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Recent Tasting Notes
The first package in my 52 Teas Kickstarter pledge arrived late last week and I have been desperately anxious to tear into them and start trying but since I was traveling over the weekend I was hesitant to open them up away from my Breville tea maker as I have strong memories of how temperamental the black base was when Frank owned the company.
It was a difficult decision this morning trying to decide what I wanted to try first but since it was breakfast time I went with the coconut french toast.. First, I gotta say, that I adore the cute little taster sized packets!! Half an ounce is the perfect size to try a tea without having to commit to something you may not like.. spoiler alert, this one is definately going on my repurchase list ASAP in the larger size!!
The scent of this tea is spot on! I get the coconut, the cardamom, the maple syrup and a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg… Taste wise, this is delicious!! Especially with a splash of milk to really bring out the creamy butteriness of french toast. A complete winner in my book and I’m now SUPER excited to try out the other four teas I have… I think next I’ll have to try Lemon Cheesecake Bar.. after all it is almost afternoon tea time!!
Somebody needs to make me this french toast now! Seriously I never would have thought to add cardamom to maple syrup but now I’m seriously craving it. The coconut is just the right amount. It doesn’t take over. I’d say the maple/cardamom hits the tongue first followed by the breadyness and coconut.
The black tea base is nice and smooth. Not as astringent as some of Franks were.
I’m terrible at trying to analyze this. Suffice it to say I am fully on board with 52teas 2.0
I’m so glad I helped with the kick starter. I wish I could afford to buy more of this tea but I quietly shush myself and remind myself to enjoy my tea one cup at a time.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Coconut, Maple Syrup
What the freakin’ crap!? This isn’t lemon at all. Lemon my foot! I feel so betrayed! D:
This is TOTALLY orange flavor! Eww Eww Eww!
I totally smelled it when I opened the bag and I was hoping the actual taste would be different. But it wasn’t. :(
It was like drinking hot orange juice.
I hate this tea so muchhh.
Such a betrayal. D:
Yeah I’m just gonna give this one away for free. Not my thing at all. Ewww I just can’t do it. BLehhh :S
Flavors: Citrus, Orange
I’m taste testing this tea right now from the reblend I created for the Kickstarter Campaign incentives.
It’s good. Nice blackberry flavor – lovely cream notes. I like my great big blackberries that I found for this.
I’ve learned a lot while blending/packaging this tea: I need bigger pouches for certain teas. I can’t fit 1 1/2 ounces of this tea in a 2 ounce pouch … so everyone who ordered 1 1/2 ounces of this tea will receive a large pouch and a small pouch because there’s no getting 1 1/2 ounces in that pouch without crushing the leaves into dust. As one who respects the leaf, I just can’t do that.
I’ve also decided that while the shou mei tea is alright, for future blends (and reblends) I will be using a white peony. I like this shou mei but I like white peony better. Yeah, it costs more (quite a bit more, actually) but as someone who is a tea snob, it’s worth it.
That said, this is a good tea. The blackberry flavor is well-defined and I love the berry tingle at the finish. The cream notes soften the tart-y notes of the blackberry nicely. It’s sweet and yummy and I like this a lot.
PS: I also learned that LiberTEAS rated this tea previously and I can’t change LiberTEAS rating using my 52Teas account.
I’m drinking my reblend of this right now. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of it – that’s two black teas in a row that I’ve not taken photos of!
Anyway, this is really good. I think it’s important to note that an ample cool time on this tea is necessary. When piping hot, it’s a wee bit astringent. I let it cool about six minutes, and it was still just a tad astringent and the flavors were not real focused yet, so another five minutes cool time brought the tea to a really lovely sipping temperature that was warm, not hot, but not cold either. Warm and cozy and easy to drink.
The astringency has smoothed its way out now and the flavors have come into focus. A nice pumpkin-y note with a tangy cheesecake flavor. The caramel isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be so I’ll make note of that on the recipe for future reblends. I think in the future, I’ll also add a touch of spice because I find myself wanting a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon here, just to enhance the pumpkin.
Overall, it’s good, but it can be improved upon, I think.
