29 Tasting Notes
This tea makes me think I’m drinking my mother’s garden. Given that I usually have no idea what the English names for our herbs are, when I steeped my first cup of this, I was so, so confused. There was maybe a tiny hint of that fruity creaminess that DT advertises, but mostly I got intense flashbacks to ridiculously fresh, savoury summer meals: vegetable rolls, grilled meats, noodle soups etc. It was weird. Not unpleasant, but weird. Not to mention, HELLOOOO HUNGER PANGS?! Anyway, a stroll through Google tells me the culprit is the lemon balm (which I think I’ve always referred to, vaguely, as “mint”, whenever someone pressed hard enough). Mom loves the stuff, and when our herbs die out in the cold, we buy it pre-packed in grocery stores. It’s a really familiar, homey smell/taste to me.The more I drink this, the more I’m liking it. I don’t find that it re-steeps very well, but at the same time, I wasn’t really expecting it to? It’s such a fluffy, light blend! As it cools, there’s sweetness balanced by a lemony zing. It’s refreshing, and I don’t know if I’ve tricked myself into feeling drowsy, or if this tea is actually living up to its promise . . . but in any case, A+, Davids. A+.
I grabbed this in my latest DT haul. I remembered enjoying it enough to go through a tin or two of it in previous years, but tastes do tend to change, so there was a teensy bit of worry. Still, I’m not one to turn down chocolate in any form, so, into the cart this went when I was topping off my online order. Trying it this morning, and it’s . . . actually really nice. There’s a lot of melty dark chocolate, and the peppers peek out mid-sip, before coming out to play at the finish. It’s soothing and warm, and the tongue-tingling sensation is welcome on such a grey, chilly morning. This should never be labelled as a chai blend—it’s far too thin, and the spices are very one-note—but for what it is (a simple, spicy chocolate tea), it’s enjoyable, and I’m glad I grabbed a full tin. It’s going to make this winter way more pleasant.
I love this tea. It’s not a stand out in my tea cupboard, but it is a staple. Sweet, cooling, and comforting in one go—what more could I ask for? Chocolate flavouring can be hit or miss in some tea blends, but it really works here, and I tend to reach for it when I want something easy and reliable. It’s impossible to mess this tea up.
This blend confuses me. Do I like it? Do I not like it? What is happening here? My experience (and enjoyment) tends to vary with each cup, which is frustrating. I think this is one of those teas where you really have to sell yourself on it, if that makes sense? ie. If you decide, “yes, I am going to have a dessert tea, and it will be honeyed, nutty, decadent, and make me feel like I’m having a bite of squidgy, gooey baklava”, you’ll be able to focus more on the scent and the richness of this tea—both of which are delightful—without overly noticing the strange aftertaste, or the thickness it leaves in your mouth once the cup is done.I think the problem I’m having with the tea is the rose and the cinnamon are too busy duking it out with each other to really care about anything else happening around them. Both are overwhelming, so even if the nuts in the blend work really well together and give off notes of delicious roasted-nut-skin . . . there’s something just off about this tea. Also, marking this tea up as an oolong is eye-roll inducing, because the oolong brings nothing to this blend, and if I hadn’t known it had an oolong base, I probably would have thought I was drinking an herbal.
I grab a batch of this every year—it’s so easy to drink. That scratchy, woody rooibos flavour is drowned out by all the stuff that’s in this blend, and as I’m forever and always looking for caffeine-free blends, this is right up my alley. Not to mention my weakness for marzipan-ish teas (it’s my mission to find a GREAT almond tea, just as it’s my mission to find the perfect chai). Anyway, I only grabbed 25g of this when I was in store, but I’ll probably grab more when I put in an online order. So tasty, and the scent alone is worth its weight in gold.
Oh. AND! I opened my front door this morning and DUN DUN DUUUUUUUNNNN. My sister sent me an advent calendar. It is glorious, though fragile, and it’s sitting on top of my counter right now, being really, really, ridiculously good looking.
Annnnnnnd it’s a definite NO to this tea. This was probably the one I was most excited about, and so it’s a huge let down. I did a mental fist-shake when I saw the ingredients online, but remained optimistic overall. Ingredients can be deceiving! Look at how I thought Secret Weapon would be all kinds of meeeeeeeh, and ended up being delicious! Miracles can happen more than once!
I grabbed a 25g bag.
And my first cup of this was alarming. Yes, there was vanilla. Yes, there was spice. But holy bananas, licorice, why do you have to come on so strong? You’re not the life of the party, you never were the life of the party, and you’re never going to be. So stop trying. Please.
I thought I’d give the tea at least enough chances to get through my sample . . . so today saw cups 2, 3 and 4. All three were just as cringe-inducing as the 1st. The licorice settled itself at the top of my throat and stayed obnoxious for the entirety of the cup(s), lending a weird, harsh kind of sweetness that I associate with cough syrup, or children’s medicine.
One cup was with milk and sugar, as per the bag’s suggestions, and let it be known that this did not help. I give up on this tea.
In short: NO.
Slightly more in depth: This tasting note is mostly to remind myself not to fall for the enticing lure of everything pumpkin spice, again. Because. No. Nope. Not this time, world. You won’t get me again! Not everything labelled pumpkin will be delicious. A lesson has been learned. This tea was so musty I ended up dumping my cup.
Finishing off the last bit of this tin—thank goodness! I remember ADORING this tea. It was lovely and sweet, all caramel apple and roasted rice and creamy butter. But recently, whenever I reached for this blend, all I got was a single note of granny smith apple. It still SMELLED delicious, but was overpoweringly tart.
I finished my packet of this tea a couple . . . weeks ago, I think? Oops. I’d been saving it and saving it and saaaaaaving it, and then the slightly crazed part of me couldn’t take the sight of it anymore. So, I brewed up the remains of my leaves, and the cup didn’t disappoint. Bread and chocolate and chestnuts, oh my. It’s similar to LB, yes, but I think I prefer the roasted oolong overall. There’s something with the mouthfeel of this one that is just SO. GOOD. A bit more sweetness, too, maybe? Delicious.