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Recent Tasting Notes
a tea blend i made up from the teas in my desk.
i decided to get creative and fancy. make a thing of it.
cuz this is a desk celebration in honor of the raise and title change i just got! effective 2 days ago!
a hazelnut double vanilla cinnamon black with cream and sugar added.
decadent cake in a cup!
now i will turn my music up and for a moment as i finish sipping . . .
Had to reach for this old friend again tonight. I meet the endocrinologist for the first time in the morning, and get my first dose of testosterone (intra-muscular injection, and I’m needle phobic! well, better get over it asap, i’ve got weekly IM injections from now til I’m dead. Worth it though!), so needless to say I’m SUPER anxious.
My heart is beating out of my chest, my hands are shaking so much I had to fill my cup barely halfway to prevent spilling it all over myself. I’m excited to finally be getting what I’ve wanted for so many years, but terrified that it’s going to turn friends and family against me.
Topped up my cup and the shaking is slowly calming down. It’s crazy how emotions can affect you physically, and so dramatically at that!
Drew & I fixed a pot of tea to go with lunch. It included Hazelnut, Vanilla, & the last of Cream, all black teas from Adagio. To be quite honest, it was kind of mehhhhhh. But at least we got a sipdown in!
I combined a 1:1 of Art of Tea’s Cinnamon Fig with Culinary Tea’s Vanilla Cream, which are both teas that I’m kind of meh about in hopes of making something I was less meh about.
The result? Still meh.
The initial sip comes with the vanilla flavor, but that’s brutally quashed by the fig and cinnamon flavors, which are overpowering. The cinnamon just seems so out of place, in both the original blend and this. Also, there’s some semi-serious astringency going on here.
The aftertaste is actually pretty tasty. It’s vanilla and fig, which pair well together. If I could get more of those two flavors in the tea, this would actually be a pretty good mash-up. I’ll probably try again with a 1:2 of Cinnamon Fig to Vanilla Cream.
Also, the overall flavor improves the cooler it gets.
Well, this isn’t a combination, just a tea without a home. A tea labelled “Peach”, from Azzrian!
Unfortunately, although there is peachy flavour, even a 2-minute infusion resulted in astringency, and compared to the other teas I’m drinking, I’m not fond of it. Ah well. Thanks anyhow, Azzrian (and if you have any insight onto the company of this tea – let me know!)
Chickweed (Frontier Natural Herbs) + Body & Soul (fruit/chamomile/lemongrass blend—Leland Tea co.). The fruit and lemon are a nice counterpart to the chickweed that tastes…well, weedy.
Junkyard Tea this morning. Getting a new flavor with each sip! Something cocoa-y, mostly, with a little Yunnan.
Weary, worried day left my neck and back crunkled like a wad of aluminum foil.
Thoughtful husband welcomed me home with a Yankee Candle Macintosh candle already burning and encouragement to sit, stare, drool, and relax. After all of the above, I combined a teaspoon of the no-name cut-leaf green tea Fox Farm sells in bulk and a touch less of the wonderful chocolate mint that k s recently shared. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I think chocolate mint could make grass clippings taste special. The Hershey-bar goodness that is highly noticeable when you try it solo is muffled by the green tea, but still a wonderfully refreshing, un-crumpling treat.
This morning I had coffee, and there’s not really any place to brew tea in the area I work (no really, it’s a 5 minute walk to the filtered water and nice kettle), so I went for bubble tea.
Lemon “red” tea with lemon jelly.
Yummers. I usually get stuff 1/2 sweet when I get jelly or tapioca, as the additives tend to be rather sweet. I didn’t, but it’s still good. Super strong tea, fresh lemon juice, chewy lemon jelly, yay!
I need to find a recipe for the flavoured jellies so I can make them and add them to my iced teas at home. So good.
Prompted by a few of you who have done the same thing, there’s now a jar in the kitchen labeled “Junkyard Tea” to contain the not-quite-enough or a-little-too-old scraps of black tea that accumulate when you’re not looking.
The fun of this is that its personality changes regularly, it’s still reasonably drinkable in the a.m., and if it doesn’t taste right…just add something else, and it’ll change again.
