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Recent Tasting Notes
Nope, no molasses to speak of. Vague spices. And not much going on in the cookie department either. I am enjoying the lightly spiced honeybush as an evening cup though. To be fair, I’ve had this tea for ten months. Perhaps there was more going on with it when it was a bit fresher. Also, I am drinking it straight up and unsweetened. Perhaps additions would oomph it up a bit.
I just had to try this concoction! Blackberries, bergamot, spices, oh my. I’d say the blend turns out pretty evenly balanced. I definitely taste hints of blackberry underneath the citrus (and it seems more citrus than a traditional bergamot, if that makes sense.) The spices aren’t too heavy and follow the fruit flavors on the aftersip. I would have liked to taste more vanilla, as there are supposedly vanilla beans in this blend. I was thinking there are blackberry leaves in the blend: NOPE, those are lime leaves. The first time I steeped this up, there was a big ol’ blackberry in the infuser! Overall, this isn’t really my dream tea, how I wished it would have turned out: more blackberry, traditional bergamot, more vanilla but I can live with this one. On the second steep it was reminding me of an old 52Teas favorite….. LEMON MERINGUE CHAI!!
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug// 13 minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
I’ve never had zabaglione before, but if it tastes like this tea smells, I want to! The dry leaf has a mouth-watering aroma of creamy custard and raspberries. The flavor doesn’t quite match up to the scent, but it’s still quite delicious: lots of sweet, fresh raspberries with a hint of cocoa from the black base. I can still smell a hint of custard, but I’m not really tasting it.
Flavors: Cocoa, Custard, Raspberry
This one actually DOES taste like sunshine! Super citrus on a dark green tea base. Citrus and nutritious…. and delicious. :D It actually tastes healthy to me. I love seeing those citrus wedges in the infuser. Green tea always tastes nice with citrus, not like I can tell what the base tastes like under all this citrus! This will be a go-to tea for me in winter. I need all the brightness I can get.
This one time, I tried to give up soda and booze. It was a disaster.
“After limping through a day of surprise projects, lunch-salads, and ZERO COOKIES, I needed a cup of tea to survive a play.”
Find out how the tea was and whether I enjoyed the play here:
It’s incredibly late (or perhaps very early, depending upon how you view it) but I needed some tea.
This is the tea of the week this week. I wanted to do something with Houjicha this month and since it’s Chai season, I decided that I should go with a Chai Houjicha. And YUM!
I think I’ve only tasted one other Chai Houjicha (during my time as a tea reviewer) and I’m actually kind of surprised there aren’t more. The warm spices of a masala chai blend meld perfectly with the roasty-toasty notes of Houjicha. It’s got a naturally sweet, nutty flavor to it that enhances the warm notes of the spices.
You don’t have to add sugar or honey to this, but I am of the belief that chai should always have a little bit of either honey or raw sugar because it brings out the most flavor from the spices. I used just a half teaspoon of raw sugar and this cuppa has got me doing the happy dance (which is not something you should do at 5:55 am because you might wake the rest of the house).
So yeah – if you’re a fan of houjicha – you really should try this. It’s definitely one of my favorites from this month’s selections.
I had high hopes for this one, because it smells so good, but experience tells me (at least with the old 52Teas genmaicha blends with the new rice…) that it won’t quite live up to its promise. In any case, it’s a great idea for a tea. Inspired, even.
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. I’m pleased to discover that there is strawberry, although it’s quite an artificial-tasting, candy-strawberry – it reminds me of Nesquik strawberry milkshake powder! There was quite a lot of marshmallow root in my cup, and its contributed a delicious creaminess. When paired with the light toastiness of the rice, it really does replicate the “marshmallow treat” flavour pretty well.
One of my main complaints with “sweet” genmaicha blends is usually that the green tea base is too prominent and grassy, which makes the whole experience rather odd. Not the case here – the green tea is very subtle, and actually quite difficult to pick out. The genmaicha isn’t too toasty or burnt-tasting, either.
I think this means that I’ve found a 52Teas genmaicha that agrees with me, which is all the more delightful because I didn’t expect to find it here. I would have liked a more natural tasting strawberry, but I’m mostly just pleased that I can taste it and it’s there. This one’s definitely a tea that lives up to its name! I’m going to enjoy this one.
This is last week’s tea of the week – but the last two weeks have been completely out of control crazy so I’m going to take a moment now to sit down and breathe … and enjoy some tea!
About 2 weeks ago, we had a serious equipment malfunction that put me about 10 days behind. The worst part about it is that I was actually getting caught up! I was going to have the subscription boxes out ahead of schedule! I was getting there – and then my heat sealer breaks on me and I have to wait to get a new one delivered. Ugh.
But, I guess that’s one thing that i’ve learned in the year plus that I’ve been doing the 52Teas thing – that stuff happens and you just gotta roll with the punches.
Fortunately, after spending the last week since getting my replacement heat sealer working hard – I might actually be getting caught up again which is very fortunate since the 12 Teas of Christmas is in progress! (By the way, deadline to pre-order yours is this Saturday!)
Now – let’s get back to the task at hand – this tea! I really love this tea. I had come across a recipe for Earl Grey Cider (a cocktail) and thought it sounded amazing except that I’m not really big on cocktails (or any alcohol for that matter). But I did think that if the Earl Grey Cider was a tea, I’d definitely want to try it. So I decided that i should make my own version of this cocktail.
