1819 Tasting Notes

84
drank Guava Cadabra by DAVIDsTEA
1819 tasting notes

Underleafed and oversteeped. I’m actually really not noticing the hibiscus at all because the guava, and to a lesser extent the mango, are so incredibly strong. Still was a nice mug – good both hot and cold. I should drink this more often, I like guava. Not really sure why I don’t.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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58
drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
1819 tasting notes

I overleafed in the hope to finally draw out the star anise (2 tsp. to 10 oz of boiling water). However, same anise-less cup with a sort of waxy quality to the liquor. Also, just like last time it sort of made my tongue feel numb?

Yeah, I hate to say it but this definitely isn’t for me. I really want anise, and I just don’t get that at all. Plus too much cinnamon…

VariaTEA

I almost sent you more of this one. I am glad I didn’t.

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82

The leaf for this one just looks so pretty! I’d be seriously tempted to keep it around (if it wasn’t limited edition) just because it’s so fun to look at. That, and it smells absolutely fucking incredible. Fresh, rainy garden smell and vanilla! I want that as my ‘signature perfume’ if I ever become famous. I know Stacy does tea, but she’s a miracle worker – if I’m some day ridiculously wealthy I’d have her make me my own Vanilla Frosted Carrot Cake perfume. She could do it. I have faith.

Anyway, often the taste of this falls short for me, which is why I didn’t mind sharing it with VariaTEA or Kittenna, but today I overleafed it in the hope to get more vanilla and I must say this is definitey more accurate to the smell! It’s earthy with carrot notes and a cakiness to it, and the vanilla is actually relatively present and creamy. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that there’s not a ton of spice notes today. Icky spice notes – they’re not needed in such abundance.

So yeah – best cup of this yet. I’ll remember to overleaf in the future; I’d much rather have less cups but them all this tasty than more cups but they’re much more mediocre.

Courtney

Good to know, I’ve been wondering how to make this one a wee bit better.

VariaTEA

I will keep this in mind when I make this tea again.

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95

This one just didn’t want to come up for me!

Anyway, VariaTEA’s tasting note for Mulberry White made me want that – but I was already making tea at a hotter temperature than that one would be able to take, plus I didn’t want to go digging in my closet, so I checked what I had in my kitchen cupboard for immediate consumption and this one was in there! Pretty close, if I do say so myself – I mean, both are mulberry strong teas. And this one handles heat better!

I have to say, I don’t remember this being as oily – not that it really tastes oily, it just has lots of that kind of sheen on top. As far as taste goes, this is nice with strong coconut notes featuring as the initial taste, and then sweet liquid caramel/mulberry notes. It’s not exactly like Mulberry White because it’s not fruity (apple notes, and all) – but it’s a close enough match that my cravings are being satisfied.

I love both – likely for the caramelness, and continue to want both around despite any similarities they might have. Also, I cut up an apple to eat with this, and it’s really good! Satisfies the Mulberry White craving even more ;)

VariaTEA

I agree the two are similar but honestly I found them different enough to justify having both. This is more caramel and sweet where as Mulberry White is on the fruitier side. I would reach for this when I want a butterscotch candy and that when I want some tasty berries.

Roswell Strange

I also think this travels better, so I’d keep it around for that reason too. Also, I personally adore Silver Needles, so I like that about this one as well.

VariaTEA

There is also the added benefit of not having to wait too long for the water to cool to the temperature needed to steep this tea. I am so impatient that I find I neglect my whites/ greens because I just don’t want to wait.

Cavocorax

That’s why it’s worth saving up for a variable kettle! I think mine was $50? And not only does it heat to my temp, it’ll hold it for an hour as well! I’m hoping to experiment more with greens/whites because of that.

VariaTEA

Haha. I actually was going to purchase one but my mom told me to wait until I go to Florida because she thinks we can find it cheaper there. If not, I think I will order the Hamilton Beach one when I get my new credit card.

