drank Organic Blueberry Jam by DAVIDsTEA
612 tasting notes

Dexter3657 is nutso generous; she joked ages ago to me that she’d ordered this multiple times for herself only to then give it away in swaps, then in her “no real reason, just ‘a little something’ your way” package—the one loaded with wishlist goodies I never thought I’d actually get to try and currently-out-of-stock-or-unavailable-without-astronomical-French-shipping treasures, cough—she included some! And teased me appropriately. (:

And I regret nothing. This is in fact surprisingly good. I haven’t had anything from David’s in a year [EDIT: wait, that’s not true, duh! Lariel was my Secret Pumpkin and sent me the fall blends and I enjoyed them, whee pistachios! My bad!]—I’m glad it was there for me when I got reintroduced to tea last January and started there for loose leaf but I tend to feel like I’ve moved on (I likely wouldn’t feel this way if I had a walk-in one near me, but it’s online only and if I’m going to bother to mail order there’s just so many shops out there that, well, you know)—but this is a crowd favorite and until discovering Butiki’s Blueberry Purple Tea this winter (thanks to JustJames!) I hadn’t found a blueberry tea that was all that memorable (I like Della Terra’s Blueberry Crumble but more for the strudel/coffee cake quality of it than blueberry…it’s not what I ‘d think to dig out when I’m all “I want blueberries!”).

This is a nice easy-going treat, with a juicy lush jamminess in the berry flavor I appreciate (lots of berry teas have a harsh tart raw/fresh berry profile, which I love in a real berry because it’s countered by a watery clean bursting aspect, but in tea, not so much), almost evokes plump stickiness. The tea base is soft without contributing an irritatingly watered down feeling, you know, the one some David’s and Adagio teas possess. The biggest surprise was the resteep though—I must’ve resteeped this 4 times as we finished Slings and Arrows tonight (so bittersweet; I’m really going to miss that show) and every single steep was good! (I started with 5 minutes, then 7 ever after.)

I would drink this again for sure on a night I don’t want to get super wired (though it’s a black base it doesn’t seem to make me super jittery, and it doesn’t feel harshly bright on the stomach either) and just want something that’s easy and pleasurable, a sweet treat that delivers but doesn’t demand a lot of focus to enjoy (sometimes after dinner I feel like I can’t drink any super complex teas or I’ll feel guilty I’m “wasting” them as I’ll be distracted/preoccupied doing something else, but at the same time I still want a tasty tea!). And I know R would really enjoy this for afternoon tea sometime. Bet it’d be delicious with scones.

JustJames

this is one of two that i adore from david’s =0)…. and yes it’s good with scones…. and toast with jam, and crumpets…… =0D

Kat

I’m all over your tasting notes lately— sorry about that. But I keep thinking I may be interested in this tea. I just kind of discovered David’s Tea, which is late in the game. But whateverrrrr. I like that this tea is organic and kosher, which is useful if I need to make tea for other people. I feel like berries are hard to capture in tea without them being really fruity, though, but my boyfriend loves fruit teas, which is why I’ve even considered this tea. It sounds really good, and I did like the La La Lemon by David’s, which is also organic. So I keep thinking I may buy some. I’m glad to see you liked it! I’m also shocked you got a resteep. It never would occur to me to try to re-steep a flavored black tea. I’ve always thought they wouldn’t hold up.

I may investigate this tea further now. I think the La La Lemon for me makes me think the David’s tea organic black tea base suits me, but the lemon tea lacks any exceptional qualities. Which is why I’ve been considering this at all recently. Also, the image on the website makes it look delicious!

I also feel like I’m ‘wasting’ teas if I don’t have the time to enjoy them. I’ve been sitting on my tin of Tiger Assam for a full week now, because I just haven’t had time! I like to have a sort of generic flavored black tea I can brew and I can always enjoy without feeling like I’m wasting it, if that makes sense. My go-to was the La La Lemon, which is gone… So I get that.

