11122 Tasting Notes
Strange VariaTEA TTB: Tea #1
I can’t remember if VariaTEA has mentioned this before, but the two of us are starting a travelling tea box – no discussion board post yet because I still have to fill my half of the box and we want to coordinate with some instagram tea friends as well, but this is one of the teas that she added that I decided to try!
I’m probably going to try a handful or two before I pass along to the next person, because there are plenty of teas added in that I’ve not tried and am curious about – but I don’t intend on finishing any of them off or removing any entirely. Blends from Necessiteas can be so hard to get ahold of though, so even though this doesn’t seem super up my alley flavour wise I thought I should take advantage of the chance to try it!
It’s actually not bad – I find the black tea a little astringent, and that is something I’ve observed for many of the black blends from Necessiteas, but the ginger is prominent and definitely natural tasting but not spicy and I like all the brown sugar flavours that are coming through along with some warming cinnamon undertones. Plus, it’s sweet but not sugary. I didn’t think to add milk when making the mug, but I think that would have been an excellent way to curb some of the astringency and make the mouthfeel a little fuller and more appealing.
Seems like a pretty solid option for the ginger lovers.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDM27AqJscM
N is for… Niagara Icewine!
Another share from VariaTEA – so thank you again! I’m about 95% sure (if not more) that this is the exact same tea as the Icewine blend from Metropolitan Tea Company, as Dollar Tea Club carries majority teas from MTC – I haven’t compared the ingredients list but it tastes dead on for it.
I’m a big fan of that catalog blend though – I think it’s one of the nicest baseline grape blends out there, and I think I have a few “variations” on it in my stash right now under different names/from different companies. It’s punchy and flavourful deep/dense grape with a coating sweetness, but also leans into some of the tannic and astringent qualities of the black tea base and I loooovvveee the layers of nuance that brings to this otherwise simple but beautiful boozy grape.
I was really happy getting the excuse to enjoy it this morning.
N is for… Night in The Glittering Caves!
Thank you VariaTEA for this share – I remember your Steepster review of it as well as your post about it on IG, so I was excited to try this tea! It’s a pretty cool concept – I very much like how the use of glitter/luster dust was tied into this nerdy tea reference. Tickles all the right buttons for me, plus steeped the tea just looks hella pretty. I love luster dust so much and I am very glad to see so many other tea companies are beginning to start working with it!
(It can be a bit gimmicky, imo, when you over do it – but balanced, it’s fun!)
I find the taste of this blend a little generic for my tastes but I appreciate what Happy Turtle was going for – notes of caramel, sweet nuts/pecans, and marshmallow all do come across to varying degrees but it makes for a little bit of a generic “sweet” profile if you don’t actively think about all of the parts making up the whole. I like sweet teas a lot typically – this is actually similar in feeling to DT’s Sweet Potato Pie – but I think maybe I was just not REALLY in the mood for it today??
N is for… Nutty Toffee Roller Coaster!
Gonna need to have this again and monitor the steep time better because I left my teabag in while sipping (was in a meeting and it was easier than fussing with stuff mid meeting) and after a while this got weird tasting from over steeping – however it started off on a really good foot! Very buttery/nutty sweet flavour, like almond brittle/candied almonds with a sweetness and a freshness from the grassier yerba mate. Some smokier undertones as well, which I felt added to the sweet and nutty profile.
When it began oversteeping, it was just too concentrated and the grassiness took on a more sour edge – so if I can watch for that in the future I think I’ll really enjoy this blend.
N is for… Night Trap!
