23 Tasting Notes
There is a Murchie’s not far from me that I’ve walked by many times without going in, as it always seemed to be full of naff “British” pottery. So I only got around to drinking this tea, which a friend gifted, this week when my supplies of David’s Tea were running low. Well, more fool me, because it’s FANTASTIC. If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ sickly-sweet liquid chai mix, there’s probably not much for you here, as this is a peppery, fiery, spicy chai that will tickle your nose and warm you up with a forcible kick. It tastes of REAL spices, rather than “spice mix.” I think it’d be just awesome with some frothed almond milk.
Wow. WOW. It’s been a while, and I’ve been off drinking all sorts of fancy sprinkly chocolate jellybean marshmallow teas, and that’s been fun, but David’s have finally wowed me with a (fairly) straight tea.
I smelled Orchid next to Vanilla Oolong in the large wall tins at the store, and I said to the girl helping me that (for me) it was like the difference between smelling a fresh vanilla bean pod and smelling the yellow vanilla section of the big strawberry/chocolate/vanilla icecream combo packs (sorry, Vanilla Oolong fans): Orchid is fresh, natural and just so creamy, with none of that artificial vanilla taste that makes me run a mile.
Apparently this is a higher grade of oolong than the one used in Vanilla Oolong as it’s more tightly knotted. Steeped up for a good 5 mins, the oolong comes through light and delicate and the woodiness of it stops the vanilla-beam aroma from being too sickly sweet. Gorgeous.
I have been down with a sore throat for approximately the last forever, and there’s only so many cups of Cold 911 a girl can drink. So, off to David’s to find an alternative. I picked this based on the pleasant, light chamomile smell; if I had known it contained liquorice, I probably would have run a mile. Just as well it doesn’t taste of liquorice at all to me, then (maybe I dodged the gross, gooey bullet and got a scoop with no liquorice nastiness in, but I’ve found this to be pretty much consistently the case). It reminds me of Mothers’ Little Helper without the sledgehammer “SLEEP NOW” effect, so it’s become my pre-bedtime sipper. Nice zesty aftertaste, as well.
First, I must give a shoutout to the lady at the post office who intercepted this package after the postman had attempted to deliver it to the WRONG ROAD and written “return to sender” on it. Without her I would not be drinking this very fine tea.
So my tastebuds must be hyper-attuned to detect plum at twenty paces, because I find this tea PLUMTASTIC. From popping open the tea, I get strong ume – dark, cherryish, pungent – and after brewing for 4 mins, drinking it tastes like smooth, uncomplicated white tea with a tangy plum aftertaste. In between sips it’s like I’m rolling a ripe, delicious plum around and around my mouth. Best of all: absolutely no detectable stevia taste.
This tea packs a POWERFUL aroma punch. When I wandered back into the kitchen after steeping, it smelled like I’d lit a scented candle. This smells like how I wanted Read My Lips to taste. Yum!
On sipping, I don’t think it tastes anywhere near as strong as it smells, but it seems to turn out like Birthday Cake with less of that sugary-artifical maple flavour and a little more vanilla. And that’s fine, ‘cause I’m down to my last few grams of Birthday Cake, and I like these dessert teas for early evening sippin’. There’s only so many ways to make a ‘cake’ flavoured tea, after all.
So I wasn’t supposed to buy any more tea, as I’m moving house soon and I swear 90% of my stuff to be packed is tea tins. But as I strolled by this afternoon – Yessss! The David’s Tea $1 iced tea promo was on!! I got a travel mug of this iced and it was the perfect beach-side sipper. When highly chilled the tangy melon flavour really comes through and pops more. As the ice melts and it gets warmer, I taste a little more apple/juice flavour, and it’s still good but somehow tastes a wee bit more artificial. I guess one more tin can’t hurt…?
FINALLY A NEW WHITE (or mostly white) Davids’ Tea. Seriously, it’s been a while. And yet another tea that contains hibiscus, so sorry, hibiscus-haters; the girl at my regular spot and I joked that management must’ve bought a big old bag of hibiscus this spring, with the amount of teas it’s been popping up in. This is light, floral and a teeny bit tart on the finish. It reminds me of a fruitier White Tiger, which is a good thing. Just took a cup to go so will have to see how it comes out after a home-steep, but so far, so good.
This is a tea of two halves. Brewed for 1min 30 sec, it’s a cuppa fiery, gingery warmth that would be perfect when you’ve just come in from the cold, with a light peach midway through the sip – no matcha at all. Brewed for 4mins, it’s a smoother, ginger-tinged green with definite, woody/sharp undertones of matcha, but the peach is AWOL.
Too bad you don’t really get all the elements together (ginger/peach/green/matcha) as this was what convinced me to pick this tea up, but this is a good late-night sipper for me, especially as we move more into summer.