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80
drank Boatsman by RiverTea
1819 tasting notes

As I was prepping this one, I read VariaTEA’s tasting note on Mulberry White and instantly wanted to go make a cup of that one. But still is still really good!

This cup in particular is heavy on cinnamon/cranberry/mango notes.

I think I’ve finally pinpointed the ingredient that keeps me from going from “strongly liking” this blend to “loving” it – and that’s the cinnamon. I’m just not a huge fan of cinnamon in teas in general (really only in chai, with DTT’s Cinnamon Bun sorta being the exception because that’s cinnamon without being overtly chai) so I guess it makes sense that’s my least favourite aspect here. I thought it might be the chamomile blossoms – but pretty sure it’s the cinnamon because I enjoy the cups that are lighter on those notes a bit more.

By the time I reached the end of the cup it was a little astringent – but I’ll take that over bitterness, and thankfully I’ve never had a cup of this go bitter on me.

Being honest, I think this is my least favourite of the five I was sent (although, maybe Cherry Kiss…) – but that said, I still really like them all! Dying for my order to come in! D:

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93

Third (late) morning/breakfast cup – this time prepared as tea soda. Sadly I’m going to be out of this soon, which is just awful because I love it so much! When I eventually break hiatus I’ll place a giant Red Leaf order and pick up more.

I used 1 tsp. of matcha to flavour a full can of Club Soda. No sweetner – this doesn’t really need it. I believe (I always forget) that this is distinct flavouring? Either VariaTEA or Sil should remind me.

Also, the carbonation is totally doing its part to wake me up! Yay for that! I’m also happy to report, I think I’ve finally gotten over the whole ‘drinking flavours that aren’t meant to be green’ thing so I no longer have to drink my matcha in solid water bottles and pretend I’m not, for example, drinking green eggnog. Also yay for that!

VariaTEA

Yeah, this one is distinctive.

Kat_Maria

Does the strike through that sentence mean that you gave in and just placed that giant order? ;D

Roswell Strange

Thankfully it does not! If I wasn’t unemployed, I’m sure I would have – but for now my cart sits ;)

Sil

roswell..if you’re itching to try more flavours, give me a poke later on. I have a bunch of matcha i need to get around to sharing with ppl because it’ll take me forever to drink up

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87

Also a morning tea, picked out for the energy boost. I oversteeped this one by a few minutes, and the result was that the Guayusa base tasted very strong in this cup.

Stephanie

Did it also give you super energy from the oversteep? heh

Roswell Strange

Not sure – I suppose I’ll see shortly. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on Steepster before, but caffeine hardly affects me at all, which is why I can get away with drinking blacks or things like that at like midnight and then fall asleep right after. Mate/Guayusa were the first teas I found that gave me a noticeable energy difference after drinking them. Even still, it’s probably no more than a regular cup of black tea to someone normally affected by caffeine?

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76

Thank you VariaTEA for the sample of this – I’ve been curious about it for a while. It’s been in my sample drawer since getting it (as opposed to sample bags stuffed in my closet), and I’ve been waiting for the right evening to try it but this morning I finally just went “Fuck it, it sounds like a good breakfast tea” – though it’s 3 PM, so not really breakfast time. Except I just got up an hour ago, and this is the first food/drink I’ve had all day – so sorta breakfast, I guess.

How much leaf do the people who really enjoy this normally use? I used 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf in 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for 8 minutes and the result was pretty tasty but incredibly weak. Now, I’m sure part of that is because I used 10 oz. – but just wondering? It also weirded me out a little but that this steeped up practically clear? I was expecting at least a little colour.

Anyway maybe I just had steep expectations? Hah, get it? I’m punny. Don’t judge me – it’s 3 PM and I practically just got up. But yeah, it’s not like it was a bad cup or anything…

Yvonne

I’m determined I’m gonna try this tea one day :P

Cavocorax

I’m curious what people will say! I was impressed with it at first, but now it’s just the smell of it really that carries the cup. The cup itself is a tad weak and disappointing. So, input is welcome! I think I used a SUPER HEAPING perfect teaspoon in my 16 oz mug, but I do put lots in there to compensate for the oz.

