New Tasting Notes

I actually deeply hate the name of this tea. It’s too punny, and I feel like the cultural relevance is sort of week/will lose impact very quickly. That said, it’s a nice enough sounding blend. I could, personally, do without the theatrics of the ‘royal purple’ sprinkles though; they likely wont add anything of note to the blend other than a possible artificial/cloying edge.

Steeped up this is nice though; it’s a chocolate and strawberry mix and that’s what I’m tasting. It’s actually quite well defined, in my opinion. Perhaps a little more chocolate heavy. I’m not huge on chocolate teas personally, but the best ones IMO are the ones with fruit pairings so as long as I don’t lose the strawberry notes I think this one will be smooth, creamy, rich and enjoyable.

It also reminds me a lot of DT’s Love Tea #7 if there’s anyone out there looking for a substitute now that the DT blend has been retired. I actually have a VERY SMALL amount of Love Tea #7 left too, so maybe I’ll do a side by side tasting and directly compare. Just going on memory, I’m not sure which of the two I actually like better right now…

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86
drank Citron Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
6162 tasting notes

I remember being pretty miffed when this tea was announced as retired, but honestly it’s kind of wound up being a forgettable one for me. I mean, with all the MANY blends from DT that I’ve been exposed to in the last year and a half it just struggles to compete…

I made a mug over the weekend though; I’ve got maybe about 20g of it left. I honestly hadn’t even been hoarding it; I’d just sort of forgotten about it. It was tasty, with one of the brightest citrus/lemon notes I’ve experienced in a DT lemon blend (of which there are many). My problem is that as it cools the floral elements from the jasmine and oolong base itself become more prominent, and I find kind of take away from that brilliant, pure lemon note. It feels sort of flat, at least when those florals diminish the intensity…

Welp.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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drank Fruity Oasis by DAVIDsTEA
6162 tasting notes

Last few times I’ve had this it’s been quite nice, but I made it iced today and it was a really unpleasant experience. Just a very intense, sourness finished off with that distinct, tart hibiscus taste. It really, really could have used a sweeter fruit element to break it up. As it stands it was very one note – and not a pleasant one, at that.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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With milk.

This time around I found this to be far more enjoyable than the first time I had tried it. Something about the tangy, sweet ‘cream cheese’ element was just really clicking for me and the blueberry was so sweet, and juicy on top of having this full bodied jammy quality. I didn’t even mind that I didn’t get any real ‘pastry’ element from it because the cream cheese component was so solid that I instantly couldn’t think of anything else but a blueberry Danish.

Very, very good.

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57

Chai to Stay Dry! So, I got a lot of criticism for not being wild about Zhena’s Gypsy Tea’s Coconut Chai not long ago, which I found a bit chalky and wasn’t wild about only having artificial coconut flavor and not actual coconut. Now granted, I do understand coconut spoils, and it’s a mass-produced upscale grocery store brand, so I get it… and considering I’m a tea hoarder, I’m now faced with the dilemma of worrying about my own coconut teas getting spoiled. This tea I bought last July, so it isn’t a year old yet, but sniffing the leaf… something seems a little off about it. Sour is the easiest way to describe it. And I’m worried it’s the coconut. But I’m not so worried that I’m not willing to still try it. I mean… it isn’t even a year old yet! So hear we go.

I will say that from the brewed cup, the tea smells like normal ol’ coconut to me, but also has a strong cardamom aroma as well, so maybe the acrid scent I was getting from the leaf was just my mind tripping myself up on the “coconut tea horror stories” I’ve heard recently and applying that to the “musky clove” sort of scent I attribute to cardamom mixed with coconut and other spices when I first opened the bag. Nothing about the taste of the tea seems sour, off, or otherwise odd to me, either. My only complaint about this chai, from the taste, is that it seems a bit cardamom heavy, and I’m not really making out any other spice notes as it is a bit overpowering. There is a noticable coconut flavor to the tea, and it stands out nicely in the dark tea base, giving it some sweetness. The coconut actually seems to help mellow out the spiciness of the chai and most of the astringency of the dark base, so it’s a pretty smooth chai. I like what the coconut adds and how it balances the chai, I just wish more spices lended flavor to the blend. This isn’t the first chai I’ve tried this month that felt way too strong in the cardamom department.

Since this chai has a pretty strong black base, I decided to also try it as a latte. I tried it as one cup double-strength tea with half a cup of coconut milk mixed with the tiniest dash of vanilla coconut creamer just for a little added creaminess. The very small amount of astringency in the base was gone from the addition of the sweet milk, and it became a really creamy coconut drink with a bit of a cardamom spice aftertaste. For those days when I’m in a sweet-tooth mood, I think I’ll definitely make this one up latte-style, and perhaps whip up a batch of iced coconut chai latte for the fridge.

