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Recent Tasting Notes
I got distracted and steeped for almost 4 minutes! Don’t do that! It makes the first note a little bitter. BUT I still get the mango and the peach from it. It’s not an overly strong flavor additive, in fact, I could go for it being a little stronger, but it’s still great because it didn’t overwhelm or greatly distract from the base at all- rather it’s like I brewed good black iced tea and then let peaches and mangos infuse in. So this steep was 4 min in 1 quart of boiling water, and added enough ice to make two quarts, no sugar. I wish I had grabbed some more last time I ordered, but it was my very first SBT so I didn’t go overboard (for once!)
Unfortunately I can’t try again because apparently my fridge only makes enough ice to be 1 quart. Cold steeping the rest!
Thank you Marzipan for this lovely tea. I really haven’t had genmaicha before. I think I taste the brown rice. Not tasting much cherry which is a bit disappointing. I am tasting some cheesecake but not a lot. A pleasurable cup of tea. I’ve never had a cheesecake tea except the cheesecake matcha latte(Red Leaf) that I am so in love with. The matcha has a much better taste since it is made with a milk substitute. It isn’t fair to compare them. Still enjoyable. Thanks Marzipan!
I decided to cold brew some of this in the fridge and I think it was the right choice! It has been in there for days and I have been sipping on it periodically to see how it was doing. A couple times it needed a little more sugar to even out the bitter tinge that goes with spearmint being overpowering, but I think I have almost got it down now. The spearmint is still a little over the top and if I was patient enough to let the ice melt, it just might be a perfect cup. But I am not patient. The marshmallow root ads a slight creamy vanilla like flavor that rounds out the mint nicely. I can see going through the whole bag of this iced over the summer! I must pace myself!
Tried this cold brewed in my DAVIDs mason jar. Steeped for…24 hours? It’s been a while but I know it was a day max.
The cream note really comes out to play when it is steeped this way. Creamy blueberry on a very smooth black base. I need to make simple syrup because I do think this would benefit from some sweetener (since that’s how I have it hot) but I was surprised at how well it worked cold.
Last night I spent the entire night folding, it was great, made a few classic designs and tried out some new ones. My favorite of the new modular origami pieces that I worked on was a PHiZZ (pentagon hexagon zig-zag) Dodecahedron, the units are really simple to make, but interlocking the pieces can be a real pain. I foresee lots of them in my future.
Today’s tea has a bit of a smoky feel, a Gingerbread Smoke feel to be exact. This blend by 52teas is a combination of Premium Black Teas (including Lapsang Souchong) Ginger Root, and Organic Flavors. The aroma is more or less exactly what I expected from a tea named Gingerbread Smoke, it is quite richly smoky with warm spices and an especially strong kick of ginger. Everything about the aroma of this tea is warm, from the lingering memories of a fire to the spices, good for sniffing on a chilly evening.
Giving the leaves a nice steeping brings out a sweet quality to the spices and ginger, really bringing out the cookie quality of the tea. There is of course lots of smoke, though it is not as strong as the dry leaves. As a finish there is a hint of malt. The liquid is sweet ginger and lots of smoke, it also has a finish of malt…suddenly I am craving ginger snaps.
The taste is pretty true to the name, at first you get a surprisingly gentle burn of ginger, and of course where there is fire there is usually smoke, so the next taste note is the mild smoke. The tea has a natural sweetness from the ginger, which fades to a hint of oakiness. Usually I am not the biggest fan of 52tea’s black tea base (nothing wrong with it, just doesn’t do it for me) but this one I like, most likely thanks to the added Lapsang Souchong. Spicy smoky teas are a big win in my book now, certainly going to be on the lookout for more!
For photos (including origami!) and blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/52teas-gingerbread-smoke-tea-review.html
I should start by saying I’ve never had Genmaicha before so I readily admit that my dislike may not be of this tea in particular but Genmaicha’s in general. That said, this is one of the worst teas I have ever tasted. I tried steeping it several times, varying time and temperature, but it just tasted bad. In no way did I get peanut butter or mashmallow or even any taste vaguely tea like from this blend. I debated even reviewing this tea because I disliked it so much, but I felt as though I should warn people looking for a peanut buttery tea, unless you love Genmaicha I would avoid this one.
I drank this plain and it actually tastes pretty good! I don’t get the malted taste, but I do get a nice roasty, chocolate taste with hints of coffee.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Espresso, Leather, Malt, Tar, Tobacco
This is one I had considered ordering in the past. Because Firefly and genmaicha and chocolate. Yes please!
This is a pleasant toasty genmaicha, but a let down on the chocolate front. At first, I thought that element was a complete write off, but about halfway through the cup I started getting the aftertaste of cardboardy chocolate (reminds me of really cheap chocolate bars).
