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2221 Tasting Notes

94
drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Cold-brewed some of this last night (I’m a hot cup away from a sipdown now! Hurrah!) but I fear that my batch has gone “off”. My tastebuds don’t quite remember how this one used to taste, but the aroma from my tin (yes, it’s one of the very few I actually have in a tin!) is quite pungent and sharp… in a lemony sort of way. So it didn’t smell bad, but didn’t smell as I remembered either. Same deal with the flavour – it’s very tart and lemony, like the lemongrass is taking over or something. I have probably had this stuff for about a year, so it’s entirely possible that something has happened to it. I’ll pick up some more eventually! And… I’m totally still going to drink it. I just may need to make a sugar syrup or something…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Indigobloom

Hmm, I wonder… Does it taste off the way the yogurt blend from tsaa did? perhaps it’s just that yogurt doesn’t keep well :(

Kittenna

The Tsaa one didn’t taste off to me, just somewhat weakened :) I was thinking it could have been the yogurt.

Kittenna

I am debating throwing out the last bit of leaf. Just was funky enough that I’m not really sure I want it…

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83
drank Luscious Watermelon by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

I’m making fabulous progress on cold-brewing teas! I think my previous problem used to be the hassle of filtering everything, and then it would no longer be cold but lukewarm, etc. etc. And now with my bombilla, I get to drink icy cold deliciousness straight from the fridge whenever I want it! I’m actually just leaving my bombilla in a cup in there so I can have a sip whenever I want. Such a great purchase.

Anyways! Cold-brewed this one strong a couple nights ago, drank it last night/this morning. Quite tasty. A bit sweet, a bit tart, and kind of melony. I’d consider restocking it for iced tea in the future, although of course I have way too many other cold-brewing options to really pick up more.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
OMGsrsly

That is such a sneaky idea. I might need to copy you. :)

Kittenna

With the bombilla? Sneaky BUT AWESOME!

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84
drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Ok, so I bought way more of this than I needed… I picked it up to cold brew, and think I only did that once last summer! Anyhow, I’m on a mission to drink up the 200+ grams I purchased. So, I decided to cold brew some last night! I heavily leafed a 2-cup glass (perhaps 10g+?) and filled it with water.

Although it’s not hot here, I was crazy thirsty when I got home from sorting food at the local food bank (just for a short bit though), so pulled this out, popped my bombilla in, and it was perfect. I have sensitive teeth, so enjoy drinking cold beverages with a straw, so it was perfect! I sucked back the whole thing in about a minute :D I did put a bit of water with the remains to see if I could get any more flavour, but I doubt it.

Anyways, it was quite tasty. Pineappley, coconutty, a bit tart, and generally fruity. There is a “flavouring” aftertaste that I don’t care for though, so I’m going to lower my rating a bit, but I do still quite like it. Time to get back into cold-brewing!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Tealizzy

200 grams! That’s a lot of one tea! But I suppose for iced tea it goes fast!

Kittenna

I was also overenthusiastic :P But yeah, it’s quite heavy, so it’s not quite as much as it seems :) It’s still no small quantity though!

Amariel

It’s a good tea. I liked it over the summer, though it was not my favourite one…I liked Bamboozled and Swampwater better.

Kittenna

I am the opposite! I love the smell of Swampwater, but drinking it makes me gag (either it’s because of the sprinkles, or because it’s cold-brewed rooibos). Bamboozled was ok, but that’s about it. I did have high hopes initially.

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71

So, pretty much Sil (and Stacy!) are awesome, because I get to try “Sil’s version” of this tea, which is just chocolate orange assam.

This tea pretty much smells like a dark chocolate Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Absolutely perfect. However, teas don’t always taste as they smell, and chocolate orange seems to be a particularly difficult flavour. This one though?? OMG OMG OMG!!! This is by FAR the best chocolate orange tea I’ve had. It tastes like a liquid chocolate orange. There is even sweetness in this… not that it’s a sweet tea, but there is a sweetness to it. Ahh. It’s like orange hot chocolate minus the calories.

