2225 Tasting Notes

100

Oh banana oolong. You are so amazing. So slightly sweet and banana-y and creamy and calming and delicious. Where have you been all my life?

On cup three and I think that’s all it will give me. The smell is still creamy banana and oolong but the taste is very weak, even after nearly 10 minutes of steeping. NOOOOOOOOOOO – I’m still planning to sit here doing statistics for another couple hours! :’(

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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66
drank Bear Trap by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

So second shot at hot Bear Trap? I’m still not convinced, sadly. I wanted more of a juicy berry flavour, and instead, it’s more of a sour dried berry that I’m tasting. There’s a smell that’s familiar to me that I can’t quite place… and don’t quite like. My best guess is perhaps the strawberry leaves? But I really don’t know. I also find the tea to be rather weak. It’s not horrible, but there are so, so many teas I’d rather drink. I think I’ll give it a shot with sugar/agave/honey the next time I drink it, but will be glad when my sample packet is gone.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85
drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

Erm, so kind of went on a tea shopping spree today. Picked up 9 samples… However, as teas-to-try are to be my reward, the roommate has all of them (save this one) safely hidden in her room so I only get a new one on the days where I am productive!

So, onto the review of Alpine Punch (which I actually have had before, in a little online ordering sample package I received at Christmas). To start, the dry tea smells pretty darn amazing. A bit nutty, a lot sweet. Steeped, it smells exactly the same. Very promising! And it tastes pretty much exactly how it smells, sweet and almondy (like amaretto as described by DaisyChubb), with the rooibos hiding in the background and subtly appearing mid-sip. Yum. I wish this was part of the permanent collection – I think I like it better than Creme Brulee. We’ll have to see how it compares to Creme Caramel Rooibos, which is currently sitting across the hall…

ETA: Second steep is also pretty good. I happen to be able to compare the two side by side, and the difference is essentially reduced creaminess (coconut??), in both taste and smell. The tea tastes fruitier and with more apparent rooibos, but is still quite smooth, sweet, and enjoyable.

I think I might have to go back and get some more of this… while the store still has some. I didn’t notice how much was left though…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
DaisyChubb

Glad you enjoy! Man I wish I wasn’t moving so I could go stock up on this, but it’ll be for the best for now. I’ll live vicariously through your tasting note!

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79
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

Ok, so this tea smells amazing, exactly like a Terry’s chocolate orange. That is undeniable. However, the taste doesn’t quite live up. The scent of the steeped tea is still delicious, but I’m not getting enough sweetness or orangey flavour. Perhaps this would be remedied by me adding sweetener myself, but I reaaaally don’t want to slide down that slippery slope. (But I have about 85g of this tea to drink, so may have to). There is a nice chocolate flavour, though – although it’s critical to use water hot enough and steep long enough to melt the chocolate! I don’t like this one enough to buy it again, though.

As other people have also commented – I have also previously noticed a distinctly fishy odour (not taste) to the steeped tea, which is a real turn-off. I am beginning to wonder whether it is a batch problem, though – I ended up with (at least) three bags of this at Christmas, each from different places. Currently drinking from the BC bag, and experiencing absolutely no fishiness whatsoever, which makes me much happier than the previous cups I’ve had (none of which were from this bag). I will have to experiment a bit more, but if this is the case (and it’s not a steeping issue), I’m hoping DT will be willing to exchange my fishy bags for either a different tea, or at least a non-fishy incarnation of this one.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Chai Apricot by Tea Desire
2225 tasting notes

A tasty, interesting twist on a regular chai! The tea is slightly sweet and apricot-y and the aftertaste is spicy, with a definite overall spiced chai sort of flavour. Lighter-tasting and sweeter than a typical chai though, which is nice because it means I don’t feel any need to add milk or sweetener. The green tea is not discernible to me, but looking at the dry tea I can’t see much of it either, so am not terribly surprised. Definitely not a bad tea to have been given a 250g bag of for Christmas!

ETA: Second steep a day later is very spicy, and with considerably less fruity apricot flavour, although it may just be hidden by the spiciness. Just realized I made a big error though – steeped it in near-boiling water for 5min, not ~80C water. That may have affected things. It’s not bad, just verrrrrry spicy tasting, probably would be delicious with milk and sweetener.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Kanpe Tea by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

Finishing off the last of my Kanpe Tea today… Unfortunately I think it’s mostly hibiscus tonight, so nice and tangy but that’s about it. Too bad :( Now I can’t remember whether I liked it enough to want to buy it again!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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86
drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

Mmmmm, another creamy tea winner for me. Bonus because this one is caffeine-free, therefore perfect for before bed when, say, Cream of Earl Grey or Buttered Rum wouldn’t be such a good idea. The dry leaf smells ok, somewhat creamy, but not hugely appealing to me. Luckily the tea is another thing entirely. The smell is sweet and creamy, just like the taste, although the somewhat fruity(?) rooibos flavour peeks through mid-late sip, which makes it a bit more three-dimensional than just sweet and creamy!

