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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m excited, because here is a tea where the cashews are a prominent note. Finally!
I get a lot of cashew creaminess, but can’t say I get a lot of the “turtle” aspect. This isn’t dreadful to me, as chocolate teas and I have an agreement not to bother one another too much.
I have enough for another cup later, and I’m looking forward to giving it another spin.
Holy crap, my first tea blog review in nearly a month!
The label says this tea contains oolong, pluots, ginger chunks, crystallized ginger, and edible sparkles.
A “pluot” is actually a kind of plum/apricot hybrid (hence the name). The dried pluots in this blend look like dried apricots, except for being a bit stickier/gummier. The oolong leaves are a brownish green, but not rolled up. Looking closely at them, I wasn’t really able to determine what variety (eg: tie guan yin, da hong pao) served as the base.
Smelling the leaf didn’t help either, as the most noticeable scent was the ginger — spicy, somewhat sweet and pungent.
I took about 2 teaspoons of leaf and steeped it in 80°C water for 4 minutes, which is slightly longer than what’s recommended on the package, because I’m a really big rebel.
Taste-wise, the most prominent note was the ginger. Beneath that, there’s a gentle powdery sweetness. This tea made me think of a similar tea I reviewed last year: Tea Leaf Co.’s Soul Good oolong tea. The notes here are very similar – the ginger, the powder, the sweetness. Also like Soul Good, I was expecting this Sparkle Pony Oolong to have a stronger fruit note.
After I steeped the tea, I took the dried pluot, now reconstituted due to the hot water, and popped it in my mouth. The taste was tangy, with the tartness of plums mixing with the chewy texture of apricot. Oddly enough, I’d say that the pieces of pluot, just by themselves, are my favourite part of this tea.
Oh, and there weren’t any visible sparkles that I could see. Maybe they’re all glommed together at the bottom of the bag.
Anyways, this was a fun tea to try, and it introduced me to a new fruit I’d like to encounter again in my cup some day.
Full review here: http://booksandtea.ca/2016/08/sparkle-pony-oolong-tea-52teas/
I’m less stoked about this tea than I hoped – unfortunately, I’m really only tasting smoke, and missing both peach and butterscotch. I tried to liven it up by adding a bit of sugar, but that didn’t really change anything.
Perhaps I happened to get an extra-smoky cup? I’ll give it another try later.
ETA: Second infusion is rather tasty… less smoke, more peach, and more base tea. Still not really butterscotch, but an enjoyable second infusion nonetheless.
I cold-brewed some of this last night to enjoy as iced tea today. (Yes, I realize it’s 2:13am but I’m a night owl so my days typically do not begin until around 2 pm. It’s still evening-ish for me.)
A Pinita Colada is another way of saying “virgin pina colada” – in other words, pineapple and coconut beverage – no rum. And really the reason I decided to go that route is because I felt that with the flavors of carrot cake, pineapple and coconut, that this tea had enough going on that rum wasn’t necessary and would potentially muddy up the flavors.
This tea is a little different hot versus cold. As a cold-brewed iced tea, I’m getting the tangy notes from the pineapple and the smooth flavor of coconut and a pleasant spice note from the carrot cake right up front with background notes that hint at carrot cake. Every once in a while, I get hit with a flavor that is distinctly carrot – it’s a little bit sweet and a little bit savory with that carrot note.
It makes a refreshing iced tea. Generally speaking, I prefer green tea (or white tea) for iced tea – I don’t usually go for honeybush or rooibos for iced tea but because this is the tea of the week this week, I thought I’d try it cold-brewed and I really like it. It’s sweet and tasty. If you are one who usually sweetens your iced tea before you taste it, go light on the sweetener with this because it already has a natural sweetness going on – but a teensy bit of sugar will bring out the cake-y flavors a little more.
It has been an exhausting and stressful day.
There were a few highlights though. I discovered a new, to me, restaurant in the neighbourhood and the food and the owners are both lovely. The steak sandwich I had there was just over-the-top fantastic: quality roll, steak perfectly prepared, heavy on the mushrooms and caramelized onions. Perfect. The side salad was pretty fab too.
This tea is another highlight of the day. I added a spoon of honey to my cup and to me, it tastes just like carrot cake. A beautiful job on balancing the spices. Very nice.
