New Tasting Notes

96

Just when I thought I was getting tired of green oolongs, along comes this tea to pull me back in. I honestly didn’t have high expectations for this regular grade baozhong given how the high end versions have failed to excite my lately. But this easily surpasses much of the competition grade stuff I’ve had this year.

It’s got a silky, smooth texture and notes of sweet pea, gardenia, lilac, and jasmine. It doesn’t have the egginess that some baozhongs have which I find off putting. Decided to cold brew it today and it was heavenly. It became thicker, sweeter, and more intensely floral. About the only difference I can discern between this and TTC’s competition grade baozhong is the latter is a bit more fragrant. But in the end the taste is what matters.

I must commend Taiwan Tea Crafts for how well-packaged their teas are. I opened this tea after it sat on the shelf for over 4 months and it smelled and tasted very fresh. The oxygen absorbers and vacuum packaging used by reputable Taiwanese and Japanese vendors really makes a big difference. It helps preserve optimum freshness. Green oolongs are the most perishable of all teas and nothing annoys me more than tea shops that throw them in pouches or otherwise improperly package them. The aromatics suffer and tea develops a telltale stale seaweed note.

Flavors: Flowers, Gardenias, Jasmine, Peas

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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83

Thanks so much for sharing some of this one, Mastress Alita! I am the biggest fan of the original Willy Wonka movie. I had such high expectations for Tim Burton’s remake (I am also a huge Tim Burton fan, the earliest movies mostly… I dressed up as Beetlejuice for Halloween when I was five, though now I can appreciate that Beetlejuice himself is not what makes that movie so great.) Anyway, the Burton Wonka remake was such a disappointment to me that I stopped watching his movies until now. But now I’m reviewing a Tim Burton book and have watched or rewatched most of his movies recently. The older movies: even better now, the other newer movies: not as bad as I expected. Will be rewatching Charlie & the Chocolate Factory tonight! ANYWAY. This tea is quite a combo from a small tea shop that just sounds dreamy. Chocolate, blueberry, maple, vanilla. The blend itself is gorgeous with yellow and blue flowers. Honestly, a chocolate and blueberry combination doesn’t sound TOO good to me, but I can understand why they are included (chocolate factory, ‘Violet you’re a blueberry!’) Somehow I taste mostly equal parts blueberry and chocolate. The end result is certainly unique and tasty anyway!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

Flavors: Blueberry, Chocolate

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81
drank Decaf Tropics by Adagio Teas
2363 tasting notes

I can’t believe the low score on this tea, I really enjoyed drinking this hot and cold. I find it one of the better representations of what I expect a pina colada black tea to taste like. I’ve yet to have a pina colada black that actually tastes good (usually soapy or old coconut ruins it). I had this first iced (plain) and then as a latte (soy milk + hot tea). Both were great, but the coldbrew brought out more acidic pineapple and stonefruit notes, hot I got pineapple but more coconut and a lot more flavour from the black base.

Flavors: Coconut, Fruity, Pineapple, Stonefruits, Tannin, Tropical

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100
drank Decaf Blueberry by Adagio Teas
2363 tasting notes

Adagio understands my need for decaf black teas. And I sure love a good blueberry tea. This is the best of both worlds and makes a nice evening latte or early-morning-comfort tea. Something about blueberry is reassuring to me.

The tea used as the base is not top quality, but since I like this as a latte I can’t tell. If you don’t oversteep it, you will end up with a great (and not bitter) brew.

Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Tannin

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85
drank Rooibos Vanilla Chai by Adagio Teas
2363 tasting notes

I really like this blend. There is a nice citrus element (orange zest), some clove, a bit nutty, a whole host of chai spices, and some honey-flavoured rooibos. I usually prefer my chai teas as a honeybush or rooibos, that way I get some extra sweetness and no tannicity or bitterness.

My order to Adagio did not include any hibiscus teas, so every tea from them has been fabulous.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Honey, Nutty, Rooibos, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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58

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90

Nobody has wrote a note for this one yet, which is too bad. I’m late to writing a note for it too. But it’s a pu-erh so it can only taste better with age, right? I used about 2/3 of a sample pouch, so probably around 6-7 grams. (Teavivre suggests 5 grams for 12 ounces.) The leaves have a lot of gold to them and a fantastic rich scent. The flavor has depth to it as well, while still having a sweet smooth quality (and NONE of those unlovely pu-erh flavors or fragrances either). On first sip, it reminds me a little of a sticky rice pu-erh, but that disappears further down the mug. Interestingly enough, looking up the tea’s description, Teavivre also mentions a sticky rice aroma. Awesome, I’m glad we agree. The second steep is also deep and delicious. The third steep is a little weaker in flavor, even though I steeped it at boiling for seven minutes. Definitely not like the dark and murky cups of the other steeps. I think I’m finding I really like pu-erh that is around ten years old (this is 2009). This is certainly a lovely enough pu-erh for a decent price! The sample is certainly worth a try.
Steep #1 // 6-7 grams for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // rinse // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 7 minute steep

