513 Tasting Notes

Want to know a neat little trick I’m about to do? It’s pretty fantastic. I’m nearly at the bottom of this tin; there’s enough left for one more serving. So I’m going to finish that up right quick, and then head on to David’s tea tomorrow to get a tin of blue lagoon! Because like so many people have accurately pointed out, it’s the summer version of this blend, and I adore it. But that’s not the tea we’re talking about, are we?

I can’t remember who’s idea it was to throw in a dash of maple syrup into this tea, but that person is a genius (sil? Roswell?). I couldn’t outright taste the maple syrup to the point where it was cloying or anything, but it gave the tea a distinctly maple after-sip and it was just such an excellent combination. I really need to try maple syrup in more of my teas.

Ok guys. Wednesday. And tomorrow is Friday eve and then it’s Friday. We can do this!

Oh, I’m also thinking of getting the carry travel mug from DT. Do you guys have any opinions on it?

http://www.davidstea.com/ice-blue-carry-mug?&TF=ADA13E5CAE3F&DEID=

Daddyselephant

We have two(the burgundy and the green) and we LOVE them. They’re easier to open, the mesh filter on top works a lot better than the timolino top and the feel of the outside is awesome.

Cheri

That does look nice. I have never ordered from DT, but they’re on my list of places to try. I might add one of these to that order, when I get there. (I have so much tea coming. Once I decided to jump in with both feet…well…)

Stephanie

I have a similar travel mug but mine is glass. I like it very much for cold steeping!

keychange

Hmmm, good to know. isling of tea, by easier to open, do you mean that when you twist off the top lid, you don’t end up inadvertently twisting off the whole thing? because that was one thing I found with the timolino—you had to brace your hand such that you made sure you were only unscrewing the top lid, and not both lids.

Daddyselephant

No, unfortunately you have to hold the bottom lid in place, but with the handle, it’s easier to grip the top lid.

keychange

oh oh right. Ok that makes sense.

Roswell Strange

I believe that the maple was my idea. Blueberry Pancake syrup ;)

keychange

mmmm so good!

Christina / BooksandTea

I just bought some of this blueberry jam tea last night, so the maple syrup advice is quite timely! I’m looking forward to trying it.

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Sample sipdown! It feels really good to have even one less little baggy floating around my kitchen, although there are about a million still left and another million or so on the way, so I take it all with a grain of salt.

My cup this morning was still quite tasty, although there was something a bit overwhelming about it. Partway through the cup I began to feel really hot, and maybe that affected my desire to finish it. It tasted exactly the same as it did yesterday—rich, nutty, buttery—but somehow didn’t hit the spot in the same way. I’m glad I’ve got a bit more coming my way so I can really test the waters, but am also glad I haven’t gone out and purchased a huge quantity of it.

Caught up on sleep last night, which will hopefully propel me through yet another workday.

Thanks again, VariaTea, for sending this to me!

Stephanie

Yum, this is a good one :)

keychange

Sure is!

VariaTEA

You’re welcome! Hope the other teas I sent are as successful as this one.

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Well, this was my first actual experiment with a cold brew! I was inspired when I saw that roswell strange cold-brewed this tea successfully, and so followed her steeping parameters: 4 tsp in about 25 oz of water in my mason jar (yeaaaahhh mason jar!) and in the fridge for about four and a half hours.

And I’m pretty sure it was a success. Largely, this tastes like a cold version of the hot version, as scientific and verbose as that sounds LOL. When I say I’m pretty sure it was a success, it’s because I wonder if I don’t like the flavour of melon as much in a cold drink? I don’t know. I like it but I don’t love it, but it’s a perfectly fine cold brew, if that makes sense. at the very least, I’ve been sipping away at a delicious tea here at work all day, and I also feel encouraged to try cold-steeping other teas now! (I’m especially excited to try cold-steeping blue lagoon from David’s tea).
What are your favourite cold brews?

VariaTEA

Lemon Chiffon is a great cold brew if you have that in your cupboard.

