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7 Tasting Notes

87

I noticed many complaints about how sweet this tea is. I first discovered it when I had a raging sweet tooth, and although that tendency has died down since then, I still enjoy Red Velvet Cake. The only thing that’s changed is I’ve learned to tweak it a little; after a lucky mishap during which I steeped it for 9 minutes rather than 5, I found the stronger black tea flavour lent my cup a welcome astringency. It was uniquely comforting in a way that astringency is usually not. Less like liquefied cake, and more like a cake-flavoured tea. A lovely treat during exam week. This one is a keeper for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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100

I cannot express my excitement about this tea. I really wish I could. It’s absolutely phenomenal, and my new favourite. I was hooked from the first sniff of the dry leaf, and from there on it got better and better.

The first time I tried it was as a latte, which I think is the ultimate way to make the best of its flavour. It tones down the fruitiness and sky-rockets the nuttiness, making it taste just like an almond cookie. It’s rooibos, so no sweetener necessary. I think that would ruin the subtle hints of the other ingredients. It’s best enjoyed piping hot, so I wouldn’t let this one get lukewarm. I’ve never been a rooibos fan but this tea seriously turned me – it’s so incredibly soothing! Sometimes I find caffeinated teas only make me feel colder in the long run (probably because caffeine’s a diuretic, ahem). Another great thing about it is that a few cups of it before bed actually help me sleep…unlike all of my other teas. This makes me want to try all the other rooibos teas on offer at DT! I had no idea it was so energizing and relaxing until I tried a good quality rooibos, not the supermarket crap I mistook for the real deal.

My beloved travel mug just broke (D:) so I sip a hot hot hot cup of this before I go outside into the chill and I’m perfectly warm. I’m completely in love.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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34

I’ve never been a big fan of mint chocolate, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t like this tea. I was in Tea Guide training at one of the stores, and while learning to make a cup of tea I chose this one. I followed all of the directions so it wasn’t a mistake on my part that led me to have a bad taste in my mouth.

I really wanted to like it, considering how popular it is, and how adorable it is, too! But it really does taste like an After Eight melted in a cup, and I hate those. I didn’t hate the tea, but I certainly didn’t like it very much, either. Maybe if it wasn’t so damn watery, maybe if the minty-sweetness was less balanced and more sweet, as a balance between the two just tastes awkward in my mouth. I’ll be trying it again, but before I do that, I want to give Santa’s Secret and White Chocolate Frost a shot and see if either of those work for me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Reine of Terror

Well, never mind all that. It actually was a mistake on my part – I tried this for the first time as a latte, and made my judgement based on that. This tea is sweet enough without milk and agave, but add those to the mix, and it’s deadly. For me, at least…if there’s mint, I can’t stand more than the subtlest hint of chocolate. That’s what steeping this tea for about 4 minutes gives me, now that I know better. I’m glad I went back and tried it again, because now I crave it regularly. Oh Read My Lips, I’m sorry I ever doubted you.

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100

I’m not usually a fan of chai tea in the slightest, but this one is a keeper, and it grew on me fast. I liked it a little at first, and now I’m a big fan.

It’s meant to be a fall tea, but I know I’ll be drinking it all throughout the cold months. It makes me feel like I’m wrapped in warm blankets even when I’m out in the chilly, soon-to-be snowing weather. Like comfort food in a cup. This will be making my Canadian winter a whole lot more bearable.

I very much like it without any milk and sugar. I’ve come to find that I like to steep it for 8 minutes or so, which gives it much more of a full-bodied black tea flavour that balances out the spices and lets the cute little pumpkin candies come into play even more.

A cold weather tea for any mood.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Reine of Terror

I just got an email telling me that I got the seasonal job I applied for at DT, so I’m drinking a cup of this to celebrate!

Reine of Terror

Tonight, my three closest friends (including my boyfriend) went out to a free Halloween party with great music, one I would have loved to go to. They got ready here and are coming back here to hang out afterwards, since my boyfriend lives with me and my place is the most convenient anyway. That’s cool.

Today, I’ve been running on three hours of sleep, my burning shoulders a testament to the tension I’m feeling with midterms, illness, a new apartment and a new job all in the same week. I’m spending the night doing assignments, and it’s safe to say I don’t feel so great, but I’m going to do what needs to get done. I decided to make myself a cup of tea to perk up my weary brain, and upon going to my cupboard I right away decided that Pumpkin Chai would have to be the one. I made sure to include extra helpings of pumpkin candies.

The first sip was like a cozy cuddle, soothing me and assuring me that I can do this. It’s sitting next to my laptop in my new AquaOvo Thermo mug like a sweet, silent companion. Yummy stress relief is this tea.

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87

This tea was a departure from my usual type of purchase at DT. Recently having fallen in love with their huge selection of uniquely flavoured teas, I got very used to simply following the instructions on the packet and enjoying a perfect tea with next to no effort on my part (it is pretty much in my muscle memory, after all). The Tea Guide on shift during my visit strongly recommended it and I was blown away by the full-bodied aroma of vanilla and bergamot, so I picked up 50g and took it home to steep.

It did not come out perfect, that’s for sure. I steeped it for 6 minutes (partly because I ended up wandering away for a bit, oops) and it came out quite bitter, which overpowered the creamy vanilla component I had been captured by. I steeped the consecutive cup at 2.5 minutes and was more careful with my measuring of the loose leaf. This came out considerably better, absolutely perfect I would even say.

Then I remembered that I had just bought a carton of almond milk (I like it a whole lot more than regular milk – it doesn’t have that slightly sour lactose taste) and popped in a dollop. This addition blew me away. I do like it just the same as without, though, so I think I’ll be having every other cup plain – I find it so special that it tastes like something has been added already.

I have to say I do love the experience of needing to toy around with it to decide how I like my tea, instead of just being satisfied right away. Feels less…modern, in a good sense – analog instead of digital.

Rich, aromatic, indulgent, soothing, stimulating, floral, sweet, creamy. Yum.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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73

Some people seem to mind it, but I love the strong rose flavour! I picked up three 50g bags of tea at David’s – Chocolate Orange Pu’erh, Mango Diablo Green, and Rose Congou Green, and the rose was easily my biggest favourite. The most intense rose flavour in any tea that I’ve encountered, and balances nicely with the green tea as well. Definitely a staple in my kitchen from now on (it also goes with nearly everything).

EDIT: Bumping the rating down a little bit, I believe I was overzealous by how new the rose flavour was to me in combination with a green tea. It’s not something that I can drink year round or for too long – that I can get sick of it is a serious detriment for me. But it is lovely, nonetheless.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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When I get hurt, I bleed tea.

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Toronto, ON, Canada

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