1462 Tasting Notes

drank Checkmate by DAVIDsTEA
1462 tasting notes

When I opened day 17 of the advent calendar, it said this was a white tea. Although I do see some lighter leaves, it looks like it is largely black leaves. A little confusing, but on to the tea! It smelled coconutty when I opened it and tastes like toasted coconut aaaaand that is it. I really didn’t get much more than that out of it. Coconut and tea. Decent, but kinda boring. Reminds me of Zhi Tea’s Ambrosia, which I like better.

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My microwave broke and I have been enjoying the throwback to the 70’s lifestyle before microwaves were standard in every house, so I haven’t replaced or fixed it. The feature I miss most on it is the timer, so when I saw this tea timer while grocery shopping it was obvious it must come home with me.

This timer has a couple features that are pretty neat. It can double as a lid for a standard small round tea tin, which is pretty clever designing! It’s a tight squeeze, but it works. That feature would probably suit someone who has only a few teas in their collection. I have over 30 teas in my cupboard, so searching for the one tin with the timer isn’t going to work in my house. Fortunately it also has a magnet inside the plastic casing, so I am able to stick it on my fridge instead. Perfect! It has five preset buttons, color coordinated for the type of tea; 1 minute for white, 2 for green, 4 for black, 5 for oolong and 6 for herbal. It also has a button for you to add minutes to the time, one to add seconds to the time, both of which beep for every second/minute you add (annoying) and the start/stop button. The preset buttons are great, but it’s the recommended time for their teas to steep. Other companies have different suggestions for steeping time for their teas, so I find myself having to add time to adjust. Not the end of the world, but not super convenient either. The timer only goes up to nine minutes and fifty nine so you can’t use it for any other application that may need more time. If you add too much time you have to reset it which consists of pressing the start/stop button enough to clear it. I like that it runs on standard AAA batteries, not some hard to find watch sized, but it looks like you need a screwdriver to get past the 4 screws and into the battery compartment. I have only had it for a few days, but I’m finding the buttons get stuck and don’t pop back up the way they should. I have to press on them and tilt them in the opposite direction of where they are stuck to release them. Lastly, the beep reminds me of some super annoying digital alarm clock that left early morning scars on my subconscious. I would have preferred a little tune of some sort that doesn’t set off a clawing urgency inside me to shut the timer up when I’m preparing to relax with a cup of tea, but oh well!

Despite the down sides and room for improvement, I dub this sleek looking little timer a keeper.


You drank your timer?!? That sounds unhealthy! :D


If Steepster had a more obvious way to rate teaware, I wouldn’t have had to drink this timer in order to review it. And believe me, I looked around a bit on here before giving in and drinking this thing! :P

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drank Scarlet by Rishi Tea
1462 tasting notes

I was at a supermarket today in awe, standing in front of the bulk tea section and couldn’t resist picking up a couple samples. This one smelled like this amazing rich mixture of blueberries and cherries. Delicious… or so I thought. Went home, brewed it, tasted it, yuck. It has that tartness that I find unappealing in so many fruity teas. When buying it in bulk you don’t get a list of ingredients, but I’ll bet it has a small army of tiny hibiscus pieces waiting to launch an attack in every cup. It tasted better once it was cold and I could even enjoy the fruity flavor a little at that point, but not enough to brew another cup ever again. I’m starting to think I don’t like tart and hot at the same time. Well Scarlet, done and DONE.

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drank Lemon Velvet by Sterling Tea
1462 tasting notes

I had never heard of this brand of tea before, but picked up an 86 cent sized bag of it at the supermarket in the bulk section on a whim. It smelled like the discontinued Bangkok Lemongrass Teavana tea. I liked that one, this could be promising. I brewed it up and took a sip… yeeeeeeesssss, the lemongrass is strong in this one. It has a heavier, fuller taste than the Bangkok tea. I think I may like it better. Each sip fills my mouth with lemongrassy goodness and I ADORE lemongrass. The rooibos is present, but hangs out backstage. Not quite as delicious once it has cooled. Could it be I’m falling in love? I’m going to have to check out more teas by Sterling because this one was awesome.

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I got this as a sample with my 1st David’s Tea order. I opened it and smelled both the strawberries and rhubarb right away. It kind of looks like a dried fruit trail mix with large chunks of fruit in it. Tempted to eat it while waiting for the water to boil. Patience! After draining the tea bits I noticed some white chunks that didn’t dissolve. I’m guessing they are yogurt bits as they were sweet and creamy. Too bad, I bet they would have been good in the tea. First sip; blech… hibiscus! Not a fan of hibiscus. I’m also hit by a citrusy tang that I find unpleasant, but the lingering creamy strawberry taste is nice. Trying some sugar… It’s a bit better now. The sugar cuts down the tangy taste that I’m not fond of. I could see liking it if instead of the hibiscus it was a black tea base, but this just tastes like juice to me. Not for me and I’m glad it was only a small sample and that there are so many other teas out there for me to try!