And my final thing, I love afternoon tea with scones! I almost always have class in the afternoon, so I don’t always have time, but I’ve been baking a bunch of scones just to have a proper tea. I also love scones. I don’t know why my American self has such an infinity for them, but I adore them.

ifjuly

ooh, what’s the other one JustJames? i’m the same way—i’d still buy brazillionaire once in a while maybe, if they still carry it, i’m not sure. (and BTW, it’s nice to see you around…thought of you throughout this winter, i know it’s been a while since we talked…i hope you’re doing well!) i love how we always find ourselves talking about food! haha.

Kat, another bonus aspect of this one is that it contains elderberry i believe, which is good for your immune system (the last 5 or so years i get sick during cold season without fail, often multiple times, and this was the first winter i didn’t even once…i’m chalking it up to the tea, especially all the blends that had elderberry in them).

and yeah, i adore my “focused idyll” times with tea where i can drink it gongfu in a gaiwan and prepare to have my mind blown, or in a mini glass pot steeped over and over, typing notes about every flavor that emerges and transforms…but sometimes i just can’t, or i wanna plunk down with a book or a tv show, but i still want to enjoy my cuppa! good to know i’m not alone.

and dude. scones are delicious enough to transcend borders and oceans! i love how easy they are too—i can mess up a biscuit like nobody’s business with my overzealous nervous dough working, but scones are for some reason always foolproof and super tasty. ack, now i want some and it’s 2:30 in the morning. :b

JustJames

vanilla orchid is my second.

la la lemon i could never take seriously… it’s caffeinated neo citrin lol. nicer, but decidedly reminiscent!!!

i have an awfully evil recipe for scones with a whipped cream base….. awesome for this tea. =0D

keychange

oh oh oh james can I have that recipe? because I need me some evil scones in my life! ha

Sami Kelsh

Scones are brilliant! Had a hankering for scones something fierce this weekend, so for XS Malarkey (where I’m resident baker) I whipped up tiny baby buttermilk scones filled with a dollop of my own strawberry and rose jam!

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JustJames

this is one of two that i adore from david’s =0)…. and yes it’s good with scones…. and toast with jam, and crumpets…… =0D

Kat

I’m all over your tasting notes lately— sorry about that. But I keep thinking I may be interested in this tea. I just kind of discovered David’s Tea, which is late in the game. But whateverrrrr. I like that this tea is organic and kosher, which is useful if I need to make tea for other people. I feel like berries are hard to capture in tea without them being really fruity, though, but my boyfriend loves fruit teas, which is why I’ve even considered this tea. It sounds really good, and I did like the La La Lemon by David’s, which is also organic. So I keep thinking I may buy some. I’m glad to see you liked it! I’m also shocked you got a resteep. It never would occur to me to try to re-steep a flavored black tea. I’ve always thought they wouldn’t hold up.

I may investigate this tea further now. I think the La La Lemon for me makes me think the David’s tea organic black tea base suits me, but the lemon tea lacks any exceptional qualities. Which is why I’ve been considering this at all recently. Also, the image on the website makes it look delicious!

I also feel like I’m ‘wasting’ teas if I don’t have the time to enjoy them. I’ve been sitting on my tin of Tiger Assam for a full week now, because I just haven’t had time! I like to have a sort of generic flavored black tea I can brew and I can always enjoy without feeling like I’m wasting it, if that makes sense. My go-to was the La La Lemon, which is gone… So I get that.

And my final thing, I love afternoon tea with scones! I almost always have class in the afternoon, so I don’t always have time, but I’ve been baking a bunch of scones just to have a proper tea. I also love scones. I don’t know why my American self has such an infinity for them, but I adore them.

ifjuly

ooh, what’s the other one JustJames? i’m the same way—i’d still buy brazillionaire once in a while maybe, if they still carry it, i’m not sure. (and BTW, it’s nice to see you around…thought of you throughout this winter, i know it’s been a while since we talked…i hope you’re doing well!) i love how we always find ourselves talking about food! haha.

