4541 Tasting Notes

79
drank Vanilla Caramel by Bigelow
4541 tasting notes

So this one is something that I normally wouldn’t drink really but it was a gift from a coworker at DAVIDsTEA who had tried it at a hotel on vacation and really like it, so she brought a whole bunch home with her for the staff to try.

And on the note of it being something I wouldn’t normally drink…

So my coworker, Leah, was aware of the fact I don’t generally drink bagged tea anymore and she was actually super nervous about sharing a bagged tea with me. It just made me feel really reflective/introspective and put some things in a bit of a new light for me. I don’t even want to be the kind of tea drinker or perceived as the kind of tea drinker that is “too good for something”. That kind of superiority is exactly why people are intimidated by loose leaf tea, and sometimes even the tea community as a whole. I know that my personal experience has always been a positive one, but I understand why people are sometimes scared to take those baby steps into some of the more ‘hardcore’ facets of tea.

The fact of the matter is, you can be surprised by any tea and taste is totally subjective! So, while I fall into this trap myself a lot, a bagged tea can be as good or better as a loose leaf one and it’s worth the occasional “step backwards” to give one a try. And bottom line, friend/coworker took the time to share something with me because it made them think of me, and I am appreciative of that. I don’t ever want someone to be scared to share a tea with me because I’m “too good for it”.

And you know what? When I drank this one on the bus ride to work today it was damn good. Very creamy and rich, with soft vanilla notes and delectable caramel goodness. I was reeled in from my first sip, and you damn well bet I got every last drop out of that travel mug.

So thank you, Leah!

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79

Cold brew, and the final oolong from my oolong weekend.

I’n not really feeling this one tonight, which is odd because normally I really enjoy it. I’m wondering if maybe the reason it’s not vibing as well with me today is the weather? That seems like such a weird thing to be such a deciding factor in whether or not I’m going to enjoy a tea, but I’ve just become so accustomed to this being my rainy day/stormy weather tea that now that it’s just straight up snowing and cold it feels sort of like… c

Well, like cheating, I guess? To be drinking it, that is.

It’s also very floral tonight, and in a kind of fake-y way. So, probably going to dump out the bulk of the cold brew. It’s just not working for me tonight, and that’s ok. It’s just better to not waste my time with bad tea, is all.

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86

Thank you very much for the sample Veck!

I’m saving the bulk of the sample you provided to Gong Fu, but I brought enough with me to work today for a Western mug as well because I really just wanted to try one of the things you sent me in the Slack Secret Santa exchange, and this one fit my oolong themed weekend.

My coworkers got a good laugh over the name of this one; I had to give them a short run down and explain the name’s origin/that it’s based off an actual place and not just a silly sounding pairing of words…

Tasting notes I scribbled on my cup today:

- Smooth. Really smooth.
- Light to medium bodied
- Delicate floral flavour that reminds me a bit of lilies?
- Soft grassy undertones
- Stronger/more prominent honey notes

This was just delectable overall, and a real treat! Thank you Veck!

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drank Ruby Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
4541 tasting notes

First tasting note, but not my first time trying is so it doesn’t count for Project Tea Wall…

I’ve tried this once prior to this; just as a sample when I was in store the day it launched. I thought it was pretty good then, and picked up a small sample to try Gong Fu which I still haven’t done, but will eventually. Since I was drinking only oolongs today though I figured I’d try it hot in store today and give it more of a proper tasting.

- Sweet honey/nectar top notes
- Very mild roast overall, but it is still present
- Light to medium bodied
- Body of the sip has an array of fruit notes; red fruits, plum, and apple/quince
- Bit of a floral finish, which ties in to the natural floral quality of the quince
- Very smooth

All in all, I quite enjoy this one. In many ways it actually reminds me a lot of What-Cha’s Vietnamese ‘Red Buffalo’ oolong. There are a lot of shared tasting notes between the two…

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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This is the only tea I’ve had this weekend which hasn’t been an oolong, but we finally got it in store and since I’ve been waiting since the Feel Good collection was launched to try it I figured I could cheat on my all oolong weekend once and it’d be fine.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this one even before trying it; it’s a green tea, and one with ginger and licorice root which are all ingredients that I’m kind of ‘meh’ about at best. Plus, I don’t think it’s the most unique blend and with it coming out right around the time of the launch of Live Wire Lemon as a core tea I’m not convinced introducing another lemon heavy blend was the best game plan.

That said, when I tried this one today I actually found the flavour pretty agreeable. That is to say that while it wasn’t anything more than average, in my opinion, for a tea that utilizes so many ingredients I dislike it could have been much worse. The lemon is sweeter and not very acidic/tangy which I think is good. I like when lemon blends are sweeter and less on the sour/acidic side. Of course, the licorice root is responsible for quite a lot of that sweetness but even the licorice root didn’t come off as super cloying or unpleasant to me. As for the green tea, despite the fact that this has a green base and matcha in it I thought the flavour of both was really well hidden. So this could be a good green tea for people who don’t like green tea, such as myself. The ginger was softer than I’d expected, but still present.

Overall, like I said, it was sort of average for me. I want to describe it as a bit of a cross between The Buzz and Live Wire Lemon, but just marginally greener.

And now that I’ve tried the complete Feel Good Collection here’s my final scoring…

1. Moroccan Mint
2. Buchu Superfruit
3. Turmeric Glow
4. Zestfully Green
5. Cocoa Boost

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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57

Had this one tonight on shift.

I was really, really craving something creamy and I think of all the oolong options we have in store (since this weekend was oolong themed and that was all I was drinking) this is the creamiest one so it’s what I chose.

