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Recent Tasting Notes
When I saw how red my tea turned my first though was that it contained the dreaded hibiscus. Fortunately the colour was from the beetroot pieces instead. Out of the three tea in the sampler it was the smell of this one that really drew like some delicious freshly-baked almond confectionery. It starts off sweetly nutty with a bit of a spice undertone, but then it trails off into something tangy and slightly sour which I’m not sure I care for. I’m going to see if sweetener improves matters.
I work in receiving at the bookstore, unpacking stock and shelving/displaying it. I could smell these Tealish teas as soon as I opened the box they were so fragrant and I knew right away I would have to buy them. Thankfully some of them at least come in a sample pack and I quickly set one aside because I knew these were going to be snapped up quickly. Tealish is a new brand for our store as we usually just stock Harney & Sons and Tea Forte. Now I like H&S as much as the next person, but it’s good to see some Canadian brands get in on the action too.
I’m not a huge rooibos fan but this is such a tasty tea. It has the fresh tang of lemon but it’s sweet as well like lemon candies – or lemon meringue pie, the sort that’s made properly with lots of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a dollops of lightly-toasted meringue on top.
Perfect on a winter afternoon, when you have a dessert craving but a resolution to keep.
Went into a colleague’s stash for this again. The first notes are of baked goodness and hints of almond. Was trying really hard to put my finger on what specifically the smell combination reminded me of and I finally figured it out – it smells like almond biscotti in a cup! Nutty, twice baked goodness.
I let it steep all the way home in my thermos and it was still great, no worries about oversteeping at all.
In an ideal world with non-existent budgets, I would definitely consider buying this for my stash.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Cake, Nutty
Having now tried a handful of Tealish flavours, I can’t help but notice that they all come across a bit same-y to me. The upside of that is that they all taste perfectly pleasant, but nothing stands out to me as being particularly amazing. Like the other Tealish dessert teas I’ve tried, this one has a thin but agreeable generic taste of “sweets”. The flavour reminds me of the smell that wafts up at you when you open a tin of Quality Street. This tea is pleasant but ultimately forgettable; I will enjoy what I have and move on.
I can’t get over how amazing this tea smells. In the bag it’s all intense, sweet lemon, but once it’s brewed, the liquor smells like a lemon meringue pie. There’s desserty lemon, meringue and pie crust! Wow!
I couldn’t stop smelling my cup as it cooled, and I was starting to worry that the flavour couldn’t possibly live up to the smell. And it’s not as complex or amazing as the smell, but it is delicious. Smooth and gentle lemon, with a hint of creaminess, sweet, not tart. Maybe the most subtle pastry note. The flavour intensifies as it cools a bit.
I think I might have died of joy if this had tasted as good as it smells, but I can’t complain. I may need to bake a lemon meringue pie soon.
Thanks, aisling of tea, for the recommendation!
Flavors: Creamy, Lemon, Meringue, Pastries, Sweet
Oh this may supplant Teavana’s Berry Mint Cassis as my berry-mint true love. (Which is just as well – I have a fair bit of that one left, but it’s been long discontinued.) Less hibiscus tart, more distinct berry flavour, a lovely, sweet mint that’s not overpowering. Omnomnomnom so delicious.
Flavors: Berry, Blackberry, Mint, Raspberry, Sweet
This is lovely. The rooibos is not overpowering and there’s a lovey fruity taste that combines raspberry, citrus and a bunch of other stuff which I can’t quite identify.
Definitely glad I picked this one up. Thanks for the recommendation, aisling of tea!
Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Raspberry
This was my morning cup. This weekend I’m at Playground Conference in Toronto. It has been a seriously intense day.
I was up way too late last night, working on my presentation, and so I woke up kind of tired this morning. Grabbed a quick breakfast and this tea with it. I have no idea what water temperature this was steeped at or for how long, but it seemed to be pretty forgiving.
I really enjoyed being able to taste bot the coconut and the floral green oolong notes distinctly. Coconut can be a bit of an overwhelming flavour, but this was nicely balanced. A really good way to start off a day, which included going to the morning plenary session, sitting on a panel on polyamory, presenting on how to organize a successful sex party, a workshop on expressing desire as feelings, and a panel on media influence on sex work legislation.
