New Tasting Notes

83

Steepster ate my review.

Prepared gong-fu as I had only 2 grams left.
It is nice, bready, malty tea. Not bad in matter of taste. It was very tasty tea, although first steeps were quite weak.

Comforting tea, with nice energy boosting character. I had better black teas, but this one is certainly good for sure too. Fourth steep is gonna be last one I think. It brews too light, although it was brewed for almost two minutes. It is not tea for gong-fu brewing heh.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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Another go at this oldie, this time as a digestive following a dinner of homemade Thai red curry. The alkaline flavor and ashy taste of this aged da hong pao were definitely muted after eating such a flavorful dish. I enjoyed the profile of the tea better following my meal versus having it on an empty stomach/clean palate. I still can’t seem to pull more than 4-5 (if I include the rinse) worthwhile infusions; like an oolong that’s given up a bit of its youthful essence with each trial by fire, I also don’t exactly possess the vigor that I once did. Can’t fault the tea for that. There is still a mellow strength to this tea.

Book pairing: Simply Thai Cooking by Wandee Young and Byron Ayanoglu
These recipes are excellent for restaurant-style Thai without being drowned in sugar, salt and oil.

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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84

I still have a couple of samples from derk to go through, this being one ticked off the list today. It’s a nice semi-aged tea that’s different from the ones I own in a similar age category. Instead of being herbaceuos or fruity, it is more on the nutty and bitter side.

In the aroma, I could smell some wet storage notes, but this didn’t translate into the taste. Instead, the profile was sweet, vegetal, bitter, and nutty (walnut skin, chestnut). The aftertaste was nicely warming with a touch of a camphor note to it.

I also quite liked the mouthfeel, something I often find to be a weak point of these kind of teas. It was soft and active with good viscosity, but felt light in the mouth at the same time. I also got a hint of a sedating sort of cha qi.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Chestnut, Nuts, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal, Vinegar, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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The last of the new Spring/Detox teas!

I don’t know why but of the three new teas I felt very unmotivated to write this tasting note in particular, which is kind of weird because it’s not like I dislike the tea at all!?

Of the collection, this is actually the blend that I think it going to end up being the most well received/fan favourite. It’s really approachable and has the sweet/juicy flavours that I think a lot of our customers expect and want from the herbal fruit based teas, but is still just a little bit different and unique. Plus, of this Detox collection I think this blend actually feels the least like a typical ‘Detox’ tea – and by a lot!

I find the flavour is pretty comparable to Magic Dragon or Pitaya Power – it’s that same sweet and bordering on “Fruit Punch” tropical fruit note that has a slight tangy tart quality. Of course, the addition of hibiscus does help bring it out. What separates this blend, though, is the fact it finishes very silky and creamy, and not with the usual tart note that you’d get from the former blends. That lovely creamy quality is coming from the mix of coconut and aloe vera in the blend – I feel primarily the coconut, but I can’t deny there’s a creaminess that extends past what I’d expect from coconut.

I’ve actually yet to try this tea prepared cold, but I fully expect that it would make a BOMB ASS iced or cold brewed tea!!

I actually have a ton of Magic Dragon and some Pitaya Power on hand right now so I didn’t pick any of this tisane up – but I like it, for sure. I may have some off and on at work, and if I end up finishing either my Magic Dragon or Pitaya Power then I’ll probably grab some of this too…

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 and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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88
drank Tea Cozy Blend by Tea Cozy
1 tasting notes

This one of my favorite go to ‘wake me’ up teas. It’s exactly as described, smoky, but not overly smoky, well blended black teas. I love a delicious London Fog on occasion, so thought to to make one from this tea, and it’s AMAZING! I only add cream and honey to my black teas… but I’m glad to have added to this blend! I am totally new to reviewing teas, so hopefully I’ve done it justice.

Flavors: Bergamot, Brown Toast, Earl Grey, Smoked, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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89

Okay! So, another of the new teas!

Just a short writeup on this one. Unadulterated, you can get the pineapple flavor, but none of the “cheesecake”. It just tastes like a mildly juicy, unsweet pineapple. With just one Splenda, however, the sweetness of the pineapple not only appears but is amplified into a lovely juicy sweet/tart flavor. It’s the same pineapple goodness I remembered from the Grilled Pineapple tea I loved so much from 52teas.

