475 Tasting Notes

drank Ruby Red by DAVIDsTEA
475 tasting notes

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I love ginger. At a local Thai Restaurant I almost always order the Ginger Lover’s entree. Molasses Gingerbread is probably my favorite cookie. Gingersnaps are definitely up there, though. I always use loads of ginger in my stir fry. Unsurprisingly, I also like ginger in chai. I originally bought this in order to test it for perfecting my own chai blend. I make a point of trying ingredients for blends plain so I can hopefully learn to pick up on any subtle nuances between the products of various companies. This was my first time trying cut ginger, and it was a bit of a surprise. It’s surprisingly heavy. Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised since it is a root, but there is a major difference in size between an ounce of rose petals and an ounce of ginger. I did add a tiny bit of sweetener when I brewed this, since I always put it in my chai, but no milk so I could taste the flavors clearly. It was noticeably sweet, which surprised me since the ground ginger I’ve tried in the past definitely complements sweet things, but isn’t noticeably sweet in tea. Candied ginger is a little too sweet for me in tea, especially if I want a generous kick of spicyness from it. This seemed like a happy medium. It had a mild candied-ginger sweetness, then a nice fiery aftertaste. I can’t wait to try it in a blend!

Flavors: Candy, Ginger, Spicy, Sweet

Boiling 8 min or more

I saw some ginger liquid in the store today. Just a 250 mL bottle of clear liquid. I guess you could just put it into tea?


I LOVE ginger. I used to not, then my friend got me into it (she also got me into being as enthusiastic about garlic and masala chai as her). She loves add ginger to chai. It adds a great flavor.


@MrQuackers: sounds like it could be interesting to try

@KuwiDelight: I eat a lot of garlic as well. My husband’s family has several family recipes that use fresh garlic which is how I got into it. I make my own herbal chai these days because I love chai, but I have definite and somewhat unusual preferences. I use allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. I often tweak it with a different base or extra elements, but those four spices are the core of it. I call it mulled chai since it’s about halfway between masala chai and traditional North American mulling spices.

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Sample from Tea in Spoons’ stash sale. Thank you!

This is ok. I can taste a decent blend of tropical fruits, though the flavors mostly muddle together in a peachy-tropical fruitiness. as with many peach flavored teas, it is slightly too sweet for my tastes. I can taste the red rooibos here, and I do think it takes away from the blend some. I would prefer just green rather than a blend of green and red.

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We’ve been having a problem with flies lately. I finally figured out last night that a couple of windows weren’t getting closed properly and I think that’s how they were getting in. Hopefully once we hunt down the ones that are in the house now, that will take care of the problem. This tea is lightly flavored, and quite pleasant, but not super exciting. The most prominent flavor after the tea itself is peach, but it’s very mild which is a bonus in my case as I find many peach flavored teas to be unpleasantly strong. There are other flavors lurking amidst the peach, but they are hard to pick out and mostly just seem to round out the flavor a little. If I had had more than a few sips of this, I might have more to say but unfortunately I stepped away from my cup for a few minutes and came back to find that a fly had drowned in my tea. A sad waste of a good tea. I may have more to say about this when I try it again.

Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Super Starling!

I spent the second half of the review TERRIFIED that you were going t o say, “And they’d laid eggs in my tea, so I accidentally drank maggots this morning.” What you typed was gross, to be sure, but not nearly as horrifying as where I thought this post was going to go.


Turn off all the lights at night, but leave a bathroom light on, or other small room. They will all go to that room. You can kill them by swatting or spraying (we use hairspray!), put in a sticky trap, or they will die of the stress overnight when they can’t get out.


@Super Starling! Ew. I don’t know exactly how long maggots take to hatch, but I don’t think I leave tea sitting out long enough for that.

@ashmanra: good suggestion. I have noticed some congregating around the nightlight in the bathroom. The number in the house is dropping quickly now that we know how they’re getting in.

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This was the free sample from my last 52teas order. I was a little uncertain about it since I don’t like cardomom. I finally decided to pick out the cardamom since orange pistachio honeybush sounded really appealing. The good news is that I couldn’t taste the cardamom, the bad news is that I couldn’t taste the pistachio. It was a pleasant enough orange honeybush, but not unique enough that I would buy it again. I mostly buy from 52teas for flavor combinations I can’t find elsewhere.

In other news, we bought a kiddie pool last weekend and first and second absolutely love it. It’s been consistently in the 90’s outside, so it’s perfect weather for it. We have it set up on the back porch and they’re sending a couple hours out there every day.

