425 Tasting Notes
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.
Free sample from the company. I’m usually not too fond of Yogi teas – too many ingredients. This one has a fairly reasonable quantity of ingredients and I like that they’re organic. What I really like is that the cocoa shells dominate everything else in both scent and flavor. There’s also hints of roastiness, pepper, and cinnamon. Buuut mostly it’s cocoa. Yummy yummy cocoa. This reminds me a lot of Herbal Infusions’ Cacao Tea, though I think I slightly prefer that one.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Pepper, Roasted
My weekend hasn’t quite gone as planned, so it looks like this will be my only sipdown. Hey, incremental progress is still progress.
I always break open the SB teabag and divide the leaf so I can make multiple cups over time instead of one big pitcher, trying the tea both hot and cold.
The dry leaf smells precisely like you would expect it to – chocolate and malty. Hot, the front of the sip is sweet chocolate. It quickly transitions into a nutty maltiness that reminds me of a lager. Not bad.
Cold, the nutty maltiness is even more prominent. The chocolate flavor seems to have almost evaporated. As with the marshmallow treat genmaicha, I find this one more pleasing hot than cold.
I got the silly idea to try this one carbonated. I would not recommend doing that. It ends up tasting way too malty, like chocolatey root beer, and not in a good way.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Nutty
This was my Frequent Steeper birthday tea. I chose it because I like oranges and thought that orange + pu could be a tasty combo. Turns out it is. This tastes like Tropicana orange juice. You have to watch the steep time, though, because it just keeps getting tarter. I had difficulty really making out the pu’erh-ness of this. It tastes more like a mild black tea to me. The second steep just tastes like OJ from concentrate. Still nice but not as juicy as the first steep.
I don’t know if it’s because I drank this on an empty stomach or even unrelated to drinking this tea at all, but I started feeling sick after having this tea. First my stomach hurt, then my chest felt tight for 15-20 minutes, then I gradually developed a migraine that required medication to treat. Just noting it in case it happens again.
I hate eggnog, but this blend grew on me over time. It’s all creamy vanilla as long as I don’t add sugar. The slightest sweetness and it gets all eggy on me. I’ve tried cold brewing the second steep but it took on a bitter note that I didn’t like. Maybe I’ll try a cold brew from scratch one of these days before I run out of leaf. It’s unlikely, though. This is a good flavor for cold weather and the last thing I’m in the mood for in this freezing cold is iced tea.
I’m going to miss Butiki, but this tea I can do without. DavidsTea’s Vanilla Orchid is very similar and I like that one better because I don’t have to worry about any egginess creeping in.
Flavors: Creamy, Vanilla
Taking a detour from my birthday Butiki blast to enjoy another B tea that I’ve been looking forward to. The smell of this one is lovely. Strong cinnamon, cardamom, and nuttiness. The dry leaf is a little fruit salad looking for my style, but I decided to just roll with it. The brew is pretty tasty. It’s a little spicier than most real baklavas I’ve had, but the honey nuttiness is spot on and the spice highlights the flavor nicely. The cinnamon is assertive and bright, but not overly so. The rose is subtle at first. However, it gets stronger as I keep drinking and the tea cools. It never becomes the dominant flavor but it’s definitely present and pleasant.
The only think I really dislike about this blend is that it’s obviously pre-sweetened. It doesn’t seem to have huge chunks of sugar in it like the chocolate macaroon blend does, but it is still too sugary. Maybe the non-tea chunks are candied? I prefer to control the level of sweetness myself.
The resteep is too thin and imbalanced to be worth the bother.