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2221 Tasting Notes

78
drank Honeydew Mate by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Fiiiiinaally I am drinking tea at an appropriate time to sample this one (aka not late at night). Like all those other caffeinated teas are any better. Riiight.

Anyways! Dry, this one smells really deliciously like honeydew melon, which is about the only thing that led me to pick this one up, since I don’t really seem to be a fan of mate or guayusa. Steeped, it smells similar, and… omg… it actually truly tastes like honeydew!!! I am impressed. There’s a bit of an… earthy flavour in here as well, which is probably the mate, but it all works quite well. The tea is sweet enough not to require additions either, which is pretty awesome. Again with the grumpy stomach bit, so this isn’t as satisfying as it could be, but I’m pretty pleased. I bet this would be tasty iced like Cantaloupe & Cream (that is, cold-brewed, warmed a bit, and sweetened slightly).

ETA: Tasty re-steep in half the water, left for eons (idk, 10 mins?)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Yummmmmmm. I still like this one, yes yes I do. Burnt caramel deliciousness. My stomach’s grumping a bit right now about how all it’s getting is flavoured water when it really wants something with substance, so that’s affecting my enjoyment of this tea, but I do so love the flavour. Thanks to Sil’s pregnant friend for letting me have some more of this :D

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one, and not making me share in a purchase :P Also, sipdown! 796 :D

Dominant opinion of this one? SQUASH! Yes, it reminds me a fair bit of the Kagoshima Black I had from Tealux recently. Which… is not necessarily bad, but it means I am not the biggest fan of this tea, which I completely expected. It’s a little astringent, but I think I did overleaf a touch. Probably not a tea I’d have again by choice. I think I may milk & honey this one up in a couple minutes, because I would feel bad dumping it (and I’m curious as to whether it retains the squash flavour when extras are added).

I’ll refrain from rating this one as I’m not a fan of this type of straight black, and I don’t feel that my low rating (around 33) would be indicative of anything other than the fact that I don’t care for this type of tea.

ETA: Ahaha, so I thoroughly doctored this one up with milk/honey/brown sugar, and it totally tastes like sweetened squash. Or like, sweet potato with brown sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Cantaloupe & Cream by Butiki Teas
2221 tasting notes

Tried cold-brewing this one a day or two ago, and am drinking it now. While the cold-brew was certainly successful (as in, the resulting brew tastes like Cantaloupe & Cream), I don’t like it like this. I particularly disliked it unsweetened, which is interesting, because I don’t think I’ve ever sweetened this tea when I’ve had it hot. Anyways, that led to me pouring in a minimal amount of diluted honey (I had this bright idea back when I was a bit sicker to pour hot water into my crusty jar of honey to get the last of it out, so now everything I sweeten will get diluted honey until it’s gone, haha) and… I still didn’t like it, at least not when it was ice cold. I’ve let it warm up a bit (I don’t know what temperature it is, certainly still cold, but not quite fridge cold) and it is now much better. I’m still not entirely sure that I’d repeat this experiment, but the way it is now, I’m rather enjoying it, so the answer is probably “yes”. I think I used… ~ 3tsp for 8 oz? So double strength? Even if it costs more, I’d rather have a flavourful drink that a diluted one. Just my opinion. I’m not overly frugal in that regard.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Marcel Duchamp

I placed an order last night for this and the pineapple cilantro cream. I’m excited to have a stash.

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68

Sipdown! 797. Thanks to Nina’s Paris for a sample of this tea!

The aroma is absolutely delicious. Juicy red fruits/berries; I can’t quite pick everything out, but there’s tartness and fruity deliciousness in abundance. Flavourwise, however? Ooooh, a bit bitter. I only gave it 2.5 minutes, but should have only given it 2, I think. The fruity flavours are still there, but muted a bit by the strength of the base. My bad – I should have learned by now that French teas seem to require a light touch in terms of steeping time, especially since I’m not a black tea person to begin with.

