1088 Tasting Notes

65

On the sixth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Honeybush!

And that name is a mouthful indeed. Dry, the leaf actually smells mostly alcoholic, in a vaguely indefinable way. I assume it’s something to do with the production? I half remember reading some comments on here to that effect once. Anyway, this is a new one on me so I’m interested to try it!

Brewed, the scent is more as I expected – mostly nutty and chocolatey. It came out pretty light, so I left it without milk. Probably a good idea, as there’s a light oily film on the surface.

To taste, this is a slightly odd one. I can actually taste something of the alcohol I detected in the scent, although it’s not strong. I can also taste something that’s almost peanut butter, a touch of chocolate, and maybe a hint of cream cheese/cheesecake. Possibly I just need to let this one air a little, and try it again when I don’t have a cold. I think I’m going to like it, but I do want the flavours to be a little more defined. I do like the base here, and I think it will fit well with the flavours once I’ve given the whole thing time to settle a bit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Lala

Frank uses alcohol in his blends, as it evaporates, it carries the flavouring through the tea. I find a lot of the 52 teas have an alcohol smell while dry but it goes away pretty quick, and there is no alcohol taste in the brewed tea. He has said on another thread if you leave the tea open for a night, the alcohol smell with go away.

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70

On the sixth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Mouse King Cuppa!

This is another sweet one, rather like Fireside Spice at first sip. Subsequent sips do reveal the cranberry and almond (?) flavours, though, in addition to the cinnamon and other spices. I think it’s almond I’m tasting, although I still have a cold so I’m not certain on that. I’m sure of the cinnamon – it’s the strongest flavour here to me at the moment. I do wish the cranberry was stronger – I think that’s what would set this apart from other winter-style teas. All of the spice and cinnamon I’m tasting at the moment is making them all blend together in my head, but I suppose that’s to be expected. My cold isn’t helping on the taste front, I don’t think, so I’m going to save plenty of this for a later date. I do like it, though. The cranberry makes it a little different, and I’m hoping that when I recover I’ll be able to taste more of it. For now, though, not bad. Considering.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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75

On the fifth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Caramel Oolong!

I wasn’t sure whether I’d be up to drinking flavoured tea today, but my throat was feeling a little better this evening, so I took a chance. I’m glad I did, because it cheered me up no end!

Oolongs haven’t traditionally been my favourite teas, but this is one of the rare exceptions. The oolong itself reminds me a little of the Nilgiri Frost that Butiki use in their Maple Pecan Oolong. It has similar large, dark, wiry leaves and a similar taste. None of that metallic heavy mineral flavour — just a light, clean, non-astringent but sturdy base. The caramel tastes a little bit fake, but not overly so. You can definitely tell it’s caramel, and it’s strong enough to be easily tasted over the base tea. There are small cubes of caramel among the dry leaves, too, which melt and add to the indulgent, definitely dessert-like flavour.

Oolong and caramel are two things that I think do go well, and there’s no exception here. I’ll happily finish the sachet, and it’s one that I’ll be coming back to when I want a sweet Christmas time treat without the calories. Yum!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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70
drank French Toast by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

On the fifth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…French Toast!

I’ve got a cold AGAIN, so I haven’t actually opened today’s sachet. French Toast isn’t a new one on me, though. I’m already working my way through a pouch at work. I’ve been drinking it most afternoons, and it’s one I’ve definitely found really enjoyable this autumn. It’s rich, quite sweet, definitely cinnamony. I did expect it to be slightly more savoury, as I’ve said in previous tasting notes, but it’s nice regardless. I always drink this one with milk at the moment, but maybe I don’t need to. Something to try, perhaps. Anyway, an extra cup of two of this is certainly a welcome addition to my stash. It’s hardly going to go to waste!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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35
drank S'mores Genmaicha by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

On the fourth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…S’Mores Genmaicha!

Yaaaay! One I’ve not tried before, and don’t have lurking in my stash! I’ve had one cup of S’Mores Chai, as far as I can recall, but I’ve not as yet tried this. The dry leaf is encouraging, and smells very chocolatey, and there are pieces of rice, popcorn, chocolate and marshmallow among the green tea base. Should be good!

In practice, this isn’t quite as great as I wanted it to be. The toasty, almost burnt flavour of the genmaicha comes over first, and then the chocolate slowly starts to develop. The green tea emerges in the aftertaste, but that’s about all there is to the flavour. I’m not getting much of a sweet kick, or any marshmallow, and so I’m not put particularly in mind of a s’more. In this respect, S’Mores Chai did a better job. It’s by no means bad – I just wanted more of the ingerdients to come over in the flavour, and probably less strength on the genmaicha front. I’m getting toasty, like a s’more, but there just not enough follow up flavour to really convince me. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this, though, because I’d always have wondered.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
moraiwe

Yeah. I ended up deciding this was a good genmaicha, but not a good genmaicha that was supposed to be reminiscent of s’mores.

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55

On the fourth day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Cinnamon Diletto!

