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Recent Tasting Notes
Here’s Hoping TTB
I’m not in love with this but I don’t hate it either. It’s tart, there’s definitely a layer of hibiscus in this one and the blueberries are the star player. But there’s also some creamy notes, a little bit of baked bread/pastry, and I am picking up the caramel (how come I can’t find a tea that tastes like caramel but I can find the notes in teas that I don’t want to taste like caramel??) I might hold on to this simply because there’s only enough for one or two more cups and maybe by then I’ll be able to decide if I like it or not :P
Flavors: Baked Bread, Blueberry, Caramel, Hibiscus, Pastries, Tart
Sample from VariaTEA This one is way too sweet for me. WAY too sweet. For me, this doesn’t taste like straight maple syrup, it tastes like artificial maple flavour. It’s again, not a bad tea but i think it would have been better if i’d made it as a latte to cut through some of the sweetness. Still, glad to have tried it!
I was at my local Fava Tea Company store today picking up some tea for my friend’s bridal shower. I need more tea like I need a hole in the head. But I was sucked in by the new seasonal blends and ended up purchasing an ounce of this one to sample. No regrets! This blend is smooth and creamy with a light blend of spices that really does remind me of eggnog. It’s good on its own, but I’m betting it would be amazing as a latte! I may be going back for more…
Flavors: Creamy, Eggnog, Smooth
Hey steepsterites!!! I joined a sororitea :) check out my first review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/10/15/falling-leaves-fava-tea-company/
Here’s Hoping TTB.
This is quite good. It has a strong hibiscus-orange flavor that I definitely enjoyed. It’s on the tart side, but I certainly don’t object to that. I’ve tried several herbals from Fava Tea Co. in this box that I really liked, so I might need to put in an order with them eventually.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Orange, Orange Zest, Tart
Here’s Hoping TTB
This has a rich raspberry-hibiscus flavor with a light accent of rose that adds depth and complexity. It’s a bit more of a candy raspberry flavor than my standard raspberry tea (raspberry zinger by celestial seasonings). I really enjoyed it. It would be a good would to try blending with a chocolate tea and/or some extra rose petals.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Raspberry, Rose, Sweet, Tart, Thick
This one has a strong artificial peach flavor that completely overwhelms the base tea and reminds me of peach gummy candy. Not really picking up on any mango. It’s not bad but definitely not a favorite for me.
Flavors: Artificial, Peach, Sweet
This is pretty decent. It seems to be using decent quality rooibos and the vanilla is definitely noticeable. However, I’m not a huge fan of the woodiness of rooibos combined with the earthiness of vanilla. The final result is like wood that’s so old it’s crumbling into dust, but also sweet from the vanilla. Not for me, but some people would probably enjoy it.
This tea has no added flavoring, just Ceylon tea, blackberry leaves, and dried berries. This makes for a blend where the brisk black tea base takes center stage and the blackberry flavor is just a whisper of natural sweetness. Once I adjusted my expectations for a strong fruity flavor, I actually quite enjoyed this one.
Flavors: Blackberry, Smooth
This one was a disappointment for me. It smelled like spicy almond deliciousness, but the flavor was lackluster: mild cinnamon and anise with hints of almond. I’ll have to keep hunting for a good herbal chai!
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Cinnamon
Many of Fava’s teas contain artificial flavors, so I was excited to see that this one had only 3 ingredients: black tea, honey, and bee pollen. I definitely did enjoy the slight sweetness and floral flavor of the honey, but the base tea missed the mark for me. Ceylon doesn’t tend to be my favorite and the flavor of this one was just too sharp and brisk to mix well with the soft sweetness of the honey. I would LOVE to try this same blend with a Chinese black tea base!
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet
Blueberry torte? More like Blueberry TART!!! It’s so tart! It’s like a punch in the face. Though it starts out tart and ends sweet which is nice. I did a cold brew so maybe that affected the flavors a bit. Steeped it for around an hour. Lots of blueberry flavor.
I’m not generally a fan of red rooibos, but this one smelled amazing so I decided to give it a shot. On first sip, all I tasted was a big mouthful of woody rooibos. As the tea cooled, the peach flavor started to come through more. It’s definitely SWEET peach…highly artificial and reminds me more of peach-flavored gummy candy than real peaches. It’s okay, but not something I would re-purchase.
