13470 Tasting Notes

68
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
13470 tasting notes

Received this one from Keychange! I’m quite excited to make this my official first Harney & Sons tea!

This was in the big pile of black teas sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be tried already, but I selected it was (probably) my last tea of 2013 mostly because it’s got bergamot in it, and bergamot often seems to be nice on a sore throat – and I’m quickly noticing that it seems like I am going to be starting the new year absolutely sick!

My lips are horribly chapped, swollen, and cracked and my throat is terribly sore. I also appear to be losing my voice, which Tre so lovingly called a “New Year’s Blessing”. Hah. So, I’m eating a large bowl of maple pecan frozen yogurt to soothe my sore throat while waiting for my tea to cool.

This one is in sachets – so I just used one satchet for 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for around three minutes? To be totally honest, I didn’t really looking up the suggested steeping parameters before starting to make it. My bad. I guess after looking them up, it seems like if nothing else my brewing method will result in a watered down/slightly under steeped cup. I’d take that over an oversteeped one 9/10 times.

The smell is delightful; creamy caramel and fruity bergamot mingling joyously together. It’s very strong, and so aromatic! Yummy! I can hear Tre moving about in his room, and I wouldn’t be totally surprised if it was because he can smell this one! It’s one of those kinds of teas…

Taste wise, it’s definitely fruity, creamy bergamot. I was having a little trouble placing what kind of fruit exactly; it was so familiar! So, I went back to the Harney site and did some reading. They describe it as black currant; and yes, it’s that exactly! The black currant especially lingers in the aftertaste. I was expecting a little bit more caramel – yes, there’s caramel but it’s more subtle than I was anticipating.

The base is kind of… I don’t know. It’s nice? I’m not totally sold on it, though. Actually the whole tea is kind of the same way; it’s nice but I remain unsold. I still have two more sachets from the generous Keychange though, so hopefully that’ll be enough for me to wrap my head around this one. I’m also taking into consideration the fact I’m relatively sick and might be tasting this kind of oddly.

Urgh… One hour left until the new year! And, I just want to sleep…

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone!

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93

I’m so stupidly exhausted and tired…

This actually wasn’t on my list of teas to try tonight, but I was too tired to make much of anything else and talking about tea soda/matcha soda kind of put me in the mood to make some, so I decided to finally try this one out! I recieved this from the so kind VariaTEA and I know she received it from someone else initially, but I can’t remember who :(

Pineapple is my favourite fruit of all time and a flavour I heavily enjoy in tea, so I was very excited about this one! I don’t know what the specifications for this matcha are; I think maybe it’s robust? Or, at the least, distinctive? Dry it smells genuinely like pineapple; super sweet and yummy and fresh and just perfect.

I used 1/2 tsp. dissolved into about an ounce of hot water, and then diluted with a can of club soda. I’m getting pretty comfortable with the colour of matcha now when I’m drinking it (I had this weird mind thing going on about drinking icky looking green beverages) so I didn’t even pour this one into my water bottle to hide the colour while I drank it!

And taste wise, it was so good! Definitely a distinct pineapple taste that was just sweet enough and still maintained a natural quality. It reminded me a lot of the smell of Butiki’s Flowery Pineapple Oolong, actually. The green tea was still a little present, but not a lot and not nearly enough to overshadow my beloved pineapple. This was just a natural fit as something to try as a soda.

I’ve found a couple flavoured matchas now that I really enjoyed but was unsure about ordering, but I think this is the first where I can definitively say I would want more around and therefore would actually order some more.

Sil

haha suspect that it might have been the matcha i sent her, but i’m glad it’s being shared! so much better for people to get to try out a few flavours before ordering :) i was surprised by how much i enjoyed this one.

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44
drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
13470 tasting notes

This was my other to go tea for my errands/interview today. I’ve read good things about it and about how it’s really good iced or cold, so I asked Janelle for a sample during her tea sale, despite it being a green tea.

I used 2 tsp. of leaf for 10 oz. of water today; boiling steeped for I think five minutes? That was hours ago, and I’ve sort of forgotten at this point.

Hot, it was really gross. The green was super vegetal and grassy and just icky, and the lime tasting artificial and kind of chemical and just really irritated my throat. I drank most of it cold, just because it was so awful hot – and it was significantly better cold. It was a little creamier, but still tasted chemical and irritated the hell out of my throat.