This one smells absolutely and completely of cinnamon, both dry and brewed. I guess that’s the point, which is fine, and it’s nice to see a rooibos blend appear in the box. They’ve all been black so far! Cinnamon really is pervasive in Christmas teas, though – there’s really no escaping it. Probably a good thing I like cinnamon, really!

The cinnamon and the rooibos pair pretty well here, as they’re both quite earthy, warming flavours. The rooibos is quite strong, and is definitely detectable underneath the cinnamon flavouring. That in itself is quite strong, and the whole thing comes over a little harsh. I added milk, and that improved things a little, but I might try adding some sugar as well next time. It’s just a little overwhelming on its own, although is more palatable when softened down with milk.

This isn’t my favourite of the selection so far, although you can’t argue that it’s Christmassy!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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65

On the third day of Christmas, Della Terra gave to me…Peppermint Perfection!

Peppermint, vanilla, chocolate, black tea, and adorable red and white sugar sprinkles. That’s what I’m getting from this tea. It’s pretty similar to a couple of other Della Terra blends I’ve tried recently, although I don’t think it’s exactly the same. I’m calming down after my manic morning now, although I’ve got a headache to show for it, so hopefully I can have a mostly calming, organised, and efficient afternoon to make up for everything. That’s the plan anyway.

I’m drinking this without milk, and I think that was the right decision. The vanilla gives this a very creamy flavour, anyway, almost like melted vanilla ice cream. The chocolate is pleasantly rich in the background, just about detectable, and the mint is similarly subtle. The combination is a really nice one – creamy, minty, with just a hint of chocolate and black tea. A really nice winter tea – not specifically Christmas – but not especially unique. I’d probably like it more if there was something to differentiate it from other mint chocolate teas, although the strength and decadence of the vanilla is going some way towards achieving that. Not bad at all!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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90

I had my first cup of tea just before leaving the house at 6.00 this morning. My second cup, unknown to me, wouldn’t pass my lips until gone 11.00. It might just have been sheer thirst, but I swear this tea seemed like the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I gulped it down as soon as it cooled enough, and I felt better almost instantly. I must have known, subconsciously, to pack such an auspicious tea, because I did need a kick to revive me once I got back to the office from setting off my interview sessions. I thought it would take 30 minutes, but I was actually there for 3 hours. Without my bad, as I hadn’t thought I’d be that long. Silly me. Anyway, making a cup of this was the first thing I did when I staggered back in.

I can’t taste a whole lot of mate, and I can’t see all that much among the leaf, either. I actually think this is mostly lemongrass, but it tastes deliciously fresh and vibrant, very lemony with a more generic citrus aftertaste. There was probably some mate, but it doesn’t contribute much to the flavour of the blend. I certainly felt a little more awake, though, so maybe it helped a bit.

I have another sample of this waiting in my stash, so I’ll have to try it again when I’m not so rushed and chronically thirsty. I’m sure it’s as nice as it seemed, hence the high rating – I’d give it that just for being pleasant and refreshing in my time of need, though, so there you go. A very successful morning tea, for a not-so-successful morning.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85

On the third day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…Banana Pudding!

This is another one I have an unopened pouch of in my stash, so it’s familiar to me but untasted. The dry leaf smells spectacularly of banana. It’s quite an artificial banana, but banana all the same. Add some water, and a very strong coconut scent comes out. It’s actually a little over-sweet, and a little nauseating as it’s quite strong, but hopefully the tea itself won’t be quite as in-your-face.

Brewed, this tea is actually fairly subtle and actually quite delicious. I added milk, which seems to be the recommended thing with this one, and was rewarded with a tea that really does taste like pudding. The coconut is probably stronger than the banana, but it is a close thing, and both are equally flavourful. Not in a sweet, sickly way, though. Just really perfectly.

I was worried about this when I smelt it brewing, but it’s actually much more palatable than I thought it was going to be. It makes me glad I’ve got a whole pouch tucked away. I can definitely see myself coming back to this one from time to time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Beet It by Bluebird Tea Co.
1088 tasting notes

There aren’t actually all that many fruit teas I’ve liked all that much recently, so this one came as a rather pleasant surprise. I was actually thinking I wouldn’t like it…real beetroot isn’t something I enjoy eating, so I wasn’t all that sold on the idea of it in tea. It’s actually surprisingly nice, though.

There’s quite a lot of hibiscus here, I think, although they’re fairly unavoidable in this kind of blend. It hasn’t made this one too sour, though…possibly the earthiness of the beetroot has helped to balance out some of the tartness. The other fruit flavours are also remarkably prominent. I can taste orange and lemon, and they add a pleasantly citrussy overtone to what would otherwise be a fairly conventional fruit tea. The apple is the only thing that’s a little lost, although it might be helping out the beetroot in its fight against the hibiscus a little. Either way, this is a genuinely interesting and fairly unqiue autumn/winter tea. I’m glad I’ve got a full bag in my stash, because I can see myself drinking this well into the new year. Well done, Bluebird!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Courtney

I’ve been obsessed with beets lately. The amount of beet smoothies I’ve been drinking has gotten out of hand.

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 26, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’ve also never really tried pu’erh, and that’s something I’m just starting to explore.

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norfolk, UK

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