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Recent Tasting Notes
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, Round 4
Well… I didn’t look it up before I brewed it, and it was in the flavored blacks bag so I brewed it as a black. I didn’t really make the realization until I was emptying out my teaball. Even the dry leaf looked like black tea, but the wet leaf is green.
So 212F for 3 minutes, and surprisingly not entirely bitter. When greens are brewed like this some of them gain that utterly baffling in-between phase where it’s like a green, but like a black. It does taste a little burnt, but clearly that’s my fault.
It smells like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie base and a gingerbread cookie base. There’s too much vanilla and cream notes for me to think of it as purely gingerbread, but maybe that’s where the ‘coffeecake’ bit comes in.
I sure would like a recipe for gingerbread coffeecake. That sounds lovely.
The smell of this tea is also making me sleepy… interesting.
Another one from the SSTTB! Made this one last night. As with a lot of 52Teas blends, I found the flavour on the mild side, and the base on the strong side. The flavour may be reduced since I’m sick though. But I was barely able to pick up the flavour of the banana and a sweet butterscotch note.I did add milk to this to reduce the sharpness of the base.
It’s a decent blend, and I’d like to try it again when I have my full senses, and maybe reduce the leaf a little and see if it helps the beast be less bitter.
I should start by pointing out I am not normally a big ginger fan.
That said, this wasn’t bad at all. It is definitely very lemony, and the ginger isn’t too overwhelming. I don’t get a ton of cookie flavor, but that might be ok. It is very light this way. I could see reaching for this if I am feeling under the weather and need something to perk me up. Lovers of ginger would like this a lot more than I, as I wouldn’t repurchase, but I will enjoy what I have.
This smells amazing and it tastes even better than it smells. The combination of the honey, nutty flavors of honeybush together with the buttery caramel notes and the banana is really delectable. The honey notes of the honeybush meld beautifully with the caramel notes.
I really enjoyed this – I thought it was a genius combination from Frank.
I liked this flavor combination. The blueberry is the strongest flavor and it’s sweet but also a little tart. It’s not too sour and it didn’t cause me to pucker but there was just enough tart to add some contrast to the sweet banana notes. I also got that tingly “tart” note in the aftertaste.
What surprised me is the banana flavor. Usually when I taste one of Zoomdweebies’ banana teas, it’s that sweet, candy-like banana flavor (which makes it really weird to me that I actually like their banana flavored teas because I dislike banana candies.) But this doesn’t have that too sweet, banana candy-ish flavor. Maybe it’s the blueberry in the blend that counters that sometimes overly sweet flavor.
Anyway … I like this blend. It’s a tasty blend of flavors and the black tea notes are not obscured. A refreshing iced tea.
This is really, really delicious. It starts out with a lot of lemon and then there’s a little bit of ginger. I almost missed the reference to cookies, because hot this isn’t much like them, but the aftertaste is delayed and sweet like iced sugar cookies. Yum! As it cools there’s more ginger and more sweetness, and I might even like it better iced.
Flavors: Cookie, Ginger, Lemon, Sweet
Ehhhhhh this was weird. Oddly sweetish aroma from the bag – familiar, but not what I was expecting, in that it neither smelled like chocolate nor pumpkin spice, more like… floral something. Odd. The flavour, though not bad, was also kind of weird, and not exactly how I’d expect a pumpkin brownie to taste. To be fair, though, I retrospectively am thinking that chocolate + pumpkin is a bit of an odd combo… maybe I wouldn’t like it to begin with! Ah well. Was playing ‘Stone Age’ online with my boyfriend tonight while drinking it, and wasn’t paying as much attention to it as I should have. Next time!
ETA: Hah, while resteeping I remembered what the aroma reminded me of. It’s of the spicing in both Cinnamon Roll HB and Strawberry Pie HB. Which is not, in itself, a bad thing, but it doesn’t quite fit to me here. Also, there’s not enough other flavour along with it – Cinnamon Roll HB was packed with this, plus frosting & baked goods flavouring, while Strawberry Pie HB was, duh, strawberries + baked goods. This is… eh? But as mentioned, I’ll properly review a first infusion of this at a later date.
Going to have to try this properly the next time, because I way oversteeped (6.5 minutes! Whoops!) However, I kind of liked it. Light greenish oolong flavour with a nice light fruitiness. Not real kiwi, but I can believe that it’s kiwi flavouring. Didn’t really get cheesecake, but a) I rarely do, and b) it’s probably way oversteeped for that. Regardless, it was enjoyable and I’ll see how it fares when properly brewed.
Sipdown. Splitting a pot of this with mom for tonight because we both wanted an herbal and this sounded good. Sadly I don’t get a lot of ginger from this—there is a touch, but I would love more. The pumpkin and spices are in good balance, though, and there’s a creaminess like cheesecake. Honeybush is a great base for this combination, but I’m missing something to push it over the top. Extra ginger would do it, or a touch of vanilla, but as it is this is just good and not great.
