635 Tasting Notes
This is from the new 52teas owned by Anne. I was so happy she chose to re-blend this tea from Frank’s recipe! This was one of my all-time favorite V.I.T.s from back in the day. Looking over my notes, this tea has been with me through some pretty memorable experiences, like getting engaged as well as having the honor of being my first 52teas blend ever. I remember the sad day that I finished the pouch. Sigh.
Well, rejoice! This tea has been reborn! It’s delightfully maple-y with a strong Tie Guan Yin flavor. Wow. I have missed you so much, glorious tea! I don’t get much creaminess and no real cheesecake to speak of. But maple syrup is front and center with its thick sweetness and the base is floral, green, and lovely. This will remain one of my all time favorites, even if it is a bit different from how I remember. It’s still delicious and that’s all that matters! Raising the rating from 84 to 86.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Maple Syrup
I made this tea again this morning and did a two minute steep. I also used 1.5 tsp instead of 2 tsp. I completely forgot how sugary this already was and added Truvia out of habit. OMG, this is soooooo sweet! Despite the sugar overload accident, I can already tell this tea is better. It takes exactly like icing on a cinnamon bun.
Mmm! This is much more to my liking. In fact, this is really good! It just goes to show you, leaf quantity and infusion time really do contribute to making a good cup of tea. It doesn’t taste like French toast but who doesn’t love cinnamon buns complete with hot, dripping icing? I know I do. Raising the rating from 78 to 82.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Frosting, Pastries
This is from the new 52teas owned by Anne. This tea is wonderful! I loved the original, and I am loving this too! I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. I woke up with no voice and a really sore throat. I thought green tea would do me good because of the antioxidants, so I chose this out of the cupboard.
I don’t even know how many infusions I got out of these leaves. I lost count! It soothed my throat and tasted seriously delicious. I added some Truvia and that made this more like a lemony dessert tea. Mmm mm! So good! I’m glad I have a full ounce of this one. I have a feeling it’s not going to last long.
The dry leaf aroma is completely unexpected. So unexpected that I had to check not only the title of this tea (to be sure I grabbed the right one out of the cupboard) but also the ingredients list. It smells like pineapple. Pineapple and coconut. Sure enough, those are ingredients in this tea. But it’s called Toasted Walnut! Shouldn’t it taste primarily of walnut? There’s also almond in here, which I feel like is a much stronger and more easily recognizable flavor than walnut. So I don’t have high hopes for this one.
The brewed tea aroma is…banana bread? Pineapple banana bread? The flavor is coconut, pineapple, almond, and green tea, in that order. This is bizarre. If I adjust my expectations, I suppose it’s not dreadful. It’s sweet from the included added sugar. But it has that artificial aftertaste common in DAVIDsTEA blends. Yuck. Eventually once all the flavorings fade from the aftertaste, I am left with a nice green tea flavor. But it takes a good minute for that to appear and it’s pretty light in comparison to the added flavorings.
Hmm, I’m kind of on the fence with this one. Do I like it? Or do I hate it? LOL! If you’re that torn trying to answer this question, it can’t be a very good tea. I’ll settle on it being ok. Not something I’d drink again or recommend to others. But it’s definitely not the worst tasting tea I’ve tried before either. At least it was a free sample! That’s probably the most positive thing I have to say about this; it was free.
Oh man, this smells so good! The dry leaf aroma is mouthwatering mint chocolate. The brewed tea aroma is something special. I can smell chocolate and peppermint, but there’s something else. I can’t put my finger on it. Whole grain bread? Sunflower seeds?
Mmm mmmm!!! The flavor has that something extra special too. You can tell this is a high quality Verdant Tea base. The base outshines the flavorings. The first flavor is tea, followed by chocolate, followed finally by peppermint. That’s surprising in a pleasant way. Most times, teas with mint taste first and foremost like mint, with everything else coming in last place. But this is the opposite!
The base does have lovely chocolate and bread notes. Laoshan Black! Is it Laoshan Black? I think there’s a bit of that in here. This is delicious! It’s not as much like peppermint hot chocolate as I expected. Yet I think I like this more than the alternative I had imagined, which was thick and creamy. This is light and airy like a puff pastry but flavorful and satisfying like a meal.
I daresay I want more of this. Dare because my pocketbook can’t handle another purchase at the moment and my cupboard really can’t possibly handle any more tea. But this is special! This is Verdant! A Verdant 52teas collaboration is the stuff of dreams. My two favorite tea companies!!! Joining forces to make one delicious cup of yum! Alas, I’m afraid I’ll have to hold off on any additional purchases for now. But you should definitely pick up some of this while you still can!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Peppermint
This was sent to me in error. Luckily after a quick e-mail to Anne, the tea I ordered is on its way. She said I could keep this for the inconvenience. As nice as that is, I didn’t order this tea for a reason. I hate Lapsang Souchong. So please take my note with a grain of salt if that is a tea you do enjoy.
The dry leaf aroma is beef jerky. Yuck. I used 1.5 tsp steeped for 2 minutes and waited for the cup to cool for 10 minutes. The brewed tea aroma is sweet beef jerky. I’m probably smelling jerky because it’s a smoked meat, and the smokiness of the tea is reminding me of that. Y’all more experienced Lapsang Souchong drinkers will probably think this smells just fine.
