2494 Tasting Notes
I decided it was time to clean up my DavidsTea stash. Drink up the second cup of samples I don’t like (to give them a second chance), and categorize things a little. So here’s the first attempt!
I didn’t like Mango Diablo the first time I tried it, mostly due to the sweet pepper taste which I loathe, although I did feel it met the mark in terms of a mangoey, spicy green. I brewed up only a half cup (so I don’t have to suffer through it too much if it’s as I remember), and so I can send the final cup’s worth off to Amanda (so this is pretty much a sipdown). I wish I could refer to my previous note while writing this one, but apparently Steepster is down right now, so I’m stuck writing this in Word. Sigh.
The aroma is sweet from the mangoes and spicy from the chili pepper threads. There must be a hint of a bell pepper-ish aroma coming out too, because I don’t enjoy this smell. Upon sipping, there’s first a bit of a sweet taste before BAM! the chili spice hits you. I actually quite enjoy this spice level, but would greatly prefer it mixed with chocolate. Really, in my opinion, it’s not all that spicy, but I can see some people objecting (even though it’s explicitly stated that this blend is spicy!) The mango does blend in nicely, and the green tea lurks in the background, clearly offering a base for what would otherwise be a watery tea, but not really coming out in the flavour.
Like I thought earlier, I personally think this blend is a success. I just hate bell peppers and feel like I can taste them in here, which makes me dislike the tea.
[Hey, on the plus side, since I’m writing this in Word, nobody has to sit through my repeated ‘ETA’s as I re-steep teas, because I’m just tacking them on in here! Always a positive side to everything…]
Second infusion, 82C/5 min almost smells a touchy perfumey, like roses. Which makes me gag a bit, because my stomach is already a bit irritated with me for whatever reason, and I have been poking around samples all evening to figure out what all I have, and of course I’ve opened multiple rose-scented packets… ick. Anyhow, the spice is here at about the same degree as previously, although the mango flavour is a little lighter, and there’s perhaps more icky bell pepper flavour. Decent re-steep, in my opinion. But I don’t want to drink any more of this, so that’s it for me!
This oolong teabag was sent to me by Azzrian… but I’m 95% certain it’s not a green oolong. It steeped up pretty dark, and smells more like genmaicha, but could also be a darker oolong.
Oh dear. I thought 3 minutes would be appropriate but I think it’s oversteeped :( I suppose it should have occurred to me that it’s a teabag, and therefore will infuse stronger/more quickly! Blah. I think I have another one of these left, so will have to try again later. The flavour (minus the astringency/bitterness) isn’t bad though; kind of sweet/nutty/toasty.
And thus concludes Round 1 of plowing through all the tea samples I have left to try! A good number of hits, and the misses are because that’s all I had left to try! :)
Second-last tea I have yet to sample from Amanda! This can only be better than the yuck from Adagio I just tasted (and spit back out).
Steeped, there is almost no smell. I had smelled a bit of mintiness in the teabag itself, but either the cup has cooled off too much to emit an aroma, or there isn’t really one.
I steeped this one for a conservative 2 minutes, considering that it was a white. The predominant flavour I’m getting is mintiness, which is a bit bleh to me, and then I can almost imagine I taste cucumber after the mint fades a touch. … Ooh! There’s actually a really lovely aftertaste here. Almost caramelly, probably a bit of white tea.
So this one’s definitely a bust because of the mint, which I hoped would be a little more subdued in favour of cucumber and/or lime, but I’m pleasantly surprised at the lingering taste this one leaves! So if I gulp a bit down while holding my nose, this is actually not so bad!! Hahaha :D
Thanks for passing some of this along, Amanda! My only regret is that I didn’t read the ingredient list fully before requesting it… sigh! Mint and I just aren’t best buds.
This one is from Azzrian, and is one she (I thought, perhaps) unjustly hated, so I asked her to send it to me. Big mistake. Although this one doesn’t smell like vomit like Pina Colada, it smells like play dough. Almost a rancid sort of smell, in the bag. I have to wonder if it went bad…
The steeped aroma is kind of cardboardy, and that’s exactly how the tea tastes. Maybe a hint of nuttiness. There’s certainly nothing pear-y about this tea. Major fail, Adagio. Major fail. There’s no way a shorter infusion would have helped this one, either. BLECH.
This is a cup meant for the garbage, and only the garbage.
Ok, here we go.. the last four reviews…!
This sample is courtesy of Indigobloom, and smelled absolutely delicious in the bag! After steeping, I can tell it’s a rooibos by the aroma, but it’s not offputting. Can’t smell the almond a great deal, but hopefully I can taste it.
Well… maybe I made it a touch weak (aka too much water), but it doesn’t have a great deal of flavour. One thing I’m not getting is a gross medicinal taste, but also, I’m not getting any nuttiness. Boo. It’s certainly pleasantly enough flavoured, but if I was looking for an almond rooibos to purchase, I wouldn’t be satisfied with this one!! I’ll see if the second infusion (which I will try in considerably less water) is any better. Here’s hoping!
ETA: Ooh, I just checked out the other reviews, and I seem to be in the minority. I wonder if it’s just that this sample sat around in a baggie for about two months before I got to it? It certainly isn’t “contaminated” or anything, just not terribly flavourful. Oh well!
Sigh. I am going to fail in my quest tonight. But 4/8 isn’t too bad. (I realized after that there are two teas I haven’t tried from Amanda, so that one didn’t count. Sigh.) I guess I’ll get to the other four tomorrow.