Flavors: Carrot, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg
Today’s cold brew. I thought I’d mucked up on this one at first, but then I read a couple of other tasting notes and I think I probably haven’t – it’s just that this is a lightly flavoured tea to begin with. I went with my usual preparation – 2 tbsp of leaf in two litres of water, into the fridge for 10 hours or so overnight. The resulting brew is very pale, but it’s white tea so I wasn’t expecting anything else. The flavour is just about blackberry. The initial sip is very watery, but the berry flavour starts to develop in the midsip, to the point where it’s slightly tart and slightly sweet in the best way. The creaminess is a high point, although it’s mostly confined to the end of the sip. The whole thing puts me in mind of some impossibly light, airy berries and cream confection, and icing sugar. It’s pleasant, but very…insubstantial.
Another interesting one! I drank this around the same time as Mayan Chocolate Chai, so probably need to try it again on its own to get a better picture of how it tastes.
However, I do certainly recall a lovely nuttiness that I quite enjoyed, and in reading a bit more about the tea, I see that it’s supposed to taste like walnuts and sweetness, which I’m pretty sure it did. More details to come some other day, maybe, if I get around to it, but this is a generally positive review :D
Picked this one up purely for curiousity, as I haven’t had rosemary in a tea before. While it is interesting, it is reminding me too much of medicinal blends for my liking, and therefore I don’t think I’ll be trying rosemary teas in the future. I was also hoping for a bit more tangerine – which smelled great when I opened the package – but it was definitely relegated to the background a bit by the rosemary.
Probably not a tea for everyone, but is a fun experiment. If you are a fan of rosemary and/or minty teas, I think you may enjoy this.
This is a really nice, fruity black, with an bonus of coconut that gives it a bit of something extra over your standard fruity black. In my initial sip, I also thought I was getting a hint of taiwanese black grapey flavour (ok, I’m getting it again… yum), which really added to the blend. I’d imagine this is killer iced.
Again, not a favourite, but pretty tasty for what it is.
So few reviews! Sad times :(
Anyhow, this is a nice enough tea. I am still pretty stoked about houjicha-based flavoured teas, and this is no exception. Creamy, toasty houjicha base with some melon flavour. Not as melony as some teas (read: Butiki), but I think too much might cause a clash, anyhow.
Verdict? Tasty but not a favourite. I’m loving the smoothness of the tea, but am somewhat over melon flavouring. Recommended for houjicha and/or melon lovers.
Today’s iced tea. We’re super-busy at work at the moment (I’ll be working Saturday, sadly, and extra hours all of next week), so I wanted a plain, simple, caffeinated tea to sip on that I wouldn’t have to concentrate on too much. This one fit the bill perfectly! It got my usual SBT treatment – 3 minutes in 1/4 litre of boiling water, topped up to 2 litres with cold and then into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight.
There’s not a lot to say about it. It’s the usual SBT base, as far as I can tell, only without any flavouring. It’s a solid, malty black tea with no bitterness or astringency. Just easy to drink, plain tea. I could add lemon, sugar, or both, but I probably won’t. It’s fine just as it is. I don’t usually go for plain when it comes to iced tea or cold brews, but today it’s a welcome simplicity.
I’m very disappointed that this is out of stock. Because…. this tea is AMAZING. I actually was just going to email Anne personally with my rave review instead of posting it, so I could get more, but then I saw it was out of stock – so have switched my efforts to garnering reblend support instead :D
Anyhow – the review. The oolong base is marvellous – creamy and rich, not a hint of astringency, just amazing deliciousness. The grapfruit flavouring is bang on but not astringent, like I’ve often tasted in grapefruit teas (a reason why I don’t seek them out). The crystallized ginger and oolong combine for an amazing brown sugar flavour that isn’t outright sweet, but adds so much depth here, it’s impressive. The ginger is just at that perfect level where you can taste it, but it’s not sour or overpowering. Everything combines for a level of brown sugary grapefruit oolong perfection.
In short, this is probably the best new tea I’ve tasted in a while, and I’m heartbroken that there aren’t any other reviews on here about it, because that means nobody will know how amazing this tea is! And sadly, I only have a taster pouch so I can’t really even spread the love!
