4315 Tasting Notes

98
drank Cotton Candy Black Tea by 52teas
4315 tasting notes

Last night, I received a request to try this tea. “I’m eager to know what you think of the new black tea base” said this request. So, I was happy to go a bit out of order and try this one. I confess that way behind in sampling my teas of the week from 52Teas … what can I say? I have so many teas to try and not enough palates or bladder space to drink them all at once.

After allowing it to cool a few moments, I took a sip, sort of casually, almost aimlessly, and my first reaction was “wow, this is a really good black tea.” Without even taking a moment to consider that this was a flavored tea, I started thinking of this as a magnificent black tea that is sweet, almost caramel-y, rich, and full-flavored. I started thinking of other “pure” black teas that are similar to this. Then I sort of shook my head when I realized that this is a flavored black tea, not some high quality, tippy, pure black.

This reaction, in my opinion, is the highest praise a tea lover can bestow upon a flavored tea, because more often than not, flavored teas are about the flavor and not so much about the tea underneath it all. Here, black tea and flavor have united seamlessly, with the flavor of cotton candy (and yes, I definitely DO taste cotton candy) highlighting the black tea in such a way as it essentially becomes a component of the tea and not an addition of flavor, if that makes sense.

And I think that this new base has everything to do with that. And let me examine this newly crafted, 52Teas’ base. It is bold and rich … much more well-rounded than 52Teas previous black tea base. The background flavor is SOLID and invigorating. It is robust and flavorful: sweet, malty and has a rich, bake-y kind of background to it, reminding me quite a bit of a Fujian black tea in many ways. And this is a very good thing, indeed.

When compared to the previous blend that 52Teas has used, this one is less astringent, and without bitterness. I do not need to come up with different parameters to brew it, I can brew this just the way I’d brew other black teas: 2 1/2 minutes in boiling water in my Breville. I don’t have to adjust the temperature or the brew time to assuage the black tea base the way I used to with other 52Teas.

Frank, you’ve crafted an excellent base here. I am very pleased, and so look forward to trying your future blends with this base (particularly my double chocolate decadence)! But for now, I this one deserves high marks!

52teas

So happy to hear it’s a hit. I think it’s really good iced too, though from what I’m hearing (haven’t tried it myself), it doesn’t do so well as a cold-brew. We steeped it like hot tea and then iced it and I was pretty ecstatic.

LiberTEAS

I typically hot-brew my iced teas too, unless I happen to have bagged teas then I cold brew them because it’s easier. I avoid mess when I can, and I find the mess is contained easier with the hot brew method using my breville. But, I don’t usually add ice to my iced tea, as I don’t want to water it down (and I don’t have the patience to make tea ice cubes), so I just refrigerate the hot-brewed tea until it’s nice and cold. This is definitely going to be one of the next ones I chill though. I bet it’s awesome iced, but how does it compare to the rainbow sherbet? You should reblend the rainbow sherbet using your new base!!!

52teas

I actually have some Rainbow Sherbet coming with a completely different iced tea base, in tea bags. I’ve been hard at it filling and sealing teabags lately. New iced tea series is coming soon.

LiberTEAS

Yay! I get to spend more money. (another sarcastic Yay!)

Dylan Oxford

Hey Frank, do you ever just sell your base tea?

52teas

Dylan, we can. I used to keep some of them on the site, but they weren’t very popular and I hate keeping stock in pouches of tea that don’t sell. But we could.

Dylan Oxford

That makes sense. I was curious/interested because you seem really proud of this one. Well, and it sounds like it would make a good straight iced tea.

52teas

Our RadioactiviTEA makes a GREAT iced tea too, particularly if you like them bold and rich. I can’t flavor it though, the tea overwhelms the flavoring.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78
drank Peach Fuzz Chai by 52teas
4315 tasting notes

I am having one last cup of this chai this evening before I send the rest of it to my SororiTea Sister. A decent cup… but as I said before, I think some anise would be really nice in here.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank Fredericksburg Peach by Zhi Tea
4315 tasting notes

As I mentioned last night, I brewed this to enjoy iced today, and I have been enjoying it all day. It is very refreshing, and as good as it was hot, it is even better as an iced tea. So yummy!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

I love this tea so much. I have the non-vegan version… and after having tried the vegan version, I can say that this one is much better. Sweet, very marshmallow treat-y. Yum Yum Yum!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank Fredericksburg Peach by Zhi Tea
4315 tasting notes

I am currently brewing this tea for tomorrow’s iced tea sipping, but, I decided to try a cup hot right now.

This is really yummy. Really good peach flavor, but what I think I like about it best is that it has an Assam base, so the tea is prominent, and it is bold. The malty tones of the tea tastes very interesting with the sweet, luscious peach flavor. Very good. I might have to get some more of this.