Definitely not a restock but I am thankful I got to try it if only to rule it out. I have enough leaf left for one small cup and I’ve added it to my vacation bag. Maybe I’ll make it for my Dad or something…

Lala

Because it is a green tea, boiling may be too high temp to steep at. I would say try about 180F.

Roswell Strange

That’s what I thought; but Janelle had labelled the steep temp. as significantly higher so I just went with that.

Roswell Strange

(Just checked it on the DAVIDsTEA website – they suggest 94 degrees celsius)

Sil

i don’t like a lot of davids teas but this is one of the few i DO like… heh funny how wildly people’s tastes vary.

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86
drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
13470 tasting notes

Today has sorta turned out to be a subconsciously “green tea” type of day; how odd, I almost never have “green tea days”.

Anyway, I started the day by opening up the package for the seventh day of Christmas tea exchange; which was so cool and cleverly thought out! I decided to pass on trying it though because I’m already heavily out of order and I figured that I would rather wait until I had milk to add to it; I’m like ceylon teas, but often find they’re better with a bit of milk.

So, I made this instead because I thought it’d be a good tea to take on the go with me for my day of errands/interview. I made it like normal, and it taste pretty much like normal except slightly more green and vegetal tasting than it usually is. This is practically a herbal, which is why I think I like it despite it being green – so more green tea taste isn’t really that heavily welcomed. Like I said, it was only slightly though.

Among all the errands like stopping at the bank, I managed to make it to Tea Desire where I picked out three new rooibos teas to try out! I’d like to hopefully try at least one of them today, but I also have a ton of other blends in mind to juggle/get through. I think after this tea, I’m gonna spend the rest of the day and all of tomorrow just trying new things.

I also stopped at DAVIDsTEA and picked up a couple of tea tins (mostly black ones for my Butiki blends), and 30g of Fantasy Island – purely because of VariaTEA’s tasting notes on it. She loves it and we seem to have similar enough taste in tea; plus it was a flavoured black I haven’t tried yet. I also got a new 12 oz. timolino – so now I have two! My first one is black, but this second one is like this almost white colour but with maybe just the smallest touch of mint green. It’s super pretty!

And then, to kill time before my interview I stopped at the local foods store on a whim, and wound up finding my favourite bagged black tea; Saskatoon Berry from Riverblend Plantation! I had all but resigned that the only way I’d ever get more was if I went back to the art museum in Regina! Woot! So, I just got a small 5 Bag “sample pack” of it to top off what I have at home. Now that I know where it’s sold I don’t need to buy in huge quantity. They had a few other teas there too, but none of them looked super intriguing or worth buying.

And, I think my interview went well. The manager who interviewed me was very point blank about the fact he was interviewing multiple people today, but I’m choosing to think that’s because of my manager experience and the fact I hopefully didn’t come across as naive. Only hiccup might have been that he asked me to tell him a joke, and the first one to come to mind and the one I said was rather inappropriate. He laughed at it though – a lot.

How do you know you’re at a gay picnic? All the weiners taste like shit.

And now I’m packing for my trip (clothes, not tea; the tea is already packed…)

Fjellrev

I was experiencing random green tea days a few weeks back too. So bizarre.

So glad you picked some rooibos there! I see you went with the three I mentioned. I hope you’ll like them! If you don’t, I’ll feel like crap haha.

Roswell Strange

Hah, they were the ones you recommended – but I wouldn’t have bought them if they hadn’t smelled amazing too :p

Fjellrev

Yay! Well let’s hope they taste as good as they smell.

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84

Last tea of the night! This one came today as part of my Della Terra order and I thought it’d be a good, no caffeine way to end the night! Plus it just smelled so good…

So, 1 heaping tsp. in 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for three minutes. Super creamy and yummy with a strong lemon flavour. A little bit peppery.

Anyway, really good :)

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83

Ah! I totally forgot that I still had a cups worth of this sitting strained in the fridge up until I looked in the fridge for perishables to use up about five minutes ago…

So, drinking that up now. It’s really good still despite sitting there for however many days it was. I probably wont be cold brewing anything else now until I leave for my trip – though I did pack a couple teas to take with that I can cold brew! :)

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89

One more Butiki tea ticked off the seemingly endless list of blends to try!

