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Recent Tasting Notes
Many thanks to Lala for passing some down! As soon as I tore open the packet, I caught a whiff of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea’s Coconut Chai, and sure enough, it tastes almost the exact same. This may be a little bit smoother. The cardamom also tastes a little stronger in this one, at least from memory. Huge cardamom fan here, so yay.
I also dumped in some almond nog and the flavours go very well together. Now I’m just sitting here waiting for Guinness plum pudding to finish in the oven.
Another tea from my Advent Calendar. I liked this one. No weird after taste, no bitterness. I drank it while eating cinnamon toast on a cold December day. It was a good experience for me. There was a time when I preferred herbal teas. Now I far prefer black teas.
One of the teas in my Advent Calendar. It’s been sooo nice to get to try so many different teas. Some I really enjoyed. Others, not so much. This one was a not so much. Such a lovely color in my cup! This tea, sadly, tasted quite sour to me. I finished the cup, and it did grow on my as I drank. However, I will not add it to my list of “Need To Order.”
This was part of my Tea Forte Advent Calendar. Whoever came up with that idea (an advent calendar of tea) is brilliant! I had wanted to get one from David’s, but they were sold out. I’ve never had tea from Tea Forte, but I love the little pyramids. It’s been a nice variety of teas so far. This one didn’t do it for me. With my limited sense of taste, it came over as acidic. Very likely someone else would enjoy the flavors that I couldn’t taste.
Right as I poured the water in I could smell a rose scent like potpourri, but that only lasted half a second. Then it was replaced with this overwhelming artificial rose flavor and something similar to chocolate, but only so loosely similar that you could mistake it for something else. It smells artificial, and not all that appetizing.
The tea tastes like soap in the worst way possible. I don’t even want to finish it, and I usually feel bad about wasting tea. This is so bad, I’m not giving this a number, but I’m not recommending this to anyone either.
So this is my second tea to sample. I didn’t have the best opinion of Tea Forte at first, but that was because of my first exposure to it. A gift shop sells Tea Forte loose tea and tea bag variety boxes. I’m not the biggest fan of flavored teas since companies started putting unnamed natural and artificial flavors in tea. What does that even mean? Anyway, the gift shop usually has tea samples sitting at the front of the store. I tried two teas that way, but I realized later that the teas were usually hours old since I would visit the store in the afternoon and the tea they sample is only brewed in the morning. The first tea I sampled was the Rum Raisin. I assumed I didn’t like it because I don’t like rum, but there’s this strong, medicinal taste that doesn’t seem natural in tea, which may or may not come from oversteeping or sitting for so long. I had the English Breakfast black tea and noticed the same cringe-worthy flavor. Though I couldn’t describe the taste, it’s not simply acidity or bitterness.
I’m not saying that the teas are inherently bad. The teas in the tea bags look nice, and the shape of the tea bag makes it so it brews as soon as I poor the tea in. I don’t think I’ve brewed it longer than a minute. At the same time, I worry about how the tea will taste if I leave the tea leaves in the hot water too long. I definitely prefer the flavor of the teas after a second steep. The first steep has a flavor almost reminiscent of that medicinal flavor in the tea samples at the gift shop, so I think any accidental oversteeping could make the tea unpalatable. It could just be how the tea is. Apparently someone came into the store about an hour earlier and enjoyed the English Breakfast tea, but I think heated cough syrup would be just as enjoyable.
I don’t really get that much of a caramel flavor from the tea. I’m not the biggest caramel fan, but I think that’s mostly because I hate the texture more than anything else. It kind of reminds me of some of the other flavored teas that I have, but it’s muted in comparison. It could probably use some cream and sugar, but I drink tea plan. It’s not the worst tea I’ve tasted.
In any case, I think I will finish the sample box, especially since it was $15 for 10 samples. I doubt I will buy any more of the teas. It’s nice to know that I can buy loose teas so close to home, but I don’t think I’ll be impressed by them. I have high hopes for the rose tea, though. I’m not too judgmental when it comes to rose, only because there aren’t many things rose flavored, so as long as I taste the rose, I might like it.