I’m not sure what flavour I would expect a “Five Night’s at Freddy’s” inspired tea blend to taste taste, but chocolate and orange probably isn’t it – still, curiosity and all that…
I finished my mug of this one not too long ago tonight, and I find myself perplexed by the flavour and yet intrigued. To start, I enjoyed it – it was a tasty cup and I think I’m going to have fun playing with slightly tweaking the steep time, leaf amount and trying different addition types to it, like milk. However – it kind of doesn’t taste like chocolate or orange!? I mean, in the finish a bit – definitely a lingering chocolate note and some undertones of orange. However, overall the flavour is just much lighter than I’d have expected and more of a generic “sweet brown” – like caramelized sugar, maybe? I was reminded, actually, of Della Terra’s (wow, that’s a throwback tea reference!) Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which had a similar sweet brown sugar/cake kind of vibe about it.
Yeah. I think that’s where my brain is going with this one.
N is for… Nice Melons!
Cold Brew Sipdown (1398)!
I’m currently working my way through this cold brew and it’s just not very enjoyable for me right now. The green tea, with it’s sharp freshly mowed grass and oceanic/marine notes, is too aggressive for my tastes and the melon is only present in the finish as a tasty and welcome reward for gritting my teeth through the greener top/body notes. I can’t remember if there was more melon when this was fresher, but it’s possible it’s just lost some of those notes with time. I think my brew method has also exaggerated the greener notes, which doesn’t help.
None of this is to say that I think the tea is bad – it’s just another ones of those blends where I have some bias since I don’t enjoy green tea much. I knew that would likely be the case when I ordered it – none of this is a surprise. I just enjoy 52Teas’ melon blends a lot, and was curious enough to roll those dice. If you don’t mind green tea, I think this could be a really refreshing choice with some delicate melon flavours.
Happy to pass the rest off to someone else so they have the chance to experience it and have more success than I did.
M is for… Mulled Wine!
This was my last “M Tea” during a very packed day of M blends. I just had so many to choose from and they were also REALLY diverse that I ended up going way too hard…
I’ve learned from my less than stellar cold brew experience though, and I’m back to drinking this tea as a hot brew only. It’s once again sweet and bubblegum like with those juicy orange and mulling spice (clove/cinnamon) undertones. Weird, but familiar and tasty – and a welcome switch from the cold brew I didn’t love.
Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.
M is for… Mince Pie Chai!
Thank you to my IG friend Sewwie for sharing this with me! I will admit I was curious about the profile, but not enough so to have wanted to order it for myself – blind buying chai blends is usually a no go for me. Love trying samples like this, though!
I found this interesting – it’s very peppery to me. Like, a whole big punch of pepper in a way that kind of made me want to sneeze from the very first sip up until I finished the mug. However, that aside, the warming notes of ginger and allspice did feel very festive and winter appropriate. We’re a little past that now (there’s green grass outside!!), but considering this was a Winter Blend that profile makes total sense contextually.
It’s ultimately not my cup of tea, but I’m really happy I got to try it because I think it’s a cool concept and not a bad execution if you don’t mind a more peppery chai.
M is for… Melange Laduree!
I honestly never know what this tea is supposed to taste like, and that’s probably not the best sign – but it’s also not bad. I found this cup of it had a pretty Euro feel to it, and was both generally fruity and generally floral with a lighter body. I don’t think, had I been in a different mood, I may have enjoyed it as much as I did – but I was cooking supper and I had it in such a nice, pretty mug that it made for a non-complex and enjoyable sipping tea.
M is for… Mocha!
Thank you VariaTEA for sharing this – and all the other Kenneth Ave teas – with me! I think we were actually pretty aligned with this one in that it’s a bit too coffee like. I typically REALLY enjoy the earthy robustness of shou pu’erh but I think it really leaned into those dark roast coffee notes in a way that made me feel less like I was having a tea and more like I was having coffee. I actually appreciate the accuracy of the flavour a lot, but it’s not for me. Coffee flavours like this are always just so weird for me because I like REALLY dark roasted/earthy flavours a lot – Hojicha, Guinness, Shou Pu’erh, Buckwheat…
But not coffee.
It’s not a “tea is the greatest, coffee sucks” thing either. I’ve just never really liked the taste of coffee, even long before I got into tea.