521 Tasting Notes
So this was my second sample and it smells pretty dang good! Mostly it seems that “spice” is cinnamon. There seems to be something baked or buttery about this one judging by the smell. The black tea also seems to be a really heavy player in this blend when compared to my other one. This turned out to be a kind of whisky brown/amber color.
This tea was pretty good! It kind of reminded me of very subtle oatmeal raisin type baked goods. It had a small touch of rum, but nothing too in your face or artificial. Like the other tea that I sampled today I’d say that I’d probably add more leaf to my steeps if I wanted more flavor.
Overall I’d say that the Design a Tea idea was really, really fun. I think just for novelty alone it was a good experience and it resulted in pretty good teas. I really loved the $1 sample and I think that making your own blends is just something that is enjoyable. Great concept!
This arrived pretty quickly if I’m thinking correctly. I got a sample of this because it sounded like it’d be an interesting creation. The dry leaf smells a bit like the Adagio gingerbread black. The taste of the tea itself is also vaguely similar. I think that if I had more control of the amount of tea I would have added a bit more to get a bit more of a punch of flavor. It isn’t the maple I was really looking for, but it isn’t a bad tea at all. It may be a little off the mark from what I wanted it to taste like, but the nutty notes are there with a slight amount of spice. It is very subtle though. I thought that the base was also pretty complimentary to the flavors that I picked and wouldn’t change that at all.
I think I know what it is that throws me off about this tea: it kind of smells pickled. Both the dry leaf and the steeped tea have this kind of pickle-ness that is just weird in tea. After that first cup I’ve been avoiding this one a bit. Not because it is really terrible, it just has a very intimidating factor. This is a really “dirty” tea, in that even with my finest mesh this leaves a huge amount of floaties in my cup. I hate that. I find tea floaties and oily blends visually displeasing.
Today this tea smells much more juicy than my last one. I tried to make sure I got equal parts tea and extras. Today the tea seems more spicy with equal parts juicy fruitiness. It is okay; just okay. I can’t pin down what type of fruit this is supposed to be even though mango is in the name. It is not overly citrus, berry, or mango. It seems like the tea that can’t in a way. It wants to be this tropical, spicy thing and almost does just that, but fails because it is just a weird jumble of lots of things that sounds tasty.
I’ve almost been in a tea mood recently. All I drink is this and Amandine Rose! I’m sad that I didn’t purchase more of the Amandine Rose now that I found that I love it so much…
This tea is going to be gone pretty quick if I keep this up! I’ve had at least 5 16oz cups of this the past two days. I don’t know why I like this one so much as it has pretty regular flavors. There is herbal tones, chamomile, cherry, just a hint of white tea, and a surprising amount of apple. The apple itself is a lot more noticeable than the cherry and it pairs really well with the chamomile. I just figured out what it reminds me of! I had a Christmas (winter?) apple wassil or cider tea from Twinnings that was awful. I ended up giving it away, but this is just like that if it was spruced up and the craft store smell somehow got taken out. I wanted to like that Twinnings tea and that may be part of my love for this one. It has all the apple and herb notes without smelling perfume like. I may have to order a larger tin of this at some later time.
So some of these blends are a mystery when it comes to steeping times/temps. They just don’t tell you what you should be using and often combine white, black, and herbals all in one tea. So for this first steep I tried just under boiling water for 5 min. since my bag has tons of chamomile in it. The smell when opening the bag is really cherry, but much better cherry than in the Stiles blend (which is pretty meh to me). Steeped the liquor is light pinkish brown and smells really herbal. There are tons of herbal, cherry, and almost apple notes in this cuppa. It is really very sweet, which is something unexpected. I think that this tea is perfect for the character! I may tweak my steep times/temps to get a cup that is a bit lighter than this, but overall I’m pretty pleased with this one.
Screw the suggested temp. on this tea. I just made this at boiling and it smells divine. The cinnamon and almond cookie notes are far more prominent than at 195. The original tea did not fare well at boiling and sometimes tasted a bit like play doh if steeped this way; but this newer version takes the heat and tastes better for it. This is a pretty great tea and I have become quite attached to it.
This. tea. it has been haunting me for quite some time now. I’m lowering the score because it has become pretty obvious that I really just don’t enjoy it. This tea really needs balance. There just is not enough white tea to (a) justify the price and (b) make any difference in the flavor. There are mostly spice, orange, and warm flavors in this.
I’m actually pretty sad that I blew my tea budget already because a pound of this during the heavenly sale would have been pretty good. This doesn’t come out as good/tasty as the original tea; but it is a decent substitute. I’d love more cinnamon flavor. The rose is not as soapy as I was expecting (a really good thing!!!) I’d say that this is a pretty good tea and one of the more affordable Teavana selections.