2265 Tasting Notes

drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
2265 tasting notes

I’m really having a difficult time getting used to the new layout of the tea pages. I’m sure that I’ll eventually just adjust, but I’m having a really hard time grasping certain things like why the ingredients are being sorted alphabetically. Like this one shows “Artificial Sweetener” as the first thing and I’ve been taught the first thing shown is what there’s the most of. Well shit, I don’t want to drink something that’s mostly made up of artificial sweetener. It’s simple things like that with the layout that bug me the most because it’s not just having to adjust how I’m used to the Steepster layout but how I’m used to the layout of ingredients in general…

Also, the “recommended steep time”. How the balls is that decided? Because this is recommending to me that I steep up 16 fucking ounces of this – and I know that’s not what DT recommends. Their brewing guidelines are based on 8 oz. measurements.

But anyway, I made two cups of this last night: one for myself and one for Tre since I was in the mood for caramel and he also wanted tea. I’ve made this for him in the past and he really liked it, but last night all he did was complain about how it was weak in flavour/tasted funny. I would have defended my precious tea, except I sorta really agreed with him.

I have a lot of this left, but I’m finding increasingly that, while I’ve mastered the best way to prepare so there’s no bitterness/astringency, it the taste isn’t really doing it for me anymore – and I do think I know why. It’s the salt. When I first got this I couldn’t taste it at all – but I was brewing this in a less than satisfactory way. Now that I’m brewing it better (and have a more developed palette) I pick up the salt and I dislike it. Then again, I’ve always loved caramel but disliked salted caramel.

So ultimately, I kind of prefer to reach for a plain caramel tea over this salted version. And, for that reason I doubt I’ll be restocking when I run out…

Also, I lowered my rating a little bit.

And I’m assuming my measurement is going to round down, so for clarification I used 1.5 tsp. of leaf not 1

Flavors: Butter, Caramel

Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I totally agree with the ingredients, and that is exactly how I determine if I can handle a tea with hibiscus.

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reviewed Timolino (12 oz) by Timolino
2265 tasting notes

So, 8/10 times I’m extremely happy with my timolino(s) – both of which are 12 oz.

I find most things travel really well in it, and in my black timolino the heat is retained exceptionally well. However, for whatever reason my white timolino (which is the newer of the two) holds in the heat noticeably less and I can’t figure out why. The seal isn’t broken and the lid screws on the exact same. I’ve typically been able to make it work for me, though – I just make whichever tea I want to drink first in that timolino.

Ideally, I’d like for the brew basket to be a bit larger but it works for what I use it for and I’m normally pretty happy with it. I just sometimes have issues with, say, oolongs which can’t expand as well. Also, the first one I bought (the black one) came with a broken brew basket which would sink to the bottom and cause things to be steeped for an ungodly long time – but the DAVIDsTEA store I got it from provided me with a new brew basket, no questions asked and I haven’t had issues with it coming unattached during brewing since.

The only other thing I would maybe complain about is the fact that sometimes they pick up the scent/flavour of previously brewed teas (I had lots of issues with Currant Affair) even if very thoroughly cleaned in between use. Not really a huge deal, though.

Overall a satisfied customer – enough so I bought a second, right! ;)

carol who

I have a Teavana tumbler that looks just like your Timolino but in a different color. I have to say this tumbler keeps it very hot. I’ve found that I can’t put water hotter than 185 degrees in it if I want to drink it anytime soon. I always takes some with me for after my walk (3 miles daily) at the rec center. It sits out in the freezing cold in the winter (-16 last week) and it was still too hot to drink. I don’t use the filter basket too often but have never had any problems with it. Besides working well, it looks very nice.


I would love one of these but i just can’t justify the price when the contigo’s i have are more than half the price and hold the temp forever…

Roswell Strange

When I say doesn’t hold temp. as well – I should elaborate. The black one (the ‘better’ of the two) will keep water at boiling, practically undrinkable, temperatures for anywhere between five and nine hours. The white only holds that same level of heat for three to six, or so, hours. So – they do hold pretty well. When I was working, I took a cold bottle of tea to drink first during my shift, and then a hot to drink later in the day after it had cooled significantly.


