5059 Tasting Notes

68

Usually I can’t do this one on its own; it’s just a bit too harsh and astringent for me, and the spice notes are REALLY prominent/drying. However, I think I may have stumbled upon a way to make that a lot less of a problem.

It really was a happy accident too; my mom was making herself a cup of tea and I asked her to make me one too. She was skeptical because she didn’t want to mess it up and not have it live to my ‘high standards’. I walked her through it though: 2 tsp of leaf, 85 degree Celcius water, for four minutes. She brought the cup of tea over to me, and I took a big, confused sip and went…

“This is really nice, but it tastes nothing like Jasmine Creme Brulee!?”

I had been picking a tea from her tea shelf, and I pointed to the tin of Jasmine Creme Brulee only she saw me point to the tin of Cardamom French Toast directly beside it. Easy enough mistake; I just wouldn’t have generally speaking used such a low temperature for this blend, which is a black tea. Had I know this is what she was making I would have said 95 degrees, or just under a boil.

I guess a lower temperature is EXACTLY what the tea needs to not come off as astringent to me though because this was blissfully smooth and sweet with brown sugar, custard, cream, cardamom, sweet lemon, cinnamon, and nutmeg notes! It actually really did remind me of French Toast once I wasn’t trying to mentally figure out why my Creme Brulee was so spiced/full bodied and weird.

Definitely, 100% noted – if I’m not adding milk I need to steep this at a lower temp for it to work out for me! Gotcha!

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.

Helena

A nice pleasant surprise. Mom refuses to make me tea anymore. Although she loves my Breville variable temp kettle for her hot drinks. It’s funny because she teased me about spending so much on a kettle…now I have to pry it away from her.

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84

Cold Brew.

- Buttery vegetal/grassy thing going on
- With lots of florals: peony/gardenia
- Garden snap peas; just slightly under ripe

It was 100% drinkable, but I didn’t love this cold brew. The mix of buttery vegetal elements and that much floral flavour was a little too cacophonous to be really good. One and not the other, sure. Just not super relaxing put together…

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85
drank Amethyst's Gold by 52teas
5059 tasting notes

I just realized this tea came out on my birthday…

That’s an arbitrary but kind of cool coincidence.

Anyway, I drank this one at work hot and Western style, but with a dallop of frothed up milk added to the top. It didn’t do a TON to impact the flavour of the whole cup, but the sips I took through that fluffy pile of frothed milk before I’d consumed it all were a little extra creamy, and extra smooth with an obviously different mouthfeel as well. The flavour of the tea was mostly vanilla; LOTS of vanilla. It was rich, it was creamy and it had a lovely sweetness to it as well. Weirdly, I also got a lot of toasted coconut flavour from this cup although I can’t even begin to guess where the hell that aspect was coming from. Huh; who knows???

Very pleasant cuppa though; I liked the touch of frothed milk.

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40
drank Mint Julep by Octavia Tea
5059 tasting notes

Cold Brew Sipdown (293)!

So, I started this one as a cold brew AGES ago, and then I kept putting off straining and drinking it because I really didn’t like the tea when I originally had it. So, I think it got like a six day steep? That must have been what it needed though, because last night this was cool, crisp sweet spearmint and hardly ANYTHING else. Like, maybe a bit of licorice root? But not a whole lot, and not much green tea either.

And that spearmint taste was GOOD.

Helena

Is Spearmint ever not good? If so I don’t want to know about it.

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85

So, I recently placed an Adagio order.

