1108 Tasting Notes

80

Stopped in for an in-store sample and they were serving this up. I had it at another DTs store earlier in the week. The experience in both stores was slightly different. It was a question of the hibiscus. In one shop, today, the hibiscus was a heavy note, but not as heavy as some generic DTs herbal blends.

I find that there are about twenty or so DTs herbals that taste pretty much the same to me. This one is not one of those. It must be the yogurt making the difference here. I find it to be delicious. In fact, I want some.

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80

Given the various shuffling around DTs has done with its Frequent Steeper program, I wasn’t sure whether the birthday cups of tea were still offered. I have not been patronizing DTs much since their boom of imitation flavours and massive sweetener additions to the dry leaf itself. Not to mention the dramatic price hikes—ouf! The overhaul of the FS/ loyalty point program was the nail in the coffin for me, so to speak. I was done.

I still go in to try samples of what is steeping because I remain open to being convinced that they are offering something for someone like me and because generally speaking, I like a lot of their staff, but as a blender/company, what they are doing is not something I am interested in supporting.

Nonetheless, I popped in to see if there was still the FS birthday free cup of tea for me as I am still celebrating my birthday month. And yay, there was.

I chose this one because frankly, it is the only one of theirs that am curious about. And a tea fren was kind enough to send me a What-Cha sample of the same which I look forward to exploring this week.

My lovely DTs server was kind enough to pop my teaspoon of tea into a teabag and into an empty cup for me so that I could steep it up at proper temperature and enjoy it at home rather fight my way through rush hour traffic on public transit with a dripping teabag hanging out of a paper to go cup. Good choice that was.

This tea truly is intoxicating in both scent and flavour. I am on my fifth steep. The sweet sticky rice and the floral oolong flow into a lovely balance of flavours. I predict that I can still get three more flavourful steeps out of this. Let us see.

edit—Yup, still flavourful at eight steeps. Very much enjoyed this one.

I’d like to have this in my cupboard and would if the price were not so prohibitive. Still, it was nice to have the opportunity to spend my day with this.

I would rate this between 90 and 100 based on taste and sipping experience, but based on price, I am lowering that rating.

Just went on their website to check prices and this tea is no longer listed, so I guess they are phasing it out, but based on their other oolongs, 100 grams of this tea would be between 20 and 22 dollars plus tax, so something along the lines of 25 dollars (which for Americans, is approximately 3.5 ounces).

Oh, and it’s a sip down!

Lexie Aleah

I’ve been wanting to order this tea from them for quite sometime now. I definitely need to just do it and not think about. It looks like it’s not available anymore I could have sworn that it was there on Friday.

Leafhopper

I haven’t tried this oolong, but have been meaning to order What-Cha’s version for a while now. Maybe next year when my stash is under control (if that ever happens)!

CrowKettle

Argh, David’s Tea, you break my heart! I was going to take advantage of their Black Friday sales but it looks like my old staple favourites were axed at some point. This sounded like a winner too!

Evol Ving Ness

I know, right? If you were to pop into a store near you, I’m sure they would still have some on hand.

And someday, when my stash is under control, ha! yeah. A familiar refrain.

Arby

I actually liked this sticky rice oolong more than What-chas. Crow Kettle, I haven’t sent your samples to you yet, so I’ll add in a sample of this. I got a bag of it as my free tea for using my reward points.

CrowKettle

That sounds wonderful! I heard this one is lighter/actually has the herb leaves too.

And I will check if they have any left if I’m near a store. They still have the nostalgia factor; I’ll probably end up with another mug XD

The stash self-perpetuating.

Roswell Strange

I think everyone who’s commented in this thread knows this already, but just in case I’m just popping in a disclaimer that I currently work for DAVIDsTEA. That said:

Sadly, this one was only released as a limited edition tea and stores are no longer being supplied with it – but some stores, like mine, do still have some; it depends on how popular it was at their respective stores.

I totally hear you on the price thing; with staff discount this one was a better deal for me to stock up on than the What-Cha version but if you don’t get a killer discount like I do than the What-Cha version is actually much more affordable apart from the fact you’re paying shipping. But I mean, if there’s other stuff you’re ordering from What-Cha than it’s totally worth it, imo. Or if you’re not near a DT and would have to order online anyway. Plus, What-Cha carries their’s year round…

Main differences between the two blends are that DT’s has the “stick rice leaf” mixed into the tea as well (which is why we don’t class it as a scented/straight tea) which in theory should mean that it has a stronger rice flavour than What-Cha’s, which is only scented. Personally, I actually thought that What-Cha’s version was more rice heavy in flavour though. So I mean, depending on how strong a rice taste you actually want from the tea that could end up being a good or a bad thing for you.

Out of curiosity, CrowKettle which teas do you think were discontinued that were favourites? I can tell you definitively one way or the other!

CrowKettle

I was one of the oddballs that liked Jesse’s Tea and Dulce Banana (that last one was ages ago). Also, Gold Rush and Coco-Lemon Thai. But I probably spoke to hastily; there’s a few that would get me back in store- and if Santa’s Secret was available on the web for Black Friday Sunday sales I probably would’ve placed an order! <.<

Lexie Aleah

I have a brand new bag of unopened Jessie’s Tea if you’d like to trade. I accidentally bought it again when I did not like that tea.

Roswell Strange

Crowkettle – ah, yeah – sadly those ones have definitely all bit the dust. Gold Rush is one that personally I was really, really choked about. Santa’s Secret is back for the winter; I think we just sold out of it scary fast online for BF/CM – but if we do something sale wise for boxing day this year it should still be around at that time!

