69 Tasting Notes

Sad to report that I’m still not a fan of Chai when it’s not in latte format…

I think I’ve been in denial about this for a while now, but I’m finally prepared to come to terms with it. On paper and in theory I should love Chai teas, they possess the flavor palette that I usually love in most black teas. Sad to say, sometimes the heart disagrees with the head.

For sometime now, when I’ve come across a Chai, I’ve thought, “this one sound different, new and interesting. I think I’ll really like it. This one will be different.” Alas, t’is never the case! Such was the thought I had when I discovered that this was slated as Day Two of David’s 24 Days of Tea advent calendar.

At first, I continued to try to like it. However, by mid-mug I found myself simultaneously trying to down it, so that I could move onto something I found more enjoyable, and keep it down as it was quite simply just not my cup of tea!

I won’t rate it, nor not recommend, as I’m sure Chai fans will find it enjoyable, this is just not my bag. However, I do appreciate all it has done, for at long last I have come to terms with not liking Chai tea. I no longer feel the need to live a lie! My name is Jenny and I don’t like Chai teas, and I don’t care who knows it!


Hey … not all teas are for all folks! I am the opposite, I find that I like most chai blends, but I’m not always a fan of them in a latte format. I’m actually quite picky about the chai in latte format because I used to blend teas and my chai blend (Masterpiece Chai) worked remarkably well as a latte, the flavors were actually enhanced with the addition of milk, and I find that isn’t always the case with chai blends because the milk often washes out the flavor of the spices too much for my liking. (I don’t usually go stovetop with my chai because I hate the mess, so I steep it extra strong and then add warmed milk to the strongly brewed chai.

More than you probably wanted to know about my taste in chai!


It’s funny how much that can change things for people! Your latte version sounds absolutely delicious!! I’m jealous!

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drank Earl Grey by T2
69 tasting notes

As I mentioned in my last post, I tend to despise Earl Grey. The bergamot is always just too harsh for me to enjoy, despite my best efforts.

When I got to this packet in my T2 sampler today, I almost skipped over it in favor of the more appealing “Creme Brulee”. However, I began to think it through and quickly realized that if I put it off till Monday, when spirits are typically much lower than a happy Friday morning (and I was in a particularly good mood for some reason this morning) then I will continue to delay trying it, and still never be excited about it.

I bit the bullet and steeped up a cup. To my chagrin, I didn’t hate it, but I can say it was among the least favorites of the group so far (looking, at you Ginger Spice). The bergamot wasn’t as bold and off-putting as it is in most blends, which makes it much easier to drink.

Don’t take my decision to NOT recommend this tea to heart. If you’re cool with Earl Grey, you’ll most likely enjoy this light blend.

Flavors: Bergamot

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank French Earl Grey by T2
69 tasting notes

I was very apprehensive about this portion of the flavored black tea sampler. Try as I might, I have never really found an Earl Grey that thrilled me, and most of them I find completely unappealing. However, much to my delight, I actually enjoyed this one! The bergamot was balanced by florals (namely hibiscus and rose) and it was quite lovely!

At long last an Early Grey that’s here to stay! (Well, in my cupboard, at least!)

Flavors: Floral, Hibiscus, Rose

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Ginger Spice by T2
69 tasting notes

This is the first tea in the T2 flavored black tea sampler that I’ve felt “ehh” about. It wasn’t bad, just only okay. I tend to prefer my ginger teas as green or herbal and drink them for health reasons, rather than for a morning pick-me-up, so perhaps ginger black teas just aren’t for me.

I do see some comments about adding some sweetener. I’ll have to give that a try in the future!

Flavors: Ginger

Boiling 6 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Melbourne Breakfast by T2
69 tasting notes

As you can see from my earlier reviews, I was very skeptical about T2. I have to admit that the smell and look of a lot of these teas did not do them justice. You must taste to believe! I have sincerely been enjoying each one of the flavored black teas included in my sampler set.

Which brings us to today’s. Melbourne Breakfast is a perfect breakfast tea. It reminds me a bit about everything I loved in Harney’s Paris tea the first time I tried it. Straightforward, balanced, not too harsh, and a nice warm vanilla on the finish.

Simple and delightful. Might need to make its way into my morning rotation.

Flavors: Vanilla

Boiling 6 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Terrific Toffee by T2
69 tasting notes

I have to admit, the name of this tea drew me to it, above many other of the brightly packaged boxes on T2’s wall. However, after one overpowering whiff of the sample, I recoiled. It seemed to be just too much. Although I can enjoy sweet teas, I assumed this one would be too syrupy and it reminded me of other cake or cookie-inspired teas that I’ve tried and disliked in the past.

I was almost dreading trying this tea in my flavored black tea sampler, but it was next in line, so I prepared to meet my fate today. I could not have been more wrong! Although definitely on the sweeter side, it is just what I needed to get me going on this Thursday. It also reminds me of O Canada! from David’s tea, but with caffeine!

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Blue Mountain by T2
69 tasting notes

I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. It tasted slightly tropical and similar to yesterday’s (Black Rose) in the sampler. It feels almost like a lighter version of yesterday’s tea.

Flavors: Tropical

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Black Rose by T2
69 tasting notes

This was the first tea I tried of the T2 flavoured black “selfies”/their version of a sampler set I suppose. I made the bold choice of starting with this tea, first.

I spent much time inspecting and sniffing all the teas they had on display and Black Rose was 1 of perhaps 2-3 that piqued my interest.

It was much as I expected – it had all the expected flavors – currants, rose, tropical fruit (in this case, my favorite, mango) with the cornflower blossoms to give it that pretty appearance.

Quite enjoyable.

Tomorrow I move onto the next in the box: Blue Mountains, which shares the cornflower blossoms, and swaps the rest of the ingredients with the specific “natural and artificial flavor”. We’ll see if I should’ve stuck to my original plan of just buying a larger quantity of Black Rose!

Flavors: Black Currant, Tropical

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Ah the triumphant return of fall! Not more than two weeks ago, the summer was sweltering on, but overnight the season has changed.

Nothing ushers in all the wonderfully crisp feelings of fall quite like this perfect cup of tea.

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drank Gingerbread by DAVIDsTEA
69 tasting notes

Well, 7 months later, I finally got to try this tea. I gave into my own laziness and bought a bunch of paper tea filters. I know it’s better to give tea the space to expand, but I find I’m usually too tired to clean out metal filters, and compromise with easy sachets.

Rarely do I neglect my lovely collection of looseleaf teas now! This being one of my favorite rooibos it’s perfect for a pre-bedtime cup. Malty and sweet, it reminds me David’s Oh, Canada! which I also previously preferred as a bedtime tea. Not as zesty or spiced, as I would have thought, which is a welcome surprise.

Flavors: Ginger, Honey, Maple

200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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“The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in the Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity. Knowledge is bought through a bad conscience, benevolence practised for the sake of utility. The East and West, like two dragons tossed in a sea of ferment, in vain strive to regain the jewel of life…Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.” – Kakuzo Okakura, “The Book of Tea”

I am happiest at a tea room, or snuggled up at home with a freshly brewed cup.


West Village, NYC

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