73 Tasting Notes

Came across this sample teabag included in an order from iHerb, and decided to try it before it disappeared again under a bunch of papers on the table. It was surprisingly good, too – enough that I’d be glad to have a box around for tired night rooibos drinking! I’m not sure if the stevia could get a touch bitter if it were left too long (does it do that, or is it only quality/amount that makes it bitter sometimes?), but the citrus and vanilla flavours were lovely, and the extra touch of sweetness was nice too. I wouldn’t have minded a stronger rooibos taste, but this was smooth, tasty, and very easy to drink.

ETA – the not so good news is that it left a slightly unpleasant, artificial aftertaste, which lingered for a while. Must be the stevia, as everything is organic. Pity!


just checking in to see how you’re doing this holiday season…hope all is well in your world!

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drank Mango Diablo by DAVIDsTEA
73 tasting notes

Sample kindly sent by Dexter3657 – thank you! I’m still hoarding a bit, but also trying to enjoy the teas without worrying too much about imperfect brewing. :) I did decide to wait on the Laoshan Village Chai though, as that would really make me sad not to do right. Anyway, this was a really fun tea! I liked the mango flavour, and had forgotten about mango and chili, which is one of those combinations that sounds odd but really works. The tea was definitely quite spicy but didn’t defeat me. :P Nice green base too, and overall I enjoyed it a lot. Not necessarily something that makes me unduly sad that David’s doesn’t ship internationally, but something I’m glad to have tried and look forward to drinking the rest of the sample. Another great choice, Dexter – thanks!


Glad you liked it, I included it because it was a spicy mango tea not because it was a Davids. I did not know that DavidsTea does not ship internationally. I know they ship to the US and therefore just thought they would ship anywhere. If I had known that……
Do you have a Davids tea that makes you “unduly sad” that you can’t get?


I have no Davids tea in my mind at all, aside from this one. :) You have to understand, I’m totally ridiculous, and when I effectively rejoined here, I started a notebook with shipping information anytime I read anything about a tea that sounded in any way interesting. Davids obviously gets mentioned a lot, so I checked out the website and noted their shipping policy. I certainly didn’t mean for you to feel bad about sending me the sample – on the contrary! It was great to be able to try a tea that wouldn’t be available to me otherwise, and especially one in a combination I wouldn’t have thought of for tea!


No I meant that if I had know how inaccessible it was, I would have sent more Davids samples. I drive by Davids on the way to and from work. Davids is easy for me to get. I forget sometimes it not that way for everyone. I should have sent you more Davids stuff.

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Another sample sent to me by ysaurella – thanks! I’m still limiting the notes, but I definitely liked both the Betjeman & Barton blends ysaurella sent me (this and Pouchkine) a lot more than the ones I bought myself – Luxury & Hanami (also Courtisanes, but that’s green). I like the orange, though I agree that I wouldn’t be able to distinguish it as blood orange, I like the more subtle taste of the chestnuts (compared to Luxury), and the cinnamon is a very nice addition to the mix. Good black base too. Definitely a pleasure drinking this – thanks again, Ysaurella!


I’m glad you liked it :)

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Okay, might have to revise what I said about preferring Marco Polo to the other wonderful Mariage Frères teas sent by ysaurella and cteresa. I drank this before I broke my elbow, but planned to do tasting note on second drinking, and now that my note-making abilities are very limited, I find I need to bump this up mentally! Love the chestnuttiness, (oh, really, Steepster, chestnuttiness should totally be a word if nuttiness is!), and the smooth, gentle tea base, and the vanilla notes. Still have enough for another sample with hope of a better note in the future, but not too much hope.

Thanks, ysaurella!


of course this one is really superior to Marco Polo ! I decide to be opiniated tonight. This is really a great great tea, alway in cupboard.

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I’m really feeling that I should have set up a taste comparison with this and Marco Polo side by side, identical cups, me all scientific and sh*t. Actually, I could do something of the sort, as cteresa sent generous enough samples that there’s still plenty left, though I totally shared with Cara! Anyway, this was lovely – the caramelly vanilla was strong enough but not overwhelming, the fruits were good and the base was strong enough to balance the flavours, but not at all bitter or too astringent. I’m now feeling a challenge to get beyond “the fruits”, to distinguish as cteresa managed. :) Thanks for this one, cteresa!

you should compare this one and St Petersbourg from Kusmi teas.
I give you the verdict (at least mine) : Paul & Virginie is better

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Finally feeling a little more competent about tea-making, so doing some more sampling today. (Will keep notes short though, to limit time at computer, after a few days ago with swelling that’s left a new set of bruises on my wrist!)

Was unimpressed with H&S Paris, really unimpressed, so didn’t have my hopes too high for this one (though it was sent by cteresa, so they weren’t low either), but really like it a lot. The flavouring is so gentle that it could almost be just the blend of Chinese black teas themselves, which works well for me – especially as I often find cocoa flavours get out of hand. Will try this again, with milk, just to see, but am definitely taken with it! Thanks, cteresa!

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

This one is an unflavored blend of three Chinese teas. I am, sadly, almost completely out.


Pfft – I’m wondering if they cut some connections in my brain while they were operating! Of course it’s unflavoured – the notes on the H&S website misled me, but my fault.

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I picked this up in town on the day I smashed my elbow, and only tried it in a rather half-hearted way while at my daughter’s. I’d no infuser, her rubbish teapot, no bags… unsurprisingly, it didn’t turn out amazingly well, but it seemed as if it might make a nice iced tea. A few days ago I made a big pot, added some lemon honey (ridiculously, we have no plain honey in the house – lemon, ginger, cinnamon and manuka, but no plain) and stuck it in the fridge. (Oh, right, no ice cubes, either.) It is a very nice iced tea indeed. Peach is the predominant fruit flavour, and it’s a good one – don’t know if the other fruits are that easily discernible or not, but I didn’t get them. Nice green base, if nothing amazing – but you don’t necessarily want amazing in this kind of flavoured tea. [Yikes, just these notes, and my right hand has started ballooning up again. Off to elevate it I go – no teacup in hand, either, alas!)


