Featured & New Tasting Notes

84
drank Ginger Cola by 52teas
9045 tasting notes

i think i’m actually going to really miss this one once it’s gone. The more i have it, the more i am a fan. Just a really interesting tea both hot and cold!

VariaTEA

I really like this too. It should become a staple. This and Banilla Marshmallow

VariaTEA

*Vanilla

Sil

banilla marshmallow sounds tasty…banana, vanilla, marshmallow…

VariaTEA

Anne, if you see this, can you make Banilla Marshmallow a thing?

52Teas

Do you mean with a black tea base? I have already made Banana Marshmallow Treat a thing. :)

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
816 tasting notes

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Keemun, Laoshan Black, or any other non- What-cha Golden Snail black tea (so good). I’ve forgotten how comforting they are in their cocoa-malt predictability, and subtle but rich profiles. I thought I was over Chinese black teas; it’s probably the time of year? Oolong is out, black tea and white tea are in- I need to draw a better year plan for my tea drinking habits so I’m not struggling at the height of tea-drinking season.

Anyways, this one is really red. Red is good. Red is warm. Red is Christmas. I’m drinking this in a festive red cup too. Lots of red happening.

I’ll write a more thoughtful note later.

(2017 harvest)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Fruity, Malt, Muscatel, Red Wine, Stonefruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Garret

yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

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This was less obnoxious than I usually find it.

The in-store sample I tried today was just not as clove-heavy as it usually seems to be, and that, for me, is a very good thing.

VariaTEA

This is one of the first teas I actually truly enjoyed. At least the old recipe was…don’t think I’ve tried it lately

Evol Ving Ness

I usually find it quite bitter and full of clove, but that is in-store. I do have some leaf around here somewhere. Wonder what home steeping can do for me with this one.

Evol Ving Ness

oh, and I have only had it black and unsweetened, so maybe that’s it.

Arby

I find it nice as a latte, but I also love clove so YMMV.

VariaTEA

I drank it black and unsweetened too though I enjoyed the clove

Jillian

I wonder if they changed the recipe.

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78

Strong mineral note, a little bit of honeyed sweetness, and a little bit of generic “sheng-y” taste. No “green” or chlorophyl taste. It’s a little bit thick in the mouth, a little bit astringent, and there’s a little bit of lingering aroma in the mouth. Not much bitterness or potency of flavor.

It’s definitely easy drinking for a young sheng, but overall it’s just ok. I was expecting more potency and bitterness from a young Hekai tea. I’m interested to see what the “ancient tree” version will be like.

Flavors: Honey, Mineral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 90 OZ / 2661 ML

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74

Here is yet another tea I forgot I had in my collection. I went ahead and polished off it at the end of last week. I think I have now finally finished all of the green teas from last year. Drinking the Keemun Maofeng and this back-to-back meant that I spent a couple days overloading on teas from Anhui Province, but hey, it was fun. I used to really love Huangshan Maofeng, but now I’m not so sure. Since I have been gravitating more and more toward green teas from Shandong, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Yunnan Provinces, it seems that I have been losing interest in many of the green teas produced elsewhere. By the time I finally got around to this one, it oddly did not seem like it had faded all that much, but I could not muster much of an opinion of it. It wasn’t bad, but unfortunately, it just struck me as being the sort of tea for which I would simply have to be in a certain mood to fully appreciate.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a flash rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 170 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by infusions of 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pleasant, though fairly fleeting aromas of butter, grass, and green beans. After the rinse, I began to pick up scents of chestnut and pine. The first proper infusion brought forth a slightly malty aroma. In the mouth, I found hints of malt, grass, and chestnut backed by touches of butter, green beans, wet stones, and bizarrely enough, flowers. Subsequent infusions brought out strong pine impressions coupled with more robust notes of chestnut, green beans, butter, malt, grass, and wet stones. The floral impressions remained elusive, though I was reminded somewhat of both chrysanthemum and marigold at times. I also began to note emerging impressions of soybean, minerals, straw, and lettuce underscored by a slightly smoky presence. From the start of the session through its conclusion, the mouthfeel grew more and more mineral-heavy and alkaline. The later infusions were heavy on mineral, wet stone, and malt notes, though I could still just barely detect impressions of chestnut, lettuce, and grass.

