Featured & New Tasting Notes

A sample of Spring 2021 harvest. Thank you for your generosity, What-Cha :)

This is now the third harvest I’ve had of this tea. Heavily roasted oolong isn’t my favorite, save for well rested and highly oxidized yancha. But this is nice, nicer than the 2016 and about on par with the 2020.

Sweet and sparkling honey-graham and cardamom taste mixed with black walnut and twigs. This roast is obvious here and lends alkalinity yet it is unobtrusive and allows for the perfumey floral aspect of the lower-oxidixed leaf to come through. At one point, the aftertaste had a playful, fleeting moment of peanut butter mixed with honey crystals. Becomes woodier and tannic as it steeps out. This will likely age into something much like the 2003 Aged Green Heart Oolong https://steepster.com/teas/what-cha/67645-taiwan-2003-aged-green-heart-oolong

Cool to see how much my impression differs from beerandbeancurd’s for the same harvest :)

Flavors: Alkaline, Black Walnut, Cacao, Cardamom, Chocolate, Floral, Graham Cracker, Grass, Honey, Nutty, Peanut, Perfume, Resin, Roasted Barley, Roasty, Sweet, Tannin, Toast, Tree Fruit, Twigs, Vanilla, Woody

beerandbeancurd

Peanut butter?! I need to get studying!

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80
drank Mint Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
3312 tasting notes

Sipdown! (35 | 35)

Finished off as an iced oat latte with maple syrup.

This is a lovely matcha, I find the amount of mint to be just right. Sometimes mint-flavored things can be over the top for me, and then they just remind me of toothpaste or Altoids. But this has a nice amount of mint that’s somewhere in the peppermint or mint chocolate chip ice cream realm. And with oat milk added, it does remind me of ice cream.

That being said, I’m not sure whether I’ll reorder it just because I find mint to be more of a situational flavor for me. With the fruity flavors, I can drink them every day, but I’m not always in the mood for a mint latte if that makes sense. However, this does pair very well with a bit of chocolate syrup (as you would expect) and also with lemonade for a refreshing summer drink. Definitely recommend it!

Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Grassy, Mint, Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
ashmanra

Oh, I just bought this one for Superanna but she hasn’t tried it yet! I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. I bought three flavor matchas and a hojicha for her after seeing the reviews on here and she really liked the hojicha.

She is going to Japan in 2024. Any must see places to see or thins to do? Anyone who has been, I would love to hear from you!

ashmanra

Also, the chocolate syrup is such an amazing idea. I will pass that on. I chose this one, cardamom, and cinnamon for her because she doesn’t love fruity flavors.

Cameron B.

The birthday cake is a good one too! I’ll have to think about the Japan recommendations…

ashmanra

I have been eyeing the birthday cake one since I got the coupon in my email for the third anniversary sale. Good to have a recommendation for it!

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drank Yellowstone by Simpson & Vail
351 tasting notes

I put off tasting this one because I’m not fond of prickly pear flavoring (tried to use the fruit to make juice once and all I did was get lots of little pricklies all over the place and not a whole lot of juice) and there just seemed to be too much going on here. Strawberry and prickly pear and bergamont? How uninspired. The opportiunites to capture Yellowstone are endless: bright colors as many of Yellowstone’s geologic features are vividly colored; candy like for the flowstone by Mammoth; or wooly like a bison covered in snow. It’s a good thing S&V have lots of other yummy teas or I might give up on them!

Flavors: Astringent, Prickly Pear, Strawberry

AJRimmer

Ha yeah I grabbed a few prickly pears during a hike once, intending to make jam with them, but I got tired of dealing with the prickles and left them behind!

