2246 Tasting Notes

89
drank The Earl of Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
2246 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
2246 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
2246 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
2246 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
2246 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
2246 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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90
drank Birthday Cake by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Comparing this one to Oh Canada tonight.

Definitely much creamier/richer in aroma.

Perhaps a result of brewing it stronger (although I thought I used a similar amount of leaf, 2tsp, and an identically sized and filled cup), but this one is definitely richer and creamier in flavour as well. It’s sweet and with a lovely sweet aftertaste that, when compared to Oh Canada, makes me think buttercream more than maple.

The biggest downside to this tea is the one I noticed last time – that the sprinkles make the cup scummy and waxy up the sides as it cools (because of course I like my teas warm, not hot). It’s a little gross. But the flavour is definitely better with this one. So, I guess I should be glad that it’s sticking around on the wall, because if I had to choose, I’d go for this one over Oh Canada. Which is convenient as I still have a couple cups worth of this one left, and none of Oh Canada :)

ETA: Second infusion in half the water was good.

Preparation
Boiling

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79
drank Oh Canada! by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

4:21am, perfect time for a comparison of Oh Canada and Birthday Cake… right?

Side by side, it’s apparent that Birthday Cake is much creamier and less mapley, at least by aroma.

I think I brewed this one a touch too weak tonight – used about 2tsp of leaf (the rest of my sample), but probably too much water. However, still tastes sweet and mapley, and the rooibos only shows through slightly. The aftertaste is rich and mapley.

Compared to Birthday Cake, however, it tastes quite thin and definitely doesn’t have the same richness. Certainly not bad, but for a dessert-treat tea I need the richest, creamiest cup I can get.

ETA: Second infusion in half the water also tasty :)

Preparation
Boiling
TeaBrat

4:21 am? maybe you need to lay off the caffeine… lol

Kittenna

I have a terrible sleep schedule. Made worse by long harvest days (like today), so I just gave up on going to bed and decided to get to the field early. And then I had the bright idea to harvest everything. So I’m still in the field. Sigh. Longest day ever. May set a record for consecutive hours of being awake. :S Just gotta make the 1.5 hour drive home safely :D

Azzrian

You be careful!!! Pull off the road if you have to and lock your doors! LOL yes I am a mother! Although sleeping in your car along the road is dangerous too!

Kittenna

Ear-bleedingly loud music is what gets me through the trip home! I did quite well these last two days considering my lack of sleep. And was easy on the speeding, since it’s a long weekend and the OPP are out in full force!

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32

The concept of an oolong chai intrigues me, but I’m a bit apprehensive of whether or not I’ll enjoy it. I love straight tieguanyins, and I love chai (craving 52teas Mayan Chocolate Chai right now), but together? I’m not so sure. And the first sip does nothing to figure that out. It’s sweet, sweeter than I anticipated, and I think there’s a bit of oolong aftertaste. The smell is quite strongly of cinnamon/ginger, and it carries over into the flavour. But, something doesn’t seem quite right. The chai spicing isn’t quite right for me, I don’t think, and the oolong isn’t giving the tea enough body. Maybe I should have steeped it longer? The sweetness is also throwing me a bit – it’s a little too close to the sweet aftertaste of licorice, which I dislike. Maybe if I added some milk it would turn into something tastier?’

Bleh, worth the experiment for curiousity’s sake, but not a tea I really want to drink again. There are many, many other chais out there (a bunch of which are in my cupboard) that I greatly prefer, and although an oolong instead of black base sounded kind of neat, it ended up being so weak in the background that it’s almost like spiced water, if you understand what I’m saying, which is… weird.

Another tea that’s gonna be up for swapsies as soon as I get my act together and compile a list. I’m sure someone’s curious to try it :D And hey – they may even like it!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

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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