24 Tasting Notes
Santa’s Secret was the final tea in the 2013 DavidsTea advent calendar, and it was a nice way to finish off the box. I love the look of the tea, with its lovely candy cane sprinkles, and the peppermint goes well with the black tea.
Essentially, this is just a pepperminty black tea, which is perfect for a cold winter morning. It doesn’t actually taste like candy canes, though!
I’m not a huge pu’erh drinker, but I have to say that I was expecting more chocolate flavor from this blend based on the smell. It’s quite chocolatey when you first open it up, but very little of that chocolate flavor transferred over to the brew, which had a much more prominent orange flavor.
It definitely had that pu’erh earthiness to it (mmm, orange flavored dirt!). Since this has actual chocolate pieces in it, it does make for an oily tea that leaves a residue behind.
Vanilla Orchid was quite a surprise. A lot of times DavidsTea’s flavorings overpower the taste of the tea itself, but I didn’t think that was the case here. The vanilla flavor wasn’t too overpowering and nicely complemented the oolong. Plus, it smelled delicious!
I steeped this multiple times, but only the first cup had the subtle vanilla flavor. On subsequent steeps, I got more of the very slight floral flavor from the oolong, though.
Sleigh Ride was one of the teas included with the 2013 DavidsTea advent calendar. Like a lot of herbal blends, it contains hibiscus blossoms, which have a tendency to overpower all other flavors. Unfortunately, the hibiscus flavor is definitely the dominant note in Sleigh Ride, which ruined the blend for me with its tartness.
It also has all kinds of tasty ingredients like apple, cinnamon, popped rice, and candied papaya/pineapple, but these were hard to taste with the hibiscus. While I’ll drink the rest of my small sample, I’m not sure this is a blend I will purchase again. I think it could have had a very unique taste without the hibiscus, but with it, it’s just mediocre and similar to so many other herbal blends on the market.
Cinnamon Rooibos Chai smells like a mixture of rooibos and a stick of trident cinnamon gum. There’s a lot of rooibos in this and the cinnamon/clove mixture doesn’t do a whole lot to mask it, so this is definitely on the sweeter, richer, rooibos-y side.
If you couldn’t tell from that last sentence, I’m not a huge fan of red rooibos. I’ll drink it sometimes, but I don’t love the taste so I prefer it heavily flavored! The Coco Chai Rooibos from DavidsTea, for example, is a lot tastier to me since it hides the rooibos pretty well (and clearly has less actual rooibos per teaspoon).
I don’t know if it was just the rooibos, but this was overly sweet and a bit cloying — I couldn’t even finish a cup.
This was in the 2013 advent calendar, and one of the first mate’s I’ve had in quite some time. This smells strongly of pineapple and citrus when it’s first opened and has hints of a glass of orange juice.
Brewed, it has a mild citrus flavor that’s slightly tropical… it tastes very orangey for not having any orange in it! I was impressed at how well the citrus counteracted the mate’s bitterness — it hardly tasted bitter at all. Main Squeeze quite refreshing and it made for a great pick-me-up on a day when I hadn’t had enough sleep. I’ll definitely try this again — this seems like one that’ll be great on ice.
Earl Grey isn’t something that I drink very often, and Earl Grey creams are something I’ve had even less of, so I’m not terribly experienced with the flavors. That said, as someone who doesn’t really drink black tea, I thought this was quite rich with the vanilla flavor and the bergamot flavor mixed together, though it is lacking in the bergamot department.
It has a very strong vanilla scent and it almost smells like an orange creamsicle in the tin. Its creaminess counteracts the bitterness of the black tea and the bergamot so this is a very mild blend.
I’m not really a fan of plain black teas, so English Breakfast was just average for me. It tasted similar to other English Breakfast teas I’ve had in the past, and nothing jumps out at me as special.
It’s fairly strong and quite bold, with very little sweetness. Something like this would definitely appeal to those who favor plain black teas, but this isn’t a tea I would order or choose for myself.
Glitter and Gold is regrettably not vegetarian, as the little gold sugar balls contain gelatin. I did have a cup of this, but I opted to take out the gold balls before I brewed it, so I’m not sure if I got quite as much sugar as is normally in this blend. I didn’t want to use the gold balls, but they do make for a pretty tea!
Opening the tin gave an overwhelming smell of cloves and vanilla, which is actually rather nice. There’s also a slight fruity undertone, which can be attributed to the orange peel. When brewed, it tastes like cinnamon and vanilla, which masks a lot of the black tea flavor. It’s also very sweet because of the sugar crystals, but good. With the cinnamon, it’s a nice holiday tea that I’d definitely revisit if it was vegetarian.
Read My Lips smells absolutely delicious, like a mint chocolate candy bar. Opening this tin made my whole kitchen smell like chocolate and it smells deliciously chocolatey when brewed too. Oh, also, it looks fantastic with those little lip sprinkles and the huge chunks of chocolate!
The tea itself doesn’t retain too much of the chocolate flavor, being overwhelmed by the peppermint. That’s not a bad thing, though — the combination of the peppermint with the peppercorn for a bit of kick with a slight chocolate undertone makes for a very tasty blend. I am not a huge fan of black tea, but this one was very drinkable.
It’s perfect for warming up on a cold winter day.