119 Tasting Notes


It’s about time I raved about this in full detail.

I love this mug. I absolutely love it. There are some things about it that I wish were different (I’ll get there in just a second) but overall it’s such a great travel mug.

So: my beautiful mother got me this as a gift for Valentine’s Day because I needed a better way to make loose leaf tea for on-the-go. And I absolutely love it. It’s my most used tea-tool in my kitchen.

-Very stylish. It’s sleek and smooth and very good looking. Literally every time I take it to school I get a compliment on it in some way or another.
-It doesn’t hold flavors like other mugs do. Neither does the strainer. The cap does, but that’s okay. But I love that the mug and strainer don’t (even with strong flavors) so I can make different teas in rapid succession (I use it at home to…. I love it THAT much).
-The glass feels so good to drink out of. I’m SO glad it doesn’t have a little sippy top thing like most other mugs do. At first I was hesitant about this fact, but I can’t imagine it having one. I love drinking from the actual mug, it makes it feel more like a cup. Given, it does make spilling easier, but I’m willing to compromise.
-It keeps your tea warm if you leave the cap on it. If the cap is off it will cool more quickly, but with the cap on it will keep your beverage warm for a pretty long time.
-It’s relatively easy to handwash.

-Okay so there are quite a few cons, but overall I still love the mug
-The strainer is a little small so it kind of sits sideways in the mug.
-It isn’t dishwasher safe. This is by far the biggest con for me. I hate that I have to handwash it ALL THE TIME. The mug is easier to handwash because like I said, it doesn’t really hold flavors, but the cap holds them BIG TIME, and so it makes it VERY difficult to clean.
-More on the lid-like I said it’s hard to clean because it’s like a huge plastic block with a little ring around the edge (if that makes sense…….), and so I can’t fit ANYTHING in there to clean it out. All I can do to clean it is squirt some soap in there and rinse it a bunch. Also, the lid warps/chips pretty easily, but it does still look good and adds aesthetic value to the mug.
-It smudges really easily and you can see almost EVERY fingerprint on it. That makes it kind of uncomfortable to hold because it feels grimy.
-I realized while writing the con above this that I sound like a whinny American…..
-I’m not I swear
-Okay I can be but not all the time!
-It’s hard to fill it up all the way. This is another big one for me. So the strainer fits onto a lip at the top of the mug (the picture does a pretty good job of showing this). But, you can’t fill the cup up all the way because (as I said) the strainer is a little small and so the leaves leak out (especially if they’re small). Also, when the strainer is in, the water level is higher, so when you take it out the amount of tea goes down :(
-And lastly, I can’t put the cap on when I make herbal or black teas because they use boiling water (I like to put it on to help make the flavor stronger but you have to let the water cool for at least 3 minutes so as to release any pressure) and those are the teas I drink the most, so that is sort of frustrating.

Overall very nice, and I love it and would recommend it, so long as you can live with those cons.


Is it breakable? More specifically, will it break if I throw it in my backpack?


@mardee, It is glass, so I haven’t really tested its durability much out of fear. But I haven’t had any problems with it. I did knock it against a counter once in my haste to leave for work, and it didn’t break (but it did give me a heart attack ’cause I thought I had just broken my new tumbler).

@Ian, It’s funny that you say the lid retains smells. I don’t have that problem, but I also don’t ever fill the tumbler all the way to the brim. Oh, try one of those blue Scotch-Brite non-scratch scrub sponges to clean it. It works really well to get into the grooves under the lid.

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drank Oh Canada! by DAVIDsTEA
119 tasting notes

Another sample from Bonnie!

I absolutely LOVE how creative DAVIDsTEA’s are. Pumpkin chai had little pumpkin sprinkles in it, this has little maple leaf sprinkles, another one Bonnie sent me has little candy cane sprinkles. And the flavors they come up with are so fun and playful. I love it.

This was no exception. As I said, there are little maple leaf sprinkles in the leaves, and it smells strongly of maple. What I like about it the most though-it’s not OVERLY maple-y. I live in Vermont, so trust me: I consume a LOT of maple syrup. And as much as I like it, I don’t want to drink it. I really like that this tea helps me out with that.

Yet another thing I like about it-it tastes like REAL maple syrup. Again, I live in Vermont. I know the difference between Mrs. Buttersworth and Premium Grade A. And this tastes like Premium Grade A. It’s sweet but not gag-you sweet, and it tastes very genuine.

I reallllllly like this tea. I think it’s my favorite I’ve tried from DAVIDsTEA yet. For the third time now, I’m from Vermont, so it’s hard to please me with a maple flavored product. But this is really good to me, and I will DEFINITELY repurchase it.

