4334 Tasting Notes

#ProjectTeaWall

Stopped in after work at Job #1 today to grab myself something for the bus home, and then a sample to knock off the list tomorrow on my day off as well. Both tonight’s tea and tomorrow’s are Chai blends which means, yes, I am starting to finally cross off all the Chai blends I’ve avoided so long.

Seriously; my dislike of Chai is so great that when I was working out which teas I needed to try for Project Tea Wall there wasn’t a single Chai blend on the wall that I’d actually tried. That means there’s so many more left to go.

This seemed like a non-intimidating start to them though; and actually I kind of hate that I’m about to say this but drinking it I almost… wanted more spice.

Blasphemous, I know! Honestly though I left the tea bag in my To Go cup the entire commute home (approx 40 minutes) ‘cause I knew the rooibos wouldn’t get bitter and even by the end of the ride this still felt weak/watered down. I guess you could consider it a “Chai Light” though, for tea drinkers who aren’t typically big fans of Chai/Spicy blends like myself. Getting home and double checking the ingredients list, I’m surprised to see clove is one of the ingredients: I tasted three primary ingredients throughout the whole cup and clove wasn’t one of them. In this order, I found the strongest flavours to be cinnamon, coconut, and ginger.

Shockingly, this is a Chai blend I probably will try again at some point, though.

Friendly reminder that I’m not currently numerically rating DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently seasonally employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Kristal

Love this one as a latte!

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93

Cold Brew Sipdown (138)!

Wow, I guess I was in a watermelon mood yesterday? I didn’t even realize until literally just now writing this note that I had two different watermelon blends yesterday. I should have gone for the trifecta and drank some Watermelon Xylophone as well.

This is a sadder sipdown for me; I really enjoyed the balance of mellow but sweet watermelon notes and then the softer vegetal/grassy notes of the oolong in addition to light floral notes. This was always so beautiful and nuanced; and I thoroughly enjoyed it every time I drank it – be that hot or cold. Sadly, it’s all sold out now so this probably truly is goodbye.

After finishing off a few LP blends recently, I’m excited to welcome some new(er) ones back into my cupboard come Black Friday though. Personally, as a Canadian, the best Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal a company can offer is free shipping ‘cause typically speaking I like to use BF/CM to sample new things which means smaller orders: free shipping makes that so much more justifiable, especially when shipping to Canada is usually hella expensive. And LP’s BF deal is just that; free shipping for Canadians.

Definitely feeling the love, and I can tell you right now that while I’m not totally decided on what I want to order I will be ordering something.

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58

From last night.

I really didn’t like this one as a cold brew, but honestly hot it’s a lot better. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t think the roasty notes of the Hojicha base and the lush, dewy watermelon compliment each other well but at least they’re not clashing to the same degree. If anything, the Hojicha mostly overwhelms the watermelon and I can sorta kinda forget it’s there? Like, it’s there in the background but more of a shadow than a stronger contributing flavour.

This is probably how I’ll finish the rest of the leaf off unless I can find a better way to enjoy it; but this is palatable and painless overall which is good.

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92

This is a queued tasting note.

Had this one cold brewed, which was really nice. I still had the worst of my cold when I had it so I couldn’t taste it super well, but I could feel it and the cooling sensation of the mint on my rough, scratchy throat was intensely soothing.

I knew I was gambling a bit using this one as a sick tea, but I feel like the pay off was worth the risk. It felt SO GOOD.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_JUReD3QoE&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=5

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#ProjectTeaWall

The other iced tea that I had the same night I had Super Charge; after that tea I wanted something familiar/comforting but still wanted to cross something off the list. This was the perfect solution because I’m not only very familiar with Earl Grey but I’ve had rooibos versions of Earl Grey before as well; just not from DAVIDsTEA.

This is great iced; really smooth and very strong bergamot notes. Without the black base of a traditional Earl Grey the bergamot REALLY takes over the cup and completely masks the flavour of the rooibos so it’s all your tasting. The only thing I’d really want to change, personally, is add a bit of vanilla or cream to it so it’s more London Fog/Cream of Earl Grey like and a bit less one dimension. You can always add some milk too to sort of get the same affect, though. That’s just nitpicking, as well.