A rather interesting tea, I enjoyed its very sharp, hard mouthfeel and pleasant mix of aromas and flavors, but I must knock it somewhat since it faded so quickly. Also, while I enjoyed the sharper, harder-edged mouthfeel for the most part, I would be willing to bet that it won’t be for everyone. If nothing else, this session reminded me of why Huangshan Maofeng normally seems to be a cult tea in the West. In the end, this was pretty good, but I would not want to have it regularly.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Floral, Grass, Green Beans, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Pine, Smoke, Soybean, Straw, Wet Rocks

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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65

Having been super busy with work over the past few weeks, continual plans to visit DAVIDsTEA to redeem my points for 100g worth of tea kept getting foiled, so of course, when I finally got there today, it was too late as they expired on the 3rd. Damn. I kept thinking I had until the end of the calendar year.

But I was able to still redeem my free birthday cup of tea from last month. I chose this because I didn’t feel like dealing with their sugary sweet blends this time around. It was ok but expectedly astringent, so astringent that it covered up most of the plum notes I was picking up on. Nothing memorable, to be honest.

Evol Ving Ness

Wow! I think you should call their helpline and do some screaming.

Evol Ving Ness

Their prices are far too high to let your FS points expire.

Fjellrev

Yeah, it sucks because I was planning on stocking up on more Lemon Pound Cake since it’s pretty pricey but I did check the email they sent me in October and it did specify that they were going to expire on the 3rd. I thought they transferred over to the next period if you didn’t redeem them and only truly expired at the end of the year, though?

Fjellrev

I did submit an inquiry about it just now, just out of curiosity. I reviewed the program stipulations, but it just seems odd how points themselves roll over to the next period (and ultimately expire at the end of the year) yet the rewards themselves do not. Doesn’t really make since.

Fjellrev

Lollerskates, make sense, rather.

Evol Ving Ness

What? The points roll over to the next period, but then, all of it is gutted at year end to start again at zero?

Evol Ving Ness

Well, the end of the year is coming. In three weeks.

Evol Ving Ness

And they’ve now stipulated that if you have 100 points for one free bag, it can only be $19 or under, which eliminates the pure teas like Organic Ruby Oolong.

Fjellrev

Yeah, points reset to 0 at the end of the calendar year. It’s just odd how points roll over from period to period but not actual rewards though. So, a person can earn 99 points in the 1st period which could roll over from period to period, until near the end of the year, yet, once you earn that one extra point, which would then get converted to a 50g reward, you absolutely have to redeem it within two months, and if not, you lose that reward (essentially 100 points) entirely.

They claim though that at least, since the beginning of this year, they have introduced a new policy that any leftover points at the end of the year will be converted to free cups of tea unlike before, but whatever.

Evol Ving Ness

In other works, it is ****ery.

Evol Ving Ness

How many free cups of tea? How does that work?

Fjellrev

That about sums it up!

I have no idea. They’re very vague about it: “Effective February 24th, 2017, after we convert every 100-point increment into free tea rewards at the end of December, any leftover points will then be converted into free beverage rewards you can redeem in any DAVIDsTEA store. Your points balance will go back to zero and you’ll have 60 days to claim your rewards. So you can start sipping all over again!”

CrowKettle

There rewards system sounds so ridiculous and half-***ed- like they just wanted to have one on paper without actual big rewards being redeemed for long time (although maybe irregular) customers.

Evol Ving Ness

Exactly, when they rolled out this new FS version, they lost me as a client. I used to shop there quite regularly. Though I did take advantage of their 40% off deal the other day. Even with 40% off, I would have been better off spending my money elsewhere in terms of value for dollar. And my points from that purchase apparently will expire in three weeks or turn into a free cup of tea—woohooo!

Evol Ving Ness

The whole thing just pisses me off.

Evol Ving Ness

And I don’t drink tea to be irritated by it.

Fjellrev

Right? Half-assed rewards system for sure. I just dropped around $35 on teaware on the last day of their in-store 30% sale but do they really expect me to rush within the next twenty days to drop another $65 just to get 50g of free—yet otherwise overpriced—tea? No dice. Negative dice considering I lost 200 points for not making timely FS rewards redemption my #1 life priority.

Sil

Pretty much why they don’t even get me going in for 10g samples of their new teas….why risk loving something when it will be stupidly expensive and have stevia in it…not to mention that the times that’s ever happened are faaaaaaaaaaaaar and few between so they were getting my money to try mediocre teas.