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50

Taking a whiff of the dry leaf – oo boy.  Very HEALTHY earthy scent, which is probably mostly the turmeric.  The flavor is much the same, but also stevia.  The stevia and the turmeric are a BIT much together — like the stevia is supposed to make up for the earthiness.   The stevia and turmeric is about all I can taste here.  I can’t even taste the mint, let alone the cardamom.  Good to find out though:  fresh stevia is still really bad for these tastebuds and it isn’t a matter of aged stevia.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 33 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2-3 min

Flavors: Stevia, Turmeric

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94
drank Snow On Green by Teafamille
1451 tasting notes

A sipdown (M: 6, Y: 6)! A sipdown prompt — A tea that goes with snow.

A very sad sipdown and big thanks to Izzy who sent me two sachets two years ago (it’s impossible how fast time flies!). Too bad, it seems it was never sold in public market.

This tea is stunning even it’s a bit older. It is still great, grassy green tea with loads of jasmine, with its amazing aroma and very apparent in taste as well. I do not notice the nectar/honeyish background today, but this tea is so well done I don’t even miss it?

Lie Down / Try Not To Cry / Cry A Lot meme.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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80
drank Chocolate Kiss by Savoy Tea Co
351 tasting notes

I’ve never been a fan of nutella as I think its too sweet, but this is pretty close. Chocolate up front and nutty goodness on the back. All made from puerh, so a different base than other chocolate teas. I think this could find its way into my shopping cart sometime soon (along with the salted caramel puerh)!

Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut

Shae

I always feel like I’m the only one on this planet who doesn’t really like Nutella. I’m glad there are two of us at least!

Martin Bednář

Make it three!

Courtney

Four :)

gmathis

That’s funny … I pulled up my tasting note for the same name (it’s 6 years old) and I was raving about strawberry. I think Savoy must switch out their labels every so often.

Michelle

Gmathis – I mean chocolate goes with everything, right?

gmathis

I haven’t experimented with fish or broccoli yet, so the results are still out…

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81

From Michelle! Thanks so much! An apricot tea on a black base with some matching colored (to apricot) safflower petals. And the apricot flavoring is not lacking — plenty of it here, and then some of that apricot left over in the second steep! It’s a bit of a candy flavored apricot. The base tea seems to really just be a background for the flavors, a little bit of a thin black tea. However, I didn’t see any actual fruit chunks in my sample like the photo shows, so maybe it would have made it even more apricot delicious? But if you’re craving apricot, this suits. Pretty straightforward here.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep

Michelle

This is a comforting sweet tea I reach for when I don’t feel like a straight black. Go for three steeps!

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I had a very, very stressful afternoon today so I turned to a mug of this tea as a source of comfort and grounding. The deep, full bodied and smooth notes of sweet potatoes and semi-sweet chocolate were exactly what I needed to get over some building up anxiety and get in a better mental place. I’ll be on a plane in less than twelve hours, heading to Toronto Tea Festival, and I’m really looking forward to it. Some community is exactly what I need right now!

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Shae

I hope tomorrow is much better!

Kelmishka

Hope the weekend treats you well!

Michelle

The tea sounds lovely and a tea festival even better! Jealous!

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88
drank Silver Bud Red by white2tea
3312 tasting notes

Sipdown! (32 | 32)

Sorry, it’s been a few days since I’ve written a note. I had a couple of all-day work events this week which really just wore my introverted self out. But thankfully now it’s Friday and a half day, woo!

This tea was delicious. It’s been my first tea of the day for a couple of weeks now, and is such a lovely start to the morning. It’s gentle and smooth and just tastes like pure honey with a touch of bread. I’m not sure I’ve tried another tea with such a strong and distinct honey note to it. And not like generic honey flavor, but like actual clover or wildflower honey with those subtle pollen-y floral notes. It reminds me a bit of Taiwanese black teas, but without the other fruity and cinnamon flavors those tend to have.

Anyway, not a very complex tea but super delicious and I would absolutely buy it again. :)

Flavors: Bread, Creamy, Floral, Honey, Malty, Pollen, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Courtney

This sounds incredible!

Cameron B.

