58 Tasting Notes

92

Thank you to Kristal for sending me a sample of this! This has been a fun first exchange on steepster.

I really don’t know how to describe this tea other than to say it tastes like a warm root beer float, without the carbonation. You might think it sounds disgusting, but it’s remarkably good. The best thing about it is that it lingers long after I’ve finished the last sip. It’s a wonderfully warming tea that would go well in an eggnog latte— especially around this time of the year.

The one thing I like most about this tea is that it’s strong, balanced, and has a bold flavour that I don’t think I’ve found in any other tea. I’m tempted to try Steeped Teas again just to see if it’s a universal attribute.

Note: I drank this with 1 tsp sugar and 2 tsp milk because I unfortunately untaught myself how to drink black teas black. I’m going to try to cut back on my additives in the future.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Maple, Root Beer, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Kristal

Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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80

On Friday, I gave this tea a final shot. I’ve decided to up my rating. I steeped 3/4 tsp in 1/2 a cup. It seemed so meager, but I didn’t want my sample to go to waste.

Oh my goodness— I don’t know what happened but I finally got this tea. I got in from DDing my boyfriend to some party across town, and sat down to continue my marathon of Friends on Netflix while this steeped. The tea wasn’t cloyingly tart or sweet. It started to remind me a little more of Berry Poppins.

Perhaps I will have to break down and buy some of this. It would be perfect for a night time before bed kind of tea, or perhaps something to put in the pitcher next summer.

EDIT: Looks like I’ve mixed up all my David’s tart herbals. I went in last week thinking this was a tea I’d already tried, and it wasn’t. I was mixing up Berry Refreshing, Berry Poppins, and Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait. Now I feel better.

Flavors: Apple, Rhubarb, Strawberry, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kristal

Definitely recommend making a cold brewed pitcher of this!

Alyssa

Ooh sounds like a nice summer treat :). Thanks for the tip!

Kirkoneill1988

awesome review! i shall try this tea someday

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89

First off, thank you to Kristal for sending me a sample of this tea. It’s the first one I’ve ever tried from Steeped Tea. Ironically, it’s packaged in Ancaster/Hamilton— and you sent it to me from Northern Ontario. How fun!

I tried this tea tonight because I wanted something non-caffeinated before bed. It’s been so long since I’ve had a rooibos.

First steeping was lovely. It was sweet, slightly berry-ish, and had an incredible flavour when inhaled. It’s funny how that inhaled flavour doesn’t translate much to sipping. The steeped tea smells much more fragrant than it tastes. What I like most about rooibos is that it has that overwhelming almost alcohol/almond flavour to it. I haven’t had it in so long that I think I really missed that about rooibos. The tea starts off sweet, and then turns woodsy and hay like. The colour is a beautiful copper red as well.

There’s not a ton of added flavour, which is nice. I find that many rooibos teas have an artificial aftertaste. This one lacks any sort of artificial-ness. It tastes like a basic red rooibos with a gentle berry finish.

The second steeping was hay-like and earthy. There was no real berry flavour or sweetness to it. The colour changed to a much paler yellow-copper. I don’t think this tea is suited to multiple steepings.

I would probably get this tea again if offered. I’m unfortunately a little iffy about the whole catalogue-ordering style of shopping, especially when their head office is right near me. It would be nice to feel less pressured to buy at least 50g of tea, and to receive samples instead.

Flavors: Alcohol, Almond, Berry, Decayed wood, Earth, Hay, Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kristal

Glad to hear you enjoyed it! For me, this tea is just okay and I’ve been using it up buy mixing it with lemon myrtle and drinking it when I’m at work. One of the nice things about Steeped tea is that it appears that none of their flavorings are artificial. But I agree about the catalogue ordering style- I really wish I didn’t have to commit to 50g every time I ordered. If you look at my tasting note for this tea, I went on a little rant about that :P

Alyssa

Hey Kristal, I saw that on your note. It looks like there’s a consultant around the corner from my house. I think my foray into loose leaf tea has only been limited to Davids and Bulk Barn and maybe one or two others. Perhaps my tastes will change as I venture out into the world, haha.

Kristal

Haha, for me it’s mostly DAVIDs, but I’m just went to my local tea shop and I’m loving that place :). I’m def going back!

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80

Yikes. I’m not sure why I ordered a sample of this tea. I wasn’t particularly fond of it last month as an iced tea at David’s. I wonder what compelled me to try again? This is sample #3 from my advent calendar order.

Yesterday, it was disgustingly rainy all day. I got in my car at night and realized that I’d have a long, slow commute home. I started planning which tea I’d have midway over the skyway. I thought I’d have this one because it’s one of my few herbals left.

