116 Tasting Notes

drank Merry Cranberry by DAVIDsTEA
116 tasting notes

I was really indecisive this morning about what tea I wanted to have. I spent probably 15 minutes alone going through my work stash, trying to figure out which one I wanted. In the end I kept cycling back to this one so it’s what I ended up with.

It’s still not my most favorite tea as I’m really not that big of a cranberry person but it’s one of those teas that when the mood strikes (or if there’s nothing else that sounds right) then it hits the spot. Tart cranberry evened out with anise, safflower and cinnamon… the combo really does work well (although I think I ended up with a bit too much anise in my basket today, oh well); it’s a subtle, compelling blend. I bet it would be good iced/cold brewed too.


I saw this on special and thought about ordering it, but then I saw what was in it and wasn’t inspired. Let us know what it tastes like iced :)

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drank Gingerbread by DAVIDsTEA
116 tasting notes

I’ve been meaning to brew up another cup of this for a bit now, I wanted to finalize my thoughts on it since I’m sure that DT will pull it in the next little while now that Christmas is done.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t suit me tonight… It’s still gingerbread (well for me it would be more accurate to say that it’s a molasses cookie with a touch of ginger) but the taste just doesn’t hold up to the scent and I was looking for a bit more pizazz. I find this to be more of a subtle tea and I can’t quite get over the artificial bread/cake flavors (though I had the same issue with Red velvet so it could just be me not mixing well with the DT cake flavoring.)

I really wanted to love this tea but it wasn’t meant to be. :(

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I’m on a roll this morning… it’s a mini blizzard here and the snow is the big, wet fluffy kind that sticks to everything, so I’m drenched and cold. Add onto that, that due to an emergency downtown (the wind was blowing debris off the towers) public transit was being re-routed and as such got backed up so I walked that last number of blocks into work. Then I go to make myself some tea and somehow manage to dump most of my scoop on the floor rather than in the basket, and it was the tail end of the bag (I’ve got more at home but still!) sigh There are days…

On the plus side I’m looking forward to the Great Canadian Traveling Tea Box making its way towards me; according to Canada Post it should be here by Friday! Yay!

Onto the tea; I didn’t want anything sweet today and I hadn’t had this one for a while so I figured why not. Now don’t get me wrong this tea does have a bit of natural sweetness to it but it’s not the predominant note in this tea; smoke and spice that’s what I think of when drinking it. Not over much of either of those notes but just enough to give this a nice, well-rounded flavor profile. Add onto that the lovely rich, but light, mouth feel and it’s the perfect counterpoint to this snowy (and long) Monday.

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This is the last of the teas for me to try from the Taiwan Oolong trial pack that I won in Fall (thanks again Angel!!) and I’ve pretty much enjoyed them all (some more than others but that’s to be expected.). It’s surprising to me since I would never have considered myself an oolong lover previously but I’ve found that I really do enjoy them.

Dry this tea presents a fresh green scent with many sweet floral notes and a slight roasted (almost nutty) undertone. A quick rinse, followed by a 25 sec steeping gave me a bright yellow-green colored liquor.

With my first sniff of this freshly brewed cup I got so many warm, roasted nutty (but sweet) notes that I was truly surprised. Given how fresh and floral the dry tea was I couldn’t believe that this was the same tea. I will note that as it cooled those sweet floral notes started to shine through. The flavor was sweet and mellow, with just enough floral notes to give some nice highlights to the flavor profile with some deep roasted notes underneath.

The second steeping was also for 25sec, and while the color and scent profile were similar the flavor had deepened in this cup. My first few sips tasted of roasted nuts with the floral highlights only showing up in the finish. As it cooled the floral notes started to come forward sooner but this cup as significantly deeper and darker in flavor than the first. The mouth feel though, still light, was creamier too.

The third (30 sec) and fourth (60 sec) gave similar cups, gold in color with a sweet rotated aroma and a few fragrant floral highlights. I noticed a few dark vegetal flavors in these steepings which mixed well with the sweet floral notes that have been consistently present in this tea. The mouth feel while full and creamy was still quite light.

The last two steepings (70 & 80 sec) also gave similar cups, light gold and subtle in fragrance and flavor. A nice balance mix of floral and vegetal, roasted yet sweet; not overly complex but at the same time not too simple either.

I found this to be a lovely, well rounded oolong; definitely a good introduction to this type of tea. Though I still prefer the Oriental Beauty I could see keeping some of this on hand when I’m looking for something floral.

205 °F / 96 °C

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OK so I figured at some point I’d start working through my Christmas tea backlog… Here’s the first!

Since it was my first order from Teavivre I decided to get a number of sample packs to see what I liked and what I didn’t. I really love the sample pack idea, it gives a person a chance to get to know the company and try out teas at with very little risk. This is the first tea I tried from the Green Tea Sample pack and it was interesting… I’ve never had a Dragon Well Long Jin tea and I was curious about the reputed chestnut flavors that it contained.

Dry the tea is intriguing, straight and long they almost reminded me (visually) of over sized Fur needles. The scent was fresh but yet warm, much warmer than I was expecting. And there were definite nutty notes, including the chestnut that I was hearing about in other reviews.