I get paid tomorrow, and I WILL be buying more of this tea! You hear me, Frank??
I LOVE chai. Sometimes, it has different flavors in it too, and that’s fine, but I like really spicy chai. Oh my gosh, this is leaving a bit of heat on the tongue (I’m in the Phoenix area, and have gotten used to more heat in my food than before I moved here). I really like the spiciness of the tea. It has some heat, but not too much. That’s good…I prefer spice over heat, but it needs SOME.
Very good tea…a nice strong chai that does wake me up!
Edit: Resteeping done at 4 minutes. Not as strong, but still really good.
I’m sorry to read that the other review of this tisane here on steepster did not enjoy this as much as I did. I would recommend steeping this a little longer than you would a typical tea – since it’s Yerba Mate you won’t get the same tannic quality of a camellia sinensis blend. I steeped this for 10 minutes at a just under boiling temperature: 195°F.
This brought out a good amount of yummy Kettle Corn flavor.
When the cup is piping hot, I don’t get a lot of Kettle Corn flavor, but as the tea cools slightly, the flavors begin to develop. I found that a pinch of salt helped enhance the Kettle Corn experience as well. I got a sweet, honeyed flavor and the roasted notes of the yerba mate complimented the “popcorn” flavor.
Underwhelmed :( The aroma from the bag had that weirdness that all 52teas’ genmaichas have had since the reblends started tasting/smelling off – a chemically, almost chloriney sort of flavour that I am convinced is coming from the toasted rice. It’s possible to almost get past that while drinking the tea, but sadly, the remaining flavour is, IMO, far from cashew. It’s actually pretty floral (rose??), which strikes me as quite odd, and there’s maybe some nuttiness beneath that, but the floral is fairly powerful. On the plus side, it doesn’t taste like I’m drinking perfume, but it’s not at all what I was hoping for. Another miss in terms of it tasting like one would expect from a “genmacashew” tea, although if you’re fond of florals and don’t pick up that weird note I get, you might actually find this rather pleasant.
This smells wonderful in the packet. The brewed taste is a bit more subtle, but this is one of the more flavorful honeybush blends that I’ve had. Really lovely and perfect for the season. I also like the honey/caramel taste contributed by the honeybush. While not sugar sweet, this tea does seem sweet to me. And, the apple taste is pretty authentic and has a great apply aftertaste.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon
Pass The Stash TTB
I dont know if I steeped at too how of a temp, but theres a slight burnt taste here. I iced and lightly sweetened it and it tastes like if I was eating slightly burnt popcorn and berry skittles while watching movie or something. Do they do berry flavored popcorn? I know there’s like caramel and chocolate type popcorn, but what about fruity? I would be interested in trying that.
This is from my swap with KiwiDelight. I’m certainly not expecting much, as I tend to be disappointed by 52teas blends. The leaves here are very broken, and there are a couple of super long stems included. I saw some fuzzy little buds, but after reading the tea’s description, I realize that they were lavender flowers. Ick. I didn’t realize sugar plums involved lavender… There wasn’t much of a dry scent, perhaps a little bit of vague sweetness.
Ugh… The strongest scent in the steeped tea is lavender. I can also smell a little bit of honey from the white tea. Ergh, yup, this taste strongly of lavender and not much else. I can sort of taste the white tea, there’s a bit of hay flavor and some honey notes. Mostly though, it’s just lavender. Not for me!
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Lavender
A sample from VariaTEA! Thank you!
I was interested in trying this, because his other marshmallow genmaicha blends always sounded so good… but then I was always let down. Just MEH. You shouldn’t really go by my ratings though, because I always seem to be let down by 52Teas blends.
No offense to them, they just don’t work out for me.
This was another.
I didn’t NOT enjoy drinking it, it was pleasant enough, but it didn’t really stand out.
Nothing super tasty.
The idea is better than the reality. IMHO.
Anyway, still happy to try it!!!
The whole Steepster world should be proud of me because I just made a point of sitting down for an hour or so to crank out a bunch of backlogged tea reviews. They’ve been hanging around forever! I keep empty packages to remind me to log the ones I drank, I’m so pleased to finally be able to throw these ones away!
Thanks to carol who for my sample of this tea! This is the first 52teas blend I’ve tried, so I was interested to see what it’d be like. The dry leaf smells really good. Come to think of it, orange and pineapple both have a certain sweet/sharp citrus flavor to them, so they blend together well. I steeped my cup for 5-6 minutes. As for the flavor, the orange note was the most noticeable, with a faint hint of pineapple. I could taste the peppery sweetness of the honeybush, but it wasn’t overwhelming or unpleasant, and went well with the fruit flavors. Overall, I like this one! I’m not sure I’d purchase it myself, just because I have other tropical flavored teas I like more, but it’s definitely drinkable. Glad I got the chance to try it.
This sample is from KiwiDelight. I think this is the first oolong I’ve had from 52teas, so we’ll see how it goes. It looks like a lightly roasted oolong based on the color. The pellets are quite uneven in both size and shape, and their color is a medium to dark olive green with lots of brown notes. Dry scent is mild sweet apple with a touch of caramel and a nice roasted scent.
