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234 Tasting Notes
I have a confession to make: I nicked this from my mom’s stash, BUT it’s okay because she’s currently in Thailand and won’t notice anyways!
Another confession: this is what I kinda expected DavidsTea’s Prairie Berry to taste like… and then it didn’t. So, sometimes when I want this tea dumbed down and the DT Prairie Berry to be more flavourful I just mix the two together!
Now, let’s talk about this tea. Currently, with the roller-coaster of nausea/vomiting I am on, it’s the only fruity tea that I have been guzzling. And I mean guzzling. Hot. Cold. Iced. It doesn’t matter, if it’s there I will drink it. Plus, add a little honey or raw sugar, pop it in the fridge overnight, and it tastes like Saskatchewan Summer in a glass. Which is nice because our lovely summer abruptly ended this week with -5C temperatures.
Figs. Figgy, figgity figs.
And then the watermelon. But mostly figs.
This might also have to due with the fact that there was a sizable chunk of dried fig in the mix when I steeped it, so hopefully the overwhelmingly figgy taste is not true of the entire 10g bag I bought.
I’ll refrain from rating until I’ve tried it again (hopefully less figged out), but in the mean time I’ll say that it reminds me of a more pleasant Forbidden Fruit, but I still can’t get past the figs.
EDIT: Much better iced.
I know I’ve reviewed this tea, like, 4 times already (shows you how good it is), but I gotta say I just whipped up a batch of Buttercream-infused honey applesauce and… wow. I’ve infused all sorts of teas into my applesauce recipes—why use water when you can use delicious, flavourful tea—from Coco Chai Rooibos to Mom’s Apple Pie (seemed logical), but this.
This is something else. The Buttercream just compliments the honey in a way that makes it almost taste like caramel apples. I might just have to make more of this…
I feel like a fraud…
With dozens of beautiful, high-quality loose teas in my cupboard and all I want to drink is this. Plain Jane, grocery store Orange Pekoe. I suppose I could blame this pregnancy, baby #2 doesn’t appear to be a tea connoisseur like my first one was (who even at 20 months old enjoys a sippy cup of cold, fruity rooibos).
I’ve literally tried a little bit of everything: Green & Fruity (rooibos made me gag), Genmaicha (had to dump it), Earl Grey (normally a favourite, but now only tolerable when in London Fog form), Kanpe (couldn’t even get past the dry smells, let alone brew it), Birthday Cake (again, the rooibos)… and since I hate to waste teas I’ve just stopped trying.
Hopefully this “morning” sickness goes away soon (I’m 12 weeks along, so it should be ending in the near future) because just the other day I picked up all the new teas, but can’t bring myself around to trying them since I feel like reviewing them now will make the ratings all skewed…
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Pregnancy cravings are weird and strangely enough my tea cravings for this pregnancy are completely different from my first. I tried brewing up some Genmaicha—basically the only tea I drank last time around—but only managed to get halfway through the cup before dumping it. Apparently, this baby demands sweet, buttery teas! Stat!
Since it’s been nearly a year since I’ve had this tea, it’s about time I tucked in again, and gooood-gravy, this is just what the baby wants. None of these fruity teas I’ve been trying to appease it with, they all end up making the nausea worse! Instead it looks like we’ll be sticking with Buttercream, the naturally sweet Nepal Black, and this tea.
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Urgh, I knew this would happen. I just knew it! Baby #2 is currently waging war on my ability to hold anything down longer than an hour: prenatal vitamins? Nope. Captain Crunch? Bye, bye. Applesauce? At least it tastes nearly the same down as it does up. Oatmeal? Not a chance!
I had my fingers crossed that this pregnancy would be different, but no, “morning” sickness—more like all-day-and night sickness—has kicked in. BIG time. Thus I’m on Diclectin, which takes away the nausea + vomiting, but leaves me super drowsy! So drowsy that I couldn’t wait to put my 19-month-old down for her after-lunch nap so that I could have one too!
Which brings me to tea. I’ve been craving it like madness, but then the thought of getting the kettle boiled, tea in cup, water over tea, waiting for steep, etc, was enough to send this pregnant gal back to bed. Too much work? Hey, I’m growing a human here. It takes a lot of effort! Plus, I never know if I’m going to open up some tea-pouch and have the scent send me reeling to the bathroom.
My solution? A tea that has a short steep time (pregnancy makes me impatient) + it has to be fruity (fruit doesn’t set off my nausea) = BIG APPLE. I erred on the side of caution by only steeping it for a minute, which turned out to be the right choice since this tea is light and apple-y, with the tiniest hint of caramel. To me, so much more satisfying than Baked Apple or Mom’s Apple Pie.
Now, fingers crossed this drowsiness subsides so I have the energy to brew more complex teas again…
Life has been a little hectically crazy right now: my sister needs surgery on her gallbladder (we have the same issues, just apparently hers are so bad she needs it out!), my sister-in-law’s baby shower is approaching (expecting twin boys), and my husband & I just got news of our own… we’re pregnant with baby #2! It’s kind of early on to announce anything to family, but I had to let someone know! It’s strange, with pregnancy #1 I was so nauseous and tired that the slightest smell of meat or coffee sent me running for the bathroom. This time around I’m actually craving coffee! Fingers-crossed the nausea decides to stay away for good.
It’s also Saskatoon Berry season here in Saskatchewan, with berry-laced pie, preserves, and cinnamon buns at nearly every Farmer’s Market stall. I can’t have any of the baking and my mom makes her own jam, so I usually opt out of the bounty. This tea, however, was an exception.