Flavors: Cardamon, Coconut, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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73

Finally trying the last of the Cornelia Bean blends that I got last year…

This one is, I believe, inspired by the Winnipeg Jets. I don’t really sport at all, but I’m smart enough to know that’s a hockey team who’s team colour is blue. So, ergo, you have a blueberry/black currant blend with lots of cornflower – visually a huge pop of blue. I don’t really care about the hockey stuff though; what I do care about is the fact that this tea smells like buttery, cream blueberry pancakes!

Steeped up, it’s quite nice but not really pancake like at all. The biggest reason for that, I think, is the hibiscus – it’s not awful or overpowering but definitely gives the sweet blueberry/currant blend a tartness that cuts right through the sweetness. So, basically, it’s this GIANT wave of very natural, juicy blueberry followed up with the hibiscus. The currant is more like an undertone underneath the hibiscus. It treads a little bit into that bad medicinal currant zone but mostly avoids it. I did have a few sips where I thought that medicinal quality was a bit stronger, though.

At its peak when it’s REALLY hot, imo. As it cooled, I thought it got a little funky.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk8mm1Qmt-Y

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This tea is such a guilty pleasure of mine; and I was fascinated when DT decided that our newest specialty beverage was going to be a Frozen Raspberry Lemonade.

I think, of all the specialty beverages we’ve done this year this Frozen Raspberry Lemonade is easily the easiest to make. It’s literally 50/50 iced Frozen Raspberry and Lemonade – very functional to make for people at work, but also to recreate at home. Which is horrible, because I actually liked this specialty beverage enough to break my own moral rule of not spending money on teas with pre-added in sugar. So, now I have a 50g bag of this one chilling on my tea shelf so I can make more of this specialty beverage at home after we stop doing it in store…

It’s just so sweet and refreshing though; with a VERY vibrant flavour. I think what really got me, though, was the fact that the lemonade adds enough citric tartness/acidity to cut the sweetness of the Frozen Raspberry – which makes the overall blend feel a lot more balanced to me.

This whole ‘tea lemonade’ thing also has me super curious to try it at home with other teas. I mean, I’ve definitely made tea infused lemonade before – but with Jasmine Silver Needle – and that was DEFINITELY good, but a very different overall profile than this.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vaN01VLYSQ

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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80

All the offerings from Teabento’s green tea sample pack have been hits for me, falling in the 75-85 range, and this one isn’t an exception. I prefer it more than their Dragonwell and Jasmine Pearls, and maybe slightly less than the Kamairicha, Uji Sencha and Daejak. It’s flavourful sweet, nutty, vegetal profile has been my friend these last couple early mornings and evenings.

I’ll be sad when I’m out! It was such a novelty to have so many delicious unflavoured green teas in the cupboard. Besides this, only Lonely Saola is left and it’s smoky!

Flavors: Chestnut, Nutty, Peanut, Peas, Seaweed, Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetal

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86
drank Banana Tie Guan Yin by 52teas
874 tasting notes

My mother appears to have finished this up while I was at work. Darn! To reorder or not to reorder.. (and I ordered).

(2017 holiday blend)

Flavors: banana, Butter, Cream, Floral

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Deep Blue Spirulina by DAVIDsTEA
496 tasting notes

I love the pineapple smell coming from this bag of tea and it steeped a beautiful blue color. But…this tea is so nasty! It tastes medicinal and made my stomach queasy just from one sip. I think I will pass on this one and toss the rest down the drain.

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86

Before this sample from teavivre I hadn’t had the chance to try duck shot oolong but after being amused by the name so many times I had it added on to an order at teavivre. Normally I prefer greener teas as a whole, less oxidized, etc but the warm honey and light hay notes I get from this oolong are excellent. It holds up to repetive steeps in my gaiwan and continues to deliver sweet warmness even later on. As I get into later steeps it become deeper and a little more pungent. I would whole heartedly recommend this tea.