So, i’m taste testing this one now. It’s quite good, even if I do say so myself. I get a creamy, sweet coconut note with just enough of that slick-y coconut texture that I like when it comes to coconut teas. And the cheesecake notes are tangy, sweet, and creamy. I get a hint of buttery crust that is enhanced with the natural nutty tones of the honeybush.
PS: I’m using a different honeybush for the honeybush blends than Frank was using. I know that there were some complaints about his honeybush … I really like the supplier that I found for honeybush. It’s organic and it has a really good flavor. Honeybush still isn’t my favorite thing out there – I certainly prefer camellia sinensis, but it’s a nice caffeine free option.
My kickstarter package came today, and I just couldn’t wait! I had the marshmallow treat genmaicha this morning and loved it, but I think I underleafed it, so I will wait for the second cup to review it.
This one smells like walking into a bath and body works shop. You know all those cucumber melon soaps that smelled so good you wished you could eat them? THIS IS ONE YOU MAY CONSUME. Sooo fresh and tasty, just like you would have wanted!
I used a heaped perfect teaspoon plus a few leaves for my 6 oz taster cup and brewed according to the directions on the package. I think I underleafed again, but no matter, because the flavor comes through clear and lovely, even to my slightly garlicy-lunch tongue! (FYI: Not suitable for more than one steep. Just tried it and it was blah)
It brews up a nice amber color with a bit of a mineral/smoke scent from the base, but not to worry, the minerality from the base contributes to the cucumber notes, and there is no smoke in the flavor. Instead, you get a natural sweetness, finished with the luscious, almost vanilla flavor of a ripe muskmelon. I was a bit afraid because I’m not a fan of cantaloupe, but the thick honey vanilla notes from the fruit are present and the slimy/papaya musk flavor that I dislike is not.
The one criticism I have of this tea is really more of a warning. It seriously is flavored so much like how the hand soap smells that i think some that are sensitive to the “soapy” notes of certain tea flavors, like lavender, might mistake the flavor here. But it would just be your mind tricking you! The base and flavorings are good enough to not introduce any bitter or saponin-like notes, just a balanced blend of rock oolong, refreshing cucumber, and delicate muskmelon!
Congrats LiberTEAS on a great first out!
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Vanilla
Brewed this one at work today and found the lemon to be mild which was great because I was able to taste the white tea come through. This was a rather nice tea :)
One person said it was their favorite and another said it tasted like Pine cleaning agent… but I get to make the final say because I am the tea guy :)
I brewed and drank half an ounce of this tea at work yesterday with some coworkers. The smell is nice and so is the taste, but it has a taste of roasted/almostburnt mate in it that isn’t so pleasant. My coworkers can’t identify that particular taste, but it did add the dryness to the tea. Easily a tea to sip on but also one that could use a small tweak.
Today’s work cold brew. It’s not often that I try a tea for the first time cold, but I’ve made an exception for this one because it seems like a flavour combination that would work well cold, and because the weather is so warm I’m drinking a lot more cold tea than hot anyway. This is probably the second oldest 52 Teas blend in my cupboard, so it’s high time it had an outing. I used 2 tbsp of leaf, added it to 1.8 litres of cold water, and left it in the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. The resulting brew is a fairly bright yellow – very summer appropriate!
To taste, this is absolutely magnificent! The peach flavouring is strong and natural-tasting. No artificial peach here. It tastes like very ripe, juicy peach – the kind you might put in a cobbler because they’re almost too soft for eating. The cardamom really makes this, though, adding a deep earthy flavour, and a mild edge of spice. It also takes down the sweetness a notch or two, and makes this a much more fragrant blend than it otherwise would be. It’s a slightly unusual paring, but I like it a lot better than some of the more typical combinations, like ginger or cinnamon.
Based on my recent experiences, I think I’ve concluded that I prefer 52 Teas green blends to any of their blacks. As a lifelong black tea fan and a green sceptic, that comes as a huge surprise to me. The green base here adds a grassy undertone that works really well with the peach/cardamom, and there’s not a hint of bitterness or astringency. I don’t say this often, but this really is a masterful blend, capturing the best elements of each flavour while making sure they’re well balanced and complementary. I’ll be sad when this one disappears from my stash. It’s a real peach!