That brings me to the second part. I’m a huge cheesecake fan. If you put cheesecake in front of me, I eat it. Screw the diabetes, cheesecake wins every time. That’s just the rules.

This… doesn’t taste like cheesecake. You know what it does taste like though? Cream.

That’s right. If there was some magically possible way to blend pineapple with cream, this is what I can imagine it would taste like. It’s lovely. I’m not even mad about it not tasting specifically like cheesecake. I just love the juxtaposition of cream/pineapple. I didn’t even know I would like creamy pineapple, but dangit if this doesn’t make it work!

Great stuff. I’m so grateful I bought a bunch of this. Wonderful tea.

EDIT: Fun fact. This is a pineapple tea. I currently am going HARD for a certain Broadway Musical involving a pineapple dwelling sponge. So there’s that bit of synergy going on.

Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Pineapple, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
derk

There’s a Spongebob musical??

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94

To celebrate shoveling the car free of the enormous drifts left by the latest blizzard, I brewed a pot of this tea this afternoon. This is a favorite tea, and it was nice and smooth going down. So warming and comforting on a cold, cold day. I don’t think we got above zero today and there was enough of a breeze that the wind chill was -25. You can imagine I was glad to come in from that and sit down with a warm cup of tea. I suppose at that point almost any hot beverage would have been welcome, but Golden Orchid is one of my faves.

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93

In my recent CS order, I added this sencha. It is much more expensive than your average sencha, but based on the description I wasn’t sure why exactly was it special. Having tried it now, I can see why its uniqueness may be hard to convey in words.

There are no specific aspects of it that are very unusual on their own I would say. The tea has an aroma of freshly cut grass, while the taste profile has a strong umami, nice grassy sweetness, good minerality and almost no harsh bitterness or astringency. It is very elegant and balanced, yet strong tasting. There are many fleeting notes to be uncovered, let me just mention lime and pine nuts, others escape my mind now.

The aftertaste is long, grassy, expansive and cooling with an interesting returning fragrance. Later on it gets a bit more spicy and herbaceous. Texture wise, the tea is viscous, thick and buttery, plus I get a good body warming sensation.

All in all, this is just such an elegant and tasty green tea that I think it might even be worth the high price for special occasions. The fact that it lasts almost twice as long as an average sencha just underscores that.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Herbaceous, Lime, Mineral, Nuts, Pine, Spicy, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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50

Another SipsBy offering for the month of January. I was surprised to see another pistachio tea from Fava in my box so soon, but I love pistachio, so can’t complain. This tea has loads of ingredients that I love (marzipan drops and almonds in particular), but there was just something off about this blend. It’s not nearly as bad as the other Fava pistachio blend that I tried, but I’m still not loving it. It’s missing that marzipan favor, and is instead reading as a bag of mixed nuts.

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69

This is one of those weird teas that doesn’t pop up in searches properly so it was never added to my cupboard but today I was going through the teas I keep at my sisters and there it was. It sounds good to me but mostly it was hibiscus to add sour to the cherry flavour. While that was fine, it didn’t really have marscapone.

Martin Bednář

Same here, it wasn’t much mascarpone or at least creamy.

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75
drank PU-ERH MAPLE CHAI by Tealux
2934 tasting notes

I bought this a while ago. No tasting note yet. sigh.  I think I was hoping this would be mostly similar to Fusion’s Caramel Chai Pu-erh (especially now that it’s no longer for sale), It really isn’t like the Fusion blend.  The caramel is different.. caramel cubes here.  But I don’t know… it could be the same source?  Just different “harvests”?  The Fusion seems to have a deeper flavor though.  The first steep has a flavor that seems kind of like plastic to me?  Not sure why.  It’s not too spicy or caramel… made sure to get a caramel cube in the infuser.  The pu-erh isn’t deep enough for me either.   I should try it with two teaspoons at some point. The third steep is like a drying chai but also very thin to me for a pu-erh.  Nothing too thrilling… I don’t love it like I’ve loved past versions of the Fusion blend.  I guess this is why it took me so long to write a tasting note: in the past, I kept trying to steep it up and find the magic.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon for a full mug // 14 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling  // 3 minute steep   
Steep #3 //  just boiled // 5 minute steep 

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82

This was reblended (in a sense) recently, and reminded me I had some of this original blend from Ost’s cupboard sale (thanks Ost!) Which means this is quite old, and I’m trying to weed the oldest teas of my cupboard, so I pulled this for my Sunday afternoon tea.