Sipdown! This is really nice. I don’t think I’ll restock, but I like the way the flavors blend together. The way the cucumber and melon go with the tea base tastes more natural than most flavored whites I’ve had, and the flavors themselves are ripe and fresh. It almost tastes more like juice or flavored water than tea, because there’s a definite juiciness especially to the melon flavor. The tea base is present enough to keep this from being all about the flavorings, though.
From the HHTTB2
After the strangeness that was my last cup of tea I wanted something I knew wouldn’t disappoint. There was just enough of this tea left to make a cup. I was excited since I’ve wanted to try this tea for a while.
I really like the coconut in this tisane. It is sweet with a fresh taste. No strange sunblock smell. There is also a bit of something tangy that lingers at the back of the throat. I’m thinking this is a nod to the cheesecake. It is an absolutely enjoyable cup.
If you’re wondering whether a tea could actually taste like chocolate peanut butter cups, the answer is yes! Oh yes, Virginia, candy tea is for real. Perhaps not name brand candy, but candy none the less! As someone trying to quench his sweet tooth with someone other than… Well, sweets, this tea is a welcome addition to my cupboard. There is a bit of cheating involved, with chocolate chips and peanut butter chips providing much of the flavor overriding most of he black tea, but one doesn’t steep a cup of chocolate peanut butter cup tea expecting BOPF black tea! A nice dessert for sure!
From the HHTTB2
This is pretty good! The taste is mostly caramel followed by chocolate with some nuttiness popping in here and there. I don’t get cheesecake. After adding some sugar and milk the caramel really shines, but the flavor from the nuts is gone. Still no notes that remind me of cheesecake.
No doubt that this is a good dessert tea. I would have loved to have tasted something hinting at cheesecake, but I had no problem sipping on a caramel, chocolate, pecan flavored tea!
This is from Rachel’s sale a while back (thanks!). And I try to try new teas so fast! But this one is already quite old… Oh if only tea didn’t age. I will certainly take the age into consideration. This tea isn’t bad, but I can tell it would have been better.
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
This definitely tastes like that butter pecan ice cream, but it’s on the lighter side. There are a few pieces of pecans in the sample, including an entire pecan. It tastes like pecan, but I doubt it is just from the pecans, there is probably additional flavoring. One thing I’m happy about is that the pecans are not actually terrible, like David’s playdoh walnuts sometimes are.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min steep (accidentally)
This steep was pretty much the same as the first. I expected most of the flavor to be gone by this cup. The same amount of buttery pecan. Not bad, not bad at all. I really need to enjoy the teas I have, instead of collecting more. But it’s very difficult when three tea companies are sending me free samples at the moment.
As a big fan of sweets in general, and chocolate peanut butter fan even more so, I’m in love with this tea! The taste takes a few sips to build but once it does it’s a wonderful time. I’m trying this for the first time the day after Easter so the memories of premium chocolate are close, drinking this tea is so close to having a piece of sponge candy right out of my Easter basket! Yet the flavor is not overbearing, the chocolate is balanced nicely with the peanut and neither drown out the honeybush.
MirandaGou sent me this one. Thanks!
This is my first SBT. I made it according to directions. Well, I boiled 2 qts of water than allowed the tea bag to steep in said water for 3 minutes. It’s been sitting in the fridge the majority of the day and I just poured myself a mug with ice cubes.
I’m not generally enamoured with 52Teas, but Ive heard good things about the SBTs and I’m happy to say I’m enjoying this. The flavours aren’t in-your-face, but they complement each other well. The ginger is subtle and the honey a bit stronger but both are there, albeit subtle with the black tea base.
Now I have a pitcher of this in my fridge, but that’s one less envelope of tea in my swap-in box!
Edit: I just checked the tracking and my wellies just updated and they are now sheduled for EARLY delivery!
Sipdown no. 151 of the year 2014. This time I made it with plain Assam (LeafSpa Banaspaty Bliss) as the extra black tea rather than spicy chocolate to see what difference that might make.
It does tone down the spice to about an 11 from a 15 or so, but it’s still quite spicy and there’s a substantial afterburn. Certainly a bit more than I can handle on a regular basis, but every now and then something like this could definitely hit the spot.
I really do like chai, which may explain why I seem to have it coming out of my ears. I haven’t counted all my chais, but I have two other chocolate chais from 52teas and at least ten others (some chocolate, some not) that I can think of offhand, not counting samples. It’s likely that number is higher. Sipping down chais isn’t all that easy for me. It’s higher in calories (because milk) and more labor intensive than most other teas, so I can’t drink it as frequently as I’d like. So getting this sipdown in gives me a feeling of accomplishment!