2246 Tasting Notes

100

Exhausted, so a short note. Brewed some at work today, forgot to set a timer, left it for six + minutes, and it just wasn’t the same. Probably would still have garnered a 90s rating as it was good, but it wasn’t that subtly delicious taste I usually get – the oolong was a bit overpowering. My fault though. Left the leaves in the teaball for another steep tomorrow if I get the chance (and am not craving Check Mate first).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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66
drank Bear Trap by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Cold brewed this in the fridge in a waterbottle overnight, and I much prefer it as an iced tea. Also used 1 tbsp for… 10 or 12 oz water. Tastes like sour berriness still, but I found it refreshing. Roommate thought it could use a bit of sweetener; she’s probably right. Upping the rating, but only for the iced version.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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88
drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Yet another tea joins the coveted ranks of my favourites (haha). Wow. I’m so impressed! This tea was far better than I expected, as I was thinking it would be comparable to Mom’s Apple Pie, but really, they’re entirely different teas.

So onto the review. The dry tea smells exactly like caramel popcorn. Heavenly. I LOVE caramel popcorn. The popped popcorn in it is an amusing touch; I thought I’d try one and it tasted like a piece of stale popcorn… ah well. They’re not for eating, they’re for steeping.

I initially thought 94C was awfully high to steep a green tea… until I realized that there was virtually no green tea in my bag. Like, seriously. I don’t think there was ANY. Anyways, I decided to lower the temp a bit (90C) anyways, but ended up steeping well past the 4 minutes I initially decided on.

The tea definitely retains the lovely caramel popcorn flavour upon steeping, and I hoped the taste would correlate to the smell… AND IT DOES! YAY! Sweet and buttery and caramelly and oh so good. I keep reading that there’s maple in this tea… I don’t really think I’m tasting it specifically, but my goodness is this ever delicious!

The tea as I prepared it isn’t too weak, but then again I DID steep it for quite a while. Consequently, I’m probably not getting a second steep out of this guy, but I’m ok with that.

ETA: Tried a second steep anyways. I think it would have been pretty good except I left the teaball in for AGES and now there’s a bit of a strange, almost metallic flavour. A little bitter, maybe like apple peel? Still drinkable, but I won’t let it steep indefinitely a second time!

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

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25
drank Fired Up Fennel by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Not a tea I’d choose for myself, but my roommate brought some back with her after trying it at her local DT during Reading Week. So what the heck, may as well try it!

Both steeped and dry, the tea smells licoricey (anise), and is weaker in the hot tea. The taste is quite mild to begin with, and ends very sweetly, which is a bit surprising and odd. Reminds me of… . an icky experience I shouldn’t mention. Just the sweet aftertaste, I mean. I’m not tasting any heat though, which is contrary to what other people have noticed. There was only one chili in our pot though, so maybe that’s the reason.

Anyways, as I don’t care for licorice, this is definitely not a tea for me, but I imagine that if black licorice is your thing, you’d be all over this one.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I’ve been trying to gather the courage for a sample of this one… but everyone seems to hate it so much, I’m not sure if it’s worth the “torture”!

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78
drank Mom's Apple Pie by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

I will admit that I’m not a huge fan of the smell of the dry tea (it’s sickly apple-sweet), but experience tells me not to put much stock into that (Cranberry Pear, anyone?)

Steeped, this smells exactly like a cup of hot apple cider. Delicious, cinnamony apple cider. Depending on how it tastes, I may have to waive my no-sweetener rule so that I can make it into the apple cider I’m used to…

Ok, not bad. It tastes like weak, unsweetened apple cider – I can taste green apple at the end. I think I need to try the sugar route. Definitely drinkable without, but now I’m craving sweet apple cider :D I can’t really taste green tea at this stage, but perhaps a second steeping will highlight it a bit more.

ETA: Some agave made this a sweet cidery bedtime treat. Yum. I don’t like it enough to stock up on or anything, but I’m excited to have some pseudo-cider around!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Mmmmmmmmmm. Banana oolong, it has been too long. But I will never be without you again (hopefully). So amazing…

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93
drank Checkmate by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

A long day in the lab tediously weighing samples (0.2500g) deserves a cup of something delicious. Hence, Check Mate. Mmmmmmm.

(I have really got to stop trying to go for a second steep though… it always is disappointing. It’s not like I don’t have enough to brew a fresh batch, or anything else tasty lying around (Banana Oolong, Mulberry Magic…))

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
tigress_al

This is true, a second steep is really not good at all

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74
drank Sencha Pear (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Ok, I think I steeped this a bit better this time. At least it should be rateable!

The steeped tea has an astringent, crispy pear scent to it, which carries into the flavour. Whoever mentioned that it tastes like a Pear Jelly Belly had it pretty bang on, if you remove much of the sweetness and add an astringent green tea base. Even at only 3:15min of steeping, I’m getting some bitterness and more astringency in the mouth than I would like; maybe I should have gone with an even shorter time. I’m not sure I’m really keen on the sencha base used for this one.

I think I liked this tea more earlier when I hadn’t tasted so many and wasn’t so discriminating; now, a tea has to be pretty darn tasty in order for me to want to purchase it again, and this one, while interesting, just doesn’t catch me like others do. I would love to try a pear oolong tea that’s done similarly to DT’s banana oolong, as I find that one pretty tasty.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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68
drank Swampwater by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Received my first mail order from DavidsTea today! So exciting! A bit annoyed that it was left on my front doorstep for 9 hours, but everything seems to be just fine. And now I get to try Swampwater!!

I love guava (LOVE guava), so was so upset when I found out I couldn’t get this tea at all… until it miraculously came back online a few days ago! The smell of the dry tea definitely does not disappoint – it smells like delicious strawberry-banana-passionfruit candy (my brain interprets guava as strawberry-banana). I seriously want to eat it like candy. Sadly I know that it would be an unpleasant experience, if for no other reason than the rooibos pieces getting stuck in my teeth.

Anyhow. (I’m still not over the smell, but I’ll continue anyways).

I have to admit, the steeped tea looks kiiiinda nasty. Dark greenish-brown with a greasy orange rim at the top. Eww. But luckily I’m not turned off by such trivial things… it’s all about flavour! And smell, to some degree, which is still delicious in steeped form, just a bit weaker (which is probably a good thing).

The first sip… is unexpected. I can taste something creamy in there, and there’s some fruitiness, and a definite green rooibos finish. I actually can’t quite place what I’m tasting. This seems to happen to me a lot, urgh. Probably because it’s not a flavour I would normally associate with tea, so it’s not popping into my head all that easily.

Ok, I’m mostly getting this odd buttery flavour… everything else is secondary to it. Hmm. I think I need to wait for the tea to cool a bit more. I’m a lukewarm tea drinker anyhow – I find flavours are poor in hot tea, and it burns my mouth. Maybe my tastebuds are just sensitive. More notes to come once it cools. (Besides, I need to start reviewing Sencha Pear too!)

Alright, cooled down a tad this tea is a much better experience. The taste is MUCH more reminiscent of the smell now, and I am enjoying it. It’s definitely weird though, and I’m not sure that I’d pick it up again because of that, but it was worth the adventure of trying it!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
2246 tasting notes

Smells just as good as it did yesterday, but the flavour isn’t as strong as I would have liked. Probably my bad with not measuring the leaves correctly. Oh well, still good, and miles beyond the gross Happy Kombucha sitting in my other cup…

Preparation
Boiling

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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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