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Recent Tasting Notes
I can see why reviews for this are on the lower side, but I think I found a way to make it decent.
I do taste a burnt sugar flavor, but there is a noticeable lack of sweetness. A hair of real sweetener gives it that extra oomph. I used literally a drop of agave. Then, to impart the creaminess, I used a healthy dash of almond milk. This also helps to emphasize the sweet flavor and minimize the artificial.
I don’t mind doing some doctoring for teas like this. I usually have a small sip, assess the situation, and add milk and/or sweetener as I see fit, in whatever amounts it needs. I relate it to tasting your food before adding condiments/seasoning. It doesn’t make the food bad…but it is ideal when you get it right on the first try. Which is why I am giving this an ok rating, and not great, as well as the fact that it peaks at “good” even with doctoring. Recommended if you don’t mind sipping first and helping the tea to be its best.
Another sample from The Cookie Lady! So wasn’t so sure of this one, since I’ve kinda had bad luck in the samples I requested in my swap with The Cookie Lady XD
But I was a bit surprised by this one.
It doesn’t smell like much, but I do taste more than just the black tea base. I do still mainly taste the black tea base. But I am getting a lot of sour pineapple notes too. Like it’s not ripe enough or something. xD
Still not a fan of the sourness. But at least I can taste more than the base of the tea! XD
Thanks for the sample though, The Cookie Lady! This one really isn’t for me.
Flavors: Pineapple, Sour
So, the first thing I taste in this tea is wood, which really isn’t my favorite. Part of me just wanted to throw the towel in since I seem to have bad luck with black teas that taste like wood, and I can never really make them better. But I kept on drinking.
Much to my surprise more flavors started coming out.
Malt being one of them-which really surprised me.
Soft honey notes began to appear.
Not at all what I expected from this one when I initially tried it!
But I’m glad I kept drinking!
It’s a bold assam, but kinda woody, which puts me off a bit. It’s not overpowering, thankfully, but I probably wouldn’t order it. Happy to have tried this one!
Not bad at all for a woody black tea! :P
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Sweet, Wood
Culinary Teas is redeeming itself now. xD
This is my second to last sample, and it’s definitely one of the better teas I’ve had from there! Least compared to the last three I’ve had!
This tea tastes strongly of chocolate, with sweet notes of caramel. It’s full bodied and sweet. The black tea base is there of course, but it isn’t the dominating flavor. The caramel adds a certain sweetness that I really like in this one.
Definitely a good dessert tea! If you ever order from Culinary Teas, be sure to pick this one up! Definitely worth the try!
And now the tasting notes must take a break so I can take more pain killlers. Glad my tea drinking could end on a nice level this afternoon!
Culinary Teas definitely redeemed itself in my mind with this tea. :P
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Sweet
This one is better than the last two teas I’ve tried, but still hasn’t “wow-ed” me.
The steeping aroma is similar to the maple tea I tried, which like burnt sugar.
The actual taste is definitely caramel. It’s not as rich and sweet as I hoped. The black tea base is very present in this one, which makes it not as sweet.
Kinda disappointed with this one, to be honest!
It would be so much better if the base didn’t dominate so much. If it was sweeter it would be great!
So overall, it’s an okay cup, but…nothing I’d drink again, sadly. :/
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Caramel
Another fan I’m not really a fan of…
I know I’ve tried real maple syrup before, but I don’t remember how it tasted at all, but I definitely liked the more…fake syrup better. xD
This doesn’t taste like fake syrup which I like…so maybe it’s supposed to be like real maple syrup or something?
I’m not really sure what they were going for here, but I’m not a fan of this one either. Not nearly as bad as the “coca-cola” tea that I just tried, but still not a fan.
To me this just smells and tastes like burnt sugar and burnt syrup.
Burnt something sweet. :/
Glad I tried a sample before buying more though. Thanks to Culinary Teas for the sample!
Flavors: Burnt, Burnt Sugar
Culinary Teas threw this one in when they sent me samples a couple of weeks ago.
