618 Tasting Notes


Trying to catch up a little bit here… I know I’ve had this one before, but it’s been a while so I’m interested to see if my tastes have changed. This tea smells of sweet banana.. it reminds me a little bit of David’s banana oolong only without the oolong base.. but the banana softness is the same. Sipping… well, I think I should have added more than the recommended amount of “leaf” as it’s a little bit on the weak side. For me, it’s a very weak banana flavor with a mixture of other things in the background that I can’t really pull apart. There isn’t anything gross in this blend, it’s just uneventful. I also wish that there would be less of that oil slick character, but I suppose that can’t really be avoided given the ingredients.

Day 5 of 2015 Advent Calendar

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I’m a bit behind on my advent calendar days.. I should be able to start catching up more on Thursday. I was a little hesitant to try this one as I’m not wild about almond flavor… Or at least I have to be in the mood for it. The scent of this tea reminds me of an almond cookie.. Really spot on! It smells quite sweet in the cup.. almost like almond frosting. Sipping… I like this more than I thought I would. The almond flavor is just as you’d expect.. Just like a cookie but without that crunchy, starchy character. It’s a little weird with the green tea as a base as the green tea adds a mild grass flavor. I would think that it would’ve worked better with a different tea, but I’ll finish this cup as I’m liking the almond flavor for tonight.

Day 4 of 2015 Advent Calendar

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I’m excited to see an unflavored tea for today’s tea.. After the last two being too artificial, I’m ready for something a bit more.. plain.

Sipping… well, plain is definitely what I’m getting with this cup. I think I almost get a little bit of raisin at the beginning, but it quickly fades. The rest of the cup is very… basic and reminds me of a generic black tea bag. I almost get a bit of cardboard, though it’s not as bad as other teas with this quality. I think this tea would be yummy with the addition of milk or sugar. It reminds me of a tea that should be used as a base for other flavors since it’s so plain and nothing shines.

Day 3 of 2015 Advent Calendar

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drank Mango Madness by DAVIDsTEA
618 tasting notes

I was pleased to see yet another tea I haven’t tried before in this calendar. I do like mango, but haven’t really found a tea version that I love… to be honest, I like the actual fruit much more than mango flavored things. I’m actually smelling more citrus than mango once the tea has steeped and it’s on the verge of being medicinal, too. Eh.

Sipping… hm, I was expecting this to be much more bitter, but it’s surprisingly smooth and thick on the tongue. I taste a bit of the white tea base… plain, slightly like hay and maybe a tiny bit fruity. I also taste orange and mango, but it is on the artificial side and it reminds me a lot of liquid Motrin. I’m disappointed because the mouthfeel is quite nice.. but it’s just too artificial and strange for me.

Day 2 of 2015 Advent Calendar

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drank Sleigh Ride by DAVIDsTEA
618 tasting notes

This tea never really interested me when I saw it on the DAVIDsTEA website.. I just had a feeling I knew what this would taste like and unfortunately, I was right. This cup brewed up a dark pink, reminding me a lot of Forever Nuts. I couldn’t really taste anything that significant.. maybe a little bit of apple and hibiscus.. maybe a tiny bit of almond? For me, this was just a hot cup of fruitiness with nothing that makes it particularly special or wintery. Darn.

Day 1 of 2015 Advent Calendar

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I’ve had quite a few cups of this tea and I found the first few to be very confusing.. but now I feel like I’ve developed a reasonably solid opinion to write a review.

The first times I had this tea, I was expecting there to be a lovely french toast flavor just bursting with each sip. The first thing that I noticed, though, is the rather prominent floral note. It’s a vague and soft background for what should be french toast and I can see how this tea would be a nice base for flavoring in general.

Behind the flowers, I honestly just taste a smooth chocolate and vanilla combination. Both are so light, though, and I just want something stronger to push it over the edge.. to make it really delicious.

I do like this tea and enjoy having it in my collection since I don’t have anything else like it. Despite having experimented with this tea at higher and lower water temperatures, I just can’t get any french toast flavor or really anything that resembles it… disappointing.

Liquid Proust

Just wanted to check up and see if this still has the floral notes for you. It confuses me, but you and one other person said it so I must investigate!

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drank Snow Day by DAVIDsTEA
618 tasting notes

Not sure if I’m ready for winter yet if I’m honest. I am quite excited for the limited edition and festive holiday teas, though! This one caught my eye because of its herbal base and combination of chocolate and peppermint. I also think the snowflake sprinkles make a cute addition to the blend.

The scent of this tea isn’t that different from other peppermint and chocolate blends I’ve had in the past. It’s a very earthy, minty and sweet scent.. I’m already expecting those familiar flavors to come rushing back. Sipping… wow! I didn’t think that the peppermint would be nearly that strong. It’s certainly got that sinus-clearing strength. The peppermint slides quickly into a sweetness that reminds me of licorice or perhaps stevia without a funny aftertaste. The end of the sip is where the chocolate comes out.. I do detect just a wisp of white chocolate with a thin mouthfeel.

