1143 Tasting Notes

drank Green Mango Peach by Tea Forte
1143 tasting notes

A friend grabbed a pyramid of this blend for me at some conference or other (thanks, friend!). I feel like mid-range conferences and hotels have really stepped up their tea game. The tea still isn’t great, but it’s definitely an improvement over the tossed-in-a-corner baskets of Lipton of yore. (Nothing against those who enjoy Lipton, more power to you, but there’s obviously higher quality tea out there.)
This particular blend is just sort of fine, you know? Completely inoffensive, but not really great either. The mango and peach notes are very candy-like without being overly sweet or cloying. I’m not really getting any ginger in this cup; I wouldn’t know that there’s ginger in the blend except from looking at the description. The base is hard to make out under the fruit notes. This actually makes a lot of sense as a choice for a conference tea. It’s not in any way distracting, neither so good nor so bad that I really want to give it much attention, the flavors are sweet but not overly so, and there’s none of the controversial flavors that can be an issue for folks (except ginger, I suppose, but you’d have to be allergic to it to know it’s here). Which is exactly what you want for a drink meant to be consumed while people are focusing on a presentation! Mission accomplished.

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drank Peppermint by Mist Valley
1143 tasting notes

After some internet sleuthing, I’m fairly confident that the hotel-branded peppermint tea from our Taiwan trip was this one. Funnily enough, the wrapper says that the leaf originated in the U.S. even though it was packed in Sri Lanka and ended up in a Taiwanese hotel. It’s a very serviceable peppermint tea. Neither exceptionally great nor bad in any way. Minty with a cooling menthol finish. One of many soothing and anti-inflammatory teas to help with today’s severe migraine.

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drank Sparkling Cranberry by DAVIDsTEA
1143 tasting notes

Sipdown, sort of. I only had enough for one cup. I pulled a bit out of the holiday sampler before leaving it behind at my partner’s parents’ house for Christmas. I really only ordered the sampler so I could try the Ho Ho Hojicha; I justified the purchase by making it one of the treats we brought with us when we went over.

I drank about half the mug hot and half iced. I do think it’s better iced. Hot, I get tart cranberry with a bit of sweetness. Iced, that sweetness is a more pronounced sweet berry flavor. Either way I’m not really getting anything effervescent, alas. It made for a decent tea soda when I added seltzer, but the tartness of the cranberry got washed out that way and it ended up being more of a strawberry soda that was a bit too sweet for my taste. Overall I think I prefer Davids’ Cranberry Gingerale for a cranberry soda tea from this company – the ginger helped temper the sweetness in that one a bit.

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Happy Mardi Gras! It’s snowing where I am, which is decidedly not Mardi Gras weather, but I’m recognizing the holiday with some low-key at-home activities. My partner made vegan jambalaya, I’ve got a king cake-scented candle, got my fleur-de-lis earrings on, etc. Of course I had to find a tea that’s on theme. I finally landed on a coconut oolong in a nod to Zulu coconuts (decorated coconuts are a prized giveaway at the Zulu Social Aide and Pleasure Club float parade on Mardi Gras day). My partner thinks it’s a stretch but I’m sticking by it. Also because the creaminess of this coconut oolong complemented the spiciness of the jambalaya nicely. So thank you to whoever put this in the Strange VariaTea TTB!


I totally forgot about Mardi Gras! Those festivities don’t seem to reach California. We are in the middle of Chinese New Year celebrations right now.


For fun, we’ve been keeping an eye on a Webcam aimed at Bourbon Street in NOLA. So many eccentrically dressed people!


Dustin, it’s such a weird confluence of a week – Lunar New Year, Mardi Gras, and Valentine’s Day all squished together! Mardi Gras definitely isn’t big where I am, but we have a couple of New Orleans bars and restaurants, expats, etc. that celebrate.

gmathis, it hadn’t occurred to me to check until your comment, but a lot of the major parades are livestreamed now. You might find that entertaining to watch next year. They usually start in earnest the week before Mardi Gras. The costumes and floats can get pretty elaborate (my forever favorite is the giant Muses high heel).


That does sound like fun. We are lousy travelers, but love to spectate from afar and in doing so, have discovered some fun feeds and webcams.


