2246 Tasting Notes

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
2246 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
2246 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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85
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
2246 tasting notes

Shared a pot of this with the girls at Sil’s house yesterday! I brought home some to try via my usual mug method as well, but I will say that this is a tasty blend. I’m loving the base tea, and the actual crust flavour I’m picking up here. The strawberry is nice but a touch weak, and I’m not really picking up any sense of rhubarb. However, I can’t wait to try my normal method and see if it makes a difference!

Thanks for letting us try this one, Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Travel mug #3. Almost gone :( I wish I could justify picking up more of this one, because it’s one of my favourite strawberry teas. Hopefully they’ll bring it back one day. I’m probably going to hoard my last cup until it is flavourless D: Perfect strawberry crisp flavour. Never really did pick up the rhubarb, but also never really cared.

ETA: So glad this one resists a second-infusion oversteep. Mmmm.

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

Kittenna,, I agree that this one really captures the taste of strawberries, I find that other strawberry teas just turn out to taste like mixed berries most of the time…

Kittenna

Yeah, and the crisp flavour in here, the light cinnamon, toasty oatmeal… is perfect.

GiggleGoddess

How does this one compare to Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait (that they are currently selling)?

GiggleGoddess

I just did some more digging and it looks like you can still buy it… http://www.davidstea.com/portal.aspx?CN=61A404CD961D

Sil

Kittenna…you think i’d like this one? haha

Kittenna

You know, you might. Unfortunately I’m nearly out and rather protective… I’d love to order more but there’s the whole huge stash thing…

Sil

haha reason i was mostly asking was that imighthavebeenthinkingaboutplacingadavidsteaorder

Indigobloom

Sil, you know… we have you on record now :P

Kittenna

I’m saving the email!!! Also, what else were you thinking of getting?

Sil

lime gelato/strawberry rhubarb?

Kittenna

Yes, I see that now, haha. Btw you can buy gift cards to hit free shipping.

Sil

hmmm…. well crap that’s good to know. Or i could try and get it from the stores…

Kittenna

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble is not available in any store to my knowledge, and hasn’t been for quite some time. Lime Gelato should be. If you need to pick up a gift card to hit free shipping, I can buy it off you, since I of course an always picking up new samples. I’m down to $4 from the $30 I got with my Boxing Day order.

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87

Travel mug tea #2! This tastes much like other teas of the same name that I have tried. A touch of artificialness at the end of the sip, and it tastes like it might be a bit lighter than other versions (but I could be imagining both things). Either way, it’s a suitable replacement for the DT version, at least for the time being!

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

Why is it limited edition, do they not normally do MOs?

Kittenna

No idea.

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93
drank Lime Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
2246 tasting notes

Tea #1 that came along to my tea meetup with Sil, Indigobloom and Raritea! We seriously spent about 6 hours just doling out teas. Not even kidding. All in all, a super fun day! I should definitely be asleep now.

This one was tasty in the thermos, as I expected. Once lukewarm, it tasted a bit thin though, which I wasn’t particularly fond of, although the flavour remained delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
TheTeaFairy

Steepsterites gatherings always sound like lots of fun :-)

Sil

We need to have one near Montreal sometime :)

Indigobloom

Road trip??? :D

TheTeaFairy

Sil, now that’s an idea!
OMG, Indigo, road TEArip ?? Could be like that movie, SIDEWAYS, except that we’d go visit teahouses instead of wineries!

Indigobloom

hahaha YES! I would so be up for that!!

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drank Russian Maple Souchong by Tealux
2246 tasting notes

I’ll have to write a proper tasting note later, but I brewed this up yesterday and drank some – although it’s drinkable straight (as in, not too harshly smoky), I was disappointed at the lack of maple flavour. Drinking it the next day, it’s a bit sweeter; definitely different from a straight lapsang, but not quite what I was hoping for. Fingers crossed I can coax a bit more flavour out of it next time! Currently withholding a rating (I think I’d give it about a 60 right now, because if I just want smokiness, there are other teas I’d prefer).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec
Indigobloom

it sounds interesting!! but I’d be so disappointed if it wasn’t what I imagined

Tea Sipper

You could mix this one with Tealux’s other maple tea…

OMGsrsly

Good to know. This is one tea I am super curious about, even though I don’t love smoky flavours. I had hoped the maple would temper it a bit.

Kittenna

Tea Sipper – I was thinking about ways I could make it mapley. Unfortunately I didn’t pick that one up from them, but I do have real maple syrup, so might try sweetening it that way. Just a bit disappointing when you’re expecting a more mapley flavour (like Autumn Leaves or Oh Canada).

OMGsrsly – I do not recommend this if you don’t care for smoke. Although, it’s not as bad as some teas I’ve had, in terms of smokiness. That said, it did taste like bacon.

OMGsrsly

That’s kind of what I was hoping for! Maple bacony flavoured tea. :) But from your description I would prefer more bacon.

Kittenna

Haha, well, it is kind of bacon-y! If you’re curious to try a sample, I’d be quite willing to send you some or do a small swap! I totally have some of 52teas’ Maple Bacon as well, from Azzrian :)

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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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