Thank you again Bonnie and thank you on a lesser scale to DAVIDsTEA for making a nice and smooth maple tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

You are very welcome!


Oh, hope you don’t mind the commercial, but I’m looking for someone to swap tea with me from our small world if anyone is up for it. I only did this for 1 tea before.


I’m willing! What are you looking for?


I don’t want to take your tea….you don’t have an income…I want to rob other people but thanks Ian!


I’m contemplating swapping with people at some point but I really only have teas from DavidsTea! Plus some Tazo, but yeah… Also sorry for thread hijacking _


It’s ok…love DavidsTea.Check discussion board for my new swap post offer too.

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
119 tasting notes

Yet another sample from Bonnie!

This smells EXQUISITE! Like chai and pumpkin and autumnal goodness! I made this as a latte, and it turned out fairly well. It wasn’t quitte strong enough for the milk, but it did work out okay. It’s pumpkin-y and sweet, and reminds me of autumn. Overall pretty good, I’ll just have to try to make it differently next time!

EDIT: I did a second steep (just to see) for 10 minutes with boiling water and I didn’t try to make a latte and it’s pretty good! It’s pumpkin-y-er than before and slightly sweet, and it tastes all around stronger than before. Upping the rating, and I would like to get a full sized version of this so I can play around with it some more.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec

This is another one of my favs!!

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I drank this last night after browsing through my box that LiberTEAS sent me and I decided I needed some caffeine.

I did two steeps (I did the first iced) and I enjoyed the second one (hot) waaaay more. The first tasted (and smelled) sort of like bubblegum, and I was kind of turned off. I made the second one hot, however, and I liked it a bit more! It tasted less artificial. I still couldn’t pick out a solid banana or cherry flavor, but it was still pretty good.

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
119 tasting notes

I was out pretty late last night for an Oscar party and so I’m not even going to pretend that I’m “all there” right now.

I was looking through my samples from Bonnie and I saw this, and I’m really in a no nonsense mood and there were two of these in sachets, so I decided to just make them.

One thing I love about Harney’s sachets-They’re done really well and they put a good amount of tea in the bag, and I can steep them twice, which I can’t do with a lot of sachets.
One thing I don’t love-The tags aren’t long enough AT ALL so it always falls in the cup and it’s a pain in the butt to get out.

I am always impressed with Harney’s teas. Always. I haven’t tried one yet that has disappointed me. This is no exception.

It’s fruity and smooth. I was afraid it would just be like Lady Grey from Twinning’s but it’s not at all. In fact, it’s not even an Earl Grey. It’s a fruity black tea that is so lovely and sweet.

Definitely purchasing a full size of this one, thanks Bonnie!

Sachet in mug, boiling water for 5 minutes (second steep boiling for 7 minutes), added a little milk and sugar

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Tower of London is similar, but I think I may like it even better! Paris is classic. I give it to people who come over and say they are not tea drinkers.


I’ve never had Tower of London, but I did read through the discussion thread about the two, and I would be curious to compare the two and see the difference for myself.


Send an addy and I will get some to you!

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drank Yunnan Royal Golden by Butiki Teas
119 tasting notes

I really like this.

I mean REALLLLLLY like this. It’s slightly peppery and has a very full flavor and aroma. It’s delicious and I love it and it’s going on my list of teas to buy!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Good Morning Mate by Fusion Teas
119 tasting notes

Second sample from my big box of samples from LiberTEAS

I knew I was gonna need some caffeine today, so I decided to brew up some mate. When I saw this one in there I decided to brew it up.

It’s very good! I haven’t had a LOT of mates, so I don’t really have a whole lot to compare it to, but this is pretty tasty! The toasty-ness of the mate really pairs nice with the richness of the chocolate and the sweetness of the coconut. I can get a little hint of cinnamon, but it’s kind of hidden in there. Overall, a very nice mate!

EDIT: I was able to get two EQUALLY TASTY steeps from this batch of leaves, so I’m upping the rating! (second steep used boiling water for 10 minutes)

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
119 tasting notes

Third sample from Bonnie

I brewed this and then put it in the freezer to cool (I figured it would be better cold, but I didn’t cold brew it). I added a little bit of stevia and some lemon juice to perk the flavor a little.

This is very good! Sweet and tart, and very juicy. This is more of a summer tea, but I am still enjoying it right now!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

I do like this hot, strong and xtra sweet…brings out that marmalaide grapefruity orange flavor. Cold…hum. How long did you steep it? It’s tart if you go past 6 minutes and I like it at about 5.