From the moment the sales-girl opened it up for me to sniff, I knew I needed some in my possession. Today, I finally brewed up a cup to drink with breakfast and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s thick and flavourful, with the Saskatoons complimented perfectly by the maple. Much more dimensional to me than Superberry. Now, let’s see if we can get multiple steeps out of it…
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First steep @ 94°C for 2 min: creamy, buttery notes first, which subtly give way to something reminiscent of leafy greens, with the slightest hint of sweetness.
Second steep @ 95°C for 4 min: Like the first, but much more delicious!
Third steep @ 96°C for 5 min: Almost identical in taste to the first, less flavourful than the second.
Fourth steep @ 98°C for 7 min: Still delicious.
I thought people were joking when they said that this tastes like cake batter or cupcakes. How can an infusion from funny-looking leaves + nuts taste like baking?
Then I took a sip of my mom’s to-go cup of this. And I had to eat my words.
It legit tastes like cake batter! How is this possible?? I don’t know and I don’t care, I’m just going to drink up.
I rarely have a problem with tea. Black, green, white, red, herbal, it takes a lot for a tea to disappoint me. I can count on one hand the teas in the past that I have brewed then dumped, Forbidden Fruit, Jumpy Monkey, and The Skinny amoung them. Sadly I now have to add this one to the list and I’m probably just reiterating what the other reviews have already said…
This tasted really, really strange to me. Initially it tasted like the tea was musty or fermented, and AFTERTASTE started to taste like Cherry Cola, but first you’ve got to get past the strange flavours. I tried it both hot (blech), iced (Cherry Cola flavour came through a little more) and iced with sweetened condensed milk (addiction much?). The only tolerable way to drink this was the latter… and even then I really had to force myself.
Sigh. Now I’m sad because I was ever so hopeful that this tea would be amazing…
Smells like grapefruit? Hmmm, interesting.
Now I know that Swampwater is supposed to be the tea you brew for kids, but, no sooner had I taken this out of the fridge—after brewing it for 10 minutes, straining, then placing it there to cool—then my 18-month-old hold her sippy cup out to me. She’s probably thirsty and I prefer to fill it with cold tea, instead of juice, anyways. I hand her the full cup and she literally starts drinking without stopping for a breath! Either she’s really thirsty of she really loves this tea. Probably a combination of both! Looks like this will be in full rotation this summer as I brew it up for my daughter to drink.
Now, what do I think of it? I find it’s a really flavourful brew, especially when you just leave it for a bit, then strain and chill. I could see it being a little on the weak side if you brewed it then poured it over ice, so to get maximum flavour I recommend steeping it for 10+ minutes, straining it, then forgetting it in the fridge for a day so it reached peak coldness.
Trust me on this one, have I ever lead you astray before?
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Recipe for the perfect iced Root Beer Float:
‣ Root Beer Float tea, brewed extra strong
‣ sweetened condensed milk
‣ tall glass
Add a couple tablespoons of the sweetened condensed milk (that is, if your husband hasn’t found it already and nearly polished off the whole can!) to a tall glass filled with ice. Pour the extra-strong brewed tea* over the ice + milk, stir, and enjoy!
*I highly recommend letting the tea cool in the fridge for a couple hours, otherwise nearly all of the ice melts, but if you want instant gratification (like I did today) feel free to pour the hot tea over ice.
Hot: Not really my “cuppa tea” (har har), reminding me too much of forgotten, day-old root beer that’s turned flat and warm. However, I remember one of the sales-associates recommending this with milk and ice. Hmmm, worth a shot…
Iced: So, I mixed in some sweetened condensed milk instead of just milk and sugar, poured the whole mixture over ice and, oh. monkeys. It’s creamy, delicious root-beer-float-goodness without all the calories of ice cream! I never thought I’d see the day, but it’s here and it’s delicious. I’m not really sure how else to describe it…
Reminds me of Green & Fruity, but I’ve never tried bamboo leaves before. We’ll see how this goes!
Hot: I wasn’t really a fan, like drinking warm fruitopia or something. So, I put the whole shebang in the fridge overnight and…
Cold: So, so, so much better! Taste-wise it reminds me a lot of Green & Fruity, but cooler somehow. I can see what they mean about bamboo leaves being “cooling” because it somehow just feels like drinking liquid cold (and I didn’t even add any ice to it). Definitely a refreshing summertime beverage full of light, tropical flavour. Drink up!
I was eating a piece of rich chocolate cake and needed a nice black tea to accompany it… boy, did I make the right choice with this one!
I’m not going to rate it, since the magic in my mouth of both chocolate cake + Salted Caramel tea was pretty delicious, but didn’t really give me a good taste of the unadulterated tea. However, the combination of the two was a match made in heaven, with the creamy astringency of the tea cutting through the richness of the cake. Like both drinking and eating a caramilk bar. Yes, it’s just as awesome as it sounds!
So, if you ever need something to pair with that rich, velvety slice of chocolate-ganache-delight look no further than this tea, your taste buds with thank you. And probably have a party in your mouth. Where everyone is eating cake. And drinking tea. Caramel tea.
I seem to have difficulty brewing this tea correctly… it either tastes over-brewed and bitter or under-brewed and bland. So far I’ve brewed it twice with vastly different results, but now it’s too late in the evening for me to try again since a black tea has enough caffeine to keep me up for a good portion of the night. Alas, we shall have to wait until morning for the final verdict… stay tuned.
The next morning: Sigh. Still got it wrong… and it turned out slightly bitter. Again! Maybe you others will have more luck with this tea than I do because right now, I wouldn’t really recommend it. I can’t help but wonder if it would’ve been better without the black tea base, just the berries to steep, but then it might get an awful lot like Bear Trap.