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177 Tasting Notes

94
drank Read My Lips by DAVIDsTEA
177 tasting notes

Finally got to try this one, thanks ashleyelizabeth! I’ve had my eye on this one for a bit, because I really just enjoy the heck out of chocolate mint teas. Simple, no fuss, but usually good flavor, as that combination is not hard to replicate. I’ve been excited about this one, though, because apparently chocolate mint herbals are a lot more common than chocolate mint blacks, for some reason. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, this is pretty decent. The base is fairly nondescript, but the chocolate and mint are well balanced. Neither flavor is very strong. I see what other people were talking about, the way the sprinkles make a kind of oily sheen on the top of the water. I don’t mind it, as it doesn’t change the mouthfeel. I might try this iced at some point, although I’m not sure how chocolate would come through in an iced tea. I guess we’ll see!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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70
drank Coconut Chai Latte by Tea Forte
177 tasting notes

Thanks, ashleyelizabeth, for including this as a random sample in our swap! I have to apologize to you, because in my rush to get the tea packaged and to the post office before it closed, I forgot to include any random samples, just the tea we’d agreed on… T_T Sorry!

Anyway, I made this over at my sister’s while I was visiting the other day. Her kids can be kind of rambunctious, and it can get overwhelming, so we were feeling like we needed a pick-me-up. She went for her Keurig, and I pulled this out, glad I’d brought it.

It’s a bit inconsistent with the flavor, to be honest, although I’m not quite sure how that works. Some sips are quite coconutty, while some sips are spicy, and still other sips are, unfortunately, neither. I’d be willing to give this another shot, though, so perhaps I’ll get some down the line.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashleyelizabeth

No need for apologies, I sent out about 7 swaps before I sent yours and I didn’t remember to put samples in most of them, but most people included them in their swap to me. To be honest, I didn’t even notice!

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91

Brenden sent this as a sample in my order, which is rather uncanny, since I’d almost ordered it, but had to take it out for budget concerns. :) I was very happily surprised!

I ended up steeping this four times throughout the course of the day… and it really says something about a tea that I’m willing to go back to it that many times in one day. Usually at some point I say to myself, “Eh, I’ve had that already, let’s shake it up.” Not this time! It was very malty and bready and had some light hints of honey, just barely. Sadly, through all the steeps, I just wasn’t getting the chocolate notes. Maybe next time? I suppose I should try it once without sugar, too… I forgot to, in my hurry that morning.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

Had this tea this morning, in a travel mug with milk and sugar. The smell is wonderfully light and fresh for a black tea, with some lovely toasty maltiness. It tastes like… rye bread, with honey, maybe some hints of maple syrup, and heavy cream… it’s making me think of bread pudding, minus the cinnamon. Highly delicious, a very good choice for breakfast! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
177 tasting notes

Wow… did I add milk to this?? I don’t remember doing that, and the color of the tea seems to indicate that I didn’t, but it sure tastes like I did! The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, too, which further reinforces it. The coconut is very present, but the vegetal nature of the green tea fills out the edges of the flavor, giving it depth. I have come to the conclusion that I LOVE coconut in tea, and this is subliminally coconut. Therefore, I find this utterly sublime!

1st steep: 2 minutes
2nd steep: 5-ish minutes? I kind of forgot about it… but it does not seem to have suffered because of it! Just as flavorful and coconutty. :3

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Amaretto by DAVIDsTEA
177 tasting notes

Well. Color me surprised. I got this in a plastic baggie from ashleyelizabeth (thank you!), and before I really looked at it closely, I would have told anyone who asked me that there was rooibos in that bag. That’ll teach me. XD

Anyway, this tea smells VERY much of almond extract—pungent and sweet, almost cloyingly so. It actually reminds me of the wedding cake cupcake that a shop near my house makes. Their icing is VERY sweet, and this smells exactly like biting into one of those.

The brew smells of almonds (though not as strongly) and wet wood, kind of reminiscent of the flavor of a toothpick. Weird, but not altogether unappealing. There’s also quite a bit of “dust” floating around in my cup after steeping, which is not great, but if I like this enough I’ll just steep it in a paper bag from now on.

Unsweetened, this tastes pretty much exactly like a toothpick—woody, and kind of chemical-y, and bitter. Hmm. Perhaps, like its baked counterpart, it needs some sweetness.

Hmm, there might be something there… I added two tsps of sugar, and the toothpick flavor is ALMOST gone, and the almond might be surfacing… I have one more remedy to try.

A splash of milk later, and this tea is the oddest color, like fog, if fog were slightly brown. The milk has taken away the bitter flavor, but it left the toothpick flavor. Blech. I will try it one more time, just to make sure this is not because I scalded the lapacho (I admittedly did not check the recommended temp before pouring boiling water over it), but so far, not a good first impression. I can’t finish this. :(

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65
drank Lemon Meringue Chai by 52teas
177 tasting notes

Thank you to ashleyelizabeth for this one! Been wanting to try it for a while. :)

The loose leaf smells kind of medicinal… uh-oh. There’s lemon myrtle in here. Well, we’ll see…

I steeped it for a pretty short amount of time, ‘cause I know Frank’s flavored blacks tend to do better that way. The aroma is mostly of cardamom and citrus, with some solid floral notes. Hmm. I’m not sure I’ll like a flowery chai. The very idea is strange, at best.

I added milk, because that’s what you do with chai, and some sugar. It smells a lot more like lemon meringue pie now, for sure! First sip… mmm, interesting. The front of the sip definitely tastes like lemon meringue—sweet and lightly creamy (thank you, marshmallow root), somewhat lemony (although I like my lemon curd a bit more tart than that). The spices are filling the role of the pie crust flavor, bakey and warm… but then the aftertaste is ALL floral. That lemon myrtle… dang, this was almost really good. I just can’t get around it. This tea would be much better off without it. :/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83
drank Cha Yen Thai by Teavana
177 tasting notes

It is with a very, very heavy heart that I have to lower my rating of this tea. Teavana, in its “wisdom,” messed with a good thing and changed this tea’s recipe. I restocked it several weeks ago, but as soon as I opened the new bag (having not paid that much attention in the store), I knew something was different. Sure, the fruit and coconut pieces are a bit bigger and healthier looking, but… and I shook the bag a lot just to be sure… there are no pink peppercorns. Anywhere. Sure enough, after I steeped some of the new stuff, the flavor is MOSTLY the same, but it’s missing that delicious spicy bite that I loved so much.

You’ve ruined my day, Teavana. Ruined it.

Flavors: Coconut, Cream

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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59

I was pretty sure I’d reviewed this before… but it wouldn’t be the first time my memory’s been faulty, if I didn’t.

Anyway, I can really smell both the acai and the mango, plus some berry and a little citrus, but the flavor is just not quite right. I think the tap water here is off-tasting (I’m visiting a friend in a rather rural part of Texas…). It’s adding a very musty taste right as I’m swallowing, which makes this whole experience a bit unpleasant… Anyway, that aside, it’s a nice tea. Nothing terribly special, and if I wasn’t out of my house, I probably would have chosen something else.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85
drank Organic Chai by Tazo
177 tasting notes

I chose this one this morning because I’m traveling and it’s really the only breakfast tea I brought with me. Don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow morning, since I only brought one bag of this.

I prefer chais without anise, but this one is actually subtle enough about it that I don’t mind. :) It’s a decent cupp. Nothing to write home about, but I appreciate that it’s organic.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite (I get on tea kicks, which are various lengths of time in which I’ll drink one or two teas religiously, and then I’ll switch), but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3

Location

Louisiana, USA

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