13991 Tasting Notes

98

So, I slept in today – by about three hours! Whoops. At least I woke up in time to shoot back a small glass of this, get dressed, and scramble out of the door in time to not be late (by more than five minutes).

I set this out to cold brew last night, and very quickly strained it this morning (so told cold brew time of about 8 hours). I’m pretty sure I spilled a whole bunch all over the counter, but I didn’t really have time to clean it up, so that’s gonna be fun to come home to after work.

I only had about half a cup worth, and I was drinking it mostly to get something in me. So sadly, I can’t say I noticed anything about the taste other than the faintest blueberry. I just wasn’t paying attention at all. I’ll have to properly drink a glass when I get home from work…

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48

Well, there goes the days sipdown efforts…

I got home from work today only to find that my swap from akgrowngirl had arrived, and she’d added in an extra tea – negating my two sipdowns of the day. Curse the generosity on Steepster (not really though, you people are lovely)! Anyway, because I was back at where I’d started I felt I had to make the last tea of the day a sipdown so I’d made at least a little progress. I also really wanted to make this sipdown count so I picked this tea which I recieved as a surprise add in from VariaTEA in our first swap.

First time around I used half the leaf for a timolino full of this that I took to work – and I hated it! I’ve been dreading siping down the last little bit, and I always feel horrible throwing leaf out. I can’t pawn it off on Robyn either because the two things she flat out wont drink (she accepts most of my ‘toss away’ tea quite graciously) are coconut and pineapple, and this definitely has pineapple. I know I’m going to feel SUPER relieved once it’s out of my cupboard officially! So, this sipdown is definitely worth it and will make me feel like I’ve accomplished something significant today.

(Also, I think this is my first time noticing it – but this blend has raisins in it! YUCK!)

So for preparation I used the last of the leaf (nearly a tablespoon) for a 10 oz. mug, steeped in 10 oz. of water for a very brief 2 minutes (in the hopes of balancing out the fact I heavily overleafed). The colour is a funky purple. And the smell is majorly artificial blueberry with a generic, tart “tang”. Ick…

As far as taste goes, this is just about as bad as I remember it being the first time. Everything about it tastes artificial, cloying, and borderline chemical. It leaves a really funny “sour” taste in my mouth (sour as in “gone bad”), and the pineapple is so warped and distorted from any kind of actual pineapple taste. I’m drinking as big of gulps as I can manage, and choking it down like a champ. I can do this!

Semi side note: In anticipation of this being awful, I started cold brewing a jug of Blueberry Jam to enjoy tomorrow morning so I can have a real blueberry tea first thing – to counteract this lousy tea experience.

ALL GONE! Like. A. Fucking. Boss.

I feel very accomplished right now. I could have just tossed the leaf, but instead I fought through the cuppa, making this sipdown so much more worth it! Hell yeah! SIPDOWN!

VariaTEA

OMG I am so sorry to put you through that torture. Honestly, life is too short to suffer through bad teas so just throw it out or send it away or swap it. At least it is done now and I will never send it to you again. Also, after our many swaps and reading your reviews, I am quite aware of your hatred for raisins and keep that in mind when I decided to add things.

Roswell Strange

It’s ok! Honestly, even if I had of noticed the raisins initially, I would probably have still tried it because I love pineapple. I don’t think there’s a single pineapple tea I’m not willing to try at least once. Pineapple trumps raisins :P Anyway, I’ve tried lots of good teas from you – so that more than makes up for the occasional lousy one.

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60

Like the other teas I’ve had today, this was picked out because it was (practically) a sipdown and helped to drink down all the DAVIDsTEA blends I have. Technically I still have enough for another cup of this, though…

The sample of this came to me by way of Janelle’s tea stash sale. I can’t remember why I picked this one out – I think because I was looking at trying more oolong blends?

Dry, this smells like bergamot and citrus with something really floral; jasmine? After looking up the ingredients (I hadn’t done this prior to now, not sure why exactly), turns out there is jasmine in the blend along with some other stuff. I have no clue what a schizandra berry is, to be honest, but I wasn’t anticipating either that or jasmine. Although, looking closer at the leaf now I totally see the berries. Not sure how I missed them before…

For preparation I steeped up 2 tsp. of leaf in my 12 oz. timolino, with near boiling water. I’m trying to remember the steep time; I think it was four minutes? This steeped up to be very pale in colour. I also meant for this to be my first work tea of the day (kind of a morning tea), but I ended up drinking Cold 911 first. It feels a little odd drinking an Earl Grey so late into the day.

