514 Tasting Notes
The dry leaf aroma smells exactly like warm cinnamon apples! Mmm! The brewed tea aroma is similar but a bit sweeter now that the hibiscus has steeped. The immediate flavor upon sipping is cinnamon and hibiscus. The apple and chamomile are lighter in comparison and appear in the aftertaste. This is delicious!
The tartness of the hibiscus isn’t overpowering, and it actually pairs nicely with the cinnamon and chamomile. I wasn’t expecting much from this tea, but I really like it! It is soothing and yummy. And man, my cup disappeared fast! I’m going to make a mental note to stock up on this when I get pregnant and can only drink caffeine free teas. :)
I bought this tea for my husband because he really loves coffee but is trying to drink more tea instead. I love trying new things, so even though I was pretty sure a tea with coffee beans in it would be disgusting to me, my husband kindly obliged to share with me.
Let me just say that this 25 grams went really fast! Unless my husband has been drinking it without my knowledge, which I doubt, then this bag is almost finished. I think we only got about 5 cups out of the whole 25g bag! That doesn’t seem like much…
Anyway, on to the tea itself. This tea has a lot of stuff in it: black tea, roasted yerba mate, coffee bean, black currant, barberry, juniper berry, hibiscus, and a bunch of powders and flavorings. That may contribute to its higher weight and thus not as much bang for your buck. The dry leaf aroma is berries with a hint of coffee bean. The brewed tea aroma has morphed into something berry-like and tea-like with an unusual aroma hanging behind the berry. I’m guessing that’s the coffee.
First sip sans additions…hmm, this really just tastes like a berry black tea with a hint of coffee bean. It doesn’t taste like actual brewed coffee, just coffee bean, which mostly is apparent in the aftertaste. You know, I’m not getting much in the way of yerba mate here, roasted or otherwise. The main flavor is a delicious berry concoction! I added a little bit of Truvia, and that helped to amp up the berry sweetness. This is surprisingly drinkable and yummy! I can’t see myself craving this flavor often, but it’s not bad at all.
I’m not a fan of puerh. So, it figures the surprise crowd-funding campaign blend would be a puerh. :P The dry leaf aroma is pure orange creamsicle. The brewed tea aroma is moldy oranges. Yep, moldy oranges. Ugh, I’m not so sure about this one.
First sip…it doesn’t taste like mold, thank God! The orange is very creamy and reminiscent of ice cream. In fact, this is probably the closest to actual ice cream that a tea has tasted for me. But I can’t get past that repellent aroma to enjoy it. This is another one that goes on the swap list!
ETA: My husband ended up finishing the cup. Clearly, he liked it just fine.
Oh no. Why did I buy this? This has Lapsang Souchong in it! Yuck.
The dry leaf aroma is really weird and not appetizing to my nose. It’s heavily spicy and then the smoke aroma comes in and mixes with the chocolate in a very unappetizing way. Luckily, the brewed tea aroma is significantly improved. It’s mostly chocolate chai now with a hint of smoke. Let’s hope that continues into the flavor.
Oh ugh. This is not my tea. Yuck, and this is not s’mores at all in my opinion. This tastes like black tea with spices and smoky Lapsang. No chocolate, no graham cracker, no marshmallow. Just black tea, spices, and SMOKE! I’m sorry 52teas. I should have read the ingredient list more carefully. I’m going to try and swap this ASAP.
Wow, this is just awful. It’s very flat tasting, like a coke that’s lost all its carbonation. Is this supposed to be carbonated? Blech. It’s such an awful sensation to drink something that’s gone flat. Although, I’m not really sure why tea would be carbonated in the first place.
On to the actual flavor, this tastes like barely flavored water. There’s no green tea taste whatsoever. There’s a very slight hint of lemon, but it’s not very distinguishable as natural lemon. It’s just sort of weird and chemical-y. Eww. This is just really bad. There’s nothing redeemable about it at all.
I saved the best for last. :) I have had my eye on this tea for a while, like around 6 months I think. Houjicha is one of my favorite teas, so I’m really looking forward to trying this one from a new-to-me tea company. This is grown right in Japan! It doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you to Sil for sharing this sample!
Ohhhh, yes! The brewed tea aroma is intoxicating and instantly made my mouth water. The taste is a perfect roasted green tea flavor. It’s roasty toasty and delicious! I’ve had several different types of houjicha, and this one is particularly buttery. I don’t think I’ve encountered a buttery houjicha before. It’s really interesting and complements the roasted notes nicer than I would have thought.
I love the description of this tea: “Houjicha is a source of health for farmers, and Japanese farmers are well-known for their good health.” LOL! I didn’t know that! :P If you’ve never tried houjicha before, this is an excellent one to try. Its buttery notes are unique, but it still maintains the prefect roasted flavor that I would expect.
Houjicha is nothing like unroasted green tea (sencha, matcha, gunpowder, dragonwell, etc). It’s not grassy at all and instead can be quite nutty. I think this particular tea is less nutty because of the added buttery notes. Nevertheless, it’s a great representation of what roasted green tea has to offer: a tasty warming cuppa!
This is truly a delicious and special tea. I’m savoring every sip. Mmmm, yum! And now I know that Hibiki-an offers excellent quality teas. I’ll have to check them out further, and I’ll probably pick up more of this while I’m at it. ;) Thanks again, Sil!!!
Another sipdown made possible by Sil. Yay! Oooh, I love white peony! The brewed tea aroma is white peony and juicy pear. The initial flavor is the lovely white base. The aftertaste is thickly pear and a little weird. I think it actually tastes more like blue raspberry than pear. The best part of this tea is definitely the base. Thank you Sil!!!
The dry leaf aroma is chocolate. The brewed tea aroma is chocolate. The taste? Chocolate. What a surprise. ;)
The black tea base is a little bitter. I added Truvia and skim milk, but it’s still fairly bitter. If you like dark chocolate, I think you’d probably really enjoy this tea. I’ve always been more of a milk chocolate kind of gal myself. Although the older I get, the more dark chocolate grows on me.
I’m really getting nothing in the way of almond here though. I LOVE almond, but I can’t detect any of that lovely flavor in this cup. As a chocolate tea, it’s pretty good. As an almond truffle tea, I think it leaves something to be desired. Nonetheless, I always enjoy trying something new! So thank you to Sil for providing this sample!
I received this sample teabag from a co-worker. Don’t you love when people give you free tea just because they know you like it? Big thanks to my awesome co-worker!
The dry leaf aroma is floral but not recognizably jasmine. The taste? Hmm, it kind of just tastes like a generic black bagged tea. Weird. Isn’t this a green/black/oolong/jasmine blend? Why doesn’t it taste like any of those things? Well, besides black tea that is. Anything blended with black tea always seems to end up tasting like black tea. Why do people bother blending it with greens and oolongs?
Oh, this has Darjeeling in it. I can definitely taste that. It’s smooth and has a nice muscatel. It’s not bitter or astringent. Mmm, yum! For a bagged Darjeeling tea, this is pretty tasty! But I can’t say that it tastes like anything else. Overall, I like it! I definitely wouldn’t turn it down in the future.