470 Tasting Notes
So last night when I was placing my Adagio sample order, I contemplated their Apricot Green until I remembered that I have a sample of a similar blend from Momo! So into a cup for an overnight cold brew it went.
This tea reminds me of something I’ve tried before almost exactly, but I can’t place what it is. Infuriating! I’m pretty sure I never logged whatever this mystery tea was so I’ve spent 20 minutes glaring angrily at my cup as if it will give up the answer. Funnily enough, I don’t think it was another apricot blend, but a flavored green with fruit of some kind. Oh well.
This is a nice enough tea, though I don’t know if I’d know it was apricot without being told first. A little fruity, but the base dominates. Oddly enough, I’d swear the taste was changing as I work through my cup. With one sip it’s very plum-like, then I get a hint of real apricot, then it’s just generic fruity tasting. If nothing else, this is a big ’ol cup of mystery!
Apparently I’m on a pear kick, in part because I got quite a few teas with it as a flavor from TeaEqualsBliss! This is from our swap rather than the TTB but they came together so I keep forgetting which tea came from where.
I love a good pear. That first juicy bite, the super firm and crisp flesh, the tart rindy taste from the peel. Pears are great, especially because consistency is a real issue with me when it comes to fresh fruit and I often find apples (other than Granny Smith and some reds like Honeycrisp) super mushy and revolting. Just looking at a golden delicious makes me shudder. But pears are where it is at, so perfectly firm!
Of course you can’t capture that sensation in a tea, but just the smell of this reminds me of a perfect autumn pear. The flavoring is spot-on, totally authentic and delicious. I drank this for the first time a few days ago when I had a friend over: he took a sip, looked at me amazed and said “it tastes like a pear!” He’s used to bagged teas so I suppose the transition to nice loose-leaf is initially a shock. Like holy cow, a flavored blend can be this good?!
I would rate this blend really highly if not for the base, which has come out a touch bitter both hot and even in a cold brew. A little more astringent and assertive than I’d like in a fruit blend, but now I know to just cut down on the leaves.
Funny, I mentioned not having any good pomegranate teas in a recent tasting note and suddenly I’ve had a huge influx of them! First the 52teas Pom Blackberry, now this one from the Traveling Tea Box! How could I resist two fruits that I love so much combined into one?
This is a bright pink cup due to the hibiscus, but for once it’s actually quite purposeful in a blend. Without it I think this tea would be worse: which is what you want in an ingredient, right? But so often hibiscus is just thrown in as a filler with no place in a blend. But here, it mimics that tart bite of a fresh pomegranate seed quite nicely, in taste as well as color.
The pear is definitely at the forefront here, so nice and crisp and refreshing! I do love pear teas, though I don’t really have a whole lot of them. I don’t know if there’s actually pomegranate flavoring in here or it’s just the effect of the hibiscus, but it’s a really nice counterpoint to the pear. Two fruits I never would have thought of combining, but now I’m intrigued! I wonder how a pear poached in honey and pomegranate juice would go over?
Anyway, this is a really great iced tea, one of the best fruit tisanes I’ve tried. Finally, hibiscus used correctly! That alone makes me rejoice, but the fruit flavors here are just so natural tasting. Now I want to try more from this company!
Mmm, there’s just something so comforting about the smell of hazelnut. Toasty, nutty, bake-y goodness. I’ve been dying to try this since I received it in a swap with TeaEqualsBliss but for some reason it got shoved to the back of my “to try” pile and I just noticed it sitting there all lonely and sad today. Well, time to remedy that!
I was about to prepare some earl grey when I dug up this beauty, so I decided why not mix them up? And of course with something as decadent as hazelnut I couldn’t have any regular old cup of tea so a stovetop latte it was—2 parts hazelnut to 1 part RoT’s Earl Greyer.
Wow, this is good! Really strong hazelnut flavor, and very natural tasting. It pairs so well with the EG, which tempers the hazelnut a bit so it’s not too strong. I have to say, the base on this is really fantastic too. That’s not normally something I notice with heavily flavored blends, but the base here is really strong and malty and definitely held up to a long steep in milk.
I won’t be rating this now since I haven’t had it on its own, but suffice to say it’s a real winner so far! I’ve been looking for a good hazelnut tea, and I think this one has just found a place in my cupboard where it will be staying for a long time.
I love love love blueberry teas, so I was thrilled to find a few cups of this in my swap package from TeaEqualsBliss! Especially since I’ve been craving Adagio’s Blueberry White but ran out a while back. I really do need to place an order there soon!
This is a blend of 3 blueberry teas: one white, one black, one herbal. The herbal part must have some hibiscus because my cup is a nice rosy shade, though there’s only a tiny hint of tartness from it thankfully. It’s a more complex cup than the straight Blueberry White, understandable since there’s technically 3 different bases here. It’s not as sweet as Blueberry White either, in fact it’s a very crisp cup (of course I had it iced, which definitely adds to it). This definitely curbed my blueberry craving!
