Art of Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
From the Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box #2
After reading some of the reviews on this one I was a little afraid to try it, but I like cinnamon, and I like fig. I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a shot.
Not bad! Cinnamon is the main flavor, but it’s not a super intense cinnamon. It’s a softer, warmer spice, and it pairs well with the fig which is sweet and gives the tea some depth. The base tea didn’t have a lot to offer, but it didn’t detract from the flavors either.
Given that a couple of the people who participated in this tea box thought this tea tasted like a stinky shoe, I feel like I dodged a bullet. This isn’t a tea I would purchase for myself (although I’d love to find a good fig tea!), but I’d drink a cup if it were offered to me.
I had high hopes for this tea. I was hoping for a lightly flavored black tea to add to my morning routine. Sadly it did not live up to expectations. It’s not a bad tea, it’s just an “ok” tea. I got hints of grapefruit with a flowery finish. I am finding that I am not a fan of flowers in my tea.
I will save it for swaps, but it won’t be a restock for me.
What initially intrigued me about this tea, other than it’s close resemblance to Mayan Hot Chocolate, is that it uses pu-erh for a base. Finding a pu-erh blend that I enjoy has been a lot harder to accomplish than I thought it would be. I’ve been searching for one that I could drink every day for the better part of a year. The problem is that most of the ingredients in pu-erh blends seem to clash somewhat with the deep earthy flavor, but when I saw the description I knew it was a match made in heaven. The ground chocolate and cacao nibs don’t add a ton of flavor, instead they contribute a subtle sweetness and hint of chocolate. The flavor that takes center stage is the cinnamon. I found this a little disappointing because there is so much cinnamon that it tends to take over and mask the other flavors, including the little kick that the chili flakes add. Even though there is a little too much cinnamon for my tastes it’s still an absolutely delicious blend. Although, if you aren’t accustomed to the combination of chocolate and chilies together it may take some time to adjust to the different flavors.
You can read the whole review on my blog
This is a very tasty Rooibos blend that I find hard to categorize. For me the dominant note isn’t the banana at all, odd given the name, but rather the chamomile and the coconut are the dominate flavors for me. It was actually a pleasant surprise since I don’t often care for banana flavoring in anything, much less tea. The banana is very restrained I think, opting to enhance the Rooibos and work with the other flavors rather than scream and shout on its own. Overall it’s a very good and well rounded tea!
Dry, the scent of this tea reminds me of chewing gum. It’s likely the combination of spearmint and peppermint, but it smells exactly like mint gum and rooibos! There is a tiny bit of vanilla, but the mint really takes over. After it’s steeped, the rooibos, vanilla and mint seem to be of similar strength as far as scent is concerned.
Sipping… I’m liking this more than I thought I would! Usually mint overpowers everything, but it’s rather toned down in this blend. The main flavors are mint and wood from the rooibos. The brûlée part of the tea is really just a vanilla note for me, but it adds a bit of something smooth. It actually keeps the tea from being too much like toothpaste or a splintery, dry mint rooibos. Without it, I don’t think I’d like this cup as much.
I didn’t know if I should add this to my most recent order with Art of Tea, but it seemed like I should just give it a try. As much as I like rooibos, it seemed like this blend wouldn’t be all that special. I definitely taste sweet, woody rooibos, but there is something fruity that I can’t seem to identify. I can sort of pick out mango and some kind of tropical fruit if I try, but it’s really just a general kind of artificial fruit punch flavor. I think this is a very interesting combination to try with rooibos, but it doesn’t sit well with my tastebuds.
I’m not a fan of banana as a flavor, so this tea was a bit of a risk for me, but I’m very happy to have tried it since it’s an excellent desert tea! In fact this may be one of my favorite teas, after a few more cups we’ll see but it’s just so delicious! When my family goes camping we make sweet treats in the coals of our campfire, we start with a banana cut down the middle and add bits of chocolate and fruit, seal it in tinfoil then pop it into the fire. This tea tastes remarkably like that treat, it remind me of summer and campfires and laughing and all the good things from my childhood! So glad to have found this tea!
Smells delicious in the tin. Smells delicious while steeping. First sip was delicious.
Then the aftertaste comes marching in. It’s a hostile take-over folks. Currant leads the charge and the final blow is the medicinal taste that’s left when the dust settles. Ug.
I had such high hopes for this one based on the smell fresh out of the tin. Adding “currant” to the list of flavors I don’t care for.
I’m thrown off by the score here, which I suppose shouldn’t matter except that I really like this and it rated so poorly I feel as though I’m missing something. Regardless, I think this is one of the smoothest vanilla teas I’ve tasted with a nice berry finish. The truffle gets a little lost under the primary flavored but it comes through in the very pleasant aftertaste. I did under steep this a little after reading some of the reviews, about 2:30 with water at around 205f, perhaps that made the difference? I just love this one, 64 or not.
I generally prefer my white teas to be fruit flavored rather than dessert-candy-creamy flavored, but this blend is pulled off real nicely.
I have noticed that if I like the look of a blend’s dry leaf, I usually like the steep it makes. So was with this one. Adorable little peppercorns among beautiful, intact white tea leaves. And gorgeous-smelling. Just like butterscotch. And I am not even a great fan of buttercotch, but this tea smelled heavenly.
It turned out to be delicious as well. Strong buttescotch, caramel and cream notes that nevertheless did not overwhelm the delicate nature of white tea. What’s not to love? A very well done dessert white blend!
This tea is definitely made for anyone who smokes cigarettes. It has a pronounced taste of tobacco with hints of Morel Mushrooms, alongside a hint of Musk. It is definitely not a tea for the faint of heart. If you like strong, woodsy teas, then dial this one up.
Flavors: Mushrooms, Tobacco
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Flavors: Earth, Honey
Tea #29 from Considering a new TTB
This is the last caffeine free option in the TTB. It’s an interesting combination of ingredients, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the pink peppercorns in the blend, but they don’t seem to lend much of a flavor. The florals are present, without being soapy with a slightly tart flavor from the rose hips. Overall, this isn’t a bad tea to end my day with, but it isn’t something I’m likely to order for myself since there are so many chamomile blends that I prefer over this one.
Thank you QueenOfTarts for a sample of this one a while back! As I expected, I’m pretty sure this is the same blend as The Tea Merchant’s Silk Dragon. Same ingredients, same taste. Not a bad thing! I have a bit of the sample left of that one, and I’m happy to have a bit of this one left. It’s a nice oolong with a hint of lemon and vanilla. This blend seemed to have less vanilla, but maybe the Tea Merchant’s blend was as fresh as possible when I first tried it. It’s a nice one! I just wish it had more lemon or tasted more like creamsicle like another tasting note mentioned.