Anyhow, this one’s from Mercuryhime, and I did a bad thing and brewed it up prior to my run, so didn’t drink it until probably 2 hours post-brewing, all total. The re-steeps of a couple other teas I drank didn’t handle that two hours of sitting so well, but this one actually did! It was sweet, nutty, and roasty, reminding me of genmaicha. Also, there was a lovely green tea-ish aftertaste. I actually really enjoyed it! I am going to enjoy a re-steep of it shortly, as I push through my exercise-fuelled exhaustion to package up at least some of the swap samples I have yet to do. I am such a swap delinquent!
ETA: I forgot to note that the second infusion of this one was pretty delicious too, and I drank it cold (room temp). Third infusion suffers only from the leaves having sat too long; I think they could go a lot farther than this if fresh! This tea is delicious.
Being brave tonight and trying my first mini tuocha, courtesy of Amy oh and helpful advice from both her and Garret!
To begin with… I am in love with this rice-scented bit! Dry, there was a bit of an indication of what was to come, but once the boiling water hit the tuocha, my mouth started watering. It smells so good! So I’m very excited :D I can also smell a nice earthiness. I wish it would cool down faster so I could drink it….
I started with a ~15s rinse with boiling-ish water, and then a first infusion of about 30 seconds. The tea is pretty dark from just that short amount of time, so I’m glad I didn’t go with 45! The aroma is still earthy and rice-scented, yum.
…I’m too impatient to wait to try it. Hmm. I have no idea how to describe this flavour. A bit earthy, a bit rice-like, with a nice aftertaste/aroma of the scented rice. It’s really too hot for me to enjoy quite yet (although I’m sure people drink it this hot, I like my teas cooler.) It is actually a touch light on the flavour, so I might try 45 seconds with the other tuocha (but we’ll see).
Ok! It’s cool enough to try now, and it’s really lovely! Earthy but with a strong rice scent. I’m still getting used to the flavour of pu’erh, but this is quite nice and easy to drink, especially with the tasty flavouring.
I’ll try another couple infusions a bit later; time to head out for that run! Hopefully I don’t get a tummyache :D
ETA: Definitely got a tummyache while running. Unlikely caused by tea though, probably by the bag of cheese puffs (organic and gluten-free!) I ate alongside the tea :D Anyhow, second infusion for about 53 seconds once I finally drained all the water, is quite dark and has the same aroma as the previous infusion. I’m going to wait until it cools to try it out, but am anticipating the same yumminess as before :D Also, I noticed that the leaf is very interesting-looking! There’s green leaf pieces in there! Is that the flavouring herb?? (Also, glass teapot not the best idea for this pu’erh… my cup contains many floaties. I should have strained it through a secondary strainer, my bad.)
Ok, tea cool enough to drink. More earthy, less fragrant rice-y, but I still enjoy it. I think pu’erh is a taste I haven’t quite acquired yet, but I’d have to say that this one is pretty good for “beginners” because of the additional flavouring which helps to counteract that straight earthiness. (Also… I think pu’erh will be a much easier taste to acquire than either beer or coffee, neither of which I will EVER enjoy straight. Blech.)
Finishing off the last of my sample from Amanda today! I still have a bit of this left from LiberTEAS though, so it’s not a complete sipdown (but it does get an extra X on my spreadsheet, woo!)
The aroma is a bit fruity and sweet, and I feel like I can smell the toasty genmaicha. Flavourwise, I’m initially tasting a strong seaweed flavour, which gives way to a bit of tangyish sweetness at the end. I wish this genmaicha had more toasty rice in it, actually – the genmaichas I’m used to having are much toastier and less seaweedy. I’m finding that that’s not the case with all of them though, perhaps just the cheaper ones, but I apparently prefer that! The first time I tried this sample, it was rather metallic-tasting, but I now am convinced that I oversteeped it.
Although this cup in particular isn’t cherry/cheesecakey enough for me personally, I think that’s partially because it really needs a freeze-dried cherry in there to bring out the flavour, and there wasn’t one. I kind of wish that instead of big pieces of dried fruit, it was chopped up a bit so each cup had more of a uniform amount of fruit, instead of having cups with and without (this is a problem I’ve noticed with many, many fruit-containing blends, and it really irritates me, because sometimes that flavour boost from the real fruit is better than the flavouring). Oh well. I’d still buy this if it became available again…. hint hint.
Alright, this would be sample 2/8 in my plan to drink one tea per swap. (The Neapolitan Honeybush doesn’t count; I drank it and wrote the note last night, but forgot to hit ‘post’. Whoopsie.)
Thank you Missy & Dylan for the small sample of this one that I asked for! Although I’m almost regretting asking for one-cup samples of things sometimes, it is nice on occasion to eliminate a tea from the stash after one cup!!
Based on my surprising enjoyment of 52teas minty blends, I’m expecting to like this one, especially since it contains roasted mate. However, the steeped aroma is not terribly appealing. I smell mintiness, which is iffy, and perhaps some vanilla, but not the mate, and not the yummy “52teas flavouring”, as I will call it. (Uh, it just occurred to me that this “flavouring” of which I speak may actually be part of the flavourings used to produce a chocolate flavour… because the blends I can recall it being in, like Chocolate Mint, Mint Chocolate Chip Honeybush, Malted ChocoMate, Cherry Garcia, all have chocolate in them…. this is making me very sad that I didn’t get any Double Chocolate Decadence :( )
A sip of this blend confirms my recently developed suspicion – that flavour is not here, and consequently I do not care for this tea! The icky peppermint nastiness is a bit too apparent for me here, and because of that, I can’t enjoy the vanilla. I also can’t really taste the roasted mate (oh, maybe it’s there, but well-hidden. A little coffee-esque.)
This isn’t too terrible though; anyone who enjoys disgusting things like straight peppermint tea would probably adore this, but I loathe straight peppermint tea.
Well, this was worth a shot! Not regretting the one cup’s worth at ALL now!! Thanks for passing this sample along, Missy/Dylan :D