241 Tasting Notes
After reading the reviews for this tea, I was very excited about it. I love spicy chai and it sounded like this would be excellent. I made some last night, then tried it again this morning just to be sure. As much as I wanted to love this chai, I simply don’t.
I used about 2 tbsp in my 3-cup teapot the first time and steeped it for five minutes as directed. It was so weak that my husband and I actually ended up dumping most of it.
This morning I used the other half of the packet (it was a little more than 2 tbsp) and steeped it for more than twice the time. It’s slightly stronger, but I really feel like I had to push it to get it this strong. It’s still pretty weak. I can taste the spices, and the promise of them, but they’re still feeble.
This is the end of the sample, and I don’t know if maybe I got a bad or older mix, but for me this just doesn’t live up to the hype. I’m disappointed. Of the four teas I got from Arbor, the only winner was my husband’s Mini Tree Pu-erh – the one I won’t touch!
Mmm… tasty! I ordered a sample of this on a lark, and I’m glad I did. It’s a delightful and sweet cup to enjoy on a lazy weekend afternoon.
Dry, the fruity smells overwhelm the white leaves, but when steeped the fruit takes backseat to the tea leaves. I made up a pot of this in my 3-cup teapot, and added two tablespoons each of tea and Sugar in the Raw.
I’ve had pomegranate before, and this doesn’t remind me of it at all. My husband says it tastes more like peach to him, and I have to agree. It might not be a white pomegranate but a white peach still sounds good to me!
I think this tea is a little confused – it’s not sure whether to be a black tea or an herbal. The blueberries and the black tea seem to be battling for supremacy, and so far its a stalemate.
I followed the steeping directions – it was in five minutes and the package said 4-6. It could be that I should have gone four minutes, or maybe it’s the Sugar in the Raw adding too much of its own note, but this just tastes kind of confusing. I used half the sample packet in a tea ball and tossed it into a mug with a little over a tablespoon of Sugar in the Raw.
When we first opened the sealed package, my husband and I got a wave of berry. It just hasn’t translated as strongly into the cup. There’s only enough for one cup left, which I may save for my next cold – and steep less! Ah, well, one more tea tried!
The only other Ear Grey I have to compare this to right now is my Teavana Earl Grey Black, so I opened them up and sniffed them side by side. Of the two, this is less sweet and more sharp. I can’t detect the slight licorice flavor of the Teavana in it, and while it smells a little more… I can only think of the word astringent, it doesn’t shout bergamot at me either. Huh. I don’t know what I was expecting, but so far this isn’t broadcasting any kind of “Wow!” factor.
Today felt like a mug morning, so I loaded a tea ball 1/2 way and steeped it for five minutes. I’m trying to get better about not over-steeping things, so I set my most annoying timer. When its shrieks brought me back into the room, I was surprised at how dark this one came out. Even after I put in a generous pour of milk, and a tablespoon or so of Sugar in the Raw, it is only the color of hot chocolate.
I did sample it before I put in the milk and sugar, and I found that its sharp dry smell had been blunted rather decisively. This tastes a lot milder than I had anticipated, and while it’s a nice and even EG I guess I’m just craving something… different. I love everything this company stands for – organic, free-trade, bio-degradable packaging – and I wanted to love their tea as well, but it’s just not grabbing my senses and sending them whirling. It’s a nice standard cup, but probably won’t be a staple.
This is a fantastic introduction to DAVIDsTEA! The dry mix smells absolutely amazing – almost a mix of grapefruit and evergreen – but when steeped the listed ingredients come out to play. The hibiscus steps out, as well as some of the greenery, but it works.
I usually over-steep my tea a bit, mostly because I don’t bother to remove the teapot’s filter. With each successive cup of this tisane the thought sinks in more and more that this mix isn’t meant for over-steeping. The hibiscus becomes a little overwhelming. In the future I will try to make sure to get better about that.