I steeped it for 6 minutes because I knew I wanted it cold. It wasn’t terribly tart and I LOVED that. I’ve had so much hot tea I was in the mood for something refreshing.


Good point…it was 63 degrees here in Colorado today…good cold tea weather!

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drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
119 tasting notes

After my first pu-erh, I decided to try a somewhat different aspect of the tea.

This is the second sample I’ve tried out of the ones sent to me by Bonnie. The dry leaf smells somewhat earthy with a nice pop of sweetness.

I took a few sips and decided to add a little bit of stevia to sweeten it up a bit. Very good! I can taste more orange and the chocolate adds sort of a creaminess that makes the tea nice and rich! The earthiness of the pu-erh adds a nice contrast to the sweetness.

Very good, thank you again Bonnie! I heard that this tea was being added to the permanent collection but I can’t find it anywhere…. If anyone has any info, please tell me, because I would LOVE to have this tea in my cupboard!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

It’s not there yet Ian…I keep checking too. I’m almost out. Try adding some milk or cream next time. This is really good as a latte good and strong (anyway that’s how I like it…kinda like a starbucks latte only tea) and sweet. I let this go 4-5 minutes without any bitterness.


This is one of my favs as a latte for sure!!! And good to resteep as well


It’s being re-introduced to all stores in the permanent collection as Chocolate Orange. It’s stocked at my DAVIDsTEA, so hopefully yours will have it soon!


I don’t live in Canada :( Do you know if they’re going to put it back online?


The girl at the store a couple of weeks ago told me that it would be back in stores and online by the end of Feb. so I hope she is right!


Me too!

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This is my first ever pu-erh! EVER! I’m excited, needless to say. This is also my first sample out of the box that LiberTEAS sent me. I was feeling daring, so I decided to make this now that I have time to make more than one infusion!

So, I decided that it would be fairly easy for me to make this in my mug (I need a gaiwan so bad!), so that is what I did. However, I messed up my rinses. First of all, I didn’t boil enough water to make a cup after the rinses. Second of all, I didn’t do the rinses for NEARLY long enough. Third of all, I went to actually brew it and after a minute or so decided that that infusion wasn’t right……… I’m new to this, okay!

Anyways, on to the first (second?) infusion. This definitely smells very earthy, but in kind of a good way… The taste, surprisingly, isn’t very earthy. It’s kind of got a unique flavor to it that I can’t really pinpoint… It’s very smooth and interesting…..

Second infusion-This one smells and tastes bit earthier. It is a bit lighter than the first infusion (even though I brewed for four minutes….). I’m still looking for that sweetness that others have talked about….

Third infusion-I think this is it for this tea. The sweetness has come out a lot! It still smells earthy but the sweetness in the taste has come out a lot. It’s still running a little underneath the base earthiness, but it is way more present. This is my favorite steep!

For my first pu-erh, this is pretty good! I’m looking forward to exploring more kinds (including some of the flavored ones Bonnie sent me) and learning more about them!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

hurrah! It took me a while to get used to puerhs, but now I really like them!


Wow! My first time I just steeped 4 minutes drank a sip then made it a latte. I like puerh!


Wow, if you’re going to go for pu-erh, Verdant is the way to do. I’m still not up for pu-erh yet, but when I am I bet I will be checking them out!

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I’m Ian and I’m a 15 year old student who lives in Vermont. I started (heavily) drinking tea in Late 2010 and have been obsessed ever since!

I tend to drink more black and herbal teas, though I do enjoy oolong, green, and white, and I’m exploring other facets of the tea world (I’m still trying with pu-erh!)

I tend to lean towards sweeter and fruity flavors in my teas, and I’m not a big fan of smoky flavored teas, or anything that’s VERY bold.

I also enjoy a cup of coffee every once and a while, though it does mess with my stomach sometimes so I don’t drink it as often as I drink tea.

In addition to tea drinking, I’m also really interested in:
Classical music (I’ve been playing clarinet for 5 years now and it’s my favorite thing to do), independent arts/music, education on environmental sustainability, reading, Fair Trade and safe-trade practices, Cognitive science, art history, and a lot more.

I’m open to swaps, but I don’t have a very wide collection. Regardless, if I review a tea and you would like a sample, feel free to message me and we can work something out! If you would like to just try something without a swap, feel free to ask too! I know that I personally don’t have a lot of teas to swap and if you’re in the same position as me just feel free to ask for a sample and I’ll send you some, no strings attached!

I run a blog on TeaTrade which you can find here: http://serendipitea.teatra.de/. The goal of my blog is to better connect tea with the arts and go beyond just the taste aspect of tea. Enjoy!





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