2244 Tasting Notes

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
2244 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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80

Sipdown! Back to 800 :D Thanks whatshesaid for sending me a sample of this tea that I had missed out on. (The rest is off to Sil at some point.)

This tea smells much like Anti V-Day Treat to me, and unsurprisingly, the taste is quite similar. If not identical. Pretty much a straightforward vanilla/chocolate/mint blend that’s light on the black tea base (but not too light), and creamy/minty/sweet. I did quite enjoy AVT so enjoy this one as well, though I’m not a huge fan of nearly identical blends being released with only a change in the name and sprinkle shapes/colours.

Either way, I wanted to try this one regardless, and now I have, haha. Mission accomplished! Thanks for making it happen, whatshesaid!

ETA: IMO this doesn’t re-steep as well as Anti V-Day Treat. Either that or I underleafed this cup a bit. Still worth it, but not as good.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

hahaha

Cavocorax

Good to know I didn’t miss anything by not ordering that one!

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66

Brewed up a cup of this tonight as well, in a bid to drink down plastic-baggied samples more quickly. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t great the first time around, and isn’t now either. The only interesting thing is that I can definitely taste the “buttered” part since I’ve just had a couple harsher blends (and woah is it obvious!), but neither cranberry nor orange are at all apparent (both of which are flavours I’ve also had tonight).

Ah well. It’s really not bad considering the lack of flavour! However, my stomach is now VERY full. TIme for beddie byes.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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67
drank Creamsicle by Joy's Teaspoon
2244 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil (and technically Azzrian) for a sample of this tea :)

The aroma is very similar to DavidsTea’s Orange Blossom, IMO, except perhaps a bit more orangey, and maybe a bit less creamy. I wasn’t hugely fond of that tea, though it wasn’t terrible or anything. Flavourwise, I have the same feelings – much like Orange Blossom, but perhaps more orangey. I haven’t had OB in a while, so can’t really give a good comparison, but as I’m passing off the rest of it to Sil shortly, I’ll try to have my last cup of it in the next couple days so that I can try and figure out what the differences may be between these two blends! I do definitely enjoy the flavouring here, I just wish it was on a different base. Fingers crossed for Della Terra’s Orange Cream! (I know, still rooibos, but hopefully better?)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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84
drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
2244 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for this one (via Lala)!

I brewed up one of the sachets while at my boyfriend’s house today, and was pleasantly surprised… but also disappointed. Disappointed because I clearly screwed something up (perhaps water:leaf ratio… are these teabags meant for 12 oz. cups??) and the tea was fairly astringent/bitter, but pleasantly surprised because what I could taste was delicious! So I’m quite looking forward to trying a second cup of this (I brought the bag home to re-steep, and also have at least one more to try). So, pretty much, this is a totally useless review because I can’t tell you much about the tea, except that I drank it! Haha :P

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec
momo

Harney sachets are for 12 oz, I know this now but never remember when making tea.

Kittenna

Yeah… I felt like someone had mentioned that somewhere previously. Naturally, I only thought of this post-tasting. I actually didn’t even read the baggie that the samples were in; it’s possible that Lala noted it there as well and I just failed to read it! Oh well, it will certainly be tastier next time!

Dinosara

Yeah I feel like you can sometimes get away with 8oz cups with the black teas, but maybe it was too much for a white.

Lala

I found better luck with brewing larger amounts with the Harney sachets. There is just so much tea in them.

Kittenna

I may have actually used closer to 6 oz, which is my go-to size with sachets of any sort (since I hate weak tea). I had intended to dilute the cup once I realized it was so strong/bitter, but I was too lazy and ended up just drinking it.

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34

Hmm, ok. I brewed this up at my boyfriend’s place today (while he was making me potato pancakes, since I was cheated out of them on Easter Sunday, hahahaha), so it was less-than-optimal brewing conditions (even though I now use Brita water there as well)… but something didn’t quite work for me with this one. I made sure that there was a cranberry in the infuser, but to be honest, there was less cranberry flavour in this tea than in the >1 year old Cran-Blackberry Rooibos I just drank. And I’m not really digging the base tea either :/

I brought the leaves home and re-steeped them, and I’m getting virtually no flavour from them at all, to the point where I think I’ll actually just dump the cup :S

I’m kind of disappointed; I was hoping for something much more like Forest Berry Silver Needle, which was really quite delicious. Ah well, perhaps there are some Steepsters out there who are curious to try this one :) I’ll give it another shot here at home, but I have a feeling I’m not going to like it even then.

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

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65
drank Cran-Blackberry Rooibos by 52teas
2244 tasting notes

Sipdown! So, uh, I was nicely under 800… and then I received my swap package from whatshesaid as well as a lovely tea-containing thank-you from Lala… (you guys are both awesome!) er… so… with this sipdown, I’m back at 801. Ahahaha. Oh well, that is to be short-lived. I don’t think there are any sipdowns from sending my half of the swap out, but I of course have tons of other things to sipdown in the meantime!

Well, cleverly I did remember that had intended to brew this up a bit more strongly this time (ok, it was a total fluke, but whatever), and the results are definitely better. Even though this tea is from my very first swap EVER!!!! with momo, this is kind of tasty! It tastes mostly like a cranberry-flavoured rooibos to me, but although I’d prefer a honeybush base, the rooibos isn’t too bad here. I’m not sure, however, that cranberry is my favourite flavour in tea, so I probably wouldn’t pick this up again if it was to reappear.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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34
drank Dance With Elephant by Tealux
2244 tasting notes

This was a random, fruity pick from Tealux when we made our order. They are certainly not lying about the huge chunks of fruit (which is great, though difficult to measure), but I’m not entirely sure that I read carefully enough to note that there was rooibos in the blend. Oops. Oh well.

Brewed up, this tea smells pretty fruity. Very banana-y. Tastewise, it’s the same. Quite banana-y, with definite coconut creaminess. There a bit of rooibos scratchiness as well. The one thing that I’m not liking here, however, is that… there’s a bit of a funky flavour going on. Kind of a yucky, pukey flavour. And aroma. Kind of like the flavour I tasted in Adagio’s Pina Colada, although not neeaaarrrllly as strong. Consequently, I’m wondering if the tangy pineapple in some of these pina colada blends doesn’t sit well, or blend well… because… blech. I was pretty darn impressed with this blend other than that though, because it’s very real-banana (like a smoothie), plus lovely coconut, but I just can’t take that flavour in tea. And this I know isn’t caused by sickness. Sigh. Oh well, at least I only picked up a sample size!

Preparation
Boiling
canadianadia

Doesn’t sound yummy, that’s too bad…it has such a fun name!

Indigobloom

oh… pineapple :(

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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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