Fjellrev

By 10g samples you mean resulting-likely-intentional-overpouring-and-doubling-the-amount-you-asked-for, right? And bonus points for getting added snark from the sales associate for asking for that much (or “little”).

At least there seems to be a correlation between price hikes and stevia usage?

CrowKettle

Yes! I stopped picking up small samples of new teas primarily because of the snark and resistance. I was going to buy +$50 worth of teas but now I’m just going to spend $10 on one tea, or nothing at all, thanks.

Stevia is my “hibby” or “blergamot” and I have not forgiven DT for adopting it as their new flagship ingredient. I feel very strongly about its infiltration into everything and I know if I ever accidentally buy something with it in it I’m going to go on a long, angry rant. :(

Evol Ving Ness

^^^What Sil said.

I used to go and pick up about 10 grams of each new tea that came out and then all this stevia and imitation flavour nonsense started and all their teas started tasting more or less the same and then the butchering of their FS system and nope, not doin’ it.

Evol Ving Ness

I just get swept up in a rant every single time I start thinking about the degeneration of DTs, from the time it was more or less reasonably priced for several reasonably good and fun teas with a reasonably good customer appreciation program.

Evol Ving Ness

Thankfully, I never had a problem with snark and resistance and upping my intended quantity. Generally, my servers have either been low-key indifferent or stellar.

CrowKettle

I had someone flat out tell me they couldn’t sell me 10-15g once. It was around the time I had a friend who worked at another DT who sold me oodles of little samples, so I was more unimpressed than I normally would’ve been. XD

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73
drank Cotton Candy by DAVIDsTEA
3731 tasting notes

This was never added to my cupboard count so I am back up to 341 (technically more since the 12 teas of Christmas arrived yesterday) but that’s okay. I made this as an eggnog latte while simultaneously setting up a chocolate milk cold brew of Candy Cane Crush. This really is one tasty eggnog latte and I think because it is two beloved childhood flavors – cotton candy and bubblegum, which is the flavor I sometimes get from eggnog lattes. Yum!

Sil

So what you’re saying is, that I’m still 300 less teas than you ;)

Arby

Don’t rub it in! lol

Dexter

Ok – I’ve been gone for too long. “chocolate milk cold brew”? Are you actually cold steeping Candy Cane Crush is chocolate milk? or have I missed something – and this is getting lost in translation?

Evol Ving Ness

aha, I am guessing chocolate milk cold steep of Candy Cane Crush. Has there been an eggnog cold steep of anything yet and if so, how did it work out?

Dexter

You can cold steep tea in milk?!?!?

VariaTEA

Lol that’s what I’m trying to find out, Dexter

Dexter

Please let us know how that works :)

Evol Ving Ness

Now this would be a major breakthrough, a new frontier in tea life altogether.

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drank Outlaw by August Uncommon Tea
816 tasting notes

Smoky black teas are not something I reach for regularly, but they have some sort of allure that keeps me coming back (albeit irregularly). Outlaw has a little more allure than most and kept me amused all last night (erm, unintentional Tobias moment).

Honestly though, I think I like this one. It’s something to do with the flat cherry vanilla coke vibe I’m picking up (I mean that in the most flattering way). It also reminds me of the time I got to lick a cave in Poland (mineral notes, kay). It’s a lot of fun, and I’m sitting somewhere in the 80’s on it. I’m going to hold off rating for a bit because I’m not having as strong a reaction to it as I did with the Black Lodge (I think someone thought that name to be nostalgic and homey, but all it makes me think of is some horror story).

And just look at all the parentheses it inspired me to use!

Flavors: Cherry, Mineral, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Dexter

I agree that this is better than Black Lodge – but Outlaw is still a strange tea. Happy you didn’t hate it….

CrowKettle

I usually have a pretty large “this is alright” threshold when it comes to tea; my reaction to Black Lodge is an extreme oddity for me! I also had more warning and a wariness going into Outlaw, so it’s strangeness was just par for the course. I kind of want to try it with ice cream or whip cream. :)

Dexter

I go into all AU teas with a bit of wariness – IMHO they are all a little strange. I really like the company because their teas are usually outside the box, but that means some are OMG this is so weird I love it – or OMG this is so weird I hate it. That’s good though – I would rather love/hate than indifference. :)
Icecream….. that’s a great idea – wonder how we could turn this into Outlaw milkshake….hmmmmm

Evol Ving Ness

How about a float with French vanilla ice cream?

