drank Honey Bee by DAVIDsTEA
6005 tasting notes

YES! A sipdown! From last year’s advent calendar, no less! I told my roomie that we should try and finish off all of our advent calendar teas before Christmas, as they’re getting a bit old… Luckily, I didn’t start buying a lot of tea until Jan/Feb (and even then, it was mostly DT, and not really a “lot” in comparison to a month or so later…)

Like any rooibos blend, this one really requires a fine filter. Unfortunately, I’m at work, and the only options here are a teaball with large-ish holes, a fine mesh teaball that would be great except for the fact that it has gaps between the two halves, and paper filters. I wasn’t thinking, and used option B instead of C, so am left with a cup full of tea bits. Oh well.

I like this one today better than I recall liking it last time. For whatever reason, it’s a little bitter (mate??), but definitely honey-sweet in aroma, and with a sweet-ish flavour that makes me think pollen. Also, there’s a hint of lemony citrus flavour, but just a hint. I don’t think I’ve ever tried pollen, so why I’m compelled to say it tastes like pollen, I have no idea. The honey/pollen flavour also remains after swallowing as a rather pleasant aftertaste. So, this blend is tasty enough, and I could see maybe dosing other blends with some of it, but I doubt I’d pick any more up (and no longer have any left).

I’d start an ‘advent calendar tea sipdown’ countdown, but I don’t know how many we’ve already finished! Hmmm, I should find that out. We’re probably done aproximately 1/3 of the tins, but some, like David’s Organic Breakfast, and the Japanese Sencha, are still very full, as we only drank them once…. More things to do with all that time I don’t have!

ETA: Second infusion was pretty unremarkable. Not bad, but not a great deal of flavour. Worth it if there’s no other tea around, but that’s probably it.

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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