There’s a woman at my kiosk taking her sweet ass time browsing, which would be fine except she has a baby with her (six months old by my guess) that has been SCREAMING for a solid ten minutes, and the mother is doing literally nothing about it. Not moving the stroller back and forth, or feeding the kid, or even saying soothing things. My headache from all the fucking screaming is KILLING me. Urghhh… TAKE CARE OF YOUR FUCKING BABY!

In so far as the smell, it’s a very strange amalgamation of bergamot and jasmine with some lavender notes? Not exactly super appealing. The taste isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, just based on the smell. The bergamot comes off pretty weak, and the jasmine/lavendar combo is a touch perfumey, though the oolong base tastes pretty good. Somehow everything is just not properly synchronizing, though.

This is something I might be a little reluctant to drink again, and as such definitely not a reorder if I were to ever get the chance. I think I’ll be able to finish off that last cup without too much problem, though. Happy I tried it, but not sold on the taste. Thanks nonetheless Janelle!

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79

Second sipdown of the day (134)! I picked this deliberately because I knew I could make it a sipdown, and because it’s a DAVIDsTEA blend which I just seem to have so many of, so slowly working to sipdown the samples.

The sample of this one come to me from VariaTEA as part of the herbal sampler she mailed to me. It reminds me a lot of DAVIDsTEA’s blend ’Midsummer’s Night Dream’ in that they’re both herbals with orange flavour and mint – although lately I’ve been falling out of love with Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I think I may enjoy this a little more – though not sure why?

A had about 2 tsp. left of this so I brewed up an extra strong cup and then watered it down a little.

Last time I had this it was hot, but this time I’m drinking it cold because I often prefer mint blends cold rather than hot. I think that’s true of this one, too. The eucalyptus in this blend is also very soothing on my throat, which was just a bit scratchy feeling. Honestly, I think I’d prefer to stock this over Midsummer Night’s Dream – but I still have a mostly full tin of that one to get through, and I think I’ll finish the tin off before making up my mind. The two are too similar for me to justify keeping them both in stock at the same time.

Thank you VariaTEA for sending this my way!

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90

Well crap the store is busy! I guess a whole bunch of people waited until last minute for their Christmas shopping to get done. It’s going to be fun squeaking in time to log my work teas today (but at leas the shift will go by quickly)!

Anyway, I actually had this in the morning before I left for work, while I was getting ready. I wanted to get in as many sipdowns as possible today because I’m sitting at 136 (before counting what I’ll get from the 12 Days exchange, a few swaps I’m expecting, two Black Friday orders I’m still waiting on, and a couple other orders to boot) – most of which is in large quantity, and that’s a scary number. I also have half a jug of milk to use up which’ll be going bad any day now, so those were both things I took into consideration in picking my morning tea.

It’s not often I reach for an unflavoured tea over a flavoured one – but this was one of few things I had in a quantity that I could sipdown. I recieved this as a one cup sample from Stacy which she threw into my last Butiki order, generously on top of the two other samples I had requested. I actually really like most straight blacks – I just happen to like flavoured blacks a little more.

Dry, the leaf smells nice and bold with some oak notes. There was a subtle sweetness to the leaf as well. For preparation, I used the prepackaged amount in 8 oz. of boiling water, steeped for about 3 min. and 45 seconds. The steeped smell was very bold, rich and malty, with a mild sweetness to it and just a touch of astringency on the tail. I ended up drinking the first third of my cup straight (no additives) and it was super good and definitely provided a nice wake up slap.

The last two thirds had a splash of milk added in, but no sugar (I hate adding sugar to tea). With the milk added, it was still very smooth and malty with creamier sort of chocolate notes (very subtle, though) and a richness of a different sort and no astringency. This too was very lovely to drink first thing in the morning. I think I preferred it this way, but only slightly.

I’m very disappointed now this didn’t make it into my Black Friday order and Stacy is all out of this (version of the) blend now, for a while. This is a straight black I could definitely see myself drinking often as a morning tea (not so much any other time of the day, though). Oh well.