This one didn’t make it into my first Butiki order because I was hesitant about the supposed “raisin” notes. I love caramel, but I also absolutely hate raisin and I wasn’t so sure it’d be worth it if the two were just going to cancel each other out. However, a lot of fellow Steepsterites assured me this was worth trying anyway and so during Black Friday I took advantage of the free tea and included this as one of my freebies.

As far as the dry smell goes, it’s exquisite! The caramel and vanilla smell super rich and indulgent and ooey-gooey! I love when things smell ooey-gooey! I kind of waited to try it over a few of the other teas I got, but tonight seemed perfect since I really just wanted a black tea and was already craving caramel sweets.

So, my preparation is 2 tsp. of leaf in about 10 oz. of boiling water (just shy of that) steeped for about 3 min. 45 seconds. I didn’t mean to steep it that long, but I got distracted by scalding hot pop tarts and left it in a little bit too long. Also, I wasn’t really thinking too well (I’m gonna blame the exhaustion for all the physical labour I did today – which I’m not super conditioned to doing) and I used my giraffe mug, which has a giraffe in the centre, and a really large tea ball so the teaball itself didn’t submerge too well. However, that said, the smell is very nice: it’s rich caramel and strong black tea with only a little but of vanilla coming through. Also, maybe a little touch of citrus?

I had to wait a while for this to cool before drinking it. My first taste was just stupidly hot and mostly I tasted “burning and assam”! No thanks. But once cooler, this is so fucking good! It’s uber creamy caramel with such smooth, flavourful vanilla highlights and a well balanced base that’s present without being too bold and overshadowing the caramel! I get the faintest of citrus notes, which are nice and add a bit more depth. The aftertaste is a lingering sweet caramel with touches of vanilla and a little more citrus.

What an amazing tea to relax to after an exhausting day of work!

And thank God I don’t get raisin notes!

And, all that amazingness is with a relatively crappy steeping method (hardly submerged tea leaves) and a bit of oversteeping. Just imagine how good this would be if I had done a more spot on job! Of course this is going to be a reorder for me; bring on the caramel!

Lala

Just throwing it out there that you need to ditch the tea ball and get a brew basket. So much easier:P

keychange

Seconding the tea basket suggestion, plus I also love love this tea!

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82
drank Victoria Mint by Tea Desire
13470 tasting notes

This was the other tea I took to work today, as a cold tea to drink. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had this one cold before, other than today. I think it’s likely though – I tend to drink mint teas cold rather than hot…

Preparation was 1 heaping tsp. of leaf in 10 oz. of water, steeped for somewhere between three and four minutes. The liquor was a much darker colour than it usually is, and it smelled intensly of caramel.

I think I ended up drinking this all in like five minutes? I was so thirsty after all the hard labour. It tasted amazing! The caramel flavour and the mint flavour are usually really well balanced, and that tastes pretty great. However, this cup definitely favoured the caramel and just had a small touch of mint to it. It was super smooth and creamy and the mint gave it a lovely refreshing quality. I definitely wanted another cup afterwards.

I think this is the only rooibos tea from Tea Desire I’ve tried – so I’m totally making a note to try more in the future!

Fjellrev

Staff members used to really pimp this one at the store but I never bought it since I was so sick of rooibos after trying others! My favourite by far is/was their Magical rooibos. Walnut Orange was my second favourite! And Latte Macchiato is pretty good if you like your coffee.

Roswell Strange

Latte Macciato is one on my super long list of ones to eventually try. I just looked up Magical Rooibos now; it seems really interesting. I’m not sure why I’d never payed attention to it before. Praline de Champagne, Serengeti, and Sweet Toffee are others I’d like to eventually try. I can’t say Walnut Orange looks super good to me; the combination doesn’t seem that exceptional even though I like all the ingredients seperately.

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74
drank Butterbeer by 52teas
13470 tasting notes

On the Sixth day of Christmas Steepster gave to me six geese-a-laying…

Well, buckle your seat belts because this is going to be a long tasting note!

I still haven’t recieved days 3, 4, 5, and 11 yet for the Christmas exchange, so I’m a little behind and out of order which is sort of disappointing and a little frustrating, but (of course!) not the fault of anyone else involved in the exchange. Ultimately, it has to do with Canada Post, the time of the year, and my location here in Canada.

