2229 Tasting Notes

86
drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
2229 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
2229 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
2229 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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87

Mmmmm, my favourite Japanese green tea. Short steepings are definitely necessary; I can usually get about three out of the leaves if I want, although I like the vegetal, grassy first steep the best (which produces a bright greenish liquor) so sometimes don’t bother. The second steep is usually a bit mellower, while the third loses much of the vegetal flavour that I really like. I have a bad habit of leaving the leaves steeping too long the second time around though, so often get a bit of a tannin-y flavour, which is irritating but entirely my fault.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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89

A tasty and non-stomach-upsetting yet still rewarding alternative to a hazelnut latte from Second Cup! I was craving a sweetened drink and had made myself some cold lattes in the past week from some old matcha powder packets I had been gifted, so this just hit the spot. Sweet enough without being sickly, and I could definitely taste the green tea, although noticed a bit of grittiness at the end. But yum yum yum.

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94
drank Toasted Walnut by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Mmmmm, definitely a favourite. Right up there on par with Banana Oolong. In my opinion, the creamy, mildly sweet nuttiness is perfectly matched with the mild green base. Have no idea what temperature I steeped it at today, but I let the kettle cool for a few minutes prior to steeping. A cooler temperature and short steep time are important as otherwise it can become rather bitter and gross.

Only had time for one steeping today, but we’ll see if the tea ball can handle another one tomorrow, as I’m now out of this tea and need to go buy at least a 100g tin!

Future more detailed notes to come; this is being written a few hours post-sipping and I am terrible at remembering such things accurately!

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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93
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Mmmm, made a cup for breakfast this morning and put it post-steeping into the Timolino… perfect. Absolutely delicious. Could have used a bit more steeping once cooled to bring out the fruits’ sweetness, but it was quite good just the same. :D

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Snow Bunny (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

Yum. The tea that first got me into liking steeped bananas! Bought this one on request from my sister (although she didn’t end up trying it before I left after Christmas).

This is one of the teas where I actually don’t really care for the smell of the dry leaf. Although nutty, I find it rather bland and unappetizing. Luckily the tea tastes better than it smells (although the smell becomes more richly nutty when steeped)! Generally I find it to be nutty and smooth with a nice hint of banana – it doesn’t have much banana flavour right now though, as the sample bag I bought appears to now have run out (1 banana chunk in this cup, boo). But it’s still good! I prefer Banana Oolong though, so am ok with this tea not becoming a part of the permanent collection.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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78
drank Fantasy Island by DAVIDsTEA
2229 tasting notes

This is technically my second time trying Fantasy Island… the first time my boyfriend used his Timolino mug (the morning I flew back home after Christmas), he tried some of the sample I gave him, but didn’t think to take the leaves out of the basket, so it was waaaay oversteeped and awful. He sugar-and-milk-ed it up though, and drank it anyways.

So, for round 2, this can only be a better experience! To start, the dry leaf definitely has a great coconutty scent to it, as does the steeping tea. Yum. However, even with a short steeping time, I’m finding this tea waaaay too strong in a black tea sense, without enough fruit taste. The tea ball sitting beside me smells much more fruity and tasty. Maybe I just don’t like black teas… or maybe I put too much tea in.

Anyways, will try another steep of this as soon as I’m done, with hopes of additional fruitiness and coconut making themselves present!

ETA: Second steep thankfully isn’t as strong, but I’m still not really getting any fruitiness. It’s ok to drink, but nothing I’d seek out in the future. Oh well, paring down the list of teas I want to purchase again isn’t really a bad thing…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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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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