545 Tasting Notes
It looks like I’ll have to find another plain black tea to punch up this one cause I’m all out of the A&D Ceylon that I’ve been using. Since I was using the dregs of the tin for the Ceylon, this mixture was not half Ceylon and half EG. Last time, I did that and the smaller bits of the remaining Ceylon made a bitter mug of tea. This time I compensated for that fact and was rewarded with a not bitter mug of tea.
2nd steep: 5 min.
For the third tea of Christmas, Frank gave to us Coconut Cream Pie.
I clipped open my sample packet and instantly smelled coconut again without even having to put my nose down to the packet. I had just mentioned in my Pina Colada Honeybush tealog that that tisane made me want to try the Coconut Cream Pie and low and behold, here it is.
Like the Pina Colada Honeybush, the Coconut Cream Pie has large shavings of coconut against a background of black tea and smells delish — a strong coconutty, creamy scent. Steeped up, it’s a medium brown and smells like warm creamy coconut. It tastes strongly coconutty with a good sense of creaminess. Between this tea and the Pina Colada Honeybush, Frank has that flavor down pat. And yum, is this a good tea too. I definitely like it and look forward to drinking it again. But it is no Pina Colada Honeybush, which I have been thinking about drinking again since I had it. But I seem to be oddly hoarding it for later, not wanting to have no more of it yet. I am starting to wonder if all the rest of the samples will pale in comparison to that tisane, which isn’t really an apt thing to say because neither of these teas paled at all. They were quite good. Just not Pina Colada Honeybush good. It might have been a flaw to make that the first sample.
Back to the Coconut Cream Pie. (Sorry that I could not help making the comparisons.) So yeah. Chris and I went to one of our favorite restaurants (local, fresh, Southern food – http://www.ilovetheglassonion.com/dailymenu) for a rather late brunch (fried quail, biscuit and gravy, and eggs for me; pork belly, biscuit with honey, eggs, and sausage for Chris) on Sunday and they had coconut cream pie on the desert board (it changes weekly) and I really wanted to have some after having had this tea, but I was so full and couldn’t. We’ve been obsessed with fried chicken Tuesdays this month so you know where I’ll be early tomorrow night (yes, they actually run out of the fried chicken, it is that good) and hopefully the coconut cream pie will be there still. I’ll keep you posted.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I did do a second steep, which I was sure would be too weak to drink, and it was. But it turns out, even warm essence of Coconut Cream Pie is worth drinking.
I rated this tea a 74, which is right in the middle of my good range (70-80).
2nd steep: 7 min.
For the second tea of Christmas, Frank gave to us Chai with Chocolate.
I smelled the chocolate even as I was cutting open the packet and started thinking now which chocolate teas does Frank have in stock. I put my nose to the packet and smelled ginger strongly. Then I looked and knew it was a chai.
So the question was: To stovetop or not to stovetop? If I stovetopped, I’d use more of the sample and be able to try it less times. But it’s stovetop. So I went with stovetop. There was little decision there.
Sipping it while it’s still likely a bit to hot to drink, I get ginger then chocolate. I like ginger. =D This is good. Not Pina Colada Honeybush awesome good. But quite good.
I finish my extra large mug quite quickly. As I drink, I get ginger, chai blend, and chocolate at times. The chocolate is not majorly in your face but you can taste it and you can definitely smell it. This tea feels decadent to drink first thing in the morning.
I gave this tea a rating of 70 for now, which is right in the middle of my nice/good range (60-80).
1 cup water. 1 tbsp sugar. bring to boil. 1 tbsp tea. steep 5 mins. 1 cup milk. bring to boil. turn heat off. steep 10 min.
For the first tea of Christmas, Frank gave to us Pina Colada Honeybush.
So my thought was to cut open each sample pack and, being careful not to look, smell the tea and see what I thought it smelled like. Even with my nose a bit stuffed up and even if I had not known that 52 Teas has an award-winning Pina Colada Honeybush, I’d have thought this tea smelled exactly like a pina colada. I could actually smell the rum as well as coconut and pineapple. And everyone is right when they mention the huge chunks of pineapple and shavings of coconut.
I tried to convince myself to have a nice caffeinated black tea to wake me up and save this to drink later in the day. But I could not.
Steeped up, the tisane smells distinctly like rum and coconut. It’s a nice medium brown with a bit of amber. It tastes of coconut and rum. I do not get any pineapple specifically. But it’s exactly pina colada overall so it must just be blended in very well. And the coconut — it’s very creamy. I don’t know how Frank does it, but it is.
I should say that I’m not a big fan of pina coladas. If one of my sisters were to mix some up as a summer drink, I would drink them. But they are not high on my list of frosty drinks of choice. I’d be a margarita girl, I think. And no, I do not think margaritas in any way would make a good tea. But I’ve digressed. This is not a tisane I would have likely ordered. But I loved it. I did. So much so that I had barely finished the second paragraph of this tasting note when my mug was empty. Of course, I got up and put the kettle on to try a second steep right away.
And yes, I did eat the chunk of pineapple and the shavings of coconut. They tasted like Pina Colada Honeybush. grins This mug smelled only faintly of pina colada and the tea was an opaque amber brown. It tasted like the essence of Pina Colada Honeybush. But, this tisane is that good that it is worth steeping a second time even for that. It makes me want to try 52 Teas’ Coconut Cream Pie.
Frank, you rock my sox. I cannot wait to try the rest of my samples.
I gave this tisane an 88 rating, which is on the high end of my great range (80-90).
2nd steep: 12 min.
Half EG, half A&D Ceylon. I have very little Ceylon left and some dust is getting mixed in with the leaf when I make tea now. Because of this, it came out very strong. In a good way I think. I made the addition for the second steep all EG and that evened out the cup.
2nd steep: 6 min.