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Recent Tasting Notes
Banana flavoured teas are making their way up my favourites list. This summer, I enjoyed some herbal and rooibos banana blends which I enjoyed but generally found the base too light.
And now, bam, banana and a black tea base.
I tried not to get my hopes up too much, because we know how that goes when you are anticipating a distinct flavour combination and the reality becomes quite different.
The scent of the dry leaf is just lovely and enticing sweet and true banana. There are bits of broken dry banana slices throughout the tea.
The black tea base is extra lovely and to my taste, well-suited to flavouring. Medium body. Just assertive enough to be present and sturdy enough to carry the flavours.
True clear banana flavour with a bit of cake/sweet bread at the end of the sip. Just like banana bread, really. Just clear and true. No other flavours intruding or muddying things up, happily.
Very enjoyable. As I make my way through my cup and then my second, my rating of this tea has steadily creeped up from my initial assessment at 80 to 95. This tea may well find a place beside my beloved Buttered Rum. I cannot find anything wrong with this tea nor can I think of what might somehow make this tea absolutely perfect, but somehow resist giving it a 100.
Thankfully, I ordered a large packet of this, so I look forward to many future steepings.
Well done, Anne of 52teas! A really nice tea.
Flavors: banana, Cake
I love the smell of this tea as it really does evoke freshly-picked blackberries. The flavour of the berries in the tea itself could stand to be a little bit strong though. The cream flavours are well done as the shou mei base has a nice natural sweetness that works well with that hint of vanilla smoothness.
Ok, I had to just let this steep while I did things (like reboot my laptop to get it running smoothly again), so this has been sitting for awhile. I can smell the slightest hint of sweet toffee in the air, though. Mmmmmm…… toffee. I was really excited when I received this one in my subscription. One of my favorite types of candy combined with my favorite kind of tea? This has some serious possibilities.
I may have let this one get a little too cold, but ……….mmmmmm……. toffee. I am getting it, but it’s pretty subtle behind the chai, like a background flavor. Maybe a little sugar would bring out that flavor more. At the moment, those gorgeous chai spices take center stage, and almost all the attention.
In subsequent sips, the toffee flavor comes out a little better (kind of how like in certain spicy foods, you don’t notice the spiciness at first, but it builds up to a slow, warm burn I love that kind of kick). Also, the aftertaste of the tea as it goes down is heavier on the toffee flavor.
This is very ice, but I think I’m going to want to experiment with this one a little. Namely – a little bit of sugar to bring out the sweetness a little more. (I’m almost tempted to add a little bit of butter to my next glass to see how that would come out. Nah. Better yet, I could melt little toffee bits with it (Mmmm… need to munch on some of my Brandini toffee).
Flavors: Butter, Cardamon, Clove, Ginger, Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Toffee
I’m drinking the reblend from Liberteas/Anne.
Very delicious tea! I brought this tea with me on vacation and drank it a couple times. It’s got a maple sugar and cream flavor, with a background of grassy floral oolong. The flavoring isn’t overpowering over the oolong. The Canadian in me loves the maple! This tea pairs amazingly with fresh berries on the side.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/maple-cheesecake-tie-guan-yin-from-52-teas-tea-review/
It’s been two days since I had a drop of tea. I’m still painfully sick. So much so I called in sick yesterday, and today I’ve spent all day in bed. Instead of sipping down the beverage that I love I’ve been drinking Neo Citron. Lots and lots of Neo Citron. So, all of these tasting notes are backlogged: I wanted to work on them yesterday but honestly I was just too tired.
This one comes from TeaNTees and I’m assuming it’s from the old 52Teas company given what the packaging looks like. I’ve yet to order from the new 52Teas so I don’t know what the packaging looks like but I imagine it’s different from how Frank packaged things. That means this tea is fairly(ish) old, and since it has coconut in it that does raise a bit of a red flag – I’m wondering if that coconut has turned? However the dry smell seemed safe so I went ahead and cold brewed this.
I think I managed to drink this right on the cusp of it turning as there was a slightly soapy note that crept into some sips but mostly this was a very smooth, creamy, and sweet. The black tea flavour overall was quite light, with emphasis on the added vanilla, cream, and coconut flavours. I think this tea very well conveyed what it was attempting to!
Thank you TeaNTees for passing it along!
I got this sample at the meet at Sil’s, and it came via the ever-lovely and extremely likeable indigobloom. Thank you, my dear!
I had enough for a large cup, and was pretty excited, as the scent of the dry leaf is unadulterated maple. After it’s brewed, in my case for three minutes, you can definitely still smell the maple, but also smell the oolong base underneath. No cheesecake, but that’s fine by me. Taste-wise, it’s exactly as the scent profile would suggest—a lot of maple and an oolong base, and I’m starting to realize that I don’t think I really like the maple-oolong combination. I also didn’t really manage to get into Stacey’s maple oolong, which was likewise sad because it also smelled divine. it’s honestly ok though, as I really really loved the lemon bar oolong, and am glad that I’m not lusting after everything uncontrollably, which I’m prone to do.