I was surprised that for it’s age, I was still getting a lot of maple aroma out of the packet. The steeped cup smells of maple, though not quite as strong as the leaf, with some floral, honey, and nut notes. The flavor definitely still has a lot of warm maple notes coming through; I also taste roasted nuts, walnut, wood, caramel, honey, and a subtle vegetal note. Mostly I taste sweet caramel maple flavor on a slightly earthy/woody roastedy nutty base, which is actually quite pleasant.

I didn’t have high expectations based on the age but this is actually a very nice blend; if I can clear my cupboard enough that I can mentally warrent new tea coming in, I wouldn’t mind trying the newer version.

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Honey, Maple, Nutty, Roasted nuts, Vegetal, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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drank Formosa Dragon by TeaMaze
2149 tasting notes

Enjoying an absolutely delicious Sunday break, bathing in a sunbeam aimed directly on my rocking chair (although Tazo is glaring at me because he claims to be the rightful owner of any and all winter sunshine spots).

Close to hand is this nice, silky, buttery oolong from our new favorite shop in the Ozarks. Its fruit flavor and scent is not far from peach cobbler, and while I don’t generally choose oolongs first, I’m glad hubby talked me into bringing this home. Little pricey, so I hope it holds up well in subsequent steeps.

You would have laughed at my Sunday church kids—10 and 11 year olds. They asked me for another tea and cocoa day, and it was fun watching them paw through my chest of random bags and man the electric kettle like grown-ups. Shiloh loves Good Earth Sweet and Spicy with enough sugar to fill a hummingbird feeder; David insists he only likes “sweet tea,” and Jonathan, on a dare, tried a cup of Lapsang Souchong: “Hey, that’s not so bad!”

ashmanra

Ooooo, I love it! Get them broken in! A new tea generation rises!

derk

<3 I’m trying to figure out how to spread my love of tea to my many coworkers now that I’m on the Fun Committee (cheesy, but we have a former youth pastor running the circus). I was thinking about introducing several themed teabags each month and doing a once-monthly tea tasting with loose leaf. Aside — we’re having a chili cook-off next month; I’ve been busy this evening shelling bags full of heirloom beans I harvested from the garden today.

To anybody reading this, I’m open to suggestion for decent bagged teas that can be brewed with boiling water!

Martin Bednář

derk – some are on the way. Even that orange ones what I sent you last time. I think that one would be perfect for it :) but not chili like.

Ashmanra and gmathis: I am happy to see there are children who like teas, they will know it is not always bad. Like Lipton Ice teas. :D

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I received this in my SipyBy box this month and couldn’t wait to try it. I’m a bit burnt out on chaos after fall, but I love moringa. I was very pleasantly surprised by the balance of spices- cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger are balanced very well. This definitely gave me a boost of caffeine, and none of the jitters I get from coffee. I always welcome the addition of moringa, it’s one of y favorite ‘superfoods.’ It seems Miracle Tree also has some straight moringa+flavoring blends that I’m very excited to try with my SipsBy code.

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I’ve really been enjoying straight teas over the past couple weeks, and just placed sample orders at Verdant and Mountain Stream. So, as I await for this new orders [that I definitely didn’t need to place], I’m trying some old samples I still have. This one is from Autumn 2018. It’s really nice and mild, very much roasted corn. I’m finding it particularly pleasing today.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Vegetal

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70

This used to be icing with a touch of grass but over time it’s become grass with a touch of icing. Damn flavour deterioration!

Shanie O Maniac

OOPS. Hate that.

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77
drank Deep Purple by DAVIDsTEA
4654 tasting notes

Sipdown (358)

I was a little worried when I steeped up the last of this and it was just yellow and not purple like my original cup. There was no butterfly pea flower obviously but the flavour is still there despite the colour being drastically different. Just a faint lemony tea that was light but had enough flavour to be interesting.

I don’t NEED this tea but I definitely enjoyed it more than I expected and would revisit it again in the future if it’s re-released.

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A bit of a dry mouthfeel, that I’m not particularly fond of. Definitely cherry and chocolate at first, and I’m getting a bit of the vanilla as the cup cools. There’s something almost stevia-like in the aftertaste.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Kawaii433

I like this one but my favorite WP is Cocoa Amore.

amandastory516

Cocoa Amore was incredible, thank you for sharing it with me. I’m definitely going to need to stock up on that one.