CrowKettle

Yes, to both of you! That’s exactly what I want: milkshake/float thing. Maybe I can try steeping it in milk or something and using that in a blended drink?

Dexter I agree with you about love/hate over indifference. Luckily, so far I’ve been on the more positive side of that spectrum when it comes to the majority of the AU teas I’ve tried; they’re a lot of fun!

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CrowKettle wrote yesterday " It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror." LOL – ok – I just received my tin of this, so of course I had to try it.

While I may not be getting the same notes that she did – not getting the smoked bacon – I’m agreeing with the sentiment in that statement.

My first impression was charred black rotten mushrooms. As it cools that’s changing to 6 hour old burned to the bottom of the pot coffee.

I added a little sweetener and a splash (or more than a splash of milk)…. Now there is some banana in here but I’m not sure that’s a good addition to this party.

There is no doubt that this is an AU smoked tea, they all have something a little odd in the back. This isn’t a little odd…….

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bcdmd_Qhlda/?taken-by=dex3657

ETA: Because I’m a sucker for punishment I did a 2nd steep. I did 95C 4 minutes. I added sweetener and milk. The smoke has been shoved way to the back. There is some caramel banana in here (but some of that might be the sweetener). I’m also getting meaty/mushroom/umami something that I wouldn’t call truffle. This is better but still way too strange……

Evol Ving Ness

Omigoodness.

Evol Ving Ness

Did you do your magic with the steeping parameters?

Dexter

Not all the way – I wanted to try it first. I was cautious not to overleaf and I steeped 4 min using 95C water. Will cut back on all three next time. Less leaf 90C water 2.5 min steep and see what happens….

Dexter

I’m continuing to drink this as it cools – it’s actually getting better (I’m not saying good)- it’s pretty cool, almost cold now and this is smokey dark bitter chocolate coffee banana. But that gives me a little hope that if you play with it maybe can bring those notes forward sooner.

CrowKettle

I liked the second still a little more too; it lends support to the idea that less is better with this one! XD

CrowKettle

And the bacon bit is more of a dry leaf smell thing for me. It got up my nose, confused my brain, and lingered the time length it took me to consume the pot…

Evol Ving Ness

hmmm, I look forward to your reports as you explore this further.

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88

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm so happy this one is back in my cupboard. Delicious chocolatey, malty snailey goodness. Honestly. Yum. Bumping my rating up on this one because i am a fan even more so this time…

Evol Ving Ness

Malty snailey goodness. :)

Dexter

Awesome – love snailey goodness

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70
drank Vietnam Gui Fei Oolong Tea by What-Cha
9045 tasting notes

Free same in our group what-cha order. I tried this one today so i can divy up the rest of it for VariaTEA and Evolvingness. On the whole, not one i’d order for myself, though i generally like roastier oolongs. Had a cup of this while i tried to make wonton soup from scratch! haha. All in all, a decent cup but nothing to knock my socks off. IE. glad i tried it but that’s enough for me.

Dexter

You were making wonton soup from scratch? Wow that’s awesome!!!

Sil

Yeah…was a fun experiment and turned out really well…technically I used broth for the soup, but I added things to it, so I think that counts! Wonton making is fun…got the hang of it after the first couple.

Indigobloom

wonton… its even fun to say :P

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87

oh happy day…this is back in my cupboard. :D

Edit: Final count 48 (2 BF orders showed up!)

Dexter

I still can’t believe how low you got!!!! Fantastic job. I’ve taken a quick look through my stash today and decided not to order from What-Cha even though there is some crazy amazing sounding stuff there.

Sil

I can always send you a few if you just want 1-2cups to try

Dexter

Thank you – no thank you. I need to get an understanding of what I have – get my cupboard and spreadsheet updated. Re-gain control.

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80
drank The Vanilla Marshmallow. by 52teas
9045 tasting notes

last cup of the evening i think since i don’t really have any herbals. I’ve been baking this week and for those here who know me..i LOVE orange creamsicles…every time there’s an orange creamsicle tea, i have to try it. Well i found a recipe for orange creamsicle cookies…so i made them and DAMN they are so good. I’ve eaten like 5 already. along side this tea – they were an incredible treat.

Final Count: 36

Arby

Damn 36 teas…that’s amazing. Go Sil!

Sil

if only i didn’t have like uh..30 incoming hahaha actually i don’t even have a count of how many are inbound…but it works out to about 1kg.

