I oversteeped it – there’s a touch of bitterness coming out. It’s creamy and I can taste a bit of green tea, and maaaaybe pistachios?? It looks like I must just be one of the people that finds this tea ok, not great. Oh well!!

Second infusion – I’m an idiot and left it for 8 minutes, but I’m actually getting some more flavour here! It’s not particularly bitter or anything…. oh whoops, I drank it all. Well, there was a nice green tea flavour too, but I can’t remember the rest! Good, though.

Thanks again to Azzrian for this sample :D

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

So my new roommate moved in yesterday, but I was in the lab until 1:30am dealing with samples, so only got to meet her this evening (since I then slept until 5pm, haha). Of course, she came in to find me sitting at the dining room table watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’ with no less than 5 cups of tea :D Naturally, she asked whether I like tea…. :P Apparently her and her friend had been at the mall today and stopped in at DavidsTea (although they are mostly teabag girls, not looseleaf), and she told me that they were offered a sample. Curious as to what they drank, I asked and she told me it tasted like a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. The only DT I know of with macadamia nuts is Mulberry Magic, but that didn’t sound right… however I looked up DT’s Tea of the Day and sure enough, one was Mulberry Magic! Naturally I then started craving it like crazy, so here we are. I’m not certain I get ‘white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie’, but it’s pretty darn good. And because this one never goes bitter, it’s no-fail for me. So much love. Upping the rating because I love drinking this one :D

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Azzrian

If I ever make a David’s order this will be on it.

Kittenna

Hahaha, anytime I send you a swap I should include a bunch of this :D

Azzrian

Yup lol – there is always the list :)

tigress_al

It is so good as a latte!

Azzrian

Yummm sounds excellent!

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89
drank The Earl of Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Accompanying notes for my comparison of Earl of Lemon with 52teas’ Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan.

This tea is definitely stronger than Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan, and I don’t think that’s because I used more tea. The bergamot is sharper, and I can taste the twinge of lemon. Both have a lovely sweet creaminess though. It might be a touch more apparent in this one due to the inclusion of yogurt. There is a lovely aftertaste of white tea with both too, though.

As stated in my Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan review, these are too similar (even though distinctly different) for me to really make a choice. I’d be happy with either in my cupboard, but since Earl of Lemon’s currently easier to obtain, it will be the winner by, say, 1/4 point.

ETA: I think this one accidently got a 15-minute re-steep because someone set a count-up not a count-down timer (me). So I was getting a little too much sharpness from the bergamot, or bitterness from something, although there was a nice lingering creaminess.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan by 52teas
2229 tasting notes

Time to compare this one to DavidsTea’s Earl of Lemon, and see if they’re really interchangeable, or whether I need to act fast and get a pack of this from 52teas immediately!

Tastes sweet and lightly of bergamot. Still not really getting the ginger. This is definitely mellower than Earl of Lemon, which is nice. But although the two are different, I really don’t know which one I like better! They both taste to me like white earl greys, and dare I say it, are equally good?? This one’s almost a bit too light for me, but I would attribute that to using too little leaf in order to conserve it (I have enough for one more cup, hurrah!)

I guess the question of which is better remains unsolved. Maybe I’ll try this experiment once more, another time when I haven’t had a ton of ginger and garlic, but I suspect I’ll be similarly undecided then too, which may mean I go with Earl of Lemon as I think it’s still available on the tea wall at DavidsTea.

ETA: Did well on the re-steep. Still less creaminess and a more mellow flavour than Earl of Lemon; still undecided as to the better tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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96

This review is for the 2012 Spring Harvest version of this tea, for which I don’t think there is a page. David Duckler generously sent me this tea and a couple others due to some issues I had with a previous order, and I’m thrilled to have the chance to try this tea far sooner than I would have otherwise, since I’m trying to avoid too many more orders until I’ve drank my way through a bit more tea. Although I haven’t yet compared this to the Autumn 2011 harvest, I get the impression that the flavour will be a fair bit stronger, just based on the stronger aroma from the bag. Whether that’s related to freshness or not, I’m not sure. I used probably about 3g of leaves in my tiny glass teapot, which is more than I have used in the past, so I can get a bit more flavour out.

First infusion (175F/1:30):
Smells strongly of cooked green beans/boiled veggies. Strongly enough that I’m concerned I may have overleafed/oversteeped. However, there’s not even a touch of astringency. This is seriously delicious. Sweet and vegetal. I think I probably tried this at a stupid time as I have killed my tastebuds temporarily by eating a lime teriyaki sauce with copious raw ginger/garlic, so I’m not catching flavour nuances at all. This same sauce ruined my second day of cheese panel tasting, because I couldn’t tell the bitter samples apart the next day due to the tastebud-killing action of the raw garlic – so I think the same is perhaps occurring now. Anyhow, I can tell this is delicious, and has exactly the sort of primary flavours I want in an excellent green tea.

