SBS Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

38

I purchased the ForLife Curve teacup for work so now I can brew loose leaf teas in the office.

I’m not sure why I bought this one, since I’m not fond of white teas. Sweetened with splenda, it hides the bite that I don’t like in whites.

The pomegrante taste is there, but only slightly. It’s present as a mild “fruit” taste not as a good pomegrante flavor. I should note, though, that’s it’s made with “flavorings” and I’m not good at picking up on “flavorings”.

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44

So I looked on the SBS Teas website and couldn’t find this tea, and my (admittedly half-assed) attempts to locate a description didn’t turn anything up. Oh well. I mean, the name’s fairly self-explanatory, right? Strawberries and Kiwis. Fairly fruity, I should think.

The dry leaves smell strongly of strawberry.

You know how some teas age better than others? It seems that way in my experience; the tin of jasmine tea I bought in Chinatown tasted the same as the day I bought it when sampled several years later, but my favorite Valentine’s blend from Adagio often loses much of its flavor over the course of a year. This ‘Strawberry Kiwi Tropicana’ falls into the latter category; as I drink it hot and fresh I can’t taste anything remotely kiwi. Heck, I can barely taste the strawberry.

As it cools the fruity flavor becomes a little stronger. It’s strawberry, but a tarter, greener berry. It’s like those orange strawberries that just aren’t ripe yet but pickers hide them at the bottom of your box.

It doesn’t taste bad, it’s just pretty meh. I think that’s simply because the flavor’s never strong. I’d rank this at a ‘weak teabag’ level.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Ricky

The first paragraph made me laugh. I think it was your half ass attempt to look for the description =P

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48
drank Peach Oolong by SBS Teas
122 tasting notes

For what it’s worth, the image/ingredients list of this tea mentions that there will be dried peach pieces in the tea, and in my bag of it not a peach bit appears.

This was a very vegetable-like peach tea. By this, I guess I mean that while there is a note that would definitely be peachish, it’s not a sweet tea. It reminds me more of an extremely mild asparagus or broccoli, with a bit of peach juice dribbled on the side.

I haven’t tasted a peach tea like this before, so in a way it’s nice. ‘Peach Oolong’ from SBS Teas doesn’t taste like the syrupy sweet tea you get pre-bottled from the major beverage companies (‘enhanced’ with mountains of high fructose corn syrup) or the lighter, fresher flavor found in Adagio’s blends. Trying new flavors is good, right? But it’s not what I was looking for, either. So I feel somewhat disappointed by that.

Cofftea

“vegetable like peach tea” that’s a discription I haven’t heard before:)

Suzi

I could not figure out how to describe it! It tastes pretty green, but not grassy green and not the green that makes you think of pines or mint. So ‘vegetable’ is apparently the best I could do. But yes, utterly weird in a peach tea. I might have to pop some in the tea box when it comes ’round so someone with a better vocabulary can sort it out.

Cofftea

Maybe “way under ripe?”… I’ve always thought a massively green banana tastes like a cucumber. I was going to ask if you’d be interested in a swap for some of this, but the broccoli terrifies me- I’m afraid this tea might just get a 1 from me lol.

Suzi

LOL! I only have a small ziploc sample bag of it, and it’s about half full now. If you want it I’ll send it along to you :D I doubt there’s more than 2-3 servings left, but you can see if you taste the veggie/broccoli too :D Or maybe you’ll just decide I’m crazy

Cofftea

Well you may be crazy, but that may or may not be because of this tea!:) lol- just teasing of course.

Cofftea

You aren’t following me so I can’t message you. My email address is in my profile.

Suzi

I’m not? How the heck did that happen??? Off to fix that NOW!

takgoti

I kept reading that as “not a dried peach pit appears,” and I kept thinking, but isn’t that a good thing? Took me a second there.

