15 Tasting Notes

I’m currently taste testing this chai which was reblended to be part of the Spicy 3-tier collection. I took some liberties (LiberTEAS) with this blend because while I did quite enjoy the original, it wasn’t quite as spicy as I thought it would be based on the name of the tea. I expected more heat from the original than it delivered, so I added some chili flake to this to give it just a little bit more heat.

And since I am a chocoholic, I added more chocolate flavor in the way of cacao shells and white chocolate chips (as well as mini chocolate chips) – both of the chocolate chips are VEGAN!

This is my first taste test of this tea – and I didn’t add anise because I wanted to wait and see how the tea faired without it first. I quite like it without the anise, actually. I’m a big fan of anise – love the stuff! – but I am thinking maybe I’ll save the anise for another blend, perhaps a chocolate anise blend. I think that without the anise, I am getting more of the marshmallow notes here and I think that the sharp notes of anise might interfere with the fluffy marshmallow flavor.

As it is, this is quite lovely! Spicy, a good amount of heat without me having to run to the kitchen for something to tame the heat. A nice amount of chocolate-y flavor, a touch of marshmallow. Tasty, if I do say so myself.

Perhaps I’ll rename this Chocolate Marshmallow Spicier Chai (especially since that’s what i thought it was called anyway. haha!)

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I’m currently taste testing this tea for a second time – the first time, I didn’t get as much heat from the habanero that I wanted so I added more. Now it’s just what I was hoping for from a tea called Mango Pineapple Habanero.

I’m a fan of the habanero pepper – my favorite way to enjoy it is by grilling it, peeling it and then removing the ribs and seeds, mincing the roasted flesh and adding it to crushed pineapple. I’ll serve this sauce over vanilla ice cream and it’s so yummy. It’s spicy, sweet and really, really good.

So I wanted to create a little bit of that flavor for this tea but I wanted more than just pineapple for it so I decided to add mango to the mix. I used whole, dried habanero peppers and cut off the tops of the peppers and removed the seeds and the ribs and cut up the flesh into tiny bits. This takes away a good deal of the heat from the pepper (there’s still plenty of heat though!) and allows much of the fruit notes of the pepper to shine through.

This is really good. Not recommended for those who aren’t able to handle the spice, but for those looking for something yummy to warm you from the inside out, this will do just that! (And it will be added to the website on Wednesday!)

Christina / BooksandTea

I would never have thought of serving habanero peppers that way. Do you use gloves when cutting up the pepper and getting rid of the ribs/seeds?

beelicious

Sounds delicious… I may have to cheat on my tea buying hiatus for this :)

52Teas

@Christina: yes, I always use gloves when handling the tea – and when handling the peppers!

@beelicious – you really should! :)

Evol Ving Ness

Looking forward to this one. It sounds inspired.

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drank Eggnog Chai by 52teas
15 tasting notes

I just had a latte using this chai – I have been neglectful lately at brewing a cuppa for my hubby so I decided to make up for it by making a chai latte which is his favorite tea beverage.

To be honest, I don’t often go latte with my cuppa chai because I rather like the flavor of the tea straight up (with just a pinch of raw sugar) – I grew to prefer it this way in my reviewing days. But I’m still one who does enjoy a latte every once in a while and this one makes a really nice latte – it brings out the creaminess of the eggnog notes.

I’ve been thinking over my holiday collection over the last couple of days. In truth, I needed to rush these teas and I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to to perfect the recipe because I failed to take into account how long it would take to get the Kickstarter going and to get those funds so that I could get everything rolling. That’s the best piece of advice I could give to anyone who is looking to start a Kickstarter – plan your time wisely. It will take 2 weeks after the Kickstarter is over to get your funds – so know this well in advance so that you can set your Kickstarter in good time!

Next year, I will take these lessons with me when I do the presale. I definitely will be using Kickstarter again because it’s very helpful to have the daily sales separate from the holiday pre-sales. My daily operations would have been a terrible mess if I had tried to do the presales on the website. I guess another option would be to start another website – but that would have been a tremendous amount of work and in the end it would have cost about the same – but with more work. So Kickstarter is the way to go.

I’ve also taken into account the various reviews and tasting notes that I’ve read about the teas – I do read them! If you have a blog and you’ve written a review for one of my teas , please point me in that direction!

Anyway, I do plan on doing some adjustments to the various recipes – I want to make the Hot Chocolate tea a little richer so I think I’ll blend the black tea base with some other teas, perhaps in addition to the teas from Verdant, I’ll use a rich Assam to enhance the body. The Chestnuts tea, I’ll go a little lighter on the Lapsang Souchong because it seems like most people tasted smoke and little else. Maybe I will also need to enhance that base with a Nilgiri to go along with the Malawi tea and Lapsang Souchong to add something extra to the body so that the smoke doesn’t present itself so strongly. And we’re also planning on bringing back the 12 Teas of Christmas – it will be a little different than what Frank was doing and will include the 5 Holiday teas – I’m not sure that I’ll do 12 brand new teas for the box but I’m also not nixing the idea either.

Wow – I’m chatty this evening, aren’t I?

Evol Ving Ness

It is good to hear your musings. I think that you’ve done a stellar job with your teas in the very brief time since the takeover. Despite criticisms regarding some of the blends, I really really appreciate the bases that you select and work with and continue to tweak to perfect. A job well done. Truly.

I am excited to see your ideas for next year’s holiday blends put into action.

52Teas

Thank you very much!