At the moment, the jar is a little Keemun-heavy with some sweetness in the background from odd Assams and a Darjeeling or two. Tomorrow…who knows?
Unpredictably yours till then,
OK, k s, you have done it now: created a chocolate mint addict. I had a quart steeping in the fridge to relax with this afternoon and am already trying to figure out where we can grow us a patch on the homestead. This from someone who kills marigolds.
Thought some of you might like to post to this generic category, something like the Chance Combinations that gets a fair amount of traffic.
Feel free to edit the description as you see fit.
In this case, courtesy of k s and company, we’re enjoying homegrown chocolate mint. You’ll have to ask him for the particulars of the variety, but you better believe this is pleasant! Cold steeped a couple of teaspoons in the fridge on a hot afternoon. There is definitely something in the baseline of this tisane that has a Hershey bar aftertaste. So I ate a Hershey bar with it. It just had to be.
Continuing to see some medicinal effect of raspberry leaf (ladies, highly recommended!) and experimenting with ways to un-tree-leaf the taste. Mixed in some homegrown mint. Not an unpleasant blend, and might be nice iced.
Ok since this drink is only possible in two US cities right now I’m sticking it in here.
So Starbucks in Atlanta and Austin have like a sodastream-esque machine for making three sodas and they’re also pushing carbonating iced teas and possibly those refreshers? So the manager said they were told green tea doesn’t really work but she found a way…by mixing it with the ginger ale. She is very insistent on drinks, I love it. I had told the guy when I first got there that I was fine drink-wise but she had him make her one when we were getting started then of course had to get me to get one.
It was worth it! I’m pretty sure all the sugar has destroyed me. I have been really trying to limit my carbs but I think I’m going to have to triple the amount that’s ok on days I work hahaha. As much as I don’t want to I don’t think it’s fair to limit what I can taste so that I can tell people how things taste. And that seems to be a big thing w/my manager. Don’t know what something tastes like? Taste it. And I really like that because it drove me crazy at my brief time at Pinkberry that tasting things was not done very well (franchisee was too cheap to even allow free yogurt after work or on a break. Ridiculous.), and I think when you’re working somewhere with food you had better know what everything’s like so you don’t give that lame “everything’s good!” crap when someone asks you what you like.
Ok anyway. If you have the opportunity to have such a thing as this green tea ginger ale, you must. I think the sodas Harney & Sons sell come in such a variety? I’m not sure what the exact parameters are (yet) but it was really good. And it has that fresh ginger taste to it, which typically isn’t my favorite but goes so well with green tea.
I’m excited to try the passion tea lemonade this way. I’ll do that Wednesday hopefully!
A few years back, we bought a peppermint plant at a local farmer’s market. At any rate, it was sold to us as peppermint. It was the only living thing we were able to salvage when house and yard were destroyed. Hubby put it in a pot, coddled and cultivated it, and we now have a healthy little crop in a bed nestled next to the new place.
It’s not peppermint. It’s spearmint. I would swear to it in court. Spouse continues to defend “Patty” as peppermint and will with his dying breath. (Funny what you take defensive issues over after 28 years of marriage :)
So, to preserve the peace, it’s just mint. Mild mint at that, but I used a tablespoon of dry and crumbled leaves to make me a pint of chilled tisane last night and it was refreshing, genus and species notwithstanding.
Teavana Peachberry whatever + Fruta Bomba, coldbrewed
Ok I thought Fruta Bomba was a green, but the leaves are really dark? I know for a fact it was this tea in this container but it just weirded me out. The entire tea overall turned pink, which I know is a result of Peachberry whatever jasmine ridiculous name.
I hadn’t had either of these in forever so I really have no idea which one is doing what. I did 4 tsp of each and their one common denominator is peach. Then there’s the hibiscus, the jasmine, the strawberry, but I’m not getting much else out of the fruta bomba one, no citrusy notes, not even lemongrass given how much of it looked to be in there.
It’s pretty much just fruity, unidentifiably fruity, with a bit of jasmine. I definitely would not combine these again, or I might use only 2 tsp of Peachberry.
