97 Tasting Notes

drank Oh Canada! by DAVIDsTEA
97 tasting notes

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I am in love with this blend and, I think, with Verdant Tea. I have tried many a chai and none have had so much flavor and balance. It’s either there is barely enough spice or too much and the cardamom tries to kill me. Maybe I am hard to please but none have got it completely right yet but this one came so so very close.

I did three steeps even though it was pretty late and I know that sleep is probably a very unlikely event as a result. I did not drink this tea with milk but I did add a pinch of sugar.

First steep-The perfect mix of spice and beautiful black tea. The initial flavor was all cardamom and spice. The spice wasn’t overwhelming but very pleasant with a natural sweetness. I don’t know why but cardamom is one of those spices that my palate can pick up right away even if there is just a little bit in the blend. This tea is proof that you don’t need to add a bajillion cardamom pods to make a good chai. The finish was all black tea flavor. I was actually pretty thrilled I could taste it because it sometimes gets lost in chai.

Second steep-The cardamom is actually started to die down a little leaving the black tea and other spices to shine. I still got the cardamom but not a lot. I also started to taste more of the burdock root, ginger and clove. The Laoshan Black tea was front and center and if it’s this good here, I will be writing a glowing review in a couple of days. It’s so chocolaty and malty. It’s probably the best black tea base I have ever tried.

Third Steep-All clove and ginger. Very good because those are my favorite spices. They work well with the black tea base. This was my last steep because tea after 1 am is never a good idea.

This is my first try of Verdant Tea’s blends and I am very excited to try the other ones I bought. I wish I had bought more than a sample of this one because it could become a staple.

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drank Coffee Pu'erh by DAVIDsTEA
97 tasting notes

Okay, so, I have never had a pu’erh tea before. I’m a reformed coffee drinker (3 cups a day) and I am still a little out of my element here. Completely happy and joyful about exploring the world of tea but still I’m like a giddy kid in a toy store. I want to try and try different teas all the time. It’s become an obsession.

I was a bit scared of pu’erh because who wouldn’t be scared of a tea that can smell like rotting fish. But it is one of the last teas I had to try from my order and it did smell good in the tin. I don’t know what the heck I was scared about because pu’erh is amazing. I steeped it 3 times because today was crazy and then my hockey team was playing and I can’t watch hockey without tea—it’s a luck thing.

1st Steep:Thankfully no fishy smell. It smelled like a really good dark roast coffee. Very earthy. It tastes that way too. But without the bitterness I associate with coffee. There was also a nice natural sweetness that I loved. The coffee bean lent a subtle flavor that was easily distinguished from the tea itself. More nutty than coffeeish.

2nd Steep: Still tasty. Less earthy and more sweet with more coffee bean nuttiness. It was the perfect balance of earthiness and sweet.

3rd Steep: The sweetness almost started to overpower the rest of the flavors. It’s reminiscent of brown sugar or molasses. I can barely taste the coffee bean which leaves the pu’erh to really take over.

I was initially very skeptical about pu’erh but I love it. I want to try more and more. Especially one without flavoring because I really like the flavor of the tea. Any suggestions?

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Verdant has some absolutely fantastic unflavored pu’erhs—I am particularly in love with the Cornfields one!


I may have to bust a paycheck there. All of their pu’erhs seem so yummy.


Verdant got me started on the unflavored ones, I wish they still had the Yanxin’s Reserve nuggets, that would be my top recommendation if they were in stock!


I am currently eying their Xingyang 2007 Shu but I am almost afraid for fear I ruin it in my newbieness.

The Yanxin Reserve nuggets sound so good with the vanilla and caramel notes. Does Verdant tea often bring back their out of stock teas?


I’m thinking my next big tea order will be all pu’erh. Why was I drinking coffee again?


And I couldn’t resist anymore so I bought the Xingyang 2007 and a bunch of others. I have no willpower.


Verdant has a great selection, so does Mandala tea. I also love this coffee pu’erh from David’s, so tasty!


Mandala is going to be my next tea order. All Pu’erh. Should I order it loose or a cake? Does it matter?

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I received this tea as a sample with one of my latest DT orders. I was really happy to get a sample because I was considering buying a tin of the tea but decided instead to get Coffee Chai. A smart decision because my opinion of this one is a bit hazy.

When I opened the bag, I was hit in the face with a citrusy grapefruit smell. I didn’t think there was grapefruit in this tea so I was a bit surprised by that and grapefruit isn’t my favorite flavor to begin with. I did love the look of the dry tea with all of the little bits and pieces and whole gooseberries. I brewed this tea hot. It probably would be better cold but hot tea is my default. I was a bit surprised by the flavor. I thought it would be more intense than it was but it was a very mellow citrus with some floral notes. It reminds me of an orange creamsicle ice pop. Not exactly my favorite but not bad either.

