2831 Tasting Notes

38
drank Green & Fruity by DAVIDsTEA
2831 tasting notes

Hrm. I could have sworn that I reviewed on here the cup of this that I got as a free tea from DT on… February 29? Or perhaps I wasn’t yet a Steepster at that point.

Anyhow, I first tried this in last year’s advent calendar, and thought I liked it, then had a bad experience with it from the store (it made me gag a bit, so I went back and had them add sweetener, and I still was gagging, and ended up pouring it out). I picked up a small bag of it to try out myself to see what the deal really was.

The aroma is fruity… but it’s a sort of fruitiness that doesn’t really agree with me. Like another tea reminded me of Mango Diablo (which I dislike), this one does too. I’m starting to wonder if I dislike DT’s dried mango… (is there mango in Long Life Oolong too??)

The flavour is kind of sweet-ish, and with a strange taste, which must be the green rooibos. It’s not as medicinal as the red can be, but still, I’m not really enjoying it here. Yeaaaah, this is not my cup of tea, at all, and as it’s unlikely to be an infusion problem, I’m going to have to attempt to get rid of the remainder of this one (a cup’s worth) through other means. Blecchh.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
TheTeaFairy

This tea does the same thing to me, maybe you’re right about DT dried mango… I ditched what I had left this summer in a cold brew, and that unpleasant after taste was still there!

Kittenna

It’s funny, because I adore dried mango as a snack. But there’s something in this blend, Mango Diablo, and Long Life Oolong that makes my stomach roil. And it can’t be a base tea, because they’re green rooibos, green tea, and an oxidized oolong, respectively (but I would have suspected flavouring of some sort anyhow).

Buy the Stars

I had a similar experience with this; tried it in-store for their free tea give away on February 29th, loved it, then bought some of my own to brew and it was just awful every time. Sometimes added sugar or agave helped, but more often than not it was just awful, no matter how long I steeped it. I like Mango Diablo and some of their other teas with dried mango, so I really wonder what it is with this tea.

Kittenna

Bleh. Oh well, it doesn’t really hurt me to encounter a tea I dislike! There are plenty I love :D And thankfully I only have one cup’s worth left, so I’m not stuck with a ton of something I hate. To be fair, I actually seem to remember my first cup of Mango Diablo being not terrible, and the reason I disliked it was because it tasted like bell peppers… but since then, I’m associating it with a flavour that just makes my stomach churn…

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91
drank Read My Lips by DAVIDsTEA
2831 tasting notes

Yummy!!!! So chocolatey and minty, but not gross whole-leaf peppermint like I dislike, more of a candycane sort of peppermint, which I find completely tolerable in conjunction with chocolate! I thought I would finish off the tin of this from the advent calendar last night, but alas, there was more than just 1.5 tsp in the tin, it was more like 2.5. So I left the rest for my roommate.

Anyhow, I’m drinking this one cold as well as it has sat since last night. It tastes pretty much exactly like liquid peppermint patties, which I actually really like. And aside from the lack of actual… chewable matter in my mouth, this is quite satisfying as a dessert tea! Definitely one to pick up if you love chocolate mint.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Whoops. Brewed this one up and had nary a sip. My bad. It was the last of the leaf too. Ah well, another oldie gone. Perhaps I can get some more in the future.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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79

Finished off the remainder of this packet today (sipdown!!); about 1.5 tsp in 8 oz. of water. A pretty tasty cup of dragon well, for sure – a fair bit of vegetal flavour, though not as much sweetness as had it been fresher, I suspect (this is like, 4-year-old tea, though it appears I only opened the packet for the first time about 4 months ago). Unluckily for me, I just accidentally choked on a big mouthful of it, and spit it all over my bed, marking the second time THIS WEEK that I’ve had to change my bed sheet due to a tea spill, and at least the third or fourth time in a couple months (although this is the first time it was due to choking). I have really got to work on this… not only am I wasting tea, I’m making messes! Thankfully I usually have spilled straight teas that are light in colour/flavour…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Babble

Wow, a 4 year old tea. I feel better about some of my teas that I drink that are quite old, too.

Do you have a favorite vendor for Dragon Well?

Kittenna

Yeah, I have some oooold teas! Put them in my “drink now!” pile, but I don’t have a lot of will to drink them since I have so much newer, more interesting stuff!

I actually haven’t tried a lot of dragonwells. I have some from Teavivre, and I’ve tried a couple others, so I know how they should taste, and can recognize when a tea is a bit older (sometimes). I personally really like Verdant’s Dragonwell-style Laoshan Green, and also their Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell.

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100

Wow. I made the most AMAZING cup of this last night! The aroma was absolutely amazing, 100% a strawberry crisp (rhubarb? not so sure). Oh man oh man! Hadn’t drank this one in a while.

Anyways, I ended up leaving the majority of the cup sitting overnight, and am drinking it now, and it’s just divine. Liquid strawberry crisp in a cup. Delicious light cinnamon aroma and flavour. You could convince me that there are oats in here too, although I think Frank is the only one who puts actual oats in his blends. Mmmmmmm. I can’t believe I ever didn’t care for this one! Clearly I was just doing it wrong. It’s absolutely amazing. Definitely a tea I’d repurchase (I wonder if it’s still available online?) Biiig rating bump.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

Think i saw this in the store still….

