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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea #12 from Another Traveling Tea Box
First off, I need to stop scorching my tongue on black tea. I think that’s the third time in so many weeks.
Secondly, I love love LOVE the name.
But I’m glad I tried this before I read the ingredients, because hibiscus and rosehips (especially together) make me so nervous. Luckily there was no hibiscus flavor to be found here! What I did find was a lightly pumpkin-ed spiced tea with some bright citrus notes. There’s a bitter note in each sip that does disappear after it’s swallowed, but I can’t say I care for it. I wish there was more pumpkin and less spice — this borders on (not super spicy) pumpkin chai levels.
Several months back I broke my no sprinkles in my tea rule and bought this based on the name only. My All Hallows’ Eve tradition has always been to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show with a group of friends and if we could find it on the big screen, even better. I’m going to be missing out on that tradition this year, but I have it on DVD and fully plan on watching it after my son goes to bed. It probably isn’t appropriate for a 2 year old, I didn’t even see it for the first time till I was 5 or so (this is a pretty long tradition of mine, haven’t you noticed? I used to watch this every Halloween at my grandpa’s house.) Gah, I just did the math and that means I’ve seen this movie at least 25 times.
I didn’t end up loving this tea, in fact, I was disappointed that despite the description there was no pumpkin to be found. There were a number of flavors listed in the ingredients that didn’t really stand out to me. Most of what I tasted was cinnamon and spice with a bit of a bitter flavor at the end of each sip. I actually made this a few days ago, gave up on it almost immediately, and stuck it in the fridge. Several days later the flavors melded a bit and I enjoyed it more, but I still didn’t love it. In fact, the name is what I loved most about it.
Tea #8 from Traveling Tea Box C
Holy bubblegum! This reminded me of unappealing cherry candy… and I LOVE cherries. The flavor is tastes artificial and has a strange aftertaste that lingers. The sencha base was a bit harsh, and I didn’t much enjoy it. While I’d never want to drink this again, I didn’t hate it enough to dump the cup, so it earns a few points for that.
Eighth tea sampled from TTB -C
Back to really nasty tea experiences again. Not having a lot of luck with this box so far, but I’m having fun exploring new faces that I didn’t know i could make at my tea (^o^).
Oh wow, this tea is awful! cherry? where? its not even sweet imo. It doesn’t even taste like sencha or any green tea. The closest it comes to tasting like a green anything would be maybe, as shadowfall suggested, mowed grass with addition that it has been sitting in the mower bag for a few months getting musty and moldy.
I used 1tsp in an 8oz mug, steeped for 2.5 min at 170deg, so it can’t be that I over leafed or burnt it. . .
Backlog from Monday.
A sample from Queen of Tarts. This has got to be the nicest smelling fruit tea I’ve had in a good long time. Rather than tart hibiscus, I can actually smell sweet, fresh strawberries. This makes me hopeful that I’ll actually be able to taste strawberry…
I gave this about three minutes in boiling water. There were two foamy sugar drops in my sample, and I waited until they’d more or less dissolved. I’ve not seen this before, but it struck me as a pretty cute idea. I tried this with a little trepidation, as it smells so good. For once, though, the taste actually lives up to that. It’s like drinking strawberry Ribena, or something. It tastes beautifully of strong, juicy, strawberry, and there’s just the right amount of sweetness tempered by a slight background tartness. I can taste a slight spiciness, too (cinnamon/cardamom?), and a touch of orange.
As fruit teas go, this is definitely a great one. Love at first sip! Strawberry is the main flavour, but the other ingredients make it a little bit unique. Really, really nice.
sipdown! another sample from terri. When i brewed this one up, i didn’t realise it had coconut in it. I’m not so much a fan of coconut, with a few exceptions. the result for me? a tea that really doesn’t taste like any other earl grey creams that i’ve tried (keep in mind they’re not my favourite blend of tea) and an overall not so pleasant experience. It’s not quite a “let me spit this out please” but i, who is not an earl grey lover, would rather drink any of the others i’ve tried previously than drink this one again. Plus the oily film makes me not love it anymore.
sipdown! I needed something without caffeine just to change things up a bit. While this isn’t a bad fruity tea, it’s more a generic fruity like all those other fruity teas with hibiscus in it sort of fruity tea. sense make? :) It’s not a bad tea, but it’s not really a pomegranate tea. Oh well, still decent!
