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Recent Tasting Notes
Well, today has been such a rough day. Mila has been so fussy lately, I think she is cutting another tooth. I literally haven’t had a moment to myself all day. Thankfully, Ted came to my rescue and got her settled while I took a hot shower and relaxed for a minute. Afterwards I, of course, needed to make a cup of tea. What better way to relax than a warm cup of tea, and maple tea to boot!
Maple Forest was one of the teas of the week this month at 52Teas. Unfortunately it is no longer available, but hopefully it will make its return sometime soon because I am now OBSESSED. The tea’s base is very similar to my other favorite, Toasted Marshmallow. It consists of Houjicha (a roasted green tea) and Shou Mei (white tea). The result is a roast-y, toast-y, and smooth drinking tea. Unlike Toasted Marshmallow, this tea contains maple and boy is it DELICIOUS. Because of the toast-yness of the Houjicha/Shou Mei mix, this tea is reminding me an awful lot of Sunday morning pancakes. Delectable! This would be a great cup to have with breakfast.
I certainly made space on my countertop for this blend and it will be happily enjoyed by me daily. I am sad that this tea is gone and glad that I stocked up, but I’m sure it will make another appearance in the future. So keep your eyes peeled if you are interested in trying it!
You can read more of my reviews and join in on some tea-talk with me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1395929733784446/
Flavors: Maple, Maple Syrup, Roasted, Sweet, Toasty
Love Love Love this!! Ooooh Anne you did it again! What an amazing blend. The first thing I tasted was cinnamon and then came in the peach and ginger and creamy cheesecake. Mmmmm! So delightful. I am not usually a fan of ginger having a strong presence so I was thankful that it was more of a complimentary hint, opposed to a dominant flavor. This was so delightful I do wish I had tried this in the fall!
Flavors: Cheesecake, Cinnamon, Creamy, Ginger, Peach
Last week’s tea of the week! I love this tea! The maple is sweet but it isn’t too sugary-sweet thanks to the nutty, roasty-toasty notes from the Houjicha and the soft, earthy notes of the Shou Mei – which in turn softens the rather assertive roasted flavor from the Houjicha. I think that these two teas in the base work really well together and the maple flavor seems to naturally go with these two teas.
Really lovely – it’s dessert-y but not so sweet that it’s something you’d feel like you can only enjoy as a dessert-y tea! The lighter body makes this a nice late afternoon/early evening tea or if you’re like me and stay up all hours of the night, it works well as a “it’s 2:58am so now is as good a time as any for a cuppa!” too.
I got this tea in my mystery grab bag months ago and am finally trying it for the first time. Although I loved all the other 52Teas blends that came in that order, this particular combination of flavors didn’t appeal to me. Sampling it has confirmed that this isn’t for me. The flavors are well-done and exactly what the name promises: lots of cooling cucumber and honeydew melon with a bit of a spicy kick in the aftertaste. And the combination is actually quite pleasant! Just not something I’m likely to reach for again. Anyone want to take this off my hands?
Flavors: Cucumber, Ginger, Honeydew, Melon, Spicy
Last week’s tea of the week!
Now that I’m feeling comfortable with finally getting caught up after numerous delays – I also feel comfortable in sitting back and enjoying a cup of tea and writing about it! The delays over the last two months have been crazy – but as I’ve said – I’ve learned that anything that can happen will most likely happen and really, there’s just not a lot you can do about it – no way of even foreseeing some of those things that happen to delay things – so the key is just learning how to roll with the punches I suppose.
On to this tea! I do love it! Rocky Road ice cream is my favorite and has been my favorite since I was a kid. I occasionally find a ‘new’ favorite that surpasses my craving for Rocky Road – like Cherry Garcia or Praline Pecan – but Rocky Road holds that special place in my heart. So when I saw in the archives some years ago that Frank had actually created a Rocky Road blend once upon a time – I asked him to reblend it. He never did.
So I decided that I would take it upon myself to recreate it and when I did, I did some searching for the tea here on Steepster only to come up empty handed – it was never entered into the database here so it’s as if it never actually existed. So I’m reclaiming the blend for myself.
The base is really nice – it’s Yunnan and Assamica teas blended with Laoshan teas from Verdant. Together, these teas create a pleasantly rich and remarkably smooth flavor that carries the notes of chocolate, nut and marshmallow well.
As I mentioned on my blog post for this blend – http://52teas.com/blog/tea-of-the-week-for-february-6-2017-rocky-road-black-tea/ – the first time I tasted it, I thought something was a bit off. Not because it wasn’t delicious because it was – it took me a while to determine what the problem with it was and I realized that this doesn’t have the texture of Rocky Road ice cream (because it is, as I’ve said before – a tea and therefore shouldn’t have the texture of a ice cream laden with nuts and marshmallows) and while I absolutely love the flavor of Rocky Road Ice Cream, I also love the texture: cool, creamy chocolate ice cream with chunks of crunchy nuts and pillow-y marshmallows. And this tea doesn’t have the crunchy, chunky nuts or the soft, fluffy marshmallows to bite into – but it does have the flavor of those things as well as a smooth, creamy chocolate-y taste.
