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70
drank French Toast by 52teas
1915 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #11
I’m not sure if this is from the reblends, as I don’t actually know what the new packaging looks like. Whoops. Sorry, 52Teas! But if the new packaging doesn’t look like the old 1.75 ounce pouches, then this is an old one. The flavor is okay. I wouldn’t necessarily think it is french toast. It might be a REALLY old pouch though, because it doesn’t even seem like the newer old black tea I don’t like. Even the cinnamon was barely making an appearance. Maybe it’s just the way I brewed it.

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85

Sipdown (146)

I was putting on the dishwasher and had just enough room for my milk frother so I decided to make a latte. My original plan was to make Evol Ving Ness’s Apple Custard latte with honey but we are out of honey. So, I put honey on the shopping list and opted for another caffeine free tea I thought would make a good latte – it was between this and Intensely Buttermint. In the end, this obviously won out.

I ended up using the whole 1/2 oz portion for a 15 oz latte. I let it steep for about 8 minutes in slightly less than boiling water. I then prepped about 8 oz of milk to froth. The first thing I noticed once I finished prepping was that the latte was a lovely pink color…which matched my lovely pink mug: https://www.instagram.com/p/BBYxfYoPJeetn9n0_JpBqkFlNQFep2LVKSO2qo0/?taken-by=rachel12610

Anyways, as for the taste, I am pleased to say this doesn’t taste overly of honeybush. I wish I had some to try plain as I am not sure if it is the milk covering up the base flavor or the tea is just well flavored (I recall I had the problem a lot with 52 Teas where the honeybush drowned out everything else). The foundation flavor, besides the milk, is definitely the white chocolate. Usually I find white chocolate comes through more as a creaminess than the actual flavor but here it is a distinctive white chocolate taste. Building on the base, is the mint – sweet and creamy and present enough to keep things interesting. Floating throughout the mix, is the vanilla which ties everything together nicely.

This is exactly what I wanted when I got a white chocolate grasshopper tea so I am glad it all came together. Now I wish I knew if that was because of the prep method or the tea itself…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 8 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
Evol Ving Ness

It sounds delightful. I have a bit of this left. When I locate it, I will let you know. I tend to drink it straight up.

tigress_al

Oh man, now I wish I would have tried this as a latte way back in the day when I had it!

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56

Today has not been the best day for tea in my house. Every time I opened a pack, I spilled some leaf. This package was so stuffed to the brim that when I opened it up, leaf came flying out. Then, I went to prep a cold brew and dropped that on the floor too. Oh well.

Anyways, as for this particular tea, I am a little disappointed tbh. I had 2 large berries in my filter and I don’t taste them at all. However, I am getting a vanilla creaminess slightly but mostly I am getting shou mei (which I have learned more and more is not for me – definitely a silver needles type of girl). I still have some to play around with but tbh I may end up just passing this along to someone who would appreciate it more.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This is one of the first 52Teas blends I’ve tried. I placed a large order of sample packs last week and this is one of the few that isn’t a black tea so I’ve brought it to work to enjoy at the office. I’m currently drinking cold-brewed coffee with almond milk in the mornings, so I’ll save the black teas to enjoy after I’ve had the last of my cold-brew concentrate.

I digress.

I like this. The flavor is quite subtle but it’s tasty. The white tea base doesn’t overwhelm the light fruity flavors. The pineapple comes through more than the watermelon, but this is one of the few watermelon teas I’ve tried that I actually enjoy drinking. Imagine that. I’m having it over ice this afternoon. I think it’d be even better with a touch of sweetener, but I’m winding down my 150-day Whole30 journey so I’m abstaining from added sweeteners until March.

Flavors: Melon, Pineapple

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83
drank Mulled Cider Green Tea by 52teas
199 tasting notes

This came in the Holidays TTB that showed up last night. I picked it out because a) I really like cider teas and b) I’ve been waiting to try something from 52 teas for ages.

