223 Tasting Notes

80

Funny that I didn’t pull this from an advent, given how much it makes me feel like I’m drinking a candy cane. The dry leaf has a potent mint chocolate scent. It’s much more subtle in the cup; instead of an overpowering peppermint, it’s as if I dropped a small candy cane into a cup of straight tea and let it dissolve. I get a little cream but no obnoxious sweetness. I don’t know if I’m noticing any chocolate in the flavor at all, honestly. But it is certainly a tasty cup!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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30
drank Kings Light by Trankebar
223 tasting notes

Somehow I missed the note on the bag that this was both a black tea and an herbal infusion, and I was expecting a straight black from the bag. This is definitely not that.

There is a lot happening here and not all of it feels great together. When hot, there’s a bit of a sweet, floral black tea happening. I didn’t drink enough of it hot to get more defined than that; it tasted absolutely awful with my food so I put it aside! Cool, the apple is much more apparent, with a bitter herb and light mint finish. All I get in the aftertaste is the woody rooibos. sigh

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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76

This month I’m focusing on the various samples of Bird & Blend, between the advents I didn’t do during advent season and a separate sampler. I also got a sample of this with my last order, so it seemed appropriate to start here.

It’s a pleasant hibiscus blend, but the hibiscus is most of what I get here. I’m not sure I notice anything that feels particularly like strawberry lemonade. There’s a bit of a vague berry and a little more brightness to the hibiscus than in most of my other blends, perhaps from the lemon? It’s pretty in the bag and makes a solid fruity cup. I attempted to use a couple bags to make a small iced tea and it wasn’t potent enough – you’d need a lot of this to get good iced flavor.

Nattie

Aw I love this one, I hope they haven’t changed the recipe!

whosbradpitt

I realized much later that lemonade is also something different here, so that may have been why I didn’t recognize the connection!

Nattie

Wait, really?? I didn’t know that! What is your lemonade?

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40

This was a super cute end to the advent calendar. I was really trying to go into this without spoiling much for myself, so I didn’t know there was a “North Pole” inspired blend until the 24th, and I love the concept.

The tea itself… well, it didn’t work for me. The bergamot oil was a particularly potent scent, and there was something in the flavor that was so reminiscent of aniseed that when I read the ingredients to my partner he accused me of lying! The second cup we didn’t get so much of that, so I really couldn’t tell you what was going on. Still, I prefer other earl greys that lean toward the cream side.

DAVIDsTEA Around the World Advent, Day 24

This advent surprised me! It actually had the highest count of teas I truly enjoyed, which was not what I expected when I purchased it. I was really stretching my comfort zone to go with so much straight tea, and I wound up being very glad I did.

The biggest disappointment here was that of the 4 teas I was ready to purchase, only 1 was still listed on the website. I used a workaround to put them all on my wishlist, which keeps telling me to remove them because they are no longer available, but I’m really hoping that will change. I suppose the one benefit here is that I’ve learned some general preferences that would help me make purchases with other brands if they don’t come back.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I was really tempted by this advent. Maybe next year…

whosbradpitt

It was quite fun! I loved that it was so different from their typical advents and I hope they bring it back.

Roswell Strange

If you tell me which teas they were I can tell you if they’re going to be restocked any time soon ;)

whosbradpitt

Thank you! I saw that the Genmaicha is back, and I already ordered some of the Golden Lily on sale (along with a couple teas based on your reviews). I also wanted to get the Korean Sejak and the Emerald Jade.

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This is the other one I lost my tasting note for, so no number and just general impressions. I also marked this as “liked and would consider repurchasing” in my own spreadsheet.

My impressions of this were that the jasmine was quite strong, especially in comparison to the silk dragon jasmine, which was interesting. It also had a bitter note to it though that kept me from totally falling in love. I wouldn’t be disappointed to try this again, and I may need to just to get a better note!

DAVIDsTEA Around the World Advent, Day 23

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drank Moroccan Mint by DAVIDsTEA
223 tasting notes

I lost my tasting note for a couple teas here so I won’t give it a number rating and can only give general impressions. I’m a fan of mint teas; I liked that this was not an overwhelming mint, but I don’t know if it stood out enough to become my go-to mint. That’s a tall order though, honestly. I did mark it as “I liked this and would consider repurchasing” in my spreadsheet.

DAVIDsTEA Around the World Advent, Day 22

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75

This is a fine breakfast blend; a little bit of brightness in a black tea. I sipped it a bit hot (200F, 3m) before going for iced tea instead, and it pairs wonderfully with orange in iced tea.

I am torn between feeling like I need more practice in drinking and distinguishing different black teas and not wanting to do it because I just don’t enjoy straight black tea all that much. Maybe it would elevate my iced tea?

DAVIDsTEA Around the World Advent, Day 21

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10

It’s not anyone’s fault that drinking chamomile makes me feel like I’m standing in a field of fluffy yellow weeds with loose pollen flying everywhere, but I just don’t enjoy it. I took a few sips here to give it a shot and handed it over to my partner, who simply said, “yep, I like chamomile”.

DAVIDsTEA Around the World Advent, Day 20

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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80

I thought this was a fun blend that smells and tastes mostly of the passionfruit with a hint of orange. One cup had no ginger flavor or discernable ginger pieces, but the other with visible ginger brought some spiciness that added tasty complexity. I don’t need more but I did enjoy it, especially as a final note for an advent.

Plum Deluxe Caffeine Advent, Day 24

In all, I had 11 teas in the 24 that I enjoyed enough to consider repurchasing, and another 5 I thought were decent but wouldn’t buy. I would seriously consider doing this advent again next year; it seems they always have enough new blends to make it worth another go, which is why I’ve remained subscribed with them so long.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Nattie

Love the summary on the advent as a whole! Really interesting (:

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70

This one felt muted; there is cinnamon in the scent and I sort of taste cherry in the flavor, despite the presence of both cherries and cinnamon essence. I don’t get much of the almond (another essence I couldn’t add as an ingredient). This is mostly a sort of generic tea with the smallest touch of sweetness and cherry.

Plum Deluxe Caffeine Advent, Day 23

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

College instructor, mom of 2, and general homebody in California.

Great at buying tea, good at drinking tea, bad at timely reviews. Drawn to fruit, floral, spice, smoke, and flavored teas in general; prefer those that stand well without milk or sweetener. Black is fine, green is better, and red rooibos is trash.

I aim to rate when I finish a package or a complete sipdown, except in advent season.

My ratings are for me, so I don’t accidentally buy something that sounds amazing but I’ve already tried and disliked. I struggle a bit with wanting to be “fair” to a tea that other people would probably like, but then my system won’t work!

90-100 A: loved it; would make this a permanent member of my stash
80-89 B: tasty; would pick it up again
70-79 C: good; could grab with a good deal or to try in a different style
60-69 D: okay; would keep in a set but probably would not repurchase on its own
1-59 F: various shades of bad; would not purchase; closer to 1 means may not even drink again if offered.

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