That wasn’t too informative… I like the tea bag design, and the fact that it’s a pretty nice. I’ll score it like this:
Tea Bag Functionality: 10 (It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to brew. I guess this adds to how many times you can steep it as well, so I think that’s good. I don’t know if I should rate tea bag functionality, but if anything, I think this should be available knowledge. The stem on the tea bag can also be shaped to the side of the mug, so that might be useful. I think that’s so it can hang on the side of the mug. I’m not actually sure, though.)
Presentation: 8 (It’s not elaborate. It’s rather minimalist actually, but it’s a pyramid cardboard box, and the tea bag itself has a tea leaf on it. It’s kind of cute.)
Amount of Tea: 7 (It seems to be a fair amount. Maybe one and a half tea spoons.)
Quality: 6 ( Whole leaf: automatic 5 points; some dust in the box -2; flavor: 3)
Uniqueness: 2 (Honestly, I don’t think a caramel flavored tea is such a new thing, especially with chocolate teas becoming more popular. It also doesn’t have anything to make it stand out. It could have at least been a salted caramel, but I don’t know much about caramel. I wasn’t that impressed, though.)
Would I drink it again?: 5 (I need five things to rate: Definitely Yes: 10; Sure, though it’s not my first choice: 8; Only to make room for other teas: 6; I don’t want to, but if you serve it, then I can’t refuse or it would be rude: 4; Can’t I just throw it away: 2; I regret this decision/ I think I’m going to vomit: 0)
Total: 28 × 2 = 56
Ok, fair enough. I’m going to work on my rating system later, but it works for this tasting note.
Flavors: Caramel, Malt
This tisane came from the Warming Joy sample set by Tea Forte, which I haven’t been terribly impressed with so far. They claim the samples make a 10 oz. serving of tea, but I’ve found 8 oz. to be a bit more realistic.
This is an interesting blend. It contains rooibos and has a definite apple and plummy flavor. There is a lot of spice in this tea, with cinnamon, clove and pepper. Normally I don’t like hibiscus in tea at all, but there is only a smidgen in this blend.
I think this is a decent tisane if you like really spicy fruity things. The clove is slightly overdone, as it’s actually causing a numbing sensation on my tongue. I felt the blend was a bit improved by adding a bit of coconut sugar to the cup. I don’t think I will run out and buy any of this, but I am enjoying the sample that I got. It’s nice to take the chill out of our cold & rainy day.
Tart and sage o’r come
The sweet, juicy liquid pie—
Sugar the diff’rence
This was one of the teas randomly given to me by a fellow steampunk club-goer. I was surprised to find that it was a little pouch of loose leaf! Dry, it smells very herby-the sage really comes out with a kind of fruity backnote. I lost track of time (of course, I’m at work) and steeped it a minute or so over the suggested 5. The liquor was a dark red—note the hibiscus is second on the ingredients list.
I found this tea to be tartly unpleasant, so I added some brown sugar. BAM! That kicked this tea up so many notches. Now the predominant taste is that of a crustless blueberry pie, very juicy and very worth drinking again.
I am terribly naive when it comes to wines, and thus cannot speak to the merlot-yness of this tea.
Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus, Sage, Sweet, Tart
I didn’t have high expectations for my tea forte birthday gifts since it has never been a top rated rand around here. But so far I haven’t been too dissaponted.
This wasn’t fanastic, but I who usually rates flavored teas shamefully low, can at least recommend that people give this one a try.
It smells good. The raisin/rum flavor is a bit overwhelming at first
- almost perfume – like, but it mellowed while drinking. There’s also a bread-y flavor lingering in the background to give it its biscotti name.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Raisins, Rum
My mother and little sister got me a whole bunch of tea forte singe-serve loose tea packets for my birthday that was on Saturday. They are pretty cute :)
This one tastes very much like Harney and Sons “Hot Cinnamon Spice.” I can barely detect the orage. But that’s ok. I LOVE cinnamon tea, especially when its strong.
Oh yeah, Hi Guys!! lol – here I am writing a note as if I havent been away for so long. School has been stressful and time consuming. Ive been drinking lots of tea, but not taking any time for Steepster. Sorry!