After a quick rinse I steeped this (in my brand new glass gongfu pot! Yay for Boxing Day sales!) for 20 seconds; the resulting liquor was a light yellow-green color and had a very fresh scent to it with a number of savory undertones. The flavor profile was filled with chestnuts and butter with just a few darker vegetal flavors. The chestnut lingered on the tongue and while the mouthfeel was quite rich I got a mildly astringent feeling as part of the finish.

The liquor from my second steeping (40 sec) was the same color and warm, fresh scent as the first one. Flavor wise I got a few more buttery notes mixed in with the chestnuts, it was almost like drinking a chestnut pastry filling without all the sweetness (granted the tea was quite sweet on its own, but you know how much sugar is in those fillings!) The mouthfeel was a bit heavier this time around and the chestnut flavor lingered longer.

My next steeping was for a full minute and the scent profile for the pale butter yellow liquor was mellowing out a bit, still warm and nutty but just not as fragrant as it was before. Similarly the flavor profile has shifted a bit as well, warm the vegetal flavors were now showing up more and the chestnut was just a bit softer than previous steepings. This infusion also was a bit bitter while still having that touch of astringency on the finish.

I found the last steeping (2 min) almost too bitter and astringent for my tastes. The yellow liquor had a mellow fresh scent but I just wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as the previous steepings.

I’m going to have to try this one again at a later date… Personally I’m not sure about the chestnut flavor (I’m not a huge chestnut fan but I enjoy it in some things) and how it mixes with the dark vegetal notes. I could see it growing on me though and at the very least though it might not end up being a regular tea for me I could see reaching for it when I’m looking for something different.

175 °F / 79 °C

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drank Chocolate Chili Chai by DAVIDsTEA
116 tasting notes

So I was in a chocolate mood again this morning. It was between Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Chili Chai and in the end I just wasn’t in a fruit mood so Chili Chai it was. I got some nice chocolate notes out of this today and the heat was still more of a sensation than a taste but it’s still a nice feeling, especially on a wintery Friday morning.

BTW I fully stand behind the thought that this is not a chai tea, it’s just not spicy in the way that I expect when I hear/read the word “Chai”. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the flavors and I’m not 100% certain spicing it up more would enhance the tea any further but it just feels like a bit of a misnomer to me. Shrugs Ah well.


I agree with your assessment of the name of this tea. definitely doesn’t strike me as a chai, either.


I feel the same way!

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I knew exactly what I wanted this afternoon… I’m in a chocolate mood, specifically I’m in a hot chocolate mood but as I’m at work finding quality hot chocolate is a bit difficult. Instead I reached for this tea. I’m still figuring out the new amounts of tea required for my Timolino (as compared to my old tumbler) but I think I’m getting there as this turned out just right; chocolatey, warm with just enough cinnamon and roasted mate to give it a whole new level. Yum.

Now if only I could fast forward to Friday afternoon I’d be all set! :D

ETA: For some reason Steepster ate the first two lines of my post… Oh well it’s fixed now!


I really want that fast-forward button also.

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drank Sweet Dreams by Totalitea
116 tasting notes

I have determined that I don’t nearly have enough caffeine free teas in the house, or rather enough variety. Most of them are all fruit blends or fairly spice heavy and tonight I was really looking for something more mellow and relaxing.

Course at the time I had forgotten that I still had some of this in my cupboard, somehow it got pushed to the back. And it was the perfect cup; camomile and mint with that refreshing hint of spruce… So soothing and relaxing which is just what I needed after a stressful day.

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Just finished a wonderful evening playing a new (just arrived in the mail) board game, it was a blast. And to make such a wonderful evening even better my partner and I indulged in some of this tea. Warm and spicy, yet still sweet and creamy it was a great compliment to our evening. I love the honey flavors in this and that hint of orange just rounds out the profile so nicely. I just want to keep drinking and playing!

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drank Santa's Secret by DAVIDsTEA
116 tasting notes

I’ve been mentally “craving” this one for a while now but every time I reached for it a different one ended up in my cup, almost as if by magic. Anyone else ever experience this? Anyways, a great comfort tea for me, not too pepperminty and the black tea base really just enhances the whole thing… I even got a few chocolate notes today!

Just have to remember one non-tea specific detail for the future… when brewing in a Timolino let it cool for a while first. I’m still getting used to this new tumbler and I wasn’t paying enough attention, next thing I knew not only did I scald my tongue but my upper lip too! Ouch!

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Ever since I discovered the wide world that is loose-leaf teas, I haven’t been able to go back. It doesn’t seem to matter what type it is or if it’s “straight” or “flavored” tea is my thing. It’s actually quite funny as I’m surrounded by coffee lovers who just can’t quite grasp why, to me, tea is better than coffee. :D (which considering it’s less-than a 5 minute walk to each of 2 separate Tim Horton’s, a Starbucks AND a Second Cup… that’s saying something!)

On the whole I tend to prefer my tea strong and “au natural” with no sweeteners, milk or other additions, but like most everyone there’s always exceptions to the rule… just not many of them.

Aside from tea I love reading (especially if there is a fireplace or campfire involved), camping/hiking, horseback riding and Healing Touch (similar to Reiki). Oh and computers and board games (euro style, is there anything else? ;)) and… and… chuckles OK so I have a large variety of interests.



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