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drank Gingerbread Houjicha by 52teas
15 tasting notes

So, I’m taste-testing this at the moment before packaging it up tomorrow.

So good. Even if I do say so myself.

After I blended this tea, I worried because I thought – what if the roasty-toasty, somwhat smoky notes of the Houjicha just don’t meld well with the gingerbread. But it works – and it works wonderfully.

I’ll be one very happy tea sipper if all my holiday teas turn out as good as this one did.

Kirkoneill1988

i shall try this someday

52Teas

This one will be a very limited release, available only during the holiday season! :)

Kirkoneill1988

ill pass then. ;)

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drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
15 tasting notes

I am currently sipping on a cup of this – a reblend. This tea was requested as a reblend as part of a “You Choose the Reblend” incentive tier from the start-up Kickstarter campaign and I am taste testing it now. (It will be added on the website – in limited quantities – on Monday, November 23 after it’s been first offered to the person who ordered the reblend and to those that contributed at a certain level on our Kickstarter campaign.)

This is really good. I changed the recipe a bit because first of all, my black tea base is different. Second, I used cacao shells in the blend in addition to roasted cacao nibs and mini VEGAN chocolate chips. Third, I used crushed chili pepper flakes instead of cayenne pepper powder because it’s easier to distribute the pepper flakes throughout the chai than it is to ensure that the powder remains properly distributed.

This is really good. Spicy! Lots of chocolate flavor. It starts out more chocolate-y than spicy, with just a really warm yet gentle heat on the back of the throat. Then as i continue to sip, the heat develops, becoming spicier and warmer. By the time I finished the cup, my tongue was tingly with heat (but not so much that I felt like I needed to eat or drink something to cancel out the heat) and I could feel a burn on the throat, but not uncomfortably so.

I find this to have a perfect balance between spicy heat and sweet chocolate flavors.

Kittenna

Nuts, I guess I missed this one! Hopefully you’ll blend it again at some point :)

52Teas

We still have some in both sizes: http://52teas.com/reblend/ If you scroll down, you’ll find them right about mid-page. :)

Kittenna

It may interest you to know that a couple of the reblends aren’t showing up on the “available and in stock” page – Mayan Chocolate Chai and Boo-Berry Cotton Candy. :) That’s where I was, uh, making up my cart from…

52Teas

ah – I need remember to check that particular category off when I’m entering in the tea! So sorry! That category always slips my mind when I’m entering the tea into the website!

Kittenna

No worries! If you hadn’t seen too many sales of either of those teas, though, that could be why!

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drank Strawberry Zabaglione by 52teas
15 tasting notes

Sipping on a cup of this at the moment. This is a reblend crafted for the Fruity Sampler Add-On from the Kickstarter – the samplers will be shipping out Next Friday so for all of you who ordered one, you can start stalking your postal carrier after Next Friday! For the rest of you, this tea will be added to the website after the samplers are shipped out.

I really enjoyed the original version of this tea, and I’m hoping that I do the memories of this tea justice for the others out there who also loved this tea when it was first introduced. It’s got a really strong strawberry note – sweet & tart – and a smooth, rich custard-y note. Nice.

Marzipan

I love your job.

52Teas

Me too! I have the greatest job.

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drank Banana TieGuanYin by 52teas
15 tasting notes

Backlog:

This is this week’s tea of the week! It’s really good. It’s just banana and TieGuanYin but they make a really lovely pairing. You can read my tasting notes on my blog: http://52teas.com/blog/tea-of-the-week-for-october-12-2015-banana-tie-guan-yin/

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drank Boo-Berry Cotton Candy by 52teas
15 tasting notes

I’m currently sipping on a reblend of this tea. It was reblended as a fulfillment of a “You Choose the Reblend” reward.

It turned out pretty darned good if I do say so myself. It’s been a while since I’ve had the original blend – and I did use a slightly different blend for a base, instead of a blend of Young Hyson & Gunpowder I used my blend of organic Chun Mee & Gunpowder teas.

It’s sweet and yummy. Blueberry is the dominant note with lots of sweet, sugary cotton candy flavor. Really good! This will be on the website on Tuesday but available in very limited supply!

Flavors: Blueberry, Cotton Candy

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I brewed some of this to put in the fridge the other night. This is not a flavor I would think to serve iced mostly because I tend to prefer chocolate-y or creamy flavored teas as hot teas, but this is really yummy iced. It’s like a candy bar – it really curbs that sweet tooth.

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Our reblend of the Maple Cheesecake is finally ready to be tasted and packaged! Yay! I’ve been looking forward to this all week.

Mmm! So good! Rich and maple-y! I adjusted the recipe just a bit to increase the maple just a bit because … maple. (Hopefully that requires no additional explanation.)

I went back to recheck my notes on the first batch of Maple Cheesecake Ti Kwan Yin and I think that this batch is very similar to my experience back then: a sweet, full-flavored Oolong base with nutty notes that complement the tangy cheesecake flavor and a really lovely maple-y flavor. I really am happy with this one!

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Bio

52Teas offers you high-quality, hand-crafted, small batch artisan tea blends – a new flavor every week!

Full Disclosure: The individual operating this UserID is the Mad Tea Artist who creates these blends every week. I’m aka LiberTEAS. I took over the 52Teas brand from Frank of Southern Boy Teas. I’m keeping both accounts active at the present time because I still have some tea reviews to post and I didn’t think that I should do that as 52Teas!

Location

Vancouver, Washington

Website

http://52teas.com

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