2229 Tasting Notes

drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Finishing this one up tonight (it feels like I’m making progress! But when I finish up teas I like, I just plan to buy more, so that’s hardly progress, is it….)

Still smells as sweet and delicious as ever. Hoping there’s no metallic flavour like last time…

Ok, no metallic flavour, but I think I should really lower the steeping temperature to reflect the green tea in this blend. There is a bit of an odd flavour, and I don’t recall noticing it the first time around, at which time I’m pretty sure I steeped it around 82C instead of 94C. Still a treat though, and I’ll at least buy another sample size package before deciding whether this is a keeper or not.

ETA: Second steep of this tonight (Wednesday). Regretting the decision to have sweets prior to drinking tea, because things aren’t tasting quite right anymore! I don’t think the second steep of this one was fabulous anyhow… rechecks notes It’s just tasting a bit bland to me. But then again, that could be because my tongue just had a sugar overload. Ah well!

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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drank The Earl's Garden by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Drinking this one last time before I send it off with the boy, since it just doesn’t do it for me (and he’s an Earl Grey fan). However, since I haven’t ever properly reviewed it, I figured I should do so before getting rid of it!

The dry leaf smells like a good (to me) Earl Grey; lots of flavour and bergamot and a big POW of a delicious florally-berry scent. That’s the reason I bought it, hoping that delicious berry/floral scent would be predominant. The smell of the steeped tea retains the delicious scent, which makes my mouth water every time.

And I have to admit… today the tea actually is pretty good. I meant to steep it for four minutes but missed the timer going off, so I’m not sure how long the tea ball was in there. Probably only an extra minute or so. It’s reflected in the small amount of astringency I can taste, although it’s not nearly as strong as the last time. And I can actually taste the berries this time! Exciting! I do like Earl Grey’s, but I’m so accustomed to drinking them loaded with milk and sugar that my mouth rebels a bit when the creaminess isn’t there (which is why by contrast, I can drink Cream of Earl Grey just fine).

So. Looks like this one isn’t the washout I thought it was, but I’m still sending it away :P I can always buy more later, and right now I’m preoccupied with trying other sorts of tea.

Hmm.. ok, as I’m drinking it down with a freshly made oatmeal raisin cookie and some dried mulberries (did you know Bulk Barn has them?? I’m SO adding extra to Gold Rush next time I buy it!) I am actually rather enjoying its lack of sweetness, but can’t much taste the berry flavour anymore. Oh well!

Hmm.. ok, as I’m drinking it down with a freshly made oatmeal raisin cookie and some dried mulberries (did you know Bulk Barn has them?? I’m SO adding extra to Gold Rush next time I buy it!) I am actually rather enjoying its lack of sweetness, but can’t much taste the berry flavour anymore. Oh well!ETA: A second steep is weak, but still drinkable, with a lingering floral scent. I think that’s as far as I’d take this one though.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Quangzhou Milk Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Oh wow. Decided the boy and I needed to pick up a special tea to try tonight (before he goes back home on Wednesday :( ) and we decided on an oolong. Sniffed the other two in the store, then hit this one and holy crap, I have never smelled dry tea that’s so incredibly creamy! Like, it smells like a cup of cream. My mouth started watering instantly, so of course we picked some up :D

First steep at ~90C for 2? minutes was quite tasty. Very creamy, which made it taste a bit thick, with a hint of floweriness (orchid?). Second steep at 94C for 4 minutes was a bit less creamy, and a bit more flowery. Both quite good, and the leaves are sitting downstairs waiting for another steep this evening.

Although this tea is pretty good, I can’t see myself drinking it too frequently as it’s just too rich(!) I think I prefer teas that are a little less creamy, and more vegetal. Definitely love the flowery aroma/flavour though, and will look forward to drinking it again.

ETA: We had a third steep that was ok, but I noticed some astringency and odd flavours coming out just a bit. The creaminess was pretty much gone, although I still got a milk sense from the tea. Perhaps 5 min was too long for this steep, or maybe the boy used water that was too hot? Either way, I’ll try a proper series of steepings later.

(Hee hee, the boy has just objected to being called “the boy” and would like to be called “the boyfriend”. Too bad for him :P)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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drank Jolly Jellybean by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Had this in-store as well today, and wow! It tasted a fair bit better than when I brewed it myself. There was much more pineapple/strawberry flavour. I suspect this might have been due to a lack of pineapple chunks in my bag of tea in spite of the jellybeans that I did get. So I’m kind of excited to try this one again :) I think it’s better than Swampwater, which it is definitely most reminiscent of.

