drank Banana Nut Bread by DAVIDsTEA
4754 tasting notes

So I did a Bad Thing again today, and stopped in at DavidsTea after hitting the gym… because there were ~9 or so teas I hadn’t tried and was dying to! Soooo now I have six cups of tea sitting here to review (!!!!) and they’re all cold, because I got distracted by an hour long phone call with the boy! Hazards of longish-distance dating, I suppose! Good thing I like cold tea.

This one’s first up, and the only one I intentionally bought more than 10g of, because it’s so heavy. The aroma of the dry tea reminds me quite a bit of DT’s Carrot Cake (which I didn’t mind, unlike many people), so it’s kind of sweet-ish and nutty, and if I sniff hard I can pick out banana.

I would like to sincerely thank those people who’s tasting notes I read beforehand who warned me not to use a difficult-to-clean infuser basket because wow, does this tea ever make a sticky mess! I used my ForLife all-metal filter, which is so much easier to clean than my Finum baskets. This tea brews up to quite a light colour, which I wasn’t really expecting, and the aroma is kind of banana-y (although it’s cold, so that might be unfair).

The flavour is quite sweet, nutty, and definitely banana-y. It’s also quite smooth (I’d attribute that to the banana) and if I try, I can imagine that I’m drinking a liquefied piece of banana bread. So overall, I think this tea is pretty successful! Unfortunately (well, kind of fortunately, I suppose!), I’m not the biggest fan of banana bread, so although I’m enjoying this cup, it’s not a tea I’d purchase again. I’ll enjoy the second cup that the rest of my 20g gives me (I was heavy on the leaf and made a larger-than-8oz cup). Also, I am getting just a bit of a chemically flavour from the tea. Not too strong, and not uncommon, but it is there.

Boiling 8 min or more

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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