ETA: The second steep (~5min) loses much of the creme brulee qualities in my opinion, and mostly just tastes like a smooth rooibos. Not unpleasant, but certainly nothing special.

I personally think I prefer Toasted Walnut and Buttered Rum to this one, but due to the rooibos instead of caffeinated base, I think it will hold a nice place in my cupboard unless I find a better caffeine-free desserty tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86

Ohhhhh yes. This one is just divine. I love love LOVE vanilla in tea, and this combination of a good black tea and amazing creamy flavours is just fabulous. Of course, I had this tea a couple months ago as part of the advent calendar and noted “Very Good” on the back of the box, but didn’t write any other details down. Have to wait until it cools to really give it a good review, but today’s teeny taste of the hot stuff was creamy and great. Eeeee, I love the guilt-free nature of tea treats… in stark contrast to the WHOLE Terry’s Chocolate Orange I devoured last night :/ (It is really too bad that I don’t like Oh Christmas Treat, as that would solve many of my problems…)

Ok, this is definitely just as good as I remember. The more it cools, the more deliciousness emerges. The smell is a light, sweet butterscotch and the taste is gently sweet and buttery, with a light background of the black tea so it tastes grounded. I’m not sure if I taste rum; to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had rum straight before, as I’m not a big fan of alcohol. I’ve had it in pina coladas, but there are too many delicious flavours there to be able to distinguish it if you don’t know what you’re tasting for!

ETA: Second steep, for which I had low expectations as the tea ball smelled like nothingness, is actually decent. Reduced smell and creamy taste, but it’s still there; it hasn’t just turned into something tasteless. I’m impressed; probably worth the second steep most days! I don’t think I’ll go for a third, or at least not tonight, given that it’s past 11pm and I should really have switched to caffeine-free by now.

ETA (again): Third steep (5.5min), which I stupidly have tried even though it’s 3am, amazingly still retains a bit of the buttery rum flavour, but at this point I’d rather brew a fresh cup of something else as it just isn’t flavourful enough, and I don’t believe that a longer steep would have improved the flavour much more.

Overall an excellent tea if you’re craving a sugary-sweet guilt-free treat! Large tin, here I come!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Pom Power by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

This is my second time trying this tea, and I’m already feeling better about it than my first try. I added considerably more dry leaf than recommended, and made sure to get not only the sticky pomegranate chunks but some tea leaves as well. Have to wait for it to cool now though… I like my teas warm, not hot (i.e. cool enough to gulp down if I want, but warmer than body temperature so there’s still a warming effect as it goes down!)

Ok, so finally getting the chance to drink it. The flavour is very weak, although pleasantly sweet and pomegranatey, as is the scent. I’m not familiar with the taste of straight white tea, but am not really detecting any tea flavour beneath the fruitiness, which is disappointing, as there is consequently no real point to having this as a white tea instead of a herbal. Definitely doesn’t taste bad, but given the amount of dry leaf I put in, I was expecting something a bit stronger. Have put the tea ball back in to the remaining half-mug to see if I can coax something else out of it. Not too likely to buy this tea though, as it’s a bit more expensive in general, and moreso because I use more of the dry tea than for others.

Ok, after a few more minutes of steeping, I’m tasting more tartness (which I like), but also perhaps a bit of bitterness from the tea leaves. I am attributing this to the tea and not the hibiscus as this isn’t a flavour I’ve ever tasted from a tea with hibiscus (and trust me, I steep my herbals pretty much until I finish the whole cup, which can be as long as an hour+).

All in all, not a bad tea, and I won’t have too much trouble finishing my sample bag, but I won’t be buying this one again unless I have some intense pomegranate craving (and then, I’d only buy a sample-sized bag).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Faith

I know this sounds counterproductive, but have you tried steep.its suggestion of steeping it for only 30seconds at 80°C? I used to brew my whites according to DAVIDsTEA’s recommendation only to find them lack-luster… but now I’m discovering a whole new side of these teas!

Kittenna

No, I haven’t – I will try that next time, thanks! Worth a shot, right?

I have noticed that their recommendations aren’t always great (e.g. I always steep the herbals considerably longer, as the flavours just don’t come out otherwise), but I’m really not familiar with white teas so just went with it. Probably would be to my advantage to read more reviews of teas I’m struggling with (but I’m trying to curb the time I spend on here and do homework instead! It’s obviously not working though…).

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81
drank Goji Pop by DAVIDsTEA
2225 tasting notes

Yum. This is such a great treat before bed, caffeine-free and steeped from boiling to almost cold to make it yummy and sweet. I’m noticing a bit of a fakey aftertaste today though, which bothers me a bit (maybe it’s from artificial flavouring??), but I can deal, because it’s still really tasty. I’m now officially out of my sample though, so gotta put it on the purchasing list!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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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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