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2221 Tasting Notes

68
drank Southern Belle by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Continuing my flavoured black tea exploration this morning!

I picked a sample of this one up a while back but just haven’t gotten around to trying it yet, primarily because it’s a black tea. Really, I should have taken it to work, because that’s where I’m looking for caffeine, but for whatever reason I didn’t. Anyways!

The smell of the dry tea is pure peachy goodness. Reminds me quite a bit of Long Life Oolong (no surprise). I suspect that I would only ever need/want one peach tea in my cupboard at a time though. I think I’m going off fruit teas a bit, and being more intrigued by other flavours and straight teas. I’m sure this will turn around eventually though!

Er… I think I’ve let this one cool a bit too much. It looks like there are yogurt floaties in the cup XD Ah well, too lazy to go down and re-heat, so I’ll just try it! Can’t be worse than rooibos floaties (ick!)

Yum!! It tastes VERY peachy. Granted, I made sure that there was a lot, probably a disproportionate amount, of peach chunks in my brewing basket, but it definitely achieved the desired result of MEGAPEACH! With definite yummy creaminess. I really can’t taste the black tea at all, but given that this doesn’t taste like peach juice, I’m sure it’s lurking in the background giving this tea a fuller body than just peaches. Might also be that my mouth is still accustomed to the stronger tea flavours from the previous teas I drank, and so it’s not picking up the subtler taste here.

Ok, drinking more of it I can taste a malty sort of background which would be the black tea. Also – yogurt floaties not an issue at all. They may look a tad odd, but I can’t even tell that they’re in there, so they’re probably re-dissolving in my mouth or something.

I actually am really liking this tea! It’s better than Long Life Oolong (although that tea hasn’t been given a fair shot yet), and as Uniquity says in her review, it does taste like a peach Campino! Maybe a touch less sweet, but that could be remedied with a bit of sugar. Now I’m craving Campinos…. are they still around?!

ETA: Second infusion surprisingly good! Enough that I may try a third (although I’m getting a bit tired of black tea by now… go figure!)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

Oooh no! I was eyeing this tea and decided not to purchase based on the reviews. I think I will have to try it just because of this post!

Kittenna

Well, I thought it was a pretty good creamy peach tea :) So if that’s your sort of thing, I think it would at least be worth a sample size!

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77

This tea is from my sister’s cupboard – she’s only a fan of rather flavourful/sweet teas, and this one didn’t fit the bill. She had been given a whole box (100g) of it, so when I visited at Christmas, it came home with me! My first attempt at this tea back on my birthday in January wasn’t bad, but since then I have learned quite a bit about tea and steeping times, etc., so I’m thinking this cup will be better! I also feel like I should note that the box for this tea is covered in greek writing – I don’t know if this is a greek company, but the tea was possibly purchased in Greece :)

The instructions for brewing call for one level teaspoon per 2 cup pot, steeped with boiling water. I was just using a mug, so went with a generous half teaspoon and boiling water.

The dry tea looks like a typical black loose leaf tea, with a couple small caramel-coloured chocolate chips. I made sure to get one into my tea ball, but am skeptical that I’ll have enough for one per cup by the end of this bag! It smells a bit chocolatey, but isn’t particularly aromatic. I tend to find that with flavoured blacks and many straight teas, so am not too concerned. Steeped, the smell is of chocolate and caramel… yum!

Ok – this is definitely better than I remember! I can taste a mild black base, mixed with creamy and vanilla-y flavours with a hint of chocolate. There’s no astringency at all, which is lovely. I am getting a bit of a strange taste at the end of the sip, after the delicious flavours have faded. Can’t really place it though. A part of me wants to say cardboard, but that would be very harsh, as that’s not really it. Maybe… it’s a bit woody?

I think I’d try this one again at 1 tsp/cup just to see if I can strengthen it a bit. It’s not really all that weak, but I would like to give it a shot stronger, and given that there was absolutely no bitterness or astringency, I figure I have a bit of room to play around! Overall a pretty tasty straight chocolate tea! I’m impressed :)

ETA: Second infusion is a bit weak, but still pretty tasty! A bit caramelly sweet and smooth. Worth it, IMO.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88

Mmm, it’s morning, so time to start making my way through my black tea stash!

This tea I received from Azzrian, and I’m so excited to try it!

The dry tea doesn’t smell like much; there’s a bit of vanilla aroma, perhaps, but that’s about it. Entirely different story steeped; it smells malty , sweet, and with a hint of blackberry. Yum!!

