2936 Tasting Notes

74

Getting to a couple samples tonight, as I’m getting bored with drinking only the teas that I have lots of and that hold up well in a thermos…

The aroma of the brewed tea is weakly of cinnamon, and perhaps a little nutty. Good, but fairly weak. The flavour of the tea has the same flavours, and surprisingly does remind me of an almond cookie, actually! Just a hint of cinnamon, and some nuttiness, on a nice light but present black base. Although the aroma’s weak, I’m finding the tea to have just the right amount of flavour, and the perfect spicing for a cookie tea!

I have to admit that this wouldn’t end up as a favourite though; I’m pretty picky about flavoured blacks apparently, and one of my requirements seems to be strong caramel/vanilla flavouring, which isn’t in this tea. However, it is definitely still tasty!

Thanks for sharing a sample of this one with me, Azzrian!

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

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90

Thanks to Tea from Taiwan for this lovely sample, which I picked up at the post office today after they attempted to deliver it to an empty house yesterday. I decided to start with this tea as I want to compare the two milky oolongs (my other samples), which requires a bit more time.

The balls of tea here are probably the hugest I’ve seen! There’s a sweetish, oolongy aroma to them, which is intensified in the brewed cup.

The flavour is not as sweet as I would have expected, but falls into the category of sweet, vegetal oolongs. I really don’t know how to divide green oolongs up into different categories (i.e. milky, sweet, vegetal, etc.), or what the different names mean, but this is certainly the type of oolong that I enjoy! I feel like it might be a touch oversteeped (somewhat astringent and drying), but I didn’t have any parameters to go by, so just went with my standard 3 minutes for oolongs, which was perhaps a bit too long.

Ok, back to the tea. Trying to be more precise than “sweet and vegetal”… but I’m really not sure. It’s a boiled veggie sort of vegetal, not green and fresh and the sweetness is rather caramelly, although not overwhelming like it is with some teas. Quite a nice combination. I do wish that the astringency wasn’t present, as I’d enjoy this cup more, but overall, I’m pretty happy. However, looking at the price, I have got to say that a tea this expensive is probably wasted on me, as I typically brew western-style and don’t seem to catch nuances that other people do. That said, it was great to get the chance to try it! Thanks again, Tea from Taiwan!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

Ok, I’m trying to figure out if I’m doing something wrong, or what. I used 2 rounded tsp of tea for my Timolino today, and I’m not getting much creaminess at all. I’m trying to figure out whether I overleafed and therefore got too much bergamot, or whether it just needs to cool down more. Either way, I certainly seem to remember other version being creamier and tastier. (Was Upton’s one of those?) Any suggestions on other earl grey cream’s that are heavy on the cream, lighter on the bergamot??

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Added the rest of my sample from Azzrian to the re-steep of my leaves from the previous day, and threw it in the travel mug. Forgetting, of course, my epic oversteep of the old leaves… so the tea was a bit weak, but drinkable. I’m finding that for the most part, as long as I allow a tea to cool substantially prior to travel-mugging it, it seems to taste ok (unless there are residual flavours. Glitter & Gold’s cinnamon kind of impacted this one…)

Although I have another sample of this, I’m counting this as a sipdown! Yeeaah!

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95

Even waaaayyyy oversteeped (like, 10 minutes oversteeped!) this one is delicious. I’m finding I’m more fond of white blends than I thought… or at least, white blends that actually contain white tea (unlike most of DavidsTeas fruity white blends, where you can hardly find the tea in the mixture, let alone taste it!) This is just so smooth and delicious. I may have ruined it for a second/third infusion, but oh well. Luckily I picked up an additional sample of this one when I made my first Persimmon Tree order, so although I’m nearly finished my generous sample from Azzrian , I still have a reasonable amount left!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more
Bonnie

I was sent a bunch of samples and this was one of the only ones that was really good.

Kittenna

A bunch of samples from Persimmon? I’ve found a few I like from there, but I have a suspicion that they’re one of the companies that buys tea wholesale and re-sells it. Their White Peach was quite tasty.

canadianadia

I love many of David’s fruity white teas, but I completely agree that the tea is more often than not hard to find in those mixtures.

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68
drank Southern Belle by DAVIDsTEA
2936 tasting notes

Strraaange. This one tastes like smoky peach today. Not sure why; it’s in its DT bag and therefore shouldn’t have been contaminated. Ah well. I’m definitely not feeling DT’s peachy flavourings anymore, so am not liking this one as much as I originally did (but the smokiness is an interesting twist!)

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83

I maintain that while this is a good tea, with definite chocolatey tones (which are delicious), I prefer Verdant’s Laoshan Black (and possibly the Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls, although I haven’t had those since July). There’s just a more hay-y/almost vegetal flavour here instead of pure dark chocolate. I suppose it actually tastes more like a cross between Laoshan Black and what I consider a standard black tea to taste like. So, still good and drinkable straight, but could be better.

Regardless, I really appreciate these free samples sent to me from Teavivre!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Amariel

I liked the black pearls wayyyy better than this, though I had higher hopes for it.

Kittenna

Yeah, me too after all the rave reviews. I’m just so picky about black teas! However, I have Verdant’s Laoshan Black & Zhu Rong, and Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam, so I don’t really need to add a bunch more to that list!

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85
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
2936 tasting notes

I’ve definitely changed my opinion a bit that this tea and Pumpkin Chai are super similar, but they are still closely related, IMO. Love the sparkles in this one, even though I don’t much get to enjoy them in a travel mug. Anyhow, sweet, cinnamony, sparkly goodness.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Amariel

I thought I would love this tea, but I had it as a TTG once, and I was totally underwhelmed.

TheTeaFairy

For me, this one is a real x-mas tea ! The glittery gold sparkling never gets old :-)

Kittenna

I"m not convinced that teas-to-go are the best way to try teas. This one’s really quite tasty if you like cinnamon blacks.

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100

I’m feeling so repetitive… all I have time to drink are favourite teas (also because most of my samples are ~2 cups, so infusing them for the travel mug would use up the whole samples). Hopefully sometime in the near future I’ll have time for samples, but it’s looking grim until next Wednesday… until then I’m in a massive crunch to get data (this week) and present said data (next Tuesday and Wednesday). Arrrrrgh.

So anyways! I’m actually nearly out of one of my 50g pouches of Banana Oolong now, and the other pouch is nicely dipped into as well. One of my 100g purchases that I certainly do not regret! Such a good tea.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Ok, because of you I need to have this one right now, lol! I too got a 100 gr and getting closer to the end… definitely has a place in my permanent collection!

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99

I couldn’t find my bag of this tea all weekend! It sucked. But then I cleaned my room as my boyfriend was coming over on Sunday, and it was hiding behind some various bags and such :D So yummy. I oversteeped it a bit today (it got 4 minutes or so by accident), but it doesn’t seem to have suffered.

The roommate is also happy, as I offered her the infuser full of leaves to use for the second infusion (she’s quite happy with that, and I know the 2nd still tastes delicious!)

TeaBrat

oooh – new boyfriend!

Bonnie

Must be serious, you cleaned your room!

Amariel

I really wish I could try some of this. I see people reviewing it all the time. Gah…makes me hungry. :P

Kittenna

Amy & Bonnie – Yes, a new boyfriend, and I am really quite smitten with him, hahaha. Cleaning my room mostly consisted of a) putting clothes in appropriate locations and b) tidying up my tea stash!! Hahaha. The tea has a tendency to spread out and take over when I’m not being careful…

Heather – Yum, I hope you get to try some at some point!

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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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