Featured & New Tasting Notes

74

Another tea from Amy. Thank you!
Honestly I was afraid of this combo, green tea, matcha, both quite delicate flavours. Maté, quite on the other side of the spectrum and grapefruit is somewhere in the middle. When I took the bag off, there was a pithy aroma of grapfruit peel and honestly I thought it was quite genuine and real aroma, however weaker than I have been expecting.

Brewed and used colder water (I assume around 80°C, maybe even less) than their recommended 100°C (212°F)! gave me bright green-yellow tea. It is quite similar to the hue on the outer wrapping of tea bags.

It has smelled wonderfully after grapefruit and in taste it was nice level of flavour of citruses. The maté was almost unnoticeable and sadly, the green tea was quite flat — which was expecting as it is a tea bag.

Now, I am craving grapefruit tea… any opinions?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 300 ML
TeaEarleGreyHot

I like grapefruit. I might like this tea!

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70
drank Serenity Now by DAVIDsTEA
13114 tasting notes

Y’know, I don’t really make Serenity Now very often…

My grandmother’s funeral was earlier this week, and of all the teas we sell at DAVIDsTEA this is the one that she liked the most. She was a big, big fan of lavender. So, it was on my mind this week and eventually I made myself a cup of it and as cheesy as this sounds given the name of the blend… I felt a sort of sense of serenity.

It’s a really balanced tea with notes of strawberry and currant, spearmint, and of course the lavender. A lot of flavours that come together in such a harmonious way. I think it’s always now going to have this familial connection and feeling to it, and I hope that gives me just another extension to ways I can honour and cherish my grandma’s memory.

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.

vallhallow

Sorry for you loss. I am glad you were able to have this moment and connection back to the this memory of her though.

Leafhopper

Sorry to hear about your grandma. It’s nice that this tea brings back good memories.

Mastress Alita

My condolences. I lost my grandma just last month; it is never easy. Keep cherishing those good memories.

TeaEarleGreyHot

It’s a wonderful way to remember granny, Roz, and I’m so glad it brought you serenity, too! Tea memories can be very potent. To this day, I drink Constant Comment by Bigelow and it brings alive pleasant memories of my mom, from over 40 years ago. Just one aspect of her at a long-ago point in my life, but still comforting. May you receive similar comfort from this Serenity tea for many years to come!

gmathis

So sorry to hear about your grandma. Peace and comfort to your whole family.

ashmanra

So sorry for your loss!

mrmopar

Sorry for your loss.

Michelle

Its the small, personal things that bring back the best memories, and I hope you have many good ones of your grandmother.

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drank Tangerine Twister by 52teas
215 tasting notes

I don’t think I made it clear (or at least, I don’t think I did) in my last tasting note that I’m combining the scavenger hunts for May & June in June – because I really didn’t have a lot of time to do many tasting notes in May. So, it may seem like I’m writing a lot more tasting notes this time (or – or I INTEND to do so) but it’s really a combination of two months in one.

Anyway, this tea is from this month’s list of scavenger hunt prompts: A tea smoothie. And while this isn’t technically a smoothie – it is the first of my “smoothie series” (with another to come this month!) so I’m going to say it qualifies. This is a blend that combines sweet Chinese Sencha with tangerines, strawberries & bananas, plus a hint of a “tangy creaminess” recipe of essences that I came up with to taste a bit like the yogurt (or Kefir) that I use for smoothies when I make them. (I usually use Kefir.)

I probably say this way more than I should, but this is one of my favorites that I’ve made this spring. It’s so tasty. You get the smoothness from the green tea base – together with my Kefir recipe of essences that provide a really lovely sweet yet tangy background for the flavors of strawberry, banana & tangerine. It’s sweet, fruity, bright and so refreshing.

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78
drank Honey Lavender by Pinky Up
1535 tasting notes

This has a pleasant amount of lavender in it so that the flavor comes through pretty clearly. I also definitely taste some honey. The rooibos base doesn’t have any negative or weird flavors. I’m drinking this with almond milk, and it all tastes pretty desserty and nice. Pinky Up doesn’t seem to make teas that are as complex or sophisticated as other brands, but I’m satisfied enough by this one.

