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Recent Tasting Notes
Queued post, written August 20th 2014
This one was shared with me by Courtney. I have actually had this stuff before, although from a different vendor, and I wasn’t exactly impressed. Watered down cocoa, it turns out, is not something I find pleasant.
I considered trying it as a mixer this time, but I didn’t really have anything that I thought it would mix well with.
I considered steeping it in milk and heating the lot on the hob, but that would take is into something more appropriately posted to ‘cocoaster.com’ if such a thing exists. Or ‘Chocster.com’.
Then I decided to just try and squeeze all the cocoa out of it that I could in one feel swoop and see if I couldn’t take it beyond the watered down hot not-really-chocolate stage.
Courtney had written steeping recommendations on the bag, and I threw caution to the wind and pretty much ignored them. The entire sample went in. All of it. The lot. Well, okay, I didn’t completely ignore them, because I adhered to the time and temperature.
No, it doesn’t work.
Oh, it tastes like chocolate all right, so if this floats your boat, by all means hurry out and get some. Chocolate does float my boat as well, but only if I get the whole experience. The richness. The thickness. The creamyness. And again, I am left with chocolate flavoured water.
I get the flavour. I don’t get all the other things that I associate with chocolate and it just leaves me wanting.
Aaaand that’s a sip down. I had the last cup with maple syrup and half and half, and actually, I didn’t really care for the maple syrup. I find it gives the tea a weird flavour, kind of like agave.
I’ve been craving HI’s Strawberry Cream cacao or whatever it’s called but maybe I’ll wait to see if they come out with more interesting flavours this holiday season before making an order. Yeah.
I can has My Little Pony cotton candy pink hair as of one hour ago. :)
Can’t believe I haven’t logged this tea yet. I love enjoying this one as a pseudo-London Fog. I add half and half, some brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Zen Tea’s EGC is still my favourite but this has a bit of smooth sugariness going on that calms down the bergamot too. I was still hoping for more marshmallow though. I can’t even tell it’s there. More marshmallow, please!
Heyoooo! Finishing this one off feels great! I’ve been sorta dreading this last cup, but honestly I think it was the best on yet. Mind you, it was still really unremarkable and I’d call it average at best, but the black base wasn’t bitter or astringent and there were other flavours here! Decent flavours!
Mostly chocolate flavour, actually – but a little bit of coconut. Still no graham but I gave up on that after my second cup of this so I wasn’t looking for that anyway. So yeah; I’m sipping this down in a more positive way then I expected but I’m still not changing my mind in that I probably don’t want to ever have this one again…
And now I’m going to go raid my tea cupboard and see what I’m content with getting rid of, ‘cause I told Robyn that I’d clear out some of my older stuff for her – and frankly there’s probably a few things I’m keeping around that I don’t need to be…
In a Timolino w. Milk.
But honestly the only reason I know that is because I wrote it down. I didn’t write anything else. This one just isn’t memorable and not worth my time, if I’m being really honest. I’m growing very sick of it very quickly.
This was probably a real waste of milk, too. Ugh.
I’m still working at figuring out how I can best enjoy this one. I thought cold brewing might be an acceptable route so I tried that next. It’s still very “meh” overall, but again not bad. It was very chocolate/coconut heavy which is nice and all, but where is the “graham” which this blend is named after.
I’m kinda over having to fight to find a way to enjoy this one; I think I’ll be happy when it’s gone. Sorry HI; I’m still unimpressed with what I’ve seen…
Another given to me by the awesome Courtney!
Dry this smells pretty strongly of coconut/chocolate, which is fairly appealing. I can definitely see that as being a very good thing.
For my prep, I made it in my timolino. I was very careful to watch the time as it steeped given that I’ve experienced a too harsh black base from HI on more than one occasion. Overall, I thought that the coconut/black tea were the strongest notes with cocoa notes and something else mildly offputting and hard to identify trailing behind. I was kinda reminded of kelp? But also not kelp. Not a whole lot of “graham” unless that’s what the weird flavour is meant to be.
As for the base; it was still a bit bitter despite my precautions. Oh well, looks like I just have some playing around to do so I can figure out the best way to enjoy this one.
This smells really good, but something about the flavouring is coating my tongue and making me not want to finish the glass.
