2229 Tasting Notes

90

This really could have used some sugar today. In spite of there supposedly being rock sugar in the blend, it is one of the least sweet teas I’ve had. I drank it anyways though!

(Ack! Thought I had reviewed this one properly already, but apparently not. Basically it smells like strawberry baked goods, but the taste is lacking. Even with a 6 minute infusion, I didn’t taste the white tea.)

ETA: Second infusion, with half as much water, and I didn’t record the time/temp: smells delicious, and exactly like the crisp from the apple crisp my friend and I made for Easter. No joke; EXACTLY the same smell. Surprisingly, it tastes a heck of a lot better now too! It is completely cooled, but I’m actually getting appley/strawberry crisp flavours from it. It actually tastes like crisp in a mug! Damn, I wish I had recorded what I did. I steeped it for quite a while, probably over 5 minutes, and I think the temp was actually just under 94C? So I don’t know if it’s using half the water, or having left the tea ball sitting out overnight that is making this taste so much better. I don’t think it’s the cooling – the first time I had it, it had no flavour when it cooled, IIRC. Which was why I didn’t rate it.

Anyways, I’m excited that I got some flavour out of this one! No more sadness about having a 50g bag, and this will no longer be a tea I want to get rid of! There’s something to be said for persistence, I suppose :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75
drank Mango Madness by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Finishing off a second infusion of this one (my friend had the first). It’s a bit too weak for me, although I can taste hints of mango in the aftertaste. I’m actually wondering if my taste buds are off a tad right now, because I seem to think every single tea I have brewed is weak and a little hot water-tasting. Oh well.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82
drank French Vanilla Assam by 52teas
2229 tasting notes

This time, I’m using the sample from LiberTEAS to see how it compares to that from Amanda.

To start, the tea looks different. There are flower(?) pieces, and petals that were definitely not in the other sample. It smells similarly good though, both in dry and steeped form. This version may smell a touch better, but I did enjoy the scent of the not-so-nice tasting cup either.

Tasting this, I’m fairly certain that Amanda got a dud batch!! No soapy flavour whatsoever, but instead a malty black tea with vanilla. Yum! I did taste this flavour in the other sample, but it was masked by that soapiness. A little weak, but I realize that I brewed it in a larger mug than usual and neglected to compensate for that in terms of dry tea. There’s a touch of astringency, so I think that increasing infusion time would lead to Bad Things. I will have to try this again a bit stronger, but this definitely bumps up the rating a fair bit. It’s too weak to hit the list of favourites yet though.

LiberTEAS – was the sample you gave me from the Christmas Sampler or a separately purchased pouch? Did anyone else notice a soapy flavour in their tea from the Christmas Sampler? I’m just curious. Seems a shame that some people may not have experienced the true flavours of this tea.

ETA: Second infusion good as well, also for 3 minutes. Quick note – the cup I left sitting at the office overnight, from the weird batch, actually tasted much better the next day, completely cooled. (Yes, I probably shouldn’t have drank it, but I was curious.) No soapiness, and I could tell it was the same tea, but it definitely was lacking something in comparison to the other batch I have. Oh well!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

I’m fairly certain that this is from my stash that I kept from the very first batch, as I didn’t buy extra from the Christmas Sampler batch. I did buy the Christmas Sampler though, and I did notice that the flavor was not the same that I remembered from the first tasting (as this is probably my favorite tea from 52Teas). I didn’t find it “soapy” but I just didn’t find it as amazing as the first batch.

Uniquity

I feel like there were flowers in the original batch of this – though I personally preferred the Christmas sampler, as I found the original too coconut-like.

Kittenna

Now that I’ve compared both batches, the first was definitely better, and did have cornflowers in it as the blend indicates, while the tea from the Christmas Sample just tasted off, and I don’t remember any petals/flower pieces. Ah well!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

59
drank Cheeky Lychee by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

FYI everyone, I’m taking a brief Steepster hiatus as of now, because I have a ton of work to get done and I’m spending too much time on here (because I love it!) I’ll be logging teas (but after this morning, hopefully not trying new ones), but not responding to comments/messages, etc. Just so nobody thinks I’m ignoring them! I hope to be responsive again on the weekend.