I don’t own this tea, and I doubt I would have picked it up based on the name itself. I was in a store that sold Tea Forte teas exclusively, and I got a sample because who turns down a free sample of tea. I smelled it first, I think, but I can’t remember anything distinctive about it. When I tasted it, though, I was overwhelmed by an odd flavor that was almost medicinal, something vaguely similar to cough syrup. I thought that it might have been brewed too long, but I couldn’t pick up any flavor that tasted distinctly like tea. I think I could say it has a very strong rum flavor, but I’ve never tried anything rum raisin flavored. I had heard of some hot toddies made with tea, but you could probably get away with drinking this tea as a substitute. In any case, it tasted too much like alcohol for my taste.
Flavors: Alcohol, Rum, Sweet
This is a sample from Tea Forte in their ’Warming Joy" gift package.
They say the samples make a 10 oz. mug of tea, but I have made this (twice now) in an 8 oz. mug and just think the flavor seems weak. A chai should have hunks of spices in it and this really doesn’t, it tastes more like a cinnamon flavored rooibos. I tried adding some of my own ginger in it tonight, but it really needs about 5 more things before it’s a decent chai to my liking. Not recommended unless your version of chai is very light and dainty.
I haven’t been too impressed by anything I’ve tried from Tea Forte so far… bummer
Oh no, I forgot I had this in my cupboard. It’s a single pyramid sealed with only thin cardboard. It’s been there since March-ish of last year. I hope it’s not stale.
I love these little pyramid sachets. I know it’s a gimmic, but the little leaf at the end of a stem is pretty to me. It looks like it’s growing out of my tea. As it steeps, the water darkens at a slower pace than what I’m used to. During that time, the leaves really expand, filling the sachet to the top. The scent of it brewing is nutty and buttery. It smells like Nutella, almost, but not as sweet.
The tea has a very warm, dessert-like aroma. However, the actual flavor doesn’t pack as much of a punch. It’s mild and tastes more like hazelnut than chocolate. There is a bit of chocolate in the finish and on the exhale, I guess. It’s not that I really mind, but I’m left wondering if this tea grew weak from being old, not because it wasn’t good in the first place. Hard to say.
EDIT: There’s coconut in this tea?
Flavors: Butter, Cocoa, Hazelnut, Malt, Nutty
Pass The Stash TTB
This smells very tart, but also juicy and fruity. Most people on here hate the Hib, but I find that (heavily) sweetened and iced, I like it in some fruity blends, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Plus, sage in a “tea” sounds intriguing.
Op, yep, might have oversweetened just a tad xD. Theres a (sweet) tart front of sip, followed by lots of juicy berry, and towards the end of sip its more (sweet) tart and a bit of depth that probably would have been sage. All this sugar definitely killed my sweet tooth though, so thats a plus, lol.
This tisane came in the “Warming Joy” gift set by Tea Forte. I was a little confused at first because they are now calling this “Spiced Ginger Plum”, although it appears to be the same tea.
This was the one I was looking forward to the least due to the hibiscus in it. It definitely has a plummy smell but I would describe the flavor as a combination of tart and medicine. I really wish I liked hibby a bit more because it’s supposed to be so good for you; nevertheless I am not a fan and will be struggling to finish the cup.
This tea has a “bite” which I’m not sure is the hibiscus, cinnamon, ginger or a combination of the three. A bit of sweetener improved this, but I don’t know what I will do with the rest of these Sweet Ginger Plum samples that came in the set. Any hibiscus fans out there?
Wow, this is some seriously potent stuff!
I got a tin of this ginger/lemongrass blend to replace the one I finished off yesterday. This is very strong, lots of ginger and licorice and lemon flavor. I think you could use this to strip paint off your walls. I’m not necessarily thinking I will drink this for sheer enjoyment but it will be a good thing to have around in the winter to warm up and for immune boosting benefits. I think this would have been better without the licorice and more lemongrass in the blend. I can barely taste the spearmint here but the overall effect is… medicinal, unfortuanately
This was part of a sampler pack of Noir teas by Tea Forte. The aroma of this was very subtle but a true scent, not fake like some orange teas. The flavor was definitely a different kind of orange…the difference between blood orange and navel oranges is distinct. The black tea is dominant in this blend.
Flavors: Blood orange