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85
drank Huang Xiao by Czajnikowy.pl
337 tasting notes

Delicious and deep aroma of nuts and popcorn.
Very easy-going, pleasant taste with strong nuttiness, no sweetness, no astringency, no bitterness. Great tea, but hey, it’s yellow, it is supposed to be great.

Flavors: Nuts, Popcorn, Toasted Rice

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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I absolutely love this tea. As I mentioned in the tea description, my mom asked me to make a tea that tastes like the tea she would have as a child. Her grandmother would make her black tea flavored with some spices (my mom called it gramma’s “witches” brew) and then sweetened with peach preserves (rather than sugar).

So, I decided to make a tea inspired by that memory for a mother’s day gift for my mom. I chose a Fujian black tea that had a natural peachy flavor to it so I thought it would be a perfect base for this blend. It is such a lovely black tea – smooth and sweet. A really nice afternoon tea. Pleasantly warm spices & a sweet peach note. I love it!

ashmanra

That is an awesome gift!

52Teas

Thanks, she said she liked it! :)

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drank Cabaret by August Uncommon Tea
444 tasting notes

This is a tea from AJRimmer. I’m always excited to try an AU blend, they’re always interesting at the very least.

For some reason this one tastes like chocolate and banana to me. I don’t know if it’s because I let it get cold or what but how strange! I’ll certainly have to try this again and see if I get a more expected result

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89

Quick note-
I GOT THE PACKAGE FROM LEAFHOPPER!!!!!!!

It made my night after a tough day. I decided to sample this first, then Bok’s Lishan.

I will write more later, but this tea tasted very strongly like pineapple to me. It was more fruity in the earlier steeps than later ones gong fu shifting more floral. It does get sweeter, but sugarcane/almost gardenia sweet. The dry leaf is super complex in the smell, bordering on nutty and toasty, and the nuts was more prominent in the rinse and third steep.

Either way, this checks all my oolong lover boxes so far. I will go into depth when I’ve got more time.

Leafhopper

Glad you got the box so fast! I remember enjoying this one.

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I finally was able to get some photos taken & uploaded – including the picture for this tea. I realize that my website was becoming more “photo not available” than actual photos of tea – so that’s been fixed – not completely YET but some of the teas now have photos! yay! The problem is that I’m a terrible photographer, so I need to bug my youngest daughter (who is a really good photographer) to take pics for me and she isn’t always available to do so.

Anyway, this tea! I’m going to also categorize this as one of the June prompts “a tea that reminds me of myself” – and while this tea doesn’t fully encompass me – because I named it after me, I’m gonna use it as this prompt for the June Scavenger Hunt too.

This tea started out as a vanilla/marshmallow tea that I would have called the Scottish Marshmallow because it’s crafted with one of my favorite bases – the Scottish Breakfast Blend – to which I added vanilla bean & marshmallow root. But after taste testing, it just needed something else. And the first thing that came to mind is coconut. Because – coconut is one of my favorite things to add to a tea. So, I added coconut & was so happy & excited by the result. This is so delicious!

The black tea is so rich & flavorful & invigorating. This is not a tea to drink later in the day because it’s got some gusto to it. The vanilla & marshmallow add a nice sweetness & creaminess that compliments the coconut perfectly – but it’s the coconut that’s the real star here! A LOVELY coconut note to it.

And also, coconut – I’m pretty much “coconuts” – that is to say crazy – so the prompt of a tea that reminds me of myself – fits.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Malt, Marshmallow, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Blueberry Green by Harney & Sons
2757 tasting notes

June prompt – a tea smoothie.

I don’t think I have ever made a tea smoothie but I love making new beverages! Lately we have been enjoying orange blossom salted lemonade, as well as a rose version and a plain one. Orange blossom is our favorite!

For the tea smoothie I made blueberry green last night and put it in a glass jar to chill in the fridge. I added frozen blueberries, a banana, some ice, and a tiny bit of lemon juice. This was so delicious. It will not be the last tea smoothie.

Harney’s Blueberry Green was the perfect base for it, too. The blueberry flavor is so strong in it that nothing could damp it down. It is a bit like having an all natural Icee. Good on a hot and humid day like today, where two thunderstorms have already blown through.