Anyway, I made one of the two teas sent by MissB today. The poem she sent was so cute, and the card was beautiful! The “Goose Eggs” were such a cool touch too, and I gobbled them all up (for Breakfast, because I was rushed and chocolate seemed like a good idea). The second tea she sent will ultimately have to wait until another day because I wasn’t at home long enough today to make that quantity of tea and drink it all. And there’s no way Tre would have helped me drink a barley tea. I actually already have this one from my first 52Teas order, but I haven’t opened the pouch up to try it yet – so this is my first time having it!

The dry smell reminded me of some kind of rootbeer and cream soda hybrid. Very good smelling! Since this came to work today, I steeped 2 tsp. of leaf for three minutes in boiling water. I ended up sipping at it all day while packing up my store.

Basically, I was at work for a solid eight hours working my ass off the pack up and transport all of my remaining stock. It was a lot of hard labour for the three of us to do and I ended up doing the bulk of it because the other two people working were my 50+ year old Portuguese employee who can’t carry a lot of weight and the district manager who is also 50+, needs a cane to get around, and who can’t bend down to pick up boxes for transport. I was so exhausted by the time I got off, and everything on my body is throbbing and sore. Thank God I had tea with me though to help get through it!

Taste wise, this is definitely like a very creamy, rich rootbeer with maybe just a touch of “cream soda”. The black base is kind of mild and just a little astringent but in a barely noticeable way. This was really good and I was so happy to have something to sip at all day. I’m super excited I have a pouch left to drink! Honestly though, I don’t think I’d reorder it though because it is fairly similar to Butiki’s Rootbeer Float Honeybush despite the different bases, and that one is right around the same price point and definitely more consistently available than this one would be.

When I got home today from (my last day of) work, my Della Terra order had arrived! It took four weeks to get here from the time it shipped out, but regardless I was just super excited it made it in time for the blends to be included with my vacation tea! However, upon opening it the foil package for A Rabbit’s Garden had split on the bottom and there was loose tea everywhere! A lot got on my floor and I had to tidy it up :(

That was the one I most wanted to take with me too! Anyway, I’ve emailed DTT about replacing the spoiled package, and I took pictures of everything just in case – but it’s pretty sad I wont have it with me when I leave for vacation in four days.

I applied a few more places today, most of which were unremarkable. However, one I think was especially noteworthy! Tea Desire is currently hiring for a Supervisor position, so I put in an application for that! It’d be full time hours, within walking distance from my house, and not to mention I’d be working for a tea company I love! So everyone cross your fingers for me and, if you’re religious, say a prayer! I would really, REALLY, REALLY love to get that job! Just imagine; I would always have people to talk tea with!

That said, I also have an interview tomorrow with Boston Pizza for a fulltime hostess position. So, I’m hopeful for that too. I actually applied for the position at like eight in the morning this morning, and they called me back for an interview this afternoon.

Anyway, thank you MissB for the tea! I look forward to trying the second one at a point where I’ll be able to properly enjoy it!

Lala

I think your management experience will help you get a job in no time.

keychange

Oh, the tea desire job would be excellent! I’m hoping really hard for you!

Roswell Strange

@Lala – I hope so. I’d like the think that even though I only have three workplace examples on my resume, they’re really well rounded. All three involve dealing with money; two of which were electronic tills, one was doing all the math mentally. Two of three were seasonal, but the other was for well over a year so I think that proves I can handle a long term job. Two of three were working with food, all were guest service related, and one was retail sales (my manager position). I have lots of inventory control related experience, training experience, and now supervisory experience. My work experience shows an ability to work well independently and also in a large group/team setting. I also can obviously handle working at a very fast pace (the theatre involves some serious time management when you’re on floor doing theatre checks/bathroom checks/cleaning theatres, and you have to quickly serve thousands of people a night in concession to they make their movies on time, especially on busy late night showing or large block buster premiers).

All that said, I know it also took me nearly two months to find a job after moving here and I was very, very nearly broke by the time I did find one…

Lala

Well you passed my interview.

Roswell Strange

Ha! I think I’ve gotten a lot better with interviews; I know I was really uncomfortable with them when I first started doing them because I felt unsure of my qualifications and hadn’t had a ton of recognition as a great employee before. Plus I was “only 18” and a lot of places seemed to want someone older and more experienced.