I prepared as an iced tea, making 500ml extra-strong and pouring over ice. I didn’t add any sweetener, but I think it might need it to bring the lime flavour forward. The base is quite strong, and the coconut lends a creamy texture.
Not bad, but not super great. I’d consider getting more because of the uniqueness of the flavour, if only HI had better customer response. (Maybe responding to customer emails, and also sending out a shipping notification…)
Flavors: Bitter, Cream, Lime
A sample from MissB – this one was decent, enjoyable. Mildly sweet and suggestive of graham crackers. It didn’t blow my mind but I can definitely see where they’re coming from. There was something weak about it, but that might be because I added milk.
It was a good cuppa, anyhow!
Thanks for sharing!
Another sample from Cavocorax!
I don’t much care for apple flavoured things, so admittedly I wasn’t excited to try this one.
It smells pretty good in the bag though.
And I do like apple cider, so I was kind of hoping it would be along those lines.
It ended up tasting pretty weak, though. Not really worth drinking!
Happy to have the chance to try it!
Thanks, Cavo :)
Another sample from Cavocorax!
I tried this last night at like 11:30, obviously needed something caffeine free.
The smell was a bit off putting, because it smelled like some kind of orange flavoured cough syrup I remember from when I was a kid. I have to wonder if orange flavoured cough syrup even exists anymore!
The taste was pretty good, though not super creamy, just orangey.
But something about the tea made my throat scratch, not a sensation I’m used to because I have no food allergies, so it was unpleasant enough to make me dump the cup. I will have to give the rest to my friend to try.
Thanks for the sample, Cavo!
SSTTB: Pick #21
So this is/was the last tea that I pulled out of the box to try for myself. I did take a couple of the DT blooming teas because I find them really pretty and more enjoyable than most bloom teas because of their black base, and I kept the Sweet Cinnamon Pu’Erh from Verdant – but otherwise everything that I didn’t finish off and all my contributions are now sealed up and ready to be sent away!
…I just have to get around to actually mailing everything off. Ugh.
I don’t really know why I picked this one; there wasn’t much appeal from the ingredients/flavours – I guess it was just the allure of trying a limited edition blend? I made it in my timolino anyway, and I don’t recall much about what it tasted like. In my notes that I wrote for myself on the computer I just said:
- Very Flavourless
- Cup of hot Blah
- Tell them the Subway story!!!
So there you have it. Looking back right now I feel like the “Subway Story” is not as exciting/irritating as it was in the moment – but I suppose I’ll share it anyway if for no other reason than to not let “Past Me” down.
Basically I went, on my break at work, to get a Sub from the foodcourt. I only have a half hour break though, and it takes like 15 min. of it to actually acquire said Sub but I really, really wanted to get a sub. I hadn’t had anything to eat all day (and it was like 6PM) and nothing sounded better than hot bread, cheddar cheese, lettuce, spinach, and mother fucking shit tonne of pineapple, and sweet onion sauce. Mmm!
So I was in line and had picked my bread size and style as well as cheese for my VEGETARIAN sub (given I am a very strict VEGETARIAN) and was waiting to pick veggies while the Sandwhich Artist toasted it. However, in the down time the SA decided that was the PERFECT opportunity to organize ALL of the MEAT by systematically grabbing the different slices with her
gloved hands and making them into nice piles. And then, when my sub was done toasting, she went back to adding my requested stuff WITHOUT CHANGING THE GLOVES.
Ugh! Are you fucking kidding me!? I even called her out on it; you’re making a VEGETARIAN sub but you’re going to handle all the meat then touch my veggies and try to serve it to me? I hate people who are rude to customer service/food service workers but I just don’t think that’s cool. It’s not vegetarian friendly any more! I understand it’s Subway and there’s a certain level of cross contamination that’s bound to happen but that’s pretty fucking direct.
To me, that’s not really any different than assholes who say “Well what if we order a Pepperoni Pizza and then you just pick the meat off it? Isn’t that vegetarian friendly?”. Excuse me? Fuck you, no it’s not! If I pee in a cup then dump the pee out, but don’t wash it before I pour your soda into the cup for you to drink that doesn’t change the fact that at least a little bit you’re drinking my pee. The whole thing is ruined.
