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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to JoonSusanna for sending this along. I love ginger snap cookies, so I was really excited about this tea. Ultimately, I think it’s pretty good, but doesn’t quite taste like ginger snaps.
The dry leaf smells like a very gingery cookie. Brewed, it still smells like a gingery cookie (in a good way!). The package says to steep for 2-4 minutes. I initially steeped for 2.5, but it came out kind of weak. It tasted like a good rooibos. I couldn’t make out any ginger though. So I steeped for another 2 minutes and it was better. Didn’t taste as thin and the ginger flavor came out more. Another minute of steeping and it was much, much better. The rooibos and ginger work together nicely. Still doesn’t taste like a cookie, but very nice. So 5-6 minutes is a good steeping time. I will say that this tea has a nice gingery aftertaste, exactly like a ginger snap.
This resteeps pretty well. I got distracted and ended up leaving the leaves in for 8 minutes. It actually worked out nicely! Super tasty. I will definitely be drinking this again. Will try it with sweetener next time, as suggested.
I think I have enough leaf for one more cup after this, and then it looks like its gone from the Compass Teas website. Makes sense, I guess, as even the name is seasonal. Well, I take that back – it’s present in sample size quantities, but I can’t see myself placing an order consisting of like, 3 sample size bags and that’s it.
It’s quite a shame, because this is a great marshmallow tea. It’s not toasted marshmallow, which would probably be the only thing I’d add to this blend – but it is equal parts marshmallow and black tea. The base reminds me of my beloved East Frisian blend, only it’s as if someone treated it like a hot chocolate and put a marshmallow on top. With milk and sugar (not a lot of either, and not necessary at that) I am absolutely in heaven.
I wish there was a way to add a toasted flavor without burny/smoke flavoring. I can’t do the lapsang. Maybe some toasted rice from a genmaicha? Or maybe… my LAOSHAN BLACK CHOCOLATE GENMAICHA. OMG. I think all of the lightbulbs in the world just went off inside my head – that is a blend that will be happening the next (last?!) time I make this tea.
If it’s good I may just find a way to place an order of only sample sizes. The things I’ll do for my tastebuds. :)
I prefer macarons over macaroons, to the point I have an irrational hatred for macaroons for when people spell macarons like macaroons.
But I do like coconut. A lot.
So this was okay at first without sugar. It smells really nutty. But what I think must be the base tea is giving it this smoky aftertaste. It’s not offputting enough for me to dump the cup, but it just really doesn’t match the sweet cookie thing this tea has going on otherwise. I added milk and sugar and it makes it more tolerable, as does letting it cool off a bit more.
I added way more sugar than I usually do, which makes this tea taste like I’m having dessert for breakfast.
I got this in a swap a looong time ago from someone, and just never got to it. I was looking for a cold brew candidate last night, and this sounded good. In the bag, it smells very delicious and fruity and tropical.
After cold brewing, I took a sip and didn’t taste much. Disappointing. I decided to add a bit of sugar and WOW did it make the flavors pop. I haven’t had much green rooibos, so I’m not sure what it tastes like, but I’m not getting any of the medicinal smells or flavors that I can get with red rooibos. The papaya is the main flavor, while all the other flavors kinda mix together behind that to give a general fruitiness. This is reminding me of something I’ve had but I can’t quite think of what. I absolutely love tropical flavors, so I’m really enjoying this. Too bad I only have about enough left for one more cup!
This smelled kind of like marshmallows to me when it was dry, and it tasted kind of marshmallowy too, once it was steeped up. The 2 minutes was a good call, because it had plenty of flavor and no bitterness – I would have tried for longer due to my normal tendencies where black teas are concerned, but I’m glad I trusted the recommendations on this.