My on shift routine I’ve sort of settled into is something strongly caffeinated at the start of my shift to sort of transition from job #1 to job #2 and not burn out immediately, which is working, and then for the end of the shift I’ll make something without any caffeine so that I’m not up all night and can pass out right away at 11ish when I get home from work/the bus home. Gotta get up at 6AM every morning for Job #1; so sleep is important. I’m liking this routine thus far.

Friendly reminder that I’m not currently numerically rating DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently seasonally employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Earl Grey

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drank Super Charge by DAVIDsTEA
4334 tasting notes

#ProjectTeaWall

One of the last Mate/Quayusa teas I need to cross off the list; figured I’d grab it iced at the start of my shift yesterday and get it out of the way. No real reason I’ve left this one for so long; it’s just one of the newer teas I hadn’t gotten around to yet.

To be perfectly honest; I didn’t like it. Like, legitimately, I’m struggling to find a quality about it that was positive other than the fact it’s highly caffeinated. That doesn’t speak to the flavour though, and for me personally flavour is always the highest factor. Since starting Project Tea Wall, this is the only tea I’ve had from the wall that I actually haven’t been able to finish.

Realistically, the reason I disliked it was probably for the most part because of the strong flavour of gaurana. Because of this ingredient, the tea tasted quite a bit like Red Bull which is a drink that I do not like. In fact, as far as energy drinks go, Red Bull is easily my least favourite of the handful of brands I’ve tried; I’m a Fruit Punch Rockstar kind of girl. If Red Bull is your kind of drink and you’re looking for the ‘tea version of red bull’ this is gonna be your jam, though. It just didn’t work for me, though.

The other reason I had issues with this one was primarily the fact I couldn’t discernibly taste either of the fruit notes that are supposed to be present; the blueberry and goji. What I did taste, though, was a lot of licorice root. There are a lot of polarizing opinions of licorice root but I actually feel that I’m sort of neutral towards it. Sometimes it works for me, and sometimes it doesn’t. It all depends on what it’s paired with, I think. And with the intensity of the guarana, the licorice root combined in a way that personally I found rather harsh and artificial/chemical.

So, for a number of reasons, this one is just a pass for me.

Friendly reminder that I’m not currently numerically rating DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently seasonally employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Cheri

RED BULL!!!!

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Sipdown (139)!

Finished this one off as a commute tea on my way to job #1.

I think I enjoyed it more hot than cold brewed; the flavour notes were very similar between both prep styles, and this definitely still retained that ‘boozy’ sort of quality, but the balance and overall flow was a lot smoother and didn’t have that slight disconnect that I felt like I was getting from the chocolate side of things with the cold brew. Still has a nice, soft earthy undertone as well. The “almond cream” flavour definitely stepped up its game in the hot cup as well; probably a huge part of why this was as smooth and silky as it was. Still not my favourite from the Winter Collection; but I’ve got more of an appreciation for it now than when I first tried it.

Friendly reminder that I’m not currently numerically rating DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently seasonally employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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74

I lied, one more cup of tea before bed. Caffeine free though. I’m working on rebuilding my caffeine tolerance to the point of where it was a few years ago when I was drinking 15+ Western sized mugs of tea a day, sometimes three or four cups brewed up at the same time. I haven’t done that in over a year though, and my tolerance has severely deteriorated since then…

Baby steps, though.

The liquor colour of this is so pretty; it’s not nearly as dark at DT’s Mulberry Magic brews up but just like that one this mulberry leaf brews up a very distinctly “green” colour. It’s not as bright and yellow as a chartreuse; but not as dark as an olive or khaki green either. Somewhere in between, I guess? It’s pretty.

The taste is VERY vegetal with such a strong sense of umami to it. It’s like a big mix of stewed greens, spinach, kale, green bell pepper, and artichoke. I almost added honey to this ‘cause I’m still kicking the last of this cold, but decided against it at the last minute and I’m glad I did because I can’t see how the sweetness of the honey would have fit in with this flavour profile. It’s not bad though; I like the almost more savory quality of it, the earthy undertones, and very subtle natural sweetness.