Bonnie

Like the idea of a peachy Assam!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Smokey Jasmine by Shanti Tea
4315 tasting notes

Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea.

This is really good. An interesting take on the traditional jasmine. The smoke is very subtle, very-barely-there when I first started sipping, now that I’m nearly done with the cup the smoke has developed a bit, but it never becomes a strong smoky presence. It is apparent, but not overwhelmingly so. It is an interesting contrast to the sweet, exotic jasmine. The smoke seems to bring out some of the sweeter notes of the jasmine, emphasizing them. This is so pleasantly sweet that it almost tastes “dessert-y” to me.

I don’t know that this is my favorite take on jasmine, but, I am really enjoying it. It’s different, but it’s quite good.

Hesper June

This sounds like such an intriguing tea!

seule771

I might like smokey jasmine but not as tea. Just outside with nature and burning it, might make for interesting inhale; an intoxicating smell or is aroma best wording.

CHAroma

Wow, I never would have come up with that combo on my own if I were a tea blender! Smoke and jasmine, hmm.

@seule771, maybe you could burn a jasmine incense?

Invader Zim

This tea sounds so interesting. I love jasmine but I’m not a fan of smokey teas, I wonder if this would be the one to convert me? I’m curious enough to want to try such a combination.

seule771

When not poking fun you guys are nicely supportive. Anyhow, I used to burn incense but husband says it is cancer causing agent over time; well the burning aspect of it. If that Jasmine is that potent, would it not set off alarm like that fondue pot that folks tend to burn and the smell lingers for days til high heaven gets here and never does.

I think I am saying thank you. I must admit, Jasmine and I will not co-exist. My lost evidently!

LiberTEAS

@Invader Zim: the smoke is very interesting in this tea, because it doesn’t taste overtly of SMOKE when it mingles with the jasmine. Instead it enhances some of the tones of jasmine that I never really got to know before. It’s really a delightful way to experience jasmine.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

I am revisiting this tea this afternoon, using the same measurement of leaves from last night, and steeping them yet again. And again! This tea just keeps on going, like the Energizer bunny.

The flavors today are remarkably smooth, noticing only a trace of the mineral-y taste I experienced yesterday, sweet, a little bit of the honey-esque tone but more of a floral sweetness.

This is one of the most incredible Puerh teas I’ve encountered.

Bonnie

Incredible and yes, an energizer bunny!

Charles Thomas Draper

I agree this is one fine Puerh.

TeaBrat

Hmm. I might need to get this someday!

Kashyap

is it considered a sheng or shou? what year/harvest?

Bonnie

Sheng 2011…6,000 ft.

Kashyap

thanks!

CHAroma

It doesn’t even seem anything like what I know Puer tea to be. Interesting.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93
drank Gingerbread Chai by 52teas
4315 tasting notes

Backlog:

I steeped some of this extra strong this morning to prepare some chai syrup for pancakes this morning and had enough left over to make a creamy, luscious chai latte. Delicious. I’m glad that Rachel @ iHeartTeas decided to rescue this one from retirement. This one is still my favorite chai from 52Teas, although I still think that Frank should make a Maple Chai.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

With the second infusion, I steeped for six minutes. Still can’t bring myself to 15 minutes.

This infusion is also delicious, although it is a little different than the first infusion. I notice more of a fruit tone emerging with this infusion, as well as a stronger floral tone. The malt and cream notes are still there, although these seem softer this time. Still a rich, delicious cup of tea, and definitely worthwhile to steep this a second time.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea. This is a delightful Assam… very different from a typical (black) Assam. The suggested steeping parameters on Grey’s website state to steep for 15 minutes. I’m afraid I wasn’t quite that brave, I steeped it for only four minutes, and I was scared that would be too long for an Assam. I’ve had far too many bitter Assam teas after steeping even a second or two longer than three minutes that steeping this for four minutes – even though it is a white tea – was a bit scary to me.

As it turns out, this is fantastic. Sweet, creamy even! The malty tones that I’d expect from an Assam are there, but together with the creamy notes, it tastes absolutely decadent. No astringency or bitterness. Just sweet, sweet delicious tea.

Angrboda

15 minutes! dies!

CHAroma

I’m with you. I wouldn’t be able to steep it for 15 minutes, at least not on purpose. ;)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:
http://sororiteasisters.com

I also review teas for the Tea Review Blog:
http://www.teareviewblog.com

In addition to my passion for tea, I am also a mixed media/altered arts artist. You can see some of my art here: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com

I am also a self-proclaimed foodie. I review local restaurants and the food I buy online here: http://hungryinportland.wordpress.com

*

My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.

*

I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes here: http://liberteas.teatra.de/ I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. I usually post at least one or two sampler boxes per month, though, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.

*

Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.

Location

Vancouver, WA

Website

http://SororiTeaSisters.com

Following These People