989 Tasting Notes

83

I went to my local tea store yesterday to pick up a bunch of teas for my boyfriend, he loves their Tall Mountain Oolong and he tried a second flush darjeeling and quite enjoyed it, so yesterday he stocked up on Tall Mountain and is trying a first flush darj and also picked up some heavenly smelling jasmine pearls. I have yet to try the latter two. I have been curious about breakfast blends, but I usually am terrible with strongly caffeinated teas and milk lol, but I decided to pick up this one to try an EB but without the caffeine! Also picked up some Lord Grey, an amazing cream of EG blend which I will review later.

The dry smell of this is actually a bit fruity lol, whether from contamination or it just is like that, I’m not sure, as it’s my first English Breakfast Blend. I steeped it for roughly 3 minutes, and the liquor is dark and smells like a lovely black tea.

As for the flavor without milk and sugar added, this is a nice and hearty tasting black tea for being decaf! It has some floral characteristics along with some fruit to me, and it tastes full and warming. I will now add a bit of milk and some sugar for the full English Breakfast experience.

Mmm, with the milk and sugar this smooths right out into a lovely full tasting black tea. It’s just so cozy and rich. I am quite enjoying this – a much different flavor than my usual array of Chinese black teas, with all their sweet potato and honey notes. This also has a sweet note, but it’s a more creamy sweet note, and I really like it.

Overall, this is quite delicious. Now that I know English Breakfast (at least in decaf form) isn’t too scary, I might eventually bite the bullet and try a full English breakfast tea. Or a Scottish Breakfast, they said that one is a bit lighter, haha this is out of my usual comfort zone so I will need to read up on these types of tea! Unfortunately my local store sells teas by a minimum of 50g, so it is tough to commit to a blend unless I really love it, as I have found out in the past (I have teas kicking around over a year old due to the large quantity you buy). But so far, I really like this and will enjoy it more as the weather gets cooler :)

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85
drank Pumpkin Patch by DAVIDsTEA
989 tasting notes

The second new pumpkin-y tea from DavidsTea that I got last week! This one is a huge improvement over Pumpkin Cheesecake lol. Unfortunately I am at work so I can’t write an overly detailed note, as I made this in my travel mug, but I have had 2 or 3 cups at home prior to this since I got it lol, so that sums up how it is.

I remember this smelling so caramelly and mapley I thought it was contaminated by Pumpkin Cheesecake at first. But turns out this tea really is a lovely sweet maple tea, with a fair amount of spice balancing out the sweetness. The base holds its own much better than an rooibos would. To be honest, I don’t find this overly spicy, but then again, I drink Super Ginger frequently and it doesn’t bother me either lol, so I think spices in tea don’t really get to me that much. This tea, however, has a really nice spice note mixing with the sweetness. I don’t get a whole lot of pumpkin….that is my only complaint, maybe I don’t know what pumpkin really and truly tastes like in a tea? But I haven’t really found a tea that tastes overly pumpkin like I guess lol…so I’m not sure. I guess this is probably the closest, this or Pumpkin Chai by DavidsTea or Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie by Della Terra lol. This one definitely has pumpkin spice though!

Overall, I have been quite enjoying this tea. I need to have a cup of Pumpkin Chai later to determine which is my favorite. But so far, this is quite delicious!

Flavors: Caramel, Maple, Spices

Fjellrev

I’m with you on the pumpkin confusion. I don’t know what a pumpkin flavouring itself, without any spices, is supposed to taste like. Maybe it has more to do with achieving that perfect balance of pumpkin pie spices than the squash itself?

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90

This is a much better cup than that pumpkin concoction I tried earlier lol. Soft, fresh, soothing. ..I need this right now. Bad days call for good tea. Hopefully I can relax and drift off to sleep after some yoga and this tea. See previous notes!

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drank Pumpkin Cheesecake by DAVIDsTEA
989 tasting notes

New tea, first tasting! Yay! The name of this one sounds so promising…the dry smell, mapley and sugary and sweet. Not much pumpkin…not much cheesecake. It is akin to Della Terra’s Carrot Cake for sure as a few other reviews have noted. I steeped it for 5 minutes with boiling water. The steeped smell is also ridiculously sweet, lots of maple sugar.