I’m still not thrilled about the level of added cane sugar in this one but I guess the good part about making my own tea on shift is that I can do my best to control the balance of stuff in the leaf I measure out. In this case, I just tried to get more coconut shreds/white chocolate pieces and the rolled oolong leaves that appeared to have the smallest amount of cane sugar sticking to them.

The tea was really good; very strongly creamy and with really solid coconut notes. I like that this blend has both the fresh coconut shreds and then toasted coconut as well. The combination of both creates a more more dynamic feeling coconut flavour. It was pretty sweet, but I think a lot better than it would have been otherwise since I was being quite conscious of what I had measured out to steep for this one.

Also, eating the coconut shreds out of the brewed up leaf is one of the best parts of this tea. They’re just so good. Right up there with eating the gooseberries out of Midsummer Night’s Dream after you’ve steeped the tea.

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.

Evol Ving Ness

Any idea of what type of oolong they are using in this blend?

Roswell Strange

Honestly, I’ve never payed close attention to it other than the fact it’s a rolled/balled oolong. But I’ll take a closer look my next shift (Wednesday) and see if I can visually identify it or if it’s specified on the back of tin label/insert.

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89

Tried this one earlier in the day at work as part of my oolong themed weekend!

I wasn’t totally sure what I’d think of this one given that it’s a mix of oolong and green teas but honestly as soon as I cracked open the package I was pretty won over. The aroma the dry leaf gives off is really fruity and sweet, with very plump strawberry notes. Like a strawberry shortcake kind of strawberry?

The brewed up drink is very good too. The strawberry really is the star here, and it comes off very fresh and well rounded/plump in flavour. In a way, it’s both candy like and like strawberries right out of the garden. The candy element is still that of a higher end strawberry candy though, or even candied strawberries themselves. The plum is light, and at first taste I didn’t notice it but the more you sip the more aware of its background presence you become. It compliments the strawberry well though, and I like the depth that it provides. I was thrown off, and had to check the ingredients like like three times though because I kept tasting watermelon notes alongside the strawberry. I still don’t entirely know where those are coming from, but I swear this is really melon-y in a very lovely, spring-like way.

The oolong is playfully floral and a hint grassy, and both of those elements go really well with the strawberry. I feel like I could be sitting in the middle of a park during summer and having the most lovely picnic, munching on fresh strawberries and sliced watermelon. It’s a very immersive flavour once you combine the added flavours and the natural notes of the base teas.

This was honestly stellar and something I would be interested in getting more of if I hadn’t just ordered like ten oolong teas/blends in the last week from two different companies. That’s going to keep me preoccupied for a while. I’m keeping this in mind for when I inevitably finish those though…

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Mmm, I do love me some Gui Fei.

In fact, I just ordered 50g more of it from Camellia Sinensis and at that point I hadn’t even tried the 50g package of this sitting on my shelf! So, I rectified that this afternoon and during a more mentally clear point in the day I steeped up a mug of it.

This was pretty nice Western steeped! Much like your typical/generic Gui Fei profile this had a lovely honeyed sweetness to the profile. I’d call it sort of light to medium bodied overall with a very soft, gentle toasty roasted flavour as the key/main background and supporting flavour throughout the sip. Otherwise, notes of honey, lemon water, and wood were present. Really smooth, and easy to sip. In fact, before I knew it the entire mug was already gone!

I want to clarify the lemon water note a bit better though. When I say lemon water that isn’t to say that it was a weak or watery lemon flavour but rather the smooth, crisp and refreshing lemon quality that lemon infused water has without any of the tartness/sourness or acidity. It was actually a really pleasant and enjoyable fruity note in this particular Gui Fei.

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88

Drank a mug of this in the afternoon when I was doing the ‘pizza waiting game’.

This weekend is ‘oolong’ themed, but like I mentioned in an earlier tasting note I’ve been feeling off today. In addition to a mix of mild physical issues like a headache, flippy stomach, and some cramps I’ve also been off and on disassociating all day. So I’ve avoided steeping Gong Fu and just stuck with Western cups.

Not going to lie, I may be having some issues with the disassociation right now as I write this tasting note. I’m trying to push through it though because actually physically typing out tasting notes generally helps me feel a lot more grounded and is relaxing for me. However, apologies if there are weird typos and such. Weirder than normal, that is. My fingers don’t really feel like my fingers at the moment…

But anyway! I made a big mug of this. However, I also made one for my roommate Trey because I thought that being able to drink something the same and at the same time as him would help me feel a little bit more connected/with it. It didn’t.

The tea was still really good though! Very smooth, creamy and warm caramel notes with a subtle hint of saltyness and overall umami flavour. The grassy notes of the oolong base still seem to feel a little out of place next to such a rich, smooth sweet note but I’m getting used to them. Plus, they’re not bad anyway. Just off?

This whole day has been off though, so it is what it is.

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80
drank Oolong Supreme by DAVIDsTEA
4541 tasting notes

First tea of the morning, with honey.

It was really interesting trying this one with honey – it kind of changed the flavour distribution quite a lot. Like, this was still very roasty/nutty but the sweeter, fruity notes of blend were really exaggerated and I got more of a brightness from the plum notes which I usually don’t. Other fruit notes too though; like apricot and nectarines! Very fascinating overall and really damn tasty. I’d very much like to try it again to see if this was a one off or if that flavour distribution could be recreated.

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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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 three(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 trained 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…

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

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger/“Chai” in general, overly vegetal or marine, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach

I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms; as such I do not drink Kombucha teas (just to be on the safe side)!

Currently exploring/looking to try: Straight Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

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

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

Website

http://sororiteasisters.com/a...

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