Second infusion (2min/175F):
Similar aroma, but lighter. Moving into a more mineral taste here, with veggies as more of a supporting flavour. Again, I’m having some trouble – it’s like my sense of taste is foggy. I can tell it’s good though, and I think there’s more lingering green tea aftertaste here. There’s maybe a hint of astringency, but perhaps keeping the infusion at 1:30 would have helped with that.

Must say that the first infusion of green teas is most often by far my favourite, so the more reliably I can get a delicious first infusion, the more highly I think of a tea. Verdant’s greens have yet to disappoint in that respect! Mmmm…

ETA: A third infusion, at I think 175F for 2 minutes, was actually quite good! Still no bitterness, and lost the intense vegetal flavour, but nutty and quite tasty. Likely a consequence of using more leaf. I’m impressed :D

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

eeek I hope you get your buds back soon!!

Kittenna

Luckily it’s pretty temporary, but the night I drank this I made the mistake of having tea immediately after the teriyaki sauce/dressing. So I’m all good now :)

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71
drank Masala Chai (Ayurvedic) by Unknown
2229 tasting notes

Thanks for yet another sample Indigobloom!

The dry tea doesn’t have a great deal of aroma, and the aroma once steeped is fairly light and spicy. I would have barely recognized it for a chai, to be honest.

Even after three minutes of steeping, there’s a good bit of astringency (perhaps because it’s ctc?), and the spices aren’t as prominent as I would like. Oddly it does seem a bit creamy to me. I think it needs some milk and sugar to be tasty (although I think they will completely overwhelm the spicing).

Ok, completely forgot about this and it’s cold. I will re-heat and milk/sugar it and perhaps review properly later.

ETA: So I did re-heat and add milk and sugar, and it actually took them fairly well. Quite drinkable that way. So it will definitely get finished. I have to say that’s it’s really nothing special though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

Yep it is quite astringent!!

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73
drank Lapacho Orange by The Tea Haus
2229 tasting notes

Wow! Tastes like orange pop with a bit of a woody flavour mixed in… but the bad thing? I’m getting a strong association to orange-flavoured alcohol that I have a less-than-positive memory of. Which makes me a little nauseated.

So, although this is probably quite good, it seems like I’ll have to wait a few years to actually enjoy it (i.e. until the association has fully worn off). Rating this reasonably high though, because it’s only the memories that are ruining it for me :)

Thanks for the sample, Indigobloom!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

aww sorry about the bad memory!! :(

Kittenna

Oh, no worries at all!! I did get through the whole cup, and it definitely tastes good, I just have to blame my youth for some really bad decisions that have ruined a few things for me :D

Indigobloom

lol I know how that goes. I still can’t touch rum even after five years!

Kittenna

If ever a caesar-flavoured tea comes out that will be struck off my list too, haha. Something about combining caesars, orange-flavoured coolers, and kahlua mudslides just does not sit well in the tummy (and it’s been nearly 8 years for me!)

Indigobloom

haha oh dear!! I’m not a big caesar tea girl myself. bleh

Barb

There, there. At one time in my misspent youth I mixed gin and Tab. Fortunately I recovered and went on to appreciate a stiff G&T.

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69
drank Yerba Mate Mango by The Tea Haus
2229 tasting notes

And thanks again, Indigobloom! I’m trying to get through a bunch of samples before my new orders arrive :D

I’m a touch worried that this one will taste similar to the Mango Mango Rooibos, or have the strange flavour of green yerba mate that I’m not sure I’ve acquired a taste for yet.

Oh, not bad. Tastes a little smoky, sweet. Mango is hard to pick up but is present. Actually, I’m wondering if this sat too close to the lapsang souchong, since I can’t think that this one would have smoky notes in it normally…

Either way, not bad, but wouldn’t rank in my favourites either.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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50
drank Mango Mango Rooibos by Tea Haus
2229 tasting notes

Another sample from the very generous Indigobloom!

Ok, this one’s a bit strange. Definitely tasting the medicinal qualities of the rooibos, which I’m not particularly fond of. There’s some fruitiness to it, an overtone of mango, but that’s really all I’m getting. Nice concept but poor execution, imo. I don’t think I’ll bother with a second infusion because I suspect it will just taste of rooibos.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Scott B

I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks rooibos tastes medicine-y. Mango just doesn’t work with it either.

Kittenna

It doesn’t always taste like that, but in some blends it definitely does, and I don’t like it. So I suspect I wouldn’t much like straight rooibos, and I am iffy on a bunch of blends because of it, unless they are strongly flavoured (and fruity doesn’t seem to be strong enough). This may be the first mango-flavoured rooibos I’ve tried, so I can’t say anything about the mango being a specific problem :)

Scott B

The only 2 rooibos blends that I have liked are Upton’s Rooibos Chai and TG’s Winter Magic-only available in Winter. I’ve tried orange, peach, mango, pomegranate and vanilla flavored rooibos blends and they all tasted medicine-y.

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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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