Anyhow! Thought I’d finish up the last black tea from DavidsTea that was sitting in my cupboard untried. I like lychee as a flavour, and have eaten the fruit, although sometimes I find it a bit perfumey. One of my friends really adores some lychee flavoured alcoholic beverage of some sort, which I tried and thought was ok (except I dislike alcohol!)

The dry tea is strongly perfumed with lychee, although thankfully once steeped it’s a bit more muted.

I can’t really taste too much lychee… ok, there it is in the end of the sip. Not bad. The tea tastes rather weak though, in spite of using a generous 1.5 tsp for my mug. The black tea base is noticeable, but would be much better if stronger. I did go with the low end of steeping time to be cautious, due to all my recent black tea woes, but I think that was a mis-step this time. I’ll have to try it again with a longer infusion time.

So, not bad, but too weak for me. Even if brewed stronger, this one will not make the favourites list though.

ETA: Did not make a second cup. It was too perfumey, and I was getting jasmine aromas as well, and my stomach just didn’t want that. I think this will be going into the giveaway pile.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98

Forgot to log this one yesterday – drank a second infusion only, as I gave the first to my roommate to hook her (it worked). The tea was good, but not great, but that would be typical of a second infusion :)

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68
drank Spearmint (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

I am not feeling well tonight. While heading home from school/work, I decided to pick up some thai food for supper, which was great; I got home and watched an episode of New Girl while eating my delicious food. However, when I went onto Steepster right after, I was having trouble reading/focussing on the words, and noticed my vision had weird wavy lines in it. They lasted long enough (~25min) to freak me out a tad, and make me somewhat dizzy, but thankfully they did go away (but not before I panicked about having a stroke/brain tumour – I should mention that I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my leg in January, which I initially thought was a charlie horse, so am now hyper-alert about medical issues). Anyways, I am left feeling tired, a little headachy, and a lot pouty. And I have work to do for tomorrow, but no motivation or energy to do it.

SO. In addition to a few re-steeps, I thought spearmint would be a good choice.

The dry tea smells like potent spearmint. Gum, candies, anything. Delicious. Steeped, still spearminty, but more dilute.

Taste-wise it is definitely spearminty (not pepperminty), and it’s good. A bit chloriney though, which is the problem I have with peppermint. I do wish it was a touch stronger; I will add more leaf next time. I think this would be lovely as a latte, or added to a matcha latte. Spearmint matcha latte? Vanilla spearmint matcha latte?

My one irritation is all the leaf bits floating in my cup though. Wish the tea was less crumbly.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
Missy

Hope you feel better soon!

Dylan Oxford

Feel better :)

Bonnie

If you are at all worried, get yourself checked out! Even if it is tonight and you call an advice nurse!

Kittenna

I’m feeling ok now (in terms of the vision thing), but was awfully close to calling. I did that in the middle of the night with the blood clot, and am glad I did. If it happens again though, I’m headed straight to emerg… (my roomie will drive me in my car). Sigh.

Thanks Missy & Dylan :) Hoping I just need some more sleep or something.

Azzrian

Call the doctor! Take care of yourself! xoxox

Indigobloom

oh dear, feel better soon!! I hope that wasn’t a blod clot, those are scary! ;s

Ninavampi

Feel better soon! I think I would have freaked out too…

Kittenna

Thanks guys, had a crappy non-sleeping night but am feeling much better this morning. Hoping it was a one-off sort of thing. Not pleasant.

Missy

Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better. That would have scared me a bit, especially after they told me I had a blood clot in my leg.

Kittenna

Haha yes, I’m so just so paranoid now. The blood clot is gone, but apparently having had one is a risk factor for having more… sigh.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82
drank French Vanilla Assam by 52teas
2229 tasting notes

Tried this for a second time with boiling water and sadly achieved a pretty similar result to last time. The smell was lovely and promising, but there was a definite gross soapiness in the sip that hid anything tasty. Amanda, I’m wondering if you got a weird batch – you didn’t seem to like it either, yet everyone else is crazy over it. I do also have a sample from LiberTEAS that I will hopefully test out soon so I can compare the two – hoping for a better result!

