2880 Tasting Notes

93
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
2880 tasting notes

Finished off the last of this one yesterday. Pretty good, although I found myself longing a bit for the pumpkin-pie-ness of Della Terra’s Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie. Sigh. I had meant to pick some of this chai up the other day, but it slipped my mind. If it’s still there next time I’m at the store, I think I’ll get 25g as it is rather tasty, but it’s no huge loss if I don’t!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Babble

There wasn’t a whole lot of pumpkin-y in this. It wasn’t bad though. Did you brew it in milk?

Kittenna

No, it wasn’t super pumpkiny. I also didn’t have quite enough tea for the thermos, so it was a little weak. I actually am lame and although I keep meaning to, I’ve only ever tried some chais and matcha as tea lattes! (Oh, and earl grey I suppose). I keep hearing how this tea and other pumpkin spice teas make great lattes….

Babble

They’re very nice but a lot of work. Lol. I only make them on occasion.

Kittenna

Well if we’re talking the lattes that require frothing and whatnot, I’ve never made one! I just add milk (or brew in milk) and add sugar or whatever sweetener I’m using.

Babble

When I made pumpkin chai, I actuallly boiled milk and tea in a pan and strained it. Lovely, buuut a lot of work. Then again, I’m not really a fan of cooking either. It’s worth doing once or twice with chaise, but I don’t think it needs to be done every time.

Adding milk and sugar after I brew is more my style, if I add any at all.

I see peoe making matcha smoothies, too, and I’m like “eh… too much work”

Babble

*people

Babble

LOL and I meant to say “it’s worth doing once with chai’s”. Dang autocorrect.

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87

Travel-mugged this one yesterday. Delicious! However, the creaminess doesn’t really come out until it cools. Luckily, the tea sat in the Timolino in the chilly car for over an hour and a half before I even tried to drink it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91

Woah! Steeped this for only 2.5 minutes today as per Sil’s recommendation, and wow does it ever make a difference! I’m mostly tasting caramelly flavours, but no astringency or anything! Possibly the best cup/Timolino of this I’ve made yet! Puts a bright spot in a day that has otherwise been less than awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
2880 tasting notes

Ok, this is possibly the most anticipated tea that I picked up! (Well, this and Cookie Dough). And ohhhhhh, it lives up to its name! Pure delicious vanilla atop a light oolong base. This is what you have when you want a truly decadent dessert. The vanilla here is more like vanilla ice cream than vanilla extract, which is fabulous (and makes it much better than I was expecting!) It also doesn’t have strange artificial notes which mar the flavouring, as some teas seem to. I’m not sure I really taste the orchid though (which is the flavour that I imagine is supposed to come from the oolong). Perhaps in later infusions it will be more prominent.

This is not as good as Banana Oolong, but it’s pretty tasty!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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76

This one smells unmistakeably like chocolate banana. Yum! And the flavour is pretty much what I’d expect an unsweetened chocolate banana tea to taste like. It makes me wonder what this would be like sweetened… or as a latte! I’m willing to bet it would be fabulous! The black tea base is pretty good here, only a touch of astringency at the recommended 5 minutes, and it really grounds the flavourings.

Again, another tea that’s unlikely to be a staple in my collection, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. I really need to use the rest of my sample as a sweetened latte….

ETA: Second infusion reminds me of chocolate banana rooibos’ I’ve tried… and not in a great way. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly nothing like the first infusion.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Cocomint Cream by DAVIDsTEA
2880 tasting notes

So I’m not a fan of mint in tea, but as is typical, couldn’t resist picking up 10g of this anyways. I figured that I could always give away the rest, as my roommate likes mint, and my ex-roommate likes mint… (I’m pretty much the only person I know IRL who doesn’t). I’m hoping, however, that the creaminess of the coconut counteracts some of the mint ickiness so I might like this one!

The aroma is minty. Very, very, minty. So much mint. Maybe a bit of creaminess, but mostly mint. And looking in the bag? Mostly mint. A bit of coconut, but nearly all mint. Hopes slowly being dashed.

Ok… it’s not as bad as a straight peppermint tea! Hurrah! And there’s a really nice lingering creamy aftertaste that blends with the mint. This almost reminds me of mint patties. Mint is definitely the dominant flavour, but then the coconut emerges and makes everything delicious and creamy. I’m not entirely sure that I’d go so far to say that I like this one, but I can completely, 100% understand why other people do! And it’s certainly not going to go down the drain, because I can actually drink it! The only strange thing I’m noticing is a bit of a strange after-aftertaste. Can’t quite put my finger on what it is that I don’t like, but it could just be an artifact of the mint itself.

Good job, DT, this tea is quite good! I hope it sticks around! Not quite to my liking, but I’m gathering that it’s a winner for mint lovers! My personal rating on it would be in the low 70s, but it’s probably deserving of high 80s/90s (therefore no rating from me!)

ETA: Second infusion is nearly perfect! The mint drops down a bit and the creaminess develops. SO GOOD! Actually rating this one, as I did enjoy that cup!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Amariel

I’m having a hard time picking up anything other than the mint…

Babble

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like mint, but I can understand since it’s such an overpowering flavor. Must be hard to buy toothpaste, though.

Kittenna

Heather – that’s strange, I definitely tasted coconut, particularly in the second infusion. Mint was certainly dominant, of course. Did you try a second infusion??