Sorry I don’t have any left to share! :P

Courtney

You’re far too generous as it is! ❤

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drank Black Cask Bourbon by Harney & Sons
2688 tasting notes

According to Sheldon Cooper, it is fair copyright use to quote snippets of another writer’s work in the context of a review (watch the closet reorganizing episode).
Therefore, I’m going to respectfully borrow a spot-on description from teaqueen’s review a few months ago: the flavor is not as smoke-forward as the dry leaf and the ingredients list suggest. It’s smooth, slightly sweet, with notes of honey, caramel, cocoa, pine, and earth, with a very light touch on the smoke.

Having used my first sample of lapsang years ago as compost for my zinnias, who’da thunk I’d be deliberately choosing to sip some on purpose?

ashmanra

This one just felt like plain Lapsang to me, and not the best Lapsang I have had. I was hoping for bourbon taste up front and couldn’t find it at all. I think the O’Connor’s Cream from Teageschwendner spoiled me for boozy tea.

Harney had a truly amazing limited Lapsang they carried years ago that was absolutely tops for all Lapsang I ever had. This one didn’t even make the charts.

ashmanra

Found it! The awesome one was called Wuyi Shan Lapsang.

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96

86? 96!
I have this tea from… ehem… very long time, order was placed in May 2021. I tried it once, closed the bag with strong clipper and opened just once again when sending a sample to derk.

I have decided to fullfill ashmanra’s sipdown promptA tea for joyful solitude and meditation because this tea seems best to me for that prompt.

I decided to gongfu it this time, using 8 grams (a little overleafed maybe?) for my 125 ml gaiwan, which was full with leaf. When I infused the leaf for first time, the volume of leaf is half; however still very full gaiwan. So, I guess I never used whole volume of my gaiwan in this session.

I did in total 8 steeps, from 10 seconds long to 40 seconds, with very small increments and only the last one was the watery one.

In between I got very meadow like tea, with hints of herbals (thyme comes to mind), honey notes, a little astringency peeks out as well. The liquor is very viscous, as derk noticed, not much hay, but straw this time.

As of fruity notes, I can point out some stonefruits, however they aren’t much present. There is also yellow melon note a little bit.

I was drinking this tea while studying again, so not so much joyful, but for sure solitude. For those who do meditations, I believe this one could work for them as well. It has got some relaxing properties I assume.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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94

additional notes: Been breaking out some older teas lately, including this solid assam. Probably one of my favorite assams! (My last note - eight years ago- said “the perfect assam”.) Rich, never bitter. Great cold leftovers the next morning. Basically a note to say: I’m still loving this!

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82
drank Poikien Sauna by TakeT
1451 tasting notes

Boys’ sauna is my new office tea, though I had it for a little while (but tried once at home only).

Oh well, this one is good! Sadly not for everyone, as it seems that TakeT uses for sauna teas smoky teas. But the base is probably some Chinese (Keemun) tea, as notice lovely choco notes? Also it is lightly smoky… not sure if from one tea, or it is a blend of base teas; and slighlty malty.

The flavour note is obviously also cocoa, as there are cocoa shells too. I don’t know which aroma they have used (sadly they say only aroma, without more description); but it wasn’t overpowered with any notes.

It was like a hot chocolate, with smoky twist.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Courtney

It sounds really interesting! I just restocked my work tea as well haha.

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80

Ashmanra’s Sipdown Challenge | January 2023 | A tea that goes with snow

I am drinking this one in defiance of the weather, because it’s 37˚F and RAINY and I HATE IT. Bring on the snow! Please!!!

My work-from-home desk is situated right in front of a large window in our home office/yoga room/craft room, so I’m getting a front-row seat to the rain show. It sucks and I hate it. This tea is yummy, but it’s also making me wish I were drinking it on an actually snowy day. I am in A Mood.

The end.