Evol Ving Ness

hahhaha, how miserable would you be if you were down to five.

Evol Ving Ness

And orange creamsicle cookies—-heaven!

Tamarindel

Recipe request, please! Orange creamsicle cookies sound amazing.

Sil

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/orange-creamsicle-cookies/

I used semi sweet chips instead of white chocolate…and triple sec instead of the orange liquer….and 1.5 cups of chips instead of the 2…since it seemed like a lot as i was mixing things in

Tamarindel

Thanks so much! I’ve been craving cookies and these look great!

Lexie Aleah

I need to make those! Mmmn

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82
drank Keemun Classic by Capital Tea Ltd.
9045 tasting notes

Dexter sent this to me in another life and i’ve finally picked some up for my cupboard since i had ZERO keemuns! This harvest isn’t smokey, but it is a tea that i’ll be adding a drop of maple syrup to when i take it in the travel mug i think. It’s got a bit of a cocoa feeling to it but not overly so….there’s a depth here that i am enjoying.

Evol Ving Ness

ZERO keemuns! Clearly a situation that needs to be reconciled.

Sil

i have 4? now i think…

Evol Ving Ness

Excellent, way to right the universe, lady.

Dexter

Yay for having Keemun back in your cupboard

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84
drank Rocky Road by 52teas
1733 tasting notes

I drank this yesterday with milk, which made it much more like the icecream. Oddly, same as last time, I wasn’t interested in a second steep. Rare that I find something so satisfying, with no desire for more… Odd, for me! Still, I’m glad I have another sampler of this coming my way.

Fjellrev

Oh man, she NEEDS to reblend this.

Indigobloom

Definitely agreed on that!!

Arby

It should be a regular

Indigobloom

Yep, I think so too. Except I really miss the Blueberry Creamcheese Danish, so kinda want that as a regular first…

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So, I woke up today thinking oolong.

I am just starting with the first steep and I have honeyed malt—a bit like honey black— against a floral backdrop. Interesting. Unusual. Nice.

Now, as much as I’d like to continue lounging around in my flannel pjs drinking tea on this massively foggy day, I am revving myself up to go participate in some movement. Part of my inspiration is that yesterday I left one of my travel mugs in my locker at the gym and I need it for my multiple steepings in the coming days. So I may as well go have a workout. You guys can be my witnesses as I get into motion. Getting up now….

Thank you, Crowkettle. A lovely entry into the selection you so generously shared with me.

The steeps will continue. Stay tuned.

Well, I drank this until the steeps gave up almost nothing. So, yay! Deliciousness!

And it’s a sip down! I’d happily order this one the next time What-Cha hears from me.

Fjellrev

That’s an interesting way to motivate oneself to go to the gym more, actually. Leave something you need there so you have to go back haha.

Evol Ving Ness

Also, because crazy tea lady who carries four travel canisters of hot tea wherever she goes.

Evol Ving Ness

Of course, some remain hotter than others.

CrowKettle

Woo-ho, workout inspiration (whatever works)! Looking forward to getting back into exercise things this month too! :)

Evol Ving Ness

Hurray, yay! I find that it is all far less painful when I build it into my day and regularity makes it even more pleasant because then you get to know people there and the hellos and light banter make things even that much nicer. Also, it blows my mind when I am able to retain some sort of a routine. Though some days, of course, I do need that something something to propel myself out the door.

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81
drank Oolong Creme by Sloane Tea Company
3731 tasting notes

My friend got this as her tea and honestly I think I just drank her tea more than mine. The consensus was between the four of our teas, this was the best. It was floral and certainly an oolong but a creamy vanilla/buttery oolong with a honeysuckle type floral that was really nice. Plus it held up to the teapot prep method that seemed to lead to the other teas being oversteeped. Not to mention we added more water to the leaves and it still had a lot of flavor. I’d drink this again.

Fjellrev

Oh yeah, this is a good one!

Sil

Sloane is just too expensive for what it is imo….unless you can get in on their sales.

VariaTEA

That’s true. I only ever owned their Heavenly Cream Tea and that’s because it was forced on me in a box set with the Mother’s Day truffles made by CXBO with Kitten an the Bear and Sloane

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drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
1015 tasting notes

I’ve had a request to start writing tasting notes again. This confuses me, I stopped writing notes because I felt I didn’t have anything interesting to say. There are lots of people here who are more articulate and have a better palate than I do. But as requested, here goes…

Tonight I’m just hanging out at home, watching the hockey game, petting the cat, eating banana bread, drinking this tea.

