Herbal Infusions Tea Co.

Recent Tasting Notes

74

Uhhh, I can’t seem to recall who sent me the sample of this tea. I’m sorry.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was pretty good! (For a chai).

I did find it tasted a lot like a creme brûlée with major big time chai. Super spicy chai. This is probably exactly how spicy chai normally is, but the last few chai-ish teas I’ve had were Adagio fandom versions of chai, not as spicy.

It was a neat dessert tea to try, I enjoyed drinking it, though I wouldn’t buy it because of the strong slickness.

Thanks to whoever sent it, sorry I didn’t have the foresight to write your name on the bag when I got it in the mail!

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79

Backlog 1/67

What clever name do we have here for “Try all the backlogged teas you have received samples of!”? I have received an immense amount of tea lately and as much lovely as that is, I need to start catching up. I counted earlier, and I have 67 teas that I currently “need to try”, whether I’ve never had them before or if I just need to try them a second time to give them another chance or what have you.
I probably have 20 or so more teas than that total in my cupboard… Including all the samples I know I like and want more of and the teas I have an actual long-term amount of.

That said, today I’m trying Vanilla Bean Cacao because it’s been sitting on my kitchen table with the others I received from Cameron B., Mandy and Cheri and my sister said it smells delicious and demanded we try it next. I added Stephen Hockman’s enormous pile of tea to the “need to try” today. My goodness, Stephen! Thank you for all the tea. Yours is on the way!

I can’t wait to try all these. Everything sounds delicious. I especially can’t wait to try the mystery tea with the Chinese letters. :D

SO! Vanilla Bean Cacao. Wow… no one has reviewed this before? Weird.
Okay. So it looks weird! IT looks like… flaked bark or crushed acorns or crushed dry leaves. Really weird looking tea. :D IT smells strange, good? Like Vanilla, chocolate and something else… a sweet woody scent I can’t name. Maybe I’m just inventing that because of how it looks. It’s a very SUPER sweet smell tho. Almost too sweet.

It was a herbal so I usually go about 8 minutes, but I went 6 because the tea had all settled to the bottom of my gravity steeper by then so I figured it was about right. I can say the smell once it gets wet is weird. SUPER weird. More Woody than before and maybe more …. I dunno, like raw cacao rather than chocolate. Maybe?

The first sip is sweet (I sweetened it with regular sugar) with a nice rich vanilla and chocolate flavor. It is a nice full flavor, very sweet all the way around. A bigger drink makes me feel that it would be better with a touch of milk.

I may go add milk to this.

Okay, added milk and had to add a bit more sugar to avoid the milk overpowering the flavor. Somehow, another tsp of sugar plus a bit of milk = now I can taste the flavors of this tea better than I could before. I don’t know. It just brought the flavors out.

This is very tasty. It’s almost too sweet for my tastes. (I know I added more sugar, but it really needed it. Before that, the flavor VANISHED into the milk and I didn’t even add much milk.)

I like it. I don’t think I’d go seek it out specifically because it’s entirely too sweet when you get it to the point where the flavor appears, but I do think I’d drink it again if offered a cup. It’s nice. Just maybe not quite my cuppa tea.

I will be totally honest and say I can’t remember which person this one came from (apologies!) but whoever sent it, thank you for the experience! This is not a bad tea!

Flavors: Chocolate, Round , Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mandy

It’s under a slightly different name I think, at least that’s where I put my notes. I preferred it steeped for like 10, or made chai style with milk as water and the tisane simmered together on the stove. http://steepster.com/teas/herbal-infusions/36211-vanilla-cacao?page=2#tasting-notes

Arshness

Weird. When I searched, this is the only one that came up.
Oh wells. I will try it that way next time. :D

madametj

sipdown is when you finish a tea

Arshness

What fancy steepster name do we give “trying all the teas we have backlogged”?

Mandy

I believe Sherapop calls it Blazing New Rating, haha

Arshness

haha Well I just renamed it “Backlog” XD

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This tea has a very nice ripe to over ripe strawberry taste, with a touch of cream. Simple and well balanced flavouring. As others have noted it could use a different base. After 3 minutes at about 93°C the base is a little bitter, and vegetal. It has a slight astringency to it. It could be corrected with a touch of sugar but I dislike adding sugar to my teas. As it stands, the tannins and mild astringency in the base subtract from the cream in the flavouring. A sweeter fruitier base might have complimented the delicious flavouring more.

As it cools the strawberry scent and taste intensify. I like it because in this tea the strawberry flavour is allowed to shine instead of being drowned in sweet vanilla cream notes as is often done in this style of tea. With some tweaks this tea could really shine!

