3034 Tasting Notes

drank Merry Cranberry by DAVIDsTEA
3034 tasting notes

I couldn’t believe how packed full of cranberries this tea was! I’ve learned that I adore cranberries in tea – they seem to give off a fair bit of flavour! Yum! Unfortunately, it does make the tea a bit expensive, but oh well.

The aroma of the dry tea is almost exclusively of sweet, sweet cranberries. And almost a hint of something creamy (?) but that’s about it. Steeped, it’s a different story. Sweetness and cranberry, plus a generous dose of cinnamon, and a hint of anise (which kept appearing and disappearing… I hope it tastes on the disappearing end of that spectrum, because I don’t much care for licorice).

The flavour is a touch weak in my cup, but it tastes oddly like a holiday in a cup! Light cranberry with cinnamon and anise and possibly something else that makes it taste like Christmas??? Or maybe that’s just the anise. Either way, it’s totally bearable here, which is awesome. This tea reminds me a bit of Organic Evergreen, probably because of the cranberries and green tea, but it’s definitely the holiday version.

Overall, not bad, but not a re-purchase. Even if I can handle the anise/licorice/fennel in a tea, it’s usually a bit of a compromise to drink it regardless, so I’d pass on this one again.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Cookie Dough by DAVIDsTEA
3034 tasting notes

Heck yes, it’s new tea time! Finished grinding all my asparagus samples (well… technically there are some left, but they either rotted in the freeze-dryer and are suspect, or are extras from last year, soooooo…. I’m done!) and my treat was a trip to DavidsTea. A very expensive treat, as it turned out… 6 new teas, 26g of Earl Grey Cream & Gold Rush…. and a new sparkly black Timolino! Because I need to be able to take multiple teas with me at all times! (My Christmas list will include a Timolino-esque thermos that’s stainless steel and leakproof, but somewhat less good at holding the heat, so I can actually drink the tea I put in it…) Um, anyways. That was an expensive trip to DT.

Onto tea #1! When I first opened my bag of this one, I was hit by a very alcoholic, sweet-smelling aroma. Definitely good, but nothing like Buttercream, and nothing like cookie dough. However, once steeped, the aroma of this one is almost exactly like cookie dough! When someone with a heavy hand was allowed to add the vanilla, haha. I’m getting a strong vanilla extract flavour here (which ties into the alcoholic aroma), but it totally does smell like raw chocolate chip cookie dough… minus the chocolate (maybe it’s more like raw sugar cookie dough?? I’m not sure; I don’t like sugar cookies).

Hmm. I’m not sure I like this one as much as I want to. It strangely almost tastes a bit stale in my mouth, which should be impossible since it’s a brand new tea, that I just bought! The aftertaste is quite nutty, which fits nicely, but this almost stale-ish flavour is throwing me off. I really want to like this…. perhaps I’ll let it cool down a bit more. The right tones are all here otherwise. That said, even if a bit of cooling (or a different brewing method, e.g. with cooler water as I would normally have done with a white, not near-boiling!) loses that stale flavour, this isn’t a huge hit for me. It’s ok, I’d drink it again, but it’s nothing like Buttercream IMO. Then again, I’m also not one of those people who is obsessed with cookie dough. And I don’t usually eat raw cookie dough. So I think this will be a hit with such people, just not me!

(It’s cooled down now and still has that stale note. I tentatively blame the high infusion temperature, so hopefully I remember to reduce it next time).

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank The Earl of Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
3034 tasting notes

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drank Toasted Marshmallow by DAVIDsTEA
3034 tasting notes

Second attempt at this one. Still tastes to me like a creamy, chai-ish tea. A little less spicy today and a bit more marshmallow-creamy, but toasted marshmallow it is not. I would really love to see smoky teas used in blends to create awesome flavours instead of just spicing; toasted marshmallow would work so much better IMO with a light black tea base, pinch of lapsang souchong, marshmallows for creaminess, and possibly caramel pieces like in Salted Caramel, to give that burnt sugar flavour that toasted marshmallows have. Mmmmmm.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Oooh that sounds good. :O


(Your suggestion; not the Toasted Marshmallow)


It was a weak tea to me, sadly. I much preferred Teaopia’s Fireside S’mores Tea.


