32 Tasting Notes

drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
32 tasting notes

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drank Berry Blast by Adagio Teas
32 tasting notes

I got about a dozen samples from Adagio recently and I’m loving them. The great dehydrating experiment has ended and I have enough apple ginger tisane to last a few years, but it was time for a

I’ve been looking for a nice berry tisane to buy in bulk that isn’t stupid expensive. I want to be able to mix it with guayusa or maté or bai mu dan or whatever I feel like. I like this a lot even though the name makes me cringe. It’s just a nice berry mash up, like a grown up “red” flavor. For the price point it’s pretty terrific but I’m going to try a few more fruit tisanes before settling on a staple.

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drank Mint Julep by DAVIDsTEA
32 tasting notes

It’s time to admit that when it comes to “fall” food and drink, I am an autumnal Grinch. The only spicy teas I like are chais, which I drink year-round anyway. It’s usually not quite cold enough here to make with the homemade breads and soups. Turkey gives me a culinary sadness no matter how it’s done. I love pumpkin as food but I can’t stand pumpkin pie and DEATH to Pumpkin Spice Anything.

Did I mention the average temps here have been hanging steadily in the upper 70’sF since September?

So, all these summer iced teas I never got around to trying that I’m trying now! I forgot this came in the summer sampler because it ended up in the back of my tea drawer. It’s a pretty even black tea and rooibos blend. I’ve tried this hot, iced, and cold brewed, and I like it hot and iced the best. Hot, I brewed at around 175 for about five minutes, double-strong, and it was really good with a dollop of frothed hot milk. I don’t get any citrus from this, like some people do, just mint and coconut. The combo is done well because to me it doesn’t taste particularly of one or the other, they just dance. Iced, I brewed 1tbsp in a 14oz steeper, same low temp…and then forgot about it and got in the shower. By the time I poured it over ice, it didn’t dilute at all, and it was still really good! Nothing got too bitter, which is always a plus for me because I tend to oversteep things.

I’m a fan. Wish I’d tried it earlier, so I could have bought more. Can’t wait to blend some into a chai.

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drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
32 tasting notes

The white tea fest continues. It has been warm well into October here so I have an extended iced tea season. I bought the summer collection sampler when it went on sale (because never pay full price for anything) and this is my favorite. Very solid white tea base and a pleasant shredded coconut flavor rather than a creamy-sweet coconut profile. I can’t imagine drinking this hot, but I’ve hot-iced and cold brewed it and it was good both ways, tolerant of a long steep (though I never do my whites above 175, so that helps). It’s good with sweetener but doesn’t need any, and it plays well with fruit tisanes and freeze-dried berries. I’m always happy when David’s doesn’t overdo a one-flavor tea.

Anyway, today I had the cold brew (12 hrs) blend I made with 1 part this, 1 part Lupicia’s sakurambo vert, and 1/2 part David’s vanilla orchid and died a little. So good! I’ll be sad to see this one go since its such fun to blend with everything. I think I’ll be trying to dupe it with toasted coconut and other tricks.

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drank JavaVana Mate by Teavana
32 tasting notes

Downgrade. This has been my favorite maté but the batch variation is too wide. The last bunch I got had hardly any Assam in it. I added some myself, but still, I don’t like such wide variation. So I’m finishing off this last batch and then it’s moving on time.

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drank O-Matcha by Lupicia
32 tasting notes

This is good matcha. The only one I’ll keep around regularly because the price points of other fancier matchas are usually laughable.

So I had a hangover this morning. And I really needed caffeine. And juice. Ever had one of those hangovers where coffee will make you sick, but you’re pretty sure OJ will too?

1tbsp matcha + 2oz warm water to dissolve. Top with lemonade over ice. Vitamin C, caffeine, and hydration all at once? Yes. It also allows one to drink it steadily at work and look like a healthy person, not a shambling zombie who had too many shots of tequila the night before, desperate for a caffeine fix.

Anyway, the matcha as tea is nice. More earthy than other blends and a little darker in color so not a super high grade most likely but whatever. When it gets colder I’ll be mixing this with hot milk and vanilla when I have hangovers.

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drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
32 tasting notes

oh hello ridiculously large bags of tea from the web specials section.

I had one sample of this a few months ago and kept meaning to buy a ridiculously large bag of it anyway, so finding them on sale was a nice surprise a few weeks ago. This is one of the few black teas from this company that I’ve liked more than tepidly. They’ve mostly been way too artificial-flavoring sweet. I’m no tea Puritan and I like my estate blends as well as things with sprinkles in them, but when things taste like a vanilla car air freshener? Pass.

It seems like the ingredient list will be overwhelming but this is a nice subtle cup. Murky brew, oily sheen from the white choc bits but nothing out of control, and really nice aroma. I love anise and it isn’t hit-you-in-the-face in this. Neither is it a straight coconut flavor either. It’s nice with milk but it doesn’t intensify anything. I especially like this because its a black tea I can drink at night; the leaf volume isn’t really high and it still tasted good after forgetting about my steeping cup for ~10 mins.

Also tastes good mixed 1:1 with toasted maté for an extra kick.

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Okay. I got a sample of this a long time ago, and I was unimpressed with it hot but thought the cold brew, with my leftover hot leaves plus the unsteeped second half of the sample, was a-mazing. I don’t really like hot white tea to begin with.

So I may have bought two of the the gigantic packages of it from Davids web sale. Iced tea is the wind beneath my feet while at work, and this stuff is really good.

But here’s where it gets fun. I have a food dehydrator and am lucky enough to live around farmers markets and a grocery store with a good bulk bin. So I’ve been DIYing those expensive super white tea blends from places like teavana. I dried some cherries and strawberries and mixed it in with a bit of diced vanilla bean, I did a lemon-pineapple-coconut, and I even found some dried goji berries and mixed it with apples and fig bits.

But as much as I love it as a platform to tell other tea places where to stick their $12 Youthberry, I never would have paid full price for this tea. Sorry, Davids.

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Hello steepster, I’m not dead! I am the next thing to dead, promoted. So I drink way more tea at a desk and have more funbucks to spend on tea but less time to review it.

So the backlog starts with my favorite new favorite from the summer, which I apparently like much more than Steepster at large. I love all things hibiscus, since jamaica over ice has been a fixture in my life., so I really love Queen of Tarts. It’s like Passion tea with a backbone.

Hot, not so much. I always ice it after a long steep so it doesn’t dilute too much, and the stevia lead means I don’t have to add any sweetener, although its also amazing with raspberry syrup. Beautiful rich color and bright flavor, not puckery tart to me. The only reason it doesn’t get a perfect for me is its insufficient guayusa content. My junkie self just added more plain guayusa, and problem solved.

Already reordered, and should arrive tomorrow!

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The teacher with the teacup.


Bay Area, CA

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