drank Vanilla Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
979 tasting notes

Since I just made a note on Vanilla Orchid I felt it was only fair to pay homage to its predecessor: The original Vanilla Oolong. I made both of these together so I could get the full effect of their differences.

Instead of the beautiful green balls of the updated version this oolong has long black wiry leaves that unravel green during steep. They’re also accompanied by a marigold and lemon myrtle tag team. It has more of a boozy bottle kind of vanilla aroma than the milky kind observed in Orchid during dry stage.

Steeped: I can barely smell any vanilla compared to Orchid cup. The taste is also not as smooth- the creamy vegetal Pouchong carrying most of the flavour profile. It’s nowhere as milky sweet as the newer model and the finish has an odd lemon-y flavour too it that makes it a tad sour and more astringent. There’s something a tad artificial about it too.

This is not a bad cup at all but it is in need of some creaminess and cohesion. Vanilla Orchid almost has too much floral cream in comparison- it’s so rich and buttery! The more I drink the Orchid the more the Vanilla ‘O’ tastes weak and watery. I don’t even want to re-steep it (I always feel like a criminal when I don’t re-steep my oolong).

I think taking out some of the additives and changing the type of oolong was a good move. I like flowers and vanilla bean ice cream, and I’m for this upgrade.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike or stay away from: apple, cocoa nibs, marine, peach, stevia, dairy products

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-84: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.


BC, Lower Mainland

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