Also I love that your fuck-it-this-is-breakfast cup was at 3PM.

AnnaEA

I’ve never tried this kind of tea — but reading up on it, it sounds like the cacao shell used to make this tisane is a denser woody part of the plant, rather than a leaf. Woody parts usually require decocting to get the best flavour out of them. Try keeping it over the heat at a gentle simmer for the same 8 minutes, and seeing how that works — as if you were cooking chai. Also, if you have a mortar and pestle around, bruising the herb before decocting it will help the taste too.

Courtney

I also oversteep this one, and use a heaping teaspoon for my 16 oz. mug. I do find the flavour comes out much more as it cools.

Courtney

I also like the Strawberry Cream version, though I wasn’t crazy about the Mint or Vanilla versions.

Roswell Strange

I have a sample of the Strawberry Cream as well, so maybe I’ll try that one today for comparison.

VariaTEA

When I first had this I fell in love but now, like Forever Nuts, the smell is offputting to me. I want so badly to like it but it just hasn’t been appealing as of recently. I am keeping it around, as well as the flavored versions, in hopes that that will change one day.

I am sorry it was not what you were expecting. The good thing about this is you can let it steep forever and it won’t get bitter. In fact, I think the longer you steep, the more flavorful it is.

Also, my “morning” starts at 1 most days and my bedtime is around 4 am so I am all for breakfast at 3 pm.

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82
drank Raspberry by Tea Desire
1819 tasting notes

So, VariaTEA’s tasting note on Apple Strudel Pistachio really put me in the mood for pastry, except I’ve had lots of rooibos today so I wanted something with a different tea base (otherwise I would have just brewed up the same thing) – and this was the first thing I saw which fit that criteria.

Of course, right after that she posted a note for Pineapple Angel Food Cake Shou Mei which I also gave her, and still have some of which I hadn’t tried. That would have fit nicely too, except I’d already started making my cups already.

Anyway, this is still wonderful! My delicious buttery, flakey raspberry pastry tea! I know RiverTea has an equivalent to this too, so when I inevitably put in my next RiverTea order I’m gonna try to remember to get a sample for comparison’s sake.

Also, I spilled half the mug of this over my laptop – but thankfully I reacted quickly and everything seems to be fine and in working order. Thank God.

Fjellrev

You make this sound so damn appealing! I kept brushing past it in the store because I thought the raspberry would be artificial, kind of like how it is in Tender Orchid.

Roswell Strange

It tastes artificial if you over steep/use boiling water, but low steep temp./time and it’s AMAZING.

Fjellrev

Nice! I’ll give it a shot next time I visit a store.

Courtney

RiverTea has been popping up recently a fair bit. I’ll have to check them out.

Roswell Strange

Probably because they just launched. Their teas are delicious though! From the ones I’ve been fortunate enough to try, anyway.

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79

Last time I had this I was really sick, so I left it unrated in case my sense of taste way really off. I have to say though it tastes exactly the same, which is to say it takes nearly indescribable.

It’s odd because it’s smokey and savoury from the lapsang and then sweet from the vanilla/cherry. Ultimately, it’s really quite perfect as Irene Adler’s blend, though.

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Bio

After discovering loose leaf, I decided I had to learn as much about in as quick an amount of time as humanely possible; that led me here!

Growing up, the only tea I ever drank was bagged mint tea (especially peppermint), and mint still remains a staple flavour for me. Spearmint is my favourite. At this point in my ‘tea career’ I heavily lean towards flavoured blends; doesn’t matter if they’re fruity, chocolate, sweet, savory, etc. Blacks are my favourite as far as flavoured blends go, with whites a close second. I really enjoy everything but straight Greens though, but I’ll try anything once even if I am wary.