Sil

Fruit tisanes. Most of them heh

keychange

I don’t have lemon chiffon, but it sounds like it might be interesting. And sil, fruit tisanes sound great.

Courtney

Watermelon Xylophone is tasty cold brewed as far as Butiki goes. I also enjoyed David’s Superberry cold-brewed.

keychange

Oooh I forgot about superbarry! that does seem as though it’d be delicious cold.

Aimee Popovacki

superberry is amazing coldbrewed… that, and surprisingly kiwi`s big adventure…. i didn`t think i`d ever like that one, but when i cold brewed it it was perfect!

moraiwe

Superberry is definitely good coldbrewed. A lot of fruity blacks seem to be. Tangier (from American Tea Room) is my recent obsession! I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to coldbrewing it!

keychange

fruity blacks eh? I’ve never tried any of them before. I’m kind of scared the black tea will taste strong and bitter.

Sil

fruity blacks make nice cold brews. :)

keychange

Hmmm, maybe i’ll try blueberry jam, then. do you think it’s ok to use like 4 tsp to 24 oz and jus steep for like eight hours? or will that make it bitter?

VariaTEA

I think Roswell Strange coldbrewed Blueberry Jam and didn’t enjoy it as much as she liked it hot but I might be wrong.

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I woke with a start that only the truly anxiety-ridden are familiar with, and checked the clock only to learn that it was 4:00 AM. There are times when you wake with a start but can nevertheless calm yourself down until you fall asleep again, and then there are others when you know that any efforts to stave off your anxiety and actually get back to sleep will be fruitless. Sadly, this night fell into the latter category. Not to worry though, as I quickly slipped out of bed and headed to play on the computer in the living room. What on earth did people do with their anxiety in the middle of the night before the internet?

And what better cure for needless anxiety than a steaming mug of tea and settling down with a cozy book. And I really picked a most cozy and delicious tea to accompany me! This very generous sample comes to me from the extremely kind-hearted VariaTea, who sneakily rummaged around on my wishlist and sent me like all of it. This tea was wonderful!

The people who rave on and on about the aroma of the dry leaf aren’t kidding: it smells like a baker’s kitchen, nutty and sweet. I don’t know that I would identify the nutty smell as almond right away, or perhaps it is—and it isn’t of the marzipan dessert variety. I steeped this up for four minutes with milk and sugar, and the sip was thick, buttery, and nutty, with a hint of sweet breadiness. I’ve had brioche before (although it was from Cora’s, and I can’t attest to its quality, necessarily, and I imagine French chefs would scoff), and actually found it a bit underwhelming as a bread, but again, it was at Cora’s so there’s that. But this tea was excellent, and manages to feel simultaneously decadent and mainstream, so that I could easily imagine having it as a breakfast tea. The flavours work very harmoniously with the base, and this tea will indeed remain on my wishlist. It’s one of those thick, buttery teas that makes you want to slide your tongue around the roof of your mouth to lap up all the buttery cream. Mmm.

Courtney

I also had that sort of night. I woke up at 1:45 and I should’ve just gotten up, because I got no sleep for the rest of the night. This tea is delicious though!

keychange

How supremely irritating. uggh. I hope we both sleep better tonight. And yeah this tea is great!

Cheri

This sounds like a delicious tea. I’m going to add it to my wishlist. :)

I hate not being able to sleep at night. I often can’t get to sleep at night, or I wake up and I’m up for hours. Usually, there’s no reason why that I can tell, which is even more infuriating. I hope everyone sleeps well tonight, and makes it through the day without too much trouble.

keychange

cheri, I do hope you get to try this tea soon. I would send you some but I only have a serving left haha. And yes, here’s to a proper night of sleep tonight!

VariaTEA

I am sorry to hear about your night but definitely happy you enjoyed the tea. I am quickly running out which is so strange because when I tried it the first time, I really did not like it and now I can’t get enough.

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drank Je t'Aime by Nina's Paris
513 tasting notes

This sample came to me via the wonderful and ever so thoughtful JustJames, who is so much more than just anything (I’ve said that before, I know, but it’s still true).

