283 Tasting Notes


Peach Apple Crisp sounds so refreshing, doesn’t it? Then you read about cinnamon and think, ok, maybe not refreshing, more like a baked good you eat on a cool autumn evening watching the leaves turn.

I smelled the dry leaf, and then I smelled it again because I was disappointed. You know when you bite into a peach that’s off? You know that smell/taste? That’s what I got here. Not cinnamon, not peach or apple, fake or otherwise, just a bad fruit smell. Not fermented, just bad.

At 4 minutes, 2 perfect spoons and 16 oz of water off boiling gives me a slightly astringent brew, pretty light on the fresh, crisp fruit taste and the vague fruit gone-off taste is still there. Dark amber colour, smells better brewed, faintly of peach and Rooibos.

Dexter3657 who generously provided the sample, and to whom I am forever thankful, is convinced I am not friends with Rooibos. I have had other Rooibos and they are good! Granted there have not been many :) I have enough for another cup, I will throw it in a jar to cold steep, hopefully with better result.

I almost didn’t want to write this because if you don’t have anything nice to say… Also, my review is so different from all the others! Maybe someone will wonder who Pd in my Cheerios this morning.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I didn’t like this one either – in fact I didn’t do well with most of my Persimmon samples. I hadn’t tried many when I tossed that one in your box. Sorry……


S ok, I still love you. :)


Well even if it isn’t positive, it’s still how you feel so it has a place. Also, this makes a useful reference so that you don’t order more by mistake later on!

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A rough day was made infinitely better by a box of tea on my doorstep. Not a surprise box, for the generous Dexter3657 warned me before sending it, even asked what else did I want inside it, but anyway, out of all the teas in the box this is what got picked first.

What do the people in New Mexico know about Ontario ice wine? Well, they apparently know enough to make this tea taste a little bit like it. I’m a wino. I go to our ice wine festival in Niagara-on- the lake every year, spend the weekend imbibing so imagine my surprise when I learned there’s a tea mimicking ice wine. Ontario ice wine none the less.

I’m not sure if this will appeal to non-Ontarioans but that’s neither here nor there.

The tea brews quite dark. I expected a lighter brew because well, it’s white tea and also because the cheaper ice wine, and therefore the more popular, is the whiter one. You can have a Cabernet ice wine but a 375 ml bottle will set you back $80 here in Ontario.

It is fragrant and the aroma matches the flavour. It has no sweetness, although you can see how one might expect it. With some sugar it does come quite close to the ice wine flavour, I will admit. Although the flavour is subtle, even with sugar. But it is there.

The moral: don’t expect sweet and don’t expect white. But …
Good job, NMTC.

Much thanks to Dexter3657.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Ah Icewine, My favourites when you can find them are gewürztraminer icewines. Brings back fond memories of going on wine tours as a teenager and of biking in the Niagara region the summer I lived in Welland.

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drank Bai Hao Yin Zen by David's Tea
283 tasting notes

I received this with my last online order, and it is really delicious. I am hesitant to say what it tasted like but let’s just call it vegetal. Well, ok, if I searched my taste memory hard I thought maybe it tasted like peaches and cream corn (but uncooked). I don’t know. And then I looked it up on the website. Of course it’s flippin good, it’s unbelievably expensive. I think it might be the most expensive tea they carry. Now I have seen — and purchased — stuff at similar prices but it looks cheaper when it lists “1 oz = $10.00” or even “1/2 oz = $4.99”. For some reason my eyes popped out a little when I saw $19.00 for 50 g.

Maybe one day…

The leaves are so beautiful, fuzzy, white, almost unprocessed looking, if you know what I mean. Almost like it went from plant straight to package. They don’t smell like much to me in dry form — or in wet form for that matter.

I was in the mood for a tea today, not for a juice type thing. I stared for a while at my plain choices and decided against the pu’erhs and the oolongs and went with this one, not knowing what to expect. Didn’t look it up beforehand but with a name like this I assumed it was unflavoured. It really was so very good. I must have been thirsty because I finished it so fast. I am not into straight teas and certainly not into straight whites so I expected this to be a struggle. Surprise! said Bai Hao Yin Zen…

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
283 tasting notes

Finally brewed a proper cup of Tokyo. First attempts were disastrous so I had to dump it. Both previous times I’ve either burned the leaves because I didn’t wait for the water to cool enough, I just winged it and well, some green tea you can’t do that with. Second time I didn’t set a timer because I’m so awesome..l and forgot about it for close to 10 minutes I think. It was bitter both times so watch your Tokyo, don’t just get busy and forget it.

