I like roasted mate, and almonds, so this tea sounded like a possible winner! Steeped, it smells like plain roasted mate, which is alright, but kind of boring. Kind of a burny, sweet-ish smell. The flavour is much like the aroma – plain roasted mate. Which really, is nothing bad, but nothing special, either. I can’t pick out any nutty flavours; this tastes much like 52teas’ Flaming Chocolate Mate or ChocoMate, minus the chocolate/malt/cayenne flavourings. As there’s nothing at all wrong with it though (just boring), I can see myself blending this in with other teas that maybe need a bit of that mate kick.
1692 Tasting Notes
So last night, I decided to go through a bunch of the teas I had and pick out a select few that I either hadn’t yet tried, or hadn’t tried properly, etc. etc. Ended up with a huge pile (probably 50+ teas), and my plan is to drink through them (not finishing them, just trying them all) until I’m done, without going for other teas! Of course, I’ll probably let myself slip up a bit, but hopefully I can get through these ones fairly quickly. Some are teas that I owe reviews for (e.g. from Teavivre); some are old things I need to use up, and others I just haven’t tried. It’s not an exhaustive pile by a long shot, and I didn’t go through too many sample boxes (just ones from Azzrian, and Mercuryhime) so there are plenty of samples baggies yet to go through…. eek.
Anyways, starting with a couple from Caraway Teas. Apparently nobody else had tried this one, as I had to add it myself; I was surprised, as it actually sounds rather good. A black tea, with pineapple and papaya. I find it interesting that instead of large chunks of fruit as other companies do, the fruit here is nearly indistinguishable from the tea, being in small brown pellety form. At least I hope it’s fruit (haha). Anyhow, it’s not likely freeze-dried fruit, more likely dried in a different manner. I’m brewing this at work, so not optimal conditions, but oh well – blacks at least don’t have stringent temperature requirements!
The aroma is of a strong black tea. Little, if any, fruitiness is apparent, although the aroma is not unpleasant. A few sips in, and it’s clear that this is too strong for my liking. It’s rather bitter and somewhat astringent, which leads me to believe that a 2:30 infusion would have been better, and perhaps adding a bit less tea may also have been beneficial (my work teaspoon is currently indisposed… I eyeballed). Unfortunately, I’m really not tasting anything fruity here. I think there are perhaps hints, and maybe if I compared an unflavoured version of this black tea base to this cup, I would notice a difference, but I’m just not picking it up. There is a bit of sweetness though, so this tea is palatable to drink straight (well, it would be better if not oversteeped), it’s just nothing special at all. I feel like I could put some milk and sugar in here and serve it in a restaurant as “tea” and nobody would be the wiser.
Sipdown! Finishing my sample (from Momo) of this one off. As last time, I’m getting lemon-lime and maybe a touch of creaminess, but not really any cheesecake. Still good though!
Another sample from Momo, thanks!
I was a bit wary of this one because of the roselle/hibiscus, but was curious anyhow. I kept the infusion time a bit shorter than recommended though, as I’d like to be able to drink this, not have to pour it down the sink!
The aroma is fairly generic fruity… oh damn, hazards of tea near computer… just spilled on my keyboard. No major crisis though…
Anyhow, flavourwise, this one is definitely quite tart! However, it’s a pleasant sort of tart even though I know it’s from hibiscus, and I’m actually enjoying it! I wonder if the pineapple is taming the hibiscus somehow (although I have also read that roselle is not quite as…. potent? as “regular” hibiscus.
Either way, I agree with Missy that this is rather like a fruit punch, although tart, so I imagine it would be delicious iced! Always love when the tartness of hibiscus is actually used effectively!
ETA: Second infusion is… pineapply-tart? Odd. Probably would be good sweetened. I don’t think this has another infusion in it, but it is a herbal after all.
So I was poking through my box from Momo tonight, and was surprised to find this one! Ahh, so many teas I think I don’t have samples of, but actually do. Which is awesome, since I missed out on the last couple packets of this one and was sad.