A pleasant surprise – this is pretty good! A malty blackberry (or blueberry, my palate can’t make up its mind!) tea with a bit of vanilla is what I’m getting. There is some astringency at the end of the sip, not likely caused by oversteeping, but I perhaps used a touch too much dry tea. It’s a bit annoying, but it’s not bitterness, so I can deal with it.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed, and I liked this one more than I expected to! If I drank black teas more frequently I would consider picking this one up, but as I don’t typically drink teas for their caffeine content, and often drink them in the evening, I don’t need more black teas than I already have!

Thanks so much for the sample, Azzrian! An unexpected treat :D

ETA: Second cup, also steeped for 3 minutes, is weak but also tasty. In the future I might use a smaller volume of water for the second infusion to concentrate the flavour a bit, but I do like it even a little dilute :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I thought this was an interesting one too. Mysterious!

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94
drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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92
drank Matcha Matsu by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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59
drank Green Coconut by TeaGschwendner
2221 tasting notes

Another new tea! Thanks Amanda!

I debated whether I should even try this one today, given my failures, but really wanted to try it out, because it smells delicious! All coconutty and good. I think there was some smell transfer from another sample packet during shipping… it smells a bit fruity and sweet too. Really hoping the flavour doesn’t transfer over…

Steeped, it smells…. weird. The fruitiness is there (uh oh), and I’m getting a hint of coconut creaminess, but that’s it. It almost smells… metallic??

Ok, after a few minutes, it smells more as I was expecting, like sencha and coconut. Good good.

Taste-wise it definitely makes me think of DavidsTea’s Toasted Walnut. I guess it’s because they’re both sencha and coconut, although Toasted Walnut has a few more ingredients. I can taste the sencha, and it’s alright, and I’m enjoying the lingering coconut flavour at the end of the sip. It’s definitely more coconutty, too.

I kind of like this one, actually, but for my purposes, it’s pretty interchangeable with the far-more-easily-obtainable Toasted Walnut, and its rating is going to reflect that.

(But guess what…. I didn’t oversteep it!!! Hallelujah! Or screw it up! Miracle!)

ETA: Second steep in half a cup of water was ok, but not wonderful. Can’t remember anything specific about it as I drank it rather quickly.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Missy

lol Yay! Things are going better for you. :D

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85
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Good old reliable glitter & gold to the rescue after a(nother) day of less-than-successful steeping. Should I even bother trying that dan cong tonight, or am I doomed from the start!?

Invader Zim

It doesn’t hurt to take a break from trying and just drink something reliable.

Kittenna

Exactly. And it was reliably delicious :D

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82
drank French Vanilla Assam by 52teas
2221 tasting notes

After two resounding busts from earlier this morning, this tea had better be good! Or I might cry :(

Dry tea smells sweet and perhaps of vanilla. A good start. Steeped, I’m getting a sweet, dark, malty smell. Not what I was expecting, but still good so far…

Hmmm, it’s kind of weak. I used a slightly heaping tsp, but maybe didn’t steep it long enough. Tea ball is back in for a minute or so…

Oook. I’m not getting vanilla, really… I’m almost getting a bit of a soapy flavour, actually. The black tea is ok, a touch astringent at the end of the sip, but nothing worrisome. I really can’t see why people like this one…. Nothing special at all. Boo for another tea bust… (What am I doing wrong, people?!)

ETA: Oops, forgot to thank Amanda for this one!!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Azzrian

All I can think of is either it just isn’t good OR maybe its how you steep. Do you happen to have a mesh strainer of any kind? Like for straining veggies or something? Not those big plastic ones but the small hand held metal kind? Maybe let the tea leaves loose in your cup, pot, etc and strain them after the steep? Just an idea – don’t know if it will work.

Bonnie

I agree…most loose tea’s really need room. A tea ball is so confined that you are not going to get the most out of your tea steep. Just my opinion but I’ve been trying to follow my wiser steepsters in learning how to brew different tea’s and my learning curve is improving from the days when I just plunked some tea in a pot of boiling water and let it sit 10 minutes until it was a bitter mass. Yuk!

TeaBrat

I’ve found teaballs don’t work out well for me either

Missy

I tried a tea ball and found it tiresome to operate. I have one of those infuser things that sits in my cup. It’s much easier to deal with. Of course I have a really big tea mug now so I needed a bigger infuser. Perhaps it’s the water. How are you heating your water up? I’m no tea guru, but I’ve been stalking the forums for a while now and water seems to be a big factor in good tea.

LiberTEAS

Assam needs a full boil to achieve a well-rounded flavor. Also, I don’t recommend steeping it too long as it will become bitter. This is actually one of my favorite teas from 52Teas. I also do not recommend a tea ball … they just don’t do a tea justice, in my opinion.