While I do think that this blend is a great addition to a winter collection, the peppermint is too strong for me.. and the sweetness from the peppermint takes over the cup. I would have liked the chocolate to be a bit stronger and creamier as well. If you enjoy peppermint, this is definitely a blend to try this winter.


I’m never ready for winter!


Winter :(. Snow :(

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drank A Li Shan by Tao Tea Leaf
618 tasting notes

[Backlog] – I find myself reaching for hot teas despite the rising indoor and outdoor temperatures. Iced tea certainly has a time and place, but for me, nothing can replace the comfort of a hot cup of tea. I tend to drink black or darker teas in the morning and follow them with greener, lighter teas in the afternoon and evening.

The beginning of the sip reminds me a little bit of sweet butter with corn. It quickly changes into something more floral, but lingers around just long enough to keep me interested. The rest of the sip is very green, almost a bit earthy. Flowers are still quite prominent and the buttery corn is nowhere to be found. I don’t detect a whole lot of fruit as the description mentions.. mostly leaves and flowers. I think that I’d like this cup more if it had creamier, fruitier elements. I do enjoy a floral oolong, but I suppose that I have to be in the mood for it.

This is a very nice choice to drink during the summer. It has a satisfying richness, but is still light enough to sip into the late afternoon or early evening. This tea would be a good choice for someone’s first oolong. It gives you a little bit of everything – flowers, earth, a hint of creaminess – without sacrificing body or the cup as a whole. I like that no single flavor takes over, but that they all contribute something, leading to a very balanced cup.

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drank Gold Rush by DAVIDsTEA
618 tasting notes

[Backlog] – I was very surprised to open up the pouch of this tea to see large chunks of coconut and huge mulberries! Where’s the white tea? There are a few leaves in there, but it’s mostly coconut and mulberries. The scent of this blend is quite interesting, as well. It smells sweet, tart and a bit like juice. I’m starting to think that this might be a good blend for those who don’t like the taste of tea, but maybe the white tea will come out more in the flavor.

Wow, I wasn’t expecting this blend to taste like this given the ingredients! It’s certainly sweet and a bit creamy. I definitely see the comparison to caramel, but a version that has a tinge of fruit. The finish reminds me of almost burnt, crusty sort of sugar. Yum! I wish that the cup had a bit more body only because I think it would make it a richer treat, but it’s certainly drinkable the way it is.

I would recommend this blend for anyone who is looking for a unique, sweet tea. To be honest, I can’t really taste any of the white tea and wouldn’t know of its inclusion had I not read the ingredients list. I might try to fish around in the pouch to see if I can gather more leaves. I’m not missing the flavor all that much, but I’m not sure if the tea is worth the price given the large volume of coconut and mulberries.

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[Backlog] – I adore Jin Xuan oolong teas. If you find the right one, you can get everything from leafy and green to peachy and creamy flavors in just one cup! Plus, the leaves are usually champs with resteeping so you do get more cups of tea for your money. This particular Jin Xuan is natural, according to Tea Ave, and lacks any sort of artificial flavors or additives. I don’t mind a flavored oolong tea, but there is something so beautiful about a natural oolong that can offer such an incredible range of flavors.

These tea leaves produce a lovely golden cup with just a hint of green. The first sips offer beautiful milky notes which linger and softly transition into a leafy finish. I also taste salted sweet cream butter and just a hint of mango. There is a slight drying sensation on the tongue, but the lovely creamy start keeps you coming back for more. Oh so delicious!

I can definitely say that this is one of my favorite Jin Xuan oolongs I’ve tried. It’s creamy, sweet and milky – just what I needed! I have a feeling that further infusions will bring out even more interesting flavors, but I will have to save that for another time. If you’re looking for a natural Jin Xuan oolong, this is a great place to start. It’s certainly worth the price, plus Tea Ave’s packaging and presentation are simply wonderful.

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Tea (& Coffee) lover. Bookworm.

Favorite teas: Milk Oolong, Flavored blends, Dessert teas, Creamy Teas, Rooibos, Oolong, Black, Green
Dislikes: Spices, Peppery flavors, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Mate, Puerh, Chai, Ginger

My Rather Picky Ratings
90+ – Reserved for the very best! Always in the cupboard!
80-89 – Quite good! A very pleasing cup.
70-79 – Room for improvement, but not bad.
60-69 – Mediocre.
50-59 – Bad. Will not purchase.
49 & below – Depending on the more specific rating: Undrinkable. Yuck. Will not purchase.

Note: Teas in my cupboard are all of the teas that I’ve logged, regardless of their current presence in my actual cupboard. For an updated list on what teas I have available for swap, check out the swap thread and not my cupboard! Thanks!

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