I had a great night tonight. Mr. Keychange and I spent the evening with a friend, and Mr. keychange got to play on her new piano and we drank wine and sang songs and talked for hours. I love nights like that. You all collectively realize that you should do things like this more often. Just reminds you that there’s so much more to life than the stuff that gets you down.
Goodnight, all of you!
Odd, I thought I’d reviewed this one already. My fiancee brewed this one for me, so I don’t have the temperature, though I think he gave it to me within the first 2-minute steep time (though the ball is still in the tea).
Definitely strong on the mint – the is the kind of mint that reminds me of wintergreen gum – minty and sweet at the same time. It’s extremely pleasant.
Flavors: Mint, Sweet
YUMMMM. Oh, I really like this one. :) The dry leaf smells intensely of vanilla, sugar, marshmallow. Once the hot water hits, that continues but the roasty toasty notes of the genmaicha are added in. The aroma translates well into the flavour, and the tea is quite sweet (I actually pulled up the website to see if there was some kind of sweetener in this) and creamy and delicious. The green tea base is subtle and in the background – no bitterness or astringency.
Flavors: Creamy, Marshmallow, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vanilla
This is one of my favorite 52Teas blends. I loved the original pouch that I had. When the 52Teas takeover happened and this one was reblended I was eager to restock this tea.
I am really enjoying the green tea base here. It is soft and gentle with such a lovely aftertaste. The key is to be careful not to over steep. The main flavor to me is pineapple. Then there is the marshmallow and maybe a touch of lime. While this tea is great on its own, I remember the original having a prominent lime flavor followed by marshmallow and pineapple then a hint of cherry. I would love more lime flavoring in this one. It has been awhile since I had the original, maybe my taste buds have changed?
Flavors: Marshmallow, Pineapple
I had this one… yesterday morning? So this is from memory. One thing I thought was interesting about this is that it seems to me like a classic “breakfast tea”, in the sense that the base is a fairly robust, malty, wake-up-your-tastebuds kind of black tea. It’s smooth though, I didn’t have to add milk or anything. The maple in this tea is very nice, and apparently I’m picky about maple in things. The pancakes… well, if I really concentrate I can imagine some pancake flavour there, but I think if you had just handed me a mug of this tea I wouldn’t have picked up on it. Good tea though, I’m looking forward to having it again.
I’m drinking the reblend version from the New 52Teas. :) This is a very tasty cinnamon honeybush blend – sweet and smooth and cinnamony. What I’m not really getting is any of the bread elements of the cinnamon roll. The honeybush provides a nice neutral-sweet base, but it’s not evoking baked goods for me at all. I’m also not really getting any of the frosting, even with a bit of sweetener added. I’ll have to try this again and shake the bag up a bit next time – maybe some ingredients settled to the bottom. It’s a tasty evening tea but not quite what I was hoping for. :)
This was one of my new teas I was most excited about. I brewed it up and there were a whole bunch of chips in my filter. However, I swear they were little meringue hats instead of white chocolate chips. Anyways, whatever they were, they left a but of scum floating at the top of the tea that looks unappealing but isn’t completely intolerable when drinking. Tastewise, it’s nice though it won’t be replacing some of my favourite sweet lemon teas anytime soon. I am not exactly getting white chocolate more like a meringue (hence why I thought it was meringue hats in the strainer) and there is a soft lemon at the tail end of the sip but I can’t determine if it’s lemon pledge or lemongrass. At the end of the day this tea was enjoyable enough.
Has anyone ever had the raspberry cake with cream cheese icing from Publix? That’s what I expected from this tea. A sweet pound cake with slightly tangy/very creamy icing and a fair bit of raspberry jam goodness.
At first sip, it came off as just a raspberry black tea. However, as I continued drinking I realized there was something more than raspberry jam in my cup – there is a sweetness and a thickness that reminds me of cake. Unfortunately no cream cheese icing here but that’s okay. It can be one of those naked cakes that are quite popular now where the sides are left bare to show off all the layers. Still tasty even though it’s not exactly what I expected.
As some of you know I have been off tea recently but on Wednesday, my dad finally brought me my teas from the 52teas kickstarter campaign and over the past few days I found myself wanting to try them. Unfortunately, Saturday was my sister’s engagement party (that’s not the unfortunate part), so the past week has been a bit of a whirlwind of busyness.
Then yesterday there was a death in the family so tea obviously was not on my mind. However, what was on my mind was calling in to work to let them know I was dealing with this loss, so this morning I called in and rather than approving the three days of bereavement leave I asked for, they told me the schedule was really tight and that they would see what they could do, and call me back. Seriously. I told them my grandfather passed away and they basically told me that it was too hard to accommodate me and I may have to come in. They even gave me a song and a dance about missing work for his funeral!!! Like are you kidding me?!? And it’s not like I am a manager or anything like that…I am an office supplies associate at Staples. Needless to say I am pissed with the way this had been handled. Oh, and they still haven’t called me back and my shift starts in 15 minutes. Well, I am at home, with my family, where I should be and if that’s an issue they can just write me up. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.
