520 Tasting Notes
This was in the March 2014 Amoda box. It’s quite good.
I have enjoyed this several times already. I love it as a breakfast tea in my travel mug on an offensively cold day. The dry leave smells a little artificial, but that doesn’t translate in the brew. Instead, I get a lovely, creamy caramel toffee blend. The flavors are dead on without feeling overwrought. The base is dark and woody, complementing the flavoring. I find this really creamy on its own, but I bet adding some milk or dairy substitute would bolster that creaminess very well.
This resteeps nicely if you give it a long second steep (10-15 minutes). I accidentally left a second-steeped cuppa on my nightstand the other day and it was completely cold by the time I woke up. I decided to give it a taste and OMG it is amazing iced. Absolutely wonderful. I would totally advocate this as an alternative to fruity iced teas in the summer.
All in all, another winner from the Amoda box. Something I would strongly consider restocking.
So today was just awful. I really felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown this morning. Thankfully I was able to take the afternoon off work. And tea is an excellent respite from the world.
I had a coupon for a free cup from Davids. This seemed like a good opportunity to use it.
The salesperson was super nice. I told her that I wanted something vanilla and she pulled down at least 6 cans. I smelled the Vanilla Orchid first and was sure it was the one. None of the subsequent teas smelled nearly as fabulous. And then she brought down this one. Oh. my. goodness. It smells amazing. I just wanted to climb right into the can. Or maybe eat it. It smells creamy and vanilla and… warm, if that makes sense. The salesperson brewed this up in my travel mug and I was on my way. She suggested just leaving the bag in, so I did. This brewed for at least 15 minutes before I actually tried it. Nom nom nom! There was no bitterness or other unpleasant indication of oversteeping. Only wonderful, creamy vanilla and caramel. I’m not really tasting the coconut except in the creaminess. I’ve never had a mulberry, so I can’t speak to how true-to-nature this blend is. I rather don’t care. Whatever it is, it’s fabulous. Highly recommend.
I just tried some of this in the store. It’s tasty! The honeydew flavor is stronger than the cucumber, but the cucumber is definitely there. I did not pick up on the mint at all. The flavors did not taste fake or chemical-y. Overall, a pretty refreshing cup. Possibly more of a summer than a fall tea – I can see this being great iced.
I am 98% convinced that Steepster ate my previous note on this one. I have a very distinct memory of writing it, but I can’t actually find it. Uncool. However, I’m willing to concede the slightest possibility that I drafted it in my mind and forgot to actually memorialize it.
This is yet another tea that MissB thoughtfully included with my stash sale purchase because it was on my wishlist. Thank you!
So. This tea. It glitters. It has sparkly little sugar balls. It tastes like vanilla and cinnamon and spice. It is creamy and delicious. It makes me sad that I can’t drink black tea regularly. But it makes me happy that I got to try this tasty treat. And further that I get to call this a sipdown. After my pull at the Coffee and Tea Festival today, I’m at 182 teas (excluding this one). Eep! New goal: 175 by the end of the week!
Thanks for the sample, Tea at Sea!
It’s redundant at this point, but I’m going to say it anyway: this is some of the cutest packaging I’ve ever seen. The sample packets are also resealable, which is quite nice.
I went with the company’s suggested steeping parameters: 185f, 2 tsp/16 oz, 6 mins. The brew smells sweet and grassy. It tastes very much like sencha. I’m getting a lot of savory spinach, with a slight drying at the end. For the second steep, I brewed at 195f for 8 mins. It came out smoother somehow. A touch of seaweed flavor peeked out. S’good. A nice, enjoyable cuppa.
By the way, the leaf of this tea expands a lot. If possible, use steeping tools that allow a lot of space for the leaves to unfurl.
It’s worth pointing out that this company had a rocky start on Steepster and has (in my opinion) thoroughly redeemed itself. So props, for taking heed of constructive criticism, being generous with samples, and having a truly good product. Thank you!
I tried this at the store. It tastes peachy. And creamy. The creaminess takes a while to kick in, but then it balances out nicely. But. This is not a tea for me. The flavor isn’t artificial per se. It’s just too strong somehow. I wouldn’t turn this down if offered, but it wouldn’t be my first choice either. It’s just a little too juice-like.
I’m having the second steep of this for my morning travel mug tea. It’s doing a number on my stomach but super tasty. I had the first steep for breakfast yesterday and it was fabulous. Very creamy. I can’t imagine adding any actual cream. It would just be redundant. Today’s steep is less creamy, more caramel. But seriously wah my tummy hurts and I may not be able to finish it :-(
Stacy made a semi-custom version of this for me, using Organic Huangshan Mao Feng as a base. Thanks Stacy! Given the number of notes complaining of astringency and finicky flavor, I humbly suggest a reblend using this as the base. No astringency or subtle flavor here. Just smooth cream. Irish on the front end with a hint of cheesecake at the back. Absolutely wonderful. Perfect travel mug tea on a cold day.
I won’t assign a rating because I don’t have the exact tea, but I would give this a 92.
Stacy sent me a sample of this with my last Butiki order. Thanks! I can see why so many people wanted her to make this publicly available. It’s all creamy banana and coconut with a caramelized sugar aspect. Not caramel like the candy, caramel like the type on top of creme brulee. I would expect a banana-and-coconut combo to be tropical, but instead it’s more like a mellow wintry dessert. Really lovely. I got four good steeps out of it. Numbers 2 and 3 were more mellow than the first, but still quite creamy and flavorful. Steep 4 was really all about the base tea. The banana and coconut were still there, but the flavors that came to the fore were smooth, sweet honey and caramel that I attribute to the assam.
Overall, this is a really great blend. Complex, but not demanding. I can see this being fabulous as a morning travel mug tea on a cold, wet/snowy day. If black teas didn’t make my stomach hurt, this would be on my regular rotation list. Though I think of this more as a fall/winter tea… maybe I need to start sorting my ideal cupboard list by season!
Steep 1: boiling, 4 mins
Steep 2: boiling, 4 mins
Steep 3: boiling, 10 mins
Steep 4: boiling, 13 mins