I normally choose and prefer China black teas, but it’s always nice to break it up with something different. This one is light with the high notes I would expect from a Taiwan black. It’s really fruity – normally I would think grape/wine fruity in this style but these are stone fruit notes. There is also some tannin (?) and a little suck the moisture out of your mouth thing. There is also a little smokiness as it cools. I don’t feel this style will every be my favorite but this was fun to try and I think it’s different enough from a typical Taiwan black to make it interesting.
Thanks Evol for sharing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcLnt-4hJGB/?taken-by=dex3657

Sil

Yay!

Evol Ving Ness

Omigoodness! She’s here! She’s here! With tea even!

Evol Ving Ness

Love your tea ware!

Roswell Strange

Ah! Welcome back!

__Morgana__

Glad you’re back!

mrmopar

Agreed write away! My ramblings are much more difficult to get through.

CrowKettle

Aw, I missed your notes. Welcome back! :D

VariaTEA

Hi Dexter!!! Welcome back :)

looseTman

You’ve definitely been missed! Welcome back!

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81
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
9045 tasting notes

soooooooooooooooooooooo boooooooooooooooooooooored….with my cupboard. Honestly 2 pages of tea cupboard is not enough. that is all. haha

Evol Ving Ness

That problem should be solved within the coming weeks. :)

Sil

soooo far away…. i was really hoping for capital teas to show up to hold me over until the US orders start coming in. At least tomorrow i can weigh my cupboard and see how well i did before i get all those orders in haha

CrowKettle

I’m sorry Sil, but I need the orders to not come in soon. I’m so swamped… Too many oolongs making everything so much more than the puny grams/ozs listed.

Hopefully Toronto sees tea long before Vancouver does! <.<

Sil

hahahahaha well the US orders will take a few….and my china orders will be longer. But here’s hoping canada orders get here this weekend!

Sil

also i have fewer teas than you! mwahahahaha (for now…)

Fjellrev

How the hell do I have double the teas you do? Madness!

Sil

Not for long sadly….not for long…

CrowKettle

It’s not right. The world has come to some great unbalance. You’re supposed to be a three-digit cupboard!

Fjellrev

Right? Is this even real life anymore?

Sil

oh god. no more 3 digit cupboards….besides this is nice..well sort of. i hate note having options but it means that next week i get to puerh puerh puerh!

Arby

Your quality of life must be terrible. I hope your teas in the mail get to you soon.

Sil

haha thanks arby! 1st world problems i know!

Evol Ving Ness

The world has come to some great unbalance. hahahhahahaha!

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82

When you have no teas…you get to drink the same thing over and over again. At least it means i’m working my way through teas haha. While this one doesn’t have the honey notes i love from ttc – it does have some erally nice cinnamon like notes that i can get behind while being a smooth tea.

VariaTEA

Soon you will have teas…and I will have ALL the teas. Btw please help yourself to any of them :)

Sil

haha yeah. Hoping some of them get here shortly…otherwise next week is going to be a whole lot of puerh drinking. which wouldn’t be terrible.

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drank Ginger Cola by 52teas
3731 tasting notes

This smells 100% of cola which is awesome and even though this has sat in my travel mug all day, it tastes like cola as well, with a nice serving of ginger. I think I would like to try this hotter or colder as opposed to lukewarm but this is a nice start.

Sil

feel free to give me all of this one if you don’t love it haha.

Sil

Glad you’re getting to dig in to these though :)

VariaTEA

I have so many untouched teas in my cupboard and yet it took getting these packages to get me to stop shopping for more tea. Well that and the emails that my packages are shipping :P

Evol Ving Ness

I keep reminding myself to shop in my own cupboard and/or crack open samples from swaps, but human nature is a funny thing.

Sil

I have no cupboard to shop in lol anymore

VariaTEA

You can shop in mine!

Evol Ving Ness

hahahahah, you two!

Sil

sooooooooooooooooo bored with my cupboard. need teas to show up damnit….

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80

Given the various shuffling around DTs has done with its Frequent Steeper program, I wasn’t sure whether the birthday cups of tea were still offered. I have not been patronizing DTs much since their boom of imitation flavours and massive sweetener additions to the dry leaf itself. Not to mention the dramatic price hikes—ouf! The overhaul of the FS/ loyalty point program was the nail in the coffin for me, so to speak. I was done.