Kittenna

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! The tea ball in question is a mesh one like the ones DavidsTea offers; it’s reasonably large and I thought it would be ok, as it usually is for everything except oolongs (and it’s just fine for my beloved Banana Oolong, even though it’s crammed full when the leaves expand), but perhaps I should give these teas a shot in my steeping basket at home, where the leaves have more room.

LiberTEAS – If you say assam needs to be steeped in boiling water, I think water temperature would be my biggest problem here! You probably noticed I went with a nice low temperature thanks for my many recent over-steeps, and I guess I did it with a tea I shouldn’t have! I didn’t oversteep it this time though :D (But if the trade-off is lack of flavour, I’m not sure that’s so great…!) So it looks like this tea will be yet another added to the ‘needs second attempt, different parameters’ list :)

Bonnie

What helps me…I have 3 yes three little charts that list brewing temps and times for different types of tea on the back of my tea cupboard. I refer to them all the time. I have memory problems so I have to do this. No way could I just brew tea! Might be good to go online and print a chart from The Art of Tea or just google tea brewing charts.

Kittenna

Thanks Bonnie! That might be useful :) I know the general parameters for each type of tea, but some seem to be more flexible than others. I’ll take a look.

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1

I am assuming that this is what I have tried today… My steeping parameters sucked, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have changed it for the better…

It smells nasty, fishy and like dirt. And tastes the same. Ladies & gents, we have a winner for the grossest tea I have ever tried!

Thanks for the sample, Azzrian, and please don’t be offended :P This is just WAY too earthy for me, and I don’t think I like chrysanthemum either. I’m guessing lovers of earthy pu’erhs might like it more? Keeping my hopes up for the oolong you sent though!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Oh girl I am NOT offended at all. I actually have not tried this yet myself but a lot of people feel this way about Puerh and honestly Puerh in a bag – I don’t know I would assume that it probably isn’t anywhere like the cakes!

Kittenna

Hmmmm, you do have a tasting note on it?

Azzrian

I do? LOL oh let me go look – geesh Blonde moment!

Azzrian

Oh crap I do and I liked it a LOT! Hummmmm very strange – after I have this teavivre tea I will try it again and see if I get the same reaction. :) I will post here to let you know!

Kittenna

Yeah, this was definitely a dumped-out cup for me (actually, I traipsed to the sink with TWO full cups, as I wasn’t at all keen on my second steep of Strawberry Orange Scone either. Sad day.)

Azzrian

Okay trying again here … yes it does smell very earthy, like dirt. LOL
It smells to me the way beets taste – I think beets taste like dirt. I never liked beets – at least not the pickled kind and those are the only kind I have ever tried. OKay that was random – anyway … I get only a TINY tiny little of a fishy flavor though and I have had FAR fisher puerhs. I still like it lol. I mean its not one of my all time favorite teas by any means and clearly I didn’t even recall having it before but I do enjoy it. Im sorry it was not your thing lol your review does still make me smile though – grossest tea ever for you. Hey at least you will remember me for something lol.
<3

Azzrian

Oh noooooo you didn’t like the scone either :( Wait did my teas cross contaminate on their way to you ? I know you said they were fine but maybe some did?

Kittenna

Yuckers, I definitely got fishiness and mega dirt flavour. I’m sure you could get more fishiness in another tea, but that is not a flavour I want in tea. I don’t mind having tried it though!!

The scone tea I tried was a different one, from LiberTEAS. You sent me Buttered Cranberry Orange Scone, which I have yet to try! I don’t think there were any problems. (And with the scone tea I tried, I think I just wasn’t a fan of the intense orange peel flavour, which may or may not be present in the scone tea you sent!)

Azzrian

Ahhh okay :)

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92
drank Matcha Matsu by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Nom nom nom. Still whisk-less, but I did a better job with the fork this time. Mixed it with a bit of hot milk and agave, then added cold unsweetened almond milk. Learned last time that almond milk does not microwave well.

Anyways, still quite happy with this one. I do need to get a tin or something for it though; I don’t like it being in a bag. It’s irritating.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Missy

I totally understand the tin thing. I really like to have my teas in their own tins all tucked away in the cupboard immediately.

Kittenna

I’m actually usually ok with the baggies, but for this one, since it’s so powdery, I just hate it being in a bag and poofing all over the place :D

Missy

Hehe, poofing reminds me of when I tried to make vanilla sugar. I found a recipe that said just put sugar and vanilla bean into a coffee grinder. So I grind away and then I lift the lid to inhale sugar power. Great experiment. I’ll never do it that way again….

Kittenna

Hahahahahaha, bet your lungs appreciated that one!

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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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