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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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