510 Tasting Notes
My new favorite complement to Thai food is ginger tea. This tangy root certainly fits the bill. I picked this up during *MissB*’s stash sale a while back. It stands up to spicy food without overwhelming or contradicting it. A touch of honey mellows it out nicely. It also resteeps very well. The second steep is still flavorful but smoother and sweeter than the first.
I also enjoyed this blended with dried lemongrass, orange peel, and mint. Ginger + citrus = yay, and the mint accentuates the crisp, fresh aftertaste of the ginger. The lemongrass came from my friend’s backyard, which I think is just super cool. I have no green thumb whatsoever. I tried to grow cat grass a few years ago and it molded, which I didn’t even realize was a thing that can happen. Add my lack of natural talent to the fact that I live in an apartment with no outdoor space, and suddenly other people’s gardening ability just seems miraculous. Also tasty and rewarding. Yay for friends who are happy to share!
Cold brewed at a shmancy training session where they plied us with delicious food and drinks. Frickin delicious. The peach note is prominent, sweet, and juicy. This reminds me very strongly of Simple Loose Leaf’s Sweet Peach White Tea, to the point where I wonder if these companies sourced the blend from the same manufacturer. I loved that tea so I am glad to have found something similar.
Thanks for sending me some of this, EmilyGee!
As others have noted, this blend definitely needs no sweetener. It tastes just like hot apple juice – maybe a little thinner than actual juice. I really want it to have some cinnamon in the blend. It doesn’t quite seem like cider without cinnamon. So I made another cup with fresh leaf and half of a crushed up cinnamon stick. Alas, it still wasn’t quite enough. This is a sipdown but I’ll try for a full cinnamon stick if I ever have this again.
This was an impulse pick for my Frequent Steeper reward. The dry blend just smells so tasty. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweetness. I could swear there’s even a hint of vanilla, though that’s not an ingredient here.
The brew is sweet pumpkin spice with a hint of creaminess at the end. It doesn’t really taste like cheesecake, though adding rice milk gets it a little closer to its name. I also recommend brewing this with a cinnamon stick in the mug. S’yummy.
Thanks to EmilyGee for sending me some of this! I’m fond of chai but can’t have much black tea, so herbal chais are always interesting. This one turns out to be rather meh. It’s just way too much clove, even with rice milk added. It’s drinkable but not something that I would seek out. Glad I got to try it though!
This swap from EmilyGee smells so chocolatey-licious that I just had to have it as soon as I got the envelope open. Plain, it’s nice. Chocolate on the front end with some spiciness coming in mid-sip and building throughout the cup. Some rice milk really makes the chocolate pop, but it also mutes the spiciness. Which is not the end of the world – this ended up tasting like warm chocolate milk, i.e. awesome. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those black teas that hurt my stomach. Still, I’m glad I got to try it. Thanks Emily!
Thanks for the swap, EmilyGee!
I’ve had a sinus infection for weeks now, so a tea designed for colds seemed like a good idea. This infection is weird though – I’m basically asymptomatic (no coughing, sneezing, etc.) except that there’s a lot of painful pressure in my sinuses. Which is a) killer when one has a migraine and b) harder to deal with because it’s less obvious. Anyway, this tea. Just like last time I had it, the dominant note is mint. I think I’m picking up on some of the eucalyptus here too. Tasty enough but not much help with the sinus pressure, alas. I can’t decide what criteria to use in rating this so I’m just not going to.
Flavors: Eucalyptus, Mint
This is one seriously boring rooibos. It’s not bad, just… one note. That one note is good – strong, natural-tasting ginger – but it’s one I can get from a straight ginger root tea (I like Breezy Morning’s West Indian Ginger Root).
Yes, I know, you’re thinking, “Kaylee, what did you expect from a blend literally called ginger rooibos?” To which I reply, “I don’t know exactly, but Stacy raised the bar really high and I expected more oomph.” She’s certainly made single-flavor teas that are anything but plain (I’m thinking especially of the woefully under-appreciated Mint Oolong). This isn’t one of them.
On the up side, it’s caffeine free and goes very well with Thai food.
This was my Butiki-mourning tea today. It’s so lovely. The strawberry and coconut flavors are dominant, with the coconut adding a good deal of creaminess to the mix. I can’t really make out the praline flavor but that’s ok. Some sugar brings the strawberry to the fore without making it taste artificial. It’s by no means necessary though.
I regularly get two solid steeps out of this blend. I suspect the leaf has a third steep in it but I have not tested that out yet.
This is quickly becoming a favorite. Luckily Stacy threw in an extra half ounce as a birthday present (along with a card, a tea sock, and a leaf-hopper magnet – how nice is that?). Thank you Stacy!
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Strawberry
I had a cup of this at TeBella’s tea bar at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa. At $3.75, it was a little pricy for the area but you really pay for the atmosphere at OE. Lots of wood paneling and comfy couches, tasty-looking food and carefully curated elegance at every turn. I was tempted to get Afternoon Tea but it was $26/person for a traditional tea ($20 if you only want scones). So I opted for a single cup and taking some loose leaf home. The loose leaf is the Banana Creme. It’s tasty and I’ll review it eventually, but in retrospect I should have gotten the Key Lime Ginger instead.
The flavoring in this blend is just really spot on. I’m particularly impressed because I often can’t distinguish between “lime” and “key lime” flavor but here it’s very clearly key lime specifically. Tart and juicy. The ginger balances it beautifully. The rooibos kind of just chills out in the background playing a supporting role while key lime and ginger are the romantic leads in a performance where everything ends happily ever after. This is definitely a blend worth revisiting.