18 Tasting Notes

19

After reading so many good reviews and seeing how popular this tea is among DAVIDsTEA enthusiasts, I’m both shocked that I don’t like it and shocked that so many people do.

This is NOT Earl Grey. It just isn’t. Earl Grey is my favorite black tea and I’ve tried a slew of them in my years. This isn’t an Earl Grey. It’s black licorice root tea with a splash of vanilla. Earl Grey by definition is black tea and bergamot. Try as I might, I cannot smell or taste bit the slightest hint of bergamot in here. And even then, I wonder if it’s my imagination because I’m trying so hard to taste it.

The only reason I didn’t rate this tea in the single digits is if it were properly labeled as cream of black licorice tea, it would be pretty decent. But I’m bitter that I spent $11 on a rainbow tin of something that is far from what it claims to be. I have a few sachets of it from samplers, too, and tried one of those to see if there was any difference. Still black licorice tea. I’m going to find someone who I think would be into that and gift this to them.

Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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76
drank Dublin Breakfast by Fava Tea Co.
18 tasting notes

Sip down! This is one of those teas that I’ve had in my cupboard for a loooong time, and every time I break it out, I really enjoy it but then I forget how much I enjoyed it so I don’t drink it again for a long time. I made a latte from it this morning, which I don’t think I’ve done before, and it is especially good. The tea has a creamy feel/flavor on its own, I imagine from the blue mallow and vanilla. The jasmine is extremely subtle, so anyone scared of floral teas need not be afraid. Really yummy cup, sad to see it go!

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Sweet, Tea, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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34
drank Passion Berry Jolt by Tiesta Tea
18 tasting notes

The dry tea looks and smells so nice! I love the look of black tea mixed with flower petals. The predominant scent is sweet pineapple with a tart undertone. Had high hopes for this one! Unforunately, the brewed tea was a bit disappointing. I’m going to give it another shot with a shorter steep time as I let it go the full 5 minutes of the 3-5 suggested. It’s quite tannic/bitter. And the tartness reminds me of teas that have too much hibiscus but there isn’t any here. I also think this would probably be better as an iced tea. For me, I t’s all around kind of weird when hot. So I’ll give it another shot with that method and hopefully it will improve, especially since I bought the 4 oz tin!

Flavors: Bitter, Pineapple, Sweet, Tangy, Tannic, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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40
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
18 tasting notes

I tried making an official tea latte with Glitter & Gold this AM (using more tea to make a stronger concentrate then adding an equal part of foamed milk—I usually make my lattes just with a slightly stronger brew and maybe a 1/2 part of foamed milk.) I find that as I’m trying to figure out exactly what to say about the result, I’m making a face like I smelled something bad. So I guess that means I didn’t like it.

It’s drinkable, but definitely bitter after a 5 minute steep. I wish David’s Tea would be a bit more exact on suggested steep times for each tea (and on temps as well—what does “hot” mean?! Boiling water is hot but you certainly wouldn’t use that for a green tea. A word description plus a temp would be ideal.) If this thing turns bitter by 5 minutes, I can’t imagine what a 7-minute steep would taste like. Blech.

I think I said this in a previous tasting note, but this one is very clearly not a re-purchase for me. I still somehow feel like I may reach for it now and again because it’s one of my most neutral black teas at the moment, so it feels right for an early morning cup. That just tells me that maybe I need to seek out my first straight black tea.

I tried a re-steep using 5 minutes (since usually I increase by 30 seconds each time.) Still bitter but now with less flavor lol. Oh well. The caffeine is kicking in and that’s my main priority with my first tea of the morning.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Cloves

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 7 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92
drank Siesta blossom by Fava Tea Co.
18 tasting notes

It makes me a little sad to see how underrated Fava Tea Company is in these parts. I think they deserve much more attention in the tea community (but I suppose there are many companies that do and I’m just biased since they’re local to me.)