The flavor? It’s not as bad as I was expecting. There’s a nice black tea flavor before that hideous Lapsang Souchong kicks in. There’s a spicy bite and some sweetness. Overall though, no, this is not for me. I’ll be re-homing the rest of this one to a friend of mine who can appreciate smoky teas. Thanks anyway, Anne!
My first thought was, “This doesn’t taste like glazed donuts at all!” I brewed it for 3 mins and then let it sit for 10 mins per the instructions. To me, it just tasted like another average black tea. I added a little sweetener and let it cool off even more.
When I returned to it, the cup was barely above room temperature. But it was tastier! Now I can see the parallel to glazed donuts. The vanilla is more pronounced once its cooler. The sweetener helps make it taste more like icing. It’s pretty good. I’ll definitely enjoy the rest of this one iced.
I think I need to realize that tea will never be as good as the original thing it’s inspired by. I always think, “Ooh donuts! I want a donut tea!” And then I’m disappointed that it tastes like tea. Silly me. So if you have reasonable expectations, then you will enjoy this tea. Just don’t expect it to magically transform into a hot gooey donut.
The dry leaf aroma is pure almond extract. The brewed tea aroma is almond and green tea. The flavor? A delicious, buttery, almond green tea. It’s nothing unique or out of the ordinary. It’s just almond. But that’s why it’s perfect.
This is a welcome change from DAVIDsTEA’s tendency to over-flavor their teas. There’s nothing complicated going on in this cup. The ingredients list is green tea, almonds, marigold flowers, cornflower petals, and natural almond flavoring. That’s it!
DAVIDsTEA, keep on this track because this is what tea should be. Added flavoring that is natural and complements the base. Nothing artificial. Not an overabundance of stuff that masks the tea and overwhelms the cup. Just good tea. Yum!
The dry leaf aroma is overwhelming. It smells cloyingly sweet. There are lots of scents in here: lemon peel, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon. I’m not sure what to think. The leaves also look dirty. By that I mean that there is a lot of flavoring dust in here. There’s chunks of things you’d expect to see in chunk form: cardamom pods, coriander seeds, bits of lemon peel, and the leaves themselves. But what’s all this granular sand looking stuff? Some of it is sugar, clearly, but is all of it sugar? That’s a lot of sugar! Note: If you buy this tea, shake the tin/bag before measuring out the leaf. DAVIDsTEA recommends doing this to help distribute the flavoring evenly.
The brewed tea aroma is spot on French toast. I can smell the egg and the cinnamon. This is promising! One of my favorite parts of 52teas’ French Toast with Cardamom Maple Syrup tea is that you can actually smell and taste the egg, which is what gives it that distinctive French toast flavor. Without the egg, it becomes plain old bread.
First sip! Hmm, the flavor is overwhelming. There’s a lot going on in this cup! It tastes like French toast made in a lab instead of a kitchen. There’s a bit of artificiality that I’ve come to expect in DAVIDsTEA blends. But it’s not all bad. It’s actually quite good, although I think it could use some maple syrup. That’s not to say it needs sweetener. It’s quite sweet on its own. In fact, I wish they wouldn’t have added so much sugar. But it’s missing that maple flavor component of real French toast.
I added a tiny dollop of maple syrup and skim milk. It’s much more to my liking now. But I have to say that 52teas’ version is significantly more natural tasting and therefore significantly yummier. I really need more of that one. This one strikes me as a good latte tea. I think its artificial abundance could be tempered with lots of milk. Plus, who doesn’t love creamy lattes?
I tried a second infusion for seven minutes. There’s much less flavor, which is actually an improvement. But now I think it’s a tad too weak. Maybe I’ll try a two minute steep followed by a five minute steep next time. I think it might turn out better if the first steep is shorter.
My last comment is about the skinny tin that this tea came in. It is so cute! It’s much smaller than I expected considering they stuffed a full 50g in here. It takes up no space in my cupboard at all! I love small cute tins. I’m not sure I’ll be able to reuse it though because the tea was put directly into the tin. There’s no barrier between the leaves and the metal. So I think this tin might smell like cardamom and coconut sugar forever. But when I’m done with the tea, I’ll try washing it out with vinegar and water to see if I can get the aroma out.
The final verdict? This tea is good not great. I’ll enjoy what I have, but it certainly won’t be replacing 52teas’ version in my cupboard and I won’t be buying more.
The dry leaf aroma is strong, yummy peppermint with noticeable cocoa. Mmm! I’m excited to try this one! When I took the brew basket out of the cup four minutes later, my husband took in a deep breath and said, “Something smells good!” Haha, well it’s all mine! :P
It certainly is a fragrant tea. It’s filled the whole room with a lovely peppermint aroma. Wow, this is super strong! It’s mostly mint with chocolate lingering in the background and especially in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is cooling minty refreshment.
As it cools, there’s something rather bitter that makes its appearance. And the aftertaste is fairly artificial tasting now too. Sadly, I’ve found that many of DAVIDsTEA blends can taste artificial. It’s their fault for not using natural flavors. So I can’t say this tea is a complete winner. But it was a fun sample to try, if for nothing other than the peppermint patty potential and those sweet snowflake sprinkles! Yeah, alliteration!