620 Tasting Notes
Honestly I never knew what to make of this. I have no knowledge of tamarind outside of this tea, and it’s just such a unique flavour that I have no idea what else I would compare it to. It’s earthy, a little sour, and has hints of caramel which only really pop when sweetened. It sounds like this is pretty accurate for what the concept of this blend was going for though, so I guess that’s a plus. It’s not a flavour I would really crave or actively choose often, but as I’m sipping on it it does grow on me. It’s much better sweetened than plain. This final cup is cold brewed, because it’s named ‘pop’ and that’s something you drink cold. I do think I prefer it this way. It’s less fruity, more earthy, and still a little on the bitter side, which surprised me because it wasn’t steeping for that long. I think this might be part of the ‘tamarind’ flavour, though, so I’ll give it a free pass on the bitterness. Again, not my favourite, but a super unique tea I’m happy to have tried.
ohhh myyy godddd.
I love this tea. Honey, nuts and cinnamon are all things I love, so it’s no surprise that I like the tea when those flavours dominate the cup. It really is reminiscent of a baklava! There’s a hint of apple and cardamom towards the end of the sip and even though I don’t like cardamom as a general rule, here it adds to the overall profile rather than detracting from it. It’s definitely a busy tea with a lot going on, but I’m okay with that. This is going to be a short tasting note because I find myself wanting to gulp the tea down and savour it without really thinking about separating out the flavours and breaking down the experience in my head. It’s really, really good though. This is probably one of my favourite DAVIDsTEAs, and one I would stock up on if I could. If my boyfriend and I ever make it to Canada (it’s a big trip for us and will be a few years from now in all probability), I might try to find a Davids to stock up on this and Pumpkin Chai.
Sad sipdown 231/400.
I accidentally way over sweetened this tonight (experimenting with golden syrup) but it’s still delicious if a little sickly. This is one I really will miss. It’s a perfect herbal for when I’m craving dessert late at night. I honestly don’t think I have anything else like this in my cupboard, and it’s a gap I will try to fill.
This is so much better now I’ve been steeping it at a lower temperature. I’m almost sad to see it go! But the last of this is being sent out to fellow tea friends who might appreciate the chance to try it. It’s so good when you get it spot on, but it’s a very temperamental tea and I’ve struggled to hit that sweet spot with it reliably, so even though it’s one of the best first flush Darjeelings I’ve tried, I wouldn’t actively seek out a new harvest. If I were already placing an order somewhere and saw that they also stocked this tea, I might be tempted to pick up a small amount to compare harvests though. That’s kind of high praise for someone as ambivalent about Darjeelings as I am.
Even though I’m not the biggest green tea fan, I think there’s too little of it in this blend. The majority of the blend is made up of rice, so the cup turns out a very light colour with light toasted rice flavour and not much backbone. It’s not a bad genmaicha though, just not really my thing.
After the Puerh I had this morning I wanted something lighter that wouldn’t sit so heavy on my stomach, so plumped for this paired with some fresh strawberries. It’s not my favourite tea ever but it’s a nice calming tisane. Only a slight hint of hibiscus makes it tart without being overly sour, and the chamomile, mint and lemongrass make a nice herbal combination. I’m not one to choose teas based on their purported health benefits, but it’s nice to have something like this in to settle my stomach when I feel like I need it.
Mystery tuo cha which either came from KittyLovesTea or the EU TTB some time ago. I did have it saved in my cupboard as something else, but when I went to log it realised that that was a sheng and this is a shou. So, this really could be anything, but at least it’s still technically a cupboard sipdown? The wrapper is blank, totally white, and the only label I have to go off is my own writing which says ‘Xiao Tuo Cha’. Totally helpful. I’ve searched the database and unsurprisingly had no luck. The tea I originally has it saved as was by Wan Ling Tea House, so I guess there’s a change it could be from them.
The first 5 steeps were very mild, vanilla-light steeps with sweet caramel and floral tones. After the fifth steep roasty and woody notes crept in, and after the 8th steep the more typical damp and leathery notes began to appear with a building smokiness. I would say that these middle steeps were my favourites. Up until then I was really surprised by how light, floral and sweet this sheng was. I did short steeps of a few seconds for around 12 steeps, at which point the tuo was fully broken up and each steep began to taste the same. At that point, I did one long steep of around two minutes and filled a mug, rather than steeping it out. I think if I did continue I probably could have gotten a good 20+ steeps from it. I was actually really pleasantly surprised by this unassuming little tuo which has been hanging out patiently in my focus box for pretty much years now. I wonder if I’m finally getting a better appreciation for puerh, or if this was just a really good one? Rating around a 77.
I cold brewed the last of this, mostly because I prefer root beer teas iced over hot, but also because I wanted to see if out brought out the more delicate vanilla or butter flavours, since I couldn’t taste them at all in the hot version. It didn’t. If anything this is more of a one-note flat root beer than ever, with the black tea and the chicory root not coming through like they were in the hot brewed cup. I still prefer it iced though, just because root beer and hot tea don’t go together very well in my brain.
I didn’t have quite enough left for a whole cup of this on its own, so I mixed what was left with the Cream of Earl Grey resteep of this morning’s leaf. It was actually pretty good! The vanilla was less overpowering mixed in with this tea, and this tea was less underwhelming with something else added to it.
I loved this tea when I first got it. I’m still a huge fan of EGCs in general. I don’t know what’s happened between then and now, but this is just too strongly vanilla and artificial tasting for me now. The vanilla is creamy and almost custardy. The flavour itself is delicious. What I don’t understand though is how it can be so strong – I swear, it’s stronger than it was back when it was fresh! Maybe it’s just held up really well, and I’m used to drinking old, faded teas now?! The bergamot has definitely faded quite a lot, so that it’s mostly custardy sweetness with a slight hint of citrus whispered in the background. Perhaps the reason the vanilla is coming across as so strong is that the bergamot isn’t really there to balance it out any more. I still enjoyed my mug, and I think vanilla fans would really like this one, but since it’s not a flavour I enjoy unless blended with other, stronger flavours I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d expected to. My rating reflects how I felt about this when it was fresh, and I was head over heels with my first sip. Maybe it’s for the best this way, since I can’t get DAVIDsTEA over here – it’ll be easier to say goodbye.