2716 Tasting Notes
Thank you TheLastDodo for the sample! I’m not too big on chamomile, but I was definitely curious about this one anyway. And, I promise that’s not a bad pun.
Steeped this one up hot last night; it’s a lot softer than I expected and very, very smooth. The chocolate is the focus here and it’s accented quite nicely by the cinnamon and the fennel which are subtle but add a delicate, sweet spicyness. The natural malt from the Laoshan Black is delicious; and the spearmint creeps in right at the finish to add a lovely, refreshing coolness. Also, thankfully, I can’t taste the chamomile!
All in all, this was a great tea for the end of the night! It had a rich flavour, but not an in your face one and with the chocolate and mint pairing it made me think of a really fancy, well executed tea version of an After Eight chocolate. Mmm!
Ah DAVIDsTEA, your love of coconut is so predictable. I’m pretty sure no one was surprised by the inclusion of an obviously coconut focused blend this season. What did surprise me, however, was the classification of this tea. It’s got honeybush listed as the first ingredient which to me says that it’s the ingredient in the largest quantity and yet this is still listed as a herbal/tisane and not classed as a rooibos/honeybush blend? That confuses me a lot. I’d really like a break down of the thought process that took place here.
Also surprisingly, I had the perfect excuse to do a cold brew for this one and instead I found myself brewing it up as a hot tea! It was alright; the most dominant flavor was the honeybush which again begs the question ‘why did you class this as a herbal!?" but it was pretty equally matched by the strong flavour of both fresh coconut and toasted coconut. I actually did expect a little more coconut flavor because DT had the biggest excuse to go all out here, but I’m happy with the level that’s present. Yummy! It definitely reminds me of coconut ice, minus the ice part. But the crisp, fresh flavor is really well conveyed.
Also, COCOA SHELLS! I’m really happy that DT hopped on board with the love of cocoa shells here because they do such a better job at conveying a smooth chocolate flavour than chocolate chips would have done; plus no oily chocolate goop! Their use here was definitely a smart decision, though I did find the flavour mild in comparison to everything else going on and I don’t know if the blend would have been lacking had chocolate not been included at all. I think they contribute more to the aroma than the taste itself.
I liked this one; probably would have liked it better cold but I wanted to switch things up a bit and be less predictable with my preparation. I’m sure I’ll happily finish off the rest of my trial sample though I do doubt I’ll pick more up afterwards because while this was tasty I just don’t think it was different enough to warrant a need for me. Coconut lover will be all over this one, though. I’m sure it’s gonna do really well.
Cold Brew Sipdown (118)!
This is the blend I was least interested in from the Summer Collection, but because it’s gotten the best reviews of the three new blends thus far I decided it’d be the one I started with for my own home prep.
Dry I think this has a really intense aroma, and it reminds me a lot of Lipsmacker’s Strawberry Kiwi flavour. It’s very over the top, and really candy sweet. And as long as this doesn’t mysteriously pick up a ‘waxy’ taste then I think that’s a good thing because candy is obviously what DT was going for. I’m not totally sure where I’m getting strawberry from though since that is definitely not one of the ingredients in this: but it’s distinctly strawberry and NOT cherry or cranberry.
Steeped up and strained this has a powerful flavour; it’s incredibly sweet with just a hint of tartness. The first thing I noticed was actually the absence of a flavor – coconut in this case. DAVIDsTEA is really heavy handed with coconut as an ingredient, in fact three out of five of this seasons blends have coconut as an ingredient! It’s only the returning blends that don’t, and I can’t help but wonder if they were maybe so popular because of the lack of coconut. I definitely anticipated the coconut to be strong though – and I’m not getting it at all. It’s really weird, actually. And thinking about it, I don’t remember seeing any coconut shreds in the measured out leaf either.