The bergamot is delightful and together with the lemon in this, it creates a really unique citrus-y note. The apple isn’t particularly strong but it adds a pleasant sweet note to the otherwise tart/tangy fruits in this. And the bourbon notes are not overly powerful but there is a hint of like a warm, caramel-y, barley-like note to the cup.
I haven’t yet tried this iced but I will be cold-brewing it very soon so I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of it – I’m absolutely loving it hot!
NEW BAE ALERT.
This is my Tea of the Week. I bought this taste-unseen* based on its description. It was supposedly a sort of cinnamon bread pancake thing. It’s described on 52Teas’ site as “a lovely pancake-y, nutty, sweet flavor with just a hint of warm spice from the cinnamon.”
( * “Taste-unseen” is a phrase that makes no sense.)
There are malt notes, cinnamon notes, bread notes, sweet notes, and warm black tea notes.
I didn’t write a note last time (the first time) I drank this because I was shocked at how much I liked it.
I was like “I doubt it’s actually this amazing. I’m going to hold off until I’m in a more rational state of mind.”
Turns out I’m never in a rational state of mind. This is so good I almost can’t handle it.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Malt, Sweet, Yeast
First tasting note for this one? This was such an interesting mix of ingredients! It screamed ‘ME’ and I was happy to receive it in my grab bag: Red and green rooibos, blackberries, peach, vanilla and marshmallow root. Whoa. There was a big blackberry in my teaspoon, so I wasn’t surprised the flavor was mostly blackberry. There is also a healthy amount of marshmallow. I’d say that was somehow the strongest flavor. Marshmallows and blackberries. Possibly only the slightest hints of peach and vanilla and I really wish there were more. Maybe in other teaspoons there will be. Or I could try a teaspoon and half next time. There did seem to be more flavor with the second steep, the second night I steeped it. The base is just enough red rooibos to blend nicely with the milder green rooibos. Four awesome ingredients, happy to try this one. A better balance of the four flavors and I would have given it a better rating, but this one is good.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoons for a full mug// 5 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5-6 minute steep
Thanks to SuperStarling! for this sample.
So, uh. Whoa. This tea. The smell is that meaty smokiness of bacon bits with a hint of pineapple. It didn’t completely put me off but it did make me pause to wonder what I would actually drink as long as someone called it tea.
I brewed this up and let it cool for a few minutes, per package suggestions. The scent mellows a little. The flavor isn’t quite as strong of bacon (facon) as I anticipated. There is actually more pineapple flavor than I expected. Having said that, I’m not sure if it would be better or worse to be just straight up bacon. I’m very confused by all of this. I don’t like it really but I don’t HATE it. I actually think the execution of pineapple bacon was decently done considering it is tea… but I guess it just isn’t for me? I am actually getting that familiar tangy bite-y tingle from the pineapple’s bromelain so that is interesting.
To recap, slightly smokey bacon on the back end, pineapple on the front end. Overall, not for me. I thought I would enjoy it since I like bacon and pineapple pizza but let’s face it. Tea and pizza are like polar opposite mediums for pineapple and bacon.
Also, I’m surprised bacon isn’t a pre-existing flavor profile that we are able to choose. Is it weird that I am surprised that isn’t an option? I probably should be surprised if it WERE an option. This tea has me not knowing what to believe anymore.
Flavors: Meat, Pineapple, Smoked
I’m not much of a facon person, but I think this tea is fascinating. This facon/rooibos/pineapple tea is totally unlike anything I’ve ever had. It’s juicy, salty, and throaty. It’s lush.
It’s also a little bit peculiar.
For the full review, click here:
I wanted to like this tea a lot more than I had; however, I’m not a fan of the black tea base. Unfortunately, I’m very particular on my black tea because there are most that I do no like.
Now, I must say that the remaining flavors are satisfying. I like the first initial sweetness of the pineapple and the spiciness of the habanero on back of the throat, but I do not care for the base. I had to add a teaspoon of sugar for me to want to drink the rest, and the base is slightly covered up, while the mango/pineapple jump out a little more. I do like the flavors, but I’m not too crazy over the black tea.
Flavors: Malt, Mango, Pineapple, Spicy
A nice sweet chai that had more of the cardamon, cinnamon, and slight marshmallow flavors rather than a “Chocolate Marshmallow” profile. As the weather is beginning to change into the cool rainy season, I find myself longing for a good chai (although, it’s less frequent than wanting shou pu-erh). This was a great tea to have at work yesterday; to warm up the soul a little while we played board games and made crafts with the students indoors, as the cold rain never ceased falling from the dismal sky.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Marshmallow
This is a pretty delightful tea altogether. I’ve had a couple of Bananas Foster teas in the past; however, this was the first non-herbal/non-artificial version of the blend that I’ve had and enjoyed. I really thought that the vanilla, cinnamon, and black tea base (malt) really came out more than the banana notes; which I must say, isn’t a bad thing. I’ve had Bananas Foster’s that have had artificially flavored bananas which made the tea unsettling. Fortunately, 52Teas can make a good Bananas Foster that leaves you satisfied.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Vanilla