drank Swampwater by DAVIDsTEA
3229 tasting notes

Received my first mail order from DavidsTea today! So exciting! A bit annoyed that it was left on my front doorstep for 9 hours, but everything seems to be just fine. And now I get to try Swampwater!!

I love guava (LOVE guava), so was so upset when I found out I couldn’t get this tea at all… until it miraculously came back online a few days ago! The smell of the dry tea definitely does not disappoint – it smells like delicious strawberry-banana-passionfruit candy (my brain interprets guava as strawberry-banana). I seriously want to eat it like candy. Sadly I know that it would be an unpleasant experience, if for no other reason than the rooibos pieces getting stuck in my teeth.

Anyhow. (I’m still not over the smell, but I’ll continue anyways).

I have to admit, the steeped tea looks kiiiinda nasty. Dark greenish-brown with a greasy orange rim at the top. Eww. But luckily I’m not turned off by such trivial things… it’s all about flavour! And smell, to some degree, which is still delicious in steeped form, just a bit weaker (which is probably a good thing).

The first sip… is unexpected. I can taste something creamy in there, and there’s some fruitiness, and a definite green rooibos finish. I actually can’t quite place what I’m tasting. This seems to happen to me a lot, urgh. Probably because it’s not a flavour I would normally associate with tea, so it’s not popping into my head all that easily.

Ok, I’m mostly getting this odd buttery flavour… everything else is secondary to it. Hmm. I think I need to wait for the tea to cool a bit more. I’m a lukewarm tea drinker anyhow – I find flavours are poor in hot tea, and it burns my mouth. Maybe my tastebuds are just sensitive. More notes to come once it cools. (Besides, I need to start reviewing Sencha Pear too!)

Alright, cooled down a tad this tea is a much better experience. The taste is MUCH more reminiscent of the smell now, and I am enjoying it. It’s definitely weird though, and I’m not sure that I’d pick it up again because of that, but it was worth the adventure of trying it!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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