Kawaii433

You are very very welcome <3. Give me a holler if you want me to send more.

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80
drank Huang Jin Gui by World of Tea
20 tasting notes

15 seconds rinse.
1st stepping 2:00 minutes; 2nd steeping 3:00 minutes and last steeping 4:00 minutes.

Taste good, a light creamy sweet vegetal fresh salty marine tea. I can feel an after toasty taste. As you brew more of it, after swallowing it, I can taste a very light grassy citrusy flavours that disappear quickly. At the last cup I had, it taste vanilla with a more citrusy flavour.

It feel first warm on both my arms and then in the middle of my chest, very comforting.

It is way better than the Gu Zao Oolong Organic but not as good as the Jin Xuan Oolong (both are from World of Tea).

WATER USED: Nestle Pure Life

Flavors: Citrusy, Creamy, Grass, Marine, Salty, Sweet, Toasty, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 240 ML

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70

Another grandpa attempt. 2 tsp, 300 ml boiling water.

It was somehow similar like last time, where I was complaining it is too spicy (or rather hot). It wasn’t distinctive at all, as last time. It was somehow nicely spicy, cookie like. It was decent in manner of taste nad aroma. But it wasn’t something I would like to love. It was good, but only nothing wow to say. At least it was less spicy today.

But overall, I am somehow rather confused about this tea. It is not bad, but some more mellow flavour would make it better I think.

Flavors: Cookie, Ginger, Spicy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 10 OZ / 300 ML

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75

This tea reminds me bit all others Earl Greys from Twinings I had few days back.

It wasn’t bad but nothing extra. It had fresh flavour of bergamot, and jasmine was bit weaker. It was there. Base tea wasn’t great too. It was just black tea without any malt, or tannic flavours – it was just… okay. Not distinctive.

Overall the tea is – very strong as of bergamot, little of jasmine and no tea. Maybe fresher tea would do the trick.

Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 300 ML

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91

Here’s a yearly report on my Crimson Rooster cake. About one year after I got it, there are no off fermentation flavours left as far as I can tell. I can detect more umami, woody and creamy notes than I remember, and overall the complexity seems to have improved. I really like the cocoa bitterness present, which don’t seem to have faded since a year ago. The aftertaste then has a good nuttiness to it. As far as the aroma is concerned, a bit of leather and spices appears in the dry leaf smell, while the wet leaf aroma has notes of cream, chicken meat, clean wet earth on top of the ones in my previous note.

Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Cream, Leather, Meat, Nutty, Spices, Umami, Wet Earth, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Sipdown (795)!

Thank you VariaTEA for the share! This is my current cuppa as I try to pop out some tasting notes from this week’s queue – and while I don’t hate the flavour of this mug of tea there’s nothing really great about it either. It’s got the sort of sweet but generic apple/orange/pineapple flavour that a lot of herbal blends do, but at a level of density and acidity that is actually STRONGLY making me think of the off brand “Tropical Juice” flavoured juice boxes my mom used to include in my elementary school lunches. They were the no name brand tetra packs that were just solid yellow with a basic black font on the front, and they didn’t taste bad but you always felt kind of shitty drinking them at lunch break when the rest of the kids around you had Kool-Aid pouches and other, better drinks…

VariaTEA

Oh no! This seems to have brought up a terrible memory. I am so sorry.

Roswell Strange

Oh no, no worries!! Not really a bad memory so much as a relevant one in so far as the tea having a not bad but HIGHLY generic taste being comparable to those childhood juice boxes.

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78
drank Cardamom French Toast by DAVIDsTEA
4654 tasting notes

I had two free 50g rewards from DAVIDsTEA I had to use up back in December and I had no idea what I wanted so I decided for one, I would just grab this tea for Sil. I confirmed she would be ok with that and let her know that I would be stealing just enough to make a latte.

Today I decided to make that latte to drink while playing Pandemic, my new favorite game that I make my siblings play many, many times. This tea, as usual had a very strong fragrance and flavor and while it hit the spot today, I know it is not one I will drink often enough to warrant keeping around.

With that said, it was nice to revisit this eggy and rich french toast tea. Sweet and syrupy and thick and basically french toast in a mug. It’s good and I think if I had to pick between this or a pancake tea, I would want this, but I know this will get far more love from Sil so the rest is off to her.

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