I kind of regret drinking this without my boyfriend around – maybe this tea he would have liked?

Anyways… I really think that this should become a new tea on the website… this is amazing. It would be getting a rating of 95+ from me, but I can’t do that here because my rating here is for the real version of this tea, which has a different base, and marshmallow. This is my perfect Orange Chocolate tea, no question. Thanks so much for sharing, Sil!

ETA: Second infusion is less chocolatey, but still has delicious orange flavour. I’m getting serious raisin notes in the aftertaste though, which kind of doesn’t go with the whole chocolate orange theme (but I love the flavour, so don’t care!) I didn’t get them in the first infusion, so they were likely masked by the flavouring then (and it’s only in the aftertaste that they are appearing now).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
CrowKettle

I love chocolate oranges! This sounds like it should be a thing.

Kittenna

Very much yes. I think the original blend does taste like chocolate oranges to some people, but both Sil and I were picking up on a strange flavouring/base note that was ruining the experience for us (other than that, it tasted amazing). A swap of the base, and removal of marshmallow flavouring, and it’s now perfect.

Sil

Glad this versions worked out for you lol

Kittenna

Oh man. So good.

Butiki Teas

Kittenna-I don’t think we are going to make this one available on the website but I would be happy to make you a small batch for you anytime.

Sil

Stacy….was going to ask you about doing that possibly heh

Also…caramel vanilla here I am! Lol

Terri HarpLady

This sounds yummy!!

Kittenna

How small is a small batch [I’m seriously considering this]? Also – I’m curious as to the base! I know it’s assam, but which one is it?

Butiki Teas

Kitttena-Whatever size you wanted. Its the regular Premium Taiwanese Assam.

Kittenna

I was suspecting that, since I was enjoying it so much. I shall be in touch, heh.

Sil

Kitenna – we should pick a size! :)

Terri HarpLady

hmmm, I might have to get in on this action!

Butiki Teas

Terri-Let me know if you are interested. If I make a batch for them then it would be less work to combine it.

Kittenna

Sil – I hadn’t read your comment yet, but just came on here to say that yes, we will be ordering some of this. I am pretty sure I want PTA as the base for EVERYTHING now…

Amariel

Sounds yummy! I am a huge chocolate orange fan.

Kittenna

SO GOOD.

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67

Sipdown! Finishing off the last of this custom blend from Missy and Dylan. I’m fairly sure that it has lost some flavour since the last time I drank it, but it’s really not too bad. Chamomile and mint, along with a bit of fruity tartness is about all that I’m picking up on right now. Actually, checking the blend ingredients – I’m pretty sure that it’s the lemongrass I’m picking up on. Really not tasting much strawberry at all here, so either that flavour wasn’t particularly strong to begin with, or it has sadly dissipated.

Either way, this is tasty… although perhaps I should have let it sit until I actually was intending to go to bed. I kind of slept all day today… I’m on a terrible sleeping schedule right now…

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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49

Sipdown! And… blech. This is clearly one of the bigger busts from DT in recent memory. Just a whole bunch of ick. But, I sucked it up and brewed up the last of my sample tonight, because I feel guilty throwing anything out… and because I had notions of attempting it as a sort of latte to see if I could improve it at all.

A sip of the pre-doctored brew came up murky and cinnamon-y, a type of cinnamon flavour I don’t care for. There’s maybe some creaminess, some chocolate, but the fact that the water is ridiculously cloudy kind of ruins it for me too (is that cocoa, perhaps? It happens with Cocoa Canela as well, IIRC).

Anyways! As I was getting the milk out of the fridge to attempt to make this drinkable, my eye wandered over to the carton of Dark Chocolate Silk Soy Milk that I picked up last week. Guess which one ended up going into my drink :D Anyhow, with a good dose of chocolate soy milk, which contributes sweetness, chocolate, AND creaminess… this blend is made drinkable. Kind of like a mexican hot chocolate, as DaisyChubb described, but not as good as I would picture such a thing (also, not spicy).

