Popular Teas from CustomSee All 174 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve yet to review JagaSilk’s Masala Chai black matcha mix on its own but I wanted to see what it would be like if I combined it with Two Hill’s coconut green matcha mix.
6g of Masala Chai + 10g coconut matcha + almost two cups water + some half and half.
And I’m left with what I was crossing my fingers for: LIQUID KHEER. I was hoping for that since this chai is heavy on the cardamom.
This is really great, perhaps better than how both taste alone. The creamy coconut smooths out the milled spices, which I’ve found can sometimes be a little harsh if you don’t get the water to mix to additives ratio down properly.
So…have you tried the new Pepperidge Farms lemon/chocolate Milano cookies yet? You need to. They are the cookie equivalent of little chocolate dipped candy sticks I remember from childhood, and can occasionally find at Walgreens. (Reception candy sticks, I think.)
All that to say I decided to play with a tea equivalent. Half dried lemon verbena (some leftover leaves from our own K S) and half cocoa nibs. Long steep. A little sugar and we might have something here…
So since I’m sick, I decided to break out the best of the cold fighting fruits. I bought fresh ginger and lemons yesterday, chopped them up, squeezed a bit of extra lemon juice, steeped in a basket for 5 minutes, and added a spoonful of honey. The result is a crazily lemon tasting concoction, quite tart and tasting like it’s full of vitamin C. Feels like it will do my body good. Almost like that hot lemon cold medicine but without the drugs in it adding a chalkiness and knocking you out lol. I’m pleased with this blend, and hope it kicks this cold’s butt! It does feel like it’s fading a bit at least.
I cold brewed a mixture of S&V’s Berry Nice and Tea Desire’s Blueberry Cream because the former is quite chemical and Fruit Roll Up-/Berry Hubba Bubba-like whilst the latter is too earthy from the strong beets.
The result? Some pretty interesting, yet strange, tea coalescence. The first couple sips are BAMMO! Hubba Bubba berry chemical scariness, but then the more you sip, your taste buds get used to that, and gradually in the aftertaste comes the beetroot.
While this concoction is more tolerable than the two by themselves, I still wouldn’t recommend running out to get these teas and replicate this experiment.
On the bright side, I’m nearing the end of the Berry Nice, since up until now, I’ve been sneaking in just a bit of it with other teas, such as David’s Pink Passionfruit.
1 tsp Vanilla Cream Earl Grey (California Tea House)
1 tsp Blood Orange (Adagio)
10 oz water
This is my second time making this concoction and it’s been cold steeped each time. The first time it sat in the fridge for probably 36 hours because it got hidden behind something and I am the master of forgetfulness-fu. I only steeped this one for 8 hours, and it really didn’t seem like the extra time made much difference.
The orange rind/hibiscus combo latches onto the bergamot in the EG and makes this a really bright vibrant cup. The vanilla and cream aspects seem to temper the hibiscus to a degree, so while it is still quite tart, it’s not metallic or overly hibiscusy. I’m actually a bit enamored with this combination and once I have a manageable inventory of tea (so never, really), I would pick up both again to drink this. Especially in the summer.
Aaaand I’m back for more experimental fun!
In my 10 oz mug of cold steeped goodness:
1 tsp Vanilla Cream (Culinary Teas)
1 tsp Blood Orange (Adagio)
It made a surprisingly clean, dessert like cup. Very creamsicle tasting, with a bit of creamy mouthfeel from Vanilla Cream tea. It needed a touch of sweetener (1/2 tsp or so) to cut the dissonant notes of hibiscus that would pop up infrequently. If it weren’t for that, this would be pretty close to ideal.
One of you fine folks was talking up a lemon-pepper tea the other evening, so I decided to whip up a homebrew. A spoonful of some 52 Teas Lemon Drop Cooler (rooibos) with a smattering of szechuan peppercorns cheerfully smashed with a hammer after a trying and tedious workday. Results were positive; the pepper didn’t heat up the tea, but did add a little perk and zing to the smooth rooibos. Bet you could do this, too, with your favorite Cheapster Steepster lemon tea.
I ran another Cococaramel Sea Salt experiment today.
1 tsp Cococaramel Sea Salt (Teavana)
2 tsp Ceylon Star (DAVIDsTEA)
6 oz milk
6 oz water
Then cold steeped for 6 hours.
And while this might not be the best thing I’ve ever had, it’s the best tasting Cococaramel Sea Salt has ever tasted to me.
Overall, this cup is anise-y and just a little naturally sweet, but in a way that actually works. There’s a little bit of chocolate flavor that leads into the caramel at the tail of the sip. The milk seems to have the body that the Cococaramel needs (otherwise it’s just too, too much).
I think I can definitely finish off what’s left of my bag like this.
Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha (Verdant) + Special Dark (Mandala)
I wanted puer blend this AM, but all my blends are cinnamon ones and that didn’t sound like what I wanted. So I looked through my cupboard and saw the most obvious of pairings in the whole wide world.
So dark and rich and chocolaty with some earthiness to balance it out. I didn’t get the proportions quite right, but I don’t think I could really go wrong either. If you have both and want a rich treat, this is for you!