I decided to have this tea this morning because another steepsterite wanted to potentially send me some in a swap, and I had to figure out if I actually liked it enough to acquire more. I did enjoy the cup, although I did find it quite thin, even at a four-minute steep. In fairness, I wrecked the first sample because I used a huge mug and the water wasn’t close enough to the top to really soak the leaves sufficiently, but I did follow it up with another properly brewed cup. Don’t get me wrong—this tea does indeed taste of caramel and vanilla—but, I don’t know, there’s an underlying sharpness (which is not to be confused at all with bitterness or astringency—it’s more, I don’t know, it’s more something that I find to be present in all of NP’s teas). But I’m so so happy to have tried this, JustJames. Thank you so so much!

Kat_Maria

“JustJames, who is so much more than just anything” – that is such a cute thing to say :)

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Of course it’s the case that this tea is no longer available and I made the creamiest, most delicious cup of it I’ve pretty much ever had. It was a most delightful cup of creamed white chocolate and peppermint milk. I still have the rest of the tin to get through, and it’s not a tea I reach for as often as I should given how much I like it when I do have it, but still: there’s something about approaching an eventual sip down knowing that you perhaps won’t be able to restock this tea again. ever.

In other news, Mr. Keychange and I, along with a few family members, went and looked at wedding venues today! I intended on drinking much more tea than I did, but that’s also because I woke up like twenty minutes before our wedding planner arrived to whisk us off. But we’ve chosen our venue, and have reserved a date! so so excited!

Oh, and i’m a complete tool and sent sil the timolino without the steeping basket in it! the poor girl was ridiculously polite and didn’t even say anything about it, when all at once it struck me last night while I was in bed. Definitely an ‘oh shit’ moment. Anyway, rectifying that one, obviously. LOL

Courtney

Yay! That’s awesome!

keychange

Thanks! I’m getting so excited.

Memily

Ooh, would you recommend milk with this? How do you steep yours?

Suziqzer

Yeah! Congrats on finding a venue! Sounds like a great tea on a great day :)

Sami Kelsh

Congratulations on the venue! So exciting!

Sil

So excited for you having secured a venue. We’re still trying to decide if we even want to do much of anything. I’m sort of a let’s go to city hall and then make everyone come bowling with us for the afternoon sort of thing lol

keychange

Thanks guys!
Memily, this is fantastic with milk! I steep for about ive minutes (anything longer and a bitter note creeps in) with a generous helping of milk and sugar. So much nom in one cup!
Yeah sil, it can be hard to decide on what to do. weddings are so insanely expensive and can easily ge tout of control. Bowling and city hall sound much less high-maintenance though, and you seem like a fairly low-maintenance kind of person.

Cheri

keychange, yay! finding a venue and setting a date makes things so much more real.

Sil, city hall and bowling sounds like a great way to go.

Both of those said, this tea sound delicious.

keychange

This tea is wonderful! and yes, weddings in general are so so exciting! It really does feel so much more real now.

Cheri

It’s been almost 12 years since mine, and I still dream about it. <3

Sil

sometimes i wonder if we’ll regret going with a more low key thing, especially given that our friends are all sort of doing the bigger thing…but hey..i figure if we do…then we have a 10 year vow renewal with our dog?kid(s)? money from careers that are doing well….lol something like that…

Hello.Kiki

This tea sounds delicious!
And congratulations! That’s one thing that is a big relief to get checked off the list!
My husband loved the whole big wedding planning and organizing, I did not! We compromised though. We had about fifty people and reserved a room for private dining.
It was perfect for us and I think that’s the most important thing. Finding something that matches you guys as a couple.
Sil, everyone I’ve talked to who did the huge wedding has said they wish they did something more intimate. Again, it comes down to the couple. Like you said though, there’s always a vow renewal option!

keychange

Cheri, that’s lovely that you still dream about your wedding. And sil, it’s hard to say what we’ll regret later, but like you said, there are so many opportunities to celebrate your relationship. Or maybe you guys could do something a bit more formal but not overly grand?