I like this tea. I don’t know what’s keeping me from loving it but I am not quite there.

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I was so excited to try this one. I brewed this tea right before my hockey game started because I figured that if my team started to lose this tea would help cheer me up. I am regretting buying only 50g of it instead of a 100g tin because I love it.

I think I was a bit in love with this tea from the moment I opened the bag. It smelled grassy yet a bit roasty. Like mate yet not. Brewed it was surprisingly flavorful. I was expecting grassy and vegetal but this was fruity and a bit nutty. It tasted like a slightly under-ripe banana with a bit of a roasty, almost caramel type background. It was an unexpected but yet completely welcome surprise. I may add a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon next time. Why not?

Guayusa may just kick mate’s butt. I think mate will still be my go-to when I am looking for a coffee-like drink but I love guayusa. I will probably keep a tin of it stocked in my cupboard.

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drank Mango Diablo by DAVIDsTEA
97 tasting notes

I have learned something about myself—if the tea has chili in it, I will buy it. Even if it doesn’t have anything else I like in it. Chilies are apparently a big selling point to me.

The dry tea looks beautiful and smells delicious. Those bright chili strings are just so pretty and the mango smell is lovely and intense. If I was willing to share this tea, I might break it out when I have company just because of the pretty factor but I’m not willing so I won’t.

I brewed this tea hot because I have the flu and iced tea when you’re sick is not fun. Hot this tea is all mango with a nice background of green tea. I barely got any chili heat which was a bit disappointing because I like the chili kick. I did find the mango flavor to be very pleasant and intense but I wanted the chili heat. However, I happened to get distracted and the tea cooled off a bit to lukewarm and I was surprised that the chili intensified as the tea cooled. It was the perfect balance of mango sweetness with the bite of the chili.

The next time I brew this one I will probably steep it longer than the recommended 5 minutes. I like my tea hot but still want the kick of the chili. I did love this tea either way.

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I am not sure. That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not sure. The dry tea has a similar smell to Apres Ski. There is just something…off about it. Is there burdock root in this tea? I thought that ingredient was the culprit for the slightly “garbage” smell in Apres Ski but it is not listed in the ingredients here. Anywhoodles, the root beer smell is there but, again, it is followed by a slightly off smell that can be a bit off putting.

The tea improves moderately when brewed. The root beer flavor is definitely there. It’s much more appealing in tea form than I thought it would be. There is also a nice vanilla background. It’s not as strong as I would like it but it’s there and it enhances the root beer flavor very nicely. The white chocolate added a nice creaminess that brought out the “float” in root beer float. However, there is still a slight off smell that did not go away with brewing like it did in Apres Ski. I added 2 tsp of brown sugar and the all-around flavor of the tea improved.

I also noticed many floaters in this tea. I’m a neat freak so that irked me a little. I ended up straining my tea through a cheesecloth before drinking.

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Book blogger. Hockey fan. Reformed coffee drinker. Newly minted tea addict. I grammar police myself and no one else. Pu’er lover.

My favorite type of tea is pu’er. I can see myself living in a house alone with just pu’er cakes, a electric tea kettle, my trusty pu’er pick from Mandala and a thermos. I prefer ripe pu’er but love raw pu’er as well. My current favorite is the Special Dark from Mandala Tea.

Black Tea-I also love all forms of black tea. Black tea is where I started and I still love the malty loveliness of a good black tea. My current favorite is Grandpa’s Anytime Tea from Butiki.

Green Tea-Green tea is pretty hit and miss with me. I have never really developed a liking towards it. I have been dying to explore green tea more. Especially matcha and genmaicha. My current favorite is Autumn Harvest Laoshan Green from Verdant Tea.

Herbals/Mate-It depends on what’s in them. I gravitate more to herbs and spices rather than fruit flavors. My current favorite is Fired Up Fennel from Davids Tea.

I love mate (and guayusa). It helped me kick my coffee habit to one cup a day. I will try any blend with mate in it. My current favorite is Chocolate Rocket from Davids Tea.

White Tea-Sadly, I haven’t tried many white teas but I am planning on it very soon.

Oolong Tea-I have tried one or two oolong teas but in blends only. I am dying to try a straight oolong. My current favorite is Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea.

Rooibos-I love rooibos blends but they are very hit and miss with me. I love the woodiness of rooibos. My favorite is currently Oh Canada from Davids Tea.

Flavored Tea-I love flavored teas. I am willing to try just about any flavor combination and the weirder the better. My current favorite flavored tea is Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha by Verdant Tea.

I am always searching for a tea with fig or chili in it.

My favorite tea companies-Mandala Tea (their Phatty Cake was my first ever “Oh My God” tea moment), Butiki Teas, Verdant Tea, and Davids Tea


Staten Island, New York



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