9/10 – would totally drink again if given the chance. A very sad sipdown, indeed. I’ll keep my eyes out for the opportunity to acquire angina in swaps and such, and I’m sure I’ll eventually try the new version. Also, I do have some Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black to try, too…

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80

Decided that I needed to have this tonight so I could do a comparison of it and DAVIDsTEA’s Genmaicha while the taste of DT’s blend was still fresh in my memory. I’m even drinking this while eating the same vegetable stir fry that I was munching on last night!

Dry, this one smells significantly more “seaweedy” than DT’s version, and this appears to have more green tea in comparison to the amount of brown rice. For preparation, I used 1 tsp. of leaf steeping in 8 oz, of water at about 80 degrees celsius for 1 min. 30 seconds. The colour of the liquor is more green than the DT one from last night was (that one was more of a pale yellow). Brewed, they give off a nearly identical smell.

As far as taste goes, this is still very toasty and roasty and comforting, with a clear “puffed wheat” type of taste – though it’s not quite as distinct as DT’s version, mostly because the taste of the green tea in this one is stronger and masks the rice just a little bit. I do enjoy the DT version just slightly more and I would be content with stocking either, though definitely not both.

So keeping that in mind, both are just as accessible to me, but this one is a fair bit cheaper so I’d probably stock this over the DT version.

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79
drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
13991 tasting notes

Last time I was at DAVIDsTEA (well, disregarding my trip today) I bought 30g of this tea to play around me. I had been trying to think of why I had never tried this before, despite my love of all the listed ingredients and the fact it’s probably DAVIDsTEA’s most popular (definitely top 3) blends. Ultimately, I think I’ve never tried this prior to now because it’s Robyn’s favourite tealess tea, and I always just considered it so available because of that that I didn’t need to buy some for myself. Except, every time I see Robyn I forget to ask for a sample. So, I took things into my own hands and bought some for myself.

Dry, this tea smells heavenly! It’s strongly nutty but the apple and cinnamon also remind me of apple crumble or apple pie filling! Delicious! I’m confidant this will have to be one of the teas I hide from Tre since he always complains about my not having an apple and cinnamon tea (he grew up on the bagged versions), and now I do…

This came to work with me today, although I only started drinking it a few minutes before I left so I wound up not having time to log it at work. And then, instead of heading straight home I went to the bank and Tea Desire and DAVIDsTEA.

This tea would up being a great turn around point for my day! Taste wise, it was heavenly. There was this great balance between the nuttiness and apple/cinnamon, and it was really comforting. It did remind me of apple pie! Actually, when I got to DAVIDsTEA I was only planning on picking up 50g of Sweet Strawberry and a sample amount of Bollywood Chai but since this was so good I through in a tin of this as well, on a whim. Mmmm…

VariaTEA

I LOVED this tea when I first had it and then one day, for no reason at all, fell completely out of love. Even the smell is off-putting to me and I have no clue why because I know it is a good tea. By the way, have you tried the Toasty Almond?! They are very similar.

ashleyelizabeth

Same thing happened to me VariaTEA, but I have no idea why. I bought a 100g tin of this which I had I think one or two cups of and now it’s been sitting in my cupboard untouched for about a year.

VariaTEA

I believe Courtney had the same problem as well. I find it so weird how one day this tea can be the greatest thing in the world and the next, you can’t even stand to look at it.

Roswell Strange

Haven’t tried the Toasty Almond yet, but I’m excited to :)

Isaila

Y’all should try it iced. Once I went into DavidsTea with a friend and they forgot to put in my order, but had this extra cup of iced Forever Nuts and so I just took it… and even though I think it’s kinda weak hot it was FAB iced.

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6

Tre left today for his Christmas trip with his Dad (although, not before they had both sat down for some tea first) this morning, so I now have the apartment all to myself until about the 30th. That’s kinda exciting!

He also left his bus card for me to use, so that’s almost equally exciting! Now I can take the bus to work and downtown without worrying about using up all my rides

However, as soon as I got to work things turned around really fast, and now I’m having a kinda crummy day. First off, my most incompetent employee (honestly, she’s so nice and hard working, bless her soul, but she just doesn’t understand how to do ANYTHING on the till and has the worst cash handling skills I’ve ever seen) screwed up a whole bunch of refunds and didn’t keep any of the receipts so I have NO CLUE what was and wasn’t supposed to be refunded and I have no way of fixing anything. It
s infuriating, really, because now out till is thirty dollars over which means I not only have to report all the stock/inventory/refund issues to head office (my boss) but have to fill out a giant stack of paperwork because are till is (significantly) off. I’ve explained how to do refunds to her at least six times and each time I tell her that if she doesn’t understand she needs to let me know so I can keep going through things with her, and each time she says she understands but then the very next refund she does she completely fucks up the very next refund she does! Urgggg!!!