The steeped tea smells sweet with a light apple aroma and a strong pastry note. Hmm, this is not what I expected. It actually tastes nothing like caramel apples, so there’s that. It actually tastes like I’m eating pie crust with no toppings in it. Which is awesome, I love pie crust, but it’s nothing like what it’s supposed to be. Roasted pie crust, hmm… There’s also a weird artificial aftertaste.
Flavors: Artificial, Pastries, Roasted nuts, Vegetal
OK, so I was seriously excited about this tea. But I was also just a tad afraid of it. I mean, a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster is supposed to be like getting your brain smashed by a slice of lemon that’s been wrapped around a gold brick. I wasn’t too sure I was ready for all that excitement.
Somehow, I summoned the courage to try the tea and hoped that the brain smashing with a lemon wrapped brick wouldn’t be too jarring.
At first, the tea is mellow but after about three sips, the flavor starts to hit the palate like a lemon slice that’s been wrapped around a cinnamon stick and a chili pepper. It’s sweet and spicy and tangy and fruity. I’m less efficient at picking up the alcohol flavors and I blame that on the fact that I’m a tea-totaler.
The black tea comes through as a pleasant, rich tasting base. I like the low-and-slow burn that I get from the chili pepper and cinnamon. It’s spicy but not too spicy. It’s tart but not too much. It even has a little sweetness from the maraschino cherry.
Nice. A good tribute to one of my all-time favorite movies. No, I haven’t read the book yet.
Last but not least! My final tea of the Halloween Tea Marathon!
I fell asleep before I got the chance to write this one up last night, but I want to get it out of the way all the same. I actually have a deadline today, which I should be working on rather than writing up tasting notes, so it’ll have to be quick.
When I first opened the package, I was surprised with how sweet this tea smelled. All of the ingredients suggest it should smell deep, smokey and almost savoury, but what I actually smell is… Cola?? This really confused me at the time, all now I’m thinking it must have been the star anise which everyone else has more accurately managed to identify as liquorice. I neither smelled nor tasted liquorice, but that’s okay with me as I’m not a fan. The cola scent died down a lot once steeped, but I could still detect it. I could also not pick up the lapsang in the dry leaf, but it is definitely there at the back of the sip when drinking. There is no cola flavour, mainly a sort of sweet, spiced chai with a smoky background. I drank this with milk and a sweetener, which mellowed it out well.
So that’s it! I am now free to write about non-spooky teas (and maybe start thinking about Christmas)! But first, I have to get this work done…
So, I realized I have developed a bit of a backlog with tea tasting notes, since I only review one tea a day…and I drink a lot more, well it makes sense that my notebooks are filled with older notes. I do not want to neglect these teas, but the teas I am sent to review take precedent over teas I receive as gifts, buy for myself, or get in trades, it just seems polite. So, once a week I am cracking open the ‘vault’ and reviewing a tea from my older notebooks, sadly this does mean some of the photos are not the best. So glad I finally discovered the sweet spot for taking tea pictures, who knew I would have to rely on flash photography!
Today we are taking a look at 52Teas’s Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish Black Tea, no this tea is not exactly from 2010, I got my sample when I supported their Indiegogo campaign last year. I had heard a lot about 52Teas on Steepster and wanted to try a lot of their teas, but since Frank creates a new tea every week, usually once they are gone they are gone (unless you can trade for them on Steepster or get them from traveling tea boxes) so this was a perfect opportunity to crack into twelve of their most popular blends, and this was the one I tried first. The aroma is really sweet, it smells just like one of those vending machine danishes (I don’t think I have ever had any other kind of danish actually) there is intense blueberry notes with a hint of cream cheese and a touch of yeastiness like pastry. Add a touch of malty tea and it reminds me of drinking tea and having a vending machine pastry while waiting for my train. Very specific memory there, the Pittsburgh train station to be exact.
Once I give the tea a steeping the aroma of the leaves is really quite brisk, you can certainly tell it is an Indian black tea because of that distinct oak wood, malty, briskness that always comes to mind (at least for me) when sniffing it. There is also a nice burst of blueberries and a tiny hint of the other flavors present in the dry leaves. The liquid is rich and sweet, a nice brisk blend of malt and blueberry with a tiny hint of yeasty pastry at the finish.
The taste is fairly mild, a bit of malt and oak wood (like one expects from an Indian black tea) and a bit of sweet and slightly tart blueberries, much like blueberry jam. I decided to give this tea a try with some cream and sugar to see if it made any of the flavors pop, I can detect a bit of creaminess and a touch of a pastry like taste, but really this tea left me a tad bit underwhelmed. It is by no means bad, just did not knock my socks off as I had hoped. I guess the same can be said about the danishes I have had as well, maybe a real not from a vending machine danish is mild too. But even though this tea left me going ‘meh’ Frank’s imagination and blends always make me smile, especially the geeky reference teas.