Kittenna

This one’s from last year’s collection and has only been available online for a while now. I checked and it’s sold out online :( I think you’re thinking of Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait :) Also good, but not as good.

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84
drank White Whisper by Butiki Teas
2831 tasting notes

This tea seriously looked exactly like water when it was steeped. Just the barest hint of colour. There’s a wonderful sweet aroma emanating from the cup. Flavourwise, the tea is so light I can hardly taste it. It’s almost a.. corn nut? corn silk? sort of flavour with a bit of tea aftertaste.

I think I’m going to try the second infusion for closer to 10 minutes. This tea’s just a bit too light for me, personally, although the flavour hints at deliciousness.

ETA: Second infusion (82C for 10:15) has more flavour, and tastes kind of like sweet peas! Like, the flowers, not edible pea pods. Interesting! I think this tea simply needs a longer infusion time for me. Delicious, and so smooth.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

Delicious! Reminds me of Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan quite a lot initially, even though it should taste quite different (I would think). There’s a light cinnamon undertone, a delicate bai mu dan flavour underneath, and citrusy notes at the forefront. This tea is marvellous. I love it!

Second infusion (4 min/82C) is definitely more lemony (like, a lemon verbena/lemongrass sort of lemony), and retains the bai mu dan flavour as well. I can’t really pick up the cinnamon this time.

Thanks so much for the sample, Momo! I’m surprised that even though this tea is nearly a year old, it’s still quite delicious!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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Final tea of last evening was a sample from Stacy at Butiki! I drank a bit and fell asleep before posting a tasting note, so here it is.

There wasn’t a great deal of aroma to the cup. Unfortunately, I was getting quite a lot of astringency, which kind of tarnished my opinion of this cup. There were some interesting flavours, and I was getting a lovely “tea” aftertaste (which speaks to the quality of this tea), however, the mouth-drying sensation and bitterness weren’t making me all that happy. I think there was a bit of a light wild blueberry flavour, but unfortunately after having had 52teas’ Blueberry Zabaglione, I found it difficult to pick out (bad timing on my behalf). I tried to drink a bit of the rest in the morning, and it was possibly the most bitter cup of tea I had ever tasted :( I couldn’t pick out any of the potentially nice flavours from the night before.

I feel it’s unfair to rate this tea… I know I enjoy the straight Purple Tea, so something must have happened to cause all this bitterness. The tea was quite broken up in the sample bag, but I used a Finum filter so would be surprised if particles got through… ah well. Perhaps I’ll try it again someday.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Strawberry Zabaglione by 52teas
2831 tasting notes

Sorry guys… I’m so spammy late at night when I drink tea!

Anyways, two to go… this one’s a sipdown of a sample Azzrian sent me in our first of many swaps! I steeped the tea for a bit of a shorter time this attempt (although I meant to only give it 3 minutes, not 3.5). I think it definitely cut down on the astringency to some extent, but I really wish I has paid more attention and nicked off that additional 30 seconds, and there definitely is still a bit. Much like Blueberry Zabaglione, I don’t know what flavours aside from strawberry I’m supposed to be picking out, although I can get a bit of creaminess/custardy flavour.

If I had to choose, I think I’d go with Blueberry Zabaglione over this tea; I do like both strawberries and blueberries, but the base tea is nicer in BZ (less astringent), and the blueberry flavour is more potent and tasty, whereas the strawberry is a bit more drowned out by the base tea here. I also think that the blueberry flavour is much more authentic than the strawberry (though I like the fake flavours of both these fruits :D)

ETA: Second infusion (3.5 min) pretty light in flavour. Not a tea I will miss.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

I agree on strawberry vs blueberry of this tea heh

Babble

I guess I’m the opposite, I liked the strawberry over the blueberry version. BUT they are both solid teas and great as cold brews!

Kittenna

Well, I only had enough leaf for a couple cups of each so didn’t try cold-brewing, but I think I tend to like blueberry flavours better than strawberry. Not sure why!

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84
drank Blueberry Zabaglione by 52teas
2831 tasting notes

Oh… I am kicking myself for brewing up so many teas right now…. :S This sample is another from Azzrian – a blend I wanted to buy, but knew I shouldn’t at the time.

The aroma is pure, heavenly blueberry. My mouth is watering! I wish I had thought to grab the last of my Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish (also from Azzrian) to see how the two compare, but it’s definitely too late for that now. The flavour is simply a (very tasty) juicy blueberry black to me, though. I still don’t really know what zabaglione is, although I’ve gathered that creaminess is involved, and I can believe that there’s creaminess here taking the edge off of potential blueberry tartness, but that’s about it. The base tea here is slightly astringent and not overpowering yet present, which is just perfect.

I think I probably will still prefer DavidsTea’s Blueberry Jam for a blueberry black tea, even though the stevia sometimes tastes funny to me, but I’d have to do a comparison to be certain. Perhaps in the future!

Thanks again for (all the) sample(s), Azz!

ETA: Second infusion is pretty light on flavour, probably not worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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