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Recent Tasting Notes
Currently undecided on this blend…
The cranberry was really pleasant in the cup and worked well with the black tea base; more of a sweet and jammy cranberry (likely because of the presence of cherry, as well) than a tart/puckery one and that’s the sort of cranberry I like more. The more herbal and bordering on smoky notes of raspberry leaf come through, and work okay with the fruit. The thing that I feel sort of… “meh” about is this sort of creamy mint note that I’m sure is intended to be the ‘frosted’ part of ‘frosted cranberry’ – it’s pretty strong and consistent throughout the sip, but it’s very pasty tasting to me, like a fondant flavoured with mint extract!? I think that flavour could work with a cranberry tea to give it more of a sweet pastry/decadent type of vibe but with the presence of the rapsberry leaf (which is just so natural/herbal) the combination felt a little cacophonous for me. I will need to revisit this a few more times, I think, to try and wrap my mind around the flavour composition a bit better…
Sipped on over the weekend…
I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a Sailor Moon tea blend before, but I’d be remiss if I turned down the opportunity! It’s actually been a while since I last watched this anime, and with the “reboot” out I think it’s probably high time that I revisited it!
This tasted really solid! It’s essentially a strawberries and cream profile, though heavier on the strawberry than the cream. I liked that the black tea base was still very much apparent in the infused cup, and the slight floral notes that it added were a good addition to the sweeter and bordering on candy-like strawberry flavours. It’s a touch perfume-y/artificial, but not in an off putting way to me.
I wouldn’t have known, prior to trying this, was a “Sailor Moon” tea should taste like but having now tried this blend I think the profile does match with my recollection of the anime!
Cuppa Geek sent me this tea from the St. Jude’s benefit line! I could hardly wait to test it out!
This afternoon was very warm but cloudy. My husband is more or less on staycation as he has a lot of “use or lose” hours so we are living decadently at home, doing things like drinking soda (Mexican Coke) and eating french fries on a weekday! It’s really wild.
The soda has been getting to me reflux wise so I had no beverage with lunch and saved this for after. It was a treat! I made it just as normal tea – one teaspoon making two steeps in a kamjove combined. The smell pre-steeping was largely caramel. After steeping, all those other flavors come out. The apple is nice and not too tart, black tea is present and not buried under flavorings, and after sipping for a while it builds up a little zing, almost like briskness, from the clove. It was exactly what I was looking for to clear the palate after having vinegar-based North Carolina BBQ for lunch.
Tonight I made it as a dessert drink for the two of us! I heated about twenty ounces of two percent milk on the stove and threw in three teaspoons of leaf. I didn’t let it boil, just let the milk get hot and steeped it for about eight minutes.
I stirred in some sugar (this is dessert, remember?) and strained it into mugs, and topped it with whipped cream. Oh my goodness. This is super tasty and my husband loved it!
Last year I found that the high sugar and caffeine content of the cocoa was just too much for me to sleep well, and this is a brilliant alternative. I am excited about trying the other blends in the line up this way, especially when cooler weather gets here. For now, we are back up in the 80’s.
Thank you, Cuppa Geek! It was DELISH!
I cold brewed this in milk and the first sip was sooo familiar. The chai latte from Starbucks is what comes to mind, though with less sugar, which is preferred. However, that’s not quite accurate because it has the pumpkin vibe too. I like it and will be writing a more through review sometime in the future. Until then, thank you for sharing, CuppaGeek!
On Saturday my husband finished our backyard patio of pavers beside the carport where I have my rockers, and it looks awesome! So today, for the first time since March, I was able to invite someone over for tea! I texted my next door neighbor and asked if she would like some socially distanced tea and cake and she said she would take me up on the tea!
I told her to go through the side garden, through the gates, and meet me out back. We have a big glass table and I set our chairs sufficiently far apart and brought out the tea stuff. When she heard it was a French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake, she changed her mind about not having cake.