2023 sipdown count: 14/75

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89
drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
2688 tasting notes

I can’t remember the last time I woke up and was disappointed that it didn’t snow the predicted 6 inches…was all primed for snow day serendipity, and it turned out to be just another cloudy workday with slush. :o{

So…something heavy duty was needed to yank my eyes open and my backside out the door. I had some TeaMaze Coffee (puerh/cocoa/coffee beans) leaves left from yesterday—it’s a great second steeper—and combined it with a rollicking spoonful of Braveheart (Savoy Tea; blend of Chinese, Indian, and Sri Lankan black teas). The straight-up breakfast blend cut the cocoa sweetness and made it lean more toward an actual cup of java.

Result: I still want to go back to bed, but the home brew was tasty.

Jen vB

Disappointing Snow Storms are no fun and seem to the be story for my part of the world this winter. I’ve been pulling out all the cozy teas to make up for it.

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88
drank Chocolate Pineapple by 52teas
1815 tasting notes

When I first tried this, I thought I must have underleafed it because the flavor was quite weak. Once I added milk and extra sugar, the flavors really shined. I love the pineapple used by 52teas. It’s so fresh and authentic. I also taste the chocolate and almost a roastiness. This one is unique and fun. I think it tastes best at room temperature. The resteep was super delicious as well.

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75

Another chai but this time with rooibos base. My wrapper says Mint Apple Chai Redbush; but I assume it is very same. Thank you for this tea Devon!

Mostly because I don’t notice any mint at all. Apples are red variety, quite sweet and refreshing. I have been afraid of spicy element, however it is fine and actually it was like a peppery note, like in rose teas. Another spices were cardamom and sweet cinnamon.

It was fine, but nothing I would necessary keep in my cupboard.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Pepper, Red Apple

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 10 OZ / 300 ML

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drank Mate Ananas Mango by Teerausch
1328 tasting notes

2023 sipdown no. 23

This tea is really tasty. It throws me off a bit as there’s a floral-esque scent, but a tropical floral? It’s hard to describe.

Hot: The taste itself is like biting into a merge of pineapple and mango — very juicy and delightful.

Cold: The cold taste was similar, but there was a slight edge of bitterness that I didn’t expect. I may actually prefer this one hot.

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73

Thought I had added this tea but apparently I forgot to. Picked this one up when we were in Kaua’i. I miss you, Kauai. I found this bag at the Kaua’i Plantation. It is, unfortunately, not made with Kaua’i-grown leaves but a good blend nonetheless. The dry aroma is a bit of lilikoi and a bit woody but not very strong. The flavor is fruity with very subtle woody notes. Good blend but not one that I would buy again.

On another note… I just feel the need to post this not for my own validation but just as a place to remind myself. I cut off ties with my cousin and aunt today. For the past 2 years I’ve kept trying over and over again to talk with them but every time I only go through depression. I need to take my health into account because my health affects not only me but my husband and kids too. I love them both and I truly wish things could be better but at the end when she said I don’t care about family, I don’t care about you… I knew that was enough. It’s time to say goodbye. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omgSWqwVTjY I also post this because I invite others who are dealing with difficult relationships to take a step back and see how it’s affecting you and those directly around you. You’re worth more then their abuse.

vallhallow

❤ Glad that you are creating healthy boundaries for your mental health, that can be especially hard with family.

Kelmishka

Good for you! That sounds hard but necessary.

Michelle

Sometimes you just gotta love yourself more than the people who don’t value you. Thanks for sharing with the group that DOES value you :)

tea-sipper

Yes, sorry about what you’re going through with your cousin and aunt but also thank you for talking about it. I think today I needed that “step back” you mentioned. :D

Skysamurai

It’s so tough tea-sipper but so needed too. We got your back!

tea-sipper

Thanks :D

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Geek Steep S2E29 – Weirld Al

Sipdown (2065)!

The Saga Begins is probably my favourite Weird Al song (though Amish Paradise is a VERY close second), and it’s also the song that was my introduction to Weird Al in general. It’s a masterclass in narrative story telling – and it will always blow my mind how Al managed to summarize a whole movie in a song, make it funny, and rhyme fucking midichlorians.

