1607 Tasting Notes

76
drank Candy Corn Black Tea by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

Maybe I’m wrong but it seems like there’s a greater proportion of black teas in the X-mas sampler this year than there was last year. Not that I’m complaining as I’m quite fond of most of Frank’s black tea blends. :D

I was a bit skeptical of this tea at first as I didn’t think candy corn was a flavour that could be replicated well or accurately. Good thing I was wrong. The tea really does taste like the candy – vanilla and sugary sweetness with a hint of caramel – no additional sweetener needed! The candy corn bits dissolved nicely – it’s a bit of a pet peeve when supposedly dissolvable candies and other additives don’t break down and end up thrown away in the bottom of your strainer.

I’ve already got quite a few candy-flavoured teas so I’m not sure I’d buy a whole pouch of this blend, but I wouldn’t say no to this tea if it was offered to me. ;)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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87
drank Butter Rum by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

So we’re on day….eight of the 12 Days of X-mas sampler, I think?

Yum, I’m really enjoying this blend. It has a really smooth and distinctly buttery flavour with very distinct notes of rum. Drinking it actually makes me think of butterscotch lifesavers. The flavour of this tea strikes me as being somewhat similar to the Brandy Butter Cake but with less of a cakey component. I’m one of those uneducated drinkers who can’t really tell brandy and rum apart – though apparently they both work very well with butter.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

I missed out on this blend on the 14th because I didn’t check the labels carefully enough, so I’m playing catch up. I’ve been wanting to try this tea for ages – and not just because of the name. (Okay, maybe the name did influence me a little bit – I’m a sucker for dragons and all things Tolkien.)

This tea is sure packing some heat – the cinnamon is like those little hot cinnamon hearts that you get on Valentines Day – the tea smells like them too for that matter. But the heat doesn’t overwhelm everything else, instead it’s just a pleasant little prickle on the tongue. The dragonwell base ends up working really well with the heat – better than a black tea would in my opinion. Dragonwell has a bit more muscle to it than most green teas and it holds up well to the strong flavours with it’s smooth and slightly buttery notes. There’s also just the faintest hint of smokiness (from the lapsang souchong probably) that gives this tea an interesting finish.

Now that I’ve drank my cuppa I feel all fired up and ready to hunt down some pesky dwarves and hobbits. ;)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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72
drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

First off let me say that the Weeping Angels are the most terrifying Doctor Who creation ever. They also have nothing to do with caramel popcorn – they’d be less freaky if they did.

I’ve not been particularly interested in purchasing this tea – I like actual caramel popcorn but as a tea flavour it doesn’t hold as much of an appeal. And maybe I’m justified in that – the flavour of the tea strikes me as a little bit wussy although it might just need a longer steep, or as some people have suggested added sweetener. I am getting something that’s sort of popcorn-like in taste along with a vague sweetness that might be caramel, but the flavours don’t really seem to pop.

So overall I’m underwhelmed but I’ve got enough left in the pouch to experiment with. The rating may or may not go up. And before I forget….

DON’T BLINK

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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71

I just realized that I skipped the very first day of the 12 days of X-mas sampler – I found the package for day 14 at the bottom of the box underneath everything else. Oh well, I’ll get to it tomorrow, I hope.

Frank has made some very nice cheesecake honeybush blends in the past (the coconut cheesecake one comes to mind), but somehow this one feels a little bit lacking. I can pick up the cheesecake flavour and the sweetness of the honeybush base goes really well with any sort of dessert flavour. But I’m not really getting that chocolate/peanut butter taste- instead the flavour reminds me more of caramel. There’s maaaaaaybe something a bit like peanut butter if you squint. I might just have to do a longer steep.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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87
drank French Toast by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

So this is day four of the Twelve Days of X-mas sampler. I’ve been eying this tea with passing interesting but I’ve never tried any because I assumed it would be very similar to Pancake Breakfast. As it turns out I was wrong. I swear I was smelling freshly-cooked french toast when I opened the bag it smelled so authentic.

It’s got the flavour pretty well down pat too – I can taste the toasted bread undertone flavoured with a bit of cinnamon and a hint of vanilla. And it’s all covered with the flavour of sweet, delicious maple syrup. It makes me crave some actually french toast right now.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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50
drank S'mores Genmaicha by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

Well I sort of missed the ‘Third Day of Christmas’ thanks to work, but I’ll try and catch up today. I think I could have steeped this one a bit longer because the flavour is rather weak but I prefer to err on the side of caution with green teas as there’s nothing worse than over-steeped tea.

I have to say that I really don’t like the smell of this tea – like other reviewers have remarked it smells chemical and musty. I think I noticed something similar with the Browncoat Genmaicha so maybe it’s something to do with the cacao nibs?

I’m afraid this blend doesn’t taste anything like s’mores to me. I’m not tasting anything that makes me thing of marshmallow and the cocoa flavour isn’t smooth or sweet enough to convincingly impersonate the chocolate. I won’t give this a rating yet – I’ll try steeping it for longer first to see if that improves matters.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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76

This is a big, bold Assam that doesn’t waste time trying to be subtle – very tiger-like. It has that characteristic malt flavour that leaves an aftertaste on my tongue that makes me think of burnt sugar. It’s a bit on the astringent for me to be really wild about this one and oddly enough it doesn’t seem to go well with milk, which is unusual for this type of tea.

I’ve tried other Assams that I liked more, if I’m honest. I might be alone in my opinion given other people’s ratings, but I’d consider this to be a good, but not fantastic tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Banana Pudding Black Tea by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to meeeeeeeee……

A cup of delicious banana pudding tea. I’ve had my eye on this blend for ages but I always either miss it or am too broke to justify a purchase when it gets reblended. So I’m glad I finally got the chance to try it out.

The dry leaf smells a lot like banana cream pie while the flavour of the brewed tea is smooth and creamy and slightly sweet. It’s not too heavy on the banana and there are hints of coconut lurking in the background just to make things interesting.

I hope Frank does what he’s done in years past an have all the teas in the sampler available for purchase after Christmas, because this is one I’ll definitely pick up.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
K S

I’m reading this and thinking it requires Vanilla Wafers to nibble on. Mmmmm banana pudding.

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87
drank Rootbeer Float Black Tea by 52teas
1607 tasting notes

First tea from the Twelve Days of Christmas sampler. I actually already own this one, but this tea is so good I don’t mind having more. Frank has somehow managed to replicate both the scent and flavour of rootbeer almost perfectly. The tea also has the smooth, creamy flavour of ice cream – helped a bit, I think, by the milk I added.

Excellent tea – so much better than a partridge in a pear tree. ;)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I’m a university student in her twenties who’s currently working her way toward a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree. I love both science and science-fiction and I’m a history nut on top of that. Maybe I should just call myself a nerd and leave it there. ;)

I’ve been drinking tea since I was young but it’s only in the past couple years that I’ve become interested in the good-quality stuff.

I’m also a self-proclaimed Grammar-Nazi, and improper capitalization and spelling invariably makes me twitch (yes, I mean you!)

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