An absolutely amazing day, and if you have any interest in sexuality, gender, relationships or related topics you should be at this convention. It’s one of the most inclusive, diverse and safe space I’ve ever been in, and the community is warm and welcoming. If you’re inexperienced or new to dialogues about sex, this is a great place to get started.
There’s one more day left, so if you’re in Toronto, I highly recommend coming down to check it out for the last day. Or if not, plan to come next year.
Now, I need to go find some hot water so I can resteep these leaves. Edit: Second steep wasn’t worth drinking, but I think I really underleafed this tea. My travel mug is twice the size of my regular mug and I didn’t put much leaf into it.
Flavors: Coconut, Floral, Green
This tea is a nice accompaniment on this rainy cold night. It is bright enough in flavour to bring some warmth and light into the experience but has enough death in both flavour and texture to be comforting on a night like this.
The tea once poured is a warm oak colour with a scent of warm strawberry compote, cream, baking chocolate, butter pastry and a savoury note.
The strawberry flavour on top tastes like fresh cut slightly sun warmed ripe strawberries with a touch of tartness over a a slightly fruity and herbaceous base tea with cocoa notes. A dark bittersweet chocolate mixes through both the base and flavouring notes with a touch of cream and vanilla. The tea is heavier and not as creamy as Zen Teas strawberry cream, with deeper bitter notes from the chocolate and base. It is not as thick or dark tasting as Butikis Red Queen Cupcake. It has a flavour that lies somewhere inbetween. The strawberry is bright and fresh tasting and very faintly floral. Chocolate settles towards the bottom of the cup as it sits leaving a more copper coloured brew. There are hints of baked goods and the last sips taste of strawberry flavoured hot chocolate. The tea is mildly tannic with a body dense enough to take milk and other additives. The second steep has richer chocolate notes and a texture more reminiscent of baked goods.
This tea makes a nice strawberry black for any time of the year.
This is my wife’s all time favorite tea, and I’ve curious about doing a second kombucha ferment with tea, so this is my first step down that road. I brewed it strong and added sugar before mixing it with my kombucha and letting it sit on the counter for three days. After the third day I stuck it in the fridge to cool and today I tried a sip while I was pouring it for the wifey. It wasn’t bad at all! I think she’ll really like it. It got just as fizzy as the other brews and I would call it a rousing success!
Er. Yeah. About that.
I have a confession to make: I am a sucker when it comes to marketing strategies. Mention pastries! Mention France! Mention potential swooning and hearts-for-eyes (or at least imply)! I’m basically a goner if/when all that happens. Which is how I ended up blindly buying this tea in my first Tealish order. Woo boy. Granted, the first time around, I don’t think I was being very fair. My sister, brother-in-law and I had gone for a late afternoon ice cream run, and when I came home, I brewed up some of this tea, hoping for a continuation in decadence.
It might have been the dairy in my body already. It might have been the heat. It might have been any number of factors. But my throat basically decided to do its best Gandalf impression and threw up its arms, all “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” I am not exaggerating when I say I got through that cup by pinching my nose, closing my eyes and taking large, quick gulps. And I still gagged every time.
Later outings with this tea: on some level, my body wanted to like it. There’s a pleasing sort of warmth to it as long I didn’t focus too much on the heavier, savoury spices. But God, they sit on the tip of the sip and just dangle their legs, all “Hey! Hey! Hey! We’re here! Do you see us?” And then I get all conflicted because this tea would be SO GOOD, or at the very least, MEDIOCRE AND DRINKABLE, if it wasn’t so much like a mouth punch. I kept drinking this tea in the hope that it would get better. It did not. When I finished my stash, I breathed a sigh of relief. Sweet, sweet relief.
Finally finished off the last of my bag (which was … overstuffed, for better or for worse). The only other incarnation of Monk’s Blend that I’d tried was waaaaaay back in the good old days of Teaopia. I remember getting a whiff and falling hard and fast, so I bought this one blindly, while running off of nostalgia. And to be fair, my tastes might have changed since the Stone Age, and Monk’s Blend might just not be for 2014-me. I found the scent to be on the verge of sickly-sweet, and beyond that, I thought the base tea was terribly bitter and cloying. I also found, on one occasion, two scraps of paper in the dry leaf?! (They were small and zig zagged, like the top part of a “Tear Here!” bag.) That . . . kind of made my face not know what to do with itself. So. To reiterate. I’m glad this blend is gone from my tea collection, and I don’t think I’ll be getting anymore in the future.
