Popular Teas from Friday AfternoonSee All 12 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I received this tea along with a wide selections of others from Friday Afternoon to review (and decide what to order more of!). I met Friday (yes, that’s her real name) at a Harry Potter con and it took a lot of willpower to walk out of her booth, I’ll tell you what. My favorite thing about her shop is the fact that she has an entire array of nerdy tea blends that she creates herself.
But I’m here to talk about this tea! This is Audrey’s Spring Tea. There’s also an Audrey’s Cozy Blend, and I’m a bit ashamed to say I’m not sure what the Audrey reference is. The only thing I can think of is Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. But that’s neither here nor there!
Since I can’t drink caffeine past a certain point in the day, I picked this option as my first to sample. Plus, I love lemongrass in things and had never tried a tea blend with it, so that was a huge plus to me!
I brewed with just below boiling water for about 5 minutes. The hibiscus is in larger chunks than I normally see, so its color and flavor is more subtle and complex than I’m used to, which I love. When dry, the chamomile aroma rules, but once steeped, the lemongrass really plays up.
The flavor is slightly sweet from the hibiscus, but smoothed by the chamomile, and rounded out with the lemongrass. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure which flavor I’m picking up is the marigold, as I’ve never had a tea with it before and I can’t quite tell where it fits in the mix.
All I know is this is absolutely delicious and a perfect option for me of an evening when I’d like a nice cuppa, but know I can’t have anything caffeinated. Definitely ordering more than just a sample when all is said and done!
This tea confused me. With its chocolate chunks, hazelnut and cinnamon, I was expecting a round, warm, spicy, mildly sweet dessert tea. And dry, it smelled as though that’s what it would be. Oddly, when I brewed it, it tasted like a fruit tea—chocolate with apples? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Thinking I’d accidentally steeped the wrong sample and got a fruit tea instead, I looked through my stash and verified that this was the one labeled “Snow Day.” The ingredients looked right. So I took it to a friend, wondering if my palette was a little funny. Also a non-smoker, foodie and tea-drinker, he smelled it, tasted, and replied, “Apricot? But you don’t like fruit teas.”
No, I don’t generally care for fruit tea, and, for whatever reason, since this comes across as one, I didn’t care for it. I imagine it was a combination of the sugar in the chocolate and the hazelnut that made it seem that way. I like my hazelnut toastier, nuttier, and my chocolate darker or unsweetened. I also am discovering that I don’t care for candy in my tea (chocolate, caramel, peppermints). I prefer the impressions of sweetness left by cocao husks, peppermint leaves or vanilla, to which I can add my own sweetener should I so choose.
However, I would expect people who do like sweets, candies, fruit teas, etc, to enjoy this as it was balanced and interesting.
Hmm. Well, I love Earl Grey teas, so I was looking forward to this in a big way. However, the overwhelming Bergamot flavor masked any subtlties (floral aromas, the warm nuttiness of rooibos). This tea tasted like orange oil. I thought perhaps a touch of milk would make it seem like a creamsicle, but it just tasted like dilluted orange oil. Not for me, I fear.
A lot of faux-Earls can either be on the generous end of “Suck”, or the receiving end of “Superb”. This falls squarely in the latter category. From sniff to sip, bergamot is the frontrunner, as it should be with any Earl. However, it’s more citrus than dry, which compliments the nut-sweet rooibos base. (And it does show up somewhere in the palate.) An awesome evening “h-Earl-bal”.
I like rooibos. I like chamomile. I…uh…have to be in the mood for peppermint. These don’t quite mesh here. Rooibos and chamomile “could” work well together, but only if the former was the green/un-fermented form. Peppermint…is un-blendable. Nothing goes with it. Perhaps that’s just my subjective palate talking, but the only things I’ve found that work with it are other mints and (maybe) lemony herbs; none of which were on display here. I approved of this for the most part, but it’s not something I would devote my sleepy time to on a regular basis.
Not a whole lot to say about this one. It’s a Ceylon with vanilla flavoring. The dry scent is all vanilla bean, the wet…same. Taste-wise, it’s like liking a French vanilla-creamed carnation. Not that appetizing an analogy? Well, it’s the only one I’ve got. A very decent desserty black blend.
Still new to the world of Assam teas. Aside from “MALT!”, I usually fail to find nuances. Although, some have varied in their floral or astringent leans. This one reminded me of a Yunnan black in its caramel and honey-like taste. Sure, it was robust, malty, earthy…yadda-yadda…but there was something more to it. A bit of character beyond its caricature. Third best Assam I’ve tried to date.
This has the look and smell of a guilty pleasure tea. It had actual dark chocolate chunks in it. I know, I ate one. I knew I should’ve expected more on delivery given that it had a Ceylon for a base. This brewed up a light amber-to-brown with a tangy, tiramisu-like nose. The taste was creamy and floral on initial sip, somewhat spicy in the middle, and chocolate sort of rounded out the middle. Not sure where the hazelnut went, it probably contributed to the tang on the forefront. Lighter than most cocoa cups I’ve had, but still quite pleasurable – whatever the weather.