I still go in to try samples of what is steeping because I remain open to being convinced that they are offering something for someone like me and because generally speaking, I like a lot of their staff, but as a blender/company, what they are doing is not something I am interested in supporting.

Nonetheless, I popped in to see if there was still the FS birthday free cup of tea for me as I am still celebrating my birthday month. And yay, there was.

I chose this one because frankly, it is the only one of theirs that am curious about. And a tea fren was kind enough to send me a What-Cha sample of the same which I look forward to exploring this week.

My lovely DTs server was kind enough to pop my teaspoon of tea into a teabag and into an empty cup for me so that I could steep it up at proper temperature and enjoy it at home rather fight my way through rush hour traffic on public transit with a dripping teabag hanging out of a paper to go cup. Good choice that was.

This tea truly is intoxicating in both scent and flavour. I am on my fifth steep. The sweet sticky rice and the floral oolong flow into a lovely balance of flavours. I predict that I can still get three more flavourful steeps out of this. Let us see.

edit—Yup, still flavourful at eight steeps. Very much enjoyed this one.

I’d like to have this in my cupboard and would if the price were not so prohibitive. Still, it was nice to have the opportunity to spend my day with this.

I would rate this between 90 and 100 based on taste and sipping experience, but based on price, I am lowering that rating.

Just went on their website to check prices and this tea is no longer listed, so I guess they are phasing it out, but based on their other oolongs, 100 grams of this tea would be between 20 and 22 dollars plus tax, so something along the lines of 25 dollars (which for Americans, is approximately 3.5 ounces).

Oh, and it’s a sip down!

Lexie Aleah

I’ve been wanting to order this tea from them for quite sometime now. I definitely need to just do it and not think about. It looks like it’s not available anymore I could have sworn that it was there on Friday.

Leafhopper

I haven’t tried this oolong, but have been meaning to order What-Cha’s version for a while now. Maybe next year when my stash is under control (if that ever happens)!

CrowKettle

Argh, David’s Tea, you break my heart! I was going to take advantage of their Black Friday sales but it looks like my old staple favourites were axed at some point. This sounded like a winner too!

Evol Ving Ness

I know, right? If you were to pop into a store near you, I’m sure they would still have some on hand.

And someday, when my stash is under control, ha! yeah. A familiar refrain.

Arby

I actually liked this sticky rice oolong more than What-chas. Crow Kettle, I haven’t sent your samples to you yet, so I’ll add in a sample of this. I got a bag of it as my free tea for using my reward points.

CrowKettle

That sounds wonderful! I heard this one is lighter/actually has the herb leaves too.

And I will check if they have any left if I’m near a store. They still have the nostalgia factor; I’ll probably end up with another mug XD

The stash self-perpetuating.

Roswell Strange

I think everyone who’s commented in this thread knows this already, but just in case I’m just popping in a disclaimer that I currently work for DAVIDsTEA. That said:

Sadly, this one was only released as a limited edition tea and stores are no longer being supplied with it – but some stores, like mine, do still have some; it depends on how popular it was at their respective stores.

I totally hear you on the price thing; with staff discount this one was a better deal for me to stock up on than the What-Cha version but if you don’t get a killer discount like I do than the What-Cha version is actually much more affordable apart from the fact you’re paying shipping. But I mean, if there’s other stuff you’re ordering from What-Cha than it’s totally worth it, imo. Or if you’re not near a DT and would have to order online anyway. Plus, What-Cha carries their’s year round…

Main differences between the two blends are that DT’s has the “stick rice leaf” mixed into the tea as well (which is why we don’t class it as a scented/straight tea) which in theory should mean that it has a stronger rice flavour than What-Cha’s, which is only scented. Personally, I actually thought that What-Cha’s version was more rice heavy in flavour though. So I mean, depending on how strong a rice taste you actually want from the tea that could end up being a good or a bad thing for you.

Out of curiosity, CrowKettle which teas do you think were discontinued that were favourites? I can tell you definitively one way or the other!

CrowKettle

I was one of the oddballs that liked Jesse’s Tea and Dulce Banana (that last one was ages ago). Also, Gold Rush and Coco-Lemon Thai. But I probably spoke to hastily; there’s a few that would get me back in store- and if Santa’s Secret was available on the web for Black Friday Sunday sales I probably would’ve placed an order! <.<

Lexie Aleah

I have a brand new bag of unopened Jessie’s Tea if you’d like to trade. I accidentally bought it again when I did not like that tea.