This neighbor has only had tea with me once or twice so I felt a lot of pressure for the tea to perform. I offered milk and sugar but she said that the tea we had before didn’t need any sugar even though she usually adds it, so she just wanted milk.
I had steeped three teaspoons in a stump pot and resteeped, adding both steeps to my big tetsubin to carry outside. The first steep went a little over so I was nervous that it would be bitter, but it wasn’t. It was awesome, and went wonderfully with the cake.
The black tea base was nice and strong to pair with the sweet cake, the orange warmed and softened by vanilla was beautifully sunny and the fresh citrus flavor was nice with the sharper lemon of the cake. (There is lemon zest in the cake and a lemon and sugar glaze brushed on the cake that soaks in.)
I was very happy that she loved both the cake and the tea and drank many cups of tea. She told me that she usually isn’t a big fan of lemon but was intrigued by the yogurt in the cake and that was why she wanted to try it.
Another neighbor came later to borrow a yard tool and rocked in my socially distanced rockers for a while, and was given a bowl of mushroom and rice soup to take home, so all in all, it was a really good day with nearby humans that I have not been able to see much since March! I am somewhat of a homebody and a loner at times, but I am missing warm people and good conversation.
I’m not sure whether to lead with the tea (which was delicious) or the setting (which was equally delicious).
Aw, tea first. Delicate and delicious. It leads with sweet cinnamon, then the maple and cake batter essences catch up with it. Light and sweet and delicious. (I don’t normally associate waffles with cinnamon, but maybe you do.) A very nice pairing with oolong. Reminds me more of breakfast rolls than waffles, but we’re splitting hairs over a lovely cup of pastry goodness.
Setting…sunshine, mid 60’s. Backyard glider; quiet neighborhood; not an AC or lawn mower to be heard; just breeze rumpling the leaves and what’s left of our container garden. Book on my lap untouched. Can I have about a week of this?
After surviving a road trip that required us to endure every conceivable road delay short of an armadillo stampede (which was plausible…it was central Kansas), we declared it a Light Duty Saturday. So here I am, rocking in my glider, listening to the neighbor’s wind chimes, watching a bee investigate my dwindling marigolds, getting bonked on the head by an occasional falling maple leaf, and enjoying this sweet and civilized tea from Cuppa Geek.
What initially drew me to it was my perpetual quest for the perfect strawberry tea, which I’m beginning to think exists only in my imagination. What I am enjoying about it, however, is how nice a carrier the bao zhong is for the fruit and flowers—-no, make that flowers and fruit. You get the rose first, then a really nice amalgamation of the apple, pear, and strawberry. Good stuff; just expect general non-specific fruit punch fruitiness rather than identifiable strawberry.
After the disappointing cup of Banana Bread Chai that I had this morning, I decided to venture back into banana territory for the second cup of the day. This one is much more pleasant! The banana flavor is present, with some toffee notes as well. Very rich and decadent.
Flavors: banana, Caramel, Toffee
Smells and tastes like some autumn-themed Yankee Candle in the best of ways. Really. I’m getting a major hit of chamomile in the form of apple, not in the pollen-sweet way and certainly not dusty. Mildly sweet, plenty of cardamom, which in the case of cardamom means there is probably only a sprinkling. Then I notice the warm spiciness and slight drying of woody cinnamon and ginger. The appley taste brightens up in the back of the mouth becoming tart, where it morphs into what I’m guessing is the pumpkin spice flavoring? Some grounding sweet cocoa taste lingers in the aftertaste. Then a bit later comes the returning sweetness of a lightly bitey honeybush in the throat. And lastly, the marshmallow root gives a touch of body. This is blended very well. Smooth flavors! And it can’t be oversteeped! What more could you ask for before bedding down?
The normal low 80s of this week will give way on Sunday to 5 or 6 days of 90s and 100s. At least it will still be in the 50s at night, so this herbal tea will remain in rotation.