With milk and sweetener, I get caramel and marshmallow. Kind of like Eight Candles from Della Terra, actually. I may have to make that up tomorrow to compare them, now that I’m thinking of it…
My brain is fried after the last few night shifts I’ve done, so I’m sorry for how little substance this review has. I feel like all my Compass Tea reviews are like this though. The teas taste like they are supposed to, no decorative frills in the leaf (which I don’t mind either way) no extra complexities in the flavor profiles. Just a good solid drink that will be true to it’s name – which really is all you can ask of a tea!
Steeped this time for 3 minutes, and added some of the acacia honey from my Fauchon set to sweeten it. Perfect way to add a boost to this tea! Acacia is so light in flavor but has just a hint of vanilla and wow it makes the banana pop and kind of gives this the pancake flavor without me waiting for it to cool off.
I ended up finally being able to go back to sleep after I ate breakfast, so now this is cold. The pancake flavor definitely comes out even more now with the honey. I may have to cold brew the rest of this sample that I have!
Full review on March 12th 2013 on http://sororiteasisters.com/ but here are snippits:
This tea can be purchased by the ounce or in a try me size which is really special because yellow teas are not only a little more rare to come by but usually you won’t find a means to sample them easily.
I was really happy to find this tea in my most recent package of tea samples from my SororiTea Sister Jennifer. I love yellow teas and am always eager to try a new one. I do recall having seen this tea offered by Compass before but I sort of spaced it out and never got around to ordering any. Also I will admit, orange flavored teas are not generally my “go to” flavor in teas, yet I am so happy to have had the change to sample this one. It’s quite delightful!
I’m first to review this – feels kinds of strange being in uncharted territory, haha!
I don’t know that I really got the chance to say so, but my recent Compass Teas order included 12 random samples. 12! And they weren’t like, one cup samples, either. They were all about an ounce. I got a lot of rooibos, and some black teas and one gen mai cha, which works out good because herbals and black teas are more my thing than flavored greens/whites.
Anyway, so this was one of the 12 freebies, and one I REALLY was excited about because I love butter pecan. I don’t eat ice cream much but when I do, butter pecan is one of my top choices. Also, being southern, pecan pie is one of my Thanksgiving undertakings that I do because my dad is even more of a fan than me.
Being that this is new for me and I have no other tasting notes to go by, I followed all the recommended brewing instructions for this, which was 1 tsp. leaf per 8 oz, at the below parameters. Also being that nuts tend to be rather astringent in tea, I just added milk and a bit of sugar from the beginning.
The result was pretty yummy! I could definitely see this getting bitter if steeping went beyond the 2 minute mark, but as is, I got just what I was supposed to – this is definitely butter pecan and it is perfect as a black tea. I love that the flavor was captured so perfectly, and that I’ve got a few more cups of this to enjoy!
I can’t believe I didn’t write out more of the steeping parameters I used last time – you’d think that somewhere in the space of that small novel I would have done so. Anyway – 1 tsp. leaf per cup, milk and sugar to sweeten the first cup, just sugar on the second for this time around.
Had this today while we planned out our month over breakfast. Moving is all about logistics, but it looks like things are falling into place. Still, I can’t wait for it to be April 1st.
This is going to be an interesting couple of weeks, but at least I’ll have plenty of tea to relax on in whatever downtime I get. :)
The dry leaf smell of this is amazing. I’ve had the 52teas cinnamon roll honeybush but between the two, this one smelled far more like an actual cinnamon roll. So I was super excited to brew this one up!
Once brewed the scent of the leaf changes into a kind of citrusy note. It says there’s hibiscus in the ingredients so maybe that’s to blame? Regardless, think honey bun with orange marmalade. I added honey to it because without sweetener a kind of medicinal note was threatening to overtake everything else. With the honey in, it’s still there but I can ignore it at least.
I don’t mind that there’s orange in here, but I was hoping for more of a straight cinnamon bun taste. I will say that I am pleasantly surprised by the texture though – normally I find rooibos/honeybush teas to be a touch thin but this one is surprisingly full bodied. As it cools a tartness from the hibiscus is coming out more, making me like it even less. I’m still puzzled as to why this needed hibiscus in the first place, though…
Anyway, I’m glad I just ordered the try me size since the flavor wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. It was also a nice change from my sick tea – maybe I’m finally starting to pull out of this yuckiness after all!