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This is interesting. It’s mildly flavored on a mild blend of honeybush and rooibos. The strawberry is sweet-tart, the coconut is nutty-creamy and the honeybush and rooibos are a faint sweet woodiness. The coconut is a bit artificial, but not at all soapy or chemical like many coconut blends. Not quite as good as the real thing, but pleasant. It pairs well with the strawberry. I definitely want to play with this one to see if I can make it amazing, but I like it reasonably well as is.

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drank Birthday Cake by DAVIDsTEA
475 tasting notes

So I made a latte with this, some toasted sesame seeds, and some of Teavana’s Tropical Nut Paradise that I’m trying to use up because I don’t like it all that much. It was AMAZING! Sweet, creamy, nutty, mapley goodness. Since this seems to blend well and make such an amazing latte, I’m bumping up the rating.

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My cupboard is currently heavy on flavored honeybush and chai, and I’ve really been craving floral tea, so I grabbed this to try. Unfortunately, one teaspoon of these really don’t give a lot of flavor. I’ve definitely had more flavorful rose petals in the past so that’s a bit disappointing. I’ll have to try again with a tablespoonful, but I probably won’t buy rose petals from this company again. Do any of you have a favorite company to buy rose petals from?

Flavors: Rose

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It’s been too long since I had peppermint in my cupboard. It gives me heartburn during the second half of pregnancy, so it’s been somewhere between six months and a year that I last had it stocked. It’s one of my favorite herbals, so it’s good to have it back in stock again. This particular blend seems to be a fairly mild peppermint. Tasty, but it could stand to be a little stronger. Still, it makes a nice cool drink on a hot day. Something is currently wrong with our air conditioner, it is cooling the air but not as much as normal. It’s really hot out right now, so even though it’s about ten degrees cooler in the house as outside, it’s still quite hot in here. That makes peppermint doubly appealing.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sample from Tea in Spoon’s stash sale. Thank you!

This definitely tastes like Birthday (pan)cake. It’s pretty much a maple vanilla rooibos. It’s definitely a solid tea, using good quality rooibos for the base, but it’s not the best maple tea I’ve ever had, and vanilla isn’t usually a flavor I seek out for it’s own sake. I’ll finish off this sample but probably won’t buy more.

Flavors: Maple, Rooibos, Sweet, Vanilla

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I drink a lot of herbal tea, and the occasional cup of traditional tea here and there. I enjoy experimenting with my own blends.

Flavors I like:
Tea (unflavored/dessert blacks, dark, floral or flavored oolongs, jasmine green, unflavored/fruity/floral whites)
Desert (caramel, cheesecake, chocolate, cream, honey, maple, molasses, vanilla)
Spices (allspice, anise, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
Fruit(apple, blueberry, fig, grape, grapefruit, honeydew, lemon, lime, mango, orange, pineapple, plum, raspberry, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon)
Flowers (chamomile, chrysanthemum, hibiscus, jasmine, rose)
Nuts and seeds (coconut, hazelnut, pecan, cashew, sesame)
Grains(barley, rice)
Herbs (dandelion leaf, echinacea, green rooibos, honeybush, mint, rosemary, thyme)
Vegetables (carrot)

Flavors I Dislike: cardamon, elderflower, licorice root, stevia, tulsi; artificial cherry, and almond flavors; bitter smokey, leathery, medicinal, or overly sweet teas

Allergies and Sensitivities: lavender and stevia upset my stomach

I have participated in the Overboard TTB, the Butiki Herbal Blending Box, the Butiki Educational TTB, and the Puerh Beginners Box. I ran the Herbal TTB and the Monthly TTB Club, and am currently running the Herbal and Decaf TTB.

Ratings: I rate teas based not on their objective quality, but on how much I personally liked them. I mostly do this because it’s an easy way to tell at a glance if I’ve tried a tea before and if I’d be interested in buying it. It sometimes takes a while to sort through and find out whether or not I’ve reviewed a tea without rating it.
90-100: Truly excellent tea, will buy again, could drink it every day but might save it for special occasions because it’s just that good, will miss it if it’s not in my cupboard.
75-89: Really good tea, would buy. Might be a solid everyday tea, or something that has a strong appeal but doesn’t quite amaze.
66-74: Good tea, would buy, but will also look for better
50-66: Probably wouldn’t buy this tea, but would drink it if offered
33-49: I will never buy this tea, and would probably even turn it down if it was offered to me.
1-32: I hope to never drink this tea again

I currently have a young baby, so while I’m drinking lots of tea, my activity may be sporadic.



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