Either way, this is tasty enough that I I won’t dump it down the drain, however I seriously doubt I’ll re-infuse the leaves. Oh, also – I used a Finum basket in the hopes of preventing cloudiness, but no such luck, so I suppose it probably is something like cocoa getting through. Not a big fan of that, in spite of loving hot chocolate…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Tealizzy

No love for stormy night…boo! j/k, I know what you mean about the murkiness.

Kittenna

Haha, no, I really disliked this one. It’s better than a few teas I’ve tried, but… not by much!

Shmiracles

i actually really love stormy night! but it did take a few cups for it to grow on me.

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63
drank Merry Cranberry by DAVIDsTEA
2221 tasting notes

Urgh. Last tea sipdown for the evening (very early morning??) I can feel my bladder protesting strongly already… (Protesting me even sampling this tea, not this being my last one for the evening!)

I had forgotten that this tea was less like Ever Green and more like… I dunno, ickiness, until I opened the bag. And then, I smelled spices and cinnamon which made my nose wrinkle. And then I read momo’s tasting note and remembered the anise. Nuts. Oh well, at least this will be the last cup I’ll have of it! (Well, maybe I will re-steep…)

The aroma is clovey vanilla-licorice….. bleh. The flavour, thankfully, is not quite so heavy on cloves, focusing more on cinnamon and anise, which actually isn’t too bad. I can’t really distinguish the cranberries here, though, even though I’m pretty sure there was at least one in the infuser. It also does taste kind of creamy, and I don’t think I noticed this before, but something in here has a bit of peppery spiciness! Like, a touch of cayenne or something, biting at the back of my throat after sipping. It’s possible that it could be cinnamon or something, I suppose.

Anyhow, this actually isn’t all that bad. My rating seems to indicate that I thought the same last time I drank it as well. Certainly nothing I’d seek out again, but I have certainly had worse. Classic DT though – you would never know that this was a green tea and not a herbal…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85

Thanks to Indigobloom for passing along a sample of this one yesterday! Also, sipdown!

I’ve had a lapacho orange (without vanilla) before, and don’t recall being terribly enamoured with it, but after giving her pouch of this a sniff, I felt it was necessary to try this. The orange flavour here is quite strong, and combined with a lovely creamy aroma (vanilla), which came off as almost a yogurt-type smell when I poured the leaf into my infuser.

Flavourwise, this is actually rather good. Very orangey, in kind of a cross between orange pop and fresh orange sort of way (but thankfully not orange peel!), which is tempered by a creaminess. (I really seem to like citrus cream teas, though I don’t much care for citrus in tea by itself despite loving lemons/limes!) The lapacho isn’t even really causing “scratchy throat syndrome” too much (maybe a little), which it usually does for me.

I don’t think this would be a tea I’m too likely to purchase for myself, only because I’m wary of lapacho for a few reasons, and don’t like that it makes my throat feel scratchy, but the flavouring is pretty great here. If the base was honeybush or something, and the tea tasted the same, I’d probably knock my rating up to about 90, but given that it’s not a tea base I favour, it does lose a few points. I’m curious, however, how this one would be iced and/or made with milk and frozen into popsicles… (it tastes like a creamsicle, and how awesome would it be to have healthier creamsicles…)

ETA: Re-steep in half the water still has flavour, but I’m not in love with it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

Hehe funny thing is… I believe Dan does custom blends :P

Sil

I may need to pull this out of my box tonight…i love me some orange flavoured things and i don’t mind lapacho

Kittenna

Also if you’re worried about smells, this would be one to drink. It’s potent! I kept it apart from my other teas (I separated all the swaps from you guys into unflavoured, flavoured, and contaminating, haha).

Indigobloom – something to keep in mind!

Sil

Kittenna – Yeah i’m doing that tonight… right now it’s two boxes: smelly and not so smelly. I need to get all organized tonight

Indigobloom

I really love the combo of orange and lapacho. but I think it’d go well with honeybush as well. Another thing to go on the spreadsheet :P

Terri HarpLady

So, the Lapacho in this is Pao D’Arco, correct?

Sil

IB does that mean you’re getting rid of yours or you meant rebuy on the spreadsheet?

