76 Tasting Notes

86
drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

Sometimes I wonder why I even consider buying more expensive “artisan” straight teas from other brands — unless I’m drinking two straight black teas side-by-side I find them really hard to differentiate (obviously I can tell the difference between a Red Rose and a mid-range breakfast blend, but I digress). I managed a DAVIDsTEA a long time ago and I made my staff do regular straight tea “tastings” to keep our tastebuds up to speed, and I suppose the many years that have gone by between my last “tea tasting” are catching up to me.

This is a nice throwback to when my assistant manager at the time would be asked to recommend a straight black — she would always enthusiastically point out Nepal Black, and for good reason! The tea isn’t too astringent, is hard to oversteep, and has some gorgeous honey notes. It’s a little chocolatey and little sweet, but is absolutely perfect first thing in the morning. And, apparently it makes me really nostalgic to my old DT days!

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Butter Sencha by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

I can’t decide how I feel about this one — sometimes when I brew it it’s the beautiful buttery green tea goodness that I love, but then I steep it for one minute longer and it’s a grassy disaster. I’m typically sensitive to grassy greens, so that makes sense, but the cup I’m drinking right now was probably the best brew-job I’ve ever done on this tea. 1 minute and 30 seconds at 195 degrees Farenheit is the goods!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Grass, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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77
drank Swampwater by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

This is one of those teas that I’m not even sure why I own. Food colouring in tea is incredibly unappealing to me, and drinking murky green water that looks like it contains lizard excrement is revolting. But it tastes like vanilla and fruity papaya, so who’s to judge? Certainly not this lizard.

Flavors: Candy, Pineapple, Tropical, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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82
drank Ruby Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

Today I was craving something comforting. University has been very stressful lately and I decided to take the day off from school, skip all my classes, and just breathe. I haven’t ventured into the interesting parts of my tea collection in so long, it’s just been a rotation of Cream of Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Coco Chai Rooibos. I’ve decided to start up doing these tasting notes again, they’re a really good way to hold yourself accountable to sipping down an overgrown collection.

I absolutely love Ruby Oolong, so this was a great way to kick off this new informal sipdown challenge I’m giving myself. It’s fruity and so incredibly fresh tasting, I get a lightly floral finish and notes of dates and apple in the body. I forgot how smooth this tea is – I’m not a fan of “greener” oolongs but this is a nice rich oolong. It steeps such a gorgeous amber too.

Flavors: Apple, Dates, Floral, Smooth

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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78
drank Santa's Secret by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

Advent calendar tea reviews!

This is a very sweet vanilla and peppermint blend that is inoffensive to even the most avid peppermint hater. It’s sweet and easy to drink, but sometimes I find myself with a strange aftertaste left in my mouth. I pick up a few grams of this every Christmas, and while I love drinking it during the holiday season, I don’t reach for it at any other point during the year. I prefer this one over Candy Cane Crush — it tastes less artificial.

Flavors: Peppermint, Vanilla, White Chocolate

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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94
drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

Advent calendar 2017 tea reviews!

I love the sweet, lightly fruity nuttiness of this tea! The cinnamon is so light and not overpowering, and the apple complements the almonds wonderfully. The beetroot becomes apparent only when the tea is oversteeped. It tastes like apple pie or apple crumble when steeped properly.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Cake, Cinnamon

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Buddha's Blend by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

Advent calendar 2017 tea reviews!

While I understand that tea brewing can be an art in itself, this tea is notoriously difficult to make correctly (or even so it’s just drinkable) and I simply do not have the desire to deal with that on a regular basis, so I would never purchase a larger quantity of this tea.

That all being said, I find when it’s brewed at 185-190 degrees Fahrenheit for between 45 and 55 seconds, it’s quite lovely. It’s has almost perfume-like floral notes that are balanced by juicy peach notes, and then grounded by the white tea and jasmine base. If it could taste this beautiful at a more varied range of steeping temperatures and times, it would be an easy buy for me, but as it stands, I only recommend this tea to those who are willing to baby it.

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Peach, Perfume

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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93

I love this fruity green tea when I’m not feeling my spicier or sweeter blends. It’s delicately balanced with flavours of pineapple and coconut, and a bit of a sour kick. I’m so sad that DAVIDsTEA discontinued this, I haven’t found another fruity green with the nice sourness that this one has — Pura Vida simply doesn’t compare.

Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple, Sour, Tropical

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 45 sec

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82

I forgot how sweet this tea is! Very strong chamomile flavour with a hint of lemongrass, a nice comforting cup before bed. I oversteeped this for a very long time and it was still absolutely perfect.

Flavors: Honey, Lemongrass

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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90
drank Green Rooibos by DAVIDsTEA
76 tasting notes

Warm, sweet dried hay and leaves. Very comforting, I love drinking this before bed. It’s not astringent at all, rooibos never dries out my mouth as much as camellia sinensis teas do! I know that there’s cheaper sources of green rooibos tea out there, so I might try other brands before repurchasing DAVIDsTEA’s offering, but theirs is excellent. I actually oversteeped the leaves for far too long but it was still a sweet, smooth, satisfying cup!

Flavors: Dry Grass, Earth, Hay

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Law student from Alberta, Canada with a passion for all things tea after quitting coffee. Currently drinking primarily DAVIDsTEA blends due to proximity and convenience, but open to expanding my tea-rizons in the near future.

LIKES
Apple, peppermint, caramel, vanilla, coconut, jasmine tea, malty black teas, sweet blackberry leaves, guayusa, white tea, peach, strawberry, creaminess, raspberry leaves, Chinese teas, anything smooth and creamy!!! Highly caffeinated blends have my heart.

DISLIKES
Vegetal green teas, astringency, ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, hibiscus, alcoholic notes, stevia. I prefer teas that don’t contain dairy or artificial flavouring (which begs the question why 90% of my blends come from DAVIDsTEA, the king of artificial flavouring in the tea world). Herbals, tisanes, and rooibos teas tend to sit at the back of my tea cupboard. That being said, I’ll drink almost anything at least once.

RATING SYSTEM
0-20: I cannot get through a cup of this, it will be given away/thrown out.
20-40: Tolerable. Will definitely not repurchase.
40-60: Average. Will likely not repurchase.
60-80: Good to very good. May repurchase if I’m in the mood for one of these teas, but these teas are not staples in my collection.
80-95: Will very likely repurchase, but these teas are something I could live without or easily find a suitable substitute.
95-100: Staples. Must always have on hand, would go to the ends of the earth to track down if discontinued.

PREPARATION
I make all of my teas Western style, but if I do get more into straight teas in the future you can bet I will be buying a gong fu set. If I’ve added any milk to my teas, it’s always vanilla soy milk, and I do not add sweetener unless otherwise noted. Usually I’m very good about making a note of any additional ingredients I’ve added to the tea.

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