Mastress Alita

I love using a really strong chilled Earl Grey in a berry smoothie!

ashmanra

I will keep that in mind!

mrmopar

I’m watching my blueberries grow!

ashmanra

mrmopar: sneak a few into a smoothie, but definitely make a blueberry buckle!

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85

I am really liking this. This white tea is strongly oxidized and the leaves are pretty red. There is a lot of sweetness and thickness, with bold foresty/swampy and fruity+vanillaish aromas that give this tea great depth and complexity. There is also a bit of that almost medicinal old book sweetness of aged white teas. Very comforting overall feel that makes this feel really nice in the body.

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90

Its been a while so I thought I’d add a new note. In fact its been a while since I had this one.

Nice body, not harsh in any way, there’s a sweetness to it at the end of a sip. Another one I really enjoy but tend to forget that I enjoy it way too often.

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81

I enjoyed this warm, but it was better cold. The green tea was mild, and there was a touch of cinnamon bark and berry. It has almost a baked flavor, but I didn’t get any cream cheese like others mention. It tastes very high quality and enjoyable. There’s some special flavoring in there that I can’t quite identify. This tea is far more subtle than the name would imply, but it’s still tasty.

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drank M. Tea. Hammer by Hella Tea
13114 tasting notes

I had an unfortunate accident with my tin of this tea while steeping it this afternoon. I unfortunately nudged it just enough off the edge of the counter to tip it over, spilling about a third of the tea all over onto the floor…

So, I’m definitely a little upset about that since this is such a delicious tea and Hella Tea has stopped shipping to Canada so I’m not exactly sure when I’m next going to have access to it. This mug was delicious though! The perfect mellow sweet watermelon notes with a hint of hibiscus. There’s something to the sweeter lingering notes that reminds me of cotton candy, and I have to say that I’m really into the idea of a watermelon cotton candy!

TeaEarleGreyHot

Roswell, your feline habits are costing you your tea stash! I can just picture you “nudging” your tea off the table with a soft furry paw…. tee-hee!

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51
drank Vanilla Bean Macaron by Tazo
102 tasting notes

I really, really like lemon glazed loaf, its close to one of my tea bagged teas which is nice because I can buy at the Target really close to me. So because of that I wanted to try the other teas in the tazo dessert delight collection.

Prep: Western
Tasting note: Its pretty bland in my opinion, the licorice root is kind of there and there is some vanilla notes but the black tea is not very good or interesting in my opinion. Will do my best to sip this down but it is not a priority.

ashmanra

I agree, it was okay but doesn’t compare with Glazed Lemon Loaf and I won’t repurchase.

gmathis

Agreed. I’ve got a few bags to go myself. I wonder how well it would latte up.

Roswell Strange

Personally, the Butterscotch Blondie is my favourite from this line. One of the best butterscotch flavours I’ve ever tried in a tea.

vallhallow

Good to know. I just order the Butterscotch one online since it wasn’t stocked in the store, I normally buy those tazos.

Maybe latte version of macaroon will be better?

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Geek Steep S2E25 – The Music of John Williams

So this was my selection for Marika’s final song selection which was the theme from Catch Me If You Can!

I had actually never heard this particular piece of music prior to the episode, but this is just another example of why I love doing this podcast so much because from the first few strings of notes I was immediately on board and in love with this song.

There’s such a distinctly different sort of feeling to this piece than any other of Williams’ compositions that we chose to cover. It’s very, very jazzy with this playful kind of “cat and mouse” feeling to the notes which of course makes a whole heap of sense given the context of the movie. However, I didn’t know anything about this movie before our recording so I really only had my untainted impression of the music to go on with my pairing.

With that in mind, what this made me think of was being at some kind of very trendy but still kind of jazzy and almost retro feeling cafe. The kind of cafe where people would go to drink really well made cups of coffee while listening to live music or really good slam poetry. People are probably sitting in the corners reading books of poetry or great literature, and there are maybe just as many couches and lounge chairs as there are little tables spread out throughout the space.

Like, it’s a distinct feeling.