My favourite fruit flavours in blends are cranberry, banana, pear, lychee, melon, passion fruit and especially pineapple. I am also always excited to try anything with Saskatoon Berries, which are delicious and also my city’s namesake. I have a huge weakness towards toffee/caramel and coconut teas and a bit of a soft spot in regard to black licorice. I also adore anything creamy. I am always up for trying soda inspired blends as well because the concept fascinates me. I want to try all the Rootbeer teas! I am also currently trying to try as many Sweet Potato blends as possible.

Tastes I strongly dislike are ginger and raisins. Really, those are the only two things I intentionally avoid. I also have mixed feelings about peaches, mangoes, lemongrass, and chamomile.

In regard to straight teas, I haven’t been nearly as adventurous. I’ve yet to really explore any straight oolongs, except Milk Oolongs which weren’t really for me. In general, I really like straight black teas, especially when they have strong baked bread or malt notes. I like most straight whites, but I have a preference for silver needle teas over other types. Green teas, with the exception of Genmaicha and some Hojicha, make me feel a bit sick and I often can’t finish the cup. I can handle flavoured matcha like Red Leaf Tea sells – but straight matcha is a definite “no go”. I recently survived my first Pu’erh, and it was an alright, maybe borderline enjoyable, experience.

The ratio of cold brewed and hot tea I drink is about 50/50. As far as my cup sizes go, all my daily cold brews are done in a 25 oz. mason jar and my other mugs are 12 oz. with the exception of my Adeline infuser mug which is 16 oz. Unless otherwise specified, these are the cup sizes for all teas I review.

I prefer to drink my tea without adding anything to it, and 9/10 times that will be how I first try a blend. My belief is that milk, sugar or whatever else you add to your tea should be used to enhance an already good flavour: if the tea needs something added to it to taste good then it’s probably not good tea to begin with. The exception is Matcha; I always have my matcha whisked either into cold milk or club soda as “Matcha soda” depending on which way the flavour will be best suited. My roommate, Tre, has a very different philosophy in regard to tea, and that’s to always drown out his cup in sugar – even before tasting to see if it needs any. That’s why I don’t let him drink the good stuff ;)

I’m always up for a swap, but because I have a very low income I can’t really afford to send things outside of North America on a regular basis :(

If you’re from North America and want to organize a swap, just give me a shout and I’m sure we can work something out! Many of my teas are in large quantity so I usually have enough to spare at least a small sample or so.

I’m a vegetarian and have been for more than half my lifetime. I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms, though that isn’t something that has been an issue I’ve had to deal with in regard to tea (at this point, at least).

My roommate Tre is a huge part of my life since he’s one of the only people in town that I know. Currently, he’s taking courses at Siast to become a professional chef which means sometimes I get really nice home cooked meals. He’s a huge Whovian, which means I know way more about Doctor Who than someone who’s only watched a season or so should. Recently he’s got me into Supernatural, and now Doctor Who as well. He knows next to nothing about tea, and he doesn’t really care to learn.

The other important person in my life is my friend Robyn.

I’ve known Robyn since we were in the eighth grade – and she was in all my classes all through high school. For years she was my transportation, since I’m just plain awful at driving and haven’t acquired my license yet. She just so happened to start classes at the University of Saskatchewan the same time as Tre and I were moving here, which worked out excellently. Like Tre she’s a huge Whovian and also a fan of Supernatural (is there even a fandom term for people who like Supernatural?). She was a minor inspiration in regard to this tea obsession of mine (but now I’ve far surpassed her in tea knowledge, consumption, and quantity possessed). Often times I have her over for tea or share my teas with her (and if it’s a tea I dislike she gets first dibs before I start trying to swap it all away here on Steepster).

Some brief “IRL” interests: Clay/Sculpture (or visual arts in general), Improv, Mythology, Big Brother (USA and CA), and an absurdly large amount of TV shows – geeky or otherwise.

Location

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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http://guyfierithirdandfinala...

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