1028 Tasting Notes
Thank you Terri Harplady! It seems like I always go trying a few 52Teas blends at once. First off, I love the picture on the packaging of this one! Wow! I wish I had some mason jar meringue right now! (I also love that chai rhymes with pie.) Two minutes steeping and I have a lovely chai. I’m only getting hints of lemon and the marshmallow root… enough to let you know this isn’t a typical chai. I wish there was more of that, but there is a nice creamy, sweet texture that isn’t normally in a chai. If I’m just rating the chai without its special flavors, it is delicious anyway. Not too spicy! This is how I thought it would taste anyway, when I think of lemon meringue chai. But yeah, more lemon myrtle! That would have tasted like a lemon dessert on its own… as it reminds me of a lemon donut I had once.. with frosting! I have a couple more teaspoons to savor of this one! Onward with the autumn chais…
I was in the mood for a peach tea, and this one sounded dreamy today! I had to open my sample. Also, I must say I can’t wait to get my 52Teas sampler from the campaign! Sadly, they mostly look to be ones I’ve already tried, but I could easily have more in stock of any of these, since all of the 52Teas I have are samples anyway (except for four of them).
First steep// just boiled // 1 min
As I poured, this blend seemed to steep fast and smell automatically peachy, so I went with one minute. I didn’t want the robust assam taking over the flavors! The steep color is fairly dark! Even before tasting, the cup actually smells like a crumble with butter and brown sugar. It doesn’t taste quite like that though. The assam is certainly strong, but I can still taste wisps of equal parts peach and blackberry. I’ve had bad peach and blackberry teas before but this one is nice. I don’t see actual peaches or blackberries in the mix but maybe that is just my sample. The cinnamon is barely making itself known, even though there was plenty of that.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
The assam is so strong I could probably steep it more than twice. It’s pretty bready. It has lost some of the butter & brown sugar scent this time. The assam fits well with this blend, since it seems that it tastes a bit like blackberry on its own. I did a Steepster search for “52 Assam” and I’m surprised only 16 results came up – considering how many teas they’ve created, I’m surprised assam isn’t used more often. I wish there was more of the butter/brown sugar flavor that makes the fragrance so lovely. Overall, this could be one of my favorites from 52Teas.
I’m just trying this one now that Courtney sent me a sample of a while back – thank you! This blend sounded like something worth trying.. the ingredients sounded nice together and NO HIBISCUS! I think someone should come up with a ‘no hibiscus’ dance. Steeped for a few minutes, the color is a mellow yellow. The flavor is sweet yet mild – mainly banana with a hint of coconut – exactly what the name suggests. A hint of the orange and strawberry give it something more. This reminds me of a smoothie or something! I like it!
Another amazing blend from TastyBrew! Thank you! None of them have been duds for me so far. I love all of them! This one just seemed extra special. First, it’s a blend of black tea and hojicha. I love that idea. I’m not sure why there aren’t more blends with black and hojicha, since both of them can be boiled. There is also white tea here, but it doesn’t look like much, so I’m not sure how that would contribute to the flavor. I did have a lovely Della Terra white chocolate tea made with white tea the other day though. This one is certainly a dessert tea with chocolate and maple! The chocolate makes itself known, but the maple is even more prominent and I happen to love maple. I can see where the name “milk chocolate” comes from. All of these flavors combine to create a creamy chocolate flavor. The second steep has just as much maple flavor. I think this blend should have had maple in the name – not just chocolate. I love this one – very decadent! I drank this with way too many Halloween treats… caramel corn and a half moon cookie. I didn’t have soda today though… just more tea! I’ll gladly use not drinking soda as an excuse to drink more tea. I will savor the few teaspoons that remain. I haven’t seen this company before, but they have some nice looking teas on their site. I must try blending my own black tea/hojicha blends!
I know I’ve been rating most teas so high lately (most in the 80s-90s), but that is because they have all been so nice lately!
TastyBrew sent a bit of this one over to try. I really appreciate it! I let the water cool a while, as there is supposedly green tea hidden in all of these spices! The first taste was a bit surprising. I don’t think I’ve had chai spices with mint before. The spices and the mint are both equally balanced. It’s very intriguing! The mint is very sweet. The texture is almost creamy somehow, very smooth. The second steep I noticed licorice, so that may have helped the sweet and silky. I guess it had to be at a bit higher temp for the licorice. I didn’t notice much in the way of green tea – it seems like mostly mint and spices. It is different, so I love it!
Happy Halloween everyone! I’ll be sipping some Necessiteas pumpkin cheesecake later (that TastyBrew also sent over). I drank some not too long ago but I’m already wishing I was drinking more.
I’ve been seeing this one raved about by various Steepsterers, so I needed to try the sample that Terri Harplady sent over! thanks so much! I’m not in love with Laoshan Black, and hopefully I don’t end up liking it more, since I’d rather there be a COUPLE teas I don’t actually like! I can’t like them all! This one sounded divine… the chocolate pieces I had to try very hard to not gobble up (hopefully I’ll be devouring enough Halloween candy in the next few days anyway.) There was about three teaspoons in my sample so I went with a teaspoon and half this time around, so I’d have another steep session for later.