My ankle was acting up today, so while I iced it my wonderful husband went out to get me some tea to cheer me up. The wonderful man brewed it too, while he made me pad Thai. I think it steeped about 15 minutes or so, but it’s still enjoyable.
An interesting taste – first you’re hit with with a whole fruit salad’s worth of flavors, then it slowly gives way to a heavy floral aftertaste, almost like tart perfume. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. With my allergies, anything that’s floral or perfumey means an automatic “Run away! Run away!” so being able to take my time with it is an odd and new experience.
All in all, I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this tisane. I think I’ll need to try it a couple more times to figure it out.
UPDATE: I’ve had this tea a couple more times, and it’s been much better. I think the perfume taste had a lot to do with the over-steep.
During our last trip to Teavana, this is the one choice that got away from me. I was trying to add an herbal to our cupboard, but ended up with yet another chai!
Mixing this up in my 3-cup pot, I used 2 tablespoons of tea with 2 tablespoons of Sugar in the Raw. I did forget to set a timer for the steep, so it had a good 15-20 minutes while I was working on laundry.
My first sip was an eye-opener. I don’t know if it was the over-steep or the mix itself, but this is actually fairly spicy. I had to add twice as much milk as usual to balance it out. I love a spicy chai, so that’s the biggest plus for this tea.
While I was initially surprised that I could find the oolong leaves (I’ve tried some of their other teas and sometimes the leaves are indistinguishable) they didn’t seem to affect the taste of the tea. I couldn’t even detect a hint of it.
While I do like the spiciness, this is one of their more expensive chais, and since they all seem to taste pretty similar I’m probably not going to go back to this one. It’s tasty, but not quite enough to justify the extra cost.
Jake and I decided to enjoy this tea a little differently this morning – I made an infused butter with it for our pancakes! When I get around to pancake butter infusions, I usually use straight up cloves or anise, so this was an interesting change.
I put the stovetop unit on medium, melted half a stick of butter, and added about 2 tablespoons of dry tea. I let it alone until butter was completely melted, after which I stirred occasionally until it began to simmer. I let that go on for 2-3 minutes, then pulled it off the stove and strained it into a small Pyrex dish. After that, all I had to do was stir it occasionally so that it wouldn’t separate.
Spooned over pancakes, this was awesome! Each bite was a tasty mix of maple syrup and roses. I may add more tea next time, for even more intense flavor, but this is totally something I’m going to try again!
If you’re curious, here are some pictures of the process:
I was so excited to see a Tao of Tea tin for sale locally that I bought it without looking at it too closely. I’ve been really wanting to get away from so much Teavana, and so far this is the only thing I’ve found in our area. I seriously dragged my poor husband all over today, looking for tea and a new teapot, but this was it. I guess I’m just going to have to work on my patience and wait for my online orders to get in.
When we got home, I opened up the tin and all I saw were rose petals. Figuring that it might have been a mixing issue, I first tried gently rolling the can around. Still all roses. At that point I dumped it out and tried to mix it up by hand. The ingredient list on the tin includes a lot of other ingredients, but all I was able to find in the tin were roses and about 1/4 cup of tiny green specks.
Still a bit unsure, I put 2 tablespoons of tea in my 3-cup teapot and stirred in 2 tablespoons of Sugar in the Raw. Steeped, it’s a lovely rose color, but most of those green specks made their way past the strainer and are clinging to the sides and gathering at the bottom of the cup. I’m a real texture girl, and that’s an immediate turn-off for me. I don’t like chewing my tea.
Doing my best not to stir up the sediment, I take my first sip. Rose. All my senses are filled with roses. There is a bit of a lemony taste to it, but for the most part it’s sweetened rose water. It’s light-hearted and different, so I may hold on to this one for my next tea party, but I do wish I had purchased a sample instead of a full tin. It’s totally going on the swap list!
REVISION: Apparently I didn’t read the ingredients well – the tin lists hibiscus flowers, camomile flowers, peppermint, and rose petals. I looked inside the tin again, and the petals look all the same to me, but it’s possible all three flowers and their petals just look very similar dried.