(Note: Actually, I’m starting to realize I don’t enjoy fruity black teas as much I used to/imagined. More and more, I’m turning to maltier, breadier blacks, which is nice to know for future buys.)
Virtually identical to Forever Nuts from David’s Tea, to the point that I wouldn’t be surprised if both companies source from the same supplier. It’s not too much of a stretch for many different companies to have an apple/cinnamon/almond blend, but the inclusion of beetroot in both is what makes me raise a dubious eyebrow. In any case, it’s a winning flavour combination that reminds me of apple pie and oatmeal cookies with cinnamon. I initially found this one slightly less cinnamon-y than Forever Nuts, but I’ve noticed that the flavour of Forever Nuts can be wildly inconsistent with each purchase (sometimes it’s more spicy, other times, more nutty), so maybe that’s the case with Toasty Almond, as well. Both infusions suffer if over-steeped, taking on a strange tang, which may be attributable to either the apple or the beetroot. Both are good, but Forever Nuts is more easily accessible to me, so I doubt I’ll pick up Toasty Almond again.
I liked it well-enough. Tastes like it says it will: orange marzipan. I feel like this one is kind of a springtime tea for me, when the weather still cold enough for me to crave sweet, comfort-food flavours, but at the same time warm enough for me to start feeling starved for lighter, fruitier fare.
Ohh-ho, golly… This is a tough one to review. It’s not that I didn’t like the flavour. I found it unique; spicy and sweet, and plenty strong enough for me. The problem is that one of the spices it contains is cumin. Cumin leaches through my pores at a surprising rate, and leaves me smelling, uh, a tad whiffy. So, it’s a no-go for me, I’m afraid. I think I’d feel quite differently about this one, though, if it didn’t make me smell like a farm animal on a hot day, so don’t let my experience scare you off.
I just. No. Nope. Not happening. At least, not for me? Short steeps, long steeps, different temperatures in water … nothing works. It has a kind of odd play-doh / scratch-n-sniff sticker smell, and on a good day I can get a tiny bit of creamy, vegetal note on the back of my tongue, which, hey, oolong, nice of you to join us, but for the most part, this tea tastes like nothing. I tried, but it’s just not gonna work out between us.
I snagged this from the Here’s Hoping tea box when it was around. Steep #1 was the last run of my Bodum kettle. Steep #2 was microwaved. This one doesn’t seem to get much love from Steepster, but I like the idea of a caramel Formosa oolong. This was actually what I expected it to be. I liked it! There is a darkness to the oolong that pairs well with the sweet and creamy caramel flavor. The name is entirely accurate. The Formosa here seems like a lighter black tea. The second cup was even tastier. Plenty of caramel to go around. I guess I’m such a tea addict I like teas that most others do not.
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 4 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6 min
GCTTB Rd 3:
This is definitely an interesting herbal. It is sweet, tart, and spicy all in one. The hibiscus hits your tongue first but orange follows shortly after adding a citrus flare as opposed to a hibby tart and then the slight cinnamon flavor pushes it’s way through giving you a touch of spice. All the while the almond and vanilla mellows out all the competing flavors to keep them from overpowering the whole cup. Definitely an interesting cup so thank you mewakeling for the chance to try it out.
Finally getting around to trying this tea. As a big fan of lemon dessert teas, I’m very excited to drink this cup! The scent of the dry leaf is wonderfully lemony and creamy.
Sipping… mmm. I like the strong lemon note and the pastry-like finish. There’s a very nice balance between the sweet and tart flavors. I also find the lemon to be a bit stronger than other lemon dessert teas and that’s just fine with me! There isn’t a strong creamy note which I think would have made this tea even more special. It is sweet enough, though, and has a pastry-like quality.
I guess I wish that there were more variety with these lemony dessert teas — they all end up tasting about the same to me. Well, this was a very good cup and I did enjoy the stronger lemon flavor in this one, so I think I can say that this takes a spot in my favorite lemon meringue/pie/dessert teas.