Kat, another bonus aspect of this one is that it contains elderberry i believe, which is good for your immune system (the last 5 or so years i get sick during cold season without fail, often multiple times, and this was the first winter i didn’t even once…i’m chalking it up to the tea, especially all the blends that had elderberry in them).

and yeah, i adore my “focused idyll” times with tea where i can drink it gongfu in a gaiwan and prepare to have my mind blown, or in a mini glass pot steeped over and over, typing notes about every flavor that emerges and transforms…but sometimes i just can’t, or i wanna plunk down with a book or a tv show, but i still want to enjoy my cuppa! good to know i’m not alone.

and dude. scones are delicious enough to transcend borders and oceans! i love how easy they are too—i can mess up a biscuit like nobody’s business with my overzealous nervous dough working, but scones are for some reason always foolproof and super tasty. ack, now i want some and it’s 2:30 in the morning. :b

JustJames

vanilla orchid is my second.

la la lemon i could never take seriously… it’s caffeinated neo citrin lol. nicer, but decidedly reminiscent!!!

i have an awfully evil recipe for scones with a whipped cream base….. awesome for this tea. =0D

keychange

oh oh oh james can I have that recipe? because I need me some evil scones in my life! ha

Sami Kelsh

Scones are brilliant! Had a hankering for scones something fierce this weekend, so for XS Malarkey (where I’m resident baker) I whipped up tiny baby buttermilk scones filled with a dollop of my own strawberry and rose jam!

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Bio

“…you can never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
-Julia Child on food and cooking, and I think it applies to tea as well!

note: i am currently taking a break from swapping/mail of any kind as money is rather tight. i apologize! i do love to swap but i can’t afford to right now. hopefully in a month things will change.

my cupboard includes any tea i’ve ever owned, including things i’ve sipped down, in order to facilitate swaps with people and keep a record—this way i don’t get redundant samples/order duplicates to try. if you are interested in swapping, i have a separate ever-updated list of teas i actually have on hand i can PM.

i like strong, rich blacks (including some choice old skool CTCs); juicy-fruity flavored green blends; buttery chinese greens; light floral oolongs; flavored oolongs (how sacrilegious!); earl greys; smoky blends; second flush muscatel darjeelings; verdant’s straight oolongs steeped in a gaiwan (mind altering!); anything from laoshan village it seems.

favorite notes include lavender, bergamot, violet, fennel, cardamom, melon, honey, sandalwood, smoke, nuts, roasty/toasty stuff, malt, wood, leather, creamy lemon, steamed rice, artichoke, garden-sweet snap veggies, earth/soil, forest and wet bark, and mushroom.

notes i generally can’t stand (at least in tea) include jasmine, rose (ok in small doses but i often find it overpowering and then everything just smells like musty old lady perfume), astringent apple (and general fruitiness really unless it’s with green tea), and chamomile (unless i’m congested or tired).

my current favorite tea vendors are butiki and harney and sons. i’ve also found some delicious teas and/or had good customer service experiences with the following companies: capital tea ltd., the devotea, verdant, mandala, golden moon, teavivre, lupicia, taiwan tea crafts, yezi tea, den’s tea, the tea merchant, norbu, fauchon paris, tao tea leaf, zen tea, fortnum and mason, townshend’s tea, joy’s teaspoon, new mexico tea company, persimmon tree, teajo teas, whispering pines, della terra, upton imports, mariage freres, samovar, justea, teabox, american tea room, steven smith, steap shoppe, utopia tea, and andrews and dunham damn fine tea. when i’m at the grocery store my “you could do worse” brands include stash, bigelow, tazo, taylors of harrogate, whittard of chelsea, and pg tips. and it’s a fact: you can’t make classic southern sweet tea without luzianne.

top picks, fall 2013

black:
verdant zhu rong yunnan black
verdant laoshan black
thepuriTea hong jing luo (no longer available :( )
thepuriTea red dragon pearl (no longer available :( )
mandala morning sun
golden moon honey orchid
verdant golden fleece
taiwan tea crafts red jade
yezi tea zheng shan xiao zhong “scotch” tea
capital tea borsapori estate assam tgfop1 (spl)
butiki khongea golden tippy assam
butiki giddahapar darjeeling extra special
upton imports fikkal estate
golden moon sinharaja
harney and sons new vithanakande
persimmon tree vintage black
teajo teas black manas
justea kenyan black
harney and sons kangaita op

