15 Tasting Notes

78

I’ve almost finished my canister of this tea so I decided it might be a good idea to review it. I used two tea bags in a 12 oz mug, added a touch of sweetener and a splash of Half & Half. It smells . . . how would Homer Simpson say it – garrrr droooll!

Let me start by saying I consider myself a complete amateur at both tea reviewing and drinking. I know what I like and I like this. I found it to have a deep chocolate flavor with a hint of something else (not sure how I would describe it other than as “red”). I’m guessing that might be the beetroot or maybe it’s the flavor of the rooibos itself (I’ve never had it in anything else).

Never having had true Red Velvet Cake (only a Crumbs cupcake – not impressed) I can’t compare the flavors in this tea to the original cake. What I can say is that I really like this tea. I find it rich and sweet (but not tooth-achingly sweet like another version I’ve tasted) and very enjoyable. I will definitely be restocking on this.

The only disappointment I have in this tea is that it is not available loose. I wish it was not limited to tea bags. Unleash the tea!!! ;D

Flavors: Dark Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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76

Okay I just finished enjoying a cup of this tasty blend so the details are fresh in my mind.

I used two tea bags because I have a large mug, boiling water and added some half & half and sweetener. The tea smelled delicious while it steeped. The banana scent just kept calling me over to take a sniff.

When I took a sip, the banana flavor is most prominent. It’s an artificial banana flavor but it’s still yummy. The chocolate is there but a bit subtle (especially compared to the banana). To be fair I’ve had these tea bags for some time now so the chocolate flavor might have diminished over time but it’s still good to me.

It reminds me of a banana flavored chocolate coated Moon Pie. I know some folks don’t really considered blends like this “real tea” (I was actually told that by a friend who sniffed that her husband was a tea aficionado and in her opinion this wasn’t tea) but I’m definitely ordering more.

Flavors: banana, Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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74

I’ve tried this tea three times so far. I really enjoy its fruity, sweet flavor but I have to admit its flavor reminds me more of Twizzlers or Red Vines than of any vineyards. Then again I’ve never been to a vineyard so perhaps that’s why my associations are to candies.

I’ve had it hot each time I’ve drunk this tea (with a touch of sweetener and milk) but I’m sure it would be wonderful iced too.

Flavors: Peach, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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80
drank Shalimar Oolong by ESP Emporium
15 tasting notes

This is the third time I’ve enjoyed a glass of this flavorful tea. Twice I had it hot and once iced. I enjoy the fruity, tropical flavors of a hot cup of this tea. I’ll be honest, the fruit flavors do seem to overpower the oolong a bit but I don’t mind.

I made this tea pretty much the same way I’d make black tea. I put two teaspoons of the tea in a strainer and pour almost boiling water over the leaves. I tend to make 2 cups per each strainer of tea, steeping it longer the second time. I add a little sweetener and I’m good to go. (Someday I’ll probably get a gaiwan but for now this will do).

I think the juicy, fruity flavors are perfect for a hot summer day and this tea is wonderful iced.

Flavors: Fruity, Mango, Passion Fruits

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
drank Irish Morning by ESP Emporium
15 tasting notes

When I first opened this tea the aroma of Starburst-like strawberry wafted to my nose. It was very sweet and juicy. When I took the first sip the strawberry flavor was still there but more subtle and not as artificially sweet as I feared. It remained juicy and sweetly strawberry. I didn’t taste the coconut, at least not as strongly but the tea flavor was good. I enjoyed this tea. It would be perfect for a spring or summer afternoon.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Earl Grey Cream by ESP Emporium
15 tasting notes

Okay, I’ve had this tea for a few weeks now and I have to say the taste has improved. I don’t know if the ingredients needed to age a bit in order to meld together into a flavorful whole but it has finally arrived.

The bergamot has softened and the vanilla/creamy flavor is now more apparent. No one flavor is too overwhelming and it produces a flavorful cup of tea. I’m glad I didn’t give up on this tea. My only disappointment is that the bag is almost gone now.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Earl Grey Cream by ESP Emporium
15 tasting notes

I want to be sure I give this tea a fair try before giving up on it. This time I added 2 generous teaspoons of tea to a large mug, added boiling water and steeped for 3 1/2 minutes. I even used spring water rather than my usual tap water.

I added a splash of half & half and sweetener and gave it a taste. Once again I was let down by the flavor of this tea. I thought the first time I made it I had over-steeped the tea, almost cooking the leaves, but even with a shorter steep time this tea tastes weak and dominated by bergamot. I can smell the aroma of the creamy vanilla but can’t taste it.

This tea is not so awful that I won’t finish up the rest but I regret ordering the 100g size. I’ll keep toying with the steep times and water temperature and hope I’ll finish the sweet spot to produce a better cup of tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Earl Grey Cream by ESP Emporium
15 tasting notes

When I open up the bag in which the tea shipped I can smell the bergamot and a touch of cream/vanilla. It smells promisingly yummy.

I made a cup of tea following the instructions provided by the vendor – 1 tsp of tea per 6oz water, a steep time of 4-5 minutes and water temperature of 205-212F. When I sniffed the steeped tea the bergamot was the primary aroma that tickled my nose. I did smell a hit of vanilla or cream as well.

Upon tasting I was disappointed. The bergamot flavor came through but not much else. It overwhelmed the flavor of the black tea and the cream/vanilla. In fact the flavor seemed almost faded, as though this tea had been sitting in the back of the cabinet for some time.

I really wanted to like this tea but I find myself disappointed by its lack of flavor and complexity. All I get from each sip is bergamot and not much else.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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87
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
15 tasting notes

Coconut and chocolate – what’s not to love about a Mounds bar in a cup? This tea looks lovely and smell divine. The first time I drank some I remember enjoying it a lot. It became one of my favorites.

This time the flavors were a bit muted but I think that’s due to the age of the tea (it’s been sitting in my cabinet for several months while I distracted myself with other teas).

I’m almost done with this batch and I’ll definitely be reordering more of this delightful blend.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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68

I just received my order from ESP Emporium (woo hoo!) and this was the first tea I decided to try.

The description is yummy and the tea looks wonderful. When I opened the package, the aromas of cinnamon and star anise wafted up to my nose. As it steeped those flavors intensified a bit.

When I sipped it (after adding some half & half and a touch of sweetener) the licorice flavor of the star anise seemed to overpower the other flavors. I think I detected a bit of the cinnamon but it was very mild, unlike its tantalizing aroma.

I want to give this another try. It’s not bad at all – the licorice flavor is good, but it’s not what I expected based on the description.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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