The first flavor I’m actually tasting though is the kiwi – it’s much strong than I thought it would be. It’s followed closely behind by very plump, juicy cherry, cranberry and – yes, strawberry notes too. It tastes A LOT like Strawberry Kiwi Lipsmacker, no matter how hard I try to shake the comparison. Another popular comparison with this one is Jolly Ranchers; both cherry and watermelon. I can understand the comparison, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. Although, it’s reminding me a lot of a summer cold brew favourite of mine: Prickly Pear from Tea Desire, and now that I’m thinking about it not only do both teas have intense kiwi flavour but Prickly Pear also has a rich melon flavour so maybe I am subconsciously drawing melon comparisons too.
I may be the first ‘negative’ review of this one though; while I didn’t think it was bad I did think that ultimately there was too much going on about about half way through my cold brew I was just getting really sick of the intense sweetness and artificial fruit flavours. I get why it’s getting good reviews so far, it’s different from a lot of other tisanes from DT; but I’d call myself neutral at best. It’s not going to be a restock for me.
This one was my other ‘top pick’ for what to try for my first ever Cashew Milk latte, but I ended up going with Tea Desire’s Sweet Toffee instead. I still might do this one though; I can see the flavours pairing quite well.
Instead I made this up as a cold brew; the almond and cranberry both came through strongly but the vanilla less so. It was really hydrating, but not nearly as satisfying as usual but I’m almost 100% sure that’s because I’m hungover. I think my taste/palate is off whenever I’m hungover; last time I was hungover I was craving floral/perfumey potpourri teas non-stop. That’s definitely not where my tastes normally lean when sober…
Regardless; I appreciated having this strained and ready to go in the fridge when I got home this morning. Tea makes everything better – even hangovers.
I’m super sweaty and gross right now; I suppose being hungover and drinking a hot latte doesn’t help that at all, though the latte is so tasty I refuse to put it down or wait until it cools…
Inspired by VariaTEA I bought some Cashew Milk from work this week; I’m not big into almond milk at all, but I love cashews so I thought that was something I would definitely be ok with trying out. It also happened to be on sale which was a big bonus! Straight, the cashew milk is different than I thought it’d be. I mean, it tastes great – like cashews but cool and creamy, and not too rich. But the mouthfeel is really thin, like water. A huge part of lattes, for me, is the thick creamy mouthfeel so I anticipate that I’m going to be at least slightly disappointed by the lack of that.
Since I’ve tried this one quite often I thought it’d be a good one to try as my first cashew milk latte ‘cause toffee definitely pairs well with nut flavors, and I know what it should taste like (as a ’control’ if you will). It tastes really good; the cashew is definitely a distinct flavor from the milk but it’s mild enough that it doesn’t mask the flavor of the tea, which can sometimes be an issue with lattes. Because of the toffee there’s a rich creaminess, but I was right about the mouthfeel being really different/thin.
Overall I love the taste so I’m going to continue to play with this for sure – but I think I may just have to get used to the mouthfeel before I get any major satisfaction from these cashew milk latters. Flavor suggestions for what to try out are totally welcomed though! Other than other sweet/dessert teas I’m not 100% sure what to pair with this because the cashew does come through quite clearly.
This is a queued tasting note.
PAYDAY MOTHERFUCKERS! That means finally nabbing the summer blends from DT, but apparently also splurging on things from Chapters. I walked by on the trip home from DT, and saw a “Wreck This Journal”. I instantly got suckered in by the creative element and the impermanence. Take a look at this Before/After thinger from Google for a good idea of what I’m talking about:
Mine definitely doesn’t look that pretty so far, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. One of the first ‘tasks’ in it is to spill your coffee on the page. Well, I don’t drink coffee or have coffee in the house so I improvised (the book says it’s ok to do that) and spilled half my mug of this tea along the pages. It hurt to do it – but mostly ‘cause I was wasting tea if I’m being totally honest. The pages have the nicest yellow/green tint to them now, in addition to being water damaged.
(Totally not the worst water damage to come though; one of the things is to take a shower with the journal…)
As for how it tasted? Mellow with cinnamon, apple, and vanilla notes a top of a really intense guayusa base. I started drinking it hot, but finished it cold/at room temperature. It was better that way.