While I’m not the biggest fan of chai teas, I figured I’d give it a shot.
I really like the name of this one, since I’ve always loved that book. And the tea itself is pretty cute with all the little sprinkles…yes, I’m always a fan of decorating things, even tea, with sprinkles. :P
As for the tea itself…
It really reminds me of Coca-Cola. Yes,the soda. There’s a crap load of ginger in this one. I don’t really know if there’s ginger in soda…but…somehow it really tastes like it to me. It’s just like drinking hot soda. I don’t even know, you guys..
I really like Culinary Teas’ blends, but this one is just awful.
If you are crazy about ginger You’d probably feel different…or perhaps my taste buds are out of a whack or something…I have no idea. But I’m just not a fan. D:
Thank you Marzipan for the sample. I don’t think I’ve had anything else from this company or, if I have, it hasn’t left an impression. I have to say though that based on the name this looks like something that would definitely catch my interest. And smell wise, it’s very chocolately and rich. I’d say it “makes me teeth hurt” on smell alone or something along those lines, but with the recent tooth predicament that seems a little off colour to remark.
I cold brewed my sample from you because I’ve had great success in the past with cold brewing richer, dessert teas; both with and without chocolate and caramel flavours. And, this one got a long cold brew since I started it yesterday in the early afternoon, several hours before I normally begin brewing for the night, but didn’t strain it until the usual time I do every morning (when I’m getting ready for work). Something very close to 24 hours, anyway. At least 20.
This is very, very impressively rich and sweet. The name, for one, is really accurate. The full bodied dark chocolate and cocoa notes marry perfectly with this really rich, thick and sticky caramel flavour and it makes you want to pick at your teeth for all the caramel that’s managed to get stuck in the little gaps and creases or whatever. It’s really that good. It’s actually, probably, the best desert tea (of any tea type) I’ve had in ages. It reminds me of brownies, fudge, cake, those dark chocolate coated caramels (Reisins?)…
Yeah; I was really impressed! I drank every last drop of the 20 oz. brew I had made! And that still wasn’t really enough.
From the Lewis & Clark TTB
I don’t think I’ve ever had a fruit tea that tasted as authentic as this one does. On my first whiff, I was struck with a powerful blueberry aroma, with a bit of vanilla reminding me of hot blueberry pie a la mode. The taste is also dominated by blueberry, though the tea peeks through underneath, adding body to the tea.
As the tea cooled, the fruit flavor seemed to fade a bit. Still present, but not so dominant. Possibly, I was just getting used to the flavor? I used sweetener, since I find that it enhances flavored teas.
Ost sent me a sample of this, the first cup of which I burned the heck out of. I didn’t even write a note for it that time because it was so bitter that I couldn’t even drink it. I made it again today, using the last of my sample correctly, and was crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t be bitter this time. It was a success! I’m really impressed with how much I can taste the raspberry (and that it specifically tastes like raspberry…not just some generic, unidentifiable berry flavor). It’s rich and desserty and I really wish I had some vanilla almond milk for this one.
I’m really hoping Culinary Teas has an awesome Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal. I haven’t ordered from them yet because their shipping seems kind of high. But, after having this tea, seeing the other flavors they offer, and knowing they have 1 oz sample sizes, I really would like to order from them!
Flavors: Chocolate, Raspberry
My bag of samples that I pulled from the Here’s Hoping TTB #3 got misplaced in my unorganized tea stash. Woops! I have a few left to try. This is the cup for tonight. This is a surprisingly good cup. I am having this cup straight, no additions. I taste the sweet rooibos and the pear/apple flavor comes out and adds the tart juicy flavor. This is nice and it would be a really good iced rooibos.
Strange that there are so few notes about this tea…
Anyhow, an extremely, 2+-years belated thanks to Alphakitty for the generous sample of this tea! I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried it prior; possibly because it got lost in the swap shuffle, but I have tried it now, and it’s pretty decent! I’m sure it has lost some flavour, but it’s still a nice, nutty black, with hints of caramel. I didn’t really pick up any cherry, but that’s probably an age thing. One big bonus here is that it fared quite well with a 2-minute infusion (prevented most astringency). I wish I had tried this back when it was newer, but I’m happy to drink it up now!