The aroma of this tea is strangely almost a touch spicy, and I’m finding it difficult to discern anything chocolatey, possibly because I just drank the incredibly chocolatey Chocolate Cream Truffle Rooibos from Mahamosa. Oooh! I think that’s because the chocolate here is milk chocolate (just read that) – I sipped this and… holy yum! This is good!!! Frank, bring this one back! I’m not entirely sure why I’m pegging the smell as “spicy”, but the flavour is totally malty milk chocolate. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a tea that tasted quite so much like milk chocolate! This is amazing! Oh man. A chocolate honey bush with no mint?! Want want want! Perfect dessert tea, no scratchy throat from rooibos. A huge thank you (my bank account/lustful heart somewhat disagree…) to Momo for this one!!
ETA: Second infusion is too light for me, possibly because any chocolate in here would have been exclusively in the first infusion. Ah well.
Made a most delicious Timolino-full (I actually used my in-thermos steeper!) of this post-race. Didn’t measure the tea, used pretty close to boiling water, didn’t accurately time the infusion (I took the infuser out while in the car headed to a friend’s place for board games) but it was amazing. My roommate used the leaves for a second infusion, and much enjoyed it as well. I do adore this tea!
Time for a bit of sample crunching :D Treating myself to a nice tea time tonight as I ran a 10K race this morning. Didn’t quite hit my goal time of 60 mins (63:09), but I haven’t been training as much as I should have been (for various reasons), so I’m pretty happy. And apparently I was pretty “out of it” after crossing the finish line, so I don’t think I lacked in effort put in. Therefore, tea time reward :D (Of course, I also spent the day with my boyfriend & roommate playing board games and watching Dr. Who, so I’ve already been “rewarded”…. shush!)
This sample is from Momo and one I requested waaay back (or so it feels) when she last sent me a swap package. I’m trying to develop a taste for desserty rooibos for the evenings (it’s working) so I don’t get so sad when my evening tea selection is super small.
The tea smells quite chocolatey and a touch rooibos-y in the glass… there’s almost a bit of a sour smell to it, but as long as it doesn’t indicate a flavour present in the tea, it’s irrelevant. Hrm. Unfortunately that touch of sourness does seem to appear in the tea. I can’t say whether this is a case of “tea contamination” or just the way this rooibos tastes (my tastebuds think it could easily be either, as it’s almost a potentially citrusy sort of sour). Other than that, I do quite like the flavour of this one! It’s creamy, it’s smoothly chocolatey, and perhaps that note I’m getting could also be “truffle”. I’m actually finding it less bothersome as I sip, so really tough to know where it’s coming from. There’s certainly no icky medicinal rooibos taste here though, which is relieving! So really, the biggest negative is the fact that I’m getting a bit of a scratchy throat feeling from the tea, which seems to be a common occurrence with me and rooibos (though not honeybush). Makes it a bit less desirable to be drinking, but as long as I’m not drinking cups and cups of it, it’s not so bad.
Thanks for letting me try this one, Momo!
ETA: Not a bad second infusion. Still chocolatey, but fairly weak, and still the throat scratchiness
Time to give this one a fair shot! I followed the exact parameters this time (2 level tsp in 6 oz. water) so am expecting something good!
Although it brews up quite light, this tea has tons of flavour! Both aroma and flavour are reminiscent of Laoshan green (cooked green beans), however there’s much less sweetness here, and much more of a vegetal boiled veggie flavour. If I taste carefully, I can get a fruity, peachy flavour, although one that’s lacking in a bit of sweetness, which makes it a bit more difficult to pick out.
Definitely a tasty green, and clearly fits my preferences as I love the stronger, vegetal teas, however lately I’ve been tending more towards teas with a stronger rock sugar sort of sweetness, so will save this for those days when I want a more savoury-less sweet tea.
ETA: Second infusion accidentally left for 4 minutes… therefore rather bitter. My bad! I think this would produce a nice second infusion if steeped properly.
No notes yet.
Nutty, sweet, banana-y… works for tonight! Avoiding caffeine as I need to sleep before the Big Race tomorrow (as is, I should be in bed; racing in just over 8 hours and it’s a half hour drive away). As with last time, this is an ok tea, but quite expensive and quite messy in the infuser!
Oooooh, this was also a sipdown! :D
I finally managed to take the time to brew this one up, and have to say that I’m rather disappointed. Yes, it’s definitely pineappley. But the oolong is lighter than I was expecting, and would have liked (aka I can barely taste it, and only if I try to). I only have enough leaf left for another tiny cup (this was a big cup, as I was making it to throw in my Timolino), so will have to see if a longer infusion helps. Otherwise, this one’s not too terribly different from Bamboozled. I doubt it will ever beat out Banana Oolong for me; that tea is just special.
