3170 Tasting Notes

94
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
3170 tasting notes

This review is for the new 52teas reblend of this tea. I may still have some of the old version left somewhere, but it’s hard to say.

Anyhow – first impression of the dry leaf was not what I was hoping for. It smells spicy/spiced, but not really like chai. It took me a while to figure out that cayenne pepper is probably what it smells like (maybe a touch of smoke too?)

Brewed up – again, the smell is just spice. While this is of course important for this tea, I’m missing the chai elements. I sampled some unaltered, and still am feeling like some of the “chai” spices (cardamom, ginger, etc.) are not as prominent as I would like – but the cayenne is bang on! Spicy and mouth burny but not too much – so that makes me happy!

I added some milk and sugar (that’s what I used to do to the old version) and I think I can taste the chai spices more, along with the cayenne. Still missing the smoke and chocolate aspects though (but I don’t really recall the chocolate being noticeable in the original).

Overall: I liked the original better, because the mix of cayenne/smoke/chai spices was amazing, and I feel like the chai spices are too subtle here, as is the smoke. The cayenne is perfect though, and with milk, I’m pretty happy with the tea, but I think it could use a bit of tweaking to be more like the original (also – the original was a CTC, which maybe gave it a bit of a different flavour profile?) Rating: 75

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86
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
3170 tasting notes

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86
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
3170 tasting notes

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86
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
3170 tasting notes

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79
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
3170 tasting notes

Sipdown! From forever ago. I liked the idea of this tea, but it always tasted unfortunately chemically.

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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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