(P.S. Those of you who I have received tea from, don’t be concerned if you see me acknowledging someone else for a tea you sent me some of – I have a few doubles, but have kept things separate so I know what’s from whom!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Have you tried steeping it at a slightly lower temp?

Kittenna

I first tried it at 85C, then boiling. I think it’s better-tasting at boiling, but I don’t think the soapy flavour is going away regardless of steeping temperature (it was soapy at 85C too). I’m hoping my packet from LiberTEAS is perhaps from a different batch of tea, and doesn’t have that soapy flavour. It might be tasty beneath it…

momo

Yeah, all the more positive reviews about how vanilla tasting it is came from the first time it was made, and I only got it in the 12 Teas of Christmas box. I kind of wonder if the oils soaked more into the label than the tea, I don’t know if you noticed that compared to the photo on here.

Kittenna

I did, but I swear I read something about a printing issue in that regard :P Either way, sucks that this batch seems to be off!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

DISCLAIMER: Very old tea. Do not rely on this review to judge this tea or company!

The third of the ancient teas. Dry, this one does have a bit of a fruity smell, different than the mango tea. Somewhat promising, but it’s unlikely to be any different than the first two :P

Steeped, there’s a definite fruity smell as well.

Argh, I let this one cool too much, and all I can taste is cardboardy, astringent black tea. I think there was potential at a warmer temperature, but it’s too late now. I really don’t want this cup. Into the sink you go…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

DISCLAIMER: This is very old tea. Please don’t judge this tea or company by this review. (No rating for this reason.)

Due to lack of a tea ball, I figured ‘why not try to use up some of these ancient teas’? So, round 2 of ancient tea. Round 3 coming shortly (well, you see, I also took home one of my mugs, so only have one…. what’s this one-tea-at-a-time thing?!)

This might be the least appetizing of the bunch. The teabag smells like… oldness. Haha. There are also more of this type than either of the others, because I guess I was more enamoured by passion fruit and mango (not too surprising).

The smell of the steeped tea has a bit of light fruitiness. I wouldn’t identify it as pineapple, but it’s definitely different than the mango tea. I’m also smelling some black tea maltiness. I think I do like the black tea base that was used for these blends.

Oh wow! There’s actually some pineapple flavour! At least initially. I was not expecting that. Like, we’re actually talking a flavour that I identify not as mere fruitiness, but pineapple. It is very subtle though, and mostly in the beginning of the sip, before the black tea moreso takes over. Given it’s age, I’m pretty impressed though. Another tea that I’d like to try a fresher version of. I think I might like it :) One more to go…

ETA: Blagh! I let this cool down, had a yogurt, and then finished it, and somehow it tasted like it had developed a fair bit more astringency. Ick. Oh well, it was nice when it was warm!

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for reviews of this tea prior to purchase, do not read this one. My tea is so old as to be completely non-indicative of the actual tea. Hence the lack of rating, as well.

Ooook, so this is an OLDIE. I mean, it’s probably 10+ years old. And not stored well. I have low expectations (although got some nice fruity mangoey smells just now… perhaps it won’t be as bad as I think?) My mom brought these back for me from Hawaii forever ago, and I drank a few bags’ worth, but that’s it, and have kept them around until now out of guilt. Perhaps if there’s a bit of flavour left, I’ll finally use them up! I have two other flavours as well, Pineapple Waikiki, and Passionfruit Na Pali. The last time I recall trying one of these (a few months ago), I recall much cardboardy flavour… but there was likely oversteeping then too. fingers crossed

Ok. It smells a bit fruity in the cup now. Just a bit. Flavour-wise, I can definitely taste the black tea, and although somewhat astringent, I feel like it’s a touch malty as well, which is nice. Sadly though, this does not taste much like mango. And sure enough… there is a bit of a cardboardiness as well. No real surprise there.

It’s definitely drinkable, given that I brilliantly only steeped it for 3 and a half minutes, and without additions, even. I’d love to try a fresh batch of this (and the other) teas. I’m probably missing out, given TeaEqualsBliss ’ review & rating below.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Following These People