I don’t think I had yet tried this one hot, just cold-brewed, so decided to give it a shot today. The tea in the bag smells exactly like a tart, delicious apple, as does the steeped tea, which is very promising! However, even with a three-minute infusion, there’s enough bitterness in my cup to result in it being not particularly enjoyable. Which is quite unfortunate, as this is possibly the best apple tea I have tasted – not a granny smith, but a tart yet slightly sweet red apple (my fave!). I seem to recall being able to discern a vanilla flavour in the cold-brew; it’s not quite as obvious here, but there’s still a vanilla hint. I think I have enough of this tea to try one more cup, which (if I remember), I’ll try with a 2-minute infusion.
Woo, sipdown! Heading into work for a while, so thought I’d brew up a few fruity things to take with me, and this one struck my interest. I seem to recall not loving it before (checks previous note, confirmed), and it looks like astringency was my biggest foe, not flavouring. So, a shorter infusion time it is! I’ve been tending to brew flavoured blacks on the low end of infusion times quite a bit lately, so it’s not surprising that this would be the case.
As per last time, the dry tea is strongly strawberry-scented and nuttily caramelly. Unquestionably a dessert tea. Steeped, same deal. I probably should have compared this just for curiousity’s sake to the last bit of Strawberry Zabaglione that Azzrian sent me, but too late now.
Taste-wise, I think I like this much better than last time. I am definitely getting shortcakey flavours, and can clearly taste the strawberry, although it’s still lighter than I’d prefer (I loved piling up the strawberries on my shortcake…) There’s just a bit of astringency, but given that this tea is recommended to be drank with a hint of cream to fully round out the strawberry shortcake flavour, I suspect that addition would eliminate it entirely. The tea is also obviously sweetened due to the nut brittle, so it works very well as a dessert tea.
I think this tea deserves a ratings nudge (at least into that darker shade of green (aka 76 vs. 73) as it’s really rather successful at what it’s attempting to be. I’d certainly drink this again, as long as the infusion time was strictly adhered to. Nice treat on a soggy day! (Speaking of that, I am sooooo not looking forward to my 10K race tomorrow… it’s supposed to be icky and rainy and cold. No personal best record-setting tomorrow, I would imagine…)
I ordered this one with “delicate” flavouring and the standard base, as I figured that since I loved the caramel with delicate flavouring, that was probably enough flavouring for english toffee as well.
The aroma is quite similar to that of the Caramel matcha, which, given my love of that one, is completely ok by me! However, it makes me wonder whether I’m going to be able to notice any differences between the two. I decided to make a cold latte using mostly regular milk (instead of my usual almond), and sweetened it with maple syrup, as that’s still the only liquid sweetener I have available!
Initially, I couldn’t really taste “English Toffee” per se. It definitely was a tasty latte, but I would have been hard-pressed to identify it over a caramel latte, or probably butterscotch. However, I left it sitting in my car for a few hours while at Oktoberfest, and when I had a sip of it while driving home, I tasted the unmistakeable flavour of toffee! Delicious! Perhaps it just needed to sit a while. I didn’t want to finish it that evening as I wanted to be able to sleep, so left it in the fridge overnight, and it’s just as tasty tonight.
I don’t think that this one will bump caramel out of being my favourite RL matcha flavour, but it’s definitely quite tasty, and a winner for me! It can be found at http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/english-toffee-matcha.html
Finally, I feel like I have enough time to try this tea and do it justice! However, although I’d love to try the authentic dragonwell method, I simply can’t drink hot tea, and can only envision oversteeping occurring as a result of attempting it (although one day I think I’ll give it a shot, I just really don’t want to burn my tongue right now!), so I’m trying a western-brewing sort of thing. I measured out 3g of leaf, popped it into a brew basket, and went with a 1-minute infusion at 175F, hoping that it would work out.
I’m happy to report that I was quite successful – the tea has a light, sweet aroma and a rock sugar flavour much like the Tung Ting Vietnam oolong I just drank from DavidsTEA, however there are light seaweedy notes mixed in here, and additional vegetal notes… and so much more that my poor brain can’t seem to describe! Short version? This is delicious, and a perfect tea selection for this evening. The seaweedy notes I’m getting here are what differentiate this most in my mind from the Dragonwell-style Laoshans, which have the rock sugar sweetness but IMO much less complexity aside from that, with only the green beany sort of flavour. This tea is also so, so smooth.