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88
drank Candy Cane by SBS Teas
54 tasting notes

I generally enjoy minty, candy cane flavored black teas, and this one might just be my favorite of the bunch. There’s something about the flavor that’s just a bit different from other candy cane teas, and I’ve yet to figure out a way to adequately describe it. It’s not that it’s sweeter, it’s not that it’s mintier. This tea does have hunks of actual candy canes in it, so I suspect it’s something the candy canes themselves are imparting. Whatever it is, it makes this tea a favorite with me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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71

This is a very interesting blend of tea. (Tisane to you herbal-free purists.) Every sip seems to reveal a new flavor. My first sip, when the tea is piping hot, is very creamy. The strong almond flavor makes me think of marzipan. It feels very smooth on the tongue.

As the tea cools, the hibiscus in the blend (nearly invisible at the beginning) grows in strength. It’s as if it floats to the surface, for it remains a top note, the tangy tip of the flavor iceberg. The middle notes are chocolate, that lovely almond, and the hint of something fruity. Perhaps the apple or the pear?

Now that the tea is cold, the blood orange’s citrus tang rises to the surface with the ever stronger hibiscus presence. Interesting.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I don’t drink tisanes solo, but this would be… get ready… wait for it… absolutely fabulous blended w/ a green or white tea!

Suzi

Hmmm…I actually have some silver needle around somewhere. Might have to try that!

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3
drank Fruity Russian Caravan by SBS Teas
122 tasting notes

“The base teas are Assam and Keemun; the addition of Chinese Lychee tea…and small amounts of Lapsang offer a hint of smokiness.”

HINT of smokiness my @$$! (I felt bad cussing in my review.)
My quest for lychee once again goes awry. This blend sounded like it had the potential to be very interesting, with the fruitiness of lychee and the other black teas to mitigate the terrifying Lapsang Souchong, but unfortunately the smoky flavor dominates the cup.

This will be jumping into that traveling tea box whenever it finally makes its way to me, for sure!

Angrboda

Fruit in a russian caravan? That’s something I’d never have thought of. o.O

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Fruity and smokey does not sound like a good combo.

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58

Tastes mostly like spices. There’s a hint of apples in the back, but not much. I’m going to try mixing it with Adagio’s sour apple next and see if I get more of a “apple cider” taste (but probably not, since that would add hibiscus… but that’s the only apple that I have).

It’s not bad, but not outstanding.

(and now I think I’m all caught up)

Cofftea

I’ve had the sour apple not mixed w/ anything and I think you’re gonna get a spiced cranapple, strong emphasis on the cran…:( I think something like UTI’s Turkish Apple mught be better. But then again I could be wrong. Let us know how it turns out:)

denisend

That might work, since it’s apple chunks and not tea flavored with apple (which is what I think is the problem with SBS’s tea… my tastebuds don’t work well with ‘flavorings’). Thanks for the suggestion.

Cofftea

I love the theory of a caramel spiced apple tea, but I haven’t found any tea that comes close to my expectations so I think I’m gonna make my own blend of Bontanical Indulgence’s Creme Caramel oolong, UTI’s Turkish Apple, and Culinary Teas’ Chai spice mix:)

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100
drank Psychic Herbal Tisane by SBS Teas
122 tasting notes

This is my knockout tea for night-time. When I can’t sleep, I just brew a pot up and by the time I’ve finished my first mug I’m groggy and off to bed.

It’s got a strong herbal flavor; I can really taste the mint and the citrusy lemon but beyond that the flavors all blend together. (That and I’ve never tasted most of the ingredients individually so I couldn’t tell you what they taste like, anyway.)

It’s called ‘Psychic’ because this tisane is supposed to open your mind to higher knowledge, or something, but it’s not an effect I’ve noticed. It gives me very lucid, vivid dreams though. That’s pretty cool.

Preparation
7 min, 0 sec

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73

I’m developing a migraine and chugging coffee didn’t have any affect. There’s no caffiene in this, but it’s calming and comforting (and easy to make) so I feel better (mentally anyway!).

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73

Not sure why I’ve been on the chai kick recently.

Yep, this is my favorite of the instants. It’s better than any of the store varieties that I tried when I was on travel, and it’s the best of SBS’s instants. Good thing I bought a bunch of it.

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73

This has a good apple taste and a good spice taste. It’s a bit heavy on the cream for me. I like it, overall.

