2972 Tasting Notes

80

Nuts! This tea has definitely lost flavour since it was first opened. Or it’s been a bit contaminated. Either way, it tastes kind of like LB lite right now, which is tasty enough, but not what I remember (I don’t know if I have a previous note on this.. hmmm.) Oh well.

ETA: Uh, looking at the other reviews (of which I OF COURSE don’t have one, which I’m sure is my lack of tealogging), it seems like it is actually supposed to taste chocolatey, like LB. So maybe it’s neither lost flavour nor contaminated, and I’m just confused :) Quite possible. I do wish I tasted more roastiness/oolong in here though, because it really does taste like LB.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

I find this one significantly more chocolaty than LB. I remember trying it for the first time and thinking, “wow! this is everything I wish LB was!” haha

Kittenna

That’s possible. I haven’t had straight LB in a while, so the last thing in my memory is the chocolate genmaicha, which is definitely chocolatey. I believe another sample size is en route to me, and I’ll try to do a proper comparison with LB and this one. Thanks for pointing that out :)

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88
drank Earl Grey by Verdant Tea
2972 tasting notes

And I guess I’m the second to review this one :) I can understand why it wouldn’t necessarily be someone’s first choice when ordering from Verdant (LB! LBCG! Oolong! Etc.) but given their immense success with genmaichas, I figured it could be an interesting twist on regular EG! Besides, I’m not a bergamot-hater.

The bergamot aroma from the packet is quite powerful, but you can pick out some creaminess as well (which is nice) – once steeped, the bergamot is a bit softer, and the base tea peeks out with some lovely soft chocolatey aromas. And the flavour! Definitely worth trying. Chocolatey, a strong punch of bergamot (yet it’s not overpowering), and a smooth finish to the sip. This is really quite good. It’s certainly not going to replace an EG cream for me (it’s softened by cream, but it’s not a main flavour), and the black tea probably isn’t punchy enough for those who like a strong morning EG, but it’s a really unique twist on it, and I can certainly see myself drinking it again. I suppose it’s kind of a chocolate EG, actually… I wonder if Verdant considered trying to make a Chocolate EG? That could actually be really delicious… Maybe I’ll add some cacao shells to my next infusion, if I remember.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
OMGsrsly

I was looking at this last night. But I wasn’t tempted enough. :)

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38
drank All The Raj by DAVIDsTEA
2972 tasting notes

Sipdown! 982. (Fixed another couple discrepancies. Sigh.)

Anyways, I couldn’t at all remember what I previously thought of this tea, but given the ingredients, it’s probably a big huge “yuck”. Which is about accurate for how I felt when I drank this last night, too. Mostly, the tea tastes like rose followed by the growing sweetness of fennel. It’s old, so it’s possible some of the other flavours weren’t as apparent as they once were, but I don’t think it would change my feelings on this. One positive thing though – I drank this while sore-throated last night, and although I hate lingering sweetness as a general rule, it actually felt pretty good on my throat. So I might grab another herbal licoricey tea to drink tonight. Maybe Bollywood Chai, or another thing I’ve never tried.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Yes We Cran by DAVIDsTEA
2972 tasting notes

Yeah, for some reason, the hibiscus in here works perfectly for me. YES, it’s quite apparent, in all its dark purple, sour glory, but it fits perfectly in with the fall/wintry spices, and literally tastes like a cup of mulled orange cider to me. I will admit that it was a touch on the sour side last night (more hobby in the cup, I’m guessing), but I bet a bit of sweetener would have smoothed it right out. Tiny bit of regret at not picking up 25g of this, if only for its nostalgic flavour, but to be honest, I probably would drink it all that often anyhow. Still have one cup left for later. Maybe I’ll save it for Christmas. Oh man oh man I can’t wait for Christmas!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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100

I think I should have looked at my past invoices before ordering this time… I only got 4 oz., which is the same amount as previously, when I intended to order more. Oops. Anyways, broke out the new bag of this tonight because it’s what I wanted, and I wanted to make sure it was as good as previously. And oh yes, it most definitely is. Toasty, roasty, chocolatey amazingness. I don’t think I ever need hot chocolate again, if I can just have this (I said need. Not want. Haha.) So complex and delicious. There’s a serving or so left in my old bag – that will be an easy sipdown in the next few days.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85

Soooooo, I am le sick. A little feverish last night, and my favouritest sick-symptom of all – a wonderful sore throat ALL day. And an unusual bonus symptom – feeling nauseated all day too (I suspect it’s the post-nasal drip causing the sore throat, and resulting in tummy ick, but this isn’t typical for me).