Oh, and those yogurt bits took a little extra work to get out of my infuser.


Your review had me at “blech… hibiscus!” Couldn’t agree more.


Hibiscus is my tea Kryptonite!

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drank Chocolate Chili Chai by DAVIDsTEA
1462 tasting notes

I love chili in my chocolate. I love the way the heat adds to the flavor of the chocolate. I love putting chipotle powder in my brownies and was intrigued by the idea of chocolate chili tea. Chocolate should be sweet in my opinion, so I added a little sugar to my cup which worked well. The chocolate taste is definitely present, especially at the beginning of each sip. The chili is quite mild and leaves a little heat at the end of each sip. There could have been more chili and burn for my taste, but that may limit its audience. The chai part I’m not getting. When I hear chai I think of super strong cardamon, cinnamon and clove, which I am not getting here. Maybe they call it chai to suggest you drink it with milk? I tried adding a little milk towards the end of my cup. It kind of just watered down the overall taste for me and voided the chili which is a shame. I like this tea, but it’s not wowing me. I want to be wowed. There is something missing to make it more full bodied and well rounded of a taste and I can’t think of what that could be. Either way, I think this flavor combo has much more potential than it was given in this tea.

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I had never tried a pu-erh tea before and was wondering what the hype was about. So when I was at Teavanna I asked to smell this tea and was socked in the face with a rich ripe mouth watering strawberry aroma. I decided to give it a go despite the fact that things advertised as weight loss aids tend to freak me out a little. I wasn’t thrilled with my first cup, but I found myself thinking about it and craving it over the next day or two and liking it better on my subsequent cups. The smell of strawberry is fairly strong when brewed and the taste is very distinct. It’s almost like strawberry candy; a little over the top, but I kinda like it. I can’t quite describe the taste of the tea behind the strawberry, but it is very mellow and smooth. Maybe that is the pu-erh flavor I’m tasting? I tried it with a little sugar which was very nice, but adding a little milk after that took away from it for me. It steeped well for two cups and was bland on the third. I’d sum it up as a slightly above average tea and a decent introduction to pu-erh although I don’t know that I’m hooked enough to buy it again.

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drank Mango Black Tea by Trader Joe's
1462 tasting notes

I should start by saying I’m not a huge fan of fruity teas. I bought this because I thought it may have been Trader Joe’s attempt at producing Paradise’s Tropical tea that they used to carry which I love as an iced tea. I don’t mind fruit as an accent to other flavors, but alone they rarely wow me. I find fruity teas have a tang to them that I dislike, but a little bit of sugar mellows it out and that worked with this tea. The smell and flavor of mango is strong and prominent in this tea. The taste is very simple and leaves a lot of room for experimentation with mixing other teas in. Overall I’d say it was decent for a fruity tea, but not something I feel compelled to keep in stock.

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drank Pure Jasmine Green Tea by Stassen
1462 tasting notes

BLAM!!! IN YOUR FACE!!!! Which is exactly what this tea and it’s bullying jasmine flavor do! I love jasmine and I love tea that has strong flavor, so being smacked upside the taste buds by this tea is alright by me. I find it refreshing as an iced tea, but a little drying in my mouth as well. I do enjoy it plain with it’s puckering taste, but like it better with a little sugar to take the edge off the bitterness that seems to accompany it no matter how I brew it. There is often a pitcher of it in my fridge during the summer (in true southern form) and find myself getting all hopped up after a couple tall glasses and getting a lot of housework done. So overall, it’s a win in my book.

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The first thing I noticed about this tea is that it is somewhat dense, probably due to the caramel and cacao nibs, so you fewer cups for your ounces here. When brewed, it resembles chicken broth in color and has an oily layer on the top like broth. When I smelled it, I caught whiffs of caramel which was exciting. I tasted it and detected only the slightest hint of caramel, maybe a touch of salt if I’m thinking about it really hard and a lingering licorice root taste in an overall muddled blandness. A little bit of sugar brings out the caramel a bit more, but it’s really nothing to get excited about. Since so much of it is nibs that dissolve with the first cup, there really isn’t much left for second steeping. Overall it was a disappointing venture to find a new favorite tea and it will probably sit in my cupboard until I either guilt myself into finishing it out of not wanting to waste or find someone else to pawn it off on.

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My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan, but have had a growing appreciation for plain. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! And no hibiscus. Hibiscus is the devil.





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