As for the flavor, also sweet maple flavor, with some creaminess. It’s not too bad, not a whole lot of pumpkin flavor, but there is a bit, and there are some spices as well. Very similar to Carrot Cake by Della Terra lol, which I didn’t mind, except for the fact I couldn’t find the cream cheese icing part. This one, I can’t really find the cheesecake part either! And it’s really quite sweet for my tastes. But it’s caffeine free, and will be nice for if I get a sugar craving.

Non tea related part below, skip if you want

Ugh, sorry for the hasty, messy note. I am in a right terrible mood right now due to problems with my house, aka inlaws wanting to renovate the whole basement of our house and basically taking liberties to rip up an entire room in the basement. Oh yeah, that also helps my sensitive, asthmatic lungs heal. I went down there and couldn’t breathe. Just wonderful. Sorry for the rant, I usually don’t like to rant on the internet. But there you have it. Hopefully my review doesn’t zoom up to the top of the feed LOL. No rating on this tea yet cuz I just can’t think straight to rate it.

MissLena

Oh, lovely, there is my note, at the top of the reviews, at least on my browser. :D lol

Fjellrev

The situation with your house sounds completely unreasonable. I hope it’ll get better for you soon.

Courtney

I agree with Fjellrev. I hope it’s over quickly and you can get back to normal.

MissLena

Yeah I hope it sorts itself out, it will be easier with the bd back to talk to his folks lol, being caught in the middle is not the best place to be

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90

I forgot how amazing this tea was, and I am very sorry I forgot how awesome they are lol, because I would have finished off my final sample of these ages ago. But luckily I didn’t, because this is just what I need on this Monday morning. I am not entirely with it this morning and a fair bit irritable, so hopefully this delicious, sweet, malty tea will help me to smooth out and not be annoyed with certain somebodies at work….ugh. Also listening to classical music, so the combo should do a lot to get me on track haha. See previous notes on this amazing tea!

Fjellrev

I’m also listening to classical music! And I’ve been tempted by my last sample of this but I’m hoarding it haha.

MissLena

Classical music is the best at work, I listen to that or ambient electronic mostly haha. I say drink your sample, it’s so worth it! I might even spring for 100g of this tea, every time I have it I’m like mmm it’s so good, I need this all the time.

Veronica

I’ve considered getting 100g of this one, too. Unfortunately it’s sold out right now. :(

MissLena

Awe really? I will have to watch for when it returns :D I am enjoying the staying power of the pearls! They have held up to multiple steepings throughout the day quite nicely!

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drank Yes We Cran by DAVIDsTEA
989 tasting notes

So when I went to get the two new pumpkin teas at DavidsTea on Friday, I had a sample of this in store and it was actually quite good. After trying a few cups at home, I have determined they must have steeped it for literally about 1 minute, and added a bunch of sugar lol. Nonetheless, I will review the current cup I am having of this tea to know what to improve in the future.

FIrst off, the dry smell is quite pleasant, cinnamon and spices with an apple scent in there as well. Definitely pumpkin spice. The tea in the store tasted very pumpkin-y, so I hoped to achieve this at home. Ok, the first cup I made was a complete write-off – blood red liquor, so tart I actually had to throw the cup out, and I am not a hibiscus hater…but that was just gross. So today, I tried a little less leaf for only about 2.5 minutes.

The steeped smell is still rather tart, although I can pick out the spices at least in there as well. And yes, it is still bright red. Ugh, less steep time next time.

As for the flavor..it is a huge improvement over the first cup, but this still isn’t the sweet spot. True, I can taste the spices, a pumpkin flavor, and a tiny bit of sweetness, but it is still quite tart and in need of some sweetener I think. Maybe I’ll add some brown sugar….okay, added some and some pancake syrup and not much change. Still quite overpoweringly tart. Whether it’s from the cranberries, rose hips or hib, I don’t know but…yeah. Gah. Ah well, can’t win them all. It is slightly improving as it cools, but still not a favorite.

