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2221 Tasting Notes

85
drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

I was starting to regret buying a whole 100g of this online. I only bought that much as I was worried it would be discontinued… I do like it, but since I haven’t had it in a few weeks, I was doubting whether I really liked it enough to have spent that much.

Luckily, it’s still good. I think Jessie’s Tea (which is mediocre for me) had replaced it in my head. This one has almondy and other intricate flavours though. And no off-putting overwhelming lavender scent. So while I don’t think I’ll be finishing it off quite as quickly as I had thought, it’s still a tasty caffeine-free treat.

Roomie used the teaball for a second steeping after me, so just one cup for me tonight :)

Preparation
Boiling

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93
drank Checkmate by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Definitely was craving this one like mad today. Sadly, I either screwed it up (steeped too long) or perhaps it was the sweetened yogurts I devoured around the same time, but it just didn’t have the subtle deliciousness as usual. Still very malty and comforting, though. I’ll blame this one on user error (as I’m pretty sure I’ll be having another cup tomorrow as a reward tea…)

Preparation
Boiling

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34

Not overly enchanted….

The dry leaf smells promising, lemony and tangy; as I like my lemons sour, that’s good! Unfortunately, steeped it just isn’t what I was hoping for, although it is kind of what I expected. I’ve found that lemongrass can be an odd flavour in teas, and I’m getting it here, along with lemon zest and lemon peel which give me more of a lemon-scented cleaner taste as opposed to a lemon juice flavour. It’s a little sweet, and not objectionable, but I can’t see myself brewing this up again for myself. Maybe it would be tasty with some honey and lemon juice, but I suspect those flavours would overwhelm it and defeat the purpose of it tasting lemony in the first place!

Ah well, not too disappointed. A(n expected, for me) miss in the plethora of delicious teas from DT.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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87

Ok, so I tried to actually be diligent about temperature and time this time around.

First steep: ~80C, ~45s Definitely my favourite. It’s light and smooth, deliciously vegetal like a perfectly boiled veggie, and not grassy at all. No astringency, and I love it. This steep is the reason I love this tea.

Second steep: ~83C, ~2min Flavour has definitely changed. It still has the delicious vegetal smell to it, but it’s a stronger flavour and there’s some astringency at the end of the sip. Still good, but not as fresh or smooth as the first steep, and it gives a bit of a dry mouth sensation. Probably should have gone with a shorter steep time, but oh well.

Third steep: ~86C, ~4min I think I’m out of good steepings. This one has mostly lost the appealing scent as well as the delicious vegetal flavour. It’s not bad, but it’s weaker and drying in the mouth, and it just doesn’t have the yumminess I want. So perhaps if I try a series of shorter steepings e.g. 45s, 1min, 1min30, I will get three tasty steepings instead of just two.

I also have to admit that I sampled the tea leaves tonight… tasty :D Reminiscent of the first steep, and quite tender. Would eat again.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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85
drank Gold Rush (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

So……. this is definitely just as amazing as everyone seems to be saying. Smells and tastes like liquid caramel. I probably used more tea than the 1.5 tsp it calls for (I usually do), and it’s been steeping for ages now… so definitely a ‘one-cup wonder’, but still. Mmmmm. I clearly did not get the right tea in my sample the other day – it definitely had icky peppermint in it.

The only thing that annoys me is how this is yet another white tea where I can’t taste any tea, so I’m paying a higher price for…. heavy mulberries. So definitely can’t make this a daily tea, but I’m still probably going to get a 100g tin of it…

ETA: I maybe take back my one-cup-wonder comment… the mulberries were deliciously sweet and full of flavour even after probably nearly 30 min of steeping. Enough to make me think that I could get an additional cup out of them. Probably wouldn’t bother, as they were so tasty, but… yes. Excellent tea :D

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Bonnie

I want!

Kittenna

Yes, yes you do!

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88
drank White Tiger (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Blueberries! Real blueberries! Yum! I’m very impressed. And after only 1 minute of steeping, too :) Smells like blueberries; tastes like blueberries. Why didn’t I try this and Strawberry White before? They are way better than most fruity teas I’ve been trying lately.

Eeeee :D

ETA: Too lazy to try some fancy-schmancy series of steeps while increasing temperature, and all that, so I went for a 5 minute steep at 82C (that’s just what the water temp was… aiming for 90! Oops.) The tea is a fair bit darker (shocker, eh?), and purplish, reminding me of Bear Trap. You know, I think this tea might actually be what I wanted from Bear Trap – a sweet sort of berry tea, not sour. Anyways, it smells and tastes like warm blueberries. Real blueberries. Like a blueberry I just plucked out of a steaming hot fresh-out-of-the-oven homemade blueberry muffin. I’m not really getting any tea flavour, except maybe at the end, but I’m just super stoked at how delicious this is. My bank account is definitely hoping that the remainder of the teas I try this week are huge misses (and I’m sure some will be, e.g. Carrot Cake), but I suspect I’ll end up liking more…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

You are right, this tea is pure blueberry taste, a rare thing as there are no artificial soapy flavors that can often be found in blueberry teas!