3 minutes was a tad much to steep if I were going to have this plain. To be fair, the recommendation was for 2 minutes but I just can’t seem to fathom that would be enough with a black tea. I need to have more faith I suppose :).
Luckily, I wanted this with milk and sugar for breakfast so the fact that it was quite strong was not a problem – in fact it was probably a good thing because the flavor didn’t get overrun by the additives. I didn’t realize that this had some yerba mate in it until I was scooping the leaves into the Breville, though. I don’t think I’ve got a sensitivity to mate, but this will surely let me know one way or the other!
The smell is very much the same from dry to steeped leaf, and the subsequent liquor. There is mostly banana and kind of a hint of something bready underneath. It did remind me of the smell of 52Teas Pancake Breakfast, so I guess that association probably is due to some maple scent as well. I don’t get banana pancakes, but I do get banana, and then a stack of pancakes, if that makes sense?
Tastewise this reminds me of Hot Buttered Banana bread, from 52Teas – bread notes, banana, and honey. The honey note changes periodically to seem like it might want to be maple syrup – and when that happens it transitions from banana bread to syrup laden pancakes. I’m fine with whichever, honestly, and I like that it’s being so indecisive because that makes for an interesting cup!
Hands down the best part about this tea is that it’s going to be my substitute for the Hot Buttered Banana Bread I’ve been rationing. I’m so glad I was able to find something like this!!!
One of my various goals in life (shared with a lot of others, judging from the many discussion topics on Steepster) has been to find that elusive perfect Earl Grey for my palate. Given my preference for vanilla flavors in anything, I’m focusing my Earl Grey search on the cream variety.
I ordered this one as a part of my massive Compass Teas order recently, and the first thing I did was compare it with Upton’s version, which I’ve got a ton of still and which the boyfriend uses as his work tea. Ugh, I am so jealous he has the time to even steep and mess with loose leaf at work. The perks of an office job!
I’ve had a pretty limited experience with EGC so far – Teavana’s and Upton’s. The Teavana EGC was WAY too strong on the bergamot smell more than anything – it was really overdone. It gave me a headache to have any more than one cup, even though it tasted okay. The Upton pricepoint and non-headache inducing quality was what made me choose what I’ve been drinking ever since.
When comparing this to Upton, the Compass EGC was actually much more vanilla/cream heavy – I’d never noticed before but Upton’s Earl Grey has almost a lemony note mixed in with the bergamot. From smell alone, this is looking pretty good!
My biggest problem with Upton’s earl grey when steeped is how dingy it looks. It has a thin mouthfeel and when I add milk (whole milk, mind you) it turns greyish and still is really flimsy in texture. I was worried about whether this would be just a general characteristic of all Earls, because texture is a deal breaker for me. I can’t do a tea, no matter how nicely flavored, if the mouthfeel is flat. And from what I remember of the Teavana variety, it also seemed to be a bit weak on texture – though that could have been because there was SO MUCH flavoring it was overwhelming the base.
Luckily it doesn’t seem to be a problem here! There is no dishwater look to the tea when milk is added (I wonder if that was from the added flavoring used in the other one?) and it has a nicely full body! Cream is stronger than bergamot here, which is perfect for my preferences. It did well with sugar or without, and played nicely with milk. Yay for a well rounded tea!
And double yay for having several ounces of it to enjoy!
Mmm. This tea.
Based on my phenomenal obsession with Della Terra’s S’mores tea, I was hoping I would like this. Marshmallow is my favorite part of the S’more, after all.
