140 Tasting Notes
I was slightly leery of this one because it smells SO strongly of cloves, and spices are just not my cup of . . yikes, that phrase sounds weird when used literally. Anyway, leeriness unnecessary because this really is a beautifully balanced tea. The clove isn’t strong at all, it just gives the tea a rich, almost chocolatey taste, with the orange peel, vanilla, and cinnamon all melding nicely. Reading the ingredients list, it sort of sounds like Bigelow’s Constant Comment blend, but actually this tea tastes nothing like that over-spiced nightmare.
On another note (and maybe the name Glitter & Gold should have cued me in) this tea actually sparkles? Like the brew is full of these little glitter specks, I guess from the dissolved gold sugar balls. I have a hard time believing this is healthy, but still, high marks, Davids, for presentation. You nailed the magical fairy potion look.
So happy to have this in the cupboard again, it’s even better than I remembered. While toasted coconut and caramel are the dominant flavors, there really is a buttered rum note to this that adds a lot of nuance. And if you sniff the bag, it smells positively alcoholic. I feel like this tea strikes a nice balance between flavored and unflavored tea, in that the flavoring isn’t as pushy as it is in a lot of fruity black teas, but some of the notes you might find in a plain black – malty, caramel, toasted – are way dialed up.
Also, that shredded coconut looks so pretty with the black tea.
I got this as a free sample in my David’s order, and I have to admit, when I opened the box my first ungrateful thought was, “For the love of God, no more rooibos.” It seems like someone is always sending me a rooibos sample, and I just have no interest in the stuff.
The tea is chock full of ginger though, enough to mask the rooibos taste, and as usual with David’s tea, it gets marks for presentation; the bright peppercorns really dress it up. So it’s not nearly as bad as I feared, but still, not something I would buy either, and it leaves me feeling a bit ambivalent about the David’s sample system in general. I mean, on the one hand, surprises are cool. I got to try something I would never have picked out for myself. But on the hand, if you’re out of range of a store, these little free samples are the only way to try anything from David’s short of blindly ordering 50 gram packs of something you’ve never had before. I really appreciate Teavivre’s system of letting you choose your own samples. Or even Harney and Sons, where you pay a little for each sample, but at least you can get what you want.
Barring this, maybe David’s could put a little note area on the order form, so people could write things like, “Please, please, please, No Rooibos. Have mercy on my caffeine-craving soul!”
You want your tasting notes to stand on their own two feet, but I just can’t help but compare this to Teavivre’s milk oolongs, the only other milk oolongs I’ve tried so far.
First off, I can already tell that there is a greater range among milk oolongs than I originally thought. Teavivre’s were decidedly on the green side, whereas David’s is venturing into some of those mineral flavors of a slightly darker tea; Teavivre’s had a distinct spinach note and David’s is more like Swiss chard, both in smell and taste. Even the milk flavor varies. David’s actually tastes like milk. Teavivre’s flavored milk oolong tastes like buttercream. The unflavored one has a hint of butter, but it’s far more subtle.
Overall, I think Teavivre’s oolong is superior (and did I mention, half the price?) but this is still a solid tea, and if I hadn’t tried Teavivre’s first, I probably would have loved it. As it is, I will drink this purchase down happily (because the REAL tragedy would be having NO milk oolong) but the next time I get this it will be from Teavivre.
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Sooooooo glad to have this in the cupboard again. Even hot, it is the quintessential summertime tea (though yes, icing it makes it even more so). I constantly have to remind myself, though, that David’s is serious about that 3-4 minute recommended steep time. Less time and you won’t taste anything; more time and, oddly, you also won’t taste anything. Or at least not much. Somehow the flavors get dulled with extra time. Also, the color is nothing to go on. This is an extremely light-colored tea. But if you get it just right there is sparkly lime and smooth yogurt and some peppy apple flavor, and it is amazing.
Happy to receive a sample of this in my David’s order, as it’s one I’ve been curious about. Dry, this very chunky blend smells pleasantly of dried cherry (no surprise there), lemon, and I think that’s a whiff of rose? It steeps up a pretty pink. After mulling over this and the other David’s teas for days before finally placing my order, I guess I built up unrealistic expectations, because I was really expecting to taste the knockout-strong flavor of a cherry snowcone — whereas this tastes like a fairly ordinary cherry herbal, with a hint of those acerola vitamin C tablets I used to chew as a kid. Better than Celestial Seasonings cherry tea, but no revelation.
I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up, go downtown and line up with the small children at the snowcone stand to get my fix.