I love flavored honey. Cinnamon honey on toast is one of my favorite thing…….


oh dear, your poor hand/elbow/arm.

the tea sounds nice!


Dexter, we have a newish shop where I live which sells these wonderful flavoured honeys, and we’ve tried (and loved) all the above, and cherry – mango is next up, as soon as I finish one of the jars here. Exciting! :)

cteresa, I was planning on sending you some of the tea – it’s not at Yumchaa flavoured summery greens level, but not bad all the same, and a lot cheaper for me. Nice to have, not as a substitute, but an add-on, for big pitchers of iced. I’m a bit stingy with Yumchaa teas for that kind of use!


Aww, seriously you don´t have to – it´s getting hot finally and I am drinking little tea and really I should finish the teas I got at home (even if pricier, though I think palais des thes is as pricey to me here as yumchaa and theodor so no competition)


I’ll hold off if you really would rather not get samples, but was planning on just sending a few things – also got PdT Lychee, which I saw you expressed at least vague interest in trying. I can see PdT being as expensive for you as Theodor, but as much as Yumchaa? Wow. Most of their teas are roughly the same in Euro as Yumchaa is in Pounds, and Yumchaa doesn’t have ridiculous shipping, but it’s not cheap for here either. So odd that you can get the other French teas so reasonably, and PdT’s prices are inflated. COnfusing!


If I buy PdT or Theodor locally, the shop which has it (actually in another city) charges about the same for it, which is around 6 to 8 euros per 100 grams which is more or less the same as in their website but with no shipping or cheap national shipping. And if the price is around the same there is no competition between Theodor and Palais des Thes! Mariage Freres i can get locally and at 50 grams batches, sadly more expensive now around 8-9 euros 100 grams for most mixes. It was cheaper but raised this winter, in fact I think ALL teas got more expensive this winter.

Yumchaa, maybe – a friend used to buy in the market and bring them to me and then it was quite affordable because they did that 3 packs for £12 thing, and now it´s £5,20 plus reasonable shipping but I will have no option. But I guess it will end up close to the price of mariage freres locally (and probably still cheaper than ordering Theodor or palais des thes from Porto. dunno. will test).

And with rooibos it seems I have little choice! I have been buying cheaper ( up to 100 grams for 3 euros) nice smelling blends locally but it just is not the same, they are OK but they taste funny underneath, woody or the famous “medicinal”. Some teas like Carpe Diem or Berry Berry Nice or Nil Rouge, I just can not find anything comparable cheaper.


Pity about the price rise, though it’s still great you can get so many good teas locally! We’ll just have to convince Yumchaa they need to open a shop in Lisboa and one in Dublin and we’ll be all set. :)
You have absolutely no choice about the rooibos! Cara and I had the Carpe Diem last night and it is so good! There’s a tea shop in town that I’ve been meaning to get to for ages, after friends said they’d a lot of great rooibos blends. I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up too much though – don’t know that those friends have ever tasted these amazing rooibos teas, so not sure how high their standards are. I still want to get there though, as it would be so wonderful if they did have some good teas.

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A bit disappointed in this – the flavours were okay as was (as long as you don’t need your rooibos actually drowned out by other flavours!), but there needed to be a lot more vanilla to make it the kind of vanilla rooibos I like.

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I’ve been drinking tea pretty much all my life, allowing for the fact that there probably was no tea in my baby-bottles. I gave it up twice, once when a then-boyfriend sneered at me for being addicted (okay, I was, but I was also stubborn enough to bear a week of the blinding headaches and overwhelming exhaustion that followed cold-turkey withdrawal), and once on my first pregnancy. Neither experience gave me any reason to believe a life without tea is a good life.

Having spent most of my younger days in Ireland, where tea is everywhere, and mostly it’s decent, I whined my way across the States in the 80s and first half of the 90s. Now back in Dublin, and the tea situation is a bit mixed, but there’s the internet to provide what nearby shops don’t!

I started drinking green and white teas as well as my staple black a good few years ago now, but have recently decided I need to LEARN something more about tea than the little I know.

My likes:
- strong black tea blends; some flavoured blacks, such as Earl Grey and a small (but growing) number of other fruit and flower-flavoured ones; and chai. (For some daft reason, I feel like a tea fraud drinking sweet chai at home, though I’ll happily drink it out.)

- Chinese greens (may update this when I’ve learned enough to be more specific); some flavoured greens, especially if they’re made by the fabulous Yumchaa; Genmaicha; getting to like Sencha, as long as it’s not too bitter.

- White tea, pretty much as long as it’s good quality, I like it. Some flavoured ones are nice, though it’s easy to overpower the more delicate taste of white.

- Rooibos, which I know, I know, isn’t properly ‘tea’. (As above for Yumchaa flavoured rooibos – some of my favourites.)

- Any black tea made by someone who doesn’t know you need BOILING WATER. (See above about the Whining Years.)

- Hibiscus in fruit-flavoured teas. Looks so pretty! Tastes so awful!

I’m working on trying to like Hojicha, which isn’t going too well yet. Jane Pettigrew describes it as “biscuity”, but unless she’s eaten a lot of cigarette-flavoured biscuits in her time, I don’t get it.

- Aniseed in spiced teas. (Just discovered this one for the dislike list today, in an otherwise-tasty chai. Don’t like the tongue-numbing effect.)

Indecisive, despite being opinionated – okay, very opinionated – so may just add notes rather than rating.


Dublin, Ireland



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