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91

I’ve found myself not to be terribly fond of chocolate teas, but figure they’re all worth a shot anyways, as sometimes it works (even if it’s not as chocolately as I thought it would be).

Steeped, I’m getting memories of say, chocolate-covered cherries. Or raisins. Something fruity, where the chocolate isn’t necessarily the main flavour. It smells quite sweet too, which I like :D

Taste-wise, I’m getting a bit of fruity chocolate and delicious sweetness. This is entirely a different sort of chocolate flavour to Check Mate. Less malty, more fruity. I think I like both, but would probably pick malty over fruity if given a choice. I’m not tasting the green tea or rooibos at all, but in this case I don’t mind, as there’s enough flavour complexity to make me happy without tasting the underlying base by itself (unlike with some other teas, where they really may as well have just made a herbal and skipped the tea base altogether).

Not entirely sure what water temperature I used – probably somewhere between 70-80C.

In a clear attempt to set some sort of bathroom-usage record tonight, I gulped that first mug down in less than 5 minutes and am re-steeping already. And still have a couple steeps of Blazing Strawberries to try. Oops…

ETA: Second steep is pretty similar to the first, in my opinion. A fruity sort of chocolate. Steeped for 4-5 minutes this time. I am almost getting a hint of cinnamon spiciness, but it’s very mild.

Preparation
3 min, 15 sec

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88
drank Blazing Strawberries by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

I know it has been discontinued for a while, but my local store still has some, so I figured what the heck, may as well pick it up and try it when I’m also getting 10 other to-be-discontinued teas :)

This is such an interesting-looking tea. Sharp green-grey leaf pieces with hints of colour from the strawberries and peppercorns. The smell is truly odd though – sweet, but I’m definitely getting a whiff reminiscent of Christmas tree shopping! Which would make sense if this tea had juniper in it… but it does not.

After 5 minutes of steeping, this tea is a rather light brownish-gold colour, with only a light scent that’s herbally and sweet. The first sip is very delicate and leafy, but not in a green tea-vegetal/leafy sort of way, more like… apple leafy? I suppose it’s the bamboo, but since I have never met a real, living bamboo leaf before, it’s hard to know! I’m not getting the Christmas tree notes I had been getting before, which is completely ok, as I do not care for things such as gin.

I am still really intrigued by this tea! It makes me want to have fun with it, and try it in different ways! Not sure whether I like it enough to go buy out my location (haha), but have to make up my mind quickly… I don’t know exactly what March 6 is bringing about, whether teas will just disappear on that day, or whether they’ll keep them on hand until stock runs out (which I think would be better). The girl at DT recommended trying this iced, with twice the recommended amount of tea, so maybe I’ll try that out this evening/tomorrow. It’s different and pleasant enough – a nice change! Tentatively rating in the happy zone :D

Perhaps more notes as it cools… but I have another tea to get to as I sit here in my office, procrastinating from weighing out samples upstairs in the lab (yeah, I know, it’s Saturday evening… I’m so lame.)

ETA: Mmm, yes, liking it better as it cools. Definitely taste the strawberry now. Not really getting any spiciness from peppercorns though. This is really refreshing! Definitely icing it next.

ETAA: Second steep mostly tastes like leaves. Not bad, but much of the appeal is gone without the strawberries. Probably wouldn’t re-steep unless desperate (because it’s still better than hot water!)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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drank Long Life Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Roommate picked some of this up during Reading Week (I had yet to restock it myself, for confirmation as to whether or not I liked it).

We accidently used water that was too hot, though (brain was thinking it was a black tea), and I don’t think we used enough tea, as it’s rather weak. So unfortunately, I remain indecisive. I wish it was more like Banana Oolong though; I can’t taste the oolong at all, and it would be nice to taste something other than peach.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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94

Mmmmmmmm, another very delicious, very oversteeped cup. I am just loving the strong flavour. And unlike other teas when they are oversteeped, I’m only feeling the astringency in the front of my mouth, not down my throat, which makes it quite bearable (I hate when I get a sore-throat feeling from teas).

Also got a bunch more strawberry pieces in the mix today, and am tasting more fruitiness. So glad I tried this tea :) Can’t wait to get more! Even though it’s expensive…

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

I want to try this. Sounds like it would bring on an early Spring.

Kittenna

Well if you’re up for a cross-border swap (I’m in Canada), I could probably indulge you if you want :) I’m really loving it. Probably picking up at least 50g in the next day or two, before it disappears off the tea wall!

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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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