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 3 min
I was pleased that this one had the oolong I’ve tried separately that reminds me of pumpkin – that might have been the lower steep time however. It seemed the flavors would work well together! The flavor is better to me that Laoshan Black on its own. All of the elements give it more depth and strength. Maybe one day my palate can appreciate the Laoshan on its own, but I like my black teas stronger these days. But this is lovely. The chocolate and the rice add subtle touches, while the oolong does give it a pumpkin-like flavor. Very appropriate for the time of year! I’ve never really seen a rice like this before either.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
This cup was just as good as the first. I do like this blend more than the Laoshan black own, since there is more depth. These three extra ingredients really enhance the flavors that are already sort of in the Laoshan Black anyway. I can see this working for a nice base for many blends.
I want to say that my tasting notes are usually very matter-of-fact which probably get boring but I do very much appreciate everyone’s tasting notes — usually much better than mine! I thought when I started that Steepster was just a way for my own brain to remember how I liked a tea or steeping parameters, so I’m honored if anyone is actually reading these things.
I had to have another cup of this one because it won WheezyBee’s Battle of the Earl Greys and I just happened to suggest it since I didn’t see it on her list of Earl Greys. I had no idea it would win! I just love this one — a nice bold bergamot to go with a bold assam. For the true Earl Grey fan – or to make you an Earl Grey fan!
Thank you to Dustin who sent me this a while ago— when Ovation sadly went out of business. I’m sorry I didn’t buy ALL their teas. I was able to try quite a few of them buying an ounce or two here from many kind Steepsters!
I only had this once before, even though I thought it was my favorite chai since I had it. I skipped a tasting note that time. This lovely tea sure smells very spicy opening the bag, even though there is a fair amount of non-CTC black tea leaves here. I saw ginger, cinnamon pieces, cloves, big green things that I had to see the description to tell that it was cardamom and apparently there is also black pepper. The flavor is a nice amount of strong chai but the black base here seems to be different than many of the bases from Ovation – this doesn’t seem to have too strong of a flavor. And there is also no vanilla flavor for me. I would have said this was my favorite chai, but that was before TastyBrew sent me Necessiteas Vanilla Chai. So I guess this makes my second favorite chai that I have in stock right now.
This is why I have only had this lovely chai twice since I acquired it a while ago:
Well, I had time to update my cupboard with tea company samples, teabox scores, and generous packages from other Steepsters. The number went up to 502 (!) before I took all of the teas off that went in teaboxes and the packages I sold. Now it’s at 474. Oh no, that is still too high! They are all mostly smaller amounts, but even if there is only one cup of tea in each sample, that’s still 474 cups… not to mention resteeps. Ah well, I love my tea collection! I certainly have variety though (but it doesn’t help when I want to be drinking six different teas at any given moment!
The final new-to-me Teavivre sample I have to review! I must say that I love Teavivre just for how generous they are. I love the contest they have going right now… I hope I win! I swear whenever I see a Steepster note for anything from Teavivre, it is mentioned as being a free sample! They know their teas are the best! I would probably buy ALL of them if I had the money.
This one is an actual milk oolong, and the milk flavor is in the leaf growing process and not actually flavored with something artificial. I know this because this one is called a Jin Xuan and not just ‘milk oolong’. Teavivre’s instructions are for 212 degrees, 2-3 teaspoons with a rinse and then 1,2,3 minute steep times. One sample package had about two teaspoons (honestly if I used three teaspoons, the unfurled leaves would have been pouring out of the brew basket!)
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 1 min
It’s new to me that boiling will not burn an oolong. It certainly doesn’t ruin this one. I just thought it would be more like green tea and less like black tea. Steep times and temps seem to be the most different with oolongs. The dry leaves are so bright green and actually smell like vegetables. The steep color is a light butter yellow and the main flavor profile is the same. It isn’t floral, fruity or vegetal — it is sweet, creamy, butter. Less like milk, but when it is an ACTUAL milk oolong and not flavored as such artificially, it doesn’t have as strong of a milk flavor.
Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 2 min
More delicious butter! That is still the main flavor profile. So so good. I love the different flavor profiles that oolongs have. I’m surprised this cup stayed so similar to the first cup, since oolongs usually change. The bottom of this mug tasted like cream, even cold!
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
This one seemed a touch too bitter, less butter, though it was still drinkable. It tasted more like orchids this time! I would have went two and a half minutes for this steep. This tea is lovely!
I really love Hojicha, but there aren’t many in my cupboard! I was happy to try this one for free with my Zen order a while ago. This one is NICE. Two teaspoons around boiling for one minute for the first steep. Two minutes for the second steep. Both cups tasted the same and SO GOOD! This isn’t the hojicha with the deepest flavor I’ve tried.. it is lighter and sweeter. It tastes like I added sugar somehow. I love hojicha more than most non-roasty toasty green teas (unless it is a REALLY good one.) I would definitely buy this one as Hojicha staple for my cupboard! Honestly, it reminds me of the Honey Smacks cereal it tastes so sweet (I swear I haven’t had that cereal in forever.) So you’re in luck if you happen to read this review, you are addicted to Honey Smacks, and want something healthier as a replacement. I doubt that will happen though!