Lewis & Clarke TTB
I’ve never had a tea from Culinary Teas before, but I think they’re one of the vendors that a lot of other companies buy from and then resell as their own. I don’t have super high expectations of this one, but seeing as how I love both blueberry and vanilla, I had to try it! I don’t see any actual blueberries in here, just small black tea leaves and flower petals. This one was stored in a rather thin zipper bag, so it doesn’t have much scent left, though I can smell a little bit of blueberry. I gave it a 4 minute steep at 200 degrees.
Once brewed, the tea smells strongly of both blueberry and vanilla, which is promising. I can also smell the cream in there. Meh, the flavor’s not bad, I do get a decent amount of blueberry flavor, but not as much as I would like. The vanilla doesn’t really show up for me until the aftertaste, as well as the cream. It’s decent, but not something I would purchase.
Flavors: Blueberry, Cream, Vanilla
This is another tea from Mandy.
Not getting too much caramel from this one to be honest. Getting more of a burnt creme brule flavor for some reason. xD Don’t know why. Not such a fan of this one.
But these samples have been a nice distraction from feeling horrible today, so that’s nice at least. Thanks so much, Mandy! (:
So this is the second time around of trying this. This time I got it from Culinary Teas in exchange for a review. They really did give a generous sample too-definitely a few teaspoons here!
I don’t think I noticed the dry leaves smell before-but with this batch I definitely smell the toffee in it. Though, as it steeps it’s replaced by that burnt sugar smell, that never gives high hopes.
It tastes how I remember. Lots of caramel and butterscotch!
And this time I am noticing the toffee in the aftertaste. That’s the flavor that lingers the most after. Don’t know why I didn’t catch it so much before, but this time around it seems all there. The Butterscotch. Caramel. Toffee.
And the black base of this one gives it so much more depth and richness. Really digging it.
This is like the perfect dessert tea. Or at least one of them! And it definitely deserves a higher rating!
Think I’ll even get more of this in the future. Any dessert tea lover would adore this tea!
Flavors: Bitter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Sugar, Sweet, Toffee
Got a surprise package in the sweet and thoughtful Mandy! A bunch of desert teas! Which I’m ALWAYS a fan of!
This one smelled ridiculously strong when I opened the bag. Which I hoped was a good sign. But it seems good smells can often betray dessert teas.
As for flavor there’s a WHOLE lot of butterscotch and caramel in it. Not tasting tons of toffee, just hints of it here and there.
There was mainly a caramel flavor in the first steep, and second mainly butterscotch…maybe for my third steep I will get a lot of toffee. xD
It’s definitely better than I expected it to be.
Though, steeped a couple minutes over the second time so kinda bitter. But good overall. Thank you so much, Mandy! (:
Flavors: Bitter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Sweet
I cold steeped this over night, the dry leaf smelled kind of fruity and sweet, but the wet leaf when I strained it this morning smelled like cough syrup: sweet and candy fruity, but medicinal and fake.
The aroma and front of the sip is medicinal, the middle sip isn’t too bad, sort of lemony and berry like, with the end of the sip taking on the medicine taste again. Coupled with the fact that I was drinking this out of a red plastic cup, my mind kept trying to tell me I was drinking cough syrup.
I think that the fact that I cold brewed this made the tea suffer, something that probably would have been fine in a traditional steep, became fake and medicinal in the 15 hour steep.
This kind of reminds me of those strawberry hard candies with the gooey center flavor wise. Sweet, artificial, but still sort of berryish. The chocolate is definitely like those Easter bunnies that say “chocolate flavored”. Again, I can get the flavor, but it’s distinctly fake. Also a touch astringent. I did get a big whole dried raspberry in my scoop though, so there is real fruit in it, and I also see hard shiny shards that look like they might be pieces of cocoa shell mixed in with the tea leaves. This isn’t terrible, in fact I probably would have adored it back when I first was getting into loose leaf, but I’ve become a bit more picky about my flavored teas.
