13250 Tasting Notes
Made this again for work today, but only a mug worth (not enough to fill my whole 20 oz. water bottle). First time having it was on the comic con trip hot, but today I drank it cold. I’m not sure if I necessarily liked it better or worse, but it was really different that’s for sure. Maybe that’s because I was more prudent in steeping it this time around, or maybe the temperature just brought out different flavours.
Drinking at work, there was a light floral quality to the tea, and the light creamy ALMOST caramel taste I experienced hot was amplified at a cold tea: this was very creamy caramel with buttery notes. It was yummy right down to the last few sips – and it sure didn’t last a whole lot of time.
Still not sure if I’d repurchase – but this is an interesting one for sure. I think I need to drink it a few more times hot and cold before making my mind up. However, I need to show some love to my new teas as well as some other teas which haven’t been drank in a while, and I’d like to finish off a couple samples before my swap from VariaTEA arrives.
I sent a swap out to VariaTEA today, and one of the teas in it was S’mores. When I was packaging everything last night it really made me want to make some of this for myself, but since it was really late at night and I worked in the morning I opted out because of the caffeine. However, caffeine was crucial this morning at work, so I made some for myself in my Timolino to bring with me.
And, I burnt my tongue drinking it. It was mostly worth it, though. Today this smells a little better than it tastes (like warm marshmallows and graham crackers, with a touch a chocolate) – but that’s because I oversteeped this morning since I was doing my makeup in between making cups of tea for different thermoses, and I lost track of time. Despite being a little bitter, it’s still good though. I want more marshmallow today though.
Hope you like it VariaTEA!
I was going to log everything I’ve had to drink today in the order I consumed it, but for some reason that seems like a flawed plan – and I wish to start with this one because A) I get to tell an awesome story about some good customer service at David’s and B) it was one of the winter blends that I was most excited for when they were ‘announced’ (leaked).
So, lets start with point A…
I went in today with two main goals: Get some of the new winter/Christmas teas to try out and get a replacement part for my Timolino which, sadly, was purchased with a broken brew basket that I didn’t notice in store at the time of purchasing it. So I walked in store on a mission to find the part I needed, and a friendly sales guy (who has helped me out in the past) asked if he could help find something for me since it looked like I was trying really hard to find something.
I told him a needed a replacement part for a Timolino, and instantly he seemed very concerned about why I needed a replacement part. After asking what needed to be replaced, I explained to him that I had bought a Timolino around a week ago (right before the comic con trip) which had a broken brew basket. Everytime I try to brew something, the basket falls to the bottom of the thermos and is nearly impossible to fish out (and therefore get my leaves out), which usually ruins the teas I’m drinking.
He asked if I had a receipt because, if I did, they could just give me a new Timolino, but I told him I sadly didn’t. I did, however, have the Timolino with me minus the brew basket. After asking me to wait just a moment he ran to the back, and then came out with a brand new black Timolino in the same size as mine. After exchanging the one I had for the new one he apologized for the fact I had purchased a broken one and said it was no problem replacing it (even though I neither had a receipt OR the brew basket to prove it was broken). Customer service like that is awesome and it’s just one of many examples of DAVIDsTEA going that extra little bit for their customers!
Now on to the tea:
Samples teas for the day were Spiced Fig and Choconut Oolong – both of which I had on my list to get samples of. However, I took the opportunity to try them both first. I’m glad I did, because although I had a great customer service experience I didn’t have a great taste experience with this tea. Lots of people have noted that it’s really heavy and takes a lot to make a flavourful cup (which makes it a very expensive blend). The sample I had today wasn’t exactly flavourless, but none of the flavours were super distinct.
I think I tasted every flavour in the ingredients list MINUS the fig itself, which is super disappointing because that’s what this tea is named for and that’s the flavour that really had me interested. The rest just worked out to be a generically fruity herbal (cranberry was a bit more noticeable as a flavour note, though) with a strong clove taste. It was enough to keep me from picking any up today to play around with.