I’ve finally started to work through my stash of 52 Teas, and as I know coconut isn’t the best keeper, I rooted out any coconut-based teas to try first. This was the reblend version from…about a year ago now? It’s been in my cupboard unopened since then, and when I did finally open it today, I was greeted with a strong, alcohol-like scent. I’ve noticed this before with 52 Teas though, so I’m not unduly worried. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up quite dark, so I added a decent splash of milk.
The scent is a little generic – black tea with a hint of coconut, and the taste, sadly, is rather the same. The initial sip is a fairly bold, malty black tea with an edge of sweetness. There’s a hint of coconut in the mid-sip, and it reminds me of desiccated coconut rather than fresh. I say that because it has the rather concentrated flavour and then slightly odd, dusty aftertaste that desiccated coconut can have. There’s an element of creaminess, but that might be at least partly due to the full-fat milk I’ve added, rather than anything especially inherent in the tea. Either way, it works. Coconut cream – nice. What I don’t get is PIE. Not a single crumb. There’s no pastry, buttery or otherwise, to be found here. That’s a bit of a let down, but not the end of the world.
As a coconut tea, this is good enough. The coconut maybe isn’t as strong as I’d have liked, but it’s there and you can’t argue with that. As a coconut cream tea, okay. As a coconut cream pie tea, this fails. Not badly, but at least in the sense that it doesn’t live up to its promise. I’ll finish the pouch, but this isn’t a tea I’d restock (not that that’s possible now, but even if I could). I just feel that there are better teas out there.
I get this tea (though the description calls it bold). The leaves look like that assam that so many love… the Premium Taiwanese Assam from Butiki! The leaves are very long and big like those. So not like a tiny leaf astringent bold and brassy assam. Also, there is a ton of marshmallow aroma bursting out of the bag! Just like how Butiki’s blend paired with caramel and vanilla, Frank decided to blend this one with marshmallow. I think it works. The flavor is more subtle in the light brown brew than is in the scent coming from the bag, but I kind of expected less flavor. The flavor is light but PTA light. I think it naturally tastes like caramel and vanilla. When cooled, it kind of starts tasting like the bland wet cardboard black tea base that I try to avoid from 52Teas other blends, but it’s definitely an improvement on that base. I wish there was more info on the base though (Is this a Taiwanese or Indian Assam?). Maybe others would like this blend if they understood the base tea.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
Also, I KNEW the old zoomdweebies.com tea archive would disappear! So much info lost…but if Steepster disappears, then it would be REALLY sad… for ALL the teas. Steepster is kind of like a tea dictionary or something now.
Another sample from Lala (thank you!) which is also another SIPDOWN!!!
I’m pretty sure i’m reviewing this in the right place since it looked like a black and not a honeybush. Drank this one hot with added creamer. I enjoyed this better than butter beer. Since I added the creamer, I did get that feeling of ‘float’ taste and definitely got the root beer. Wouldn’t mind revisiting this one iced, but alas, my sample has been used up.
Thanks for sharing, Lala!
This is limey and definitely pretty boozey too. I am actually not sure if I like it fully, not because it isn’t accurately flavored, but because I need to sweeten it more next time because I prefer my booze sweet, haha. That said, it is perfect for this thunderstormy, sweltering summer day with no AC.
I am sorting through my tea notesbooks and writing up a few notes for teas that just probably won’t see the blog, mainly because you can’t buy them anymore or they just don’t exist. Sadly a lot of 52teas fit the bill. The aroma of this one was toasty and sweet, like toast dipped in chocolate liqueur, with an earthy undertone.
Brewing the leaves brings out the most peculiar aroma of boiled peanuts, I love boiled peanuts but not sure how I feel about them in tea. Especially combined with the toasted chocolate and malt. Luckily the liquid sans the leaves is only a little boiled peanuts, more chocolate and malt with some intense roast.
Umm, I am not a fan of this one. It is very sweet and malty, just like a chocolate malt shake, so points for being accurate. However there is also an earthy toasted intensity. The aftertaste is like chocolate liqueur, it lingers for a while. Not sure what really didn’t work for me, mate is a weird tasting thing on its own, and I think it is maybe best without flavoring. Or maybe I am not a fan of malted milkshakes, I have very fond memories of making them when I worked at Dairy Queen, but I never drank them. This was part of that indiegogo thing that 52teas did forever ago :P