Anyways, in my severely pissed off mood, I decided I needed something to calm down and so in order to clear my head, I took the time to focus on brewing up a mug of this. Genmaichas have always been a favourite of mine with a special spot in my heart for those made by 52teas. Sipping on this particular one, I’m getting a lot of the toasted rice goodness that I love while the base stays mild and in the background. Meanwhile, I am also getting a combination of cream and spice/ginger that reminds me of the iced part of a gingerbread cookie. The flavoring is not the headliner that I hoped it would be but it’s definitely there hiding behind the rice. One just has to look a little bit harder to find it. Nonetheless, I am pleased and focusing on something other than my frustration has proved to be rather helpful. Also, a great start for the new 52teas!
Roswell Strange, I will have to remember to grab samples of all the teas for you :)
Sipdown! This review is for the new 52teas 2015 reblend, courtesy of Indigobloom (thanks!!)
Was very excited to brew this up, especially after OMGsrsly’s review… and it does not disappoint. Sweet and mapley, wonderful oolong (excellent choice on the base). No cheesecake to speak of, but I do not particularly care. This is one step away from my perfect banana oolong. Just needs… banana… haha.
I think/hope/should check that I have some of this en route… if not, I need some. Now.
So we brewed up a giant mug of this at sil’s place yesterday so that she, omgsrsly, kitenna, indigabloom and I could try it without committing to an entire cup. And I do believe this was courtesy of indigobloom, so thank you!
I do not really like lemon-flavoured things, and I’m a person who typically adds things to my tea. I’m also not even entirely sure I know how hogicha is different from other green teas, so I had my reservations when I began to sip it. But I was surprised at how much I liked it. The lemon wasn’t overwhelming which I instantly liked, but there was enough flavor to make me really think I would enjoy a cup of this without additions. I really hope this is reblended, because I’ll certainly be getting myself some if that’s the case.
It was so very lovely to meet up with people I’d been talking to for years. Everyone got along so well, and I only wish more of you were actually there. I can’t wait to do it again!
Also, everyone needs to know that in another lifetime, sil actually worked as an independent living skills specialist for blind people! I’ve recently purchased a bonavida variable temp kettle, and because Mr. Keychange is blind as well, when it arrived at my house, we kind of opened it and just marveled at how short and fat and cute it was, and how neat the spout looks. So I hauled it over to sil’s place, and we practiced memorizing
how many times buttons needed to be pressed, how to change things up, etc. But the real kicker was when we practiced pouring. We started with cold water so I could get used to the motions, but then sil was like “we’ve gotta up this game, biatch, i’ma fill this bitch up with water that we’ll boil now.” and off she went. Pretty soon, there was a kettle, each part of which was hotter than hell sitting in front of me. But we worked out a way to line it up and test to see if it was lined up properly, and then I began to pour. And holy mother of god it worked. Sil was great at policing my left hand, which wanted to creep up to feel the spout. She was like “uh uh uh! get that hand out of there! you won’t be able to use it when the kettle’s boiling hot!”. So very clever! Anyway, everyone just needed to know that. some people are just so naturally good at striking a balance between sensitivity and expectations of your potential and skill, and it’s just so wonderful to see. The vast majority of people I meet have wonderful intentions and want to be helpful, but few are that intuitive.
Can’t wait to see all of you guys again!
I tried this one yesterday along with everyone else. I don’t know how Sil brewed it, but she tends to go with hotter temperatures than I do, for about the same amount of time.
So the base was a little too present, but I think it’d be fantastic with some milk and/or some sugar to bring the banana flavour out. I ordered some, because although I thought I was against banana flavours, it turns out that I love them. :)
I may have just placed a huge group order for the new 52Teas, after trying them at the tea meetup at Sil ’s house! (It was so great to meet you all! Christina at the zoo (hehe!), keychange, Kittenna, IndigoBloom! Of course I already knew Sil and Cavocorax, and it was great seeing you too!)
I took a sample of this one, and ordered it without trying because, duh, it’s maple and cheesecake and tieguanyin. Even if I didn’t love it, it smells so amazing I’d be happy to spend the $4 on a sample pack and sit there sniffing it.
But the tea delivers. It’s really quite delicious. Steeped at 175F for 3 minutes, just because. The leaves mostly unravelled and the tea is gentle and buttery with a huge kick of maple flavour. I think it’d be fantastic with a little maple syrup or sugar added, and even with milk.
So I’m sitting here at home, drinking a friends tea out of my new Niagara starbucks mug, wishing that I didn’t have to go back to work tomorrow. That I had more time to explore Toronto. That none of us got sick.
Thanks so much for having me over, Sil!
1.5 tsp in 12 oz.
Another one from yesterday courtesy of Indigobloom I was less impressed with this one because i think i always want more banana in teas. Not cough syrup flavoured banana, but real bananas. I liked that while this one was too subtle for me, you could still get the sense of it being not just “banana” tea, but banana bread. :)