Rachel – I don’t dislike mint, per se. I don’t like steeped mint leaves (peppermint is worse than spearmint). It’s not the mintiness that’s a problem, but there’s an associated taste that really turns me off, especially in peppermint tea. Perhaps it’s because I don’t sweeten teas in general? However, teas containing mint and other flavours are often palatable to me if that aftertaste is covered up, which it is here! (It’s still not my first choice of ingredient though, haha.)

Babble

That’s how I feel about licorice and stevia. Ick ick ick.

Kittenna

Totally agree about licorice/anise/fennel! Stevia doesn’t seem to bother me though, although I don’t always like teas that include it.

Babble

I’ve tried several stevia blends and none of them have been good. DT used to put them a lot in their blends.

Amariel

Licorice and anything like it is a no no for me. Blech. As for send steep or follow up infusion, I didn’t have, buying will pay attention to the ratio of the ingredients on my next steep and will consider a second steeping as well.

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63
drank Merry Cranberry by DAVIDsTEA
2880 tasting notes

I couldn’t believe how packed full of cranberries this tea was! I’ve learned that I adore cranberries in tea – they seem to give off a fair bit of flavour! Yum! Unfortunately, it does make the tea a bit expensive, but oh well.

The aroma of the dry tea is almost exclusively of sweet, sweet cranberries. And almost a hint of something creamy (?) but that’s about it. Steeped, it’s a different story. Sweetness and cranberry, plus a generous dose of cinnamon, and a hint of anise (which kept appearing and disappearing… I hope it tastes on the disappearing end of that spectrum, because I don’t much care for licorice).

The flavour is a touch weak in my cup, but it tastes oddly like a holiday in a cup! Light cranberry with cinnamon and anise and possibly something else that makes it taste like Christmas??? Or maybe that’s just the anise. Either way, it’s totally bearable here, which is awesome. This tea reminds me a bit of Organic Evergreen, probably because of the cranberries and green tea, but it’s definitely the holiday version.

Overall, not bad, but not a re-purchase. Even if I can handle the anise/licorice/fennel in a tea, it’s usually a bit of a compromise to drink it regardless, so I’d pass on this one again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Cookie Dough by DAVIDsTEA
2880 tasting notes

Heck yes, it’s new tea time! Finished grinding all my asparagus samples (well… technically there are some left, but they either rotted in the freeze-dryer and are suspect, or are extras from last year, soooooo…. I’m done!) and my treat was a trip to DavidsTea. A very expensive treat, as it turned out… 6 new teas, 26g of Earl Grey Cream & Gold Rush…. and a new sparkly black Timolino! Because I need to be able to take multiple teas with me at all times! (My Christmas list will include a Timolino-esque thermos that’s stainless steel and leakproof, but somewhat less good at holding the heat, so I can actually drink the tea I put in it…) Um, anyways. That was an expensive trip to DT.

Onto tea #1! When I first opened my bag of this one, I was hit by a very alcoholic, sweet-smelling aroma. Definitely good, but nothing like Buttercream, and nothing like cookie dough. However, once steeped, the aroma of this one is almost exactly like cookie dough! When someone with a heavy hand was allowed to add the vanilla, haha. I’m getting a strong vanilla extract flavour here (which ties into the alcoholic aroma), but it totally does smell like raw chocolate chip cookie dough… minus the chocolate (maybe it’s more like raw sugar cookie dough?? I’m not sure; I don’t like sugar cookies).

Hmm. I’m not sure I like this one as much as I want to. It strangely almost tastes a bit stale in my mouth, which should be impossible since it’s a brand new tea, that I just bought! The aftertaste is quite nutty, which fits nicely, but this almost stale-ish flavour is throwing me off. I really want to like this…. perhaps I’ll let it cool down a bit more. The right tones are all here otherwise. That said, even if a bit of cooling (or a different brewing method, e.g. with cooler water as I would normally have done with a white, not near-boiling!) loses that stale flavour, this isn’t a huge hit for me. It’s ok, I’d drink it again, but it’s nothing like Buttercream IMO. Then again, I’m also not one of those people who is obsessed with cookie dough. And I don’t usually eat raw cookie dough. So I think this will be a hit with such people, just not me!

(It’s cooled down now and still has that stale note. I tentatively blame the high infusion temperature, so hopefully I remember to reduce it next time).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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89
drank The Earl of Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
2880 tasting notes

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81
drank Toasted Marshmallow by DAVIDsTEA
2880 tasting notes

Second attempt at this one. Still tastes to me like a creamy, chai-ish tea. A little less spicy today and a bit more marshmallow-creamy, but toasted marshmallow it is not. I would really love to see smoky teas used in blends to create awesome flavours instead of just spicing; toasted marshmallow would work so much better IMO with a light black tea base, pinch of lapsang souchong, marshmallows for creaminess, and possibly caramel pieces like in Salted Caramel, to give that burnt sugar flavour that toasted marshmallows have. Mmmmmm.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Oooh that sounds good. :O

Cavocorax

(Your suggestion; not the Toasted Marshmallow)

Amariel

It was a weak tea to me, sadly. I much preferred Teaopia’s Fireside S’mores Tea.

canadianadia

I agree, this tea does not taste like a toasted marshmallow to me either – too cinnamony

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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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