534 Tasting Notes
Hi all! I’ve been neglecting this site unintentionally for a long time, but I’m back now. Hopefully. I’ll do a short life update once I’ve reviewed the tea.
So, tea first. It felt like a chai night, so I reached for the first one I found that wasn’t rooibos in case I wanted milk. This one is creamy enough without that it almost tastes as though it’s in there already. I mostly taste cardamom and a touch of pepper, which is just fine with me. It does have a bit of the dry, woody edge I notice in a lot of chais, but it’s mild and doesn’t bother me much. I’ll have to try it sweetened and with milk (and maybe both) to really evaluate it, but this is just what I wanted tonight.
Now for the update. I’ve been struggling with chronic illness for years now, and recently it’s been worse; I got a new diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which answers a whole lot of questions. That mixed with school stress has had me withdrawing on social media, including here. However, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences on this site, so I’m going to try and get back to reviewing regularly! It’ll also help me get out of the tea rut I’m currently in (2-3 teas all the time, how boring).
Tried cold-brewing this one this afternoon. I’m not a fan when it’s hot—too bitter and grassy with lemon so strong it’s a punch to the face. Cold it’s less grassy and smoother but there’s still a slight lemon peel edge (although keep in mind that I’m very sensitive to bitter tastes). I’m not tasting much floral here, and anything that’s there is overpowered by the lemon. It could use some sweetness (or the missing flowers!) to balance it out.
Flavors: Lemon Zest
I was feeling like this so much today I had two gigantic cups of it. This continues to stand up as one of my favorite herbals, and definitely as one of my favorite rooibos blends. Even brewed at boiling it stays creamy and lemony and doesn’t turn woody. Bye bye, Lemon Chiffon! We will meet again once I’ve cleaned up my tea stash if I can catch you in stock.
I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed this tea yet, because I’ve had it at least three times. Drinking it now, though, it’s clear that I must have been holding off because I wanted to experiment and see if I could brew it any better. There’s a sort of reddish color to it but no pomegranate flavor to be found (well, maybe a floral-fruity sort of…something…in the aftertaste), and the base is forgettable. I’ve tried this at nearly every temperature now, and while it’s decent I just can’t get it to shine. It’s not something I would reach for often if I had a large stock, but luckily it’s almost gone.
On another note, I was disappointed to hear that 52teas is going to be shifting their focus to their iced line and discontinuing their other products. I’m not sure whether it’s been announced before—I’ve been a little out of the loop lately—but I got an email about it yesterday and it put a damper on my night. At least I have a few things left from them to enjoy before they disappear.
I brewed this lower and for a shorter time this morning, and I like it a lot better than before. This seems to shine around 180F, where all the fruity, malty, bready notes can come out. I definitely notice the cherry other people have pointed out—almost like the kind you would find in a cobbler—as well as dark bread and something floral in the aftertaste. It’s a delicious way to wake up, and I’ll probably play around with resteeps later.
This is not a bad pear tea, although my opinion is probably biased because of my preference in pears. This is definitely a green pear, maybe even a little apple-y like a Nashi pear. I tend to like redder varieties.
The tea base works nicely with this; the it’s crispy without being too green, which really sets off the pear flavor. Still, I wouldn’t name this as a favorite. On the whole this company has seriously impressed me, though, and I wish they had a site where I could buy ounces instead of only selling wholesale!
Continuing with the chocolate theme today is this one. I decided to try it with some milk this time, which I haven’t done before. I was worried it might cover up some of the heat, but it actually brings it out more! There’s also more of the fruitiness of the pepper this way, and the chocolate gets extremely creamy. This is such a rich cup and it almost tastes like I’m drinking hot chocolate. I may never drink it without milk again!
Flavors: Bell Pepper, Chocolate, Red Fruits, Spicy
Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought this tea was fitting, and it’s also getting a little old by now so I thought I’d better use it up soon. I’ve never quite found its brewing sweet spot, so this time around I tried about 2 tsp/9oz, with a long brewing time (at least five minutes, but likely more).
This is probably as good as this tea gets, and I’ll admit that I don’t hate it. It still doesn’t live up to its name, but the flavors are more or less there. There’s a watery breakfast tea flavor at the beginning, which I think must be my problem with it, and then a deep, dark chocolate flavor. Not bad at all! The aftertaste is rich, and truffly indeed with something reminiscent of raspberry cordial. If only that initial watery boringness would go away this might even make my favorites list. Bumping up the rating, but this is probably as high as it’ll go.
The way this smells is incredible! Peaches just barely ripe and crisp melons. Sadly the taste falls completely flat. It’s slightly bitter and grassy like a badly-processed bagged green—given this with no context, I would not have guessed it was a white. I get a little bit of artificial melon flavor, but the peach is just not there. This isn’t the worst fruit tea I’ve ever had, but it’s not good.