Very impressed with this one, even though I didn’t brew it as recommended! Onto a second infusion shortly, as I know greens do not take well to sitting overnight prior to re-steeping (in my experience), and I really want to see how this one lasts!
ETA: Second infusion for 1:15 is lighter and less distinctive, but still quite tasty. The vegetal notes are a bit more in the background, and I almost feel like I’m getting a hint of a popcorn sort of flavour… air-popped, we’re not talking buttery here. Yum. Still smooth as anything. I think I’ll try for at least one more infusion (probably 2 minutes) before thiefing some of my roommate’s sesame oil and munching on the leaves…
I picked some of this up in a sample size from Verdant – I absolutely love the sample sizes! Such a great way to sample ALL the teas, which seems to be a necessity for me.
Initially, my roommate said that the aroma of this tea reminded her of manure! (Not an association I was getting.) However, after some thought, she amended it to “barn/hay”, which I completely agree with. A sweet sort of aged hay. I definitely would have pegged this tea as a white strictly by aroma, although I honestly can’t describe as to the reason. It just smells like a white tea!!
I used 5g of this one, as per the recommendation, although brewed for 30 instead of 20 seconds, as I felt that the additional 10 wouldn’t hurt (I was right).
The flavour of this one is oddly familiar. I’m not sure if it’s the Yunnan Jasmine that I’m thinking of (probably?), but I could swear I’ve tasted this flavour before. However, it’s more more intense than I’m used to. It’s kind of sweet and hay-y, rather light and very smooth. There’s almost a musty sort of aftertaste, which I assume is from the aging. Definitely tasty, and well worth the sample size, but not my favourite, as I really seem to lean towards greens and oolongs as opposed to whites.
ETA: Second infusion (25s) is pretty good too… and it dawned on me that I think I might be likening this to the Yunnan Black I have from Verdant. Hrrrrrm. As a white, the flavour is much better though, I think…
Shared a pot of this with my roommate tonight thanks to the DT $1 packet of tea promo. I admit that my expectations weren’t super high, but apparently I need to change my views!
The dry tea of this one is a fairly nondescript green oolong. Larger-than-usual rolled balls of tea, but with no particularly notable aromas (or rather, nothing different than any other green tea/green oolong). We were skeptical of the 5-minute infusion recommendation, but decided to just go with it…. definitely not a decision we regret!
I went to take a sniff of my cup of tea after my roommate poured it out, and was completely blown away – the smell of this one is deliciously sweet and reminds me quite a bit of Verdant’s Laoshan greens. Delicious! Entirely not what I was expecting at all! The flavour matches perfectly, and definitely makes me think of Verdant’s Dragonwell-style Laoshan green, with a sweet rock sugar flavour and light green bean sort of flavour. The tea also is very smooth, and a light oolong flavour emerges at the tail end of the sip.
If you’re looking for a straight oolong from DavidsTea, I highly recommend this one! It is an absolute treat, especially given the price of a tiny sampler packet right now. Hoping the next infusion is as tasty, although we won’t find out until tomorrow :)
ETA: Second infusion (~6.5 min) is not bad, but I think that’s all these leaves have to offer. The flavour is still a touch rock sugary and much like the first infusion, just lighter and with a bit of astringency.
Whoops, brewed this a touch strong today, but it was still good. Love love love marshmallow root, and the delicious lemoniness of this blend! Can’t wait for my 52teas order to arrive, fingers crossed it arrives tomorrow…
ETA: Second infusion is still lemony delicious. Oversteeped a bit again though. I forget how finicky this one is…
Thanks to Awkward Soul for sending me a bit of this tea! I don’t think it’s particularly well-liked, but I was curious. Toasted sesame reminds me of Japanese desserts, and therefore makes my mouth water, but I’m anticipating disappointment.
The aroma of this one is… rather like a straight black tea. That sort of straight black tea I don’t particularly care for. (I really need to sample black teas from different regions so I can explain this better!) Even with a 4-minute infusion (5 minutes was recommended), I’m getting a fair bit of astringency. I really can’t taste anything but astringent black tea, to be honest. No sesame at all. Perhaps I’ll try the rest of my sample in a 3-minute infusion, but I have doubts that I will get anything good out of it. Ah well. I have a (tasty) 5th infusion of Verdant’s Aged Traditional Anxi Tieguanyin to make me feel better before bed!