It’s very refreshing to see another permanent white tea blend on the DAVIDsTEA walls; I’ve been complaining for months about the dwindling amount of permanent white teas – I’ve even suffered some losses that were more emotional than I’d care to admit (Coconut Grove, Sweet Strawberry, and Big Apple…). At least a lot of seasonal blends for Spring featured a white base, and one of the Mother’s Day blends as well.
And not going to lie, the fact this was named by DT’s customers (and has such a cute name) is really appealing as well; I find I’m definitely more drawn in to wanting to try a tea when it has a unique name, even if the ingredients/flavor pairings aren’t that unusual. Let us put an end to the “Earl Grey Creams” and “Jasmine Greens” that every company seems to have a version of; give yours a neat name, and make it stand out!
I’m doing this one iced; yes, iced and not cold brewed. I don’t often have the means to do iced tea because I don’t actually have ice at my place. We don’t own an ice tray, and I don’t have the freezer space in my little apartment for larger bags of ice. I know it could be easily remedied by buying an ice cube tray but I always forget; so iced tea is a special treat for me provided by being in the right place (err, chef’s kitchen) at the right time.
My initial thought when I tried this was of Trident’s Watermelon Twist gum – the sugary, candy sweet watermelon top notes were pretty identical. I was expecting something both more mellow and, based on the name, more in the line of Honeydew so I was a little taken aback but once I got accustomed to the taste I found it really enjoyable. Contrasting that, the tail of the sip was a lot more natural tasting once the sweetness has subsided, and definitely a lot more honey dew than watermelon. I like the layers of melon that this one has. Almost like Trident Layers? That’s a bad pun, sorry.
The body of the sip is interesting too; somewhere in between where the watermelon eases up and the honeydew takes over there are a lot of very strong apple notes and some very vague mango and pineapple notes. I’d say they mostly create a tropical fruit vibe rather than make an impact as unique, stand-alone flavors though.
This was really enjoyable, and I think quite different from any other white blend that DT is currently offering, let alone any of their current blends. I really, really like the way they do Honeydew flavors; I’m thinking in particular of Honeydew Mate and Cool Cucumber (two seasonal blends). I loved both quite a bit (I still have some Cool Cucumber), and they definitely honed in on that awesome honeydew flavor. While DT’s watermelon can get too sweet or artificial, honeydew is a flavor they have successfully nailed. If you’re a fan of either of those two blends I absolutely 100% recommend giving this one a shot.
So I finally got around to picking up the summer teas from DT; definitely later than I had wanted to, but I’ve now tried all five – reviews to follow (hopefully today) for them. I definitely wasn’t impressed by at least one of them, but most I felt were pretty solid.
This one I tried as an in store sample, iced. The other one they were sampling the day I went was Mint To Be; definitely did not have an interest in that one. And actually, I didn’t have much of an interest in this either if I’m being honest. I know it was around last year; but there were a few seasonal peach teas last year and I didn’t bite on any but one. Regardless, I didn’t write about it – but I can’t remember if the one I tried was the Spring peach tea or the summer one. I had a few sips of the hot version on a date; and I don’t remember being overly impressed.
Since the sample was so small of this, I don’t think I got to make as many observations as I normally would. It’s supposed to be peach and blackberry, which is definitely a cool pairing but I only tasted the peach. I also thought it was really weak/watery but I know it’s also likely that’s because it was the watered down/stretched out in store version. Regardless, I picked up some of it along with all the other blends and I tried it out on my own terms at home – but based on this tasting alone it’s not an impressive blend.
Today’s word of the day is… Melodramatic.
Melodramatic means: “exaggerated and emotional or sentimental; sensational; overdramatic”. A good real life example? Tre was being totally melodramatic when I got home today about the amount of dishes in the kitchen sink (it’s his turn to clean them – and they’re only so bad because he left it so long). Domestic squabbles. We’re like an old married couple with the old and without the married couple part.