This totally fit the bill, for me the green tea was definitely not a strong flavor but the spices and the apple really pulled through. I’d probably put this on par with Celestial’s Caramel Apple Dream (in my mind at least.) The orange was not so present, but I’m okay with that. Overall, a fabulous start to this TTB for me :)

Flavors: Apple, Spices

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80

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #1
The teabox is back and signups are available for round six in the forums! Please join up if you’re in the US!
This is the first one I chose with barely a dive into the teas. It’s also the first of the NEW 52Teas blends I get to try! From a glance at the tasting notes, I like this one more than most (probably because of the Lapsang.) I’m not sure if the name is accurate, but this is a mighty tasty cup. It tastes like some sort of dessert (probably the nutmeg or caramel) but with some smokiness along with it. Sweet and cinnamon and thirst quenching. The second cup seems a little weaker though and most of the smoke is gone. Maybe those who don’t like the smoke can try the second steep and like it better?
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

Sami Kelsh

Mmm, chestnuts.

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88

I really love the soft ginger and yuzu flavors in this tea. I can even taste the cookie likeness though I find that cookie is very hard for me to taste in teas. I think that the white peony really helps with the cookie likeness since a good peony can have a bit of a nutty taste that often makes me think of cookies. And the best part is that there is no funky aftertaste. It is a delicious tea with great flavoring. All of the January teas have been really good.

Flavors: Cookie, Fruity, Ginger

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
6 tasting notes

Smells and tastes like a Pina Colada.

I’m a very, very big fan of Malibu rum as well as a Bay Breeze with Malibu which is made with cranberry juice and pineapple juice. That’s what I’d like to try next as a variation of flavored tea. 5 out of 5 stars.

Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple

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I drank this after a boxing workout and then again before going into work and trying to wake up. The strawberry was the strongest tastes, not sure about the cream yet but I love the mix of fruit with cream and coconut mixed with a black tea.
With that combination not much could go wrong in my mind, though I usually stray toward nutty and earthy teas rather than the fruits. Especially now that it’s winter time.

Flavors: Strawberry

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This tea put me to sleep (in a good way). Every time I had a sip it was harder and harder for me to keep my eyes open.
With that said, I drank it in the evening so I didn’t want to sweeten it. Next time, I’d like to try it with a bit of honey to see how the flavors pop differently.
With the second steeping I could taste the cheesecake part more than the first time.

Preparation
1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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84

Sipdown (121)!

Thanks for the sample Kittenna! I like this one better than Pumpkin Houjicha, though it’s worth pointing out that I had pretty well opposite prep methods for the two. I Gong Fu brewed Pumpkin Houjicha, but cold brewed this one…

I think the flavour here is more accurate to what it’s trying to be though: it’s not exactly spicy from the ginger but then again, in my mind, gingerbread isn’t really all that spicy anyway. This has notes of ginger and cinnamon, as well as molasses and a note that kind of reminds me of thick, whipping cream. It comes together in a way that, combined with the roasty flavour of the Houjicha, really reminds me of gingerbread or ginger snap cookies! If it were still December/Christmas time I’d definitely be looking to get more of this…

Maybe if it makes a reappearance next Winter I can’t remember if this was one of the holiday teas or not then I’ll bite. I need more flavoured Houjicha in my life.

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75

Used more leaf than usual and cooler water as usual.

Cinnamon scent and taste. The strawberry flavour is gentle. I am not detecting any cream.

In my perfect world, I would prefer more strawberry and less cinnamon.

As an experiment, I added a spoon of honey to see whether it would bring the strawberry flavour up a bit, and it did, perhaps a little.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Strawberry

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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74

Cold Brew Sipdown (124)!

Thanks Kittenna!

- Refreshing with subtle flavours
- I definitely get more pineapple than watermelon
- But both ARE present
- It’s also a little floral, with a very natural sweetness

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72

Cold Brew Sipdown (125)!

Thanks for the sample Kittenna! This one is pretty nice; very very chocolatey with a nice coconut undertone. It’d be good for an after dinner sweet craving fix. However, while I find it pretty tasty it’s also pretty average as far as chocolate teas go. Nothing to phone home over.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Chocolate

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84
drank Sweet Caramel o'Mine by 52teas
614 tasting notes

I am impressed with the flavor on this. It has a burnt sugar taste that is pretty strong, but is heightened with a little honey in the mug. I imagine it would hold up well to milk, as it is strong.