The dried leaf smelled like a bag of marshmallows – not toasted, not melted/charred – just a newly opened bag of them. So sweet, fluffy sugary smelling. The steep time on the bag said 2 minutes, but that didn’t seem like it would be long enough, so I went for 3 minutes. I knew 4 would be way too long after what I did with the donut chai 2 days ago.
There’s no real mystery or complexity here: it tastes like black tea and marshmallow flavoring. It was perfect at 3 miniutes – sweet and creamy with no astringence. It didn’t need any additives, either, though I did add some milk to the second cup. I think I prefer it plain, though – it just held its own really well.
I really like this one – I feel like I’m not giving it enough fanfare, though. It delivers what it promises and there were no surprises, and I am looking forward to the rest of my sample!
I’m not going to lie, this tea was the catalyst for my Compass teas order.
I mean – DONUTS! Probably one of my favorite desserts! In TEA!!!
The smell of this dry is exactly what those cinnamon sugar apple cinnamon donuts smell like. I think you get them from Krispy Kreme? Anyway, even the boyfriend admitted it smelled amazing – though he followed that up with his trademark “but I wouldn’t want to drink it.” Flavored blends just aren’t his thing.
Sadly though I think I steeped this too long. I went by my standard black tea steeping time but plain this is SO astringent, even a touch medicinal. This needs milk and possibly sugar…and even with it that medicinal note is peeking through – maybe that’s the apple-y note gone bad?
Anyway. So next time I’ll try a shorter steep and hope that helps things…
Mmm, there’s just something so comforting about the smell of hazelnut. Toasty, nutty, bake-y goodness. I’ve been dying to try this since I received it in a swap with TeaEqualsBliss but for some reason it got shoved to the back of my “to try” pile and I just noticed it sitting there all lonely and sad today. Well, time to remedy that!
I was about to prepare some earl grey when I dug up this beauty, so I decided why not mix them up? And of course with something as decadent as hazelnut I couldn’t have any regular old cup of tea so a stovetop latte it was—2 parts hazelnut to 1 part RoT’s Earl Greyer.
Wow, this is good! Really strong hazelnut flavor, and very natural tasting. It pairs so well with the EG, which tempers the hazelnut a bit so it’s not too strong. I have to say, the base on this is really fantastic too. That’s not normally something I notice with heavily flavored blends, but the base here is really strong and malty and definitely held up to a long steep in milk.
I won’t be rating this now since I haven’t had it on its own, but suffice to say it’s a real winner so far! I’ve been looking for a good hazelnut tea, and I think this one has just found a place in my cupboard where it will be staying for a long time.
This is another sample from Jackie T. Thank you!
This is the second time I’ve had this tea. The first time I felt like I spent too much time trying to dissect the tea, so I ended up skipping the review. After sitting down with the tea this time I can say that Jackie’s review is spot on. I don’t taste eggnog or rum. There is a good vanilla flavor and a robust, toasty, ever so slightly astringent black tea. While I wish I could taste something that hinted of eggnog I do like this tea. The tea itself is quite delicious, and the vanilla is very well done.
So, not what I wanted, but I’ll have no trouble finishing off this sample.
I think I converted a Facebook friend to a tea drinker last night LOL
Thank you for this tea, Jackie T! I think I should have stuck with my initial thought to steep it for 3 minutes because 3 1/2 was a bit astringent.
This is definitely banana, not really cakey at all but still definitely feels like a caffeinated kick. It does have yerba mate in there too so that’ll help.
The banana flavor is pretty subtle, and a little sweet. I left a bit in my cup and now it’s cooled off. At first it diddn’t taste like banana at all but it’s very sweet in the aftertaste, and almost tastes more like pancakes this way.
I actually thought this had yerba mate in it! It smells very mate-ish to me. And at first, it tastes almost off-puttingly herbal—just agressively green and earthy (in a “sawdust-floor, hippie, co-op grocery” kind of way). But then on cooldown, the flavor mellows out to mostly mint and citrus. This is very spearmint-y.
Get this if you like spearmint.