I have a pretty vast tea collection and this is one of my favorites and one of very few repeat purchases. Usually by the time I’ve made it through 2 oz of one tea, there are a bunch of new teas out that I want to try to so it’s rare that I re-purchase something. This is an exception.

This tea is particularly pretty with its little tiny pink rosebuds. I find it to have a perfect balance between the fruit and floral notes. It has a bit of tartness to it that would probably lend well to iced tea, but also has a bit of chamomile so it’s usually a hot bedtime tea for me. The chamomile is barely detectable so this would probably be a safe bet for people who otherwise are not a huge fan of that.

I guess this is sort of a sipdown since I finished the last of my old batch, but I opened a brand new pouch and refilled my tin ASAP. This one will be staying on my shelf for a bit!

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Fruity, Hibiscus, Rose, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 6 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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77

I don’t know how much this tea really reminds me of French toast, but it does taste nice. It’s smooth and the cardamom is there but not to the extent that you’d taste in a chai (which is good—-I like chai but that wasn’t the flavor profile I was after with this one). I started with this tea unsweetened and note flavors, in order of prominence, are black tea, cinnamon, then cardamom. The coriander may very well be in there but I don’t use that often as a spice so I’m having a hard time recalling what it tastes like. The tea is naturally just a bit sweet. I added a teaspoon of agave/monk fruit/stevia sweetener and that brought it a step closer to feeling like French toast to me. I think this would be delicious served as a latte sweetened with maple syrup.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Smooth, Sweet, Tea, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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53
drank Orange and Spice by Bigelow
18 tasting notes

Drinking this instead of the Bigelow Cranberry Apple that I usually choose when given an array of their teas to choose from at a restaurant. It’s good, but feels more like a winter tea and I’m ready for spring/summer. Going for I Love Lemon next.

Flavors: Orange, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Taurus by Adagio Teas - Duplicate
18 tasting notes

As I’m trying new blends that contain teas I’ve never drank straight (oolong in this one, pu-erh in one I tried yesterday), it’s making me realize that having a knowledge of what those teas taste like on their own would better assist me in picking up on their notes in blended teas.

Regardless, I really enjoyed this blend. It’s actually my second time trying it, but yesterday was a bust. I put it in a teabag for on-the-go and didn’t have access to temperature-controlled water, so it just wasn’t that great. Today, brewed up at proper temp, it was great. Can I say that I felt it was the tea that embodied all I am as a Taurus? Not quite, but I suppose that’s a bit much to ask of a tea. It has great peach flavor that is a bit more full-bodied than other peach whites I’ve tried, presumably due to the oolong.

Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80
drank Chocolate Macaroon by DAVIDsTEA
18 tasting notes

I tried this for the first time today as a latte with almond milk and a little bit of rock sugar. I took a few sips of the tea plain before making the latte and think it’s very drinkable on its own, but I was in the mood for a latte.

This would make an excellent “dessert-substitute” tea. It honestly doesn’t seem quite right as a morning/breakfast tea to me—that’s how dessert-y it is. The coconut flavor is present but not overpowering. I could have handled just a tish more of a chocolate note, but overall it’s well-balanced and smooth.

Flavors: Chocolate, Coconut, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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77
drank Rise and Chai by The Tea Spot
18 tasting notes

This is unlike any chai that I have ever tasted. In fact, it spurred me to look up the definition of chai. Then I found out that “chai” is the Hindi word for “tea” and that “masala chai” refers to what we Westerners redundantly often refer to as “chai tea” (“tea tea”)—black tea with a mix of spices, usually starring cardamom and cinnamon.

There’s not a trace of cardamom in this one and the turmeric is the key player. I find it pretty darn delicious. It’s really making me want Indian food, though. Like I want to be drinking this with a big old plate of palak paneer.

I think this is only the second pu-erh tea I’ve ever tried and it’s both been in blends, so I’m not totally sure what the pu-erh tastes like in this mix, but overall I find it really nice. It’s a bold black tea that makes a good substitute for a black cup of coffee in the morning.

Flavors: Earth, Fennel, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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