So somehow, I’ve really managed to hurt my back. It’s particularly bad in my shoulders and neck, and yet for some reason I’m still at work. I’m not sure why, or what I’m trying to prove. I think at this point the best thing would be to give up and go home, because it’s horrible to be in pain and at work. I think I feel like I shouldn’t because I can still do my job, which today just involves sitting at a desk and typing (at least it’s not an event day!) I don’t know. I’m odd about stuff, clearly.
I’ve rewarded myself with tea. This is one of my last 52Teas from the “old” iteration of the company. I’m still looking for something to equal raspberry cream, but I don’t think this is going to be it. It smells promising, though!
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. To taste, it’s pretty good. It’s very obviously raspberry, and it’s even a little tart/sour in the way of actual raspberries. There’s a sweetness too, but it’s not overdone or too candy-like. I can taste hints of white chocolate in the background, but that aspect isn’t quite as prominent as I’d have liked it to be. Still, it’s pretty good. I’ll easily be able to polish this one off!
I underestimated how much leaf I had left of this and the last couple teas I’ve had, so no sipdowns from my last few cups. I’m slipping… Still, I’m not complaining, because now I have an extra mug of this, which makes quite the tasty start to the morning. Thank you Janelle for sharing!
Brewing, the scent threw me off at first. I was expecting chocolate milkshake, but what I got was closer to Butiki’s Coffee & Cigarettes (which is stored completely separately and can’t have contaminated this). It had a roasted coffee note from the mate which was prevalent and a sweeter, creamy back note more akin to what I was expecting. Taste-wise, though, they’re not so much alike. The mate naturally gives off a note very similar in flavour to Butiki’s coffee flavouring, though more robust and natural. There’s also a wisp of smoke here right at the end of the sip, but the comparison ends there. Chocolate in tea is very hit-or-miss-y for me, and this has a great chocolate flavour. It’s not by any means the most dominant flavour, but it pairs incredibly well with everything else that’s going on in my mug and adds a rich, indulgent background. It’s like I’m drinking a mocha with my tea this morning, and it feels a little bit naughty in a good way. An actual mocha from a coffee shop would use up about 1/3 of my daily SmartPoints, but this is only a 30th, and only because I added a little sugar to enhance the rich creamy chocolate notes. The malt note comes in mid-sip, which is weirdly making it seem thicker than it really is. It’s also making me want to try a malted chocolate milkshake, which sounds incredible and based on this tea absolutely would be. Malted milkshakes aren’t so much a thing over here (why do we miss out on so much?!) but surely there has to be somewhere that does them… hmm.
I sipped this one yesterday and had a sipdown of Bluebird’s Love Potion today! This one is from my 52Teas grabbag from a while ago. It MUST be chocolately because I spied so many chocolate chips in my infuser! There are also cocoa shells to back them up. The result is quite the cocoa cup, with surprisingly, hints of rose here and there. Usually rose doesn’t make an appearance flavor wise in any tea, so it was nice to find it here. Though that may be more because of the rose Congou base tea and not the rose petals themselves. This is a lovely blend, though I should try evening out the tea leaves to chocolate chips ratio next time I steep this up. I love the idea that there are four base teas… I just wish I could taste them more. Happy Valentine’s everyone!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep
Flavors: Chocolate, Rose
Happy Valentine’s Day Steepster!
Anyone have any big/special plans? Personally, I work this evening at DT so nothing related to the holiday for me
not that I’m seeing anyone right now anyway but I did do something for me today! I shaved my hair, which had regrown to about inches long since I last shaved everything completely off, into a mohawk! It’s been since highschool since I last rocked a mohawk, and let me just say that having one now feels good. Plus, for my first time shaving a mohawk all by myself I think I fucking nailed it.
Also, Wasabi posed with me!
Apart from that, I’m just enjoying drinking good tea and listening to some killed music while I have the apartment all to myself. Oh – also I put together little Valentine’s cards for my DAVIDsTEA coworkers with a personalized tea sample for each of them depending on their tastes. That’s why I’m drinking this tea; I measured out a cup for my friend Kandyce who likes flavoured tea, specifically things that are either fruity or just kind of weird. I think this ticks off both criteria?
And then as I was measuring her tea, I of course had to make myself a cup too. I was surprised by this; 52Teas does flavoured genmaicha well but usually the additional flavour is pretty subtle. In the case of this tea, I thought the mango was REALLY strong/bold and prominent. That’s not to say I didn’t like it; in fact I found it to be super realistic, natural, and both ripe and juicy tasting. It was very good, but covered a lot of the roastiness from the genmaicha. The latter was there though; it was like you were hit with a wave of intense, rich mango and then as that faded/the initial impact wore off there was smooth, subtle roastyness and sweet coconut notes. Ultimately I would have liked a touch more roastyness/“sticky rice” flavour but it’s hard to criticize too much because even if that aspect wasn’t completely nailed
in my opinion it did still taste amazing.
I listened to a lot of Parov Stelar while drinking this; I’ve been on a HUGE electro swing/nu jazz kick lately and Parov Stelar is like the best of the best. This was the song I got most into though while I was drinking this. The volume was on max, and there was some serious dancing taking place.