This one is quickly climbing the ranks of my most drank/logged teas. The cold brew I did of it was quite impressive but nothing out of the ordinary for what I’ve observed with this one. Instead of writing about it I’m going to share two work related stories, rather than writing about them in different tasting notes.
This week I got to clean up a carton of broken eggs. It was sitting on the very end of a bagging station across from where we keep the company laptop cart for File Maintenance/Grocery to changes price files and add things into the system. They were changing the price for this weeks sale or something. A woman with a small child (maybe one or two) went by after being rung in and the kid reached out, grabbed the carton and then couldn’t support the weight and dropped it. All twelve eggs broke. ALL OF THEM.I’m actually quite impressed with the fact I’ve yet to drop anyone’s eggs or wreck their produce/meat/etc. personally; the worst I’ve done is lifted up one of those super thin produce bags (which are DELIBERATELY thin as fuck so that they don’t contribute to the weight, and therefore the COST of your produce when it gets rung in) that was overly filled and had a bunch of oranges spill out all over the floor because the bag ripped.
So I cleaned up eggs with out of our coutesy clerks named Nich. Nich is high functioning autistic, and everyone was freaking out about whether or not he’d be able to handle cleaning everything up. He has a very set routine at work; gets in at 11AM, goes on his coffee break at 1PM, has lunch at 3PM leaves at 6. In between he hangs outside all day just gathering up carts people don’t return (he has an impressive tan because of this) and if he happens to reach a point where there are no more carts to grab he comes in side and gathers baskets and basically does small cleaning jobs. He’s never had to deal with a mess this big.
Personally, I don’t think people give him enough credit. I think half of it is that they’re used to him having a routine and so they don’t change it – I think he’s a lot more adaptable then he lets on. It also frustrates me that employees outside of my department treat him very weird when he’s on break because they don’t know he’s autistic.
Anyway, I picked out all the eggshells and then using my hands (yuck) scooped up as much egg yolk as I could into a bag. I just explained to Nich that I wanted as much cleared before we started mopping so that we weren’t just spreading it and then he nodded and we were all good. After most was cleared that way Nich took over and mopped everything up. All was well! Definitely a memorable day though; and I swear after I washed me hands they were silky smooth all day from that yolk.
So at my Sobeys we’re partnered with Bento Sushi, in the same way that some Safeway stores partner with Starbucks to have an in store restaurant. The staff at Bento has been the same since we opened the store, but recently one of the F/T people left so they had to hire someone else. The guy they hired is super gangly and tall, with crazy bedhead and gives off a very nerdy/weird vibe. My kind of people!
Last week when I was grocery shopping after getting off work he called me over and said, almost in amazement “You sure where a lot of Spiderman clothing”. Damn right I do! Spiderman is #1, no exceptions. We had a super long conversation about comics and Marvel movies and X-Men and all sorts of awesome stuff! It was actually so long I missed my bus and had to wait for the next one. Oops.
I’m just super excited though ‘cause I’ve made a lot of neat friends at work because of common interests (Meisha and tattoos, Nathan and Chef Darcy and tea, Andrew and Cheese, and of course Bobbi from Dollarama) but this is the first person I’ve been able to click with at Sobeys about something more “geeky”. Everyone else who’s noticed the nerd related stuff has just sort of playfully teased me about it. Yay nerd friends!
Made the last of this one in my timolino to take for work – it was just as delicious this second time as it was the first time around. Definitely worth note that this one travels well! Though there were some flavor differences, there was less of a coconut flavor but the mango flavor was much stronger. It was equally pleasant to the flavor first time around!
I was working a file maintenance shift yesterday; one of the things I put sale tags up for was this new line of Gelato we’re carrying. What was one of the flavours? Mango Sticky Rice! Of course I 100% bought a tub. I haven’t tried it yet – but look forward to it!
Today’s word of the day is… Whodunit: “a narrative dealing with a murder or a series of murders and the detection of the criminal”.