Who knows though, maybe I’ll change my mind. Maybe not.
I’m ranking this with two things in mind: the actual flavour (which was generic, but not bad) and the fact that this tea almost in no way embodies what the title claims it to be (a FIG tea).
EDIT: I almost forgot to add this! I was talking to the sales guy about the new blends and we got on the topic of Alpine Punch returning. This is something he mentioned to me, so fans of Alpine Punch from the last few seasons might want to take note of this. The Alpine Punch blend this year was altered. It now has black pepper in it and an increased amount of coconut.
The sample I received from Robyn was JUST enough for two cups of this – the first of which I had pre comic con trip. I actually brought this with on the trip but never ended up drinking it, even though I meant to (it was double bagged and sealed off but still managed to stink up the rest of my travel bag of teas!).
It was a good “welcome back home” tea. I barely had enough leaf for the cup I made, and fully steeped it looked like a washed out/dull pink colour – but the taste was still quite strong (not as much as the first cup) and very delicious and guava-y. I wish I had more.
Oh well, guess I’m waiting until Christmas to see if I get any from family. It’s one of the teas I included in my wish list. And, I suppose I can always mooch a cup off Robyn each time I come to visit her at the University.
Last tea I made for the trip: I drank this at Comic Con with me while playing this really cool game called King of Tokyo in the gaming centre. My brother really enjoyed the game – I should see if I can find it for him as a Christmas present. I think that’d probably be really cool. My store doesn’t carry it in our games section, but I’m wondering if the large Go Games! downtown might have it stocked… Anyone on Steepster ever played it?
I steeped. 2 tsp. for 5 min. in boiling water in my Timolino – nothing added (although I wouldn’t have minded a tbls. of butterscotch pudding to swirl around in it). This was slightly astringent and bitter – It got steeped a bit longer than I would have liked. Overall, still very good though.
Drinks and food were pretty overpriced there (to be expected), so I was happy to have brought lots of tea with me.
Steeped 1 1/2 tsp. for 7 min. in boiling water twice (each time with fresh leaf) and poured into the 20 oz. water bottle. This was consumed cold, and probably close to 10 hours if not longer after I made it.
The liquor was a darker green than it usually is, but the taste was no different than usual (even after sitting for so long). I think I need to go back to drinking this hot, though. I seem to be just a bit fonder of it when it’s hot.
I don’t really recall how I steeped this one: the notes I made for it are fairly limited. I was consumed cold in my 20 oz. water bottle with nothing added to it, though.
The smell was strongly spearmint with a tangy strawberry smell and light ginger aroma. The taste wasn’t as well balanced as I’ve experienced in the past with this tea, but it was still good. The strawberry was VERY powerful and tangy, and the ginger tasted really light.
I think I was really tired when I wrote my tasting notes for this one (probably exhausted from the travel time driving down to Winnipeg from Regina), because I titled it was “Pumpkin Chai – Tea Desire”. Yeah, definitely not a tea desire tea…
I used 2 tsp. for 12 oz. steeped in boiling water (in my timolino) for 5 minutes. I made this one for the drive from Regina to Winnipeg, and out all all the teas I had over my trip this one was probably made with the worst brewing conditions (which really weren’t too bad).
The smell as it steeped was very light cinnamon and cloves (especially the cloves, I hardly detected them at all). Maybe the small amount I brought with didn’t actually have any cloves in it? I could really smell the pumpkin, and especially the caramel (I noticed lots of little caramel square bits in the dry leaf though – more than usual).
The taste worked out to be more balanced than the smell was, and was delicious of course (it always is). Sometimes I like the add milk and honey to this one, but when I made this for the trip it was straight with nothing added. Caramel smell was especially present, and the carrot too.