Ooh. I’ve been sitting here about 30 seconds post-sip, and I’m getting a glorious raspberry flavour lingering. Yum!! And on the sip, if I concentrate on ignoring the black tea, I’m tasting red apple?! and raspberry. I actually rather like the flavouring in this tea, to be honest… perhaps I should go doctor up this cup with a bit of milk and sweetener (or maybe just sweetener) and see if that helps at all. I actually am wondering whether I perhaps used too little water for my cup, instead of oversteeping, as it’s occurring to me that the base isn’t really all that astringent/bitter, just strong. Hrrrrrrm.

Welp. Anyways, I’ll update if/when I do anything to this tea. I’m up super early this morning because I was totally wiped out yesterday (still experiencing pain/muscle spasms from tetanus shot, and MMR injection site is red and swollen) and crashed absurdly early, yeah, we’re talking like 6pm… and therefore I woke up at 4:30am. Long day ahead! I’m still convinced that it’s Saturday already… rambles

ETA: Mixed in some diluted honey to sweeten this, and… meh. Didn’t improve it as I had hoped. I’d be willing to give this one another shot in the future though, because I did enjoy the fruit flavouring! Didn’t try re-steeping this one (I didn’t recall deciding 100% not to, but I’m down to two infusers sitting with used tea leaves in them, and one is Laoshan Bilochun Green, and I’m not entirely certain what the other is…)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

ouch, 4:30am?? sounds like you’ll be needing a nap in a few hrs

Kittenna

Yep, probably!

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58
drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
2221 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for saving the last little bit of this one to try (originally from Lala!). Also, sipdown! 798.

So this tea? Super, super potent! It smells like a tropical candy, and I can’t quite figure out which fruits are comprising this tropical aroma. I see guava listed, but it’s really not guava for me. Passionfruit, perhaps?

Anyhow, I opted to steep this as a green (though I don’t recall how long I infused for… I intended 2 min, but I think it may have gotten 2.5). The flavour is just as tropical-flavoured as the aroma, which is certainly nice (and not usually what happens with such delicious-smelling teas). I can’t taste the green tea at all. However, even though this tea is definitely quite tropical, I’m not quite sure I like it. There’s a bit of an odd, almost smoky flavour in the background (black tea?) and I feel like it could really use some sugar in order to taste “right”, as in, all these tropical flavours without any real sweetness to speak of is throwing me off.

Overall, certainly an interesting tea, but I’m glad all I had was enough for a cup, because my curiousity has been thoroughly satisfied. Thanks Lala and Sil!

ETA: Second infusion (in my totally awesome forest bubble cups from DT that I bought a few weeks ago to match my teapot!) was quite similar and still quite fruity. That smoky flavour was still there making things a bit odd for me so yeah, I’m happy to have just had a single cup of this!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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62
drank The Malt Shop by Della Terra Teas
2221 tasting notes

Another sample from whatshesaid :D Thanks!

So I can definitely see what everyone means about the wet-looking leaf… that is really odd. It’s weird to scoop it up too, because it’s kind of stickyish, almost. Anyhow, this blend smells pretty good, definitely malty and tasty. The aroma from the brewed cup is very much like malted chocolate balls, which I am SO SAD I haven’t had any of in ages, because I failed to purchase myself any malt eggs. Boy do I love malt eggs.

Anyways. While the smell is pretty good, the flavour definitely leaves something to be desired. Yes, I taste maltiness, but I expected more chocolate, especially since a) I saw chocolate chips in there, and b) Della Terra is usually reasonably good about making blends taste chocolatey, even if it’s a bit fake-chocolatey sometimes. There also isn’t any sweetness to this blend, really, which makes me sad, especially after having my cup of Blueberry Crumble! I think I will try my second cup of this with some sweetener, as I feel like that may make a world of difference here, but I’m certainly not unhappy that I didn’t purchase this blend, because I don’t like to have blends around that don’t taste great without sugar!

