1025 Tasting Notes
AH! I just copy and pasted my entire tasting note away. Anyway, KittyLovesTea sent me a sample of this one! Surprise surprise a hibiscus tea I actually kind of love! I must have steeped it right. Half my sample… must have been about 1 1/2 or two teaspoons, just boiled for four minutes. The fragrance is amazing… it’s like a spicy hot apple cider… not sure where the wine comes in. I didn’t take out any of the hibiscus since I like to write my tasting notes with “unedited” blends, if you will. But the amount of hibiscus here is just enough to make it intriguing. Spicy with hints of apple and hibiscus. The cup was even very red. The fastest I’ve ever sipped a cup of tea. I’m not sure what happened to make this so magical. Maybe the right ingredients fell into my mug or maybe Bluebird is GOOD at what they do, even with their hibiscus blends.
Additional notes: An unexpected sample sipdown on this one! I will MISS this one. It is so nice. I love the minty creaminess on the lovely pu-erh. I’m definitely buying this one whenever I order from Zen (a looonng time from now, probably) and they better still have it in stock! One of their best blends, I think.
A sample from a while ago! Sorry about the lateness of this tasting note! I love Earl Grey. This one is certainly a decent one. I think it would be an Earl Grey especially for anyone who doesn’t like their bergamot very strong. The bergamot is nice and bright but not as strong as I like my EGs. I steeped for TWO minutes right after boiling because it seemed like the cup was dark pretty quick. The leaves are kind of small.. but maybe they were just crushed with all my other teas. I hope not! The black tea has a nice boldness, briskness to it but not overpowering…it’s a special kind of black base that I really only see with Nina’s Paris teas. Maybe it is taming the bergamot a bit. The second cup at just boiling for three minutes is somehow even better, even though the bergamot is even less present. The black tea is now very sweet somehow! Not my favorite Earl, but very tasty.
Oh man I’m a bit biased with this one because it has a TON of the elements in tea I just happened to be craving this minute. Peach, Darjeeling, and chai! What!?! This one was perfect for this second… the ingredients just LOOK delicious as well. I steeped this cup a few minutes after boiling for three minutes. The flavor is lovely. The black tea base I would say is more Ceylon than Darjeeling (it’s supposed to be both). I was hoping for more Darjeeling notes, since Ceylon isn’t my favorite and I already had one of those today. But the spices are lovely… a bit cinnamon, clove, and ginger. Hints of sweet peach! I think there should have been more cinnamon… it could have tasted like peach cobbler! I just love the idea of a peachy spicy Darjeeling and though this wasn’t exactly as I envisioned, it certainly is delicious anyway. The second cup was nice as well.
I was hoping this one would be more magical than it was. I LOVE Fusion’s other yerba mate blends. This one sounded awesome. I waited around 40 minutes for this one to cool (even though it was a roasted mate?) and steeped a few minutes. The flavor isn’t very strong. I can definitely taste the rooibos.. over the other ingredients, I have no idea how. Coconut and chocolate should be more noticeable with the subtle BBQ roasty mate flavor. I thought it was because of the steep temp, but right after boiling doesn’t taste must stronger. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaves. Maybe lose the rooibos and go with more of the other ingredients. I’ll try this one again at some point.
thanks so much Terri Harplady for allowing me to try this one! I’ve always wanted to! Going with Verdant’s instructions: two teaspoons. Long gold fuzzy leaves!
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 1 min 30 sec steep time
This is EXACTLY the amazing I thought this would be! It’s like a Yunnan with all the honey and none of the chocolate! I do love my chocolate yunnans but sometimes it is nice to just have the honey. So sweet and so smooth and I can understand the mushroom comparisons. But I don’t like mushrooms so I’ll just love it for the honey notes. I must have had a tea that was mostly honey before, but I can’t remember which one it was.
Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 2 min
Another amazing cup but this was is actually darker in color than many black teas. The flavor is deeper as well, and I can see how the honey notes might contribute to the chocolate notes of other teas. So delicious though! It would be nice if Verdant had a version of this that DID have the chocolate notes.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
Delicious just not as much as the first two cups. I’ve noticed that if I leave a bit of the Yunnans in a mug overnight, the cup color turns MUCH darker. It only happens with yunnans though.. very odd. I love this one. I wish I could stock a ton of this as the honey-only Yunnan in my collection, but for now I’ve got enough for one more steep session!