Arby

I was a big fan of Gold rush, Coco-lemon thai, Jesse’s tea, Rooibos de province, Mullberry magic, Yellow dragon, spearmint, Movie night, and Countess of Seville. All my staples have been discontinued except alpine punch and coco chai rooibos.

Lexie Aleah

I was really hoping DT’s Eggnog tea would come back this year.

Evol Ving Ness

yeah, Gold Rush….

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for chiming in, Ms. Strange. Very informative and helpful.

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100

I am bumping this one up from 80 to 100 because I have really been enjoying this over the past couple of weeks since I have rediscovered it, despite its age.

The roast sweet potato is present, even with slight caramel shadings to add the perfect level of sweetness. The smoky note is barely there, just enough to add oomph.

My last few cups of this have been perfect—both at home and travelling out in the world.

Well done, A Quarter to Tea.

And it’s a sipdown!

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drank Celebration by THE O DOR
1108 tasting notes

The plan is to get a bit more in gear with my samples that tea friends have so generously shared with me. It’s been a while.
I started my day with this one.

Honestly, this one is a dead ringer for Marco Polo Blend by Capital Teas Ltd. Vanilla, nut, nice base.

Thank you, Sil.

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80
drank Banana Split by DAVIDsTEA
1108 tasting notes

There seems to be far too much rooibos in my stash for a sane person. This one jumped out at me when I was looking for something to steep when I came home after a busy day out in the world.

Not all that busy, really. But yesterday was a fiasco with baby next door screeching throughout the day, and night, of course, and I really needed to get away in case today was going to be an encore performance. After all, it is not healthy for me to be cursing my neighbours up and down for most of the time that I am in my home space. Spending too much time around the shrieks next door sours my attitude. To life, in general. So, I am making efforts to be and stay positive, whatever it takes.

Today, this seems to be working.

Tea’s good. Has more of an imitation note on the tail end of the sip than I remember from previous sippings, but there’s banana and there’s chocolate, so yay!

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90
drank Gingerbread Chai by 52teas
1108 tasting notes

Random thoughts.

This baby next door is killing me. Shut up already. From 6 am, relentlessly.

And if I seem to be unaccommodating, let me mention here that baby has been waking me up three or four or more times a night, every night, for well over a year, with constant intervals of shrieking and wailing throughout the day. In addition to the night.

And then there are the entitled parents with their lack of consideration in other respects.

And yes, I have tried ear plugs. Three different kinds. And white noise. And both together.

So, tea. Strong tea.

This is one of my favourite chai blends. The spice mix is just the thing, with ginger dominating, but only slightly ahead of the others. The base quality, to my mind, is perfect. The base to spice ratio is ideal.

Chai blends are distinct from other teas in that when I am in the mood for chai, nothing else is quite the same. I think it might be a plan to keep my chai blends all in the same place so that I can scan and choose quickly when the mood hits, as it often does in these cold days.

And finally, as it almost the end of the year and Black Friday fever has us is its full grip, this year, not only am I going to keep tabs on purchases and sip downs, but I plan to measure them against each other to have a better understanding of tea mountain.

Having said that, this past year, there were four whole months in which I made no tea purchases. Shocking, yes, shocking, but true. Go me!

The other months, however, I more than made up for my abstinence.

“Shuuuuuuuuuuuut uuuuuuuuuuuuup,” I just bellowed, and now, for the first time in hours, there’s peace. For now.

Arby

I want to move to an adults-only private community some day for exactly this reason. I don’t like hearing children, they are loud and don’t care about anyone around them. I currently live near an elementary school and I yearn for a day when I can go a whole morning without screaming and shouting. I live right next to the pathway that everyone walks on to get to the school, so I feel your pain. Luckily I don’t have to hear them at night like you do.

Evol Ving Ness

I used to quite like children. And possibly still do, for limited periods of time.

However, on the other side of me, is a single mom with four children who I have had to put up with since they were all about two and three. Their mother’s child rearing approach has been to let them invite five to seven friends over and let them all loose outside. She would then go smoke something or go have a drink or two with her friends while the children screaming would be left to me and my windows. Thankfully, the kids there are now teenagers, so in an era of new types of trouble.

Like you, Arby, I live near an elementary and a middle school with the shrieks and the fighting and so on throughout the day.

And now, there’s this screaming baby and her older brother.

Yeah.

Years ago, I used to go to adult-only Caribbean resorts to get away. Paradise.

Adult-only might be the way to go.

Evol Ving Ness

But then, adults have their own issues too, of course.

Arby

But at least in adult-only resorts you don’t hear shrieking. haha I need to go to the Caribbean and have some mojitos on the beach with no children screaming. That sounds lovely.

Indigobloom

What if you got some audio of a vicious snarling dog, and blasted it on high whenever the kid starts wailing. Could be fun :P

Evol Ving Ness

hahhaahhhahaa! brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

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Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating this weekend!

We here, of course, had our Thanksgiving quite some time ago.

Pumpkin season continues for me still.

A lovely blend, this one. A beautiful pumpkin spice medley. This cup tastes heavily of allspice as there was one whole one in my spoon of leaf. And a bit of cookie too if I squint.

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100
drank Chocolate Éclair by 52teas
1108 tasting notes

I had an appointment with my doctor today and brought this tea with me for that little bit of pampering and all is right with the world-ness. My doctor is lovely, but one never knows what kind of stressful thing is going to come up in these visits.

Tea helps, of course, for fortification in the midst of too much reality.

This tea is gentle and delicious. Subtle chocolate and a bit of pastry.

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80

And I seem to be moving through this tea at an astonishing pace.

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Profile

Bio

Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Location

Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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