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40

Finishing up my sample of this because today I am LAZY and it’s instant. How’s that for horrible?

It’s more ginger-root than gingerbread, but otherwise okay. I’m not planning to reorder it, though. I like how easy it is to have chai at work, so I may order some of their other flavors (their cocoa is really good, too). That wouldn’t violate my tea restriction, would it?

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40

Made as a “dirty chai” this time – half a cup of coffee, half a cup of hot water.

WOW, the ginger is really coming through this time. All I taste is ginger (and not the sweet gingerbread flavor, but real ginger). This is really peculiar. I know there’s coffee and spices and cream and other stuff there, but I’m not tasting it. The ginger is totally overwhelming it.

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40

So, caffienated tea at night is bad. I was up way too late last night. BUT, my order from SBS Teas arrived, so this morning I rushed through my typical wakeup coffee to try new stuff.

Well, this is… interesting.

The gingerbread flavor is there, as well as the typical chai spice flavor, and the creaminess, and the sweet… all of the flavors I expect… but they just don’t really blend together well.

It certainly was easy to make though.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

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61
drank Tricky Treats Black Tea by SBS Teas
122 tasting notes

‘Tricky Treats’ is a Halloween limited edition from SBS Teas. I don’t believe it was available this year, or if it was it came and went so quickly that it’s no longer on the website! That’s rather too bad, as it makes it hard to provide information about the tea, but I’ll try my best.

So in my bag of this blend I can see black tea, flowers (chamomile would be my best guess?) , little chocolate candies, cloves, cinnamon, and candy sprinkles. There’s also random chopped up bits of this and that, but I don’t know them by sight.

This is a sweet tea. It reminds me a little bit of a mild cinnamon candy. There’s the familiar cinnamon tingle, but the blend is more complex, with a rich ‘mulled spice’ flavor that is sweetened with the sugary taste of the multicolored sprinkles.

Side note: I’ve never seen sprinkles in a tea before. First time for everything!

Honestly, I think this blend really captures Halloween. It’s an adult flavor with warm spiciness and just a hint of trick-or-treaters’ candy. Quite yummy.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec
denisend

I’m a dork and I found the website with the information on this tea and updated the information. It sounded so neat!

http://web.archive.org/web/20061022120402/http://www.sbsteas.com/Tricky-Treats-Tea-pr-967.html#tabs

Suzi

Awesome :D That’s so cool – how’d you find it? I have a mighty heap of other teas from this company that I need to find better descriptions for!

Carolyn

Very clever. She used the Wayback Machine to find the descriptions. I hadn’t thought of doing that. Here’s the URL for future waybacking: http://www.archive.org/index.php

Auggy

Yay sprinkles in tea! That’s one reason I like Adagio’s Birthday blend so much. It has sprinkles!

denisend

Yep, the Wayback Machine is extremely useful. :-)

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52
drank Maté Tiramisu by SBS Teas
122 tasting notes

I probably oversteeped this tea; if it is not oversteeped it may also have been overheated, since the brewing instructions suggest using water in the 150-160 degree range and the water that comes out of our automatic heater is definitely warmer.

My attempt at brewing this Maté Tiramisu tastes like coffee, basically. There’s a bitter note to the brew that I assume comes from leaving the leaves too long, but it’s similar to the bitterness of dark chocolate so maybe it’s supposed to be there. There’s a nuttiness to the flavor as well. I like it well enough, and I think I’ll have to experiment further with this blend and see if I can bring out more of the tiramisu flavor with proper steep times and temperature. But for all that I screwed up, this still tastes OK. It would complement tiramisu or other sweet desserts quite well.

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75

A delicious dessert tea- the maple and cream flavors blend beautifully with black tea. This tea makes me feel like I’ve had a sweet treat even when I’ve only had a cup of tea.

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75

Coffee flavored tea sounds like a weird thing, but it really is quite nice. Basically, it’s like all of the good things about the flavor of coffee without the harshness- think a coffee flavor on the smooth base of tea. In any case, I love this tea- the coffee and cream flavors are both evident, and it produces a lovely after dinner cup.

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