Sil

Ian wants to make everyone go to chicago to have our reception in the museum so we can sleep with the dinosaurs lol

keychange

Sounds fine to me. Plus then you can go to adagio and other assorted tea stores!

Angrboda

We did relatively low key for ours. We had the city hall (Husband blankly refused a church ceremony and I was fine with that as none of us are religious people) at about 11 o’clock, then photos, and then a lunch buffet at a restaurant. No dancing, as again, none of us are really dance-y people much, so we skipped that. We had nearest English family come over and then a second do (a good meal, but again, no dancing) in England with the rest of English family a couple of weeks later. It sounds bigger than it was. I know it wasn’t the most expensive part by far, but I still feel like the biggest splurge was the hotel suite in town for the wedding night. I don’t know what that cost, but I know it was a lot, because Husband told me not to stand too near while he paid, because he thought I probably didn’t want to know. :p

For something relatively formal but not HUGE, I can recommend the lunch buffet approach at a good restaurant. Everybody had far more than they could eat, there was a lovely cake and once we had organised it with the restaurant we chose, we didn’t have to do anything other than show up, since we decided against table plans and that sort of thing. Some of the guests found that odd, but I quite enjoyed that people could pick their own seat at both dos. At the second we encouraged people to find a new seat for the dessert so they could sit with some other people, but that wasn’t mandatory.

OMGsrsly

Sil, that sounds awesome! :)

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drank Cool Cucumber by DAVIDsTEA
513 tasting notes

No, not for me. The scent wafting up from the bag was a combination of mint and melon, with a bit of cucumber. Definitely a very fresh scent, and it certainly conjures up images of sitting on a sun-drenched patio with a drink that has a paper umbrella. Sadly, the actual brew doesn’t follow through. perhaps it’s trying to be too many things, but I found that the mint (which definitely smells suspiciously of toothpaste) battled with the cucumber for first place, and there was some sort of drying effect, and then maybe a hint of melon but god knows what I was tasting by the time I was through with the sip.

Will I finish the sample bag? probably not. Life’s too short to drink tea I don’t love.

TheTeaFairy

Booo, too bad…my sister in law said she didn’t buy it when she was in store, cause in smelled like dill!! I thought it was hilarious and that she might have made an automatic association with cucumber and dill. Do you think it does smell like it?

keychange

Dill??! not even a tiny, tiny bit. All cucumber/melon and a dose of toothpaste. LOL

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This was my second go around with this tea, and I had it with a bagel and cream cheese this morning. This cup was pretty similar to the first cup I had, which is always nice for the sake of consistency. And I still maintain that it’s an excellent breakfast tea that has a nice heft to it, is malty, but still manages to be refreshing, with the most delightful hint of astringency—if it can even be called that. I feel as though astringency conjures up something negative, something akin to bitterness or too much in the way of tannins, but I don’t mean that at all. There’s just a refreshing burst at the tail end of each sip and it prevents the tea from ever feeling too “heavy” even though it’s definitely full-bodied. definitely a win for Harney!!

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I have a few things to say right off the bat.

1. The French really know how to do their teas. One of the things I appreciate so much about Mariage frères is the fact that you need not have a highly developed, snobby, or sophisticated palate to enjoy their tea. It is true that some French teas are flavoured more delicately than others, although I would still say that on the whole, most flavours are quite prominent, and if the flavouring is delicate, it still manages to have a refined sort of elegance or smoothness that is undeniable, even to a barbarian of a tea drinker.

2. This is a very, very good tea. It’s a back log because I had it after work yesterday (and then followed it up with, um, quite a bit of wine), so I’m going based on memory. I’ve actually had this tea (along with a few other MF teas) sitting around in my cupboard since September, because a friend went to England and very kindly braved Selfridges in order to procure me my tea. I was packaging some up to send off to Courtney and decided that I really need not put it off any longer.

3. This tea tastes like sweet, spiced almonds. Not candied, necessarily, because I certainly was not picking up on any sort of marzipan or amaretto-type dessert, and I wouldn’t even call this a dessert tea. And oh my god does the spiced almond pair so effortlessly with the base. what an exquisite tea. And a good thing, given that you can’t get it in quantities smaller than 100 g (at least not at Selfridges).