I’ve been extra careful to check water temperature lately because I’m trying to get back into greens and whites. Tonight, I checked the temperature of my variable temperature kettle and realized: it stops boiling around 85 C! I calibrated my thermometer in ice and tried again with the same result. I may have to calibrate in boiling water instead though. I’m not at a particularly high altitude and my water “boiled” at 96 C. Hmmph.

Back to the tea: I like it slightly more as a hot tea than I do cold. I can imagine it would have a nice hibiscus flavour if cold brewed. I think I spent so much time fiddling with the temperature controls that I lost interest in the tea. It’s too bad. I was looking forward to a warm cup of tea during the rain. Perhaps I will try again a third time in the future.

Flavors: Apple, Hibiscus, Pleasantly Sour, Rhubarb, Strawberry

Preparation
2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kristal

Personally I like this tea but I agree the temp and steeping time has to be especially considered because otherwise it tastes too sour to me.

Alyssa

Oh for sure! I know many reviewers were saying that sour tisanes are very common, and there are many to explore in this field. I’m not sure I’m giving up on this one yet :)

Kirkoneill1988

@alyssa have you tried puerh tea? if not, i suggest you do :D id start with sheng (raw) puerh

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70
drank Buddha's Blend by DAVIDsTEA
58 tasting notes

This is sample #2 from my last online purchase. I must admit that I wanted to purchase online instead of in store partially because of the free samples.

I think my buds fell out of favour with green and white teas after I oversteeped too many. I also think my variable temperature kettle thinks 80 degrees C means 100 degrees C. I’m not sure if it’s because my kettle is old, or because it just doesn’t stop at the right temperature period. This is the first time I’ve stuck a thermometer inside the teapot to check. Perhaps I can start going back to green and white now that I’ve figured this out.

Anyway, the sample smells like fuzzy peaches without a peachy taste. The sample contained big buds and very little tea, to my disappointment.

There’s not much colour to the brew. It’s got a very vegetal mouth feel that’s quite smooth and creamy. The aftertaste is a little astringent with hints of sweet hay. I think I prefer keeping my nose in the cup to actually drinking it.

I really didn’t like this much at first. I’m not sure why, but the tea seems to be opening up and going from ultra bland to mildly sweet. I’m enjoying it more now that it’s cooled to room temperature.

I probably wouldn’t buy this. I’m happy to have received the sample, though.

Flavors: Floral, Hay, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kristal

I got this one as a sample as well. I really like green teas, but this one has a weird flavouring to me.

As for ordering online vs in store, it depends on how much I’m ordering. If I’m buying lots I go online because over $50 means free shipping + 3 free samples, so it costs no more + extra stuff, but I like going in store if I just want a TINY amount of a tea (i.e. like 8 grams just to try) or want something right away.

Alyssa

Interesting! I think I can see the weirdness of the flavouring. I feel like it goes from peachy to hay like very quickly. It’s sharp and then not sharp, for me. I think it lost that edge as it cooled.

I feel like I really want to start exploring online tea stores. DAVIDs is just so convenient. I think I like getting random samples.

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95
drank Irish Breakfast by DAVIDsTEA
58 tasting notes

I ordered 100 grams of this as a way to get free shipping on my advent calendar. I knew I wanted a non-flavoured black, and I wanted something that would be around $10 for 100 grams. I also must have browsed Steepster for an hour to find the highest-rated, cheapest unflavoured black. This tea fit the bill at $11.40 or so.

When I opened up the box, I was a little disappointed at first that the tea came in two fifty gram bags and a tin on the side. However, then I realized that I could gift the other 50 grams of tea for Christmas— so long as I don’t finish it before then.

Nose: Strong notes of honey and perhaps a bit of malt. It smells like a fresh box of Tetley or other bagged teas. The leaves are much tinier than Nepal Black, and they are not gold tipped like the latter.

Colour: Brews to be around the same hue as a regular bagged tea. The colour is nothing out of the ordinary.

I was happy I went on here before I made my first cup. Many reviewers suggested steeping it for no more than four minutes. I tried to aim for the 3:30 to 3:50 mark the first time. My favourite preparation so far is one cup of Irish Breakfast, steeped for just under four minutes, topped with two tsp of milk and one tsp of sugar. I should really work on drinking teas black again.

My SO can’t tell much of a difference between this one and regular breakfast tea in bags. I beg to differ. I think this tea has less of a tannin flavour than many common tea bags, and also tastes sweeter even without the addition of sugar.