BY THE WAY I GOT THE JOB! Well, conditionally on passing a background check. It’s w/Starbucks, I’m excited. I also got school all settled, I am doing 6 credit hours for the next 2 semesters so while not being able to finish this fall is sad, I have plenty of time on my hands. Also I learned that even though my GPA will likely suck around a 2.17 when I’m done, I can boost my GPA with classes before applying to grad school so if I do go that route it’s not pointless.
First experiment with blueberry-bergamot: halvsies; Tropical Tea Co. Blueberry Black and jacquelinem’s Earl Grey Melange, which is bits and bites of miscellaneous varieties of EG. In the fridge overnight.
Plausible, but came out just a touch more bitter and perfumey than I had hoped. Won’t stop my drinking it—it’s cool and not unpleasant, but I think I’ll back off the EG a bit next time.
This is my “emergency kit” tea, the one I keep tucked away in my “emergency kit”, a box with a number of different things that I pull out when I’m having issues with depression, or anxiety.
Had a pretty nasty anxiety attack before bed, but calmed down enough to get into bed. Had some nightmares and woke up in hysterics, which then turned into a full blown panic attack. Running on auto pilot and in one quick motion I leaped out of bed, pressed the button on my kettle, pulled out a pre-filled sachet of tea, and tossed it into a cup, inhaling deeply while the water heated. Poured the hot water, took a sip, and instantly everything that had been on my mind melted away.
Still can’t quite calm down enough to sleep, but at least I can breathe again!
A couple summers ago, when kind Steepies helped me replenish my tornado-crashed pantry, JacquelineM tucked in a tin filled with odds and ends of berry-flavored teas that, shaken together, made a quirky mystery grab bag of fruit flavor. Just enough left for one last jar of sun tea. Chilled, it’s a lovely treat to spend the day with. (Writing and doing grungy housework via the carrot-and-stick method: Write, sip. Vacuum, sip. Fold, sip. Dishes, sip.)
Also builds a strong case for me, when the tin is finally empty, to start a “scrap” tin of my own. Waste not, want not.
Tea of the morning…..
I have had this for several mornings of late. As I drink it, I just keep calculating in my head how much I can blend up before all my ingredients are gone. I’d say that is a pretty obvious indication that it is one of my favorites. (And I think I will run out of the Assam first, but I am hoping not to buy any tea for a few months.)
What this packs is a morning touch of briskness with a roasty chocolate and smooth finish. I completely feel like the queen of something or other while drinking it, even if it is just ’Mom’s taxi service’.
Usual teapot method.
One drinks red raspberry leaf infusion for the medicinal value, not for the flavor. It isn’t undrinkable on its own, but definitely has a tree-leafy taste to it.
So, since we’ll be imbibing it pretty heavily over the next week or so, a little experimentation seemed to be in order.
Put the raspberry leaf in a stuff-your-own paper filter (it clogs up brew baskets) and tossed in a bag of Celestial Seasonings True Blueberry. Voila. The blueberry neutralizes the leafy flavor of the raspberry leaf; the raspberry leaf neutralizes the hibiscus that runs a little strong in the True Blueberry. Win-win.
Win-win-win, if you add the fact that I’m sipping it in the patio glider on a sunny pre-vening (thank you Dr. Cooper) with Tazo snoozing with one paw draped over my leg to make sure I don’t leave. Simple blessings.
I’be been trying really hard to get creative with the teas I have in large quantities that I feel like I’ll never get through because I either a) burned myself out of them or b) think they’re overwhelmingly meh.
So, I made a pitcher of cold steeped Adagio Vanilla Rooibos and California Tea House Carribean Cream (50:50).
Aaaaaand. It’s really rooibos-y. Not terrible cedar chip levels of rooibos, but still definitely earthy and a little woody. It pretty much drowns out any subtleties from the white tea. I absolutely still pick up the fruity flavors and the vanilla complements them well, though! It makes a really smooth, almost-desserty fruit cup. It’s a little like eating melted tropical fruit ice cream out of an unsealed wood bowl, so you pick up just a little bit of woody earthy flavor with every bit.
I think I’d rather find something else to mix with each of them though.
Tea of the morning…..
I did it. I blended it. My last Franken Breakfast blend has been reblended, making it a favorite of mine. Now to design a label….
Notes of malt, slight briskness yet still smooth, with a punch of cocoa at the end. A great way to wake up!
Usual teapot method.