Hrm. I feel like I’m being quite the harsh reviewer tonight, but I feel like I’ve had a lot of mediocre to bad tea tonight. Just one of those nights, I suppose!
Bought the smallest amount possible of this one (8g) just to satisfy my curiousity.
While it was brewing, there was a most unpleasant aroma. Almost like…. stinky feet? Blech. Stinky, rooibosy feet. Since the tea has now cooled, the offputting smell is gone, and it now smells mostly like a sweetened rooibos.
The flavour actually isn’t all that bad; it tastes like a vanilla rooibos. A lingering vanilla aftertaste, like vanilla extract, is notably present, which is not something I’ve ever previously tasted from a tea, but other than that, it’s a fairly nondescript flavoured rooibos. No medicinal taste here either, which is a big positive. Not a tea I particularly want to drink again though, especially given a plethora of other much tastier flavoured rooibos options (e.g. Creme Caramel Rooibos, Oh Canada, etc.), but it probably serves its intended purpose well.
Eh, this one is not quite what I was expecting. It brews up quite murky, and with an offputting aroma that I can’t quite place. It’s a little reminiscent of Super Chocolate or Dr. Chocolate (carob??) The flavour is surprisingly weak, given the aroma, and mostly tastes of murky cocoa and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is drying though not astringent – kind of like getting chunks of chalk in your mouth. I can’t taste the coconut at all here either.
I have enough left in my bag for another shot at this one, but I’m really disappointed :( This is definitely one of the least tasty teas from DavidsTea I have tasted.
Well, I’ll leave DAVIDsTEA to fix the image quality/description here… I’m not used to having to add teas myself!
Picked this one up while in store today to get October’s TOTM – I had seen mention of the straight tea promo, but hadn’t realized that 9 new straight teas had come out! So I picked up sample bags of five teas they had available (at least one wasn’t new though). A couple cups’ worth of tea for $1? Heck yes!
So the roommate and I shared this one tonight, as neither of us have really tried many (or any) straight white teas. Used the whole 2g bag of tea for 3 cups of water (less whatever boiled off). The end result is quite light, and in my opinion, a bit too bland (not underleafed though, I don’t think). I definitely get the corn silk association they mention, but there’s nothing special about this one at all. There’s a bit of a lingering “tea” taste at the end of the sip. Not sad that my sample packet is gone. I imagine this is fairly akin to most white peony teas; my expectations weren’t super high, I must admit! For those that like white peony, I’m sure this is a fine tea, but apparently I’m a touch picky :)
Yuummmm. Better than I remember! This one’s quite strongly orange-citrus, which fades into a sort of citrusy caramel at the end of the sip. I really quite like it. I know I initially thought it was rather like Glitter & Gold, but I’m quite wrong. It’s not really all that cinnamony, and far more citrusy. And caramelly. Tasty! I’m glad I requested this one as a sample from DT in one of my orders…. but I wish I had a bit more! I think it might still be on the wall in my hometown, so when I go back for Christmas, perhaps I can pick a bit more up.
Also, this one has withstood the thermos treatment all afternoon – important to note, as I don’t find all teas do!
ETA: Second cup a little oversteeped (oops), but still pretty good! Lightly orangey, spicy, and caramelly. With some bitterness. I ate the lone mulberry, so I think that’s it for this one.
I have to assume that this is the version I have of this chai, given that I purchased it this September.
This is coming off a bit weak to me, however, that’s definitely my fault! I was a bit slow to get to reading the brewing instructions, so instead of 1 tbsp for 8 oz., I used 2 tsp for more like 10+ oz. (plus I threw some Laoshan Black in there that had been used a couple times already). Oops.
I wasn’t super keen on this one unsweetened, but sweetened, it is exactly like a ginger cookie! Like gingerbread! Crazy. It’s pretty tasty, even though gingerbread is not my most favourite thing in the world. It must be the breadiness of the Laoshan Black in the perfect combination with gingery chai spicing to create this flavour.
This is definitely a well-spiced chai, but I think my heart still belongs to 52teas’ Mayan Chocolate Chai, crazy as that is. I’ll have to try this one “properly” though, with the appropriate leaf:water ratio.