So yeah, I called her out on it and she was all “no, I didn’t put meat on it!” so I tried explaining the whole contamination bit to her and she just went "Well I’ll give it to you for free
to shut you up ". That doesn’t make me feel better; now I have a free sandwich that I wont/can’t eat and no time to wait for you to make another one for me because I’m on a fucking timed break. So yeah, no food for me. I went from fucking 11AM to 10:30PM when I got home with nothing to eat. Bad mood all day.
Tldr; this tea was blah and flavourless, and fuck Subway.
This tea smells amazing!
It doesn’t taste as good as it smells, & it burns my throat a little, although I’m not sure why. I’ve drank Lapacho (pao d’arco, taheebo) from time to time, & have a powdered version of it from the local herbalist shop (Chery’s Herbs). Cheryl recommended it to me to improve my immune system to help with allergies, & if I used it like she suggested, it would probably help. But I tend to forget. It is somewhat bitter, but has never burned my throat,
so I’m inclined to think the the burning throat problem is from the ‘flavoring’ in the tea.
Thanks to my Steep Sister, Sil for sending the sample. It smells so awesome that I could sit around huffing the bag it came in until bedtime.
Sipdown! That’s 4 sipdowns today, plus I realized one of the teas on my list is no longer in my cupboard, so I’m down to 384, just like that!
Received this one from MissB.
It was nice to try! When I was drinking it I kept thinking that it tasted like key lime flavoured tea. Which is exactly what it is.
But I mean that it didn’t scream “THIS IS KEY LIME!!” to me, it screamed “THIS IS FLAVOURED WITH SOMETHING THAT’S SUPPOSED TO TASTE LIKE KEY LIME!”
It was decent, but not something I would need to own. I’m actually not a huge proponent of anything lime flavoured, except desserts. Same rule applies to lemon things, usually. I need a major creamy note in there.
This had a mild creamy note. The coconut helped. Nice to try!
Thanks MissB :)
Sipdown! This was a sample from Courtney and after reading the reviews, I opted to use the whole sample and steeped about 10 minutes. I had a little cream left in the carton from dinner, so I poured that in my mug while this steeped. Omg, it smells soooo good. Sadly, like others have said, it is thin on flavour, but it it still good, and I’m using my sense of smell to try to beef up the taste, if you know what I mean.
I definitely prefer this over the plain cacao, but I’m not sure I’d get this. It is tasty. I’m glad to have tried it. I’ll file it away into my non-caffeine teas I like and see if it makes it to order status.
SSTTB: Pick #4
I definitely have an interest in trying some of the HI blends in the box (I’ve tried some already too) and this one seemed like a nice starting point so I decided to cold brew it. I’ve never had anything with Lapacho in it so I totally wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to try something with it – and trying DT’s Orange Blossom blend recently has put me in the mood for “Creamsicle” type things so this was an easy sell.
My cold brew used up the last of what was in the box; hopefully no one else was dying to try this one out. Dry it smelled insanely fresh and juicy. I just pictured fat, plump oranges bursting from all the juice. Like when you fill a balloon so much it pops; but squishy, and with fruit…
However, this doesn’t taste quite like you’d expect given the smell. I mean, it is orange-y and there’s totally a vanilla cream quality and together that does equal “Creamsicle” but it’s not as strong as the smell would seem to promise, and there’s that third element; the Lapacho. It tastes like trees and nature – but in a bad way. I suppose the trees/nature thing makes total sense: Lapacho is basically bark, and I could see it rounding out the orange/cream and adding a fuller flavour if it wasn’t so strong tasting. Like this it’s just unpleasant. It tastes like the “bad kind” of health drinks.
Yeah, not a fan. I feel let down by this one. But at least now I know that Lapacho probably isn’t for me. That’s something I’ve now learned because of the box.
Flavors: Bark, Cream, Dirt, Orange, Vanilla
I really like this tea. I just finished drinking it. It’s 11:50pm here….I think I need to order from Herbal infusions once I get my cupboard down to a manageable size….I need some caffeine free options for these nighttime tea cravings
Thanks again for sending the sample, Courtney :)
Sample from Courtney!!
Mmmm! Oh man. Had this last night before bed, on account of the whole caffeine free thing.
It was soooo good!
Tasted like a strawberry milkshake.
A very thin, watered down strawberry milkshake, but still.
I may actually prefer this to the regular plain Cacao tea.
It’s going on my wishlist for sure! Thanks Courtney!