And, someone also sprayed a WHOLE BUTT FUCKING TON of cheap, perfume right next to my stand and now I can’t stop sneezing and everything smells absolutely disgusting. Urghhh…

I received this tea in my very first swap with VariaTEA and I’m only just now having it. Ultimately I had wanted my first time drinking this to be as a direct comparison with Della Terra’s Cherry Cola and Cake but I kept putting off brewing them up at the same time and now I’ve swapped away all of the Cherry Cola and Cake so there was nothing preventing me from brewing this up other than my own procrastination.

So, for 8 oz. of boiling water I used 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped for five minutes. That used up about half my sample. Smell wise, there was definitely a cola scent and some mild cherry notes too – but everything was very chemical smelling. Ultimately I’ve heard only bad things about this tea, so I’m only trying it to have tried it – I had low expectations well before brewing it and do not expect to love this.

Taste wise, I am very right to have kept my expectations super low. This tastes God awful. The words that comes to mind are “burnt” and “tobacco” with some very butchered and nasty cherry/cola taste. It’s SO chemical, and just… no.

So, not a great addition to my lousy work day but at least I wasn’t expecting it to be. I’m definitely not finishing off what’s left in my water bottle, and I doubt that I’ll be the one drinking the rest of the sample I have. I guess, when he returns, this was be something I make for Tre and get him to choke down…

VariaTEA

I really do not understand why I bought this at all. I mean, I am super picky about Cola (if a restaurant only has pepsi, I drink water – that is how picky I am) and I don’t like warm or flat soda so I really don’t see the appeal. Plus, because it was when I first found teas, I didn’t know I could buy less than 50 g so now I am stuck with it. I am sorry to hear that you did not have a better experience with it. Hopefully some of the other teas I sent have been better.

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82
drank Genmaicha by DAVIDsTEA
13991 tasting notes

Genmaicha is just about the only straight green tea I’ll willingly drink, so I’ve been taking the opportunity to get different Genmaicha teas. Currently, I have the version from McQuarrie’s Tea & Coffee Merchants, this one and Genmai Hojicha from DAVIDsTEA, Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha from 52Teas, and will be receiving the Butiki take from a swap. To me that seems like a fair bit of Genmaicha to get through, so I thought I’d start tonight.

The only other Genmaicha I’ve tried that wasn’t from a restaurant was McQuarrie’s version, and comparatively the leaf in this one seems to have a more equal ratio of brown rice to green tea leaves than the McQuarrie’s version did. McQuarrie’s version seemed to have more leaf and less brown rice. As far as the smell of the leaf goes, this is just a touch less seaweedy in smell – so already this is loing fairly promising.

For preparation, I’m using 1 tsp. of leaf in 8 oz. of water that’s roughly 70 degrees celsius. I left it to steep for three minutes. The smell of the steeped liquor is very toasty, and a nice pale yellow.

As far as the taste goes, I get little green tea (which is nice) and lots of toasted rice! I’m heavily reminded of straight puffed wheat. It’s a very nice, comforting cup. No bitterness, either. It’s been awhile since I had my McQuarrie’s blend, but just going on memory I think this is just a touch better? Both are readily available to me, but the McQuarrie’s blend is cheaper. Hmm, I think I’ll need to have the McQuarrie’s blend later tonight or some time tomorrow so I can do a more accurate comparison.