Contingos are available at Costco, right? I forgot to check last time I was there. Either way, I think Timolinos are worth the price. I’ve had mine for nearly a year and it’s like new.

carol who

I had received my Teavana tumbler as a gift in one of their gift package. So mine was really cheap!


I love mine. I just wish it were easier to clean right at the bottom. I think I’m just staining it. If it were a yixing that’d be ok…


Cavo – denture thingies lol
swedish chef – yeah 2 for 20$ @ costco :) and i don’t have to take the lid off to drink


Hot damn, that’s a steal. Does it have a good lip thingy, not too thick and all that jazz?

And I second the denture thingies.


contigo = plastic/rubber type lip thingy. gets a bit warm sometimes, but not terribly so..less so than metal :) they’re leak proof as well


…hence my inability to justify timloino pricing, though i really want one :)


I also have 2 and really enjoy them. They keep tea really hot and don’t leak if sealed properly. I got them both as gifts, so 2 thumbs up!
Good tip on the denture tabs for cleaning, I will have to try that!


Thanks guys. I keep forgetting but I WILL get denture tablets. (I also want to dissolve those to help clean my counter)


cavo – worse case just get some from me..i bought a giant box AND i have the cleaner from mandala… so i’m set


Awesome – thanks Sil!


“I would love one of these but i just can’t justify the price when the contigo’s i have are more than half the price and hold the temp forever…”

Have you thought about writing a review of the Contigo? I for one would be interested in learning more about your experience with it and how it compares to the Timolino or Zojirushi. Thanks!


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reviewed David's Mason Jar by DAVIDsTEA
2265 tasting notes

I figured I’d finally add the teaware I own that’s already in the database to my cupboard and post reviews or whatever. That seems like maybe a thing I should do. I admit, it does weird me out that it’ll get counted as part of my cupboard now, though.

Does that bother other people at all? When you tell people the number of teas in your cupboard do you just mentally keep track of what is and isn’t teaware and subtract that from your total? Am I just totally over thinking things? It’s probably that last one, right?

Anyway, as I’ve made sure to point out (because credit is due where credit is due) this was an amazing, unprompted and totally unexpected gift from that absolutely fucking amazing Keychange who was just too damn thoughtful for her own good. Being a gift, I really have no right to complain about it – but regardless (and also thankfully) there really is zero to complain about.

Visually, this is just BEAUTIFUL and it really lets you see and enjoy your tea (the first clear glass brewing mug/device/whatever you want to call it) I’ve owned. In addition to that, it has a massive brew basket which is just great for steeping (I feel like this will often be used for oolongs, now) and which I’ve already found handy for sipdowns and decreasing the quantity of tea I have lots of leaf for. A word of caution, however, you should probably know that the tea you’re making is one you like because you’re going to be drinking lots of it ;)

Well, that or don’t fill it to capacity.

But, speaking of capacity this is great! I often dislike that my timolinos are only 12 oz. (slightly more than the largest mugs in the house) because if I want to sit and drink something straight through a TV episode or movie I’m likely going to run out of something to drink. Not the case anymore! I can also seeing this being a benefit to road trips (thinking of the drive between Saskatoon and Regina) or long outings (though I haven’t yet tested how leak proof this is).

Since opening it, it practically hasn’t left my hands – except for now while it’s in the fridge. I’m currently cold brewing in it because it’s basically the perfect thing to cold brew in because A) it’s the right size can you say great for the summer and B) it’ll be so easy to just pull the strainer out instead of manually straining it. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but my nice strainer was left in Regina when I was there in January, so it’s been hectic straining my cold brews recently.

Just, overall I am very impressed.

10/10 – Would TOTALLY recommend.


I am so so so so happy you love it, roswell! and you can totally complain about it when/if you ever notice any problems—speaking of credit, I didn’t design it LOL (although honestly, whoever did is friggin incredible).

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…Aaannnddd I just spilled tea on Tre’s laptop. Shhhh – we wont tell him that.

Anyway, I recieved a very generous sample of this from Keychange and I decided to try it out tonight because I wanted something sweet and dessert like (ie. caramel) but also something fruity (ie. orange). Plus, it’s always good to get in a new tea.