It is A LITTLE weird though because the finish almost tastes a hint spicy to me; not unlike the softer, lingering spice of eating a small piece of jalapeno pepper. That’s sort of weird to me, ‘cause I’ve NEVER got that spicy quality from mulberry before. The wide array of vegetal notes? Definitely. Spice though? Not even close. Makes me wonder where that’s coming from…

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUaExjMc3IY&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=2

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88

Last tea of the night, and just holy shit.

The dry leaf for this tea is like genuinely ‘drool coming out of your mouth’ delicious. It smells like the most buttery, gooey, creamy sweet toffee/caramel and it honestly makes me want to scoop out handfuls of the dry leaf and just… lick them, but I’m not a total animal and I have some self respect left so I’m not doing that. Instead I just made a big mug and had a bubble bath.

First note is smooth, creamy caramel. It really is very buttery and rich; but not overly to the point where it’s cloying. That’s probably ‘cause a lot of the initial richness, though not all of it, eases up when the notes of the base start to kick in mid sip. Typically I wouldn’t think to pair a greener oolong with caramel and would generally opt for something more roasty that would blend together a little more seamlessly, but this is actually really nice. The contrast between the vegetal and grassy character of the green base actually offsets the sweetness of the caramel which otherwise might have actually been cloying, and it also makes the buttery characteristics of that flavour stand out a little more as well. It’s a genius move.

And the base is quite vegetal and grassy; but it’s like fresh Spring time grass after a long winter; aromatic and well needed. The vegetal notes are kind of spinachy, I suppose? They sort of remind me weakly of bamboo too, though. I guess in the overall lightness, and refreshing factor. Some floral notes poke through also, but discreetly in the background.

Finally, the finish reverts back to a more basic, primitive version of the caramel notes that started the cup only the final, lingering taste on the back of my tongue is actually salt; just like you’d get on good salted caramel. Confession: I don’t actually like salted caramel that much. In fact, I don’t like salty foods in general. I’m one of those total weirdos who doesn’t add salt to anything. Corn? Nope. The water when I’m boiling pasta? Nah. So, this salt note that the sip finishes with? I’m actually VERY surprised that I’m finding myself appreciating and enjoying it. Huh.

Really, REALLY solid tea overall. I’m sure I will have many a pleasant cup with this one.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q5Zn_ZkehM&list=WL&index=2

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77

Sipdown (139)!

Finishing this one off with some added eggnog, just to do something different with it. It’s nice with the eggnog; everything is silkier and creamy and the rich chocolate notes which were borderline cloying to me before are a lot more muted now. I appreciate the subtlety of the cocoa alongside the warming nutmeg. The most interesting part is that the pineapple still comes though, and that IS sort of weird with the eggnog. But that sweet fruity pineapple note at the end of the sip? As weird as it is, I’m definitely digging it too.

In the end I decided not to order more of this when I placed my August Uncommon order for the Winter Collection sampler. Actually, I didn’t get more of any of the teas from this collection though I did HEAVILY debate Ventura Highway. Still, I had a really fun time exploring this tea and trying it three different ways. I feel like I got something new from it each time and that was exciting.

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Profile

Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually three(ish) years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC trained Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

My Goal for The New Year (2017) is to make time for at least one long, proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for…

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additive. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, Lychee, Cranberry, Cream, Melon, Pineapple, Malt, Roasty, Petrichor

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger/“Chai” in general, overly vegetal or marine, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach

I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms; as such I do not drink Kombucha teas (just to be on the safe side)!

Currently exploring/looking to try: Straight Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot

If you see me writing about sharing tea with any of them that’s what I’m talking about ;)

I also have two real life pets:

A skinny pig hairless guinea pig named Eilert, after Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler, and a fancy rat named Wasabi.

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.

The URL to my tumblr blog is: guyfierithirdandfinalantichrist

Location

Regina, SK, Canada

Website

http://sororiteasisters.com/a...

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