The main thing I was looking for was Jasmine Silver Needle, but since it had been a LONG time since my last order I figured I’d poke around and look at the new fandom teas since I’ve definitely joined some different fandoms since my last order. One big thing I noticed as different is that the site now offers fandom blends in sample sizes outside of the themed and featured “Fandom Samplers”. That’s new to me! Also, a big improvement I think – if I remember correctly last time I ordered I got the Hobbit sampler and then the other three teas I wanted to try I had to order in the 3 oz. size…

I’ve also tried enough Adagio blends at this point that I’m not just looking for fandoms I like or specific characters; a blend has to sound like it’ll actually taste good and the flavours will compliment each other for it to catch my eye too – and that’s how I wound up getting this Steven Universe tea over many of the others! Lets be real, Watermelon Steven isn’t exactly a character – it’s a cute/weird thing that essentially happens in one episode. I like that it’s loosely fandom though, and the flavour idea seemed pretty solid so I decided to give it a shot!

Actually? I think this is probably one of the better Adagio Fan Blends I’ve tried! I mean, reigning favourite is still Cara McGee’s The Woman BUT this is actually really pleasant, and I feel like it finds a good balance between both tea in the blends with accent ingredients that actually do something too.

The top note is Watermelon; a softer, mellow one with a touch of sweetness and a slight nip of tangyness, exaggerated by the tartness of a few other ingredients like the hibiscus, rosehip, and cranberry. I was worried the watermelon actually wouldn’t taste clearly like melon, but I’m pleasantly surprised that it does! The body is more a mix of fruit flavours: apple, cranberry and watermelon specifically. You can totally that the hibiscus, but in a pretty light and restrained way. I definitely wouldn’t call hibiscus one of the main flavours in this cuppa.

I found in that body sip/main flavour that’s kind of where the vanilla honeybush introduced itself: the sweeter, mellow apple/watermelon combo kind of gives way to this really quite delicate vanilla flavour in the transition of the main flavour to the finishing notes. I don’t think it packs a punch, but then again neither does Steven either. I like that it’s more delicate and then in the finish of the sip a little more fully realized alongside the woody/honeyed quality of the Honeybush base. It’s a nice way to end the sip, and keeps the blend from feeling overly fruity.

I think actually my favourite thing in the blend was the consistent undertone of rose, though! The floral flavour was a great tie in for the mixture of fruits and then the vanilla and honeybush. It’s not that they didn’t fit together on their own, but this made that blend seem a little more smooth and seamless. Ignoring the fact this tea is inspired by Watermelon Steven for a second; I also think that undertone of Rose kind of poetically parallels the character of Steven Universe as well. He is Steven; his own distinct being BUT his mother Rose Quartz will always be a part of him, and is essential to his character as well. This is just Steven Universe… but also watermelon.

ANYWAY! Overall? I’m impressed! Not just with the tea, but the tie in to the character as well – and with these Adagio Fan Blends I think you need both for them to be successful.

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80

While I have certainly tried different tisanes from Dammann Freres before, I’m pretty sure this is the first one I’ve actually purchased myself. I just don’t find them as unique or stand out as the rest of the teas they carry, typically – so I’d generally rather put my money towards other teas.

This one just caught my eye though; I’m a sucker for pistachio flavoured this and I was really curious how they were going to convey that pistachio flavour effectively in a tisane with A LOT of tart ingredients like hibiscus/rosehip (that often drown out other flavours) and no actual pistachio in the mix. The price wasn’t bad, so I figured I’d just find out…

I drank this one hot the first time around; but I feel like it’s much more suited for iced or cold brewed preparation – I was just too impatient to wait to try it as such initially.

- Very sweet strawberry; juicy AND tart
- Hibiscus-y undertones, as well
- It would be pretty generic if it weren’t from the pistachio
- It’s not SUPER realistic/natural tasting… but it is really present as a top note
- Kind of like a pistachio candy!?
- I wasn’t sure how it would work with the strawberry, but I actually like the two together

I’m actually surprised just how well the pistachio came through all things considered – and I bet if I did make it iced like I originally thought it would be suited for that the pistachio would be even clearer since there would be a lot less tart hibiscus flavour that hot brewing results in. Overall? It’s actually pretty good/unique!

Fjellrev

Ah, I had this one on my list mentally and wondered how tart the hibiscus would be.

