69 Tasting Notes


After an absolutely lovely brisk October Sunday of brunch with friends, a living room blanket fort with my daughter, dinner of burgers (and dessert of pie!) with some family, a rousing tutorial round of Settlers of Catan and my babiest girl drifting off to the Land of Nod in the easiest and most cuddly fashion, I could think of no better ending than staying up until 2:00 A.M., working from home as I do.
Oh, sure, there are oodles of fancier picks in the pantry, but good old Red Rose, with its aroma as familiar as leather or wood smoke, seemed to fit the bill. Steeped with water that was however hot the kettle made it and for some indeterminate amount of time, it always manages to taste the same.
And with one sip, I’m being propelled through the sunshine and over the Great Plains with 32 metric tonnes of titanium, electricty and the miracle of flight. Between 2001 and 2006, my husband and I did a whooole lot of flying back and forth between Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Whitehorse, and Red Rose tea is the tea served on Air Canada flights. I’d been a coffee girl since that fateful grade 8 skiing trip that introduced me to the wonders of that black gold, but for some reason I always went for tea on interprovincial flights. It’s a very strong sense memory.
What does it smell like?
Red Rose tea.
What does it taste like?
Red Rose tea.
Is it delicious?
It makes me feel like I’m flying. That’s delicious enough.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Red Rose is very comforting. I feel much the same about PG Tips, and, occasionally, about a very malty blend you can get in Atlantic Canada called King Cole.

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It’s delicious, and absolutely buttery.
The coconut is more for your nose than your mouth.
It’s hard to think of it as a tea.
It tastes like something you’d drink on New Years Morning after a night of not going out and getting wrecked or partying with friends. Just a nice night in with your loved ones and in bed at a reasonable hour.
And then New Years Morning, all fresh and cold and full of half-baked resolutions that you know you won’t keep, you get out of bed (a little easier than on any other day), go to the kitchen, make yourself a cup of Buttered Rum tea (with the recommended milk and brown sugar, but not the splash of rum), and sit and enjoy the quiet of the morning before anybody else wakes up. Maybe you read an old issue of Martha Stewart Living or Real Simple. Maybe you flip through a cook book.
Then you feel inspired and make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast for everyone. And bacon.
But not Buttered Rum tea. That’s just for you.

200 °F / 93 °C

This sounds yummy!

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Sure smells like I should splash some Rum in there.
It’s tasty enough, but I’m left wanting. It’s more like sweet, hot water with some coconut flavour than anything else.
I think it boils down to me not being that much of a white tea fan.
Too desserty.
Not as manly and WAKE-UPy as I had wanted to accompany me while I work late into the night.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

I really should have read my last tasting notes before making a big ol’ cup of this tea to sit beside me while I work late into the night again. Tsk. For pete’s sake…

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It’s cold out and my day started with an unsatisfying pumpkin spice tea paired with an equally unsatisfying chocolate danish, so now it’s time for a working treat while my baby is sleeping.
That treat is Cinnamon Rooibos Chai, easily my favourite spicy tea of all time.
The smell of the dry tea alone is enough to smack you out of any dozy funk you might be in. The cinnamon is like a marching band of sparkling brass and gifted percussionists.
I like to use a little bit too much and steep at the high end of the recommended time, because I like it SPICY.
Also, because I’m a milk-and-sugar kind of girl, I splash in a tiny bit of 1% and a little dab of lemon honey.
The smell of the steeped tea, after an agonizing 7 minute wait, is just as explosive as the tea in the little bag, and it makes my upper lip and palate go the tiniest bit numb. Pure childhood memories of sitting in the tree-named cabins at Camp Wannakumbac , seeing who could eat the most candy cinnamon hearts. (I always won. I suspect it may be the reason behind my inability to enjoy any synthetic cinnamon products without suffering a week’s worth of mouth lacerations.)
Just as you bring the cup to your mouth to sip, you can detect the lemon and orange, and then the satisfyingly heavy spicy treat washes over your tongue and warms your whole body.
Good times.
Good times.
I only have enough left for one more cup after this.
I think I’ll hoard it.

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Yep, this one’s great. Hooyah, cinnamon!

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To be fair, I have a sniffy nose and have had a slightly crappy day.
However, I’m not overly impressed with the slightly herbed-bread smell I’m getting from the tea. The lemon is definitely there. So is the heavy floral hit.
There’s a feet-y smell in my basement office, though, so that’s probably contributing to my overall experience.
It tastes much better than it smells. The flowers that were overpowering when I smelled it sort of turn into dancing little taste fish and flicker across my tongue. It’s got a pretty nice body to it, too. Not as full as a rooibos, but not without some weight.
This isn’t a tea I’d brew myself if I was thinking, “Gee, I could sure use a tea right now,” but it’s perfect for working in the evening.
A tea I can brew, sip and forget about.
But again: sniffy nose; crappy day.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Well, this is fancy!
I went down to my local David’s Tea to buy Forever Nuts and walked away with this after smelling it in the massive canister.
I was intrigued by the peppercorns, but could not really taste them in my little cup.
The sugared pineapple, on the other hand, was like a sticky glove stroking my tongue.
A DELICIOUS sticky glove.
I’m a milk and sugar girl myself, and added it without thinking, but it certainly does NOT need the sugar I put in.
This is a tea to drink as a dessert or with little fresh scones.
Not working at the computer, as I was.
Tasty. I’m looking forward to giving it more attention next time.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
69 tasting notes

This tastes like an oatmeal muffin that you drink!
Does not need sugar. Milk is a nice addition.

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Mojito by DAVIDsTEA
69 tasting notes

Well, THIS is unusually delicious!
The mintiness almost opens up your mouth to make way for the citrus. It has none of that toothpaste tang that I usually find minty teas have. The rooibos adds a very satisfying heavy mouthfeel.
I have only tried it hot, with a splash of milk and sugar.
Didn’t need the sugar.
Will try it cold on the weekend!

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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I’m a work-at-home mum. Seeing as how I work in the basement at the computer and am too lazy to brew myself a cup of coffee each day, tea has become my drink-of-choice.


Winnipeg, Manitoba



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