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Ick. Tried this as a TOTD today and definitely not impressed, but I dislike peppermint teas, so no surprise there! So I won’t be a jerk and rate this, which would bring down the rating (since I’d probably give it a 20 or so). Just tasted like any old icky peppermint tea to me. On the plus side, I sniffed the Spearmint tea and boy, does it ever smell good! It’s now on the sample-purchase list :)


The Spearmint tea is much less harsh, it’s nice and sweet and you’ll love it compared to this one I bet!


I’m hoping so – it did smell quite good! I’m the same way about gum too; dislike peppermint but love spearmint (and wintermint/freshmint).


K….I like all the mints you mention, but isn’t it funny, i am just the opposite when it comes to peppermint & spearmint issue. :))


Given the relative abundance of pepperminty things compared to spearmint, I would have to guess that most of the world is more like you, ScottTeaMan.

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drank Checkmate by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

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drank Happy Kombucha by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Ok, so this tea is currently making a strong case for user error being the reason I didn’t like it the first time. It still smells the same, delicious and fruity, but wow does it ever taste better. I taste some fruitiness (pineapple is coming to mind), and am pretty sure I’m picking up on some oolong base. No weird chemically flavour whatsoever.

I’m still not sure that it’s a tea I’d pick up again, but it’s moved away from a tea I wanted to get rid of to one I’ll be happy enough drinking until the bag is done. Which is good. Overall, not a bad fruity oolong. Probably most similar to Long Life Oolong, which I’m also having trouble properly reviewing!

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Blame it on a full moon. (I was going to use an old song lyric “blame it on the bosa nova” but noone is old enough to know what that song was). One day a tea is fantastic and another day…eh…what did I see in it. People can be that way too. That’s a good reason to give people another chance just like we do tea.


You’re right, never heard of that song! I’ve definitely noticed that teas are more/less appealing to me when I try them at different times. With the flavoured teas I blame either user error or a different ratio of ingredients, and with unflavoured teas it’s usually user error. Although difficult to tell which time there was an error! In this case (with Happy Kombucha), I’m pretty sure I used a steeping temperature that was way off the first time.

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drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

This is hitting the spot perfectly tonight. I’m all sick and whiny with a sore throat, and was having trouble figuring out what sort of drink I wanted (I find many drinks don’t help but hurt a sore throat). The sweet teas I’ve brewed tonight are mostly for my visiting boyfriend, but this one is all for me. I’m craving a vegetal, not sweet, completely astringency-free tea, so Mulberry Magic is perfect. Iced Bear Trap actually sounds really appealing right now too, although I’m pretty sure I’m either out of that or very nearly.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Amaretto by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

I was curious as to how this stacked up to Alpine Punch, which is also so amaretto-y. Had to wait quite a while though, as my local DT was out of stock FOREVER (ok… maybe a month or so).

The dry tea/tisane stuff (what do you call a dry tisane? Mix? Hrm.) is quite interesting to look at. Definitely reminds me of a bark mulch, with some added almonds thrown in, of course! The smell is overwhelmingly of amaretto, even moreso than Alpine Punch.

Steeped, it still smells like sweet, sweet amaretto. Yum. And that’s how it tastes, too, although thankfully the sweetness isn’t quite as strong as marzipan or I’d be gagging a bit. I can’t really identify anything other than that amaretto/marzipan flavour, but wouldn’t know what to look for in terms of tasting the lapacho bark anyhow.

The biggest difference I’m noticing between this and Alpine Punch is that it seems thinner somehow, and perhaps a bit less complex, which may not be surprising given that I think Alpine Punch contains a more varied collection of ingredients. So for a dessert tea, I think my selection would stray from this one, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with it. I can definitely see some enterprising people thinking up some neat recipes that use the tasty liquor though!

ETA: This does NOT re-steep well at all. Pretty much zero flavour on the re-steep. Definitely sticking with Alpine Punch.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Gold Rush (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Alas, my third and final cup (from a 14g bag). Yes, I use more tea than is perhaps required, but those mulberries are heavy too! Will have to go shopping for this and a select few others soon!

Just steeped it directly in the mug, since I know it doesn’t oversteep and I’m too lazy to try for more than one steep tonight. And I want to eat those mulberries!! :D


Boiling 8 min or more

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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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