Overall, I am not impressed with this tea. It was so tasty in store that I bought some, and at home it is just blah. I never sweeten my teas unless it is honey to enhance already awesome flavors (aka my amazing ginger teas), so the fact that I was adding random stuff does not bode well. I will play with it some more, as I know it has good potential, and I love the idea..but currently it’s just not for me. Sorry, but I will say this so far to this tea…No, we Cran’t. :(

Flavors: Hibiscus, Spices, Tart

Fjellrev

I swear that is what they do with a lot of their in-store samples: steep them for a shorter amount of time. You can tell even by the colour of the liquor, but maybe that’s what one ought to try at home too? I keep forgetting to haha.

MissLena

Haha yeah this one I was hoping 2.5 minutes would be short enough..but it will probably be around 30s to a minute that actually works. The color in store was a light pink, not red even haha and so far all I’ve gotten is that deep hibiscus red…ugh.

Fjellrev

Yeah, come to think of it, it seems like all hibiscus blends get super concentrated in no time, so maybe these blends should be steeped much shorter. Experiments are to be had!

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80

A big thanks to the lovely Angel at Teavivre for this free sample! I am slowly but surely getting through all these samples.. :D

The dry smell of this one is quite lovely. Honey, with a hay note I find in quite a few white teas. Sweet and soft for this lazy Sunday morning (massively cleaned the house yesterday, maybe today I can devote some time to tea reviews haha). I am steeping for 3 minutes for this first cup at around 194 degrees as per Teavivre’s directions (1-5 mins recommended). The leaves were a bit broken up, mostly flat leaves, but a lot of them in each packet! I am using approximately 1/3 to 1/4 of the first packet. The steeped scent is a light honey/crystal sugar smell, not as much hay. It is quite pleasing and light, I like the smell for a first Sunday cup!

As for the flavor, this is a very light white tea, with notes of mild hay and a slightly sweet, honeyed taste. I detected a slightly cooling flavor as well, almost a mint-like sensation, but no mint flavor, more of a grass note.

Overall, this is a pretty mild and inoffensive tea. It isn’t wowing me per say, but it’s a pretty standard white tea that I will have no trouble drinking, as it tastes like a solid, dependable choice for a white tea. It is light and refreshing, and the hint of sweet is quite nice. I actually am drinking it quite fast as it’s easy to drink and satisfying. Not a bad little tea! Thanks again Teavivre for the opportunity to try this tea! Might keep it in my cupboard as a standard, reliable white tea for when I just want to relax with a simple cup, not too complicated, but still quite good :)

Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey

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91

Ahhh, I have had this tea before but I haven’t written a review yet, time to fix that! I was craving this at work yesterday but instead had my standard Cold 911 for my lungs/allergies lol, so on this dreary, gray Saturday morning, I am cozying up with my cup of this chai.

The dry smell is very spicy, lots of pepper, some cardamom, ginger, a very lovely spiced chai smell. It opens the sinuses and invigorates. I followed WP’s steeping directions, at around 205 degrees for 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a reddish brown in color, and the vanilla that Brenden does so well is present in the aroma, along with the mingling of spices, smoothed by the vanilla and the base. I have never had the Golden Snails Yunnan by itself (or fondly known as Snaily Yums on here I think lol), but I should try it out, as I love Yunnan black teas.

As for the flavor…mmm, this is quite a good chai. The flavors meld seamlessly – The spices at the forefront, the honeyed/malty base in the middle blending into a rich vanilla aftertaste, with the spices still kicking around. I can’t really pick out specific spices, which I find to be the mark of a great chai, not one overpowers the other. They instead blend into a spicy and warming concoction. The vanilla really adds the final touch, with it’s sweetness, it just smooths out the sip and leaves you wanting to have another drink, and another…yeah, it’s pretty good. The flavor profile, if my memory serves me correctly, reminds me of Verdant’s Laoshan Village Chai, but instead of a chocolatey base, this one has a more honeyed flavor from the Snails, and the vanilla is richer and more prominent here I think.

Overall, this is a delicious cup of yuminess, and I like that it is different from the other chais I have in my cupboard (enter Yu Lu Yan Chai haha). It is a more mellow chai, for cozy fall days, and I might keep it in my cupboard to contrast with the bold Yu Lu Yan Chai, which still might hold my heart for favorite chai, but we will see, this one is not too far behind! Another wonderful tea blend from Whispering Pines! Lol, under the flavors tab, I wish there was one for ‘awesome’, as that’s the best way I can describe this tea lol.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Spices, Vanilla

Fjellrev

Nice review! What do you think you get allergies from? Oddly enough, I almost never had that problem when I lived there (save for poplar when it would be really heavy), but I started to develop allergies to who knows what once I moved to Vancouver Island.