Things that wound up in my 12 oz cup this morning:
3/4 tsp Darjeeling Sungma Summer (Adagio)
3/4 tsp Ceylon Sonata (Adagio)
1/2 tsp Tulsi Signature (LaJava)
1/2 tsp fennel & anise seed
I didn’t have enough Summer Sungma for an 8 oz cup, so I needed to get creative. I brewed at 200 and steeped for 3 minutes, and maybe wish just a little that I had gone a little shorter. Something in here got mildly astringent. Maybe even just a smidge bitter, but I mostly notice the drying feel on my tongue.
The anise adds a sweet licorice-like flavor that pairs all right with the base combination and fennel. The fennel itself is sweet and a little savory. The tulsi adds a little bit of cooling mouthfeel, but also contributes to the savory feeling of the cup. It becomes more prominent as the cup cools. Sugar and milk/creamer probably would have benefited this cup too, but it was fine without any add-ins as well.
Also, I’m on dogsitting duty so here’s Tango:
1 tsp Caramel Apple Explosion (Blue Raven Tea)
2 tsp Cococaramel Sea Salt (Teavana)
12 oz water
The hope here was to find a method of drinking the Cococaramel Sea Salt that I enjoy, because I still have just over an ounce of it left. This wasn’t my answer. I might try again switching the Caramel Apple to be the larger leaf amount, but the licorice root and anise in the Cococaramel seem to be incredibly dissonant with everything ever (including the original tea itself), so I’m not holding out hope. It might end up getting tossed into the swap pile yet.
Well, it is official, I (along with my noisy kettle, lamp, and noisy craft supplies) am being kicked out of the bedroom. Since my sleep schedule is cyclic and Ben’s is not, he is tired of being woken up when I am nocturnal…which is completely fair. So to rectify this he is setting up a nice little nook for me in the (slightly scary) basement so I can make noise without waking him up. Hooray!
Tonight I am doing something a little special with my tea review, I am reviewing a blend sent to me for Christmas created by my mother (also known as Gumby), a Masala Chai. This is a sort of celebration of what this blog is at its heart, meaning I will review any tea no matter where it came from (be it giant company or someone’s wild invention in their pantry) I want this blog to explore all the teas and give them an honest reviewing. This specific Chai is blended from Cardamon Black Tea (from Ahmad Tea) Green Cardamon Pods, Black Peppercorns, Fennel, Cloves, Cinnamon, Candied Ginger, Star Anise, Ground Coriander, and Love (it is in the ingredient list, it counts!). The aroma of the loose leaf is potent, I had a nice sneeze when I stuck my nose in the jar (I really need to remember to waft with teas that have pepper in them) the most prevalent note is the cardamon which fades into ginger, anise, pepper, and the cinnamon. At the finish there is a malty hint and a promise of briskness, also a very tiny hint of fennel.
Once brewed the aroma of the spices flow out of the leaves, I can almost imagine a chai colored spice cloud drifting from the basket and slowly overtaking the bedroom, and I am not complaining. After all, he who controls the Spice controls the universe. The main spice note is the cardamon still, the other spices sneaking in behind it like troops behind a general. The liquid has a sweet aroma with notes of honey mixed with the spices, cardamon still wins but is joined at the top with the ginger. There is also a very lovely malty tone that leaves a bright feeling in my nose.
Mixed with milk (whole milk and a splash of half & half for the inquisitive minds) and sugar, as per the instructions and the usual way of drinking chai. The taste is surprisingly earthy, other than the Pu Erh Chai I reviewed last month this is the first chai I have had that can be described as earthy. I am going to go out on a limb and say it is from all the ginger, sometimes I notice that it can add an earthy tone to teas and foods. The blend of spices is perfectly balanced, I was expecting the cardamon to be the supreme ruler of the spice brigade, but they all seemed to reach a peaceful agreement and shine equally. The taste is sweet, I barely needed any sugar thanks to the candied ginger, the mouthfeel is very tingly from all the spices and enjoyable. This chai is fantastic, no surprise since she has been blending her own chai for years, sadly I cannot say it is my favorite ever (the Taj Mahal restaurant still wins that) but it is certainly in the top five, possible taking the silver medal of Chais. Perhaps I need to have a Chai Contest?
*If anyone wants to try some of this chai, let me know, I am not sharing my stash, but I do know where the source is ;) *
I’ve been terrible about logging teas while on vacation, but I’ll use this as a catch-all for all the boba I’ve been having lately. Among my favorites: roasted oolong milk tea, genmaicha milk tea, and melon milk tea all with boba. There’s a place that has really good roasted barley milk tea, so I’ll probably try and hit that up before I leave California. Gotta stuff it all in while I can!
Came home feeling like one raw exposed nerve, so careful, measured, conscious tea-blending wasn’t in the books… not sure what proportions I used, what the actual water temp or steep time was…but the results of an unspecified amount of tulsi combined with one carelessly tossed-in bag of Celestial Seasonings sweet apple chamomile yielded … one cup of liquid Juicy Fruit gum. Not bad for an accident.