Woot! Got back from Central Canada Comic Con a few hours ago and managed to get everything all unpacked pretty quickly. And as soon as I was unpacked what was the first thing I did? Went to the DAVIDsTEA website to check out the new blends and then opened up a tab for Steepster to see how the reviews were looking so far. I have to say, it seems like the reviews for the teas I initially was interested in (Gingerbread Rooibos, White Chocolate Frost, and Spiced Fig) are not really making me want to try them: however the things sort of being complained about/disliked in regard to Choconut Oolong DO make me a bit more interested in it (I love licorice root).
I actually ended up with money left over from what I had budgeted, so I think that will go towards funding my next David’s purchase tomorrow after work. I’m not sure what new teas I’ll walk out with yet, but I will also be restocking on Main Squeeze and buying a replacement lid/steeped for my Timolino.
Best part of Comic Con was TOTALLY meeting James Marsters! I wish I hadn’t gotten really shy and nervous, because he was super friendly and nice (I got the shake his fucking hand!!!). We talked about Sarah Michelle Gellar’s breasts…
But anyway, I’m about to post tasting notes on all of the teas I had on my trip. I actually wound up having some really great brewing conditions where I was staying, so I probably could have brought some more finicky teas with me, but oh well – at least I had tea at all! My Dad has apparently started calling me his “tea connoisseur” and when we were staying at my Step Aunt’s house she seemed like she was trying to impress me with her “tea knowledge” (she was boasting about how interesting she is because she’s tried chocolate teas and knows there’s a difference between black and green tea). I had to try really hard to not “show off” or be rude, because she’s 60+ and meant well – but when I pulled out my bag of measured out samples and started answering her questions about what things were she seemed kind of overwhelmed and got really quiet…
So, for this one I steeped 1 1/2 tsp. for 12 oz. in 85 degree water in my Timolino for three minutes. I think next time I’m going to use a bit cooler water, and steep for probably a little less time.
Dry the smell was lightly milky and creamy with a very strong oolong smell and steeped, the smell was condensed milk (sweet milk smell) and quite creamy. I could still smell the Oolong base, though not as strongly as it came through for me in the dry leaf. I should mention now that this is my first “milk oolong” (although, I understand that it’s not a traditional milk oolong either), so I have nothing as a base for comparison.
The taste was creamy, and lightly reminded me of condensed milk or something else sweet and sugary: MAYBE a very, very light caramel flavour. I think I’d need to drink it again to be sure. It was slightly artificial tasting, and slightly astringent and i think the latter could probably be avoided with better steeping temperature or steep time. The oolong base came through very strongly but taste quite good.
Last tea I’ll be having at home until probably Monday, maybe Tuesday. I leave for my comic con trip in just a few hours, and since I hadn’t tied this yet I figured I’d make some up and give it a proper review.
Dry leaf smells like black cherry ice cream and bubble gum: it’s very creamy and rich smelling with only a little bit of the green tea base’s scent coming through. My initial thought was that maybe this would be one of the few teas I find actually really truly benefits from added milk (to enhance the ice cream flavour I’ve thinking this might have). Out of the three teas I bought from Tea Desire, this is the one that my coworker Briana thought smelled the best: however she’s also REALLY into green tea, so maybe that had something to do with it.
I steeped about 1 1/2 tsp. of this for my 10 oz. mug for three minutes. The smell is a much lighter cherry with a more strong and intense green tea smell: not really a plus for me. It still mildly reminds me of bubblegum. I’m thinking maybe I steeped too long or the water was a bit too hot, because this has a sort of bitter taste to it, and is kind of astringent. The cherry taste is coming through, but less so in a sweet way and a bit more in a slightly medicinal way. I’m still getting notes of sweet bubble gum though, and that’s helping to save/redeem the cherry flavour. It’s a bit like bitter, astringent seaweed with a sweet, sugary cherry and bubble gum candy coating. I’m going to have to try this again with lower temperature water to be really sure about the taste.
Overall, right now, it’s kinda just… meh.
EDIT: Added some milk to the last half of the cup. It neither added to nor worsened the tea.