I agree, this tea does not taste like a toasted marshmallow to me either – too cinnamony

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Ohhhhhh, heavenly! Haven’t had this one in ages! Love love love.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

this is really good!

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Making a little more progress towards drinking up my oldest tea samples, here. I don’t recall whether there was always so little green tea in this one, but I swear the entire 1.5 tsp of tea I used today was strictly lemongrass, apple chunks, and nut chunks. No tea leaves in sight. Nor any tea flavour; it’s all light apple/slightly lemongrassy lemon, and nutty. With a light pinch of cinnamon to round out the flavours. Decent flavour, but certainly nothing like caramel apple to me, and either 5 minutes isn’t long enough, or 1.5 tsp isn’t enough tea, because this is a lighter cup of tea than I would like. Oh well! Only enough left now for a very small cup. Not sad that this one’s gone (or is an online exclusive, I don’t recall).

180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Apple Cider Black Tea by 52teas
3034 tasting notes

Thanks to CHAroma I get to try yet another delicious (and timely!) concoction from 52teas.

I brewed this up last night, but decided to go to bed before drinking more than a sip of it, so I’m finishing it off now (it’s still good!) It tastes surprisingly like apple cider in tea form. A bit less spicey and appley, but both are present and good! The spicing here is again reminiscent of many of 52teas’ spiced blends (e.g. Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, Strawberry Pie Honeybush, Melange Rooibos), but it works quite well.

I think this would (have been) a great choice for a caffeinated, sugar-free cider for those cold winter nights (or tonight. -2C felt pretty darn freezing!) I have another cup’s worth, which I’ll save for when it gets a little colder.

ETA: Second infusion is way bitter, even with a 2.5 minute infusion. Boo.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

Yay! Glad you liked this one. Sorry the second infusion is not so good. This was my first 52teas purchase long ago, so I’m pretty sure it’s the old black tea base.


No worries CHAroma!! 52teas blacks are super finicky. I think sometimes if the leaves are left too wet between infusions, it results in a bitter second infusion regardless of time. Just a theory, and it’s about the only thing I can come up with for why it gets so bitter the second time around!

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drank Checkmate by DAVIDsTEA
3034 tasting notes

Backlog from Saturday. This one also suffered from travel-mug-brewing syndrome, and didn’t taste very good until it had cooled down quite a bit (and even then, it tasted a bit off). Since this one usually tastes good even when brewed at the office, I conclude that brewing in a travel mug that doesn’t let heat escape is Not A Good Idea. Sorry Timolino, that infuser you come with is probably never going to be used again…


Is that the Timolino mug from DavidsTea? I splurged on one with some bday money and I love how leakproof it is, as well as the secret compartment in the lid. I can’t believe how well it keeps the heat in. I’ve been known to forget tea for 4+ hours and it’s sorta a bonus to come back to warm tea then. I’ve learned to take the lid off after brewing if I plan to drink it any time soon.


Does it actually taste like chocolate?


Yup, it’s the Timolino from DavidsTea, and it’s certainly amazing how long it can keep tea hot! Unfortunately I prefer my tea warm, so it’s annoying sometimes, so I usually brew the tea in a mug, then let it cool a bit before pouring it into the Timolino. I learned, however, that it’s not leakproof if you put scalding tea in it and turn it upside down (or if you forget the little rubber hidden compartment bit!)

I’m not sure that this tea actually tastes like chocolate or hot chocolate, but I quite like it, and found it to be a pretty darn good replacement for the super sweet lattes that I used to buy. I’d say it’s worth giving a try!


awww.. poor Timolino! I love a travel mug that can keep my drink at the right temp for hours. If you leave the lid off for a little bit or add cold water to it that might help keep it at a warmer temp for you. I don’t know how that will effect the taste though :D

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Backlog from Saturday. Brewed this up in the office, in a travel mug. It really suffered because of it. Of course, it also didn’t cool until I left for the night (er, morning), so I drank it the next day. It was very mediocre. I’m going to have to try this again at home… but I’m pretty sure the at-work-brewing and travel-mug-brewing caused some problems. Sigh.

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drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
3034 tasting notes

Backlog from Saturday: Sometimes, I forget how delicious this tea is. And then I have some, and it’s pretty much the best chai ever, with milk and sugar. Mmmm. Lasted for three infusions this time!!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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