drank Strawberry Shortcake by DAVIDsTEA
3229 tasting notes

Woo, sipdown! Heading into work for a while, so thought I’d brew up a few fruity things to take with me, and this one struck my interest. I seem to recall not loving it before (checks previous note, confirmed), and it looks like astringency was my biggest foe, not flavouring. So, a shorter infusion time it is! I’ve been tending to brew flavoured blacks on the low end of infusion times quite a bit lately, so it’s not surprising that this would be the case.

As per last time, the dry tea is strongly strawberry-scented and nuttily caramelly. Unquestionably a dessert tea. Steeped, same deal. I probably should have compared this just for curiousity’s sake to the last bit of Strawberry Zabaglione that Azzrian sent me, but too late now.

Taste-wise, I think I like this much better than last time. I am definitely getting shortcakey flavours, and can clearly taste the strawberry, although it’s still lighter than I’d prefer (I loved piling up the strawberries on my shortcake…) There’s just a bit of astringency, but given that this tea is recommended to be drank with a hint of cream to fully round out the strawberry shortcake flavour, I suspect that addition would eliminate it entirely. The tea is also obviously sweetened due to the nut brittle, so it works very well as a dessert tea.

I think this tea deserves a ratings nudge (at least into that darker shade of green (aka 76 vs. 73) as it’s really rather successful at what it’s attempting to be. I’d certainly drink this again, as long as the infusion time was strictly adhered to. Nice treat on a soggy day! (Speaking of that, I am sooooo not looking forward to my 10K race tomorrow… it’s supposed to be icky and rainy and cold. No personal best record-setting tomorrow, I would imagine…)

205 °F / 96 °C 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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