Tea #1 from Traveling Tea Box C.
I thought I’d give this a shot since I don’t have much experience with green teas other than I don’t like them in general. But maybe this would be one I’d like.
Brewed according to instructions on bag. I think it was like 3 or 4 min @ 180* or something similar.
This…I definitely didn’t like. It tasted like undercooked veggies, or mown grass, or something similar. The notes I took last night about it I didn’t really get into what sort of green it was, other than it was green mostly because I didn’t want to keep drinking it to figure it out. Lol. I didn’t get any sort of cherry out of this at all unfortunately. Even adding Truvia to it didn’t help. It just made it sweetened green water.
Maybe I didn’t brew it correctly. Or add enough leaf to get the cherry flavor or something. But mostly I think I’m just not a green tea person still. One day maybe, but certainly not now.
One thing to note – it completely contaminated my ingenuitea and my porcelain cup and made the next tea (Upton’s Vanilla Black) have that green veggie taste/smell. Mostly smell. I thought I’d scrubbed both my mug and steeper well enough, but apparently not. Lol. It took soaking it with baking soda, then scrubbing it again with soap after to finally get rid of the smell. Just thought I’d point that out incase someone else uses a plastic anything with this.
Another triumphant sipdown, 143. I ordered this tea from Georgia Tea Company not for it’s purported “weight loss” properties, but because it was described as a green/oolong blend that was mango flavored. I hate it when a company names a tea something like “weight loss.” Why couldn’t you just call it Mango Papaya Oolong or something? There’s nothing more weight loss about this tea than any other green/oolong/fruit blend.
I have to admit I never tried this hot. And I didn’t try it for quite a while, just like the Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Chai. But when I did cold steeped, I was very pleasantly surprised. You know, this is pretty tasty! The oolong seems like it is probably a generic formosa, which gives a slight toasted note, but not too much. The mango is light and fruity, but the flavoring is definitely subtle in a good way. By the end of my “sample” (large pouch), I actually took to liking this one so much that I would consider repurchasing for cold brews in the future. But right now I am basking in the glow of having finished off another old tea from my cupboard.
I’ve had this tea for a while, although apparently not as long as I thought. I thought for sure at least two years, but it’s really more like a year and a half. I’ve never tried it because I wasn’t super impressed with most of the teas that I had ordered from Georgia Tea Company, and I had so many others to drink. But today I decided to go ahead and try it out. I am taking this tea with milk and sugar because I feel like most chais are better that way (they are a little overwhelming to me straight). I would assume that this is a re-sell of Culinary Teas’s tea of the same name.
Side note: I looked at my old order form for this company and was reminded how all of these at least 1oz bags of tea I got were supposed to be sample sizes that made 10 cups. On what planet?? When I was first starting out in the tea world I was excited by really large samples. Look at all this tea I’m getting for $2! But now they kind of annoy me. An ounce is not a sample. An ounce is actually a lot of tea to get through.
Anyway, this is less than inspiring. Perhaps it has lost a fair amount of luster due to age. It tastes spicy and a little dusty. No pumpkin. Not even any substantial black tea flavor, and I didn’t skimp on the leaf or steeping. It tastes thin and flat. I think I may just toss the pouch of this since I doubt I will convince myself to drink it again, and I wouldn’t want to send anyone an old, flavorless tea. Unexpected sipdown? 144.
I was disappointed in this one from the start since I’m tired of all peach teas tasting the same. The dry leaf smells heavily of artificial peach and there is a noticeable lack of ginger. My first steep surprised me by having an overwhelming ginger scent that really masked the peach I smelled so strongly in the dry leaf. The first few sips were all artificial peach, which was disappointing, and while the tea was still hot I could hardly taste the rooibos.
I did steep this a second time which left me with a brew that was heavy on the ginger, light on the rooibos, and had no peach flavor at all. I actually preferred that since I’ve really grown to dislike artificial peach flavorings.
Tea #24 from Traveling Tea Box C
This tea was almost awesome to me.
Because on one hand, it’s a nice smooth green tea with a soft rose flavor and hints of sage. And these are things I really enjoy.