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82

This tea has strong chocolate notes in the smell, even though they are less prominent in the taste, which is quite floral for a black tea. Overall, it is a sweet affair with very little bitterness or astringency. The closest comparison I could make with regards to taste would be lychee I think.

Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Lychee, Sweet

Preparation
4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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100

This blend emerged in the midst of my—stop the insanity with the teas, lady—reshuffling of my tea cupboard.

Most delicious honeyed chamomile with floral glints of sunshine. Beautiful. Somehow, the amount of rooibos in my pouch has multiplied. No matter.

Perfect timing too as I challenge myself with cutting caffeine earlier in the day, aiming for three o’clock. Today, I began drinking this at about 5. Could be worse.

Even though the chamomile clogs the strainer screen in my steeper and makes cleaning it more of a challenge, I am delighted to have rediscovered this. First world problems, I know.

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45
drank Sunny Citrus by DAVIDsTEA
198 tasting notes

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75

Today, I devoted time to shuffling and sorting teas from place to place. Since I am mostly drinking green and oolongs and herbals and tisanes these days, I decided to arrange those teas to make them more easily accessible while giving the black teas a bit of a rest backstage.

Of course, this created a surge of newly excavated and heretofore forgotten teas. Sorting teas can be a traumatic experience. Some of you might know exactly what I mean.

I think I may be finding my way around this blend. I hadn’t been taken with it before, but now I seem to be appreciating the subtleties present here more. The strawberry veers towards pineapple. The base is vegetal in a smooth hearty way. Grandpa steeping the leaves after the first two steeps produces a bit of earthiness once the flavoured layers have dissipated.

Leafhopper

Sorting teas can indeed be traumatic, especially when you find things you should have finished years ago. I have a couple green teas from a store that closed in 2016!

Evol Ving Ness

I hope that they are still delicious. :)

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Yesterday, I discovered this for the very first time though I’ve had it for a while. What an enchanting blend! Very much white chocolate meringue mint with a hint of something else, possibly the citrus freshness of the grapefruit peeking through—though I did not pick up on straight grapefruit flavour here. Maybe in the next cup. The rooibos doesn’t assert itself much.

Really yum. I am a fan.

Perhaps this is now day 14 of cutting off caffeine at 3, or at least, aiming for that cutoff even if the reality is more like 5 on most days. Still, the awareness is positive, as is the discovery or rediscovery of herbal blends and tisanes. All good.

Flavors: Meringue, Mint, White Chocolate

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drank Briar Patch by 52teas
1755 tasting notes

It’s weird because I like juniper berries, the various berries in here, and pepper, yet I am very underwhelmed by this blend. I’m truly thinking that I just don’t care for tulsi. There are flavour variations yet it seems like every time I encounter a tulsi blend, it’s just so flat or off to me. I think for that reason I won’t even rate this one. What’s strange is I wouldn’t call this a warm blend, as it isn’t spicy enough for me to call it that, yet it’s not cool or cooling either. It just sits in the middle, in a puddle of lukewarm herbaceousness.

Evol Ving Ness

Now you have me curious.

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drank Apéro Spritz by DAVIDsTEA
6263 tasting notes

Last of the new cocktail teas, and probably my favourite.

So, I’ve never actually had Aperol before but I know that it’s supposed to be a bitter orange flavoured liquor so I definitely had some expectations for this one to have a bitter edge to it. The dry leaf smells kind of weird, I’ll be honest – like a mix of red and orange gummy bears, candied pineapple, grenadine, and that rubbery smell that new beach balls have before they’ve been inflated. It’s a weird mix… but I’m into it.

Taste wise, there’s some bitterness but it’s not that strong; mostly it just tastes like a mix of candied orange and pineapple with a pithy orange peel undertone. There’s a little bit of that grenadine sort of taste, from the pomegranate in the blend I’m sure, but it’s not super strong and not nearly as sweet as actual grenadine. I don’t know; it’s a weird and somewhat hard to explain flavour profile but I’m enjoying it a lot!