Anyhow, I brewed this up last night before I was feeling sick, and am only writing the note now because I very literally slept ALL day. Like, 14-15 hours of combined sleep. (The sore throat has improved, but now I’m sniffly.) I wanted to compare it to Pumpkin Creme Brûlée, because I didn’t have a good idea about the differences between the two. Turns out, I think I like this one better, and it’s probably because of the base tea – it’s lighter, and the spices are more apparent, along with a delicious creaminess. I think I also tasted the pumpkin a bit more too, which would make sense given that there’s apparently a whole lot more in here! I’m glad I did pick up one final ounce of each of these though, just because they’re nice to have around (like Pistachio Ice Cream).

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Krystal

Oh no feel better!

Kittenna

Thanks :) I think it’s just a simple cold, but I so hate having a sore throat :(

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78

I guess the lotus stamens or whatever used to be in this tea are no longer, because my baggie doesn’t appear to contain any at all :( Oh well. The tea probably still tastes the same, and it’s nice – spiced and fall-flavoured, though fairly light on flavour overall. It’s nice enough though, and with a 2-minute infusion, the base is kept pretty smooth.

I see I have a note that recommends I add maple syrup for even better flavour… sadly, I just had to dump mine, because it went moldy, probably because the container wasn’t sterilized properly when it was poured in. The hazards of buying syrup from random roadside vendors, I guess. My boyfriend had to dump over a litre of his too, for the same reason. (I had maybe 300mL left). Sigh.

Anlina

Ugh that sucks about the syrup. It’s so expensive to buy too – I’d be so upset if I had to dump out that much.

Cheri

That is disappointing. Good syrup is expensive but worth it.

Fjellrev

Geez, I never thought that it could even go moldy, but lack of sterilization makes sense.

Butiki Teas

Hmmm, we never used lotus stamens in this tea. Maybe you are thinking of Pistachio Ice Cream?

Kittenna

I don’t think I meant lotus stamens (right, that’s Pistachio Ice Cream) but there was definitely something orange and fluffy in this previously, which I remember from the samples I got as well as the bag Raritea and Indigobloom split quite a while back (we had to shake it up to make sure they each got equal amounts). Maybe it was the pumpkin?? Actually, looking at the tea image – my tea doesn’t even look quite right (I dumped it all out into a bowl) – there’s nothing orange. No pumpkin??

Butiki Teas

Oh, sounds like the dried pumpkin might have not made it much into your bag. Oh no. That’s odd, really odd.

Kittenna

I wasn’t sure if it was a cosmetic ingredient that maybe you had run out of (I know the Strawberry oolong used to have teensy little flowerbuds in it, which ceased to be present in my mom’s last 2 oz.), but given the ingredient list, presumably it’s the pumpkin. [I sent you a picture of my tea on Facebook] :)

Butiki Teas

ok, I’ll check it out. We never stopped adding the pumpkin. The only thing I can think is that maybe you got the very top of the tin and the pumpkin flakes had fallen a bit. I’ll see what you posted on Facebook. I could always refund that tea for you.

Kittenna

In response to the maple syrup – yeah, I don’t think syrup itself goes moldy without being… infected, but where I was seeing mold was on the inside of where the lid was, and a bit in the handle (it was a mini milk-jug container). I’m well-versed in sterile technique, and am very good at not contaminating things myself – so I know it wasn’t my fault, especially given the mold in the handle as well. Sigh. And then there was cloudy stringiness in the syrup as well… and the aroma from the bottle smelled kind of like acetone. Exact same thing with my boyfriend’s. We threw out probably $20 worth of syrup. Next time, we’ll probably freeze portions, or buy from a bit more reputable place. Heh.

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98

Oh man. I hope this is the tea they bring back. It’s even better steeped at home, so thank you SO much VariaTea for sharing with me. I’m kind of irritated that my local DT wouldn’t sell any to me – I’ve gathered by asking about things on the DT Facebook page that they were allowed to sell them… and also the new mystery tea that they had a naming contest for. Always great when store employees don’t know what’s supposed to happen.

But yes. This is perfect pear flavour in tea form. PERFECT. It smells, and tastes like a poached pear with a hint of cinnamon. It’s really quite incredibly delicious. And quite frankly, would be The pear tea I’ve wanted. (Thank you thank you for using green rooibos instead of red or a terrible green tea base). The worst part of this, though, is that I recall also quite liking the other tea they offered up (which I’ll try again later also thanks to VariaTea). Why couldn’t they just give us both instead of releasing other, crappier teas?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’m all irritated again. (I also have a tummyache, and I’m sure this is contributing to my unhappiness.) This is another tea that was on Steepster, and appears to no longer exist. And I know it was here, because I gave samples of this tea to Sil, etc., and they tried it too. SO ANNOYING.

Anyways. Fairly basic-tasting loose leaf black blend. Can’t do a proper review because I drank it as a pro-tea-n latte today with chocolate protein powder, which kind of made it like a tea hot chocolate. It was interesting, but I think I brewed the tea a little strong. Oh well. It seems like a decent enough tea for me to start throwing in my travel mug when I want a straight black – I have a bunch of it (something my mom was given that she didn’t want), and no particular fondness for it, so sipping it down would be just fine by me.

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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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