Book pairing: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Flowers, Ginger, Honey, Mineral, Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor, Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Tart
I have already been introduced to blue pea flower via Adagio’s Bella Luna, which has a lemon/blueberry personality. Parker’s Evening Blend steeps up with the same gorgeous deep indigo tint, but the first flavors I detected were cream (must’ve been the honey) and chamomile. I am at a loss to say which I like better: Bella Luna is the sparkly sapphire; Parker’s Blend is a blue plush comforter. Depends on whether you need to twinkle or cuddle.
I got three steeps from this blend tonight and man, was it good!
My husband and I decided to play Rack-O and have tea and snacks. Our Rack-O game was made in 1966 and belonged to a dear neighbor three houses down who was like a grandmother to me when I was a child. Her daughter gave us this game when my neighbor died, and Scrabble and the cookie tin that always held Opera Creams for MY children when they went to visit!
The first two steeps were mixed together, but the third steep stood alone and was still strong enough to enjoy. The chamomile is really perfectly framed by the spices and I enjoy the honeybush.
I actually finished one pouch which had a teaspoon of spices and honeybush left in it and opened the new pouch which was all chamomile at the top. Every pot I have made has been good, but having seen first hand how the ingredients settle in blends when the weights are very different, I think I will start pouring my blends into a tin or container to keep them well mixed for consistent flavor.
I think this may be my favorite so far of the Cuppageek blends I have tried, but I do have some fall chai blends waiting for a taste test that may take that title!
At last we have another truly cool evening with low humidity! After broiling through days with a heat index of 104F as recently as a week ago, we are going to dip into the 50’s tonight! I have been waiting for this all day.
As soon as we dipped below 65F, I suggested to my husband a bit of rocking chair time on the back porch with a cuppa.
I made this latte style, heating the milk first and continuing to heat it for about one minute with the leaves added, then off the heat and steeping for another three to four minutes. I usually sweeten my lattes and I did add sugar to this one.
I get a lot of chamomile in the aroma but mostly taste the spice – pumpkin spice and cardamom. Oh, I love cardamom in blends like this!
Drinking it, I noticed a tingling warm sensation in my mouth from the ginger. I can imagine how delightful that will be when the temperatures are truly cold!
I am so glad this has honeybush as the base instead of the ubiquitous red rooibos which is not a favorite of mine. I greatly prefer honeybush or green rooibos in its place. This carries the spices so much better and lets them shine more, in my opinion.
It passed the husband test and was deemed as a worthy bedtime treat. And now the warm milk and chamomile combo have made me sleepy, so off to bed!
A little history:
Nearly twenty years ago I was a cake decorator. I also worked a seasonal job in a bakery during one fall semester of university. I hate baking. I love when other people bake for me. Not tonight.
Something stirred within me and I’m baking a damned lemon poundcake. It’s maybe 5 minutes from being transferred to a cooling rack. I got a little wild and made a lavender-lemon-Parker’s Evening Blend glaze. I really wanted to utilize the blue dyeing property of the butterfly pea flower and then remembered reading that lemon juice changes the blue to some other color. So my glaze is a light pink. Which probably won’t show up against the golden brown of the poundcake but daaaamn is that glaze delicious.
I can’t wait. It’s like 930 pm and I’m so stoked for this.
Tonight’s wind-down cup is Parker’s Evening blend, a pretty simple blend of chamomile, peppermint, butterfly pea flower, lemongrass and honey granules. CuppaGeek uses whole chamomile flowers in her blends and the difference in quality between this and most chamomile teabags is obvious! The chamomile is sweet, fresh and very appley. The peppermint I can’t taste but I do notice a slight opening of my chest and sinuses. This was my first blend with butterfly pea flowers and they really do turn the tea a brilliant purplish blue. I think they contribute just a hint of musty flavor. Light lemongrass taste. Not sure if it’s the chamomile and/or honey granules (which I can’t see in the dry mix) contributing to the honeyed body and flavor, but the sweetness is mild and pleasant. I do notice a lingering sweetness in my throat. The addition of butterfly pea flowers makes this a caffeine-free blend that I think would attract young sippers… so I ordered a pouch of this for my niece. Overall — smooth, sweet and simple.