But on the other hand, there’s also a strong deal of lemon that hits my tongue with the rose, and rosemary, which is a spice I only sometimes care for. And I probably would have liked it more without these.
And yet I don’t really want to stop drinking it. It’s very well balanced and all the flavors are there, and I’m glad I got the chance to try it. It’s just not quite my thing.
I made some of this tea cold brewed, and I knew from the beginning that it was going to be bad. I think I never brewed any of this before in part because the dry leaf smells like nasty fake berry cough syrup, but it’s been so long since I opened it up that I had forgotten. I brewed some anyway on the off chance that it would settle down.
I am wondering if the batch of this that I got is different somehow than the ones that others have tried, because this was just bad. Same fake berry cough syrup flavor, along with some fake jasmine flavoring. I took a sip and dumped the rest, and I don’t intend on keeping the rest of the leaf; not only would I not wish this tea on anyone else, it’s also fairly ancient (though clearly that hasn’t diminished this crazy flavoring), and I have been pretty much unsuccessful giving it away anyway. So, unexpected sipdown, 142.
Tea #9 from Traveling Tea Box C
When I made my Georgia Tea Co. six or so months back, I avoided this one because a lot of cherry flavoring seems really medicinal (read: cherry cough drops).
When it showed up in the TTB, though I figured I’d give it a go. So I cold steeped some for about six hours.
I’m kinda glad I didn’t go too much longer. The cherry flavor isn’t medicine-like, but it’s definitely not a natural cherry, and is more like cherry lollipop cherry. It doesn’t need to be sweetened, and it’s an okay cold brew. I don’t think I’d want a pitcher of it any time soon, but 12 ounces was just fine.
I do want to note, though, that it has the same aftertaste that Teavana’s Sweet Cranberry Black has that makes me think of plastic and play-doh. So that was kind of a bummer.
Another morning cup of tea from the Traveling Tea Box! I have been so productive this week and I think it’s because I’ve been drinking so much tea. I’m usually pretty sensitive to caffeine, but there have been so many fun teas to try that I’ve not really noticed it. Tomorrow we go to the beach so sadly, today is my last day with the box. I will forever be a fan of traveling tea boxes after this first experience with one being amazing!
This Earl Grey Cream blend includes coconut in it, which sounds delicious! The dry leaves smell mostly of sweet vanilla, with a little bergamot. The tea itself has a soft bergamot aroma with a hint of creamy vanilla and coconut. The flavor is a little surprising – it’s sharply malty with an unexpected tart citrus flavor. There’s a very sweet vanilla finish with a nutty vanilla aftertaste. I wish the coconut stood out a little more, since all I am really getting is just a little nuttiness mixed in with the vanilla. This tea is nice, but nothing special in my opinion. It is also pretty sweet on it’s own, but adding in milk and sugar tones down the tartness of the citrus.
-Dry blend has large black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell sweetly of vanilla and deep bergamot. Tea liquor aroma is of soft bergamot with a hint of creamy vanilla and coconut.
-Tea liquor is a clear very dark brown color.
-Sharp malty and tart citrus flavor with a sweet vanilla finish. Nutty vanilla aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Good tea. A very sweet Earl Grey with vanilla. Coconut flavor doesn’t stand out. Strange, slightly artificially sweet taste.
This is probably one of the best Chamomile based teas I’ve gotten, and as someone whos an insomniac, I’ve tried an unholy crapton.
Very mild and relaxing flavorwise, without too much of any of the flavors. I’m glad I got a good amount of this because its probably going to be a nightly/semi nightly drinker for me.
Dinosara sent me this one a while back — thank you! I love a good oolong. This one is a solid oolong — a bit vegetal, floral and fruity! I think the flavor might be a bit lessened just because of the packaging that Georgia puts their teas in (not air tight) but Dinosara kindly put it in a better pouch (that I really want to buy some of — they are so much nicer than the baggies some of my teas are in!) I also really wish Georgia would have steep instructions on their site since I know all oolongs have different steeping parameters.
I read the reviews before I tried this and was horrified at the mention of hibiscus. Its one of my least favorite tea additives. Luckily I don’t even notice it in the cup I’m drinking at the moment. This is like a warm pumpkin chai with a nice subtle pumpkin. Definitly a fan of more then just the name.