Taste: Like a high quality cup of afternoon tea with grandma. I can picture the floral couch covers, the crocheted tea cozy, a muted game of golf on TV in the background, and an offering of months-old cookies in the glass jar on the counter.

This tea is definitely a keeper, and may provide a subtle step up for an after dinner tea offering at future dinner parties. I think its main use will be to keep me company on my drives to work.

Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kristal

About 2-3 years ago I remember ordering 250 grams of a tea from DAVIDS and it used to come in one giant bag (with the tin on the side. I think they prob always do the tin on the side to avoid tea spilling everywhere. As for the 50 gram bags I think it prob makes sense for them to grab however many 50 gram bags needed instead of all different sized bags for different amounts. I hear where you’re coming from, though!

Alyssa

Wow! Did the 250 grams stay fresh for long? Yeah, perhaps they’re less lazy about weighing out the proper amounts as well. I know I’ve gone in there and asked for a certain amount, and they’ve been wildly wrong about it.

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69

Here’s test #2 of my old-stash sipdown.

Let me be clear: I have no idea where this tea came from. My mom moved overseas to teach and my dad was left with her cupboard full of teas. He kept the regular black teas and gave me the rest. I think this was part of that collection.

When I took it out of the sachet, the ginger was overpowering. It almost hurt my nose.

Colour-wise, the hibiscus in this tea makes for a beautiful red colour. I can’t taste any peach, though the ginger is quite lovely. In fact, all I taste is hibiscus and ginger.

Overall, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy this one. I may just finish the stash and move on.

Flavors: Hibiscus

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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69

Woohoo! I think I’m finally out of the low point in my cold. The haze has lifted.

I sipped a large cup of this yesterday at lunch. I must say, I would never drink it if I wasn’t sick, but it felt wonderful. I could really taste the ginger and peppermint. The fennel was a much milder note.

I think I’m going to destash my old tea bags on my lunch. Perhaps this will be a more economic and less wasteful way of finishing them.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 2 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kristal

Hm, maybe one day I should look into President’s choice teas. Some look very interesting.

Whenever I need to use up a tea I’m kind of “meh” about, I either mix it in with other teas (especially in an iced tea to hide it) or bring it to work since I mostly guzzle my tea mindlessly there anyways.

Alyssa

That’s a good idea, Kristal. I find I don’t have the proper equipment or atmosphere to enjoy a more expensive blend here. I like the idea of making it iced, too. Thanks for the suggestions. :)

Kristal

Ah, fair enough! And you’re welcome :)

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79

I woke up this morning with the slight inkling that I may be getting a cold. I shouldn’t be surprised. I work with three year olds, and it’s November. It’s right around the time I’m due for one.

My spirits were lifted in the afternoon when I received my advent calendar and goodies from DT in the mail. Along with it were my three chosen samples. Here’s #1: Midsummer Night’s Dream.

My SO and I got a strong whiff of grapefruit as soon as the package was opened. I thought this was strange, since there is no grapefruit in it. I really liked how it smelled refreshing, and I felt like the artificial flavour didn’t hit me right away.

I dialed the kettle up to 95 degrees C (203 F) and steeped 2.5 tsp in 2 c of water for seven minutes— though I have to admit I couldn’t resist a taste test after five minutes.

At five minutes, I was disappointed. There was hardly any flavour, and little to no colour. I put the basket back in and waited a little longer.

After seven minutes, I could taste some berries and a bit of mint. The blandness is gone! There’s a certain golden berry element that reminds me of Caramel Spice Tea that David’s had out four years ago. Perhaps this is one of my favourite flavours that I’ve never sought out.

All in all, a solid tea. I’m not disappointed.

I’m going to use my extra 1.25 tsp to make a tiny amount of cold brew. I’m excited to see how it differs.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Fjellrev

Oh no, I hope you can fight that cold off like no one’s business. Your advent calendar should be a comforting companion.

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Profile

Bio

My foray into steeping happened with tin of Oreo cookie and salted chocolate caramel tea, back in college in 2009. I probably bought them for the novelty more than the taste— which sounds like a reason for many of my college-era purchases. The lovely little tea store was bought out by David’s Tea soon after I finished college. While I do enjoy getting tea from places other than malls, it’s difficult to find quality without going online. Most of my stash ends up being from there due to convenience.

I’m an early childhood educator. Tea is a big part of my daily life. I’ve yet to find anything as soothing and as energizing as it.

I’m on a big kick of blacks and herbals, especially straight ones.

90-100: Must get more of this. One sample isn’t enough.
80-89: Great! Would drink it again sometime
60-79: Decent, but probably won’t go back for more
40-59: Glad I tried, but one cup is enough
~40: No thanks. Never again!

Location

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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