This blend is a bit of a hodge podge of different tea types as it includes black tea, shou pu’erh, and hojicha as well! They all kind of just work perfectly together though, and create a very smooth full bodied cup with a gentle roasty quality and subtle earthiness. This foundation of tea bases is combined with what I believe is a gentle addition of coffee flavouring, and though I don’t usually mesh well with coffee flavoured teas I find the flavouring subtle and complimentary enough to be pretty enjoyable!

I really couldn’t think of a tea that fit better in the fictional coffee shop/cafe that this composition had painted in my head, so it was just the most obvious pairing for me.

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cd_GUG0LimV/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nv2S_S9MlU&ab_channel=BadBrain

Leafhopper

My inner word nerd is telling my inner tea hoarder that I must have this tea! However, I’m not sure the profile would be up my alley. Someone needs to make a line of teas named after punctuation marks. :D

gmathis

Ooh, I like that! Exclamation Point for your high-caffeine breakfast tea. Semicolon for elevenses or afternooners. Ellipses for herbal evening…

(Part of my Mother’s Day treat collection was a t-shirt that said, “Tea, Books, and Oxford Commas.” It’s still hanging on my closet doorknob so I can smile at it.

gmathis

oops. End parenthesis.)

Roswell Strange

All I can think of now is what an Ampersand tea would taste like

Leafhopper

That t-shirt sums up my interests nicely! :)

One of my favourite punctuation marks is the em dash. Maybe it could be a jasmine black since it’s a little pretentious but can pack a punch. The en dash could be a umami-rich sencha or gyokuro to maintain your focus while working with all those number ranges.

Leafhopper

Roswell, maybe an ampersand tea would have a very predictable two-ingredient profile like chocolate and orange, or it could be two really unlikely ingredients paired together. However, I know what a dollar sign tea tastes like and it’s Dayuling (or maybe Jin Jun Mei). :)

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86

καλημέρα. Good morning. In a few hours, I’ll be on a plane heading to Greece. But first, tea. Need something with good flavor and a slight punch but not too much. Woke up around five because the sun was peeking in our window and of course, my body was like, “The sky is awake, So I am awake.” _. This Jin Jun Mei has all the woody and earthy notes one could desire. Barely any astringency. A mix of oak and a bit of cedar. Wet forest floor with a bit of dryness on the tongue in the finish.

gmathis

Travel safely!

vallhallow

Enjoy your trip!

Skysamurai

Thank you!

ashmanra

Ooooo exciting! Enjoy, and safe travels!

mrmopar

Enjoy your trip. Sounds exciting.

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90

Can’t find this on their website but had to make a note because this is a wonderful tea. While I generally tend to not drink white teas, I’m starting to take more of an appreciation for them. This one has all the usual qualities in the aroma. Lots of barnyard notes. Strong notes of hay and summer out in the field. The flavor is a bit more subtle versus a Shou Mei. But not in a bad sense. It’s just not in your face; more like a gentle caress of the cheek. It is refreshing with woodsy and slight milky notes in the finish. No astringency. I am on my third steeping now and finding that the milky notes become more pronounced the further you dive in. Also slight sawdust The one other noticeable difference, from other white teas, right off the bat is the coloring of the leaves. Quite a bit browner with dark olive greens. I do love how long and beautiful the leaves are.

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I haven’t tried this hot yet, but my first overnight steep in the fridge was mighty tasty! No dried peaches in the ingredient list (papaya instead) and no outright mention of vanilla, but that’s exactly what it evokes: Mom’s white peach cobbler. No spicy ginger or cinnamon, just fruity and sweet.

Skysamurai

I find it so aggravating yet so intriguing that they can use different ingredients to make tea taste like different things.

gmathis

If it contained mango pieces, I’d be much less surprised—mangos and peaches are taste-alikes for me.

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drank Classic Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
13114 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

This is another one of the new cold brew teas from this summer! Honestly, this is the kind of profile that I was surprised that DT hadn’t explored in this format before. I’m really happy with final taste we landed on though! It’s incredibly smooth for a black tea without any astringency or bitterness at all, but still with solid body from the black tea. The taste of the lemon is very classic and traditionanal “RTD style” lemon that you might get from something like a Pure Leaf or Brisk lemon tea, but I think with a little more clarity to the lemon notes. A little sweet and very simple and straight forward.