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100

Shake, shake, shake. I reach into the bag with my teaspoon to spoon the leaf into my steeper and somehow I managed to drop and fling the very last cranberry somewhere. I looked everywhere and that cranberry just would not be found. How very sad.

I love this tea. Everything about it works for me. Nice degree of tartness. Just the barest hint of cinnamon. A dash of cream.

Yes, this favourite is rapidly disappearing.

Just the right one for my 100th note.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cranberry, Cream

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
TeaNTees

Woohoo! Happy 100 :)

Christina / BooksandTea

I have this one and have been meaning to try it. Sounds yum.

Fjellrev

Congrats on 100!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. :)

TeaTiff

I had this one again this afternoon. This is really a delightful tea! Happy 100!!!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. :)

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From the Holiday TTB

I definitely get the spices, and although I could SEE the orange, the scent/flavor didn’t translate for me, unfortunately, and that could have made it REALLY like cider. I associate cider with warm spicy sweet tartness, and while this tea delivered on the spice (although not overwhelmingly, thankfully), it didn’t quite hit those other two notes for me. That’s not to say that this isn’t a lovely tea on it’s own! The green tea is buttery and green and I think was a nice choice as a black tea would have been a bit too heavy. Maybe the cup I had just wasn’t well balanced. It’s not very spicy like a chai, but it is still a nice spiced green tea.

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90

This is the sample that came with my recent order. Thank you!

Sipdown 15 of 2016. Sample. Purchased 1/2016 – Finished 1/2016.

Count me in as a new 52teas fan girl. Everything I have has been pretty awesome, and damn can they do a mean chai! This rooibos blend is one of the best rooibos chai’s I have had. It has enough umph to go well with milk, it is sweet but not too sweet, and there is something mixed in with the base that rounds it out really nicely. If you are looking for a caffeine free chai, this is the one!

Nicole

Could you taste pecan?

TeaTiff

Not really. If anything it was the natural nuttyish taste of the rooibos.

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drank Eggnog Chai by 52teas
13 tasting notes

I just had a latte using this chai – I have been neglectful lately at brewing a cuppa for my hubby so I decided to make up for it by making a chai latte which is his favorite tea beverage.

To be honest, I don’t often go latte with my cuppa chai because I rather like the flavor of the tea straight up (with just a pinch of raw sugar) – I grew to prefer it this way in my reviewing days. But I’m still one who does enjoy a latte every once in a while and this one makes a really nice latte – it brings out the creaminess of the eggnog notes.

I’ve been thinking over my holiday collection over the last couple of days. In truth, I needed to rush these teas and I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to to perfect the recipe because I failed to take into account how long it would take to get the Kickstarter going and to get those funds so that I could get everything rolling. That’s the best piece of advice I could give to anyone who is looking to start a Kickstarter – plan your time wisely. It will take 2 weeks after the Kickstarter is over to get your funds – so know this well in advance so that you can set your Kickstarter in good time!

Next year, I will take these lessons with me when I do the presale. I definitely will be using Kickstarter again because it’s very helpful to have the daily sales separate from the holiday pre-sales. My daily operations would have been a terrible mess if I had tried to do the presales on the website. I guess another option would be to start another website – but that would have been a tremendous amount of work and in the end it would have cost about the same – but with more work. So Kickstarter is the way to go.

I’ve also taken into account the various reviews and tasting notes that I’ve read about the teas – I do read them! If you have a blog and you’ve written a review for one of my teas , please point me in that direction!

Anyway, I do plan on doing some adjustments to the various recipes – I want to make the Hot Chocolate tea a little richer so I think I’ll blend the black tea base with some other teas, perhaps in addition to the teas from Verdant, I’ll use a rich Assam to enhance the body. The Chestnuts tea, I’ll go a little lighter on the Lapsang Souchong because it seems like most people tasted smoke and little else. Maybe I will also need to enhance that base with a Nilgiri to go along with the Malawi tea and Lapsang Souchong to add something extra to the body so that the smoke doesn’t present itself so strongly. And we’re also planning on bringing back the 12 Teas of Christmas – it will be a little different than what Frank was doing and will include the 5 Holiday teas – I’m not sure that I’ll do 12 brand new teas for the box but I’m also not nixing the idea either.