Also, I’m fangirling so much right now! I’m watching Doctor Who and Andrew Garfield is in this episode! Eiiii! I love him so much!!! :D

EDIT: Resteeped the leaf right away – I just needed another cup of toasty goodness. The second steep was ok, but significantly greener in taste. If memory serves, I think I prefer the second steep of McQuarrie’s version to the second steep of the DAVIDsTEA version. Hmmm…

EDIT: Ooohhhh :( Well, that didn’t last long. Poor, sweet, cutie pie Andrew Garfield’s character Frank with the lovely Texas accent just died…

EDIT: Urghhhh… This episode is an emotional roller coaster. Turns out the pig things hadn’t killed beloved Andrew yet! Eeeiii! More Andrew Garfield <3

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76

Just got home from work and microwaved the stir fry that Tre ordered me last night but I was too full to actually eat. I was trying to think of what to pair it with, are green tea seemed like the best idea. Except, I don’t really like green tea and the only unflavoured green I have in Genmaicha which seemed a little light in taste to pair with this. So, I decided to try one of the matchas I haven’t dug into yet. Initially I was going to go with Pineapple, but Tre said this sounded more unusual so I went with this instead.

I decided to try it out as a tea soda, so to prepare it I mixed 1.2 tsp. of powder into about an oz. of hot water which I mixed it into the dissolve. I then let it cool off and finally poured in a can of club soda. The smell is only faintly bubblegum (both dry and mixed up) so I’m wondering if maybe I should have mixed more in? All the other matchas I’ve encountered have smelled very strong in flavour.

Taste wise, I get bubblegum but only a little. Mostly, I taste very vegetal green tea (which is weird carbonated). It’s drinkable, but I definitely don’t enjoy this as much as either of the last two matchas I’ve tried (orange and eggnog). I’m not sure if I’ve tried any matcha that I feel like I need to order, and this is no exception.

Overall, just mediocre. Regardless, thanks VariaTEA for sending a sample my way! I’m slowly learning more about matcha thanks to everyone’s generosity.

VariaTEA

Really the thanks should go to Cavocorax for this one as she sent me such a generous sample that I had enough to share.

Roswell Strange

Well much thanks to Cavocorax as well, then! :)

TeaLady441

Hahah. I’m just glad it’s getting around.

TeaLady441

(it’s a really weird flavour)

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Bio

Hello! My name is Kelly, though many people in the tea community call me Ros or Roswell.

I am a mid-twenties tea addict, blogger, and all around nerd. I grew up in the Prairies, but a few years ago I relocated to Quebec to pursue a career with DAVIDsTEA in the tea industry! I’m still working on getting my French language skills down…

My first introduction to tea, in any form outside of instant and bottled iced tea, was about seven years ago when I happened to stumble upon DAVIDsTEA while looking for a birthday present for a friend! I tried their Birthday Cake rooibos blend, and I’ve been hooked on tea ever since! In those seven years; I was introduced to the online tea community, expanded my interest in flavoured teas to include a deep love and appreciation for straight teas and traditional brewing methods, got a tea themed tattoo, started reviewing teas, amassed a sizable tea and teaware collection, became a TAC certified Tea Sommelier, & even came full circle by beginning a career in the tea industry with DAVIDsTEA!

I consider myself a Jack of all Teas, and strive to have a knowledge and appreciation of all tea types, formats, and styles of drinking. I don’t like to feel boxed in to just being a “flavoured tea” or “straight tea” drinker – my expectations may vary depending on the type of tea or how it’s been processed/prepared but if it’s good tea, it’s good tea no matter how it’s been made!

You name it, I probably drink it- and I’ll absolutely try anything at least once.

My default method of preparation is hot, Western style, and straight – but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea or use a different method of preparation I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though.

I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gongfu. Often I curate very intentional tea and music pairings, and sometimes I share them here in my tasting reviews. Music is something that I find can deeply affect the experience of having tea.

I’m also one half of the “tea and fandom” podcast GeekSteep where, weekly, we discuss newly explored fandoms over tea as well as try to figure out the perfect tea to pair with each fandom. You can find us on Spotify and Apple & Google podcasts.

Favourite flavour notes/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, hazelnut or walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strongly spiced profiles (and most Chai in general), mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, stevia, saltiness or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/obsessed with: Sheng from Yiwu, Yancha (Qilan in particular), anything with a strong sweet potato note. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas! Searching for a really good caramel flavoured blend, ideally with a black tea base.

Please contact me at the instagram account listed below if you would like me to review your teas.

Currently I’m employed in the tea department of the DAVIDsTEA head office. While I’m still sharing my own personal thoughts on new & existing DAVIDsTEA blends, I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any comments expressed are a reflection of my own thoughts and opinions, and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of the company. Any DAVIDsTEA blends you currently see with a numeric score were reviewed prior to my being hired there and have not been adjusted since becoming a DAVIDsTEA employee.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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