morning blends:
butiki the black lotus
harney and sons queen catherine
harney and sons eight at the fort
harney and sons big red sun
harney and sons scottish morn
golden moon irish breakfast
harney and sons irish breakfast
utopia tea english breakfast
fortnum and mason breakfast blend (needs milk!)
andrews and dunham double knit blend
steven smith no. 25 morning light
butiki irish cream cheesecake

earl greys and scented afternoon blends:
teajo teas silky earl grey
harney and sons viennese earl grey
upton imports lavender earl grey
american tea room victoria
lupicia earl grey grand classic
harney and sons tower of london
tao tea leaf cream earl grey
zen tea earl grey cream
della terra earl grey creme
upton imports season’s pick earl grey creme vanilla
upton imports baker street afternoon blend
harney and sons russian country
della terra professor grey
verdant earl of anxi

flavored black:
herbal infusions moose tracks
american tea room brioche
steap shoppe cinnamon swirl bread
della terra oatmeal raisin cookie
butiki nutmeg cream
kusmi caramel
david’s tea brazillionaire
lupicia banane chocolat
butiki hello sweetie
fauchon paris raspberry macaron
butiki blueberry purple tea
herbal infusions marshmallow snowflake earl grey
herbal infusions creme brulee chai

pu erh:
mandala loose and luscious lincang 2007 shu/ripe pu erh
mandala special dark 2006 shu/ripe pu erh

oolong:
verdant shui jin gui wuyi oolong
verdant hand-picked early spring tieguanyin
butiki 2003 reserve four season oolong
harney and sons formosa oolong
tea merchant silk dragon
golden moon coconut pouchong
zen tea coconut oolong
american tea room coconut oolong
teavivre taiwan jin xuan milk oolong
butiki flowery pineapple oolong
butiki lychee oolong
lupicia momo oolong supergrade
butiki strawberry oolong
butiki pumpkin milkshake darjeeling oolong
52teas tiramisu oolong

green:
verdant laoshan bilochun green
verdant autumn harvest laoshan green
tao tea leaf hou kui
harney and sons tencha
harney and sons gyokuro
new mexico casablanca
butiki with open eyes
american tea room nirvana
joy’s teaspoon mahalo
den’s tea pineapple sencha
harney and sons tokyo
butiki potato pancakes and applesauce
butiki holiday eggnog and pralines
den’s tea organic genmaicha with matcha
golden moon hojicha

white:
butiki cantaloupe and cream
butiki champagne and rose cream

no caf:
harney and sons soba buckwheat
butiki birthday cake
della terra lemon chiffon
52teas strawberry pie honeybush
butiki mango lassi
joy’s teaspoon italian dream
butiki coconut cream pie rooibos
butiki peppermint patty
persimmon tree mint chocolate chip rooibos
art of tea velvet tea
fusion teas chocolate cake honeybush
american tea room choco-late
steven smith no. 40 bon bon
townshend’s tea dark forest chai
utopia tea decaffeinated earl grey cream

sleep aid/medicinal/therapeutic:
new mexico extra sleepy bear
stash white christmas
verdant ginger sage winter spa blend
samovar turmeric spice
butiki the killer’s vanilla guayusa

coldsteeped wonders:
whispering pines manistee moonrise
harney and sons fruits d’alsace
utopia tea berkshire apple and fig
culinary teas peaches and cream
butiki peach hoppiTea
butiki ruby pie
whispering pines gingerade

besides tea

born in seoul, raised in new england and upstate new york, went to college in pittsburgh, currently in memphis with an eye toward philadelphia, portland, or asheville eventually.

i like cats, most beverages really (i also like good freshly roasted coffee, craft beer, wine, whiskey and gin-based cocktails, and soda/soft drinks like agua fresca), art (mainly writing but also visual and music) and critical theory, feminism/genderqueer politics, historiography, statistics, children’s literature and librarianship, travel, and food/cooking. also have recently gotten into weightlifting (mark rippetoe and stumptuous!) and sprint training (HIIT, plyometrics) and i love it.

Location

Memphis, TN

Website

http://facebook.com/ifjuly

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