520 Tasting Notes
Right off the bat, the dry “leaf” smells like fruit roll-ups if there was a mango version. It looks more like a dried fruit medley than an herbal tea. The ingredients list includes sugar AND marigold. I prefer my tea blends unsweetened and marigold always clogs up my steepers. So this tea has a lot going against it before I’ve even added water.
The brew is yellow. Not golden or delicate or dark or bright, just… yellow. It tastes like watered-down juice, which is about what I expected. Not bad, but not tea. If I want juice, I’ll drink juice. These blends are rather confounding – since they have sugar, they’re not exactly a healthy alternative to juice. Nor are they tea-like. So… what’s the point? I genuinely want to know. What’s the appeal of a fruity, sugary herbal blend over watered-down juice?
This does make a good “tea”-pop. Once the brew cooled, I added chilled seltzer in a 2-to-1 ratio. The result was similar to Izze Sparkling Juice Soda. So I guess this is useful for making knock-off Izze at home, slightly cheaper than store-bought.
Low score for being pre-sweetened and tasting more like juice than anything else. Score adjusted upwards for making a good “tea”-pop.
Thanks to DavidsTea for the sample!
Eep! Things are a bit busy right now and I haven’t had much time for Steepster. I miss y’all though! Here’s another one of my backlogs from when I went on vacation.
August 30, 2014
I’m so happy to have this on hand again! I bought two boxes to bring home, but I couldn’t wait. I just had to open it up and have a cup. This is my happy tea. So creamy and soothing. Gently lemony. Perfect as a dessert tea or just a desert oasis when things get hectic. I’d love to have this in my regular rotation.
backlog, written August 25, 2014
Nothing quite like a rocket siren to wake you up first thing in the morning. Time for some caffeine to make up for the lack of sleep.
This one is interesting. The strawberry flavor is right up front in the sip, quickly and smoothly transitioning into the flavor of the solid quality base tea. It reminds me of a high mountain Taiwanese oolong: light and sweet with a smooth mouthfeel and lingering lightly menthol aftertaste. Looking at the product page, I see that this oolong was produced in Fuding City, Fujian Province, China. It is a mountainous area though, so at least I got that part kinda right!
I also see that this is a particularly low caffeine tea. Morning fail. On the up side, I can totally see this as a refreshing post-dinner brew. Or an iced tea.
Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the samples!
Wow! Go on vacation for a few weeks and you miss a lot around here.
Well, I’m back and glad of it. I wrote up a few notes while I was away, which I’ll be posting over the next week or so. Right now, though, I want to write a note for this tea. Firstly, because this is a sipdown. Secondly, because this was a good start to a chilly day. And finally, because this last cup tasted more like the original pumpkin milkshake that I love: creamy and pumpkin-y. I assume that’s due to the extra flavored bits that always seem to end up at the bottom of a bag or tin. I enjoyed this tea, but I’m not sad to see it go. Here’s hoping the original Pumpkin Milkshake comes back one day.
The dry leaf of this is full of huge dried berries. The smell is a pretty nice balance of vanilla and berry. Unfortunately, the vanilla doesn’t translate into the flavor. The flavor really resembles hibiscus. It’s pretty strong, so I steep for under 1 minute. The short steep brings out a teeny bit of the vanilla flavor. Still overwhelmingly berry and tart though.
So, I thought… tea pop! I use a small amount of leaf, probably about 1/2 teaspoon, and a small amount of boiling water, probably about 3 oz. Then I add 4-5 ice cubes and top it off with seltzer. Such an improvement over the hot brew! This is a nice non-chamomile herbal option for a hot evening.
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for the samples!
I won an ounce of this in a game of 20 questions. Thanks Stacy!
I’m only now finally getting around to writing a note for this one. Good thing, since there’s not much left of the original bag. This may be the fastest I’ve ever gone through a tea! I already ordered another ounce.
This blend has become my go-to breakfast tea. The coffee flavor makes it feel like a morning drink. The creamy texture and the chocolate/strawberry notes make it feel indulgent. Like a healthier version of a Starbucks frappelattethingy. The second steep is consistently my favorite – it always tastes like chocolate-covered coffee beans! I’ve tried adding a bit of brown sugar twice. It definitely brings out the chocolate flavor, but the drink ends up tasting too sweet because the tea is pretty sweet on its own.
Bonus – this is the rare black tea that doesn’t make my stomach hurt!
I know I wrote a review for this one before, but it has disappeared. :-(
I mostly drank this one hot. I don’t remember the details now but I do recall it being citrusy and light. I thought it would be really good iced, so I hot brewed and then refrigerated the last bit of this.
I was wrong. This is not good iced. The citrus works really well when this is hot. Cold, the chamomile comes to the fore and just totally overshadows the citrus. Cold chamomile = blegh.
EDIT: I just found this snippet of a note when I went to delete this tea from my chart: “amazing cold – sweet, citrusy, smooth, refreshing”. I must have really enjoyed this blend as an iced tea at some point. I wonder what went wrong this time? Maybe I’ll pick up a sample with my next order just to play around with. Try to solve the mystery.
Round, gently sweet sip. Refreshing aftertaste, almost minty. My dad threw out my leaf after two steeps and before I could take any substantive notes. This is one of my pricier teas at over $1 per cup, so I was not super happy about this. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it was annoying. Proper tasting note to follow at some point.