It bothers me a lot that this new formatting seems to reject “point five” measurements for amount of leaf (both times I’ve tried to enter it that way it rejected it), like 1 1/2 tsp. which is what I used for this mug .

But anyway, on to the taste. The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming and powerful presence of orange. Like, holy shit is this orange flavoured – and the strength of the flavoring here masks just about everything: the base and caramel included. I know I got caramel chunks into the leaf that I used – I saw at least two in there. I was really hoping for a nice balance between the two flavours, but I’m really struggling to get caramel at all. To be honest, I only get fleeting tastes of it in the aftertaste – and only because the flavour that I’m sure is being hidden by the orange also just happens to be able to outlast the staying power of the orange in the aftertaste.

Does that make sense?

As it cooled, the orange did calm down a teensy bit, and that let more caramel through though. It was a relatively nice relief. So, taking back my preconceived notions of what I thought this tea should have been, it’s ok. Definitely for fans of orange flavoured things but as someone who was hoping for more caramel I’m a bit disappointed. I have more left though, so maybe if I drink it in a different mindset some other time knowing what it’s like I’ll feel quite differently about it.

Wouldn’t be the first time.

Flavors: Orange Zest

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Maybe do grams? 1 tsp is about 5 grams, in general.

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drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
2265 tasting notes

Whoa the new format is super weird. I mean, I’m sure I’ll adjust but it’s just SO MANY changes all at once. Maybe what’s bothering me the most is the weird new font? But lots of differences and such…

Anyway, this steeped up surprisingly weak tonight so I actually added some milk to give it the depth and creaminess it was lacking. I hate when I need to do that to a tea to make it good as opposed to doing it to add to an already good tea. This was (is?) a favourite (like, top 5 teas ever) of mine, so hopefully it’s just a bad cup and not that my tastes have really changed so much?

Flavors: Coconut

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

You’re the first note on my board in the new format and I find this very very interesting. I like most of the changes, except the font.


Haha the font was what I noticed fist, thinking “okay, okay”. Then I went to search a tea. Oh my the changes.


See, I like the font change :)

Roswell Strange

And, posting this on the right note: I couldn’t figure out how to “add” flavours. Coconut was the only one I wanted that was there. I was also looking for apple and pineapple :/

Roswell Strange

Also, I attempted to mark down: “1.5” tsp. but I guess it rejected that?


Going to have to drink something to check out the new note features


Haha the font is what got me too.


I just logged on and was really surprised by the new format. It’s kinda cool I guess.
This was the first tea I ever had from Davids… I think I was locked out of my house :)

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So, I can’t say I’ve actually ever had Candy Corn before now. It’s not that I was specifically avoiding it or didn’t want to try it or anything like that, it just has honestly never crossed my path until now and I never actively sought it out as something to try. I honestly didn’t even have an idea of what candy corn was supposed to taste like. Does it have a flavour? People just call it… Well, candy corn.

That said, before I actually brewed up my mug of this I took a look through the sample provided by Lala and came to come conclusions. There was enough leaf for about two decent sized cups but there were three pieces of candy corn so I figured that I could use a piece for each cup and eat one straight away to see what it was supposed to taste like. It tasted kind of like very, very sweet caramel to me. How have I not figured that out by now!? I love caramel.

So, I steeped some up basically just expecting a very sweet caramel-y black tea. I was actually pretty surprised that the whole thing melted! The taste was pretty accurate to what I expected though: highly sugary and slightly caramel flavoured black. Based on my one taste of candy corn I guess I can somewhat authentically and accurately say that it was pretty bang on? You know, ‘cause I’m obviously a candy corn expert now ;)

Actually though, it did start to get a little too much by the end of the cup though – almost cloying. One cup left: I’m sure it’ll be an easy enough sip down, though I don’t think I’m attached enough to be sad it’s gone.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec
Roswell Strange

Testing? Apparently we can’t comment on our own tasting notes?


Love that you’re an expert after 1 candy corn ;). Love it!

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I did the “eggnong” thing again trying to search this. Stupid muscle memory and habits and such.

I felt really spontaneously nauseous earlier – so I took a break from tea for a little while, but when I came back I immediately did the resteep of this one. Slightly longer steep time and still really good!