Thanks for the example Dexter I’ve enjoyed them all so far!

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SIGH. This is the strawberry tea I’ve been looking for.

Only it’s not. Because no black tea should require 185F water and a less than 2 minute steep to be drinkable.

So. Amazing flavour, terrible base. I guess I’ll keep looking.

Flavors: Strawberry

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Courtney

Are you looking for a strawberry black? Have you tried S&V’s Strawberry Cupcale or Nina’s The des Anges?

Courtney

Erm, *cupcake

OMGsrsly

I’ve tried neither. :) And I’m sort of looking for a strawberry black. I could always go into Blenz and just buy a cup of tea (or tea bags, if they have any in stock) but I want my own tea. Not one bought through that many middle men. Too expensive.

Courtney

I’ve got a bunch of The des Anges, and my friend has Strawberry Cupcake if you’d like to try a cup of either. :)

Amariel

I recall someone else having issues with this one and calling it Strawberry Injustice.

OMGsrsly

Haha. http://steepster.com/roswellstrange/posts/240843#comments I saw that when I was meandering through other reviews. :)

Courtney… I’m good. I don’t need more teas right now! :)

mj

I just got the strawberry oolong from Capital Teas and it is a-maz-ing

OMGsrsly

I have a strawberry oolong, and a strawberry green, and a strawberry honeybush. :) I don’t really need a strawberry black tea, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try everyone that crosses my path!

VariaTEA

I really liked this one too. It just sucks that HI’s base is so difficult to deal with. Also, their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Otherwise, this is one I would consider stocking.

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79

Used up the last of this sample from the GCTTB2 as a cold brew. It is definitely delicious as a cold brew. I only brewed for about 9 hours and am happy because it is just on the verge of getting too tart. Definitely a juicy watermelon candy flavour. I may have to put this on my shopping list…

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79

GCTTB 2.

This one smells so good. Like watermelon candies or bubblegum.

The brewed tea tastes just like watermelon candies or bubblegum. I added a few pieces of rock sugar before I tasted it, and it seemed to work.

I would love to have this one iced!

This is my first taste of Herbal Infussions and I am impressed so far.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

Unfortunately their customer service leaves something to be desired. I am glad you enjoyed the tea though :)

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Backlog from this morning. Thanks are owed to courtney, who sent me this sample!

Honestly, I would have written a review for this sooner, only I just wasn’t feeling inspired to write. There isn’t anything wrong with this tea; it’s a light combination of a creamy strawberry flavour and a thin black tea, and not much else. It tastes good, but compared with ruby pie (my gold standard for strawberry tea), it just didn’t measure up.

Thanks again, Courtney! I still have enough left for another cup, and certainly enjoyed it enough to keep it in my sipdown pile :)

Courtney

You enjoyed it more than me at least. :) I have enjoyed two strawberry teas to date, and everything else I’ve pretty well borderline despised haha. I’m too picky sometimes!

keychange

Haha you really didn’t like this eh? it’s ok—I’m really picky and fussy in general. it’s a miracle my loved ones put up with me haha!…but whatever, let’s just drink all the banana teas.

Courtney

Yes! All the banana teas. I’m pretty picky about fruits, especially my favourite ones haha. I still have hope for the perfect watermelon and pumpkin teas too.

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35

Sipdown (190/194)!

From VariaTEA. I know she’s a fan so I was really hoping to like this one but I’m finding myself kind of fighting to finish off the cup. It smelled really yummy too, so that just kind of adds to the disappointment.

I’m getting a lot of bitterness in the cup and it’s really hard to push through it, though when I do I get fleeting notes of strawberry. The one redeeming quality is that the bitterness doesn’t hang around in the aftertaste but there is a faint vanilla creaminess sort of like a Campino that does linger and that makes fighting through the cup at least somewhat worth it.

Oh well; one less in my cupboard and I’m thankful to VariaTEA for sharing and for the chance to try something I likely wouldn’t not have picked out for myself.

EDIT: Hmm, I seem to be the only one to have experienced such extreme bitterness. I’m confidant I didn’t oversteep though – I was very diligent about the time after how long I let Checkmate sit unattended today…

VariaTEA

Oh no. Damn HI base must have taken over. I have been really lucky with this blend but I know their base can be pretty overpowering and not very good. I am sorry it was a bad experience. You should dump it and move on! Too much tea to waste your time with 35s :P

OMGsrsly

I totally get bitterness and blech from their base. I really wanted to love their teas, so it was a huge disappointment.

Amariel

Oh no! Should it be called Strawberry Injustice then?