Flavors: Butter, Hay, Honey, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
3 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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75

Wonderful smell, mild flavor, feels good on back of throat.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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71

Gongfu, 5g/100ml at 80-90C. 2017 harvest
I previously tried this a bunch of times between 90C and 100C and i have to say…this just cannot take it. On the very first steep it tastes like stewed leaves and is astringent. At 100C there is an AMAZING aroma from the wet leaves though—like a rich browned butter: nutty and savory.
I now repeat this at a lower temperature, and wow it is a huge improvement. I can actually taste the flloral oolong notes, and get a sweet buttery taste, sweet and fresh with some savoriness. The lasting texture is oily and pleasant. However, the dry leaves dont smell quite as amazing as at 100C :(
Once the leaves have unfurled, there is more of floral taste with some ongoing buttery taste and aroma.
Unfortunately shortly after, the butteriness starts to fade. Now I’m noticing a really fresh menthol/mint/wintergreen in my throat, which is really refreshing!
Overall this was a pleasant tea but a little bit finicky. This is my first jin xuan and even as a newbie have had both much creamier (in texture AND taste) and butterier lightly roasted oolongs not of jin xuan variety. This is good and I recommend it, but probably not something I’d order again because its best qualities are just beat out by others in my small stash.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Nutty, Spearmint, Sweet

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drank Serenity Now by DAVIDsTEA
1 tasting notes

This is a gorgeous tea – especially for a beautiful spring day or in the summer. It’s fruity and floral in just the right balance. Much as it’s name suggests, it gives you a serene happy state of mind. Peaceful and content with the day. I too found this one in the Christmas advent calendar. It was the one that stood out to most to me after all the ones I already knew. It was a while before I tried it, but it was well worth the wait.
1
This is a tea I will always keep on hand now. A perfect tea for days of sunshine and green leaves, or just daydreaming of them.

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79

trying to have at least one puerh every day this week, ideally two, so i can get through every one in my cupboard. Tried this one gonfu today and it was a decent enough puerh but nothing to write home about. Smooth, earthy, dark, tasty….but didn’t change substantially after each session. Still enjoyable though, so can’t argue there.

final count: 21

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75

I had this tea with my breakfast at my favorite local cafe, Twin Beans. They are the only decent place in town to get a cup of tea, as everywhere else in my town only serves coffee (with their tea being the typical crap bagged tea options you’d find at any other restaurant). Twin Beans actually has a modest selection of loose leaf teas sourced by TeaSource, with my only real complaint being nothing against quality (I’ve liked pretty much all the teas I’ve tried!) but how fast they discontinue the various varietials/blends… I’ll get hooked and then poof! It’s gone. I actually was introduced to this tea when I walked in one day and ordered one of my favorites, Golden Mao Feng, only to have the barista bring a pot of this to my table with the sad news, “Sorry Sara, we are out of that one and it’s been discontinued now, too. This is a close flavor match, give it a try, if you don’t like it I’ll make you a pot of something else.” To her credit, it was a very close flavor match, having that honeyed-apricot note that I liked so much about the Golden Mao Feng; I’d just say this tea is perhaps a little less sweet because it has a slightly husky, smoky note right around the close. Still a solid Chinese black.

Buuuuut… it’s also been discontinued by TeaSource, so once I’ve drunk up the stash Twin Beans has in stock at their shop, it’ll be time to move on again. Sigh! TeaSource, why must you break my heart like this over and over? This relationship is not healthy for either of us. * shifty eyes *

Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Malt, Smoke, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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83
drank Caramel Cheesecake Black Tea by 52teas
9594 tasting notes

Farewell delicious tea! Another one that i’ve really enjoyed having in my cupboard. Sad to see it go but I know there will be other delicious things to come from Anne @ 52 teas. :)

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drank 2017 Four AM by White2Tea
136 tasting notes

I had the opportunity to taste this in “pill” form (i.e. individually pressed 7g mini cake) from Liquid Proust. Overall, it is a soft, sweet, tasty little treat. Nice soft sweet mushroom broth body with sweet floral, stone fruit, and citrus notes. No bitterness or astringency. Easily a drink-now sort of sheng.

I would recommend this tea solely based on its flavor and quality. However, after looking at how much a cake is going for, I would say you can get similar experiences for much cheaper. Good tea, but overpriced – currently $110 for only 200g…
*
Dry leaf – dried apricot, light honey, sweet floral

Smell – honey, floral, sweet mushroom broth, orange blossom, hints of gummy peach candy and light pepperiness

Taste – mushroom broth, floral, honey, hints of apricot and sweet citrus – just a bit of Menghai fruitiness; very floral on the aftertaste.

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30
drank Orange by Fredsted
145 tasting notes

Strong sweety and zesty aroma, with slight malty undertones.
Dry, watery and bland taste, orange peel notes are barely visible, as well as the base black tea notes.

Flavors: Orange Zest

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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30
drank Orange by Fredsted
145 tasting notes

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