Flavors: Artificial, Peach, Rooibos, Sweet, Wood
Another one of those fruity herbal blends where the hibiscus just takes over and ruins everything for me. Glad I didn’t purchase more! Putting the rest of my sample in the Here’s Hoping TTB in hopes that someone else will enjoy this more than I do.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Tart
This is one of those “fruit salad” tisanes that is mainly made up of chunks of dried fruit (mango, in this case). It brews up to a deep golden yellow with a strong, sweet, slightly artificial mango flavor. It’s more like drinking juice than tea!
Flavors: Artificial, Mango, Sweet
I’m on a quest to find some delicious fruity herbal blends for making iced tea this summer and this one came highly recommended by the clerk at my local Fava store. I wasn’t disappointed! This is one of the more unusual blends I’ve tried, with a distinct kiwi flavor balanced by a hint of sour cherry. (And NO hibiscus, yay!) I am absolutely flying through my sample ounce and will definitely be re-purchasing!
Flavors: Cherry, Fruity, Pleasantly Sour
Mmm, this is tasty! It has a rich nutty flavor with notes of caramel sweetness and just a touch of spice. It also has an unexpectedly creamy mouth feel which adds to the decadent experience. For me, this is one of those teas that can actually stand in for dessert. Delicious!
Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Cream, Nutty, Spices
I first tried this sencha as a by-the-cup purchase at Fava on my way home from the Trivia contest I participate in every year. The Appleton, WI Fava store is a must-visit if you’re in Appleton or on your way to Green Bay, by the way. Although I haven’t been to the other two Fava stores in the Milwaukee area, I am pretty sure they are the only rivals in Wisconsin to the sheer size/variety/quality of the offerings and the customer service at the Appleton Fava. This store (which also has a pretty nice online catalog) specializes in loose leaf teas of all kinds and really not much else, though as I mentioned they will make you a cup on-the-spot, and they also sell teaware, a small line of tea-scented soaps, and flavored sugars. No coffee, no pastries, no section of bagged teas purchased from other companies, no milk-tea or bubble drinks: just looseleaf tea, and lots of it.
I immediately noticed the gyokuro-like vegetalness and brothiness in this particular sencha, perceptible in smelling the leaf. Fava sells two unflavored senchas and the other one (Chumushi) doesn’t have these qualities. Fava also sells a gyokuro, which I haven’t tried, at $12/ounce, so if you are looking for a gyokuro-like tea, the sencha Fukamushi is a real steal at $5/ounce.
The leaf is crumbled or chopped rather small (not a CTC cut, but definitely not a full leaf) in dark emerald green; not sure of the process for this, but it left a powdery residue when I brewed it in the filter basket in my teapot. The basket is admittedly a fairly standard wide-ish wire mesh, but this residue is very fine, much like matcha powder. This does mean that if you’re a slow sipper, the residue in your cup will continue brewing in the tea and the flavor will change while it sits. In my case, the vegetal flavor got stronger, but there was also an overall increase in bitterness. Also I would assume there is more caffeine intake in this case, since if you drink the whole cup you are ingesting the leaf residue along with the tea. Next time I make this I might choose to use a t-bag paper filter in an individual cup or in the teapot, to try to eliminate the powdery residue. That’s the finest filter type I can think of.
Visually this is a lovely deep yellow with pea-green tones. If it looks watery it probably is (I tried a taste from my teapot at 2 min. and it was yellow-y and under-flavored, which is why I gave it almost another minute). The package says 2 min. at 180, but my Cuisinart tea-water boiler says green is 175, which might account for the under-brew at 2 min. Have not yet tried this as a gongfu brew, but I bet it would be wonderful all around.
As I implied earlier, this tea tastes almost like a good gyokuro, with strong brothiness and a taste of greens, almost spinach-y. I like this, but you might not! The flavor keeps my interest through a couple of cups, which is really all the caffeine I personally should be ingesting at one sitting, since I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine and also have sleep problems. The aftertaste is pretty faithful to the original taste, though it also has a little bit of a dry/clean sensation in the mouth ( a little bitter in the current cup I’m drinking, too, but then that is probably due to the residue as I mentioned). Other senchas I’ve had do have the dry finish (and a little bitterness depending on brewing conditions) but aren’t remarkably vegetal or brothy, and I don’t find them very interesting in flavor, so this one is a real revelation to me. No idea why it is different from other senchas, but it is, and it’s great!
Flavors: Broth, Spinach, Vegetal