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2 Tasting Notes

34

After trying my first sampling from 52teas today (their wonderful Neapolitan Honeybush blend, which I love dearly already!) I just couldn’t wait to try another. The Cucumber Kiwi Honeybush was the very first thing that caught my eye when I was deciding what to purchase in my first order from them, so I’m really excited to give it a try. :D

Much like with the Neapolitan blend, I could see the bits of dried kiwi among all the honeybush before I even opened the bag. I love that their teas are appealing to the senses before they’re even opened. I couldn’t smell a whole lot before I opened the bag, but wow, as soon as the seal was broken the scent of kiwi was like a smack upside the head to my senses. It’s not just kiwi either; it’s like kiwi distilled and boiled down and then maybe left in the sun for a while. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it smells really strong! My mom even remarked that she could smell it from across the room. There’s also a bit of an overpowering, nearly cloying sweetness to the scent that I wouldn’t usually associate with kiwi. I don’t want to call it artificial, but it’s not exactly a fresh, fruity sweetness either. Maybe it’s just something that goes along with super-strong-kiwi scent though, which is a scent I’m hardly accustomed to, after all. I should also mention that while the kiwi component was most definitely there, I didn’t get a whole lot of cucumber, but we’ll see what happens after it’s steeped.

The color of the liquid after steeping is a bit surprising to me. It’s pretty dark for a honeybush blend; more like what you’d expect from a black tea, I think. The scent has mellowed quite a bit though, and cucumber is certainly coming through nicely now. I want to say I’m enjoying it more, but it’s actually coming across with a bit of a medicinal undertone, which is slightly dampening my initial enthusiasm about this tea.

…And now that I’ve tasted it, I think I’m officially disappointed. My first sip started off nicely, with a refreshing blast of cucumber, but it was downhill from there. That medicinal undertone has turned into a medicinal aftertaste that is decidedly unpleasant. All of my subsequent tastes are a blend of that cloying “is this kiwi or not?” sweetness, the medicinal taste, and… cucumber, though the more I drink, the less fresh and natural it seems. I’m kind of starting to wonder if this is what that overpowering cucumber-scented body splash that was so popular when I was in high school must taste like. (Just in case you were wondering, that’s not a good thing.)

While I’m definitely not going to give up on 52teas after this – they have so many whimsical, fun blends that I’m still dying to try, and the Neapolitan Honeybush alone would make me buy from them again – saying that their Cucumber Kiwi Honeybush will not be a keeper for me is a bit of an understatement. I’m not even sure if I want to finish this cup, honestly. :-( I will give it another try, maybe with sugar and a shorting steeping time, or perhaps iced, but as of right now I’m not holding my breath.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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91

This is my first time ever drinking something from 52teas. I’m halfway through my first cup of Neapolitan Honeybush and I can hardly imagine a better welcome to their teas than this.

Even before I opened the bag, I was grinning like an idiot at all the cacao nibs and huge strawberry chunks I could spot among the sea of tiny honeybush particles. The aroma after I tore it open was far more rich and heady than I was expecting; almost like the top notes of a decadent perfume rather than a favorite dessert (albeit not in an unpleasant way at all – as a fan of vanilla notes in my perfume, I rather wish I could bottle the scent :-P).

Once I started steeping, the richness of the scent began to mellow somewhat, but even as I drink it now it’s still there; a deep, potent vanilla tempered with a sweet and fruity finish. After a six-minute infusion, I tried a bit before deciding whether or not to add anything. I was already very impressed with the flavor, but knowing my own tastebuds, I immediately knew I would like it even more with a touch of sugar. And oh my, did I ever like it better. While I often drink my teas plain, I think the sweetener in this case really elevates the flavors to another level entirely. For me, this tea starts off with a beautiful synthesis of all three featured flavors, before shifting to a brief but robust influx of fresh strawberries, and finally finishing with that same luscious vanilla I so loved upon first catching a whiff of this lovely blend. I think the last part is my favorite part of this tea. The vanilla is so delicious and almost candylike, really; reminiscent of toffee, caramel or brittle.

If I had to criticize anything, I suppose it would be that the chocolate notes are not as noticeable to me as the strawberry or vanilla. But this tea is so delicious that I don’t find myself missing it all of that much anyway.

Bottom line: I’m tempted to go and prepare myself another cup, and as I’m typing this, I’ve only just finished the first one! It’s been quite a long time since a flavored blend has impressed me quite like this. :-)

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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I’m new here, but I’m a longtime tea lover. I’m a visual artist by passion and by trade. Other than that, I also enjoy music, reading, making things besides art (i.e., sewing, crocheting), cooking/baking/eating delicious vegan food, and snuggling with my awesome cat. :D

Location

New Jersey, US