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92

We brewed this up cold to try yesterday. My fiance is absolutely crazy about melon drinks, but not a huge fan of more fruity teas, so I wanted to see how this would go over. Long story short, he adores is, loves it, is so enraptured with it we had to order more, like right that minute. To be honest, I really like it to. The watermelon is nice and light and naturally sweet and the tea has a good strong flavour to the cup. I am really impressed with this tea and can see it being drunk a lot at our house in the summer.

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This smells more like Strawberry than it tastes. Nice black base with just a hint of strawberry. I wanted more based on the scent of the dry leaf.
This was just ok for me. There are other HI teas that I prefer.

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I have been holding off on finishing the 1.5t I had left for awhile because I was hoping to find some marshmallow root to add and see how it was. I don’t need a $15 pound of marshmallow root. Maybe someday I will be able to find a smaller amount and try it.

This is smooth and creamy, neither the bergamot or vanilla smack you in the face. I would get this again if I was placing an order and was running low on EGC. I’m not playing favorites yet.

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90

Thank you for a sample of this one, MissB! Always up for trying a EGC! This one was steeped at 2 1/2 minutes at just boiling. I like it, but there are other EGCs I like more. I don’t think the bergamot is prominent enough or the cream is prominent enough. At least the black tea base isn’t overpowering the flavors. But I like a stronger tea with it anyway. The elements that are there work together and I can see many people not usually liking EG liking this one. I appreciate trying it!

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60

I don’t know what to say about this one, for once. It brews up quite dark and there’s a bitter edge to it, but it doesn’t taste oversteeped. It’s reminiscent of coffee, in a way. The actual flavor is more like French toast than crème brûlée. I’m not getting any creaminess, and the spices aren’t very assertive like I hoped they would be from the “chai” in the name. Oh, well, to the swap pile with it.

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77

And we have another glorious sip down. Good stuff, but not 50g-worthy. I’m coming to the end of my HI samples and so far, it seems like the cacao teas are the only ones I’d repurchase.

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77

Woo, I just took a 45-minute walk in the rain and it soaked through my MEC raincoat. Go figure! This calls for some hot tea. As crazy as it sounds, I kind of want to go back out there for another walk. I love the rain. :)

I wasn’t expecting too much from this. I don’t know why exactly. Perhaps because strawberry can sometimes be a little boring and HI’s black teas have been meh so far.

This is pretty good, though. Truly does taste like dried strawberries, and the flavour is strong enough to compete with the more robust base. I get a “hint of cream”, which I do realize is what it says in the description, so I guess I’d be a jerk for whining that I wanted a bit more. I added some half and half , which has helped bring out the strawberry a bit more.

Yeah, pretty good indeed. I’ll enjoy my sample while it lasts but I can’t see myself ordering a full 50g+. Steeps’ Chocolate Dipped Strawberry is still my favourite strawberry black, methinks.

VariaTEA

I am glad you liked this one. I was pleasantly surprised by it because I was expecting to get a lot more of the base flavor and not as much strawberry

Fjellrev

Yeah, it was a nice surprise. I almost didn’t order any thinking it would be too meh.

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63

1.5 tbsp

Nice blend of flavours- makes the mint much more interesting.

Many thanks to Kittenna for sharing!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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This is good, I like it, but I don’t love it. I think I want Creme Brulee OR chai – I don’t need them both in the same cup. Something about the “burnt sugar” and the spices doesn’t quite work for me. Oh well, 100’s of other teas to try…

TheTeaFairy

Hundreds Dexter? Really?
I think you’re being very conservative… (No sarcasms, lol!)

Dexter

LOL I actually meant the 100’s in my cupboard, not the millions out there in the world. :))

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79

Sipdown! Just saw that I did write a note on this haha totally forgot that i logged this lol, well this note should be the more detailed one I guess haha. I overleafed a bit as there was not quite enough left for another cup.

The dry smell reminds me of that tea Della Terra put out last fall..darn I can’t remember the name..some sort of apple tea, and it also contained nutmeg, so I think that’s mostly what I am smelling in the dry leaves. It’s definitely a blend of chai like spices. This cup I steeped for 2 minutes with boiling water, I can’t remember how I did the others haha. The steeped smell actually smells much better than the previous cups, if my memory serves me correctly. It’s very spicy, but with a definite caramelly undertone, a brown sugar sweetness. I can actually liken the scent of this cup to creme brulee a bit! Maybe it’s the different water at this place haha.