Happy Mardi Gras! Sounds like a fun celebration!

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drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
1143 tasting notes

Once I finally made it out of bed, I decided to brew up a favorite tea for a mood lift. I’ve been hoarding some of this ever since DT discontinued it years ago. It’s still good, but the vanilla flavor does seem to be fading a bit. Looking at my old tasting notes, I think next time I’ll try it cold and with some sweetener to really make the vanilla pop. I should probably prioritize finishing this off soon while it’s still good. I wish DT would bring it back, but since that’s pretty unlikely, suggestions for other good vanilla oolongs are welcome!

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drank Turmeric Ginger Ninja by T2
1143 tasting notes

My body is being extra rebellious today. I do not appreciate this; I indulged the need for rest and recovery yesterday, but I’m still in pain and now I’m just annoyed. There are things I wanted to get done today besides being stuck in bed or on the couch! Ok, thanks for letting me complain, and I promise it’s relevant to this tasting note.
I wasn’t in any condition to make my own tea and I wanted something anti-inflammatory, so I asked my partner to make me some ginger tea. What I meant for him to make was the Harney Ginger Lemon. What he actually made was this, which is kept in a repurposed, relabeled Harney tin directly above the Ginger Lemon. So I take a sip and immediately think “oh no what happened.” He confirmed that he made this and didn’t even know we had the Ginger Lemon! Complete facepalm moment. I’m making the best of this unpleasant (admittedly not the end of the world) situation by at least making a tasting note.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I do not like this tea. Maybe it’s the carrot. Maybe it’s the licorice root. These are ingredients that I have enjoyed just fine in other blends but something just feels off about the specific combination and ratio of ingredients here. I would swear there’s stevia in here if I didn’t know better. Plus this blend has ginger in the name, it’s the second ingredient, but I have never found the ginger to be particularly noticeable – it’s drowned out by that unusual sweetness. But my partner doesn’t mind this blend at all and is always surprised by the vehemence of my reaction, so YMMV.


Carrot and licorice is an odd combo! I get carrot and ginger… but licorice?!


Right?! Thank you! Like, what’s beetroot doing in here too?

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drank Chicory by Nature's Roast
1143 tasting notes

I’m really missing New Orleans for some reason as Mardi Gras nears, so I’m indulging in assorted on-theme treats. I couldn’t leave tea (or in this case, a tisane) out of the equation! This ground roasted chicory root from a New Orleans-based company perfectly hits the spot. It’s nutty, with a bit of an almost chocolatey note. It has just a bit of sharpness or acidity, just enough to be reminiscent of coffee. While I liked it just fine straight, I ended up adding oat milk for a creamier take. All that’s missing now are the beignets…

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drank Coconut Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
1143 tasting notes

Sipdown, sadly. I so enjoyed this blend. It’s obvious that the coconut was starting to fade/turn, though, so I’m glad to be finishing it off while it’s still pretty good. There’s just an oh-so-slightly acrid and soapy note that I know wasn’t there when I first got this. Still not terrible, just not as utterly delightful as it first was. I wish Davids would bring this one back.

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drank Evening In the Garden by Plum Deluxe
1143 tasting notes

Taking it easy tonight with a big ole mug of this soothing blend. Delicious as always. The rose is particularly pleasing at the moment.

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drank Throat Rescue by DAVIDsTEA
1143 tasting notes

Sipdown. This one’s so old that I actually bought it in-store as part of a set back when DavidsTea still had stores in the U.S. I only really drink it when I have a sore throat or am sick. Mostly it just tastes like licorice root – at this point that’s all it tastes like, but I don’t remember it ever tasting like more. It does still have a bit of a demulcent effect, which is really all I need from it. And this counts as a tea bought “in-store” for ashmanra’s sipdown challenge.

Flavors: Licorice Root

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Geek and nerd (shoutout to GeekSteep). Still trying to get a handle on this whole work/life balance while ALSO succeeding at work thing. I have some chronic illnesses that make that harder. Tea is my respite.

Favorite tea types, in order:

Don’t drink:

A sampling of tea shops I like:
Te Company
Tea Thoughts
Harney & Sons

RIP Butiki



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