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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100
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
6263 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

Very crisp, clean flavour dominated by the cranberry. I think much of the pear has been lost with age, sadly. There’s almost a floral quality to the black tea base – sort of like a Ceylon black. To be fair, this might be a Ceylon black tea as the base. I’m not really sure.

It was nice dipping into my little stash of this one and revisiting it. I think I get closer to letting it go each time I have it – and that’s good, because I think I need to admit to myself that this is probably never going to return…

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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79

My morning cuppa.

I don’t know what makes this ‘blood orange’ over regular orange. It’s delightfully smooth and flavourful with a brilliant degree of roastiness from the oolong base and a juicy, sweet orange note that radiates from the top of the sip into the body and then lingering into the aftertaste long after swallowing. I’m really enjoying the flavour and how there’s a simplicity to it while still having this nice contrast between the fruit and the charred, nutty oolong. Thing is, it just tastes like regular orange – not ‘blood orange’.

Flavors: Grapefruit, Orange, Roast nuts, Roasted

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85

Hot, with milk.

I almost didn’t grab this one because I’m not huge on Earl Grey but I do enjoy an unconventional/flavoured version every now and then and raspberry sounded like a nice twist on that classic flavour. It was actually very good; definitely had that strong bergamot quality/taste to it but also had this softness and a buttery quality that, when paired with the sweet raspberry, really made me think of buttery raspberry croissants or danishes. Delectable!

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89

Looks like I’m the odd one out. I almost didn’t order this due to the less-than-stellar reviews, but I’m so glad I did! It is very fragrant and heavy on the clove and plum especially. A little floral but not overwhelming. That plum note is so syrupy, like candy, and the clove is very present but not to the point that it feels like your tongue is falling asleep. Plus the orange peel contributes to that candy vibe. The description mentions that EG lovers would love this, and while I’m an EG fan, I don’t see much of a similarly between the two flavour profiles.

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drank Sweet Tart by DAVIDsTEA
6263 tasting notes

Iced.

I don’t know why, but this particular cup didn’t taste tart/hibiscus-y at all. In fact, the entire drink really just tasted like cherry candy. In particular, it tasted like the little heart sprinkles in the blend. It was very good, and very different from what I’ve come to expect from this one. I finished it so damn quickly, because I was really thirsty, and in hindsight I definitely regret not savoring it a little more.

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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55

Needed something quick and lazy for late at night, so I went with a hot mug of coconut milk with a lot of this mixed into it. I still don’t know if this technically counts as tea or not, but I did really enjoy having it late at night. It was the best of soothing peppermint tea and hot milk at night; so, you know, basically it had me passed out pretty darn quickly.

Also, biggest complaint with this last time was that it didn’t really have much flavour. This time around it was great and very flavourful; but of course I was SUPER heavy handed with the amount of ‘tea’ I used. So, what I’m learning here is that following the directions is not smart/wont produce a good cup.

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79
drank Cherry Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
6263 tasting notes

Tea Lemonade!

Adding lemonade to this one was really transformative; this is a fruity tea all on its own but in a really specific sort of way. It’s cherry, pure and simple. Sweet, bright and ripe tasting cherry to be sure but at times it can feel like a bit of a flat, fruity note. It’s also a really floral blend with a whole lot of borderline perfume-y rose in both the body of the sip and the undertones, leading into a very lingering finish.

Adding the lemonade to this one just made it ‘punchier’ – with a tangyness to it. The contrast between the cherry and the lemonade was really beautiful because it seemed to make both even more vibrant. Lemonade top notes; cherry body notes. The rose was quite interesting too; it didn’t feel like too much anymore – instant it was this smooth, and romantic feeling undertone to an otherwise sweet, refreshing summer drink. Like, it almost felt like it was a secret!? If that makes any sense at all. Something that you wouldn’t associate with lemonade that seems like it could never work but that instead adds a layer of elegance/class and a WHOLE lot of dynamic layering of flavour. It felt like the kind of lemonade that would be served at a really upscale restaurant or something very hip/trendy.

My favourite tea and lemonade combo so far; almost purely because it made this feel like a 100% different tea, but still just as tasty. I’d definitely recommend it.

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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66

Awww man. I expected so much more from this. I like mint teas a lot, but only when they’re not so basic and a little more unexpected. I was hoping the ginger and pepper and cardamom would combine to make something really spicy and fresh – but it’s just a mint tea. The mint does linger on the palette a little longer than most, and it’s not bad per se. I just wanted more from it.

Flavors: Ginger, Peppermint

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