Roswell Strange

Crowkettle – ah, yeah – sadly those ones have definitely all bit the dust. Gold Rush is one that personally I was really, really choked about. Santa’s Secret is back for the winter; I think we just sold out of it scary fast online for BF/CM – but if we do something sale wise for boxing day this year it should still be around at that time!

Arby

I was a big fan of Gold rush, Coco-lemon thai, Jesse’s tea, Rooibos de province, Mullberry magic, Yellow dragon, spearmint, Movie night, and Countess of Seville. All my staples have been discontinued except alpine punch and coco chai rooibos.

Lexie Aleah

I was really hoping DT’s Eggnog tea would come back this year.

Evol Ving Ness

yeah, Gold Rush….

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for chiming in, Ms. Strange. Very informative and helpful.

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96

Opening the bag I get a roasty and sugary aroma. Reminds me a bit of kettle corn at the state fair. (In a good way) Brews a medium light orange, a bit lighter than the Rou Gui.

Very rich and thick in the mouth. Notes of rock sugar, caramel, minerals, roast, and flowers with a slight “green” quality. The floral note isn’t airy like jasmine, it’s more thick and heavy like bulb flowers; tulip or hyacinth. Besides sugar and caramel, the sweetness reminds me of a really good, really fresh, really sweet raw onion. That may sound like a turn off, but I mean it in the best way possible. This is a very nice tea, but not as much to my personal tastes as the Rou Gui.

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Mineral, Popcorn

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tanluwils

Nice notes. I’m also a fan of this vendor’s Rou Gui. And also the aged Tie Luo Han.

tperez

Thanks! The Rou Gui was excellent. I’ll have to order some of the aged Tie Luo Han next time.

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90

I’m getting to this one later than anticipated. What’s new, right? A couple months ago, I developed a plan to do a shootout of Toba Wangi teas, but I never got around to it and that bothered me. As tea producers go, Toba Wangi absolutely fascinates me. A newer producer, they have established two estates in West Java, one producing cultivars of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and one producing cultivars of Camellia sinensis var. assamica. While Indonesia is mostly known in the West for producing commercial black teas, Toba Wangi produces a range of high quality teas and is becoming increasingly known for their green teas and oolongs. Since I still had samples of a number of their teas, I decided to revive my Toba Wangi shootout idea last week. I then decided to limit myself to two teas and ended up selecting this tea (produced from the Gambung 7 cultivar of Camellia sinensis var. assamica) and a green tea made from a cultivar of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, for which I will hopefully be posting a review very shortly. What was the verdict? Both were winners.

I prepared this tea in my familiar, personalized version of gongfu style. I often do not rinse green teas, but opted to here. After a true flash rinse (literally water on, water off), I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves offered unique aromas of lemon, grass, and something of a restrained sheng-like funk. The rinsed leaves offered stronger lemon and grass aromas coupled with emerging scents of nuts, malt, and hay. A hint of grapefruit was just barely detectable, and of course, the previously mentioned sheng-like funkiness was still present. The first infusion brought out a hint of wood on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor expressed mild notes of lemon, nuts, malt, hay, grass, and a slight funk. Subsequent infusions brought out the grapefruit on the palate as well as notes of straw, spinach, seaweed, herbs, and pine. Clearly defined notes of chestnut, walnut, and beechnut appeared, and I also caught some interesting impressions of tart cherry, sour plum, lettuce, minerals, sorghum, and artichoke lurking around the fringes. The later infusions saw a pronounced increase in mineral presence. Rather faint impressions of nuts, malt, grass, lettuce, seaweed, and spinach were there too, as was something of a subtle funk.

I tend to like green teas produced from assamica cultivars and I also tend to like quite a few non-Chinese green teas. With the previously expressed tendencies in mind, it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed this tea as much as I did. It displayed considerable depth and complexity on the nose and in the mouth, yet it was never overwhelming or unapproachable. I find teas like this to be as fun and engaging as they are challenging and would have no issue recommending this tea to fans of traditional Yunnan green teas or green tea drinkers looking for something a little exotic.

Flavors: Artichoke, Cherry, Chestnut, Grapefruit, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Lemon, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Nutty, Pine, Plums, Seaweed, Spinach, Straw, Walnut

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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