2244 Tasting Notes

90
drank Orzo - Caramel & Honey by Lupicia
2244 tasting notes

Woah. Steeped up a crazy strong cup of this last night! Good thing it’s not caffeinated, but I bet if you gave this to anyone without telling them what it was, they’d identify it as super strong coffee! For the re-steep, I plan to dilute it with a bit of milk and perhaps a touch of sweetener, as it was pretty darn strong.

Though I do still like this one, I definitely have more of a soft spot for plain roasted buckwheat teas. The flavour of buckwheat is just sweeter, nuttier, and tastier. Lowering the rating a bit here, but may up it if I can recreate the flavour of a sinful coffee drink with far less calories! (And no tummy upset!)

ETA: Tried the resteep as a latte?? YES YES YES. Soooooo good! Maybe a touch over sweetened, but this is pretty tasty!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81

Sipdown! 810.

Shrug, this was pretty mediocre for me today. Yeah, I’m getting a bit of the muscatel flavour, which I can now attribute to darjeelings, but I’m getting very little in the way of additional flavouring. Still not bad, and no astringency at 2 min. Really, it’s quite enjoyable as a plain darjeeling, but I’m expecting a bit more!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

You are on a roll today!

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67

Sipdown! 811.

Finished off this one from Sil last night. It was ok, but gave me a scratchy throat (happens with some rooibos), so I may not even re-steep it. It’s too bad it isn’t a honeybush, because I think these flavours would mesh well. Frank – vanilla berry HB? With real vanilla? MMMMMMMMM

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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64
drank Pom Tango by DAVIDsTEA
2244 tasting notes

Sipdown! 812. Why on earth did I leave only half a teaspoon of this?! Ugh.

Anyhow, I drank it pretty quickly yesterday, it was a nice fruity black. Will re-steep today and see how it fares… I wasn’t in love with this one though. Smelled quite fruity, tasted less fruity, and just wasn’t thrilling, but it seems that I’m not super keen on fruity blacks that lack cream (ok, I’m in love with cream flavouring…).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

I thought I really enjoyed it, but then I bought 20g more and it’s been sitting unopened for over a month now! Whoops.

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83
drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
2244 tasting notes

Sipdown! 813 (because I’m a terrible person and bought 6 DAVIDsTEAs recently)…

Anyhow, this was a sample from Mercuryhime from ages ago! And apparently I’ve previously tried this one, but not the Li Shan oolong… whoops! Perhaps that one will be next up.

This came off as a fairly tasty oolong to me – nothing special, but interchangeable with other creamy oolongs that I enjoy. Not quite a milky oolong a la DAVIDsTEA, more of the natural creaminess variety. Either way, delicious, and looking forward to at least another couple infusions!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I love Ali san, so refreshing. I found it to be a bit greener than the DT version of MO, which I liked.

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
2244 tasting notes

Well, this isn’t a combination, just a tea without a home. A tea labelled “Peach”, from Azzrian!

Unfortunately, although there is peachy flavour, even a 2-minute infusion resulted in astringency, and compared to the other teas I’m drinking, I’m not fond of it. Ah well. Thanks anyhow, Azzrian (and if you have any insight onto the company of this tea – let me know!)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Rum Butter by Market Spice
2244 tasting notes

Sadly, I think this one has lost some flavour. Also, I think it’s suffering from being drank in the company of the oh-so-delicious Vanilla Comoro. Oh well. I rated it pretty highly previously, so it must taste good when fresh!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
2244 tasting notes

Ok, getting back to sipdowns after a few samples that are decidedly not.

I’ve only tried 1-2 decaf teas, and the only one I remember, from Lupicia, was ok, but not stellar. Something just tasted off. However, since everyone raves about this tea, I had to try it, so thanks to momo for sharing some with me!

Verdict? This is pretty delicious! The aroma while it’s brewing is absolutely wonderful, pure, amazing vanilla. And unlike what I recall of the Della Terra vanilla black, I can actually taste the vanilla here, not just smell it. The base is certainly a bit different than I’m used to, but I don’t know that I would point it out as decaf, I’d probably just consider it to be a lower-quality base tea. But, the flavouring is SO GOOD here, that I don’t frankly care… This tea is a big win for me!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

\o/
After reading yours and Sil’s reviews, I’ll have to have some tonight!

Indigobloom

The decaf peach tea from Tsaa was really good, if you need one!

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drank Mango Fruit Punch by DAVIDsTEA
2244 tasting notes

So…. picked some of this up to try, even though I have suspicions that it’s much like “Mango & Friends”, available from many other retailers. Anyhow, brewed up some of it to chill, and it actually wasn’t too bad! Didn’t taste quite the same as M&F that I’ve tried previously, although since the ingredients are so large, it could be a consequence of the proportions of ingredients in each cup.

Unfortunately, however, after trying a bit of it while warm, I decided to stick it in the fridge, fruit pieces and all. And the result? Absolutely terrible. There was a big slice of dried orange in my cup, and I think it may have made the tea disgustingly bitter after sitting for a day. I do not like citrus peel and how it does that. I may end up dumping the cup…. don’t feel like pouring honey into what’s already a sweet drink that’s just now contaminated with bitterness. Lesson learned – not only hibiscus has tea-ruining powers in herbals.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Dinosara

Ugh, I’ve experienced the bittering powers of citrus peel before in a cold brew. It’s quite amazing how bad it can get!

Kittenna

Yeah – I think that’s what may have happened to me in DT’s Pink Flamingo previously. I think it’s actually worse than hibiscus!

Fjellrev

Ouch. There’s something about the description and contents of this one that’s telling me to stay away. Just sounds like a train wreck.

Kittenna

Actually, it tasted great when I first had a sip. My mistake was leaving the fruit, etc. in while I chilled it. It would be great brewed hot for, say, 3-4 minutes and then chilled. Very juice-like and sweet, though.

Fjellrev

I haven’t really had any luck with their mango blends to begin with. I think that’s my problem. They’re always waaay too sweet.

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80

Well…. this one sure turns dark in your cup if you leave it overnight! Luckily, the flavour is still fine, though. A bit pinappley, with a hint of cilantro and a background of hay-y bai mu dan. I would still label this as light and “refreshing”, which I can rarely do with teas that don’t contain mint – which is great, since I care little for mint (except that DT Mint Julep… daaannnngg….)

ETA: For the second time, the re-steep just isn’t great… it tastes soapy this time, reminiscent of soapy cilantro. Ah well – this just seems to be a tea that needs to be re-steeped immediately instead of sitting, similar to most greens.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 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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