Flavors: Coconut, Mango, Pine, Roasted, Toasted Rice, Tropical, Vegetal
I was digging around in some of my tea stash from last year and found a whole bag of goodies from 52teas from one of the grab bag promotions. This was the little sample on top of the pack. Yay! It’s almost Shamrock Shake season, right? This tea is BETTER than Shamrock Shakes though, I think. As lovely and craved as Shamrock shakes are, they do taste very artificial and I typically only can finish a small cup per season. I can see myself coming back to this tea, too bad I only have the taster size.
To be fair though, I do my usual morning Brews to take to work, and I drank the third brew first on the commute to work, and the first brew in the afternoon. I’m glad it worked out that way, the hit of mint in the morning would have been perhaps too much for me, but it was quite lovely and mild by the third steep. I’m not sure why I never thought of peppermint and vanilla green tea together, I drink both quite often. Of course, that’s what I might have to resort to when I run out of this sample, I just checked the website and I didn’t find any in stock. Sigh. You guys! If you reblend I’ll buy a big bag! =)
In the meantime I know that I got some teas from the holiday thing, I just have to recall where I stashed them.
Another Evol sample….
Upside of this one? LOVE the melon flavouring….but you know what i don’t need? SPicey melon lol. However, that being said, this is as close to it’s name as i think you could get. It’s really well done for what it’s supposed to be, just happens to not be what i want with melon. I did appreciate the spiciness in this one though…i imagine it paired with a nice solid black tea :)
This was another sample from my swap with Inkling, and my first taste of a new 52Teas blend. Weirdly, I didn’t get much in the way of coconut from it. What I did get was some pleasantly smooth rooibos and honeybush—woodsy, for sure, but not tobacco-y or medicinal—and a mild sort of strawberry syrup flavor. This wasn’t a wow, but it was very pleasant. I wouldn’t mind having this again, and it certainly made me that much more interested in finally placing an order from the new 52Teas.
This has been sitting around in my stash. I was getting tired of having coffee every morning at work, so I chucked this in my handbag earlier this week. I’ve had a cup every day for the past four days, and it’s really delightful. It’s one of the better chocolate teas I’ve had in recent memory. It tastes very rich and sinful even though it’s not. I like it best as a latte because dairy (or non-dairy milk for that matter) really brings out the creaminess that you’d get with an actual eclair. All in all, another solid flavored black tea blend from 52Teas. Recommended for those that enjoy dessert and/or chocolate teas.
I really need to start both a sip-down challenge and a sell/swap pile. My stash is getting a bit out of hand.
This is a fairly recent purchase for me. I’m not a huge fan of green teas, but I’ve been looking for a nice spiced pumpkin tea that has pumpkin in it but doesn’t have carrot in the ingredient list. Plus, it’s named “Pumpkin Juice.” How could I not buy it?
I’m having it as an iced latte this morning, but I’ve sampled it hot and unsweetened too.
Hot and straight, it tastes like spiced apple cider – y’know the kind you make in a crockpot for company over the holidays. But it’s not just any old spiced apple cider, it’s spiced apple cider that’s been warming away with slices of pumpkin added to the mix. It’s very warming and comforting, especially on cool mornings. The green tea base isn’t bitter or overly assertive. I don’t taste much pineapple, but that’s fine by me. Pineapple isn’t normally my jam. The level of spice is just right.
It’s quite nice as an iced latte as well. I think the addition of dairy makes it taste more like a baked good – like apple cake batter. The pumpkin flavor is lost in my cup this morning, but it’s still a nice lil’ drink. I’ll just have to remember to enjoy it hot when I’m wanting a tea that tastes of pumpkin.
52Teas is quickly becoming one of my favorite tea companies. I’ve just been so impressed with so many of their blends lately.
Flavors: Apple, Pumpkin, Spices
I got this as a free sample along with my order of 5 sample packs of Toasted Marshmallow Hojicha! (I was stocking up lol) I wish that the season for chai wasn’t nearing an end because this tea is so yummy! I love hojicha because I love anything nutty and toasty and it goes perfectly with masala spices. I hope this tea comes back next fall because I will drink it up!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Nutty, Spices, Toasty
I like this!! It’s like peppermint marshmallow melting in hot chocolate but without the mint. Awesome velvety chocolate flavor…like a milk chocolate fondue but with a nice punch of vanilla bean to reflect the eclair custard. This is not really the best description and sorry for that but I will say this delivers on the chocolate eclair flavor it promises and that makes it awesome!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cream, Custard, Vanilla
I have never actually had a Pumpkin Spice Latte because it just never appealed to me but for some reason I had to have this. My guess is my love for flavored genmaichas combined with my inner annoying white girl and that made this blend irresistible. To my surprise though, it has actual pumpkin pieces in it as opposed to just the spices that make up “pumpkin spice” so that’s a plus and I would say it comes through in the flavor, albeit subtly since the pumpkin spice takes over as per usual. It is nice nonetheless. Maybe not my favorite genmaicha offering from 52 Teas but better than expected and certainly one I would have trouble finished.