Indigobloom

oh sorry! I meant the private blend from Herbal Infusions, same flavouring but with a honeybush base maybe?

Sil

aaaah i love the existing blend. No need for custom blend here! to the point where i am actually contemplating picking up more…soon…like i need more tea. lol

Kittenna

Terri – I actually have no idea! Google time…

Kittenna

Yes, that would be right. Do you have info that might interest me/us? I’m curious :)

Indigobloom

Kittenna/Terri: All I know is, it’s tree bark… and it’s good for treating asthma :)
Sil: yep this base is amazing for me! but… I also don’t make it the traditional lapacho way. steeping in boiling water for 15 min!

Kittenna

I know it’s not good during pregnancy, and I think it’s in the legume family. I just make it my usual herbal way, i.e. boiling, 5+ mins.

Terri HarpLady

Here’s what (little) I know (LOL):
Lapacho is also known as Pau d’arco, or Taheebo. It’s a south american tree, & you use the bark for tea. It’s main action is strengthening the immune system, but some people have used it as a cure for cancer, fungal infections, etc.
When using it therapeutically, as in drinking it daily, you have to take a break every couple of weeks, because it does contain some toxins that can build up in your system. The herbalist I know recommends alternating between Lapacho, Echinacea, & Astragulus…It’s been awhile, but I think it was 2 weeks on each one. Since they have different toxins, that keeps you from having any side effects, & since their action on your immune system is slightly different, you’re strengthening your body in different ways. I have some Lapacho here, it’s horrible, LOL :) I haven’t drank it in awhile.

Kittenna

Thanks for the info! Luckily I rarely drink it, so I should be good :D I have not tried it plain, just in a few blends, of which this one is by far the tastiest (but as I said, I would be happier with a honeybush base, haha).

Indigobloom

I’ve tried the plain version, from Tea Emporium. It was decent! but then I love pu-erh and they have similar profiles in some ways.
Thanks for the info Terri! I have a friend that drinks Lapacho for her asthma and I don’t think she knows about the side effects or rotation option.

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58
drank French Blend by English Tea Store
2221 tasting notes

Given the description of this tea, I’m honestly surprised that I thought it wasn’t too bad. Lavender? Jasmine? Earl grey? Sounds like something perhaps Dinosara or Alphakitty would love, but not me! However, this blend was actually quite well-done, and the floralness was tamed to a level that I actually didn’t mind. The flavours I was picking up from the black tea blend were also quite pleasant. The biggest problem with this tea was that it was astringent after my 2.5 minute infusion. I didn’t grab any to give it another shot, but if I could tame the astringency, I could perhaps enjoy drinking this straight. I imagine, however, that it would be best (and quite tasty!) with milk and sugar.

Thanks for letting me sample this one, Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

I think this is the same as New Mexico Tea Company’s French Blend and yes, I do love it! Very heavy on the floral. The base gets bitter fast so I usually go with a cold brew.

Kittenna

Interesting. Maybe I’ll have to get Sil to set a bit more aside for me…

Sil

..and SOLD! to the woman who opened her mouth!

Sil

(also…sipdown!) bwahahahaha

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73

Thanks to Lala via Sil for letting me try out another pear tea! Unfortunately, although this blend is quite pleasant, it fails to hit the “pear” mark. I wonder if that’s because prickly pear is actually cactus, not pear! (Probably.) That said, I’ve been dying to try cactus teas as well, so it worked for me!

Anyhow, I didn’t make great notes on this as I drank it at our meet up, but it was a lightly flavoured green, very smooth and sweet. It didn’t taste like a typical flavoured sencha, which I am not fond of, so that was appreciated. I’ve only had prickly pears a couple times previously, but the quality of exotic fruits obtained in Canada is usually questionable at best, so even if I could remember how they tasted, I’d be skeptical as to whether that was what they really tasted like. So, about the best I can do is say that it was fruity and I enjoyed it. I do have enough for another cup, so hopefully at that time I can better articulate it! I also noticed that other people mentioned strange flavours – I didn’t taste any of those :)

Thanks again to the both of you!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Profile

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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