ETA: Added diluted honey to the last of my cup to sweeten it, and it was much preferable that way. Tasted much more like malt balls. I did successfully re-steep this one, but don’t entirely remember how it was. Decent enough that I drank and didn’t dump it! Didn’t sweeten it, either.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Aww noo, I just got this one in the mail. Hope I’ll like it more than you. And I love malt eggs too. I wanted to get some on sale after Easter but missed out.

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80

Another thanks to whatshesaid for a tasty Della Terra sample. Of course, I forgot that I requested this one, so there’s a Try Me size’s worth on order for me currently, but I somehow don’t think I’ll have a problem with that… because this is good!! It reminds me a lot of Pineapple Upside Down Cake in the intense caramelly flavouring (which works perfectly as the brown sugar in crisp topping), but I’m definitely tasting blueberry in here as well, and it’s soooooo good. Not quite as good as DavidsTea’s Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, but pretty good. Again I’m having trouble tasting it fully due to a blocked nose, but I can tell that it’s really delicious. I meant to steep this for only 2 minutes, but it accidentally got closer to 4, whoops, although that doesn’t seem to have had any negative impact whatsoever.

You know, this kind of tastes like a blend of Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Double Berry Burst, which is totally ok because I like both! Thanks again, whatshesaid!

ETA: This re-steeps well a second time, as I expected. Really tasty. Leaves still had a bit of aroma after that, but I have plenty of other teas to drink, so I didn’t go for a third.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
TastyBrew

I love this one! Such a great dessert tea and plenty sweet on its own. Yum!

Sil

totally had to go look and see if i’d picked this one up in our order. I should have known better..it’s blueberry and cakey.. of COURSE i did

Kittenna

Hahaha yeah, this is a 3-way split of an ounce :P The reviews were good enough for it that I figured we could do with a bit more each. I’m fairly certain you’ll like it.

Kittenna

TastyBrew – yeah, I love the teas that are sweet enough to be desserty without adding sugar. Makes them quite satisfying, sometimes!

TastyBrew

Yeah, this one and the pineapple upside down cake, very similar in their cakey sweetness.

Sil- I’m pretty sure she uses the same crack for both :-)

Sil

tastybrew! OH YAY!!!

whatshesaid

I’m glad you liked this! It’s so freakin good. I think I will make some to bring to Evil Dead tonight!

Indigobloom

Oh man that sounds tasty, and blueberry!! I can’t recall if I requested this one or not now. Hmph

Sil

IB – you did and that’s what the spreadsheet is for :P get a better computer haha

Indigobloom

phew. One day… (must. find. job!!)

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50
drank Orange Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Sipdown! 799. Again because the rest goes to Sil. Muahahahahahahaha. Two can play this game!

I think I’m a bigger fan of the Joy’s Teaspoon version of this (Creamsicle), as it’s definitely creamier and has a better (fakey) orange flavour (which is what I want in a creamsicle tea!). Orange Blossom is definitely more on the realistic side of orange, and when I smelled it earlier, prior to my nose being all blocked up again, it was definitely more strongly/sharply orange, and there was really no cream to speak of. For some reason though, something bugs me about both of these blends (as in, I find them difficult to drink), and I don’t know whether it’s the base, or something about the flavouring. Strange. Ah well, probably won’t ever see this one again!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Sil

LOL doesn’t count until it’s in my house!

Kittenna

Of course not, haha :P

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87

I know I don’t have too much of this one, and figured I should try to get to it before it’s been sitting around too long, hence a cup today! I went looking for brewing instructions this time, but strangely, the page on the Verdant website didn’t list any. So I just went with somewhat default green parameters, although I unfortunately oversteeped (which is annoying, because I know that vegetal greens are really much tastier with about 1-minute infusions, not closer to 3, even if it doesn’t ruin them). So yeah, this one got about 3 minutes. Oops. It’s not bad, but I’m finding it a bit watery right now (probably a “me” thing, not a tea thing) so it’s less enjoyable than it was the first time. I’m also missing the beany/rock sugary deliciousness that gets hidden with a too-long infusion. Sigh.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C

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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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