The dry leaf smells like the sugar free caramel sauce on top of the sugar free dulce de leche puddings in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Sweet and caramel like, but also a bit off.
The wet leaf and tea liquor smell like creamy custard and a but like caramel. It smells like that milk film the coats the pot after making a chai tea latte.
The flavor isn’t nearly as strong as the smell. There’s a bit of the milk taste, but not much of the custard from the aroma. There’s a bit of a sugar taste but it’s a far cry from the sweet sticky caramel smell from the dry leaf.
As it cools down there’s a bit more of a caramel taste, and some of the black tea base is coming out and mingling with the milk at the end of the sip. It smells better than it tastes, unfortunately, but I think that it might shine better in a cold brew.
I’ve been avoiding studying for my final (I busted my butt this last 6 weeks, and managed to set myself up so that as long as I get 74% or more I’ll get an A in a notoriously impossible to get an A in class. But I should still study just in case), so while I’ve had my webcourse page open, and my Lana Del Ray Pandora station playing (my preferred station for homework/quizzes/studying), I’ve spent that last couple hours catching up on things I’ve missed lately on here.
So, the dry leaf of this smells like fresh coffee beans, I don’t usually crave coffee anymore, but the smell made me miss it a tad. Like caramel coffee almost, thats what the dry leaf smells like. I set a timer for 3 minutes, and when it went off, I went to the kitchen to straight it, but then a good jammin’ song came on, and I stood there gettin’ down with my bad self (don’t mind the strange terms, avoiding studying gets me feelin’ some type of way), and then I realize that I forgot to pull the leaves out first, and I don’t know how much time has past: Seconds? Minutes? Hours?! I don’t know! But the tea liquor is inky black, like the swamp from chessey 60s swamp thing horror movies.
Thinking I ruined it, I sweetened it, and braced myself for the first sip. Not bad! I don’t slaughter it! It tastes like dark burnt (the good burnt, not the bad) caramel, and coffee, and some earthiness all mingled together creating what could possibly be Mr. Swamp Things favorite drink. Dark, thick, sweet, but sturdy, a mans dessert tea.
I’m surprised, and glad I got this. This is my second flavored puerh, and the first that I’ve liked. This is perfect for a dessert tea lover that wants to ease into the world of puerh safely.
Hmm, I think I underbrewed this, or underleafed it, because I’m not getting much flavor from this. The dry leaf smells sweet and berry, the wet leaf smells a little vegetal as well. I forgot to cold brew some tea to take to class yesterday, so I steeped 4 tsp of this with 2 cups of 165 degree water, for 4 minutes and poured over ice. Unsweetened, it tasted like those lightly flavored no sugar added type of flavored waters. Water just barely hinting at berry. Sweetening it drew out the flavors a little bit, making it taste lightly vegetal and fruity. Not bad, I mean its more flavorful than water, and it was still refreshing.
I tried resteeping the used leaves, cold brewed, for 24 hours. The result has more flavor, reinforcing me belief that I did something wrong the first time. A little more fruity, with a hint of vegetal. Unfortunately, I think the combination of steeping it for so long, and resteeping leaves that aren’t good for resteeping also made it a bit astringent.
It’s hard to tell if this experience was because of the tea, or because of the way I prepared it, so I’m not going to rate it.
The dry leaf of this smells thick and sweet and gooey like caramel and toffee. The wet leaf smells more strongly of general black tea, and toffee. The tea liquor smells like a sweet toffee.
This is pretty good. Sweet, caramelly, toffee, buttery goodness. I can’t really pick one flavor out from the other, but then again, what makes toffee so different from caramel, or either of those different from butterscotch? They are all in the same family, a sweet sticky gooey delicious family. Definitely a dessert tea. I didn’t notice much from the tea base, which is better than noticing an unpleasant base tea. This would have been perfect for me back when I didn’t like lack teas. And even now it makes more a nice sweet treat.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Sweet, Toffee