Wow – I’m chatty this evening, aren’t I?

Evol Ving Ness

It is good to hear your musings. I think that you’ve done a stellar job with your teas in the very brief time since the takeover. Despite criticisms regarding some of the blends, I really really appreciate the bases that you select and work with and continue to tweak to perfect. A job well done. Truly.

I am excited to see your ideas for next year’s holiday blends put into action.

52Teas

Thank you very much!

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85
drank Mango Genmaicha by 52teas
109 tasting notes

I haven’t been craving green teas much lately, but tonight I had a searingly hot butter chicken roti for dinner. This has been an excellent match.

Mango. Roasted Rice. Green Tea. Win.

The mango in this tea is the fresh and juicy fruit but also the slightest bit of bitter peel.
Very enjoyable cup.

I really need to reach for it far more often.

Flavors: Mango, Toasted Rice

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
507 tasting notes

I’m sorry but that’s a terrible name for a good tea. Mist, yes. Graveyard, no. Moroccan Mist might be better since mint tea is big over there. There is a bit of biter grass and a slight sweetness from the marshmallow root but other then that it’s completely spearmint.

Dustin

I love the name, but that could be my semi-goth teen remnants speaking!

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I’ve never had a strawberry tea cake myself, but when I smell the dry leaf of this, I definitely get the sweet note that Anne was aiming for. Delicate hints of strawberry, vanilla, and pastry play out in the leaf. In fact, the whole thing smelled like a strawberry wafer – you know, the kind of little pink crispy wafer things with fake strawberry filling? It’s completely spot on.

Plus, it looks delectable – there are big, noticeable slices of freeze-dried strawberry mixed throughout.

I took a teaspoon of dried leaf and steeped it in boiling water for just over 3 minutes, then let the whole thing cool for 5 or so minutes to bring out the flavour. However, the flavour was muted, and while I got a hint of vanilla in the back of my mouth, I mostly got the black base leaf. I bet the tea would taste more true to its scent if I added some sugar or honey to it.

Full review at http://booksandtea.ca/2016/01/52teas-random-roundup-strawberry-tea-cake-black-tea-sun-cloud-mist-green-tea-and-graveyard-mist-green-tea/

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The mint is definitely the strongest smell in the package; it’s sharp and refreshing, but not in-your-face overpowering. The marshmallow root adds an interesting undertone that makes the whole thing smell rounded, soft, and fluffy, like a pillow.

I took a teaspoon and a half and brewed it in 80°C water for about 3 minutes. The resulting tea was a medium yellow green, and the mint smell was very strong. The marshmallow and mint are both showing up on my tongue, and the two flavours are well-balanced even without sweetener. As a whole, the thing kind of reminds me of a wintergreen-flavoured Life Saver. Tasty!

Full review at http://booksandtea.ca/2016/01/52teas-random-roundup-strawberry-tea-cake-black-tea-sun-cloud-mist-green-tea-and-graveyard-mist-green-tea/

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A twist on classic Cloud and Mist tea with lemon peel, lemongrass, lemon balm and lemon myrtle, plus what I think may be dried marshmallow root. It reminds me of Lucky Charms cereal — the smell of the dry leaf is exactly like those freeze-dried, generically sweet marshmallows I remember from childhood.

The name is also visible in the dry leaf, which features sunny specks of orange peel nestled among the green leaf, while the other dried herbs provide greyish undertones.

However, the lemon and marshmallow flavours aren’t bold enough when I brew the tea. I thought I’d boost the flavour by adding some honey, but even less than a spoonful of honey drowned out the lemon notes. I originally steeped the tea for only 2 minutes, though (as per the instructions) so I think that the flavours might be more prominent if you let the leaf steep longer.

Full review at http://booksandtea.ca/2016/01/52teas-random-roundup-strawberry-tea-cake-black-tea-sun-cloud-mist-green-tea-and-graveyard-mist-green-tea/

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