Now that I managed to steep only 2 minutes and around 180 I can drink it. Because I can see the sesame seeds in the dry leaf I expect there to be sesame taste. Don’t get any. Also, can’t say I get caramel either. It is, however, somehow smooth and buttery and it does taste like maybe a 3rd steep of Genmaicha would. I prefer Genmaicha.

The color of the brew is pale yellow and is not very fragrant but a good sniff will tell it has the same smell as the dry leaf.

I’ll keep it just because I don’t have much straight green tea in the house. I would hardly call this flavoured despite the sesame.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Hmmmmm, I don’t really like fussy teas. 3rd steep genmaicha – LOL you aren’t instilling a lot of confidence in me that I’m going to like this. It was in the drink next pile, it might get moved to the drink soon pile.


Drink next, for me? I’m curious if you’ll like it.


Tommorrow…..will try it tomorrow – I’m doing comparisons between straight blacks tonight. LOL this wouldn’t go with those. (I was drinking that walnut green stuff today – need something heavier to erase that memory).

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drank Happy Kombucha by DAVIDsTEA
283 tasting notes

I think it’s important to say that Happy Kombucha makes me A LOT less happy when I drink it hot. That is all. Now I must go fetch some icecubes.

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drank Pineapple Bacon Rooibos by 52teas
283 tasting notes

Sipdown. I had this from Dexter3657 a while back and finished it today. Not because she sent me so much but I didn’t care for the first cup and then I took the left of the sample with me to work where it got shuffled around.

It’s weird… This tea tasted exactly like root beer to me today. Unfortunately for this tea, I don’t like root beer. I wasn’t raised in North America and when I discovered root beer as an adult I likened it to some toothpaste. End of root beer exploring right there.

Glad to have tried pineapple bacon though, I would have been helluva curious about it. Expectation not met.


Somehow, it makes sense that the three flavors in the title would taste like root beer. And I was raised in the States and I don’t like root beer! I’d drink it thinking I was going to like it, and then it would just be the wrong kind of sweet.


this one is in my ‘to try soon’ pile. i always come close, and then raise doubts right at the last minute before i pick something else. soon pineapple bacon! soon!

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drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
283 tasting notes

My first herbal tea. When I was little my mother tried to make me drink chamomile once or twice. Yuck. Definitely never had any other herbals since. I’ve had teas with some mint in it before but never straight-up herbal.

So, the color. It’s sort of unpleasant, isn’t it? It’s kinda brownish green. As for the taste, I get the nuts and some spinach. Or spinach and nuts. I’m not sure I like it. I don’t dislike it, it’s not at all unpleasant but am at the moment regretting this choice as an afternoon tea. I don’t need to be quite this relaxed.

Dry nose: sweet macadamia nuts
Aroma: spinach or very faint chamomile (at least to me)
Flavour: nutty spinach.

I guess this is what mulberry tastes like? I’ll have to try others if given the chance just to make sure. But not too soon.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

That was my reaction to this tea too!

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drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
283 tasting notes

I am at the cottage and bought a new teapot while antiquing. I guess “new” and “antiquing” don’t really go together but you know what I mean. I would have liked to brew an oolong in it but didnt bring any and I couldn’t wait till Tuesday so .. SoHo it is.

It’s just as good as the first time. I can’t detect any difference as a result of having brewed it straight into this pot. I’m wondering if I can drink any other teas out of it rather than just one. Anyway… The point is, this is a good tea! (And somehow I haven’t rated this until today)

ETA: oh, here’s the teapot. I feel like I should name it, I’m introducing it around :)


Sounds like fun!


the blend is so lovely !

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drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
283 tasting notes

Tried this iced again yesterday, I’m all for giving things a good honest try. I think it needs a spark, like a splash of citrus. I wish I loved coconut water, man. This would be fantastic. But it’s just too one-dimensional for me.

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drank Jumpy Monkey by DAVIDsTEA
283 tasting notes

sipdown. I made a cup at work this morning and gave the rest of it (1-2 cups worth) to someone at work as she wanted to try it. I warned her not to get her hopes up.

I don’t care for this one. There’s coffee smell, but it doesn’t taste like coffee. Almost like unroasted coffee beans. And to me it tastes kinda like straw. It’s not awful. If I was on a deserted island and all I had was this tea, hell, I’d drink it. But given all the other choices I send this monkey packing.

I have to say it does not get astringent if you forget about it, and it does not get bitter so … look for the silver lining?

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I started drinking loose leaf tea in the spring of 2013 (why do we feel compelled to mark the date of tea drinking somewhat like addicts counting their sobriety days?)

Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I lean heavily towards flavoured black teas. I’ve started to crave the occasional straight oolong and green but so far unflavoured black teas leave me unimpressed.

I’m learning so I drink them all. Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

Note*: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity.

Note**: My partner, our home improvements, gadgets, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.


Toronto-ish, Canada

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