The tea I picked was honestly mostly an excuse for me to geek out about an element of the Star Wars universe that I love so much – light sabers and the kyber crystals that power them. There’s so much lore behind what the colour of your light saber symbolizes, and I eat that shit up. This tea gem may have been called Pink Tourmaline, but realistically it’s purple. A beautiful, deep purple colour that looks very similar to Mace Windu’s iconic saber. Of course, it was that colour PURELY because Samuel L. Jackson just wanted a purple sabey – but I’ve always loved the lore that Jedi who use purple lightsabers embrace both the light and dark sides of the force.

If I was gonna have a light saber, it would be purple.

The tea itself is fine – it’s a very sweet Earl Grey with notes of lavender. Less floral than you would think, but still present. Not really anything special in term of taste, but like all the tea gems it just has a very cool visual.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEcjgJSqSRU

Kelmishka

Both of those are such excellent Weird Al songs!

ashmanra

My son was in the 501st and got to appear onstage with Weird Al as a dancing sandtrooper. LOL

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85

additional notes:  My original note for this was for a really old teabag — so I think it’s time to update for the loose leaf.  It’s Lupicia’s extra special strawberry flavoring — the rare tea shop that can get strawberry right, with a nice balance of chocolate on rich puerh. Usually if I crave a strawberry tea I know to go for Lupicia.  If I wasn’t trying to make this small amount of this last a while, I’d probably use two teaspoons but a teaspoon and a half is fine.  Raising the rating from 80.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug //  19 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5 min

Cameron B.

I agree, Lupicia does strawberry so well!

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drank Organic Ceremonial Matcha by Amoda Tea
1982 tasting notes

I’ve learned since I first tried this matcha that I’m not a fan of matcha on its own. I do, however, enjoy it sometimes flavored or mixed with other things. I’m mixing it today, using a recipe from Half Baked Harvest for an Iced Strawberry Milk Matcha Latte – https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/strawberry-milk-matcha-latte/.

I’m a little worried about the amount of matcha in this for one serving (2 tsp) since matcha does tend to make me jittery (even though everything I’ve read says it won’t make you feel jittery in the same way that coffee does). I’m also probably more sensitive to caffeine than a lot of people, so maybe that’s why. But of course I had to follow the recipe so two teaspoons it is. And I have to say, it’s really tasty. The main flavor is the strawberry but the matcha sort of lingers at the end. My head does sort of feel like it’s floating above my body at the moment, so I might need to do light caffeine for the rest of the day. Overall, this was delicious!

Preparation
2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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83

This is an absolutely lovely violet blend. I love violet, but the violet flavoring in teas can either go really delicious or really terrible. When this is hot, the violet flavor is very much like a Chowards violet candy. As it cools, the black base becomes much more noticeable. I don’t love the base, but the violet flavor is still enough to make up for it.

Shae

I will forever be grateful to you for introducing me to violet and violet teas! <3

amandastory516

I’m so glad I was able to introduce you to something you enjoy!!

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This was part of last fall’s anniversary surprise, and I left the mini-tin sealed until now. However, the label said just plain “cacao,” so when we opened and got a whiff of peppermint, I went to the website and confirmed that they do sell a mint version—just a labeling boo-boo. (I emailed the company to see if they would consider making good on what was originally ordered…results yet unknown.)

But, all that said, let’s talk cacao mint. Oliver Pluff has done well with the blend—crunched up the cacao enough that it steeps richly and smoothly. The mint is neither too mild nor too spicy to overshadow the cacao. Not what I expected, but in an unexpectedly pleasant way.

ashmanra

Now have some Junior Mints with it!

Shae

One day I’m going to make an order with Oliver Pluff. Their teas look really interesting and I like the history lesson that comes with each one.

gmathis

My care package contained Congou, Cranberry, Whiskey Rebellion, and this “oops” mint. The cacao part was evidently a favorite of Martha Washington.

gmathis

Oh, and Oliver Pluff is just fun to say aloud!

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