There sure are a lot of cherry senchas out there! I’m sipping this from KallieBoo! and I blanked on the company name, and I don’t feel like walking to the kitchen this late at night to look it up so I thought “how hard could it be to find?” 83 results, it took a bit of digging until one of the company names popped out at me!
I try not to compare cherry senchas to Den’s Sakura Sencha, the god of sakura flavored teas. But this one isn’t pretending to be sakura, it’s just cherry and rose… which I suppose when combined are close enough to sakura, a little fruity and floral. But not quite—like if you combine grapefruit and lemon it would almost be yuzu, but not as good as the real thing. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like a good cherry green tea, especially iced (which is how I am having this one).
This is good, perhaps not as flavorful as other similar blends I’ve tried but the rose is a nice touch. It’s a really subdued cherry flavor, like just a little whiff of it at the end of the sip. And that’s after a 12 hour cold brew! The rose is also pretty soft, I’d say this is a very mildly flavored blend… which is better than overly flavored, at any rate! It’s a nice tea, maybe not anything special but I do love floral blends so I really enjoyed it.
I only get to go to my favorite restaurant in NYC once a year for dinner: on Valentine’s Day, because usually anything but the lunch menu is way outside our budget. It’s a Japanese place, but not sushi and tonkatsu Japanese (not that there’s anything wrong with sushi and tonkatsu!). It’s all small-sized, more traditional fare for the most part with some interesting twists thrown in.
We had an 8 course meal this year including smoked duck negimaki, baby scallop tempura, slow-cooked miso pork belly, black sesame creme brulee and a whole lot of sake. It was absolutely to die for, and so overindulgent I feel like I am going to burst hours later. After the meal I was so full I could barely down the genmaicha they give you after the dessert course, so I had to wait a few hours after I got home to make some tea of my own.
Peppermint is my go-to detox tea for that “oh god did I really just eat that much food” feeling, but I wanted something a bit special since it is Valentine’s Day! Originally I was planning on sharing a cup of one of the two Della Terra vday blends I haven’t tried yet, but they both contain chocolate and the thought of anything sweet was making me a bit nauseous. Then I remembered this blend—black tea, green tea, bergamot and peppermint! Sounds perfect.
Peppermint and bergamot are two flavors I’ve found that can really overwhelm a cup and drown out other notes. So how would they do in direct competition? Well, after a 3 minute steep the cup is a gorgeous golden tone and it smells strongly of both. At first sip it’s actually bergamot that is more present, but it fades into crisp mint. You can definitely taste the nuances of the base: a bit smokey from the black, but with a hint of that classic “green tea” taste. Okay, not the best description, but you know that one nameless flavor that makes you say “oh yes, this is a green tea”?
I love earl grey and this is such a great twist on it, the perfect way to lighten up a classic blend. Definitely one of my favorite variations! And it definitely cured my over-full feeling! In fact, it did its job so well I am now eying the box of Godiva on my bed…
I love eucalyptus in teas, but it doesn’t seem very common. So of course I had to throw in a few ounces of this in my Steep City order! Usually you find eucalyptus in herbal blends, not black ones, and the name and colors are so appealing. All of the blends I’ve tried from them are so beautiful, this is no exception: the bits of purple and orange are just so striking.
I tried this one iced in my travel mug, since I’m not sure if this is a blend I’d like hot. Also, I’m totally in love with finally being able to take tea with me everywhere! This reminds me a lot of Zen Tea’s Grapefruit Orange, since they share many of the same elements, namely eucalyptus and citrus. This blend is very assertive, not for the faint of heart! Orange and lemongrass are bright and sparkling, backed up by that unique herby menthol flavor from the eucalyptus.
The black base makes this a bit more earthy and grounded than the tisanes I’ve tried with eucalyptus, though it’s still very strong. With all the different strong flavors and colors it really does remind me of a carnival!
I’ve discovered the best iced tea in the world.
One part Steep City Tea’s Coconut Grove + one part Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream.
PERFECTION! The cantaloupe and coconut are perfect together, complemented by both cream and a soft hint of rose. I actually made this by mistake—I had half a cup of each in my fridge from past cold brews that I just hadn’t got around to finishing, and they were so similar in color that I mistook them for the same tea and poured them together. Thankfully the result is pure, delicious magic.
I love coconut and I love rose, but I never thought of putting them together! Tropical and floral, it sounds good but I was on the fence about ordering it… until I saw Steep City’s Citrus Sunshine Oolong. Of course I can’t order just one tea, so into the cart this went!
This is a beautiful blend, fluffy leaves and whole rosebuds. It smells very coconutty but not very rosy, a lot like Persimmon Tree’s Coconut Creme. I already have a lot of creamy coconut teas, so I was hoping this would be different once brewed.
And indeed it is! The coconut is smooth and tropical, but still quite light and airy, in part I’m sure because of the white base. The rose is subtle, but still there! There’s just a hint of floral rose at the end of the sip. I think this is probably my favorite coconut blend that I’ve tried so far!