1388 Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 33 of 2018 (nol. 389 total). A sample.
I got this as a free single serving sample when I ordered various fruit mixes and herbals from David’s. I was hoping to never taste it, as that would mean I have a cold.
But then I got a cold. Or allergies. Or something. Itchy runny nose, a little dry cough.
Man, this puts some hair on your chest. But in a good way. I expected it to be unpleasantly medicinal. And while it isn’t something I’d choose to drink absent a cold, it’s pretty tasty when your taste buds are off. The flavor is strong enough to penetrate clogged nasal and throat passages, though it doesn’t really open them.
I get mostly a menthol taste and some mint. Not really getting juniper — I expected to taste gin, and I smell it but don’t taste it. And I don’t get any orange.
It’s a pretty mix, with the colorful berries against the green mint. It’s copper-gold in color and clear.
It’s a good thing this doesn’t claim to be a cold remedy, because it isn’t. Its main relationship to colds seems to be that it can break through the taste/smell deprivation caused by them.
Flavors: Alcohol, Eucalyptus, Menthol, Mint
I haven’t had rooibos in a while and this one was a good pick to break the trend.
The dry blend smells really intensely of rum and less of caramel. It’s pretty amazing smelling. The BF walked by while I opened it and said he had to have some.
The liquor is a clear cherry red. This is where it gets weird. The aroma is funky after steeping. The funky smell is more caramel than rum, but a kind of hot plasticky caramel.
And yet, the taste has none of that. It’s both caramel and rum in equal measure, and the rooibos basically is just a flavorless delivery mechanism for the caramel and rum, which is how I like my rooibos. The rum isn’t overly alcoholic tasting, either.
It’s rather hearty, and I’m not sure I’d drink it in hot weather. But on a chilly day when I may be coming down with a cold, it’s quite nice.
Flavors: Caramel, Rum
This is another blend full of fruit chunks.
In the packet, the smell is kind of bitter. It’s a citrus rindy smell, with some sweeter notes of pineapple and mango.
The tisane has a cloudy yellow color that leans toward orange. It smells first of orange/tangerine, then of mango, then of something more generically fruity.
Fortunately, the taste isn’t nearly as bitter as the dry mix smell, though it has a slight downturn at the end of the sip. The mango is to the front, and in the center as well, with orange and pineapple at the back.
It’s pretty good for a mango tisane. Many of them don’t really live up to the name, as the mango is more in the background.
I even sort of get the sorbet appellation, as there’s something vaguely creamy about the flavor.
Flavors: Citrus, Mango
Wading into the fray on this one (wow, so many notes)!
The first of the David’s tisanes I bought a number of weeks ago. I picked one at random to try.
Yes, it’s weird that I am steeping at 205 (really 208) degrees, but that’s because I’m using the Zojirushi to make hot water these days instead of steeping strongly flavored items in the Breville. Less likelihood of cross-over residual flavor that way.
I mostly smelled orange when I opened the packet, which is good because I’ve been really in the mood for orange tisanes lately. I over “leafed” (really “mixed”) significantly out of habit and experience.
Really intense dark red color. So dark, it’s almost opaque. Its a cranberry red color that’s quite pretty. The aroma is sweet orange, and a bit of a sideways mentholated note which must be the eucalyptus.
I dunno. I see so many folks who have posted who don’t care for this. Am I weird? I like it!
A lot of the thumbs down seem to be on account of the hibiscus, which I no longer detest and have even started to enjoy, so there’s that. It’s not even really that strong to me because I’ve been drinking a lot of Tazo Passion lately which is probably mostly hibiscus. This seems almost tame by comparison. The orange mellows out the tarter aspects with a sort of juicy sweetness. And the eucalyptus is actually a nice addition — it gives the aftertaste a freshness without being medicinal.
Lemongrass? Maybe I can taste it a little, but mostly it’s orange and hibiscus and eucalyptus that are playing rather nicely together.
I can already tell that overleafing with this one will be key. That’s the only way to get the requisite sweetness into the mix.
Flavors: Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Orange
Sipdown no. 31 of 2018 (no. 387 total).
The version I sipped down was called Homemade Apple Pie, but as I’m pretty certain I ordered it after tasting the sample I recorded in my original note, I am logging the sipdown here.
I thought I preferred the Canadian Maple Cream to this, but over time, perhaps my tastes changed. This isn’t bad. It does have an apple pie filling essence to it, but no crust. So I can’t give it full marks for living up to its name. Still, it was decent enough.
Sipdown no. 30 of 2018 (no. 386 total). A sample.
This time, I steeped at 212 for 3 minutes and it was a vast improvement. The rose was more muted than last time (which was fine, because it was too strong last time), and there was more flavor of the underlying tea discernible.
I’d drink this again, but unfortunately, they no longer carry it.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a Yunnan I didn’t like. I cracked this one open because I’d forgotten I had it and I seem to be on a bit of a Rishi kick lately.
This one has small, dark (almost black) twisty leaves, with golden ones for highlight and contrast. It smells sweet and bready in the packet.
It smells wonderful. It has that rich, dark (smoldering, really), malty, chocolatey, baked bread, peppery thing going on that gets me every time. The smell is the same smell that gives the ATR and Samovar breakfast and Earl Grey blends their depth and complexity over that of others.
It’s not quite as chewy in the taste as those, but it’s smooth and sweet with a bit of molasses and pepper.
It’s a sexy tea. :-)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Molasses, Pepper
Steeped according to package directions.
I wanted something fruity this morning and it was between this one and another that was more of a red fruit blend. I went with the citrus/tropical ingredients instead.
I bought this before the moratorium on green/black blends, which I believe I’ve since broken in any case. But it seemed to steep just fine with the time and temp listed — no bitterness to the green and enough flavor to the black.
Despite the lack of vanilla in the ingredients, there’s a creamy, vanilla-like smell to both the dry leaves and the steeped tea. The next strongest smell is the fruit, and it’s less a citrus than a stone fruit smell. The peach and apricot seem to predominate, but there’s definitely citrus in there somewhere. More of an orange than anything else I can identify, and in addition to making the rest of the mix smell more interesting, it gives a freshness and tang to the finish and aftertaste.
I’m not sure I can pick out the mango, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there somewhere. No one single flavor jumps out of this mix, which is pretty much characteristic of most French tea blends I’ve enjoyed. It’s truly a blend, where all the ingredients work together to create something that isn’t just a sum of its parts.
This may be why they’re so great with perfumes, too.
Flavors: Apricot, Citrus, Peach
I think I bought this a while ago because I wasn’t sure I’d ever tasted a straight Nilgiri. It was sealed in the packet when I opened it this morning.
The dry leaves smell earthy, but not deep earthy like an Assam or sharp earthy like a Darjeeling. On the scale between those, it’s closer to the Darjeeling side.
The tea steeps to a really gorgeous deep red color that is clear. After steeping, the aroma is deep and smooth. Not as harsh as Assams usually are, with a fruity note. I think it’s citrus, but it also has just a hint of apple to it.
There’s a coffee/chocolate note as well that comes out in the flavor along with the apply/citrusy note. A touch of maltiness as well.
This is a really delicious, medium-light bodied and somewhat brisk (but smooth) tea with far more complexity than meets the eye.
Flavors: Apple, Chocolate, Citrus, Coffee, Earth, Malt