Flavors: Apple, Flowers, Honey, Lemongrass, Mint, Musty, Smooth, Sweet
The aroma tickled my housemate as I poured her a cup from the pot. She’s definitely into it. The lemongrass reigns in this caffeine-free blend. I often find lemongrass sharp on my palate. Here it’s well tempered by jammy-sweet blueberry. I lean toward tart blueberry flavor versus jammy but I found this to be a totally pleasant profile.
Flavors: Blueberry, Citrusy, Green, Honey, Jam, Lemongrass, Sweet
The last sentence in Cuppa Geek’s pitch for this one is: "Customers have commented that this tea reminds them of lemonade! " Clearly, those customers have never scarfed half a package of Archway soft lemon sugar cookies in a sugar fit (the good Archway kind from when I was a kid, not the skimpy cut-production-corners version you get now).
…because this is the lovely liquid replica of that lemony cookie goodness. Superb.
Simply because I am craving autumn, the tea name had me envisioning something a little tart and sharp, like scones with unsweetened cranberries. This went another direction, but I’m glad it took me along for the ride. Think berries and cream instead, smooth and sweet.
Now, because I forgot whether my Saturday mug (surely you have a mug for each day of the week, too) was 12 or 16 ounces, I think I overleafed somewhat, because the bottom third of the cup was a little bitter. I’m calling that “leaf fail” on my part, rather than on the tea’s. Can’t wait to try this with a little dairy.
Thanks to the lovely and talented ashmanra, I have been introduced to CuppaGeek. I am a sucker for wordplay and creative titles, so Double Golden Bonus Points were awarded right away after browsing selections on the website.
My first pick was Baked Apple Pie (with a hint of rum). It’s one of those herbal blends that also needs to be a potpourri—CuppaGeek nailed the pie scent. You might need to buy one packet to drink and one to sniff.
With really “chunky” herbal blends (lots of apple hunks and chamomile heads), the flavor differs a little with each cup, depending on the mix that comes up in your spoon. Last night’s nightcap was light on the rum and cinnamon and the apple-chamomile came through nicely and well balanced in the foreground. Tonight’s may be slightly different.
I have been whining for months about the demise of Celestial Seasonings’ Sweet Apple Chamomile. I’ll hush now—I’ve met its much more luxurious stepchild.
Rain, rain…all day long. I had this one for breakfast. I lit some candles to make it cozy in the house, made waffles and bacon, and settled in for a cup of Parker’s.
I used my Kamjove this time and I think I overleafed just a tad. It was a teaspoon – I did measure – but it was a slightly heaping one. I steeped, pushed the button, steeped again and blended the two.
I am not sad I overleafed a tad because it really made it great as a breakfast tea. If I make this for afternoon I think I will use a scant teaspoon. As it turned out today, it was super fruity and a little brisk, just what you want in the morning, especially with maple syrup on the plate!
Parker’s is more complex than a plain Earl Grey, and is more akin to a good Lady Grey with the fruit flavors in play.
Meanwhile, I am trying to learn qi gong. Anyone else have experience with it here?
I can’t write a really proper review for this yet, as I reviewed it for Sororitea Sisters and I have to wait until that one publishes. What I CAN do is tell you just a little about this tea.
This special blend, along with Parker’s Evening Blend, benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, where Cuppageek’s son is being treated. These are some of his favorite tea blends!
And it is easy to see why.
Look at the ingredients. Think extra nice Lady Grey. For now I will say no more!
But nip on over to Cuppageek Teas if you can and treat yourself and some friends to some delicious tea, and help support a great hospital at the same time!