More job applications today! This time for two really opposite things: bartending and being a live-out nanny. Definitely not in the same field at all, and I can’t say I’m exactly qualified for either but we’ll see…


Sometimes I get tea nauseous if I’m drinking too much tea on an empty stomach. Food helps.

Roswell Strange

Yup, when I realized I’d had absolutely no food all day other than a handful of cereal I made some peanut butter toast and that helped a lot.

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I have this thing where, even if I’m thinking about not doing it, I always type “eggnong” the first time I try to write it. Without fail. It’s even gotten to the point where I’ll say “Eggnong” aloud when mentioning it as a little inside joke with myself. Tre’s questioned it a few times…

Anyway, I was planning on Love Tea #7 but my tea twin VariaTEA had just finished a round of love inspired teas so I aborted mission and drastically changed what I was making to white/green teas. That’s why my water was a little too hot for Big Apple. I was a bit more patient for this cup, though – so it’s not bitter. Yay for that!

Definitely a very rich, creamy vanilla ice cream tea – although not really a true eggnog flavour. I like it a lot though, and when I go to resteep Big Apple I’ll probably do a resteep of this one too.


Haha I am glad you at least enjoyed the teas you aborted your original plans for.


Eggnong :P


ooooo. I have a sample of this, I think I’ll need to pull it out later today.

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drank Big Apple by DAVIDsTEA
2265 tasting notes

Sad, sad sipdown (202)…

Thank you Aimee Popovacki for sending this my way. If I hadn’t received it from you, I likely never would have tried it and never would have fallen in love with it. Maybe that would’ve been a good thing, heh…

It’s on my shopping list – and as soon as I have money I’m going to pick this up in a larger quantity as well as several very small samples (and a couple tins). I want it back, but I’m considering it low priority for the moment.

This particular cup was overleafed by about half a tsp. – I figured I’d overleaf rather than leave that tiny little bit left. It’s a very yummy green jolly rancher/caramel apple tea that I’m very happily sipping at while catching up on some TV. I do taste the green tea in this cup (a little bitter – but my water was a bit too hot), but I enjoy it anyway.

Mmmm! I’ll make sure to resteep (I often don’t) the leaf to get as much as possible out of this.

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drank Spiced Fig by DAVIDsTEA
2265 tasting notes

Sipdown (203)!

Somehow this one keeps finding its way back to me, despite my not wanting to have it in my cupboard. this was one of the three free samples from the DAVIDsTEA order sent to me, so yet another time it’s wound up in my cupboard without my actually picking it out – the other being as a Christmas gift.

It’s heavy and weak in flavour, and just all around costly. Plus side? It’s easy enough to sipdown, so it never really sticks around long. This one has that going for it.

EDIT: I just checked out the DT site to see the new tea of the month, and am admittedly relieved that it’s not something I feel compelled to go buy. It’s another green…

I have lots of Hot Lips which sounds similar enough to me for me to pass (but I’ll try it once I’m out of Hot Lips). Although, the lack of ginger in the new one is a little compelling – also because I really like cloves.


The plus side of it being so heavy is that it got out of my cupboard quickly!


I also am not really interested in the new tea which is awesome because I don’t need more tea.


I’ve been trying to cut back as well…although, hypocritically, I just bought $65 worth of tea…but to be fair the ones I have never had before I only bought 25 grams worth so in case I don’t care for them they won’t stick around my cupboard long!


@Kristal – when it comes to teas I have not tried before, I now only get 10 g. That way it is enough for 2-3 cups so I can try it out but am not stuck with it if I don’t enjoy it.

Roswell Strange

When I get DT samples I get between 15g to 30g amounts depending on weight/price. That way I can do several hot cups to see if I can perfect a bad cup (if I have a bad cup) or do a cold brew to try that way.


If I am really skeptical I will get less but I went for 25 grams just in case I liked the teas. Luckily I didn’t HATE any of the teas I just bought!


I tried the new tea in store today, and I don’t think you’re missing out. it just tastes like a cinnamon heart, and that’s honestly all-I don’t get too much of anything else at all—cloves, orange peel, base—just lots an dlots of cinnamon. I only had it in their shot glass thing though, so I only had a few small gulps.

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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.


Saskatoon, SK, Canada



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