And omg. It paired so unbelievably well with my frosted banana pudding sugar cookie. Thanks, roswell strange, for introducing me to this very delicious (and incredibly simple!) recipe.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Charissa

‘Barbarian of a tea drinker’—Ha! LOL

Fjellrev

Lovely review. :D

keychange

Thanks! It is also a very lovely tea.

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My stomach still isn’t feeling entirely back to normal yet, and I also woke up for no reason at about 4:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Actually, that’s a lie: there is a reason. yesterday morning, I woke up feeling incredibly weak and exhausted, and knew I wasn’t going to make it into work. I ended up sleeping until about 4:00 in the afternoon, at which point I forced my zombie-like body to at least sit up. There are those people who, even in the absence of any sort of structure that requires them to be up at a certain time, will nevertheless maintain a fairly consistent and conventional sleep schedule—they may sleep and wake a bit later than the average business shift workers, but still sleep at night and are awake during the day. I, on the other hand, will revert to god knows what in the absence of structure. I think it’s due to a condition called “delayed sleep phase”, where you actually do sleep for a normal number of hours, but it’ll always be later than those in your time zone (and unfortunately this condition isn’t just corrected by, like, taking off to England, so I sadly can’t use that as an excuse). Anyway, sorry. You didn’t come here to read about my poor sleep habits.

I knew I wanted a lighter tea this morning, and that a black tea might feel too harsh on my stomach. This cup was a bit varied for me. Some sips brought me right back to the creamy wonderland of cantaloupe goodness I remembered, while others left something to be desired. There’s also the fact that this tea is more delicately flavoured, so won’t necessarily hit you over the head with intensity, and sometimes it takes a few sips to really recognize that and appreciate the nuances. But appreciate them I did. I’m dangerously close to a sip down on this one, but am probably due for a Butiki order soon anyway.

Kaylee

I accidentally steeped this one for over six minutes yesterday and it actually brought out more of the cantaloupe flavor without the base tea suffering/getting bitter. So try that. :-)

keychange

Oh, that’s a great idea! I’ll try that!

OMGsrsly

Oh geez, I do that too! During Christmas break (campus is closed so I don’t have to work every day), my schedule shifted so I was going to bed at 6 am and sleeping for my usual 7.5 hours. So annoying. But maybe a night shift would work better for me…

keychange

How annoying! and yes, I’ve often wondered if I’d do better working at night.

OMGsrsly

I’ve been applying for admin jobs in the hospitals, so I may get a chance to find out. :)

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Bio

Well, it’s been slightly over six months since I’ve joined steepster, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about this community. Like many of you, I began my foray into the world of loose-leaf tea by discovering David’s Tea, and although I’ve ventured out and have discovered many other companies that I’m extremely fond of, there are still many of David’s teas that I hold close to my heart and I will always appreciate it as a starting point for my journey.

As for my preferences, I tend to prefer bold black tea, flavoured and unflavoured alike, and I almost always take my blacks with cream and sugar. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good, flavoured white though, and I’m slowly making my way through the incredibly confusing world of oolongs and greens. I am also not a fan of rooibos, although I am starting to suspect green rooibos may be ok, but you know how it is: when you’ve decided you detest a certain ingredient, you’ll notice it everywhere—perhaps even where it doesn’t exist!

Things other than tea: I’m engaged to be married to my best friend, and feel like the richest woman on the planet because of it. I am also a veracious reader, and I also happen to have an obsession with fragrances, and have amassed quite a collection, although it pales in comparison to some collections out there! As a result of this obsession, I also follow several fragrance blogs, and am always up for a chat about scent. I’m also almost completely blind, and this does indeed mean that I come complete with a guide dog, who unlike me, hales from the sunny California campus of Guide dogs for the Blind. I think I’ve rambled on long enough, but if there’s anything you’d like to know or if you just feel like chatting to someone, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

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Ontario, Canada

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