I don’t think I have those same fears now, though! I know my strengths now and I think getting promoted to manager in approx. three weeks did wonders for my unrecognized as an employee – plus doing the job and working so hard was humbling enough to keep me from getting cocky ;)

MissB

So glad you liked it, and everything else in the package! Huge teabag, I know. :)

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74
drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
13470 tasting notes

Got home from a long(ish) day. It was the second last day before my Kiosk closes, which means tomorrow is the last one. God, it seems like time has just flown by. Anyway, after tomorrow I’ll be jobless but I’ll also be going on my “vacation” shortly too, which means it’s been kind of hard job hunting because I have to find a job that’ll allow for a delayed start time. Ick. That said, I did manage to apply one other place tonight (a candy store!).

After work, I stopped and had coffee (well, she had coffee and I had white hot chocolate because the place we were at just had green tea) with my friend Kristina who relatively recently moved to the city. Her and her boyfriend professionally do inventory for large companies, so a couple times a month she’s bused do various cities in Canada (so far she’s been sent to Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta) for a couple days at a time and put up in a relatively nice hotel while they’re counting things – namely for grocery stores and stuff like that. Anyway, she told me to apply because I definitely have the qualifications and it pays well, plus it’s spaced out enough I could still hold another job during the week. So, I did – we’ll see how that goes.

And now I’m watching the first set of episodes featuring The Weeping Angels during Matt Smith’s run as the 11th doctor and eating leftovers. I couldn’t resist drinking the Weeping Angels tea while watching Weeping Angels episodes! Plus, I was craving black tea anyway so that just worked out well. I almost went for TARDIS tea just to properly log something new, but Earl Grey is too much of a morning tea for me, and this just fits too perfectly.

Taste wise, this was pretty close to spot on. It was just a bit bitter, but that’s likely my fault for steeping closer to three and half minutes instead of the typical two and a half minute I usually do. Still, the caramel and sticky popcorn feel/taste came across really well regardless. Mmm! I definitely enjoy ‘geeking out’ with my tea while enjoying some good TV.

keychange

Good luck with the swanky job application!

Isaila

Don’t. Blink.

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Bio

Hello! My name is Kelly, though many people in the tea community call me Ros or Roswell.

I am a mid-twenties tea addict, blogger, and all around nerd. I grew up in the Prairies, but a few years ago I relocated to Quebec to pursue a career with DAVIDsTEA in the tea industry! I’m still working on getting my French language skills down…

My first introduction to tea, in any form outside of instant and bottled iced tea, was about seven years ago when I happened to stumble upon DAVIDsTEA while looking for a birthday present for a friend! I tried their Birthday Cake rooibos blend, and I’ve been hooked on tea ever since! In those seven years; I was introduced to the online tea community, expanded my interest in flavoured teas to include a deep love and appreciation for straight teas and traditional brewing methods, got a tea themed tattoo, started reviewing teas, amassed a sizable tea and teaware collection, became a TAC certified Tea Sommelier, & even came full circle by beginning a career in the tea industry with DAVIDsTEA!

I consider myself a Jack of all Teas, and strive to have a knowledge and appreciation of all tea types, formats, and styles of drinking. I don’t like to feel boxed in to just being a “flavoured tea” or “straight tea” drinker – my expectations may vary depending on the type of tea or how it’s been processed/prepared but if it’s good tea, it’s good tea no matter how it’s been made!

You name it, I probably drink it- and I’ll absolutely try anything at least once.

My default method of preparation is hot, Western style, and straight – but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea or use a different method of preparation I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though.

I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gongfu. Often I curate very intentional tea and music pairings, and sometimes I share them here in my tasting reviews. Music is something that I find can deeply affect the experience of having tea.

I’m also one half of the “tea and fandom” podcast GeekSteep where, weekly, we discuss newly explored fandoms over tea as well as try to figure out the perfect tea to pair with each fandom. You can find us on Spotify and Apple & Google podcasts.

Favourite flavour notes/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, hazelnut or walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strongly spiced profiles (and most Chai in general), mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, stevia, saltiness or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/obsessed with: Sheng from Yiwu, Yancha (Qilan in particular), anything with a strong sweet potato note. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas! Searching for a really good caramel flavoured blend, ideally with a black tea base.

Please contact me at the instagram account listed below if you would like me to review your teas.

Currently I’m employed in the tea department of the DAVIDsTEA head office. While I’m still sharing my own personal thoughts on new & existing DAVIDsTEA blends, I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any comments expressed are a reflection of my own thoughts and opinions, and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of the company. Any DAVIDsTEA blends you currently see with a numeric score were reviewed prior to my being hired there and have not been adjusted since becoming a DAVIDsTEA employee.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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