Additional notes: I think I’ve had three different batches of this tea (samples & a very cheap entire pouch!) This cup is from the Bestsellers Batch. The leaves look less black than my questionably aged pouch. The leaves here look like they are a bit more brown in color. I also don’t see any blueberries.. but it may be too small of a sample or I’m just not seeing them like last time. I used one flat teaspoon since the heaping teaspoon last time seemed too much.
Steep #1 // ten minutes after boiling // 2 min 15 seconds
I wanted to try an entirely different steep parameters. Maybe if I can find the perfect steep for ONE of 52Teas it will be easier to find the perfect steep for them all. This one is VERY good on flavor. It SEEMS the same as the other batches I’ve had. The black tea stays very hidden and light this time around, which is fine, since the blueberry flavor is so nice. It’s like the sweet gooey blueberry part of a danish! I’d say this steep was closer to being perfect.
Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Another lovely cup with awesome flavor. I’m surprised there is this much blueberry left.
I just love Steepster. Not only is it my “tea brain” where I can look back at specific times I’ve steeped things, but I can compare notes with everyone else who has steeped the same tea to get that perfect cup!
Additional notes: Dexter sent me some of this one! thanks so much! I had a sample before, but I love it, so I didn’t mind a couple more teaspoons. :D This one needs to be TAMED though.. it’s a bit TOO spicy with all that cayenne at times so I mixed it with some Harney’s Valentines. Extra chocolate! Extra yum! It did give me the idea that I should have some cayenne on hand to make all of my chai blends spicier. On an unrelated 52Teas note… I keep thinking of the Lemon Meringue chai and I would buy it in a heartbeat if Frank reblended it… especially with more lemon and mallow root. I’ve got two teaspoons left but I’m treasuring it!
This was from Rachel’s sale a while ago! thank you! I’ve sipped this once before but I didn’t feel like the steep parameters were right (especially with the high rating on Steepster). The flavor just seemed a bit muted. Seeing the instructions for Teavivre’s oolongs… 3-4 teaspoons at boiling(!) gave me the idea to try more leaves are a hotter temp. I’m a little confused if this is a actual milk oolong though, or just flavored. This one isn’t actually called a Jin Xuan. The leaves are lovely looking though – bright green bundles. Two teaspoons this time. The last cup was one teaspoon with the water cooled for about forty minutes.
Steep #1 // water cooled 15-20 minutes // 2-3 min steep
BAM the basket is FULL of leaves. I have no idea how Teavivre’s 3-4 teaspoons would fit in this. The flavor is much less muted this time around. Creamy /milky definitely. But I’m so used to oolongs having COMPLEX flavors. This doesn’t really taste floral/peachy/vegetal. Just creamy. And very drying.
Steep #2 // water cooled 10-15 minutes // 3-4 min steep
Another lovely cup! Much less drying of the mouth this time around. Still very creamy and sweet. Still no other notes somehow. Very weird! I much prefer the tea steeped this way rather than the muted way. I just don’t see how this QUITE gets one of the highest rated teas on Steepster, but it isn’t bad. I’m also very sad that thePuritea has closed. I did manage a mini-order of a few samples.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
I thought this would be too hot for this oolong, but it was actually better than the second cup while it was hot, but as it cooled, it got a bit too “leafy”. Still surprisingly creamy & sweet. Not burned anyway. I don’t think you actually NEED two teaspoons of leaves for this one, but a hotter temp helps.
Another pearl I get to try from the HH teabox that Terri included. thanks! I really want to try Sil’s experiment of using the same parameters for all the pearls, but I don’t think I’m that scientific. I don’t have a temp setting on my electric kettle, but I guess I could just pour the water at boiling. It seems like I’d be spacing the pearls too long to compare though because I wouldn’t want to drink all the pearls at the same time. (I think with most of the pearls I only have enough for one steep session anyway.)
Steep #1 // boiled // 5 min steep
I used four pearls this time to have enough for the next time. More dark chocolately goodness! There was actually a (nice) perfumey fragrance when I started the cup that I haven’t noticed with other pearls. I just wish any of these pearls were maltier, they would automatically be my favorite. I love the dark chocolate but I would also love maltiness. Delicious with oh-how-I-love banana cream pie. I just realized that banana cream pie is perfect.
Steep #2 // boiled // 5 min
Another awesome cup very similar to the first. I should have used five pearls but I only had nine left. The cup would have been even chocolatier! These are very nice. I feel like these are similar to another pearl, I’m just not sure which. It’s definitely cheaper than the Teavana. So there’s that. Third steep wasn’t terrible either!