As for the flavor, wow, this is spicy tonight. Not as much caramel and not much of the flavor I disliked previously, a different spice is showing itself tonight lol, very peppery and strong. It could be from overleafing too haha. I much prefer this cup to the others, but it still is not my favorite chai. It needs more chocolate and caramel notes to make it a favorite, and a bit more variety than just strong spice. There is a hint of caramel in the aftertaste, but I don’t think it’s enough to make this a reorder. Still was a very nice tea to try though, I am very glad I got the chance to! Also want to try more teas from HI in the future, I enjoy their cacao teas and the marshmallow EG (heavenly). So yes, decent cup, just not a complete favorite! Chai fans should give this one a shot though! See previous notes as well :)

ETA – I should have tried this stovetop, it might be amazing and make me need it haha. Oh well, maybe another sample will find its way into my future cart and I can give it a go :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79

So I have internet and TV! So happy internet is back, and we haven’t had TV for 2 years so it’s nice to actually be able to watch hockey at home again :D this is my night, as I’m still sick and slept most of the day and am now cozy under a blanket with the game on and my cat to keep me company. Had a mini house-warming last night (will probably have another when the bf is back from working in the field) and it was good, 4 good friends, pizza, beers, and Pulp Fiction. Fun night, even with my cold.

But I digress haha, onto this tea! I had my first cup of this when I wasn’t sick and wasn’t the biggest fan, but had some today that was better and my sense of taste is returning so I’m happy about that. A caramelly, gingery chai, I think it’s the nutmeg in it that I’m not a fan of, but it was a decent warming cup of tea. I will have to do a more in depth note when I am not sick with limited senses haha. Not too bad though, just not my favorite chai.

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74

I sipped this down yesterday morning, with half and half and a bit of brown sugar. It’s pretty good but not amazing. I wouldn’t order more.

Trufax.

Amariel

I’ve not been terribly impressed with the two teas from them I have had. Good? Yes. Amazing? No.

Fjellrev

Yeah, I don’t know. The adventure will continue. I personally love the cacao teas, particularly with a ridiculously long steep. I remember when I tried a cacao tea at the tea fest last year, I wasn’t crazy over it and found it way too watery. I can guarantee you they only steeped it for like five minutes.

But I’m curious about their other black teas. Hope I won’t run into a base problem like Cavo and OMG. What did you think of the Moose Tracks base?

Amariel

I steeped my cacao for an hour last night. It was still eh. Moose Tracks was alright. Still really weak. I had to use a few tsp and long steep today, but then it got a bit bitter.

Fjellrev

Ah, guess the cacao isn’t for everyone. :)

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74

Quick note before heading out. This is a surprise. When I ripped open the packet, I got a waft of nutmeg, followed by ginger. Reminds me of a pumpkin spice chai I had somewhere at some point in time.

The flavouring is also heavy on the ginger and nutmeg, followed by coconut and black pepper. I added some half and half, and this appears to make a pretty good chai in a pinch. Definitely not your average chai that you get from companies, since I find that most of them are very two-dimensional with their cinnamon and clove tag team.

Would I buy more? I’m not sure. I have a couple servings left to think about it.

Hmm, the more I drink this, the more it reminds me of 52teas’ Gingerbread chai, but much better.

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70

I went through my samples earlier and put them into some little craft drawers to give me easier access to them. I still need to make room on my shelves for my Christmas and birthday teas, but first the samples might as well be sampled.

A eucalyptus grapefruit tea doesn’t sound that nice to me, I don’t like the taste of either particularly, but it smells so fresh and fruity…a nice surprise. The blend has some beautiful orange colours that must be the carrot flakes and/or freeze dried tangerine pieces and large pieces of of dried sliced orange. I can also note the lemon grass and some hibiscus petals. Other than that the other ingredients blend in very well.

The eucalyptus smells lighter than I imagined it would (which again is to my surprise and happily so) but everything else smells sort of herbal like, just generic, but with a citrus freshness. No grapefruit as such.

Once steeped the tea is red in colour (must be the hibiscus) and it has a bizarre savoury scent. I say bizarre but it’s not in a bad way, just one that I’m finding hard to describe. Lets start down with the basics…ingredients… Eucalyptus? Hmmm.. sort of. Grapefruit? Can’t say it does. Citrus? Yes but more like orange. Herbs? Ding, ding. ding. very much so. Anything else? It has some sweetness and what I believe to be the lemongrass present. But the blend as a whole just has a very savoury feel about it.

Flavour is refreshing with some sour citrus fruits and herby sweetness. It’s rather pleasant but still unusual. The more I drink the more I can taste the grapefruit like flavour, it’s not pure by far (which is probably because this blend doesn’t actually contain any grapefruit) but it’s similar. Still getting savoury vibes from it though.

It’s a pleasant and unusual tea but I don’t think it’s really for me. Not something I would buy or likely crave but was nice to experience something new.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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