Roswell Strange

Welp; I’m happy I could at least kind of answer that question for you.

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drank Sour Appletini by DAVIDsTEA
5059 tasting notes

We were sampling this one yesterday in stores, and I found myself constantly drifting over to the sampling station and slurping back tiny little sample cups of the brewed up iced tea…

It was weird though: every time I’d sip the sample cup down and just shudder and make some comment to the effect of “Ugh; that’s far too tart/sour!” but then half an hour later I’d go right back and do it all over again. This tea and I definitely have a love hate relationship.

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.

Fjellrev

You masochist!

Roswell Strange

Maybe a little bit.

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80

Drank this one last night before bed.

At a certain point, I almost forgot that I was actually drinking tulsi because this was so clove-like in flavour last night! Legit, my sister asked what I was drinking and I actually responded with “steeped clov- wait, no shit! It’s tulsi not cloves!”. She just shrugged; I’m sure she really didn’t care either way and was just making polite conversation.

I do really love this one though; it’s nice having it as a herbal/before bed option instead of all the really fruity herbals in my stash. It’s more ‘tea like’ in a way…

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCF9bm-vTqE&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=4

(I’m really into Foster The People’s new music!)

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90

Iced.

Really, really heavy on the buttery coconut notes today. In fact, that flavour was so dominant and in your face that literally everyone I shared this with today made comment of that – and between sharing sips with the not-boyfriend and my coworkers that worked out to, like six people!?

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77
drank Monochopsis by BlendBee
5059 tasting notes

Custom tea number three from BlendBee!

This was the only one I made with a honeybush/caffeine base – and interestingly, the package it shipped it actually has it marked as containing caffeine despite there being no chocolate/tea leaf in the blend. I wonder what the ingredient is that’s supposedly “caffeinated”? This was also sort of an experimental tea/idea – I wanted to convey an emotion/feeling rather than a specific taste or imagery. I also wanted that emotion to be something more… obscure?

So I went with Monochopsis, which is something I can related to a lot of the time. Basically, Monochopsis is “the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place”. So, lets get tasting!

- Feels accurate to the name
- The flavours are really nice; but without ingredients they’d be hard to place
- And a little… off beat? In a positive way. It works with the name meaning though!
- That said, the lemon/apple do come through distinctly to me
- And the whole cup has a very rich and distinct honey/caramel sweetness
- The honey feels VERY MUCH like the ‘honey flavour’ AQ2T uses…
- Getting to a point where I mentally compare flavours from different companies is odd
- The rest (coconut/elderflower/rosemary) all muddle in a unique way
- It’s hard to separate them from one another though
- It’s interesting, and one of a kind! I’m into it though!

This is one that I think I’d need to try several times to get a good hold on the flavour profile, but I am initially fascinated by it and I did enjoy the flavours – plus I think that idea of it not instantly ‘clicking’ for me does work with the whole goal of conveying that emotion/feeling rather than a specific, targeted flavour.

I’d be curious to try this sort of experiment again with a different type of emotion. Something either with more of a positive, happy connotation to it or maybe something more mellow, sad and melancholic.

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Profile

Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually four(ish) years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

My Goal for The New Year (2017) is to make time for at least one long, proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for. I can’t say I’ve been doing great staying on track with this resolution.

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additive. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, and honey, but only in moderation.

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, often Chai spices in general, overly vegetal or marine/seaweed, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

I also have a mild allergy to mushrooms! You wouldn’t think that’d be an issue when it comes to tea – but you’d be surprised.

Currently exploring/looking to try: Shou Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas!

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket

If you see me writing about sharing tea with any of them that’s what I’m talking about ;)

I also have two real life pets:

A skinny pig hairless guinea pig named Eilert, after Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler, and a fancy rat named Wasabi.

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.

The URL to my tumblr blog is: guyfierithirdandfinalantichrist

Location

Regina, SK, Canada

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