Therefore it clearly needs to be reblended. :D
I cold-brewed some of this tea overnight and I really like this cold brewed (it’s good hot brewed too, though!) It seems to be a different tea than when it’s hot brewed – the spices take on a deeper flavor and the clove really pops in this cold brew. It’s sweet, a little spicy (not hot spicy, but clove spicy) and a wee bit tart. Very refreshing.
This is the tea of the week this week – I’ll be adding it to the website very soon, but I wanted to first enjoy a cup of it as I didn’t take much time out today for a cuppa and I’m in desperate need of caffeine!
I wasn’t too sure where I’d end up with this tea until I got to the point where I was really pleased with it. I started out with just blackberry and bergamot and I wasn’t too terribly pleased with the end result so I decided to play around with it a bit. I added some vanilla bean and I liked that hint of creaminess that it added, but I felt like the tea still needed more. The bergamot – which is usually quite a bright, tangy flavor – just seemed to fall a little flat. Perhaps the berry sweet-tart flavor was a bit too much for the bergamot? I don’t know. So I added a little bit of lime and I liked the way this perked up the flavors. The blackberry tasted a bit more blackberry-ish and the bergamot, while somewhat demure, is pleasantly complemented by the notes of lime.
I wanted a little bit of warmth to round out the flavors so I added a little bit of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon to the tea and this added just enough spice without becoming too spicy or overpowering. At that point, when it came time to test – I was left with a smile on my face so I determined that this was the right destination for this tea journey.
A nicely rounded cup that’s a little bit sweet, a little bit tart, a little bit spiced and a whole lot wonderful!
Flavors: Blackberry, Cinnamon, Clove, Lime, Vanilla
I had this the other day and meh. Today, I added a spoon of honey to the steeped tea and it made a huge difference. Quite lovely. The banana and butteriness picked up a bit more. The coconut is still very subtle despite many shreds of coconut in my spoon of dry leaf. The honeybush is beautifully supporting the other flavours. Yes, yes, enjoying this cup.
Flavors: banana, Butter, Coconut, Creamy
Today’s work cold brew. I was surprised, at first, at how kind-of floral this one comes out. That was the first thing I really noticed about it when I took a sip. The more I drink of it, though, the less I notice that aspect. It seems a bit odd, but there you go. Once I got past the initial “thick” white tea and flowers, this is actually a pretty good rendition of “strawberry lemonade.” I can definitely taste the lemon, which is slightly sharp if a little chemically (it reminds me of lemon juice from those lemon shaped bottles – did they used to call that Jif?), and it’s closely followed by the strawberry. The strawberry is also pretty unnatural – very sweet and candy-like – but such is life. Together, it’s strawberry lemonade, which is a pretty artificial thing in itself to begin with, I suppose.
I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as I hoped I would. It’s refreshing, but the flavour isn’t quite there and the white tea base seems far too prominent. I think I’ll make my next jug with a bit less leaf, just to see, but today’s was created with my usual 2 tbsp of leaf to 2 litres of water, so I don’t really think it’s that. More a case of “you can’t win them all” probably!
Finally getting through most of my older 52Teas! I’ve been looking forward to this one, because cashews are my favourite kind of nut. I’m the kind of person who always hogs the cashew chicken when we’re having Chinese. I wanted this tea to be good (52 Teas from this era are so hit and miss), and, fortunately, it is!
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water, splash of milk. The initial flavour is smooth, silky caramel, followed by a hit of dark chocolate that even the milk hasn’t managed to mellow out. So rich and cocoa-like! The cashew, glorious, creamy nuttiness, comes out mostly towards the end of the sip, and works really well with the chocolate and caramel (of course it does!). It’s such a good combination, I’m pretty sure I could drink this all day and not tire of it.
I’m enjoying this one. It’ll be a good way to say goodbye to the last of my old 52Teas, if there’s still some left when I get to that point!
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Flavors: Caramel, Cardamon, Coconut, Spices, Sweet, Tannin
I steeped this with cooler than boiling water to coax a bit more raspberry and a bit less woodiness from the leaf. It’s still a bit light on the flavour though the raspberry is in the foreground of the scent and of the sip. There’s the slightest bit of cream cheese- like sourness at the tailend if I really unfurl my imagination.I’d like a bit of creaminess here too. Perhaps vanilla. Perhaps white chocolate. Essentially, I’d like a bit more flavour and texture here without having to add milk and/or sweetener to it at home.