MissLena

Thank you :) This year is particularly bad for me, I think it’s due to pollen from the flowers in my yard and dust/mold/dampness at work mostly. We had a weirdly humid and hot summer with tons of forest fire smoke, so I think that set off my asthma and its been downhill from there lol. You definitely could be noticing allergies from more humidity on the coast, as well as a longer growing season as its milder there and also different plants with pollen, etc. I know my family has always had asthma problems and a great grandfather of mine actually had to move from England as the damp cool weather was too hard on his lungs. I’m definitely not an expert on allergies lol, but you can always try to get an allergy test to help figure out triggers, or ask your doctor what they think. Hopefully they go away soon!

Fjellrev

Yikes, I was unaware that there were a lot of forest fires this summer. And that sucks that you have asthma! I hope you are able to keep it under control. I’ve been experiencing allergies on and off since I moved here. First I thought it was from living in basements (combine that with the humidity here and you’re looking at Mold City), but who knows!

MissLena

Haha yeah this summer the smoke from fires in BC and NWT drifted down to us, bad wind currents I guess :( ah well you do what you have to do. Allergy pills help quite a bit! Mold could definitely be the culprit, we just got a dehumidifier for the basemen and it works wonders, gets so much water out of the air!

Fjellrev

What kind of antihistamines work best for you? I sometimes use Benadryl, but the drowsiness can really slow down my productivity so I abstain from taking them as much as possible.

MissLena

I used to use Reactine, but the 24 hr one was so strong, it would completely block up any release of mucus, so one night I was coughing and it was really hurting my chest as nothing could come out, and it also gave me a super dry throat. Now I have been using Aerius Allergy + Sinus, the sinus part doesn’t dry your entire sinuses out too bad and it seems to work about the same! I have never tried Benadryl, it seems like it would be too strong and I definitely couldn’t handle being that drowsy, I have too long of a commute to and from work to be sleepy!

Fjellrev

Ah ok, I’ve tried Reactine, just a sample, and it didn’t seem to do much, and never tried Aerius. I guess it depends on the person and your needs. I’m glad you found one that works for you. Maybe I’ll try Aerius sometime to see if it won’t make me as drowsy.

MissLena

I find I don’t get drowsy at all from Aerius but that could just be me. Reactine, the regular strength made me super sleepy, extra strength not at all lol so it’s strange for me! Hopefully you find one that works for you! Claritin might also help, although I haven’t personally tried that one.

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85
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
989 tasting notes

Needed a cozy cup of this with the dropping temperatures and long week. I’m having a particularly rough night – missing my sweetie (day 17 of him being away working), stressful day at work, and just blah..this week needs to end. Thankfully I have tea. Especially this cozy tea. This is last year’s iteration and it’s still lovely. See previous notes on this one.

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84

This is the tea I’m having today, and as usual, it is awesome. I will never not have this in my cupboard, almost done my first 4 oz but I have the second tin in waiting. This is just the best EG, if you like bergamot and excellent black tea. Huzzah, and it’s helping with my allergies in the office! Perfection on this first day of autumn. See previous notes on this tea!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Oh, it’s SOOOO good. I don’t drink much Earl Grey, because I’m super picky about it. This is the best. (Numi’s Aged Earl Grey is pretty good, too.)

MissLena

Haha yes this is the one I make for people who want EG when visiting, or coffee drinkers..my dad and my grandpa have even tried this one and enjoyed it! So good :)

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Profile

Bio

Hello all, I am an electrical engineer (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it was excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte, or decent decaf haha)

I enjoy a variety of teas – current favorites being ripe and raw pu’erhs, chinese black teas and herbal/green rooibos blends. I also enjoy white, green, and oolong teas, although I tend to drink them more in the warmer months. I have also tried matcha and guayusa, but I don’t drink them too often as I am a bit sensitive to caffeine. As a result I don’t drink black teas as often as I used to, but in moderation I can still enjoy a wide variety of teas.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I have tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.

Location

Canada

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