I know that won’t be for everyone, but I don’t think you can argue that when you think of the standard iced tea available on grocery store shelves that a lemon black tea is almost always what pops into your head first. Like, we called this one Classic Lemon for a reason. It’s a staple flavour that is enjoyed by a whole lot of people across North America; and when it’s good it’s really good.

To me the obvious question about this tea is how it compares to Southern Lemon, which is another newly released tea from DT is also just a lemon black tea. Aside from the fact this tea is specifically intended for cold brewing while Southern Lemon was not developed with that style of steeping in mind, I would say that Classic Lemon is definitely the sweeter of the two. There’s no sweetener at all in Southern Lemon but there is a VERY LIGHT amount of stevia in this blend. Additionally, this blend is very round and “polished” tasting while Southern Lemon does have some faint astringency/texture to the mouthfeel and more body from the black tea and the lemon notes in that blend are a bit more like a lemon oil with more aroma compounds. So, they have some distinctions, for sure!

Personally, I do like Southern Lemon more just because I don’t mind that it’s unsweet and I’m at a point where I usually prefer at least a little astringency in my teas. However, I think the mood I would be when I would pull out this tea versus Southern Lemon would probably be really different, and so I’ve actually got both in my cupboard right now so that I can have that option situationally.

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CeW8dVruGun/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuxdtgSd5qo&ab_channel=SUSTO-Topic

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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80
drank Only Spices by Kusmi Tea
1535 tasting notes

This is mild and not spicy at all. I get a good deal of licorice flavor, and there are some other supporting spices. It tastes nice with or without milk. It’s pleasant and herbal, and I’d consider ordering it again. It’s a nice, mild herbal chai.

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I’d never heard of the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh until buying tea from Ketlee. It’s been fun to look at maps and read about the histories of all these tea-growing states within India. Arunachal Pradesh is a part of that northeastern appendage of India that is bridged to the subcontinent via a region in West Bengal bottlenecked by the countries Nepal and Bangladesh. Borders, arbitrary. It’s all a part of that swath of Himalaya mountain range.

This tea has similarities to black teas from other mountainous Himalaya regions like Nepal, Sikkim and Darjeeling. There’s no way I’d be able to differentiate where it was grown based on its characteristics. (How many of these other Himalayan teas are passed off as Darjeeling?) It doesn’t bare much resemblance to teas from Assam. That’s probably a result of variety, though — sinensis vs assamica.

Anyway, it’s a medium-oxidized black tea closer to the fuller end that has a soft aroma of cocoa-vanilla with a strong wafer component. The taste is tangy at first with a citrus tone, the experience mild, almost diluted using Ketlee’s gongfu parameters. Notes of toasted wheat bran, wafers, peach and chocolate. Juicy swallow gives way to a growing drying mouthfeel and a returning aroma. Second infusion has a more pronounced aroma with red cherry and peach balanced by rose and something spicy, leafy and sharper like marigold. Taste is about the same though turning toward dry leaf and hot hay. The tea just kind of fades out after several infusions.

It’s nice and delicate tea but for my preferences, I’m going to have to find some different parameters to draw out the qualities that Ketlee appreciates.

Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Citrus, Cocoa, Dry Leaves, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Herbaceous, Hot Hay, Juicy, Peach, Rose, Smooth, Soft, Spicy, Tangy, Vanilla, Wheat

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML
ashmanra

Wait, is Darjeeling from Sinensis sinensis and not Sinensis assamica?

derk

afaik from my armchair in america

ashmanra

Google says it is! Why did I pigeonhole all Indian as Assamica?

Martin Bednář

Now I want to try a little of this! And then more, and more, and more… Saving it into wishlist and… let’s check Ketlee.in teas. However, it is outside the EU, darn.

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drank Rose Truffle by Arthur Dove Tea Co.
1549 tasting notes

Sipdown. I’ve been so busy and stressed getting ready for an upcoming show I have a booth at. Well, busy getting ready and busy avoiding working on things until the last minute. I drank through the last of this unceremoniously. I had been turning to it more and more over the past couple months, even craving the flavor without recalling what tea it was I was thinking of at first. I hope they blend this again sometime because I’d love to have it back in my cupboard.

Skysamurai

ooo! What do you sell? Craft fairs and the such can be stressful I definitely feel you!!!

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